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Posts Tagged: America: Washington DC

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Review: The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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

Review: The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Fixer, Book 2
Also in this series: The Fixer
Published by Bloomsbury on 07 Jun 2016
Genres: Abduction, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Mystery & Detective, Politics & Intrigue, Social Issues, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: The Fixer, The Naturals

Place(s) Traveled To: Washington, DC

First Line(s): “Tess, has anyone ever told you that you’re an absolute vision when you’re plotting something?” Asher Rhodes shot a lazy grin in my direction.

I don’t know about you dear reader but I was crazy excited to be able to get my hands on THE LONG GAME after finishing the wild ride that was THE FIXER!! There was an ending with THE FIXER but there were also just enough threads to leave this reader lusting for more and THE LONG GAME did not disappoint! THE LONG GAME picks up almost immediately after the events in THE FIXER end only the mysteries are bigger and the stakes higher and poor Tess may just be a tad bit over her head. Tess is still reeling from revelations that happened in THE FIXER and dealing the the consequences of that story so she really doesn’t need anything else going on. But trouble as a way of finding Tess and she just can’t let sleeping dogs lie. After all, who can be a normal teenager when your related to the biggest fixer in DC and go to one of the most elite schools in America?

I was totally sucked into this story right from page one and really hated to put it down for such mundane things as sleep or food. I just needed to see where Jennifer Lynn Barnes would take the story even as she broke my heart a time or two in the process. As I said above the stakes are higher in THE LONG GAME, lives are at stake and there is betrayal around every corner. The twists are twister and Barnes does an amazing job at keeping the reader guessing while not being so obtuse that the big reveal comes out of left field. THE LONG GAME is a crazy intense ride and its so hard to talk about without giving anything away.

One thing I really liked in THE LONG GAME is how Tess really comes into her own despite all the upheavals in her life. She is strong and smart and can take care of so much on her own but she always knows when things are above her and to ask for help. She may run head long into danger at times but she always makes sure that help is on the way. I also like how this series is not romance focused. Yes, there is a romance in the book but it sits more on the sidelines as THE LONG GAME is a straight up thriller. Its a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat while occasionally making you laugh and a few breaks in tension for a kiss or two.

I also really really really hope that this isn’t the end for this series because I would love to see more from Tess and the gang. Especially with some of the reveals that happened in THE LONG GAME. There are still threads that could be followed to bigger and crazier things. Although, I am not entirely sure that my heart could take more of the intensity that Barnes brings to this story. For me, THE LONG GAME was a total edge of my seat read and I count it as one of my top books of the year. You are really missing out on good crafty story telling if you haven’t picked up this series yet. There really aren’t words to describe how good it is just know that you won’t be disappointed if you pick up these books. If you are, then we can’t be friends. (kidding….maybe…gives you haters the stink eye)

intense

 

irishdarkblue IR - The Fixer

 

Add The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes to Goodreads. (click here for my review.)

Add Clarity by Kim Harrington to Goodreads. (click here for my review.)

Add Also Known As by Robin Benway to Goodreads. (click here for my review.)

five-stars
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review: Full Domain by Kindle Alexander

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Full Domain by Kindle AlexanderFull Domain by Kindle Alexander
Series: Nice Guys,
Also in this series: Double Full, Full Disclosure
Published by Self-Published on 12 January 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Police or Firemen, Social Issues
Pages: 434
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Double Full, Full Disclosure

Place(s) Traveled To: Atlanta, Georgia // Washington DC // Midlothian, Texas // Dallas, Texas // Kauai, Hawaii // San Antonio, Texas

First Line(s): “Man, this is turning into one suck-ass day,” Aaron mumbled quietly to no one in particular as he edged his way through the overcrowded and lengthy terminals of the Atlanta International Airport.

What’s a girl to do when she’s invested herself in a trilogy and book three comes out just as you finish book two? Well, you buy that book and immediately start reading it of course! Who cares about all the other books you have to read when there is a mystery resolution that needs to be had! Such is the case with me and FULL DOMAIN by Kindle Alexander. It is also FULL DOMAIN that had me looking into reading the previous books in this series as well so I just *had* to read it. I really enjoyed meeting Kreed and Aaron in the previous book, FULL DISCLOSURE (my review), and was looking forward to how their story would play out.

