Category: Review (page 1 of 188)

BOOK REVIEW: Roar by Cora Carmack

BOOK REVIEW: Roar by Cora CarmackRoar (Stormheart #1)
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Okay, so there was A LOT of really cool elements and honestly the sequel is set up to be even better than the first, so I’m not looking forward to a year of waiting. On the same note, definitely some corny elements, which is to be expected. All in all though, it was definitely fun!

I’ll start with Aurora, or ‘Roar’. I actually really liked her. She’s a weak heroine, and to be honest, she DOES grow but her character development is far from finished, so by the end of the book, she still had her weak elements. I think some will get annoyed at her for it, but I appreciated it. Not every heroine has to be 100% badass 100% of the time.

At the beginning, she’s a princess who is held in isolation inside her castle by her mother in order to prevent people from finding out she doesn’t have storm magic, which is a hereditary thing in the royal family. So yeah, kinda a big deal that she doesn’t have it. She’s being forced to marry Cassius (more on this lovely chunk of words later) as quickly as possible so she can keep her kingdom before others find out. But as you can tell by the synopsis, Roar runs away, and I won’t say much more than that. I love the direction the author took her in because book two should be GREAT as I said above. Anyway, she has a cute little temper but a good heart and wasn’t overly spoiled by the whole palace life thing.

Now for Cassius, our resident dark and very questionable prince… YES. I am so here for him. He needed MUCH more screen time and I’m hoping he gets it in book two because asldkfja;lsdkjf. The beginning was SO STRONG when he first met Aurora. Like what even, can we please talk about chemistry? But then Roar overhears him and realizes he only plans to use her to get the crown. Whatever guys, I know that is *kinda true* but there’s also a lot more about him that we don’t understand, and he DEFINITELY has a good side too. I’m labeling him as an antihero and you can’t stop me. I have such high hopes for him. He’s kinda like… a baby Darkling?? Yes? Anyone?? (Dearest Cora… please please more Cassius…and Cassius and Roar…)

I kina have a feeling the author was hinting at something between Cassius an Nova but nooooooo aldskfja;ldkfj I need Cassius and Roar.

I’m also super interested in Casimir an the rest of Cassius’s family.

Once Roar runs away, she ends up with a new gang of storm hunters (which are super cool). Actually, let me stop there for a moment. The whole storm fighting and storm hearts thing was really neat and took this from being a typical fantasy book to a super unique magic system and storyline. As I mentioned above, there are definitely some cliches and cheesy parts that you find in most fantasies (especially in the romance egh) but the A+ world building kept me invested even during those times.

That bring me to Locke (resident head storm hunter broody guy). I liked him, but I didn’t fall head over heels with him. I think it was because he was the sole focus for Roar in, and by the end of the book, he kinda felt like a typical overprotective boyfriend who gets angry at anyone who even looks at his girl wrong. I don’t know. I mean, he and Roar did have some chemistry and I didn’t mind him, and I did feel for him and his story, but Cassius is just so much more interesting and I liked his dynamic with Roar more. I CAN’T HELP IT.

To summarize…

The Good:
-really cool world
-freaking cool magic system
-um the storms have personalities? SO COOL
-CASSIUS
-likeable yet weak heroine
-excellent villain development
-A+ set up for the sequel

The ‘eh’:
-romance got cheesy later on
-cheesy writing in the whole ‘love declaration’ blah blah stuff
-Cassius didn’t get enough book time
-not much resolution for things I wanted to see before the sequel (more below)

Before I get into spoilers below, I’ll just say definitely give this book a go if you’re in for a unique fantasy/world and don’t mind romance being the main focus (because it is) – but even if you aren’t huge on that part of it, there’s for sure hope for the sequel.

******SPOILERS BELOW******

Anyway, about 70% of the book is Roar traveling with Locke and his crew, and I did enjoy it and the pacing was pretty good, but at the end, I expected a cliffhanger, but I felt like there was way too much left open. I mean, Cassius never even gets close to her or gets any clues, and I was super disappointed because I was totally on board for a cat and mouse thing (I’m so lame) and Locke never finds out who she is… so we literally had no resolution in this book aside from Locke and Roar getting feelsy. We get a glimpse at Roar’s ‘ability’ which is cool, but not much else. Berlghhg I just need the second book please and thank you.

OKAY OKAY AND WHAAAT CASSIUS IS THE FIRST BORN OGMARGHER YESS I AM HERE FOR THIS.
(Are you guys tired of me talking about Cassius? Sorry.)

All the while Locke and Roar and their gang are doing their thing, there’s another villain being set up in the background so I’m super interested in that. Especially with the last paragraph of the book.

Anyway, is it too early to beg for an ARC of book two? Yes? Poo.

