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ARC - Shattered Veil by Tracy E. Banghart - Review

19194602

3.8/5 Stars

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other reviews for this author:

By Blood (By Blood, 1)

Summary:

When everything that defines you is stripped away, who do you become?

~

For Aris, a talented wingjet pilot, war means sacrificing everything: her home, her name, her face—and the one promise she swore she’d never break.

In the small village of Lux, everyone flies wingjets, but nobody flies them like Aris Haan. When she’s not dancing through the skies, she’s spending every minute with Calix, whom she’s loved since childhood. They plan to Promise, but instead he is sent to defend their dominion against a bloody invasion. Determined not to lose him, Aris follows, joining an underground network of women inside the male-only military. Using secret technology that allows her to pass as a man, she becomes “Aristos”, a Flyer in a search-and-rescue unit.

As Aris grows stronger on the battlefield and more comfortable in her guise as Aristos, her personal mission becomes less and less clear. When she and her enigmatic commander, Major Vidar, uncover an astonishing conspiracy that could destroy everything, she must make a choice that will determine not only the fate of her heart, but the future of her dominion.

Review:

3.8/5 Stars

Why 3.8, you may ask. Why not just 4 stars? Great question. Shattered Veil is an awesome book. I immensely enjoyed it. It was much better, in my opinion, than By Blood. At the same time, it was a little boring.

It took awhile before the story really picked up. Even when it did, it was still a little bland.

Aris got on my nerves a lot. I was trying to be understanding, Calix was her life, flying was her life. To be with him, she put flying on hold, entered the army, and pretended to be male. For him. This is where it got me.

I didn’t mind that she went to the army for him, she needs some reason. But it took her forever to figure out there were more important things. Even the other female there was more focused on what she wanted instead of how she could help.

True, Aris changed her focus, and I found the story much more enjoyable after that.

As for the world building, Tracy executed wonderfully. Everything was believable. The technology was also interesting. I have no complaints there.

The romance itself was almost non-existent. Which I didn’t mind, it was nice to read a book where that wasn’t all consuming. And no love-triangle. I heaved the hugest sigh of relief when that was nipped in the bud.

I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series and to see where Aris and her lover (I’m not going to give a name because I thoroughly enjoyed the surprise it brought) go.

Sexual Content

Calix and Aris do kiss a lot in the beginning and almost have sex in their cave on the beach.

Aris has a dream involving one of the men she works with. Not too detailed, she also kisses him later in the book.

Crude or Profane Language

Mild

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ARC - The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry - Review

16094953

2.5/5 stars

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

All they have in common is that they’re less than perfect. And all they’re looking for is the perfect distraction.

Kate’s dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she’s still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he’s a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?

Review:

2.5 Stars

Let’s begin this review with the title. Completely misleading! The book does not take place in the summer. I found myself getting really confused when she was talking about school, and having to see her ex-boyfriend everyday. Tough.

The only reason this book almost got three stars is because I actually enjoyed reading it. The romance was cute though more sad now that I’m think about it. Kate and Aidan hung out more as a means to distract themselves from their crappy lives.

Kate was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and her boyfriend broke up with her. She refuses to believe it has all happened and doesn’t take anything serious. I wanted to shout at her “Be an adult! Get over it!”, alas, she was a teenager and couldn’t.

Aidan lost his arm and was discharged from the army early. I mean, early. He was only in for maybe a year, since he was 19 in the book and joined straight out of highschool.

Realistically, this book would have been much better if they were adults. I mean, maybe 25 or 28 (maybe even in their 30’s). They had adult problems happening to them and dealt with them like children. It was frustrating to read.

Despite this, it was a unique little story. If executed differently it would probably be one of my favorite books.

There was something, while reading, that caught my eye. Did anyone else notice that Aidan’s name changed? It was spelled different sometimes. Mostly it was Aidan and other times it was Aiden. That’s really sad for a published book. Granted I got my hands on an ARC but hopefully the final copy fixed that issue.

