The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

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This is one of those books where you are kind of frustrated with how clueless the main character is and some of the choices she makes.


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Author: Rae Carson
Published: September 20, 2011
Pages: 423

Stars: 2 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

Review:
Lucero-Elisa (lets just call her Elisa) is only 16. There are times throughout the book where her character acts her age, but there are also times it’s easy to forget she is only 16. Elisa is over weight and an emotional eater. I can’t help with how off-putting Elisa’s character is in regards to food and how my own stomach turned with her eating habits. Maybe this is a nod to the authors ability to create such descriptive character that they are able to pull that strong of an emotion out of me. I don’t know about you but if I can’t connect with the characters on some level, it makes it extremely difficult for me to enjoy the book.    

Everything in the beginning is extremely secretive and I honestly had no idea what was going on. Everyone either treats Elisa with gentle hands and hides the truth from her. Or they try to sabotage her every move. This kind of plot frustrates me to no end. There are too many secrets to keep track of and the author doesn’t give enough information for the plot to make sense. 

King Alejandro de Vega (lets call him Alejandro) is older than Elisa and is king. After he marries Elisa, he does nothing but hide her and ask for her to spy on his court. I can’t help but feel sorry for Elisa. She is queen but he introduces her as a friend who will be staying indefinitely. While she yearns for his affection, Alejandro shows nothing but indifference. That is unless he wants something, then he touches her hand and turns on his boyish smile. Oh and did I mention he has a mistress.. Not cool Alejando, not cool 

But what really sickens me is Alejandro’s attraction for Elisa increases immensely once she loses weight. In fact the underlying message I received from this book is quite appalling. When Elisa is overweight, she is insecure, weak, and very similar to a mouse. But once she loses the weight, her character becomes powerful, respected, and she fits the role of queen. I don’t like the connection to weight and success. 

As the plot continues, Elisa’s life gets turned upside down and she meets Humberto. Humberto is a kind boy who sees true beauty in Elisa, regardless of how much she weighs. It doesn’t take long for Elisa to begin questioning her feelings for Alejandro and becoming closer to Humberto. I don’t want to say much but for how things turned out with Humberto, I can say I did not see that coming. I will admit I’m not heartbroken over the situation. I struggled to see his character going anywhere and to see him as anything other than a young boy.

With that said, there are some characters in this book who aren’t always who they seem to be. The author provides nice plot twists that are difficult to see coming. The plot has a strong religious pull, not at all what I was expecting. In fact, the religious push came close to overpowering the book. 

This is not a series I am interested in continuing. Although, it is refreshing to see an author not afraid to kill off key characters within their book. Ultimately, this book was too religious and I didn’t respect nor really like Elisa’s character. 

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Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #2)

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I enjoyed this book but it took me a while to finish reading it and there were a lot of things that bothered me. Overall what does this mean? I think this book killed the series for me. So sad..


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Author: Amanda Bouchet
Published: January 3, 2017
Pages: 432

Stars: 2.5 out of 3

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Synopsis:
SHE’S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD… 
“Cat” Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat’s tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what’s a girl to do when she knows it’s her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom…or not at all.

Review:
This story begins full of drama and a roller coaster of emotions. Griffin discovers exactly who Cat is and doesn’t handle the deception well. 

Cat continues to grow in this book and I actually like her more. Griffin’s character kind of rubbed me wrong but I think that has more to do with the plot. Whenever Cat found herself in a dangerous situation with no way out, all it would take is Griffin saying he believed in her, knew she could do it, etc. and she would overcome the obstacle with ease. Where’s the fun in that? Plus, completely not realistic!

The plot flows effortlessly and I felt like I really connected more with the side characters. Which is weird because they aren’t the focus of the book. There was a lot of sex in this book and dare I say it was almost too much. And the amount of support/help the Gods gave Cat was over the top ridiculous. If the gods blatantly favored her this much, then they could have solved all of this without her. 

Overall, I felt like the plot was intriguing but the writing could use some work. The book went in a familiar and predictable pattern. Again, where is the fun or creativity in that? As I mentioned above, this book will be the last I read in the series.. 

Forever Black (Forever, #1)

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I was really looking forward to reading this book and I was so disappointed. There were some things I enjoyed about this book, but those were far and few…


Forever Black

 

Author: Sandi Lynn
Published: February 16, 2013
Pages: 278

Stars: 2 out of 5

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Synopsis:
When Ellery moved to New York with her boyfriend, she thought they’d live happily ever after in their small New York apartment. She never thought he’d pack his bags and leave because he “needed space.” With her newfound single status and fear of being alone, Ellery buries herself in her artwork and paintings until one night she helps a mysterious intoxicated stranger get home safely. Little did she know the mysterious stranger is none other than CEO and millionaire Connor Black. After finding Ellery in his kitchen the next morning and assuming she broke his #1 rule about sleepovers, he becomes intrigued, not only by her stubbornness and defiance, but by her kindness.

