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Posts Tagged: Publication Year: 2013

Friday, May 27, 2016

Review: Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

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

Review: Shades of Earth by Beth RevisShades of Earth by Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe,
Published by Razorbill on 15 January 2013
Genres: Abduction, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Futuristic Romance, Love & Romance, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Pages: 369
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Violent Ends

Place(s) Traveled To: Centauri Earth

First Line(s): “Wait,” I say, my heart clenching.

SHADES OF EARTH is the thrilling conclusion to Beth Revis’s Across the Universe trilogy. Its a book that has been living on Mt TBR for way longer than it should have been but better late than never, right? As always, I enjoyed Revis’s writing style. She has a gift of world building and writing engaging prose that keeps the reader engaged and wanted more. Like all the books in the series its a quick read but its one that I didn’t enjoy as much as the others in the series. I think that’s because in SHADES OF EARTH Revis introduces a love triangle and I am so not a fan of love triangles. Granted this one is minor in comparison to others I’ve read but its still a nuisance because I have loved how the relationship between Amy and Elder has progressed over the course of these three books.

I also really didn’t like Amy’s father. My stars he was such an asshole! I hated how he wouldn’t listen to Amy or Elder despite all the knowledge and experience that they had gained about the Godspeed, the people on it and the planet they landed on. I didn’t like how her father kept trying to make things be how they would have been back on Earth and how he couldn’t seem to accept the changes that had happened over the course of the journey while he and the other Earthens were asleep. Although he did remind me a bit of the adults on the CW show The 100 when the ARC first crashed back on Earth and how they wanted to keep treating Clark and company as the children they wanted them to be and now as the capable adults circumstances forced them to be.

Shades of Earth Quote

SHADES OF EARTH also introduced a bit of WTF-ery into the story and so it lost me a bit there near the end. Overall though I was satisfied how this series finished up but I do think that Revis stretched believably a little too far with some of the choices that she made. Though things could defiantly have gone far far worse so I have grown to accept and care for on how Revis decided to end things as she did.  As I said above Revis can write and she brings that gift of words throughout this entire series and I am glad that I finally picked SHADES OF EARTH up in order to finish it.

If you like sci-fi adventure stories that contain a little romance and mystery then you should probably pick up Revis’s Across the Universe series. Its a fast paced series and one that I don’t think that people talk about enough. I’m glad to have read it and my only real regret is that I didn’t get to SHADES OF EARTH sooner than I did. But then again I do so hate when a series ends so that probably didn’t help matters. But you, dear reader, may not have that problem. So go forth and grab these three great reads today!

irishdarkblue

IR - Shades of Earth

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

Add For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Aime Kaufman to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

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

Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFeversDark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin, Book 2
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 02 April 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Historical, Historical Romance, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, War & Military, Young Adult
Pages: 385
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift, Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Nantes, Brittany/France // Rennes, France // Morlaix, France //Tonquedec, France (1489)

First Line(s): I did not arrive at the convent of Saint Mortain some green stripling.

When GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers (my review) came out back in 2012 I devoured it. While I was wary at first I totally fell under the spell of these Medieval assassin nuns. I then later received an ARC of DARK TRIUMPH and my first thought was to pick it up immediately and read it but it was far out from publication date and so I put it aside. And there it sat on a shelf until last year when a friend and I made a pact to do a co-read of it. DARK TRIUMPH picks up right around when GRAVE MERCY ends but switches POV from Ismae to Sybella. Sybella was an interesting character in GRAVE MERCY so I was looking forward to her story. However, I didn’t quite fall for DARK TRIUMPH as deeply as I did with GRAVE MERCY and I think that’s due in part to the POV change.

I just didn’t find Sybella to be as likable as Ismae nor was she as nuanced a character. Yes, Sybella was a strong heroine that overcame a pretty shitty upbringing but I just didn’t care about her the same way that I did Ismae. I also really didn’t buy the romance in this story. There was just so little development in that area that I just didn’t feel any chemistry when Sybella and Beast finally declared their love for each other. Though I really did like Beast, he was an bright and entertaining light throughout the story. I liked the camaraderie that he and Sybella shared but there just wasn’t enough of them together for them to form that much needed spark.

