All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

All the Ugly and Wonderful things

Author: Bryn Greenwood
Published: August 9, 2016
Pages: 352

Stars: 5 out of 5

Goodreads

Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

 

Synopsis:
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.

Review:
This isn’t the type of book I normally pick up but I’m glad I did. I’ll be honest with you, this book at times is terribly sad. The plot involves child abuse that is uncomfortable and guaranteed to pull an emotional response out of you. But it is also about strength and savoring those little moments of light. And I promise, the ending is worth getting to. There are some grammatical errors, but nothing you aren’t abel to read past.

Wavy is a complex child who comes with a hefty load of baggage. After her father and mother get arrested, she is sent into the system. After much persuasion, Wavy goes to live with her aunt. Although, that didn’t last long because of Wavy’s peculiar habits. You see, she isn’t like a typical child. She would rather eat out of the garbage than eat dinner at the table with her family. She would rather steal and sneak around than follow societal rules. She is a selective mute and yet so much more. Once Wavy goes back to live with her mother, there is no doubt she was lucky she didn’t turn out worse. The abuse her and her brother go through is horrifying.

I found myself reading this book wondering how in the heck did this little girl end up like this. Unfortunately that answer gets solved and you aren’t going to like it. Yet with everything Wavy has been through, she is such a strong character. The author did an amazing job describing the hopes and dreams of a little girl who caries around so many demons.

In this book, Wavy talks about the different sides her mom has. There’s happy mom who is attentive, caring, and loving. There’s scary mom, who is cruel, neglectful, and abusive. Then there is sad mom, who doesn’t care about anything and falls into a depression. Because of all these sides, Wavy (at the age of five) ends up practically raising her brother.

Kellen is a complex character. I can’t help but pity him. He isn’t attractive, is constantly made fun of, and overweight. But he is a savior to Wavy and a trusted friend. I’m not sure how old he is, much older than Wavy. I think he might be ten years older than her. Maybe more, like I said I’m not sure. Which is what kind of bothers me. The further I get into the story, the more Kellen and Wavy’s relationship changed. At first it was really innocent. But as it became more, I couldn’t help but see Wavy as a child and Kellen as an adult. To be honest, it made me uncomfortable reading about this. But his character does redeem himself in some ways and by the end of the book I am happy with how things turned out.

As I was reading this story, I kind of felt like I was on a rollercoaster of emotions. And just when you think things are as bad as they can get, tragedy strikes and everything gets worse. You must be asking, what more could happen to this little girl that wouldn’t be classified already as a tragedy? Well, when you find out it’s like your heart stops. You’re reading the words but shaking your head not wanting to comprehend them. Your stomach turns with how unfair life can be. And you’re just not sure how much more of this you can take. That’s how gifted this author is.

Even with all the uncomfortable moments and my doubts about Kellen, somehow by the end of the book I desperately wanted Wavy to reconnect with him. I was surprised how this book stayed with me. When I wasn’t reading the chapters, I was constantly thinking about the plot or wishing I could read just one more chapter. I will admit there was one point in the book I wanted to put it down. It was around the time Kellen and Wavy’s relationship changed into something more and I wasn’t sure how much more of that I could take. But I’m glad I did’t because this book is truly amazing.

My final thought I want to leave with you is I promise you won’t be disappointed in this book. Yes it is emotionally charged and pulls at your heart, but the story is one worth reading. By the end of the book, you will fall in love (and sometimes hate) the characters in this book. My warning is to read the book for how it is. Wavy is not your typical little girl, so don’t try to cast her in that image. You will only be disappointed and end up disgusted. Good luck with this book if you decide reading it. Like I said, it will be one that stays with you.

Throwback Thursday- Rush (Breathless, #1) by Maya Banks

throwback

Maya Banks is a well known author in the erotica category, creating sexual scenes that either leave you blushing or falling over yourself trying to turn the page fast enough. And her book, Rush, is no exception. The first in the Breathless trilogy, this book was first published on February 5, 2013.

Rush

 

Synopsis and Review:

Gabe, Jace, and Ash: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Gabe, it’s making one particular fantasy come true with a woman who was forbidden fruit. Now she’s ripe for the picking…When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires.

Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once, ever since she was a teenager with a huge crush on her brother’s best friend. So what if Gabe’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires.