Connor Black, emotionally dead and damaged, that stemmed from a personal tragedy, made a vow to never love or fall in love with a woman, until Ellery Lane walked into his life by accident. After she opens up and shows him her world, Connor starts to feel emotions and feelings he never knew existed. Despite the rumors and warnings regarding Connor Black and his use and misuse of women, Ellery finds herself being drawn into his world.

Ellery knows they can never be together because she is harboring a deep secret that could destroy Connor emotionally forever.

Review:
Ok, where to start. This book starts off really slow. You meet Elle as her boyfriend of 4 years is leaving her. And although the author hints at him cheating on her, Elle is still heartbroken and fearful of being alone. Everywhere she goes, everyone handles her with delicate gloves.  The sex scenes were the same way, gentle with an underlining fear of hurting her. It was just completely odd and doesn’t match her character. For example- She goes to a club called club S. Supposedly the s stands for sex and Elle freaks out because it’s a club where people go to find sex… Tell me if I’m wrong but don’t a lot of adults go to a club looking to get laid, hook up? Either way the club is as mild as it gets and nothing happens. But the way Elle freaked out about it just didn’t really match with how old her character is supposed to be.

And this is where we meet Connor Black, at the club getting slapped by some girl. Then later as he is getting kicked out for drinking too much- Yes, I know. Sounds like a stand up guy… Elle must think so because she decides the safest thing for her to do is get in a cab with the stranger and take him home. Again, sounds like the safest thing to do in New York…

Connor is arrogant, good looking, and wealthy. He is also stuck up, condescending, rude, bossy, and somewhat of a stalker. The interactions between him and Elle come off as forced, at times creepy, and negative. Connor always comes off as a curious yet pissed off guy and Elle comes off as annoyed and defiant. I have no idea why they continue to interact with each other. But they do and the plot gets a little more bizarre. Elle tells Connor something personal and emotional, Connor loosens up and acts like a human. I just don’t get it. 

As the story progresses, Connor and Elle’s relationship changes multiple times. Some of the events that happened were too sappy for me and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Overall, I probably wont read this book again. Maybe the timing is off and if I read this book later down the line, I might think differently. Either way, I wasn’t too impressed. 

 

The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1)

Glittering Court

Author: Richelle Mead
Published: April 5, 2016
Pages: 400

Stars: 2 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

Review:
This book is about freedom and getting a second chance. The book opens up to an arranged marriage. The lead heroine is arranged to marry her boring and pathetically unremarkable cousin Barron Belshire. Even though She never expected to marry for love, she wasn’t sure she could marry her cousin. Well, that is she wasn’t sure she could handle his controlling mother. As the weeks pass, things don’t appear to be getting better. And thus bringing the reader to the introduction of the glittering courts. 

Glittering courts was founded to help bring more women, proper women, over to Adoria. I will admit, I can see the desire the glittering courts bring, the adventure and opportunity of a new life. As the book continues, I was periodically reminded of the similarities in plots to the selection series. Although the girls aren’t competing for a crown,they are competing for marriage. The competition isn’t as cut-throat but it’s nonetheless a completion where the main character is acting and hiding secrets. 

Cedric runs the Glittering Courts with his father and uncle. But he has many secrets. I wasn’t too impressed with Cedric. His character was thin and didn’t seem to have much to offer beyond looks and charm. I found his character frustrating for most of the second half of the book. He either needed to act on his feelings or leave things alone. I hate the in between game that is being played. 

Adelaide’s character was equally frustrating and I thought her character lacked depth as well. She came off as strong yet spoiled, saying she wants freedom but when faced with the opportunity she falls short. 

Warren seems like a nice enough guy. Kind of clumsy and rash but logistically, a good match for Adelaide. But the reasoning behind Adelaide not wanting him at first seemed pointless and ridiculous. As the book went on, Warren came off more as a closed minded and spoiled. 

The plot wasn’t extremely captivating and overall the book was alright. I found myself underwhelmed for most of the book and considered not finishing it. 

Shut up and Kiss Me (Lost Boys, #2)

shut-up-and-kiss-me
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Published: December 6, 2016
Pages: 176

Stars: 2 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Cade: I tried. I really tried. I should be out of this small town by now, finishing my law degree and partnering up with my buddies, but I couldn’t resist one last street race. Now I’m sidelined in the hospital, and while my injuries will heal, I’m not so sure my voice will return. What kind of attorney can’t talk? Yeah, exactly. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to come back from this… until Tasha Montgomery reawakens every competitive bone in my body.

Tasha: I nearly watched Cade Wilson die on that lonely stretch of road. He’s damn lucky just to be alive, even if he doesn’t realize it. I know he’s destined for bigger and better things, but I don’t mind helping him get there as he relearns everything he took for granted. Cade’s a good student, a real perfectionist; I can tell how much his stutter bothers him. But when he lets his kisses do the talking, everything else disappears. And one day, maybe he’ll be able to tell me that he wants me—as much as I want him.

Review:
Although this book was an easy read with a lighthearted plot, it wasn’t as I expected. In the past I have really enjoyed Jessica Lemmon’s work, but this book just fell short. The plot was told from duel perspective- Cade and Tasha- and I didn’t really hear a distinct voice between them. Instead, the characters sounded too similar and at times I forgot who was talking. As the story progressed, I’m not sure if I just got used to the similarities in the voices of the characters or if it actually got better.

