YES! YES! This book is so perfect. The kind that sneaks up on you and hooks you in. It gives you all the feels! This book has the most perfect ending I've read.
Josh, Nastya and Drew were all AMAZING in their own messed up way.
Candace Thaxton did such an AMAZING job! AMAZING! She pull off Nastya perfectly. I'm on stalk mode for more books by her.
Kirby is not my favorite narrator. I don't like his accent and I wish someone else would have done Josh. But, I do have to admit that he pulled off Josh's emotional scenes perfectly which made it all worth it.
ALL of it! So emotional. But that ending was chill-worthingly perfect!
I can’t put off this review any longer. I bought The Sea of Tranquility when it was first released, but it became one of those books that for some reason sat unread on my kindle. Then, after hearing so many great reviews I got the ARC version from Atria. I think it was all of the ‘OMG this is amazing!’ 5 stars reviews that intimidated me. Sometimes I feel like the only one that doesn’t like a book most other people rave about and I don’t like that feeling. I was finally convinced to read this a few months ago and totally got what all the fuss was about. I read this book back in June and was never able to put my feelings about this book into a coherent review. Mostly because nothing I say can do it justice and partly because, really, what else can I possibly say that other bloggers haven’t already. I bought and listened to the audiobook last week and fell in love with it all over again. I decided to just get this review over with already.
I was more than intimidated when I started this book. Especially since my friend is a huge fan and I really think she might have shunned me if I didn’t love the book. Plus, it was long and long books and I don’t really get along. I was immediately intrigued as to what had happened to Nastya to make her the way she was, but I will admit that the beginning was a little bit slow. Not boring, just slow. Then, out of nowhere, and I’m not even sure when or where it happened, I realized I was in love with this book! I fell in love with Josh and Nastya little by little until I was drowning in all the emotions. This book hurt my soul but it was that good kind of hurt.
Even though Nastya was kind of morbid and depression, I couldn’t not like her. Despite of her quirks and self-destructive tendencies, I understood why she was like that. And holy freaking shit, I have so much fangirling about Josh-freaking-Bennett that I don’t even know where to start. I’ll just list my favorites: I loved that he wasn’t the typical bad boy, he wasn’t an asshole, he cooks, he’s really great with his hands (I was referring to the carpentry), but my favorite thing about Josh was his love for General Hospital. Oh yeah, once I found out he was a GH fan I was a goner. Although the story heavily focuses on Josh and Nastya, Drew was such a scene stealer and one of my favorite aspect of the story. I loved his friendship with Josh and his Nastypants and I know I’m not alone when I say that I. WANT. DREW’S. STORY!!!
A little bit on the narration. I thought Candace did such a fantastic job at capturing Nastya’s voice, attitude and feelings. She pulled off every scene brilliantly and I’m looking forward to hearing more audio books by her. I had a harder time getting used to Josh’s voice. Mostly because I thought the narrator sounded a bit too old to pull off Josh. I’ve also heard another book by him and it bothers me how slow he talks. His talking scenes are good but his narrating scenes got on my nerves sometimes. But I will admit this, Kirby did an amazing job at pulling off the really emotional scenes! As if this book wasn’t already emotional, these scenes make it hurt just a little bit more and I kept wishing he had showed more emotion throughout the rest of the book. All in all, I still really enjoyed this audio book and will listen to this again.
Book endings are hard for me. Most of the time I feel like I still need/want more to the story. I can honestly say that this was not the case. This is the most perfect ending I have ever read! Those two words gave me the chills and made me want to go back and read it all over again. This is another one of those books where I am kicking myself for not having read it sooner. All I can say is that it’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve read and I am on full-on stalker to see what story the author has for us next. I can’t say enough good things about it and it will always be one of my ‘auto-recommend’ books.
This is one of those books that has been on my TBR foreeeeever! I bought it when it originally came out and it’s been sitting on my kindle since then. I’ve heard such good things about these books and I’ve been wanting to read them, but then they just kept getting pushed back. And with more books releasing, I was getting even more behind. When I received an audiobook to review Four Seconds to Lose last year, I thought I could just start with that book (book #3) and if I liked it, I can go back and read the rest of the books. I really liked Four Seconds to Lose (it also introduced me to my narrator crush, Sebastian York. Check out his voice!) and since Elizabeth Louise narrates all 3 books in this series, I thought it would be perfect to continue to listen to the audiobooks.
Four years ago, Kacey was the only survivor of a tragic accident that took the life of her mom, dad, best friend and boyfriend. Kacey has a severe case of survivor’s guilt and after spending the last couple of years drinking and partying and sleeping around, she hits rock bottom. She finally decides to try to move on and be a better person. After her pervy uncle tries to get into her sister, Livie’s bed, Kacey takes Livie and they flee to start a new life in Miami. Kacey has no ide how they’re going to survive since she has no job and barely any money. But she’s determined to survive for her sister.