As Gabe pulls her into his provocative world, she realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him or how exacting his demands can be. Their relationship is intense and obsessive, but as they cross the line from secret sexual odyssey to something deeper, their affair runs the risk of being exposed—and vulnerable to a betrayal far more intimate than either expected.

If you missed my review, you can find it here: Rush (Breathless #1)

Ok, so why give this book a chance?

Like I mentioned in my review, if you are looking for a book with lots of sex then I think you found it. This book is about forbidden love- your best friends little sister is supposed to be off limits… right?

What makes this book stand out to me is how strong Mia is. Yes, she plays the submissive role pretty well. But that doesn’t mean she lets Gabe walk all over her.. which he tries. What can I say, I am a sucker for strong women.

Again, like most books this one isn’t perfect. There are some eye roll moments and at times I wanted to scream at both characters for being chicken shits. But I will say the book is saved by some amazing sex, a grovel that can never be topped, and a fairytale ending.

So I guess what it really comes down to is this is a great book about sex, an alpha male who is damaged, and a great love story.

Quotes:

“I’m not stubborn. My way is just better.”

“Tell me what you need.”
“You,” she said simply, that one word tearing to the very heart of him. “Just you.”

“If you ever wake up and see the light and decide you want me back? You’re going to have to crawl.”

 

Tuesday Talk- Blog Awards

Tuesday Talks

On Tuesday I will try to engage you in a question/topic/idea. You are welcome to write in with a suggestion you want to share or maybe talk about next Tuesday. My response is not right for everyone but I am hoping together we can generate some great conversation. And as always, I would love to hear from you on this topic or any topic out there!  

 There are a lot of blog awards out there. The one most common is the Liebster Award. But there are so many others out there. In order to receive an award, you must be nominated by your fellow bloggers.

I’m curious, what do you think of blog awards?

  • Is it something to help pass the time?
  • A popularity contest?
  • Something not to take serious but more fun?

How do you think people are chosen for awards?

  • Is it because their blog stands out from everyone else?
  • Is there something special about their blog?
  • Maybe the blogs that get picked are the ones that comments the most?

Or do these awards even register with you? Maybe you care less about blog Awards.. Either way, I’m curious to know what you think.


Personally, I think they are meant to be fun and not taken too serious. But I can see how they might cause some jealousy and maybe make some people envious.

My thought is that is you really want to do one of these awards, answer questions about yourself and nominate others, just do it! Yes, it might defeat the purpose of the ‘award’ but why not have fun. Blogging is all about having fun 🙂

Red Queen (Red Queen, 1)

Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published: February 10, 2015
Pages: 383

Stars: 4 out of 5

Where to buy:

Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

 

Synopsis:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Review:

Mare is really hard on herself. In a world full of injustice and cruelty, Mare does the best she can. Trying to survive, she steals from her fellow community-from her red bloods. Even though this helps her family, instead of them thanking her she is created with disappointment and left with guilt. Mare is so full of love for her friends/family, sometimes it binds her decisions.

Cal is a mystery, as he is supposed to be. You want to believe in him and think the best, but the author does a fantastic job of blurring his character based off the decisions he makes. The same goes for his brother Maven. The author did an amazing job developing the characters and leading the reader along a path full of heartache, love, trust, and pain.

This book had me so torn! I kept going back and forth- one minute feeling sorry for Cal, the next questioning his actions. One minute feeling sorry for Mare, the next almost disgusted with the games she plays, with how she plays Cal.

This book ended like I thought it would but the path the author took was unexpected. Although it took me a while to fall in love with the book and get attached to the characters/plot, by the end of the book I am left wanting more. I can’t help but wonder what will happen next.

Half Marathon Training week 16 (Marathon Training week 7) & Whole30

Monday: 6 Mile Trail Run
I had a great run this morning. The trails were quiet and I was able to find a solid rhythm around 10:30. I was supposed to run two miles at my marathon pace and the rest slow. I know after the first two miles I should have slowed down but I couldn’t. Don’t you ever wonder if you can do it? If you can run faster than your slow pace? I have been so many miles at my slow pace that I started questioning if I could even run faster. Tomorrow I promise to take it easy, but I am proud of today!

