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Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

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

Review: The Mistake by Elle KennedyThe Mistake by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus, Book 2
Also in this series: The Deal
Published by Self-Published on 28 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Sports & Athletics
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 297
Format: eBook
Source: Gift
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Hastings, Massachusetts // Munsen, Massachusetts

First Line(s): Lusting over your best friend’s girlfriend sucks.

Once I finished The Deal by Elle Kennedy (my review) I was itching to dive into Logan’s story, The Mistake. Luckily I didn’t have too long to wait from finishing The Deal in order to do so. The Mistake was just as good as The Deal, if not better because I liked both the main characters so much better. Grace was just so sweeet and likable and Logan….well Logan was totally swoon worthy and I loved beyond loved how he wasn’t to woo Grace. Granted he did make a big mistake and while I wanted to shake him for it I liked how he owned up to it and did all he could to win Grace back. I liked that he was less domineering with Grace and let her set the terms of potentially getting back together. The terms being a list of things for him to do to prove his seriousness. Things like finding a red chaise lounge chair for example, the purpose of which you’ll have to read The Mistake to find out.

I also liked how we had some amazing cameos from Garrett and the various characters from The Deal as I find that these things really help flesh out a story and make it more real. Friends don’t just disappear from a persons life when they find their happily ever after, well, not true friends. So it always seems a little false that in many books that we rarely see the characters that came before the current story just because they already found their happy ending. For the most part, I really loved The Mistake. I did hate Grace’s BFF and wish that I could have skipped scenes with her in it. She just didn’t seem like a good fit for Grace and she was definitely one of those fake best friends who care more for herself than for anyone around her, Grace included.

The Mistake Quote

But Logan, oh dear sweet foolish and lovable Logan he totally made up for any and all dislike I had for Grace’s BFF. My heart ached for him so much and when you learn his backstory you will know why. Though I do think that the resolution to The Mistake was a bit too nicely wrapped up in a bow I am glad that things worked out as they did. Reality can be hard. And in the real world things would have ended up differently for Logan so I am glad in a work of fiction the author can engineer things that the realities of the world aren’t too harsh and soul crushing.

Now I’m sure that Elle Kennedy gets various things wrong with hockey and the draft and other things too but sometimes you just don’t care about any of that when you fall for the story. The Mistake is the sort of book that I would have read in a single day if I was able. I hated to put it down and was very sad when I ran out of words to read. Its the sort of book that I almost turned back to page 1 in order to read it all over again. Its a sweet story and a believable one. Its a book that can be read independently but the reading experience can only be better if you first meet Logan in The Deal. I fell in love with this world and these characters and I can’t wait to see what Elle Kennedy comes up with next.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - The Mistake
Add The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The One & Only by Viv Daniels to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

 

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mini Review: Hard to Be Good by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Mini Review: Hard to Be Good by Laura KayeHard to be Good by Laura Kaye
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Hard Ink, Book 3.5
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By
Published by Avon on 14 April 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 160
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland

First Line(s): Jeremy Rixey stood in front of the ruins of half of the warehouse building he owned in east Baltimore – his home for the past four years, and wondered what the hell had happened to his life.

Hard to be Good is a short novella in Laura Kaye’s crazy pants Hard Ink series and it tells the story of Charlie and Jeremy. Charlie is Becca’s brother and Jeremy is Nick’s, both who had their story told in the first book in the series, Hard as it Gets (my review)Hard to be Good picks up hours after the events in Hard to Come By (my review) end and nothing in this story really adds to the over crazy pants story arc. This is just a short little vignette that brings Charlie and Jeremy together as a couple which is something that has been in the works since the beginning. These two have danced around each other as secondary characters in the other books and it was nice to get into their heads for a bit.

Both of these characters made my heart ache as they struggled with their feelings unsure of where the other stood. Though, I felt that this story lacked depth and seemed to focus on the sexy times more so than the emotional bonding moments that make you really cheer for a couple to get together. Not that I didn’t want Charlie and Jeremy to find their happily ever after because I did. I’ve been hoping since they first met that they would fall in love. And in many ways Charlie and Jeremy have a longer courtship than any other couple in the series even if theirs is one of the shorter stories.

