Current Contests/Announcements

The story of the Orange Cake Click here to find out more.

Please excuse the mess...I recently moved my blog from Blogger to Wordpress and I am slowly going back to fix post formatting issues. I'm also working hard to get all my review indexes up to date so please look at my challenge page for all the recent reviews.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Top Ten Wednesday: Books People Tell Me That I MUST Read

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday1 Comment

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

 

Top Ten Tuesday Wedneday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this weeks topic is about those books that people keep telling me that I must read but I just haven’t gotten around to yet. What say you internet? Should I give any of these sooner rather than later? Or are there any books I must read that I left off this list? LMK in the comments!

 

 

 

1. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

 

2. The Selection by Kiera Cass

 

 

3. Every Breath by Ellie Marney

 

 

4. Code Name Verity

 

 

5. Just One Day by Gayle Forman

 

 

6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

 

 

7. Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

 

 

8. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

 

 

9. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

 

 

10. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

irishdarkblue
Divider

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stitch Fix #2

Posted by Irish in Misc2 Comments

stitch fix banner

 

I recently received my second box from Stitch Fix and was excited to see what this batch had in store for me as I did enjoy the experience with my first box.  For those new to Stitch Fix its a subscription service that costs $20 for a box of clothes picked out for you by a stylist. You can chose to have a box shipped to you on a regular basis or on your own schedule. I plan on getting a box once every couple of months. The $20 fee can then be applied to an item you purchase from the box and if you buy everything you get a discount on all items.

IMG_2169.JPG

I was immediately drawn to the first item in the box as I love the color teal. Its bright and summery and just a lot of fun to wear.

IMG_2175.JPG

I pulled out the shirt first which was by Market and Spruce and valued at $68. I liked the back of the shirt as well which had a nice crochet detail without being see through and tabbed sleeves.

IMG_2174.JPG

With this one I loved the color and liked how it fit, for the most part, but felt that the v-neck was cut a bit awkwardly. Its a shirt that I wouldn’t feel comfortable in without wearing something underneath it which would then make the whole thing a bit ill fitting. So I decided to put this on into the Discard pile.

IMG_2172.JPG

Next up were a pair of Jake Slim ankle length jeans from Just Black which value at $88. Overall I liked the fit and the dark color of the jean and I also appreciated that they weren’t a skinny jean but they were definitely not an ankle fit on me!

IMG_2179.JPG

At 5’4″ I am not short but these jeans certainly made me feel that way. Even with a heel these jeans would be far too long and would require me spending more money in order to get them hemmed. If they were cheaper than $88 then I might consider them but at this time I decided to send them back.

IMG_2170.JPG

Next up was a Kaiya stripped belted dress from Tart that values for $94. I knew immediately that the belt wouldn’t work as it was brown and the dress accents were black and pink. The belt that was shipped was also a small and so didn’t fit. The dress itself was made out of a spandexy material that I typically like but the overall effect of this one made me feel fat and frumpy. I liked the colors but this one just wasn’t for me.

IMG_2177.JPG

Following the dress I tried on a gray Cossette crochet detail knit shit from Ezra which retails for $48 and while I liked the color and how soft it was I felt that the material was a bit too see through for my tastes. It was also a little snug around my middle which once I start exercising more will go away and make this one fit better. So I debated on holding on to it until then but in the end I decided to send it back as I don’t think the see through aspect of the material will ever sit well with me.

IMG_2178.JPG

Finally there was a Abrianna longsleeve knit cardigan from 41Hawthorn which retails at $48. I liked the navy blue of the cardigan and the length of it but like the cardigan sent in my first fix there is no way to tie or button it closed. Therefore it just sort of hangs limply on my frame. I decided to send this one back as well.

