Author: Jen (page 2 of 90)

BOOK REVIEW – Thunderstruck by Brenda Drake

BOOK REVIEW – Thunderstruck by Brenda DrakeThunderstruck by Brenda Drake
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Stevie Moon is famous...at least to the subscribers on her comic review vlog. At school, she’s as plain as the gray painted walls in the cafeteria. So when Blake, the hot new guy at school, shows an interest in her, she knows trouble when she sees it. Been there. And never doing it again.

As the son of the god Thor, Blake Foster's been given an important mission—to recover the Norse god Heimdall’s sacred and powerful horn before someone uses it to herald in the destruction of the entire universe. But while Blake is great in a fight, the battlefield that is a high school’s social scene is another matter.

Blake knows his only choice is to team up with the adorable Stevie, but she's not willing to give him even the time of day. He'll need to woo the girl and find the horn if he hopes to win this war. Who better to tackle Stevie's defenses than the demi-god of thunder?

Review:

Thunderstruck was such a cute story.  It revolved around Norse Mythology and the pages were filled with friendship, drama, first love and some mystery.  I quickly read it in two sittings and I found myself smiling a lot.  While it had a younger vibe and a few adorable yet cheesy moments, I enjoyed Thunderstruck and it’s characters!

He wanted to get lost in her. Forget he was from another world. A world where she could never go. A world he no longer wanted to return to without her.

Blake, the son of Thor, was my favorite out of all of the characters.  He was to recover a horn, and bring it back home.  But Blake found himself distracted by Stevie, a girl who goes to the same school as him.  And while I thought the son of a god would be charming and charismatic, it didn’t always work out that way lol.  He was soooooooo out of his element on Earth.   He was awkward at times, used too proper of English, and he didn’t understand slang (the Netflix comment was my fave rofl!). There were moments that I was laughing yet also cringing for him.  But thankfully Stevie was able to see past all of that, just like I was able to.

He just didn’t seem like he belonged on this planet, which was a weird thing to think, but it kept playing in her head.
Really, Stevie. You’re not living in a comic.

Stevie was an adorable girl who had a vlog and loved cosplay.  And I assumed her and Blake would easily end up together, that’s not exactly how it went down.  It all became convoluted when Blake wasn’t sure who had the horn.  And because of that, he ended up hanging around another girl a lot.  Her name was Grace, and I was not a fan.  So a love triangle formed.  And there was definitely a lot of drama.  I’m one of those that loves drama (I use to watch soaps back in the day), so I was a happy girl.

Kyle was leaning against his passenger side door. “Now, wasn’t that sweet? Kill a troll, hack up its body and dump it in the bay, then kiss a cute girl. All in one night.”
“What do you want, now?” Blake rounded the hood to the driver’s side. “Don’t you have someone else you can bother?”

Another character that helped cause a lot of drama was Kyle.  He was Blake’s brother and in the beginning I wasn’t too sure where his loyalty resided.  I kept getting annoyed at myself because Kyle came across as someone who I shouldn’t necessarily like.  Yet I did.  He was the annoying brother who would never go away.  Heaven help me for liking him lol.

“Why me?” Her words were as silent as a feather falling from a dove. When she looked back up the moonlight touched her face, her cheeks flushed and her dark eyes glistened with tears held back. And he didn’t care that he told her his feelings, because they made her look like that— beautiful.

Now underneath it all, was Norse Mythology.  And maybe this is more my issue than anyone else’s, but I’m clueless about Norse Mythology.  So when a character’s name would appear, I didn’t understand who they were.  It’d say if they were related, but I would have loved to have a little bit of a backstory on who was who.  Thankfully I was reading on my kindle, so I would highlight the name and read more about them on the Wikipedia pop-up box.  But I do wish some of that info was within the actual story so I’d know who we were meeting or who they were dressing up as.

This time he turned his back. Because he would do anything to save her, even betray her.

The creatures, characters, mystery, and action made this book such a quick, fun read!  I was completely entertained, and the story went by too fast.  I’m always bummed when I devour a story too quickly.  Ohhh one more thing before I go, while it’s a YA book, I felt like it would be a great step for those ready to leave MG and step into YA.  

