Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren

21411902Title: Dirty Rowdy Thing
Author: Christina Lauren
Series: Wild Seasons
Previous Book in the Series:
1. Sweet Filthy Boy
Date Started: November 14
Date Finished: November 16
Format: ebook from the digital library

Despite their rowdy hookups, Harlow and Finn don’t even like each other…which would explain why their marriage lasted only twelve hours. He needs to be in charge and takes whatever he wants. She lives by the Want-something-done? Do-it-yourselfmantra. Maybe she’s too similar to the rugged fisherman—or just what he needs.

I’m not sure how this is possible, but Christina Lauren has done again and made me fall for another couple in their crazy world of romance. Harlow and Finn are just…there are really no words to describe the two of them. I mean, if it’s insanely possible I actually liked them more than I did Mia and Ansel. There was just something about them from the start that I really liked. And yeah, I should have guessed when they first showed up in Sweet Filthy Boy that I would like them, but considering that book was more focused on Mia and Ansel, I couldn’t really get a feel for the others yet.

I think it must be my thing for romance, but as soon as two characters start picking on each other, throwing insults and the like, I start shipping them automatically. I blame my love for Sailor Moon for this. But when Harlow and Finn started doing that in the first chapter no less, I fell fast. Their relationship was so…odd. I mean, I liked that they tried to just be friends with benefits – or in this case enemies with benefits – first, but as soon as they started connecting and talking and letting things off their chests, I knew that that wasn’t going to last long. But even when they started to fall for each other, I was just totally captivated by what was going on. Especially that scene in Harlow’s car right before the big Hollywood party? I was a goner.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I wish the next book also focused on Harlow and Finn, but it’s time for Lola and Oliver to have their turn. And considering they both don’t think the other is in to them, you know it’s going to be good.

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Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce

41imxjvsm9l-_sx330_bo1204203200_Title: Lady Knight
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: Protector of the Small Quartet
Previous Books in the Series:
1. First Test
2. Page
3. Squire
Date Started: November 8
Date Finished: November 14
Format: ebook from the digital library

In the final thrilling installment of Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small series, our sturdy young heroine, Keladry of Mindelan (a.k.a. Kel), has finally been knighted. Never one to rest on her laurels, Kel champs at the bit, ready to tackle the horrific magic killing devices she was shown in the Chamber of the Ordeal during her knighthood initiation. The huge, insectlike machines, “made of iron-coated giants’ bones, chains, pulleys, dagger-fingers and -toes, and a long whiplike tail,” feed on the souls of dead children and are systematically killing off the citizens and warriors of Tortall. Thoroughly disgusted to discover that not only is she not going to be assigned a combat post, but she has been placed in charge of a refugee camp instead, Kel, in her usual noble, stoic way, swallows her disappointment and sets out being the best refugee camp commander possible. Of course, destiny has a way of sneaking up on a young woman like Kel, and soon she is fulfilling the ordeal the Chamber set out for her… and then some.

This book always makes me laugh. When I originally read Tamora Pierce’s books I hadn’t realized that she was still writing them. So when I came to the conclusion of Squire and couldn’t find the next book I felt instantly scandalized. How was it possible that a book series didn’t have a conclusion? Now, remember, this was really before the Internet took off, so I had no Goodreads really to find out what was going on and her website wasn’t all that great. However, as I was searching the Barnes & Noble website for something to spend a gift card on, I found out that the final book of the series wasn’t out yet. It wasn’t coming out to summer ’03. Yikes.

Anyway, that was my first birthday gift to myself and the first YA book that I bought. And to this day I think Lady Knight will always have a special place in my heart because of that. Not only is it a final book in a series that I actually like, but I kind of also liked the fact that Kel didn’t need a guy to complete her story. She is ridiculously single at the end of the book and that really makes me smile. I also believe that the whole reason I’m slightly decent at writing battle scenes – I say as I’m trying to figure out how to write one for my NaNo novel – is because of Pierce.

I really loved the character development in these books too. Kel, really grew on me, not only because she wouldn’t back down to bullies but because of how dedicated she is to the small person – hence the nickname. Neal, sarcastic remarks aside, really grew as a healer too. And then Lord Wyldonn just shocks me every time I swear. That bit at the end with the whole ‘great knight, proud to know you’ thing just…actually brought tears to my eyes. Ahhh.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Everything is tied together nicely. Characters have really grown. And I’m hoping at some point there’s going to be another book featuring Kel and what she’s up to now?

Bookshelf worthy? If only I had the room.

