Review: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

From Goodreads:

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way…

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.


What the fresh hell is this?

Charles and Anna you say? No way, those books are awesome! This book was decidedly not.

I mean, do you really expect me to believe that the badass author who wrote the glory of Mercy Thompson wrote this nonsensical piece of boredom?

To my utter and complete fucking surprise: YES.

*What just the crap just happened?*

Anna and Charles travel to Arizona thinking it’ll be a relaxing trip visiting old friends and looking at pretty horses. But, lucky for them they get to solve a nifty little mystery. A dangerous faerie is stealing children. Charles and Anna set out to solve this mystery, going all Nancy Drew on our asses. Get out your notebooks and flashlights, ladies and gents ’cause we’ve got a mystery to solve.

There are some spoilers on previous books in the series:

 It all comes down to this: Did I enjoy it? Sure, there’s always going to be things I like or dislike in every book I read, but in the end it always comes down to whether I enjoyed it. I truly did enjoy things about this book, but overall I am saddened to say that I did not enjoy the book.

HORSIES!

They are majestic creatures.

Obviously.

Every once and a while, you ship a couple. C&A were one of my most shippable UF couples, next to Curran and Kate (We can’t be friends if you haven’t read them, fyi). I truly do love how Briggs built their relationship. I wouldn’t say that I love that Charles saved Anna from her previous pack, but I can deal with it. Plus, the use of rape (in the first book, just to be clear) AGAIN was just not to my favor. But, still I can get past that because at this point in Urban Fantasy it’s an anomaly if rape isn’t used. Although, it is suspicious how Briggs uses rape in both series. It must be a genre staple. Even so, I love how Charles gives Anna her space and doesn’t hover like most love interests. He just backs way up if she needs it. He’s a quiet guy. I just love the quiet mysterious guys. Again, with the mystery aspect. He’s just so chill. But, now I’m going to have to say that they have gone the way of the wind. The ‘Dead Heat’ title takes an entire new meaning, emphasis on the “dead.”

I never really realized this before, but Anna is not an interesting person. The only thing that makes her interesting is that she’s an omega and she has a traumatic past. Anna as a person? Not so much.

In this book, Charles completely dominated the book. This is not a good thing. I don’t care how much you have the hots for him, it is not cool with me when the woman takes a backseat in the story. Too often the guy seems to have a much larger presence than the girl. I’m not okay with this. It seemed like Anna had a presence in the beginning, then it became all about Charles, and then towards the end she showed up to save the day. What is this plate of ripe shit? Do not confuse me like this. I will not be tricked into thinking it’s about both Charles and Anna, when Charles has a more dominating presence (not a wolf reference, please) than Anna. Exit the ship, if you don’t mind me saying.

Briggs has a way with unweaving a mystery. She’s just so excellent at planting clues and teasing you the entire way through. The writing is quite nice and I enjoyed it. Dead Heat did not interest me as much as it should have. It was quite boring, as I’ve already stated. Patricia Briggs does tend to weave a book slowly and surely. But, there should always be something to interest me no matter how long it takes to unweave the story.

The sad thing about the horses being such a big part of the book is that a lot of the scenes had no purpose other than spew out horse facts. As much as I love horses, having grown up with them, I can’t see an actual purpose to many of the scenes. The horses are part of why Anna and Charles went to Arizona, so that’s why the horses are so important in the background of the story. But, I felt like the author gave us a little too much. It started to become a little obsessive on the horse info and descriptions.

The plot took so incredibly long to unravel that I cannot forgive the huge chunk of book it took to become known. It dragged on too much for my taste. I love it when stories take a while to unfold. Sometimes, I just love to sink into those stories. But, when the plot takes an entire section of the book to start? That’s when I start to consider watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians instead. Desperate times, my friends. I had them.

I don’t know why I do this to myself.

I will remember you Charles and Anna. We had some good times. I can honestly say that it could be me. That’s possible. But, let’s go with the possibility that it’s probably you. I’m a confident woman. I don’t need hesitate to say what I think. This is what I think.

I received an Advanced Readers Copy provided by Penguin Group Berkley, NAL through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book. 

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ARC Review: When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

From the Author’s Website:

What if after every bad breakup, there was someone to turn to who could “cleanse your palate”—someone who wouldn’t judge you, who was great in bed, but you were sure not to fall in love with? “Sorbet sex” could solve everything—as long as it never got too sweet. . . .

Joss and Matt have been friends since freshmen year—meeting one night after Joss is dumped by her high school boyfriend. A few drinks later, Joss nearly gives it up to an even drunker frat boy. Matt humors her with a proposition—that he become her “go-to” guy when she needs to heal a broken heart. In return, she’ll do the same for him. The #1 Rule: Never fall in love with each other. People scoff at the arrangement. But six years later, now out of college, Joss and Matt are still the best of friends . . . with benefits.

Through a string of boyfriends and girlfriends—some almost perfect, some downright wrong—Joss and Matt are always there for one another when the going gets tough. No strings. No attachments. Piece of cake. No problem. After all, since they wrote the rules, surely they can play by them. Or Can they?