PS This is SO random but Trevon (Stevie’s best friend’s boyfriend) reminded me so much of Murray, Dionne’s boyfriend, from Clueless for some reason.  So I was always smiling when he was gracing the pages.

*ARC kindly provided by Entangled:Crave via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

TOP TEN TUESDAY – Books We Loved Before We Started Writing Reviews

Top Ten Tuesday.13

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week is – Books We Loved Before We Started Writing Reviews.  And they are….


(Jen’s Choice)

(Jen’s Choice)

1. Half-Blood (Covenant #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Amazon * Goodreads

Greek mythology, forbidden love, a kick-ass heroine and a male that made my heart beat faster all made me fall madly in love with this series!  I ♥ JLA and it always bothers me that I don’t have any reviews for this fabulous series.  Someday I hope to go back and re-read it! 

2. True of Blood (Witch Fairy #1) by Bonnie Lamer
Amazon * Goodreads

This book made me realize that book boyfriends really do exist and it got me back into reading.  Not only was it sooooo easy to devour but the story-line was adorable and there were some scenes that melted my heart.  I still think about this series all the time, and it’s another that I want to re-read someday.


(Jen’s Choice)

(Chelsea’s Choice)

3. The Upheaval (The Survivor Chronicles #1) by Erica Stevens
Amazon * Goodreads

I read this book in a matter of hours.  It was so fast paced and I had to know what happened next.  But then it ended on a cliffhanger that nearly killed me.  So I waited until all the books released and then I forgot to finish this series *smacks forehead*.  How could I forget that, especially when I can remember every single detail from The Upheaval?!  I’m so glad I did this post because now I can finish this series!

4. Yours to Keep (Kowalski Family #3) by Shannon Stacey
Amazon * Goodreads
By far one of the sweetest contemporaries I’ve ever read-and I’ve read a lot of contemporaries since then! 


(Chelsea’s Choice)

(Chelsea’s Choice)

5. Deep in the Heart by Sharon Sala
Amazon * Goodreads

My very first ‘adult’ romance book…it hooked me from beginning to end. So sweet, fun, and sexy! 

6. Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire
Amazon * Goodreads

So bad its good…I’ll never regret loving this book, no matter what other people think.


(Anna’s Choice)

(Anna’s Choice)

7. Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy #2) by Robin Hobb
Amazon *
Goodreads

THIS SECOND BOOK is when I fell in love with my beloved Fitz – I still remember the first time I read it and felt SO MUCH for his tortured soul <33

8. The Count of Monte Cristo. Alexandre Dumas by Rob Nudds
Amazon * Goodreads

By far my favorite French classic but I could have recommended you any one of Dumas’ novels : please don’t be shy and try them, they’re fantastic!


(Anna’s Choice)

(Anna’s Choice)

9. His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3) by Philip Pullman
Amazon * Goodreads

Ahhhh such an enchanting trilogy! I absolutely LOVE Orphée’s tale so I couldn’t help but enjoy the way Pullman used it 🙂 This said, I will never get past the ending. N E V E R.

10. W, or the Memory of Childhood by Georges Perec
Amazon * Goodreads

Another favorite French novel of mine. Again, try theeeeeem! You won’t be disappointed!

So these are the Books We Loved Before We Started Writing Reviews. Have you read any of these books or do you have them on your tbr?  If not, then what books did you love before you started writing reviews?

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BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Black Bird of the Gallows is definitely one favorite books from this year! So check out my 5 Star Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway, enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg KasselBlack Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece―and he’s not human.

What's more, she knows something most don't. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Review:

Black Bird of the Gallows was hauntingly addicting, and I found myself completely mesmerized as the story unfolded.  The creatures and curses were not only unique, but an eerie combination that at times terrified me.  There were so many moments of subtle humor that had me laughing out loud and kept a smile on my face.  And when you add to that characters that won my heart, well Black Bird of the Gallows easily became one of my favorite books from this year!

