Eternity Can Wait

Title: Eternity Can Wait
Author: Paula Bell
Publisher: Amazon
Release Date: June 4, 2014
Ebook

Jilted by her boyfriend and abandoned by her best friend, Jenny’s summer is shaping up to be a complete disaster. Even her college plans have been wrecked by her ex-boyfriend and the blonde cheerleader he dumped her for. Jenny is facing the prospect of not only a miserable summer, but also a long and unexpected gap year alone.
The only thing that gets her off the sofa and out of the house is the thought of visiting her aunt, and meeting up with some old friends out of town.
Jenny’s journey doesn’t run smoothly. With her car abandoned at the roadside in the middle of nowhere, she faces a choice. Does she head back home, or should she take a risk and continue on foot through the notorious woods she’s grown up hearing so many eerie stories about?
A mysterious stranger steps in to help her. When Jenny finds out who, and what he really is, nothing will ever be the same for her again.

I really didn’t enjoy this book. The only positive thing that stood out to me was the possible sense of adventure in the novel, especially when she starts to hike through the woods and comes face to face with a stranger. There was a redeemable moment there, but I think it passed without being noticed.

Before that moment, I didn’t like Jenny at all. She seemed like a whiny girl with no motivation to do anything. She is shallow, obsessed with her boyfriend (ex-boyfriend, I suppose), who didn’t seem like someone to bother with, anyway. She let that get in the way of her going to college, for goodness’s sake. And her mom? Don’t get me started. What kind of parent lets her child waste away on the living room couch for a year after high school graduation? Not only did it seem unrealistic to me, but it seemed pathetic.

It doesn’t get any better, either. Fine, she wants to get away for a summer. But translating her obsession from one guy to another does not a healing process make. She barely waits a day before deciding to up and run away with the guy, allowing her life to revolve around him just like she did with her previous boyfriend, so Jenny clearly doesn’t learn anything. The other characters, the witches, were kind of cool, but there was barely a chapter devoted to them, despite all the mystery that was given to them through the writing.

The plot, as hinted earlier, is just as shoddy as the characters in that there really isn’t one. She leaves over obsessing with one guy by trying to get away from her hometown and then ends up doing the same thing to another guy. That chance for adventure never happened, and perhaps part of my reaction to this is my own fault, because I misinterpreted “nothing will ever be the same for her again” from the synopsis as implying that adventure, but other than their short trip from her car to his house, nothing all that spectacular happens. Nor does that hike through the forest appeal; there were a few moments that could have been something good, but every moment that had potential I feel was either glanced over or minimalized into something insignificant. The entire book only took about 50 pages, another thing that I wasn’t expecting and was disappointed by. Maybe if it was longer it could have been more fleshed out, but as is? Not that great of a story.

~Yours Truly

*Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. My views on the book are entirely my own and have not been influenced by the author or publisher in any way.

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Aquila from the Darkness

Title: Aquila from the Darkness
Author: T. L. Searle
Publisher: Smashwords
Release Date: January 1, 2014
Ebook

Seventeen year old Aqua Vickers lives a secluded life in the English countryside. She keeps herself that way, hiding in plain sight, out of fear. She has no idea where she came from or what she is, she just knows she isn’t human. Her mother is convinced she’s an angel, but does having wings make you an angel? Sharp, angular and intimidating black wings?
The only other person Aqua has let into her life is Aaron, her best friend. They’ve grown up together, shared every milestone and Aqua’s feelings for him have developed into something more. In a moment of impulse, Aqua revels her true nature. Aaron freaks, hurting Aqua so badly that she flees into the night.
Lucas has been watching and waiting. As an Angeli Tail it is his job to be a spy; and he’s been ordered to watch Aqua. Lost and vulnerable above the clouds, Aqua is reaching exhaustion. When Lucas offers her the answers she seeks, she follows him impulsively.
In a city, carved into the rock of a mountain, Aqua discovers she’s not as alone as she thought; and her life has been rooted on a bed of lies and deception. In her absence, her home is attacked and her mother taken. With this new enemy intent on her capture and new family who aren’t all welcoming, Aqua must integrate and train with the Angeli Guard if she has any hope of rescuing her mother from the hands of the Dragone.
The Angeli Guard Master is unforgiving and ruthless, allowing Aqua little rest from his relentless and painful training exercises. Aqua can barely stand to look at him, but can’t seem to exterminate the butterflies she feels when he’s around.
War is coming but Aqua’s battles may need to be fought closer to home.

