Review- Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

dont look back

Title: Don’t Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Young Adult/ Romance
Release Date: 2014
Pages: 384
Reviewer: Kelly

BLURB:

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

OPINION:

The moment I opened the first page of this book, and read the opening lines I was hooked- line and sinker! I didn’t know where this story would take me. Having read a lot of Armentrout’s previous novels I knew she could have taken me to a universe full of mythical creatures, or included an alien invasion, instead she kept it really simple and let this story play out in the ‘real world’. It was relatable as the situation that Samantha found herself in could happen to anyone, anywhere or at anytime.

The story was written in the first person point of view, through the eyes of Samantha, the main protagonist. She begins the story with her memories and her best friend missing. As a reader we are learning all about her life at the same time that she is! Then as her memories begin to come back in dreamlike, flashbacks and visions you start to wonder, just like Samantha, where is Cassie? The plot thickens when mysterious hand written notes begin to appear, sending very cryptic messages, turning this novel into a real “who done it?”

The foreshadowing techniques used throughout the story really kept you guessing until the very last page. Armentrout was very clever to give out little hints and clues throughout the book, but never enough to give the ending away. This created a gripping and enthralling read that was refreshing and different to any other novel I have ever read!

SUMMARY:
Wow! Armentrout can do no wrong! This book was an intriguing, heart-stopping, page turner. I finished it in a day. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!

lips grey 5

Review – Bully by Penelope Douglas

bully[1]

INTENSE  “FICTIONAL” LOVE STORY

Title: BULLY (Book #1 A Fall Away Novel)
Author: Penelope Douglas
Pages: 318
Genre: New Adult/Young Adult  – Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: Nicole
 

BLURB:

My name is Tate.

He doesn’t call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. No, he’ll barely even speak to me.

But he still won’t leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.

But I’m done hiding from him now, and there’s no way in hell I’ll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It’s time to fight back.

I’m not going to let him bully me ANYMORE!

REVIEW:

Wow! Bully by Penelope Douglas had such intense chemistry and sexual tension from the first chapter, that I got so consumed in this story I couldn’t put the book down!

One thing I will say is that Bully is a fairy tale.  If only there was a happy ending to all bullying like this story, and the only reason someone was being mean to you was for the simple, although jaded, fact that they are in love with you. I know we tell our little girls that when a boy in the playground teases you it’s because he likes you and maybe once upon a time this could be true but in today’s society Bullying is not this fairytale, it is a very real and cruel and seems to be magnified with all the technology and multimedia available today, not to mention broken homes, drug and alcohol issues.  No matter your gender, age, sexual preference, religion or race, anyone and everyone is a potential target to be bullied and it’s a REAL problem.

Bully’s protagonist is Tate who used to be best friends with her neighbor Jared, until the summer holidays before they started high school.  Jared went to spend his holidays with his Dad but came back from his Dad’s a very different person. He not only didn’t want to know Tate anymore but he came back ‘hating’ Tate and has made her last four years of high school a misery to the point she even went to France for a year to avoid him. Now Tate is back for her final year of high school with new confidence and direction, with her sole goal to get through this year and get into Columbia University.  Of course Jared doesn’t make that an easy option and the more encounters they endure they realize that the love and attraction they share for each other has never really gone away, you could even say its magnified.  But can Tate trust Jared again and open up her heart? Or is this all another charade to break Tate completely?

The chemistry between Tate and Jared was off the charts! Even when Jared was in his bullying phase you could feel the intense attraction and chemistry between these two main characters. To the reader it was very obvious that Jared was in love with Tate even with his conflicting actions and words, but the reader was desperate, like Tate, to find out “why” he was treating her this way? What were his reasons? What did Tate do? And this is one of the reasons you consume the book desperate to seek answers.

Tate’s character was strong, dependant and likeable. I liked her sense of morals and the values she displayed and how she was honest and conflicted in listening to her head or following her heart with Jared. She didn’t want to make it easy for him to come back into her heart after all the hurt she endured and I could empathize with her reasons.

Jared character screams “Sex” and “Bad Boy”!! Wow! Even though I don’t advocate Bullies, being the fairy tale that this story was – I loved him! He was hot, dark, sexy, swoon worthy, I mean I could go on and on describing his character but I think you get the point!  His dark tortured side was a heart breaker and you begin to empathize with his character and get a glimpse of what he is thinking and feeling over the past four years of his forced separation from Tate.

