Category: Review (page 1 of 177)

BOOK REVIEW – Unrest (Unknown #2) by Wendy Higgins

BOOK REVIEW – Unrest (Unknown #2) by Wendy HigginsUnrest (Unknown #2)
by Wendy Higgins
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having the things they love brutally ripped from them by an unknown enemy who sent their world into the apocalypse.

Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they’ve been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities...lust. In their tight quarters, Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy can't escape it. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times.

In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when they discover the truth about the war that’s ruined their lives. They thought finding out the enemy's identity would give them the edge; instead it’s revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible.

Review:

*Spoilers for Unknown #1, but the first paragraph is safe to read. *

We were too trusting in our nature, as humans, we let them take control despite our reservations. I had ignored my instincts.
Never again.

Unrest was action packed, heart stopping and filled to the brim with emotion!  I absolutely loved the second book in this trilogy.  And just like the first, sadness and fear permeated throughout parts of the story.  It was something that felt impossible to shake off or ignore at times.  Especially when there were so many obstacles in their way.  But don’t worry, there’s tons of light too.  Friendships, love and laughter were splashed across the pages.  It all felt so heartwarming and beautifully real.  Unrest definitely had it all and I can’t wait to read the final book in this trilogy!

Fear of the unknown threatened to make me cry out, but I strangled it back down. We had to move forward.
We had to survive and fight.

Unrest started off right where Unknown ended, and we found ourselves surrounded with heartache.  Without a true moment to grieve those that they had lost, they were on a mission to travel to safety.  And to get there, they had to embark on a terrifying journey.  With not enough gas, and food supplies dangerously low, they had a lot against then.  And if that wasn’t enough, there was a stillness and fear that seemed to roll off of the desolate areas they drove through.  Every single minute of the day, their safety was on the line, and I was terrified for them.

We sat there, quiet under the gray winter sky of the desert. It made me wonder how many others were out there like us. Lost. Grieving. Looking for survivors.

The ten of them – Amber, Rylen, Remy, Tater, Devin, Sean, Texas Harry, Matt, and NY Josh – became so close.  They created a new family unit and I loved how everyone had each other’s backs.  They cared so strongly for one another and the bond they created seemed unbreakable because of all of the horrors they faced together.  But I was beyond nervous and had fear in my heart.  Not only because of what they were all up against.  But because I was super attached to all of them.  And I saw how well that worked out for me becoming attached to Amber’s family *sobs*.

My heart thumped rapidly, mixing with the white noise in my mind. Rylen and I were on the cusp of something. Something there would be no coming back from. Things between us would change today, for better or worse.

There were two relationships I loved the most though.  First, I loved that we got to see the full scope of Amber and Remy’s relationship, she’s Amber’s bff btw.  They told each other their fears and confessed some of their most intimate secrets.  Their friendship wasn’t always perfect, but it always felt real.  And they loved each other just as strongly as any real sisters would.  And secondly, of course I have to mention Amber and Rylen.  While they still seemed to be dancing around the possibility of something more, I just have to say something happened in this book that had me screaming….I won’t tell you if it was a happy scream or one of anguish and pain, but my gosh it was huge.  I’m definitely talking about it in my review of the final book.  

They’d ripped everything, everything, from me. I wouldn’t let terror and loss kill my spirit, not while there was still breath in my lungs and blood pumping through my heart.
I pressed my hand against the window and stared out at the dark night as one hot tear slid down my cheek, and I made a promise to my family. Remy. Rylen.
“I won’t let it be for nothing.”

There so much about the plot that I can’t really talk about, but we did learn more about the War.  And the facts surrounding it chilled me to the core.  You see, it was creepy, horrifying and fascinating all rolled together.  And it made me feel even more overwhelmed with all that they were up against.  But thankfully hope, friendship, determination and love flooded the pages.  And I loved every single moment of this page turner!

PS There’s a tease remark that had me laughing so hard I was crying.  Twice.  Oh my gosh, it was so great lol!

