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Posts Tagged: Publication Year: 2014

Friday, July 1, 2016

Review: Deeper by Robin York

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Deeper by Robin YorkDeeper by Robin York
Series: Caroline & West,
Published by Bantam on 28 January 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 370
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Putnam, Iowa // Ankeny, Iowa

First Line(s): Sometimes I hate the girl I was back then.

 

DEEPER by Robin York is a book that came to me highly recommended by a few different people. But once I saw there was no HEA and that the story continued in another book I was a bit hesitant to try it. I like my romance stories to be contained in one book and I most definitely like there to be a HEA. While I found DEEPER to be a quick read it hasn’t been a very memorable one. And my one Goodreads note, at 68%, declares West to be an asshole. This, ladies and gentleman, is the love interest. If he’s not a super likable character at 68% then how am I to be invested that he and his lady love, Caroline, are meant to be?? Caroline and West are your typical New Adult trope characters. She’s the goody goody rich girl that everyone loves and he’s the ultimate bad boy that she’s warned to stay away from. But there are sparks the moment they meet and while they don’t speak for years they both secretly lust after each other.

Then when Caroline’s super perfect (on paper at least) boyfriend, the golden boy of her high school and the guy her daddy adores doesn’t like that she broke up with him he lashes out. He posts intimate pictures of Caroline and posts her personal information (address, email, phone, etc) on-line like the true dickhead he is all while pretending it wasn’t him and that he’s shocked and upset and they should totally get back together. Everyone on campus of course can’t see that he did something wrong and she’s slut shamed and harassed on every level. Renege porn is a real and terrifying thing and I think that York handled that aspect of the story well. But I hated how everyone blamed Caroline for it, even her own father, and of course only West saw the crime of it which brings the two closer together.

Deeper Quote

Then things happen, there is drama and angst and all the new adult book cliches that you would expect. DEEPER is filled with ALL THE TROPES and then to go through all of that and not get a HEA?? Ugh. No. Not a fan. There is also nothing truly memorable about this book. Before starting my review I had to go and read reviews written by others on Goodreads because I was drawing such a blank as to what happened in this story. The only thing I really remembered was the whole revenge porn aspect. Other than that this story did not stick. Which, for me, is never a good sign for a book because me plot recall is usually pretty good. As such I’m not sure that I’ll read the sequel, HARDER (seriously NA please come up with better titles!!! You do your genre a disservice.)

I think that I just expected more from DEEPER because of all the hype and it just didn’t live up to my expectations. For a story that spans two books I wanted to be wowed and filled with an eager expectation to see what happened next. But in all honesty I really don’t care if Caroline and West ever find their HEA. I’m not invested in them enough as a couple for that. And despite being told over and over I’m just not sure that I believe in their romance. Yes, they lust after each other but as people I’m not sure just how well they mesh or believe that they’ll work in the long term. There were parts of DEEPER that were good but they just weren’t enough so in the end I was just meh on this one.

irishdarkblue

IR - Deeper

 

Add Revenge Bound by Heidi Joy Tretheway to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add All the Rage by Courtney Summers to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Monday, May 30, 2016

Audio Review: You by Caroline Kepnes

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Adult, Audiobook, Review0 Comments

Audio Review: You by Caroline KepnesYou by Caroline Kepnes
Narrator: Santino Fontana
Series: You,
Also in this series: Hidden Bodies (You, #2)
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on 30 Sept 2014
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Suspense, Thrillers
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: Hidden Bodies (You, #2)

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Bridgeport, Connecticut // Little Compton, Rhode Island // Fall River, Massachusetts

First Line(s): You walk into the bookstore and you keep your hand on the door to make sure it doesn’t slam.

 

My first thought upon finishing YOU by Caroline Kepnes was “what the heck did I just read?” but more than that I was lost in just how good it was. YOU is supremely well written and takes a character, in this case Joe Goldberg, who is a terrible terrible person and makes you LIKE him. Not just that but you kind of sympathize with him and understand why he is doing what he is doing. Which is a total mind fuck since Joe is a deranged stalker who kills people and so shouldn’t be a sympathetic character. From the moment that I started YOU on audio I was enthralled. Santino Fontana *is* Joe Goldberg and he totally brings this character and this world to life. I can’t imagine experiencing this book in any other format than the audio because Fontana is just such a great narrator. He gave me chills and he made me like Joe. Again, Joe is not a character to like so its slightly disturbing and part of what makes YOU such a good book.

