#BookReview Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

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#ThrowbackThursday time! I read this books years ago, when it came out  and now it’s time to pick it up off my shelf and dust it off for a new review!!

 

 

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey is one of my favourite books in a series that ended FAR TOO SOON!!

When I initially picked up this series I became furious – there was only two books in the series and then POOF it was gone, just like that! I was addicted, I needed more and Beth hadn’t provided the literature to fill that need. With a book and sweet and cute as this one, it was highly upsetting.

The Romanian vampire universe that Beth built within these two books was thrilling. We follow Jessica and her vampire husband (who has been accused of murder, by the way) in a magical adventure. There’s romance, drama, danger, thrills and everything you want in a YA, vampire novel.

This book does let you down though – it’s the final in a two book series that could have been so much more. It could have been the next Vampire Academy, in my eyes. Why go so far and waste the effort to create such a beautiful universe to end it after two? Our characters still had room to grow, since their character development was quite small, and there were so many loose ends that weren’t tied up in the end. When there’s so many mysteries entwined in this series, it was incredibly frustrating to know the books just stopped here.

Jessica is related to the audience – she doesn’t fit in, she’s strong willed and headstrong and is willing to save her friends. She’s not overly dramatic in my eyes, especially in a YA adult novel, but she’s still an excellent lead. Mixed in with a fast paced story, and an excellent story line makes for a truly great recommended read from me!

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Beth’s website: Beth Fantaskey

Or give Beth a shoutout on Twitter! @BethFantaskey

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#BookReview Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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Here’s another #ThrowbackThursday – a novel I read years ago, but reread and created a review for!! This is one of my favourites – Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.

 

 

Clockwork Princess is a beautiful finish to one of YA’s best series in recent years.

For years I waited anxiously for a book like Clockwork Princess – a story that ends beautifully, perfectly and without total heart break. With characters as strong as Jem, Will and Tessa, we needed a solid ending that would make all fans happy but also tie up the story just perfectly, and Cassandra Clare delivered.

This book will pull at your heartstrings and destroy you. It’s such a beautiful ending it’s hard to believe it’s all over with. The ups and downs of this series is ended just perfectly that there are no loose ends and no destroyed fans (at least, from what I’ve seen). I dare say that this book is the best book Cassandra Clare has ever written – it rivals the base Mortal Instrument series, and has one step up. This book was even better than City of Heavenly Angels, in my opinion. With such a satisfying conclusion, I have to say it deserves more than five stars. Not many books can be finished so perfectly.

Would I recommend this series? Absolutely. While it’s a YA, it definitely doesn’t feel like your typical YA story. Adults can enjoy this – there isn’t as much ooey, gooey silly teenage angst that is in most YA books. It’s a grown up YA with the odd silly scene. So it’s safe to say it’s a good read. This series can also be used as a standalone – you don’t need to read all the other series (Mortal Instruments, Dark Artifices) to understand this book at all. It is the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments, if you’re interested in reading further (they can be read out of order via the series though. TMI came out first, then this series and now The Dark Artifices). I would suggest reading the three books of this series in order though – it’s worthy.

It also has one of the most beautiful covers. I love the original cover – I saw a new one at my local book store recently and it wasn’t as beautiful, but in terms of cover art – judging the book by it’s cover it allowed for this book. With such a great cover comes such a great story.

Problems with this book/series:
Yes, there’s a love triangle. Can they be annoying? Yes. Does it work in this book? Yeah, it’s YA so it’s kind of an expected plot twist these days.
Weak characters – yeah, there are some. But personally, I find having all characters be strong can make for a boring book.
Repeat characters – Cassandra Clare uses the same characters/developments with different names and faces. It’s annoying, but as long as you aren’t just reading her books and expand your library, you don’t notice to much.
Rule Breakers – some of the “cannot be broken rules” are broken in this book. It’s kind of annoying in my eyes, but what can you do? It created the happy ending most fans wanted, so I guess we can over look that…
Tessa – FINALLY we learn what Tessa is. I’m a little disappointed it took so long because it would have been cooler to flesh out all about her throughout the series, but whatever, it works, I guess.

So, overall, this book is really on the fence for most readers – people either love it passionately to no end (ugly cry, putting the book on a pedestal and praying to it sort of deal) or hated it (rip the pages out, burn the book, demand a refund, etc). I’m on the end that enjoyed it and I definitely kept the book (Look at that cover, how can you not love the book for the cover alone?).

So, I will give it five out of five stars. It had it’s faults for sure, but it was a great read that kept me interested, was fast paced, and had an ending that I found to be good.

