Review: Taking #2, Hover by Melissa West

16032322Blurb from Goodreads

On Earth, seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander was taught to never peek, but if she hopes to survive life on her new planet, Loge, her eyes must never shut. Because Zeus will do anything to save the Ancients from their dying planet, and he has a plan.

Thousands of humans crossed over to Loge after a poisonous neurotoxin released into Earth’s atmosphere, nearly killing them. They sought refuge in hopes of finding a new life, but what they became were slaves, built to wage war against their home planet. That is, unless Ari and Jackson can stop them. But on Loge, nothing is as it seems…and no one can be trusted.

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published August 13th 2013 by Entangled Teen
edition language: English
series: Taking
genre: Dystopia, Sci-fi, Young Adult, Romance
My Thoughts
Although book 1 of Taking series is only a 3 stars for me, I think it has interesting idea and I like the way Ms. West wrote it. And compare to some of dystopian YA books I’ve read, it is a better one. So I have a high hope to its sequels.

This time, Ari’s story takes place in Jackson’s planet. As a place that is so far away from the earth, I need a vivid worldbuilding, or at least enough description about the place so that I believe that the characters are in other planet, outside the earth. Just like book 1, the writing is still good, the description of the worldbuilding is also so clear I can picture it in my mind easily. But I feel like there is no difference with the earth. Everything seems similar to the earth. I don’t get the feeling that it is a place that is so far away from the earth that you need a wormhole to send messages.

I also feel there is not much happen in most of the story. Thus it feels slower than book 1. I know what Ari has to do here is not an easy task. But she’s being with the enemy, I feel she loses focus of what she has to do. In a way she spends her time training as a RES, Republic Employee Spy, since she’s a half-human, half-ancient now but I don’t see she does much training as other RES do. In another hand, she has to kill Zeus. I don’t see much of her plan or effort to do it either. All of her attempts are mostly caught in the act kind of thing, without so much planning as she wants to. And her I-have-to-kill Zeus speech at the end of many chapter sound like a broken record for me.

But don’t worried I still have things I like. The writing is still good. Despite the slow-paced, it is an engaging story. I also like the way Ari chooses not to be in a relationship with Jackson immediately. She needs time which is understandable and it makes the story not all about herself. She places her people and her task above her relationship with him. So book 3, here I come!

Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #12
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish at least 5 series I’ve started
– Popsugar: A book you own but have never read
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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

Review: Starbound #2, This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

13138734Blurb from Goodreads

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

ebook
Published December 23rd 2014 by Hyperion
edition language: English
series: Starbound
genre: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
I really like the first few chapters in this book, though Jubilee and Flynn remind me of Legend a lot. It’s so engaging. Jubilee, is kickass heroine and so does Flynn. Those chapters attract me I even felt like this is so much better than These Broken Stars. But then unfortunately it’s falling slowly into the boringness.

My biggest problem was Jubilee and Flynn back and forth feeling regarding their role. They are meant to have a star-crossed kind of relationship, I know that, and I understand when they feel conflicted but when it happens so many times, I cannot avoid feel bored. Add it with the push and pull relationship between both of them. And how things often come too easily for them I ended up skipping pages, mostly in the middle of the story. I just felt the story was going nowhere while I was so eager to finish. And when I skip pages or just skim the book it never a good sign for me.

On the other hand, I think Jubilee and Flynn’s story is more interesting than Lilac and Tarver’s. It’s more complex and has more actions, though maybe it’s because there are more characters in it than in These Broken Stars. I really liked how the authors connect Jubilee and Flynn with Lilac and Tarver. It makes the story intertwine each other and become a whole series. Something that I never thought when I knew that book 2 of Starbound series isn’t about Lilac and Tarver anymore. I also like how Jubilee’s past plays role in her present. And I did like the way she tells her past, though it’s still unclear for me.

Although this series isn’t that impressive for me I can’t wait to read the final book. It has to be epic since there are big things that still left unsolved.
Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #4
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish at least 5 series I’ve started.
– Popsugar: A book set in the future

Review: Star-Crossed #6, The Relentless Warrior by Rachel Higginson

18461614Blurb from Goodreads

Jericho Bentley is disillusioned by life. He feels lost in a world of peace and restless in a time threatened by war. He has given up on love, forgotten how to trust others and decided a lifetime of bachelorhood is all that remains for him.

Olivia Taylor was struggling to find her way in a human world. Now taken from the only life she’s ever known and changed on a molecular level, she is more lost than ever. With her sister struggling to survive the after effects of one of Dmitri Terletov’s experiments, Olivia sets off with Jericho to find a cure for both herself and her sister.

Together, Jericho and Olivia find more than vengeance and answers, they find a deep friendship that might teach them both to trust again. Maybe even to love again. As long as they can both put the hurt of their past behind them for good.

ebook
Published January 30th 2014 by Rachel Higginson via Smashwords (first published January 27th 2014)
edition language: English
series: Star-Crossed
genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
When I started reading Star-Crossed series years ago I never thought that it will be one long series. I thought it will only tell Kiran and Eden story. And I was happy they ended the way I liked. But then there was another one, another story with a (old) new evil antagonist. And just like any other series I’ve already started I couldn’t not to read the rest even when I felt like it was enough for me. And the fact that it was Avalon’s story I was more than willing to read with a hope that it will be the end of the series. But I was wrong, the story hasn’t finished yet and there will be another books with another characters’ story in the future. So here I am reading book 6 about Avalon’s bestfriend and Eden’s ex-boyfriend, Jericho.

