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.

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: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered a reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace, and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust, and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and she develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life’s at stake again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear!


So I pick up this book, it’s young adult and fantasy. All the things I love most are high fantasy.

Yessm’

It’s a little slow at first, but then: it becomes impossible to put down.

*crazy meme says addictive and so do I*

Poison nerdery in this book. Do I have you yet? No.

Well how about assassins who are nerds for poison lore? No yet? Damn.

How about a prisoner who becomes a poison taster and works for an assassin?

YEEAHHHHHHHHH!!!

I am on board with Valek and Yelena. Still, I didn’t completely love the book. I know. I know. I am apparently supposed to love this. It’s epic and fantasy and Young adult, but I didn’t. I didn’t. The world building was shabby at best. It’s kind of like the author couldn’t decide what genre she wanted to write in.

Should it be epic fantasy? No that’s not right.
I know I’ll submit it as a dystopian with a fantastical setting? No they wouldn’t buy that.
Maybe I’ll just say it’s high fantasy YA and write it off as a “different” type of high fantasy. No more medieval shit here! It’s got some modern doo-dads in there too.
MuahahahahaHA HA HA THEY’LL NEVER GUESS MY MAD SCEMES!!”

*careful you’ll actually fool someone with your crazy*

As you can see, I didn’t buy into the world building because I expect more consistency with fantasy. It’s incomplete, inconsistent, and irrational.

The writing is good and the dialogue is witty and involving. The only thing is that I was more interested in the characters and the poison lore than I was with the actual story.

Let’s make one thing clear: if it’s just the characters, dialogue, and romance that’s interesting clearly there’s some pacing issues or the plot just isn’t as interesting as you would have thought. The magic is interesting, but doesn’t really make sense. She explains it up to a certain point and then oh yeah then that happens. No more explanations? You went half ass on me?

At least, it’s more interesting than the majority of assassin books I’ve read. I have yet to read a really good Young Adult assassin book. I haven’t even read that many good adult fantasy assassin books.

*so much idiocy*

IF YOU EVEN DARE MENTION THRONE OF GLASS I WILL KICK YOU IN THE FACE.

About sixty percent in I was noticing that there seemed to be a lack of intensity? Is that the word I want to use?

You know that feeling you have when the plot is increasing and you are yelling

WHAT IS HAPPENING? OMG SHE’S GOING TO DIE! AHHHHHH FEELLINGS!

That stuff.

It was missing this far into the book. Where did it go? I don’t know. That’s what’s so confusing. It just disappeared like Amelia Earhart.

And um….sex in Young Adult? I approve. There should be more of this. And don’t give me that crap that “this isn’t a young adult.” The side of my book says it’s Young Adult.

Anyways I’m done with this review. I’m gonna go read more stuff now.

3 stars: because I enjoyed the writing and the characters so much. I am being very forgiving right now. I wouldn’t normally give a book with such inconsistent world building such a high rating. This book is very lucky right now.