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

Unknown #1
Reviews:

Jen

Unrest #2
Reviews:
Jen

Undone #3
Reviews:

BOOK REVIEW: Rival (Fall Away #2) by Penelope Douglas

BOOK REVIEW: Rival (Fall Away #2) by Penelope DouglasRival (Fall Away #2)
by Penelope Douglas
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From the New Adult sensation and New York Times bestselling author of Until You

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

She’s back.

For the two years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game…

I’m back.

Two years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.

But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me….

*So my quotes are dead. They died. I wrote this review a month ago and have no clue where my quotes went. So…that sucks. But the review must go on :P*

It goes without saying that I basically read what I have time for and, frankly, crave this year. I don’t have extra energy to drudge through a massive fantasy (even though I so dearly miss them) or even to delve into my YA sci-fi….it’s just one of those things, guys. I love my daughter, but boy does she zap all that extra time away!

That being said, my favorite books this year have been YA/NA contemporaries…with a flair for the dramatic (if you can’t tell). It seems crazy to me, but my absolute favorite read this year has been, without a doubt, Punk 57. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but in some ways, this book just always sticks in my mind.

When I’m trying to pick out a book, it’s always ’I really want something JUST like Punk 57, where can I find one?’….and the desperate search continues/ensues. And the only logical answer that I can find has been staring me in the face the whole time: No one does Penelope Douglas like…well…Penelope Douglas.

You can’t keep looking for sad imitations when what you seek is HOT, dirty hate-to-love foreplay and giving as good as you get until you finally get together. Only Penelope Douglas has mastered this, for me, and I should have realized it sooner.

I had read Bully FOREVER ago and LOVED it. But I’m not the type to jump into another character’s story after being with another couple. It’s just not my thing. I don’t know why, but that’s just me. So I had bought this book FOREVER ago and just couldn’t bring myself to open it up. And then recently I was going through all my unread books on my iPad and saw this sitting at the very bottom-I could have hit myself over the head. This book was EXACTLY what I needed, even if I didn’t know it. It doesn’t help that Penelope Douglas makes me border that fine line of ‘crossing the line of what I deem acceptable’ in romance.

I won’t lie-this woman is kind of sick, if you think about it. I love her, don’t get me wrong, but this woman be twisted. The things these couples go through before they get together is depraved and just plain…wrong…but it’s just…..oh my god it’s so good. I HATE drama in any other books or series. I hate contrived situations that make no sense. I HATE adding cheese when there doesn’t need to be any…but between Penelope Douglas and Linda Kage, I am putty in their dirty minded little hands. I. Can’t. Get. ENOUGH.

As it were, I found that this book overdid it quite a bit-Stretched the story-line beyond thin. That’s most likely why my rating is lower. Actually, no, there’s A LOT more to it than that, and my reasoning really bothers me, but I’ll do that in a spoiler below. But then…..there’s the hate to love aspect. And I’m just a sucker for that. For two people who love each other but fight to the bitter end to deny it until they fall madly all over each other in love. And then I revert back to my issues: Why did she keep running away? Give me a fucking break, dude. You love him…so STAY THERE. This just plain grated on my already fragile nerves with this story. Let’s just get to my BIGGEST problem with this story and why it never could have gotten above a 3:(view spoiler) Makes me sick, it’s not up for discussion, and my opinion of the story lessened IMMENSELY after this sordid plot development. Bitch, Bye.

BUT-aside from all this? I LOVED the romance. I LOVED the sexual tension. I LOOOOVED how possessive he was of her and how Madoc reacted to other guys. I LOVED all this…I just wish I didn’t have to wade through all the bullshit to see it. I also loved Jared and Tate’s relationship in the background-with time, I loved the integrated stories and how it brought me back to the old days when I read this book. Waiting this long to read this story helped me to really fall hard for characters I had long forgotten about, and it was like taking in a breath of fresh air. Though….I must say, even though I adored Bully, I really don’t think it’s a very healthy relationship Jared and Tate share. Eh, but its fiction-I’ll just try and keep the Jareds (both book and real boy) of the world FAR away from my little nugget (Even though her mother does so love a bad boy now and again).