I don’t want to start on a negative note, because this is a fantastic book. However, I’m not gonna lie; the beginning of this book was kind of odd and there were some things I felt were awkwardly written. Those things did eventually get cleared up, though, and then the story and the characters got a lot clearer, too. For example, I didn’t really understand how Aquila wasn’t human until she was actually flying, and so I was kind of thrown for a loop when she was saying how she felt like a freak and I didn’t know that she had wings, and then the whole webbed and oddly formed feet thing came out even later. However, after I understood that, everything moved a whole lot faster and I got totally absorbed into the story.

I liked her original relationship with Aaron, although after his reaction to her wings I just didn’t like him that much in general. In my opinion, a friend would have understood, and honestly? He seemed kind of dense to me, especially later on when he just didn’t seem to get the hint. He acted pretty stupidly, and I hope to God that Aquila’s feelings don’t go back there! Meeting Lucas after that was probably the best thing that could have happened to Aquila, despite the chaos that her life became afterwards. I really liked him; he definitely acts like the older brother she doesn’t (exactly) have, and she needed someone steady and reliable in her life who could just listen. I also think that Robyn could become a great girlfriend for Aquila, and although she wasn’t as involved in the story, I still liked her a lot and hope to see more of her in future books.

The whole brother thing also was kind of vague in the beginning with her mother and Aaron, and (without giving too much away in the review), I feel like it could have been explained a whole lot better. I get that some things are left open-ended to be explained later and intrigue the reader, but some of the writing felt like it hadn’t been finished at certain points and so my intrigue was replaced by confusion, especially since it wasn’t really talked about for a while afterwards. The reading got a little slow at those points. However, towards the middle and end, everything was explained in full and I was absolutely in love with the story, the characters, and the book as a whole.

The romance was great, the action and suspense even better, and the way that Searle ends the novel? Geez, cliff-hanger much!? The transition to the end was a little abrupt, but the only thing, when I realized the book was over, that kept me from giving loud and obnoxious voice to that “OMG-I-need-more” feeling that every booklover will understand is the fact that there was a sneak peek chapter from the next book, Aquila Into the Light. It also sounds fantastic, and I can’t wait to read more about this strangely endearing girl and her misadventures! I feel like it will be even better than this one, especially since there will be less getting-to-know the main character and more digging into the deeper plotline that we just began to touch on.

And, despite what I’ve said about parts not being fully explained, the language that Searle uses in her writing is beautiful: dialogue or just plot writing, the words invoke a certain imagery that stirs the imagination. The characters, particularly Aqua, made me laugh and definitely got me invested in the book.

So, do I think the book was perfect? No. However, I do think that it is amazingly creative and that I will most definitely be 1. recommending it to anyone who loves a good fantasy adventure, and 2. be on the lookout for the next book!

~Yours Truly

*Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. My views on the book are entirely my own and have not been influenced by the author or publisher in any way.

Uncontrollable

Title: Uncontrollable (Book 2 in Nature of Grace)
Author: S. R. Johannes
Publisher: Coleman & Stott
Release Day: September 24, 2012
Ebook

As Grace recovers from tragedy, her science class is chosen by Agent Sweeney at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help with research on the new “Red Wolf Reintroduction Program”.
While she’s excited about helping with the conservation of the endangered wolves, Grace knows this means being outdoors in the worst winter recorded, in a place she no longer feels comfortable. It also means working closely with Wyn (her ex) and his annoying girlfriend (Skyler), a girl whose idea of getting close to nature is picking silk plants and growing fake plants.
After a couple of wolves show up dead, Grace almost quits. However, when a fellow project team member goes missing, Grace continues the assignment under a renewed suspicion that someone might be sabotaging the conservation program. She quietly begins to hunt for clues.
Little does she know, she is being hunted too.