Tate’s best friend was K.C and I have to say I wasn’t a fan. I disliked her the moment she betrayed Tate and I feel that Tate was way too easy on her and if you read this story I would be interested in your opinion of her – do you feel that K.C broke the girl code?

Jared’s best friend was Madoc, who also a bullied Tate and like I said about Jared’s character, I don’t advocate Bullies but being this fairy tale, I really liked his character. I liked how we witnessed him stand up to Jared and question his feelings about Tate and I really liked him when he apologized to Tate for all his hurt he has conflicted towards her was displayed with such sincerity. Unlike K.C’s character, I liked how he showed true loyalty and dedication to his best friend and once Tate was a part of Jared’s life he portrayed his true loyalty and dedication to Tate.

Bully was fantastic read, the pace and flow was perfect. I have to say that the plot twist at the end definitely caught me off guard! Quite clever I must say and could have ended with the reader blindsided but like I have said many times in this review already – this story is ultimately a fairy tale and with all fairytales they have happy endings!

I loved this book and my sole reason for the half lip deduction is the display of the falsehood on bullying, I know this book genre is Fiction but it’s not the reality of today and I feel it still could be quite insulting to people who have been bullied in their life less significant, making their torment not worthy and for that I couldn’t give it 5 lips….but as a fictional love story, I loved it and would highly recommend it!!

lips grey 4.5

Review- Carnelian (The Chalcedony Chronicles # 1) by B.Kristin McMichael

perf5.500x8.500.indd

Clever, clever, clever!

Title: Carnelian (Chalcedony Chronicles # 1)
Author: B Kristin McMichael
Genre: Young Adult/ Science Fiction (Time Travel)
Publication:
Release Date: 2014
Pages: 209
Reviewer: Kelly

Synopsis:
Everyone has a past, but for most it isn’t so far in the past as Seth Sangre. His past is literally from thousands of years ago. Seth’s past led him to the present seeking something that might help him save his country from destruction. He has been in the present for over three years now, and he just found exactly what he has been looking for.

Mari had dreams of college being a fresh start, one where she would start over and not fall for the good looking player like high school. Unfortunately for her, that’s exactly what ends up falling into her lap on the first day she moves into the dorms. Now she has to hold to her promise to herself not fall for the handsome Seth Sangre. But he doesn’t plan to make it easy for her. Seth has already marked her as his next conquest. As the semester progresses Mari learns that Seth might just have a past of his own that’s literally in the past.
Suddenly, Mari finds her future along with her past put into question. She’s connected to Seth far more than she ever wanted to be, and maybe he isn’t the player who she thought he was. If Mari can trust her heart enough to follow him, Seth will lead Mari on an adventure of a lifetime-and reveal family secrets she never knew existed.

Opinion:
Carnelian is a refreshing take on a modern college tale. McMichael has created characters that are not your “run of the mill” college students. There is no bleach blonde cheerleader or wealthy sorority boy. Granted there is still the super hot football star, but he is not the usual stereotype. He is soulful, insightful and exotic looking. His female counterpart is a tall red haired beauty, with an Indian best friend. I loved this more realistic and multicultural look at college life.

Then there is the storyline. It is not about fallen angels, vampires, dystopian societies or mythical creatures. For a dynamic change, it’s a mysterious adventure about time travel and ancient societies. It felt like a cross between ‘The time traveller’s wife’, a college romance novel and a history book. Well done McMichael! It kept me engaged from the beginning to end.

The romance between the two main characters is teased out in the opening chapters, keeping the reader wanting more. Mari is a strong, intelligent character who is cautious and calculating about beginning any new romances. Seth is aloof and persistent, with witty charm and charisma that makes you swoon! The combination of these two characters creates a perfect balance for the story, and maintains the momentum of the plot.

My only small criticism was that the middle was a little lack lustre there for a few chapters . The reader was left wondering what was going to happen next as the main characters romance had already been explored. The rapid pace of the last few chapters, however, made up for this lull in the middle. I was turning the pages faster than I could read properly, in order to get to the end. And what an end it was! It left me wanting more, but unfortunately I will have to wait patiently for the next instalment.

