Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Bane (Eden) by Keary Taylor

The Bane (Eden, #1)

NOTE: I received the eARC from Netgalley.

When I was about 7% into the book, I wrote this in my review notebook:

"Wow! I didn't expect this one to pull me in as completely as it did! It so much reminds me of Maria V. Snyder's writing style and the main character, Eve, reminds me so much of Avry!"

Well, after this wonderful beginning, things got a bit sloppy. I really enjoyed the story - it was entertaining, exciting and had its unique elements. It had action and very good world building. The writing style was pretty nice too, although it could do with some editing.

The characters however... I was disappointed by them. How unrealistic they acted at times. it really bothered me.

Like Eve for example. She was just perfect in the first couple of chapters. She was lively, protective and caring. She was taken with her duties, she had set her own boundaries.. that sort of thing. Enter West. He's new to the group of survivors who live in Eden. And Eve doesn't trust him. But her reactions don't follow her thoughts at all. I mean, you can't distrust and dislike a person one minute, and then let him kiss you the very next one. For goodness' sake, she should've at least slapped him or something. But no.

West continued his advances and I got to dislike him even more. Not only because he was doing it so he could make it hard on Eve to make a choice, but also because he hadn't been invited to do it in the first place. Not even once. Eve didn't initiate a single kiss with West, a single intimate moment, but he still kept pushing himself on her! I call this abuse. Especially since she didn't know how to properly react in the first place!

And finally I want to talk about Avian. I LOVED him from the beginning. He was quiet, mature and brave. He had his eyes wide open and he wasn't afraid to put his heart out there for Eve to decide its future. In my opinion, he was and will always be the right choice, because he was trustworthy and passionate and I couldn't help but admire his strength of character. Also, he was no boy, unlike West. Oh no. Avian was a man. He wasn't manipulative with hidden agenda. I just wish there was at least one intimate scene between Eve and him. It would've made a great escape from all the darkness of the world.

My actual rating is 3.5 stars, but I decided to round it up to

Only because of Avian.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"Act Like You Love Me" by Cindi Madsen

Act Like You Love Me (Accidentally in Love, #2)
NOTE: Thanks to Entangled for letting me read this amazing book!

The only other book I've read by Cindi Madsen is All The Broken Pieces. It was so good, that I just had to request to read this one too. To tell you the truth, I'm glad I did, because it definitely didn't disappoint.

Act Like You Love Me is a very light read, full of romance, memories and realistic characters. It had me laughing and crying. There were places I felt extremely overjoyed, and scenes that literally made my heart clench. In other words, it was amazing.

Yeah I know that the story wasn't super unique. There was boy meet girl and they developed an attraction that morphed into love. Nothing new, I know. But it was written and thought out in such a sweet way, it definitely deserves the praise.

I couldn't not feel sympathetic with both Sawyer and Brynn. They'd both had their fair share of complicated high-school lives that had marred them for life. But when they meet again as adults, fate demands a do-over. That do-over, even though there were absolutely no adult scenes, got my blood boiling. I never new that simple kissing can do that to a person, but it did! And I liked it! Which makes me think I should go back and read the other Cindi Madsen books in the Accidentally in Love series.

Oh, and on a minor scale, you'd be surprised by what a mother would do to keep her son close to her! Just get to read the book and you'll see exactly what I mean.

My rating

"With All My Soul" by Rachel Vincent

With All My Soul (Soul Screamers, #7)

Well, taking in account that I was very disappointed by the previous installment, I didn't have very high hopes for this one. I even decided to wait it out, and pick it when I was sure I was ready for it. But guess what? All that preparation was futile. It didn't really prepare me for what I got.

With All My Soul exceeded whatever high expectations I might've had! It was brilliant, it was mysterious. It was nicely written, nicely thought out. Nicely done overall. Or no, wait. Nicely isn't a strong enough word to summarize my laughter, my tears, my expectations, my hopes for this one. Oh no.

Let me say that Rachel Vincent has once again outdone herself, and I am very very glad about that. Because seriously, we all know how much expectation we, as readers, put into the final installment of a long series. That's like, a lot. We want it to be perfect, brilliant, and in other words - so good that we won't be able to stop thinking about it for at least a week after we've read it! We want to re-read it and cry and laugh every time!

Believe me when I say that I sure will cry and laugh the next time I decide to read it. You will too. If you followed Kay and Tod and Nash, Emma and Sabine and Sophie all those years, you'll be smitten with this one book. WAMS was a thrill ride. A roller-coaster of emotions. Unreachable highs and ultimate lows battled for attention and they sure got it.