BOOK REVIEW – I Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford #4) by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW – I Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford #4) by Lauren LayneI Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford #4)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.

I Knew You Were Trouble was flirty, sexy, angsty and absolutely fabulous!  This was a classic LL book, and I devoured it in one night.  And when I finished the epilogue, I was left feeling beyond ecstatic and happy.  I had the hugest smile on my face.  So if you are a fan of enemies to lovers, or if you have fallen for any of her past releases, then you definitely want to pick this one up!

“If you weren’t dating him, would you have dinner with me?”
“I don’t like you,” she whispered.
He eased closer until his mouth was inches from her ear. “Liar.”
It was a whisper, and it sent shivers down her spine and then back up again. The good kind of shivers, the kind that made her want to lean into him and beg him to put his mouth all over her.

I was suprised that the beginning started out a little bit different.  It was a brilliant idea that quickly connected me to all of the characters, and it made me feel like I’d known them forever.  So the first 6 “chapters” was a countdown from over a year ago in Taylor Carr’s life to present day.  We got to watch Taylor transition into the Oxford world, make friends, and interact with her coworkers.  We also got to see how her hate relationship with Nick Ballentine started, and we watched how Bradley Calloway became her boyfriend.  When the official first chapter started, I felt as though I completely understood and loved her inside out.

She hated being the newcomer— hated feeling vulnerable in any way for fear that someone would see right through her shield of confidence and call her out as a fraud. To expose her as what she really was on the inside: lonely. Maybe a little unlovable, if she wanted to get melodramatic about it.

Which I’m so thankful for, because I was a little nervous at first.  You see, I thought Taylor was going to be too harsh for me.  She could be so brutal at times, and I didn’t think I could relate or connect.  Oh how wrong I was!  While she portrayed herself as this tough, strong female, which she was, she was also so much more.  She was a kind, wonderful friend…..I adored the friendships she had with Brit and Daisy!  And I loved that she faltered, that she broke down and that she could be unsure of herself at times.  But what I loved most about Taylor, was how she threw fire and ice at Nick!

Damn, but she really was beautiful.
“And I don’t get to be happy?” she said. “Bitchy Taylor deserves to be miserable, is that it?”
“Nah,” he said quietly, studying her. “I’m just not sure you’d recognize actual happiness if it bit you in your perfectly shaped ass.”
She slapped his hand away from her face. “Get. Out.”
He did.
Not because she’d told him to. But because for one idiotic moment, Nick had wanted nothing more than to kiss all that pouty anger right off Taylor Carr’s saucy mouth.

You see, Nick knew how to push Taylor’s buttons.  And yes he could be a complete jerk at times.  But oh my gosh, the man was charming and oh so sexy.  Even when you didn’t want him to be.  And underneath it all, you got glimpses of his beautiful, kind heart.  So I was beyond ecstatic that Nick was going to move in with Taylor, since her boyfriend dumped her on move in day and she needed a roommate.  Because them moving in together meant that there would be even more fireworks.  And I also assumed that the sexual tension would get turned up a notch or ten.  And that’s exactly what happened.

He’d been kind to her last night— hell, he’d been kind to her a lot more often than she deserved. But he’d never shown any interest in her as a woman, and . . . well, it bothered her.

While they were a roller coaster of emotions that I definitely enjoyed riding, I also had fun watching them learn more about each other.  Especially since their enemy status almost started to look friendly at times.  And lucky for us, we got to know what both of them were thinking, since we spent chapters with both of them.  So yes, I definitely recommend this book!  And I’m going to hold out hope and think positive that Brit Robbins and Hunter Cross are going to get their own book some day!  Fingers crossed!!

PS I loved that Lincoln and Cassidy gave Nick advice from time to time.  I adore those Oxford men!

*ARC kindly provided by Random House Publishing – Loveswept via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

BOOK REVIEW – All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham

BOOK REVIEW – All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley GrahamAll the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Relocating to Arctic Norway would put a freeze on anyone’s social life. For Leda Lindgren, with her crutches and a chip on her shoulder the size of her former Manhattan home, the frozen tundra is just as boring as it sounds. Until she meets her uncle’s gorgeous employee.

Unfortunately, no matter how smoking hot the guy is, Roar comes with secrets as unnerving as his moving tattoos. And Leda doesn’t trust him.

Roar shouldn’t be drawn to the moody human girl with eyes that leave him weak in the knees. But when Leda gets shot by one of his enemies and survives, Roar finally understands why he’s drawn to her: Leda is exactly what he was sent to Earth to find. A weapon of immense power capable of saving his planet.

She just doesn’t know it yet.

