Monday, August 25, 2014

Essence ~ Review

Title: Essence
Author: A.L. Waddington
Publication Date: January 15, 2014 (first published in 2011)
Pages: 308
Genre: Young Adult,  Science Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Jocelyn Timmons does not believe she is anything special — just an ordinary high school senior, living an ordinary life full of school-work, volleyball and friends. She’s about to find out how wrong she is.
Jackson Chandler moved in to the house across the street. His dark wavy hair, green eyes and charismatic personality draws everyone to him. Everyone, but Jocelyn. 
Whenever Jackson gets near Jocelyn she feels ill and dizzy. When he touches her, she blacks out and has visions of another life, in another time. As the odd hallucinations evolve and become clearer, she feels a strong pull towards the people she sees there. Frightened, she watches her once stable life begin to crumble around her and she begins to question her own sanity.
Could it be possible that these episodes are actually her own memories of a life she is living somehow, somewhere, some-when? Maybe this is time-travel or some other paranormal mysticism? Our minds often wander, but can our souls?

Reincarnation is one of my favorite philosophy theories ever. I'm always interested in other's stories and beliefs on how far reincarnation can go. It's too bad that this is not what I got with this book. All my theories on Essence were completely off the mark, (especially my theory that an immortal was stalking his doppelgänger love throughout the centuries. Wayyy too much Vampire Diaries.) 

But I still enjoyed this novel! The actual "thing" that was going on with Jocelyn blew my mind. No spoilers for you :p But I am highly anticipating what this revelation means for our MCs in the next installments. 

I do feel like the weird chemistry between Jocelyn and Jackson took way too long to overcome. Almost like in Angelini's Starcrossed. There's only so much posturing I can stand between any two people. Have you ever seen a fight take place, and the two combatants are just circling each other? Just circling, and circling, some more circling, and more, and more. And then the audience just SNAPS. That was me, for like three-quarters of this book. From there, events pretty much started to snowball. 

There are a lot of secondary characters that I grew to love in this, namely Jocelyn's brother. Keep an eye out for him, lovelies.

The ending though, is what really gets me. When Jocelyn becomes aware of what's happening, when Jackson and her finally seem to come to terms, and then right out of left field, THE CLIFFHANGER!! My arch-nemesis of so many series... Have at thee! Alas, I've been defeated once again, but I keep going. Because I am a book soldier, fiercely slaying trilogies and stand-alones by the hundreds. 

I might have taken that too far.

Well, if you can't tell, Essence has riled me up. I want to thank the author for allowing me to read her precious baby. Book 2 of the EVE series came out in April, so while I am seriously losing the battle, I say the war is not yet over and Enlightened will be mine!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Darkness ~ Review

Title: Darkness
Author: Erin Eveland
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: One Girl. One Boy. And the Masters of Darkness. See the Shadow Creatures. They are everywhere. But you can't run from the shadows or the Masters who control them.
Catherine has been born with a supernatural power called Darkness. The Masters of Darkness have found her and it's just a matter of time before someone claims her.

I'll admit it, I don't think I knew what I was getting myself into. Actually I'm pretty sure that none of you will go into this thinking you know what's up and what's down. And if you do, then you're in for a loopy, twisty surprise.

I won't say that this story is bad, because it isn't. I just couldn't get into the writing style of Mrs. Eveland. I felt disconnected from the story, as if I were looking at everything through a glass bottle.  It's a meandering sort of writing. It goes on many, many tandems, then loops back to the story just when I had forgotten what was actually happening. I honestly just couldn't find a rhythm to this book.

I will say that I enjoyed all the, shall we say, macabre scenes. If you can enjoy horribly terrifying moments of creepy-ass things. Also, creepy children are the absolute worst! The worst, I tell you. I had a terrifying moment with my little brother when he was like 5, maybe 6. I will tell you guys all about it, even though I may get PTSD from sharing this particular story. 

So it's late, I'm watching tv in the living room and everyone else is in bed, asleep. Supposedly. My little brother then walks out of the hallway, very slow and creeping along the edges of our living room walls and he comes into the light cast from the tv. Then he just stands there, looking out at something. So I ask, "Hey little man, what are you doing up?" And I shit you not, the most demonic voice I've ever heard in my life told me to shut the fuck up. And then he just turned around and went back to bed! I am scarred for life!

 had a lot of scenes that sent tingles down my spine. I feel that if the writing was a little more fixed, instead of wandering off, then I would've enjoyed it much more. 

Oh, and one more thing. This is one of the first "interactive" novels that I've come across. And I'm wondering if this is something that we'll start seeing in more books. Basically every chapter had one of those weird scrambled bar codes that your phone scans and it would show you a painting or a song that you could read along with the chapter. Now me being me, I didn't even pay attention to it till the 8 or 9th chapter. And even then, I didn't scan it at every chapter, so I'm not sure what to make of it. I think it's cool, but I don't see it trending. For now anyway.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Millionaire Affair ~ Review

Title: The Millionaire Affair
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Pages: 336
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Fiction

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary: LOVE IS A DEAL BREAKER . . .  
Millionaire ad executive Landon Downey has a policy: no romantic relationships allowed. So when he's saddled with his six-year-old nephew for a week, he doesn't think twice about asking Kimber Reynolds to act as live-in nanny. What he doesn't expect is the undeniable attraction to the woman he hasn't seen since they were kids. And not only does she like him back-she suggests they work their way down a list of extracurricular activities in the bedroom. How can he resist?  
Kimber wants to prove once and for all that she can love 'em and leave 'em with the best of them. All she has to do is keep her sixteen-year crush on Landon out of the equation. No problem . . . until she realizes she may not be the only one whose heart has gotten completely tangled up in their no-strings agreement.

