Friday, June 6, 2014

World After by Susan Ee


World After by Susan Ee
My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Published: November 19, 2013
Genre: Paranormal, YA, Apocalyptic, Romance, Dystopian
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: Purchased
Pages: 438
Format: eBook
Purchase At: Amazon.com or The Book Depository

Goodreads Summary

In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

My Review

There are no words for this book. The funny thing is that I went in expecting nothing but perfection. Ee floored me with Angelfall and I just couldn't conceive of a world where the book following such excellence was lacking in any way. I needed World After to be as good, if not better than Angelfall. Spoiler Alert: It was.



The curse of the second is pretty much something I implicate when going into sequels, simply said, they tend to be less enthralling than their predecessors. But the curse? It didn't exist for this book. Ee is an author after my own heart, this is why her books are my kryptonite, I feel like she writes for me. So thank-you for this, Ee, it was superb.

World After follows the events of Angelfall and Penryn is slowly recovering from the scorpion sting that left her paralysed. She's with her family, Paige is finally returned, but the experimentations done on her have altered Penryn's baby sister in ways that go much deeper than the physical. Her pain was palpable, and finding the sister she lost in the "Low Demon" now in her stead was a struggle for Penryn. Her mother, craziness aside, latches onto her daughter and encourages Penryn to look in Paige's eyes because those haven't changed; she is the same sister and daughter they know and lost. Surprisingly, Penryn has difficulty with this, and if things aren't hard enough, they still don't know what to feed Paige. It isn't until one incident at their base refugee camp that the gory answer is arrived at.

Paige needs meat. Raw meat, most readily available in human beings. There is an uproar, and the rest of the survivors try to capture her and she flees the camp, leaving Penryn and her mother to find Paige yet again. Clara, an unexpected survivor who Penryn saves from being sucked dry by the scorpions/"locusts" comes along for the ride, and together they embark on the quest to save Paige from the unpredictable angels, herself, and from hurting anyone else.


Yeah, not so much.

I was taken rapture, by the incredible storytelling and the characters brimming with anguish and determination to survive. I think more than anything, this series is a chronicle of survival and persistence even at the worst of times.

Penryn grew, into the kind of Heroine one cannot forget about simply by closing the book. She stays with you, making you question her actions as well as what you might do in her place. If your world was turned upside down, the man you loved apart from you, and your family ravaged...what would you do? I'd hope I would act as Penryn did and kick some serious ass! Can I get a "what-what" for her skills with Pookie Bear!?



I was very pleased, and excited that more of Raffe's past was revealed through his sword and also that some insight as to what Paige went through was provided. I think I would have hated it if her whole experience with the angels was glossed over, and Ee gave just enough detail about her abduction that satisfied but did not completely satiate my curiosity. As always, I am hungry for more and the next book is something I absolutely must have.

World After was full of action and entertained me to the very end. Much is revealed about the Angels as well as their purpose on Earth. Uriah's motives are despicable, but then again was any less expected? Things are more complicated than they appear and I am glad there will be 5 books to unravel the mystery of this new world and its many conspiracies.

Did I mention, I am hella pleased to have more Raffe and Penryn coming my way? I NEED this two to happen, damnation aside. Their chemistry is crackling and my tummy warmed at their reunion. I'm shipping this so hard, it hurts. Raffe did not disappoint me and the fact that he recognized Penryn right away made the romantic in me swoon for days! I'm in love. World After is the kind of book that satisfies and I am so happy.



This book was everything I needed it to be, the perfect sequel with an ending that makes me ever loyal to Ee and this series. So beautifully written...All I want is the next book!

5 FLAMING GENIES!



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Endless Knight by Kresley Cole


Endless Knight by Kresley Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Published: October 1, 2013
Genre: Mature YA, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
Pages: 336
Format: Hardback
Purchase At: Amazon.com or The Book Depository

Goodreads Summary

Shocking secrets.
Evie has fully come into her powers as the Tarot Empress, and Jack was there to see it all. She now knows that the teens who’ve been reincarnated as the Tarot are in the throes of an epic battle. It’s kill or be killed, and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.

Unexpected allies.
With threats lurking around every corner, Evie is forced to trust her newfound alliance. Together they must fight not only other Arcana, but also Bagmen zombies, post-apocalyptic storms, and cannibals.

Gut-wrenching treachery.
When Evie meets Death, things get even more complicated. Though falling for Jack, she’s drawn to the dangerous Endless Knight as well. Somehow the Empress and Death share a history, one that Evie can’t remember—but Death can’t forget…

In this seductive follow-up to Poison Princess, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole takes us deeper into the dark world of the Arcana Chronicles.


My Review

Death.

Never before has Death looked so good. I give props to Kresley Cole; she wrote this character in such a way that completely changed my mind about the Reaper.

From what I recall of Poison Princess he didn't feature that much in the story, save a few threatening inner monologues between himself and Evie, and the odd flashback here and there. Going into Endless Knight, Death was not my preoccupation, Jack was. The Cajun stole my heart during the first book, and while I still hold a tender place for him, Death shares more of my affections. I'll break the book down into sections and better explain what I loved:

Setting: This was perfect! Throughout the book, the group journeys through the wasteland in search of Evie's grandmother, also avoiding the other Arcana and Bagmen following closely on their tail. Firstly, Endless Knight picks up from where the previous book left off with Evie just having done away with the Alchemist and Jack standing there shocked beyond belief. There is desolation everywhere and from the imagery of blood splattered on the woodwork, dripping from Evie's talons, you get a sense that this world is far from ordinary. Other books I have read in the genre cannot compare to Cole's gorgeous and thrilling world of the A.F. I loved everything.

This is a world that I immersed myself in, picking up the book and not stopping until it was finished. I couldn't get enough of their terrifying circumstances and the world post Apocalypse is so very perfectly written and conveyed.

Plot: I couldn't believe how engaging this story was; I never saw anything coming, save a guess on rare occasions, and even then there was more to the revelations than I could have assumed. Impressed is probably the only way to describe how I feel about Endless Knight. It thoroughly impressed me, and this is a sequel done well. I never felt like putting it down, the writing flowed and a consistent peppering of adventure ensured that I never grew bored or tired.

Cole does dance a fine line between YA and Adult with some of the more mature scenes involving Evie and Death, even the cave scene with Jack seemed more risque than the average young adult book. For this, I have to suggest the book for older readers in the 17+ or 18 and above age range. The scenes are steamy and my contention is that Evie doesn't seem like a 16 year old in all of them. I am not complaining, yet simply noting that if a book is written for a particular age group, it should stick to content appropriate for that audience. Mainly, it would have been more consistent with Evie's character had she acted her age.

Then again, I suppose it isn't every day that the world ends and maybe those scenes are proof that she needed to grow up quickly? It depends. I loved this book either way, but that was me giving younger readers a heads-up.

Characters: Not going to lie, Jack got on my nerves a little at the beginning, he blamed Evie for keeping her powers a secret and had little hissy fits earlier on. Needless to say this was annoying, especially in light of what is later revealed about him and Evie's mom; his emphasis on truth is hypocritical in retrospect.

He would distance himself from the group and be all broody, but later when things worked themselves out and he accepted the truth of the Arcana I loved me some Cajun! I was all vouching for him to get Evie away from Death, sure he was trouble, until I met him.

Officially, I've jumped ships. A little. My feet are kind of half in one boat and halfway on the deck of another.

Death was trouble, make no mistake, but I can't for one second figure out a better reason to be bad than for him. He's a lesson in proper character development, and as I got to know Death better, I respected his character more. He isn't good, what he does at the end keeps him firmly from being that, but I have trouble detesting his character. In a weird way, this is pleasing. I like characters with shades of grey and because of their shared past he seems perfect for Evie; I want them to be endgame.