Hard to be Good is a quick read and can be skipped if you just want to dive back into this whole crazy world that Laura Kaye has created. I for one though did enjoy the little break from the crazy times and enjoyed this installment in the series.

irishdarkblue

Hard to be Good Quote

 

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: The Deal by Elle KennedyThe Deal by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus, Book 1
Also in this series: The Mistake
Published by Self-Published on 24 February 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Sports & Athletics
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 358
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Hastings, Massachusetts // Boston, Massachusetts

First Line(s): He doesn’t know I’m alive.

The Deal by Elle Kennedy was first released in February but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I first heard about it because it seemed like everyone in my social media was talking about it. The chatter made me curious and so I purchased a copy for myself to see what all the fuss was about. At first I was super frustrated with The Deal because Hannah was often bitchy and judgmental. She’d rail at Garrett for little things like not knowing her name despite sharing a large lecture hall class but then she’d forgive others of the same slight and even did it herself. Hannah was a bit of a cliche being the klutzy beautiful girl with self-esteem issues but as I continued to read The Deal I began to like her better as I learned her backstory and as she grew over the story.

But the thing that bothered me most was the trope of a popular crowed on a college campus. That Garrett was somehow more because he was on the hockey team. That Hannah became well known and easily recognizable because she spent some time with Garrett. I don’t care what size college you went to this just does not happen. College is not high school and I’ve yet to find or hear of a college with a popular crowd. My eyes also almost rolled out of my head when Garrett was able to make all the guys on this campus avoid dating Hannah just because he said so. Because in what universe would that ever happen on a college campus?? None! None I tell you!! So yes, there were times when The Deal frustrated me to know end but despite all this the story was like crack and I couldn’t stop reading.

The Deal Quote

While I didn’t really like Hannah at first I adored her by the end. She made my heart ache and I loved how she and Garrett interacted. These two had chemistry that sizzled off the page. By the end of the story I was totally invested in Hannah and Garrett my heart ached for them and all I wanted was for them to find their happily ever after. I also enjoyed all the secondary characters and want them all to have their own stories so that I can spend more time in this world. There was a great camaraderie among these cast of characters and with a the few exceptions mentioned above you can believe that they are all real.

The Deal isn’t a perfect story. Its riddled with flaws and yet despite all the things that annoyed me during my read of it I still walked away happy and entertained. I devoured this book and couldn’t get enough of it. It was witty and fun and a great way to spend an afternoon. The Deal is a book that I’ve already campaigned for others to read that like sportsing new adult stories. Elle Kennedy doesn’t get everything right (my hockey loving friend had many things to say about how the hockey draft really goes) but a book doesn’t have to be perfect to be good. Yes there are plenty of times when inaccuracies take me out of a story but sometimes I fall in love with a book despite its flaws and that was the case with The Deal. I enjoyed this story and think that you might as well.

 

irishdarkblue

 

IR - The Deal

 

Add Scoring Wilder by RS Grey to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add All Broke Down by Cora Carmack to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Heat Exchange by Shannon StaceyHeat Exchange by Shannon Stacey
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Boston Fire, Book 1
Published by Carina Press on 25 August 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Parents, Police or Firemen
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Boston, Massachusetts // Concord, New Hampshire

First Line(s): Lydia Kincaid could pull a pint of Guinness so perfect her Irish ancestors would weep tears of appreciation, but fine dining? Forget about it.

If you are looking for a fun romantic story then you really can’t go wrong with a Shannon Stacey book and that’s exactly what you get in her newest Heat ExchangeHeat Exchange is the start of a new series involving firemen in Boston and this book stars Lydia Kincaid and Aidan Hunt. Lydia has been leaving far, far away (or so the dialogue/text make it appear) in New Hampshire and she’s called home to help run the family sports bar and local fireman hangout when her sister has marital troubles. On her return she finds instant attraction with fireman, Aidan Hunt but there are obstacles. The first being she was married to a fireman in the past and she’s so not doing that again and Aidan is also her younger brother’s BFF.

Falling for the friend of a sibling is one of my favorite tropes so I was really looking forward to this one. And while I did enjoy Aidan’s and Lydia’s relationship with her brother I never really felt the chemistry between them as a couple. Lydia had this HUGE chip on her shoulder and she was always throwing things in Aidan’s face that had nothing to do with him. She was also hung up on the idea that if she didn’t flee back to New Hampshire than she was stuck. As if all the family drama and her issues with her dad just magically disappeared once she crossed the border. Plus Lydia ran so hot and cold when it came to Aidan that it was a wonder that he pursued her at all.