What are you?” The question slips out— suddenly, vitally relevant.
For a moment , we just stare at each other, our mingling breath making white puffs in the cold air. He drops his gaze. I know, then, the answer is horrible. He’s kept his secrets for a reason, and that reason may be as scarring as the scene before us.

The book started out with Angie learning she has new neighbors.  And her first interaction with Reece, a boy about her age, had so many unexplainable moments.  He was speaking to a man whose face constantly changed, crows seemed to follow yet be playful with him, and he reminded her of something she couldn’t quite pinpoint.  Despite all that, they started towards a tentative friendship.  While there was a few bumps in the road, the way it developed felt so sweet and innocent.  But there was also moments between the two of them that made my heart race.  And I’m not one to usually talk about butterflies, but I SO did have them!  Watching Angie and Reece together made me feel like I was falling in love for the first time all over again.

I hold my breath and watch the crow glide away. It melts into the blackness, silent as a ghost. Lonely as the night.
Dark as a boy’s eyes.

Yet their relationship was forbidden.  It shouldn’t have grown the way it did.  It seemed like they were destined for broken hearts.  And because of them growing closer, creatures took interest in Angie.  That could only lead to horrific things.  You see, Reece’s arrival in her town was a horrible sign, since he’s a harbinger of death.  Once he was in her town, there was a shift in the demeanor of the town’s people.  Violence and chaotic events started to become more commonplace.  Then it all started to take an even darker turn.  I was terrified yet intrigued with how it would all play out.  Especially in regards to the bees.  When I fully understood the bees *shudders*, I realized that I will forever be haunted by them.  I can’t ever look at a honeybee normally again. *sobs*

He leans his terrible face close. Way too close . “He watches you. Why?”
My heart smashes against my ribs. His nightmare face is inches from mine, but no breath comes from that changing mouth. No puff of white in the cold darkness. Only the disorienting scent of honey and a skin-crawling drone that sounds an awful lot like bees. A lot of bees.

And while I LOVED the storyline, I was even more obsessed with Reece and Angie.  Oh my gosh you guys, Reece may be one of the most tortured souls I’ve ever read about.  He gutted me.  He broke my heart and then shattered it into the tiniest of pieces.  But he also had the ability to completely captivate my attention and melt my heart.  And did I mention he was full of secrets?  He was such a complex soul and was deliciously addicting!  I loved, loved, loved Reece!

Reece goes perfectly still. “You are important to me,” he says finally. “More important than anything any cursed creature thinks he could do to me.”

And then there was Angie.  From the moment Angie stated that she preferred footwear that wasn’t practical, I just knew her and I were going to be bffs!  But seriously, she had such a huge heart and a good head on her shoulders, I easily liked Angie right away.  While she had a troubled past, she tried her hardest to not let that define her.  And I was so grateful to see she had a wonderful support system with her two best friends and father.  The relationship she had with her father was realistic, and I loved that he played an active role in her life.  It was so refreshing to see that in a YA book!

His lips brush against mine in the whisper of a kiss. It’s different from any other. It tastes of certainty and sadness and promises that can never be made.

With curses, love, friendship, trust, and sacrifice, Black Bird of the Gallows truly had it all!  It was a page turner, it was impossible to put down, it made me sob out of happiness and sorrow.  And did I mention it reads as a standalone?!  So now I will patiently wait until I can read every single future release from this author.  She has made me a fan for life, and I’m so grateful I got to pick up this book and discover what was inside!

*ARC kindly provided by Entangled Teen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Purchase Links:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

And to the first 100 people who leave a review on Amazon for Black Bird of the Gallows & fill out this form, you’ll received a Book Nerd T-shirt.  You can fill out your info here.

 

 

About Meg Kassel:

Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson’s School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before becoming a writer. She now lives in Maine with her husband and daughter and is busy at work on her next novel. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart© winner in YA.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 
Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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BLOGIVERSARY + GIVEAWAYS – Our Favorite Female Leads

female leads

Since we’ve already had two posts talking about our Fiercest BBFs and Kindest BBFs, today we’re going to talk about some of Our Favorite Female Heroines.  These are the women we look up to, respect and absolutely love!  So have fun meeting our favorite heroines and we’re wishing you lots of luck on our giveaways below!

