Quick Book Review: Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

 

 

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Photo Courtesy of Goodreads.

Most of this book is really, really hot – and the other half is…well, not.

This book is essentially pure erotica – which some people enjoy! If you want a book that is mainly the two characters going at it constantly, then this book is for you! If you were hoping for a dramatic novel mixed with sexy scenes, well, you are outta luck!

When I heard about this book, it was explained to me as mainly a drama mixed with the “romance” scenes…alas, they were wrong. Perhaps they picked up the wrong book?

Now, don’t get me wrong. This book is well written for a steamy book! This soap opera like novel is definitely a great book if you want to turn your brain off and not deal with complicated issues – just steamy romance, the odd dramatic moment, and then more sexy time!

I did enjoy this book – mainly for the time that I could turn my brain off and just read. It’s not complicated, it’s quite easy to read, and the book keeps moving along!

Would I have liked more drama? Yes. But, this book was a turn-your-brain-off-and-relax sort of book!

Would I have liked the main characters not to be the stereotypical “they hate each other but oh wow let’s get busy”? Yes.

It seemed like another novel made as a Twilight fan fiction into a book…but hey, it was hot!

Three out of five stars!

Quick Book Review: Opal Summerfield and the Battle of Fallmoon Gap by Caldwell Jones

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Photo courtesy of Goodreads.

 

Opal Summerfield and the Battle of Fallmoon Gap was an interesting read by Mark Caldwell Jones.

Opal Summerfield left me feeling a little confused – the book seemed like it was trying to go for a young reader vibe (like 8-12) but it was written for a Young Adult age group. It was still an incredible book, but I couldn’t figure out where it sat.

There was lots of action, but it didn’t keep a lot of my attention. It was beautifully written and it was truly incredible, but it wasn’t my kind of book. I feel like I am a bit above the age group for this book – it didn’t connect with me like other young age grouped novels (like Percy Jackson and Harry Potter).

Nonetheless, it was still an amazing book. Opal is a well developed character who would sit beautifully with young female readers. She’s strong and stands for herself, and she’s very heart warming. I would definitely read this book to a child!! It’s morale boosting!! It gives you a feeling like you can do anything!

The book is very imaginative and it original. Many books seem to follow the same path over and over, but Opal Summerfield was a breath of fresh air. It’s not based on some ooey gooey romance – it’s action based and has fantasy aspects. If you want a different read that is clearly original, pick this up! It feels like a young reader’s Indiana Jones!

There are constant twists and action and adventure at every turn! It’s truly breath taking!

For a debut, it was great! It just didn’t have me personally hooked. A younger reader base would love this!!

Three out of five stars – it didn’t get me hooked, but I’m looking forward to Mark Caldwell Jones making more books – he’s an amazing writer!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Book Review: The Trap by Melanie Raabe

Book Review:
Title: The Trap – English Edition
Author: Melanie Raabe
Date Read: August 11th-September 1st, 2016
Date Reviewed: September 4th, 2016

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Picture VIA Goodreads.

Introduction: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. When I got the book, and read the back cover, I was more than impressed and pushed it to the front of my book review pile. While it took me a while to get to it, I wish I would have gotten to it sooner! This book is part of my top books, and I’m lending it out to my friends so they get introduced to this wonderful story by Melanie Raabe!

Quick Summary: Linda Conrads has been locked up in her house for 11 years. And not because she’s forced to, she wants to. She witnessed a horrible murder of her younger sister Anna many years ago, and she can’t bear to go out to the world anymore. Her small world suddenly turns upside down when she decides to write a novel about the murder and try to discover who the murderer is…

*SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT* You’ve been warned.

Evaluations: I LOVED this book. I was hooked at every word and it only took me so long to read it because I had exams and work. If I would have had it my way, I would have sat down one day and binge read it. I found myself doing that when I finally had the time! This book is totally worth it if you can get your hands on it. It’s a murder-mystery thriller that leaves you thinking the entire time. It’s not a fast moving novel, but if you look a good thriller, it’ll keep you hooked at every word.