I know that YOU isn’t a book that is for everyone and I think that a reader will either love it or hate it. I don’t think that there is any shades of grey with this one. Because Joe is crazy. There is no way around it but the people that he meets aren’t the best either. Not that any of them deserve their fate but when you see them through Joe’s eyes and hear his thoughts you can believe his rationale as it works for him. Even as you sit on the edge of your seat begging the other person to make a different choice since you know what Joe has planned if they make the wrong one. Before I read YOU I really didn’t think it would be a book that I would like but after…well…after I found it hard to leave Kepne’s world behind because she is just so talented and her words so powerful that I wanted the story to last.

You Quote

If you like thrillers and audiobooks that I strongly recommend that you experience YOU in that format. I think that the spoken word is just so powerful at times and with Fontana as the narrator it almost feels like you are sitting across form Joe listening to him tell his story. Which is terrifying since, as I’ve said, he’s a crazy stalker who kills people and not the sort of person that you ever want to cross paths with. Joe is a total sociopath and I just bow down to Kepnes in her characterization of this character. Joe is just so real that you really think he’s in the room with you as this book progresses whispering in your ear and sending chills down your spine. The images that Kepnes’s words evoke are so vivid that if I closed my eyes I could picture each and every one.

YOU was a fantastic listening experience and one that I wish I could experience again for the first time. This is seriously one of my favorite reads of the year and I like it more the more I think back on it. YOU is the sort of book that stays with you long after you read it and is a really hard experience to describe to others. I could not stop listening to this book and think its unlike any other story out there. Its totally riveting and I really can’t wait to see what Kepnes comes up with next. If you haven’t experienced this book yet then you need to move it up your TBR pile. I don’t think that you’ll be disappointed!!

irishdarkblue

IR - You

Add Stolen by Lucy Christopher to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

As of this posting, there is only one book that I can think of that makes a good read-a-like for YOU. If I think of something later then I will update this post. Or if you know of I good read-a-like then let me know in the comments and I’ll credit you and link back to your review!

five-stars
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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Review: Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan

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

Review: Fever Pitch by Heidi CullinanFever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan
Series: Love Lessons, Book 2
Also in this series: Love Lessons, Lonely Hearts, Short Stay
Published by Samhain Publishing on 30 September 2014
Genres: Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, Performing Arts, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 270
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Love Lessons, Lonely Hearts, Short Stay, Dance with Me, Enjoy the Dance

Place(s) Traveled To: Oak Grove, Minnesota // Eden Praire, Minnesota // Minneapolis, Minnesota // Anoka, Minnesota // St. Paul, Minnesota // Burnsville, Minnesota

First Line(s): On his eighteenth birthday, Aaron Seavers navigated the sea of college brochures scattered across his comforter, searching for a future capable of pleasing his father without crushing his own soul. He was pretty sure he’d have better luck if he trekked out to the state park and hunted a unicorn.

FEVER PITCH by Heidi Cullinan is the second book in her Love Lessons trilogy and involves characters that we first meet in this book. Although we do get plenty of nice cameos from Walter and Kelly who were the leads in LOVE LESSONS (my review.) What’s nice about FEVER PITCH is that is does read as a stand alone so you don’t need to have read the first book although its nice to do so to fully understand Walter and Kelly. I devoured FEVER PITCH and read it in a single sitting and it totally made my heart ache right from the start. I was hooked from the start from Aaron and Giles’s first meeting to their separation to finding their happily ever after. I loved how Cullinan put her own spin on the standard romance script so that there was no pointless break up and yet still a whole lotta heart ache.

As with most romances, one of the big issues facing our two love birds is a lack of communication. But what does separate Aaron and Giles from the crowd is that they aren’t keeping pointless secrets from each other or making crazy assumptions based on the past and what little information they have on hand. Ok, so that happens a little bit but mostly these two are just too scared to talk to one another as they are afraid of taking the leap and getting hurt. At times it makes you want to shake them both but then its easy to get annoyed when you know what’s inside each of their hearts. What often matters in a contemporary romance is the payoff and FEVER PITCH totally wins at that.

