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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: When the Duke was Wicked by Lorraine Heath

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: When the Duke was Wicked by Lorraine HeathWhen the Duke Was Wicked by Lorraine Heath
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, Book 1
Published by Avon on 25 February 2014
Genres: Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Girls & Women, Historical Romance, Love & Romance
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 372
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England (1874)

First Line(s): On the morning of February 2, 1872, I Henry Sidney Stanford, the seventh Duke of Lovingdon, Marquess of Ashleigh, and Earl of Wyndmere, died.

When the Duke was Wicked by Lorraine Heath is a bad boy historical romance and the start of a new series from one of the queens of romance. Though despite this, When the Duke Was Wicked is the first book by Heath that I’ve read though it won’t be my last. I like how Heath was able to write a strong female heroine who is smart and rational and dreams of the best life she can make in a world full of restrictions. Lovingdon is also a character with a good heart but after the loss of his wife and child he’s lost his way and become bitter to the world around him. But he is Grace’s neighbor and her long time crush and a friend of the family and only he can help her find a husband who is after more than just her fortunes.

When the Duke was Wicked is a fast read and a fun story. Its easy to get lost in this world and these characters and watch as Lovingdon starts to fall for Grace. Its always fun seeing the strong, alpha males fight what the reader knows is inevitable and find his HEA with the heroine. As with many romances, the reader knows the ending prior to starting the story but its all about the journey in getting there. While there isn’t a ton of other things that happen in When the Duke was Wicked it acts as a nice pallet cleanser when you just need a fun story about two people falling in loved.

I really liked how Heath crafts a story and brings about all the bits and pieces of her historical London. I liked the dialogue and the chemistry that existed between Lovingdon and Grace. I always love when I stumble on a new to me author and Lorraine Heath is definitely one that I look forward to reading more stories from. If you are looking for a fun romance then you might want to check this one out. Or if you are a long time fan of Heath then be sure to let me know in the comments what book of hers I should check out next.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review: Playing It Close by Kat Latham

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Playing It Close by Kat LathamPlaying it Close by Kat Latham
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads)
Series: London Legends
Also in this series: Knowing the Score
Published by Carina Press on 14 April 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, People & Places, Sports & Athletics
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 230
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Venezuela // London, England

First Line(s): Warm seawater sliding over naked. That’s how Tess wanted to end her second night in Venezuela.

Playing it Close by Kat Latham is the second book in her London Legends team which is an English Rugby team. This story involves Liam, who we first meet in Knowing the Scoreand Tess, a new character. At the start of the book both Tess and Liam are in Venezuela, each trying to escape real life issues that are waiting for them back in England. The two meet and have an instant connection but both start out lying to the other which never ends well in a romance novel. Because the truth does come out along with several misunderstandings tossed in just for fun. Though despite these self-made obstacles Tess and Liam do have real chemistry on the page and its hard not to fight for them as they work their way to a HEA.

What is missing from Playing it Close is any real crossover with the first book, Knowing the Score, as Liam and Spencer are supposed to be best friends. This lack of Spencer is made all the more glaring with how often the other London Legends players appear on the page. It was also a little confusing trying to figure out the timeline from when the first book ended and where this one begins and I probably spent more time than I should have trying to connect the dots.

Overall, Playing it Close, was your average contemporary romance filled with the usual sorts of cliches. It was filled with a fun cast of secondary characters and I did enjoy the humor that Liam’s teammates brought to the story. I also enjoyed Liam and Tess’s interactions when they weren’t being stupid and letting a lack of communication get between them. Sometimes I really wish that you could reach into a book and knock some sense into the various characters. Playing it Close was a quick and engaging read and I look forward to the next book in the series, Tempting the Player.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday6 Comments

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this weeks topic is about authors that we’ve only read one book from but really want to read more. Up until recently this list would have also included Emery Lord and Heather Demetrios as I loved their debuts and so if you haven’t read them then you need to check them out. You should also check out the other authors on my list as they’ve all written some pretty good stories.

