Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “Duffy,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.


One of my greatest pet peeves is when girls hate on each other. I want to talk about this with you guys, for a little bit.

We all like to think we never slut shame or hate on other girls. We like to think that when we were in high school we never did this. But reality is, you are a fucking liar. I’m just going to put it out there, alright. I used to slut shame when I was high school.

Fuck no, I don’t like this. But, let’s be real girls and boys. I fucking did this and I bitch slap myself every time I remember that.

My high school never had cheerleaders, but we had some weird ass dance team. These girls would wear colorful tight shorts with words like Juicy or whatever type of fruity name manufacturers would put on those spandex shorts. They used to buy sparkly bags, sparkly t-shirts, sparkly short skirts, sparkly heels, sparkly eye shadow, sparkly nail polish, sparkly belts, and anything that would blind the person standing on the other side of room. They were popular, beautiful, and had a lot of money to buy their shit. For whatever insane reason, I was mad at them. Even more insane, I would slut shame them and it didn’t occur to me that I did this because I was angry at how “perfect” they were.

This is what is ingrained into us as kids. Boys compare our looks, magazines like Vogue or InStyle compare our looks, award ceremonies debate on which celebrity wore it best and who wore it sluttier, modeling shows compare the right size boobs, and cosmetic surgeons are constantly telling us to change our ass and tits. Competition is every damn where when it comes to us girls.


As a feminist now, I fucking want to tear the old me apart. I want to Hulk-punch the reality of what I was doing. I was slut shaming and I didn’t even realize it. Now as an adult, I have learned that if I want to be considered a decent human being in the world I need to stop judging people for what they wear, how they look, and then stop trying to compete with other girls. Just be you. Don’t tell yourself you know what type of person that girl is by just looking at what she wears and who she sleeps with. You tell yourself, I don’t know that girl and I don’t know her background. That girl with the blonde hair and a short skirt? Stop your thinking machine and quit making the assumptions society has taught you to do. Just stop the shit, guys.

This is what Bianca goes through and that’s why I found her so relatable. This is what is beautiful about her. She changes. She learns. She owns her past. I had a similar experience to her. I learned from my mistakes and I had to own up to the fact that I was idiot.

I shook myself, surprised and a little worried. What was wrong with me? Louisa Farr wasn’t a whore. Sure, she was a preppy cheerleader–cocaptain of the Skinny Squad–but Casey had never had bad things to say about her. The girl was just talking with a cute guy. We’d all done the same. And it wasn’t as if Wesley was taken or anything. It wasn’t like he was committed to anyone.

This girl. She is majestic.

The people who call you names are just trying to make themselves feel better. They’ve fucked up before, too. You’re not the only one. 

Bianca is like a twist between Katarina Stratford and Juno McGuff. Bianca is one of the most realistic and true to life teen characters I’ve read in a long time. She’s selfish, self absorbed, and often prefers to have sex rather than talk about her feelings. She’s overly cynical (Just to be clear. I like this about her) and snarky. She makes it clear that she’s aware she’s way too cynical. She honestly doesn’t know how her friends put up with her constant negativity. This is real. I remember when I was teen and this is realistic. Teens are overly cynical. I remember this vividly. Everything is crap in the eyes of most teens. This is not an insult. This is just what I remember, as someone who used to be a teen herself not that long ago.

She has two best friends who are confident in their girlish behaviors. Let’s be honest. The best friends are the ones who wear pink without a fuck to give. Be proud of your girlisms. You want to be an emo girl. Go ahead. You want to be a cheerleader with sparkly underwear. I will clap my hands as if you are JLAW giving the paparazzi the finger. I love that her friends don’t backstab her, aren’t judgmental, and actually legitimately care for her. They want to hang out and dance at clubs. They want to dress Bianca up for her date, gossip, and watch sappy flicks like Atonement and Becoming Austen. I love these girls.

I loved the relationship between Bianca and Wesley. Bianca hates Wesley. You know how I said she slut shames, well she doesn’t just slut shame girls. Let’s look at this logically. If you have made the mistake of slut shaming, in addition to making sure you know your past stupid mistakes you don’t just slut shame girls. You also call guys man whores if they date those girls. Stupid? Of course. But, that’s how you see things when you’re a bonehead that doesn’t see the truth. But, in addition to slut shaming others she also admits that she’s a hypocrite because of her purely sexual relationship with Wesley. She thinks it makes her a slut.

“Bianca, whore is just a cheap word people use to cut each other down,” he said, his voice softer. “It makes them feel better about their own mistakes. Using words like that is easier than really looking into the situation. I promise you, you’re not a whore.”

I love that instead of addressing her feelings, she just wants escape by having emotionless sex. She initiated it. She’s very proactive this girl. She calls him out on his bullshit. She never lets him walk over her. Most parents and prudish people would be turning their noses up at this type of thing. But, you know what? Boys aren’t the only ones that have sexual desires. There are two people involved when having sex.

On most occasions, I would hate any guy like Wesley. But, he grew on me. While he has a huge ego and is generally a playboy all around, he gives reasons for his actions. You learn why he does what he does. I didn’t completely understand his home life issues, but I could still accept his reasoning. He’s a jerk at first, but he never did enough to get on my bad side to become irredeemable. For me a character has to do so many shitty things and so many redeemable things to match up so that I can forgive them, understand them, and understand their reasoning.

What I didn’t like is how she ignored her friends during these sexual escapades between her and Wesley. I also didn’t like how she handled her father’s drinking problem. You are a kid. This is something you need to let adults handle. You can’t just pretend things will get better. You have to call up your mom and tell her what’s going on.There are some faults in her writing like wrapping up conflicts too quickly (her father’s drinking problem or the way things were resolved between Bianca and Wesley). I didn’t understand how it didn’t occur to Wesley that he was insulting her when he was calling her Duffy all the time. How could you not realize what an insult that is? She’s not going to see it as some cute fluffy nickname you gave her. Why did I feel Wesley remained an okay guy? Because he fucking kissed her ass and truly apologized. There were scenes that felt out of place. The characters development seemed inconsistent at times.

Keplinger’s debut is fast paced, dramatic, and very relatable. She writes teens like they are, not what we would like them to be. She shows the shitty, selfish, and disgusting parts of what teens are really like.  

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4 Star Review: The Falconer

One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale.

She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title — and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. She’s leading a double life: She has the rare ability to sense the sìthichean — the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans — and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her abilities and her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons — from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols — ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with the gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder — but she’ll have to save the world first.


There’s blood coming from my eyes. It drips down my cheeks and flows down my neck. It’s coming in large spurts and gulps. I touch my neck and discover it’s not coming from only my eyes, but my neck. Blood sprays out like a fucking squirt gun. I’m so shocked by the ending that I’m numb. I’m so torn apart that I don’t feel the pain.

 I can see why the author’s hair is the color of blood. She must die her hair with the blood of her readers with a cliffhanger like that. Scary lass.

I’m sorry you guys had to read my awful attempt at writing (Edit: I am editing this and I’m annoyed). I’m one of the few bloggers that doesn’t want to be a writer. I’m like a stray wolf. Almost every blogger I’ve come in contact with is trying to get published. It’s a lonely realization.

I’m not sure about this, but I’m pretty sure my brain cells burst like an atomic bomb after reading this book (edit: Um..??????). This book was just pure unadulterated fun. I was skipping the entire time. My enjoyment level was catatonic.

Usually when we read a review and they say “the MC is so badass” we roll our eyes right? Once we actually read that book, we sit there completely disappointed because the MC ended up only killing a few creatures of terror. Not Aileana. She kills mercilessly. I can’t even list how many faeries we get to see her kill. The author is very poetic about blood and guts and explosions and BLOOD ON HER KNIFE!

I swing the hammer back and slam it into the redcap’s temple. Blood bursts at me, splatters warm across my face. And a single thought echoes in my mind: More. 

My god. It’s beautiful the way she describes the kills. She is a bloodthirsty badass bitch in truer ways than any other Young Adult heroine. This is no Throne of Glass, where the MC brags about how many people she’s killed. There is no past tense or off the scene killing. It’s present and it’s delicious.

Her name is Aileana. She’s vengeful, distrusting, and has a taste for blood. She’s a talented inventor. She even makes weapons on the side, when she’s nervous or upset. She’s one of those shameless heroines that doesn’t care about gossip, popularity, or propriety. Some people have grumbled about Aileana’s carelessness for not caring for reputation as a society miss, but I love that it doesn’t matter to her. She doesn’t intend to get married or have children. She doesn’t like her title, but she doesn’t whine about either.

