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Friday, April 19, 2013

Legend of the Blue Eyes by Kristin McMichael

I received this book as an Author Review Request (ARR) from  This did not influence my review in any way 
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Published March 15th 2013 by Lexia Press

In the Legend of the Blue Eyes, Kristin McMichael adds a new twist to vampire and werewolves folklore by introducing night humans. This interesting new perspective, though engaging, could use more development and depth but overall I like the story.
There are a lot of characters in this book, but they weren't given much depth, most of all Arianna. There's a lot of drama in the story--death, realization, first kiss, first love, love triangle--where's her internal conflict over these guys? where's the giddiness over her first kiss from a hot guy (Team Devin!!!)? Would have loved to see more dimensions to all the characters (yes, especially Devin).

At first I did not love the book and was the narrative made it painful to continue reading. It seemed very "tween".  In some parts, the dialog between characters seemed forced and unrealistic.

Once I got over all this, surprisingly, it kept me interested to want to read the rest and it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  This review somewhat challenging; I torn between my love of McMichael's writing in To Stand Beside Her, and the lack of development and depth in this book.  But I would recommend it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Breathe by Elea Dillon

I received this book as an Author Review Request (ARR) from  This did not influence my review in any way

Though this was a YA romance mixed with suspense, I appreciated it more for how Jasmine and her family were affected by Daisy's death and their attempt to move on by moving to a new town in a different state. 

Jasmine views Daisy as the perfect sister, the prettier and more popular one; now that's she's gone, Jasmine's insecurities get the best of her, which is why her character struggles to accept a compliment.  And, maybe why Jasmine she has such a hard time believing why the best looking boy in school is interested in her.  Her internal struggle was compelling and emphasized by everything going on around her: the flowers, the posters, the phone calls, and the incident during at the race.  I was just waiting for her to, either, sink or swim.  Her inner dialogue was her saving grace :)

Since losing her daughter, their mother becomes the epitome of over-protective and over-bearing; but, what mother wouldn't in that situation??

A psychological thriller? Breathe had a pretty awesome and luring start that will certainly get you hooked.  "Most days I can almost forget someone murdered my sister." Seriously....How's that for a first line?!?!

I thought the story could have focused less on the practical jokes between Jasmine and her younger brother, a little more on the relationship between Jasmine and about more about Easton :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Apollyon (Covenant #4) by Jennifer Armentrout!!

Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex. Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back. The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries. Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.

My take
First of all, I'm extremely biased since Jennifer is, in my eyes, a goddess of stories! Therefore, all I can say is Apollyon is all we've waited for and MORE!

The story picks up a few days after Elixir ends, with Alex and Aiden at her cell. Does Alex reconnect to Seth or is she strong enough to fight him? Will Apollo destroy Alex to prevent her from connecting with Seth? Can Seth be destroyed? Obviously, I'm not gonna tell you :) I find it very challenging to give an honest review without spoilers.

I will say, Jennifer has outdone herself and ups the ante with Apollyon by answering some our questions from the previous books while creating new questions (If you haven't already, I very highly recommend you read Deity and Elixir prior to Apollyon.). I was so desperate that I emailed Jennifer with my questions; she simply replied that my questions will be answered in Sentinel (shocking response, eh?).

Wow...the characters! You can see the them mature and grow in different ways.  Out of the confines and structure of the covenant, some begin to "loosen up" - as much as you can in a dangerous atmosphere.  I switched to Team Aiden in Elixir, and Apollyon just reinforces why we love him! He's just as protective and stubborn as ever though a softer side is shown. Seth is still Seth but in a different capacity.

The cliffhanger will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, gasping for more! Or in my case, emailing the author!

To Stand Beside Her by Kristin McMichael

Author: Kristin McMichael
Genre: YA Fantasy & YA Urban Fantasy

To be the best courier in the world, eighteen-year-old Benét Leila follows three simple rules: always work alone, never stay in one place too long, and never fall in love. Too bad she didn't follow her own advice.

Leila is a courier. To the people she takes from, she is seen as a common thief; to the people she helps, she is a savior.

Nalick is your typical king. He's rich, powerful, and always assumed to be right. When Leila crosses paths with King Nalick, she finds herself trapped. In a rush to save her best friend Kay from a prison sentence for a crime Leila committed, Leila trades her hand in marriage in exchange for Kay’s freedom.

Tomboy Leila does not want to grow up, but in three months’ time, she will be married to King Nalick, if Nalick can keep his end of the bargain. First, Nalick must make Leila fall in love with him, a hard task since Leila is not ready to love again after losing her first love to a greedy king. Second, Nalick must keep her safe. He is not the only king trying to hold onto her. Leila has made many enemies over the years, and even more admirers that want her as a prize.

Lastly, Nalick must convince Leila that ten years of love is better than a lifetime without. Unless Leila can trust her destiny, she might not reach her wedding day at all.

My take
My first reaction when I read the last page was "OMG! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??". So much that I even emailed my reaction to the Kristin McMichael. Surprisingly, she hasn't responded. Even now, a day later, I still can't believe how the story ended, though it was very realistic. It does make you wonder if we actually control our destinies or if fate does exist.

Without reading the synopsis prior to reading the book, I was drawn into the story by Leila's characters and wanting to know what happens to her as you're sitting on the edge of your seat! With the kidnapping threats, creepy kings, and Leila's urge to be free, I thought the story would have ended different.

It's a nice love story with a sad twist of fate.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Transcend by Christine Fonseca

From Goodreads:

All seventeen-year-old composer Ien Montgomery desires is an escape from his family's rigid expectations for his life; someone to inspire his music. When he meets a beautiful violin-prodigy, Kiera McDougal, his life music takes on new life. With her, he imagines a future outside of his parents’ control. That is, until a horrible accident tears them apart.

Sent to die in a sanatorium, Ien’s obsession for Kiera grows unbearable. Tortured by thoughts he can’t escape and the truth of his monstrous disfigurement, he flees, desperate to exact revenge on the people that ruined his life – his parents. But, vengeance is empty. Betrayed by those closest to him, Ien discovers that the price for his happiness may be his sanity.

Set amidst the landscape of New York's Gilded Age, and inspired by Phantom of the Opera, TRANSCEND exposes the fine line between love and madness.

My take:
Wow! This book was not what I was expecting and so different from what I normally read. What a beautiful surprise it turned out to be!

There were so many twists and surprises during the story; it keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat and wanting to know what happens to Ian? Who is Sister Anne? Is Erik real?

This was beautifully written. You can actually feel Ian’s emotional and mental struggles.

I love the ending and was completely taken by surprise. It’s left open a continuation or for the story to be told from a different point of view. Would love to read from Mother’s point as she’s raising Ian or during Erik’s death, the explosion, or during the ordeal with Kiera.

I highly recommend this book for those wanting something different then mainstream paranormal or fantasy. I believe readers will enjoy it more if they aren’t familiar with the story or haven’t read the synopsis.