Summary:
B Kristin Mc Michael has created something punchy, refreshing and dynamic. Cannot wait to read the next book in the series!

lips grey 4

Review – Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren

Sigh….!

Title – Beautiful Player
Author – Christina Lauren
Genre – New Adult – Contemporary Romance
Pages – 402
Reviewer – Laura

Blurb:

When Hanna Bergstrom receives a lecture from her overprotective brother about neglecting her social life and burying herself in grad school, she’s determined to tackle his implied assignment: get out, make friends, start dating! 
And who better to turn her into this sultry siren every man wants than her brothers gorgeous best friend, Will Sumner, venture capitalist and unapologetic player? 

Will takes risks for a living, but he’s skeptical about this challenge of Hanna’s…until the wild night his innocently seductive pupil tempts him into bed – and teaches him a thing or two about being with a women he cant forget. now that Hanna discovered the power of her own sex appeal, its up to Will to prove he’s the only man she’ll ever need…

Opinion:

I have mixed feeling about this book. I have read the first two installments of this series, Beautiful Bastard and Beautiful Stranger, and fell in love with both of them! So, in comparison, this book was a little disappointing.

Whilst the chemistry between Hanna and Will was obvious from the start, I unfortunately didn’t find their story as enjoyable to read as I did with Bennett and Chloe from Beautiful Bastard or Max and Sara from Beautiful Stranger.

The first issue I had with the book was the fact that it took FOREVER for the two main characters to get together and hook up in the first place…like at least 7 chapters! And I just really felt that excess suspense was extremely boring to read.  The additional issue with all that suspense was their connection finally did happen, I found I wasn’t really that satisfied.

Like the previous books, Beautiful Player was written in Will and Hanna’s point of view in alternating chapters. This is one thing that I really love about the books as you get a better perspective of what both characters are thinking and feeling in each situation.

I don’t think that Hanna’s character was a very strong one, nor did I like her all that much, she seemed a little childish and annoying to me, and I found myself feeling awkward every time I was reading her chapters. She starts off as this shy, workaholic, with no friends at all, and then all of a sudden she becomes this outspoken girl who is obsessed with sex, which just seemed a little strange to me.  This sudden change of character with no explanation really upset the flow of the plot.

On the bright side, I really like Will’s character and found his chapters somewhat more enjoyable to read! Will was sexy, fit and obviously a well-known player, but he was also so sweet and caring that he came across as pretty much irresistible to me.  It is safe to say I’m pretty sure he is the main reason I even finished the book.

All in all whilst I didn’t enjoy it as much as the preceding installments, it did deliver a fairly good dose of sexual activity, and was quite easy to read, even though I didn’t love one of the main characters!

Anyone who has kept on top of the series like me will find it difficult to resist the temptation of more of the heat and passion delivered in the first two books.  It is unfortunate that this installment left me feeling so cold.

lips grey 3

Review- Out of the Ashes (The Ashes Series # 1) by Diana Gardin

Out of the Ashes Covef[1]

FLAMING HOT!

Title: Out of the Ashes (The Ashes Series #1)
Author: Diana Gardin
Genre: Young Adult/ Romance
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 179
Reviewer: Kelly

***Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review***

Blurb:
Out of the frying pan and into the fire…
Paige Hill is discovering who she is again after losing everything she loves in a tragic fire. She’s endured a long road to recovery with the help of her best friend Gillian and is finally beginning her life again: college, a job, and a blossoming love she never even saw coming.
Clay Forbes is the notorious campus playboy. He’s a star athlete, a senior architecture major, and the only son in a family with power and money back in his hometown. When he crashes into Paige, his whole perspective on life shifts, and his world as he knew it becomes nonexistent. He’s wrapped up in her.

They’re both learning how to love, but Clay’s ex-girlfriend Hannah won’t make it easy for them. She puts a target on Paige’s back, and won’t stop until she’s derailed their budding romance once and for all. Who will be left standing after the ashes settle for the second time?

