Casted by Sonya Loveday

Synopsis:
19292511“My mind absorbed everything in the spell book I clutched tightly to me. Pages ruffled inside of my head, urging me to remember things and then to forget them. Voices chanted with tempo rising at the breaking points of pain until the book vanished and words to an ancient spell scribed across my arms. Each stroke brought blood to the surface, imprinting words I could not read; words that would forever change who I was.”

Jade had spent the majority of her life running from the Triad. A powerful group, who would stop at nothing to obtain Jade and the missing spell book for leader, Lorenzo’s, nefarious plans. And now that she has absorbed the highly coveted magic contained inside the missing book, there is nowhere left for her to hide.

With the help of her friends, Jade steps out from the shadows and learns how to fight back. But no one is prepared for Elinor-the woman bound inside of the book that’s trapped in Jade’s mind. Now she not only needs to protect herself from the Triad, but from what’s hiding inside her mind as well.

Jade never expected the answer to it all would revolve around love.

Edge is dark, mysterious, and a sworn member of the Triad. He also hides a secret past that threatens the thin line he walks between good and evil. Lives are at stake when Jade and Edge’s two worlds collide. Can Jade learn to trust him when he says he is her pre-ordained and vows to do everything he can to protect her? But more importantly, can she trust herself and the woman in her mind?

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My Review:
DNF @ 31% — There wasn’t some huge badness about this book, I was just simply not engaged.  I felt like I was forcing myself to read, and when I have 40+ books I want to read in just over a month, well, I just have to make some tough decisions.  I have a feeling this book would have ended as a 2.5 or 3 stars if it maintained where it was going, and I doubt I would have read more in the series.  I wasn’t feeling any connection for any of the characters, most especially not for Jade our heroine.  She wasn’t necessarily annoying or bugged me, I just didn’t care about her and couldn’t really tell you much about her except some facts.  There was a depth missing there.  I guess she did annoy me a little with how she quickly she trusted people (like Jessa and Rainy).  It felt a little bit suspect, what with her being on the run for unknown reasons since she was young.

As for the paranormal aspect, I found that it was kind of laid out in facts too, and I just wasn’t enchanted.  I wasn’t clamouring to learn more.  And occasionally I found myself kind of confused — almost like there were pieces missing that would have helped the story flow better (for example when Dagger all of a sudden tells Jade about being there with the vial…when?  Was this when her parents died?  Why did he all of a sudden bring that up?  It didn’t feel like it flowed naturally from what they were doing or talking about).

So yeah.  Just not a book for me.  It’s too bad too, b/c I won it.  For some reason I feel an obligation to finish books when I don’t buy them for myself, you know?  Oh well.  On to the next!

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Not the One (Lost in London book 1) by Amy Daws

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00008]Blurb: My name is Reyna Miracle. Even though a part of my name is Miracle, there’s nothing miraculous about me. My body portrays the tales of my life. Every feeling, every heartbreak, every emotion. Marked. Inked. Stained. A walking canvas of my messed up truth. But there’s one confession I can’t put in a tattoo. A confession that will kill me to tell, but my best friend died before I had the chance. Now I’m left with him. The only one who can hold me in the night and squeeze that spot on my neck that feels like my lifeline between sanity and chaos. But we don’t work together. We’re absolute poison for each other. We’re a stifling, suffocating, sickness of darkness. But I feel safe…because I’ve made an art of pushing people away. Now he’s pushing back… And making me believe… Making me wonder… Maybe, just maybe… I could be the one.

 

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5 Stars

This book was awesome!  This is the first time I have ever listened to a book that I have never read.  And I was pleasantly surprised.

I love this narrator. She breathed life into these characters with her accents, her tone and the inflection.  I believed her when she did the male voices. It was like there were several different narrators, thats how good she was!  I still hear them in my head. I am new to audio books (this is my 4th) but if this is the talent I have been missing I am definitely gonna start buying more.