And Evie, she was the leader I needed her to be. Initiating the treaty with the other Arcana and also defying death, she was fierce and is coming gradually into her own. It is no secret that I've liked her from day one, she is relatable and someone I do not mind rooting for. I'm glad Cole kept her as the girl I fell in love with in the beginning. You get a good idea of what there is to lose, also how things hang in the balance, and as more characters like Lark and Ogen are introduced, other dynamic Arcana included, one thing is for certain: it is anybody's game to win.



The ending left me thrilled and equal parts worried. What will happen to Evie...and Jack? I wanted to slap Death and cheer simultaneously because he took control of his life and went about getting the girl he wanted, but I disagree with his method. The way I see it, he's going after what he wants, but her indecision aside, I wish he'd waited for Evie to resolve her feelings; it would have made him the better man.

*Sigh*

And then I remember, he's Death, and will probably never be the "better man" in that sense. I just hope his ultimatum doesn't ruin things for him and Evie's relationship. Cole did it again; I need her next book AASAP: Already As Soon As Possible!

5/5 genies



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Very Bad Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Very Bad Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills
My rating: 2.5 of 5 genies
Published: September 9, 2013
Genre: NA, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Little Dove Publishing
Source: Purchased
Pages: 389
Format: eBook
Purchase At: Amazon.com

Goodreads Summary

Born into a life of privilege and secrets, Nora Blakely has everything any nineteen-year-old girl could desire. She’s an accomplished pianist, a Texas beauty queen, and on her way to Princeton after high school. She’s perfect…

Leaving behind her million-dollar mansion and Jimmy Choos, she becomes a girl hell-bent on pushing the limits with alcohol, drugs, and meaningless sex.

Then she meets her soulmate. But he doesn’t want her.

When it comes to girls, twenty-five-year-old Leo Tate has one rule: never fall in love. His gym and his brother are all he cares about...until he meets Nora. He resists the pull of their attraction, hung up on their six year age difference.

As they struggle to stay away from each other, secrets will be revealed, tempers will flare, and hearts will be broken.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy…where sometimes, the best things in life are Very Bad Things.


My Review

Going into Very Bad Things I had somewhat high hopes, and giving the high rating it has on Goodreads, I figured I would not be disappointed. Sadly, I was. Really, this book in its entirety wasn't what the first few chapters promised it would be. The characters kind of unraveled mid-way and became unlikable as they made a habit of acting out of character. A lot of the indecision between Nora and Leo drove me crazy. Also, the cheesiness! Let me explain:

Nora crap, I forgot her name for a second there Blakely is an almost all too forgettable character and this is not good, particularly not for a female lead. She goes through a lot, ignored by both her parents and forced to meet unrealistic expectations of perfection set by a demoness of a mother. Nora has a past that is heart-wrenching, and after years spent trying to make up for what her mother makes her believe is her fault, she snaps.

At the opening house for her school, Briarcrest Academy, where she is asked to speak, Nora tells the faculty and all its visitors to go f**k themselves. Yes, I know what you are thinking, and I agree: this address would definitely make me enroll my children in the school! Look at the speech training offered to its students, truly this is a spectacular institution.

I kid.

Jokes aside, this little act of rebellion is exactly the wake-up call Nora needs to shake her life up and she realizes that the time has come for her to take back control. So she makes a list. Comprised of Very Bad Things, this list is designed to rid Nora of the label of "perfect" she has been branded with for so long.

The plan is brilliant, really, and the first act of licentious behaviour on the list happens to be vandalism of the newly purchased building across the street from her aunt's bakery which the owner intends to reconstruct as a gym. No, she does not vandalise the building, that would be silly. No, Nora goes for the money and takes down the Escalade parked outside.



Brighter ideas have never been had.

Basically, she wants to turn the luxury vehicle into something reminiscent of a preschool bus, and for the most part she succeeds. Until she's interrupted by Leo, the owner of said gym and Escalade. Long story short, he's pissed and mad as hell that Nora has vandalised his car. He remembers her from the open house, because uttering such kindly words as Nora did makes one hard to forget.