In the end, I had fun trying on all the clothes but elected to not keep anything from this fix. I liked the styling options a bit better than my first box but for reasons mentioned above didn’t fall in love with any of the pieces. I am still a fan of this service though and have already scheduled my next fix. If you would like to try Stitch Fix yourself please consider using my referral link!

irishdarkblue

 

Divider

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review: Things Good Girls Don’t Do by Codi Gary

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Things Good Girls Don’t Do by Codi GaryThings Good Girls Don't Do by Codi Gary
Series: Rock Canyon, Book 1
Published by Avon on 27 April 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Rock Canyon, Idaho

First Line(s): Its important to always be a nice girl, Katie. Otherwise, people won’t want to let their kids play with you.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Codi Gary’s Things Good Girls Don’t Do but knew that it would involve a good girl meeting a bad boy story. This is a common theme in romances and one that I don’t usually mind but it has to be done right. When I read the first line of this one I almost put it down but I continued reading and in the end I was just meh on this one. Katie was an ok character but she was just too passive and overly concerned with what others thought of her for my liking. Now I know everyone worries about the thoughts of others but Katie does this to the extreme. As a result the town has a tendency to walk all over her and use this ingrained mantra that she must be super nice to everyone against her. Yet, at the same time her friends will chastise her for not standing up for her self. Or at least they do until she tries to stand up to them. The crazy standard that this main character was held to just made for an impossible life. It also didn’t help that Katie was a pretty judgmental character herself.

Fortunately for me, the reader, there was another point of view in this story, that of the bad boy hero, Chase. The guy who really isn’t so bad but because he rides a motorcycle and runs a tattoo shop the bulk of the town have labeled his as persona non-grata. All for very superficial reasons…most of which are based on his appearance. For the love of Pete! There were so many times when I just couldn’t get over the hypocrisy of this book. I also found it a bit hard to believe that Katie would go from trying to be a police office to running her own beauty salon as it was just such a strange and extreme change. And the reason was so very eye roll inducing.

Now it might seem like I didn’t like Things Good Girls Don’t Do but it wasn’t all bad. When faced with a mediocre read it is often easier to focus on the negative of a story and not the positive and there were things I liked about the book. I liked Katie and Chase together when Katie left all her hangups at the door. Chase was a grounded character and he helped Katie become a the person she was meant to be. I liked how Katie changed over the course of the book and while she will never be a bad girl she did grow more of a backbone. There was genuine chemistry between Chase and Katie and white there were parts of the story that annoyed me there were also a lot of things that I liked. I could have done without the 1950-eske attitude of the town but overall this wasn’t a bad story. While I don’t think that it will be one that I’ll re-read I don’t feel like my time was wasted. I liked Codi Gary’s writing and so will be reading the other books in the series and seeing how they compare to this one.

.

irishdarkblue

.

.

.

Good Girls Don't Banner

Divider

Friday, August 15, 2014

Review: Revenge Bound by Heidi Joy Tretheway

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Revenge Bound by Heidi Joy TrethewayRevenge Bound by Heidi Joy Tretheway
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Tattoo Thief, Book 3
Also in this series: Tattoo Thief, Tyler & Stella
Published by Self-Published on 31 July 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, New Adult, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 New Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Format: eARC
Source: Inkslinger PR
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Ithaca, New York // Steamboat Springs, Colorado // Los Angeles, California

First Line(s): The internet is full of naked pictures of pretty girls.

Whenever it comes to a series that involves a group of people there is always one that you want to know about more and one that you don’t really have an opinion on one way or the other. In Heidi Joy Tretheway’s Tattoo Thief series, Jayce falls into the catagory of one that I wanted to know more about so I was excited when Revenge Bound would be his story. Violet, on the other hand, was someone that I was more unsure of as she didn’t really make her presence known in Tyler & Stella and she kind of faded into the backround. I really wasn’t expecting much from her so was pleasently surprised when she was made from stronger stuff than I thought.

In Revenge Bound, we learn that Violet’s ex-boyfriend was not dealing with the break up well and when attempts to win her back failed he decided to post intimate photos of her on a revenge porn webiste along with her name, address, and phone number. Which is beyond a dickhead move to do as there are some very real crazies out in the world, many of who start to text Violet and a few who try to accost her at her home. This sort of response from the ex is one that totally baffles me and it seems like something out of a Law & Order: SVU episode than anything else. What makes it even more scary is that this sort of thing does actually happen in the world and that just made my heart go out to Violet.