I think I might need to get a head light because I had to wait 30 minutes before it was light enough to run. But honestly I don’t think I would enjoy running the trails while it’s dark.

I am feeling really good about myself and how I feel/look. I can tell my face has thinned and my stomach has gotten smaller- all from reduced bloating. I have to laugh because my husband started Whole30 on Saturday and he is having more of the ‘typical’ symptoms- the headaches, feeling hungover even though he didn’t drink, cravings, extreme tired… He doesn’t eat as well/clean as I do and I think he is paying the price. But the thing that makes me laugh is the reason he is struggling with this ‘diet’ is because and I quote, “Vegetables aren’t really my thing.” Oh my!

Breakfast: Spinach Eggs with half an Avocado
Lunch: Leftover sweet potato hash browns, half an avocado, and two fried eggs
Dinner: Chicken Hash


Tuesday: 4 Mile Run
I’m pretty sure the cloud cover was the only thing that saved my run. It is really hot and humid out and this was at 5:30 in the morning! I really wanted to run with Lifetime run club tonight but national night out made that impossible. I really miss running with them! Again, the trails were quiet and I found myself a little board. I ran faster than I was supposed, but not my much. I was just so bored and with the humidity, I wanted the run to be over.

Can’t you just feel the humidity coming off this picture??

Running3

It was one of those runs that if you stopped, all the air around you seemed to stop. There wasn’t a breeze or any movement.

Breakfast: Spinach eggs, half an avocado
Lunch: leftover Hash
Dinner: Shrimp cocktail and green beans


Wednesday: 3.71 Miles
Wow, what a horrible run! I ended up sleeping in because I was supposed to run with my team. Little did we know, the weather today was going to be worse than yesterday. It was over 100 with humidity and I just couldn’t run outside. So my husband and I packed the kids up and we went to the gym.

I was supposed to run 7 miles but my knee hurt and I had to cut the run short. I was really disappointed in myself and upset that my knee hurt. I will be spending some time rolling it, that’s forsake. After getting home, I iced it on and off the rest of the night.

Running

Breakfast: Spinach eggs, half an avocado
Lunch: leftover Hash
Dinner: Pork chops, Portobella mushroom cap, asparagus.


Thursday: Rest day
My knee feels better this morning but I am going to take it easy and foam roll it just to make sure. I noticed the longer I was on it, the worse it felt. So I ended up going back to the chiropractor and getting it taped. The taping really helped and it feels considerably better.

Running 3

Breakfast: Spinach eggs, half an avocado
Lunch: Pork chops, Portobella mushroom cap, asparagus.
Dinner: Chicken with pesto, zucchini noodles, baked potato


Friday: Swim
I know I need to add cross training into my routine, especially with my knee acting up. So we went to the gym after my husband got back to work and I can’t believe how quickly I lost progress. By the end of last winter I was easily swimming 1,500 to 2,000 yards. Today was not the case.

Swimming pool

I did 100 yard warm up, 400 yard pull with 20 second rest in-between every 100 yards, and a 50 yard swim. I just want to shake my head over this. I am going to try to get back in the pool every week and really focus on getting back to wear I was.

Breakfast: Spinach eggs, half an avocado
Lunch: Chicken with pesto, zucchini noodles, baked potato
Dinner: California burger, baked potato, asparagus

foam roll

My youngest decided he needed to help Mom foam roll. Please don’t mind the mess in the background 🙂 It has been a busy week!


Saturday: 12 hilly miles
What a hilly run!! Luckily the weather was beautiful but I really wanted to die near the end. At one point in my run as I was running up a very long hill, I looked down and realized I was walking.. I have no idea how that happened but the rolling hills were killer.

Running

Looking at this, it does’t seem like it was that bad but trust me, it was a hard run. Especially with my knees killing me, I was really excited when it was over.

When I got home I looked at my splits and I was really happy to see that I stayed close to 11:30 for most of them. Only once did I get in a 12 minute mile. Whoop Whoop!!

Running3


Sunday: Rest Day
I actually don’t feel that bad today. I woke up with a headache, telling me I need to drink more water. But overall, my knee feels fine, my legs aren’t really all that sore, and I feel good.

Total Milage: 25

How did your week go?