Plot: Linda Conrads saw the murderer of her little sister Anna, and now she saw him again. After putting the pen to paper and writing another novel, since she is in fact an award winning novelist, she is determined to find him. When she gets an interview with this man, she learns that her view of the murder might be fiction…and she might be the murderer. This drives her mad, and she becomes even more determined to find out who murdered her sister, to finally put her theories to rest.

Characters: Linda Conrads is a bit of a shut in, and this makes her even more interesting. She’s been stuck in her house for 11 years, and might be a little bit crazy. She’s determined to find out what happened to her sister, and this seems to drive her mad. Her reliability is questioned many times during the novel, and it makes the reader really think about what could have happened. Is our narrator telling the truth? Or is she just to crazy to know the truth? She was well written, and I’m incredibly impressed with her.
The background characters are also fleshed out, even though they are present to a bare minimum. The story is focused on Linda, but these characters become important along the way. Paying attention to them is important! They all play a part.

Themes/Creativity: The theme of this story seemed to be fact vs fiction. Do we honestly remember everything perfectly? As a witness, are we reliable?
For Creativity – this book was on point! I thoroughly enjoyed this tale, since I have never read a book like this before. Even with all the mysteries and thrillers I have picked up, this story was in it’s own category. It has raised the stakes for other novels, and I loved every second of it!

Uniqueness: This book was in a club all on it’s own. While I’m sure there are other novels out there like this, I have yet to encounter something was wickedly thrilling as this novel. I would definitely pick this book up again to see if I missed anything along the way! It’s a unique view on the typical story – you don’t usually see the close relative trying to solve the murder, and they might be the possible suspect.

Strengths: The uniqueness of the novel and the situations, alongside the book inside the book, made this book terribly addicting on my end. I felt having Linda as an author, and explaining her view not only through her experiences but through her novel left me thinking and trying to pick apart the mystery even more. I enjoyed the unique take – Melanie Raabe has won me over with this book.

Weaknesses: The book is a slow building novel. I usually hate slow moving novels, but this novel is quite short and it unique. I would have loved this book not to drone on and on before the action starts, but the book was still great regardless!

Score: 5/5
This book is unique, and while it was slow I don’t think that should ruin the score. It gave all the information you needed to try to solve the mystery yourself. Everything seemed to have a purpose.

Recommendations: I would love Melanie Raabe to work on a faster pace. This book left me wishing it moved faster, since it was so incredibly great! I can see some people putting the book down because of how slow it moves, and I really hope that doesn’t happen! This translation is incredible, and deserves it’s glory!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Book Review: The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Book Review:
Title: The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
Author: Kody Keplinger
Date Read: July 22-August 11th, 2016
Date Reviewed: September 4th, 2016

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Picture VIA Goodreads.

Introduction: I decided to read this book because I wanted to watch the movie, despite hearing that the movie is nothing like the book. I had seen this book on the shelves in my local bookstore for quite some time, but I just never felt the need to pick it up until the movie appeared. My friends who read the book gave mediocre reviews of the novel which made me unsure of whether it was worth it – but it was! I enjoyed this novel!

Quick Summary: Bianca Piper is your average, everyday high school student. She deals with trying to get into college/university, family issues and friendships. When she has to work with the hot Wesley Rush (who also happens to get around the school) he mentions that she is a “Duff” – a designated, ugly, fat friend. Every group has one, and Bianca is apparently it! With the mixture of her home troubles and high school life, her and Wesley begin to get closer together…and this novel is their story.

SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT! You’ve been warned.

