Review: The Reflection of Queen Snow White by David C. Meredith

18780192Blurb from Goodreads

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 155 pages
Published October 2nd 2013 by David Meredith
edition language: English
genre: Fantasy, Adult
My Thoughts
I’m always curious of the story after the happily ever after ending. It makes me wondering what happens next to the characters and whether they truly get happily ever after for the rest of their life. It’s like only the end of the beginning and I need to know more about it.

This book is David C. Meredith version of Snow White after she and Prince Charming got their happily ever after. But his Snow White is not like Disney version. It’s darker, sadder and more depressing, even when she was young, before she gets her end of the beginning. It is told in third person from Snow White point of view, back and forth between the retelling when she was young and after her marriage.

I just love the writing. It’s beautifully written. I think the author can also capture the emotion in it. In some part it was so clear I felt like it was so sad I want to stop reading it. Just read these examples:

”Lord and Lady of the sky they were, their majestic cries echoing through the clouds as they flew. Magnificent they had been separately, flying high and solitary against the azure sky, hunting for prey with sharp eyes unblinking and then with exultant cries, plummeting to Earth like deadly meteors. Together however, they were something more, so much more.”

”She no longer feared beatings and abuse, true, but the loneliness she felt now was very near those old isolated feelings in the kitchen pantry.”

Isn’t it Beautiful?

I also liked that Snow White also uses the mirror in this story, despite it is an evil device on her step-mother possession. It makes the mirror has different role. It depends on who use it.

”For someone so obsessive about her appearance, it had always puzzled Snow White that the other woman seemed so unsure of herself in private – always asking the mirror if she really was the most beautiful woman in all the land, if she really was the most desirable.”

“I do not offer advice. I simply show that which is right in front of me. You must decide how to act on what you see. You can run from it or you can embrace it. I think you can guess what your stepmother decided…”

One thing I’m not quite satisfied is that it’s too short. In some part, flashbacks of Snow White memories feel like happened and end in a rush, abruptly. I wish it was longer so that there is more connection in each flashback, not only her way to memorize it.

All in all, I really liked and enjoyed it. It has so much more and way different than Snow White I used to watch (I haven’t read the original story). If you like fairytale and willing to read different kind of fairytale, I think this book is what you are looking for.

ARC was provided by the author in exchange for honest review.
Favorite quotes:
“If you would find strength again you must likewise recall how you discovered it before”
“That it is foolish to despair” she whispered, “that there is always hope.”
Result: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Review: One Week Girlfriend Quartet #3, Three Broken Promises by Monica Murphy

18111977Blurb from Goodreads

Commitment. That’s what I really want from Colin. Ever since my brother, Danny, died in Iraq, Colin’s done so much to help me, including giving me a job at his popular restaurant so I can leave my crappy waitressing job at the strip joint. But lying in bed with him every night to comfort him from his horrible nightmares isn’t enough anymore. I know he feels guilty about Danny’s death, about not going to Iraq, but I can’t keep living this double life.

I love him desperately, but he’s got so many demons, and if he can’t open up to me now, then he’ll never be the real partner I need him to be. I gave him a month, and now I’m out of here. If he truly loves me like he says, he knows where to find me.

ebook, 304 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by Random House Publishing Group
edition language: English
series: One Week Girlfriend Quartet
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
So I’m going to go straight about this book. The way the author wrote this book wasn’t as good book #2, Second Chance Boyfriend which is my favorite of the series so far. I can still connect to the characters, Colin Wilder and Jennifer Cade but I’m not quite like them. They weren’t lovable characters for me. Colin didn’t much different from where he was first introduced in Second Chance Boyfriend, which I liked that way because it showed that that’s the way he is while I couldn’t say the same for Jennifer. It might be because she didn’t have a big part on book 2, at least not as big as Colin, or maybe it was because I didn’t pay much attention to her there. One thing for sure she was kind of annoying me here. She kept telling Colin that she’s a big girl, can take care of herself, not to worry about her, not to always help her, and all the similar things. But at the same time she kept making the same mistakes, fell to the same hole again and again yet couldn’t learn from it. After so many times it happened that were just irritating me.
And then, I didn’t quite like their relationship either. Both of them hide their feeling and refused to communicate to each other in the name of guilty. I understand they feeling, I did but their hide and seek, push and pull relationship was exhausting me. Hell…even Colin and Jen realized it but why they did it again and again was a big question for me.

“All we do is talk in circles. I say the same thing, you say the same thing, and then everything’s fine. But really, everything isn’t fine. We just come back to this. Every. Single. Time.”

One thing that worked for them was the sex. But I want a very good love story, not just misunderstanding relationship with great sex for the characters story. Although I liked the last couple chapters toward the end, I felt Colin and Jen happy ending happened in a rush. This is definitely didn’t work for me and the least I liked from the series (so far).

Result: 2 out of 5 Stars

Review: With Me #1, Impossible by Komal Kant

16119691Blurb from Goodreads

Ashton Summers is on her way to becoming the most popular girl in school and nothing—or no one—is going to stand in her way. Especially not Luca Byron, her freak neighbor, with his tattoos, loud music, and distracting green eyes.

