Review: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

From Goodreads:

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

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


What the fresh hell is this?

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

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

To my utter and complete fucking surprise: YES.

*What just the crap just happened?*

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

There are some spoilers on previous books in the series:

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

HORSIES!

They are majestic creatures.

Obviously.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t know why I do this to myself.

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

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

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Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

From the Author’s Website:

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?


Welcome to tonight’s special 2 hour long episode of The Young and The Poisonous: a dramatic reading.

*Dramatic music*

ANNOUNCEMENT: THIS RADIO SHOW HAS NOW BEEN CANCELED BECAUSE THE PRODUCERS FEEL IT INFLUENCES OTHERS TO BE TSTL DOORMATS. THIS IS COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. BUT, THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE. DEAL WITH IT.

shuffles papers *shuffling noises*

Clears voice. Continues yelling in the way reporters often do:

HERE IS THEIR LIST OF REASONS!!! I WILL BE READING FROM ONE OF THE PRODUCER’S THOUGHTS ON THE MATTER WHICH THEY RANDOMLY THOUGHT YOU GUYS SHOULD KNOW. NOT THAT I CARE, ANYHOW. I HAVE TO READ THIS NO MATTER HOW FUCKING IDIOTIC IT IS:

1. The Theatrics! The fucking Queen, who may as well have a third eye and a mustache, is always jumping out of her chair, waving hands about, pointing fingers, and saying “Lies!”

The heroine also commits to being a theatre major:

“I’ve never had a choice about anything,” I spit at her.

As is one of the love interests, and I say love interest very lightly here:

“No, it’s not true. Twylla, it isn’t true, is it? You wouldn’t do that, not after all we said? All I told you?”

And the other love interest:

“He can’t have you,” he murmurs against my pipes. “You’re mine, my Twylla, my love.”

2. Tywlla (yes that’s really her name) forgives the assface who threatens her, more than once. 

The correct response:

3. MC claims no one ever gave her choice, making her a fucking idiot since all she does is wait for shit to happen to her. It’s the formula for a doormat.

  • Make sure the heroine is forced into a position she doesn’t want to be.
  • Make sure the heroine is the quiet demure type.
  • Don’t have the heroine speak up for herself, that will only curb the process of the doormat.
  • Make sure there are two boy toys she can eye coddle and choose from, so the reader thinks she has choices.
  • Don’t make the heroine try to find a way out. Let that stuff just fall into chaos and then at the last possible opportune moment have her speak for herself. It’ll trick the reader into thinking she stood up for herself.

“All we can do is stay quiet and do our best. We must be ghosts. That’s how you stay alive in this castle. You become a ghost. You keep your head down and you stay out of her way as much as you can.”

Bullcrap. My opinion is that a smart and badass heroine is someone who is able to intelligently get out of a situation she doesn’t want to be in, which does include making risky choices, and still remain with her head intact. Let’s all remember J.K. Rowling’s Harvard speech. You have to make risks. Although, you should still be smart about those risks. This heroine does neither.

4. The heroine guilt trips every fucking person in the novel. We must fear the queen! I’m (and I speak of all of us) all for being smart and making sure you don’t get your cut off, but I would much rather have a heroine who lives than a heroine who just sits there all day doing nothing.

5. The characters are inconsistent:

Merek’s character is the most inconsistent character I’ve come across in quite a long while. At first he’s broody, hikes up his lips in a smirk, and mouths off to people. Then, he tries to get to know Twylla. But, then when a predictable plot twist comes flying in he becomes the dramatic spoiled prince who cares for our poisoned doormat. You would think that a guy that professes to be so intelligent on so many matters would be able to see what’s right in front of him. Then, he’s the betrayed love interest who shoots evil eyes at everybody. Last but not least, he’s the nice guy.

The other love interest, Lief starts out a nice guy. He’s the friend. He’s the helper. He’s a dud. Suffice it to say, his character made no sense especially by the end of the book. By the time he tried to give reasons for his actions, I could care no more.

6. The insta-love that turned out to be just as insta no matter what we find out. That and “strawberry-flavored lust” descriptions.

The insta-love shot out of nowhere. There was no development. They were friends and then fucking kissing each other like dogs in mud to saying the L word. What even.

“But I can still kiss you?” he says. “When we’re alone?”
“Are you so hungry for my kisses?”


I’m not even going to go into the “forbidden lovers who attempt to run away together because no one understands their love” aspect. Please. No. NO.

7. She’s an idiot. She never thinks about what’s in the bottle she’s been taking, not until someone else mentions it to her. Even when they do, they have to hammer it into her until she stops being a cloistered nun about it. But, really that’s insulting to nuns. Have you guys ever met nuns? They are bad ass and a little mean sometimes.

8. She see’s a girl who’s pretty and what does she do?

“She’s very pretty. I don’t like her.

Then, she tries to look all intelligent, powerful, and better than any pretty girl because she’s different. She’s so different you guys. She can kill someone with a touch! Too bad, since that’s the only interesting thing about this book. In reality, she’s a fucking dim witted stuck-up doormat.

9. She’s the sympathetic heroine. I don’t even understand how a heroine who is an executioner can be so much of a pansy. Honestly, if someone can explain this to me I am all ears. Psychologically, a human who kills can suffer from a lot of trauma (the nazis at auschwitz, anyone?).

10. There is little to no plot for 60 percent of the novel. Even when the plot becomes apparent, it’s barely there. It’s chaotic. A little bit here, a little over there, oh and right there too.