I’m a ruined girl who made her choice. This is who I am: a night creature who thrives on death and destruction.

Her duty is killing Faeries. She’s a Falconer, which is like the faerie equivalent of a Slayer. That’s where her responsibilities lay. I appreciate a heroine that doesn’t want to be part of society. Since this is historical fantasy and not a historical, I felt it fit. I  could get behind her ballsy nature to prefer mutilation to dancing with suitors. She’s always running off to kill faeries in the middle of a party, returning with rips in her dress and her hair in disarray (edit: hell if I had to wear big fat silk dresses, I would start killing people too).

Aileana’s development in this book is something that I rarely find in Young Adult fiction. First, she’s badass and refuses to believe she’s anything except strong. I love this type of confidence:

I lean in, indecently close. “You underestimate me,” I whisper. “And that is a mistake.”

Confident heroines should be more apparent in Young Adult fiction. Her character develops slowly and surely, where she’s faced with the fact that she’s not as strong and competent as she made herself out to be. She learns to trust her friends with her secrets. There is no girl hate in this book. She has a best friend, and spoiler: her friend doesn’t stab her in the back.There is something really wrong with Young Adult in that I have to mention that little bit.

Look guys. I know that I like books where romance is secondary and the plot is the basis. This is also true with this book. The romance is definitely not the focus. But, um….sexy times guys. Man oh man do I love the romantic times in this book. There were times where I was turned on by the fight scenes and the blood. Either I’m a fucking psycho (edit: I am seriously considering my sanity right now) or the author was turned on by the sexy fight scenes (edit: Elizabeth May if you are reading this, please forgive me. I’m pretty sure I was…not sober) herself. I’m just…I..*fans self*

(edit: YEP. There may have been alcohol involved when writing this paragraph).

Kiaran stands in the hallway, soaked through from the downpour, hand braced…

*smirks* I’ll just leave it there to tease you guys. (edit: WHAT WAS I DRINKING? My god..is that Britney Spears? You hate BS.)

The problems I had with this book is that the world building was messy. It was full of depth and intricately interesting. Yet, I had a hard time grasping onto it which usually tells me that the world has chinks in its armor. There were certain things, such as the mechanical spiders, that could have used more explaining. The world could have been more grounded, especially when it came to the city of Edinburgh. The pronunciation in this book is just difficult. That’s not a criticism. It’s just difficult is all. The mechanics of the world are left alone. Oh and by the by: the author has told me that this isn’t steampunk. That’s what her publisher called it, but she looks at it as historical fantasy.

Aileana would occasionally do something in the realm of stupidity (edit: Hey. Past me. Listen up idiot. You jump off…oh spoiler. OOPS.) and I didn’t really get down (Edit: HA! get down…OH GOD.) with that. For example, she killed faeries without her ancient mentor knowing and this has serious repercussions. Sometimes she’ll rush (edit: is that a sexual euphemism? I really shouldn’t drink and review) into things and not go over them in her head. Although, there really was no way for her to plan those things since there was nothing she could plan. But, I still had a problem with it. She’s a bit like Buffy when it comes to doing things right then and there. But I understand why this happened, she’s only had a year of training from Kiaran.

Aileana felt too perfect at times. I really think her talents in creating new weapons is badass, but I don’t think she fucked up enough. Maybe I’m being cynical here, but I feel like a heroine needs to be right in the middle between being confident enough and a fuck up. At least, at the start of the book. I have some quibbles (edit: What are you British? *head desk*) about her inventor shenanigans. Most of her inventions I could buy into, but a few I didn’t. Like the secret passage in her room. That sort of thing involves architecture and things completely beyond her realm of knowledge and ability. Secondly, the floating hand (edit: I WOULD KILL FOR THIS) that delivers books to you. Lastly, the flying machine. That’s a little too much bullcrap for me.

This book is a new favorite of mine and little (Edit: liar liar pants on fire) of it has to do with the fact that it is a good substitute for the hellish fart cake (edit: BURN YOUR SOUL YOU WORDLESS MANIAC): Burned by Karen Marie Moning. This book has similarities to the Fever series, but not so much that it became tedious. Instead of being annoyed by that, I was rooting for how similar it was. This is the best fan fiction of the Fever series you will ever read. Kiaran is like Barrons minus the misogynism and dominance over the Main Character. Aileana has similarities to Mac, but is vastly different. She’s not a spoiled brat, she’s badass in a competent and intelligent manor, and she rarely mentions what she looks like.

This book was my crack and Lizzie Bennet says it better than I ever could:

4 Star Review: Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians, a boys’ school that’s pretends it’s coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas who specializes in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can’t seem to stop thinking about.

Then there’s Francesca’s mother, who always thinks she knows what’s best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.


Melina Marchetta is wicked awesome in her malicious power to make people feel all the SOBS AND PAIN!

Bare with me here people. Let’s say that one day you wake up. The sun is shining, the air is clean, and your nameless pet licks you on the face. You stretch your arms and feel every muscle in your body relax. Mr. Sandman blessed you with the best night sleep of your life. You walk to the front door. You slowly turn that handle and open the door. You look down and grab that crisp new newspaper. Now just for a second, let’s pretend you are the sappy type of person that actually reads a physical newspaper and instead of digital newspaper like a boss. It’s the modern age people. Time to wake up to reality. Ahem. You smile. Breathe in the fresh air. You smell the pretty roses. You have happy smiles coming out your ass. You look up into the beautiful colorful sky. You take a second wind and…”SHIT BALLS!! IT’S RAINING FIRE AND KNIVES!” A titan of a knife falls into your head (Now. Remember this isn’t real. In my mind, this could actually happen. Reality has no meaning here). Yes, into your head. You feel as if your very soul is being ripped out, it’s so painful.

This is what it’s like to read a Melina Marchetta novel. You go into it skipping and dancing thinking of rainbows, daisies, and beautiful words. Little do you know of the demented and malicious creature who wrote that book. I can just imagine her sitting there at her desk, injecting the tears of her readers into her bloodstream so she can stay alive. She is BAD ASS.

*death will come to you my friend*


Francesca is the zenith of young adult heroines with personality and individuality. She’s a pop culture junkie and uses it with intelligence. Marchetta writes Francesca’s snark and witty comebacks with class. Never did I feel that she drilled it into the reader that she’s astute and flippant. She’s no Charley Davidson.

“…Do you know what this is? Luca is going to sneak out of bed in the middle of the night and squirt it on his tongue. It’s like drugs for ten-year-olds. Today it’s Ice Magic. Tomorrow, heroin.”

*Give me the delicious Ice Magic*

Francesca wants to find her place. She’s not shy, but she doesn’t want to be an outcast either. Her mother’s opinion is that she’s lazy. Her old friends think she’s nonthreatening and weird. Her new friends think she’s shy. But, Francesca: she’s not sure what to think because everybody else is telling her what she is and what she isn’t. She wants to make them see the real her. She wants them to see the real her, but at the same time she just wants survive her new school at St. Sebastians. It’s a dangerous thing to be the center of attention and it’s not a job she wants.

My theory is to lay low, and my reluctance to get involved has nothing to do with fear or shyness, contrary to popular perception.

Francesca is stuck between being in the hellish place that is teen adolescence and watching her mother sink deeper and deeper into the sorrow of depression. The reason I love Francesca is her savage honesty about boys, sex, and depression. In the midst of all that, she never censors her thoughts or language. She uses words like fuck and get stuffed, making me adore her all the more. She’s independent and speaks up with a slightly crude attitude. I am Team Francesca all the way.

I want to be her friend. Seriously, Francesca. Me and you. We could rule the world with our pop culture references and snarky slams. It would be glorious. The things we would do together:

1. Spread world peace with our snark.

2. Watch the entire Buffy series.

3. Watch anything with sappy love scenes like pride and prejudice.

4. Start our own blog of pop culture wickedness

5. Sing the lyrics of Fiddler on Roof drunk on Vodka and cheetoes.

6. Go into a bookstore and put pink stickers on our favorite books so people would buy them.

See how much fun would we would have? Seriously Francesca, you have no idea the wondrous things you would miss out on if don’t become friends. We could be like a Jennifer Lawrence type of awesome.

*Look at my beard of glory*

Francesca acts like a real teen instead of immature rip off Bella Swan. She’s real and doesn’t overemphasize the guy’s good looks just to make sure the reader is listening. I love that the guy she’s into isn’t good looking. He’s plain. They get off on the wrong step , but then over the year they sink into each others lives. They can’t help but look at each other. Very few Young Adult books make me feel that the relationship is real. This one made me believe.