I loved Violet and Jayce’s relationship and thought that they really meshed well together. They complimented each others strengths and help make the other person better. I like how, while there is instant attaction between the two there is a real build up in feelings and it was fun to see their relationship grow over the course of the book. Even if it did seem a bit too much of a coincidence that they both shared similar sexual proliclivities. But then that is part of what makes this a fictional story and not real life as you can have these sort of things all fall nicely into place with just a few strokes of the keyboard. It still worked and it worked for Violet and Jayce and it made me happy that they found a HEA together.

What bothered me about this story was Kristina, a secondary character that we’ve seen since the begining. Kristina is the long time girlfriend of Tattoo Thief’s drummer, Dave, and a very real B!tch. Which is why I found it hard that all the characters in this story seem to confinde in her at some point in time or another. She’s not the sort that one spills secrets to and so its no shock that she uses these secrets against those around her when it suits her interests. This sort of behavior also escalated a bit too fast in Revenge Bound to seem realistic though I know its just a set up for the big conflict in the fourth book in the series. Because with each book the story becomes a bit more than just a straight romance and after the events in Revenge Bound you need something dramatic to keep the momemtum going.

For there is a lot that happens in Revenge Bound that goes beyond Jayce and Violet falling in love. There is the stalker to deal with along with Violet’s ex  and how that effects not just Violet but also her family and Jayce. While I did think that the whole stalker aspect was a bit rushed at the end it was a realistic progression from observation to action. It just all happened so fast. But will admit that those final moments did keep me on the edge of my seat. I liked how Violet wasn’t a passive character as I initially thought she would be based on what we saw of her in Tyler & Stella. I liked how she was strong and took control of her situation even when there were times when she probably should have asked for help. (Tretheway talks a little about why she wrote Violet as she did in this post and I think you should check it out.)

Overall, I enjoyed this installment in the series and while I think that Tyler & Stella is still my favorite Revenge Bound is a close second. If you like new adult romances that involve rock stars and heroines that find their strength then you should really check this one out.

.

irishdarkblue

.

.

.

Revenge Bound quote

Divider

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie PerkinsIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)
Series: Anna and the French Kiss, Book 3
Also in this series: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door
Published by Dutton on 14 August 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Parents, People & Places, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - The Filler, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
five-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: New York City, New York // Paris, France // Barcelona, Spain // Angouleme, France

First Line(s): It’s midnight, it’s sweltering, and I might be high on Vicodun, but that guy – that guy right over there – that’s him.

Like so many others I’ve been counting down the days until the release of Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. We first met Isla back in 2010 in Perkins’s book, Anna and the French Kiss, and my heart went out to her character in that story. Long before we knew that the final book would be her book I was hoping that it would be as there was just something about this shy, awkward girl that resonated with me. It has been a long wait since Isla was first announced and while I was sad at the times when it was delayed I do think that she was worth the wait. There is just something so special about Isla’s story that is hard to put into words. Its just so poignoit and beautiful and I just want to live within its pages. I devoured this book the day it landed on my doorstep as I couldn’t wait to experience this world or Perkins’s writing again for the first time. But one reading wasn’t enough and before I leant it to a friend I did another slow read savoring the words and then a snapshot read reliving small moments as I recorded some of my favorite quotes.

Isla is a character that I think many can relate to. She’s smart and funny and yet also shy and insecure. She doesn’t have many friends and her relationship with her younger sister is awkward at the best of times. Isla is flawed and makes assumptions about others based on how she would approach things and so tends to judge a little too harshly at times when the people she knows aren’t as black and white as she wants them to be. And then there is Josh, this boy who seems more alone than any character I’ve met previously. All of his friends have graduated and as he built his entire SOAP experience around them the void they leave make being a thousand miles away from home all the more difficult. Like Isla he’s a shy person but he has hidden this aspect of himself as this loud, boistrous, adventourus persona that those around him forget the real person that he was back in Freshman year.