Although Jericho had big part in Kiran-Eden story, especially in book 2, 3, and 4, I didn’t pay much attention to him since it was so obvious that Eden will choose Kiran eventually. He was just a “bump in the road” in their relationship. Now it’s time to tell his story and give him his heroine.
I liked that he has someone who can give him his happy ending, Olivia. The story is (seems) more interesting when Olivia isn’t from his circle. She’s a pure human who is turned into immortal through an experiment. At this point, I was still eager to read it. However the more I read the more I lost my interest to this book. Both Jericho and Olivia tend to tell me the same things over and over. I think they are telling than showing kind of characters. And they more interest to each other than the evil antagonist while at the same time they are so eager to have revenge to Terletov, the antagonist.

I also think most of everything that happen with Olivia and other characters are too easy. She can (sort of) handle her power in only two days in one training with Jericho. Even Eden couldn’t do it while everyone says that Eden is so powerful. There are also lots of coincidences things happen for their own convenience. Hence I couldn’t buy it. As for their relationship, it was just hard for me to feel their chemistry. It was good they have time to know each other and didn’t fall in an insta-love, things I usually love from romance story, but they hot and cold relationship while they are secretly admire each other is quite frustrating me.

It still has surprises at the end of the story, though, which I liked it. However it couldn’t make me think that the story is less boring. But I think I’m still going to read other sequels in the future to see all of the character have their happy ending.

Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Review: Losing It #3.5, Seeking Her by Cora Carmack

17873497Blurb from Goodreads

A few months after being honorably discharged from the military, Jackson Hunt is still struggling to adjust back to the real world. He needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he’s going to keep his own demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal.

Bodyguard (and baby-sitter) to spoiled-rich-girl Kelsey Summers isn’t exactly what he’d been looking for, but it’s a chance to travel, to get away from the home that has felt stifling ever since his return. It would be a pretty sweet gig if it weren’t for the fact that Kelsey’s father doesn’t want Kelsey to know she’s being followed. Hunt feels guilty (and a little bit creepy) as he watches her from afar. She’s vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When he sees her falling into the same patterns that he suffered years ago, he decides it’s time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know her is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her, the more he wants her.

Kindle Edition, 160 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by William Morrow Impulse
edition language: English
series: Losing It
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
As Finding It novella, I didn’t remember much about Jackson and Kelsey original story. And the fact that it was my least favorite of the series made me didn’t care much about them. On the other hand, I remember that I was quite curious of Jackson POV. So when I knew that this novella is a glimpse from his POV I didn’t hesitate to read it.

I’m glad he told his POV long before Kelsey told hers in Finding It. So I didn’t feel like I read the same story twice. First part of the novella is purely new scenes. They weren’t in Finding It. I think it’s a good think as I also got a bit about Jackson past.

However I was also bored. Knowing what he has to do for Kelsey’s father and the similar things that Kelsey does, made it quite boring while the second half, the part that I thought will be boring since I’ve already known it from Kelsey’s POV was more interesting. It was just so weird, if you ask my opinion. But maybe it was just because that was the part where they interact with each other. Hence there are conversation and all between them.

After 3 books and 2 novellas, I still think that Faking It is my favorite. And I think it’s time for Max and Cade to have their novella, as Bliss and Garret and Jackson and Kelsey have already had their own novellas.

Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Review: One Week Girlfriend #3.5, Drew + Fable Forever by Monica Murphy

18733803Blurb from Goodreads

Fantasy. How I ended up with NFL player Drew Callahan, the guy every woman wants, is beyond my wildest dreams. All I know is that once he chose me as his one and only, I sure wasn’t looking back. I had past wounds and he showed patience and concern—even taking responsibility for my messed-up kid brother. Now, once again, he’s found a way to blow my mind: an exotic wedding and honeymoon miles and miles away from home. What else could a girl ever ask for?

Reality. Now the honeymoon’s over. Drew’s football schedule takes him on the road constantly, while I need to stay put and look after my brother until he finishes high school—because God knows our sorry excuse for a mother won’t. I know Drew loves me with all his heart, and I’ll always be over the moon about him. This just isn’t how I imagined our life as newlyweds . . . dealing with the distance, missing him all the time. But we’ve gone through hard times before. We can get through this, too, right? We’re Drew and Fable, together forever. At least I hope so. . . .

Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published January 14th 2014 by Bantam
edition language: English
series: One Week Girlfriend
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
As much as I loved Drew and Fable story and felt like I want more of them, I couldn’t enjoy this novella the way I enjoyed One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend. At the same time I think it’s a good bridge between Drew & Fable story and Owen story as we can see Owen grows up and become more mature than when I first met him.
The main reason why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought before is because it’s too sweet for my taste. Fable and Drew are constantly telling each other how they love and can’t live without each other made me rolled me eyes a couple times. Don’t get me wrong, I love their lovey dovey feeling but it was just too much for my preference. Thank goodness there are also (a bit) drama in their relationship which made the story more interesting to me.
Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars