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Genre: Diseases

Friday, July 8, 2016

Audio Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Six of Crows by Leigh BardugoSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Narrator: Brandon Rubin, David LeDoux, Elizabeth Evans, Jay Snyder, Lauren Fortgang, Roger Clark, Tristan Morris
Series: Six of Crows,
Published by Brilliance Audio on 29 Sept 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Diseases, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Mystery & Detective, People of Color, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Suspense, Witches & Wizards, Young Adult
Length: 15 hrs and 9 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Shadow & Bone, Summer Days and Summer Nights

Place(s) Traveled To: Ketterdam, Kerch // Dierholm, Fjerda

First Line(s): Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.

Narrators: Jay Snyder (Matthias), David LeDoux (Kaz), Brandon Rubin (Jesper), Lauren Fortgang (Inej), Roger Clark (Pekka), Elizabeth Evans (Nina), and Tristan Morris (Joost)

Confession time, although this won’t come as a surprise to some, but I did not like SHADOW & BONE (my review). It was such a struggle to get through and I just couldn’t be bothered with the other books in that series. So when I heard that Leigh Bardugo’s next series was also set in the Grisha universe I wasn’t sure if I would read SIX OF CROWS. But I was curious and so I kept sussing out what people thought about it and then when I was looking for a new audiobook it just up and stumbled into my basket. The SIX OF CROWS audio is a full cast recording and uses different narrators for each POV. I was intrigued by this and it wasn’t long before the story grabbed a hold of me in a way that SHADOW & BONE never did.

Curiosity

I’ll admit SIX OF CROWS did start a little slow but it wasn’t long before I was engrossed in the story. I loved how all the different narrators approached this story and the life that they gave to these characters. Each narrator really helped bring out the personality of the characters, not just the one of the POV they were acting out but all the characters that they voiced. It was interesting to see how the narrators saw the others in this motley crew and I never had any issues figuring out who was who. I also found it  very help to listen to the audio as I’m sure I’d have stumbled over many of the names and words used in this book.

Six of Crows Quote

At its heart SIX OF CROWS is a heist story and if you like a good heist story then you will like this book. There is intrigue and betrayal and a whole lot of shenanigans. But its also a story of friendship, of family, and of finding oneself despite all of the odds. Its a coming of age story and its even a love story on some levels. There really is something for everyone in SIX OF CROWS and its fast paced enough to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I know that I spent every free moment I could listening to this audio because once I became invested in this story I couldn’t stop listening. I just wanted to know more and when I hit the end I was bereft because it was over.

Another thing I like about SIX OF CROWS is that it has an ending. Oh there are still things that are left to be done and even a wee cliff hanger but you know were most of the players stand and you see the set up for things that will happen in CROOKED KINGDOM. But best of all, its not predictable. I have no idea where this story is going I just have my hopes and my fears on what Bardugo is going to go. SIX OF CROWS is an intricately woven story and I h ave no doubts that CROOKED KINGDOM is going to be the same. There are twists and turns around every corner and a whole lot of heartache and shenanigans ahead.

I did not expect to like SIX OF CROWS as much as I did. I wasn’t even sure that I would read it. But I am so very very glad that I did because I was so engrossed in this story. For me, its a whole different style and delivery than SHADOW & BONE. The characters have more depth and they are smart and feisty and while flawed they aren’t broken. Bardugo weaves in the history of the Grisha world and the backstorys of this crews expertly in the story that there are no slow info dump moments. SIX OF CROWS is definitely a story that can be read independently of SHADOW & BONE. So if you haven’t gotten around to reading that one yet, or if you are like me and you didn’t like it all that much I would say that you can easily pick this one up and know what is going on with the world and not be lost.

thumbs up

irishdarkblue

IR - Six of Crows

Add The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Heist Society by Ally Carter to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review: The Epidemic by Suzanne Young

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: The Epidemic by Suzanne YoungThe Epidemic by Suzanne Young
Series: The Program,
Also in this series: The Program, The Treatment, The Remedy
Published by Simon Pulse on 29 April 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Romance, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Book Expo (BEA-ALA-et al)
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: The Program, The Treatment, The Remedy

Place(s) Traveled To: Portland, Oregon / Roseburg, Oregon / Eugene, Oregon / Myrtle Creek , Oregon/ Grants Pass, Oregon / Weed, California

First Line(s): My entire life is a lie.

When I finished THE REMEDY by Suzanne Young I wanted to immediately jump into its sequel, THE EPIDEMIC because whoa Nelly that was one crazy way to end a book!! Thankfully, this was just a duology so I knew that Young couldn’t toy with my emotions TOO much but it was still a wild and crazy ride from the start of THE EPIDEMIC all the way until the end. I firmly believe that Suzanne Young is an evil mastermind as its pure genius how she connects all her books in this series together. I admit, there were times where I gasped allowed at a reveal and was taken by surprise by some of the twists and turns in the story. In the end, about the only real coherent thing I could say for THE EPIDEMIC is that it was mind blowingly good.

Blew My Mind

I still didn’t like, or trust, Deacon for much of the book but I did eventually come around to that ship. But who I shipped most was Quinn and all the things that she went through throughout THE EPIDEMIC. She had such an amazing story ARC that I am so very very sad to see it all come to an end. Although its good for Quinn because after what she went through I don’t think she’d survive any more of what Young could cook up for her. (Have I mentioned that Young is an evil author? Because if not she is.)

lots of feelings

THE EPIDEMIC is a book that kept me on the very edge of my seat from start to finish and one that I couldn’t put down once I started. I pretty much read THE EPIDEMIC in a single sitting and barely paused to eat or do anything because I was so invested in what would happen next. THE EPIDEMIC was so creepily delicious and by the end I was an emotional wreck of a reader who just wanted to cry in a corner and then maybe re-read THE PROGRAM because I think that book will be even more creepily good now that I know what I know about you know what.

the more you know

 

I have so much that I want to say about THE EPIDEMIC but its hard to do so without spoiling anything in the series. This is definitely one of those books where its best to go in fairly blind because then everything just feels a little bit more raw and the discoveries are that much more exciting. I also have real trouble finding words to fully express my feelings and thoughts about THE EPIDEMIC but I can show you what I was thinking as I read it via my Goodreads updates:

epidemic reactions

This world that Young has created in her Program series is nothing short of fantastic and all too scarily real. As you read this series you can see how these progression of events could happen and that just makes it all the more terrifying. Young is also a super talented writer and just has this way with words and language that really set a scene and pulls out real and raw emotions from a reader. I always become so invested in her stories and when each one ends I am left pining for the next one. If you haven’t experienced the crazy emotional roller coaster ride that is then what are you waiting for? Its totally worth it…and I’ll be waiting for you over on twitter with hugs and cookies if you need them.

shock - still processing

irishdarkblue

IR - The Remedy

 

Add The Remedy by Suzanne Young to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Altered by Jennifer Rush to Goodreads (Click here for my review.)

Add The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

five-stars
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Blog Tour Review + Excerpt: The Natural History of Us by Rachel Harris

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Blog Tour Review + Excerpt: The Natural History of Us by Rachel Harris

Blog Tour Review + Excerpt: The Natural History of Us by Rachel HarrisThe Natural History of Us by Rachel Harris
Series: The Fine Art of Pretending
Also in this series: The Fine Art of Pretending
Published by Spencer Hill on 05 April 2016
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Diseases, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Pages: 297
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Taste the Heat, Seven Day Fiance, Accidently Married on Purpose, The Fine Art of Pretending, You're Still the One

Rachel Harris’s THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US is already getting swoons from readers everywhere! We can’t wait for you to get your hands on it. Known for her sweet romances, Rachel’s THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US, is no different! Check out everything we have for you on this amazing title and then go grab your copy today. Justin and Peyton’s story is sure to put a smile on your face and keep you turning pages long into the night!

Review

Place(s) Traveled To: Fairwood City, Texas

First Line(s): They say once rodeo gets into your blood, you’re never the same.

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US by Rachel Harris is a companion story to THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING (my review) which I read and enjoyed last year. In FINE ART the main character Aly wants to date her long time crush, Justin, and uses her BFF Brandon to help her out. Things don’t work out the way Aly plans and while she finds her HEA Justin does not. I liked Justin’s character in FINE ART so was really curious to see who Harris would pair him with in THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US. In this book we meet Peyton who is a smart, quiet girl who just happens to share a past with Justin. We learn of their history via flashbacks as they reconnect in the present when they are forced to work together on a school assignment. Which Justin sees as an opportunity to win her back and Peyton sees as the worst punishment ever.

While THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US is told in classic Harris style there was just something missing in it for me to love it completely. For me, the flashbacks just took away from the story as they were overly long and the lead ins to them were a bit too cliched. Learning the history of Justin and Peyton is important but I think it was just too drawn out and I wanted more of them in the now. There was just so much potential for their story and in the various class assignments that the two of them had that just weren’t really explored. But the think that bothered me more about THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US was how Peyton had a boyfriend for a good 75% of the book. I do not like love triangles and while this wasn’t as angsty as they tend to be it still could have been a cleaner story without the added complication of a boyfriend.

What I did like was how Justin and Peyton interacted together. They were cute together and their personalities fit well. I do think that Peyton was a little too forgiving but I also liked how Justin worked to prove himself to her. I liked how his character changed for the player to the committed boyfriend and I would have liked to see this story continue on for a few more chapters just to see them as a couple. Justin’s backstory hurt my heart at times as well and I thought that he was a boy who really needed a hug and I liked that Peyton saw beyond the facade and saw the real him.

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US isn’t a perfect book but it is a quick read and is out just in time for beach season. This is a great book to read on the beach or by the pool as its just not overly complicated. Its a fun coming of age story with some more serious undertones as Justin and Peyton are both working through some life issues that they are both too young to deal with. I adored Peyton’s family and her BFF Faith and really wish that they’d had more on page time. In the end, I liked THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US but it I just wanted sometimes more from this story so I didn’t love it. But I do think that it will appeal to many of my readers….after all….I do tend to be harder on books than all of you. If you liked THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING then you will most likely like this one.

 

irishdarkblue

 

 

Excerpt

“Hold out your hand.” At the expression on his face, I rolled my eyes. “Just do it.” Cautiously, as if I was going to put out a cobra or something, he uncurled his fingers and lifted his palm. I dropped a small silver coin in the center. “For luck.”

Wonder warred with confusion in his gorgeous brown eyes and my heart melted.

“On this side there’s a horseshoe,” I said, my cheeks warming with a blush. “You know, the universal symbol for luck… and a small reminder of me.”

I bit my lip, hoping he didn’t think that was too corny—or that it revealed too much.

I flipped the coin over, exposing the other side, and my fingers slid across his rough skin. My breath caught. When I lifted my eyes, I found him watching me with so much intensity, so much heat, that an actual shiver rolled through me. Just like in my favorite books.

Huh. So that was what smoldering looked like. Good to know.

I swallowed hard and noticed him do the same, and nothing could hold back my smile. Justin glanced down and laughed. “Kick some ass!” he read, skimming his fingernail over my initials.

“I figured…” I cleared my throat. “I thought you could hide it in your sock or something,” I said, unable to tell if he liked the gift or not. He just kept staring at it. “If it’s dumb, you don’t have to—”

“No.”

He’d said it so quietly I almost wasn’t sure he’d spoken at all. But then he closed his hand around the coin and raised his head. Time ceased to exist as Justin’s eyes trailed across my face. I held my breath waiting and a sweet smile crossed his face.

“Damn.” He shook his head softly. “You’ve done it now.”

“What?” I asked, hoping whatever it was that it was a good thing. “What did I do?”

Justin merely shook his head again and smiled. “Wait for me after the game.” Shifting his gaze to the old concession stand, he took a step back and said, “Over there, okay?”

When I nodded, excitement lodging in my throat, making it impossible to speak, he winked and then took off to join his teammates. As I watched his cute butt in those uniform pants run across the field, a giddy grin found my lips.

 

 

 

TNHoU - Signed Books

You can order a signed and/or personalized copy of THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US now through April 8th HERE!

TNHoU - Tour Teaser 1

 

About THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US:

One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who’s forever owned his heart.

Justin Carter has a secret. He’s not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy…and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart three years ago and made sure to ruin any chance she’d ever forgive him.

Peyton Williams is a liar. She pretends to be whole, counting down the days until graduation and helping her parents at the family ranch. But the truth is, she’s done everything she can to get over Justin, and salvation is just around the corner. With graduation one short month away, she’ll soon break free from the painful memories and start her life fresh. Of course, she has to get through working with him on one last assignment first.

For Justin, nothing ever felt as right as being with Peyton, and now that fate’s given him a shot at redemption, he’s determined to make the most of it. And for Peyton…well, Justin Carter has always been her kryptonite.

Order THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US Today!

Amazon **Barnes and Noble ** Kobo ** IndieBound

Add to your Goodreads

 

Rachel Harris - Author photoAbout Rachel Harris:

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!