The story of Isla and Josh is heartbreaking and perfect and so very real. There are misunderstands and heartbreak but throughout their whole story is this real, genuine and lasting love story. These are characters that I think will stand the tests of time and be those high school sweethearts that are together forever. I loved the journey of Isla and Josh and my heart did that heart-achey thing that I just makes me feel all the feels. This book made me laugh and cry and when I turned then final page I just sat there and patted the back cover giving a little sigh of happiness at a well told story. One that I think fans of Stephanie Perkins will be happy with.

The thing I like best about Isla and the Happily Ever After is Isla’s growth as a character throughout the entire book. You see one version of her in Anna and the French Kiss and then over the course of the book she goes through new and different versions of herself. Who she is at the end of the story is different from who she is at the begining and yet she is still Isla through and through. Josh too goes through some great charater growth and I love him all the more for it. I also really liked how neither Isla and Josh were dating other people during the course of the book. Those were aspects of Anna and Lola and the Boy Next Door that I wasn’t thrilled with. And most of all I enjoyed the small cameos of the characters from Perkins’s other books in this one. I liked how they were true cameos and how none of them took over Isla and Josh’s story as Etienne sometimes did in Lola. I did think there was one moment that was a little corny and unneccessary but I think that it will bring joy into the hearts of fans of that story.

Isla and the Happily Ever After is a story that can be read on its own or you can read it as a companion to the other Anna and the French Kiss books. I like how singular it is and even if you don’t know who Anna, Etienne, Lola and Cricket are in their cameo scene you do get a sense of their personailties but you don’t feel as those you are missing something in that moment. Of the three books, Isla is my favorite as it just had the most depth and feeling for me and I am so happy that its out in the world but also sad because the story is over. Perkins is such a gifted story teller and you can be sure that I am eagerly awaiting her next book and will be buying it the moment that its available.

.

irishdarkblue

.

.

.

Isla Quote

Divider

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Guest Post: The rescue myth and why I hate wimpy girls by Heidi Joy Tretheway

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post0 Comments

Guest Post: The rescue myth and why I hate wimpy girls by Heidi Joy Tretheway

Revenge Bound

 

Greetings and Salutations Internet!!

Today I am pleased to welcome Heidi Joy Tretheway to the blog with a guest post to help celebrate the release of her newest book, Revenge Bound. Revenge Bound is the third book in her Tattoo Thief series telling the story of Jace and Violet both of who are very interesting characters and I was happy to spend a little time with them. My review of Revenge Bound will be posted soon but until then know that you should buy it. And now here is Heidi, in her own words.

The rescue myth and why I hate wimpy girls

 

I hate wimpy girls. When I dive into a story and walk in a character’s shoes, I don’t want to share my brain with a spineless wimp—I want someone with as much moxie and courage as I aspire to have.

From my first book, a children’s fairy tale about a girl who outwits bandits and rescues a prince, to my fifth book, REVENGE BOUND, I write kickass heroines who are every bit as powerful as the men they fall in love with.

In REVENGE BOUND, Violet’s up against long odds: the victim of revenge porn, her ex posted naked pictures he forcibly took online. When a stalker latches onto them and makes threatening moves toward Violet, Jayce wants to protect her—and in someone else’s story, he might have been the alpha rescuer.
But I didn’t want Violet to be a wimp.

A knight in shining armor or a hot-as-sin alpha male would make a great rescuer, but I don’t think the heroine needs to be saved all the time. Violet’s need to handle her problems herself, to (in her words) “slay her own dragons,” sets up a push-pull in the book when rock star Jayce wants to use his full arsenal—money, fame, resources—to help her, and she won’t let him.

Jayce has to get his inner Hardy Boy on and play detective to find out who is stalking Violet and what’s behind these naked pictures, even as Violet pushes him away.