Kacey starts off as one cold bitch. This is how she deals with trying to keep people away, and it’s worked out well for her. Until she meets her neighbors. The surgically blessed, sometimes stripper, Storm and her daughter Mia. As much as Kacey tries to keep her from getting too close, Storm doesn’t let her. She ends up being a huge help to Casey and Livie, not only by finding her a job but by being someone they can trust. They also end up being a big help to Storm when Livie offers to take care of Mia during Storm’s crazy shifts. Then there’s Trent. Her super hot neighbor who seems determined to help Kacey healed. Although I really liked how their relationship progressed, it was a little bit too slow for me in the beginning. But, eventually Trent broke down her walls too. I understood why she was so determined to keep everyone from getting too close, and I even liked bitchy Kacey. But it was great seeing Trent, Storm and Mia break down her icy walls little by little.
I think at this point I’ve read sooooooooooo many NA books, so many of them having similar themes that while I still really liked this book, I wasn’t…wowed like I was expecting to be. It was still a good story that I really enjoyed. Full of pain and healing and learning how to love. I especially liked the last few emotional chapters. I really liked Livie’s character and I’m planning on listening to her book, One Tiny Lie, soon. It was nice to see characters from Four Seconds to Lose and I’m looking forward to Ben’s story in Five Ways to Fall!
Audiobook review: I was super bummed that Yorkie couldn’t narrate this book too, which I get since there were no male POV chapters. But still, I could listen to him recite the damn phone book. I really like Elizabeth’s voice for these books. She does a really good job at capturing the characters. Especially Kacey and Storm, she nailed those! I did think that her ‘guy’ voices, Trent especially, needed to be a little bit deeper to better distinguish them. I love when I can tell which character is talking as soon as they start saying their line. Sometimes, I thought Kacey was still talking when it was Trent. She does get better though because she really did a good job with the guy voices in Four Seconds to Lose. Elizabeth gave a solid performance. I loved her bitchy Kacey as much as I liked her ‘falling in love’ Kacey and her heartbroken Kacey. I love audiobooks but I’m very picky about the narration, I would definitely buy another audiobook by her.
Fantasy isn’t my favorite genre (although I have come to like it more than I did before in the last few months) which is why this book has been sitting unread on my kindle for more than a year. Blogger fail! I’ve always wanted to read it, but it just kept getting pushed back. When I was looking through the ‘Top 10 of 2013′ posts at the end of last year, I saw this series on soooo many blogger’s lists. Honestly, I got sick of it and decided it was finally time for me to read it. Well listen to it anyway since I ended up buying the audiobook version. I definitely see why this series is such a favorite and it’s much deserved.
Alina and Mal were orphans who grew up together and now serve the Second Army. Although Alina has developed feelings for Mal, they’re just really good friends. When they come under attack one day and Mal is hurt, Alina unleashes a strong and mysterious power she wasn’t even aware she had. This power catches the attention of The Darkling who takes Alina away to train as a Grisha. Although Alina is supposed to be a savior for Ravka, she doesn’t feel like she fits in. She struggles during her lessons and can’t even call her power again. All she wants is to go back home and to see how Mal is. When Mal’s army duties bring him to Alina, their friendship is put to the test when new feelings get in the way. Soon, Alina discovers what the Darklings plans really are and she knows she can’t go through with it. With the help of Mal, they set off on a mission to save Alina’s life.
Although I liked the Darkling, he was dark and brooding and seductive and he had great chemistry with Alina, I’m gonna have to go with Team Mal on this one. I just felt like at the end of the day, if it were between Alina and power, I’m not sure what the Darkling would pick. I know Mal will always pick Alina. I’m such a huge sucker for the bad guys but in this case, the best friend won me over. Are you shocked? Because I sure as hell was! As much as I enjoyed Alina and the Darklings scenes, I liked the Alina and Mal scenes so much better. I’m excited and nervous to see how this ends!
The world that Bardugo created for us in Shadow and Bone is amazingly vivid! I was fascinated by the world of the Grisha’s. I don’t read many fantasy books so I do tend to struggle with them when I do. Especially the names. Other than the main characters (Alina, Mal and the Darkling), there are so many other smaller characters that still serve an important role and I would sometimes struggle place the characters with the names. Although it took a few tries I eventually learned all the names, this didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book at all. I have one teeny tiny silly (so silly) issue with this book (that also didn’t affect the rating). I’ve said in other reviews how I’ve read way too many books with really cheesy sex scenes and how some of these words make me cringe. One of my favorite cringe-worthy terms is ‘folds’ *cue shudders*. What does this have to do with Shadow and Bone? Well nothing…not really. You see, there’s this thing called The Shadow Fold that plays a pretty big role in the story. Most of the time, it’s referred to as ‘The Fold.’ I couldn’t help it, every time I would hear them say they were ‘entering The Fold’ I couldn’t help but let out a very immature giggle complete with a disturbing visual. I’ve been scarred for life by the damn folds!