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The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

51xqzwhkg8l-_sx329_bo1204203200_Title: The Disappearances
Author: Emily Bain Murphy
Date Started: November 4
Date Finished: November 11
Format: Hardcover from my shelf

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared? Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up. Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind. As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.

This was another book from a book subscription box and this one was also very strange. When I first read the title I thought for sure that I was in for a deep mystery about people disappearing. Then I started the novel and found out how wrong I was. It isn’t people that disappeared, it was things like scent, stars, reflections, etc. I somehow did not see that coming and was a little bit intrigued so I kept reading…and reading…and reading. I think this book felt relatively long because I was also reading another book at the time and at certain intervals I would take a break from this one to switch to that one.

But still it was rather long and the mystery of what was going on in Sterling and the other sister cities was a little bit drawn out. Aila was a good character, she didn’t give up, and I liked that she didn’t grow up so fast just because of her mother’s death and that her father had gone to war. She still gets annoyed with her brother. She still does what teenagers do and gets worried about her popularity in this new town. She starts crushing on Will – the son of the people that her and her brother are staying with – and has to deal with another girl’s hate because of it.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. I think the thing that was most intriguing about this book was that it’s marked as a historical fiction book on Goodreads. And yeah, it does take place in 1942, but other than the fact that Aila and Miles’ dad goes off to fight in the war, it doesn’t actually feel like a historical fiction book to me. It felt rather modern. I also didn’t like the interlude chapters dealing with Stefen. It reminded me too much of The Body Finder series and it actually took away from the plot.

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Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

51vckyalgxl-_sx332_bo1204203200_Title: Falling Kingdoms
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms
Date Started: November 6
Date Finished: November 8
Format: ebook from the digital library

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power–brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined; Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct. Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished–and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making. Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past–and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield. Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword… The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

Shockingly enough I found this book completely fascinating. As I’m plowing through the hell that is NaNoWriMo, this book was a nice distraction – and an excellent inspiration I think I’ve finally figured out how the rest of my 30k are going to go thanks to this book – and it reminded me a lot of the Throne of Glass series and the Snow Like Ashes trilogy. While usually the constant back and forth between POVs would drive me absolutely insane in Falling Kingdoms I adored it. I got to see everything from everyone’s perspective and even when plot twists were thrown in they were done in such a way where none of the characters really saw it coming.

When I almost 75% done with the book though I ended up being disappointed. All of a sudden Theon and Cleo are ridiculously in love and can’t live without the other? Really? How mundane and not very well developed at all. I mean, sure he’s been following her for a while as her bodyguard but not long enough to love her. However, my disgust turned to interest when not long after their huge declaration Magnus kills Theon. And really the losses Cleo starts to take in the last 25% of this book are ridiculously huge. But, I liked that twist. Not only because I didn’t buy the whole relationship, but because there wasn’t that much for love interests in this book and that completely fascinates me.

Final Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. I’ll round this up to 4 on Goodreads, but this wasn’t all that bad. I was a little bit concerned there with the whole love interest in Theon bit, but with his death and the fall of Cleo’s kingdom, I’m kind of intrigued to see where exactly this goes next.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

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The Raven by Sylvain Reynard

18965316Title: The Raven
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Series: The Florentine
Date Started: October 30
Date Finished: November 4
Format: ebook from the digital library

Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery restoring fine works of Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semi-conscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attacker’s screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her…

Cassita vulneratus.

When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. She returns to the Uffizi, but no one recognizes her and more disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of the events leading up to her disappearance, Raven also learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history – the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the baffled police force identifies her as its prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets…

I am so conflicted over this book. So, so conflicted. On one hand I liked the idea of The Raven. A mortal girl stumbles into the world of vampires (uh…excuse me vampyres) and the ‘prince’ of the vampyres takes an interest in her because she reminds him of someone that he used to know many, many years ago. But at the same time, how many times had this idea been done before? If this book had come out over a decade ago, I would probably be jumping in my seat and gushing about how awesome this book was. But, I’m older, and not as taken with vampires as I was before.

I mean, the whole back and forth – she’s leaving him, she’s staying – was driving me absolutely nuts. I also didn’t like how she reminded me of Bella from Twilight either. Really prone to danger. Likes to step in and save others. But also really self-depricating. If I had to read one more time about how men didn’t like her because of how round she was and because of her bum leg, I was going to mark this as DNF. I wish too that there had been more of  chase between Raven and William. She jumped into bed with him way too quickly.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. I didn’t hate it. But I didn’t love it either. Maybe I’m getting tired of vampires. Who knows? I know that there are two other books in this series, but I don’t think I’ll read them.