 

Loop

1) Karen Akins, Loop

far from you

2) Tess Sharpe, Far From You

The Martian

3) Andy Weir, The Martian

What Happens

4) Colleen Clayton, What Happens Next

Entwined

5) Heather Dixon, Entwined

Way of Kings

6) Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

half bad

7) Sally Green, Half Bad

One & Only

8) Viv Daniels, One & Only

wicked

9) Angeline Kace, Wicked Thing

Darker Days

10) Jus Accardo, Darker Days

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Review: Made for You by Melissa Marr – Blog Tour

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Made for You by Melissa Marr – Blog Tour

Review: Made for You by Melissa Marr – Blog TourMade For You by Melissa Marr
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Published by Harper Collins on 16 September 2014
Genres: Abduction, Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Suspense, Thrillers, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Young Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Rock Star Book Tours
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Jessup, North Carolina // Durham, North Carolina

First Line(s): “Did you see her?” Piper whispers, lifting the same plastic cup of wine she’s been holding the past two hours as if it hides her.

 

Made For You is a mystery/thriller release from Melissa Marr who is best known for her Wicked Lovely which involves the Fae. I have always loved a good mystery and so was eager to see what Marr would bring to the table in this genre. While I did find Made For You to be well written it lacked some of the complexity that I expect to see in a mystery. I got my first inkling on who the killer was on page 10 when Marr switched over to his POV and then that theory was later proven to be correct. The killer’s revelation comes with over 100 pages left in the book and there were no red herrings along the way to lead me astray. The story is also told from the POVs of Eva, who the killer is obsessed with, and her best friend Grace. I didn’t mind Eva’s POV points and think I may have preferred the book to be told entirely from her viewpoint but I didn’t understand the need to include a POV from Grace. Grace’s POV sections were far and few between and they never added anything to the story. To me, they were unnecessary filler and I could have done without even though I did like Grace as a character. In fact, I often liked her more than Eva.

Eva was a bit of a Mary Sue who was overly obsessed with her appearance and her poor little rich girl worries. She has everything but isn’t happy but doesn’t do the things that might make her happy as it might affect her social standing. Eva lives in a small southern town with very old fashioned ways where everyone follows the dictates of what the monied families think is acceptable even though all the teens find these ways to be antiquated. And yet, they date who their parents want them to and do the things their parents want them to do. These old fashioned ways often had me rolling my eyes. Though one things I did like in Made For You was the involvement of Eva and Grace’s parents. Even though at the start it seemed as though Eva’s parents would be your typical absentee ones that populate young adult fiction. While it took awhile for Eva’s parents to arrive once they did they proved themselves to be caring and protective and wanting only the best for their only child.

I also liked the character of Nate and enjoyed his relationship with Eva. In some ways I almost wish that Made For You was just a straight romance as I would have liked more Nate and Eva moments but it wasn’t bad as a mystery. It was just predictable. I also could have done without the supernatural aspect where Eva had these unexplained and unhelpful visions. The visions were never explained very well and at the end of the novel the reader is left wondering if she retains this power after the threat is over or if they continue for the rest of her life.  As a thriller, Made For You, didn’t do it for me as I went into it thinking it would be this creepy, edge of my seat read. And while I did read the book in a single sitting I wasn’t all that scared. Maybe I am getting a stronger backbone by watching shows like American Horror Story and Walking Dead but I wasn’t creeped out. I wasn’t scared. And never once  did I doubt who done it. But even though I guessed the killer I did enjoy the story. If you are looking for a creepy, twisty thriller than Made For You might not be the book for you. But if you are just looking for a well written contemporary story with a dose of romance then you should give this one a shot. While I didn’t always like Eva in the beginning she did come into her own by the end.