Audiobook review: Although I’ve had this book for a looong time, I’m glad I ended up going with the audiobook. Lauren Fortgang nailed the tone of the story. She did the accents, characters and names to perfection! I love when I can tell which character is speaking. I always knew when Alina, Mal or the Darkling were talking. One of my audiobook pet peeves is when a YA book has a old-sounding narrator and was so happy that I could picture Alina with this narrator’s voice. I already heard the Siege and Storm audiobook (check out my review tomorrow!) and plan to continue the series on audiobook. If you’re like me and you’ve had these books on your TBR forever, the audiobook is a great option!
I’ve said it before; I’m not a big fan of dystopias. I do have a few favorites but for the most part I try to stay away from them. There’s just something about them that is so…depressing. I’ve had my eye on Shatter Me even before it was released but it somehow kept getting away from me. When the covers were changed, I might have had a little fit and I decided I didn’t want to read them anymore. One, I wasn’t a fan of the new covers (the eyes creeped me out although they are growing on me). And two, I HATE when publishers change covers. I know it’s silly since the author has no say in it but I’m weird that way. I kept seeing all these AMAZING reviews of Unravel Me and when I read Jennifer’s review from @Some Like It Paranormal, I knew I just had to read it. I had to find out for myself what the fuss was about for these Adam and Warner characters. I was expecting to like it; I was not expecting to be so blown away by it!
Juliette’s touch is lethal. Nobody understands her or wants her, her own parents even sent her to a prison-like place where she hasn’t had contact with anyone in almost a year. Until the day when Adam is assigned as her cell mate. From the beginning, there is something about Adam that draws Juliette towards him. And it’s not the typical: I just met you and I’m in love with you kind of thing. Juliette is almost positive that she knows Adam from somewhere. Just when they start getting close, they are sent away to a top secret military base where Warner plans to use Juliette as a weapon. Suddenly Juliette is torn between the guy who is determined to protect her and show her how to accept herself and the guy who is determined to rule with her by his side and who encourages her to embrace her lethal touch.
I’m so happy that I was clueless to the fact that this is a dystopia or else I most likely wouldn’t have read it. I don’t care what genre this book is, it’s freaking beautiful! The writing! Ah, I fell completely in LOVE with Tahereh’s beautiful and lyrical style of writing. The way we got to see Juliette’s thoughts, especially when they are scratched out just goes to show how confused and lost Juliette is. She made me connect with Juliette, Adam and Warner on so many levels that I didn’t want the book to end. I can tell that this is going to be one of those very well written love triangles, one that I will have a hard time picking a team. Although I am leaning towards Adam, every time I got a glimpse of Warner and his vulnerable side I found myself rooting for him too. In the end I was left feeling conflicted. On one hand, I wish I would have read this book as soon as it came out. On the other hand, I’m glad I waited this long because that means I only have to wait a few weeks for Unravel Me. I can’t wait to read Unravel Me and Warner’s novella, Destroy Me. I have a feeling I will be stitching teams back and forth on this series. My only teeny-tiny complaint was that the end started to drag for me a little bit and started feeling to dystopyish for me, you know, where they are on the run from the bad guys and everything goes wrong. Regardless, Shatter Me was a beautiful and unforgettable read for me.
I absolute fell in love with the story and the writing in Shatter Me. I devoured Destroy Me and couldn’t wait to get my hands on Unravel Me. Although dystopia is probably my least favorite genre and I tend to avoid the majority of dystopia books, I couldn’t help myself when it comes to this series. Although I really like Adam in the first book, there was always something about Warner that fascinated me. Call me sick and twisted but I wanted to know more about the ruthless guy that he was and how he became that way. In Destroy Me, I got exactly what I was looking for and more. I was nervous going into this book because I was so torn over these two boys. But Tahereh Mafi made it easy for me to pick a team by the end of the book and I am even more excited to read more of this series.
After Juliette and Adam narrowly escape from Warner, they are now staying with Kenji at Omega Point which is a place for gifted people like Juliette. People who are planning a rebellion against The Reestablishment. Naturally, Juliette has a hard time fitting in. When new developments start tearing her and Adam apart, Juliette starts questioning her life. So she does the whole ‘I can’t be with you because I’m too dangerous’ thing. I have to admit, I rolled my eyes so hard at this point I swear I saw my brain. In her case I kind of got it though. Still, it was hard to see them both miserable, especially Adam! Luckily, Kenji was there to try to lighten the mood. Just when it looks like things might be getting better between Juliette and Adam, Warner is back in the picture.
