Review- Inception (The Destined Series # 1.5) by Ashley Suzanne

Inception Ebook[1]

INTERESTING INCEPTION!

Title: Inception (The Destined Series # 1.5)
Author: Ashley Suzanne
Genre: Young Adult/ Romance
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 95
Reviewer: Kelly

*** Copy provided by Author in exchange for an honest review***

Explanation:
Inception is the almost like a prologue to Mirage. It explains the life of Mira and Danny before the motorcycle accident in Mirage. The novel describes things from only Danny’s point of view, starting from their first meeting on college Orientation Day and ending in the aftermath of the accident. It explores Danny’s relationship with Skylar and his family.

Opinion:
After the ending of Mirage, Inception starts in the most unimaginable place- back at the very beginning! It took me all of Chapter One to realise what was going on and whose point of view we were reading. So when I discovered that Suzanne was torturing us with the back story of Mira and Danny, from Danny’s point of view, I was so incredibly frustrated! Though I suppose this frustration did what Suzanne hoped it would, it made me read it faster to get to the end, hopefully with some answers and a reason to read the next book Awakening!

Now I have to say I did enjoy finding out about how they met, and how Danny felt about Mira. Inception was written entirely from Danny’s point of view. It was interesting to learn about a character that you didn’t know much about from reading Mirage. It gave the reader an opportunity to really understand things about him, not just snippets of memories provided by Mira or Skylar.

The one thing I would have loved the novel to do was tell the story from Skylar’s point of view as well. Our knowledge from Mirage and the explanations in the story tell the reader enough from Danny’s point of view to know what Skylar is probably feeling, but I think it would have added another dimension to the plotline. The things Danny notices, and the things that Mira is so oblivious too, are very obvious in this novel.

I’m an impatient person so I am glad that Suzanne made this novel so short, as more elaboration would have made it a long and dull read. As it was there were some points were I felt Suzanne was rehashing irrelevant details. Though she did provide enough information to understand the intricate dynamic between Danny, Mira and Skylar. In other words she got us prepared for whatever concoction she has brewed up in Awakening.

Summary:
Read this quickly then get a copy of Awakening!

lips grey 3.5

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Review – The Hunger Games – Mocking Jay (book 3) by Suzanne Collins

ON FIRE!!!

Title – The Hunger Games – Mocking jay
Author – Suzanne Collins
Genre – Science Fiction
Pages – 455
Reviewer – Laura

****SOME spoilers alert****

BLURB:

” If we burn, you burn with us!”

Katniss Everdeen’s Final Battle Has Begun!

OPINION:

Well this definitely was not what I expected!  After loving the first 2 books in The Hunger Games Trilogy – I found I was a little disappointed with the concluding book.

First of all, I felt the book was lacking the action packed pace that was evident in the first 2 books, which made the reading process a little boring.

In the beginning, Katniss was not her normal strong, brave self. She just seemed lazy, selfish and depressed! Now, I understand that going through two hunger games would be quite horrific – especially with the ongoing threat from President Snow to murder her entire family – and I understand that these things would take some time to recover from but honestly it took forever for her to realize that she needed to wake up and do something!!! She seemed as though she was drained of the fire that she possessed in the first two installments, which is what made me so fond of her character in the first place.

When Peeta finally gets rescued from District 13, he is brainwashed, goes crazy, and keeps trying to kill Katniss! I actually didn’t mind this part of the book as it was an unexpected direction for the plot, and I think that Peeta’s brutal honesty towards Katniss was quite a wake-up call for her.

I was really glad that Gale was given more page time! Anyone who has been following my Hunger Games reviews would know that I have been on team Gale all the way. It was weird to me that Gale seemed to be fighting for her in the last two books, yet in this one it’s like he just gave up! The resolution of the story seemed to mirror Gale’s actions, it felt like there had been so much effort put into the first two books that by the end the emotion had just run out.  While I realize this is a dystopian story, the genre did not prepare me for the ending, which seriously lacked the emotional punch of all that had come before.

I know most of this review seems quite negative as I’ve pointed out the parts that disappointed me the most, but while saying all of that I can’t deny that I really do love this series, and I did enjoy reading all of the books.

Whilst this book was the most disappointing out of the 3, the whole series put together is definitely one that I would recommend to anyone to read, if you haven’t already!