“Sometimes you look at me and it’s like all the bullshit gets stripped off and I’m left with what’s underneath and I kind of like what I see. Someone who actually fails. Someone who has absolutely no self-control. Someone who says real dickhead things like ‘this is complicated.’ I like that part of me, you know. I like the fact that I know I can’t control you or how I feel about you and that doesn’t freak me out.”

God, what is with you Marchetta? What kind of sick need to you have to make me feel saccharine feelings all the time. No other author has this effect on me. I don’t cry. Not a crier, okay?

*SOBBS AND CRIES AND TEARS AND WHERE IS THAT BOTTLE?*

Marchetta doesn’t just excel at characterization and emotion, she’s a wordsmith without turning it into purple prose. She’s wildly talented with words and forming them to make sure that every single time magic comes out of her pen. You can just tell that each sentence took time. Each sentence reads as if she spent hours just thinking of the perfect way to form the words she wants to say. She’s a malicious magician and I love her.

*Time to intentionally fall out of my chair so I can sob the ultimate sobs*

Her dialogue is pure fucking genius:

“You chicks give me the shits,” he says.                                    

“You, on the other hand, brighten up our day,” I tell him. “We all regard you as a god.”          

“You know what we call you? Bitch Spice, Butch Spice, Slut Spice, and Stupid Spice.”

Marchetta deals with Francesca’s development beautifully. At first, I thought Francesca judged a friend of hers for having sex because she was known as the school slut. Then, I changed my mind. There was a development that curbed her original opinion. It was done subtly, but it was there. I never felt that it was slut shaming, but that it was unclear as to whether it was slut shaming. I came to the opinion, that Francesca may have originally been judgmental about her friends decision to be rash and irresponsible in her sex life. Francesca improved her thoughts that it wasn’t her place to judge someone based on whether they had sex with someone they didn’t know.

Full of Buffy, Bill &Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Taxi Driver references among many others, this is the type of novel you should be ashamed you haven’t read.

4 Star Review: Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey

Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Kushiel’s Legacy novels, presents an all-new world featuring a woman caught between the normal and paranormal worlds, while enforcing order in both. Introducing Daisy Johanssen, reluctant hell-spawn…

The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload; not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.

To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly.

But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.


Why did I try out Dark Currents, you ask? Because of a little comment dearest Kat made:

Thanks to Kat, I picked up this glory of urban fantasy novelization (It’s a word. I’m sure of it).

I now bow to your great scepter-ness (according to my mind, this is also a word. I dare you to defy me) Kat. Your welcome.

*Kat and her sceptor-ness take no prisoners.*

She’s really a nice person, ignore Katy Perry’s bitch glare.


A half-demon.

A mermaid.

A goddess of the Norse mythology.

Some abs.

A shiny dagger.

A MURDER.

It’s all there. I did not expect the world to be this interesting, when I first went in. At first the book was a little slow. But then it really started to pick up. Don’t expect it to be a fast paced roller coaster ride, guys. It’s really good, but it’s written with plot and character development in mind. Be patient. I am so shocked at the intense creativity of the world. Daisy has the sad fortune of being the daughter of a minor demon. When she gets even a little angry things happen. She works really hard to control her temper. As the daughter of a demon, she’s very aware of the seven deadly sins. If I had a tail due to being the daughter of a demon, I too would be aware of my humanity and its fragility.

Daisy is Hel’s liaison and does the occasional supernatural job for the local chief of police. Hel is the Norse goddess of the underworld and daughter of Loki. She presides over the town in the connecting underworld Little Nieflheim. She has authority over the eldritch community.

Daisy’s job just got a lot harder. She and her old high school crush, Cody, are thrown together to try to solve the crime. I have to say that Carey handled the mystery very well. Mystery readers like to try to figure out for themselves. I love to try to look at the clues and speculate which sentences could have been a foreshadow. At a certain point, I was almost ninety percent sure I knew who it was and I think this was intentional on the author’s part. She had planted all the clues and to me they all pointed to a particular person. Jacqueline completely threw the ball out of the game. She manipulated the fuck out of me. And, I loved that she did. MINDFUCKED.

*MINDFUCKED*

Daisy is odd. She’s attracted to certain body parts and things that a human wouldn’t be. But as a half demon, she’s more attracted to supernaturals than she is with humans. Nothing gross or anything, don’t worry. She admits to being bisexual when it comes to the eldritch.

Dominant MC’s kick balls.

She’s a forceful person. She’s very assertive and does her job with intelligence, maturity, and strength. She doesn’t let people walk all over her. She doesn’t become silent when someone insults her. Daisy understands that as a woman working in a male workforce, she needs to be assertive. She has to look at her orders with maturity, without writing it off as that person being a jerk because she’s female. She has the strength and intelligence to not be offended by a demanding employer or co-worker. She doesn’t cry when someone calls her a name. I like this. She doesn’t take it personally because she knows it’s a hard place to work in. But she also doesn’t just write it off. When you work around a lot of guys who are very assertive and dominant, you learn to not take things personally. You learn to be as fucking bold and assertive as they are. Daisy has done this. She does what she had to do as Hel’s liaison. She doesn’t shy away from taking charge or killing someone.

*Emma Watson level of Badass*

A lot of urban fantasy books don’t include female friendships.

It’s one of the reasons I’ve strayed from the genre. You have this heroine who wears black and hates anything girly, right. She’s a loner. Kind of like a stray dog that bites anyone that goes near her. She gets along with guys, but whenever a female shows up she barks and bitches and barks and bitches ending with a big slut shaming end. I hate that shit. Daisy has female friendships.

I bloody (I’m not British but I’m using this work. SUCK IT) loved the relationship development between Cody and Daisy. When they’re thrown together as partners, they barely tolerate each other. Cody is a werewolf and is very secretive about it. He has preconceived notions about Daisy because she is half demon. As anyone would, really. Daisy has preconceived notions about Cody. She thinks that the rumors she hears about him are true, which is understandable until you actually ask the person whether they’re true.

Cody and Daisy slowly get to know each other. They go from tolerating each other, to friends, to having a friendship that could possibly turn into something romantic.

Hell yes! it’s not about sex or how hot the guys are. SMILES ABOUND.

*Holy Shit! Is the apocalypse coming?*

There’s some abs and pecks for sure, but it doesn’t dominate the story. It’s a very low key detail. This book is not about the romantic entaglements of the main character, it’s about her struggle as a half demon and the murder mystery. Her friendship with Cody is my favorite thing about this book because it shows that the best relationships develop from friendship. By the end of this book, I was incredibly happy that they stayed friends and that it didn’t turn into a romance. It stayed an urban fantasy with the possibility of including a slow burn in the future.

Carey presents us with religion, myths, supernatural creatures, and the struggles all those elements face when combined without preaching her own personal religious beliefs. She provides us with the elements as a story. She shows us a very real thing: overly religious individuals who try to preach another person’s faults based on their religion. Just because she makes religion a contributing factor in this book does not mean that she is pushing her own religious beliefs on her reader. Just because it’s there or that it’s presented in a certain way does not make this so.

The eldritch community (supernatural creatures) is not polar opposite to the very conservative and religious community. It would have been a cliché had they been non-religious atheists who detested religion with every fiber of their being. Many didn’t claim any religion, some didn’t comment on it, and some were very much religious. The characters in this novel were individuals when it came to their religion. They weren’t sectioned off by their species or race when it came to what they believed in. Even Daisy didn’t know where she stood when it came to religion.

I got some problems with the book, guys.

1. I hated that Daisy used the words: Gah! and Oh crap! so much. It was too  much. It threw me out of the book. Why? Those are words teens use, rather than an independent woman who is very aware of the dangers she faces. I would think a woman in her 20’s would be okay with using fuck or shit. I’m very fond of those words myself.

2. There’s a moment where Daisy takes it upon herself to judge 2 adults for their decision not to send their kids to public school because they feel it’s too dangerous for their kids. Okay, no one has the right to judge another parent’s decision on an important matter. I’m not a parent, but you need to respect that parent’s decisions especially if you don’t have kids yourself.

3. The drama between Daisy and her friend Jen over Cody was fake. I didn’t buy it. I loved that Daisy was quick to realize her mistakes and owns up to the fact that she fucked up. But Jen seemed completely oblivious to the fact that her friend had a crush on Cody. I know that me and my friends are always aware of who has the hots for who, even if we’re not told. It’s just how we are. You don’t break the code. Okay. You just don’t. Either Jen is just being immature or she is fucking oblivious to everything. Your choice.

And now, I leave you with an exploding Taco: Because that is what this book sums up to. It has it’s faults. You have to wait for the awesome. But, when that explosion hits it all comes together to form something intricate, interesting, and a little weird. It’s so pretty. Look! EXPLODING TACO!!!