 

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Made For You Quote

 

Tour Schedule

 

Week One:

9/8/2014- Katie’s Book BlogScavenger Hunt

9/9/2014- Crossroad ReviewsReview

9/10/2014- Fire and IceScavenger Hunt

9/11/2014- Reading with ABCReview

9/12/2014- BookHounds YAScavenger Hunt

Week Two:

9/15/2014- Ticket to AnywhereReview

9/16/2014- FiktshunScavenger Hunt

9/17/2014- Seeing Night ReviewsReview

9/18/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsScavenger Hunt

9/19/2014- Fictitious DeliciousReview

Contest

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Audio Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Audio Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon SandersonThe Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: The Stormlight Archive, Book 1
Published by Macmillian Audio on 31 August 2010
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adult, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Magic, Mythology, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Books by Male Authors, 2014 Personal Challenge
Narrator: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
Length: 45 hours, 37 Minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Karbranth, Frostlands // Shatter Plains // Valath, Jah Keved (World Name: Roshar)

First Line(s): Kalak rounded a rocky stone ridge and stumbled to a stop before the body of a dying thunderclast.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in the start of an epic fantasy that is expecting to span over ten books which is a huge commitment and one that I wasn’t sure I wanted to make. Especially when you consider that at the time I listened to Way of Kings only the first two books were available and at this time the third book isn’t expected to be available until 2016. Yet, despite this, I kept finding myself drawn to the book and so I downloaded the audio from Audible and embarked on a 45 hour listening journey that swept me away to a fantasical world that was rich and amazing and filled with possibility. The narrative of Way of Kings fluctuations between several characters and incorporating some others between parts in its interludes. The main POV characters in Way of Kings are Kaladin, Dalinar Kholin, Adolin Kholin, Shallan Davar, Navani Kholin, and Szeth with the main focus being on Kaladin. Kaladin is a slave and his chapters go back and forth and time and slowly reveal his origins and how he became a slave in the kings army. Of all the POVs in this book the ones I liked best were those of Kaladin and Dalinar as they were so rich and complex and my heart just broke for the various things these characters experienced. The character I liked least was Shallan, I just found her to be selfish, naive and annoying and was more intrigued by her teacher, Jasnah and wished that she was one of the viewpoint characters.

The Way of Kings is a hard story to break down into a review of a few paragraphs as there is just so much to it. As the first in a series there is a lot of history and world building to be down and Brandon Sanderson has done an amazing job of weaving in his worlds history and rules without bogging down the story narrative. As a fantasy novel there is much that the reader does not know at the start of the story and so things can be a bit confusing at first. But once the story really gets underway the full beauty of this world really shines through. Its so complex and detailed and the more you read the more realistic it all becomes. The longer I listened to this audio the more I wanted to know and I’d look for excuses to make road trips just so that I could drive and be immersed in this amazing land of Roshar. I loved how the characters interacted and I loved Kaladin’s journey. There were times when I hated for the narrative to change as Kaladin was often left in a precarious place and my heart just broke for him. Though, I felt similar emotions when in the narrative of the other characters as well and almost always disliked when we left one character for another.

The Way of Kings is the first book that I’ve read by Brandon Sanderson but I found him to be a master of his craft. I loved how this story was formed and even though it was 45 hours long (1000 pages) it didn’t feel like that. Every time I was in my car I was sucked away to another place and I hated when reality snuck back in. Kate Reading and Michael Kramer did a fantastic job in bringing all these various characters and this world to life. They seamlessly become all the characters whose voices they read including the world that this story is set in. Because Roshar is very much a character as well as the setting. If you are a fan of epic fantasy this this is a book that you want to pick up. Yes, its long and yes this is only the first book in a very long series but its the start of an amazing story and I am eager to see where Sanderson will take me as I dive into the next book.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Movie Thoughts: Maze Runner

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Movie Thoughts, Rated PG-13, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Maze Runner Poster

