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
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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: When by Victoria Laurie

24460603Blurb from Goodreads

Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one. Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client’s young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie. Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie’s whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it’s too late?

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published January 13th 2015 by Disney Hyperion
edition language: English
genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.This book somehow brings out memory of my teenage life when the only thing I read is suspense-detective kind of books. I love detective stories I thought I’ll only read them for the rest of my life which is not likely happen as I grow old.

Now, reading this book with my older eyes and mind, I can say that I still love this kind of books. And I really enjoyed this story, though I also realize that there are things that feel unbelievable and far-fetched. But I can shrug it off and think that Maddie is just a teenage girl. So it’s understandable when she’s a bit naive and doesn’t take a second thought of what older people suggest her to do. When she puts her mind on something, she’ll do it. No matter what. In a way I admire her bravery. On the other hand I feel like I want to tell her to be careful. The story also contains with things that are too easy for Maddie and other characters it seems they are often be at the right/wrong place in a right/wrong time. And much for their inconvenience it seems to help/make the situation worse for them. But then again, I can still bear it as I like the characters.

For one thing, though it’s kind of predictable, there are still things that surprise me. And the pace is so good it’s so engaging I want to keep reading it. There are moments when I feel my heart beats fast as much as when I can’t help not to smile because of Maddie and her bestfriend, Stubby’s coversation or his unique personalities behind that shyness and awkward boy. And I really like their relationship. They a bit remind me of Amy and Hawkeye, a pair of teenage detectives from Can You Solve The Mystery? series I fell in love with long time ago.

And then as I reach the final page, I realize I don’t want this story to end. It has perfect ending, I really liked it but I also feel like I can read more of Maddie and other good characters in the future.

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

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: The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz

23267301Blurb from Goodreads

At the remote Marshall School, Gwen Ashby stumbles upon the job—and the man—of her dreams. Stern, enigmatic Edwin Yorke simmers with a heat Gwen longs to unleash. But Edwin knows all too well that forbidden love can end in tragedy….

ebook, 125 pages
Published October 6th 2014 by Harlequin e-Shivers
edition language: English
genre: Paranormal, Romance, Adult
My Thoughts
As my first Tiffany Reisz book, this book is nothing like I thought before. I know that she writes erotica stories and Goodreads put this book under erotica shelf. So basically I thought it’s a contemporary romance with lots of steamy scenes.

But first few chapters I’ve already completely forgot that I was reading an erotica. I even thought that Goodreads and other readers must put it in the wrong shelf because I didn’t feel like it’s an erotica book. Instead I sense that the story is kinda creepy, in a horror kind of way.

I knew and felt there is something happen with the main character, Gwen. Something bigger than she and the headmaster let me know. I couldn’t point it out exactly what I was scare of, but I could sense it. I don’t know if it makes any sense. I thought it was all about happily ever after romance but I got goose bump along the way I read it. That was what I felt mostly. At that point, I’m sure this isn’t an erotica it’s more a horror story, if you ask me, with steamy scenes. I don’t like horror story but I’ve watched some of horror movies that I want to forget I ever watched it since they are still haunting me to this day.

So I made my mind that this is like a particular horror movie that I watched years ago that strangely I was quite like it because it surprised me, in a good way. And I was thinking to stop reading it because it started freak me out. But at the same time it was so engaging I really wanted to know the ending for the characters.

At some point, my guesses were right. They didn’t surprise me at all, thanks to those movies, anyway. But it is definitely page-turner story that catch my attention. And Ms. Reisz is surely has something in her writing. She can make a predictable-ordinary story to an interesting-engaging story. I think for that just one point deserves my likeliness of this book. I’m gonna give her other books a try, for sure.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Review: Vampire Academy #5, Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

6479259Blurb from Goodreads

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong…

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won’t rest until Rose joins him… forever.

Paperback, 489 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Razorbill (first published January 1st 2010)
edition language: English
series: Vampire Academy
genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

My Thoughts

I started reading Vampire Academy series years ago, a few years after I read Twilight. At first I was kinda hesitant to read it after my not-so-good experience with Twilight but my friends convince me that it’s a good series. I picked Vampire Academy up just to shut my friends up 😀 And then Rose Hathaway shut me up with her kickass attitude and her wth-I-don’t-care-what-you-think-of-me personalities. She is the main reason I really liked the series.

Then two years ago I read book 4, the one that I really looking forward after major cliffhanger in book 3. Turn out what I was looking forward didn’t live my expectation. Rose Hathaway in Blood Promise wasn’t the kickass heroine I know from the first three books. I was so disappointed and (once again) hesitant to pick its sequels up.