Review: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning


“Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.”

MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.

Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh—a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.
Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it.


 

“That’s it. Fate’s a fickle whore. We’re not going. Take your clothes off and get back in my bed.”

 

Fate is a fickle whore. You heard the man, get going!

And yet: These two yell at each other for over five hundred fucking pages.

But seriously, I love slow burns and this is the epitome of good slow burn. It burns and burns and you wait for what seems like forever. Kicks fly. Remarks and comebacks become their ammo. Guns pointed at each other in that final duel. Challenges accepted. They always felt something for each other. Nothing is more satisfying than watching a good slow burn simmer and unfold for this long because it is so worth it. It’s so satisfying once you get what you want.


Silence. Mac is cold. Lonely. Miserable. She’s more alone than ever in this novel.

She see’s nothing but pain and irrationality is her best friend. She’s mean. She’s a got a plan. And she’s ready to burn the world. That last scene in book four was a terror to wait for (all ten minutes of it!), but it’s more painful to realize the reality of it.

She was once a pretty spoiled brat obsessed with pink and never giving a care in the universe. She no longer knows this woman. She’s long gone. No longer do we see the Too Stupid To Live heroine who rushes into situations. But what we never realized: there was a reason for her actions. Moning deceives us again and again. But she did it in a way that I can understand. It was always her plan. I may not like it, but I can get behind it. It was always going to be explained. Why is Mac the way she is? What is she, truly? What is her past? Where does she come from? These are questions that are answered.

Mac punches the air with exuberance when life craps right in front of her. She just walks over that shit pile every fucking time. The coolest thing about Mac is her bloodthirsty desire for vengeance. Most authors turn a previously bloodthirsty heroine into a regretful and remorseful heroine who at the last moment decides not to kill. Fucking sick of that. But no no, Moning does not give us the short end of the stick.

Deceive. Deceive. Deceive. DECEIVE. That is the book’s intent and apparently it’s also Moning’s

Now there is no possible way to review this book without spoilers, soooooooo…..I would advise you not to read this review unless you’ve read it. I repeat there are SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW. GET OUT! I was being polite about it first. But now I’m going to be an aggressive bitch about it: Get the fuck off my review unless you’ve read this book. Because when I say there are spoilers, I fucking mean it. I don’t mean there are teensy baby spoilers. I mean there are giant ass trolls of spoilers. My spoilers are trolls. Move. It.

Got it? THERE. ARE. SPOILERS. IN. THIS. REVIEW. Looks to the left. Looks to the right. Waits. Waits another minute. Quickly looks behind her. Okay. Coast is clear.

Let’s do this bitch.

Things are never what they seem. There can never be six words more true than those. Illusions are everywhere. Moning has dethroned Marchetta as the Manipulative Bitch. It’s no longer Marchetta the Manipulator, but Moning the Manipulator. She’s a genius at planting clues and foreshadows. Every single action, thought, description, discovery, emotion were carefully and wickedly plotted by Moning. No wonder her books take so damn long to write. She must have to go through every page and then go fact check them by reading previous books. She must have piles and piles of notes in order to carefully plant her clues so that everything would make as much sense as it does. I don’t think I’ve ever landed so flat on my ass before. But everyone has a first, right? I don’t think I’ve ever seen clues and conclusions plotted and planted so well and so deceptively before. Flat on my ass.

Delusions everywhere.

-First she thinks she knows who she is.

– She accepts it.

– Then: mind blown.

– Then: she accepts it.

– Then: Mind Blown.

– Again she grabs onto it.

– MIND BLOWN.

– FREAK OUT.

– FREAK OUT.

– WHAT IS LIFE?

-AM I ALIVE?

– AM I HUMAN?

– accepts it.

-MIIIINNNNDD BLLLOWWWN.

– Mac explodes.

At the start of this novel Mac is at a loss for her heart, it feels lost. Even in the face of pain and loss, she grabs onto life and grabs life by the reins. She moves on and lives. She finds a path. This is what I loved about her. That she didn’t just die in a whole like most heroines who have. She kills. She looks for blood. She joins the enemy and deceives him. I both hated and loved this part of Mac. I loved her thirst for power, but hated her irrational actions. Moning could have toned down the pity party. But then when I think about it, if she had done that Barrons’ death wouldn’t have been as earth shattering. It was already clear Mac loved him. But she hadn’t realized it yet. And if she had toned down the pity party, the discovery that he was alive wouldn’t have had the manipulative coercion that it did.

We all have our OTPs( One True Pairing). Despite my control: I think Jericho Barrons and Mackayla Lane just became one of my OTPs. Yes. I have several. I dislike many things about these books, but the overall genius of Moning and the utterly squishy heart strings I felt when reading their romance unfold had me.

BARRONS.BAR.RONS.BAR.RONS.JERICHO.JERICHO.JER.ICHO.JER.ICHO.

All I have to say is: sexy couch scene. *perv smile*

RAWR. CUE THE SEXY MUSICA.

“You’re Mac,” he says. “And I’m Jericho. And nothing else matters. Never will. You exist in a place that is beyond all rules for me…”

*whistles* look at that ass.

They had me. You got me. You made me feel things I didn’t want to feel. I didn’t want to like Barrons. But, I did. I didn’t want to like Mac, but eventually I did. I didn’t want to find their romance sexy. But, I did. While I didn’t like the lack of strong women and their lack of power in these novels, I loved the story. I loved how slow their romance evolved. I liked that Mac didn’t come to realize her true feelings for Barrons until very late in the series. I don’t even think she was a coward for it. Some people love late. And some people are hit with it in the face and still don’t see it until it’s staring at you and your ass is grass.

Things I didn’t like in this series:

I’m going to be a bit of a party pooper. I hated that a lot of the men made a lot of the important and powerful decisions. They always seemed to be in control of what would happen in the story. It’s as if Mac wasn’t at all in control of her story, but it was the men. Barrons made a lot of the plans that would be carried out. The Unseelie King even took control of what would happen to Cruce at the end. The Lord Master and everyone around Mac would manipulate and seduce Mac to make her actions based on what they did to her. All of the power was in their hands and she had to choose what the best decision was.

THAT IS SUCKY.

When you are a women in a world of men and you have to make the smart choice instead of being in charge or your choices. When one person is trying to get you to side his way, another his, and another his. What’s the right choice even when you aren’t in charge? Maybe this was a feminist idea of what it’s like to live in a world of men and still come out a strong woman? Even though I loved the story, I was saddened that Moning didn’t make the women equal power holders.

V’lane. Fucking V’lane.

I loathe that rat bastard. I always hated him for a reason. And now I know. I dislike that V’lane became the leader of the far, you know if he hadn’t been iced by the Unseelie King. In my mind it basically told me: even in the end men have all the power. He’s basically doing all the work for the Seelie Queen. He makes al the great decisions for her. The Queen is save by the King and taken away as if he’s her knight in shining armor. And it doesn’t end there. There are very few women that I felt were truly powerful and strong. The first being Mac. The second is Dani. The third is Kat. Three. Count them. Three people. That’s it. That’s a bit of a problem in this series. Men having all the power. Up until the end men were always saving Mac. I would’ve preferred she saved her own ass. I am in charge of my future no matter how many men try to get in my fucking path. That is what I want. I think she saved her ass a lot, but not at the end. The Unseelie King does. That’s totally…RAWR.

Throughout this entire novel Mac’s vagina becomes very important. That is: who gets in her pants. At the start of the novel Mac joins in with the LM to try to gain power for her own means. When she discovers Barrons hadn’t died after all, Barrons believes she slept with the LM. Long afterwards Barrons throws this in her face repeatedly. She never did sleep with the LM. This disappointed me since it came from Barrons. I know he’s not perfect. Far from it. He’s neither good nor evil. Many of his actions are seen as bad, but they are what he is. Part of what he is: a caveman. He and his men all act in a very old fashioned way in their view of women. It’s true. While he loves Mac and respects her opinions and strengths, he does claim her sexuality and body as his own. And she does the same for him. I was not okay with him slut shaming her for supposedly sleeping with someone that wasn’t him before they had committed to each other.

Barrons: 

Initially he used references to sex to shut me up. Then he used sex to wake me up. After I was no longer Pri-ya, he’d returned to using references to sex to keep me on edge. Forcing me to remember how intimate we once were.

This represents the difference in how Barrons treats sex as a way to keep Mac at a distance. He’s a caveman for sure, but he also uses sex as a device to keep her at bay from knowing that the does have feelings for her.

