Review: Ever Darkening by Janeal Falor

23403993Blurb from GoodReads

Perfection. Goodness. Elimination of evil. It’s what seventeen-year-old Kaylyn has trained her entire life to achieve. But no one is prepared for the consequences of her actually defeating all evil people on the planet. Finally successful in her mission, Kaylyn faces an unfamiliar world, full of good people doing good things, in which she no longer has purpose.

When the skies grow dark, and a stranger from another village pleads for her help, her instincts roar to life. It turns out their perfect world isn’t exactly what it seems. Kaylyn’s new quest, harder than any she’s been on before, will rip apart her friendships, her life, and her soul more than any evil man ever managed to.

Kindle Edition, 171 pages
Published January 22nd 2015
edition language: English
genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

I’m conflicted now. I liked things in this book as much as disliked other things in the story.

I liked the writing, obviously. It flows smoothly and so clear I can picture the worldbuilding and everything in the story easily. And not to mention that it has perfect pace. There is a room for slow thing as well as things that made my heart beat fast.

I also liked the unknown feeling that I got from Kaylyn, the heroine in this story. She made me wondering what really happen to her world exactly. It’s pretty predictable, to be honest and is quite easy to guess what happened and will happen into her world (and my guessed were right, if you want to know), but it didn’t mean that I stop wondering while I read her story. I always love the feeling when I’m wondering and questioning the story. It means I pay attention to it and it glues me to keep reading it.

However me questioning things could lead into something else that bring me to other things that I didn’t quite like. From the beginning I’ve already known that destroying the evil forever is not as good as it sounds because everything needs balance. So how come Showna, the leader of Kaylyn’s band of fighter (I cannot point out my finger to Kaylyn since she’s still young and doesn’t have much experience as Showna) didn’t think about it or at least questioning it to Aster and Astra, Kaylyn’s community leaders? I can ignore it, though. It’s not a big deal compare to the grand scheme of the story and is kind of understandable for them to follow all the rule and what they asked since it’s in their blood to be good person.

But it also leads me questioning that even a good person cannot be a whole good person forever. Everything needs balance, remember? At this point it seems conflicted with the plot. The good characters are described so good they don’t have any single evil thought while the story tells me that good cannot exist without evil. If the good characters are so good and they need bad characters to exist, isn’t it unfair for bad characters when they actually are good characters but are provoked to do evil things just so the balance keeps back in track? And I also didn’t buy that the good cannot be swing into evil side. If they can provoke their friend, why cannot their friends do the same thing to them?

So you see, I liked this story, I really do. I think it has good idea and I liked the ending, though it’s as I predicted. But I also didn’t quite agree with that good and evil thing. I guess it means that this book is more than an okay book as I enjoyed reading it.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #10
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish all of ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) I have by the end of 2015.
– Popsugar: A book with a love triangle

Review: Maybe by Amber L. Johnson

22057891Blurb from GoodReads

Letting go is hard. Admitting you need each other is harder.

Emily Portman loves her job. A writer for Breakout! Magazine, she shadows and showcases up-and-coming bands. When her next assignment takes her to Austin, Texas, she can’t wait to add the city to her map of places she’s visited. Places she’s left without looking back. Her plan is to keep moving on, and the last thing she needs is a man holding her back. She’s not going down that road again.

Tyler Macy is stuck in a rut. Despite his exceptional talent as a musician, he has chosen to take a back seat with his music and let others grab the limelight. Wounded and mistrustful, he doesn’t appreciate his friends’ efforts to bring him back to center stage. Emily comes onto the scene and sees his full potential, but he fights to stay in the shadows, shutting her out before she can add to the scars another woman gave him.

For Tyler to find his music again, he needs to accept the help that Emily and their friends offer. When he discovers that his muse lies underneath Emily’s skin, it is still not enough to keep her from walking away. Neither will admit what they really want until it is too late.

Emily is once again thrown in Tyler’s path when she is assigned to join them on tour. Despite the pain in his past, Tyler sees that she is worth it, even if she’s stolen both his heart and peace of mind. In order for them to be together, they both must discover whether the music and their passion are enough to overcome the obstacles that separate them.

Maybe finding love is worth the risk.

Kindle Edition, 249 pages
Expected publication: February 12th 2015 by The Writer’s Coffee Shop
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

After Puddle Jumping I have high expectation on this book. That’s why I was so eager to read it and cannot help myself not to request it on NetGalley. I know those two books are different in so many ways, so I shouldn’t compare it but they come from the same author I thought at least I can enjoy it.