Official Movie Poster

Title: The Maze Runner (Official Facebook)
Tag Line: Get ready to run.
Release Date: 19 September 2014
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 113 min
Genres: Action | Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller | Dystopian
Series or Standalone: Series
Where Seen: Movie Screening
Production Company: 20th Century Fox
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Director(s): Wes Ball
Writer(s): Noah Oppenheim (screenplay), Grant Pierce Myers (screenplay), T.S. Nowlin (screenplay), James Dashner (novel)
Stars: Dylan O’Brien (Thomas), Aml Ameen (Alby), Ki Hong Lee (Minho), Blake Cooper (Chuck), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Newt), Will Poulter (Gally), Dexter Darden (Frypan), Kaya Scodelario (Teresa), Chris Sheffield (Ben), Joe Adler (Zart), Jacob Latimore (Jeff), Alexander Flores (Winston), Randall D. Cunningham (Clint), Patricia Clarkson (Ava Paige)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Earlier this week I was able to go see a movie screening for The Maze Runner which was based off of James Dashner’s novel of the same name which was released in 2009 (my review). There was Maze Runner 4much to like in the book and I was very curious to see how these words and descriptions were going to be brought to life by Hollywood. Just looking at the initial movie stills I knew I was going to be in for a visual treat as the images of the maze were very similar to the cover image of the book only better as now there was more of it. The entire movie was such a visual treat for the eyes and I was totally sucked into this crazy world and believed that it existed. I also spent most of the movie on the edge of my seat as it was non-stop action almost from the moment that Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up in the box.

As with most book to movie adaptations there were some small changes made from page to screen Maze Runner 2but most of these differences are negligable. For one, timelines were shortened (if my memory serves me right) but this only makes the action sequences all the more intense. Then there were some things that were revealed that I don’t think were mentioned until the next book but even that was just a minor quibble. In many ways I almost liked the movie better than the book as it can be so hard to picture certain things in your head from a loose description in a book. Case in point, the grievers. Oh my stars did the visual effects team come up with a total win on these terrfying creatures. These beasts that live in the maze made most people in the audience jump when first introduced and even made a few others scream out loud. This is how real they appreaed and we didn’t even see this in 3D. Add to this the amazing score and your heat is pumping almost as fast as that of the runners throughout the entire movie.

In the book, two of my favorite characters were Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and I loved what the actors brought to their characters. I love them both even more now and I look forward to what Brodie-Sangster and Lee will do with them if The Scorch TrialsMaze Runner 1 gets greenlighted. Which after seeing The Maze Runner I don’t have any doubts will happen.  I was also really excited to see what Dylan O’Brien would do with the character of Thomas, especially after what he did with his character Stiles on last season of Teen Wolf. And while Thomas isn’t as intense as a possessed Stiles there is a seriousness to him and O’Brien managages to show so much expression without needing to vocalize his thoughts. Of all the people in this movie the only one that I had issues with was Kaya Scodelario who played Teresa and that was mostly because she kept reminding me of a young Kristen Stewart though less mopey and more expressive. But this thought kept popping into my head whenever she was on screen and it took me out of the false-reality of the movie for a few beats.

The best part of this movie though was the ending. Those that have read the book probably know Maze Runner 3to which scene I am referring to and I just have to say that Wes Ball did an amazing job with it. There were a few moments when I wasn’t sure if they would go there and when they did the gasps of the audience were audible. I think I might have gasped myself and I knew it was coming! Overall I was really impressed with The Maze Runner movie and those its been years since I read the book I felt that it was very true to my memory of it. The maze was amazing to see on the big screen and the cast was just phenominally chosen. I went into this screening with low expectations, just as I always do when a book I’ve read was turned into a movie, but I’m happy to report that this adaptation blew me away. As I said above it was visually stunning and for that alone I have to give this movie props.  Even if you haven’t read the book this is a movie worth seeing I don’t think that you will be disappointed.