Dark Triumph Quote

But what bothered me the most about DARK TRIUMPH was how repetitive it was. I get that some recap is needed to refresh fans from what happened in GRAVE MERCY but Sybella just kept thinking the same thoughts over and over again. So much so that there was very little in the way of plot development in DARK TRIUMPH. This book was all hurry up and wait and there was very little action. It was very much a middle book in a series and was more filler and fluff than anything of substance. As such I found this one really easy to put down and stay down while I was reading.

When I did pick it up I was I found myself in the story but I had to force myself to pick it up each day. And I did that mostly so that I could finish around the same time as my friend. There were times where I was tempted to skip over parts and I feel that if I had done so then I wouldn’t have missed very much at all. Most of the action/plot that happens in DARK TRIUMPH comes at the end. The rest is just waiting around for something to happen. There were just so many missed opportunities in DARK TRIUMPH that just left this one lacking for me. As such, while I do plan to finish the series at some point, I don’t have the burning need to rush out and see how it all ends. What say you readers, does the HIS FAIR ASSASSIN trilogy end with a bang or a fizzle? Leave a comment or catch me on social media and let me know if I should prioritize MORTAL HEART or not.

irishdarkblue

IR - Grave Mercy

Add Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

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

Add Finnikin of the Rock to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Friday, March 11, 2016

Review: Double Full by Kindle Alexander

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

Review: Double Full by Kindle AlexanderDouble Full by Kindle Alexander
Series: Nice Guys,
Also in this series: Full Disclosure, Full Domain
Published by Self-Published on 08 October 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, GLBT, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 275
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
two-stars
Also by this author: Full Disclosure, Full Domain

Place(s) Traveled To: Austin, Texas (2003, 2012, 2013) // New York, New York (2012) // Kauai, Hawaii (2003, 2013)

First Line(s): Jace gripped the side of the locker, his knuckles turning white as he dropped his head inside the open metal frame.

***Warning: Contains Spoilers…Read at your own risk***

I’m the sort of girl who likes to read a series in order, even if its a companion series. I like to follow a characters journey from their first introduction all the way through their HEA and if we are lucky what happens when their story ends. So when I stumbled on a book that intrigued me called FULL DOMAIN by Kindle Alexander and learned it was a series I knew I had to track down the first book DOUBLE FULL. DOUBLE FULL is a bit like two stories rolled into one. It begins in 2003 and covers much of Colt and Jace’s early years. We learn that Colt was a bit of a stalker of the openly out Jace throughout college until he makes his move at the end of their senior year. They have a quick, whirlwind relationship and fall in love though Colt is adamant to keep things on the DL. Jace is conflicted on this but loves Colt and so agrees. Then some WTFery happens and Colt abandons Jace without a word and they don’t interact again until 10 years later.

In the decade they were apart Colt has fallen into alcoholism and various other poor life choices including acquiring a conniving bitchy fiance who is find having 3-somes and 4-somes and having her future father-in-law watching kiss a girl and have sex with a man not her fiance but is not ok with pictures and newspaper articles of Jace. These she uses to blackmail Colt into doing her bidding and me to want to toss my kindle across the room. But the WTFery of DOUBLE FULL doesn’t end there. There is this random act of violence near the end that lands Colt in the hospital that turns out to be not so random and its just….Como say what now???

Double Full Quote

Seriously. This book was just now good. It was readable but I seriously thought that my eyes might roll out of my head. Colt was essentially a stalker of Jace but Jace was ok with that as Colt was just so dreamy. And even when Colt showed up without a word on his vacation doorstep Jace forgave so easily. Colt barely got out “I’m sorry I was a dick” before they were both declaring their love once again and saying that this time everything would be different. *insert many heavy sighs of frustration here* DOUBLE FULL is just over the top and full on cheese fest and even with the big mystery that it became I just couldn’t take it very seriously.