While I didn’t like FULL DOMAIN as much as I liked FULL DISCLOSURE I still enjoyed this one a lot. I did think that the overall mystery of the series wrapped up a little fast and was a little anti-climatic considering that it took three books to get here. This made the ending drag a bit as it was wrapping up Kreed and Aaron’s story there was no tension or drama that I’d come to expect from this series. I also wasn’t a fan of the Mitch POV chapters. I get that Kindle Alexander loves this character but there was no need to have POV chapters in this book just as there was no need to have his POV in DOUBLE FULL (my review). I adored Mitch, I did, but this wasn’t his story so it was more of a distraction than anything else because all I wanted was more Kreed and Aaraon.

Full Domain Quote

I did really enjoy the characters of Kreed and Aaron though wish there was some sort of explanation of Kreed’s name origin. Especially since his brother had such a normal one but even with the odd name of Kreed it really did fit his character. I also thought that Kreed and Aaron fit well together too even though they were total opposites. They meshed well together as a couple and I loved their push and pull as they worked through their feelings. These boys had some serious chemistry and I just loved their journey to a HEA. But if I am totally honest then I should admit that of the three couples in this series, Mitch and Cody, are my favorites.

FULL DOMAIN was a fun read for me and one that I don’t regret ignoring my other books to get to. I know if I’d tried to read something else before this than that book would have suffered. This series started off rocky but once it found its stride I was totally hooked! FULL DISCLOSURE and FULL DOMAIN both left me wanting more of this world and these characters so I liked the authors note at the end that we would be seeing more of them in future books. I love when an author uses the same universe for their stories and allow cameos to happen. FULL DOMAIN isn’t perfect but it was just what I needed at the time and I can see myself re-reading it in the future. Its a good romance and one that I think you will enjoy if your tastes in any way line up with mine.

irishdarkblue IR - Full Domain

 

Add Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell to Goodreads (Review coming soon, See my Instagram snapshot thoughts here)

Add Status Update by Annabeth Albert to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

three-half-stars
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Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: Full Disclosure by Kindle Alexander

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Full Disclosure by Kindle AlexanderFull Disclosure by Kindle Alexander
Series: Nice Guys, Book 2
Also in this series: Double Full, Full Domain
Published by Self-Published on 16 September 2014
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Police or Firemen, Social Issues, Suspense
Pages: 350
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Double Full, Full Domain

Place(s) Traveled To: Pineville, Louisiana // Austin, Texas // Waco, Texas // Dallas, Texas // Buda, Texas // Washington, DC

First Line(s): The recline of Mitch Knox’s oversized leather chair fit him perfectly.

After the disappointment that was DOUBLE FULL (my review) I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the second book in Kindle Alexander’s Nice Guys series, FULL DISCLOSURE. But my need to know who was behind the nefarious acts in DOUBLE FULL propelled me into picking up this book. Plus, it didn’t hurt that FULL DISCLOSURE was available to borrow from my library’s digital catalog. I walked into FULL DISCLOSURE with low expectations and by the end I was head over heels in love that I was buying a digital copy of the book so I could have it for keeps.

FULL DISCLOSURE picks up not long after DOUBLE FULL ends, Mitch is still on the case but things aren’t progressing as fast or as easily as he would like. Then things happen that escalates matters just as he meets Cody who is a Texas State Trooper to his US Marshall. There are sparks between these two instantly but there is always some cautiousness as well. As Cody, while out, isn’t as open and out as Mitch is. Then of course there is the drama of the case that adds in distance and a little strife into their budding relationship.

Full Disclosure Quote

For me, there was such a world of difference between DOUBLE FULL and FULL DISCLOSURE. I just liked everything about this book so much more. The characters, the plot, the writing…where all just so much better than in the first book. FULL DISCLOSURE totally made my heart ache as I read Mitch and Cody’s story. I just loved the journey this book took them on and felt that they had so much chemistry. I also enjoyed the secondary characters in this book, Kreed and Aaron, as they both really stood out in FULL DISCLOSURE but they never took away from Cody or Mitch’s story.