 

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter Signup ** Goodreads

 

 

TNHoU - Tour Teaser 3

 

Tour Stops

Rachel Harris’s THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US– Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

March 28th

For the Love of Books & Alcohol – Excerpt

A Leisure Moment – Review

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

Home.Love.Books. – Review

My Nook, Books & More – Excerpt

Swoony Boys Podcast – Review & Excerpt

JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC – Excerpt

March 29th

A Crave For Books – Review

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Angel Reads – Review

Girl with a Pen and a Dream – Excerpt

Lovin’ Los Libros – Review & Excerpt

I Read Indie – Excerpt

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

March 30th

Bookish Things & More – Review & Excerpt

Stuck In Books – Review & Excerpt

Reading Adventurously – Review & Excerpt

Typical Distractions – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

March 31st

Dazzled by Books – Review & Excerpt

Kindle and Me – Review & Excerpt

The Cover Contessa – Review & Excerpt

Book Groupies – Excerpt

We All Make Mistakes in Books – Review & Excerpt

The Bibliophile Confessions – Review & Excerpt

Ticket To Anywhere – Review & Excerpt

April 1st

Bookaholics Reading Haven – Review & Excerpt

Books Eater – Review & Excerpt

SprinkleofBooks – Excerpt

Melena’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Ficwishes – Review & Excerpt

Gaga Over Books – Review & Excerpt

My fictional escape – Review & Excerpt

April 2nd

Collector of book boyfriends – Excerpt

Caitlin Audet – Excerpt

Andi’s ABCs – Review

My Slanted Bookish Ramblings – Review

A Dream Within A Dream – Excerpt

Defiantly Deviant – Review

Book Briefs – Review

April 3rd

The Romance Reviews – Review

Cheyanne Young – Review & Excerpt

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Review

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Review & Excerpt

Ashleyz Wonderland – Excerpt

Blogging For The Love Of Authors And Their Books – Review & Excerpt

April 4th

The bookworms obsession blog – Review

Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous – Review & Excerpt

Addicted to Books – Review & Excerpt

Bookish Escapes – Review & Excerpt

Adventures of a Book Junkie – Review & Excerpt

The Bookish Thought – Review

Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

April 5th

Book it – Review & Excerpt

Julie Antonovich Reece – Excerpt

Book Junkie: Not-So-Anonymous – Review & Excerpt

YA Book Madness – Excerpt

The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

A Full Bookshelf – Review

April 6th

Books and Boys Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Reading Is My Bliss – Review

Behind Closed Covers – Review & Excerpt

Jackie’s Book World – Review

The Procrastinator’s Corner – Review & Excerpt

KatyaRath – Review

The book slayer77 – Review

April 7th

Southern Vixens Book Obsessions – Excerpt

The Lovely Books – Review

thebookdragon – Review & Excerpt

Aira Reads – Review

Reviews from the Heart – Review & Excerpt

Literary Misfit – Review & Excerpt

Love & Life & Learning – Review & Excerpt

April 8th

Alpha Book Club – Excerpt

Crawling Over the Pages – Review

Three chicks and their books – Review & Excerpt

Reviews By Rah – Review & Excerpt

All For Love of the Word – Excerpt

Library of a Book Witch – Review & Excerpt

The Bookmark Blog – Review & Excerpt

 

TNHoU - Tour Teaser 2 Contest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t miss Rachel Harris’s

The-Fine-Art-of-Pretending
THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING!

 

three-stars
Divider

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola YoonEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Published by Delacorte on 01 September 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Diseases, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Los Angeles, California // Kahului, Hawaii

First Line(s): I’ve read more books than you. It doesn’t matter how many you’ve read. I’ve read more. Believe me. I’ve had the time.

When I first heard of EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING I wasn’t sure if it would be a book for me. For one, its an Alloy Entertainment book and me and packaged books don’t always get along the best and two because of its topic. But then I kept hearing people rave about it and so I decided to give it a try. Now normally, hyped up books and I don’t get along so that coupled with the packaged book and you’d think that EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING would be a total miss for me but lo and behold I ended up loving this one.

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING is a story told from Madeline’s POV. Madeline is your typical teenager and she likes to shop and read and she gets into fights with her mom. But Madeline isn’t like most teens as she lives in a bubble. Literally. She is a girl that can’t go outside because the outside world may kill her as she’s allergic to pretty much everything. Her mother is a doctor and her primary caregiver and has turned the house into a refuge of sorts and tries to give Madeline a normal life. Madeline is okay with this until new neighbors, including teen boy Olly, move in and then Madeline begins to yearn for more.

Everything Everything Quote

Special thanks to AndiABCs for helping me pick out which quote to use!

I really enjoyed Madeline’s voice and I was totally sucked into her story. I found it hard to put EVERYTHING EVERYTHING down and read it quickly. Madeline was smart and funny and I loved how she and Olly found a way to communicate when she wasn’t able to go outside or even open a window. Its a fast paced story that makes you feel all the feels. And even though I totally predicted how this whole story would play out in the beginning it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story. Madeline and Olly’s relationship was everything and I couldn’t get enough of it.