Violet’s shy. She can be timid and frightened. She cries, especially when the stalker shatters her sense of security. But her courage to try to fix things herself displays a spine that attracts Jayce more intensely than any of her physical characteristics.

Here’s a brief clip when Jayce realizes that Violet is digging herself out of the impossible situation:

Jayce shakes his head and smiles. “Remind me not to make you mad.”
“Too late for that.”
“OK, then, remind me to quit trying to play knight.” Jayce cups my face in his hands and plants a kiss on my lips. “You’re like the best kind of fairy tale, Violet. You’re the kickass princess.”

My wonderful developmental editor, Jim Thomsen, pushed me in REVENGE BOUND to drop-kick the rescuer myth and let my heroine shine. So while you’ll see plenty of heroics from Jayce, I hope you’ll also fall in love with Violet’s mettle and grit … the same reason Jayce ultimately falls for her.

 

teaser_tt32

 

Revenge Bound Synopsis:

On the Internet, secrets never die…

Violet can’t imagine anything worse than having her very private, very naked photos strewn across the Internet.

Until they multiply like a virus.

With her name, address, and phone number attached.

And her boss finds out. And a stalker finds her.

Violet’s refuge is a rock star known for going through groupies faster than guitar picks. Letting Jayce get close enough to protect her exposes her secrets—and her heart—to a man whose celebrity could ruin her.

That’s because being a nobody is the one thing that keeps Violet’s photos from making headlines. And it’s the reason she can never fall for a rock star.

Secrets spread like wildfire when a celebrity fans the flames.

REVENGE BOUND is a full-length, standalone novel, and a companion to the Tattoo Thief books. It contains steamy scenes and strong language intended for mature readers.

 

Heidi Joy Trethway Bio:

Heidi Joy lives in Happy Valley off Sunnyside Road. She swears she did not make that up.

Heidi’s obsessed with storytelling. Her career includes marketing, journalism, and a delicious few years as a food columnist. Media passes took her backstage with several rock bands, where she learned that sometimes a wardrobe malfunction is exactly what the rock star intends.

You’ll most often find Heidi Joy with her husband and two small kids cooking, fishing, exploring the Northwest, and building epic forts in their living room.

She loves to hear from readers via messages at facebook.com/author.heidi.

 

Buy Links:

Kindle | BN | iBooks | Kobo

Links:
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Author Goodreads | Revenge Bound Goodreads

 

Contest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour Schedule:

August 6

Obsessed by Books – Review
Born To Read – Excerpt
Romance Schmomance – Review

August 7

She Hearts Books – Review
Cafebiblioart – Review
Reviews by Tammy and Kim – Review

August 8

For Whom The Books Toll – Excerpt
Imagine a World – Review
Addicted to Books – Review

August 9

read that – Excerpt
Sassy Divas Book Blog – Review

August 10

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Review
My Favorite Things – Playlist

August 11

Resch Reads and Reviews – Excerpt
In Between The Pages – Guest Post
Hot Guys in Books – Review

August 12

Nose Stuck in a Book – Excerpt
Red Cheeks Reads – Review
Best Book Boyfriends – Review
A Life Bound By Books – Review

August 13

Made For You Book Reviews – Review
No Bent Spines – Playlist
Oh My Growing TBR – Review, Excerpt

August 14

Taryn Lee’s Book Blog – Review
Read-Love-Blog – Review
Ticket to Anywhere – Guest post

August 15

Not Everyone’s Mama – Review
Lite-rate-ture – Review
Becky’s Book Bytes – Review

August 16

Ramblings From This Chick – Review
Book Lovin’ Mamas – Interview

August 17

The Book Cellar – Excerpt
Stories And Swag – Excerpt

August 18

Inked in Chapters – Review
Whispered Thoughts – Review
grownupfangirl – Excerpt

August 19

Nice and Naughty Book Club – Dreamcast
Books to Breathe – Review
BestSellers & BestStellars – Review

August 20

Blimey! I Fancy Reading – Review
All Booked Out – Review
Bound By Books Book Review – Review

Divider

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday7 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 books that we own or have heard a lot about but aren’t sure that we want to read. I have all of these on my shelf and am on the fence about reading them. What say you internet? Should I give any of these a shot? LMK in the comments!