Throwback Thursday- Legend (Legend, #1) by Marie Lu

throwback

This week I am going to talk about Marie Lu’s Legend. This is the first book in a trilogy and was first published November 29, 2011. The plot is entertaining and moves at a fast pace with 305 pages. Although it reminds me of the Divergent and hunger games trilogies, the author created relatable and likable characters.

Legend

Synopsis:
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Why I enjoyed this book:

This book is a duel point of view- one from the hunted and one from the hunter. And for some reason, I just loved that the hunter was June, a strong female with slight rebellious tendencies. I like how both June and Day aren’t what they seem to be.

If you have read any of Lu’s books before, you know she is a talented writer and does a pretty good job of creating a world you can imagine. The plot flows effortlessly and before you know it, you are at the end of the book.

But believe me, this book isn’t perfect. What I couldn’t get over was the fact that two 15 year old teens were leading the show. Although at times it was hard to remember they were only 15 by the way they acted. But ultimately, this was too unrealistic.

Quotes:

“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time. -Day”

“If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system.That’s much more powerful than rebelling outside the system.”

“What a joke! Poor little rich girl’s fallen in love with the Republic’s most famous criminal.”

“You should have taken me with you,” I whisper to him. Then I lean my head against his and begin to cry. In my mind, I make a silent promise to my brother’s killer. I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.” – June


I would say this is a good book for young adults and any fan of Marie Lu. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

Book Releases August 2016

At first, I didn’t really think there were any books coming out this month that I was particularly excited about. But after a little looking, I was pleasantly surprised to find a handful of books that have caught my attention.

What books are you looking forward to?

All the Ugly and Wonderful thingsAll The Ugly and Wonderful Things
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.

Goodreads

 

Sugar Rush

Sugar Bowl, #2
After posing as an escort for the Sugar Bowl online dating service, Sela Halstead is looking for one thing: payback. She’s closing in on the site’s heartless founder, Jonathon Townsend, and she needs Beckett North, Townsend’s business partner and her lover, by her side. She’d thought that their intimate nights together had forged an unbreakable bond, but after a shocking betrayal, Sela begins to doubt the brilliant bad boy. When push comes to shove, can she trust Beck to do the right thing?

Now that he understands the truth, Beck will stop at nothing to secure the reckoning Sela deserves. But between his desire for her and his disgust for JT, Beck doesn’t exactly have a lot of control over his emotional state. Left with no other choice, he must summon all his discipline to maintain JT’s trust and pretend that they’re still friends. But how far will Beck go to prove his loyalty to Sela? He nearly lost her once. To keep her, Beck might have to kill for her.

I still haven’t read the first book in this series but so far the reviews have been good. Add this book to your to-read list on Goodreads

Behind Closed DoorsBehind Closed Doors
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace’s friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn’t Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?        Goodreads

Wow, this book isn’t usually what I go for but doesn’t it sound interesting?

 

Recreated

Reawakened Series #2
Lily Young thought traveling across the globe with a reawakened sun prince was a grand adventure. Now she’s about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.


When Amon and Lily part tragically, he transports himself to the Netherworld—what mortals call hell. Tormented by the loss of his one true love, he’d rather suffer in agony during Lily’s mortal years than fulfill his duty to protect humanity.

Heartbroken, Lily seeks refuge on her grandmother’s farm. Yet she can feel Amon’s pain, and she has been having dreams—dreams of Amon continually suffering.

For before he departed, Amon gave Lily something very special, an item that connects them even though they are worlds apart. Now Lily must use this object to free him, and to free their realms from darkness and utter chaos. She will do whatever it takes.  Goodreads

Although I didn’t love the first book in the series, I am curious about where the author is going to take this book.

Magic StealsKate Daniels Series #6.5
Shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau may be a powerful healer and magic user, but she’s far from what might be called “normal”. She dislikes the violence and bloodshed that are a way of life for most of her kind, even going so far as to become a vegetarian. The last thing she wants is trouble…

Jim Shrapshire is an original, hardcore badass. A jaguar shifter, he’s been tasked with keeping Atlanta’s Cat Clan in line, which he does with swift and lethal force when necessary. His only soft spot is for the petite Dali, whose kindness he calls upon when he is injured.

When Dali is approached by a desperate woman whose grandmother has vanished, Jim is concerned enough to help investigate. But what they find may just be the end of them—an enemy whose skill in the dark arts is matched only by their willingness to kill anyone in their way…  Goodreads

A Promise of FireKingmaker Chronicles #1
Catalia “Cat” Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.

