Book Review + Giveaway: Devoured by Emily Snow

20130612-084842.jpgTitle: Devoured (Devoured #1)

Author: Emily Snow

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Sienna Jensen had no plans to return home when she graduated college last spring—after all, her dreams lie in California. But when she discovers her grandmother’s Nashville home has been foreclosed, and the new owner has started the eviction process, Sienna has no other choice but go back to Music City. And she comes face to face with the flawed, gorgeous man she never thought she’d see again. The man who now holds the deed to her grandma’s estate.

When millionaire rock star Lucas Wolfe finds the outspoken redhead glaring at him from across a courtroom, he’s both infuriated and intrigued. He still can’t get the night Sienna almost spent with him out of his mind, and the chemistry between them is as undeniable as it was two years ago. He craves Sienna more than ever. And just like everything Lucas hungers for, he’s determined to have her.

Now, Lucas will do whatever it takes to lure Sienna into his bed, even if that means making a deal with her: ten days with him, playing by his rules, and he’ll hand over the deed to her grandmother’s home. Though she agrees to the arrangement, Sienna is conflicted. Because of her duty to her family. Because of promises she’s made to herself and a past that still haunts her. And as Lucas’s game of seduction continues, and Sienna is introduced to his dark, erotic world and even darker background, she realizes that at any moment, she could be devoured.

*This novel contains adult situations and content*

My Review: Sienna has a troubled home life and has been all but traumatized by her upbringing. She is pretty timid and although she has strong opinions has trouble standing up for herself. Well to everyone but Lucas. The memory of their last encounter is not easy for her and as much as she is attracted to him, she refuses to allow him the opportunity to humiliate her again. However, this agreement they make- 10 days where she works for him, changes her and opens both of their eyes. That what they share is more than an explosive chemistry, they share the potential to fall in love.

I kind of had a love/hate relationship going on with this book. First off, the first couple of chapters seemed to drag for me. I had trouble connecting to Sienna and that in turn made it difficult for me to connect to the book. But then the romance starts. You guys know how much I love romance right? Well it starts and then I start getting a better understanding of Sienna and her and Lucas’ relationship. Secondly, there were a couple of times when certain actions would just leave my head reeling. Seriously. It’s like Sienna would get from point A to point B without any explanation or transition. It would just happen and I would sit for a second, scratching my head, flipping pages back and forth and absolutely confused as to how this all came to be. And for the record, the second reading did nothing to ease my confusion. Third, this book deals a bit with domination. As in a little Fifty Shades of Grey. As much as I enjoyed Fifty Shades, here it felt at times that that novel was being channelled. You guys know how much I enjoy originality right? Well luckily that channelling did not last long and I was able to enjoy Snow’s writing for what it is. A novel all of her own.

So, yes, I had a few ups and downs with Devoured but my final opinions of it are pretty positive. I loved the romance between these two and watching them help each other grow. They each had to get past some of their personal demons for them to really give their relationship a shot and they got past these with the support of the other. I really enjoyed watching Sienna’s character grow and seeing her get some backbone. And the ending. The ending was pretty amazing to me. It definitely had its bit of sappiness but I loved the happy ending. It was creative and heartwarming and definitely made the read worth it.

Giveaway: Now you get a chance to win a paperback copy of Emily Snow’s Devoured. Remember that it’s not exactly Young Adult and sex is involved. So, for you appropriate audiences hop on over to Rafflecopter for your chance to win a copy. This giveaway is limited to the US. To enter Click Here.

Book Review: Crossed

Title: Crossed (Matched #2)

Author: Ally Condie

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Rules Are Different Outside The Society

Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky–taken by the Society to his sure death–only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of a rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices every thing to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.
Narrated from both Cassia’s and Ky’s point of view, this hotly anticipated sequel to Matched will take them both to the edge of Society, where nothing is as expected and crosses and double crosses make their path more twisted than ever.

My Review: So let me start this review with a confession. I have like thirty books just sitting around that need to be read and reviewed. With that being said I’ve had this book collecting dust for over a month and I have been so reluctant to read it. I can’t properly explain why especially because I enjoyed Matched. So although I did grudgingly pick this book up I was blown away. I started this book and was bewitched.

Crossed picks up a few months after where Matched ended. Cassia has been working in farming camps in the hopes of being stationed in the Outer Providences and therefore be closer to Ky. Crossed is told from both Ky’s and Cassia’s POVs and in the first half of the book it is great in letting the reader know how close their paths are to crossing. (I did find their switching narratives to be confusing at times and often had to go back and reread a few pages or most of a chapter.) Because I don’t consider it a spoiler I’ll spill: they do eventually find each other. The way their meeting was building up I expected it to be the climax of this book and also the ending. Well it’s not. Their reunion was exciting and beautiful and totally awesome. I loved it. But there is so much that happens in this book: action, romance, lies, deceit and plot twist after plot twist.