Fever Pitch Quote

I loved Aaron and Giles’s journey. Not only are they college freshman (which comes with its own set of unknowns and anxieties) but they both also have lots of mental baggage to deal with. And its partially this baggage that keeps them apart. What I liked is that they do take the time to eventually form a strong bond and become friends and really learn about each other over the course of this book. Yes, there is some insta-lust as well but its something that totally works for this story and without it then we may not have had their epic romance.

I also really liked the various secondary characters that peppered the pages of FEVER PITCH. They were funny and real and just added a level of realism to the story that sometimes gets lost in books. What I didn’t like was the crazy bit of WTF-ery that happened near the end. It was totally out of left field and didn’t add anything to this story. Although it does set the stage for the third book, LONELY HEARTS (goodreads). WTF-ery aside though I totally enjoyed this book and know it will be one that I will re-read. If you like a good hear achy contemporary romance than look no further and pick up FEVER PITCH today.

irishdarkblue

IR - Fever Pitch

 

Add Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

three-half-stars
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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

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

Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy EngelThe Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
Series: The Book of Ivy,
Also in this series: The Revolution of Ivy
Published by Entangled Teen on 04 Nov 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Dating & Sex, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Family, Friendship, Futuristic Romance, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 282
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: The Revolution of Ivy

Place(s) Traveled To: Westfall, Unknown

First Line(s): No one wears white wedding dresses anymore.

THE BOOK OF IVY by Amy Engel is one of those books that I hadn’t heard much about until I recieved an ARC of its sequel THE REVOLUTION OF IVY (goodreads). It was also around that time that talk about BOOK OF IVY started to appear in my social media streams and while I haven’t been much into dystopian reads of late I decided to give this one a chance. Like most YA dystopians THE BOOK OF IVY is very thin on details. There isn’t a whole lot of world building or history given to why the world is how it is. As a reader you are immediately thrust into the every life of this society that has formed in the bones of the former United States and its up to the reader to figure out what’s going on.

At first, I thought THE BOOK OF IVY was going to be a standard ‘girls are only good for making babies’ sort of story which is all too common a theme in YA dystopia and so I was hesitant on the story. But then there was just something about this one that really lulled me into its pages. Amy Engel’s writing is seductive even as it doesn’t have a ton of substance behind the words. I found myself engrossed in Ivy’s story and found this book really hard to put down. I liked her struggle between what she had been raised to do and what she wanted to do. And most of all I liked Bishop.

Book of Ivy Quote

Bishop is one of those book boyfriends that I’m surprised I don’t hear much about. He’s smart and funny and he appreciates Ivy for who she is. He doesn’t have lofty expectations of her nor does he expect her to be a simpering housewife with him the general of the household. He’s sweet and caring and the sort of character that you really wish you could meet in real life. He’s the bright light in an otherwise cliched and fairly typical YA dystopian novel.

THE BOOK OF IVY is what I’d call a brain candy read and would be perfect for a day at the beach. It doesn’t take a lot of thought and makes for a good distraction. Its a really fast read with a likable main character even though it does lack for a bit of a plot. As I said the writing is seductive so while you are reading the story its easy to forgive its flaws and just get lost in the nuances and flow of the words. THE BOOK OF IVY is one that I think would be great on audio with the right narrator as it really is a lyrical story. I was invested enough in Ivy’s story to read the sequel but its not a series that will win any awards. If you like YA dystopian then you’ll probably enjoy THE BOOK OF IVY. I also think those new to dystopia will enjoy it as well.

irishdarkblue

IR - Book of Ivy

 

Add Matched by Ally Condie to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan 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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Monday, February 15, 2016

Review: Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler

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

Review: Behind the Scenes by Dahlia AdlerBehind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler
Series: Daylight Falls,
Published by Spencer Hill on 24 June 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Movie Stars, Young Adult
Pages: 328
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
two-stars
Also by this author: Just Visiting

Place(s) Traveled To: Hayden Heights, California // Los Angeles, California // New York, New York

First Line(s): If my phone buzzed one more time, I was going to pull it out of my backpack and hurl it at the linoleum.