Opinion:
Out of the Ashes grabbed me from the first page. It already had an intriguing premise, with our main protagonist Paige waking up in a hospital bed. From the first moment the reader is absorbed in the story, wanting to know how and why Paige has been injured. As the title suggests Paige’s injuries are resultant from a fire, and from here the story progresses from the aftermath of the fire, to her loss and her ability to rebuild her life.

While rebuilding her life to some sort of normalcy Paige meets Clay, the dreamy love interest. This love story is a little different, as Paige is so damaged, both physically and emotionally. Gardin alternates between Clay and Paige’s perspectives so that the reader was able to garner a true understanding of what each character was thinking and feeling. This technique was also useful in introducing other secondary characters to the reader, such as Paige’s best friend Gillian and Clay’s frat buddies. Through the use of alternating points of view, the reader could appreciate just how important these characters were to both of the main protagonists.

Gardin added depth and variety into the plot line to keep the reader guessing all the way to the end. The ending floored me! It was not what I was expecting at all. Without being to cryptic or giving anything away, it was as if all the things I wish would happen did, but not with the consequences that I wanted! It is going to be very interesting to see how things play out in the sequel, as I have come to expect the unexpected!

Summary:
I read this book in a day so, needless to say, I cannot wait for the release of Book 2 later in 2014! If you love a good romance with a few twists and turns then this is the book for you.

lips grey 4.5

Review- Awakening (The Destined Series # 2) by Ashley Suzanne

Awakening_FrontCover_Web[1]

AMAZING AWAKENING!

Title: Awakening (The Destined Series # 2)
Author: Ashley Suzanne
Genre: Young Adult/ Romance
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 206
Reviewer: Kelly

***Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review***

Explanation:
Awakening is the third and final book in The Destined Series. It completes the story of four college friends Mira, Skylar, Danny and Kylee. Awakening begins with Mira waking from a coma in hospital. It explores her recovery, both physically and emotionally, as well as how each of her friends copes with the aftermath of her accident. The love triangle between the main protagonists, Mira, Skylar and Danny is the crux of this story. The use of multiple viewpoints within the novel helps to explain every detail of the story.

Opinion:
After getting over my initial shock that Inception was a prologue to Mirage, which took us back in the story, I finally got my hands on Awakening. I read this book within 24 hours as I was dying to know what happened! Awakening did not disappoint. It finally told the present day story of Mira and her friends, and oh and was it fantastic. It was a little predictable in some parts, but it was so satisfying in other parts that it all but made up for it!

Suzanne delivered Awakening using multiple viewpoints once again, changing between Mira, Skylar and Danny. The reader had access to how Mira was really coping after waking from her coma, as well as where her true feelings lay. The reader was also privy to Skylar and Danny’s thoughts and actions in this very unique situation. Suzanne also used clever dialogue and descriptions to explain each circumstance from every angle.
I loved how this book ended with so much closure. I hate it when books leave things very open ended. Suzanne did a marvellous job in closing up all major storylines without leaving the reader guessing. Every characters storyline was explained with great plotlines.

Summary:
Well done Ashley Suzanne, Awakening was a great conclusion to The Destined Series. If you cannot get enough of these characters Suzanne has created a spin-off series from Mira’s best friend Kylee’s point of view. Facade is out February 17, 2014.

lips grey 4.5

Review – Layers (Stark Series Book #1) by Sigal Ehrlich

layers[1]

 CLICHÉD GENRE!

TITLE: Layers (Stark #1 Series)
AUTHOR: Sigal Ehrlich
GENRE: New Adult – Contemporary Romance
PAGES: 299
REVIEWER: Nicole

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

BLURB:
According to Hayley love is a subject of ridicule, a myth created by hopeless romantics.

When Hayley makes a resolution to declare her loose lifestyle era R.I.P, it’s all good in theory…

That is until she meets Daniel Stark, a well-respected, mid-thirties business man who is known for his short temper, lack of steady relationships as well as his strict preserve of his private life.

Opinionated, sharp tongued Hayley accidently steps into his office leaving Daniel resolved to put Hayley in her place and have her in his bed.

Both Hayley and Daniel can’t avoid the immediate instigation of the attraction between them.

In a unanimously agreed upon verdict by Hayley and her two best friends, Ian the gay self-absorbed, aspiring model and Natasha the witty, borderline neurotic soul mate, Daniel Stark is to be Hayley’s pure physical attraction, emotions aside era closure.