I do wish that there had been a little more from the ending. After all that build up I wanted more and so felt a little cheated. There just weren’t enough words to satisfy me but what words were there were well written. I enjoyed Nicola Yoon’s story telling and I am already looking forward to her next book. EVERYTHING EVERYTHING is the sort of book that reminds me to take chances and to not judge too harshly before I give a story a chance. Because you never know what you might be missing if you don’t try to see if something is worthwhile.

irishdarkblue

IR - Everything Everything

 

Add Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy to Goodreads.

Add Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas to Goodreads.

four-stars
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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Review: Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert

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

Review: Love Me Tenor by Annabeth AlbertLove Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert
Series: Perfect Harmony, Book 2
Also in this series: Treble Maker
Published by Kensington on 16 February 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Diseases, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, GLBT, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, New Adult, People of Color, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 266
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Treble Maker, Status Update, Beta Test, Off Base (Out of Uniform, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada // Kitsilano, British Columbia, Canada // Granville Island, British Columbia, Canada // Seattle, Washington // Tacoma, Washington // Olympia, Washington // Washington DC

First Line(s): The heater was broken again.

LOVE ME TENOR is the second book in Annabeth Albert’s Perfect Harmony series which began with TREBLE MAKER (my review.) LOVE ME TENOR follows Trevor who we first meet in TREBLE MAKER and who I didn’t get the swoony boy feels from in that book. But oh how Trevor gave all the swoons when it came to his own story! Like Lucas, Trevor was raised in a very conservative household but unlike Lucas Trevor’s family wasn’t nearly as accepting leaving Trevor homeless and penniless. So getting a call to be on a second reality show that includes room and board was like a sign from the heavens. The catch? He has to pretend to be a couple with Jalen a broody worldy jock-like guy.

Trevor and Jalen aren’t quite oil and water but they don’t get off on the best foot as each makes assumptions on the other. However, as they get to know each other better and as they deal with the over the top antics of the other two guys in their group. LOVE ME TENOR is a book that gave me all of the feels. I fell hard for Trevor and Jalen and their story just made my heart ache. Which, as many of you know, is something I just love in a story.

Love Me Tenor Quote

LOVE ME TENOR is highly readable and I found it really hard to put down. If I’m honest (and you know I always am) I’ll confess that I read this one in a day and I hated for it to end. With LOVE ME TENOR I think its safe to say that I am a total fangirl of Annabeth Albert and I want more books from her. You can be sure I’ll be checking out her backlist titles in the future but I definately want more books in the Perfect Harmony and Gaymers series because…THE FEELS!!!

One thing that I liked about LOVE ME TENOR was how that it was more than just a romance. Yes, there was the reality show aspect of it but there was also the deeper story lines involving Trevor and Jalen’s backstories. LOVE ME TENOR is a book that has depth as well as heart and its one that I can’t recommend enough. While I would have liked to have some cameos from Lucas and Cody I was pretty happy with how things played out. And I know that LOVE ME TENOR is a book that I will re-read a time or two or three in the future. So do yourself a favor and pick this one up today!

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Love Me Tenor

Special thanks to Annabeth Albert for her read-a-like recommendations!

Add Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan to Goodreads.

Add Calling the Show by JA Rock to Goodreads.

four-stars
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Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: Coming in from the Cold by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Coming in from the Cold by Sarina BowenComing in from the Cold by Sarina Bowen
Series: ,
Published by Self-Published on 01 May 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Diseases, Emotions & Feelings, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance
Pages: 208
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Hamilton, Vermont

First Line(s): Willow needed to keep the old truck on the road and out of the snowy ditch for just one more mile.

Its no secret that I am a big fan of Sarina Bowen and so I thought that it was finally time to check out her first book, COMING IN FROM THE COLD. COMING IN FROM THE COLD has an interesting meet and greet where the main characters, Dane and Willow, are both stranded on back road in Vermont in the middle of a snow storm. They huddle together in one car and one thing leads to another and they sleep together. There is chemistry between Willow and Dane to make the one night stand believeable but afterwards there is just too much insta. Insta-love, insta-conflict, insta-forgiveness.

Dane is likable and charming in the opening chapters but then he quickly goes from sweet to asshole and not in a delightful roguish way. He is kind of terrible to Willow and she’s already gone through so much with her cheating ex and the circumstances that ex left her in. Willow is a sweet girl and probably a little too naive for her own good. Which leads her to make some poor life choices. Like moving to Vermont with her cheating ex, letting said ex walk all over her, and falling for the asshole she randomly meets on the side of the road.

Coming in from the Cold Quote

I get that there is a reason behind Dane’s behavior and how he does have some legitimate concerns about the consequences from his one night with Willow but there are better ways he could have gone about things. He went from nice to asshole to nice again in a crazy whiplash inducing way. While I’m glad that his attitude did change over the course of the book it was just too instantaneous for it to seem real. He never really apologized to Willow for his churlish behavior and she just took him back without much resistance.

