Review: Hell on Earth

Hell on Earth
Hell on Earth by Ally Blue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I eagerly got Ally Blue’s second book in her Hellscape series but then realized how little I remembered of the first book a year ago. I re-read my review so I would have some idea of who the characters were though I remembered the concept surprisingly well. I commented in my review of the first book that I would love to see books about the secondary characters such as Sandman. Well apparently I got my wish because the second book is all about Sandman, a character I literally did not (and still don’t) remember from the first book. That didn’t really phase me and the second book in the series is actually much stronger than the first. It also can easily be read as a stand alone, a fact that I am extremely grateful for as I was not going to re-read the first one. So dystopian fans – check this one out, it’s really good and can be read on its own. Continue reading

Review: Replica

Replica
Replica by Jenna Black
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For dystopian YA fiction, Replica is average and middle of the road. Some aspects are far superior to other books in the genre, while other elements are decidedly inferior. The plot is overly familiar but the main focus of the story – friendship between a mild mannered female forcibly turned into a formidable foe (ha) and a spoiled gay playboy – is very engaging. There is very little romance and the plot is overtly a mystery in a dystopian setting but the writing is decent and premise offers just enough surprises to keep the story from being dull. I did find my attention wavering and I appreciated that I could put the book down for days at a time until my interest peaked again. That said, I do want to continue with the series and would still recommend this story for dystopian YA fans. Continue reading

Review: The Douglas Fir

The Douglas Fir
The Douglas Fir by Anyta Sunday
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I actually got this back in November but ignored it until recently. It’s a really cute, well-written story that kept me guessing where it was going to go. Looking back I can see where it was heading all along but I appreciated the writing and construction such that it could have taken numerous twists. It’s been a while since a story surprised me and I really liked not knowing what could happen next. The characters are decent, but two-dimensional and a little flat. The dialogue is cute and the supporting cast makes a nice little novella to read and has me curious about other books by the author. I’d easily recommend it – $1.50 for a novella, which makes it really cheap – and it’s a fun, entertaining story. Continue reading

Review: Lance

Lance
Lance by Jet Mykles
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I had a really weird reaction to this book. It’s classic Mykles rock star book but oddly I didn’t believe any of it. I mean I know it’s fiction and all but I never bought into the main couple together and I thought they were better off apart the entire book. So when they finally got together I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a huge mistake. I like these easy to read and fun books by the author but the IK series pales in comparison to the HS series and it shows in just about all the books. That’s not to say this one in particular isn’t enjoyable to read. The angst is light, if even there, and the characters very easy to take. They’re fun and not too serious while they fall in love and in committed relationships. My main hang up is that I never thought the main guys should be together and I agreed they were better off apart so the final resolution of them happy in love rang very hollow for me. But fans of the author will easily like this one. Continue reading

Review: Off Stage: Right

Off Stage: Right
Off Stage: Right by Jaime Samms
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had initially read the reviews on this one when I got it months and months ago and only remember that it was supposed to have a ton of angst; the kind of angst where you’re exhausted when you finish reading the book, ie. Keeping Promise Rock or Red Tainted Silence. Perhaps my tolerance for angst is higher than other readers because while there is angst in this book, I didn’t really feel like there was that much. It definitely did not exhaust me and frankly I felt there could have been quite a bit more. The story is good, as Samms is a good writer. However, I never connected to the characters so I always felt removed from the angst and it never really affected me. I never felt for nor commiserated with the characters so I actually wanted more angst and for it to be real and meaningful. That said I enjoyed the book and read it in one sitting, which is saying something considering the length. However it’s not a book I would re-read. I liked it but did not love it, even if it’s a book I think I would remember (which is hard when you read a lot and have a crappy memory). Continue reading

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I know I’m late to this party – but I seriously loved this book, and not because it’s about cancer. I have drunk the Kool-Aid and I do think this is “omgthebestbookever.” It’s not necessarily realistic because teenagers don’t speak or act that way, nor do adults even. It’s more like the way you wish someone would speak with endless witticism and clever comebacks that roll of the tongue of those who can’t possibly be that articulate and well read. I honestly didn’t care though because I loved the dialogue and prose. I didn’t mind that the teenagers act and talk in ways that are in no way realistic. To me the story isn’t even attempting to be realistic. It’s pure fantasy in contemporary setting and I could go with that. Continue reading

Review: Missed Connections: I Swear to You

Missed Connections: I Swear to You
Missed Connections: I Swear to You by Sloan Parker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this little novella and tore through it right up until the end. It ended so poorly that it affected how I viewed the story as a whole. Other than that blip, the writing is good with solid characters and some seriously hot sex scenes. I also say that as a reader who has become somewhat inured to sex scenes since they are so ubiquitous within the genre. The premise has enough innate tension to hold my interest without the addition of the crazy ex-boyfriend, which was by far the weakest aspect of the novella. Prior to that ending I was thinking this was a story I kind of loved and would rate at least 4 stars. With the sad ending that had me rolling my eyes and saying “really?!” out loud the rating dropped unfortunately. I’d still recommend this though as I think it’s a really good and engaging story, just know the ending sucks but it’s quick so try to get by it. Continue reading

Review: Blood Cross

Blood Cross
Blood Cross by Faith Hunter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is how I like my urban fantasy – heavy on the action and UF with a little light romance on the side. The main character of Jane annoyed the crap out of me for most of the book. She’s too snarky with few consequences for all her nosey, unrelenting ways and the timeline is wonky. Often Jane rushes into situations without thinking her plan through and usually makes it through unscathed. I appreciate that occasionally she gets her butt kicked, which she always deserves and then some. Thankfully the story has a lot of good urban fantasy elements – I especially like the vampire mythology – and a solid enough plot to keep me listening during the moments I wish Jane would die. She’s a better than average heroine, if pretty cookie cutter in a lot of ways. Continue reading

Review: Nice Tie

Nice Tie
Nice Tie by Jules Jones
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My recollection of Jules Jones’ work is sweet romances with a distinctly British flair. In that respect, I suppose Nice Tie delivers but I really struggled with it. I find the concept could have been good but it feels so mechanical and without passion. The two men act considerably older than their age and there isn’t really a relationship to speak of. I found the story kind of silly, not in a humorous way, and the end resolution cringe inducing. The writing is perfunctory but I never connected with the story and by the end I was sorry I’d picked it up. I’ve liked previous books of this author but I think I’m going to stay away in the future. Continue reading

Review: A Case of Possession

A Case of Possession
A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

While Case of Possession, the second book in the Magpie series by KJ Charles, feels like a filler book, it’s still exceptionally entertaining and well written. The characters are wonderful with incredibly clean, evocative writing and the plot is absorbing. I do feel as though the mystery was a bit rushed and not as thorough as the previous book. Perhaps that’s because this particular outing offered more focus on Lucien and Stephen’s deepening relationship so time on the who-dun-it had to be sacrificed. It’s a minor compliant though and I’m more convinced than ever this author is a really stunning writer. I’m going to look for everything she’s written and dive in happily. Continue reading