Not to mention, he is attracted to her because the doctrine of Instalove dictates that the two have a "moment" following her address. He notices her, she notices him, it's meant to be except he's like 6 or 7 years older than she is and prison is no joke. He knows the outburst from the open house can't be normal and realizes that Nora is fighting some serious demons. The book is basically about Nora coming to terms with her past and forging a new future of her choosing as well as her and Leo fighting their strong pull to one another, and yet failing woefully.

Now, I really liked this book for its prologue and first chapter, those are what convinced me to buy Very Bad Things. However, as the story progresses, it becomes evident that not only is there not much of a plot, but the characters lose their appeal the more time a reader spends with them. For instance, I enjoyed Leo at the beginning, he was sweet-ish and very attractive. By the end? I was done with his "f***" this and "f***" speech, and the ever-present indecision with Nora.

Call me old-fashioned, but I do not understand sleeping with someone you do not have feelings for. What point is there in that, and what happens after you're finished? I'd be mortified. People act like sex is nothing and if you aren't giving it up, then you're a repressed prude who is uncomfortable with their sexuality. Are these really the only explanations available? I digress, but this is inaccurate.

If Leo didn't think Nora was sleeping with his brother, then it was with some other guy. It was like she had to be getting physically intimate with someone and this drove me insane! It made me think he thought extremely little of her, one, and secondly, that he was insecure to the point that he was projecting his own promiscuity onto her. I don't know why this was done the way it was, but I fell out of love with him; insecure guys are a turn-off and Leo was surely that with a good measure of instability to boot. I didn't find it all too romantic that he and Nora would share kisses and talk dirty, only for him to pull back and be like "Girl, I ain't ready for no relationship." The hell?! It was ridiculous.

I felt for her and what she'd been through, thank God Finn was dealt with at the end, but I couldn't decipher who Nora was as a person. Was she insecure, spunky, troubled, confident, innocent, or a sex vixen? It seemed that the author was trying to make her into all these things at once and the conflict was evident.

I liked Sebastian, he was the saving grace in all this and his humor kept me going. I didn't like Leo so much because he did stupid things and his getup as the typical bad boy (tats, dirty mouth and "heart of gold") didn't endear me to him in any way. Sex does not equate love, and I felt that when it came down to it, Nora and Leo shared a lot of physical attraction. I'm just not convinced that a majority of it was emotional; she loved him because she felt like it was right and he the same. They didn't know each other and I think the fight to keep from jumping into bed was what the story focused mostly on.

It was cheesy in some parts, primarily in the middle where talk of Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet and other cliches abound. I wasn't feeling it. Especially since there was little need for the dramatics. I'm leaning more towards 2.5 on this; the lack of plot and proper character construction noticeably suffered the read and while some might enjoy Very Bad Things, I couldn't like it as much as I'd hoped. I kept reading, hoping for more to come of it, but the story does not offer much by way of strong characters nor well-written plot. I finished it, but I would not read Very Bad Things again.



2.5/5 Genies


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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blog Blitz: As Is by Rachel Michael Arends










As Is by Rachel Michael Arends
My rating: 3 of 5 genies
Published: May 13, 2014
Series: N/A
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Diversion Books
Pages: 203
Format: eBook
Purchase As Is

Goodreads Summary


Gwendolyn Golden and Armand Leopold have been America’s go-to couple for home decorating tips, letting the cameras into their So Perfect house, their So Perfect life, their So Perfect marriage.

One problem: it’s all an act.

Actually, two problems: America just found out it’s all an act.

When a picture of Armand kissing another man hits the newsstands, everyone knows the jig is up. Both are evicted from their home and eviscerated by the press. While Armand deals with his very private life becoming very public, Gwen Golden returns home to Riveredge, a quiet town where her sick father, her angry sister, and the guy who got away still live.