Evaluations: I enjoyed this book. It definitely wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it was a nice YA novel to just shut my brain off to. It has it’s cliches, but it still is worthy in my mind. It wasn’t a slow read either, the plot continued to move which made it enjoyable. I don’t understand the high reviews the book received, since it wasn’t a top tier, new idea kind of YA book. The appeal of the book for the YA audience is great – I think people who enjoy the Young Adult book scene will enjoy this book, although it wouldn’t be the first YA book I suggest people to read. It’s more of a soap opera, low key Pretty Little Liars kind of book.

Plot: The plot was pretty average – “Duff” friend gets hot guy. She deals with familial/romantic/friend issues and tells the guy, the guy feels for her and sleeps with her a lot, and eventually they get together. It is definitely a more “realistic” kind of YA novel, and I appreciate that, but there wasn’t anything super, crazy new that made me think “Yes, this is the YA novel that ups my standards!”. The plot did work well within itself though – Kody did not veer off in random directions, she continued chugging along the right way and kept her book going.

Characters: Bianca’s a strong character, much like all the other YA heroines these days. She did have her flaws – there was a boy’s over health matter that left me feeling a little stingy – but for a YA audience she definitely fit in. Headstrong female with some flaws to try to relate to the general audience. Pre-teens would definitely enjoy this character, but as an adult she wasn’t totally fleshed out as much as I would have liked her to be. She is very obsessed with herself (but what YA character isn’t, let’s be honest), but in high school the world tends to revolve around high schoolers, not the bigger picture. If she were a college student or an adult, this type of character would be a much bigger issue.
Bianca also ditched her friends as soon as she dated Wesley…
Speaking of Wesley… He was the ‘perfect’ boy character, in my opinion. He was not very realistic – chasing after Bianca, and only staying with Bianca, and being generally the perfect, opposite character for her. While it’s nice in fiction, I didn’t see it realistic. I could not see any boys I know acting in his way.

Themes/Creativity: Wuthering Heights is mentioned a lot and the boys are compared to Linton and Heathcliffe – This was okay, and I thought it was nice to mention a book like this so maybe more teenagers will read it, but it definitely did not fit in the story. A teenager wrote this, and I’m proud of her writing skill and getting published, but it felt out of place. Creativity? A+! Theme wise? Meh.
Feminism was clearly attempted, and I’m proud of that too! But…there’s a but…it also felt very forced. Everyone loves the hot guys but not the main character? While everyone wants to think they are like that in high school, it’s far out of reach. Not entirely realistic, and it kind of bugged me. It was your typical YA stereotype, and not a more realistic or unique take on it. And saying men can’t be a feminist? *sigh*

Uniqueness:
Unique topic? Yes! The Duff is definitely a term I’ve heard before, and I’ve never seen it written the way it was in this novel. I appreciate that this was brought into terms, since girls (and everyone else for that matter! but in this book girls) feel like the Duff in their group of friends.
YA uniqueness? Meh. Not totally uniquely written as a YA novel. It was cookie cutter, had stereotypes, and was overall your typical YA. It didn’t stand out for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be unique to a new YA reader. I’ve read YA for over 10 years, so at this point it doesn’t seem all that new to me.

Strengths: Bringing up important topics – while they weren’t all brought up in the best possible way (in my opinion) they were still discussed. Feminism, Wuthering Heights, feeling like “the Duff” – all of this is brought up and is discussed. It gets people thinking and starts a conversation, which is what we really need in today’s society.

Weaknesses: Bianca. Yes, the main character is perhaps the biggest weakness – her ideas on feminism, her idea that sleeping with people means you are a slut, ditching her friends for Wesley, the world revolving around her…the list goes on. She was definitely a strong main character and Kody tried, but I found her to be the worst part of the novel.

Score: 4/5
I really enjoyed this novel, but it had it’s weaknesses. Would I read it again? Probably not. Would I suggest it to others? Yes. It might not be the first book I suggest to people, but it’s recommendation worthy. Kody was a teenager when she wrote this, and if other teenagers could read this book and realize they could write a great novel as well, then recommending it is my duty!