Warner. *Sigh* It takes a talented author to make you swoon over a heartless killer. When I started reading Shatter Me and I kept seeing that there were actually people that are Team Warner, I thought they were crazy. Turns out I am now one of those crazy people, and proud of it. I tried to fight it. I tried to hate Warner for all the things he’s done. I tried to stay on Team Adam. But I just couldn’t fight it anymore! I really believe that Warner and Juliette are so much alike that they would be perfect together. They understand each other on a different level and they know each other’s darkest thoughts. Warner wants and accepts Juliette exactly how she is and she is the only one that sees the real Warner.
Although this felt more of a dystopia than the first book, I still really loved it. With the same hauntingly beautiful style of writing as the first two books, Unravel Me is a very easy story to get sucked into. I was disappointed at Adam’s development in this book though. He was mopey and miserable through most of the book. And with Warner saying just all the right things to Juliette it was easy to fall for him along with her. Plus, she shared some very intense, sexy scenes with Warner that were loaded with chemistry. (Chapter 62 anyone? HOT!) New developments, plot twist and so many good swoon-y scenes, Unravel was a hit for me. I want more! Kenji was almost my favorite part of this book (besides Warner)! He is so funny and is such a scene stealer but he also has a story. A story I very much want to read. I’ve said this before but I really hope the next novella is from Kenji’s POV. Or more Warner. I can always read more Warner! If you have been thinking of reading this series, it definitely deserves a bump up in your TBR pile. You’ll be kicking yourself for not having read this sooner.
The narrator and the characters!
OMG, Chapter 55-58. So much swoon!
I’m not a huge fan of love triangles. Mainly because 1.) I fall for the wrong guy. 2.) I hate when a ‘love interest’ is added when you know they aren’t even a competition. Like, did anyone really think Bella would end up with Jacob?! But my main reason for not liking love triangles are because they always end in one of the following ways (at least the ones I’ve read):
1. One of the love interest dies.
2. One of the love interest sacrifices himself for the girl he leaves, leaving the door open for her to end up with the other guy guilt free.
3. A love interest magically appears out of thin air for one of the love interests, again leaving the door open for her to end up with the other guy guilt free.
Despite my claim of not liking love triangles, I do end up reading them and even enjoying them even though they drive me crazy. Although I’ve always liked Adam, I was always a Team Warner fan. It was driving me crazy to have absolutely no clue who Juliette would end up with in Ignite Me. And I was terrified that one of my favorite characters (Warner, Kenji, Adam, James) would die. I was even willing to be satisfied with a Team Adam HEA, as long as nobody died. Please don’t let Kenji die! I was so happy to find out that Ignite Me doesn’t end in one of the above ‘solutions’ AKA cop-outs.
When an early copy of Ignite Me showed in my door step on Monday (I don’t know how but I love you Harper Teen!), I was excited/nervous/scared/terrified. I pretty much put life on hold while I devoured this (and my nails) in one day. Although this book didn’t end up going the way I was expecting, at all, I loved this book so much! It’s beautiful, it’s brilliant, it’s a work of art! I was surprised at how much this story did not end up going how I thought it would (to be fair, I had a lot of theories). Did I still like the ending? Oh hell yes! I loved it so much more because of this!
Looking back now that I’ve read the final book, it’s pretty obvious (now) that this was never really a love triangle. Not a fair one anyway. Yes, Juliette had mixed feelings about both Adam and Warner, but she was also just trying to figure out who the hell she is during all of this. Unlike in Shatter Me and Unravel Me where she was scared and whiny, this Juliette knows what she wants and she’s out for blood. Now Juliette knows exactly what her purpose is and she’s ready to choose who she belongs with. I loved seeing this fierce Juliete, she kicked ass! I was so excited by how freaking hot this book was! (totally not in a pervy way) There were so many swoon worthy and ‘whoa, did that just happen?’ scenes in there that made me blush and will leave you forgetting all about Chapter 62 in Unravel Me. Because this one right here tops it!
I really hope you end up loving this story no matter if you are Team Adam or Team Warner. Because the writing is as beautiful and captivating as always. Kenji’s scenes are reason enough to read this book, regardless of what team you’re on. Because he has some hilarious scenes! Not only do we have the classic funny Kenji moments, but with have a lot of heartwarming and tear-inducing scenes between him and Juliette and him and James that had me re-reding them a few times. I just want to give Kenji a hug! And the scenes between Warner and James were heart-melting. Cue the ‘awwwwwws’. Although I was expecting heartbreak on some level, Mafi wrote an amazing ending to this epic series! Although I’m sad to see this series end, when I turned the last page, I was left with a sense of ‘Wow, that was good.’ I’m also secretly hoping we get a spin-off to some lovable characters (Kenji!) because I guess I’m not ready to let these characters go yet.