AH AND AND AND-The end. C’mon Douglas. Really? REALLLYYYYY? C’mon. lol. (view spoiler). I’m just sayin’. Cute? Yes. Absolutely. Cheesy? OH YEAH. Necessary? I think not.

Yeah, I rated this a three (But, at the end of the day, I was down and sad…and I just needed a Madoc. Sue me) and had more problems with it than not…but there’s just something so alluring about an extremely addictive hate-to-love romance. And when I say hate???? It’s legit hate, y’all.

YUM.

View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW – Unknown (Unknown #1) by Wendy Higgins

BOOK REVIEW – Unknown (Unknown #1) by Wendy HigginsUnknown (Unknown #1)
by Wendy Higgins
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.

Review:

Unknown was intense, gritty, emotional and a book I can’t recommend enough.  It’s unlike any other dystopian that I’ve read because we actually got to witness the demise of the world.  And I had no clue the depths my heart would ache watching this tale unfold.  But there was hope in those final pages, and it was definitely a heart stopping journey to get there!  I absolutely loved Unknown and I can’t wait to start the next book!

When it rains, it pours. And floods. And washes away adolescent dreams.

Unknown started with us witnessing an organization planing to wipe the majority of world’s population off the map.  But in the next chapter we transitioned and met Amber Tate.  And we spent the next 25% of the book growing up with her.  She jumped back to when she was six years old and first met Rylen Fite, who was their neighbor, and became her older brother’s best friend.  And we watched them grow up together, with jumps of time that were seamlessly done.  Their past wasn’t always easy, and sadness, love, mortification, tender moments, heartache and joy filled the pages.  I found myself with tears in my eyes, butterflies in my belly and I even curled into a ball at one moment.  It was all so emotional.  Besides Rylen and Amber, her brother Tate, her parents, grandparents and even her best friend Remy were integral parts to this story.  I knew them all so well and I loved every single one of them.

I opened my eyes and looked into his solemn eyes. A painful crack split my heart. Why did I have to love him so much? Would it always hurt like this?

But one of the many things we discovered watching Amber grow up was how she fell for Rylen.  Amber loved Rylen with her whole heart and soul.  And it was heartbreaking that he saw her as not only a best friend, but as his little “sister”.  And if that wasn’t hard enough, a huge wrench got thrown in between them when they were older.  I felt betrayed and broken, just like Amber.  I kept trying to figure out a way around it.  But make no mistake, regardless of what happened, I absolutely loved Amber and Rylen.  Nothing could sway me from being obsessed with the both of them.  I got so caught up in their lives that before I knew it the whole world came crashing down around them.  I was not prepared for the horror that unfolded.  

My face fell against his shoulder and I bawled against his neck. “Oh, my God . . .” My hands tightened, fisting his shirt in my palms, holding him like a lifeline as my mind threatened to shatter into unfixable pieces.
He never said a word. Just ran.

You know the scariest part?  It all felt so real.  And I could easily see all of this death and destruction happening now.  The rest of the book was watching in horror as the apocalypse unraveled.  And each page I turned there was something else that happened that would give me goosebumps, or take my breath away, or make me pause because it was too terrifying.  And just when I thought we got a break from it, I was taken to an entirely different level of pain.  Especially towards the end.  My heart broke for Amber.  So be prepared for an action packed, heart breaking journey.

Because this was life. Laughter, love, friendships. We had a way of life to protect. We weren’t perfect by any means, but we were good. And we sure as hell weren’t giving it up without a fight.