 

Female_chelsea

Ryen from Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
* Review  * Amazon * Goodreads *

Fat tears spill over, and I feel a weight on my shoulders. It’s not Trey. It’s not Lyla. It’s me. I don’t know who I’m supposed to be.

Ryen wasn’t perfect-but maybe that’s why I loved her so much. She made mistakes and wasn’t exactly who she portrayed herself to be…but she isn’t half as oblivious as they all think she is-Total underdog. I love her. 

 


Catherine from Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  * Review * Amazon * Goodreads *

“I do not want his generosity, or his kindness, or any other favors!” 
Her mother sneered. “Then you are a fool.” 
“Good. I’ve become rather fond of fools.”

Ever wonder what a woman scorned looks like? Look no further. This book will break your heart….but Cath and Jest are worth reading about. Cath was a sweet girl who wanted nothing more than to bake…it just wasn’t in the cards. *Tee hee* I really loved her personality throughout the whole book-I just wish it had a better ending! PS. Jest was a book boyfriend-I just didn’t have enough room!


female_jen

Aerity from The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology #1) by Wendy Higgins
  * Review * Amazon * Goodreads *

Determination rang out inside her, clearing away all doubts and fears before they had a chance to surface. She had no time for any of that.

Princess Aerity was brave, strong, honorable, and underneath it all she was compassionate and humbling. She was everything that would make a fair Queen one day!  The challenges and hardships she faced seemed all consuming at times. And I easily found my heart breaking and struggling right along with hers.   Aerity will always be one of my favorites!


Aria from Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi
  * Review * Amazon * Goodreads *

Her life was in danger. Her mission was in danger. She drew a breath and stood. She wouldn’t let herself fail.

Aria made me so proud with not only how far she had grown throughout this trilogy, but also with her strategizing.  I was actually clapping out loud at certain moments lol!  And I loved that she was a fighter through and through and never gave in easily!  I had so much respect for her!

 


Female_anna

Deleina from The Queen of Blood (The Queens of Renthia #1) by Sarah Beth Durst

  * Amazon * Goodreads *

 

 
 

Essun from The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jemisin
  * Amazon * Goodreads *

 

 


  * Amazon * Goodreads *

I absolutely adore Cress from the Lunar Chronicles. She’s hilarious but so sweet and I couldn’t help but fall in love with her.

 

Giveaway

*There will be 6 winners, and prizes will be sent via Amazon Kindle. The first winner drawn will get to chose which book they want first, and so on.  Prizes are ebooks of Adorkable, Illuminae, Six of Crows, The Fill-In Boyfriend, Adorkable, Good Girl & Broken Skies.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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BOOK REVIEW – The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology #2) by Wendy Higgins

BOOK REVIEW – The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology #2) by Wendy HigginsThe Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology #2)
by Wendy Higgins
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In The Great Pursuit, the dramatic sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Great Hunt, Wendy Higgins delivers another thrilling fantasy filled with dangerous enemies, political intrigue, searing romance, and a princess who is willing to do everything to protect her kingdom.

One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continues.

The kingdom of Lochlanach has traded the great beast that once terrorized the realm of Eurona for something far more dangerous: the ire of powerful Lashed woman Rosaria Rocato. Rosaria demands that Eurona overturn the laws prohibiting magic, or an innocent will be killed each day.

Despite the king’s resistance, Princess Aerity believes they must make peace with the Lashed, and though she’s accepted a betrothal to the man who took down the beast, she cannot help thinking about Paxton, the Lashed man who stole her heart and disappeared.

Aerity soon discovers that Paxton has joined Rosaria’s army in the war against her family. Though her feelings for him are still strong, her duty to her kingdom and her family is stronger—especially when her parents are kidnapped and she has to step up to the throne and once again put aside what’s best for her in order to do what’s best for her people. Paxton and Princess Aerity must fight to see what is more powerful: their love or the impending war between the magical Lashed and the non-magic humans.

