Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review of Touched by Corrine Jackson

Title/Author: Touched (Sense Thieves #1) by Corrine Jackson
Publisher/Date published: Kensington Teen, November 27th 2012
How I got this book: bought it
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Remy O’Malley heals people with touch — but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.

Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll be coming for her — if Asher doesn’t kill her first.

You guys, I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand it was a quick read even with the limited amount of time I had, but on the other hand I was rolling my eyes a couple of times too many to consider it a good book.

Remy is a complicated character and that's fine by me. She's had a hard life and it's not really getting better any time soon. Her mom has let her down and her stepfather keeps hurting her and her mom and it really does seem like a hopeless situtaion. But adjusting to living with her father isn't all that easy either, cause they basically had no relationshiop before all this happened. And I could totally understand Remy lashing out at her dad, because sometimes that's just how it is. Even though you may know it's not entirely their fault. I liked seeing how they did grow closer and her father is acting like a real dad for her.
I thought that while Remy is so guarded because she's been hurt before, she falls in love with Asher awfully fast and it felt a little out of character to me.

Maybe the problem was that I didn't really like Asher. He obviously knows about Remy's situation and still he keeps on being an ass to her and it got on my nerves. He's so all over the place with his feelings and his behaviour and I was just confused. Also, I wasn't terribly impressed by his cavemen act about the subject of Remy saving him or healing him. I really don't want to say it, but I'm also crying insta-love here because holy batman, that went fast! It went from not liking each other to I love you in no time at all and I just didn't feel it.

I did really like Remy's halfsister, she's a really sweet and pretty brave girl and she was so welcoming to Remy even though I could have easily understood her not being so happy about a new sister coming to live with them! She's amazing and spunky and I like her.
I also really liked Remy's dad, cause he seems like a really great guy, who perhaps listened to Remy's mom a bit too much about whether or not he could see Remy. I like that he's protective and basically a good dad. Which is a good thing, cause there was some serious bad parenting on her mom's side.

I am really intrigued by the whole Protector-Healer relationship and what exactly thing that happened in this book will mean for the future, though I still don't fully understand everything. I'm really hoping this will be cleared up in the next book! I'm interested enough to continu on with the series, though I really hope that the second book will be less eyeroll-inducing.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Review of Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase

Title/Author: Suddenly Royal (Suddenly #1) by Nichole Chase
Publisher/Date published: Avon Books, November 26th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women — especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.

Guys, I have watched the Princess Diaries movie SO many times and I love the plot of someone discovering they're royalty (because I'm still hoping it'll happen to me one day ;) or maybe not as it seems to complicate things enormously...), so obviously I jumped on Suddenly Royal! And you know what, Suddenly Royal is basically the Princess Diaries, but with naughty bits.

I liked Samantha. She's a smart girl, she values her education and loves her best friend and stepfather. But the whole 'she doesn't know how beautiful she is' thing was getting old really fast. I mean, seriously? I'm getting a bit tired of this character trait. Why is the good girl always unaware of her looks and the bitch confident about the same thing? It's like you can't be a decent person if you know you're goodlooking. And it drives me crazy! Because I know people who are goodlooking and aware of it and are genuinely good people.


Alex is a good guy who didn't have the best taste in women in the past. I truly believed he cared about Samantha and he showed it and I liked him. He was a bit old-fashioned alpha male though with the whole overprotectiveness and everything. I was a bit put off by him at first because he basically wants to leap straight into bed with Samantha within an hour of meeting her and later on he's going on about how it wouldn't just be physical for him and all that stuff a girl probably wants to hear, but he was a bit of a creep at first. And he did really grow on me, but I wouldn't have gone for his 'You'll end up hating me or in my bed, and I know which I'd prefer' attitude. That's just... Just no.

So there was a whole lot of lust at first sight and Alex does a whole lot of chasing Samantha, and while liked both of them, I wasn't really into the whole story. The book had a definite Disney/Cinderella feel to it and it confused the crap out of me that we'd go from those moments to sex scenes and back again. I really thought we'd get a fade to black anytime soon but nope. Not that I mind those parts, but it was just such a contrast!
I really wanted to love this book and I'm not entirely sure why it didn't happen. Maybe it's that a lot of the secondary characters were a bit like cardboard puppets, just placed there to make Alex and Samantha look good. And I'm also still a bit confused why a crown prince would make the effort to travel to the US to search for long lost members of his country's royal families. I mean, if you're a crown prince you have people for that right?