This book hurt my heart. It was such a sad, tragic story that I thought for sure was not going to end the way I expected it too. I have never been so happy to be wrong!

I get her guilt, It was a real weight dragging her down.  But the real stand out for me was Liam. His vulernability still gives me the shivers. And Hayden’s downward spiral was painful to listen to as well.

The ending kinda blew me away, it wasn’t rushed, like, she wasn’t better overnight. She had a constant struggle to come to terms with her skewed verson of herself she saw in the mirror every morning. It was very internal.  The pacing was perfect for me. I am for sure going to read the next one.

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Beacon by Angela Brown

Synopsis:
23627081***When ignorance is bliss, Bliss is power.***

Tsunamis reduced the USA into a shell of itself, called The Fold. Surviving humans and vampires joined forces to form The Colony, where registered citizens do as they’re told.

They donate blood quarterly and dream of being chosen as Attendees for the Jubilee celebrations, that is, everyone except Macie Breen. With high school graduation near, she’s anxious to ditch the rules in hopes of starting a new life with Thane, an unregistered and also her best friend.

Her hopes fizzle when Macie is selected as an Attendee, forever registered. Any future with Thane…impossible. Being chosen comes with another unexpected price.

Truths about The Colony blaze into ashes and lies when she discovers the vampires haven’t kept their part of the bargain. Worst still, Macie’s life unravels as her stint in the city of Bliss forces her to face daunting truths about who, and what, she really is.

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My Review:
2.5 stars — I probably should have DNF’d this one.  I could tell fairly early on that it probably wasn’t my kind of book, but I’d won it in a contest so I kind of felt like I should give it a better chance.  (Also, it’s Black History Month, and this was the one book in my TBR that appeared to have a POC in it, so I was striving for diversity)  But it just never got better for me.

The writing starts out very descriptive…I’m not a literary kind of girl, but it felt like taking the whole “show, don’t tell” thing to another level.  It just didn’t flow naturally for me.  Might be a personal taste thing.  If you’re like me, you would totally notice it in the first few pages, so you could always sample it and see…  Strangely enough that sort of petered out as the story went on, so it was really only predominant in the first third of the book.  What’s really strange is that for all of the description that was given, I had a hard time picturing things — like the devil spawn…it didn’t really incite fear in me.  It more made me think of a Star Trek The Original Series creature.  Maybe it was the furriness?  Maybe it was just me….

I never became all that attached to the characters…there just wasn’t enough connection for me.  Some really horrible/terrifying things happen in this book, and quite honestly I NEVER felt enough emotion from our heroine, Macie.  Seriously.  People die.  She’s forced to *kill* people.  She learns all sorts of lies and about all sorts of new creatures (including things about herself).  And through it all she just sort of dealt with it.  Not that she had *no* reaction, it just felt like a blip and then it was over and it was on to the next crisis.

The pacing also felt weird to me.  There was a LOT that happens, but it was never a big buildup, mostly just these little hills and then we would move on to the next hill and the next.  Even the climax didn’t feel all that big to me, just felt like yet another hill.  I guess I was just never really that engaged with what was going on.

I didn’t really feel a lot of chemistry with Thane  either.  I almost felt more for Rig, and that went in a completely different direction than I was expecting.

It’s funny, b/c it almost felt like there was too much going on that it was hard to keep track of, but at the same time I felt kind of bored.  *sigh*  I don’t know.  😦  I hate writing reviews for books I don’t enjoy.

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How I Fall by Anne Eliot

Got this and the next book in a 2 book bundle, so finally going back and finishing this series.  So had to reread this one again — thus includes my original review as well as a reread note.