COMING IN FROM THE COLD wasn’t a bad story but it wasn’t great either. Its a quick read but it just felt a little disjointed in that the first half had a whole different vibe than the last half. The ending of COMING IN FROM THE COLD was also a little too cutesy for me which just made it feel a bit unrealistic. Even though I didn’t love COMING IN FROM THE COLD I do still plan on checking out the other books in this series to see how things go and to finish up reading all of Sarina Bowen’s back list to help tide me over until her next book is released.

irishdarkblue

IR - Coming in from the Cold

Add Running Back by Allison Parr to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Knowing the Score by Kat Latham to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Friday, January 22, 2016

Audio Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Cress by Marissa MeyerCress by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles,
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Fairest, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 14 Feb 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Futuristic Romance, Love & Romance, People & Places, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Survival Stories, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Fairest, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Traveled To: Earth’s Orbit // Luna // Sahara Desert // New Beijing, The Commonwealth // Africa

First Line(s): Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixteen hours.

CRESS is the third book in Marrissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series which are all dystopian sci-fi stories that are loosely based on fairy tales. CRESS is the story of Rapunzel and mainly follows the character of Cress and Captain Thorne but as with the other books in the series the story ARC often shifts POV to include all the main characters we’ve met so far. Cress is Lunar but unlike most from Luna she has no gift and is referred to as a shell. She’s feared by those on Luna as the Luna gift doesn’t work on her and she can’t be manipulated that way. However, she was taken as an infant form her family and raised in seclusion and so can be manipulated in other ways as she’s starved for love and affection.

But even though Cress wants to be liked and to please her Luna guardians she’s not a weakling. She isn’t the strongest of the characters, physically, but mentally she can blow most away and her talent behind a computer knows no equal. She is courageous when she decides to defy her country in order to help Cinder and sets off a chain of events that frees her from her satellite prison and brings her closer to the merry band of misfits. Of all the books in the Lunar Chronicles series I’ve enjoyed CRESS the best. I really liked her relationship with Thorne and I liked how she changed and grew over the course of the book and learned just how strong she truly was. My biggest disappointment was that because the POV is so divided now we didn’t get to spend as much time in Cress’s POV as I would have liked.

Cress Quote

In terms of plot, there is a lot of movement but not a whole lot of concrete action. Things happen and its not boring but there is still A LOT of ground to cover in the final book, WINTER, in order for this motley crew to overthrow a kingdom and save the people of Earth from the wicked queen. I’m worried that the next book will be rushed and convoluted especially after some of the reveals that happen in CRESS. I still get frustrated every time they refer to needed an antidote and my eye gets a little twitchy but I am trying to move past that though I don’t think I will succeed until the series is over.

For me, there weren’t a ton of crazy big reveals and I was able to predict many things before they happened. Heck, there are things that were revealed in this book that I was predicting in CINDER (my review) so in terms of mystery its not the best for an avid reader of mysteries. That said I can see the appeal of this story and the fun that people have with it. The series does get better as the story progresses even though I think the author relies too much on switching up the POV. When things get a little difficult to explain Meyer’s just has another POV take over and so at 75% in there is a whole new voice to learn. Its frustrating and unnecessary and probably my second biggest complaint of the series.

Rebecca Soler returns to narrate CRESS and I love what she brings to the table with her narration. Of all the characters in this world her voice seems best suited to Cress and she really helps bring that character to life. Cress is young and innocent as a result of being so sheltered and Soler really breaths life into her character. I’m not sure when I will read WINTER, its a heafty book weighing in at 824 pages and I’ve enjoyed listening to these on audio and am currently waiting in line for a copy to come in at the library. This series started off rocky for me but I am looking forward to seeing how it all ends and if my theories are correct or not.

irishdarkblue

IR - Cinder

 

Add Cinder by Marissa Meyer to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-half-stars
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Friday, October 16, 2015

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffIlluminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files,
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on 20 October 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Suspense, Young Adult
Pages: 608
Format: ARC
Source: Book Expo (BEA-ALA-et al)
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Kerenzie IV and Deep Space via the Alexander and Hypatia  (Year: 2575)

First Line(s): “So here’s the file that almost killed me, Director.”

When I first picked up ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff I wasn’t sure what to expect but I do adore a good sci-fi and I was intrigued by the mixed media concept. So I crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t be disappointed by another poorly done sci-fi story and I dove in expecting to read this one slowly over the course of the month.