All the Stars Left Behind had so much promise!  The premise was uniquely fascinating, the characters stood out and were original, and the parts about space travel and science blew my mind.  There was so much about this book that I loved.  Yet there’s a huge but.  It felt as though I was reading a beta copy.  Which means, I kept finding scenes that contradicted itself, moments where the ball was dropped, and things weren’t always fleshed out or made sense.  I don’t think I’ve ever re-read so many scenes just to figure out what was going on.  It was frustrating, because I wanted to enjoy the story.  Yet I found myself making a huge list of notes in regards to all of the issues.  And I’ve never done that before, unless I’m beta reading.  So if you’re not as picky as me, in regards to follow through and details, then you could have a lot of fun reading this book!  But if you want to take a peek at the list of issues I had with this book, then you can continue on below.  But be warned, there are spoilers since I talk about the problems in that corresponding chapter.

✩✮✩✮✩ Spoilers Below✩✮✩✮✩

Chapter 1

Uncle Arne tells Leda and Nils that he could use their help in his shop.  Yet when she gets out there, he never asks for her help.  

Chapter 2

Roar states – “He’d rather lie and work with the humans than become like the Woede.”  So how is his situation on Earth different than the Woede’s situation on Earth?  We aren’t told anywhere in the book how the Woede’s situation is worse.  Our does he just not want to be similar to the Woede in any way?  It wasn’t clear.

Chapter 4

Roar made Leda and himself move from the shop to her house.  One, we’re never explained how Roar made that happened.  Two, she just drops it.  Down the road, she questions about him appearing in front of a different house, but she never questions what happened between the two of them.  Also, the next time they hang out she doesn’t even mention it.

Chapter 5

Oline complains about Stein pulling a disappearing act in public.  That he’s taking risks.  Later on in the chapter Roar says “none of us are getting drunk and blowing cover.”  YET Roar and Petrus just did the exact same thing, blowing cover, at the end of Chapter 4!  

I don’t understand why they had to drug Petrus and Roar’s guardian.  This isn’t explained to us.  Why couldn’t they just tell him they’re missing a friend and will be out looking for him?  Or is there an instance in the past where their guardian didn’t grant them much freedom?  Why did they have to take the drug route?

Oline was so hot in the spaceship that she stripped down to her bra and underwear.  Then pages later it mentions her pulling a blanket up to her chin.  If she’s cold then why wouldn’t she put back on her clothes?  I don’t understand her actions, especially since it never mentions her grabbing a blanket.

While I love that we got to be in both of their heads, and it doesn’t bother me that sometimes we’re a few chapters with Leda before we go back to Roar, the transition felt choppy since I never know who we’re going to be with.  There’s no notice to who we are with.  Plus you never know if the next chapter is a continuation of the previous scene or if time has passed.  

Chapter 8

Why was Charlie hiding in the closet with Leda?  Why wouldn’t they be out in the open?  He knows Roar or Petrus will be coming home, so why hide in the closet?

Chapter 10

Roar calls her defective when talking to Leda’s mom.  It would have been better to say something like ‘you think your daughter is defective’.  That way the word isn’t associated with making Roar look horrible, but instead would just make her mom look horrible.

Her Grandma hints that she shouldn’t get close to Roar.  But then down the road, everyone is shocked about what happens with both of their bloods when combined.  And that seems like the reason they can’t be together.  So is that the reason her Grandma says she shouldn’t get close to Roar?  Beause if so, she never confirms she knew it.  And if not, she never once tells Leda the reason behind her statement.

Her blood changed color because she came into close contact with Roar.  Why?  Is it because of their genetics and what they are to each other?  Or is it because he’s the same type of alien as her?  If so, her Grandma and Uncle are new aliens to her, so why wouldn’t they activate it?  There’s no explanation for this phenomenon.

They talk about Nils being a bargaining chip, yet they never use him when they’re desperate down the road.  No one mentions it once when they’re trying to figure out what to do.  And Nils is barely even mentioned on the ship in the future too, which felt a little strange since him and Leda became good friends.

Chapter 11

Contradictory statements – Roar couldn’t be alone with Leda without her Grandma or Uncle right behind him, then the next page it states that he’s there with her all night alone, with no mention of her Grandma or Uncle checking in or being right behind him.

Chapter 12

How is the spaceship not captured or controlled by the government?  Because in Chapter 14 Leda’s mom and the interrogation person have no problem finding them up in the sky.  

Also, I know they came to Earth on an escape pod, so is that how they all got up to the spaceship?  Neither of those were explained. (Just found answer, explained in Chapter 23….. that’s quite a long time to wait to find out)

Chapter 14

Petrus asks to talk to Roar in private, so Roar has Stein take over the ship so he’s free, but then he walks away to find Leda.  Petrus’ request was forgotten.  Also, what did he want to warn Roar about Leda?  He doesn’t bring it up again.

