Friday, May 10, 2013

Darkness before Dawn by J. A. London


Title: Darkness Before Dawn
Author: J. A. London
Genre: YA Paranormal / Vampire
Pages: 342
Age: 12+
Review Rating: Bottom Shelf

Synopsis:

Only sunlight can save us.

We built the wall to keep them out, to keep us safe. But it also makes us prisoners, trapped in what's left of our ravaged city, fearing nightfall.

After the death of my parents, it's up to me--as the newest delegate for humanity--to bargain with our vampire overlord. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the monsters. Then again, nothing could have prepared me for Lord Valentine . . . or his son. Maybe not all vampires are killers. Maybe it's safe to let one in.

Only one thing is certain: Even the wall is not enough. A war is coming and we cannot hide forever.

Rating: 

I don't know if it was me, or you Darkness before Dawn, but I just think we aren't a good fit. I tried, and you tried to pull me in, but we had some real problems. Okay, joking aside, this book was one that I probably would not have finished if it wasn't for the fact that I had read all my other books by the end of the week. In the time it took me to finish this novel, I read and reviewed two others. To be fair though, I had been waiting with bated breath for the other two novels that happened to come out the week I'd gotten Darkness from the library.

The novel didn't have anything blaringly wrong with it, but it was subtle things. The characters had back stories, good back stories as well, but the way they were conveyed and explained didn't ever capture me. I felt many of the secondary characters were one dimensional, acting more as props of the plot line then actual beings effected by the events. The author tried to make us feel sympathy for the main character Dawn, but I never felt beyond the initial 'oh that's sad'. Victor, our male vampire/ love interest, is kind of puppet-esque where there isn't much to him beyond the normal teenage angst.

There is something about the author J. A. London. It is an mother/son duo, which may be why the story didn't feel like it flowed well. I've found most of the books I've read that have author duo's I haven't liked.

I wasn't the biggest fan, so I'm going to have to say . . . Bottom Shelf.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Elite by Kiera Cass

Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Pages: 323
Genre: YA Dystopic/ YA Romance
Age: 13+
Review Rating: 3/4

Synopsis:

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.


Review:


Another start at 8pm and stay up to finish reading until 2am book. I need to stop starting a new book at 8pm. It's become detrimental for my health. Ah! But once I started this book, I had to know how it ended. It was wonderful!

I want to start with the things I loved about the book. Cass does an amazing job with the world she's created. I really believe the cast system she has created and the struggle that America has with wanting to help her friends and family from the lower casts. Because of the way it was done, I could really see a future of America becoming a cast system. Also the relationship between America and the other girls was done beautifully. Their desire to be friends, while also being in a competition was very evident. I can't imagine what that would be like, having to play nice with the same girls that are going for your boyfriend. It would suck! Maxom has quickly become my favorite character in the series. He has been totally consistent in his dealing with America and has grown from book one into someone that is almost ready to rule.

As much as I loved the book, there were a few things about it that bothered me. First was America's attitude toward Maxom and his dealing with the other girls. Through the whole thing she gets angry because Maxom is spending time with the other girls, but come on. They are all in a competition, and he HAS to spend time with the other girls. He isn't free to just spend all his time with her. She acts very immature, questioning everything Maxom is doing, and never giving he the benefit of the doubt. Also Aspen almost seems to be there only to cause problems emotionally for America, not to do much. The Queen was another that bothered me. She is there, watching everything that is happening, but she never seemed to have a mind of her own, giving any kind of advice or council for any of the girls. Things happen in this novel that would have been a great moment to give the Queen a real character, but the road was never taken, leaving the Queen one dimentional.

That being said, it still has been one of my favorite series right now and I will be waiting with bated breath for the next book!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

Title: Sweet Peril
Author: Wendy Higgins
Genre: YA Paranormal/ YA Romance
Pages: 371
Age: 16+ (for some sensuality)
Review Rating: 3/4

Synopsis:

Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things. 

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

Review:

I had my last final on Tuesday April 30th, and as a reward went and got this book at Barnes and Noble. I was so excited to read this, I was literally jumping up and down to get the book. As soon as I got home I started it, and boy was I in for a treat. From page one I loved it!! The relationships that Higgins creates are just amazing, making you hate who you should hate, and love whom you should love. Kope is amazing! I love the hidden secrets, the place in his heart you know that Anna could touch if she wanted to. But while there is a connection, there will always be Kai. Kai always and forever! I love him!! He is still reeling from the events of the summit at the end of Sweet Evil, and he is still doing whatever he can to keep Anna safe. Anna and Kai are amazing, their chemistry is palpable. That being said, I feel like Anna is a little whinny when it comes to Kai. Instead of pushing forward, she sits around a little until she gets her way (which I won't tell you what that is, because that would be a spoiler). 

A note on sexual content for the book. There is one section of the novel that really push it. I love sexual tension like everyone else, but the scene that Higgins describes is a little more detailed then I personally was comfortable with in a teen novel. 


However, putting that aside, I really loved the novel and it was everything that I had hoped for!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Storm; The Elemental Series
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: YA Paranormal
Pages: 353
Ages: 16+ (for language)
Review Rating: Middle Shelf

Synopsis:

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys; all the ones she doesn't want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They're powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming.

Review: 

Don't judge a book by it's cover. I had to remind myself that when I picked up this novel. The cover reminded me of those chop-shop novels that publishers like Harlequin Romance put out. You know the type, cookie cutter stories, one dimensional characters, and normally boring. But remember, don't judge a book by it's cover. On Goodreads.com (which is where I got A LOT of my book recommends) it had a really high ranking and all the reviews were favorable. So, I picked it up . . . and was totally rewarded!!! 

This novel picks up on page one with action and mystery. Becca is a real fighter, emotionally and physically, which is a refreshing change from the majority of teen novels. She has had a traumatic experience that we don't really find out about until close to the end of the book, but it is hinted to enough that you get what's going on. It colors a lot of the choices Becca makes when it comes to Chris and her interactions with his brothers. There were some points with Chris's older brothers that I felt were a little extreme, but I understand the choices that the author made. Chris and Becca have a really great love/hate relationship that is so much fun to read. Their verbal jousting is both funny and heart pumping. 

But Chris has some competition in the form of Hunter, a goth/punk/new age new kid that is hot, charming and mysterious. He seems to know things he shouldn't know, but this is very easily overlooked because he treats Becca so well. I don't know about other readers, but I was kind of pulling for Hunter because he was a gentleman, broken inside, but kind and generous. Wow, I think that was maybe enough adjectives! 

The story line is well thought out and plotted. Half way through the book I called something that I was a little nervous about it's execution. It was a little clique, but ended up being well written with just a little cheese. The inclusion of the supernatural in the novel was different. I've read books before about people who could control the elements, but this was a brand new take on the idea. It made sense (which doesn't alway happen), and it was cleanly executed so we didn't as the readers were not confused. Kemmerer is a really great writer, one I'll be keeping my eyes on for the future. I've gotten the second book, Spark, and I'm waiting anxiously to for Spirit!!!