When I finally picked this book up, I kinda wished that Rose will be back to the Rose I love, not Rose from Blood Promise. Unfortunately she’s still true to her personalities that I didn’t quite like. She likes to whine and gets all emo every time she faces Dimitri. She keeps telling me seeing him as a Strigoi had been hard for her. I know she loves him but reading that particular sentence over and over was so annoying. She’s self-center and takes everything and everyone for granted.

After 4 books, I thought she can be more mature and responsible. But nope, she’s still reckless and in the process she drags her friends down and doesn’t even realize it. As a guardian, I really hope she acts like a true guardian, the guardian whom Dimitri taught in St. Vladimir. But I never see her as a guardian here. She’s still Rose I-don’t-care-what-you-think-of-me from St. Vladimir. And it really annoying and frustrating me!

If it wasn’t because my promise to finish series I’ve started and its spin-off, Bloodliness series (love Adrian!), I might not finish this series. But here I am, reading book 5 and so eager to read final book just so I can read Bloodlines series.

Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Review: Elemental #5, Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer

17149158Blurb from Goodreads

Earth. Fire. Air. Water.

One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick understands pressure. He’s the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it in for his family, and he’s all that stands in the way.

His girlfriend, Hannah, understands pressure too. She’s got a child of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could put her life in danger at any moment.

But there are people who have had enough of Michael’s defiance, his family’s ‘bad luck’. Before he knows it, Michael’s enemies have turned into the Merricks’ enemies, and they’re armed for war.

They’re not interested in surrender. But Michael isn’t the white flag type anyway. Everything is set for the final showdown.

Four elements, one family. Will they hold together, or be torn apart?

Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by Kensington Teen
edition language: English
series: Elemental
genre: Paranormal, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
Edit, October 4th, 2014

3.5 stars

After I reread this book, sadly I have to lower my rating. I think the first time I read it there were so much expectation to this book. I love Michael Merrick, he’s my favorite among the Merricks and this is the (sort of) final book, so I was so eager and looked forward to read it. I think it was kinda cloud my thoughts. I also read Secret this year, a few months before this book was released and it didn’t have much action and tension, unlike Storm, Spark, and Spirit. So reading Sacrifice with more tension and actions, even more than all of previous books, made me felt like I read a different kind of Elemental story.

Don’t get me wrong, I love those action, obviously but on second thoughts (and second reading) I also think that it was kinda loose the main thing I love the most from the series, The Merricks brotherhood which I didn’ t get in this book. And I didn’t quite like the way The Guide works, in the end. From the beginning of the series, I knew that they are very bad villains and there’ll be something big when they face the Merricks, eventually, but the way it ended felt like too easy. It just didn’t suit with the image, at least my imagination, of what the author build on previous books and novellas.

But once again, I still love this book, I really do, despite a bit disappointed that I have after reading it for the second time. And the series is still one of my favorite YA paranormal series. And if one day Ms. Kemmerer decides to write another story about the Merricks, I’ll be glad to read it. So until then, Merricks.

My original review, August 25th, 2014

4.5 stars

Oh my goodness, my poor heart almost couldn’t take everything that happens in this book. There are a lot of action and tension I felt like I should stop reading it and take a deep breath before I continue it again. It’s just too much, in a very good way.

As much as I loved Secret, Sacrifice is like the opposite. What lack in Secret are provided here in Michael story. If you want to have some action and tension after Secret, this book won’t disappoint you. I guarantee it, and it’s really worth the wait. I’m not saying that Secret isn’t good, far from it, I loved it too for what it’s worth but I also feel like it has more drama than action, though I didn’t mind about it too since that way I knew much about the characters, more than any previous books.

All I’m saying is I think this is an awesome final book for the series. It’s fast-paced and page-turner. What the Elementals have to deal with since the very first book, Storm, are finally revealed. I loved that it ends where it begins, from and with Michael Merrick. There are many twists that surprised me along the way. I didn’t see it coming at all. I practically just reading it and be there with the characters without trying to figure out what will happen next, because it felt useless. My guesses were mostly wrong and I let Ms. Kemmerer lead the way and I just enjoying the journey with my heart beat fast and faster and faster in each chapters.

As Ms. Kemmerer said this is the final book of Elemental series, but she left it open ending so she can write more in the future. At first I was wondering what kind of open ending she really meant. I want the Merricks have their happy ending while an open ending sounds like far from it, I’m glad that they are still have (sort of) their HEA.

However, there are indeed things that can be more explained, about the characters and things that happen. I guess that’s why she left it that way. In a way, I think it makes the story is still a bit unclear, but I’m still satisfied with it, nevertheless. It might not perfect as a final book, but it’s perfect for that imperfection to me.

I have so many feelings before and while I read this book, I think Rapunzel can sum-up it for me 🙂

when I got approved from NetGalley
first 5 chapters
more chapters along the story
another chapters with never ending tension and action
last 5 chapters
last page
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.