 

1. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Pro: This one seems to be the most loved in series so far and I do have an ARC of it

Con: The other two books in the series really annoyed me

 

 

2. The Selection by Kira Cass

Pro: Comes recommended

Con: Sounds like The Bachelor and a love triangle that spans 3 books

 

 

3. The Girl Who Never Was by Skylar Dorset

Pro: Its set in Boston and only a diology

Con: It involves selkies, which is just not my cuppa.

 

 

 

4. Ghost House by Alexandra Adornatto

Pro: Its a cool sounding ghost story

Con: Its by the author of Halo

 

 

5. Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Pro: It comes highly recommended

Con: Its a cancer book

 

 

6. First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher

Pro: I loved the other books in the series

Con: If I read it than the series is really officially over

 

 very long books

 

7. Clash of Kings by George RR Martin, Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Pro: I really liked the first book in the series

Con: Its really really long…like really long, may smother me if I fall asleep reading long.

 

 

8. Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Pro: The movie If I Stay really made me want more of this story

Con: I really didn’t like If I Stay as a book, wasn’t a huge fan of the writing and some things that happened.

 

 

 

9. Lover Avenged by JR Ward

Pro: Really liked the world that Ward had created

Con: Read the first six in a back to back blitz read and kind of burned myself out…plus I’m just not as interested in Rehvenge’s story as some of the others

 

 

10. Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Pro: I’ve heard good things about this series

Con: Do I really want to get involved in another long series?

 

Divider

Friday, August 8, 2014

Review: Lead by Kylie Scott

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

Review: Lead by Kylie ScottLead by Kylie Scott
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Stage Dive, Book 3
Also in this series: Lick, Play
Published by St Martin's Griffin on 29 July 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, New Adult, Social Issues
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Books I Purchased, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Coeu d’Alene, Idaho // Portland, Oregon

First Line(s): The man’s mouth kepy moving but I’d long since tuned out.

When I first started reading Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series I was least looking forward to Jimmy’s book. In Lick, he was a complete and utter asshole and I seriously wanted to punch him in the face. In Play, he was less of an ass but still not a character that I cared for very much but I knew that Ben’s story was coming and to get there I needed to go through Jimmy’s. I didn’t dread reading Lead but I wasn’t chomping at the bit for it as I honestly didn’t think that it was one that I’d like. So imagine my surprise when Jimmy’s story became my favorite. Words can not tell you how many feels that I had throughout this book or how much I hated for it to end.

I LOVED beyond LOVED Lena and Jimmy. Lena is sassy and fierce and doesn’t take any crap from Jimmy. Their banter throughout the entire story is a thing of beauty. There is so much push and pull that your heart is torn in a hundred different directions. But at no time do you ever wish that these two wouldn’t get together. From the first page until the last you are sitting on the sidelines begging them to let go of all their baggage and just live their happily ever after. Lena and Jimmy are what I’d call true soul mates, neither is perfect and they each have flaws but they make each other better.

There were a few scenes in the book that were a bit random and there was that one sex scene that just seemed so cold and clinical and it didn’t seem to fit. And yet, as you read on in the story the coldness of it all makes perfect sense and when I read this book for the second time (yes, I’ve already read this one more than once) it worked so much better. The rest of the plot was near perfection as Lena and Jimmy’s story progress. There was laughter and there was the desire to shake these two stubborn characters for being so darn stupid. The story ARC was done so well and it broke my heart on more than one occassion. I liked that throughout it all Lena and Jimmy always talked to each other about what they were feeling. Their conflict doesn’t result from a misunderstanding because they refused to communicate and that was so very refreshing.