Suddenly Royal was an entertaining book, but it never got beyond that for me. Some of the characters fell flat and I just couldn't really get into the story the way I wanted to.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review of Afterglow by Karsten Knight

Title/Author: Afterglow (Wildefire #3) by Karsten Knight
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Teenage volcano goddess Ashline Wilde discovers that her former love, Colt Halliday, has an evil plan to kill the Cloak, the benevolent beings that oversee the gods. And that’s not all — he also wants to merge Ash and her two sisters back into a single, too-powerful goddess, Pele. Ash must stop her trickster-god ex-boyfriend once and for all…and to do it, she’s going to have to feed a few flames.


Guys, I was really excited to read Afterglow, and while I may not have liked it as much as I did Embers and Echoes, it was a satisfying conclusion to the series!

We meet Ash again, trying to track down her sisters and Colt, whose crazy ass is trying to put Ash, Eve and Rose back together into one volatile goddess. Yeah. That didn't sound like such a great idea to me either. But Colt has his heart set on it and Ash is trying to stop him. Without hurting innocent people. No matter that if the three of them are made into Pele again, a lot more innocent people might die. I mean, I get it, but part of me was wishing she'd stop being so considerate of everyone and just stop the guy because he was getting on my nerves. A lot.

I felt that Colt got away with everything a little bit too easily. I mean, I get that his regenerative powers make it REALLY hard to kill or incapacitate him, BUT surely there might have been better choices than the ones Ash and her crew made along the way. I mean, it was a little bit too easy for him to get everything the way he wanted to without being stopped on the way there. And also, his annoying girlfriend Epona. SERIOUSLY, someone needed to take out that girl because she was CRAZY. And annoying. I can deal with a little crazy, but not if there's no reasoning with someone.

There's a whole lot going down in this final instalment in the series, some new characters and some old friends and well, I enjoyed the ride. There was an epic battle and obviously the stakes were high, the events living up to it could have been a little more exciting in my opinion. But I did really enjoy it! And I thought the way it wrapped up in the end was very cleverly done and made me smile!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Review of Embers and Echoes by Karsten Knight

Title/Author: Embers and Echoes (Wildefire #2) by Karsten Knight
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster, August 28th 2012
How I got this book: own it
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Ashline Wilde may have needed school to learn that she is actually a reincarnated goddess, but she’s ready to move beyond books. She leaves her California boarding school behind and makes for Miami, where she meets a new group of deities and desperately seeks her sister Rose, the goddess of war. But she’s also looking for love—because even though her romance with Cole had to be snuffed, Ash is a volcano goddess—and she doesn’t get burned.


Guys, I didn't really get on so well with Wildefire, the first book in this series. But I am SO glad that I decided to give it another chance, because Embers and Echoes worked so much better for me!

One of the problems I had with Wildefire is that Ashline was a bit too passive for me, she was so strong and so incredibly weak at the same time and it annoyed the crap out of me. In Embers and Echoes, she's the kickass girl I wanted her to be. She's taking charge and getting things done and I LIKE IT! I mean, she's a volcano goddess! What could possibly stop her? Well, there are some things, but not a lot of things. And I liked that she's owning up to her powers and using them. And I loved that she's not about to take crap from Colt. Even if he is a handsome bugger, he's also a really shitty person who needs his ass kicked.

I loved that in Embers and Echoes we get some more answers about what exactly is going on. All the things I wanted to know and was confused by in the first book are cleared up and I very much enjoyed seeing more of Ash's past lives! I also really liked the new characters we got to meet and Wesley Towers must be one of my favourites. He is awesome. And a good guy I can root for, you know how much I like my good guys!

This story is still harsh and people (and gods) get hurt and die and while this threw me off a bit in the first book, in Embers and Echoes it was mixed with some warm moments. Moments of friendship and hope for the future and even love and I thought the balance here was so much better than in Wildefire! These are by no means shiny, happy people, but there was a little bit of good mixed in with all the killing and maiming. And Rose, Ash and Eve's sister, is one terrifying 6-year-old. I mean, really, that was just wrong. And I get that she's an impressionable little girl who's seen WAY too much, but if it had been me, I wouldn't try to comfort her, I'd run like hell if she ever looked at me.

What I've been trying to say: Embers and Echoes was SO much better than Wildefire! Ash really grew as a person and was much more likeable in general. I got a lot of questions answered and there are still enough left that I'm itching to read the final book in the series!

My rating: 4 stars

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review of The F- It List by Julie Halpern

Title/Author: The F- It List by Julie Halpern
Publisher/Date published: Feiwel & Friends, November 12th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.

But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again - Becca has cancer.

So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend--you do it.