This book is most assuredly the cutest and fluffiest thing in the realm of New Adult. It has kittens and puppies coming out of its derrière. The sad thing is that as I read the book, things kept popping up that made me see the flaws and weaknesses in the plot and character progression. While reading it, I had the most fun I’ve had reading a book in a long while. I read it in one sitting, something that happens zero to never times. Towards the end of the book, I was slapped in the face by how angry I was by a certain something the heroine did towards the beginning of the book. As much as I want to write a rage review, I want to be completely fair to this book. Normally I would write a rage review, but I honestly think a fair review would be better for this book. I’m sorry to say this book was like an awkward and uncomfortable first kiss. 

Let’s just listen to the gif, shall we?

Translation: Awkward, cute, bubbly, and kind of a screw up.

Girl Pride:

Joss (full name: Joscelin) has a fear of heights, an adorable relationship with her cat, and a lingerie fetish. The lingerie in the book alone makes me want an inside look of the MC’s drawers. What? I’m a girl. I like girly things. I may swear like a sailor and scream “down with the patriarchy!”, but on my off days I will go paint my nails. I really love when the MC is girly and is proud of it. It makes me feel like the heroine is confident and embraces feminism at its core. The heroine who tries to be the complete opposite of a girl is just a role reversal and subsequently not a real person.

Joss has a language of her own, much like Lorelei Gilmore or Buffy. Don’t be scared, she doesn’t over-do the bubbly dialogue. It’s very agreeable, and doesn’t try to punch you in the face with the wittiness of it. Cahill’s dialogue is pure champagne fluff served with bubbly. It’s a good thing, folks.

It’s even an eyeshadow:

The book transitions between the present and seven years ago when they were freshmen. Joss befriends Matt at a keg party, but they don’t truly become friends until after they decide to be mutual sorbet sex parters. Sorbet Sex translated by yours truly: Sex in between the breakups. It cleanses the palate. The coincidence, girls and gents, doesn’t pass me. The fact that it was Matt’s idea was not in my favor. I would have appreciated it more if it had been her idea, since when it’s the guys proposition it kind of seems like he’s the experienced teacher. She’s no virgin, but I still felt that it effected my appreciation for their relationship progression.

Despite my misgivings about how these two friends started this ‘friends with benefits’ sexual relationship, I felt they were the cutest thing in the genre I had ever seen. I loved how they grew as friends. They became intimately involved in each others personal relationships, as any friend would be. In all honesty, I almost shipped this couple. The unfortunate thing is the book had too many faults for me to claim this without hesitating. I usually ship ‘hate to love’ relationships and ‘friends to lovers’ relationships. I cannot tell you enough how much I love this. This couple is, as Katy Perry would say, the one that got away.

The Frat Boy Scene (aka a feminist rant):

Prepare yourselves. I am about to get all feminist on your asses.

This is my main beef with this book. Sexual Assault, whether the MC goes through with it or not, is not an okay thing. It’s not something the author should take lightly. It’s not something the MC should ever joke about, either. To give you some background, Joss’ boyfriend had just broken up with her and she’s looking for someone to take her mind off him. So she starts fooling around with a frat boy. He’s so drunk that he passes out. But for some insane reason, she contemplates having sex with him even though he’s not able to consent. This goes both ways, guys. Male or female. Equality of the sexes. It applies to both male and female when it comes to consenting.

In my desperation, I actually checked the crotch of his pants. Soft. I dismounted my unconscious frat boy and stood back to survey the situation. To proceed or not to proceed?

Later on in the novel she jokes about it:

“Speaking of Greeks…did I ever tell you about the time I almost sexually assaulted a frat guy?” That got the laugh I was expecting, and I launched into the story of my pathetic attempt to seduce the useless Jeff. 

Now for the sake of experiment, let’s change the quote around by exchanging frat boy with sorority girl:

I dismounted my [sorority girl] and stood back to survey the situation. To proceed or not to proceed?

See the problem? Male or female, it is never okay to consider having sex with someone who is not able to consent. If she had gone through with it, it would have been considered rape. We focus so much on female rape victims all the time, that we forget that men are raped and sexually assaulted as well. I cannot get over this. Joke or not, it’s not something I can brush off.

Friends to lovers….not so much:

I loved Matt and Joss’ relationship as friends, but I couldn’t find a transition between friends and lovers. It just came right smack out of the blue. She suddenly just told the reader she had feelings for him beyond something sexual. They had been friends for a long time and logically it makes sense that they would love each other. But, that’s not what I’m referring to. What I feel was done poorly was the transition from loving each other as friends to slowly letting the reader know when the character fell in love. The author didn’t clue in the reader into the fact that Joss was starting to have more romantic feelings towards Matt. It just shot out of the text without any indication in the previous pages.

Oh Joss, Oh Matt: 

I’ve had my own version of the relationship crazies, but Joss has pulled that to a whole new level. I just can’t believe a smart heroine wouldn’t be more intelligent when it involves dating. I have no problem with one night stands, but at least be safe about who you’re sleeping with. You don’t know if that guy has some fucked up disease, without asking. If you don’t know him, how do you know if he isn’t some sort of fucking serial killer who has a “girls named Joss” fetish? I’m being insane. What else would you expect? But, seriously girls. Please be safe. Think about what kind of relationship you’re getting into before you act. Ask questions. Be logical. Be smart about date rape and nice strangers that hand you drinks.