There’s also the way Ryodan and his men treat Mac’s sexuality: misochism? Perhaps. Or is it just part of their thousands of years old lifespan? Are they truly sexist or do they just view women in a different way? Do they view women as powerful, but appreciate their sexuality in a very old world way? Or do they truly see women as nothing but sex objects? And if this is true then why do they see Mac as a threat if all they see in her is a sex object? Why would they want to kill her to protect their order if she’s just a sex object? Perhaps there’s more to their character stereotypes than we’re seeing. One thing is for sure: I dislike how many of these men curb Mac’s ability to be a power holder in her own story:

His face hardened. “Strip if you’re coming up.”

I gave him a look. “I have on skintight clothes.”

“Non-negotiable. All of it. Nothing but skin.”

Lor folded his arms, leaned back against the staircase, and laughed. “She’s got a great ass. If we’re lucky she’s wearing a thong.”

Then:

He didn’t think I’d do it. He was wrong.

Bristling, I kicked off my shoes, tugged my shirt over my head, skinned off my jeans, popped my bra, and stripped off my thong. Then I put my shoulder holster back on, tucked my spear into it, and walked up the stairs naked. I put a little jiggle in my walk and held his gaze the whole time.

This example perfectly shows how these men take away Mac’s respect and power in this story. But what I do love is the way Mac handled it. She was confident in her actions and sexuality. She didn’t bow down to Ryodan or Lor, in their obvious desire, in their attempt to try to assert themselves in their manly macho power and lord it over her ass. She came out the victor here in her decision to walk proud in her sexuality and confidence as a woman. No matter how resilient they are in shoving their dongs in her face, she just came out just as resilient in showing her vag and didn’t care who the fuck knew it.

 

I will reread this series into the ground. B&M are officially going on my OTP list. I started out hating this series, I ended it crazed and happy.

Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning


They may have stolen my past, but I’ll never let them take my future.

When the walls between Man and Fae come crashing down, freeing the insatiable, immortal Unseelie from their icy prison, MacKayla Lane is caught in a deadly trap. Captured by the Fae Lord Master, she is left with no memory of who or what she is: the only sidhe-seer alive who can track the Sinsar Dubh, a book of arcane black magic that holds the key to controlling both worlds.

Clawing her way back from oblivion is only the first step Mac must take down a perilous path, from the battle-filled streets of Dublin to the treacherous politics of an ancient, secret sect, through the tangled lies of men who claim to be her allies into the illusory world of the Fae themselves, where nothing is as it seems—and Mac is forced to face a soul-shattering truth.

Who do you trust when you can’t even trust yourself?


I’ve gone mad. I’m off the wall. I have no more sanity to give. No more happy chick. No more squishy hugs and fluffy dragons. It is apocalyptic rage. It’s the purest most foul type of rage. It is looking at the world with nothing but cynicism and distrust. It is lust at it’s most disgusting, shaming, and degrading form possible. It is this book. It is leather, gun wielding, pink hating, distrusting Mac 4.0. She’s lost her mind along with me.

The world is full of Unseelie. The world lies in darkness and death. Shades are everywhere. The Lord Master has succeeded. Mac….oh our dear Mac is not the same. She’s more different than ever.

She’s pri-ya. She was raped by Unseelie princes. She’s stark raving mad for lust. She’s an animal. She has no memory of who she is. She only knows animal instinct. Dani saved her.

And then there was Barrons. He saved her from staying pri-ya. He put up pictures of her sister, put on music from her iPod, painted her nails pink, and filled the room with all of her possessions and memories. He tried every fucking tiny little thing to help her get out of this animal state. She’s truly scary at this point. Her sentences don’t always make full grammatically correct sentences. She’s doped out on sex. She’s obsessed with Barrons’ red and black tattoos, as any woman would be. But eventually: she comes back.

Look I fucking loved this book. But I had an issue with Barrons sleeping with Mac when she was pri-ya. She was not herself. She was addicted to sex. It was as if she was on the most dangerous and insane type of drugs possible. He slept with her while  she was vulnerable and I have half a mind to fucking kick him in the NUTS!

I know that he helped her. I think he did a wonderful thing in helping her. I could see that he cared a lot about her. I saw emotions in him that I never knew he truly felt. I can see he puts on a facade for Mac. I’m even speculative on whether he’s in love with her. Because Barrons dancing and smiling with Mac naked just says: Hey. I got the feels for you. But, I had higher expectations. I did not think having sex with her during this state could be easily excused. He did good, but he also did something I thought he would be above. I’m disappointed in you Barrons.

You see, when Mac wakes the fuck up she feels like this:

“I was out of my mind. I’d never have done it otherwise.”
Really, his dark eyes mocked, and in them I was demanding more, telling him I wanted it to always be this way.
I remembered what he’d replied: that one day I would wonder if it was possible to hate him more.
“I had no awareness. No choice.” I searched for words to drive my point home. “It was every bit as much rape as what the Unseelie Princes did to me.”

I disagree that it should be compared to rape, because this was not rape. I think some readers may think that, but I think that’s illogical thinking. It’s rationalizing it into something it really isn’t. If you know anything about rape, you should know the difference. And this is not rape.

This was a stupid stupid thing on Barrons part. I think that in his mind he thought he was helping, when really he couldn’t help resisting her. I don’t think this was right. I think it was him deceiving himself. No. I am not making excuses for him. Rape comes in many forms. It can be harsh. It can be seductive. And it can be cruel. But, this was none of those. This was a man trying to help Mac, whom was in agonizing pain from being pri-ya, and convincing himself it was the right thing to do.

She was desperately trying to get out of the hell of her mind and she didn’t even know why or how:

I do not know what to call it, but it makes me pace. I stalk the room like the animal I am, smashing and breaking things. I scream until my throat is raw. Suddenly I have new words. Rage. Anger. Violence.

I loved the transition from Lustful Mac to crazy Mac to Mac 4.0: the badass version. I hated what Barrons did, but oddly enough: he’s still sexy. I’m insane. I know this. But fuck, that man:

In fact, when I open my mouth to speak again, he kisses me, hard. He shuts me up with his tongue, deep. He kisses me until I cannot speak or even breathe, until I do not even care if I ever breathe again. Until I have forgotten that for a moment he was not a beast but a man. Until the images that so disturbed me are singed to ash by the heat of our lust and gone. 

HEEEEEEEE! DROOLING. DROOLING. Who’s pri-ya now?

Mac 4.0: YESSSSSSS!

She used to be this:

And now she’s this:

I would always like pink. But there wasn’t anything pink inside me anymore. I might be back, but I was black Mac now.

If you think that Mac is going to go into a situation and not be prepared? You are an idiot.

You don’t go through shit like that and not learn your lesson. Mac goes through this book prepared, even over prepared. She thinks about every tiny little thing before she does it. She packs a bag full of things she might need. Her MacHalo. A gun. Her spear (of course!). Anything she might need to protect herself.

She no longer trusts a damn soul, but herself. She’s not stupid. She doesn’t rely on herself to get out of situations because that in itself is stupid. You don’t have to trust them. But, you can use them to your advantage to get out of a dangerous situation. That is where Mac is at. She know Barrons is resourceful in his intelligence to get her ass out of a situation. She’s trying to learn how to be smarter, better, stronger, and more resourceful like he is. But, she knows she’s not there yet.

Mac joins in on the fun, trying to kill as much Unseelie with Dani as possible. But that old hag gets in the way. THAT WOMAN. Meet Mr. Stabby why won’t you, Ro?

In this book, Mac is hurting. She’s embarrassed, although she doesn’t admit it. She’s angry at Barrons for seeing her at her most intimate and vulnerable state. She’s angry at the Unseelie Princes for raping, torturing, and using her for their own horrific purposes. She’s also angry that she might be in love with Barrons, but again she won’t admit it.

Mac is no longer PINK. SHE’S BLACK AS NIGHT. She’s no longer into rainbow outfits, fashion magazines, painting nails, or describing her looks. Only once in a while do you get her describing her outfit. But when she dresses it’s for practicality, not fashion:

I was wearing black leather from head to toe, not for the statement it made but for the practicality of it. With the right kind of leather, you can sponge off just about anything. Fabric isn’t blood-repellant. 

Mac also realizes that her own sister might have been TSTL. Thank you! God. That had been bothering me since book one. Luckily, Mac is exiting that state of mind herself:

Recently I’d begun to realize my sister had made some hedgy decisions. Like not telling me what was going on as soon as she learned about it and trying to handle it all herself without asking for help. Strength wasn’t about being able to do everything alone. Strength was knowing when to ask for help and not being too proud to do it. 

