Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

     I no longer saw the world in black and white and deep down I knew I didn't operate on basic social norms anymore.
     Like thy shalt not kill or whatever.
~page 23 of Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite (The Selection, #2) 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

My Thoughts:  I did like this book but not nearly as much as I liked The Selection.  I think one of the reasons why I didn't like it as much is because American really annoyed me in this one.  She is so wishy-washy that I wanted to smack her.  

We left off with only 6 girls remaining in the selection.  They were America, Celeste, Marley, Elise, Natalie and Kriss.  Celeste is still a major brat and I cannot stand her.  Elise and Natalie are okay but it is clear that they are only there because they are easy to manipulate and Elise has an "in" with the country she is from.  Celeste is obviously only there because she is a Two so she is already "a lady" and she's beautiful.  Marley and Kriss are the peoples' favorites so that leaves America at the bottom of the list.  However, Maxon has continued to assure her that she is the one for him.

America still has feelings for Aspen though and since he is a guard at the palace, she sees him frequently.  This means that she is unable to let him go.  It is also one of the reasons that America really annoys me in this book.  When something serious happens, America pushes Maxon away and it seems to me that she goes back to Aspen as a "back-up" plan yet she gets upset with Maxon for suddenly spending more time with Kriss.  I completely understand why she was upset with Maxon.  Heck, I wanted to beat him up too but she doesn't give him a chance to really explain himself.  I admire America's morals and ethics and the fact that she isn't sure she could become a princess but she is always talking about changing things and what better way to change things than to become princess and then eventually queen?  

I like Aspen and he is always there for America but I am fully Team Maxon.  Especially when you discover a little more about Maxon's relationship with his father.  The king is a total and complete jerk and you really can't help but admire Maxon for finally (somewhat) standing up to him.  Aspen is a great friend to America but he is someone from her past and she has changed now so I think it is time for her to let Aspen go.  

America was a very strong character in the first book.  However in this book, I felt that she lost her edge.  She was constantly whining about who to chose, Maxon or Aspen.  Then, if Maxon made her angry or she didn't agree with something going on in the palace, she would demand that Maxon send her home and then she would change her mind and cry that she wanted to stay.  It was so frustrating!  Then there were the times when she was just reckless and didn't think before acting or speaking.  

I did like the idea of the selection (because I secretly love The Bachelor and this is very similar) and I liked Maxon.  I enjoyed reading about the riots because it brought a little danger and excitement to the book but America really needs to get her act together for the last book!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Book Review: Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

My Thoughts:  I just have to say that I totally and completely disagree with the first sentence in the synopsis.  I think being connected to Daemon Black would be awesome on so many levels!  

Okay, now that we have cleared that up, I will say that I liked Onyx better than Obsidian.  It had more action and tons of sexual tension between Daemon and Katy but Daemon wasn't quite a complete and total jerk like he came off in Obisdian.  

I still really like Katy.  She is so strong and independent and yet she is not perfect.  In fact, she in not perfect by a long shot and made some crazy bad moves.  There were times when I was shaking my head and thinking "Girl, what is going on in your brain?!" but it made her a more realistic character to me.  Sometimes I really do think she should have thought out her plan more but I guess if we had that then it would probably have been a pretty boring book (and it was FAR from that)!  I was sad at the way she pushed Dee away at times.  I totally understand why she did what she did but it seemed to me like there could have been a different way to go about this.  Of course, this also led to less of Dee in Onyx and that made me sad because I really liked Dee.  

Blake was a very interesting character and while I was with Daemon on not trusting him, he totally surprised me at the end with who he was and what he wanted.  I thought that Blake was a complete ass at times (like when he was "testing" Katy) but I liked him at the beginning.  I felt a little bad for Blake with the way Daemon would always show up and how poorly Daemon treated him but on the other hand, I never quite trusted Blake either so I understood why Daemon felt the need to watch out for Katy.  

The action in this book is nonstop.  You have the Dept.of Defense that is snooping around and just when you think you know their intentions, you realize you are wrong and you actually know nothing about why the DOD is there.  Then you throw in Blake and Katy's mom's boyfriend, Will, and things just get crazy.  I loved the fact that this book constantly had me guessing and the cliff hanger at the end makes me so happy that I have the next book already!  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.

My Thoughts: I waited quite a while to read this series.  I honestly knew nothing about it except that it was written by one of my favorite authors.  I never read the synopsis or the reviews.  I'm glad I didn't because alien books aren't usually my thing so I don't know if I would have read it but imagine my surprise when I found out Daemon was an alien!  

Katy has just moved with her mom to West Virginia.  Her mom wants a new start after Katy's father has passed away.  Katy is perfectly happy to spend the summer at home, blogging about books (how cool is that??) and gardening but her mom wants her to meet people before school so she suggests that Katy meet the neighbors.  Katy goes to ask for directions to the store to appease her mother and meets Daemon, an incredibly hot yet extremely rude guy.  They do not get off to a good start.  However, his sister Dee is another story.  Dee and Katy hit it off right away and become close friends, much to Daemon's dismay.  

Katy is at her wit's end trying to understand Daemon's hot and cold attitude towards her.  She is forced to spend time with Daemon and can't decide if there is an attraction between them or not.  It is truly a love/hate relationship.  The Daemon saves Katy's life, not once but twice, and after the second time she is forced to spend even more time with him due to the fact that he has left a "trace" on her.  It is then that Katy discovers Daemon and Dee's secret and learns about the Luxen and the Arum.  