Plot or Character?

There didn’t seem to be any progression in the plot beyond the sorbet sex. Don’t misinterpret me, this book is not all about the sex. It’s far from that. Once Matt and Joss have defined their sorbet relationship the plot doesn’t seem to have an actual purpose. The sorbet sex happens whenever they break up with their special someone and it starts to become a pattern. Eventually, it’s nothing but predictable. You expect certain things. In fact, you know they will happen. The excitement drops dramatically after fifty percent. That is the point where you, as the reader, understand that this plot is more character than it is plot. It is not balanced between character and plot. Instead, it is mostly one and very little of the other. 

If it hadn’t been for the MC considering sexual assault, this book may have been a three star. I’m still raging about it. It involved a lot of wine and Doritos. Those two things always go together.

All the same, this was one of the fluffiest and cutest New Adult books I’ve ever read. I just wish there weren’t so many problems with this novel.

Thank you to Ballantine and Edelweiss for providing this title in exchange for an honest review. 

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story—a story that has never been told … until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from WINTER, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


This book probably has the most insane villain in young adult.

Or…I think it does…. *pouts and taps her chin with her finger*

*The Courtney Love Stare*

This novella is the story of how Levana became Queen of Luna and slowly spiraled into the deep despair of insanity. There is no possibility that she’s just evil. The way she makes decisions is more than just irrational behavior.

Marissa Meyer writes with beauty and darkness. Her prose makes you want to read more no matter how late into the night. She’s seductively talented at pacing. The authors I love most excel at pacing and writing down genuine emotion: Karen Marie Moning, J.K. Rowling, and Melina Marchetta are among my favorites who master this. Meyer made me pay attention to her writing more than anything. The characters developed in a way that made me feel the drama unfold as if I were watching them through a mirror (Do you get the reference. Tee Hee!). They walked into a scene and they shouted and screamed yelling at me to pay attention. They were bitchy and I listened.

We start with Levana at the age of sixteen. Levana has always been ugly and grotesque beneath her alluring glamour. Her body is ridden with scars.

We see the culture and people of Luna. The castle, the technology, the traditions, the glamours and everything that spells Sexy Space Aliens. Let’s face it, the aliens are sexy. Of course, it’s because of their glamours. It’s like an entire planet of hunky and curvy models. Karl Lagerfield would have a field day.

*Karl wiggles eyebrows “Sexy Aliens, huh?”

Levana is the type of person I would normally hate to read about, if she were the main character of a full length novel. If it were just for her scars, I’d be shipping it faster than UPS. But, her decisions are more than just evil. I love villains. They’re gross. They hate people without reason. They get in your face and stick sharp objects into random strangers. They are so fucking badass. But, Levana is the type of villain that I can’t like. This book did not make me sympathize with her. I am a cold hearted bitch. I do not care about characters unless they give me a valid reason for their actions. Levana never did this. But, I’m not blaming the book for this. This is the point of view of the villain. Therefore, you’re meant to hate her.

Okay, here comes the part where I have to separate myself apart from other reviews as: the reviewer who gave Fairest a bad grade. The pressure to like this book was really stressing me out. I got to a certain point in the book where I came to the conclusion I would have to mention the “bad things Brigid didn’t like”. The more I thought about it, the more it made me hesitant to read more. Once I finished the book, I put it down with a disappointed “crap.”

SURPRISE!!!!!

I felt like this because I keep seeing friends on Goodreads, twitterians (what I call twitter people. Heh), and other bloggers rate this book four or five stars. One after another, those reviews came. I want to follow those reviewers. I want to give this book a good grade, but I’m unable to do so. I have too many problems that I won’t forgive.

I have a list:

1. The slut shaming:

This books intent is to let the reader to understand the villain. Its intent is also to show what makes Levana the bad guy. My personal opinion is that the slut shaming in this book is presented as a way to show how twisted, sadistic, mean, and disillusioned Levana is:

She had once told Levana that she felt queenly having to lift her skirts as she went up and down the stairs. It had taken all of Levana’s efforts not to ask if that was the same reason she lifted her skirts all those other times too.

The problem with this is that slut shaming is used as a device that makes the issue belittled, undermined, and ignored as a critical issue in today’s society. The most small and inconsequential sentences can be attributed to slut shaming, and often they are:

It was easy to tell who would be warming her sister’s bed that night.

Small and insignificant they may seem, but there is a bigger issue that lies behind that sentence. A lot of people write off this issue as joke or a silly female idea. One of my status updates on Goodreads had a comment from a guy asking me if slut shaming was a “pinball machine.” We see it everyday. I see it in real life and online almost every fucking single day. The author pushes aside the reality of this societal problem as a way to use it for her character’s personality. I refuse to justify this just because it’s the villain, whether I like her or not is not the issue.

