Friday, May 31, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #23

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where you share what books you obtained over the week.

Physical Books

Spirit (Elemental #3) by Brigid Kemmerer
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Of Triton (Of Poseidon #2) by Anna Banks
Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry
Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl
Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) by Emmy Laybourne

For My Nook

Lost and Found (Lost and Found #1) by Nicole Williams
Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1) by Tammara Webber
Suddenly Royal (Suddenly #1) by Nichole Chase
Raven's Gate (The Gatekeepers #1) by Anthony Horowitz
Stray (Shifters #1) by Rachel Vincent

What books did you get this week?

Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase

Book: Suddenly Royal (Suddenly #1)
Author: Nichole Chase
# of Pages: 286 (ebook)
Challenges: 2013 Ebook Challenge, 2013 YA Contemporary Challenge
Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.

My Thoughts:

When I read the premise for this story, I just knew I'd like it, and for the most part, I really did.

Although Samantha's stubbornness got on my nerves at times, she was a strong and intelligent protagonist. Prince Alex aka Prince Yummy was smooth and suave and ultimately does live up to his nickname. I loved almost all of the secondary characters Chadwick, Jess, Bert, Cathy. They add some kick to the story, and I really enjoyed getting to know them.

When Samantha discovers the truth about her identity, she is faced with responsibilities and has to make some big decisions. I was very impressed with the way she handled everything that was thrown at her. The story was evenly paced, and even though there was not a cliffhanger ending, I can't wait for the next book to see what happens next in Samantha's story.

The one issue that I had with Suddenly Royal was the editing, or rather the lack of editing. I don't know if it was just the ebook edition or what, but it wasn't pretty. There were so many grammatical and punctuation errors, I was on the verge of pulling out my hair.

Overall, Suddenly Royal was a cute, funny, very steamy read. Full of great characters, humor, and romance, it will leave you wanting more. Warning: there is a point where you will probably cry. I did. Recommended for ages 18+.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Undone by Elizabeth Norris

Book: Undone (Unraveling #2)
Author: Elizabeth Norris
# of Pages: 103 (Ebook)
Challenge: 2013 Ebook Challenge
Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Before the accident. Before their universes collided. Before they fell in love.

Riveting and romantic, Undone: An Unraveling Novella contains three short stories set in the world of Unraveling, the first book in the gripping sci-fi duology by Elizabeth Norris.

Before Ben Michaels saved Janelle Tenner’s life, Janelle saved Ben when he stumbled through an interuniverse portal into a completely new world. That day, he fell in love with the girl of his dreams. And he never forgot her.

Through three stories told from Ben’s point of view, learn how Ben and his friends discovered their ability to travel between worlds, how Ben first met Janelle, and how he pined for her for years before he actually got the chance to meet her, save her life, and capture her heart. And find out what happens to Ben between the cliff-hanger conclusion to Unraveling and the beginning of its heart-stopping sequel, Unbreakable.

My Thoughts:

I loved getting to see things from Ben's point of view. I feel like I got to know him a little better. We get to see more of Elijah as well. I thought he was obnoxious in Unraveling, but getting to see him from Ben's perspective helped me to understand their friendship better. 

This story is broken into three parts: before the beginning of Unraveling, during Unraveling, and after the ending of Unraveling. The third part is dark and suspenseful and sent shivers down my spine. And even though it's just a novella, it is so worth the read.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Book: Unraveling (Unraveling #1)
Author: Elizabeth Norris
# of Pages: 445 (Hardcover)
Challenge: 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died...and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.

My Thoughts:

This book was freaking awesome! I can't believe I waited so long to read it. It was perfect parts sci-fi, mystery, and romance.

Janelle Tenner was a spectacular protagonist. This girl kicks ass. She's smart, sarcastic, and does not let anything or anyone stand in her way. She is determined to figure out the cause of the countdown and does everything she can to stop it. As for Ben, I did not know what to think of him at first because he only made a few brief appearances. But, as the story progressed, it became clear that he was a sweet yet mysterious guy and I quickly grew to like him.

One of my favorite things about Unraveling was the mystery Janelle worked so hard to solve. I used to love reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, and I've come across very few YA mystery stories, so this was like a breath of fresh air. I loved trying to work out the different elements of the situation with Janelle.

Overall, I was very impressed with this book. Its interesting characters and fast pace kept me reading well into the night. I did not want it to end. I'm so glad that I finally read this, and can't wait to find out what happens next.

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Book: The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter #1)
Author: Megan Shepherd
# of Pages: 309 (Ebook)
Challenge: 2013 Ebook Challenge
Rating: 1.5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

My Thoughts

The Madman's Daughter had a very promising beginning. I was hooked within the first few pages and could not read it fast enough. Unfortunately, the remainder of the story went steadily downhill.

I really enjoyed the first seven chapters. We meet Juliet and find that she is smart and tough. And I was just as curious as she was to know what her father had done to cause such rumors to be spread. I instantly liked Montgomery despite his secretive nature. I was eager to know more about him, and hoped he and Juliet would get together.

Cue Edward and the unwelcome turn of the story.

I did not like Edward at all. I felt that the whole love triangle thing was unnecessary and ruined the story. Once Edward made his appearance, Juliet seemed to change. She constantly debated who she liked more, and never settled on a decision longer than a few seconds. Her inability to make a solid decision was frustrating. The focal point of the story became more about which guy she wanted to be with more rather than what her father was up to.

I felt the horror aspect of the book was lacking.  We get brief glimpses of Dr. Moreau's experiments and the monster roaming the jungle, but it's never really enough to be considered "horror." Not to me anyway. I wanted to know more about what Dr. Moreau was doing. I wanted to know more about his experiments. But he and his crazy experimentations took a backseat to that damn love triangle.

I wish the story had been told from Montgomery's perspective. I think it would have been more interesting and a lot more successful.

Overall, The Madman's Daughter, was disappointing. Although Shepherd's writing was really good, I got bored and annoyed after the first few chapters. There was so much potential for this story, and I wanted to like it, but it did not live up to my expectations. I will not be reading the sequel.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Book: Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles #2)
Authors: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
# of Pages: 503 (Paperback)
Challenge: 2013 TBR Reading Pile Challenge
Rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems

My Thoughts:

Book 2 in the Caster Chronicles series was very enjoyable, but I did not like it as much as the first. For starters, I did not get into the story until over halfway through the book. And second, Lena got on my nerves. I love Ethan and the way Lena treated him made me want to smack her. Also, I thought there was too much dialogue and not enough action during the climax of the story.

That being said, I found Ethan's adventure in the Caster tunnels highly entertaining. There were unexpected twists that I never saw coming. I thought Liv was a very interesting character. She's smart, funny, and I thought she was a great addition to the story.

I wouldn't say the ending is an actual cliffhanger, but it does leave you wanting to know what is going to happen next.

Overall, Beautiful Darkness was an interesting, albeit slow read. There were some interesting revelations, but I felt it did not live up to the first book in the series.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #22

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where you share what books you obtained over the week.

Dead Silence (The Body Finder #4) by Kimberly Derting
Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman
Arclight (Arclight #1) by Josin L. McQuein

Unbreakable (Unraveling #2) by Elizabeth Norris
The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa
Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1) by Melina Marchetta


Breathless (Elemental #2.5) by Brigid Kemmerer
Wait for You (Wait for You #1) by J Lynn

What books did you get this week?