While I did devour FULL DISCLOSURE I also thought that things were a little rushed at the end. There was a quick escalation of events that didn’t really seem to fit in with the story as a whole. But overall, I couldn’t get enough of this book and was glad that I was on a mini vacation so that I had plenty of time to just sit and read its words. This was a fast paced read and I’m so glad that I decided to pick it up after the disappointment I felt in the first book. Its gems like that that will have me keep trying a series even if the first book doesn’t meet my expectations as you never know how things might progress with just a little time. So definitely give this one a shot if you a looking for a hot, sexy read with a wee bit of cross country action and mystery thrown in for fun!

irishdarkblue

IR - Full Disclosure

Add Status Update by Annabeth Albert to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Audio Review: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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

Audio Review: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Narrator: Amber Faith
Series: The Naturals,
Published by Listening Library on 05 November 2013
Genres: Abduction, Adolescence, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Friendship, Mystery & Detective, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Fixer, The Long Game

Place(s) Traveled To: Denver, Colorado // Washington, DC

First Line(s): The hours were bad.

THE NATURALS by Jennifer Lynn Barnes first came out in 2013 and while it was on my radar then it got shuffled off to the side enough that I forgot about it. Until recently when there just seemed to be a renewed interest in the story as it was mentioned all over my social media. Not long ago I’d read Barnes’s THE FIXER (my review) and I liked her Scandal meets Veronica Mars story and so I requested the audiobook of THE NATURALS when I saw that it was available. THE NATURALS can almost be described as a teenage Criminal Minds as all the kids in the book have these natural profiling abilities. The FBI has collected a bunch of them to live together and to hone their abilities for future careers within the FBI. But of course things are never that easy when it comes to a mystery novel.

There are some added complexities to THE NATURALS first you have an eclectic cast of characters from Cassie (who is our narrator) to numbers nerd Sloane (complete with all the social awkwardness that is sterotypical of the ubersmart) and Lia the natural lie detector. And no YA book would be complete without your broody, chip on his shoulder male love interest and this one has two: Dean and Michael. Which will lead to a love triangle I am sure because you can see the beginnings of one in THE NATURALS but thankfully while there is some teen angst over liking boys and kissing boys the focus on this book isn’t the romance.

The Naturals Quote

One must suspend a lot of disbelief with THE NATURALS, not that there aren’t people out there that aren’t naturals at reading people or a crime scene but that the government would recruit and train them as teenagers. And then of course there is the complex backstories of all the main characters along with the revelation that a killer has turned up over a decade later who is killing woman in the exact same way that Cassie’s mom was killed. A case that was never solved and has haunted Cassie for a variety of reasons.

For me, THE NATURALS was a very slow story. There was a whole lot of sitting around and doing nothing with a few instances where we were supposed to be wowed by Cassie’s ability. There was a lot of angst and indecision and then things just sort of happened and boom the book was done. THE NATURALS was filled with set up and background and as such it suffered by not having a ton of plot on its own. I didn’t fully buy the mystery aspect of it and was just left underwhelmed by it all. I did like the narration of Amber Finch though like most female narrators she suffered with her male voices but overall I enjoyed her style. Her voice is soothing though which doesn’t go along well with a slow and plodding story so this was one that I couldn’t listen to when sitting still else I’d space out.

I didn’t love THE NATURALS as much as I had hoped but I do see the promise of the series.  I think that I will continue with it for at least one more book though the love triangle aspect does concern me. I’m also unsure if I’ll try the audiobook version or switch to a physical read as I liked the narrator but wasn’t all ZOMG must listen more! In the end, this was good not great and I’ll just have to see how things go in KILLER INSTINCT.

IR - The Naturals

Add I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

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

three-stars
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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Review: Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

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

Review: Thicker Than Water by Brigid KemmererThicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Kensington on 29 December 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Police or Firemen, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 322
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Garretts Mill, Virginia // Crisfield, Maryland // Washington D.C

First Line(s): I hate this suit.