Luca Byron has three goals in life: get through high school with a low profile, make sure his garage band becomes something more than a hobby, and try to forget about his insufferable ex-best friend, Ashton, who he can’t get out of his mind.

The last thing Ashton and Luca want to do is rekindle their friendship, but when Ashton takes a tumble down the social ladder, Luca—with his new makeover—is the only one who can help her rise up again by pretending to be her boyfriend. At first, being together is unbearable and annoying, but things start to change as Ashton and Luca discover the real reasons they drifted apart seven years ago.

Now, keeping their hands off each other seems impossible.

Kindle Edition, 254 pages
Published October 24th 2012 by Komal Lewis
edition language: English
series: With Me
genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

My Thoughts

Meet Ashton Summers. She is the epitome of a mean girl. I really hate her even when I know she’s only a fictional character. She’s a bully, full of herself and couldn’t learn from her mistakes. In some part, I don’t want her to get happy ending. That’s how much I hate her. But it also shows that the author did a really good job writing her. She can make her character under my skin while I read her story.

And then there is Luca Byron, Ashton’s childhood friend. Everyone think he’s a freak just because he wears black; black t-shirt, black jeans, black shoes with black eyelines and black hair; has tattoos and befriend with piercing boys.

They share the story through their POV. Unlike Ashton, Luca couldn’t convince me how much he hates Ashton and doesn’t care of what people think of him and his friends. There are times that I felt like he just doesn’t know what he wants and feels toward Ashton. Although he keeps telling me that there is nothing wrong with the way he and his friends dress and it has nothing to do with their personality, to me his suddent changes tell the opposite. It’s like he wants Ashton to accept him with the way she pictures of what best for him. Being someone who proud of him self and doesn’t care of what people think, I thought he will stick to what he believes, just to prove that the inside is more important than the outside.

As much as cliché this story, I really enjoyed reading it. It is one page-turner book. I can’t stop reading it until I finished.

Result: 3 out of 5 Stars

Review: Mer Tales #1, Everblue by Brenda Pandos

11700785Blurb from Goodreads

She wanted her life to change… he wanted his to stay the same.

Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana’s twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.

Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn’s life forever.

ebook, 304 pages
Published July 30th 2011 by Obsidian Mountain Publishing (first published July 29th 2011)
edition language: English
genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

My Thoughts

I don’t know why but I rarely reading mermaid story. This book is my only second time reading it. I guess it also makes me barely know about mermaid/merman world.

Since this is only my second time reading mermaid story, I cannot help to compare it with the only YA mermaid series I’ve read, Fins by Tera Lynn Childs. I liked and enjoyed reading it but unfortunately I can’t say the same for this book.

The world-building of Natatoria, the mer world, and how does it work for the mers were quite confusing me. I have to struggle to understand it. When I can get over it, I also have to struggle to keep my eyes and my mind to the story. It’s so slow and there aren’t things happen to the characters, even when it does happen it isn’t something big. So I kept distracted by many things, instead of reading it. The big thing only happens at the end of the story, for around 90% of the book. By the time the paced finally pick up, the only thing I want to do is finish it so that I can move to another book.

It doesn’t mean it isn’t a good book. I liked the way it’s written. I also liked the characters, especially when they talk in Irish slang. I don’t get often reading in Irish slang so I was enjoying it. And it also told from 2 POV, Ash and Fin. I get 2 different worlds from 2 perspective, though their POV aren’t perfect either. I guess I can say it is an okay book but it didn’t wow me.

Result: 2.5 out of 5 Stars

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

16068905Blurb from Goodreads

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Kindle Edition, 433 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by St. Martin’s Press
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
I have to admit that it was kind of difficult for me to read this book. Not that it has “heavy” subject for me to understand it but because the characters, especially the main one, Cather Avery, was quite confusing me in most of first part of the story. Add it with her personalities and the snippets of both from the books she loved and her fanfiction writing. In fact I skipped most of those snippets. I don’t think it has big connection with the main story since I didn’t lose anything even when I didn’t read it.

But there was part of her that sort of reminded me of my self, back when I was younger, I think. Reading her weirdness made me think that maybe I was as weird as hers from others eyes while I had no idea how weird I was (or am?) for them. And I just love when I can relate the story and/or the characters with me. Call me weird but it’s like the author write it especially for me thus makes it personal and in the end I can connect and understand it better.

The blurb said this book is under coming of age (New Adult?) category but it was so different from other NA books I read for the last 3 years, way different that I feel like it’s so refreshing and has an original story. It certainly didn’t have cliche things when a nerd falls in love with a popular guy kind of story. Another thing was the romance didn’t feel like based on lust. The feeling I often get when I read the relationship of NA characters. Cather and Levi’s relationship happened slowly and sweet and their drama didn’t take the center stage in the story.

