Sunday, July 19, 2015

Courage and Other Demons ~ Review

Title: Courage and Other Demons
Publication Date: January 19, 2013
Pages: 362
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary: The end of the world will start in the suburbs of Denver with a faery transfer student from Ireland. If you think that’s totally ridiculous, then you understand how Maggie O’Neill feels. In all of her sixteen years, faeries were something you read about in children’s books. They didn’t actually show up on your doorstep. They didn’t kiss you and make your knees go weak and whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Until Simon Brady, that is. Simon changed everything. He makes her heart race and her skin burn with excitement, but he has also changed her core beliefs about the world and made her see it as a dark and dangerous place filled with monsters that belong only in the lines of faery tales. There is no doubt in Maggie’s mind that she loves Simon, but can she see past who he is and find a place for him in her heart?

My expectations were misplaced with this one. Based on the synopsis (and the cover), I totally thought I was going into a world where civilization had already been ripped apart and practically ended.

Not so much.

Instead, I went through the normal school days of Maggie. On repeat. For a while. :/ I was hoping since the synopsis flat out tells you what's going on with Simon, we, as readers, wouldn't be subjected to the big reveal of a paranormal creature amongst us. You know, with the heavy breathing, achy chest, and head feeling whooshy that usually accompanies such an event.

While the beginning did drag for awhile, once Maggie is informed of the prophecy and the Irish folklore comes more into play, the novel does go up and up from there. I really enjoyed the Irish stories and have looked further into some of the legends, which are fascinating! 

The relationship between Maggie and Simon bordered on insta-love. Luckily, there's a nice little prophecy to speed things along. (Even if Maggie was one of those stubborn mules that eventually sits after you've been pulling it to go forward.) (Actually, she's just that type of person in regards to everything.) I liked the romance and seeing their rocky relationship from the starting line. There are a lot of obstacles for these two young lovers to overcome, but there's an overlying sense that all will work out in the end. That might be the prophecy talking however...

There's really only one thing that frustrated me. About halfway through the novel, we become aware that there's more than meets the eye in regards to Maggie. As the MC, she's supposed to vanquish the enemy, become the hero, blah blah blah. Yet, there wasn't even a smidgen of a hint of what her "specialness" actually was. Constantly, Maggie kept asking why me? AND NO ONE HAD AN ANSWER! There was absolutely nothing "special" about Maggie. No powers, no insight, absolutely nothing to indicate how in the world this normal human girl is supposed to fight against the coming evil. Overall, I really liked this book, but I needed a little more from this author. For some reason, she wants to play Maggie close to the chest. Not cool, Ms. Daugherty, not cool.

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

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Halfway to the Grave ~ Review

Title: Halfway to the Grave
Publication Date: October 30, 2007
Pages: 358
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Adult

Rating: 5 stars

Summary: Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father - the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.
In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner - are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Wow. I need Bones in my life ASAP. He's a dead ringer (hah!) for Spike off of BtVS, but just much more mmmmmmf. 
I read this in one night. Ill-advised when you're supposed to work the next morning, but really, it couldn't be helped. I was head over heels drawn into this book. Not only did I read this in one night, but I caught a few zzz's, went to work, and then read this book again. Pretty much right after finishing it. IT WAS THAT GOOD! 

Cat isn't a normal girl. Being half-dead does that to a person. Cat is easily one of my favorite heroines, despite some of the actions she takes. She's strong despite everything that she has gone through, and everything she faces within this novel. As for Bones, well, I think I made myself clear on that particular vampire.

I will admit that the supporting characters are not very, well, supporting. They're intentions, demeanor, they're lives seemed insignificant. Even recalling the bad guy in this is a little difficult. Probably because I was so wrapped in the dynamic that is Cat and Bones. Yet I'm still perfectly okay with this. Must've been a great dynamic. ;)
If you want something light, enjoyable, and totally addictive then I highly recommend Halfway to the Grave.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Firebug ~ Review

Title: Firebug
Author: Lish McBride
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Supernatural

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Ava can start fires with her mind . . . but is it a blessing or a curse? 
Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren't caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She's one of their main hit men . . . and she doesn't like it one bit. Not least because her mother's death was ordered by Venus—who is now her boss. 
When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can't say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.

It took me a long time to look past the blurb and sit down to read this one. I'm not sure why the summary put me off, but I'm kicking myself now. Firebug is definitely more on the mature side of YA, so readers beware of sexual, language, and violent content!

Fortunately for me, I adore all of the above so Ava and her cohorts were amazing as well as soothing for my needs! 

In case it hasn't been said yet, Ava is badass. There are a few times that I was wishy-washy with her decisions, but ultimately she is a strong, awesome character that I just wanted to kick ass with. She has restored my faith that YA heroines can be flawless even with their flaws!

I also really enjoyed Ava's relationship with her teammates/ best friends, Lock and Ezra. Their dynamic was powerful and made me a bit envious sometimes. Like, why can't I have a crazy-sexy were-fox and protective, intense half-druid as my best friends. 

Put the three of them together with some on-the-run, start-a-rebellion quest and, people, you've got yourself a fantastic story! Seriously, this book was really refreshing paranormal book that was not all about L-O-V-E. A lot more focused on friendship and loyalty, and I loved that!

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