Even after not having read the first book in over a year, I jumped right back into the story. Grace recaptured me with her subtle wit and adventurous, honest spirit. I loved the storyline, and how it really built on the first book, playing off of the fear and other emotional entanglements Grace had then, too. The very real danger, the love and confusion she feels, the hurt and sorrow over all the death she faces (which I’ll get to in a second) is just incredible to read. The emotions are almost tangible in Johannes’s writing.

Now, as to the death that Grace faces almost constantly: I like it and yet I don’t. It’s a very realistic story – set in a rural town on Earth (not of the Middling variety), with real problems like poaching, so it’s a little weird that danger follows Grace everywhere she goes. At the same time, though, this is what lends the tension and emotional suspense to the story, and it never feels faked or forced. The course of events throughout the book support the dangerous situations that she experiences, and as strange as it may sound, it actually helps the book along and keeps the reader interested.

One of my favorite parts of the book is that Johannes starts in the prologue with a scene that happens later in the book, and then jumps back to start from the beginning. It gives a taste of what is to come so that the reader doesn’t know what exactly Grace is going to go through, but that it is certainly going to be exciting, and that sets the tone for the book overall.

The characters in this installment are pretty good. I still don’t really like Wyn, though. I feel like he’s whiny, egotistic, masochistic, and just kind of incapable. I’m totally on Grace’s side when it comes to her love life, and I hope that Wyn can get over himself and realize that they are not meant to be together. But even if he can’t, I think that this is one instance of a book where I really wouldn’t care if he ended up staying friends with Grace. The only redeeming qualities he has in my eyes is that he does seem to care for Grace, and the fact that Grace thinks she needs him as a friend (even though I don’t).

Lastly, the fact that the conservation theme has continued is great. A major part of Grace is nature, and the incorporation of that into the plot makes it an integral part of the book, as well as an outstanding feature that will keep the book in readers’ minds long after they’ve finished the book. And the added bonus that the cover matches the first book’s cover is great, too – I can’t wait to see what’s been done with the third book (which I hope to read soon!)

~Yours Truly

*Note: I would recommend this book to readers aged 13 and up due to some violence.

*Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. My views on the book are entirely my own and have not been influenced by the author or publisher in any way.

Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 75

The BookBlogger Hop is hosted by Billy from Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer every weekend. Basically, if you blog about books, answer a question provided and if you link to their post in your blog, you can add your blog to their list of participants. This week’s question is: How many bookcases do you have, and are they all in one room or different rooms? I have two shelves stacked on top of each other that are about six feet high total, another that is a little over six feet tall by itself, and two that are about five feet tall. They are all in the same room – my bedroom. I have just enough room leftover for my desk, dresser, bed, and all the other books that are scattered on my floor (because there’s no room on my shelves!)

Denazen #1-3

Title: Touch (Book 1 in Denazen)
Author: Jus Accardo
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: November 1, 2011

When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.
Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.
Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.
A secret Kale will kill to protect.

Title: Untouched (Book 1.5 in Denazen)
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Ebook

Until he met Dez, Kale’s days were filled with violence and death. He was used as a weapon of destruction by the power hungry men of Denazen. He’s a Six. A person with an abnormal ability. Some people call them gifts, but not Kale. Kale’s touch means instant death.
But now there’s Dez, the girl he can touch, and they’re hunting down Sixes and warning them about Denazen. Kale is learning about the world outside captivity and trying to put his dark past behind him. But they underestimated how badly Denazen wanted him back.
When Dez sacrifices herself to save the new Six they’d rescued from falling into the corp’s hands, Kale is lost. Denazen has brought out its best to get the job done. Samsen, a nightmare from Kale’s past—the only person he’s ever truly feared—has come for them, and it soon becomes obvious he has his own twisted agenda.
Kale will need all his training to get Dez back and ensure they make it out, free—and alive. But will it be enough?