Will it indeed be a closure, or a beginning to something neither Hayley nor Daniel ever bargained for…

REVIEW:
Layers by Sigal Ehrlich, a familiar read in this genre as of late, is another ‘extremely wealthy bachelor meets young beautiful girl and have wild and crazy sex’ romance storyline, which has many similarities to the some well-renowned books in the market place only a milder version.

Layers protagonist, Haley Grace Aka Hales is a young, beautiful, outspoken girl about to start her career. While accompanying her best friend Natasha to her orientation day at Stark Software Technologies, Haley accidently and unknowingly meets the dark, gorgeous and broody Mr Daniel Stark. As you might have guessed, Hayley makes a lasting impression on Daniel and one thing leads to another. At first their relationship is just pure lust – and sex – with no strings attached, until you guessed it, they quickly come to the conclusion they can’t do no strings attached since they are actually falling in love with each other.

Once I started reading this book I realized how many books I have read lately with this similar formula. I couldn’t get into this story as much as I hoped to, having to keep putting the book down and coming back to hoping to find some connection, but I struggled. I feel the plot and the characters lacked depth and content, which made the story drag. The main focus of the plot was centered on the mundane issues in any new relationship, there were no character pasts or secrets revealed and no real conflict in the story, and the so called conflict in the story, for me, fell very flat.

This is obviously a series and I found nothing really happened in this installment, which is a shame being the first book, you would think Ehrlich would want to hook the reader into the plot and characters in order to engage them into the series? But maybe she is leaving all her hidden aces in the new installment? Because the ending of the story was a HUGE disappointment for me, it just ended – no cliffhanger – just ended, so you need to read the next book to have some resolution to the story and characters.

The characters were ok but once again struggled to connect with any of them. Hayley was relatable but I found there was way too much inner monologue. I feel Ehlrich did this to try and express Hayley’s humourous personality, but I feel she was trying too hard. Daniel’s character was mediocre, I wanted more depth, mystery and baggage to him. I really didn’t like or connect with Tasha’s character, yes she was a good best friend towards Hayley but the way she was portrayed – having a affair with her boss who is already in a relationship – and stating that being in a existing relationship is “his” problem not hers – yep not my type of character.

The best character in this story for me was Daniels mother, straight away I liked and felt a connection. She felt real and her presence in the story was my favorite part not to mention my favorite quote of the book;

You need to think hard about what and how much is really enough. Once you find that out; it’s what makes you live in sheer bliss. Till then, there is constant doubts.

I actually took a moment to ponder this quote.

Even though I have stated quite a few negatives, I feel it just a sign that I need to move on from this particular genre but if you enjoy this genre and are not over this familiar storyline you will enjoy this story, just make sure you have book two ready to go!

lips grey 3

Review – Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A Tucker

 Ten-Tiny-Breaths-KA-Tucker[1]

BREATHING IS THE KEY!

Title: Ten Tiny Breaths
Author: K.A Tucker
Pages: 280
Genre: New Adult / Young Adult – Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: Nicole
 

BLURB:

Four years ago, Kacey Cleary’s life imploded when her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing her parents, boyfriend and best friend. Still haunted by memories of being trapped inside, listening to her mother take her last breath, Kacey wants to leave her past behind. Armed with two bus tickets, Kacey and her fifteen-year-old sister, Livie, escape Grand Rapids, Michigan, to start over in Miami. They’re struggling to make ends meet at first, but Kacey’s not worried. She can handle anything – anything but her mysterious neighbor in apartment 1D.

Trent Emerson has smoldering blue eyes and deep dimples, and perfectly skates that irresistible line between nice  guy and bad boy. Hardened by her tragic past, Kacey is determined to keep everyone at a distance, but their mutual attraction is undeniable, and Trent is desperate to find a way into Kacey’s guarded heart – even if it means revealing an explosive secret that could shatter both their worlds.

REVIEW:

K.A Tucker has delivered a remarkable, must read book for readers of all ages for this story holds some of the most powerful and real life messages we all need to understand and value.