And yet, despite all that I disliked there was something addictive about this story. Not to mention that I was intrigued by the character of Mitch who we are introduced to near the end of DOUBLE FULL and who is uber important as he gets his own POV. While I didn’t like that he had his POV randomly thrust into the story I was intrigued by him. Which is why I found myself downloading FULL DISCLOSURE almost immediately after finishing DOUBLE FULL. Sure I could be in for another terrible WTF-ery read but there is always the possibility of something magical to happen.

irishdarkblue

 People Who Liked This Book Better Than I Did

Shh Mom’s Reading – “There were times during this story my heart hurt, literally ached for these men. It was amazing to me that Ms. Alexander was able to make my heart ache for both men at times during this book. The range of emotions she gets the reader to feel in this book truly speaks to what a wonderful talent Ms. Alexnader has for storytelling.”

Scandalicious Book Reviews – “Kindle Alexander does a fantastic job at creating the conflict in this story and again, it didn’t play out how I expected.  She does an excellent job of character development that will send you on a rollercoaster of emotions.  You can’t help but love Jace and Colt and suffer their heartbreak right along with them.”

Paddylast Inc – “I was also totally hooked with Mitch whom the author introduced in the latter part of the book (whom I supposed will be the main character for the second book of the series. Yay!) without actually swaying too much from Colt and Jace. What an impressive transitioning ability!”

IR - Double Full

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

Add Yours All Along by Roni Loren to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

two-stars
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Audio Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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

Audio Review: Scarlet by Marissa MeyerScarlet by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles, Book 2
Also in this series: Cinder, Cress, Fairest, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 05 February 2013
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Dystopian, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 11 hours 19 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: Cinder, Cress, Fairest, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Travled To: Rieux, France // Paris, France // New Beijing // Earth’s Orbit

First Line(s): Scarlet was descending toward the alley behind the Rieux Tavern when her portscreen chimed from the passenger seat, followed by an automated voice: “Comm received for Mademoiselle Scarlet Benoit from the Toulouse Law Enforcement Department of Missing Persons.”

When I finished CINDER by Marissa Meyer (my review) I wasn’t as pleased with it as many others that I know. I expected more from the story and always hate when science is done so unbelievably and I was a little reluctant to pick up SCARLET. But I was told that SCARLET is a favorite read from fans of the Lunar Chronicles series and the hold I’d forgotten I’d placed at the library came up so I decided to give this audio a try. Walking into the story I was wondering how Meyer would connect Scarlet and Wolf’s stories to Cinder since they were set half a world apart and that’s when I quickly learned of the crazy POV switches. Oh my stars does this book shift POVs. SO much so that it gets a little confusing at times and not all shifts seem to have much purpose. I did enjoy seeing more scenes with Captain Thorne but Scarlet often bored me. There wasn’t a whole lot of things happening in this book and things just felt off.

There were facts that didn’t seem to mesh well and distances in Paris that were just wrong. I get that this is a dystopian world and that buildings have crumbled and become abandoned while the city center shifts to allow for the newer more futuristic world. But there were locations that were mentioned in the book that as far apart  as described in the narrative. (Google people…its your friend.) ANd yes, I am the sort to map things out when mentioned in a book but I was also in Paris last year so things are still pretty clear since I walked all over that city during the week that I spent there. Though I’ll take miscalculated distances over poor science any day so was glad when not mentioned was mentioned about Letamosis and the need for an “antidote” (*cringes*).

Scarlet Quote

I found the plot to be really predictable and so very repetitive not to mention how everything always seemed to fall right into place just at the very right moment. My eyeballs sure did get a work out from the frequent eye rolling that I did at some scenes. I was also frustrated with just how obtuse these characters could be much of the time and yet were supposed to buy that they are all geniuses because they finally figuring out that the x on the map meant there was treasure thought they’d been staring at the answer key for hours.