Cade is cocky and gorgeous. He goes from having it all to not carrying about anything. After the accident, he lost everything including friends, his income, and the life he made while attending college. But underneath all of this, he is recovering from heartache and loss.

Tasha is the innocently cute girl next door type whose heart is full of kindness. But to say she has ‘Daddy’ issues is an understatement. And the way her father controls her doesn’t exactly add up with an independent, almost college graduate.

Cade and Tasha’s relationship isn’t realistic and everything seemed to perfect. By the end of the book everything was wrapped up into a nice little bow and the conflict in the book seemed anti climatic. I think the thing that really bugged me about this book was how much the author told the reader instead of showing. This caused the plot to lack depth and ultimately I couldn’t become invested in the characters or the plot.

Overall, this book wasn’t really for me. I was looking for something with a little more depth and a stronger plot. I think if you are looking for a quick light read, then give this book a chance. Otherwise, you might be disappointed if you are looking for something more.

Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade, #3)

Bright Blaze of MagicAuthor: Jennifer Estep
Published: April 26, 2016
Pages: 368

Stars: 2.5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Bad Things Always Come In Threes…

As a thief, I’m good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families–and kill every last Sinclair. What they don’t know is that I’m on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I’ve got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…

Review:
It has been a while since I’ve read the previous book in this series that it took me a little bit to understand what was happening. But once I remembered the details, it was easy to take off with this book. I hate saying this but I just wish it was better. I am so disappointed this book because I really enjoyed the first two in this series.

The writing isn’t the best but the plot is somewhat captivating and I can’t resist a female heroine who is all kinds of awesome. Except this female heroine just might be too awesome. Lila is a strong woman, surrounded by love and support but clouded by doubt, revenge, and at times loneliness. She is an amazing thief and a strong swordsman. But the death of her mother haunts her as does the threat her mothers killer poses. Although she isn’t perfect, she’s pretty close to it.

Devon is the bruiser for the Sinclair family which pretty much means he’s one day going to take over the family. With that said, what I found odd was most of the time Lila is the one leading the group, coming up with the plan, and shouting orders. When Devon does give out orders or comes up with a plan, it’s always him sacrificing himself or throwing himself in danger. Halfway through the book I wanted to roll my eyes at his stupidity. He has one of the most unique powers, compulsion. And what does he keep trying to do but hand himself over to the man who rips powers out of others. Because that sounds smart, let’s give the bad guy even more power so he can control people with his words instead of using blackmail.

I found this book to be a bit repetitive. I noticed the author continued to say the same things multiple times throughout the book. Examples include picking locks, how she can see with her enhanced sight, how she is an amazing thief…

I highly doubt I’m giving anything away by saying how Lila volunteers to fight Victor in a one on one match. We all saw this coming and if you didn’t, I’m just not sure how you missed it.  But don’t worry, I’m not going to give away the ending. I felt like this part of the book was slightly ridiculous or maybe I just thought it should go a different way. I’m not really sure which it is.. but everyone gives their support to Lila without questioning why a teenager is fighting the man with unknown amounts of magic. Ok, I can go with this, sure. Lila did save everyone and she is pretty much the perfect badass. But what strikes me as odd is how everyone believes she will win. And I mean there is no doubt, worry, concern.. They all just automatically accept her facing Victor. It was as though that thought was the most logical conclusion and everyone is at ease with it. In fact, Lila is the only one who is slightly concerned about facing Victor.

Seleste’s prophesy kind of spoiled the book for me. I wasn’t difficult to connect the dots and predict what was going to happen. I don’t remember the other books being this predictable but this one seemed to be.

Overall, I wanted so much from this book and I didn’t get it. I’m not sure if there will be a forth to this series because the author, in a way, left it open. Looking on Goodreads, my review is not the norm. Most people seemed to have really enjoyed this book. My suggestion, if you have come this far in the series, give the book a shot. Who knows, you might love it.

It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy

It Aint Easy Being JazzyAuthor: Quanie Miller
Published: October 15, 2013
Pages: 280

Stars: 2 out of 5

Where to buy:
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Synopsis:

Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.

The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.

But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is; restaurant shootouts, a neurotic boss, a mother who spies on the neighbors, and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer. Who has time to fall in love? So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof—the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.

Review:

I’ll be honest, it was difficult to get into this book. The writing style wasn’t easy for me to fully enjoy. I felt like there was a lot of filler information that didn’t really add anything to the main plot. A lot of it I couldn’t relate to, some of it was funny, but overall this was the main reason I struggled getting into the book.

As you dig into the book, you realize the story is packed full of family dysfunction (who can’t relate to that) and a bit of good old fashion drama. There were times I honestly thought the characters were crazy and some of the situations are over the top.

Jazzy has some spunk to her personality and is a strong character. She knows what she wants and isn’t easily swayed. I think I would have loved this book if there wasn’t so much filler information.