Obviously this story is about so much more than a boy and girl falling in love – it is about war, human tragedy, the importance of hope, and the fact that people will do anything for those that they love!

lips grey 3.5

Review- Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

wicked-appetite[1]

A WICKEDLY GOOD READ!

Title: Wicked Appetite
Author: Janet Evanovich
Genre: Mystery/Paranormal/Romance
Publication:  Headline Review
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 373
Reviewer: Kelly

Blurb:
Seven Stones of Power, each representing one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Sought after for thousands of years, the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire. He’s a dangerous man with unusual abilities and a compulsion to possess anything he desires. Including Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones.

Elizabeth’s life is pretty much on track…until it’s suddenly derailed by a man named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat. Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat. She’s not sure about Diesel.

The Seven Deadly Sins pretty much cover everything that is wicked. Diesel thinks they also pretty much cover everything that’s fun. And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about.

Explanation:
Wicked Appetite is the first book in the Wicked Series by Janet Evanovich. It centres on Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’ Tucker a twenty-eight year old, recently single cupcake baker who has just moved to Marblehead, Massachusetts. Lizzy inherited an old house from her kooky Great Aunt Ophelia and moved herself from New York to Marblehead. Marblehead is near Salem, the mystical town known for its witchcraft and wizardly, and the place where Lizzy is employed at Dazzle’s Bakery.

Lizzy easily makes friends with Clara, the owner of Dazzle’s bakery and Glo, the shopgirl. She is quite happy with her baker lifestyle, until she meets Gerwulf Grimoire and his cousin Diesel. Diesel explains to Lizzy that she is an Unmentionable, which is a person with special skills or powers. He also explains that she must work with him to find the Seven Deadly Sins stones and keep them away from his cousin Gerwulf.

Opinion:
Wicked Appetite is a loveable easy read. The main crux of the story is explored straight away. The sleuthing the characters need to do in order to search for the Stones leaves the reader searching for clues of their own to solve the dilemma. While reading this story I felt like a police officer on the hunt for clues to solve a case.

The lustful tension between Diesel and Lizzy is endearing. As someone who likes romance, Evanovich built up their relationship steadily to keep the reader intrigued. Her use of first person perspective allowed us to only see inside Lizzy’s mind, but through the use of detailed dialogue and descriptive language we were also able to assume what Diesel was thinking and feeling. Their love story is not a simple one, as they are technically work partners, so it will be interesting to see how Evanovich develops this relationship as the series continues.

The one downfall I found within Wicked Appetite was the lack of explanation Evanovich provided toward the foundation of the story. She describes everything at the beginning in a very hasty, matter-of-fact manner. For example, the issue of Lizzy being an Unmentionable is just a fact of the story, as is her working with Diesel. The setting is also not explained in detail to allow the reader to really get a sense of the scene. Thus Evanovich does not allow time for the reader to really appreciate and understand the characters or their surroundings.

Summary:
This book was an easy and entertaining read. I read this book after reading a very intense, sad and dramatic story so it was a perfect counterpart. If you are looking for something “light and fluffy”, humorous and that isn’t too hard to decipher, get reading today!

lips grey 3.5

Review – Entwined with You by Sylvia Day

 

Frustrating with a capital F!

Title: Entwined with You (Book #3 Crossfire Series)
Author: Sylvia Day
Pages: 356
Genre: Romance – Erotic Fiction
Reviewer: Nicole
 

Blurb:

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognized something in him that I needed. Something I couldn’t resist. I also saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside – so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat.

No one knows how much he risked for me. How much I’d been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become.

Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession….

Review:

Entwined with You is the third, supposed final, installment to the Crossfire Series.  While I did enjoy this book, I have to express my disappointment. This series was presented as a “Trilogy” and what the reader finds out only after purchasing and reading the book, is that it’s no longer a Trilogy (obviously, for the story is nowhere near resolved), there is going to be another book and who knows how many after that?  As the reader I now find it frustrating not knowing when this story is going to be completely resolved.

While I had anticipated plot resolution from this installment what I received was far from enlightening.  I was actually left with most of the loose ends untied and presented with new information, which I assume is to cater to new sub plots and crisis for the two main characters of Gideon and Ava to explore in the upcoming books.