11. The writing and characters are completely un-relatable and make you feel no emotion. This is my biggest fucking problem. I hate it when I’m bored. I don’t want the audience to be bored either. The writing is really awkward, forced, and lacks emotion. It doesn’t flow that well at all. By the time I got to sixty percent it was hard even to get one percentage. It’s so difficult to read, when it shouldn’t be.

I AM NOW GOING TO CONTINUE YELLING BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT REPORTERS DO! NOW. I AM FUCKING SURPRISED A PRODUCER HAD THE BALLS TO DO THIS. WHAT THE FUCK. HOW THE FUCK DO I GET THIS VODKA BOTTLE OPEN. IT’S LIKE A FUCKING TIME CAPSULE. FUCKING DAMMIT! AFTER HAVING TO LISTEN TO THAT. DEAR GOD. I FUCKING NEED A DRINK. SOMEONE! GET OVER HERE AND OPEN THIS DAMN BOTTLE.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Scholastic Inc for providing me with an Advanced Reader’s Copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content in my review.

ARC Review: When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

From the Author’s Website:

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

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

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


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

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

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

Girl Pride:

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

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

It’s even an eyeshadow:

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

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

The Frat Boy Scene (aka a feminist rant):

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

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

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

Later on in the novel she jokes about it:

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

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

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

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

Friends to lovers….not so much:

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

Oh Joss, Oh Matt: 

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

Plot or Character?

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

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

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

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

Review: 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.  

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

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

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

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


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

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

*The Courtney Love Stare*

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

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

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

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

*Karl wiggles eyebrows “Sexy Aliens, huh?”

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

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

SURPRISE!!!!!

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

I have a list:

1. The slut shaming:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

example one: 

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

example two:

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

*Beyonce snappy fingers* 

3. The unrealistic actions of the characters

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah…not a plot.

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

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

*I’m a fucking rainbow cat*

YEAH. THAT. 

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:

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.

DNF Review: Gunpowder Alchemy by Jeannie Lin



In 1842, the gunpowder might of China’s Qing Dynasty fell to Britain’s steam engines. Furious, the Emperor ordered the death of his engineers—and killed China’s best chance of fighting back…

Since her father’s execution eight years ago, Jin Soling kept her family from falling into poverty. But her meager savings are running out, leaving her with no choice but to sell the last of her father’s possessions—her last memento of him.Only, while attempting to find a buyer, Soling is caught and brought before the Crown Prince. Unlike his father, the Emperor, the Prince knows that the only chance of expelling the English invaders is to once again unite China’s cleverest minds to create fantastic weapons. He also realizes that Soling is the one person who could convince her father’s former allies—many who have turned rebel—to once again work for the Empire. He promises to restore her family name if she’ll help him in his cause.

But after the betrayal of her family all those years ago, Soling is unsure if she can trust anyone in the Forbidden City—even if her heart is longing to believe in the engineer with a hidden past who was once meant to be her husband…


DNF@45 percent:

I really do hate to DNF books. It irks me. It’s like trying to touch my eye ball. I can’t do it. It’s gross. It makes me uncomfortable. I do not like contacts, can you tell? ICK.

Sometimes after putting down the book for so long and when I don’t even have the slightest desire to pick it up, I have to come to the realization that this is just not working out for me. I know that as a reviewer I should have the curtisy to finish the book. I rarely drop a book, especially if it’s an ARC. I have to have the guts and stop feeling guilty. There are just certain books that aren’t going to work for me personally.

This book is actually incredibly beautiful. The writing is exquisite, smooth, and daring. The history is my absolute favorite thing about this novel. There are industrial machines, mechanics, engineers, and men flying ships. Court politics of the Qing Dynasty and weird gadgets. But the interesting thing is that it’s a mixture between being historically accurate for the time period and steampunk. You’re probably thinking “what the hell?” Let me explain: Lin weaves the history of the Opium War, technology and science, and steampunk. She tells a story that shows the reader the struggles that China was going through during the period…but with flying ships!

Jin Soling’s mother is tragically addicted to opium after her husband’s execution when he and his team failed to halt the British invasion of 1842. They are now a disgraced Manchurian aristocratic family stripped of their titles. Jin has been struggling with her mother’s addiction. She fears that one day that will have no way to feed her addiction and one day she will die in agonizing pain. Jin travels to the city to sell of one of her father’s prized heirlooms. But she’s brought before the crown prince who strikes a deal with her. They are searching for her father’s allies. He sends her off to convince them to help the empire create weapons that could beat the like of their enemies.

I never had a problem with the main character. She’s actually pretty cool. She carries this strange needle gun for protection. She knows that a woman walking alone needs to be aware that she’s vulnerable in a world of men. She’s smart and calculating when speaking her mind. Some things can get you in trouble, but it’s the way you manipulate the men around you that helps you survive in a world where men try to control you.

“Fear was a sign of weakness and weakness was a sign of guilt. It was best to do nothing, say nothing.”

I like her intelligence. I like her strength. But, at times I felt she was a boring character. There were things I found interesting about her, but it was as if her personality was missing. She had intriguing elements that made her seem cool, like the needle gun and taking care of her family by herself. But those aren’t part of her personality. She was flat. I didn’t feel moved to learn more about her. I didn’t want to read on because I felt bored by the characters. The plot was awesome, the story was fucking fantastic, but the characters were flat on the ground dead.

The sad thing is that it wasn’t just her character that lost me, but the pacing of the novel. It dragged and dragged and dragged. It seemed as if one percentage was taking me hours to read. The writing is beautiful. This is true. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a pacing problem in the novel. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood to read this book. That could have been the issue. The only thing I have left to say is: I am disappointed that I didn’t find the characters or the book more interesting.

Advance Reader’s Copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review