Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fade to Black ~ Review

Title: Fade to Black
Author: Sue Duff

Publisher: Smashwords
Publication Date: October 10, 2014
Pages: 458
Genre: Fiction, Paranormal, Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Illusionist Ian Black has a talent for keeping secrets. College student Rayne Bevan has a gift for uncovering them. She suspects that the popular performer's skills extend beyond the stage and that he's the area’s mysterious and elusive defender of the innocent. In her efforts to uncover the truth, Rayne is swept into the hidden world of the Weir, a magical race who struggle to prevent Earth from self-destructing. Her inquiries expose Ian to those who would kill for his connection to the planet, and as he fights to keep Rayne, and those closest to him safe, they discover a force behind the Weir’s raging civil war—a traitor bent on launching Earth’s Armageddon.

I'll start with the bad because there is only two things, and the bad are my humble opinions really. Nothing more.

First, Fade to Black took a long time to get into. It took nearly a month for me to finish this, so yeah. Loooong time. The story wasn't bad, nor were the characters, the pacing, all of that literal device jargon was fine. What really threw me off from this book was the way it was written and how information was given to me as a reader. So that leads me to the second part of the bad; it was just so confusing!! I understand that a lot of novels just throw you into the plot to hook you into the story. Many (myself included) typically enjoy a good hook. However, all good books needs a backstory, an explanation, some indication of what's going on in our characters lives before all the action stuff carries us away. Without this, readers get lost in the action, trying to figure out what is going on and what it means to the characters. At least, that's how I felt when reading this.

I want to say that the POV is to blame for my confusion, but I don't think I would have liked this book if the POV were shifted to just one character. We see this story through multiple characters. Each have their merits, and provide insight to what's going on, but again it did get confusing to me. I'm still not 100% sure what Ian is. Or Rayne. Maybe this book needs a prequel?

Other than the confusion, I really enjoyed this novel. The characters, main and secondary, were compelling. Ian and Rayne will make a cute couple, once the ball gets rolling. This is an instant attraction but! develops into a slow burn love. Thank heavens. I truly loved the fantasy aspect to this as well. Very interesting, just needed better execution.

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

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Second Chance Summer ~ Review

Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Pages: 468
Genre: Contemporary, Relationships, Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains. 
Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.
As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

I'll admit that I didn't start really enjoying this one till the end. So fair warning, but you may have to push yourselves past the humdrum to get the really juicy, emotional parts that I might have shed a tear or two at. Honestly, until the end I was teetering between giving this book a 2.5 to 3 stars. Did you see what I gave it? FOUR STARS! The final chapters were truly powerful and really bumped up my opinion, (therefore the rating) of this novel.

Taylor, the protagonist of our story, did something very bad the last time she came to the summer lake house. This "very bad" incident puts her in an awkward position when her family returns years later for one last family vacation and she comes  face to face with the best friends she had at twelve. I'm thinking to myself as I'm reading, how bad could you be at twelve? As the mystery surrounding the "very bad" incident, slowly (and I do mean mind numbingly slowly) becomes unraveled, seriously I think I saw my brain I eye-rolled so hard at the reveal. I don't want to be one of those people who spoils things, so my only comment is this: You were fucking twelve, GET OVER IT. That isn't just for Taylor, but also love-interest Henry and BFF Lucy.

This book could have been so much better if the author had written more about Taylor's family and less about her 12-year-old drama. Every scene that involved Taylor's family, I treasured, especially concerning her dad who I think is my favorite character in this novel.