If I say it once I’ll say it a dozen times pretending to be okay with your best friend fake dating your boyfriend will never end well. The main plot of BEHIND THE SCENES by Dahlia Adler is just this situation and its one that I’ve seen done in various ways in other books. The most common form of this trope is to have two people fake date each other and then they really fall in love and that is a trope I enjoy. The one in BEHIND THE SCENES though I don’t like near as much. Its just a little too close to cheating even when there is no real cheating and all too often someone is going to get hurt.

Though even though I knew that the whole plot was going to end in disaster the thing that I disliked the most about BEHIND THE SCENES was the Mary Sue heroine, Ally. She was ALWAYS putting herself down and she more than anyone kept trying to put Liam and Van together because “they are so perfect and beautiful and Hollywood” they are so perfect for each other and Ally was everything they weren’t. She was never honest about her feelings or with her best friend or boyfriend and just help make such a hash of things. Neither Van or Liam wanted to fake date it was all Ally pushing them to do it and then she gets mad when she gets hurt? No, sweetie just no…you make your bed and you must lie in it.

Behind the Scenes Quote

Van was also pretty annoying as she was just so selfish. She tried to be a good friend to Ally at times but mostly it was all me me me and Ally must bow to her schedule and whims. Van really didn’t do anything to appease Ally’s fears, although as Ally kept so many secrets about her feelings I really can’t blame Van all that much. Because Ally was just a royal train wreck of a girl and her insecurities just drove me batty!

I also found BEHIND THE SCENES to be very repetitive. Ally just dwelled on the same issues over and over and then did nothing about them. The only really saving graces for BEHIND THE SCENES was the sweetness of Liam and his BFF, Josh. Yes, Josh could be a jerk at times but he’s the sort of rogue with a heart of gold that I love. Its Josh that has me curious about UNDER THE LIGHTS (goodreads) but I’m not sure if he’s enough of a draw as the synopsis just makes the whole story seem a bit disjointed. Have you read UNDER THE LIGHTS? Does Van redeem herself? Is Josh worth it? Let me know!

irishdarkblue

IR - Behind the Scenes

Add The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Famous in Love by Rebecca Searle to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

two-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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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Review: You Make Me by Erin McCarthy

Posted by Irish in 1 Star, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: You Make Me by Erin McCarthyYou Make Me by Erin McCarthy
Series: Blurred Lines,
Published by Self-Published on 17 April 2014
Genres: Adaptation, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Social Issues
Pages: 289
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
one-star
Also by this author: True, Sweet, Believe, Shatter

Place(s) Traveled To: Orono, Maine // Vinalhaven, Maine

First Line(s): Heath said he would never leave me.

To say that I had issues with YOU MAKE ME by Erin McCarthy is an understatement. About the only good thing that I can say for this book is that I finished it and I’m not even sure how I managed to do that. While YOU MAKE ME is filled with McCarthy’s usual good writing the plot and the characters were just things of frustration. The main characters, Heath and Caitlyn, are ones that I’m not entirely sure deserved a happily ever after. Which is almost a sacrilege to say when talking about a romance novel. And while I wanted them to be happy I just don’t think that they were meant to be happy with each other.

Cat and Heath were childhood sweethearts and they shared a wonderful summer together when they were 16/18 years old and then Heath just dropped off the planet without a word. For four years. During that time Cat went away to school, grew up and moved on with her life and getting engaged on the very night that Heath drops back into life. There is no real explanations and Cat forgives very easily and its not long before she’s conflicted and pretty much cheating on her boyfriend of several years.

These characters are all pretty dysfunctional and I later learned that YOU MAKE ME is a modern adaptation of WUTHERING HEIGHTS, a book I read in high school and hated for so many reasons. So its no real surprise to me that I did not enjoy YOU MAKE ME. Its really hard for me to put into words just what I didn’t like until I stumbled on THIS REVIEW from Dear Author who says everything that I’ve been trying to put a finger on and she does it so very well! (Seriously if ever I was to steal a review, this would be the one.)

All these characters are deeply flawed and yet they also felt really superficial. Like they were all living on the surface and just going through the motions. They had no depth or life in them and I felt no chemistry between Cat and either of her love interests. This whole book was very flat and lacked personality. The only emotions it made me feel were ones in which I wanted to toss my ereader against the wall. Hard. And if I’d read a physical book I would have done so. I have read and enjoyed several other books by Erin McCarthy but I think for my own sanity I am going to stay away from other books in this series.