When I picked up THICKER THAN WATER by Brigid Kemmerer I was expecting a murder mystery. I wasn’t necessarily expecting an action filled book but I was expecting something a little more than what I got. For me, THICKER THAN WATER, while well written, was very slow. I liked the main characters of Thomas and Charlotte but oh my stars did I have issues with pretty much all the secondary characters! Charlotte’s family was off the hook crazy in some of their reactions and the fact that they could just fly off the handle and make snap judgments with no proof and get away with it bugged me so very much.

I also didn’t fully buy a romance between Charlotte and Thomas. There was no real spark between them in a romantic sense but I did buy them as friends. So it made her betrayal all the more shocking and upsetting as Thomas really only had one person in this entire town who believed in him. I can’t even imagine how hard life must have been for Thomas and I got why he couldn’t leave as he had no real options to do so. But his isolation and accusations made this story all the more heartbreaking to read.

Thicker Than Water Quote

Where THICKER THAN WATER totally falls off the rails for me was in the mystery. There really wasn’t anything to it and there wasn’t a ton of investigation into it either. The conclusion just also left me shaking my head as it just all came out of nowhere. Because what I didn’t know when I picked up THICKER THAN WATER was that there was a paranormal element to the book and it just made for a weird little story. The paranormal aspects only added confusion and clunkiness to this story and it just didn’t seem to fit. There was no explanation for it or when these kids had these powers. This lack of detail also contributed to my dissatisfaction with the ending of THICKER THAN WATER.

I liked THICKER THAN WATER well enough when I was reading it but I found this story easy to put down. And once it was down there was nothing driving me to pick it back up again. The words in THICKER THAN WATER were pretty enough but there wasn’t a whole ton of substance to them. This book was very light on details and explanations and it just left me feeling all meh about it. THICKER THAN WATER is also a tad bit open ended in its conclusion. While the main mystery is solved there are enough open threads that there could be more stories set in this world and these characters. If there are, I’m not entirely sure if they would be stories that I would pick up. I just didn’t like this one enough to really care on what happens next with this crew.

irishdarkblue

IR - Thicker Than Water

Add I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman to Goodreads.

three-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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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Review: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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

Review: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Fixer,
Also in this series: The Long Game
Published by Bloomsbury on 07 July 2015
Genres: Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Naturals, The Long Game

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, Montana // Washington DC // Boston, Massachusetts // Unnamed Virginia

Fist Line(s): As far as I could tell, my history teacher had three passions in life: quoting Shakespeare, identifying historical inaccuracies in cable TV shows, and berating Ryan Washburn.

If you’ve ever heard my stance on book epilogues then you know my stance on book comparisons, you know what I mean, when a book x is compared to book y or z because so rarely is the initial book anything like the ones its compared to. So when I heard that THE FIXER by Jennifer Lynn Barnes was compared to Scandal and Veronica Mars I was intrigued but wary. Veronica Mars is among my more favorite of television shows and while I am not as big a fan of Scandal as I once was I do still tune in every week. With both shows I loved the mystery and the drama and the snark of the characters and these are all things that you will find in THE FIXER. Rarely has a book comparison ever been more perfect because THE FIXER is a combination of those two things and more.

The story centers around Tess Kendrick who is uprooted from her home in Montana to live with her sister, Ivy, who is the Olivia Pope-like character in this book. And because of who Tess’s sister is she sort of gets forced into that role in her new school where things quickly spiral out of control. Along the way you meet a wonderful cast of side characters that really bring this whole story to life. THE FIXER is a fast paced story that I found absolutely addictive. It was smart and funny and kept me on the edge of my seat until I hit the last page. I loved how all of these characters interacted and my only real complaint is that there wasn’t enough romance in the story. Although there is plenty of potential and in some ways I do like how this one just has the beginnings of a relationship because its more real than insta-love.

The Fixer Quote

THE FIXER is filled with mystery, drama and suspense but at its core its a story about family and friendship. Tess and her sister were estranged for many years and there is much animosity and secrets that exist between them. There is tension and angst and anyone with a sibling can probably find something in their relationship to relate to. Not to mention the friendships because as I said the secondary characters in this book are really something special. THE FIXER is a book with meat behind it and when you read it the story feels real. Barnes creates such a vivid world that its so easy to picture the events in your mind as they unfold and this is a book that I would love to see as a TV Series.