The messages in this story will test your heart and make you think harder about how you view situations from another person’s perspective.  This book helps the reader understand that good people can make mistakes and open the reader’s eyes to the consequences of certain mistakes and how many people can actually be affected by that one mistake.  While realization is key, the most important message this story holds is the healing tool of forgiveness.

Ten Tiny Breaths protagonist Kacey Cleary found her life shattered at sixteen when a drunk driver hit her father’s car killing her parents, best friend Jenny and her boyfriend Billy while Kacey’s crushed body is trapped in the car waiting for help to come. Kacey endures a year of rehabilitation only to find herself on a road of self-destruction.  It’s not until she sees the anguish she is causing for her little sister, Livie, that she snaps out of her self-harming days. Four years after her accident Kacey and her now fifteen year old sister, Livie, are faced yet with another horrible situation when their Uncle makes a sexual pass at Livie, giving them reason to flee from their current lives and start fresh somewhere where no one will know them. Kacey and Livie move into an apartment building in Miami, and in this apartment building, their lives change in so many ways. Kacey is conflicted when she finally starts to let people into her heart only for complicated situations to present themselves, which force Kacey to confront emotions she has been shutting out for four years.

Ten Tiny Breaths has the most powerful prologue I have ever read, which left a huge, ever lasting impression on me; however, I could say that about the overall plot. This story was extremely well written even though I found the story line predictable the plot keeps you so engaged in the chain of events waiting to witness the unveiling of the truth.  Even when everything falls down and you think the climax has ended, I personally found the recovery and the ending of the story even more powerful and engaging than the climax. 

I loved all the characters in this story and felt a strong emotional connection to all of them but I have to admit even though I empathized with Kasey’s character, she also really frustrated me at times with the self-pity and anger that consumed her to the point of preventing her from witnessing and realizing that the key person in her life, her sister Livie, was struggling as well.

My heart ached for Livie’s character, who suffered greatly.  Some might say Livie suffered more than Kasey as she lost her parents at a younger age and then having to witness the only family member she had left self destruct to the point  that it is debatable she will even survive the day. Feeling that you have to step up, be stronger and way more mature for your age for your older sister’s sake would be a huge challenge, as I said my heart just ached for this character.

Trent’s character was initially so dark and mysterious but when you witness the man completely broken and exposed only quickens the rate that the reader falls in love with his character. I loved Storm’s character and all the boys at Penny’s, if only all the men that worked at strip clubs were like that!!!

What I loved about this story was it was so heartfelt, emotional and tragic and so very relevant to today.  K.A Tucker has done an amazing job opening my eyes to all her messages and meaning behind what this story represents.

I give this story a well deserved five lips for as our rating system states, this book has changed my life in so many ways and has reminded me to remember there is always two sides to every situation.  I have been reminded that forgiveness is so life changing not only to the person giving forgiveness but also to the person who seeks forgiveness.

I look forward to reading the next story in this series, which is about the next chapter in Livie’s life.  I hope she gets the happy ending that she so rightly deserves.  Until then, I will take away Kasey’s mum’s quote and use it on my own daughters for it’s a good one that means so much!

JUST BREATHE,. TEN TINY BREATHS.

SEIZE THEM, FEEL THEM, LOVE THEM.

lips grey 5

Review- Mirage (The Destined Series # 1) by Ashley Suzanne

61XV5yYCSRL._SL1000_[1]

Marvellous Mirage! 

Title: Mirage (The Destined Series # 1)
Author: Ashley Suzanne
Genre: Young Adult/ Romance
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 182
Reviewer: Kelly

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

Explanation:
Mirage is the story of Mira Adams a newly graduated college student who tragically loses her fiancé to a motorcycle accident. Mira and Danny met on orientation day in their freshman year. They have been inseparable ever since. Danny’s best friend Skylar was always around, as was Mira’s best friend Kylee. Together this foursome navigated their college years, all graduating on the same day. On graduation day they decided to take the boys bikes out for a ride. This is when tragedy arose. The bike Danny and Mira were on wrecked and Danny didn’t make it. Mirage follows the lives of Mira, Skylar and Kylee in the months following Danny’s death and how they survive without him.