Synopsis:
22494015*WHAT IF YOU HAD AN IMPOSSIBLE CRUSH?*
Impossible because she’s Ellen Foster. The beautiful, smart, and possibly fragile photography-girl. You’re Cam Campbell. The guy who plays football 24/7 with no life. But what if during junior year, you decide to finally try for her phone number—until this glitter-crazed new girl ruins your plan. Worse, the girl is Irish, awkward, and insists you and Ellen should become best friends—with her! Only, you don’t want to be friends with a human tornado, and you think Ellen might need to stay a crush. This is because after one interaction you’ve discovered Ellen Foster really is fragile. Your problems and secrets are too big for anyone to understand.

*WHAT IF YOU COULDN’T RESIST?*
But what if the three of you wind up assigned to a group photography project, where rumors are already circling about the new girl being ridiculous? You know she’s nice but very alone, so you convince your crush to help protect the new girl. Suddenly, working on the project makes hanging out, texting, talking—and even high school—seem fun and completely normal when it’s anything but normal.

*WHAT IF YOU KISS*
What if you kiss Ellen Foster and it’s perfect enough to make you believe in things you shouldn’t. You tell her secrets and share your dreams. You make the kinds of promises and create plans to be together that might be impossible to keep when you’re only sixteen and your parents control your entire future,
but…

*WHAT IF YOU HURT HER…*

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My Review:
ON REREAD: Probably would round down to 4 instead of up to 5.  The things I noted in the review below bothered me a bit more this time around.  But I’m going to leave it on here b/c I could be just in a mood.

4.5 stars — this book had me mega grinning from practically the first page.  Honestly, there was so much to love about the characters, and it was just one of those sweet ya romances….well, that is until they ran into conflict and my heart was ripped out when I discovered this was actually a 2 book series!!!  Seriously, how did I not know that??

REALLY had a hard time deciding whether to round up or down on this one.  The parts that I LOVED had this book at a 5++++.  But there were a few little things that bugged me, and one of those was the naivety of Cam.  I really disliked how blinded he was to his parents….well, sometimes I felt like he totally saw them for the snobs and jerks they were, but then he’d be like “don’t worry, when I explain it will all be good.”  I just don’t get where that came from?  It was the same with his friends.  Was he really that oblivious to how Ellen was treated?  But then I think, maybe it’s b/c he was only 16 and truly just thought that good would prevail and all that.  So yeah, not sure how I ended up feeling on that in the end.  I mean, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cam.  Seriously, LOVE that boy.  And he and Ellen together were so sweet and just OMG <3’s everywhere awesomeness.  So maybe that’s why I was disappointed in him?

Regardless of that little niggle, I LOVED the characters.  I am chagrined to say that when I read the synopsis, I somehow got it into my head that Laura was either younger, or had perhaps a developmental handicap.  Honestly, I HAVE NO IDEA where I got that from.  Going back and rereading it doesn’t enlighten me, so feel free to laugh your butts off.  Seriously.  Laura was hilarious.  She was such a nice addition to the cast, along with Patrick.  So it wasn’t just a romance developing, but an expansion of both Ellen *and* Cam’s friend group.  Loved the dynamics between the 4 of them.

Some of the bits in the climax bordered on unbelievable, but it didn’t bother me as much as it has in previous books by Ms. Eliot.

And on a weird side note, as a Western Canadian, and HUGE CFL (Canadian Football League) fan, I found the football notes irksome on occasion….but that’s a TOTAL personal thing.  Honestly, I’m from Saskatchewan, and it’s like a religion over there.  So to see the CFL sort of relegated to lameness or second best rose my hackles.  😉  But since Timmie’s was appropriately worshipped in the book, I will forgive the American author.  Besides, maybe it’s different over in Ontario, especially closer to the border like the town was.

And now that I got rid of that silly aside, I will just say that it is BY FAR my favourite Anne Eliot book.  Seriously, most of it had me grinning and laughing and just happy so much my cheeks hurt.  Now I will have to impatiently wait alongside the rest of the fans for the conclusion.  *leg starts tapping uncontrollably*  HURRY!!!