Review:

***Spoilers for The Great Pursuit.  You can read my review of the 1st book here.***

The Great Pursuit was a fabulous conclusion filled with action, adventure, love and political intrigue. Deceit, lies, betrayal, hope, sacrifice, love, and friendship were splashed across the pages and I fell madly in love with this duology. My favorite things by far were –

✮ Everlasting Love –

“What will happen to us, Pax?” she whispered.
A deep sense of desperation to grasp their time together rose within her. This could be it. This could be their last moment alone together.
He held her tighter and pressed his forehead into her abdomen. “I just want to keep you safe.” – Aerity and Paxton

I was so nervous and constantly trying to figure out how Aeity and Paxton could be together. She’s betrothed to Lord Alvi, so how could she get out of that? How could she be with Paxton? My mind kept pondering those questions, because I’m neurotic like that lol. But as I watched Aeirty and Paxton, the risks they took for one another had me on the edge of my seat. I was breathless with how much they were each willing to sacrifice for the other. Their love was so beautiful. And their moments together made my heart race. They were definitely a couple I was rooting for, and I hoped against hope that they could beat the odds that were stacked up against them.

✮ A True Leader –

Determination rang out inside her, clearing away all doubts and fears before they had a chance to surface. She had no time for any of that. – Aerity

Aerity proved herself time and again what a competent, fair ruler she was. But thank goodness she made a few selfish decisions, because she deserved them! The challenges and hardships she faced seemed all consuming at times. And I easily found my heart breaking and struggling right along with hers. Yet she was a smart, strong woman, so I always had faith in the choices she made.

✮ It’s Not Just About Princess Aerity and Paxton Seabolt –

Vixie propped a hand on her hip. “If you wished to ward him off, you could have simply kissed me. I’ve heard that strategy works well.”
Tiern’s eyes rounded, and Vixie pressed her fingers to her lips to hold back a laugh at her boldness.
“Perhaps next time I will, little sea star,” he said threateningly.

Just as I became attached to so many others in The Great Hunt, it felt as though those characters played an even bigger part in this book. I became obsessed with not only them staying alive and their happiness, but also their love lives too. See there’s two other couples I was rooting for. This first was Tiern and Princess Dixie. Ohhh Tiern, sigh. He was just as fabulous at making me swoon as his big brother, Paxton. He was charismatic, charming, sexy and their banter and fights lit up heart! The other couple involves Lady Wyneth, but you’ll figure out the man I was rooting for when you read this book. *winks*

✮ A New Favorite Character –

“By the seas, you are rather cute in an ugly sort of way, aren’t you?” Harrison sighed and passed him up to a giggling Aerity. – About Furball!

I LOVED Furball! Oh my goodness, I adored him so much. And I’m sorry I can’t tell you anything about him, but I have a feeling you’ll love him too.

✮ Friendship –

She whispered to him, “What have I done, Lief? That was awful!”
And to her utter surprise, Lief palmed her cheek and gently said. “No, Princess. That was incredible.” And then he began to laugh.

Not only did this book display strong, female friendships, which I loved! But it also displayed strong non-sexual friendships between males and females, which I loved too. My favorite was Aerity and Harrison, who have been friends forever. We got to see many sides of their friendship, and just how far they would go to help each other out. And my second favorite friendship was Aerity with Lief. While he could be frustrating at times, with his beliefs and actions, I loved how they pulled together. I loved, loved, loved how their friendship evolved over time. It was perfect!

When I closed this book, I was so ecstatic with how everything panned out. Especially that epilogue! Oh, Wendy Higgins’ epilogues are always so perfectly beautiful. But I’m going to hold out hope that someday, if we’re lucky, we’ll hear more about Princess Dixie and Lady Wyneth’s HEA with their sexy men. Fingers crossed…….

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)

The Great Hunt #1
Review:

Jen

The Great Pursuit #2
Review:

Jen
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