I am just in awe of what an AMAZING job Kate Simses does pulling this off! I’ve read all the books and heard them on audio and I have to say that the audio is my favorite. And you’ll be happy to know that she nails Kenji’s voice and personality. Definitely a favorite that I will listen to several times!
Splintered is another one of those books that have been sitting on my TBR for the longest time. I’ve always wanted to read it because I have this fascination with Alice in Wonderland inspired fashion. (It’s totally a thing) I kept putting it off because this genre isn’t in my comfort zone. But, I have been trying to step out of my comfort zone lately, and luckily I have been finding some great stories like this. I ended up reading this one because I kept seeing Unhinged on so many ‘Top 10′ lists which definitely had me curious.
I was hooked on this story from the audible preview. A girl that kills and collect bugs and uses them for her art? It sounded so morbid and interesting. Poor Alyssa has no other choice. This is the only way she can think of to quiet the bugs since she can hear them talking. Alyssa is terrified that she will end up in the loony bin like her mother. When she and her best friend Jeb get accidentally (but on purpose) sucked into the world of Wonderland, Alyssa finds out that her great grandmother Alice is the Alice from the Lewis Carroll story. She also finds out that because of Alice, her family is cursed and Alyssa must find a way to break that curse, unless she wants to end up like her mother.
I was so happy that Alyssa had Jeb with her in her Wonderland adventures. Although they’re best friends, Alyssa has feelings for him. I was on Team Jeb right away because there was just something about him that I immediately liked. He was a good guy (which is such a nice change sometimes) and he really cared about Alyssa and put her first. Even though he was confused out of his mind and probably scared as hell, he was always worried about Alyssa’s safety. Awwwww. When Wonderland resident Morpheus shows up with a solution to Alyssa’s problems, Jeb doesn’t buy it. And with good reason! The world of Wonderland is based on the story, but much darker, dangerous and deadlier. Alyssa and Jeb are lucky if they even make it out of their alive.
I hate to say this (especially since I love the bad boys in books) but I just didn’t see the Morpheus appeal. Yeah he was mysterious and cocky and apparently he was also hot, but personally I couldn’t get passed the ‘he has wings and purple hair’ thing. This always made me picture a Disney fairy or something. Plus, instead of the ‘this guy is evil but he’s so hot so who cares’ vibe that I would normally get, I got the ‘this guy is so creepy and I don’t trust him’ vibes instead. I did enjoy his back and forth banter with Alyssa, but I couldn’t get over his creepiness factor. Although Alyssa and Jeb go through a lot in this book, I’m still rooting for them!
Confession time: I’ve never read or watched any of the Alice in Wonderland movies (I tried to watch the Disney movie when I was little and it creeped me out) so I don’t exactly know what the story is about. But I do know the basics and I love the way Howard played this up and gave it her own dark twist. This and the way she so vividly described the world of Wonderland, something that sounded beautiful even if it was dangerous, was one of my favorite aspects of the books. I did have the same problem that I do with fantasy books, there were too many names to keep track of. Sometimes I felt a little bit lost trying to remember who all the Wonderland creatures were. Still, I ended up enjoying this very much. With plenty of plot twist to keep your interest and a great romance to root for, Splintered was a brilliantly written story.
Audiobook Review: I’m so happy I went with the audiobook version for this! This story was meant to be told on audio! Rebecca Gibel outdid herself with her character performances. Especially the creatures of Wonderland! She did such a beautiful capturing the creepy voices and tones and it brought this story to life for me. I loved her Jeb voice and had a crush on it every time his character spoke. I love when a narrator can pull off the guy voices.