Heat Exchange Quote

Then there was the subplot romance between Lydia’s sister and her fireman husband. Normally I hate this little subromances as they tend to take away from the main story but in this case I preferred those moments over Lydia’s story as I liked those characters better. Although, I did want to shake those two characters as they were just so passive at times and really needed to just sit down and talk to one another. I’m so not a fan of plots that revolve around a lack of communication.

In the end, while Heat Exchange was a quick read it left me feeling a bit meh. The lack of chemistry between the main couple just made it hard to get into this book although I did like the world and the family dynamics. So while I didn’t fall head over heels in love with this one I do plan on checking out future books in this series in the hopes that I like those characters better.

irishdarkblue

IR - Heat Exchange

Add Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy to Goodreads.

Add Just One Night by Lauren Layne to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review: Hard to Come By by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Hard to Come By by Laura KayeHard to Come By by Laura Kaye
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Hard Ink, Book 3
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to be Good
Published by Avon on 25 November 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Politics & Intrigue, War & Military
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland // Annapolis

First Line(s): Derek DiMarzio was going bat-shit crazy.

Hard to Come By is the third book in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series about a group of 5 ex-military men and the crazy pants mob and drug war that they find themselves in after being framed and dishonorably discharged. Hard to Come By picks up almost immediately after the previous book ends and is a direct continuation of the story even though the POVs are different. This is definitely a series that you need to read in order or be totally lost at what is happening. Because a lot happens in each book. Seriously, this series is totally crazy pants with its over the top story lines but its also oddly addicting and I find myself unable to put the books down once I pick them up.

A couple of things that have started to grate on my nerves with this series is the repetitiveness and the cheesy dialogue. I get that there are times when a general recap of events or who people are is needed and if its a one and done I’m good. But it seemed like every time a certain character was talked about Kaye went into his whole backstory and what happened in previous books and it was just overkill. The same was done with details that were just talked about a few chapters before or even a few paragraphs above. It just made me sigh and seemed like a waste of words. Words that could have been better used to move the overall story arc along. Because there is a lot of detail in this crazy pants story and each new book in the series just seems to add more crazy instead of less.

Hard to Come By Quote

Like in Hard to Come By there is a rocket launcher used against them. Let’s pause a moment to wrap our brains around that. A rocket launcher. A rocket launcher used in downtown Baltimore. Seriously. I can not make this stuff up! And while this whole series is crazy and over the top it all somehow works. Much like the Die Hard movies work even as Bruce Willis is using a car to take out a helicopter. Hard to Come By is filled with this crazy action sequences that would do any action movie proud. Yes its a bit ridiculous but at the same time the escape from reality can be a nice break.

Although, I do kind of wish that more time was given between moving from one event to the next. From the start of the series in Hard As it Gets (my review) to this book its been about 2 weeks. And by the end of Hard to Come By another week has gone by. So there is a lot going on in a very short amount of time which is fine for the overall story arc but its pushing things a bit with the romance portion of the story. Each of these characters has pretty much met and fallen in love with their significant other in the span of a week. In the case of Marz and Emilie its more like 3 days, not even as they mostly meet over dinner before things go postal. All in all though, crazy pants storyline aside this is a fun series and worth it as long as you suspend much belief and just want to be entertained.

irishdarkblue

IR - Hard as it Gets

Add Hard as it Gets  (Hard Ink, Book 1) by Laura Kaye to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Do or Die by Suzanne Brockmann to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood to Goodreads. (Click here for my reivew)

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Some Kind of Normal by Juliana StoneSome Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone
Published by Sourcebooks on 05 May 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Twin Oaks, Louisiana // Baton Rouge, Louisiana

First Line(s): I used to be the guy who had it all.

Some Kind of Normal is a companion book to Juliana Stone’s Boys Like You (goodreads) and takes place after the events in that book end. Its a continuation of the story and you first meet Trevor in Boys Like You but you don’t have to read that book in order to enjoy Some Kind of Normal. Which is a good thing because I still have to read Boys Like You which I’ve added to my wishlist since finishing Some Kind of Normal.  Some Kind of Normal is told in altering perspective and switching between Everly and Trevor which is usually a narrative style that I enjoy. However, in this book the voices were just too similar that it was hard to tell them apart. I also thought that there was too much breaking of the fourth wall and explaining of what typical guy behavior was. This often took me out of the story and it felt like Stone was trying to hard for that authentic male voice.