After years of pretending, Gwen has to rebuild her life for real. But while turning a new house into a home, and starting the next chapter of her life will be tough, reconnecting with the man she once loved may prove to be the most difficult of all.

With humor and charm to burn, Rachel Michael Arends has written a beautiful novel of rekindled romance, home improvement, and how only the truth can really set you free


My Review

**FTC disclosure: A free copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. Thank-you.**

The book starts with a typical day on the So Perfect set for Gwen and Armand, but through a chain of events their lives are turned upside down. Their relationship is a ruse, as can be gathered from the summary, and the two are found out when Armand is pictured kissing another man. The media gets a hold of this and everything pretty much crumbles as both Gwen and Armand lose the comfort of their easy lifestyles and are forced to consider the events and life choices responsible for leading them to where they are in the first place. Throw in a cast of entertaining characters and a few twists and you have a great read!

This is a sweet book with honest characters and a story that feels real. The author does a good job of showing the rippling effect that one decision can have on multiple lives and also how lost love can be rekindled. I liked the Strength Smith displayed and how despite all he had been through he stood on his own two feet and didn't accept unnecessary sympathy from anyone around him. Gwen is in a bit of a pickle when she runs into Smith, but even so she was a likable character who just seemed lost and overwhelmed with the turn of events. She's very unassuming and the kind of person who takes life as it comes. Together Smith and Gwen share a sweet relationship and I got the sense that they cared a lot about each other, he and she were in love while still being close friends with one another. I liked them together and their scenes were the best part of this novel. Their chemistry was sweet and easy and I enjoyed how they fit together.

All in all I think As Is will appeal to readers looking for something touching and easy to read. 3 stars!



3 Genies: A breezy and light read that entertains!




Rachel Michael Arends lives in Cary, North Carolina, with her husband and three children, including twins. She has been a public library director, a corporate consultant, and she silently co-owns a successful software firm.
Find Rachel:
- Website
- Facebook 
- Twitter 
- Goodreads
- Purchase As Is





What do you think, will you be reading As Is? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to show Rachel some love! 

Much love,

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Monday, May 12, 2014

New Design!


Hi All!

I know, call me the worst blogger on the planet. I haven't reviewed/posted in months and trust me, it has been a struggle not to, but I'm finally able to post again! I've missed you all and apologize for my impromptu hiatus as well as for partly dropping off the map. As I'm sure you've noticed the site looks a little different...okay, so a LOT different, in a really good way, and that has to do with the recent redesign done by Lea from Lea Christine Designs. She pretty much pimped out my blog, and if I do say so myself, did a spankin' good job! I am so in love with everything, she captured what I had in mind for the site perfectly and was just an overall delight to work with. Love you Lea, and thanks for your hard work!!


 photo Owl1_zpsc80c4901.gif]
And the site is Pimpin'!

Haha I couldn't resist. Basically though, expect more posts and reviews because this summer is all about reading. I want to get back to the books I'm interested in so this might mean that a limited number of review requests will be accepted, but the whole point of my having this site was so that I could post about the books that interest me. I have so many novels on my wishlist, I'm dying to read them before anything else. So yes, my focus will be on reviews and getting through many of the books I couldn't read earlier. I will do Fiction into Fashion posts and some installments of Waiting on Wednesday, but expect the craziness of review to return in full force.

I have a new look and am taking a new direction with things, I would be delighted if you all came along with me for the ride. Talk to you late ;)


Much Love, 


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The Truth And Nothing BUT...

Going by FTC guidelines, allow me to point out that all the novels reviewed on this blog were either bought by me, or given by an author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Those books received from Authors and Publishers will be stated clearly as such, as will the ones purchased by myself. There is no shady business going on; no coercion, bribery or compensation has or will ever be received in exchange for any reviews. These thoughts are mine, wacky as they may be, and my honest opinion is all you can truly expect. Still reading? You should be off checking out those awesome reviews ;)