NA Paranormal, NA Romance, Reviews

Book Review: Iniquity by Amy A. Bartol

Iniquity (The Premonition, #5)

goodreads summary

I gasp as my body curls toward Brennus like a flower to the sun, for the pleasure of it. He holds me close to him. His nose grazes the length of my neck. He breathes me in. I feel the roar and rush of my heartbeat. I’m his toy; his energy streams into me. He winds the invisible key in my back and the euphoria ratchets and coils inside of me: tick…tick…tick…

Another wicked surge of energy flows from him into me. Pain. Pleasure. Bliss. My jaw unclenches as my lips part. I make a small, breathy sound as we dance. Brennus responds with something close to a growl. “Ye’re killing me, mo chroí,” he murmurs. His hand moves down my back infusing me with a golden glow of power. My wings punch violently from me, tearing a hole in my day dress. They spread wide, like a red stain beyond my pale skin. I’m dancing now for the thrill of it. I follow his lead.

As the song comes to an end, Brennus kisses my throat. He whispers in my ear, “When ye get back, come find me, mo chroí. I’ve healed ye…now wake up and banjax whoever banished ye here…”

review

The basics

Evie is a half-angel/half-human being who has mission on earth from heaven. She doesn’t know what that is but she does have help- Russel, her soulmate,  Reed, her aspire (angel soulmate),  Buns, Brownie, and Zypher (her family), and  Brennus, her Gancanagh King. They are constantly moving and fighting with creatures, all the while Evie gets these premonitions in her dreams of things that are going to happen. Lots of love, hot guys, and yes- sex. But also lots of kick ass female characters. Evie isn’t one for cowering when life gets tuff. 

**Spoilery**

So this is the 5th and final book in The Premonition Series by Amy A. Bartol. The others are Inescapable, Intuition, Indebted, and Incendiary.

Bartol has defined herself as a pantser (writes by the seat of her pants), but she has plotted this series so well. The twist and turns come when you least expect them to. Iniquity is no different. The story weaves through Evie’s past and present, finally explaining to us why she is on earth and what her heavenly mission is- to destroy her inescapable and choose a love of her own.

Bartol’s writing is as strong as ever. Lots of details. Lots of steamy scenes. Lots of action.

One thing that drives me nuts, and has nothing to do with the writing, are the male characters, specifically Brennus, Tau (Evie’s father), and Xavier (Evie’s guardian angel who was in love with her). They don’t respect what Evie wants.  She’ll make a statement like “I don’t want to be with you” and they will ignore her completely. And this kept happening throughout the book. The only person who knows what is best for Evie, is Evie herself. Ugh, male egos.

Overall, I feel sort of indifferent about the book… and the ending. I was so worried the entire time that Evie, or Reed, or Brennuss, or Buns, or Russle, or Brownie, or Zypher was going to die that it took away from my  focus on the story.  I couldn’t care less about the fate of Tau or Xavier. And the ending was okay. Evie ending up where she belonged… they all ended up where she belonged.

I think in the end the book was lack luster. However, I enjoyed it as much as the previous ones. I could’ve used more kick ass Evie and less everyone else.

rating: 4 out 5

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Tuesday Meme

Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

TopTenTuesday

Thank you to The Broke and The Bookish for this wonderful meme! If you want to learn how to participate, click here and check it out. Promise you won’t regret it.

Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

Liz’s Picks

I have read so many books by so many author’s this year that I hadn’t heard of before 2015. Each author is perfect in their own way and their own writing. I am so looking forward to these author’s releases in 2016!

Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)

Jennifer L. Armentrout

Deity (Covenant, #3)

Marie Lu

Marie Lu The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

Amy A. Bartol

Amy A. Bartol Inescapable (The Premonition, #1)

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Book Events, Interviews

Magic and Mayhem Tour with Leigh Bardugo

Written by Liz Brooks

I sit in the front row of a small section of the Ellicott City Barnes and Noble waiting. On the edge of my seat, delighted, nervous, vivacious. This is an event I have been waiting for since I first read Shadow and Bone. The Magic and Mayhem tour with Leigh Bardugo for her newly released book, Six of Crows. She is animated, hilarious, and beautiful. She is gracious and genuine. She meets and exceeds all my expectations.