Title: Toxic (Book 2 in Denazen)
Release Date: October 16, 2012

When a Six saved Kale’s life the night of Sumrun, she warned there would be consequences. A trade-off. Something taken for the life they gained. But Dez never imagined she’d lose the one thing she’d give anything to keep… And as if it’s not enough Dez finds her immunity to Kale fading, the Six brought in to help Kale learn to control his killer touch starts drooling on him the moment they meet. Worse than that? Jade can touch Kale. But bimbo Barbie is the least of Dez’s problems.
After Dez and Kale got away at Sumrun, her father lost not only his most powerful weapon but an important piece of the Supremacy project. Forced by Denazen to remedy the situation, he poisons Dez and offers her a choice–surrender to Denazen for the cure…or die. Determined to find a solution that doesn’t involve being bagged and tagged–or losing someone she loves–Dez keeps the poison a secret. But when a rash of Denazen attacks hit a little too close to home, Dez is convinced there’s a traitor among them. Jade.
Sacrifices, broken promises, and secrets. Dez will have to lay it all on the line if there’s any hope of proving Jade’s guilt before they all end up Residents of Denazen. Or worse, dead…

Title: Faceless (Book 2.5 in Denazen)
Release Date: March 18, 2013
Ebook

My name is Brandt Cross, and I died. Again…
I’m living in the body of a Six named Douglass Cain, a certifiable scumbag whose ability is on Zendean Industries—AKA Denazen’s—most wanted list. There’s some serious bad going down, and Ginger, the leader of the Underground, sent me undercover to obtain information because people are dying.
My cousin, Dez, is dying…
Denazen thought they’d found a cure for the Supremacy decline, but they were wrong. That’s the bad news. The good news? Franklin Wentz.
Wentz, the owner of a genetic research company, is brilliant and just a little bit crazy. He’s unwittingly created a formula that may cure the sick Supremacy kids, and everyone wants it—including Devin, the super hot Resident.
Get the formula. Save the day. Don’t fall for the hot spy. Piece of cake.

Title: Tremble (Book 3 in Denazen)
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Ebook

Dez Cross has problems. She’s almost eighteen and on the verge of losing her mind thanks to the drug Denazen used to enhance her abilities. People close to her have turned their back on the underground and are now fighting for the wrong side. And then there’s Kale… Things couldn’t get any worse.
Until of course, they do. Denazen is about to start a new trial—this one called Domination—and it works. But that means out with the old and in with the new. The order has been given to terminate all remnants of the second trial—including Dez. The good news is that there’s a survivor from the original trial. A woman who’s blood may hold the cure for the second generation of Supremacy kid’s defect. But the underground Sixes aren’t the only ones who know about her….
Cross is willing to throw everything he has to keep Dez from getting the cure—including the one thing that might tear her apart from the inside out.

This series is amazing! I read a snippet of someone’s review while researching this book on Google, and unfortunately I can’t remember the exact quote, or which blogger said it (and it definitely was a blog, though I don’t know why that’s what I remember), but (s)he said something about if you haven’t read this series, then you must be living under a rock or something, and I whole-heartedly agree! This is one series that you don’t want to miss; enrapturing characters, adrenaline rushes, action-packed plot, and a most definitely steamy romance all come together in a wild, crazy adventure that you won’t want to miss. I remember when these books first started coming out, and I remember the hype and adding them to my TBR list. I’m now presently kicking myself for not getting around to them sooner and not having them on my bookshelf! The cover series is amazing; they are relevant, with the same color tones, and intriguing. Combined with the titles, that alone was enough to make me want to read the books, but there is so much more that will make you love them after you read the series. (And, by the way, I read all of these in a matter of three short days! Yeah, they’re that good!)

Each character is unique and enthralling, with a specific personality that not only makes them real, but distinguishes them from every other character. I especially like Kale’s narration in extra scenes at the end of books and in his novella, Untouched. He is child-like, because of all the years spent removed from the world (DBD) but he is strong, intelligent, and in touch (no pun intended) with his feelings (even though he may not always understand the emotions running through him).  Dez is the perfect counterpart for him, too, and the thing that really stands out about their relationship (yeah, other than the fact that they’re being hunted by crazy scientists and murderers) is that they love each other because of things that other people can ignore, not in spite of them. That’s actually in the books, too – although I can’t recall at which point it was said.