Now I can say that I really shouldn’t have any expectation as in the end it didn’t live my expectation and I didn’t quite enjoy it. The story is so cliche, predictable and formulaic I don’t even find any single thing that never told before, mostly in NA stories. I don’t mind cliche and formulaic stories but usually it also has something that can attract me to say that I like it. Not in this case, unfortunately.

I usually like the hate-love relationship but here, I didn’t think so. Emily hates Tyler in the beginning but it soon, like sooner than a blink of an eye, changes to attraction (or should I say lust?) I kind of forget that she hates him in the first place. Emily being a journalist and Tyler a musician should have a conflict of interest. You know when she has to dig deep the skeleton in Tyler’s life and his band while at the same time she’s in a relationship with him. I think it should conflict her feeling but she doesn’t conflicted enough for me. And Tyler doesn’t like when people call him with his first name, Tyler, but why did he introduce himself as Tyler when he met Emily for the first time. I didn’t buy it.

I liked that the story is fast pace but in most of the time it too fast I have a hard time believe in Tyler and Emily relationship. With all of bad past relationship they had, I think at least they need time for their new one. But here it feels like they jump straight to it while they can, though mostly it’s just about sex. Well at least that was what I feel.

All in all, this one is a letdown compare to my first Amber L. Johnson book. But I’m sure it won’t be my last one, because to be honest her other books look as appealing as her two books I’ve read. I just have to read them to know the result, right?

Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #9
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish all of ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) I have by the end of 2015.
– Popsugar: A book by a female author

Review: Otherworld Assassin #1, Last Kiss Goodnight by Gena Showalter

13310549Blurb from GoodReads

THE SWEETEST TEMPTATION…

Black ops agent Solomon Judah awakens caged and bound in a twisted zoo where otherworlders are the main attraction. Vika Lukas, the owner’s daughter, is tasked with Solo’s care and feeding. The monster inside him yearns to kill her on sight, even though she holds the key to his escape. But the human side of him realizes the beautiful deaf girl is more than she seems—she’s his.

THE ULTIMATE PRICE…

Vika endures the captives’ taunts and loathing, hoping to keep them alive even if she can’t free them. Only, Solo is different—he protects her. But as hostility turns to forbidden romance, his feelings for her will be used against him…and he’ll be put to a killer test.

ebook, 353 pages
Published December 26th 2012 by Pocket Books (first published December 20th 2012)
edition language: English
series: Otherworld Assassin
genre: Paranormal, Romance, Adult

My Thoughts

As my first Gena Showalter book, I’m quite surprise that this book wasn’t as I expect before. And I mean it in a not-so-good way, to be honest. Most of her books have high rating here and my friends recommended me her books since forever. They mostly said the stories are awesome. Unfortunately I don’t think this book is that awesome, it has an interesting idea, but it didn’t wow me.

It’s quite hard for me to connect both with the story and the characters, though I liked Solo and Vika enough to keep reading it. I also liked the minor, but have big role, characters, Dr. E and X. They play the evil and the good side of Solo really well.

The pace is pretty slow I have to force myself to finish it, though at the same time I also want to know more about the two of them. Problem is there is not much detail in most of the things in the story, including the worldbuilding. I can describe easily the otherworld building but the Earth building, the one the human live is unclear to me. I get the impression that it happens in the future, but it doesn’t describe well either. It feels lack of something.

Before I read this book, I thought Gena Showalter books are in the same category with J.R. Ward books, stories with alpha male hero and lots of steamy graphic sex scenes. It has alpha male hero (sort of) but it also lack of graphic sex scenes, moreover if I have to compare to J.R Ward’s The Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

In a way I liked that the romance, well the sex scenes, doesn’t overshadow the story. There is much to tell here than the romance. But in other way I feel like the author hold back something. I mean there are graphic description about abuse and other horrible things but why doesn’t with the romance scenes? It doesn’t mean that every sex scenes has to be graphic, not like that, it’s just unusual is all.

As many reviews stated, this book is not her best book, I think I’ll give her other books a try. I still don’t know which one I’ll read, though.

Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Reading Challenge:

– GoodReads: Book #8
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Read books that are already in my shelves for more than 2 years.
– Popsugar: A book with nonhuman characters