Listening to SCARLET on audio was a slow slog and often tried my patience. I did enjoy Rebecca Soler’s narration, mostly, but felt there were times when she’d confuse her voices. Especially when she was reading another POV when the character voices getting mixed up weren’t sharing the page. And IKO…my stars…is there a more annoying voice? I don’t think so. Or maybe that’s just the character who was just like nails on a chalkboard. As a whole I wasn’t all that more impressed with SCARLET than I was with CINDER and I don’t get why so many love it. I really didn’t buy the new romance or thought that the story moved forward all that much. While I will probably read CRESS at some point, because now I’m sort of invested in seeing if my theories from CINDER come true, I know that this will never be a favorite of mine.

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-stars
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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sarah Reviews: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Adult, Guest Post, Review8 Comments

Sarah Reviews: Wallbanger by Alice ClaytonWallbanger by Alice Clayton
Series: Cocktail,
Published by Gallery on 13 August 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Erotica, Friends to Lovers, Love & Romance
Pages: 365
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: San Francisco, CA

First Line(s): “Oh, God.”
Thump.
“Oh, God.”
Thump Thump.
What the…
“Oh God, that’s so good!”
I scrambled up out of sleep, confused as I looked around the strange room. Boxes on the floor. Pictures propped against the wall.

Hello Internet!!

Please welcome my first ever guest reviewer here on Ticket to Anywhere!! When my friend Sarah sent me a message saying that she just HAD to review a book she’d read I happily gave her some space on my blog to do so. Sarah can be found on Twitter at Palmys05 and on Goodreads (click here) if you want to talk about WALLBANGER or other books that she’s read!

Irish

A huge Thank you to Gail for handing over the reins for a hot second! She’s a great book recommender AND more importantly, a friend! After I read “Wallbanger” by Alice Clayton, I just knew I had to write a review for her.

 

Caroline is a career focused interior designer who just scored an awesome apartment in San Francisco. Her last boyfriend wanted her to stay at home and be a housewife. With a bad ONS to boot, she has sworn off men. Unfortunately, her new neighbor is keeping her awake with his “wallbanging.”

Simon’s not one to stay put for long. As a travel photographer, he’s constantly globetrotting, and doesn’t have the time for a serious girlfriend. Friends with benefits is more his style…with the THREE different women that make up his “harem.”

Wallbanger was a perfect mix of humor and romance. It was a slow build. (just how I like it) Simon and Caroline didn’t really like each other when they met. Frustrated from lack of sleep, Caroline pounded on Simon’s door mid-romp. Their annoyance turned to like, like turned to friendship, and friendship turned to love.

Simon had a lot of layers. As the story progressed, we learned there was a lot more to him than being a jetsetter with a harem. Caroline too, had her insecurities and needs. They both were fiercely independent and admittedly happy being single. After spending time together, they realized how much happier and more fulfilling their lives could be as a unit. Their romance was amped by the amount of humor and light moments in the book. Between the texts, scary movie viewing, and car trips, I was constantly chuckling.

Wallbanger Quote

Also, props to Clayton for Clive. I am NOT an animal person, but Caroline’s beloved kitty added the perfect amount of comic relief. It was great when he peed on Simon’s sweater in an effort to protect his mommy. SO cute.

I really enjoyed the side romances of Mimi/Ryan and Sophia/Neil. I loved their friendship with Simon/Caroline and how everyone plotted to get the others together. It was very cute. The other pairings weren’t overpowering and added to the dynamic of Simon and Caroline’s budding romance.

Can’t forget to mention the baking AND Caroline’s Ina Garten obsession. Who doesn’t love her?? I thought it was really sweet how Caroline would always bake goodies for Simon. You could tell it reminded him of his mom. They always say the way to a man’s heart this through his stomach.

 

 

Sarah

SR - Wallbanger

 

Add Rusty Nailed to Goodreads – I devoured Simon & Caroline’s sequel right after finishing Wallbanger!