Flat Out Love is a book that has been recommended to me by several people over the last few years but I never got around to reading. When I saw the audiobook on sale last month, I jumped at the chance to get it. I’m not sure yet what I feel about this book. There were a lot of parts that I really liked. The story (once I got it) was a good one, Matt was one of those good guy characters that I wish we had more of, and I liked Celeste even if she was batshit crazy. What I struggled with the most was Julie’s character. Sadly, I didn’t like her most of the time. Also, I didn’t understand what the hell was going on most of the book. What was the deal with Flat Finn and Celeste? What is wrong with this family??? The big reveal didn’t come until very late in the book, and by this point I was frustrated about being lost. Once I was able to understand the whole scope of the story, it really is a beautiful but sad story that I did end up enjoying. Julie still got on my nerves though…
When Julie’s college living arrangements don’t work out (she’ gets swindled on Craigslist), her mother calls in a favor from her college friend. Julie ends up staying over at the Watkins home until she can find a new place to live. This eventually ends up being a semi-permanent solution when Julie ends up getting along with the gang, especially Matt and Celeste. Matt was such a lovable guy. He’s a total nerd and one of the good guys with an impressive t-shirt collection. Celeste is his younger sister and her and Julie immediately bond. But Julie realizes right away that something is off with the Watkins. The parents ride their bikes everywhere (which is weird considering they have high position jobs), they’re absent most of the time leaving Matt to care for Celeste who has a few…quirks. Celeste in some ways has the mind of a child and she doesn’t have any friends. This is nothing compared to the life sized cardboard cutout she keeps of their older brother, Finn. Celeste traets Flat Finn as a member of the family, he sits down at dinner with him and they even cart him around everywhere she goes. This alone was weird, but the fact that the rest of her family just goes along with this weirded me the fuck out and had me dying to know what the hell had happened to this family!
Julie was such a hard character for me to like. My main issue was that I thought she was so bitchy to Matt most of the time. If she wasn’t making fun of his ‘nerdiness’ to his face, she was doing it to her friend or someone else. Yet, she couldn’t help but like him. What are you in kindergarten Julie? I don’t know why but it really bothered me how being smart was this thing she kept making fun of, even if she was joking around. So then Julie develops a facebook friendship with the Finn and ends up falling for him. This happens through facebook/texts/virtual communication only since they’ve never talked on the phone or even met in person yet. Maybe because I don’t have a facebook I didn’t buy the ‘I love Finn’ thing. She shared these great moments with Matt, then would have these conversations with Finn which left me wondering ‘who the hell is the love interest?’ Was this a weird virtual love triangle? Was Matt even in the running anymore? The other thing that drove me crazy about Julie was that she was so damn meddling! She’s known the Watkins for a short time and all of a sudden she decides she is the best authority on all things Celeste. Granted, her parents were doing a shitty job but poor Matt was doing the best he could and this girl kept making drastic changes to Celeste’s life, even when Matt didn’t agree with her. She forces her way into a meeting with the principal to discuss Celeste, and the incident where she pushed her to go to the party was crossing the line big time! Yeah, some of these things did help Celeste but I don’t think she should have butted in. If Celeste were my sister, I would have punched Julie for trying to butt in, especially since she had no idea what was wrong with Celeste or why she had Flat Finn. That was more ranty than I thought it would be but this is what made me not enjoy this book as much as I otherwise would have.
Once I found out what the deal was with Celeste and Flat Finn and the pieces fell together, I really liked the story. Sadly, Julie still kept getting on my nerves. I was expecting a light and ‘feel good’ story and was surprised at how emotional it was, especially towards the end. Julie issues aside, I enjoyed this story. I just found out Celeste is getting her own story next and I’m excited to read it because that girl has some serious issues! I do find that girl characters annoy me more than guy characters do so chances are that my Julie issues might not even bother you.
Audiobook Review: I had no complaints with the narration. I liked it but it wasn’t my favorite. I liked her Julie voice and I loved her Celeste voice but I didn’t particularly care for her Matt or Finn voices.
I’m torn between a 3.5 and a 4 star review for this…
This is another one of those books that has been on my TBR since before it was released. I fell in love with that gorgeous cover and immediately added it to my TBR. Unfortunately, this is about the time my reading, and therefore my TBR, exploded and this book got pushed down. Still, every time I saw this cover, it made me want to read it. Not only is the cover beautiful but it also makes you do a double take and think. Is he trying to pull her out of the water…or is he trying to pull her in??? I still can’t figure it out…
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was nothing like what I was expecting! Half the time, I had no idea what in fuck was going on but (I’m pretty sure that was the point) I still loved it. I usually haaaaate not knowing what’s going on because it drives me nuts. But for some reason, it just works with this story. I’m still lost on some parts which I’m sure the answers will come in the next book. My big question: who is Mara Dyer??? She starts off the book with a letter saying ‘her real name isn’t Mara Dyer’, but this is what we know her as throughout the whole book. Even in the ‘before’ scenes her name is Mara. Her family’s last name is Dyer. So what is the deal with this name thing??? Then we have that scary ass Ouji scene is one of the flashback scenes where the board spells out MARA, and they all turn to look at her and they were calling her Mara earlier…but that’s not her name???? I know we’re getting the answer in on of the next books but the theories are driving me crazy. Mostly because I don’t really have any…
After losing her best friend and boyfriend in an accident, Mara and her family move to Miami to start fresh. Mara attends a new prep school where she meets the infamous Noah Shaw. I even knew about Noah Shaw! Noah is the school bad boy and Mara is not taking any of his crap. She calls him an asshole the first time they meet and I couldn’t help but go ‘awwwwwww.’ Noah isn’t one to give up easily and the more he goes after Mara, the harder she starts falling for him. I get why so many people are crushing on Noah, because he is totally crush-worthy. He has that whole arrogant-but-sweet guy thing nailed. I loooooooved his chemistry with Mara! The fact that it had a slow build up, made it so much more enjoyable. I was so happy that this was such a mature YA book. Mara and Noah acted and talked like normal kids their age which is a huge plus for me. I was surprised and loved all their conversations filled with sexual innuendos and was so excited when Mara said she was going to ‘freak the fuck out.’ :)
I would sometimes forget that this wasn’t a contemporary book because a lot of times it felt like it. In the first half, Hodkin would throw in weird and scary incidents that would remind me ‘Oh shit, something else is going on! Something big!’ At about the 70% mark of the book, we really get into more of the paranormal parts of the book and I was soaking it all in just waiting for the bomb to drop. Even though I had no idea what was going on most of the book, the mystery and Noah and Mara’s relationship were so good that I didn’t even care. I loved how Hodkin tied everything together and that ending left me wanting more! I’m excited to read the next book!