Do you ever read a book and just want everyone you know to pick it up?  Unknown is that book for me.  So if you’re a fan of dystopian, check this one out.  Just keep in mind that the first 25% of the story you’re growing up and becoming embedded into their family and lives.  And if you’re a fan of Wendy Higgins, Unknown is very gritty compared to her other books.  And the romance, well there isn’t any romance per se, but there was a lot of hope for it in the future.  Maybe.  Possibly.  We’ll see.  So join me in my obsession with this series, I desperately need lots of people to talk to about this book!!

We weren’t alone. As long as we had each other, there was hope.

PS My guess is that Bahntan is View Spoiler »

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

Unknown #1
Reviews:

Jen

Unrest #2
Reviews:
Jen

Undone #3
Reviews:

BOOK REVIEW – #Nerd (Hashtag #1) by Cambria Hebert

BOOK REVIEW – #Nerd (Hashtag #1) by Cambria Hebert#Nerd (Hashtag #1)
by Cambria Hebert
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Two people from completely different worlds are about to be thrown together...

In more ways than one.

She wants to keep her scholarship. He wants to stay on the team. An awkward alliance doesn't even begin to cover Rimmel and Romeo's relationship.

But that's about to change.

It starts with a dare. An initiation. A challenge.

Quickly, it turns into more. But when you're a victim of your status, there is no room for anything real. The rules are clear and simple.

Stick to your circle.

And never fall in love with anyone on the outside.

Review:

After the first few chapters of this book, I realized a few things. One the story was cute, but it probably wouldn’t be a favorite. Two I liked Rimmel, but I was so underwhelmed by Romeo. So three I didn’t get why she or even I should fall for him, he just seemed like every other cocky guy. Oh how very wrong I was! By 25% my whole view of the book shifted, and I was beyond floored. Rimmel became a favorite heroine, I started seeing that there was so much more to Romeo, and the story took a fabulously addictive turn. I’m shocked to say that this became a definite favorite, and I can’t wait to devour the rest of this author’s books!

He was absolutely infuriating! Full of himself. Arrogant. Far too pretty.
He was terrible!

This was going to be torture!
So then why was I already anticipating our next study session?

Rimmel Hudson and Roman “Romeo” Anderson find that they need each other. Rimmel has to tutor a student to keep her scholarship, and Romeo is forced to have a tutor by his coach so he doesn’t fail his classes and get kicked off the football team. Their first few tutor sessions were definitely something. Rimmel is extremely studious and doesn’t want to waste her time if Romeo isn’t going to show up or be distracted when they’re supposed to be studying. And Romeo is more interested in hooking up with girls than working on his grades. I found myself laughing, smiling and having fun, but that was kind it.

I felt like it was the first time I’d looked at someone and really saw them.
It left me shaken.
I was just tired, that’s all. – Romeo

But then everything changed, or at least that’s how it felt to me. We started seeing more of who Rimmel is, and it shattered me with how withdrawn she was. Hurt from the past, she makes herself not stand out. Her hair is always a mess, her clothes are way too huge for her and she keeps everyone at arm’s length. Well except animals. And then there’s Romeo who is seen as the student at their college. Girls want him and guys want to be friends with him. And I didn’t see it at first, even though I was looking, but Romeo has this heart and protectiveness that’s sigh worthy. You see, he starts to take his study sessions more seriously. And by doing that, he realizes what a truly beautiful person Rimmel is. Inside and out.

His fingers slid from beneath my chin and tucked the hair behind my ear. “You’re beautiful,” he said, a hint of surprise in his tone.
A rush of warmth filled my chest, but then reality came crashing back and I snorted. “Are you trying to get me to do your work again?”
He winced and his hand fell back to his lap. “I mean it.”

Thankfully #Nerd is told from both of their POVs. Because it pulled me in that much deeper to see what they thought about one another. And both of their voices were so brutally honest. They never held anything back from us, the reader. It was so much fun watching their friendship slowly unfold. And I got to the point where I wanted them to be together. Even if they’re from two entirely different worlds. His world is football, partying, a family that has money, rushing the most popular frat on campus, and he has his sights on the NFL. Whereas Rimmel is a #nerd, who keeps her head down and focused, she doesn’t have any friends or family per se, she gets by with her scholarship and wants to be a vet after she graduates. So of course it couldn’t be simple for them to be together. Especially when a challenge gets thrown in the way. And that challenge, which I won’t say what it is, flips everything they created together upside down.