Leigh Bardugo read two excerpts. One from a book she started when she was 12 years about siblings Blood and Jared. It was amusing to see where Bardugo started and how far she has come. She followed that up with a scene from Six of Crows. One where Nina first meets Matthias- my two favorite characters from.

After the readings, there was a wonderful Q&A.

  1. The easiest character for Bardugo to write was Matthias- he is dogmatic and a drama queen. Whoever she was writing at the time was her favorite or least favorite depending on how you looked at it.
  2. She loved writing her contemporary stories. She liked uncovering secrets where we live.
  3. She has a lot of favorite YA authors- Laini Taylor and Maggie Stiefvater.
  4. Her idea for the Grisha world was Imperial Russia. Russia occupied the role of the great suppressor. Kertch is crafted after the Dutch Republic with a little Las Vegas thrown in.
  5. It took her less than a year to write Shadow and Bone. And she didn’t publish her first novel until she was 35.
  6. She always knew she wanted to come back to the Grishaverse and write a story about a Witch Hunter (Fjerdan) and a Witch (Ravkan). She had ideas about Kaz Brekker but didn’t know where he fit into the story until she came up with the idea for the heist.
  7. She cried when she received Six of Crows in the mail.
  8. The Darkling has a sweet tooth.
  9. She might write a novella about Nikolai one day.
  10. She uses music to help her write. Sinister Kid by the Black Keys is Kaz Brekker’s anthem.
  11. She is currently reading Angela Carter short stories, The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, and a book about art heists (I wonder why that is).

After the Q&A, she signed books and took photos.

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Quote from Mal in the Grisha series.
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“The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive.”
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Cup and Crow tattoo.

Overall it was a fantastic event. My review for Six of Crows can be found here. I can’t wait till Fall 2016 for the follow-up Crooked Kingdom. Check out the book reveal video hereLeigh Bardugo can be found on tumblr, twitter, and facebook.

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Adult Contemporary, Reviews

Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

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Goodreads Summary:

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . ” 

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

My Initial Thoughts:

The only RR book I had read so far is Fangirl and I wanted to check out RR’s adult fiction work. I was expecting her writing to be similar to Fangirl, but still be different if that makes sense. I honestly did not know exactly what to expect.

Review:

Really, I can only fangirl in this review. I stayed up until 12:30am last night just to finish this book. The last time I remember looking at the clock was around 10:20ish. I said to myself I’ve got time to read a little more… and a little more turned into finishing the book. You all know how that works.

Back in late October/November I read about 30 pages in a span of a week and it depressed me a little so I stopped. It was nothing like Fangirl and I knew the next time I picked this book up I had to be in an adult fiction mood. And that mood hit me last night.

Here are some of the reasons why I loved Attachments so much.

#1 The friendship between Jennifer and Beth.

The bond between these two is perfect. The way the talk, their jokes, how considerate they are of each other, and how real they are. It’s just one of the best friendships I’ve seen on paper.

#2 The D&D Crew

I just really love this bunch of married nerds that play video games once a week you can say almost religiously. They always accept Lincoln into their gaming family. Seriously, they are this big eccentric and weirdly awesome family.

#3 Lincoln

Oh, Lincoln. What have you done to my heart. I’ll love you for who you are. I promise.

#4 Lincoln’s mom

Even though she is a bit quirky and odd, she is still one of the best moms I’ve seen in literature these days. So caring and nice. (although she is a bit too attached to her children.)

#5 Doris

This woman cracks me up! With her stories about her marriages and life, she was exactly what Lincoln needed to stay at The Courier long enough to… figure things out. Yes, let’s put it that way. I don’t want to spoil you all!