Audiobook Comments: I love going the audiobook route for books that have been on my TBR for a long time. I listened to this sample many times and was already kind of in love with the narrator. I just love her tone for Mara’s voice. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that Noah’s character was British. I haaaaaate British accents (all accents in general). Unless, you’re Ed Westwick, a British accent does nothing to me. When I read books with guys with British accents, they all sound like Ed Westwick in my head. Unfortunately, I couldn’t picture Ed’s sexy ass voice as Noah because his voice was so different. For the next book, I’ll be actually reading it instead of listening to the audio. Christy Romano was an amazing narrator! A YA narrator that sounds like a teen, horray! She pulled off Mara’s ‘I don’t care’ and smart ass attitude so well and she did such a great job with all the characters. Even though I wasn’t a fan of Noah’s voice, she nailed that British accent! I know I’m in the rare minority when it comes to accents so this would be a good book to try on audio if you’re like me and have had this on your TBR forever…
Despite the fact that this is the 9th installment in the series, I’m not even a little bored or sick of Merit, Ethan, the story or the rest of these characters. I admit that I was a little bit nervous when I first heard how many books were planned for the series (13 so far) but now that I’m more than halfway through the series, I don’t think I can ever get enough. Who doesn’t like a kick-ass vampire with a love of all things bacon? (I was going to say meat but that sounded dirty ;) ) With a great cast of characters that includes my favorite vampire, Ethan, Jeff, Gabriel, Catcher, Mallory and Jonah (among others), there’s still so much more of their story to tell!
After Cadogan House and more specifically Ethan, are being targeted by both the GP and the mayor, Ethan and Merit are forced to go into hiding and to once again rely on the help of the reluctant shifters. Lucky for the, they have a very powerful ally in Gabriel Keene, the pack leader and several other shifters including hacker extraordinaire Jeff Christopher. Unfortunately, not all the shifters feel that way and they love to blame their recent problems on the vampires. The fact that Gabriel is helping out vampires is making some of the other shifters question his loyalty and leadership. When a new supernatural creature starts attacking shifters, it’s up to Merit and Ethan and the rest of the gang to stop them before they lose their only alliance.
It always seems like it’s the Cadogan vampires up against the rest of the world. Luckily, they have a lot of help and I love the way the vampires from different houses work together with shifters, sorcerers and other supernatural creatures to solve whatever they’re up against this time. Despite the fact that they’ve done this other times throughout the series, it still doesn’t seem boring to me because it works with the overall story arc and it’s all leading up to events in future books. I’ve always thought of this series like a tv show. Buffy and the gang battled new creatures and saved the people Sunnydale every week, but with all the stuff that was going on with Buffy’s love life and the rest of the characters, it worked…I do wish that everyone would stop blaming Cadogan House for everything that goes wrong. I think Merit and the gang have more than proved their trust.