As my second Rainbow Rowell books I think I can say that there are similarities between this book and Eleanor & Park. I think it was the way both Eleanor and Cather told their story. There were kind of hold back themselves and sort of shy/quiet characters. They didn’t like talk much but I can still hear them, at least that was I felt. They were also quite weird. But the weird thing is I really liked their weirdness.
My favorite quotes:
“Just … isn’t giving up allowed sometimes? Isn’t it okay to say, ‘This really hurts, so I’m going to stop trying’?”
“It sets a dangerous precedent.”
“For avoiding pain?”
“For avoiding life.”
“That moment,” she told Cath, “when you realize that a guy’s looking at you differently – that you’re taking up more space in his field of vision. That moment when you know he can’t see past you anymore.”
“It’s just … everything. There are too many people. And I don’t fit in. I don’t know how to be. Nothing that I’m good at is the sort of thing that matters there. Being smart doesn’t matter—and being good with words. And when those things do matter, it’s only because people want something from me. Not because they want me.”
Result: 4 out of 5 stars

Review: Nature of Grace #1, Untraceable by S.R. Johannes

12731861Blurb from Goodreads

16-year-old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father.

Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.

Kindle Edition, 315 pages
Published November 29th 2011 by Coleman & Stott (first published November 15th 2011)
edition language: English
series: Nature of Grace
genre: Suspense, Young Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

Let’s be honest, I requested this book from NetGalley because 1) the cover reminded me of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. 2) The main character, Grace Wells is quite similar to Caledonia from The Athena Effect series by Derrolyn Anderson. I love both series and somehow I thought that I might like this one too, though I didn’t set my hope high. Just in case it isn’t as good as I think before so I won’t too disappointed, if you know what I mean.

So this is a story about 16 years old girl, Grace Wells, who loves nature. Her dad is a wildlife officer. One day her dad is gone, missing, out of the blue. Everybody in her town believed that he’s already died because of drowning in one of the rivers in Smoky Mountains. Grace refused their thought she believes he’s still alive. Therefore she does her own research into the deep Smoky Mountains.

[…]I – a sixteen-year-old tomboy who can build a fire from scratch, yet can’t seem to cut her own bangs straight— […]

From the moment Grace was introduced I already loved her. She’s smart (though she said it depends on to whom you talking to), fierce, brave and independence. But she’s also impulsive and stubborn. Those qualities sometimes annoying me but other time have its perks for her research. One thing I understand well is her love for nature and animals. It’s like her purpose is to protect them, aside to find her dad, of course. She talks about it all the time. She even made a metaphor/analogy based on animals and nature which I really liked, by the way. It convinced me of how good she is as a character.

Without saying anything, I study his eyes. They’re similar in color to mine, except mine resemble algae; his are more of a muted pine green, which reminds me of the deep forest.

I peer through a crack in the wood, wondering if this is what a roach feels like.
The story itself was quite simple, I can guess some of the important things from first part of the story. But the way it was written made me kept wondering whether what I thought was right or wrong. It surely was a page-turner book since I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It also has a very good paced. I liked how the author built the tension. There were time for funny and sad moments but there was also times when my heart beat fast with Grace. I just love the roller coaster feeling that I got while I read this.
However it also has things that felt like kind of farfetched to me. It didn’t make me less enjoy it, though. In fact reading this book brought back my memory and feeling like when I read one of my favorite detective books when I was a child, Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators. It’s a good feeling since I seemed couldn’t get enough of the story, just like now I think I should read its soon
Result: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Review: Covenant #2, Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

20516616Blurb from Goodreads

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome–especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom–so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do–and sacrifice–for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies–lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon… and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude… or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

ebook, 360 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Spencer Hill Press
language edition: English
series: Covenant:
genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
This book still has similarity with the first 3 books of The Vampire Academy series, not as much as its prequel, Half-Blood but more than enough for me to recognize it. It made me feel there weren’t things that surprise me. I just read it without my mind wondering for the story, a habit I cannot avoid when I read a very good book.

In some part I didn’t quite like Alex. I was kind of bored and annoyed with her make-the-wrong-choice moved again and again. Because of it, not only to herself, she also brought everyone close to her in danger. I know she’s a badass in an impulsive-reckless-irresponsible-irrational-stubborn kind of way but I can’t help myself to wish even just once she acts like a lovable badass, a badass heroine that I love without making me cringe or roll my eyes. Those hate to like attitude has its perk, though. I really liked the way she stood herself before the council. I think that was the only scene I really liked her impulsive-stubborn moves. She was also too wrapped up with her feeling with Aiden. I (again) just wish she can set her priorities, to prepare herself as an Apollyon with Seth and can see that what he said mostly true, rather than whine and pity herself for the love she can’t have. At this point I couldn’t care less who will she choose since yes, I already knew who she will end up with but I also liked the other guy in this book. That wasn’t my priority I wished I get when started this series. My priorities are to get Greek mythology stories with a bunch of badass characters and huge and great fighting scenes.

I think I can say this is better than Half-Blood . It had more fighting scenes than Half-Blood and I really liked the battle at the end of the story. The battles made it felt like the characters were always in dangerous situation. Hence, there was tension in this book. It was an okay book but I think I’m going to wait the sequels to decide whether it is worth than just an okay book.

Result: 2.5 out of 5 Stars