She actually listens to Barrons this time around. Even if you hate him, you can’t deny that he’s smart in his resourcefulness to get out of “oh fuck” situations. He knows what to do and Mac 4.0 realizes this.

Things we discover in this book:

  1. We may or may not have figured out what Barrons is. At least, I think I’m pretty sure what he is.
  2. More info on the world of the Unseelie; Hall of All Days, Druid magic, etc.
  3. More about Ryodan and the strange cult he’s part of.
  4. We find out Mac’s heritage.

And….we’re left with a lot of fucking questions. YAY MORE QUESTIONS!

The majority: around 80% of this novel was perfect. But I had a bit of an issue with extraneous detail in the Hall of All Days scenes. I felt like it could have been edited down extensively. I felt like a lot of the parts where unnecessary and didn’t need to be there. It really serves little point. I think it needed to be there, but that the majority of it didn’t. A good deal of the time, I was bored when reading those scenes. The only thing that kept me going were 1. Moning’s fast paced writing. 2. The secrets I would eventually learn the truth to.

DAT. ENDING.

Karen Marie Fucking Moning. WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME! No one fucking does this to me after ending the previous book with a heartbreaking ending to create an EVEN BIGGER PAINFUL ENDING! Yes. Those italics were intentional.

I will shit on you some day for doing this to me.

I resorted to listening to Black Widow by Iggy Freakin’ Azalea because of you. I am Miss Major Pissed Off. Fear me.

Who was that at the end? Who did she lose? Was it Barrons? Please tell me it wasn’t. Oh. My. No God Here.

And to top it all of, I decided to order the hardback copy of Shadowfever and it’s not here yet. This will be the end of me. I’m going to have to go to the store and buy some Vodka. Damn.

One last thing:

still think Jericho fucking Barrons is sexy:

“Once before I’d seen Jericho Barrons wearing jeans and a T-shirt. It’s like sheet-metaling a W16 Bugatti Veyron engine-all 1,001 horsepower of it-with the body of a ’65 Shelby. The height of sophisticated power sporting in-your-face, fuck-you muscle.”

*SHIVERS*

I am still insane. And he is still Mr. Sexy Pants.

Review: Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

He calls me his Queen of the Night. I’d die for him. I’d kill for him, too.

When MacKayla Lane receives a page torn from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil that it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac’s quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shapeshifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V’lane, a lethal Fae prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man of deadly secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.


Prepare to scream so loud that the bitch is thrown right out of you. I am dead serious. That ending was agonizing the first time. But this time….I will smash this beer bottle on someone’s head. No. I will lay this book flat on the driveway, borrow my friend’s giant ass truck, and run over this damn book until there’s nothing left but Mac’s thoughts and Barrons’ brooding facial expressions flying through the air as I speed away. This book I both loved and hated. I love it because of the whoas, holy fucks, and the kicking and screaming emos stuck in side me. I hate it because of that FUCKING ending. Why did you have leave me high and dry Moning? I swear, that woman….bitch glare. FIST SHAKING IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.

Oh yes. It is three in the morning and it is Bitch Time. You do not make this university student stay up until three a.m. during the last week of finals to finish your wonderful fucking good book and end it like that. I am sleep deprived. I’ve been drinking Corona. And I am pissed off. You. Me. My friend’s truck. THIS BOOK. It is on.

But first about the book and then I will turn the Bitch switch on for real.

In this book Mac and Barrons are still on the road to finding the Dark Book. But when we last left off, Mac was clutching her head from being so close to it. That comes to fruition in this book. Boy is that book weird looking. I won’t spoil it for you: but just when you think it’s just this ordinary thing, it’s not. Something is happening to the city, it’s becoming more chaotic. Crimes are building up. The police are going nuts. There are more Unseelie on the streets. Guess who it’s all connected to? That’s right. The Lord Master. So, not a spoiler guys. I swear.

Miss Mac is pissed off that she’s the one that has to deal with it. She has to deal with the repercussions of O’Bannion’s brother and his little addiction. She has to deal with Rowena’s sudden bitch fight and her team of sidhe-seers. She has to deal with the dominant horror that is Jericho Barrons and his never-ending obsessions. So many things, really.

On top of that:

Something is coming. It’s deadly. It’s chaos. The walls are coming down. For Mac, for Barrons, for everyone in Dublin. Turn on that MacHalo and get that rifle because an apocalypse is coming.

I think you didn’t need to be a sidhe-seer to feel the taut, expectant hush in the air, to hear the distant drumming of dark hooves on a troubled wind, moving closer, closer.

Closer.

Yes. That is the author. And yes, that scene where Mac dances with her pink MacHalo and Barrons laughs his ass off is the best and most hilarious scene in this book.

The bitching is coming. I promise.

Since the previous book Ms. Lane is not as resistant to her “job.” She’s doesn’t care as much what people think of her.

My MacHalo was for deep night work only. If the people passing by tonight thought it was bizarre that I was carrying lit flashlights, I didn’t care. I was staying alive. They could smirk all they wanted.

She’s becoming smarter in her decisions, not always, but more often than not. She’s thinking more about situations before she jumps into them. She’s more careful about making deals with people. She even tricks Barrons into a deal. Score one for Mac. She’s more responsible in her actions. Mac has some great realizations in this book that make her grow the fuck up.

…in my heart, I didn’t really believe he was evil. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think he was good, either, but bad is potential evil. Evil is a lost cause. 

But still not enough to make me feel like she’s accepted what is and put her big girl panties on. The downfall is that she still has that annoying habit of constant ridiculous inner monologue. GO AWAY. I don’t need to hear about it anymore. Stop whining about the whether. It’s Ireland. Of course it rains.

Then, there’s that whole thing where she starts thinking about what Barrons is and then she decides it’s because he’s a bad person. You know. Just cause. She doesn’t need to have proof to back it up. She decided it and that is that. And then, she tries comparing some of his actions to rape. Okay. Look rape is bad. It’s really fucking bad. But that was not rape. And it had little to do with rape. It’s like comparing something with one similar detail to a huge issue that has little to with each other except for that one detail. That is stupid and uncool. Think logically, instead of getting all pissed off and saying something that makes no sense. I don’t like what Barrons did. I want to tie is dick into a knot. He was stupid. He made a mistake. I don’t think he should be forgiven easily (hence the dick knot), but it was one of those pissed off moments he frequently has.

The relationship between these two psychos has changed a lot. First they hated each, then they tolerated each other, and now they are really attracted to each other but are completely ignoring it.  There are jealous moments. Neither admits this. Throughout the entire novel, lies and truth becomes a contributing factor. They have these cute arguments:

“I didn’t call you Mac.”

“Yes, you did.”

“I called you Ms. Lane.”

“No, you didn’t.”

“Yes, I did.”

First Mac tells Barrons little but lies. But then she learns throughout the novel, and decides to confide in him. Okay good. Very good. This is good development. Just what I wanted. He starts to be more open with her, little things, but that’s something.

OH THE CAKE SCENE. WONDERFUL. He’s a jerk towards the end. But, as the reader it’s awesome because you get an insight on how Barrons truly views emotion.

He was still frowning at the cake, looking at it as if he expected it to sprout dozens of legs and begin scuttling toward him, thin-lipped, teeth bared. 

*baby voice* He doesn’t like feeling. He’s a big TALL monster. Runs away from all the feels.

BIG BARRONS CAVEMAN:

NO FEELING.

NO PINK CAKE MAC.

AGRESSIVE TALK.

DOMINANT DOOHICKIES.

DROOLS OVER MAC BOOBIES.

CAVEMAN BARRONS WEARS SEXY CLOTHES.

DO NOT SHOW FEELING FOR ME.

I WILL GLARE AT YOU MENACINGLY.

I AM HYPOCRITE. I DO REALLY SWEET THING FOR MAC.

And despite this: He is sexy. There is no reason or logic. He just is.

For those who haven’t read the book, it’s probably not a good idea for you to read this. Okay. Now that everything is clear. What the fuck was that ending. It was so painful to watch. I get why Mac wasn’t able to do anything. I can see other reader’s blaming her. But, really it’s not her fault that it happened. They were Gancanagh, or death by sex fae. These ones were much more determined than V’lane ever was with Mac. Bascially it was forced seduction. Which means that despite the fact that the Main Character doesn’t want to have sex or hasn’t said yes, they seduce her forcibly. It’s another version of rape. Frankly, that’s what this was. It’s sad. It’s terrible. But it’s not her fault. And I can’t see why other reader’s would even consider that it was her fault. Even though after she wasn’t able to resist them, she found pleasure, she didn’t want it.