Recommended for Ages 18+

Sexual Content

Aidan and Kate do have sex. They talk through it, but it never gets too terribly detailed. They have make-out sessions. Twice in the car.

Crude or Profane Language

This was the worst part of the book. I got so frustrated and wanted to stop reading.

As* - 15
Fuc* - 18
Shi* - 34
Dam* - 18
Pric* - 1

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ARC - Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard - Review

16239655

1.5/5 stars

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary

A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.

Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.

Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.

Review:

1.5 Stars

Just read that synopsis! One would think there would be lots of grueling training, fleeing from the enemy, and epic sword battles. While, it started out that way…the action ended almost as soon as the romance began.

The first 20% of the book is the history of the main characters, Tam and Corin. Their POVs switch back and forth continuously, which I always enjoy in a book.

Insta-love usually bugs me, but in this case I was willing to let it pass because I thought the romance was going to be a side-plot to the great adventures that awaited them. I was wrong. The adventure was the side-plot.

Around 70% is when the final arc began with the searching for information and trying to figure out how to save the dragons. Before that it was the drama of court and the romance of Tam and Corin.

In the beginning of the book the sentences were very halting. Throughout the rest of the story scenes were described unusually and I found myself blanking out while reading them and having to go back and read them again.

One of my status updates for Moth and Spark addressed the dragons and why they needed to be obeyed. What was so great about them? If they were so great how come they were captured in the first place? The ‘why’s of everything the characters did was “this is how it is and shall not be explained”. Quite frustrating.

The last battle had me laughing. It was so silly! There was a ruler who could control the dragons and yet, some were able to get away to join Corin while some were forced to stay on the evil side. Plus, the riders had guns. So, instead of dragons swirling and fire blasting everything, the two sides faced each other in the air and the riders shot each other.

I was trying really hard not to laugh at first. But all I could picture was people on the backs of dragons, hovering, and shooting fire guns while the dragons just chilled and got shot. Plus, Corin fighting the Ruler was all over the place and before I knew it they were on the ground and…I was lost.

Once the battle was over I was so confused by what happened that I just gave up.

What’s crazy about me saying all this, is the fact that I actually enjoyed reading the book. It wasn’t entirely boring (maybe at first) and the writing was good enough to hold my interest.

Recommended for ages 18+

Sexual Content

There was plenty. What I first thought was going to be a cute tome of stolen kisses and blushing faces turned into more groping, lustful, detailed scenes. I wasn’t prepared for the that and was quite unnerved.

Crude or Profane Language

This aspect of the book wasn’t so bad. The profanity seemed to come mostly from the men.

Dam* - 24
As* - 2
Bastar* - 2

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Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover

18552617

2/5 stars

I received a copy through BookLook (formerly BookSneeze) in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

In Lorie Ann Grover’s new YA novel, Tiadone has been forced to live her entire life as a female accepted as male in her community in order to survive as a firstborn child. But when she needs to pass the rites of manhood, she finds the Creator may have use for her feminine traits after all.

Review:

Firstborn targets the tough topic about Gendercide and how, in some countries, if a couples’ firstborn is female, it’s usually killed or abandoned. It’s quite ironic that I recently watched a documentary about this very topic before I received this book.

The length of this tome wasn’t big enough for the topic. Gendercide is huge. Every country has their own reasons for killing a firstborn girl, be it: they can’t afford a dowry, a female wouldn’t be able to provide for the family, unable to continue the family line, etc. In Firstborn the reasoning is lost to me. What’s the point of declaring the female male? Why kill the girls?

Unfortunately these weren’t my only questions.

Tiadone is declared male. At first, I thought no one knew she was female, but they did. She has a pouch with some of her father’s hair and a desert cat’s heart (a fierce predator) to suck out the female in her and give her the strength a male is supposed to have, that remains attached to her.

Since she is declared male, instead of getting a Miniatae (what the females receive), she gets a Signico. All males get a Signico. When born the placenta gets brought to the Cliffs and is traded for an egg that the child must care for. Apparently this thing takes forever to hatch because Tiadone is close to puberty before her rapion, Mirko, hatches. I won’t be able to tell you why they get the eggs, raise the birds, and then return them to the Cliffs, because it was never explained.