2. The portrayal of the selfish and beautiful bitch sister:

Young Adult is a genre that is dearly close to my heart, yet I have so many misgivings and hatred toward certain things, one of them I’ve already mentioned. The girl on girl hate that is often in the novels is another. Rarely do we find friendships or girls being kind and generous towards one another in this genre, and many of the other genres. The irony is that the genres targeted towards women are usually the ones that have the most slut shaming and girl on girl hate.

Channary is portrayed as the selfish, jealous, egotistical older sister who obsesses with her looks in almost every scene. She’s a bitch, and she’s meant to be. Again, just because this is in the POV of Levana doesn’t mean I can excuse. This is not a justifiable reason.

example one: 

“Why aren’t there any mirrors in here? I want to see how beautiful I look for my tear-filled performance.”

example two:

 Then, quick as a viper, Channary backhanded Levana across the face, sending her stumbling into one of the bedposts. 

*Beyonce snappy fingers* 

3. The unrealistic actions of the characters

 I’m going to have to put this section in spoilers. There’s just no way to prevent spoilers. I’m going to put this section in black highlight. Just highlight the black and you’ll be able to see the spoilers.

Unless you’ve read the book please don’t read this section:

Those of you who’ve read the novella know that Channary is very spoiled and thinks only of herself. Of course, she does. She’s constantly looking in the mirror, yelling, and showing cruelty towards servants. She’s a mean bitch. Ever since Levana was little, Channary has bullied and pushed Levana into doing things that could only be cruel and sadistic. We learn the way Levana receives her scars: her sister in a random act of cruelty pushes part of Levana’s body into the fire. She burns so bad that she glamours herself every second of her life to hide herself from others and from herself.

My grievance with this is that psychologically, a child who is a spoiled brat doesn’t just push her sister into a fire because she’s supposedly cruel. If she’s cruel enough to push her into a fire, there is something psychologically wrong to the point where she would have to be considered insane. There is no development or explanation in the text that convinces the reader that Channary is mentally ill. Obviously, we know that Levana is. In comparison, Levana actually changes to let us know when and how she becomes insane. She’s delusional and convinces herself of things that a normal person wouldn’t. She manipulates and coerces others and herself into believing she’s in love with a man she barely knows. She tricks a man into believing he’s attracted to her. In her obsession, she becomes cruel and eventually mad. This, we did not get from Channary. We didn’t get any indication that she was mentally ill. Instead, we’re told she’s selfish, mean, and cruel.
4. The plot that disappeared:

The plot was Levana, her character, and her past. That’s it.

Yeah…not a plot.

I couldn’t pick out an actual consistent and integral plot in this novella. She was the plot. I’m having a difficult time deciding if I can forgive this. Can I mark this as a reason to lower my grade of this book, even though it’s not a full length novel? I’m wrestling with this. I’m not sure if I can let this go because it’s only a novella. I’m mentioning to let you guys know about and decide for yourself.

That moment you realize you’re a lonely ass reviewer. The reviewer that was disappointed by a book everyone loved.

*I’m a fucking rainbow cat*

YEAH. THAT. 

2 Star Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry


The girl with straight A’s, designer clothes and the perfect life-that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.


You know why Katie McGarry’s books work for me? They remind me of Boy Meets World.

When I was a kid, I loved that show. So much the ’90s.

*Boy Meets World*

By the time I started watching that show, I’m pretty sure they were on the last season. I loved the soap-opera drama, the bromance relationship between Cory (the kid with everything. A good home. A loving family. Security.) and Shawn (the kid from across the tracks. Constantly being moved. Nobody wanting him. A chip on his shoulder. Always feeling empty inside.)

Katie McGarry: You have re-created this for me in your books. The only difference is you upped the drama, pushed the intensity level of the relationships, and made the stakes look like 2pac had it good. 

*2PAC!!!! So badass.*

This is the guy that got shot 9 fucking times. It wasn’t until that 9th shot that he died. He had it rough. Yeah. That shit you do to your characters, well it makes it look like he got off easy.

I love Pushing the Limits. It was so good. I don’t even have the words to describe how much I love the relationship between Echo and Noah. I did not have that feeling with this book. I have so many issues and problems and confusion and shit with this book I don’t even know where to start.

Instead of loving it, I kept thinking of GREASE.

*IT’S ELECTRIFYING CHEESE!*

McGarry really handed out the cheese in this one. Everytime I thought I was enjoying it, Isaiah or Rachel would reminisce on their insta-love relationship with an epic proportion of words that look remarkably similar to vomit. It probably has some cheese chunks in there somewhere.

Forty-eight hours have officially passed since I met Rachel. I’ve thought about her; her beauty, he laughter, that shy smile, our kiss. She discovered a deep hole in my chest and somehow filled it with her existence. Now she’s gone, leaving me alone, leaving me hollow.

I like Isaiah. He’s a cool guy. He’s got tats, but he’s a nice guy. Genuine and real. I really like that. What I don’t like is that periodically he would let emotions get to overwhelming heights and start to say things that I find hard to believe any real guy would truly say. I have brothers. I know them like I know the back of my hand and I know that guys don’t think like this. They can be sweet, kind, wonderful, mean, loving, tough, and gross, but one thing they aren’t: a soap opera cheese master bending on his knees like a tattooed and pierced punked out Romeo. Too much, McGarry. Back it way up.