My recommendation: Worth seeing on the big screen.

irishdarkblue

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review: Bad Girls Don’t Marry Marines by Codi Gary

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Bad Girls Don’t Marry Marines by Codi GaryGood Girls Don't Date Marines by Codi Gary
Series: Rock Canyon, Book 3
Also in this series: Things Good Girls Don't Do, Good Girls Don't Date Rock Stars
Published by Avon on 20 May 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, Social Issues, War & Military
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Edelweiss Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Rock Canyon, Idaho // True Love, Nevada // Twin Falls, Idaho

First Line(s): Valerie Willis reached for a bottle of Merlot, located on the highest shelf of Hall’s Market, and cursed the shelves’ discrimination against short people.

Bad Girls Don’t Marry Marines by Codi Gary is the third book in her Rock Canyon series and like the previous books the main connection with them all is the town they live in. As with the other books I do wish that there was more of a connection between the characters so that this series seemed a bit more cohesive. Though if the characters talked more they might realize that they were stuck in the Twilight Zone as the attitudes and beliefs of most people seem to be straight out of the 1950s. Everyone is so judgmental and quick to make assumptions about things that they don’t know anything about. They might also realize that all the parents in this town are horrible people. Seriously, its amazing that the heroines of these books ended up as well as they did based on their role models. Despite the old fashioned town and the crazy parents I did enjoy this book. I thought that Val and Justin fit well together and despite the title neither one of them is what I would consider to be bad.

Val is dealing with a lot of issues and not just from her overbearing and demanding father but also with a divorce and the rumors that followed from it. As such Val has a reputation in the town of being a bad girl and she doesn’t feel like she has much to offer a relationship. But her reasons for this are not the ones that you might think. Justin is dealing with issues of his own but he can’t fight the attraction he feels for Valerie. I love how these two help heal the broken bits contained within the other and I enjoyed watching them come together. And the things that these two characters go through will be enough to make your heart melt. One thing I liked about this story was the matching making town as it added a different layer to your typical romance story.

 Like the previous book though the title, Bad Girls Don’t Marry Marines, is a bit misleading as Justin spends most of his time trying to get Valerie to date him.  Bad Girls Don’t Marry Marines is a fast paced novel and while I did have some issues with it most of them were minor. I liked some of the secondary characters that we got to meet and I hope that Gary returns to Rock Canyon at some point in order to have their stories told. But even if Gary doesn’t I think that she is an author that I will look into in the future as she does write a fun and fast-paced romance. If you are looking for a fun new read then you might want to give this one a shot.

 

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Bad Girls

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Books

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday5 Comments

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this weeks topic is about those underated books that we love. There are so many super wonder books out there that seem to get lost in the shuffle of the over-hyped blockbuster and so here are a few of mine. These are all authors that I’ll drop everything to read something that they wrote, including a grocery list.

 Clarity

 

 1. Clarity by Kim Harrington – If she wrote a grocery list I’d read it and end up laughing from the snark as I followed the clues on what needed to be bought

Devil's KIss

2. Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda – If he wrote a grocery list I’d read it and end up curled up terrified under my covers

The Season

3. The Season by Sarah MacLean – If she wrote a grocery list I’d read it and then swoon from all the feels and blush from the kissing. Kissing on a grocery list you say? Its Sarah MacLean…she’d find some way to make kissing happen.

Demon's Lexicon

4. The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan – If she wrote a grocery list…well, that’s not something I want to think about it…but demon possession isn’t outside the realm of possibility. *shudders*

Some Girls Are

5. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers – If she wrote a grocery list I would totally read and then probably end up sobbing

Enthusiasm

6. Enthusasim by Polly Shulman – If she wrote a grocery list I would end up crying…from laughter

Rise of Renegade X

7. The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell – If she wrote a grocery list I’d probably end up trying to fend off a villain or something

Silver Phoenix

8. Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon – If she wrote a grocery list something fantasical would happen and I’d be lead off on an adventure

Sean Griswolds Head

9. Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt – If she wrote a grocery list I’d end up focusing better and ending up in all sorts of shenanigans

Something Like Normal

10. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller – If she wrote a grocery list I’d end up in a big puddle of feels.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Review: Shatter by Erin McCarthy

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Shatter by Erin McCarthyShatter by Erin McCarthy
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: True Believers, Book 4
Also in this series: True, Sweet, Believe
Published by Intermix on 02 September 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 New Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Cincinnati, Ohio

First Line(s): I hated living alone. I was never meant to live alone.