In terms of story, there isn’t a whole lot of originality in Some Kind of Normal. You have the good girl meeting the bad boy and the two fall in love. Everyone thinks the good girls life is all sunshine and roses but its not. Just as everyone thinks the bad boy has it all or in irredeamable but those assumptions too prove to be false. In the case of Trevor, he’s recovering from a bad car accident that left him unable to graduate on time with his friends along with some lasting medical effects. Everly is the good girl who is assigned to tutor him over the summer so that he can graduate. She’s a bit judgmental and stuck up and he’s rude and aloof but eventually they find common ground and start to fall for each other. Sound familiar? Yes. But a story doesn’t have to be wholly unique in order for it to be enjoyable.

Some Kind of Normal Quote

Some Kind of Normal isn’t a perfect book but it was a decent one and I enjoyed reading it. While the characters annoyed me at times I understood them and believed that they could be real people. The secrets that Everly and Trevor have are part of what separates Some Kind of Normal from all the other similar stories out their. They aren’t alone in their struggles but because they hold things close to the vest they feel bigger and more insurmountable then they are. Some Kind of Normal is a book that you can get lost in. This was a quick read for me and I read it in just two short sittings. While I didn’t always connect with Trevor’s voice I did like his and Everly’s characters. Mostly.

This was my first book by Juliana Stone but I liked her writing style and I am curious about her other books. As I said above I do plan on picking up Boys Like You and seeing how Trevor’s story starts. If you are looking for a good beach read this summer then you might want to consider picking up Some Kinds of Normal. Its an easy read and a good way to waste a few hours while sitting in the sun soaking up some rays.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Some Kind of Normal

Add Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Spotlight + Contest: Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Spotlight1 Comment

Spotlight + Contest: Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham

 

 

 Scarlett Undercover

by Jennifer Latham

YA Mystery/Supernatural

Publication Date: May 19, 2015

Book Description

Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic fifteen-year-old, ready to take on crime in her hometown. When Scarlett agrees to investigate a local boy’s suicide, she figures she’s in for an easy case and a quick buck. But it doesn’t take long for suicide to start looking a lot like murder.

As Scarlett finds herself deep in a world of cults, curses, and the seemingly supernatural, she discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks…and that cracking the case could lead to solving her father’s murder.

Jennifer Latham delivers a compelling story and a character to remember in this one-of-a-kind debut novel.

About the Author

I write because it’s the only job I’ve been able to stick to for more than two years.  Seriously. I’ve lived lots of different places.  Here’s the list:  New York City; San Francisco; Augusta, GA; Buffalo, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Madrid; Providence, RI; and now…Tulsa, OK. I’ve had some really weird and really normal jobs.  The weirdest was helping out with autopsies.  The one I’d go back to if I couldn’t write is being a school psychologist.  The one I still do sometimes is teach yoga. I live with my two daughters, two dogs, a cat, three turtles, three hermit crabs, a bunch of fish, and a husband (mine, of course). I love watching people. And I love writing about the people who live inside my head, even when they don’t play nice.

WebsiteTwitter  | Facebook | TumblrInstagram | Goodreads

PURCHASE THE BOOK:

AmazonBarnes & Noble, iBooks,  Goodreads

CONTEST

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Week One:

5/11/2015- The Cover Contessa

5/12/2015- Sweet Southern Home

5/13/2015- Such a Novel Idea

5/14/2015- The Phantom Paragrapher

5/15/2015- The Reading Nook Reviews

Week Two:

5/18/2015- Please feed the bookworm

5/19/2015- Ticket to Anywhere

5/20/2015- Fictitious Delicious

5/21/2015- Moonlight Gleam Reviews

5/22/2015- Bookhounds ya

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Movie Thoughts: Pitch Perfect 2

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Movie Thoughts, Review0 Comments

pitch perfect 2Title: Pitch Perfect 2 (Official site)
Tag Line: We’re back, pitches!
Release Date: 15 May 2015
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 115 min
Genres: Comedy | Musical
Series or Standalone: Series
Where Seen: Movie Theater
Production Company: Universal PicturesGold Circle FilmsBrownstone Productions
Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Director(s): Elizabeth Banks
Writers: Kay CannonMickey Rapkin
Stars: Anna Kendrick (Beca), Rebel Wilson (Far Amy), Hailee Steinfeld (Emily), Brittany Snow (Chloe), Skylar Astin (Jesse), Adam DeVine (Bumper), Katey Sagal (Katherine), Anna Camp (Aubry), Ben Platt (Benji), Alexis Knapp (Stacie), Hana Mae Lee (Lilly), Ester Dean (Cynthia Rose), Chrissie Fit (Flo), Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (Kommissar), Flula Borg (Pieter Kramer), John Michael Higgins (John), Elizabeth Banks (Gail)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