There’s also a lot of repetition in this book. There’s lots of vibrating of veins, garage doors, skulls, and blood. But there’s more! I’ve also felt like I’ve read the same sentence possibly 3 times in this one book:

Adrenaline begins to leak into my bloodstream, and I silently pray for Isaiah to stride back into the door. 

There are too many sentences involving: Bloodsteam, adrenaline, vibrate, electricity, and rush. It’s irksome and annoying to read repetition. I want to pay attention to the story instead of these repetitive sentences, but I can’t. I get that twitchy feeling.

CRAZY READER TURNS INTO EDITOR MODE. ROAR. ROAARRRR. ROAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!

I loved Echo, but I can not get on board with Rachel. I love that she’s a nerd for cars. I love that she’s an introvert. I love that she’s uncomfortable socializing and being the center of attention. What I do not like:

1. That she was late to realize that she too committed to the problems in her home. Her relationship isn’t just her mother’s fault. She never tried to show her mom the real her. She was a little late in speaking up for herself. You can’t sit back and expect things to change. You have to change them if you want them to change. If you want respect, own it. Ask for it. Don’t just sit there. Speak.

 2. She jumps to conclusions. An example:

It’s a rare gift and he gave it to her. Our fight must have opened his eyes. The crash must have revealed his true feelings. And his feelings aren’t for me. 

 

*Stares at you. Raises eyebrow. REALLY?*

3. She’s got a catatonic level of self-conscious emotions going on. If she’s not jumping to conclusions, she’s telling people that they think she’s weak. Can we be done with heroines that hate themselves? I get being a little self conscious, but this a Titanic is sinking type of self loathing. Okay, maybe it wasn’t Karina Halle type of heroine self hatred, but it was still pretty epic in proportion. Turn it way way down, McGarry. Example:

“I am not weak.”

His eyes widen. “I never said you were.”

I pull a hand through my hair and tug at the strands, hoping that I’m wrong. But I’m not. “You’re just like my brothers. You see me as fragile and stupid and as someone who can’t make her own decisions.”

*I am so done with this shit*

 4. She irrationally trusts someone she barely knows without much reason. Say I’m seventeen years old and I’m drag racing. I’m yearning for the rush and danger. I’m expected to be responsible all the time at home. So I decide to have one night of danger. I don’t know much about what I’m doing. Right? I meet this hot guy with tattoos. I ask him to help me and he does. He helps me hide from the police and I help him hide from the police for illegal racing. Because he helped me and I think that because he didn’t hurt me that I can trust him. I still have the hots for him and trust him. We start to talk about cars. We start to date. What do you think? Am I smart? Have I made a mistake in trusting him even though I’ve barely known him for 3 hours? What if he wasn’t a nice guy?

What if instead of this sweet and sexy guy:

He’s this guy:

His name is Jeffrey Dahmer. He’s a serial killer. And I just fell in love with him.

Oopsie?

2 Stars: I enjoyed this book. I love McGarry, but this book was too cheesy for my taste. Maybe the next one will be better.

Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu


I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.


You did not beat me book. I have conquered you and I win.

It’s official: I found this book to be boring. I would rather eat a chainsaw than read this book again.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve dozed off while reading a book and I can honestly say that it was nice to have that feeling once again.

I discovered that this book wasn’t dystopian and I jumped on it. I was told that it was high fantasy. But then I read it. I think people are confusing this with high fantasy. It’s not really high fantasy. It’s a genre called Alternate history. This book in particular is an alternate history of Renaissance Italy which happens during the Black Death. You can kind of see it. There’s death. Scared people. We need to kill them! God is angry at us. You get the picture. But, luckily, it’s still related to high fantasy. Sort of.

By the way:  I cannot friggin’ stand dystopian Young Adult. It results in me getting hives. Covered in them. Not joking. Not happening. EVER. AGAIN.

I remember being a kid and diving into all the epic’s of fantasy. The swords. The wars. The Gary Stu heroes. The fate. Love. Magic. One dimensional female character’s. Ah the oldies. But I loved them. I read them. I adored the tropiness of it all.

Epic fantasy has changed. A lot. When I grew into teenage-hood, I hid in books during my high school years. When my friends dragged me to parties where I could barely hear the person next to me, I took out a book: It was always fantasy. I ignored the guy talking to me, completely. I had a beer in my hand and i was reading this dude completely being badass with a sword. A big fucking chunky book. A smile on my face.Best time ever.

As a teen, I raged that there were barely any high fantasy young adult novels. What existed? I will show you in the following image:

Sparkly!!!

Not what I had wished for. I WANTED DRAGONS DAMMIT! Fucking publishers.

Then, what do you know, a few years into college and what happens? High fantasy becomes a thing in YA.  Now you give me what I want once I’ve passed the age of pimples and grown ups throwing condoms all willy-nilly? As I said: fuck you publishers.

The reasons I did not like this book are:

-The memories. The damn damn transitions.