Shatter by Erin McCarthy is the fourth and final book in her True Believers story and involves Kylie, the girl who had a boyfriend for most of the series and then suddenly did not for reasons that you learn in Believe as well as in this story. Kylie is really struggling at the start of this story as there has been so much change in her life and she’s trying to cope with it all as well as deal with her normal course load. Kylie is also the bubbly, friendly girl in the group and as you read the series you see characters describe her as not smart. You even get that from various characters in this story as well, that she’s the pretty girl or the hot one and so that makes up for her lack of a brain. But I find that misleading of who Kylie is for while she may not always grasp Chemistry equations she is smart in other ways. She’s also funny and sweet and your heart just breaks for her at the start of the story as you only want her to be happy. Enter in Darwin (aka Jonathan) her new science tutor and all around sexy geek genius. The two have a spark and get carried away one night and end up with an unplanned pregnancy and that’s where this story really starts to take off.

Kylie and Jonathan are both at a loss as to what to do but try to make the best of things. They are two opposite people and yet they mesh really well. I love how they compliment each other and really felt their relationship was real. Though as with most stories the two characters do some stupid things, make assumptions and there is so much that could have been resolved if they just communicated with each other. There were a few times in which I wanted to shake them but overall I loved their story arc. I also liked how we got to see the characters from the previous books as I missed their stories when I hit the final pages of their books. So I love when a companion series actively incorporates previous characters.

The plot of Shatter was a bit predictable at times but it still managed to make my heart ache. I also found that there were times when the story seemed to drag but overall this was a story that I couldn’t stop reading once it hit my ereader and I read it in a single day. I also could have done without the epilogue and when I do reread these books you can be sure that I will be skipping over those last few pages. It was just too sickeningly sweet and everything just ended up a but too perfect that it broke the realism of the story. This is part of why I am not a fan of epilogues as I think they just try to do too much and be too perfect in its ending that it just loses something for me. Epilogue aside, Shatter, was one of my favorites in this series. It was genuine and touching and a book that I recommend to all looking for a good heart-warming story. A must for all Erin McCarthy fans as well.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Top 12 List: August 2014 / Month in Review

Posted by Irish in Contest, Month in Review, Top 12 List2 Comments

TopTwelve

Hello Internet!

By now you know the drill with this post. I list out the top books that I read and loved this past month and from them I choose the best of the best. This book then gets listed in my Top 12 List (check out my sidebar) and at the end of the year those 12 books are pitted against each other and my top book for the year is chosen.

 

The Contenders – 5 Star Reads

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (February 2015)
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord (March 2015)

This month is so very hard to choose between these two great reads. Both of which I didn’t expect to have in my hands until early next year so I was so excited to have the opportunity to read the. I loved the debut books of both of these authors and have become a total fangirl for life for them both. Seriously, you can NOT go wrong with either of these books. Part of what is so hard about these books is that they are just so very different. I’ll Meet You There was just so raw and emotional and while The Start of Me and You hits the emotions too its on an entirely different level. I was also going to cheat a little and choose the one that didn’t make my Top 12 list previously only I can’t do that here as they were both previous Top 12 List winners. And both books are also so much better than the previous ones (Something Real and Open Road Summer). Therefore, to pick a winner I went to the internet and asked people to choose a number and that number resulted in my top choice for August 2014…and the winner is….

start of me and you

 

What about you? What was your favorite book read this month? Let me know in the comments below. =)

 

Month in review – Here’s the other books I read this month:

(most books read during this month will be reviewed next month)