Merit and Ethan are definitely what makes this series so amazing! They’ve been through so much (that is a huge understatement) and it was nice to see them in a place where they are both on the same page regarding their relationship. They’re relationship has been one of those sloooooow build-up romances that has frustrated me at some parts, made me swoon at so many others, and broke my damn heart. I am so fucking happy to see them so happy and in love! One of my favorite things about their relationship is that they have enough trust in each other to let them fight their own battles. Merit may be a brand new vampire, but she is Sentinel of Cadogan House and she has kick-ass katana skills and can take care of herself. I love that Ethan knows when to fight for her, when to fight along with her, and when to let her fight her own battles. And vice versa. And whoa to stepping up the sex scenes in this book! Ethan and Merit have always had insanely hot chemistry, but I always wanted more than fade to black scenes. Especially considering this is an adult paranormal series. The last few books have upped the hotness level but this one was just wow! Totally increased my love for Ethan Sullivan even more. And hallelujah for no cliffhanger endings! *bows down to Chloe* Seriously, after the brutal cliffy in Hard Bitten (my heart still hurts just thinking about it), I can’t handle another ending like that! The ending leaves us with just the right amount of resolution for the current book, while leaving us excited for the next book. I love that these books have only a 6 month wait time between books instead of a year. Definitely keeping up with this series!
Audiobook Comments: This is the first time I listen to the audio version for this series. I was debating on ebook vs. audiobook but when I saw that Sophie Eastlake narrates these, I decided to go with the audio. I’ve already heard a book narrated by her (Rule by Jay Crownover) and knew I liked her. Considering there are so many important characters, I really loved how she gave everyone their own unique voice. Mallory sounded completetly different from Merit, and they sounded completely different for Lindsay’s character. Same thing with the guys. I knew who was talking right away which is sometimes a hard thing to follow in audiobooks. I’m going to continue the series on audio and have already started buying the first books so I can experience this series all over (and over) again!
I still remember being so excited to read Lola when it was first released back in 2011. I loved Anna and the French Kiss and needed to get my hands on more of Stephanie Perkins writing. Although I think I liked Anna a tiny bit more than Lola (the books, not the actual characters), I still really enjoyed this book. Especially Cricket! Sadly, the release of Isla and the Happily Ever After has been pushed back so many times that I won’t believe it’s out until I have an actual copy in my hands. I get that the book wasn’t ready, but from a reader’s perspective it sucks. Especially after they changed the gorgeous covers! In preparation for Isla, I wanted to listen to the audiobook of one of the previous books. Since I hate accents (sorry St. Claire), I went with Lola and the Boy Next Door. I still loved this book as much as I did 3 years ago…
Lola was such a fascinating character for me. Her mom didn’t want her and gave her up to her brother and she’s been raised by two dads. I loved how Lola was always so proud of her parents, even when she was annoyed at them. Lola’s fun and quirky but her fashion side is what really made me connect with her. I could always visually all her outfits and would love to be able to see them in real life. Lola has a pretty cool job, some great friends, awesome parents and a hot, older rocker boyfriend, Max. But when the Bell twins move back into the house next door, Lola’s life changes.
Lola and the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, were close growing up. Lola and Calliope were friends and Lola always had a crush for Cricket. Both those friendships ended on a bad note. But seeing Cricket again brings up all those old feelings of attraction and hurt all over again. Despite this, she ends up rekindling her friendship with Cricket. Even though they both obviously want more. But, Lola has a boyfriend and she’s determined to stay with him. This was always such a frustrating part of the story for me. Lola obviously has strong feelings for Cricket, no matter how much she tries to deny it. Cricket lets her know more than once that he has feelings for Lola, but Lola is so stuck with her boyfriend who is an asshole. I couldn’t see why she wanted to stay with Max and couldn’t help thinking it was only because he was older and a musician. I was so annoyed at Lola, especially towards the end for how she treated Cricket and would string him along. Luckily, there was so damn much to love about Cricket that it made it easier to overlook my annoyance with Lola.
Ah, Cricket Bell. One of the rare and few good guys that make your heart melt. I probably liked his charcater more this time around. He was always so sweet to Lola, even if I sometimes felt she didn’t deserve it. The window conversations between them were the best! It was so nice to see so many appearances from Anna and St. Claire. They are so damn adorable together, their scenes made me want to go back and reread Anna and the French Kiss. I really love Stephanie Perkins writing and her characters. I love how despite their flaws, you can’t help but love them. I’m so excited to FINALLY read Isla and the Happily Ever After!
Audiobook Comments: Being able to revisit your old favorite stories is another reason why I love audiobooks. Lola is a story I’ve been wanting to re-read for a long time but couldn’t find time to fit it in. Listening to the audio was a perfect solution, I got to re-experience the story and it didn’t cut into my actual reading time since I listen to audiobooks mostly while cook or do chores. It had been a while since I read this, (3 years!) but Shannon McManus was such a perfect Lola. She was able to pull off her quirkiness and unique personality. She was great at doing Cricket’s voice, Lola’s parent’s voice, Anna’s voice, even Cricket’s voice! I loved how her Max voice fit his ‘who cares’ attitude. Shannon doesn’t narrate Anna so I’m assuming someone else will also narrate Isla. I would buy another audiobook by this narrator
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