REVIEW: Water

StImagears: 3.5/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: August 12, 2013

Water is an interesting spin on a “fantasy/magic” book. It started out a bit stilted, with the main character Kaitlyn being kidnapped and held against her will in the span of a few pages. Read a few more pages, and she’s no longer there against her will. It all happened kind of fast, but at the same time I was hungering for answers, so this fact didn’t warrant much notice.

Pretty early on, the boundaries are set. Micah is the hot, older one that can calm Kaitlyn down with physical contact (preferably a kiss, obviously). Shawn is the evil-to-the-bone antagonist who would rather torture Kaitlyn and probably pulls the wings off of insects in his spare time. Micah, of course, is Kaitlyn’s “helper” with channeling her power. Shawn, of course, is the one who can put a damper on her powers. Okay, C- for originality, but characters don’t always make the storyline, so I kept going.

The book warns of sexual content before you start the book, so the fairly descriptive sex/nude/naughty scenes did not take me by surprise and I skimmed until the story continued. This happened maybe five or so times throughout the book. What was kind of a downer throughout the book was the fact that despite my consistent attempts, I just couldn’t connect with Kaitlyn. She lacked a “spark” and her emotions were… flat. She never seemed very bothered either way that she kept being kidnapped and held against her will for more than a year. There was no happiness but no frustration either. She was very disconnected with her surroundings. Whether or not this was intentional, I have no idea. It just didn’t seem to go very well with the story of a girl who is tough.

All in all, there was enough intriguing things in this book that I think there’s a good chance that I will pick up the sequel. I just really hope I’ll get hooked a bit more the second time around.

I only received a free ebook of this title in exchange for a review. No other recompense was received.

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August 18, 2013 · 5:55 PM

REVIEW: Delia’s Shadow

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Stars: 4/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: August 2, 2013

Delia’s Shadow caught my eye mostly because it combined two things I love to read about: ghosts and historical fiction. I was delighted when I received a copy to review.

The book was fairly well written, with Delia immediately being a fun character to read about. She’s very demure and down to earth, though pensive because of the perpetual companion, a ghost she christens “Shadow”. Add a brooding policeman who lost his wife and unborn child in the same earthquake in which Delia lost her parents, throw them together in a life or death situation, include a few decade old cold cases and a serial killer who has begun to kill again, and you’ve got a good start to a leisurely novel.

This novel was definitely leisurely. The plot was fairly well paced with a nice balance of supernatural, a deranged killer, and delightful characters. The main drawback was the fact that although Delia’s perspective is written in third person, the author switches to third person for the brooding policeman Gabe’s perspective. This really shook up the flow of the book. Plus, when the murderer is identified, it took a while before I realized the exact significance because although the main characters are independent and easily recognized, the sub characters blend together colorlessly.

I very much enjoyed the character building of the main cast and their developing relationships with one another. The apparition definitely gave the tale a unique twist, but not enough to really make this book shine like a newly minted coin. This mattered little to me, as it provided a very refreshing change of pace from the books I normally read. I did, however, wished the author had not wrapped up the book so abruptly.

All in all, Delia’s Shadow is a very nice read for anyone who likes hauntings and historical fiction, especially in the same novel!

I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley and have in no way received any other recompense other than the free copy for this review.

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Filed under 4 stars

The ‘Q’ Ghost

As the first year of my masters program looms in the near future, I just want to reassure you all that I will still be reading and reviewing. Normally I read about one hundred books per year, but the past two years have been, shall we say, unexpected in the way that life loves to be. That being said, I do think that reviews will happen.

In other news, my phone became possessed by what I am calling the ‘Q’ ghost. Not only was it not working properly, any chance the phone got to type the letter ‘Q’ over and over it would take. So instead of saving for a MacBook Pro for medical school, I was forced to get a new phone if I wanted to stay in touch with all my professional contacts and people that want to reach my mom (since she isn’t super reliable with having her cell phone with her).

Long story short, the ‘Q’ ghost has decided that a new phone was more important. What the ‘Q’ ghost did not take into account was that some of us (read: most everyone I know) are not independently wealthy patrons. Some of our parents are amazing school teachers that work with severely autistic children. But I do really love my new phone, so I guess I can’t be too bitter.

Thank you all for being supportive and loving towards myself and this blog! Even if it isn’t much of a blog and more of a compilation of reviews.

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REVIEW: Why Atheists Love Breasts

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Stars: 4/5

Format: Kindle ebook via Publisher

Read: July 20, 2013

Upon receiving this book, I was a little bit taken aback by the title. Obviously it really grabs your attention. However, this book was not all about why atheists love breasts. There was maybe two pages dedicated to that topic. This book is a compilation of a college blog author, Rinth de Shadley, where she covers topics from political problems to Gossip Girl, to the hurdles of growing up, especially in the medical field.

Rinth was witty and funny, but she could also be downright odd. I wasn’t gripped immediately with the book as it felt just like the title: trying to be raucous to gain attention, even if it meant presenting Rinth as juvenile. But I stuck with it, and after that rocky start, Rinth got a good rhythm going with her humor and the depth of her posts. The one major drawback was that the further I got into the book, the more I noticed “chapters” (each individual blog post) would sometimes refer to a blog post that I had no way of referencing at that point in the book. Sometimes the post would appear later and sometimes not at all.