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Revisited: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

91axkxephllTitle: The Golden Lily
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines
Previous Book in the Series:
1. Bloodlines
Date Originally Read: April 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover from my own shelf

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. Alchemists protect vampire secrets – and human lives. Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California – tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formorly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age-old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and her sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi – the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that – special, magical, powerful – that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Braydon, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else – someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her. Should she trust the Alchemists – or her heart?

Shockingly enough, here is another series where I own all the books, but have only read a few of them and that was a few years ago. The rest have sat on my shelf – or in this case the floor – and have not been touched. I had really weird rules about tackling my reading list, but I’ve sort of gone lack on them. Sort of.

Anyway, The Golden Lily, to me, was much better than Bloodlines. For some reason Sydney didn’t annoy me as much as she did in the first book. I got where she was coming from, even if she was a little bit too uptight sometimes. I mean, a Moroi using magic, she should be used to that by now. I get that it’s against her religious beliefs, but she really just needs to chill out. She’s going to give herself a heart attack one of these days. As for Adrian…he’s still just as swoon worthy as usual. His slow fall for Sydney was actually quiet adorable, if a little back handed at times (having her teach him how to drive a stick when he already knew how). And then I’m still trying to figure out Trey’s character. I feel like we got a little bit of insight in this book, but some things just don’t add up.

Also this new bunch of ‘Alchemists’ are really throwing me off. They’re almost radical to an extent. I kind of want to know more about them, and I hope they’re brought up more in the next book. Especially Marcus Fine. There’s a story there, I just know there is.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Sydney isn’t as neurotic as she was in the last book, although she seems to still have a few hang ups; Moroi magic, her magic, following her duty to the Alchemists. But I’m really hoping even those fall to the wayside a little bit. Knowing Adrian’s past, I have a feeling that putting distance between them won’t be a solution for long.

Bookshelf worthy? So many books so little time.

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A Beautiful Funeral by Jamie McGuire

51m83jnwzllTitle: A Beautiful Funeral
Author: Jamie McGuire
Series: Beautiful Disaster
Previous Books in the Series:
1. Beautiful Disaster
2. Walking Disaster
Date Started: October 30
Date Finished: October 31
Format: Kindle book from my collection

Losing has never been easy for a Maddox, but death always wins. Eleven years to the day after eloping in Vegas with Abby, Special Agent Travis Maddox delivers his own brand of vigilante justice to mob boss Benny Carlisi. Vegas’s oldest and most violent crime family is now preparing for vengeance, and the entire Maddox family is a target.

The secret Thomas and Travis have kept for a decade will be revealed to the rest of the family, and for the first time the Maddoxes will be at odds. While none of them are strangers to loss, the family has grown, and the risk is higher than ever. With brothers against brothers and wives taking sides, each member will make a choice—let the fear tear them apart, or make them stronger.

So, when I originally added this to my TBR shelf on Goodreads, this was supposed to be book 3 of the Beautiful Disaster series. I noticed a few months ago that it became book 5 of the Maddox Brother series, and I was actually kind of annoyed. I hate when books do that. I wasn’t going to read the other four books in the Maddox Brothers series, because in all honesty I wasn’t interested in the other Maddox brothers at all, I was just interested in Travis and Abby. And even though I didn’t do that, I was still caught up on everything that had happened between all the members of this family pretty quickly. In fact a good chunk of this book was more about rehashing what had happened in the previous four than what was really going on now.

Which is just one of my many complaints. Second? There were too many narrators to keep straight. At one point I even forgot what chapter the current POV was and I really didn’t care, not a good sign. The couple that I came to know and love from Beautiful Disaster wasn’t all that present in this book. I mean, there was that brief point right before Travis has to tell the whole family the truth, but other than that there was a lot of sibling fighting. And then the true death in this book was actually just…blah. I mean after everything that had happened in this book, I wasn’t all that surprised and really could have done without the final ‘in memorium’ chapter that we got with him in it. It was weird and kind of out of place.

Final Rating: 2 out of 5 stars. I should have not read this book at all and just let Travis and Abby had their ending that they had in Beautiful Disaster/Walking Disaster. There were too many POVs to keep track of. Events were actually getting kind of melodramatic and ridiculous. And I wasn’t all that saddened by the character who died in this book.

Bookshelf worthy? Pass.

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