Fingers Crossed

Well the joke was on me because it wasn’t long before I found myself unable to put this book down. I was totally immersed in ILLUMINAE and this series of gives pretty much sums up how I felt once I was fully invested in the story:

can't stop reading

why are you doing this

ten in the rain

not ok

Star-Trek crying

lots of feelings

a river of tears

Seriously. I was a puddle of emotion and even now I find it really hard to put all my thoughts into words. This book just took me by surprise and even now long after I’ve finished it I am still locked in its grip. There is action and mystery and horror and romance and suspense and just so much more. The books formatting makes for a quick read and while there are times when mixed media can feel cold and impersonal in a book it really works well with this story. Despite the entire story being told in “found documents” (emails, video transcripts, IMs, etc) you really get to know all of these characters. Oh how I felt for Kady and Ezra and OH MY STARS how terrified I became of Aidan!

Illuminae Quote

scared

ILLUMINAE is a book that took me totally by surprise and literally made me gasp aloud. I can’t tell you the last time that happened with a book. It also brought me to tears and made my heart ache so very much. It was filled with everything that I love in a story and was also so much more. The story…the characters…the setting…it was just all so right and even though this book is 600 pages in length I devoured this book in just 2 days. And let me tell you the ending…oh that ending…it was the worst part. Cliffhanger.

no

Which I hate because I have the patience of gnat but at the same time it was just so fitting for the story. ILLUMINAE is filled with lots of delightful twists and turns and I can not wait to see where things will go in the next book. This is one of those books that you really need to read to understand just how amazing it was and if you trust my reviews at all then trust when I tell you that you need to read this book. It was just that good.

fainting

irishdarkblue

IR - Illuminae

Add Across the Universe by Beth Revis to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey to Goodreads.

 

Illuminae Collage

 

Ten-Rose-badwolf-tenth-rose-21263420-500-278
five-stars
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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Audio Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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

Audio Review: Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles,
Also in this series: Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 03 Jan 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Futuristic Romance, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 10 Hours 6 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Traveled To: New Beijing, The Commonwealth (Future)

First Line(s): The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.

Small fact about me. I have issues reading the last book in a series so there are times when I’ll wait to read a series until all the books are out (and yes, this totally is a trait of my mother but we won’t share that with her, right friends?). Another small fact, hyped up books and I don’t always get along. So its because of those two small facts that I waited until now to give CINDER by Marissa Meyer’s a shot. Because even though I know that hyped books and I are like oil and water I still get pulled into the buzz around them and right now everyone seems to be all aglow over the upcoming release of WINTER (Goodreads) which is the final book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I thought to myself, if I start CINDER now and liked it I can then bounce from book to book and get to WINTER around publication and therefore not end up with yet another unfinished series on my plate. For I do hate to say goodbye to a beloved story.

Unfortunately, CINDER and I didn’t really get along as well as I would have hoped. First, there were just too many things that happened for convince. Like Cinder’s net-link in her brain so that she can easily look up anything that she could ever possibly think of so it makes getting out of tight situations so much easier. CINDER was also highly predictable. I pretty much knew very early on just how this whole book was going to go and not just the book but the rest of the series too. This is not something that a reader should be able to guess at only 20% into a story. Friends on Twitter tried to feed me red herrings but seriously folks that just frustrates me more than the predictability of a story. If I’m right just say I’m right and no cryptic bullshit…because I am not a fan of the cryptic. I was also bored throughout most of the story because once again in a YA fantasy/sci-fi book nothing happens until the tale end of the story. I get that CINDER is the first in a series and since its a futuristic world that there is more setup and world building involved than your typical contemporary read.

Cinder Quote

I get it I do and if the world building was there I may have enjoyed things more as I unearthed the treasures of this futuristic Earth. But the world building was just not there. There was very little detail given other than the very basic of things. We’re in the future…ok so flying cars! And internet everywhere. Hmm…what else can we toss in robots? OK! Oh and aliens who aren’t really aliens but lets give these former humans POWERS because why not?  Yup…OK we now have a futuristic world no more details. Oh wait…in the future things must get worse before they can get better so lets give this one lots of dystopian qualities because dystopia is HOT HOT HOT now. It was just all so very generic and as such made it hard to visualize this world that Cinder lives in. And then we get to my other least favorite part of CINDER. This is probably the part that I disliked the most in the book and turned me off the story more than anything else. The virus that was quickly spreading and killing off the world’s populace. The virus that seemed to change from person to person in the blink of an eye. The virus that had no clear means of how it was spread. That no one could figure anything about despite being so technologically advanced.

Another small fact about me. I am a science nerd and at one time thought about becoming a Virologist. So if there is one thing I know about its viruses and this book just things wrong on so many levels. But the most basic of which was how throughout the book they were all looking for an antidote. It was said over and over and it just made the science nerd in me cringe each and every time. Why you might ask? Well, I’m glad you did. Let’s do a quick google search on the word and see how antidote is defined.