Guys, I struggled with this book. I don't really read a lot of books that deal with tough subjects such as this one, because in my line of work I deal with disease and awful things happening to people and sometimes I just want to relax and not think about all the horrible things happening in the world when I get home. But The F- It List sounded like it could be more my kind of book because it's about a friendship and I like books about friendships. But like I said: I struggled with this book.

I think a huge part of the problem for me comes from the fact that I just did not like Alex. I really disliked Alex to be honest. She's harsh and in your face and just not a nice person. And I didn't really think that Becca was necessarily a nice person either. So it was kinda hard for me to really get into the story, because let's face it, I can sympathize a whole lot more with characters if I like them, I can't help it. I just never felt connected to Alex and half the time I didn't understand what the hell she was doing.
I know that she's been through a lot with her father dying and her best friend having cancer, but from what I've gathered she wasn't all that different personality-wise before that happened and I was kinda glad that someone actually called her out on it at one point, because she needed an attitude-adjustment.

Also, I was confused by the friendship between Becca and Alex. I get that not every friendship is the same and that not everyone is always hugging each other and everything. Not everyone is shiny and happy. But I genuinely was confused by the stuff they'd pulled on each other in the past. I mean, seriously, I don't think my best friend in high school would have slept with my boyfriend. EVER. No matter the circumstances.

I'd expected it to be more about actually doing the things on Becca's list, but it The F- It list was mostly about Becca being sick, Alex dealing with it and with her budding romance. And you know, usually I'm all for the romance, but here it was just a distraction for me. I mean, I liked Leo, he was probably one of the only decent persons in the novel, but it just felt a bit off for me.

I did like Alex's brothers, and Leo. They were the bright spots in the novel for me and I like how they didn't take crap from Alex and would call her out on her behaviour.

But yeah, overall I was kinda disappointed in this book, as I had just expected it to be more than it was. But my struggles were also for a huge part due to my major disconnect and also dislike of the main character and that falls at least party into the 'it's not you, it's me' category, so it may not be the same for others.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Review of The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title/Author: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher/Date published: Disney-Hyperion, November 5th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides — especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

YOU GUYS! THIS BOOK! I totally loved it!! I read it all in one day, which is even more impressive if you consider the fact that a huge part of said day was spent working! But I couldn't put it down until I finished it, it was THAT good!

I love Cassie! She's been through a lot and she's got her walls way up, but you know what, I get it. I can even imagine what it would be like to go into your mother's dressing room and find gallons of blood, but not your mother. It makes me want to hug my mom and be thankful that I've never had to face something like that. Cassie is smart and she's tough and I would have loved for her to realise that she deserves the love her enormous family wants to show her! Also: Cassie is so smart and so good at this profiling thing that it's creepy. But in a good way. I wish a had a teensy bit of her people reading skills.

And I LOVED the whole teenage crew! They're all sorts of brilliant and them teaming up was AMAZING to watch! I love their different personalities and pretty much every one of them is a bit messed up. And they all made for such interesting characters! Everyone had their own story and I may not know all of them, but I'm DYING to know! I really hope Jennifer Lynn Barnes will tell us more about them in the next book!

And of course I have a soft spot for the boys. Because: boys. I cannot help but root for one of them more, but I'll let you guess once you've read it which one is my favourite. To be fair, there is a love triangle going on, but it's not really 'love' when they're just getting to know each other and Cassie is confused about her attraction to both as well. And isn't calling any of it love. So I was surprisingly ok with it.

Towards the end I was suspicious of EVERYTHING and at one point I wanted to yell NOOOOOO!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? DON'T YOU SEE THIS IS HOW PEOPLE GET KILLED IN MOVIES?? So yeah, I kinda figured it out before Cassie did, but it was ok, cause it wasn't glaringly obvious from the start. Also: major creep factor! I mean seriously, it was SO messed up!

As I said at the beginning: I could not put this book down, I kept thinking about it until I managed to finish it and it was GLORIOUS! While it's about serial killers, the book didn't get dark and I just totally love Jennifer Lynn Barnes' writing! The pace was just right and kept me on the edge of my seat and GAH, can I just have the next book now please?? Cause I can only find that this is the start of a new series, but nothing about the second book! But PLEASE JUST GIVE IT TO ME!

My rating: 5 stars

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review of Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

Title/Author: Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
Publisher/Date published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books, November 5th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Bellman & Black is a heart-thumpingly perfect ghost story, beautifully and irresistibly written, its ratcheting tension exquisitely calibrated line by line. Its hero is William Bellman, who, as a boy of 11, killed a shiny black rook with a catapult, and who grew up to be someone, his neighbours think, who "could go to the good or the bad." And indeed, although William Bellman's life at first seems blessed — he has a happy marriage to a beautiful woman, becomes father to a brood of bright, strong children, and thrives in business — one by one, people around him die. And at each funeral, he is startled to see a strange man in black, smiling at him. At first, the dead are distant relatives, but eventually his own children die, and then his wife, leaving behind only one child, his favourite, Dora. Unhinged by grief, William gets drunk and stumbles to his wife's fresh grave — and who should be there waiting, but the smiling stranger in black. The stranger has a proposition for William — a mysterious business called "Bellman & Black"...