Which brings me around to the cover. I never, ever, ever complain about covers but I must this time. It is very misleading. To me, the girl on the cover looks to be in her 20’s and that’s the image I had for Tiadone, but instead I learn that she hasn’t even reached puberty yet. Her father must explain to her what her body will do and the measures she has to take to hide her female side. Talk about awkward.

I mean, it’s actually really awkward. I’m female (not declared male) and I didn’t even want to read this part. For example:

"Another cramp bites my gut. A perfect globe of blood drips out of me down into the trough. Tears float over my eyes. I tear open my packs’ secret pouch and pull out the netted sponge Father showed me so long ago. Squatting deeply, I feel for the opening no other patroller has."

Just stop. It got worse too. I couldn’t imagine a male’s face if he picked up this book.

There is a villain in this book, but his motives were never questioned, and he wasn’t even conquered in the end. I suppose the book is more about Tiadone’s self discovery, that no matter what amulet she has, is female. But, I wanted to see the enemy conquered and the fact that firstborn females were destroyed, ended! It didn’t seem like there was any real victory in the end and I was disappointed.

Recommended for ages 13+

Sexual Content

Ratho and Tiadone kiss. They express their desire to do more. I don’t really want to talk much about the romance because it frustrated me, and served no real purpose.

Crude or Profane Language

None.

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ARC - Me Since You by Laura Wiess - Review

12989100

3/5 stars

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Are there any answers when someone you love makes a tragic choice?

Before and After. That’s how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she was a normal sixteen-year-old—a little too sheltered by her police officer father and her mother. After: everything she once believed has been destroyed in the wake of a shattering tragedy, and every day is there to be survived.

If she had known, on that Friday in March when she cut school, that a random stranger’s shocking crime would have traumatic consequences, she never would have left campus. If the crime video never went viral, maybe she could have saved her mother, grandmother — and herself — from the endless replay of heartache and grief.

Finding a soul mate in Eli, a witness to the crime who is haunted by losses of his own, Rowan begins to see there is no simple, straightforward path to healing wounded hearts. Can she learn to trust, hope, and believe in happiness again?

Review:

What I expected from Me Since You is not what I got.

Expectation: A girl dealing with a new loss and guilt; finding comfort from a guy who understands. Together they get through the shocking turn of events and their relationship builds from it.

Reality: Severe depression. I was depressed reading about their depression. It. Lasted. Forever. The romance was a total of 15 pages (estimated) out of 368 and it served no real purpose other than more depression.

I gave it three stars because it was still interesting…I’ve never read a book that took such turn of events. It made me angry, and extremely sad. A different outcome would have been preferred, it was just too sad for me. Like, beyond Nicholas Sparks tragic.

Laura Wiess’ writing is catching and smooth, she did good walking Rowan through the different stages of mourning. It felt believable. I could have used just a little more romance between Rowan and Eli, but it wasn’t the point of the novel and I can respect that.

Would I recommend this book? Not exactly, unless the person loved tragic stories that made one cry. The ending was happy, though, in a bitter sort of way.

Believable characters and plot. I felt like I was reading about someone’s real life, rather than a fictional story.

Recommended for ages 18+

Sexual Content

Eli and Rowan kiss a few times but there’s nothing really.

Crude or Profane Language

Mild.

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Anonymous

Anonymous asked:

I agree with Rachel Neumeier: Black Dog isn't a cliffhanger. All the primary plot lines are pretty much tied up by the end of the book. You just can't call a book a cliffhanger because you are jonesing for a sequel!

Okay. But the ending was still pretty open. Personally, it felt like a cliffhanger(or at least, open enough that a sequel could be written). Just because the author said it wasn’t doesn’t mean it can’t be perceived that way.

ARC - Salt by Danielle Ellison - Review

17250657

2/5 stars

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find “her” demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

Review:

"Never leave home without salt."