Add Lead by Kylie Scott to Goodreads. (Click here to read Irish’s Review.) – Another amazing friends to lovers read….aka the best book Gail has had me read

five-stars
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Monday, June 29, 2015

Audio Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Posted by Irish in 4.5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Audio Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SáenzAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Narrator: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on 09 April 2013
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Family, Friendship, GLBT, People of Color, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 7 hours and 29 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads

Place(s) Traveled To: El Paso, Texas // Mesilla, New Mexico // Tuscon, Arizona (1987-1988)

First Line(s): One summer night I fell asleep, hoping the world would be different when I woke.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. All I knew was that when I was looking for readalike recommendations for Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda (my review) this was a title that was mentioned often. As I was in need of a new audio and the BPL had a digital copy to borrow I took it as a sign and requested. I then quickly feel head over heals for Aristotle Mendoza and Dante Quintana. Ari is a loner and so he doesn’t know what to make of Dante when he approaches him and offers to teach him to swim. Ari tries to push Dante away but its not long before the two share an unbreakable bond. The narrator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, made for a perfect Aristotle and I think that he captured Ari’s voice perfectly. Miranda got all of Ari’s angst and inner turmoil as he tried to figure out his place in the universe.

Aristotle and Dante is a great coming of age story as the two friends grow up in the late 80s in that odd in-between state of no long boys but not really adults either. There is lots of confusion and struggle as they try to become their own person even as their parents don’t always want to let them go. Aristotle and Dante is a lyrical read and Miranda’s narration just really brings the words of the story to life. And the words that make up this story! Oh my stars, Sáenz writes such a beautiful story that I just wanted to quote ALL THE THINGS because almost every line had some meaning or resonated with me in some way. That beautiful prose along with Miranda’s excellent narration helped give me all the feels with this book and even now, just thinking of the story, it makes my heart ache in that way that I love.

Aristotle and Dante Quote

At its core, Aristotle and Dante, is a book about friendship as well as a book about identity. Its easy to forget the struggles of being a not-quite-adult but Sáenz does an amazing job of capturing that time in a person’s life. I loved Ari and hearing his inner thoughts but where this book shines is in the richness of the language and the secondary characters. Ari’s parents, Dante, and all the others really flesh out this story and bring it to life. When listening, you are immersed in Ari’s world and you become part of the story. I didn’t feel as though I was an observer I felt like I was right there in this world and I hated when it ended.

Aristotle and Dante isn’t a perfect read and there were times when I felt it was a bit disjointed but overall this was a story that I fell in love with. Its a book that I wished was longer so I could spend more time with this amazing cast of characters. Its also a book that I rushed out and bought a physical copy of and immediately re-read all of my favorite bits almost before the last word of the audio was spoken. This was a book that may not appeal to all but for me, I was in the right time and place for it and it was everything I didn’t know that I wanted in a book. This book. Oh this book. I really don’t know what else to say but if you trust my opinion, even the tiniest bit, then you need this book in your life.

irishdarkblue

IR - Aristotle and Dante

 

Add Anything Could Happen by Will Walton to Goodreads. (Review coming soon) – Similar themes of searching for ones identity.

Add Simon vs, the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.) – Similar themes of friendship, character voice, and feels.

 

A book and a song

Every so often I stumble across a song that just makes me think of a book. This song often makes for a good soundtrack to the story in some way. For Aristotle and Dante that song is I Lived by One Republic.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Audio Review: The Book of Luke by Jenny O’Connell

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

Audio Review: The Book of Luke by Jenny O’ConnellThe Book of Luke by Jenny O'Connell
Narrator: Cassandra Case
Published by MTV Books on 31 May 2013
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 7 hours 24 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Chicago, Illinois // Brandford, Massachusetts (2006)

First Line(s): There are two problems with being the daughter of a best-selling etiquette guru.