Opinion:
The story starts with a bang! Mira has just lost Danny to a motorcycle accident and is left utterly devastated. As a reader you are invested from the very beginning as you want to find out what becomes of Mira, Skylar and Kylee and how they can possibly recover without Danny. The plot line of the story then follows a seemingly predictable path, where you know just how and who Mira is going to seek comfort from. Then WHAM, the predictability ends in Chapter 4 and the path you thought this book was going to take does not go there at all!

The rest of the book has you grappling for answers, wondering what is going to become of the main protagonists and how Ashley Suzanne will end it. The paths you think the characters will go down are completely different now, especially with Danny’s passing. The once inseparable foursome seems to be poles apart. The best part, that leaves you GOBSMACKED, is the ending!

Suzanne wrote this book using dual protagonists Mira and Skylar. It was necessary to have the two characters points of view as they are often in different situations throughout the story. The time jumps within the novel also require this dual point of view so that the reader can catch up to what has been going on in each characters life. This style of writing also allows the reader to see how each character was feeling, how they were coping without Danny and through their inner monologue- if this was the life they thought they would be leading.

My one and only criticism with this novel was the poor editing! There were grammatical and punctuation errors in at least every chapter. Although tiny and sometimes irrelevant it makes it hard to appreciate the story as a polished and published piece of fiction with so many mistakes. My advice would be to have it re-read and edited!

Summary:
Mirage was an unpredictable, romantic and engaging read. The ending made me jump straight into Inception, the next book in The Destined Series.

lips grey 4

Review- Allegiant (Divergent Series # 3) by Veronica Roth

allegiantuk[1]

I  SWEAR MY ALLEGIANCE!  

Title: Allegiant (Divergent Series # 3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Dystopian
Publication: HarperCollins
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 526
Reviewer: Kelly

Blurb:

The faction- based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered- fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties and painful memories. 

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature- and of herself- while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

Explanation:

Allegiant opens with the discontent people of Chicago hoping to make a stand against the Factionless. The discontent, become the Allegiant, a small group revolting against Evelyn Johnson, the new leader. The Allegiant want to find answers and resolve order to the city of Chicago. Tobias, Tris and their friends are chosen to go where no one else has gone before, outside the city limits into the world beyond. In leaving the city they enter a society they know nothing about.  Here they learn the truth about their home, and must decide what to do with this knowledge. The Allegiant have two choices- to assist the citizens of this strange new world and walk away from the only home they have known or to fight for the people they have left behind.

Opinion:

Every once in a while a book comes along that is so different, exhilarating and refreshing that it takes your breath away- Allegiant is one of those books! Veronica Roth elevated Allegiant from what could have potentially been a mediocre read to an EPIC novel, by creating a diverse and unpredictable plot. How do you make a book truly EPIC? You leave the reader reeling, with the most unsatisfied taste in their mouth after turning the last page! This feeling makes the reader ponder what could have been, long after the book was completed.

When I first began reading this book I did find it a bit ‘ho-hum’. It took me a week to get halfway through and I really wasn’t interested in getting to the end because I thought I knew exactly what was coming- oh how wrong I was! I think my reluctance to read the book too quickly was also because I didn’t like some of the earlier revelations in the book, and I didn’t want to know how anything else could damage these characters.  I preserved though and all I can say is wow, Veronica Roth, WOW!

Roth also did not do the one thing that turned Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series into a mediocre read. She did not close every loose end up by the conclusion of the book. Now I am a fan of stories being completed properly, and I hate movies that leave you guessing. But Roth created her story without its neatly packed endings, which elevates this book to the beyond impressive level.

The dual perspective writing also gave more insight into both Tris and Tobias‘s thoughts and feelings. The previous two books in the Divergent Series are told only from Tris’s point of view. That sufficed for those books, but Allegiant very much needed the two viewpoints in order for the reader to understand the whole story. Tobias’s point of view allowed the reader to see how deeply he cared for Tris and how much his parents have impacted upon his life choices. Tris’s chapters were written in the same strong, determined and selfless voice of the heroine we know and love.

Summary:

Allegiant could have been just another nice, teen book series where the heroine always gets what they want. Instead Roth has turned it into a best seller. Allegiant was fantastic. The Divergent Series was amazing! The movies are going to be phenomenal! Kudos to Veronica Roth!

lips grey 5