When PITCH PERFECT (my review) came out in 2012 I wasn’t sure what to expect from it and ended up being happily surprised by how much I enjoyed it. When I heard there was going to be a sequel I was looking forward to it but also a tad worried as sequels Pitch Perfect 2can go so terribly wrong. PITCH PERFECT 2 is set 3 years after the first film and we learn that the Barden Bellas have been on a winning streak on the A Capella circuit. That is until an unfortunate incident in front of the President of the United States has it all come crashing down. As part of the Bellas punishment they can’t recruit new members and as the rest of the group are seniors this could mean the end of an era for the Barden Bellas. While I think that the punishment is a bit overkill it does add some drama to the movie. I also thought it strange that in 3 years the Bellas hadn’t added any new members to the group, especially since the end of the first film had them hosting auditions. But again, no new members adds more drama. However, thanks to a loop hole they are allowed to let Emily into the group, a freshman and a legacy to the Barden Bellas.

While I did enjoy PITCH PERFECT 2, I did find the previews to be a it misleading. The previews make it seem like the movie is going Pitch Perfect 2to be all about the world competition but that is a very minor thing in the movie. The bulk of the movie is about the Bellas all freaking out over the fate of the group and what they are going to do once they graduate. I also felt that there could have been more singing in the movie and that the Treble Makers were totally under utilized. I missed the Jesse/Beca moments but I did enjoy the Benji/Emily ones. I also liked Beca at her internship and the scenes with her boss and Dax but felt that it separated her from the Bellas too much. And while I did like the new character, Emily, in the end she was just awkward and out of place during most of the movie.

Where PITCH PERFECT 2 shines is with its comedic moments. While things did drag at times there were laughs from the opening scene to the closing credits. I especially loved the mid-credit scene with Bumper on the Voice. I also enjoyed the various Bumper and pp2 3Fat Amy scenes over the course of the film though against the more we saw of them the more apparent it was that there wasn’t much in the way of Beca and Jesse. I really missed all those cute Beca/Jesse moments of the first film. I did enjoy the the various cameo appearances throughout the movie though my favorite was the Green Bay Packers. It was surprising and entertaining and I wish that their scene was longer as it was so enjoyable. I like the a capella battles and wish there was more moments like that in the movie.

I also liked Gail and John’s inappropriate commentary throughout the movie and it was just as fun as it was in the first movie. They were in it just enough to be funny and shocking. Lily continued to say crazy things under her breath though like pp2 eJesse she wasn’t used as much as she could have been. And I did like how there was no explosive vomiting scenes as those were totally unnecessary in the first movie. Overall, I did enjoy this movie and thing that its worth going to see. PITCH PERFECT 2 has a lot of the elements in the first movie that I loved though things weren’t as fresh and unique. Its a good sequel but its not as good as the first film. There is also the potential for a third movie to happen so it will be interesting to see if they happens or not. That will all depend on box office ratings I’m sure.

 

My Recommendation: Worth seeing in the theatre if you liked the first film.

irishdarkblue

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Review: Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick RothfussThe Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2
Published by Daw Books on 01 March 2011
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Adult, Assassins, Death & Dying, Demons, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Friendship, Magic, Mystery & Detective, Mythology, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 1107
Format: Paperback
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Four Corners of Civilization –
Commonwealth: The University // Imre // Tarbean
Vintas: Levinshir // Severen
Ademre: Haert

First Line(s): Dawn was coming. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence in three parts.

Its always hard to review a book that is the second in a trilogy and its even harder when that trilogy is an epic fantasy as is the case with Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Wise Man’s Fear is a book that has been on my shelf since publication when I purchased a hardcover copy when Rothfuss came to town for a book signing. But then because of its size and the face that I hadn’t yet read The Name of the Wind it sat on my shelf until recently when I decided it was time to buckle down and read it. What I love about Rothfuss’s writing and The Kingkiller Chronicles is that even with the time between reading book 1 and this one it was so easy to slip back into this world.