Jimmy is a complex character and I am so glad that I read his story. Lena is smart and funny and I loved her POV scenes. I liked the cameos of David, Ev, Anne and Mal. The Mal in this book is the Mal that I was longing for in Play. I also liked that we got to see more of Ben as he was another band member that I wasn’t entirely sure about his story. Ben isn’t a jerk, he seems like a genuinely nice guy but in the previous books he kind of faded into the backround. But in Lead he takes a more central role and I am curious to see if my theories for his story, Deep, come to fruition and I hate that I won’t be able to get my hands on it until January 2015!! That is seriously way too long to wait for a girl with no paitence. But I guess until then I can just re-read Lead a few more times because it truly is my favorite in the story. I just love when I book surprises you so very much and I am so glad that I read this one.

 .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 .

Shortley after reading Lead I was listening to my iPod and the song Perfect came up. The moment I heard it I immediately thought of Jimmy and Lena and its something that I think he might write for her, you know if he wasn’t fictional and it hadn’t already been written by Miggs.

 .

.

 .

.

irishdarkblue

 

.

.

.

 

Lead2
Divider

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass by Sarah J Maas
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Throne of Glass, Book 1
Also in this series: The Assassin's Blade
Published by Bloomsbury on 07 August 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Magic, Mystery & Detective, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Books Published Before 2013, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 404
Format: ARC
Source: Book Expo (BEA-ALA-et al)
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Endovier, Adarlan // Rhifthold, Adarlan (World: Erilea)

First Line(s): After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is one of those books that came highly recommended to me by multiple people and one that had lots of promise. I have always loved a good fantasy read, especially when you add in assassins, and so I was looking forward to this one. However, this is one that never quite lived up to its promise and I ended up being horribly disappointed in it. Celaena Sardothien is supposed to be the worlds greatest assassin and yet we never see that side of her. She’s supposedly in this competition that will release her from slavery and make her the King’s Champion and yet despite 400 pages of text we see little of this competition. Even though, according to the synopsis, its supposed to be the main focus of the book. Instead, we get a character more focused on dresses or pouting because she has to miss a party. Then as the book progresses she shifts her focus a little and she gets all swoony in lust with the two male leads, Prince Dorian and Chaol Westfall who is Captain of the Guard.

*insert huge mega sigh here*

I was expecting more of a mystery as Celaena tried to figure out what was causing the deaths of her fellow contestants but she never really investigated and just sort of stumbled onto clues. Clues that were blatenly obvious and even though the big reveal didn’t happen until the end of the story I had this one figure out very early on. Which just added a whole other level of frustration to the story as things were so obvious and yet all the characters just sort of fumbled about turning a blind eye to things that were right in front of them. There there was one scene in the end where Celaena barely glances at a body and makes all these observations and the super smart Captain of the Guard is all how did I miss these obvious things on all those other bodies, wow Celaena for a cold-hearted assassin you sure are brilliant. Not to mention how he then asked her if looking at a dead boy was too much for her? Um…isn’t she the biggest, baddest assassin Erilea has ever seen? Dead bodies should be nothing new to her.

Another aspect about Throne of Glass that annoyed me was is shift in POV from Celaena to Dorian to Chaol. Now, if you know me, then you know I am usually a fan of multiple POV stores…when its done right. But in the case of Throne of Glass it came across as lazy story telling as Maas needed to move the story along but wasn’t entirely sure how so she just jumped into another characters head to do so. And don’t even get me started on the Lady Kaltain POV. Seriously that is a rant for another day. This may have been around the time I started to hit myself in the head with the book. Literally. In all honesty I have no idea how I managed to finish this one until the end. I really did want to like it but it was just a poor imiatation of a fantasy novel and it read more like a high school contemporary set in a fictional world.

Celaena is supposed to be this strong female lead but she never comes across as such. Not that she’s weak or anything its more that she’s just there and things happen around her. Then on occassion she’ll seize an opportunity and everyone will praise her and tell her how wonderful she is or how beautiful she is. We’re told over and over that she’s an amazing person and a deadly assassin but nothing in the text ever supports these claims. I much prefer my books to show me how a character is and leave the telling for other details that aren’t as readily explained. Celaena is also so oblivous to things around her and she keeps saying she’s a light sleeper or that she placed something in front of her door but people are constantly sneaking up on her while she sleeps. She’s so trusting that she eats everything that she finds and doens’t question where it came from or if it might be poisoned. Everything she does seems to be in direct opposition to how a fearless, trained assassin would act and I am abosultely amazed that she hasn’t been killed long ago.