It was sex that was life that was blood that was God that filled every empty orifice I had, inside and out. And it was killing me. And I knew it. And I had to have more.

If you’ve read folklore about these creatures, they are one of the most fucking scary creatures in those damn books. The idea that you have no choice is scary. The idea that you are seduced into something you don’t want is scary. The idea that once they are gone, you are in agonizing pain and death is the only way you can escape it is fucking scary. I never want to know what rape is like. I think this is the worst type of rape you can experience. Moning scared the shit out of me. But while a lot of author’s use rape as a device to make reader’s feel pain, I don’t think this was Moning’s attempt. I think she handled it well. She wasn’t too graphic. She described what was happening without being gratuitous about it. She made sure that it wasn’t just about the act, that there was deeper meaning and purpose to it.

I’m reading.

I’m scared.

My hands are shaking.

OMG. THOSE THINGS.

GLARES.

What’s going to happen?

Oh Mac. FUCK.

Footsteps. Footsteps. Holy…it’s……mother fucker.

NOOOOOOOOOO.

I’M GOING TO BITCHSLAP SOMEONE.

Oh…and Christian: I approve. But dude, what is with everyone wanting to know who Mac is sleeping with. Barrons wants to now. Christian wants to know. V’lane wants to know. It’s like a big fucking circle that never ends. Who she sleeps with or doesn’t sleep with is no one’s damn business. Period. No excuses. Get over it guys.

This book is like putting your hand in snow and keeping it there for a few minutes until it burns. You take it out and it’s got that nice pink color. It’s cold, numb, and on fire. You love it. But, you hate it. And then you sit by the fire pissed off and you leave satisfied with a warm body part.

Review: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning


I used to be your average, everyday girl but all that changed one night in Dublin when I saw my first Fae, and got dragged into a world of deadly immortals and ancient secrets. . . .

In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both the Fae and Man. Pursued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae Prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man as irresistible as he is dangerous.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.



Moning is the mother of good pacing. Just when you think things can’t get any more intense. Or just when you think you can’t get any more feelings out, your heart starts to explode out of your chest. Then, you have to pick up all the pieces. AND THEN: you are left sitting in that room alone staring at the wall because you just don’t fucking understand WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED.

It’s like that.

All you can do is bitch to get everything under control. By everything, I mean those little things they call emotions. That is what it’s called right? Right.

Mac grows significantly in this book, from start to finish. Since the beginning of book one she’s grown some already. She’s not as prone to jumping into the mix without thinking about the repercussions. She still does have those moments i.e. deciding to stay on the beach with V’lane and making a deal with him without realizing the full truth of what she’s getting into. She’s still adamant that her life won’t change once she and Barrons find the Dark Book. I kept shaking my head the entire time. There’s just no fucking way that’s going to happen. Not after learning what she is, not after becoming Barrons OOP detector, not after realizing there’s an entire community of people like her, and so many other things that could affect her life even once they find that book. It’s just not realistic to think on those terms. She can’t think life is going to be what it used to be, even if Alina is out the picture.

Mac’s growth in this novel:

  • Mac grows a pair and stands up to Barrons.
  • She’s actually actively learning about the Fae world.
  • She’s being more safe by always having a weapon nearby.
  • She’s listening to Barrons instead of throwing a hissy fit.

I set up my laptop and tried to answer e-mails from my friends, but I couldn’t relate to anything they’d written about. Parties and Jell-O shots, and who was sleeping with who, and he-said/she-said just didn’t comp tin my brain right now.

Mac is becoming more mature not only by her actions, but by her attitude. Towards the end of the novel she realizes her life will never be the same. That she’s going to fight for that book because of what she is, because her sister would have wanted it, and because it’s the right thing to do. But more than that, Mac doesn’t seem to making as many stupid mistakes as she did in book one.

Mac’s faults in this novel are mostly centered on her lingering immaturity.

  • She’s still jumping to conclusions about Barrons without looking at this actions.
  • She’s saying things without really thinking about the reality of the situations and why he keeps secrets.
  • She’s paying more attention to what he’s not doing and then coming to wild conclusions instead of looking at what he is doing and then looking at what those actions mean.

She’s twisting information. Look, I totally fucking hate how he makes decisions without consulting her first. I DO. It pisses me off. But, Mac’s actions aren’t any better. She’s comparing him to V’lane, who tries to rape her at every fucking turn. Basically, what Ryodan tells Mac is very true. I’m very interested to see the woman she becomes and I can’t wait until I get to the fifth novel.

There were so many damn cool things in this book. THE HUNTERS. So damn cool:

Great, dark, leathery wings flapped from a great dark leathery body, with a massive satyrlike head, cloven hooves, and a forked tail. Its tongue was long and bisected down the middle. It had long curved black horns with bloody tips. It was black, but it was more than black; it was the absolute, utter, and complete absence of light.

I….I….I….Scaaarrryyy. INTENSE. So damn intense when reading this scene. That thing is so interesting. I really really want to know more about these hunters.

The relationship between Barrons and Mac changes int his book. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. Because, they were fighting when the thing at the end of the book happens. Those who’ve read will have no fucking idea what I’m talking about. All I have to say is: DAMN and SEXY.

I both hate and love how closed off Barrons is. It’s so intriguing when he gives you those tiny bits of emotion once in a while. I never thought I would feel so much. I was reading, and Mac was being tortured, and all hope was lost. But then: I started to have tears in my eyes. I don’t how. I don’t why. I am not a crier. I’m still not sure I’m admitting this. I’m lying they weren’t tears. Yes, they were. No, they weren’t. Yes. No. Yes. No. Okay, they were. Seriously, I’m a dry well. I do not cry while reading. But for real: there was wet stuff coming out of my eyes. So either I need to see the eye doctor or they were tears.

Had I, in some tiny way, come to matter to this enigmatic, hard, brilliant, obsessed man? I realized he’d come to matter to me. Good or evil, right or wrong, he mattered to me.

Plus: We get to see Barrons freak out in this book. He has feelings for Mac. Mac and Barrons sitting in a tree. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. I don’t know the rest of the words to this song.

The inner girl in me is going: WHEEEEE!!!

I was about to look away when he reached across the seat, touched my jaw with his long, strong, beautiful fingers, and caressed my face. Being touched by Jericho Barrons with kindness makes you feel like you must be the most special person in the world. It’s like waking up to the biggest, most savage lion in the jungle, lying down, placing your head in its mouth and, rather than taking your life, it licks you and purrs.

The adult in me is ashamed that I like this dude. But a book is a book and that is that.

*stares at you longingly*

The world intensified, the characters become more faceted and detailed, the creatures knocked me out of my chair, the pacing is to die for, and the relationships became the death of me. On to the next book.

4 Star Review: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

This book has been a favorite of mine since I was a teen. I love it to pieces, therefore be warned: I may be slightly biased in my review.

Things that make this novel different:

1. The book features Bean Sidhe (Banshee) from Irish folklore.
2. Parents in this book are actually very significant to the story.
3. The MC voluntarily involves her uncle into the issue instead of trying to handle it all by herself.
4. The MC actually has a spine and doesn’t instantly fall for the love interest.
5. Family relationships become the interesting dynamic in this novel
6. THERE ARE NO VAMPIRES OR WEREWOLVES PEOPLE!

When I say this book is different, you’re probably rolling your eyes right now aren’t you? Yeah, you are. But what you’re probably thinking is that it’s basically a paranormal romance but with a different creature? NOPE.

This book features a heroine who isn’t stupid, or TSTL (Too Stupid To Live). She’s one of the most relatable heroines I’ve read in a long time. And when I first read this, I was in high school. I think she’s a kick ass chick. She doesn’t keep secrets from people. When things become too dangerous, she lets her uncle know what’s up. She doesn’t do that fucked up thing where the MC usually will do something against all odds…resulting in you thinking “this chick is stupid.” No. She thinks before she acts. The best thing is that I didn’t want to slap her. I wanted to hug her. I can’t even name five YA heroines I’d want to hug. Most, I’ve wanted to end.

The male love interest isn’t overly domineering or an ass. He’s mellow. He’s sweet. He actually talks with Kaylee about interesting things, like about their culture and what they can do as Bean Sidhe’s. He’s not always the one who initiates the kissing scenes. He’s NICE. He actually cares about what Kaylee wants instead of deciding for himself what she wants.