Rothfuss’s writing is so vivid that I was easily able to recall the things that came before and the things that I was vague on he so kindly explained with cleverly placed flashbacks. Wise Man’s Fear was a long read for me as I only read a set number of pages per day but it gave me something to look forward to wondering where the story would go. Although I do have to admit to being a little disappointed in how events in this story took place and there wasn’t as much ground covered as I would have liked considering how there is only one more book to come. One of my big issues with Name of the Wind was there was so much time spent in Kvothe’s early years that it was slow and it bogged down the story. I liked when he finally went to University and things started to pick up.

Wise Man's Fear Quote

With Wise Man’s Fear the majority of the book was spent at the University and it just seemed like more of the same from Name of the Wind. While I enjoyed the book and fell in love with Rothfuss’s writing all over again I just wish that more had happened. Kvothe has been on this quest of his for so long and there just seems to be so much ground to cover in the final book. Also, none of the characters seemed to grow and change very much and as a result they keep making the same mistakes. There was also this whole long and drawn out section with the fae that I wish I had skipped as it didn’t seem to serve much purpose. I’m sure that Rothfuss will connect all the various dots in a big reveal but it was just frustrating at times at the lack of answers.

Despite all my frustrations, I did enjoy this book. The pages flew by when I read them and it was often hard to stop reading in order to focus on other things. I’m drawn to this world and I am looking forward to seeing how it all ends. Rothfuss is a master at his craft and I know that I just have to be patient as the wait will be worth it, or at least I hope that is the case. The Kingkiller chronicles are daunting reads but if you are a fan of epic fantasy then you certainly want to get to them at some point.

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IR - Name of the Wind

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Audio Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Series: Code Name Verity, Book 1
Published by Bolinda Publishing on 06 June 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Historical, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Narrator: Lucy Gaskell, Morven Christie
Length: 10 hours 7 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Free Download
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three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Ormaie, France // England – Various (mid-1930s – early 1940s)

First Line(s): I am a coward.

When it comes to Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity there is a lot of suspension of disbelief that must occur on the reader end of things. For while its a beautifully written story the series of events that occur in the first half of the book just would never have happened. Not that a young girl wouldn’t have been captured and tortured by the Nazi’s but that her interrogators would have allowed her to weave her story of nonsense for as long as they did when they were trying to obtain valuable information.

There were also a lot of crazy inconsistencies throughout the narrative of Code Name Verity and I know some of it was because Verity was weaving her little deceptions but some of it just did not make sense with the time period or the history of the war. So I found myself sighing a lot. Especially when a slip of a girl, no matter how smart and talented, was able to fool so many soldiers in the German army. I get that Verity was good but again they wouldn’t have allowed her to tell her history and the history of Maddie for as long as she did as there was no value to that story. Yes it was a pretty story but it lacked substance.

Code Name Verity Quote

Despite all my issues with Code Name Verity I did like the beginning of the book. That portion of the story that was told by Verity. I liked the narrator for that section, Lucy Gaskell, and it was her narration that kept me listening even as the story annoyed me. A good narrator can make or break a book and the Gaskell certainly kept me invested. I didn’t like Morven Christie’s narration as much but I think that was do in part that I didn’t really like the POV of that section. For I’ve listened to clips of Christie of on other audios and I like that snippets so I definitely think that it was the text and not the narrator that caused my dislike.

There is a lot of bait and switch in Code Name Verity and even though I guess the bulk of the story early on I didn’t mind as much. What I did mind was how the second half was almost a whole different book with a whole different writing style. And the clever clues that were laid out in the first half were swept aside and the reader was bludgeoned with revelations and told over and over just how smart and clever Verity was. Events just took on that too good to be real aspect and so my interest in the story started to plummet.

Perhaps, Code Name Verity, just had too much hype surrounding it that I set my expectations high. But I don’t see the masterful novel that others who read it before me did. I was frustrated throughtout most of the story and often rolled my eyes at some of the revels. If I had read this in print I probably would have DNF’d after tossing the book across the room a few dozen times. But I liked the narrator so I persevered. I’m not sorry that I read it as Code Name Verity was well written I just wasn’t a total fangirl for the plot.

irishdarkblue IR - Code Name Verity

Add Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add The Wrath and the Dawn  by Renee Ahdieh to Goodreads. (Review coming soon)

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