Goodreads

Thie SightDevil’s Isle #2
Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.

Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the occult threat before magic corrupts them both…

Goodreads

You Before Anyone ElseYou Before Anyone Else
Model Finley needs someone to help her shed her “good girl” persona, so she’ll try Eddie on for size.

New York City model Finley is fed up with hearing the same feedback at castings: she needs to take some serious action to wipe the “good girl” stamp from her resume if she wants to launch to stardom.

Enter Eddie Wells. He’s shallow, predictable…and just as lost as Finley feels. Deep down, Finley is drawn to Eddie’s bravado, his intensity. Except Eddie is hiding something. A big something. And when it surfaces, both loving and leaving Finley will become so much harder.

Goodreads

The Exiled Seven (The Exiled Series, #1)

The Exiled Seven

Author: Blake Renworth
Published: May 12, 2016
Pages: 340

Stars: 3 out of 5

Goodreads
Amazon $2.99
Barnes&Noble $2.99

 

 

I had the privilege to read this book along side rakioddbooks. I haven’t done a buddy read in a while and I miss it! It was so much fun being able to discuss details of the book that you can’t really talk about in fear of saying too much or spoiling the plot. If you are interested in doing a buddy read, I would love to do another one. In the meantime, check out her review for this books here.

Synopsis:
When Alariq is exiled from his home city-state for a crime he did not commit, only six stand by his side, convinced of his innocence and steadfast in their loyalty.

The seven dwarfs must set out from Ishtara to look for a new place to call home, but in doing so, they make a discovery that puts them all in danger. They are rescued and taken in by a mysterious and beautiful outsider, who lives alone in the depths of Loraheem Forest. What follows is Alariq’s struggle to come to terms with his exile, as those around him seek to make a place for themselves in this new life. Soon, however, it becomes clear their situation is more complex than they initially realized, and they begin to wonder if there is more behind Alariq’s exile than simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Told in a unique storyteller voice, this reversal and reimagining of the classic fairy tale explores the themes of shattering betrayal, the subsequent struggle to trust again, and the basic desire to take control of one’s own destiny.

Review:
I loved the first couple of chapters in this book. The way the author talks to the reader while opening the story is fun and in a way a unique approach. In many ways, by doing this the author has given himself a voice within his book. And although I really liked this in the beginning, I found the deeper I got into the plot or chapters the more I didn’t care for it. It’s not that it truly bugs me or anything. It’s just that it takes me out of the story, ever so slightly, but nonetheless it feels like a break from the plot. Almost like the author feels a need to rationalize something or reassure the reader of what is happening or about to happen.

As you dig deeper into the story, the plot unfolds effortlessly and you can easily image the world these dwarfs live in. Right away we are introduced to Alariq and discover he is banished for a crime he didn’t commit. Alariq believes his friends, although loyal in their beliefs of his innocence, foolishly follow him into banishment. Full of regrets and wishing for home, the dwarfs follow a lost Alariq in hopes of settling into a new home. But what they find may be more than they bargained for.

I was surprised how quickly I started to like Alariq. In many ways this feeling snuck up on me and I didn’t even realize how protective I became of his character until the human girl (Tianna) showed up. When she started having power struggles with him, I automatically hated her. Which doesn’t make any sense because she actually saved him and his friends. The more I thought about it, a lot of what goes on between Tianna and Alariq didn’t really make much sense. For the majority of the time they are at odds with each other and just crabby. But there wasn’t really any reason why they were this way. Another thing that was inconsistent or odd was even though everyone unofficially nominated Alariq as the leader of the group, a lot of the decisions he made caused an uproar between everyone. And instead of following his lead, there was a lot of questioning, doubt, and dirty looks. I think I was expecting the leader wouldn’t be questioned as much.

Tianna, although small, can defend herself quite well. Her skills in disappearing and blending into her surroundings is impressive. Actually everything about her character is impressive. The way she is described, it is as if she has no flaws. She is the fastest, best shot, knows most of the answers, and has an attitude to match. I can’t say I cared for Tianna’s character. Simply put, she isn’t realistic and seems too perfect. And for me, that’s just not very appealing.