Recommendations: I can’t wait for Kody’s next book! As she matures out of her teenage years, I’m sure her characters will grow as well! Life experiences can often help writers mature their characters! I would personally love for Kody to flesh out her characters more and explore new opportunities and situations in her books. This book was amazing for being written by a teenager!!

Quick Review – House of Ravens by Karpov Kinrade

Karpov Kinrade does an excellent job yet again with House of Ravens.

This novel has been increased greatly with more content from the original version, and it was a step up! This new, revised version was incredible and leaves the reader desperate for more!

While book one left you on a bit of a hanger about what will happen next, House of Ravens fills the void and creates an epic fantasy for every reader to enjoy. Nightfall/Scarlett grows a lot in this book, and I felt like the character growth was exponential compared to the last novel, Court of Nightfall. This growth makes the book a lot more enjoyable, and with all the drama and action occurring makes it a great step up.

The novel moves at a decent, fast pace – it doesn’t feel to slow, but it doesn’t feel like you’re skipping over any important details when you read it. The story also moves smoothly, and doesn’t chop around like some novels tend to do. I personally didn’t get bored with it, and I didn’t feel the need to skip over some chapters (like some books present to the reader).

The twists, turns and surprises of the novel make this a worthy purchase/read. It’s rare to find a long novel with a great plot, good character development and a smooth and steady story that keeps you interested. It was an honor to read this novel and I desperately want more!

Overall, this extravagant novel will take you out of this world, leave you breathless, desperate for more and wanting to throw a temper tantrum because the next book isn’t out just yet!

Five out of five stars!

 

~ Briar

Quick Review – Court of Nightfall by Karpov Kinrade

The new,revised Court of Nightfall was superb!

To begin with, the cover is incredible. It is beautiful, stunning and spectacular! And once you’ve read the novel, the cover makes complete sense with the story.

Now for the review…
The story follows a color-blind teenage girl named Star as she copes with some interesting, supernatural aspects in her life. Her parents are hiding secrets from her, her best friend Jax might not be who he says he is and there’s something special about her that just seems off. And to tie it all up, Nephilim are a serious issue.

Karpov and Kinrade did an excellent job writing this novel. It is a fantasy-type novel with suspense and thrills at every turn. The novel does start off at a slow pace, but this is because the novel is explaining Star’s back story and preparing the reader with information needed further along in the novel.

This new, revised version also gave more information on the characters. There is more back story and drama which makes the characters more believable and made me feel more attached to Star, Jax and all of their fellow characters.

At the beginning, all of the terms thrown at the reader, such as Templar and Nephilim, can seem confusing to the reader, but Karpov and Kinrade explain them thoroughly throughout the novel, so by the end the reader understands almost everything going on in the nvoel.

Overall, this novel is spectacular. My opinion has not changed on Karpov and Kinrade – they can write a hit that is thrilling, suspenseful, and leaves you anticipating the next novel.

Five out of five stars!

 

~ Briar

Quick Review – Midnight Star by Karpov Kinrade

This book is addicting, thrilling and magically creative!

You will want to finish this book in one sitting, and you’ll want to reread it again and again! Karpov Kinrade does an excellent job at creating an epic sequel that leaves readers wanting more. You wouldn’t expect a sequel to be better than the original, but KK keeps building on their story and leaving me breathless!

Arianna is a wonderfully built character who has a personality and a mind of her own. She isn’t your cookie cutter YA or adult novel star, she’s an earth shattering, beautifully written character! She has many layers and will surprise you on her journey!

The twists and turns of the plot will make any reader not want to put it down. This story is anything but boring, and that made me love it! I hate a story that slows down and creates a sense of boredom, this story makes sure you don’t have that!

Reading this book is important for the series and I would suggest reading the first novel if you are going to pick this series up. This book contains important information regarding background history of our realms and main character, but it needs the background of the first novel to serve it justice.

Five out of five stars! Karpov Kinrade wows again! A must read for fantasy lovers!

 

~ Briar