The rest of the characters are awesome, too, especially Brandt, who even gets his own novella. I thought that was really cool, too, since he is a very important and loveable character. The relationship between him and Dez is perfectly written, conveying all the love and emotional childhood memories in all the books. I also like how the novellas take place between all the books, so that there’s stuff revealed in them that aren’t necessarily included in the novels but may be hinted at, or at least shed a whole new light on them.

The action and suspense in these adventures is both extremely exciting and terrifying, which definitely plays with my emotions as a reader. I’m constantly surprised, which leads to emotional turmoil – betrayal, confusion, heartache and heartbreak are all commonplace feelings while reading this series, and don’t expect to be able to just sit back and enjoy flipping the pages. No; you’ll be on the edge of your seat, eager for every word, unable to sit still for fear of what may come next, and even if you manage to predict what happens on occasion, there will definitely be surprises in store for you!

I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on the next book, and I hope you all feel the same when you go out and read this for yourselves!

~Yours Truly

*Note: I do not recommend this book for readers under the age of 15 due to extreme violence, sexual references, and profanity.

 

Fins Are Forever

Title: Fins Are Forever (Book 2 in Fins)
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books – HarperCollins
Release Date: June 28, 2011

On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mergirl, true, but signing the renunciation will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being-human thing once and for all.
Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, the waves start to get rough. Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form, when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?
The seafoam on the raging surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up—Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her own dreams
?

This was a great, sweet sequel to the first book. The characters were great (Quince and Lily together are awesome!), the plot was interesting, and the writing was well done. I still can’t get over the fish references and phrases that replace human ones (guppyhood, sea witch, etc.). They’re funny and completely accurate, so it adds a bit of comic relief to the emotional and tense places in the story.

I also liked the fact that even though it was a good book, it wasn’t too drawn out or long. It was pretty fast paced, and with everything on Lily’s plate, the pace worked nicely with the plot. And then there’s the ending, too – I almost couldn’t believe what had happened. I wish that there had been another, or at least an easier, way for everything to work out, but at the same time I understand that an imperfect ending was really best – it helps make it more realistic. Life is messy, after all, and can’t be resolved with a poof of magic or a few plot twists in a story, after all.

I really enjoyed this installment, and I definitely want to read the last book in the trilogy. I highly recommend this book as a middle grade read – everything about it is enjoyable. The characters are funny and real, and the mermaid fantasy is a great twist on a normal (or as normal as possible) existence in the same world readers experience every day. Enjoy!

~Yours Truly

Crimson Frost

Title: Crimson Frost (Book 4 in Mythos Academy)
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington Press
Release Date: January 1, 2012

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.
I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself…

As good as this book was, it was not the best out of the rest of the books. It was definitely emotional, don’t get me wrong – I was happy and heartbroken at all the right places. And Estep still did a wonderful job controlling the pace of the plot to build the suspense and action.

And even though the plot is thickening, and it was still a great book, it felt more like a filler book. Which is okay, but I’m now super excited for the next book, especially given what happens between the characters (ahem, Logan and Gwen) in this one. Those two just can’t seem to catch a break.

So, since it was a filler, most of the book was full of pre-actual-stopping-Loki action – some of which relates back to the previous book, especially considering her upcoming trial. In the next book, though, there will probably be a lot more of actual-stopping-Loki-slash-preparing-for-the-upcoming-battle, which I, for one, am very much looking forward to reading! Also, there was a lot of character and relationship development in this book. I already mentioned Gwen and Logan, but there’s a new character, Alexei, who I am looking forward to learning more about in future books, as well as some interesting relationships that change (for the better) – Oliver, Savannah, and Gwen; Logan and his dad; Gwen with Nike; etc. Plus, I really liked the whole addition of the Protectorate. As the main focus for this book, it will be good to have this book later on so that it doesn’t come into play all of a sudden in a future book and make no sense.

Basically, even though it was a filler book for the series, I think it will prove to be a very important book in the series. It gives a lot of information that undoubtedly will come in handy in the next books, and I am looking forward to finding out what happens next! (And the covers are still totally awesome!) I highly recommend this series to anyone with any sort of sense of adventure at all!

~Yours Truly

*Note: Due to some violence and mild language, I do not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 13.