And how does this story begin? With Penelope leaving home without…salt. I thought that was just silly. The first bit of the book goes on about salt, how important it is and how it was drilled into her as a child. And yet she still forgets it?

Not to mention she doesn’t even have any powers. I’m pretty sure if I didn’t have little witch powers, I would remember to bring that salt with me.

Penelope has a death wish. She always going after demons, completely unconcerned with whatever happens until she realizes she sucks and can’t do anything without help.

Carter wasn’t all that kick-butt in the end either. As someone important, with everyone bragging about him, I was expecting a little…more.

Their romance was a little on the bland side. Penelope couldn’t make up her mind to kiss him or hit him. The topic was all consuming and I would have liked to focus more on the demons killing witches and such.

I’ve never been a fan of books about witches, though there have been a few I’ve liked. This one just didn’t do it for me.

Recommended for Ages 16+

Sexual Content

Once Carter and Penelope (Pen) are officially together, they do kiss a lot. Nothing is too graphic.

Crude or Profane Language

Mild.

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ARC - Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock - Review

17934644

1/5 stars

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

From the author of LIE, a powerful new young adult novel about a fateful Long Island summer and the lives of three young people who will never be the same.

Dreamy, poetic Claire, seventeen, has spent the last few months taking care of her six-year-old sister, Izzy, as their mother lies in a hospital bed recovering from a stroke. Claire believes she has everything under control until she meets “Brent” online. Brent appears to be a kindred spirit, and Claire is initially flattered by his attention. But when she meets Max, the awkward state senator’s son, her feelings become complicated.

Max, also seventeen, has been working the worst summer job ever at the beachside Snack Shack. He’s also been popping painkillers. His parents—more involved in his father’s re-election than in their son’s life—fail to see what’s going on with him.

Working alongside Max is Barkley, twenty-one. Lonely and obsessive, Barkley has been hearing a voice in his head. No one—not his parents, not his co-workers—realizes that Barkley is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Until the voice in his head orders him to take out his gun.

Narrated in turns by Claire, Max, and Barkley, Before My Eyes captures a moment when possibilities should be opening up, but instead everything teeters on the brink of destruction.

Review:

I’m not really sure what I was expecting when I started Before My Eyes but it definitely wasn’t what I got. The synopsis depicts an intricately woven story of three people, but really it was just how the three happened to interact a few days before Labor Day.

I didn’t like being in any of their heads either. Max was full of self-pity, hating his parents because they were busy with a reelection, swooning over some girl named Samantha in a bikini and her boobs, then popping pills because…well, I don’t really know why. “An escape from reality” would be my guess.

Barkley was a stalker. He also had Paranoid Schizophrenia, but I didn’t know what that was (until I just Googled it) and the author doesn’t ever explain it, nor the reasoning. He was my least favorite head to be in, it was just creepy.

As for Claire, she was the only one I could stand. She seemed legitimate. Her mother in the hospital; having to take care of her sister, it made her grow up quickly. She seemed bitter, which was understandable, but her poems and thought process was tough to follow sometimes.

And then…the romance. Can I call it that? I’m not sure. Max and Claire don’t actually hang out until near the end of the novel. I wouldn’t call it insta-love because Max was still dreaming of Samantha and unfairly comparing the two girls’ bodies. But, it did sort of just ‘happen’. Suddenly they were interested in each other.

Now, the actual writing was tough to read. All their voices sounded the same and everything was sort of fragmented. Short sentences, one after the other. My personal thought process is almost always full sentences so it was awkward to read something like this.

Not my sort of book but I noticed a lot of readers enjoyed it, suppose it just depends on the person.

Recommended for Ages 18+

Sexual Content

None, but Max things about ‘swishing boobs’ a lot and even mentions he ‘jacked off’ over the thought of a girl named Samantha all summer.

Crude or Profane Language

Medium. There was a handful of profanity here and there.