THE FIXER is also really hard to talk about without giving anything away. Its a mystery and as such there are twists and turns along with various red herrings to try and fool the readers. There is no major cliff hanger to the book but there are enough open threads that will easily feed into its sequel, THE LONG GAME, which is due to be released in June 2016. Words can’t express just how excited I am for this book and with luck maybe more books to follow because I really enjoyed Tess’s story and I don’t think that I’ll be ready for it to come to an end. This is definitely a book that you don’t want to miss.

irishdarkblue

IR - The Fixer

 

Add Clarity by Kim Harrington to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Also Known As by Robin Benway to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: Carolina by Laura Simcox

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Carolina by Laura SimcoxCarolina by Laura Simcox
Published by Avon on 03 June 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance
Pages: 294
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Virginia

Place(s) Traveled To: Washington DC // Jackson Hole, Wyoming

First Line(s): A year ago, Carolina Fulton didn’t think much about fame.

I became aware of the Various States of Undress series when I received a copy of Georgia, the third book, for review. Since I prefer to read my series in order when I can I decided to go back to the beginning of this on and requested a copy of Carolina from my library’s digital catalog even though these books are more of a companion series than a direct sequel series. Various States of Undress follows the three Fulton sisters, Carolina, Virginia and Georgia as they deal with new found fame when their father is elected the President of the United States. For Carolina, she thinks she has it all until she catches her fiance cheating on her and then decides to spend some time healing in her family’s cabin in Wyoming.

Carolina Quote

While there sparks start to really to fly with her secret service detail, Jake. Especially when a series of snowstorms traps them along in the remote cabin. For the most part I enjoyed Carolina and Jake’s story but there was a lot of awkward dialogue that made it hard to get fully invested in the story. And then there was the pointless break up and the rushed ending and by the end this one was just an ok sort of read.

I liked the forbidden love aspect of Carolina but the formulaic cliches just took me out of the story. Also, not only was the ending rushed but it was also awkward and unrealistic and didn’t make my heart ache with happiness. I was glad that Jake and Carolina were able to overcome their obstacles but I just wish that the ending had been written a little bit different so that it was more believable. Overall though, a quick brain candy sort of read and I am looking forward to reading more about the Fulton sisters in the other books of the series.

 irishdarkblue

IR - Carolina

Add Playing it Close to Kat Latham to Goodreads (Click here for my review)

Add Catching Cameron by Julie Brannagh to Goodreads (Click here for my review)

three-stars
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Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: Twist by Karen Akins

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Twist by Karen AkinsTwist by Karen Akins
Series: Loop, Book 2
Also in this series: Loop
Published by St Martin's Griffin on 07 April 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Time Travel
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Loop

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England (1666) // Washington, DC (23rd Century) // Chinocteague, North Carolina (2016)

First Line(s): There are forty-seven rules every Shifter must obey. I’d broken all but two of them.

Twist by Karen Akins is the sequel to last year’s Loop (my review) and the conclusion of the duology started in that book. Twist was a book that I was really excited to read beause I loved Loop so very much and I was really looking forward to more Finn and Brie snarky goodness. Only what I was hoping for and what Twist actually was never really meshed in my head. Twist quickly falls into the ‘lets separate the happy couple’ trope and I, for one, hated that. So much of what I loved in Loop was missing in Twist because there wasn’t a whole lot of time with Brie and Finn in the same place. Instead Brie was almost always with Wyck who she was pretending to date and then getting the occasional clue from future Brie just as now Brie was about to end things.

*pauses for a big sigh*

Future Brie.

Oh my stars did this annoy me more in this book than in the first one. So much crypticness that lead to so many misunderstandings when everything could have more easily been resolved if the characters just TALKED TO EACH OTHER. Regular readers on my blog know that lack of communication as a plot point is one of my biggest pet peeves. Head banging against the wall inducing even. And since much of Twist relies on this trope, well, lets just say that it wasn’t a quick read for me. I wasn’t as engaged in this book and kept putting it aside in favor of other books.