The highlight of this book for me was the character development taking place within Gideon and Ava.  Both protagonists really matured in this installment, not only in regard to their individual insecurities but as a couple as well. Ava became less annoying and Gideon became more loveable. They feel stable at the moment but I don’t know how long that will last, as I am sure the next installment will test this greatly.

What I hope for in the next installment are answers and plot resolution – I don’t want this series to drag! I want resolution regarding Gideon’s past – including whatever confrontation is to come between him, his mother and his family.  Overall, I think we are due for a more direct focus on Gideon’s back story as we have seen enough from Ava.  I guess we will just have to wait and see where this next installment will take us – fingers crossed it’s not a letdown.

lips grey 3.5

Review: While It Lasts by Abbi Glines

ANOTHER FULFILLING INSTALLMENT!

Title: While it Lasts (Book #3 from the Sea Breeze Series)
Author: Abbi Glines
Pages: 267
Genre: New Adult – Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: Nicole

Blurb:
Trouble follows Cage York around. Usually his charm gets him off the hook, but this time his recklessness means he’s spending his summer sweeping out barns and babysitting cows, instead of enjoying late-night hook-ups.

The only bright spot is Eva, an uptight, snarky brunette who seems immune to Cage’s advances. Behind those big blue eyes and fiery temper, Eva is nursing a broken heart and the last thing she needs is a player like Cage flashing his irritating (though admittedly gorgeous) smile in her direction.

But as the humidity rises, Cage begins to crack Eva’s carefully built walls as the two of them learn that what they want, and need, may be something they never expected…

Review:

While it Lasts by Abbi Glines, is another great addition to the Sea Breeze Series. It fulfilled my quota for a quick, easy read with lots of sexual tension, lust, love and sex!

In this installment, the character in the spotlight is the commitment phobic / player of the group Cage York, which flows on nicely after the last installment of the series, Because of Low. Cage gets done for DUI and could lose his baseball scholarship. But his coach makes a deal with him that if he works at his brother’s farm for the summer and doesn’t get into any mischief, he will overlook the DUI. It’s at the farm he meets the breathtaking beauty Eva, who is not only the very first girl to make his chest constrict but is also the first girl who seems to outright dislike him at first sight. Cage loves the challenge that presents itself and the more Eva ignores and tries push him away, the more Cage is determined to get her to notice him, the real him. Once he breaks through Eva’s walls, he not only faces the challenge of her father standing in their way but Cages biggest challenge is getting Eva to let go of her past.

I love the way Abbi Glines creates sexy, bad boy characters that always have this vulnerable side. Cage, who is one of the man whores of the group, is a complete commitment phobic who has never fallen in love with a girl or let a girl get close (beside Low of course), fearing that once he lets them into his heart, they will abandon him. Cage’s character development in this book sees him overcome his feelings of worthlessness as well as overcoming his fear of letting someone into his heart. Watching him and his realization that he had fallen in love was truly a touching moment.

The only minor negative for me on this installment, is the character of Eva. I usually like the sweet country type of gals but I was disappointed that I just couldn’t connect with her character. While I appreciate she was supposed to be cold and stand off-ish, I felt she was a bit two dimensional and lacking depth. Even as the plot progressed and her character evolved, I never really warmed up to her. That aside, I still have to commend the way she ultimately stood up to her father and put herself out there on stage for Cage to win his heart back.

Overall, I enjoyed this story and the chemistry between the characters – it was an enjoyable read, light easy and very pleasant!

lips grey 3.5

Review – Trusted by Taylor L. Stimac

trusted

Definitely leaves you needing more!

Title: Trusted
Author: Taylor L. Stimac
Genre: YA Romance
Pages:  326
Reviewer: Debby

(N.B. Special thanks to Taylor L. Stimac for providing a copy of the text for review)

Blurb:

When fifteen year old Tegan Summers catches the eye of local radio personality Rake Johnson, she finally feels like a normal teenage girl. Everything about their relationship feels perfect, except for the unexplained presence that makes her believe she should stay away.

On the same day she meets Rake, another man makes his way into her life: Officer Damien Sanders. His mysterious and often intense warnings urge Tegan to trust him and to end her relationship with Rake. As she works to uncover Damien’s motive, she begins to realize that he may end up playing a vital role in her future.

Discover what Tegan must do in TRUSTED, the debut novel by author Taylor L. Stimac.

Would you trust a stranger?