– The Slow pace

– The emotionless writing

– The boring MC (main character)

What the hell is with all the transitions a.k.a. the memories. It prevented me from getting to know the main character. It prevented character development. It caused a drag in the pacing. It resulted in me constantly dropping this book. It. Caused. So. Many. Damn. Problems.

I start the book and I get the introduction on the type of person the MC is. Her past. Her faults. Her independence. Her crimes. Then, I think “oh finally” the story is staring. Good. This is really really good. I’m enjoying this. YEAH! She’s so badass. Then the memories follow. Can you feel the dramatic music in the background? The memories continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue and continue. I angst over the memories because I care. It caused a lot of issues for me.

Normally I love transitions because they allow us to see us who the character was in the past in addition to allowing the author to show us the world, instead of just telling us by info-dumping. The problem in this book is that Lu was a little too zealous with transitions. I was only twenty percent in and she’d thrown me, at least, seven or more. I spent more time in the MC’s past, than I did in getting to know the story and the character. It was too much. Too many memories and transitions can cause the reader to disconnect with the character and the world. Why? Because it made me feel like I never really knew her. I never really felt like I engaged in the story, as a result.

I have a really short attention span. It’s so short. I’ll often doze off in conversations. Sometimes thinking about…more interesting things. I guess. Not sure why. I guess I just find it hard to pay attention. This book made my attention span non-existent. Let me tell you a story about my book experience:

Picks up book.

Thinks the heroine is really cool and badass.

Thinks there are too many transitions because there are.

Reads. Blah blah blah.

Asks herself “where’s the character development?”

Character does magicy shadow stuff with her powers. Woop-di-doo.

Drops book.

Does homework.

Does the laundry (I hate laundry).

Picks up book.Reads. Oh look, she made a rose with her powers. Neato.

Drops book.

Exams. Angsting over exams.

Thinks about book: “Why would the heroine think the love interest cares about her when they barely know each other?”

HMMMMM….

Picks up book.

Villain threatens MC. Sigh.

Drops book. Feeds dog. Watches horror film with a friend.

Picks up book. Oh it’s finally getting interesting. YAY.

Reads more than usual.

Drops book.

Looks at other books longingly.

Picks up book.

Pacing gets really slow.

Realizes the MC is boring. Only the elements about her are interesting. Huh.

Drops book.

Picks up a better book by famous fantasy author.

Picks book back up.

Dramatic fight between villain and love interest. Shit happens.

FEELS NOTHING.

End of story.

Part of the problem with the pacing, I believe, is that the writing is quite emotionless. I can’t even figure out why. It has no special spark that spoke to me. It was missing that unknown magic that a book has when I’m enjoying reading. It’s missing. I couldn’t connect to the character, the pacing dragged, and I felt nothing when a certain character gets hurt. This can all be directed back to the writing. It’s well written. But it’s missing something integral: emotion. The character talks about how she feels. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the actual writing itself. Not the characters. Not the feelings of the character. The writing.

I leave this review admitting that I am the misfit of reviewers: Not liking books everyone loves and leaving confused about it.

Review: Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

Blurb from the Author’s website:

In the tiny village of Rockabill, Maine, Jane True—26-year-old bookstore clerk and secret night swimmer—has no idea that her absent mother’s legacy is entry into a world populated by the origins of human myths and legends. It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: vampires are not quite what we think; dogs sometimes surprise us; and whatever you do, never—ever—rub the genie’s lamp. For Jane, everything kicks off when she comes across a murder victim during her nightly clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean. This grisly discovery leads to the revelation of why she has such freakish abilities in the water: her mother was a Selkie and Jane is only half human. With this knowledge, Jane soon finds herself mingling with supernatural creatures alternately terrifying, beautiful, and deadly—all adjectives that quite handily describe her new friend Ryu. When Ryu is sent to Rockabill to investigate the murder, he and Jane fall hard for each other even as they plummet into a world of intrigue threatening to engulf both supernatural and human societies. For someone is killing half-humans like Jane. The question is, are the murders the work of one rogue individual or part of a greater plot to purge the world of Halflings?


Am I missing something? I repeat: AM I MISSING SOMETHING?

I’m enraged by how disappointed I am that I didn’t like this book. It has selkies. No, they’re not mermaids. I’m glad about that. Because good mermaid books? They don’t exist. At all. But alas, I still didn’t love this book. Why couldn’t I have loved it? damn it.

This book would have been magnificent had it not included cliches, a creepy love interest, an obvious villain, a ridiculous reason for why the heroine hadn’t moved on from a past relationship, and more obvious shenanigans.

The goodie bag of Jane: 

Me and Jane hit it off right away. I enjoyed her snark, her honesty, and her witty thoughts. She’s curvy, without giving us too much description (I appreciate that Peeler). She works in a book store (score!). Jane has two best friends who are lesbians (double score). I love it when the MC has female friendships. There aren’t enough of those. Usually in Urban Fantasy, the main character just sulks along the entire time dreading the fact that no women like her. Then when we actually come across women, they’re total assholes. I’m so sick of that trope. I’m glad Peeler does not do that to us. Jane’s also truthful about how attracted she is to the male counterpart of the human race. Woooo!!!