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

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#BookReview Immortal by Gillian Shields

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Here’s a quick #FlashbackFriday review featuring a YA novel!!

 

Immortal by Gillian Shields is a fantasy YA novel focused on witches.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series (aka this book, Immortal). The take it has on witches was different than what I had read about before, and I enjoyed it’s uniqueness. It wasn’t on my top list of YA books I read years ago, but it’s still a good book.

Gillian Shields is a skilled writer, and I really want to pick up more books from her. This novel isn’t an A+ book, but I can only imagine how much she has grown since she first wrote this book. With so much potential, it’s hard to believe she won’t write an even better book in the future.

I did think there was a pinch too much romance in this book. If there was more focus on the plot line and witches I think it could have peaked up to an even higher rating on my end. I’ll have to pick up the rest of the books in the series again to see if it gets any better or if my ratings change from when I first read this series. It also features some cliche characters and plot lines…

So, for me, it’s a little bit boring.

It’s still a sweet book, and I think there’s lots of room to grow for Gillian. Hopefully she has more books out because I absolutely LOVED her writing style within this. Her books are easy to read and move at a relatively fast paced!

Three out of five stars.

 

Check out Gillian on Goodreads! Gillian Shields on Goodreads

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

Did you enjoy this review? Here’s another you might like! Book Review: Boys That Bite by Mari Mancusi

#BookReview The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

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And now for a #ThrowbackThursday review of a book I read YEARS ago. I’ve reread this book and given a new review for it!! Here’s The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead.

 

 

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead in a great addition in the Vampire Academy universe.

Typically, when an author breaks off from the original series and creates a prequel/sequel series it’s not very good – Richelle Mead is one of the few authors that has created a hit. She stands alongside JK Rowling with Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, Cassandra Clare with TMI and TID and many other greats.

Bloodlines became my guilty pleasure when it came out. After striking gold with Vampire Academy and having me hooked there, of course Richelle had to create a story centered around everybody’s boyfriend – Adrian Ivashkov. With Adrian and Sydney leading this series, we have two strong, able leads who always keep things interesting.

Our leads grow a lot within this book – this appears to be the book mainly for character development. There is still an epic plot, with fast paced action and over the top drama, but the main part of this book that kept me interested was how the characters were changing and growing. Richelle always seems to have one book in her series that has a strong sense of character development, and it always ends up being one of the better books in the series.

This book does lack a lot of the friendly side characters we grew to love, but don’t worry! They appear in later books!! This book’s main focus is Adrian and Sydney. There are a few new characters introduced to make up for that empty space – and that includes a little witchcraft! While I didn’t enjoy these characters as much as our typical brood (Angeline, Eddie, Jill, etc) they were still a nice edition to the story.

Overall, this supernatural story is a definite recommended read from me! Start from the beginning (Bloodlines) or the VERY VERY beginning (Vampire Academy) if you want some great reads to fill your time. They definitely are worth it! Keep in mind these are YA novels – so there is lots of young adult love and drama, and of course this book has vampires. Not your typical vampires, but still…vampires. There was a trend a few years back, if you can’t remember. Vampires were “the thing”.

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Richelle on Goodreads: Richelle Mead on Goodreads

Or visit her on her website: RichelleMead.com

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

#BookReview Twisted by Gena Showalter

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Gena Showalter’s Intertwined series is still one of my top YA series EVER…I’m almost heartbroken to write this review knowing that we may never get the final book…

Anywho, here we go! Here’s my review of Twisted (Intertwined #3) by Gena Showalter.

This book is a five star book from me despite the MANY issues this book seems to have. It’s five stars because I find the book highly addicting and really enjoy Gena’s writing. That being said, looking back on this book and knowing that there’s no final book…it really doesn’t deserve the five star rating (in my opinion). I will keep it at it’s five stars, but I will give an updated more recent (like 7-8 years later?) post-rating since I’m going through this book again.

Positives:
1. This book is a lot darker than the previous two, which helped make this series pop out and become more addicting in my mind.

2. Epic cover. What can I say? Sometimes you DO judge a book by it’s cover.

3. The sudden changes in the characters are both a positive and a negative. I liked the changes, it made some of the characters more likable and it developed their characters. But…the rest is said in the negatives. Of course, there’s a “but…”.

4. This book is action packed, and is definitely one of Gena’s best series. It moves fast enough to keep me interested.

5. I love the couple pairings in this series. This book doesn’t disappoint for expanding on these relationships and make them more addicting.