The Book of Luke by Jenny O’Connell is one of those books that I bought forever ago because it came to me highly recommend. This book, originally published in 2007, has then been recommended me to me several times over so when looking for a new audio I decided to finally give it a try. Then I proceeded to wonder if I was reading a different book than everyone else because I really didn’t like this one much at all. I found the main character, Emily, to be one of the most annoying and self-centered characters ever. She was so judgmental of those around her and refused to see people for who they were now and instead kept trying to push them into who they were when she last lived in town many years ago.

So much of The Book of Luke was spent with Emily reflecting on events in the past. More time seemed to be spent in the past than in the now and it just got frustrating because I wanted to now more about who those people where now and not when they were 12 or so. This then gave a skewed look at the various characters because kids grow and change so much from junior high to high school. Although Emily seems to have stayed the same, the judgmental good girl who thought she knew best while her BFFs became petty and borderline mean girls. And while Emily tried to be a mean girl she really just wasn’t and this resulted in many sighs and eye rolls on my part.

Book of Luke Quote

Then you have the plot of The Book of Luke where Emily and her friends are trying to “cure” Luke of his bad behavior because of how he broke up with one of them. So Emily fake dates him in order to write a guide for other girls on how to train their men to behave how they want. Of all the crazy egotistical things. You can’t change how people are and not all people aren’t meant to be together. How Luke acted with the friend, who wasn’t the best behaved person in that relationship, really isn’t a total reflection on him because the two were like oil and water and they did not work. Emily and Luke worked as they had more in common only she saw common courtesy as proof that she changed him. Oy with the poodles!!

The ending of The Book of Luke was quick and not unexpected. There was conflict and drama and people doing mean things to their friends instead of talking to each other. Then in a blink all was well and everything was wrapped up in a neat little bow. And I was left wondering what was so amazing about this book when it was just so-so.  The narrator of this one, Cassandra Case, also didn’t help me to love this book as it often seemed like she was holding her nose when she was speaking for certain characters. When she wasn’t doing that her voices all seemed very similar and so it was often hard to know who was talking when. But my biggest issue with Case was her inability to pronounce some basic words and phrases. So I may have enjoyed this one more if I’d read it rather than listened to it but probably not by much.

irishdarkblue

IR - Book of Luke

 

Add The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Fool Me Twice by Mandy Hubbard to Goodreads.

three-stars
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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mini Reviews: Forged & Betrayed by Jennifer Rush

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Forged

 

Forged by Jennifer Rush 
Published by Little Brown on 03 December 2013
Series: Altered, Book 0.5
Pages: 32
Format: eBook
Source: Library

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Michigan

First Line(s): The bed beneath me was thin as paper, though not as thin as the cotton gown still tied around my naked body.

I really enjoyed the Altered series by Jennifer Rush so when I saw that my library had digital editions of the two novellas in the series I knew that I had to check them out. The first novella, Forged, takes place before the start of Altered (my review) and is the origin story of one character, Dani, and gives a little background to another. I was initially excited for this one but just didn’t care for it. It felt like a different tone than the rest of the series and I just didn’t care for any of the characters. Despite this on weighing in at just 32 pages it was a bit of a struggle to read. To me, this one didn’t really add much of anything to the overall story ARC of the series.

Betrayed + Forged Quote

Betrayed

 

Betrayed by Jennifer Rush 
Published by Little Brown on 26 August 2014
Series: Altered, Book 1.5
Pages: 32
Format: eBook
Source: Library

Place(s) Traveled To: Sarasota, Wisconsin

First Line(s): Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

While I didn’t really enjoyed Forged I did really enjoy reading Betrayed! I just loved reading Trev’s story and devoured this short little novella quickly. For a short story this one had a lot to it and my only real complaint was that it wasn’t longer. I still have hopes that one day Trev and Cal will get full length books as I really want to know more about them both. Though Betrayed does do a good job in filling in some of the gaps of Trev’s story. This one I think adds value to the overall story and one that I think is worth the read. Though at 99cents and only 32 pages you may want to check to see if your library has it in its digital catalog.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review: Love the One You’re With by Lauren Layne

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: Love the One You’re With by Lauren LayneLove the One You're With Series: Stiletto, Book 2
Also in this series: Just One Night
Published by Loveswept on 09 December 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Love & Romance
Pages: 228
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Brooklyn, New York // Green Bay, Wisconsin

First Line(s): In hindsight, she should have taken the subway.