“You asked me why I’m here,” he murmured, leaning in so he was so close his lips brushed mine as he spoke. “This is why I’m here, Rimmel. Can’t you feel it too?”

Aw, this book was a ton of fun! It was so easy to read and devour, and I truly don’t think I’ve ever devoured a book this size in 24 hours. But I did lol. It just became one of those book where I know I’ll remember so many of the tiny details. Rimmel and Romeo touched me that much. So if you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend you do!

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Crowned (Beholder #4) by Christina Bauer

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Crowned (Beholder #4) by Christina Bauer

I’m so excited to be on the Crowned Blog Tour! This series was a ton of fun! Check out my 4 Star Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy!

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Crowned (Beholder #4) by Christina BauerCrowned (Beholder #4)
by Christina Bauer
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

At last, Elea has found the love of her life. Unfortunately, the evil Tsar Viktor is about to unleash an army of twisted mages bent on killing everyone Elea cares about… including the man who’s stolen her heart.

So what’s a powerful witch to do? Why, fight back, of course!

Elea goes on a mission to find the Sword of Theodora, the only weapon that can destroy Viktor. That’s challenge enough, but on the eve of battle, Elea realizes that her true enemies may be far more powerful than even Viktor: The deities Oni and Yuri could be out to destroy her as well. With major battles brewing on two fronts, Elea’s not sure that she’ll win, but with true love to inspire her, she’s certainly ready to fight.

Review:

Crowned was a fabulous conclusion to the Beholder Series!  Here are some of my favorite reasons why I absolutely adored this series –

A story filled with action and intrigue –

Perhaps this would be the time my law-breaking tendencies caught up with me.

I loved how much action was found in the pages.  And even during the slower moments, there was still so much going on.  It made the books fly by quickly and I always felt as though I had to know what was going to happen next for Elea and Rowan. But behind everything was a story that was rich, full and came to life.  It was definitely a ton of fun!

A strong love story –

In the process, I might lose my heart, but too many people were relying on me across numerous worlds. I couldn’t fail them now.

At the heart of this, was a beautiful love story between Elea and Rowan.  Their strength, love and devotion to one another was breathtaking.  And I loved how they started out as just two people trying to work towards the same goal.  To take down an evil tyrant.  And through their trials and tribulations a beautiful friendship was formed.  And that friendship turned into something more.  Aw, I loved watching how their relationship progressed throughout this series.

Side characters that meant the world to me –

I closed in on the glowing orange gateway with one thought on my mind: this simply had to work. For all of us.

Nan, Ada, Amelia, Jicho and so many others played such important roles in these book.  Every single character, no matter how big or small their part, stood strong by themselves and were so multi-faceted.  I found myself caring for so many of them.  But in this final book, I loved what a huge role Jicho played.  He was so adorable and I always loved his antics!

I didn’t have any plan yet, but I knew I wasn’t going to simply bow down to this death. “I refuse.”

The Beholder Series was filled with a strong heroine, a book boyfriend that I desperately loved, and a story that had me flying through the pages.  I’m so glad I binge read this series!  The only thing I could have wished for would have been an epilogue.  Maybe there will be a follow-up Novella?  *begs…please, please, pleeeeaaaaseeeee* lol  Oh I can wish!  I just can’t ever get enough of Elea and Rowan and I’d love a look into their future,  especially because of how this book played out and their time together.  But regardless of my wishes, I’m definitely looking forward to all of Christina Bauer’s future books!

**ARC kindly provided by Monster House Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

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

Cursed #1
Review:

Jen

Concealed #2
Reviews:

Jen

Cherished #3
Review:
Jen


Crowned #4
Review:
Jen

 

About Christina Bauer:

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn

 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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