I love Katy, Dee, Carissa and Lesa.  They are fun and great friends.  I even loved Daemon.  How could you not love him, even at his worst.  But I could not stand Ash or Andrew.  They were just  nasty.  I did like their brother, Adam, though.  He seemed like he could be decent.  

The ending was very action packed.  I do have to say that I thought Katy was one of those dumb characters that just don't think.  Without giving too much away here....I get that she was trying to keep Dee safe but to me there seemed to be so many other options that would have been smarter.  So I was rolling my eyes at that part of the story a little bit.  

Other than that, I thought this was a fun read.  It was different for me to read about aliens so I found that refreshing.  I am interested to see how the next book compares.  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Book Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.
My Thoughts:  Layla is part demon and part Warden.  A Warden is a gargoyle who hunts demons so you can see how this could be a slight problem.  However, she is taken in at a young age by Abbott, a Warden, and grows up in the clan and Layla definitely considers herself on the Warden's side.  She can see people's souls (or lack thereof) and "tags" demons for the Warden's to take out.  With the exception of some soul cravings here and there, Layla thinks this is working for her.  
Then Layla meets Roth.  Roth is an upper-level demon and oh, so hot!  He saves her from a demon right off the bat and then shows up at her school.  Once Layla meets Roth, she starts to question everything she has grown up thinking she knows.  Are demons really all evil?  Should they all be wiped out by the Wardens?  Are the Wardens all good?  

After Layla finds out the truth about who she is and what she can do, things start to get dangerous and a little exciting (who am I kidding??  Things get A LOT exciting).
I loved Layla immediately.  She is a very strong character and despite the things that she finds out about herself, she doesn't ever feel sorry for herself or have pity parties.  The revelation of who Layla's father was shocked me and I immediately felt for her but she moved on and didn't let it ruin her.  I also really loved how, even though there appears to be a love triangle at first, there really isn't.  Layla knows exactly what she wants and knows that the love she feels for Zayne and Roth are different.  
Zayne was a great guy.  He was a little over protective of Layla and that could get a little annoying.  I also was mad when he wouldn't answer his phone when Layla really needed him and his support.  I felt he put her off and was petty at times but he was a pretty decent guy.  

Roth...I am team Roth all the way, no doubt about it!  From the time he entered the story until the end, I was completely for Roth!  He's hot, he's bad (I mean, he's a demon...how much more bad can you get?) and he can be so sweet to Layla.  He can be totally sarcastic and I loved his sense of humor.  Plus, he has Bambi and Thumper (read the book and you'll find out who Bambi and Thumper are) and that was pretty awesome.  

This book was action packed from page one.  It was full of surprises and the end will make you want to cry or scream!  I hated putting the book down and stayed up late to read it.  I cannot wait to read the second book (comes out in October) and see what happens with Layla, Roth and Zayne.  This book is a definite must read for 2014!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's top ten is ten popular authors I've never read.  

Sarah Ockler 
 I own several of her books but haven't gotten around to reading her yet

Fixing Delilah Bittersweet     

Becca Fitzpatrick
I have the whole Hush, Hush series but again, they sit on my Nook and wait for me to get to them!
Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)    Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)  Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)   

Meg Cabot
I have a bunch of her books too (do you see a trend here?) and my daughter loves the Princess Diaries series so I have to get going on these to see why.  I did love the movie though!
Abandon (Abandon Trilogy, #1)  The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1)  

Lauren DeStefano
I have read such great reviews about her books and again, I have them all so just need to get to them!
Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)  Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles, #1)  

Brenna Yovanoff
Her books look so creepy to me and I just bought Fiendish!  I can't wait to read some of them!

The Replacement  The Space Between Fiendish  

Cynthia Hand
Again, I have the whole Unearthly series but haven't read it yet.  I really need to get moving, huh?

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)  Hallowed (Unearthly, #2) Boundless (Unearthly, #3)  

Allie Condie
I bet you can't guess what I'm gonna say...yep, have the whole series but nope, haven't read them!

Matched (Matched, #1)  Crossed (Matched, #2) Reached (Matched, #3) 

Rachel Vincent
I really want to read her Soul Screamers series.  It looks amazing!

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1) My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2) 

Veronica Roth
I've recently bought the Divergent series and I am looking forward to getting it read.

Divergent (Divergent, #1) Insurgent (Divergent, #2) 

Rachel Hawkins
She's another author that I am excited to read!  I love books about witches so this should be right up my alley!

Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1) Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2) 

I think what I have figured out from this post is that I need to get reading more of my TBR pile!

Teaser Tuesday: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Layla," Abbot called out, and I stopped at the door.  "Just one last thing."
My stomach tumbled.  "Okay."
Abbot smiled tightly.  "Where did you get the clothes you're wearing?" 
~page 214 of White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Take Control of Your TBR Pile March 2014 Challenge

Take Control of Your TBR Pile 2014 

The Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.   I really need to get control of my TBR pile!  I have books that I bought as soon as they came out only to sit on my bookshelf for years.  So, as soon as I finish my current read (and ARC), I am definitely going to concentrate on my TBR pile for this month.

Here are a few of the books on my pile that I hope to get read:
Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1) 

The Night Circus 
Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)

Hopefully I will get through more than five books but this is where I am starting.  I will link my reviews on this page and keep you updated through the month!