Love the One You’re With is the second book that I’ve read by Lauren Layne and one that I enjoyed almost as much as, Just One Night (my review). As with most romances the plot is a bit predictable but even with that there is just something about a Lauren Layne story that just works. Her characters are all very real and I thought that Grace and Jake had a lot of chemistry.  I really enjoyed Grace’s character as she’s a strong and successful female lead who is flawed and also recovering from a bad break up. Her confidence is a bit shaky and things aren’t helped when a new woman is brought into her friends group and who had temporarily taken her place at the magazine where she works. But rather than let all these changes make her cower in a corner it makes her step outside of her comfort zone and take a story she wouldn’t have before and learn to accept the new people in her life.

Love the One You're With Quote

Love the One You’re With is cute and humorous story that hit a bunch of the right notes for me. I found it to be a quick read and I really enjoyed reading it. There are real sparks between Grace and Jake and throughout the story you cheer for them and look forward to their finding their happily ever after. But no book is without its drama and there is drama to be had in Love the One You’re With as well. There are miscommunications and other events that made my heart ache and sigh out loud. I am never a fan of pointless drama for the sake of drama but Layne makes it all work in her story and the pay off makes up for it all in the end.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know the women that this series revolves around and I look forward to reading the other books as time permits. These are fun stories and a great distraction from reality.

irishdarkblue

IR - Love the One You're With

Add Up in Flames by Starr Ambrose to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add No Strings Attached by Nicolette Day to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Audio Review: The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Middle Grade, Review0 Comments

Audio Review: The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher HealyThe Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy
Narrator: Bronson Pinchot
Series: The League of Princes, Book 2
Published by Harper Audio on 26 November 2013
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Espionage, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Magic, Middle Grade, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Survival Stories
Length: 10 hours 20 minutes
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: The Kingdoms – Erinthia // Sylvaria // Harmonia // The Orphaned Wastes // Sturmhagen // Avondell

First Line(s): A true hero plays the flute.

 The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle is the second book in Christopher Healy’s League of Princes series and picks up not long after the first book ends. Events have been turned against our princes a but as their heroics are turned into a bit of a farce and Briar Rose is determined to concur all of the kindoms. Which she will do with through blackmail and cunning where she can. But then the bandit king steals an item of power and this will have our luckless League of Princes joining with Briar Rose to get it back.

As with the first book, The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, this book is filled which shenanigans and humor as our bumbling princes and their sassy princesses try to overcome impossible odds in order to save the say. Bronson Pinchot does a great job bringing all of these characters to life making them endearing and bratty depending on who is doing the talking. Pinchot’s narration had me finding reasons to listen to this story to see what would happen next. The only thing missing from the audio version of this story was that I missed all the artwork that I know had to be included in its pages. The artwork was really fun and added to the the story and so without it there was something missing from this one.

Storming the Castle Quote

Overall, I enjoyed this story but there are times when the characters do annoy with their constant bumbling and a refusal to learn from past mistakes. There are also things that are easier for me to see reading this as an adult than some of the intended audiences might. Like the various star-crossed lovers that fill the pages of this book. Just because a fairy sets up two people doesn’t mean that they are destined to be together forever.

However, most of my quibbles and annoyances with this one do come from the fact that I’m not the target audience. There are tools needed sometimes when writing for younger readers that seem repetitive or just plan dumb. But I do think that Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle will have a lot of appeal to both boys and girls who like adventure stories.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Storming the Castle

Add Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Fablehaven by Brandon Mull to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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