Guys, I LOVED The Thirteenth Tale. LOVED. It was amazing and the storytelling was so, SO good and I just want to have all booklovers read it. So imagine my excitement when I heard about this newest book. It sounded amazing and creepy and just epic. And I had pretty high expectations.

And I'm disappointed.

I can't help it, I was expecting some of the same magic of The Thirteenth Tale and I never got it. The storytelling felt a bit flat to me and I'm still not entirely sure what the whole point was. If there even was a point. And why after over 300 pages I'm not sure of this. I'm all kinds of confused about the plot and I don't like being confused.

I never really connected to William Bellman, he's probably a good guy, but I never felt like I really knew him or could understand his actions. The character I probably liked best was Dora, his daughter, and we never really get to see much of her either. I really disliked William in the later chapters and was disappointed that he wasn't spending more time with his only surviving child and I didn't understand it.

I liked the parts about William working at the mill and learning everything there was to learn about it and then eventually taking over. That was great storytelling and lovely, but after that, it just went downhill for me. Especially after William makes his deal with Black. It was dark and not really creepy, but a bit boring at times.

It took me forever to read this book and maybe I went into this with too high expectations and this was doomed to fall flat for me, but I just can't help but feel let down. Where is the wonderful storytelling I remember from The Thirteenth Tale? I mean, there were parts that I liked, but mostly I just struggled with this book and I can't say that the ending made me rethink it all. I so wanted to love this book, but I didn't and that makes me sad.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Review of The Wicked Wallflower by Maya Rodale

Title/Author: The Wicked Wallflower (Bad Boys & Wallflowers #1) by Maya Rodale
Publisher/Date published: Avon, October 29th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Lady Emma Avery has accidentally announced her engagement — to the most eligible man in England. As soon as it's discovered that Emma has never actually met the infamously attractive Duke of Ashbrooke, she'll no longer be a wallflower; she'll be a laughingstock. And then Ashbrooke does something Emma never expected. He plays along with her charade.

A temporary betrothal to the irreproachable Lady Avery could be just the thing to repair Ashbrooke's tattered reputation. Seducing her is simply a bonus. And then Emma does what he never expected: she refuses his advances. It's unprecedented. Inconceivable. Quite damnably alluring.

London's Least Likely to Misbehave has aroused the curiosity — among other things — of London's most notorious rogue. Now nothing will suffice but to uncover Emma's wanton side and prove there's nothing so satisfying as two perfect strangers… being perfectly scandalous together.

You guys, I love a good wallflower story. I can't help it. I feel like a wallflower myself sometimes and I can just identify with the feeling of being looked over for more shiny people. And a rake discovering a wallflower might just be the woman for him is one of my favourite storylines!

Ok, so after I got over my incredulity at Blake just going along with the fake betrothal (because seriously, I found it kinda hard to believe), things really picked up! I like Emma's friends, though we didn't get to see a lot of them, they felt like true friends to me and every girl should have at least one.

And I really liked Emma! I like that while she recognizes that Blake is very handsome, she doesn't immediately fall at his feet and that she can match him in wits. Their banter was so entertaining! And I loved Emma's interaction with Blake's aunt, who was just amazing all around! Her relationship with Benedict (the guy who's been courting her for 3 seasons) confused me, she constantly says they're in love and she wants to marry him, but I just couldn't see it. Also, I didn't like Benedict, who in my opinion was a spineless idiot. That could have something to do with it.

I LOVED Blake! He knows he's a handsome bugger and isn't used to being refused anything, and it was so much fun to see him try to deal with Emma's resistance! I love that he falls for Emma first and isn't afraid to admit it, putting his heart on the line. Near the end there was some unnecessary conflict from his side, but it all worked out nicely in the end. I love that he wasn't afraid to make himself look ridiculous by playing the flute even though he'd never done it before, because his aunt asked. And the grand gestures! I'm a sucker for grand gestures, so he definitely gets bonus points for that!

Mostly, these two just worked together and their were sparks and heartbreak and just ALL THE FEELINGS!! I loved that they got to know each other through their scheming and then they discovered there was something real there and it was just *SIGH* SO GOOD! I'll definitely be picking up the next book in the series!

My rating: 5 stars