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth - Review

11735983

3/5 stars

Source: Borrowed from my Aunt. :)

My reviews for the first books:

Divergent (Divergent #1): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…

Free Four: Tobias tells the Story (Divergent #1.5): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…

Summary:

Fighting for survival in a shattered world… the truth is her only hope.

The thrillingly dark sequel to No. 1 New York Times bestseller, DIVERGENT.

I have done bad things. I can’t take them back, and they are part of who I am.

Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.

Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever… because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.

Review:

I don’t know what happened. When reading Divergent, I remembered really liking it, re-reading it, I still liked it! So, why with Insurgent was I disappointed?

Was it Tris’ depression and lack of regard for her life? The way she obviously doesn’t care much for Tobias? That Tobias is stupid enough to stay with her(bless him)? Or maybe, maybe it was just boring.

The action was fun to read, the interrogation by the Candor was by far my favorite scene. Tobias was seriously swoon worthy with his forced confessions. Really, I have no complaints towards Tobias (he’s not perfect, no person is, so I won’t complain about any bad choices he made).

But Tris.

Sweet. Sweet. Tris.

I want to strangle her.

Her willingness to sacrifice her life for her own well being was selfish and I didn’t like her at all during the whole book. Tobias didn’t deserve the way she easily pushed him aside and for him to come after her! ugh My frustration was kicked up a notch near page 313.

As for the actual ending…Huh?



I mean, I understood what happened but…why? No matter which way I look at it, there’s nothing logical about it. I’m really hoping in Allegiant everything will be properly explained.

Recommended for Ages 14+

Sexual Content

Tobias and Tris do share kisses. They have one scene where she’s wearing a long shirt(no shorts) and they’re kissing on the bed, her shirt slowly inching up.

There are a few more similar scenes, but the above is the most detailed.

Crude or Profane Language

None. (That I remember)

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ARC - Under These Restless Skies by Lissa Bryan - Review

18213408

4/5 Stars

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Under These Restless Skies by Lissa Bryan will be published on February 20, 2014.

Summary:

Will Somers has always thought himself unlovable. When he encounters a creature of myth and magic, he seizes the chance to finally have a wife and family of his own. Emma is a selkie—one of the immortal fae-folk of the sea—bound to Will by the magic of her kind, and eager to learn about life on land. She has to learn to adapt quickly to human customs, because Will is headed for the court of Henry VIII, to serve as the king’s fool. It’s a glittering, dangerous world, where a careless word can lead to the scaffold and the smallest of gestures is loaded with political implications. Anne Boleyn is charmed by Emma’s naïveté and soothing selkie magic and wants Emma for her own fool. Can Will protect his newfound love from the dangers that lurk in every shadow? Circa regna tonat: around the throne, the thunder rolls.

Review:

The most fascinating part about this book is the amount of research put into it. If all history books were written this way, I may actually had learned something in school.

Emma is a selkie. I’ve never, ever, read a selkie book so the idea was new to me and I was grateful for that. Will reminded me a lot of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I’m little more partial to this hunchback instead.

Both of them live as fools to the Queen and King and Emma must learn the ways of nobles. It was always fun to see Will go red and stutter when he had to explain certain things to Emma, and Emma, being a selkie; living in the ocean all this time, just didn’t understand some things.

Their love for each other though, was absolutely beautiful. Will was such a doting a caring husband. Emma was so passionate and lovely. I could understand why the King was envious of Will.

Now, I will say that it took me awhile to get into the book, for the plot to thicken and really draw me in, but once it did I was hooked. The ending was a little abrupt to me. I think a “so far into the future” little epilogue would have been nice. I had too many questions at the end and most went unanswered.

All in all though, a wonderful, well thought out book. Lissa Bryan did an incredible job.

Recommended for ages 21+

Sexual Content

Will and Emma are married so they have plenty of bed scenes, or wherever else. None are explicitly detailed, but the emotion of the moment was usually described.

Will has to explain a lot of…female things to Emma who doesn’t understand human bodies.

Crude or Profane Language

None. (that I can remember)

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