What drew me into this Tale:

But the thing that drew me to this book in the first place was the term Bean Sidhe. My parents would read me Irish ‘lore as a child. I was never really much into reading until the Harry Potter books, but I loved Irish folklore. They were my fantasy tales. They were horrific, engaging, scary, and at times insightful. There are so many other types of faeries than most people can imagine. Bean Sidhe’s are one of those beings. Their tales are one of the most interesting and morbid tales I remember hearing when I was a child. This is what drew me to these books: I wanted more tales about Bean Sidhes.

What Made me Continue:

Kaylee made me empathize with her on many levels. She’s got a subtle wit about her. She’s not new to sarcasm and Vincent weaves it into the story to provide humor in certain places. But, the author doesn’t overload the book with sarcasm so that it became annoying and unnecessary.

Kaylee’s mother died when she was young and her father lives in Ireland. Her father has trouble looking Kaylee in the eye without seeing her mother. They looks so much alike, in his eyes.

I never felt that Kaylee was a special snowflake, for those who may wonder about this. She doesn’t obsess about her looks. She focuses on important things for a teenager, like working in order to pay her insurance bill. She’s responsible, unlike her bitchy cousin Sofie. But just because she’s a supernatural creature, doesn’t mean she’s the only one in existence. She doesn’t feel like she’s different than other people and neither do others. She’s normal, not an anomaly. This. I liked this very much about Kaylee. She wasn’t out there to prove herself as the chosen one or shit like that.

Kaylee’s not one to easily accept things. She bases things on logical thinking. This is one smart chick. When she finds out she’s not human, she doesn’t buy into Nash’s speech. She wants answers. But all she can see are coincidences:

“Bean sidhes are native to Ireland. That’s why the stories all stem from old Irish folktales.”
Oh. Now that was quite a coincidence. But nothing more. “Got anything else, Houdini?”

And, eventually she comes to the realization of what she really is.

What I also liked about her was that she wasn’t quick to accept Nash’s attention to her suddenly. She’s want to know why the fuck he’s so interested her all of a sudden. She wants to know his game. I don’t blame her. I mean super popular guy is suddenly licking her shoes? Why? But then you’re reassured that Kaylee knows what she’s doing. She’s calls him out on his crap:

“I can count the number of times we’ve really spoken before tonight on one hand.” I help up that hand for emphasis. “Then you come out of nowhere and play white knight to my damsel, and I’m supposed to believe you want nothing in return? Nothing to tell your friends about on Monday?”
He tried to laugh, but the sound was stilted, and he shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “I wouldn’t–”
“Save it. Rumor has it you’ve conquered more territory than Genghis Khan.”

I love this girl.

Kaylee thinks about death a lot and for a good reason. Girls have been dropping like flies for no reason. She feels panic and sadness whenever her Bean Sidhe voice acknowledges that someone is about to die:

The keening began deep in my throat, so low it felt like my lungs were on fire. Yet the sound was soft at first. Like a whisper I felt more than heard. I clamped my jaws shut in horror…

This scares the shit out of her for several reasons, but the most logical being that if she screams at the top of her lungs people might take her to the hospital…again. What a break this girl gets.

But on top of that fucking cherry is that her family has been lying to her. They’ve been keeping critical secrets from her. Frankly, I haven’t forgiven a certain aunt, uncle, father, and fucked up cousin yet. There’s also the taking her to the hospital instead of telling her the TRUTH, that I have issues with. Who wouldn’t? By the way, that isn’t a spoiler. You find it out very early in the story.

Lastly, what I loved: Tod. The sexy grim reaper. He’s so fucking awesome. He’s got sarcasm coming out of his but:

Tod glanced at me for the first time, his frown practically etched into place. “You were expecting someone older? Taller? Maybe kind of gaunt and skeletal?” Contempt dripped from his words like acid, and his focus snapped back to Nash in annoyance. “See? That’s the problem with the old title. I should start calling myself a ‘collections agent’ or something like that.”

I like him more than Nash, who is the love interest. There’s no love triangle, but….man he’s sexy. Who knew death could be sexy.

4 Star Review: The Hidden Blade by Sherry Thomas

Often I don’t find myself that pulled towards short stories or novellas, but Sherry Thomas completely captured my attention while reading The Hidden Blade.

“You don’t know men. The pain of death never stopped any man from sniffing roadside blossoms.”
Ying-ying turned on her side and rammed an elbow toward Amah’s solar plexus. “Then I will kill him in truth.”

It reminded me a lot of Wu Xia films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. There’s actually two pretty smart kids, both of which you get to see grow up. Both of their tales are sad and heart wrenching. Their lives become tragedies by the choices of the adults who love them.

Leighton’s Story:

A little English boy by the name of Leighton Atwood enjoys spending time with father and his father’s good friend Herb. He discovers that his father and Herb aren’t just friends. They’re in love. His father resists his relationship with Herb because of the possibility of being thrown into an Asylum again. More than anything he fears that place.

Being gay in the Victorian era wasn’t unusual or unknown of in the least, but it was illegal to be publically gay. Many were sent to asylums to be “cured” or put into jail for their homosexuality.

The way Herb and Leighton’s father’s relationship was portrayed felt very realistic and accurate for the time. I almost felt like Herb was slightly naïve in his understanding what society would do to publically gay people. It was as if he didn’t think any relatives would have a problem with them being gay and wouldn’t do anything about it.

Something happens to this couple, which leads to Leighton’s situation in the house of his uncle Curtis. He has no freedom. His uncle gets off on knowing other people’s sins. He likes to see other people unhappy.

I wanted to squish Leighton’s uncle. Kill him…like a bug.

I felt terribly sorry for Leighton. He took away his fucking books; the only thing that was keeping him even slightly sane.

At this point I was glaring at my kindle.

The only issue I had with this was that the build up of the awful things that Leighton’s uncle did was unresolved satisfactorily. It felt empty or unfinished. Or built up in a way that leads the reader to believe there would be a bigger climax to the story.

Ying Ying’s Story:

Forget the silly name. I mean… Ying Ying? Sounds ridiculously, right? Just throw that fucking raised eyebrow off your face. Okay. I know how it sounds.

Ying Ying’s the illegitimate daughter of a Chinese concubine and a foreign Devil. Not a real devil, that’s just what the Chinese referred to White men. They didn’t like foreigners, apparently. Ying Ying is eight years old and her mother isn’t in the best of health. She knows that realistically, no respectable man will marry the daughter of a foreign devil. All she’s has to look forward to is becoming the third concubine of an important man.

One night she witnesses a thief all in black on the roof. It’s her nurse Amah. Amah tells Ying Ying she’s her master now. She teaches Ying Ying martial arts. The great thing about this is that Ying Ying doesn’t just tell us these things, she shows us. We don’t get told about the lessons. We see them:

In Ying-ying’s rooms, silence.
Then, sound: a barely perceptible disturbance of the air.
Ying-ying lifted the painted silk fan in her hand and blocked the incoming object a handspan from her face. She spun around and knocked another one that was coming for her shoulder. Then another, aimed at her knees.
The tiny missiles kept coming; she kept deflecting them, her mind blank, her concentration absolute.

Ying Ying is a smart ass eight year old. She’s witty and thinks about her actions. But she’s also inexperienced in life and has much to learn.

As Ying Ying grows into a young woman she becomes adept at the martial arts. But the eye of the son of Da-ren, her mother’s provider, wanders to the beautiful face of Ying Ying. He’s a big fat baby. He has tantrums when he doesn’t something he wants. See:

He lifted a braid of her hair. “Surely she will understand if you say I detained you.”
“She has her orders directly from Da-ren himself to strictly watch my every step. I’m afraid she’ll yield only when he commands differently.”
The lordling tore off an embroidered amulet sachet he wore at his waist and hurled it against the nearest wall. “Da-ren! Da-ren! My whole life I’ve had to listen to him. Everything I want, he stands in my way.”

I have to mention this: I really loved how Sherry Thomas showed us the difference between being gay in China and being gay in England, through the eyes of the characters. When Master Gordon, Ying Ying’s English teacher, asks her how gay people are treated in China she tells him about the Majordomo having an affair with an opera singer.

“Does Da-ren know it?”
“Everyone knows it.” His isolation saddened her. She had learned within weeks of coming into the compound. Not that people didn’t snicker behind the majordomo’s back, but before him they dared not show the least disrespect.

I really loved the character of Ying Ying. She’s smart, witty, and literally kick ass.

This novella focused on Ying Ying and Leighton’s tragic childhoods. It felt as if this is the beginning of their story. Then, in novel we’ll get to understand the crux of the plot. However, this novel was more about the characters than it was about plot. I couldn’t find a straight through plot. Thomas is usually really great at plot; therefore I don’t think that’s what she wanted to do here. This novella is all character, emotion, and action.