The OH NO’s of Jane:

The bad part about Jane is that more than a couple times she pushes us down a pity party. I’ll admit: I’m not a fan of pity parties. I feel bad, but sometimes I just want a good story. You know what I mean? I came into this book wanting a break from schoolwork. It’s not that she’s whiny. She’s not. Her pain is genuine and I get that. But, telling me over and over how she’s responsible for her boyfriend’s death doesn’t need to be slammed into me. Enough, you told me once. Please stop the moping. Stop flinging crap at me.

I feel like Jane should’ve moved on by the time Ryu came around. It just seemed a little too prolonged. It was kind of like the author just inserted this info as a fake backstory for the reason why Jane was so depressed. I’m sure she would be messed up already, what with her mother’s betrayal and the town constantly jumping on her back. But, it felt convenient.

The love interest who is not a sparkly vampire:

Jane, oh Jane, why did you have to like Ryu? He’s so…..blech. I’m not complaining about his looks or anything. I could care less about that. He’s gorgeous, as all guys in urban fantasy are. Think about it, have you ever come across a love interest in UF that isn’t stunning? Ryu and I just couldn’t get along. It was inevitable. Just chemistry, I guess. He’s good looking. Plays games of wit with heroine. He’s even nice. But he’s creepy. I’ll come out and say it: He creeped me out. The entire time reading this book, i thought he would do something nasty or weird. I thought he’d end up being a pedo or something.

I’m not going to go into detail about Ryu. But let me just say: some times you like the guy and sometimes you don’t.

“I like my women like I like my steak–nice and rare. So try not to flambé yourself this weekend.”

Sometimes you find them gaspingly,

his giggle sounded like a Pomeranian choking.

horridly,

He had to gather power from feeding off humans…which meant that sex couldn’t just be sex, could it?

agonizingly,

You’re almost too cute to fuck, Jane. But that just makes me want to fuck you even more.

creepy.

Sometimes there isn’t a reason. Although…he did constantly want to have sex with her after discovering something violent or gross i.e. the dead ears discovery.

MUAHAHAhaha! the villain:

All too often the moment things start to pick up and said investigator go to figure out the problem, they come across at least one or two characters that look sinister. All too often one of those characters turns out to be the bad guy. Even worse, you’re usually able to determine the guy/gal who is the villain. But of course not! It can’t be he stalker-like guy staring longingly at the main character.

But Oh Dear, It Didn’t Work Out: 

Sigh…yet with all the things I did like about Jane, I still did not like this book. My friend Erica loved this book to pieces. So, naturally I wanted to read it. Because, people that woman has exquisite taste in books.

I may try out the second book. I really like Jane. I also really loved her friend Anyan. He’s a Barghest, which Wikipedia tells me is “a legendary monstrous black dog with huge teeth and claws.” I might read the third as well, since I’ve already purchased both follow ups. Not while I was reading this book, of course. I’m not that crazy. Heh.

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff Review

2 star review:

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Dear potential readers,

This book tells the story of a boy who impersonates a female elf in a make-believe role playing game (RPG). He’s grounded and frankly…has nothing to do. He’s a metal boy, or Goth if you ask me. I should know, I hung out with Goths in High School. Don’t even ask. He even meets some fellow gamers, one of which actually believes he’s a girl. This sick fuck is named Lesh. He drunkenly knocks into a girl, who amazes him at every turn. Her name is Svetlana. Oh…and he names his avatar after her. Can you smell the insta-love? He’s fascinated by Lana; by her hippy clothes, her green notebooks (one of which he ruined), and her plain looks. But let me let you in on something: Lana’s looks aren’t plain. Her clothes may be strange, but that doesn’t mean she’s not pretty. She’s a geek to others. Everyone looks at her as if she’s nothing but a girl who rambles on about poetry and her arts and crafts projects. He and Svetlana (the human), nicknamed Lana, have lunch together and start to become friends. Eventually Lesh starts to become attractive to Lana as well…you can probably guess where that’ll end up. To sum up: it’s a story about two emo kids who “fall in love”.

Emo Boy Drools over Hippy Girl:

I felt throughout the majority of this book that Lesh was portrayed as a stereotypical overly emotional Goth boy. He wears a black coat, baggy black pants, has black bangs, and he even stares at the ceiling while he listens to metal music.

1. Not all “metal boys” are like this.

2. Not all guys/girls into metal bands deck out in all black.

3. Why would you want to portray a stereotype to a reader? Wouldn’t you want to portray a character that doesn’t buy into that stereotype?

My problem with Lana wasn’t just her actions, which I’ll explain; it’s the way she’s presented as the poor rich girl. She’s a fucking snowflake who complains about everything! Her car, her parent’s giant house, her parent’s being soccer fanatics, and she even censors people when swearing:

Example 1:“Where the fun have you been?”
Example 2:“What the truck?”
Example 3:“Holy Fork”
Example 4:“This is forking ridiculous.”