In the end, Throne of Glass just wasn’t for me and while I initially rated it as a low 3 stars after writing this review I have to drop it down to 2. The more I think about this book the more it frustrates me. I think that Throne of Glass will appeal to the non-fantasy reader as its not really a fantasy story but those that love the genre as much as I do may be disappointed.

.

irishdarkblue

.

.

.

People who liked this one more that I did:

AndiABCs: “What I truly liked about the book most were the characters. Celaena was awesome. She had an edge to her but she was still a teenager with past demons. She was strong and did what she had to but she still felt things deeply no matter what people thought about her based on the fact that she was an assassin.”

Overstuffed Bookcase: “I loved the whole plot of this story, I loved all the characters, and here’s something I bet most people don’t say often with books these days–I loved the love triangle.”

Book.Blog.Bake: “I was worried for the safety of the characters I grew to love in a very short amount of time, especially since this book is part murder mystery. I think this really added a needed additional element to Throne of Glass.”

.

.

 

Throne-of-Glass2
Divider

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: Fall With Me by Julie Particka

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Fall With Me by Julie PartickaFall With Me by Julie Particka
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Published by Entangled Embrace on 28 April 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, New Adult, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Debut Authors, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 200
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Fall With Me (Entangled Embrace)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=ticktoanyw-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00JI0KE90">AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Detroit, Michigan

First Line(s): I should have known when he never gave me a ring.

 

Fall With Me by Julie Particka is a book with a lot of promise and its one that at first glance contains most of the romance tropes that I love. But alas, this one was not to be as I just never bought into the two main characters, Jenna and Sutton. At first Jenna is crushed that her boyfriend of several years broke up with her and then started to date her BFF. She then returns home and becomes re-aquainted with Sutton, her BFFs older brother, and all of a sudden she’s think all happy romantic thoughts about him. All while she pines for her ex.  So when Sutton comes up with a plan for her to get the cheating bastard back by trying to make him jealous she jumps at it. Though why she would want that guy back I have no idea because nothing about him screams catch.

Then as you can expect during this experiment of revenge and jealousy, Jenna and Sutton start to have deeper feelings for each other. All of which is threatened by poor communication and a distinct lack of heat. I just never really bought them as a romantic couple. They mostly had me rolling my eyes, which only got worse with Lacey constantly trying to get Jenna to forgive her for stealing her boyfriend. I’m sorry but if a friend of mine ever did that then we would be done and there is no way I would want the cheating bastard back, no matter the crazy underlying circumstances. And especially after all the things you learn about this guy as the book progresses.

Also, Sutton’s parents were creepily involved in his life. The things that he told them and the judgemental way that they treated him were so unrealistic and just added an ick factor to the whole story. Jenna’s parents were also overly involved in her life but at least they weren’t creepy about it. But there were definate times when it felt like the main characters were more in high school than recent college graduates. The main characters were also all over the map some starting strong and then losing all nerve and making bone-headed decisions. Then they’d get all weak and sob that the other was gone when they drove them away with their collasal issues. Until they had the big epihany and actually TALKED to one another and the thing that they thought was huge wasn’t so huge after all.

For me Fall With Me was filled with pointless moments and lots of frustation as I just wanted it to be better. It had so much promise and then it failed on every level that it could. I only finished it because it was so short of a book that I was able to read it in a single sitting. This was my first book by Particka but I’m not sure I’ll read another of hers anytime soon. Maybe once she has a few books under her belt and learns to write a little neater and form characters that are more consistant but until then this isn’t an author that I can recommend.

.

irishdarkblue

.

.

.

Fall With Me2
Divider