 

4 Star Reads

Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey
Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, Book 1) by Megan McCafferty


3 Star Reads

Breathe with Me (With me in Seattle, Book 7) by Kristen Proby
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, Book 2) by Sarah J. Maas
Fanning the Flames (Jackson: Girls Night Out, Book 0.5) by Victoria Dahl
The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, Book 0.5) by Courtney Milan
Hard to Hold on To (Hard Ink, Book 2.5) by Laura Kaye
Playing it Close (London Legends, Book 2) by Kat Latham
Tied with Me (With me in Seattle, Book 6) by Kristen Proby


2 Star Reads

I Want it That Way (2B Trilogy, Book 1) by Ann Aguirre


1 Star Reads

NA


DNF Reads – maybe I’ll try these again at some point, but for now they don’t resonate with me

NA

 

Book reviews:

Miscellaneous Posts:

 

Places “Traveled” to this month:

See my “travel” index for a complete list of all the places I’ve been through books. (This is list currently out of date, my apologies for that! So check out my Month in Review posts in the interim)

England: London (1835) via The Governess Affair
England: London via Playing it Close
Erilea: Adarlan: Rhinehold via Crown of Midnight
Erilea: Fenharrow: Bellhaven via Crown of Midnight
United States: California: Creek View via I’ll Meet You There
United States: California: Los Angeles via Scoring Wilder
United States: California: Malibu via Scoring Wilder
United States: Indiana: Anderson via The Start of Me and You
United States: Indiana: Oakhurst via The Start of Me and You
United States: Maryland: Baltimore via Hard to Hold on To
United States: Michigan: Ann Arbor via I Want it That Way
United States: Michigan: Mount Albion via I Want it That Way
United States: Nebraska: Sharon via I Want it That Way
United States: New Jersey: Pineview via Sloppy Firsts
United States: Washington: Seattle via Breathe with Me and Tied with Me
United States: Wyoming: Jackson Hole via Fanning the Flames

 

Personal Highlights of August:

Some fun highlights in August where:

Traveling to New Hampshire and hiking the Lost River Gorge with my family…including my sister, brother-in-law, and niece who were out visiting from New Mexico.

 

LRG 1

Hiking down the gorge with my sister and her husband

 

LRG 2

A waterfall at the Lost River Gorge

 

LRG 3

Chilling with my niece’s moose as she explores a cavern with the fam

 

My niece “mining” for gems and rocks

 

While we were in New Hampshire we also went to Clark’s Trading Post and Storyland. My niece loved Storyland and meeting Cinderella and getting to ask about her glass slipper. Her favorite ride was the Bamboo Chutes and she had to have gone on it a good half dozen times or more.

 

CTP 1

Clark’s Trading Post

 

SL 1

CInderella reading a story at tea time

 

SL 2

Enjoy yourself. It is later than you think.

 

August also brought us the highlight of the summer, my dad’s volunteer fire department annual clambake.
Clambake
I also took my very first glass blowing class and made a pretty paperweight!
Glass Blowing

 

paperweight

 

And let’s not forget the office shenanigans!

 

office prank

Operation: 90210

 

Office Prank 2

Operation: Princess Bike

 

2014 Reading Goal Progress
(click the link to see how I’m doing with my challenges)

Monthly Contest

***Be sure to read the terms and conditions before entering. ***

Enter to win a copy of my top pick of the month (or other book if in a series) and a $10 amazon gift card. This contest is open internationally but If you live outside the US and you win then then the GC will be the equivalent to $10 US dollars. As both of these books are unavailable until early 2015 then the winner will be able to choose another book by the same author if they wish. If pre-ordering is not available then an earlier book will be substituted automatically.

The winner of last months contest is: Alicia E

Congratulations, you should expect an email from me shortly if I haven’t sent it out already. If you are waiting on a prize know that I haven’t forgotten you…I’ve just been crazy crazy busy and it will come! I promise!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

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