Despite my initial impression, I really found Rinth had some wise advice to give. What she writes is an opinion that doesn’t shove it in your face. She casually prods you to contemplate the issue, even if you don’t agree with her.

Overall, I’ve been very happy with this book and would recommend as a short, fun read!

Disclaimer: Other than receiving a free ebook copy of this book, I have received no other recompense for this review.

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Filed under 4 stars, Review

REVIEW: The Enchanter Heir

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Stars: 5/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: June 25, 2013

I was super excited when I was given an advanced copy of this book for review. I am a huge fan of Cinda Williams Chima and have read the entirety of the Heir series as well as the Grey Wolf Queen series. I have always been enthralled by her character and world building and I was not disappointed in this next installment.

Since I have always been partial to the brooding-yet-layered characters, it was no surprise to me that I liked Jonah immediately. Emma, however, I was skeptical of. The book’s description paints her as a “wild child” who runs the streets of Memphis like some modern day “Beasts of the Southern Wild” character. Unfortunately, I instantly dismissed her as unimportant when she’s introduced solely based on that description. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book description was way off the mark when it came to Emma. Chima writes her as a free spirit, but never conforming to any stereotypes. It was almost as if I was meeting a real person who was not just created as is but has evolved through a lifetime of pain and happiness. In my opinion, she is probably one of the most real characters Chima has ever written.

I did like Jonah, but felt the book, with what it was, didn’t give a whole lot of answers. All of the other Heir books can be read as standalone installments, so I was mildly surprised that this book ended in a cliffhanger. This is probably where my slight frustration of reading the entirety of the book and then being given, essentially, the “TO BE CONTINUED…” screen came from. However, although major answers weren’t given, enough character back-stories unfolded peripherally that I was drawn along just as quickly and my interest never waned. But since most all of the secrets revolved around Jonah, I was a bit more conflicted with him than I was with Emma, who was just who she seemed to be.

Overall, I will be buying this book when it comes out. I just wished I had known beforehand that it would require a sequel and when the sequel will be coming out, because I don’t do well when you drop me into a high paced story and then abruptly cutting me off.

I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley. I am not receiving any recompense besides the free text.

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Filed under 5 stars, advanced reader copy, Review

REVIEW: Never Fade

ImageStars: 4.5/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: June 17, 2013

So I was super surprised at how much I loved this book. I was also mildly surprised that this was the second in a series, mostly because I never felt lost with the character’s back stories I should have known before reading this. Which really goes to show how amazingly Bracken seamlessly wove her first and second installments together.

Ruby’s transformation from fearing her ability to being forced to use it to survive was a very palpable struggle. This book really sucked me in, but didn’t have such a hold on me that I couldn’t relax and enjoy it. Ruby’s new responsibilities and coming to love those under her in the League against her will was poignant and just so real.

There was so much action and so many twists, most of which I never saw coming. The book never lulled and never lost its constant momentum which I was only too happy to be swept away by. I loved it so much I’m going to be reading the first book of the series and buying this book when it comes out!

The only real problem I had with it is that one of the new character curses like a sailor literally every bit of dialogue. It was good character building, until it was just too much and I got tired of the f bomb being dropped like it was a space filler. I think I would have liked this book better had there been a bit more discretion with that character. However, overall I really did enjoy myself and devoured this book!

I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley. I am not receiving any recompense besides the free text.

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June 18, 2013 · 9:09 PM

REVIEW: Summer Prince

ImageStars: 2/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: June 9, 2013

A dystopian-esque novel set in a futuristic South America where cultures have melded together and the blame of wars past is given to the men of the world. Therefore to prevent any further disasters, a queen is elected by a “king” who is elected solely to be murdered right after he chooses the next reigning queen. This seemingly barbaric act is to ensure that the king, in the last minutes of life, will choose in an unhindered way with death quickly approaching.

And honestly? I didn’t particularly like it. It took most of the novel for me to pinpoint exactly what I disliked about this book and I finally pinpointed it: the world building. I think this whole novel would have been so much better if the author had taken more time with the world building of the novel. I was confused most of the time with the politics that fueled this world, but decided that was probably not the important bits of the book and mostly ignored the fact I didn’t follow. It was an unfortunate discovery that the politics were the core of the book where I thought the odd chemistry of Enki and June was the crux of it all.
From then on out I was vastly lost trying to get a grasp on the politics that now seemed to dictate what the characters did and said. It was a bit like the book switched languages on me and I couldn’t keep up. Mix in the oddly used homosexual relationships (I am unsure whether they were used misleadingly as shock value or some weak attempt at romance, both of which failed miserably) and I felt everything in this book was half-heartedly used to make a point I never was privy to.
All in all I think some things were done well, such as Enki’s tragic character. However, I was so lost the entire time while trying to understand the plot that any really great things were glossed over by an overwhelming frustration.Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review and only received a free review copy from NetGalley as recompence in a Kindle format.

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Filed under 2 stars, advanced reader copy, Review