Chapter 15

She never asked how her being a weapon worked, that sat a little weird with me.

Chapter 21

How did another ship get out of their planet if there was a web all around it not allowing anyone to get out.

We were never explained why Tulva tortures Leda.  Yes, Tulva says she wants answers, but she never asked Leda questions.  What was the point of torturing then?

Chapter 22

Their whole mission was to find Leda and bring her back.  So these words seem off –

“Oline wanted to head back to Aurelis. Abandon Leda and Stein to whatever fate they faced. Deep down, Roar knew it was the right thing to do, but returning home without the weapon meant they’d lost.”

How can it sit right with him when she’s his mission?  I can’t see how their planet needing them is above bringing back the weapon – aka completing their mission.

Chapter 27

Toorn stated –

“Activating the weapon doesn’t simply destroy the Woede, you know. Or perhaps no one mentioned that? Aurelites and Woede, we are connected in ways you might never imagine. Are you prepared to make that kind of sacrifice?”

But what doesn’t make sense is that that he’s taken over their planet and is killing people there.  So how does that work……he can murder many, but not all and his race will still be okay?

Chapter 28

It wasn’t very clear, but if she’s out in space without a suit and she’s with Roar (he has a suit on), then how did she not die?  Wouldn’t she run out of oxygen?

*ARC kindly provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Quote of the Week #4 | Favorite Book we read YEARS ago but could never forget

This is Quote of the Week‘s time again! Every week we share one of our favorite quotes, depending on the theme we choose… and let’s be real, that shit is HARD, okay? CHOICES. CHOICES EVERYWHERE.

The theme for this week is :

~ a quote from one of our favorite series we read years ago but could never forget ~

I lean down again and (shut up) I cry, I cry, I’m crying but it has to pass cuz I have to figure it out, I have to figure it out, it’s down to me, there’s only me, I have to find a way, I have to save her, I have to save- ❞

About the book

Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

ADD IT ON GOODREADS | BUY IT ON AMAZON

“Say it.”
“Say what?”
“Tell me what you told me earlier.”
“I love you.”
“That’s all I ever need to hear.”
“Those three words?”
“Always those three words.”

About the book

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever. Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

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Now, your turn! Tell us, what are your favorite quotes from your favorite books?

BOOK REVIEW: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

BOOK REVIEW: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri ManiscalcoStalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper)
by Kerri Maniscalco
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world

Wow okay this was super fun. I mean really – if you’re in the market for YA Sherlock Holmes with a badass heroine and a super snarky (and charming) sidekick, definitely pick this up. I do have some mixed feelings about parts and I’ll admit I skipped some chunks because ew, not for me. Some of the ending really rubbed me the wrong way, but you can see those details below in the spoiler tag.

Aubrey Rose is basically an unconventional female in her society. She’s super into education and volunteers her time at her uncle’s lab studying forensic science. And we get all the gory details, lol. So if you’re here for that kinda thing, you’ll enjoy it. If not, just skip over it. I’d say the story is just as enjoyable without the details of the… dead.

And then she meets the cocky, ever so flirty Thomas Cresswell who is pretty much Captain Carswell Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles reincarnate. Ohmigosh he is pretty much the reason I loved this book. The banter and everythinggggggg yessss give me more.

“Thomas smiled at my eye roll, puffing his chest up and standing with one foot proudly resting on a chair as if posing for a portrait. “I don’t blame you, I am rather attractive. The tall, dark hero of your dreams, swooping in to save you with my vast intellect. You should accept my hand at once.”

Anyway, a string of murders starts going down and as the story progresses, Aubrey starts to realize the murderer might be connected to her family somehow. And of course, Thomas is there to annoy Aubrey while she figures it all out.

“If I don’t murder you this afternoon, it’ll be a gift sent directly from God Himself, and I vow to attend services again,” I said, holding a hand against my heart.
“I knew I’d get you to church eventually.”

I would just like to say, for the record (and friends can vouch for me…) I KNEW WHO THE MURDER WAS ALL ALONG. So I win a cookie or something, right? I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT.

Anyway, I definitely was not into the saence part and I skipped it. Spirits are just not my thing, yo. I don’t feel like I missed out on much.

***Minor spoilers below – don’t read if you want to keep the mystery alive!***

As far as the ending, I definitely felt a bit of glee knowing I guessed the killer, but aside from that, it was just really sad. I actually even teared up a bit. And honestly, some of it really rubbed me the wrong way. (view spoiler)

But as far as the set up for the next book, I’m super on board with that. I’m already REALLY looking forward to it and trying to beg my way to an arc lol. Mostly I’m just hoping for lots of time with Thomas Cresswell, though I hope the banter stays alive!

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