This was a really fast read, simple and pleasant. I will admit that I am not a fan of the cover. I don't know what it is about the color scheme of black and yellow, maybe it reminds me too much of bumblebees, but I am just not a fan.

However, I really liked the uniqueness of the characters names. And not just the MCs, but all the characters had pretty creative names. Now did that take away some of the credibility? Absolutely, but that doesn't mean I can't like it. 

Now I seem to be having some really weird luck lately with book series. I'm always reading them out of order! This is book #3 in Lemmon's Love in the Balance series. I guess in typical romance fashion, it doesn't really matter if you read the first or even the second book beforehand. I understood pretty much the entire novel, and while some secondary characters floated in and out so fast I almost got whiplash, I think those characters were for the benefit of readers who actually started at the beginning. Cha-grin. 

In regards to Kimber and Landon, they were okay. I guess. I wanted to feel more regarding their feelings. I wanted the feels! But it was almost as if every time one of them came close to really opening up, then either the POV would shift or something would happen and spoil the mood. (Like the cliché little kid breaking up an intimate moment because of a bad dream, or whatever. Like that's never been done.) But hey, who am I to judge. 
That's going to stay rhetorical...

As far as steamy scenes go, I've read better. But everyone's tastes vary, so maybe the fact that Landon and Kimber's supposedly raunchy list felt chaste, well, maybe that's just me.

Provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Beloved ~ Review

Title: Beloved Enemy
Author: Lacy Yager
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fiction

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary: She's the unlikeliest vampire hunter ever. A scientist.
Seventeen-year-old science prodigy Genevieve Quinn never thought she would be kidnapped from her college campus by a vampire. Or that said vampire would want her help on a science project. Genevieve has no intention of complying, but when an escape attempt turns deadly, it is a vampire that comes to her rescue.
Vampire Chad Matthews is an atypical specimen. He’s good-looking, in a dangerous kind of way. But that’s not what attracts Genevieve… it’s the shadows behind his eyes. As Genevieve and Chad team up to find a way to defeat a monster even worse than killer vampires, she discovers that not everything can be explained by science—like falling in love.

So, yes, this is a novella. Something I was unaware of before I started reading. (I thought it ended really fast...) What I also didn't know is that this is a part of a series, the third book in said series to be precise. But hey! That actually worked out in this novella's favor. While being a part of a series, I didn't feel confused in the world Ms. Yager created. (I mean, yea, I questioned things, but that's typical of any book anywhere.)

Now, I did want more from Genevieve and Chad. I wanted to see more of the bond between these two characters. I know, I know. It is a novella, but I just felt like everything happened too quickly... Is this a paradox? 

The story line felt a bit like it was in the background. I mean, this book definitely focused of Gen and Chad. Which, hey, fine with me. But I definitely wanted more, especially concerning Gen's research. 

I guess all in all, I just wanted this novella to be a novel. More from the story, more from the characters. Maybe then it wouldn't have felt so hollow.

Provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Eye Candy ~ Review

Title: Eye Candy
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Pages: 228
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance, Adult Fiction 

Rating: 2.5 stars
Summary: Every Girl Deserves Something Sweet…

Lydia Vanderwalk has an obsession with candy, so when she invents an NEB (non-existent boyfriend) who turns out to be the male hire-a-date equivalent of a jumbo box of Hot Tamales she knows she’s in trouble.
Lydia has worked hard to have the right job, the right wardrobe, and the right everything else, in the quest for the appearance of perfection. When she needs her NEB for a golden career opportunity, she enlists a talent agent friend’s help to produce perfect date Phelps. He was supposed to be pure eye candy, but there’s more going on beneath the surface than Red Hots looks and Pop Rocks spontaneity.
Throw in a banking wunderkind ex-fiancé, a trio of cutthroat couture-climbers, and a designer of questionable orientation and origin, and Lydia soon learns that what you see is often much less than what you get when it comes to people and not everything in life can be solved by a Jolly Rancher and a shopping spree.

An easy, cotton candy fluff read. Ah look at that, I can make candy references too. I won't say that the MC's candy references were the worst thing about her, but it was up there. Like really up there.

No, what really upset me about Lydia was her about-face concerning her ex-fiance. And then how she treated the ex and Phelps. Do you remember that one group from the Twilight fandom? The ones who wanted nothing more than for Jacob and Edward to say "Fuck her," and leave Bella in the dust? I was one of those girls for this book. Gavin and Phelps should have ridden off into the sunset on a motorcycle, giving Lydia the finger and singing Sweet Caroline at the top of their lungs.

Okay, I got a little carried away there. No, I didn't. This totally should've happened.

Looking past all that though, this really was something to break up my reading and have a little fun. And it worked for the most part. Don't take this one seriously, and you'll like it. 

(Yes, I completely realize I've been gone forever, and that coming back with this little review stinks. But I don't really care. K, bye!)