Twist Quote

Despite my annoyances I still got invested in the story…just not as much as I would have liked. My heart still broke but it wasn’t until around the 80% mark that I felt things really take off in the story. Up until then I may have been fine just putting this one aside forever and never reading it until the end. I still liked Brie and her snark but I wasn’t a huge fan on where Akins took her characters in this one. Which is always a danger, I suppose, when characters in a series find their happily for now at the end of the first book. But with all the other things going on in Brie’s world, what with the changing timelines and all, why did we need the added drama of a separation as well. For me, Twist would have been stronger if Finn and Brie spent the book working together and becoming stronger as a couple. Not spending most of it apart and having to deal with bad characters from the fist book getting a redemption story.

Then you have the ending. An ending that I’m still trying to decide on if I like it or not. I mean I get it, I think it fits with the story. But at the same time its a little unsatisfying to me as a reader. I just wanted ALL THE THE THINGS and I didn’t get them. At least, not in the way that I wanted them to be. I still think that Karen Akins is a strong writer and I loved her world building. I will still eagerly pick up her next book but while I will re-read Loop I don’t think that Twist  is a book that I will pick up again. It was hard enough to finish the first time and I don’t think I want to put myself through that again.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Twist

Add Pivot Point by Kasie West to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

three-stars
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: Loop by Karen Akins

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

Review: Loop by Karen AkinsLoop by Karen Akins
Series: Loop,
Also in this series: Twist
Published by St Martin's Griffin on 21 October 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Futuristic Romance, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Politics & Intrigue, Sci-Fi, Survival Stories, Suspense, Time Travel, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Twist

Places Traveled To: Williamsburg, Virginia (21st Century) // Chinocoteague Island (21st Century) // Washington DC (23rd Century)

First Line(s): Hitting the ground in the hardest part.

It’s no secret that I am a fan of all things time travel and one of my favorite shows deals with this topic so you can imagine my excitement when I first head of Loop by Karen Akins. I was also a bit wary as I’d been burned a few times on time travel books that I thought would be good, but then didn’t live up to my expectations. I can be a harsh critic sometimes with books, I can admit it. So I decided to wade in slowly, like a swimmer on the shores of the north east coast. But as any swimmer up north knows, wading in slowly doesn’t take the sting out of the chilly water and the only method is to dive right in and I did that with Loop. Once I jumped in with both feet I found that I couldn’t put this one down and didn’t stop reading until I hit the end.

Loop is filled with snark and crazy moments that you wouldn’t think would work but they do. There is tension and chemistry between the two main characters, Bree and Finn. I like how Akins dealt with their romance on top of the mystery that Bree was working to solve. I liked the futuristic world that she created and no matter what Bree says I totally want a Pegamoo. This book had my heart go through a roller coaster road of emotions and left me a bit breathless when it hit the final page and so very eager for the next book in the series, Twist. Loop isn’t a perfect book though and there were several bits and pieces that were just a bit too convenient to be plausible but I loved the book enough that I was able to overlook some of these flaws. Even if I did roll my eyes a time or two.

Akin’s is a new voice and she’s one to watch out for. Her writing is solid and she manages to invent new language that is entirely realistic for phrases that future teenages might say. Her future world is one that I could see existing, yes….even with the time travel bits. Her time travel doesn’t need a blue box or special bracelet and it makes me wish that I had this special gene so I could visit new places as Bree does. I also really enjoyed the mystery element of Loop it kept me guessing just enough that I didn’t have it all figured out in the first chapter as happens all too often these days. I wasn’t surprised by anything and I did argue with Bree (mentally and totally one-sided) on some of her conclustions so I was totally engaged in this story. I also have several theories as to the bigger mystery at large and I am looking forward to seeing if they proof true or not.

Loop is a fun mystery and a good time travel story and its one that I highly recommend to all looking for a book in these genres. The romance is raw and beliveable and doesn’t overshadow the other elements of the story. If your reading tastes mesh with mine than I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in Loop so go forth to your nearest bookseller and pick this one up today!

.

irishdarkblue

 

.Loop Quote

four-stars
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