Review:

This debut novel by Taylor L. Stimac was a pleasant surprise.  Trusted is a story that really captures the essence of how awkward the teenage years can be for everyone.  Being somewhat outside of my teenage years, I still found it easy to relate to the protagonist as I have been that awkward, unsure and insecure teenage girl.  I felt that Stimac did an exceptional job of expressing these characteristics in Tegan.

Stimac’s character interaction was also very effective.  I really liked the way she wrote the friendship between Tegan and her best friend Sara.  Sara, as the more socially experienced girl with less boundaries set at home, served as someone that Tegan could look up to and go to for advice.  At the same time the differences between the two friends allowed some of that “teenage girl struggle for power and position cattiness” to shine through.

Of course, my favourite character interaction was between Tegan and her love interest, Rake.  This relationship is the stuff of which teenage girls’ dreams are made.  Rake is confident, has a cool job, drives a truck, isn’t afraid of parents and buys flower and jewelry!! This blossoming relationship alone gives reason to read this book!

The one criticism I have, which depending on one’s reading preferences, may not even be a criticism, is simply that I wished I had been given more information. Obviously, this is the first book in a series so some blanks are expected but, in a rather crafty move by the author, I simply have to read the second book in order to discover more about the mysterious character of Officer Sanders.  I do know that his character is very passionate and intriguing so I am definitely interested in learning more about his role in the story.

So, overall this was an enjoyable read that most definitely left me hanging! I will be looking out for the follow up!

lips grey 3.5

Review – Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade1[1]

AN INTRIGUING READ!

Book: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Genre: Paranormal
Publication: Atom Books
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 454
Reviewer: Kelly

Blurb:
I wanted him to kiss me- wished he could smell the desire that I knew was pouring off me.
You can’t, Calla. This boy isn’t the one for you.

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: graduation, marriage and then a life leading her pack.

But when she defies her masters’ laws and saves a human boy, she must choose.
Is one boy worth losing everything?

Explanation:
Nightshade begins in the mountainous town of Vail. The reader sees everything through the eyes of seventeen year old Calla Tor. Calla is a mythical werewolf, known as a Guardian, who can shift from human to wolf form at will. She is a member of the Nightshade pack, ruled by an ancient Keeper, or witch, named Lumine Nightshade.

The Keepers control the wolves, with their role being to protect them from their enemies, the Searchers. The Guardians, in return for the Keepers protection, receive houses, money, cars and jobs. The Keepers however control all aspects of the Guardian’s lives – including who they are to marry. As Calla’s parents are the alphas of her pack, she is soon to become the alpha female of a new pack. She betrothed to the alpha male Renier Laroche, from the rival Bane pack.

Calla is impartial to marrying Renier. He is nice looking, kind to her and it is their destiny. She doesn’t see it any other way. That is until she meets and saves a human boy, Shay Doran, from the clutches of a hungry bear. Shay is the new boy at school and he slowly begins to change her viewpoint about an arranged marriage and marrying for love.

Opinion:
The book gets into the storyline straight away. There are new words, labels and names for people being thrown at you constantly within the first few chapters. It takes a few re-reads of some sections to work out who is who and what is going on. Once you have the terminology down, the book is a great read! It has action, suspense, a love story, a heroine and a whole lot of mystery.

I loved how the main bulk of this story detailed Calla and Shay’s efforts to work out the origins of the packs, and where the Guardian, Keeper and Searcher history originated. It is rather engrossing as the reader is discovering all this information right along with the characters. The foreshadowing techniques used in the book were sometimes a little obvious, so it wasn’t as exciting as it could have been when main cruxes in the story were revealed.

Personally, I dislike when characters do not follow their destiny. I know that this makes the story and complicates the plot, but let’s just say that this is probably my own moral conscious getting in the way of following your heart. So when Calla begins to stray from her intended course, I began to cringe through the story. I think what made it hard to swallow as well, was that Renier, her intended mate was not the lecherous, rampaging wrench that you wanted her to run away from. Even though I was dealing with my own inner turmoil over this whole situation, Calla’s struggle with her choice made for a very engaging read.

Summary:
The book was an overall extraordinary read. It had plot twists, mystery and introduced the reader to a whole new world. The story is very much unfinished at the end of this book, so thank goodness this is a three part series!

lips grey 3.5