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Full Measures (Flight & Glory book 1) by Rebecca Yarros

Full MeasuresSynopsis: She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead.Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart.Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.

 

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5 Stars

I won this book from Unofficial Book Club on Facebook.  Which is weird because I rarely win books.  It looked good though, so I started reading it right away.  This story was incredibly sad tinged with a happiness that was balanced beautifully.  I cried multiple times.  It was so much more than a love story.  And honestly that wasn’t what really captured my interest.

It was the grief and the military aspect that did it.  It’s very detailed in how a military family deals with death as opposed to a civilian one.  The rituals that are adhered to were very informative and gave me a look into a different lifestyle than I am familiar with. There were little things that I could identify with.  The thing that really set it apart from a contemporary romance for me was that the love interest didn’t stand out as much as the five stages of grief did.

Somehow she navigated the grief and kept her life from falling apart. The strength that Ember shows is admirable and awes-inspiring.  She has a stubborn streak that I totally laughed at because I do that same thing with regards to asking for help.  The author was able to keep my emotions engaged without me losing interest.

I would definitely recommend this book to romance lovers.

Favorite Quotes:

His understanding softened me even further.  It was one thing to lust after him, but quite another to find myself…liking him as a person, not just a hot body.

But there was beauty in not knowing what was coming my way, in being unable to brace for impact.

He was like a puzzle where every piece was black, and I couldn’t tell what went where.

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Roomies by Lindy Zart

I actually won a copy of this book a little bit ago, and it was the perfect book to pick me up.

Synopsis:

23152710Graham Malone is my roommate, my personal eye candy, the reason I get up in the morning smiling (that could be from the illicit dreams I have about him too, I suppose. Let’s move on.). He’s also beautiful to look at, but his heart is where his true beauty lies. Take away the exterior and the interior still shines.

I love him. I mean, I’m pretty sure I do, having never been in love before. Anyway, it seems legit.

And now his brother Blake is here, and, well, he’s the complete opposite of Graham. Sarcastic, brooding, and totally available. But he’s leaving soon, and Graham’s the one I want. I shouldn’t have to remind myself of this, right? I wouldn’t have to if Blake would quit looking at me like I’m something yummy and he’s starving.

Here’s a toast to roomies; the ones you should never fall in love with. Or something.

Find it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23152710-roomies
Order it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LmYfpz

My Review:
4 stars — OK, this was way crazier than I was expecting.  Kennedy’s inner monologue was HILARIOUS.  Sometimes I felt like it got in the way of what was going on (in the serious times), but I guess that’s just the way she was.  She is by far the most sarcastic, snarky heroine I have ever read…and I feel like I’ve read a lot of them.  Honestly, the things she thought and the things she said took my by surprise (and mostly made me laugh).

I only vaguely remembered reading the synopsis for this one, but I had a pretty clear idea of what I thought was going to happen based on what I remembered reading.  NOPE!!  Totally did not play out like I was expecting.  And yes, I know this is vague, but this is my review, I’ll write what I want!

Both male leads gave me tingles in this one….not to mention the feels.  I didn’t expect some of the deeper aspects of this story, but Ms. Zart totally tackles them in her own unique way.  I really appreciated how Kennedy saw when one of them really needed a friend, and offered that to him even when it made things complicated.  It was kind of a strange love triangle in that sense, b/c both boys were looking for something that Kennedy could provide.  But back to my original statement about tingles, seriously people, the swoon factor was high in this book.

In the end what prevented this from being a 5 star read for me was Kennedy’s oddball behavior…which is weird, b/c I also liked that about her.  I couldn’t always relate to her b/c she was so odd….there were some cringe-worthy moments where I just wanted to hide my kindle or skip to the next part.  But I guess most of all, I just wanted her to lay her heart on the line at the end, and I didn’t really feel like she did that.

I still highly recommend this fun read — it was quick, it was hilarious, and it gave me the feels.  And I wouldn’t mind seeing the “losing” boy get his own book….

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