So Kaylee... for the first half of the book I thought that all those years we'd spent with her, she hadn't really changed. I mean, the girl always got someone else in trouble for the sake of protecting her soul. Not that she intentionally did it, but you know. And don't get me wrong. I get it. I wouldn't want to hand over my soul to Avari (or another demon) either. But the last quarter of the book made me realize that Kay has indeed changed. So much in fact, that I have to say I was impressed by her. Because of Kaylee, I want to congratulate Rachel: You've done an excellent job with her. Thank you! You have no idea how much this means to me!

And Tod... is still the same smart-mouthed reaper you just can't NOT fall in love with. Unfortunately, I'll always be team Nash. Always. Not that I want him to be with Kay. Oh no. But he's more my type of guy, so yeah :) Sabine is one uncommonly lucky girl.

That would be all. For a spectacular end of a series, THANK YOU AGAIN, RACHEL VINCENT.

I'm sure you can guess my rating... It's

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ever by Jessa Russo

Ever (Ever, #1)

NOTE: I received the eARC from Netgalley.

Well, where should I start? This is one of those times when I don't know what to say. Well, I do but.. I... umm...gosh. It's hard to write a negative review, but *sigh* I gotta do it anyway.

So here goes...

In this book we meet Ever, this absolutely gorgeous girl, who has no idea how beautiful she is. Too cliche, but you know. Anyway, she's lost her best friend (Frankie) just last year, but he stayed on as a ghost, who almost never speaks. Well, most of the time he's brooding, and in the beginning I had no idea he was a ghost. I thought I was not getting the story right. Well anyway. So Ever's always been in love with him. How totally tragic, right? Well, if it weren't so cliche, a.k.a the impossible love, and if it weren't so badly written I might've actually liked it.

Then the picture enters Toby. He's the lovely, yet bad, boy who moves in next door. And check this out - Ever gets to fall in love with him only after a couple of minutes meetings. I could accept that as an (un)likely possibility if only Ever hadn't sworn that her heart would never belong to anyone but her ghost Frankie. Well, what do you know, she gets to love them both in this really freaktastic love triangle.

But that's not all. Oh no. Tighten your panties because there's more.

Now the picture enters Toby's evil ex-girlfriend who besides being a total slut is also a witch with some mojo skills. That got the whole picture confused beyond proportions.

Several things struck me as insanely stupid, here they are:

1. Frankie never calls Ever by her name. Instead he calls her Dollface. I could seriously gag right about now.
2. Ever umm.. went to bed.. with Toby on the night of her dad's funeral, and then broke up with him.
3. The scene with Ever's friend and her mom and crazy boyfriend blew me off. No realistic reaction from even one of the characters. If you get to read it, you'll see what I mean.

Okay, that's enough I think. All in all, the book flunk my expectations pretty bad. I don't think I'd be picking up the next one in the series, not after all that I mentioned above.

My rating is

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

The Rules for Disappearing
My review of this book is a courtesy to Netgalley.

I've always loved books/movies with stories about the witness protection program. I don't really know why, they just intrigue me. All the needs to change one's identity, getting to start over... new life, new place, that sort of thing.

That's why I really enjoyed TRFD. Although I could feel the numbness spreading as I read fake-name Meg's account of her life, I was still pretty intrigued by the whole process of up and just getting a whole new identity. As if your life before never was. Fascinating, isn't it?

So in general, I should say that this was a light, fast-paced read that, for a while, snuck me into the mind of our heroine, a.k.a. the girl with many names but just two faces. It was a truly captivating story, that held my attention from beginning to end.

I felt so incredibly sorry for Meg and especially for her little sister (who is at this point called Mary). Each move, each change of identity took its toll on them to the point that they could hardly remember who they really were anymore. Mary felt it especially bad, melting more and more on the inside, going deeper and deeper into her shell of depression.

I did NOT like the girls' mother at all. I mean, in this dreadfully difficult situation the family was in, all she could do was get herself drunk into oblivion. Gah, seriously? Is that really the best she could do? I was disgusted with that woman. Instead of trying to help her girls, she drowned in alcohol. Selfish, selfish, selfish!

The father impressed me though. He was trying really hard to keep the family going. It was difficult on him, being the only sane parent, but he did a decent job, so he definitely gets points for that.

Now the guy. Ethan Landry. I kept on thinking about laundry all the time his last name came up. Never mind. So Ethan. He's super nice, super handsome and super curious guy. Of course, he's also the only one to figure out the new girl (Meg) and her mysterious past. No insta-love here, but there was insta-attraction, which is totally not the same thing. Also, good news is that Ethan was actually worth all the praise he got in Meg's mind. He wasn't just some dumb jock that threw smart sarcastic comments. No. There was actually substance in him. I know girls would love him, I sure did!

So, to wrap it up, if you enjoy reading about stunningly good (but also light) mystery, relationships that actually matter and sweet romance, this will definitely keep you satisfied.

Oh, and just let me say that those rules that each chapter begins with are absolute killers. I laughed reading them!

My rating is