If she doesn’t swear, that’s great. But, please don’t push your personal judgments onto other people. My friends know that I swear like a sailor. I do not share the opinion that swearing equals having little intelligence. Look, the amount of fucks you say in a day or in a review, does not define your lack of intelligence. Nor does it define a bad person, either. Another thing: I found it hard to like a heroine who preaches to others what they’re doing wrong; even if said preaching happens in her head. Telling people what they should and should not do isn’t a quality I like to see in a heroine. I like heroines who are assertive and can actually stand up for them selves. I did not get this with Lana.

Why is Lana a snowflake?

1. I usually don’t judge characters for how they look. But when a character is so blind as to say that person isn’t gorgeous when the description says otherwise:

Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not giving you the old “helmet comes off, blond hair shakes and falls in waves on the gorgeous girl” routine. This is more like white blond, first of all, rather than golden, and it falls not in waves, but in a matted bunch of twists and clumps and messy flyaways-like actual corn silk…

A girl with white blond hair and the color of corn silk, sounds like she’s gorgeous to me:

I can’t even be sure she’s really standing there. Under the flickering white light of the lamp in the super USA parking lot, she looks like an angel, as imagined in the movies of the 1920s.

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either that or:

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2. She complains about her nice car:

I do not want to be seen in this car, and I do not want people about whom I care to be seen in this car either. This is not me being snobbish, by the way. I’ll get to that in a minute. I simply appreciate things of a particular beauty…

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when most teens don’t even have cars. Usually if you want a car, you pay for it by getting a job. But she also lives in her rich parents giant house, which she hates:

“What? This house? What’s not to like about this house? It’s huge.”
“True,” she says, but she doesn’t explain…

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3. She doesn’t go anywhere with her parents unless she wants to. When I was a teen, I had to go places with my parents without question. She makes an activity wheel so that her parents will know that she’s busy. I know that most teens don’t want to go anywhere with their parents, but the stuff they’re asking really isn’t that big of a deal. They ask her to go to soccer games and to go places that actually sounds okay to me. But being the crafty lass that she is, she doesn’t want to go places where there’s a healthy source of oxygen…and people.

Character Development aka the Romance:

The only characters that I felt actually had some depth were Lesh and Lana’s parents and the protagonists themselves. I felt like Lesh and Lana’s friendship happened realistically, but their romantic relationship did not. I don’t see how they went from being friends for less than two weeks to instantly becoming romantic with each other. It’s like there was a big development jump that wasn’t included in the book. One moment they hang out only while they have lunch together, which by the way has very little conversing. So while I loved that they started as friends, the author left out something very integral in their relationship development.

What else? Oh the Plot!

It’s predictable. For a good deal of the book I could see where things were going to end up. It’s unfortunate; I wanted to find a book with a positive and unique take on the gaming community. But here’s the thing: this book went off on a lot of tropes when it comes to the gaming community. I won’t really go into it because it’s a bit of a spoiler. However since it’s obvious it won’t take you long to figure it out.

Miscellaneous Things That Bothered Me:

1. The Portrayal of Women:

The portrayal of Jelly bothered me, a lot. She’s portrayed as, well a slut. When Lesh and some of his friends go to a concert “Jelly wiggles and slaps her but at a dad in a Subaru.” The author differentiates the women by mean girls=sluts and gamer girls= friendly to other girls. Lesh later on says to his friend Greg:

“I knew it,” I said over my shoulder to Greg.
“We missed the beginning ‘cause we had to stop to pick up those two skanks.”
“We definitely did,” Greg says, and he’s ogling one of them as she digs around in her bag and finds a bundle of singles.

This is not even slightly realistic or respectful. I’ve been friends with girls into metal music, and the majority that I’ve met have been really nice. Doesn’t mean all of them were nice. But the way the author portrayed these girls made me think that girls who were mean were also sluts. Just because a girl is mean, doesn’t mean they’re a slut. Some girls are just hateful and mean. I’ve experienced this personally, many times. This is a terrible way to present girl relationships to teens. It’s even worse to show adults this because it means that it might never end in Young Adult or Adult fiction. I’d like to believe this idea that a mean girl defines a slut would go away in a couple decades. But, I guess that’s too much to ask.

2. Lana’s Treatment of Fry

The way that Lana treats Fry is incredibly unfair. I totally applaud her ability to tell him she doesn’t feel about him the way he feels about her, but the way she went about it was awful. Just because he annoys Lana, doesn’t mean she has the right to treat him as if he’s below her:

He was never nice to me,” I insist. “That’s not being nice.”
“Sort of it is,” Hen says. “He talks to you and smiles at you. That’s something.”
“No, it isn’t. It’s lecherousness.”

She assumes she knows him when really how much does she know him if she’s not even truly friends with him? From my perspective Fry seems like a lonely kid who just has a crush on a girl he’s known for a long time. He’s a bit of a misfit and kinda awkward. No one has the right to treat someone with reverence just because they’re annoying:

I don’t like him, but I know him like the underside of my down comforter. He’s been around longer, actually, but he’s nowhere near as pleasant to be with. The point is, I know what he’s thinking before he does.

The worst part is that there’s no resolution to this. I feel like I have to let this be known because I don’t want you get your hopes up, like I did mine. I thought the author would at least provide some sort of resolution when it concerns Fry.

But alas, all I kept thinking was:

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