Negatives:
1. Our characters personalities seem to have randomly changed in this book. It didn’t follow as smoothly to the second book as the second did to the first. I would have loved a final book to explain why this happened…

2. Cancelled series. Yup – if you aren’t happy with cliffhangers, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. If I would have known, I probably wouldn’t have read this series. I absolutely HATE books that end in cliffhangers or where plots are never resolved.

3. The ending.

The positives and the negatives are pretty even for this series, to be brutally honest. It’s a great read for someone who wants to get into Gena’s writing and see the different sides of her that aren’t just her giant Lords of the Underworld series. I would suggest this to those who want a quality YA read!!!

My new rating would be closer to 3.5, especially since Gena never even gave a hint to what the ending would be (since the next book is apparently “never” coming out, and it looks like a literal never at this point).

 

Visit Gena Showalter on Goodreads! Gena Showalter on Goodreads

Or visit her website! genashowalter.com

Visit my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Or check out another review you might enjoy! Quick Book Review: Mania (The Night Walkers #3) by JR Johansson

#BookReview Oblivion by Kelly Creagh

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Oblivion by Kelly Creagh was a dark, twisted, must-read YA novel.

I’m heart broken because I’m pretty sure this novel was the finale of this series. While I hope Kelly Creagh continues this universe on into more books, I highly doubt she will due to the way the story ended. There were still many questions left to be answered, and there were still many moments readers wanted to and probably will never see.

I wanted way more of Varen in this book. Everyone I spoke to about this book (within my friend circle) all complained about the lack of Varen – and this didn’t get cleared up in this novel. He was a major part of this story, and he was just lacking. I adore his characters, and he’s one of my top YA male characters out there – he’s different, not your normal romantic interest, and he’s darker than the average character. So I loved him, and my heart was left to be shattered.

Kelly Creagh’s writing is memorizing, and I demand more novels by her!! She’s one of the few authors that can write in such a dark tone and yet be incredibly addicting. She’s not scary, she’s alluring with her writing!!

Her take on Edgar Allen Poe’s story is a great adaption. While seeing every fairy tale be retold over and over, I liked seeing a take on another great work. His dark poems were woven perfectly into this trilogy and novels, and I highly suggest people pick it up!!! Kelly deserves the support!!

Overall, I loved this series. It’s sad to see this series end, but the bittersweet feelings will go away when I see another fantastic title by Kelly Creagh end up on book shelves.

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Kelly Creagh on Goodreads! Kelly Creagh on Goodreads

Or check out her website! Kelly Creagh.com

Did you enjoy my review? Check out Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Want to check out another review you might enjoy? Book Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

#BookReview Captured by Maggie L Wood

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Who’s ready for #ThrowbackThursday review? This time, Captured by Maggie L Wood is on the pedestal! I read this back when it came out, so it’s thrilling to find it hiding on the back of my bookshelves to read again! Now, here’s the review:

 

Captured by Maggie L Wood is a fantastic retelling of a game of chess in a YA setting.

Back when there was an indie book store with fantastic deals, this book was one a giant cardboard cut out bookshelf with a for sale sign on it. At the time, I wasn’t a giant reader but I was getting bored with Twilight and vampire novels in general so I picked this book up. Little did I know, that I’d become obsessed, the third book would be in development for years and years and years and I’d forget this book was on the back of one of my shelves for YEARS. So, like I tend to do – I avoid my four giant to-read book shelves with physical copies and reread some old “classics”.

This YA book is truly incredible – yes it’s your typical romance, adventure, action and thriller story but instead of vampires or fairy tales – it’s chess!! I’m horrible at chess, but I love seeing someone make a book around it! It’s original, and while it’s probably been done before but I’ve never found the book, I really enjoyed it!

Our lead isn’t just some frail princess falling in love, no she’s ready to be a superhero in her own realm! At this time, most of the books I was reading were weak girls who just wanted a boyfriend. When I picked up this book and saw a strong heroine, I was amazed. And I still am! It’s such a great, unique story and it’s upsetting seeing that barely anyone has read or reviewed it!

This is a 110% recommended read from me. I would love to see more books by Maggie L Wood popping up on bookshelves all around the nation! She has a unique look on the world and her books aren’t the usual silly vampire story. If she had room to grow and write more books, I’m sure her writing ability would sky rocket and rival some of the best.

Five out of five stars.

 

Find Maggie on Goodreads: Maggie L Wood on Goodreads

Visit her website: MaggieLWood.com

Or give her a shoutout on Twitter! @MaggieLWood

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

Did you enjoy this review? Check out this one! Eighth Grade Bites by Zac Brewer