You Make Me Quote

irishdarkblue

People who liked this book better than I did:

2 Book Lovers Reviews – “There is a ton of turmoil in this book and that is exactly what I like! This is not an easy love story where everything is cut and dry. The characters are flawed and their emotions are real. Call me a sucker for punishment, but I appreciate a story that can tear at my heart.”

Bec’s Books – “Ultimately, this story is a second chance romance of two people reconnecting to find that their fate is to be together. Cat is real. She is so confused about her life and what she wants. Her moments of breakdown felt raw and genuine.”

 

one-star
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Monday, February 1, 2016

Audio Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Posted by Irish in 1 Star, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Audio Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. MaasHeir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
Narrator: Elizabeth Evans
Series: Throne of Glass,
Also in this series: The Assassin's Blade, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight
Published by Bloomsbury on 02 September 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 20 hrs and 18 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
one-star
Also by this author: The Assassin's Blade, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, A Court of Thorns and Roses

Place(s) Traveled To: Mistward, Wendlyn // Rifthold, Adarlan // Ferian Gap, White Fang Mountains (World: Erilea)

First Line(s): Gods, it was boiling in this useless excuse for a kingdom.

Dear Reader,

A very important lesson for you to learn don’t drink beers with Andi from AndiABCs. Oh sure you’ll have fun discussing books and other things but if you’ve both had more than just a pint or two then you may just find yourself making a drunken book deal. Such is the case that got me to read HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J Maas because, if you are a regular visitor then you know, I am not really a fan of the Throne of Glass series. Now, this isn’t the first drunken bargain that Andi and I have engaged in and it probably won’t be the last but it is definitely one that I regret.

This time around I decided to give the audiobook a try in the hopes of maybe liking the story better alas I found that it only highlighted the issues that I had with the story. HEIR OF FIRE is a long ass book and it is so damn repetitive it isn’t funny. There were times when the same info was given several times in a single chapter! It was too much and that coupled with the overly flowery prose had my eye twitching! Elizabeth Evans also made for a terrible narrator. She paused overly long in the oddest of places but when it came to scene/POV transitions she’d just barrel right in. It was enough to give a listener whiplash at times and made it hard to follow along. Though it doesn’t help that the whole story is a bit convoluted and could have done with better editing. Evans was also pretty bad with the male voices. They were pretty much indistinguishable from one another and I think that the audiobook would have been better with a male narrator for the male POVs.

For me, I really think this series would be better without Celaena. I swear that girl is way too stupid to live much of the time. She is constantly finding herself in near death situations and having to be rescued. But at the same token its really really hard to believe that she’s in mortal peril when there are still a dozen or so books (yes I am exaggerating) left in the series. Its also hard to believe that she’s capable of bad assery when she does something super dumb one moment and then in the next she’s pretty much killing everything in sight even though she was literally almost killed just be looking at the one bad guy.

The only character I really liked this time around was Rowan because he was the only one who called Celaena out on her bratty behaviour. He’d try to teach her the ways of the fae (badly but whatevs) and she’d just pout and say no. Though it didn’t help that you had pages upon pages of Rowan shouting at Celaena to change and Celaena shouting back no. But alas, even dear Rowan failed me in the end by falling under the nit-wits spell just like every other male character that breaths in her presence. I think even the gay fae fell for her though not romantically.

I just….I just don’t get the appeal of this series. For me its terribly written, horribly plotted, and the world building is barely held together with duct tape. I tired….I really did…I know people think that I didn’t but I did. I gave this series 4 books of my life and I just can’t do it anymore. I am done. So so done and no amount of beer induced bargaining shall get me to read any more books in this series. Especially since the page count on QUEEN OF SHADOWS blows this one away so I can only imagine just how angsty and repetitive that one is! To the fans of this series I’m sorry its just not for me please don’t hate me! I did try.

See my Goodreads reactions here.

irishdarkblue

 

People who liked this more than me:

Pretty much everyone. No really….just look at Goodreads.

heiroffire-1280x720

Image found via google, created by Icey Books

one-star
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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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