ANTIDOTE: an·ti·dote / ˈan(t)iˌdōt/ noun

1.  a medicine taken or given to counteract a particular poison.

Do you see the world virus in there at all? No? Now lets do another quick google search:

VACCINE: vac·cine / vakˈsēn/ noun 
  1. a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease

Now of these two words which is the most likely to use to combat a deadly virus? If you said vaccine then you get a gold star. I could have forgiven and overlooked so much on CINDER and how terrible its plague was written if Meyer had just gotten this one small word right. Ok, maybe not but this incorrect use of the word antidote really made my eye twitch and just grated on my nerves in its wrongness. And because I listened to CINDER on audio I wasn’t able to change the word in my head everytime it came up because someone else was reading the story to me. Which just made it all the more pronounced.

Even though there was much about this book that annoyed me, I did enjoy Rebecca Soler’s narration of it. I liked how she breathed a little bit of life into a dull story because this is one that I’d tried in print several times over the last few years but I kept putting it aside as it never grabbed my attention. Soler was Cinder and I liked what she did with the story. However, CINDER is a book that often jumps POVs and in that head-jumping way that I dislike so much and so there are several times when we are in a male POV and as such I would have preferred a male narrator. Granted since CINDER is filled with head-jumping this wouldn’t be an easy thing to do but Soler didn’t do the best with male voices and it was often hard to tell who was supposed to be speaking since they all sounded alike.

In the end I was left with a feeling a disappointment there was nothing about this book that had me dying to move on to the next book in the series SCARLET (goodreads). Other than the fact that my Lunar Chronicles obsessed friends on Twitter say that SCARLET is their favorite and its better than CINDER. I just wish that I felt the love of CINDER that they did because the premise was interesting it just fell apart throughout its execution.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Cinder

 

Add Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult4 Comments

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses,
Published by Bloomsbury on 05 May 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Diseases, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Love & Romance, Royalty, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Assassin's Blade, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire

Place(s) Traveled To: Prythian – Unnamed Village // Spring Court // Under the Mountain

First Line(s): The forest had become a labyrinth of snow and ice.

Its not a huge secret that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Throne of Glass (my review) but I gave it the old college try and read 3 of the books before calling it quits. And just because I didn’t like one series doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll give up on an author entirely so when I heard that Sarah J. Maas’s newest series was going to be based off of a fairy tale I was intrigued. I do love a good fairy retelling after all. At first I was a little disappointed that A Court of Thorns and Roses was using Beauty and the Beast as its primary base as that is one of the most over done fairy tales in print and on screen. But A Court of Thorns and Roses wasn’t just a Beauty and the Beast retelling it also contained elements of East of the Sun, West of the Moon and Cinderella.

 A Court of Thorns and Roses started off a bit slow for me and I really disliked Feyre’s sisters. To me its not all that realistic for the youngest sibling to take care of the older ones but its a common enough trope and does help add to the Cinderella aspect of the story. I did start to enjoy this one once Feyre moved into the faere world and I enjoyed getting to know Tamlin and Lucian. Lucian is one of my favorite characters in this whole story and I really hope that we get more of him as the series moves forward. I also believed in the friendship and growing chemistry between Feyre and Tamlin and this one totally made my heart ache at times.

A Court of Thorns and Roses Quote

While I did mostly like A Court of Thorns and Roses Feyre did annoy me a lot of the times and I also don’t like the use of the pointless breakup. Seriously, the whole second half of the story could have been avoided if Feyre and Tamlin just talked to each other and were honest. But that would be too easy and you wouldn’t have ‘drama’ so while I wish that things had occurred in a different way I do know that they could have been worse. Overall, I liked the second half of the book but did find that things got a bit repetative at times and am not a fan at the potential brewing of a love triangle to this story. I hate love triangles with a fiery passion and if that happens I will not be a happy reader.

As endings go, this one is relatively mild. I have a pretty good idea on where the next two books in this series will go (assuming that its a trilogy) though only time will tell on if my thoughts are correct or not. I am interested to seeing where things will go but I’m not dying for it as I am with some series that I’ve read. I like the concept of A Court of Thorns and Roses and like most of the characters. If you are like me and you didn’t enjoy Throne of Glass then you might want to consider trying out this book. It has a different tone to it and Feyre, while annoying at times, is a lot stronger and more likable (at least for me) than Celaena.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Court of Thorns and Roses

Add Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt to Goodreads.

Add Cruel Beauty by Rosamond Hodge to Goodreads.

four-stars
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