Overall, the book was interesting and I enjoyed where the author took the plot. The world building was great. As each scene unfolded, I could easily picture everything that happened and what it looked like. For me, This book was entertaining, a nice read that was different from my norm. But ultimately I didn’t love the book and found I wasn’t as invested in the characters or what happened within the story. You don’t learn much about any of the supporting characters which makes it difficult to sympathize with them. The book didn’t have much dialogue and the entire time I was reading I felt more like an outsider watching a movie.

If you are a lover of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, I would give this book a chance. It might be just what you are looking for.

 

A Fine Mess (Over the Top, #2)

A Fine Mess

Author: Kelly Siskind
Published: August 2, 2016
Pages: 340

Stars: 5 out of 5

 

BUY THE BOOK HERE

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
iBooks
Kobo

 

Synopsis:
Some guys should come with a warning label . . .

Sawyer West is Mr. One-Night Stand. He doesn’t do relationships or promises or feelings. He’s never cared enough to get involved. Until Lily Roberts. She’s sweet and shy and sexy as sin, and resisting her is testing his self-control. She believes Sawyer can be a better man, and for the first time in his life, he wants to be. But change isn’t easy, and Sawyer would do anything to protect Lily from his past self. Even break his own heart . . .

Review:

Although in a way this book could be read as a stand alone, I wouldn’t recommend it. The first book was full of character development and without that foundation I think you would miss an aspect of who the characters are. Not only would you miss a part of their backstory, but I think the beginning would lack a certain degree of depth. In other words, read the first book. If you missed review, you can find it here.

Like I mentioned, this book doesn’t miss a beat. It opens will Lily in complete turmoil over needing to break up with her 11 year boyfriend but not wanting to throw everything they had away. Of course sexy, confident Sawyer also has something to do with how she feels.

Sawyer has a dysfunctional family. Although he tries his best to separate himself from them, he is scared he will become just like them. So when Lily tells him she is single, hoping to turn their friendship into more, Sawyer is too scared to move forward.

This story is not what I expected. The depth of both Sawyer and Lily pulls the reader into the story. Lily is not who I thought she was. She has secrets she desperately tries to hide. Both characters fall deep for each other and their feels get intense fast. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the intense that leaves you unable to put the book down. No, this is the kind that you know is going to come crashing down on them and end badly. The only question is when..

The plot is slightly predictable and I can’t say I love Lily as much as I did Shay. But still, I find myself getting pulled along on this emotional roller coaster that is Sawyer and Lily. And the ending!! It’s complete gush worthy. Regardless of the complexity of issues both Sawyer and Lily face, this is a great love story. I can’t wait for the next book to come out!!

Tuesday Talk- YA Books, love them or hate them?

Tuesday Talks

On Tuesday I will try to engage you in a question/topic/idea. You are welcome to write in with a suggestion you want to share or maybe talk about next Tuesday. My response is not right for everyone but I am hoping together we can generate some great conversation. And as always, I would love to hear from you on this topic or any topic out there!  

YA books seems to be one of those categories people either really enjoy or they find annoying. What is it about these books that draw people in? Is it the flirtatious yet timid love interests? Or maybe it’s more about being able to relate better to the main character?

But for those who don’t like YA books, what is it that pushes you away? Are the characters too immature? Are you unable to relate? Or maybe the plot isn’t as sexual as you would like?

My Question this week is: 

  1. Do you love or hate YA books?
    A- If you love them, why? What draws you to these kinds of books?
    B- If you hate them, again why? What are these books missing that you find in other books?
  2. If you are a fan of YA books, name a couple books that fall in your favorite category.

I know hate might be too strong of a word, but I think you get the idea. Feel free to answer all or one of the questions above 🙂


Personally, I find myself moving further away from that genre. The biggest reason being, and gosh I hate saying this, is that I am getting old enough that the characters aren’t relatable or their immaturity gets in the way. That’s kind of a hard thing to look past.

But honestly, I can’t say I hate all YA books because I have read some really entertaining ones.  Below are a couple series I have enjoyed. Going through my shelves of read books, I am actually a little surprised with how many YA books I do enjoy. Still, in comparison to my other shelves, my YA shelf is the smallest.

Divergent

Under the Never Sky

Mythos Academy

The Storm Siren