#6 The ending!!!

Oh Dear Lord, that ending was just… perfect. The ending of this book left me on Cloud 9. I felt weightless, happy, and content. Just picture this: you know that warm feeling you get when you eat a really good meal and it just sits right? And you feel full, happy, and content? That’s exactly how I felt at the end of this book. I need more endings like that in my life.

Rating: 5/5

Adult Contemporary, Reviews

Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me-Before-You-book-cover-Jan-12-p122-1

Synopsis:

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

My Initial Thoughts:

At first, I didn’t think I would love this book. I was a little put off because I imagined a 20/40 age thing, but I am so happy I was wrong.

I know this is an adult fiction book if we are putting labels, but a lot of people in the YA book aficionado community loved it, so I decided to give it a chance. (It also helps that I won the audiobook of Me Before You in a giveaway)

Review:

Oh My, Me Before You just blew me away. I don’t know if it was because I had no expectations when it came to this author or that I knew nothing of the story, but I fell head over heels with this book.

In the first few chapters as the author was setting the stage, I was a little bored. I believe part of the reason for that was because I am not from London, nor am I English. Reading a book set in England, with English characters who are culturally and geographically English kinda threw me off at first. In a way I could explain it as I was culturally shocked. I got over it pretty quickly though.

Will and Lou are the main characters in this story and the antagonist in the book would be Will’s disability. As stated in the synopsis, Will was leading a very normal life for a man of his stature until the day he was a pedestrian victim of a motorcyclist accident. Lou on the other hand is a average, drama-free 27 year old girl who has the burden of supporting her entire family and carries a dark secret that no one knows.

Two unlikely people meet under very unfortunate circumstances, but something heartbreakingly beautiful comes out of it. The themes of pain, friendship, loyalty, and the very controversial topic of assisted suicide are seen constantly through the novel.

As I was reading the story, I felt everything Lou felt. Every discovery, every high and low, I felt it all. We do get to see the POV of a few other characters throughout the book, but for the most part, we see everything through the same lens, through Lou.

The Epilogue made my chest feel tight with emotion, and to bear with the bittersweetness of it all I have created an alternate ending to the book where I get the ending I wish I would have gotten. Me Before You does not have a bad ending, I just wanted something else.

Overall, this book surprised me. It made me love a whole new world, and become attached to a bunch of characters I normally wouldn’t meet. Me Before You was beautifully written.

Rating: 5/5

Disclaimer: I do not want to spoil this book for anyone, but without spoiling it I will say that I am not for assisted suicide. I may be judged harshly for this statement, but that is my answer to this touchy subject. I may understand why people do it, but I do not condone their actions. 

Tuesday Meme

Top Ten Books We’ve Read So Far In 2013

toptentuesday-1Thank you The Broke and The Bookish for this wonderful Tuesday Feature.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2013! Today is the first post Anjie will be participating in so we will be splitting this post into my Top 5 and her Top 5. Here we go!

Veronica’s:

1. The Unearthly Trilogy by Cynthia Hand:

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Apart from The Infernal Devices, I hadn’t been enjoying any fantasy or paranormal series as of late but the Unearthly Trilogy made me remember why I loved reading Fantasy when I was younger. The plot twists, the characters, the world, and the roller coaster ride that are the books are something you need in your life. Trust me.

2. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

The Book of Broken Hearts
The Book of Broken Hearts by Srah Ockler

I am a fan of Sarah Ockler and her new book did not disappoint, but made my love for her books intensify. This book envelopes family, romance, and tragedy all in one. It will break your heart in a good way.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I don’t know what I could say to make you want to read this book. I will let the book speak for itself. Go buy it and then, we’ll talk.

4. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Catching Jordan by Miranda
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Who knew I could relate to a girl who is the captain of the football team, but I did. I loved this book in so many ways. This book was real, not in a tragic sense as we see in a lot of recent YA books, but in a sense how in life ,we don’t always get what we expect and sometimes, it is exactly what we need.

5. Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Kat Bishop is one of my favorite female characters of all time. This book brought out a whole new side to Kat and Hale. Any book by Ally Carter is like chocolate to me. Pure unadulterated chocolate.

 

Anjie’s:

6. The Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Favorite book and favorite trilogy of all time. I thought it ended perfectly, it did smother me in feels but I was happy and it was truly beautiful and tragic at the same time.

Clockwork Princess by Casandra Clare
Clockwork Princess by Casandra Clare

7.The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell (Bloodline #3) by Richelle Mead
The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead

One word, SYDRIAN. It was beautiful and a cliffhanger in the end to keep you on your toes until the next book.

8.Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand

Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand
Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand

This trilogy is one of my favorites and this last book was so intense and had so many twists, I thought my head was going to explode.

9. Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton

Shadows in the Silence by
Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton

Great ending to a great trilogy. The actions of the main character, Ellie, really helped make this a favorite.

10. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

First book in the trilogy and it really surprised me. It’s a twist in the usual Greek mythology that will make you love Hades. It was an easy and entertaining read.

 

What are some of your Top Books of 2013?

Reviews, ya contemporary

Book Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2) by Miranda Kenneally
Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2) by Miranda Kenneally

(Author Edit 12/22/2014: I just wanted to add that I know I wrote a negative review about Stealing Parker and I vowed not to ever read any more of Keneally’s books, but I will say that I gave her a second chance and I absolutely love them! Please read her books! I will say that this one is still not my favorite for obvious reasons, but please don’t let my review sway you from reading any of her other books!)

Goodreads Summary:

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

What I Like:

Miranda Kenneally did it again. I did not see that end coming at all. I guessed something would happen but not how it ended up happening. Yes, I am being very vague because I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone. I love that Kenneally writes stories that can seem cliche and adds her own twists that make it new and refreshing. The theme of sports within her books is something I like a lot. I think that hasn’t been done in YA, or at least not recently. I adored that Will and Parker were characters that were relatable. They both have crappy family issues going on. Both are not experts at dealing with difficult life circumstances but together along with some good friends, they figure it out. Somewhat, but that’s how life is. The ending isn’t perfect but it is believable. I love the open-endedness at the end of the book.

What I Dislike:

Here comes the bad stuff. I am sad to report that I will stop reading books written by Miranda Kenneally. Why? Because I don’t like an author trashing my believes. I dislike that she is making Christians look really bad. Yes, there are hypocrites within the church. Yes, there are some people in the church that are judgmental. What irritated me was the fact that the character, Parker, made the assumption that all Christians were the same. You may say, “but Veronica, Parker goes to another church and they don’t treat her like crap?” Well, Parker’s reasoning in the book is that they don’t judge her because they don’t know what happened. If they knew, she would become a social pariah again. It seems to be that the Christian characters being portrayed in the book are what I would call “Cultural Christians,” and not the real deal. The Christian characters in the book also disregard the bible and it is all about your personal relationship with God. Actually, it is supposed to be about both.

Another thing I disliked was Parker’s dad and his inability to stand up for himself. He seemed to read the bible so much in the book. I guess he forgot to read the book of Joshua where God calls us to be brave and not to worry because he will always be with us. It seemed to be that Parker’s dad was not being brave at all but was hiding behind the church as an excuse not do to anything in regards to all of the family issues. Okay, my rant is over.

Overall:

Overall, the story line was good, but I hated the incorrect portrayal of Christians. My reviews are a combination of the writing and my personal opinion on them. That’s how I calculate the rating.

Rating: 3/5

(The only reason it got a 3 was because the story line was great. If I only took into account what I disliked, It would be a 2.)

Rating System:

1/5: I hated it.

2/5: It had some redeeming qualities but overall, not a good book.

3/5: I liked it (A fun read).

4/5: I really like it, but something was missing.

5/5: I love it! It’s as close to perfection as it can get!