In trying to be honest I’ll say that Condie’s bewitching only lasted until the halfway point in the book. After Cassia and Ky find each other the book completely changes. A lot still happens but the characters change and that definitely changed the tone of the book.

  • Cassia, for example, is a really tough/ strong character. I love that. Especially in this book. She is every bit of the tough heroine as I’ve ever seen them. However, after she finds Ky I don’t see the strength anymore. I’m not sure if this was done purposely by the author or what but she went from thinking and acting like a grown woman to resembling an adolescent.
  • Ky has always been a strong character. But in this book Ky narrating really lets the reader get to know him. His history, his character, his personality and also his flaws. His biggest flaw, I find, are his insecurities. Which by the way, was a major turnoff. Also, in verbatim he says that telling people you’re whole story gives them ammunition to hurt you. He therefore never let’s anyone know everything about him not even Cassia. Well this results in A LOT of secret keeping which really upset me. That tends to be a pet peeve of mine and this resulted in a lot of frustrated brakes from this book. It’s one of the things that made me dislike the book and in a way, him too. I never knew him to be insecure or insincere but then again he wasn’t narrating in Matched. Maybe he was really good at hiding it.

Overall, Crossed is not a bad book. My biggest disappointment was the change of pace and tone in the second half of the book. I think if the book was consistent and ended the way it started it without a doubt would have gotten a 5 star rating from me. This book is without a doubt captivating and interesting and it presents a lot of questions that I’m hoping will be answered in the final installment of this trilogy, Reached. And yes, I do plan on reading it. However, in a bit of a spoiler I’ll say that this book does not seem to lead to the happily ever after one would hope to see. Yet I’m still interested to read how Condie finishes this series off.

Book Review: Sweet So Fragile + Giveaway

Title: Sweet So Fragile

Author: Margaret Chatwin

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Synopsis: During a robbery, Jace Sullivan’s wife, Cari, was murdered. If that wasn’t bad enough, she was seven months pregnant when it happened. Though medics were able to save the child, the unfavorable circumstances behind the premature delivery has left baby Colton with severe health issues.
Now, while trying to pick up the pieces of his own shattered life, Jace must watch helplessly as his son desperately fights to keep his fragile life. Meanwhile, his teenage daughter, Jorry, seems to be carelessly throwing hers away.

My Review: The story overall was pretty good. I once read one of her interviews where she said she’d never like to live in one of her books… Now I’m understanding why. It seems that a popular theme in her books are the tough things that one would like to pretend don’t really exist but tend to be the reality in people’s lives.

Characters: Sweet So Fragile seems to revolve around three characters- they are also the narrators.

  • Jace is my favorite character of the three. I found him to be realistic and relatable. He, I believe, had the toughest of struggles and I found myself emotionally attached to the book and his character. Chatwin really has a way of reeling the reader in.
  • Jorry tended to really get on my nerves. I don’t think I have ever encountered such an idiotic character. Although Chatwin does a great job of capturing teenage angst it was not easy to read. I think she perfectly captured the feeling of being misunderstood. But wow was it frustrating to see. Although I was never near Jorry scale of teenage stupidity, by the time I finished reading this book I felt the need to call my mom and apologize for all my teenage acts of rebellion. Needless to say, this book really got to me.
  • Shara plays Jace’s love interest. She loves with all her heart. She is selfless and endearing. She represents the struggles stepmoms and women who date fathers go through.

I sadly found the romance to be too realistic. Ridiculous, I know. When the attraction became apparent between Jace and Shara I was expecting to see some crazy world wind romance. The kind of thing that is only found in novels. But no, their relationship was very realistic. With all of the baggage that Jace had: his love for his dead wife, his children- one of them being sick, another an idiotic and suicidal seeming teenager, and a dangerous career. Im not saying they didn’t have a nice romance, as they did. It’s just that I wish it had a little more pizzazz, a touch of fairy dust or something equally magical.

Sweet so fragile is a pretty good book. It’s captivating and I enjoyed reading it. However, this book wasn’t always easy to swallow. It is very realistic and deals with some tough issues. I would recommend this book to people who tend to forget to appreciate the good in life and those who simply need to know that at the end of the day, things will work themselves out- that things will get better. It’s definitely an eye opener. This a book that both teenagers and adults can gain something from.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

For a chance to win a free PDF copy of Margaret Chatwin’s novel Sweet So Fragile fill out the form below:

Book Review: Matched

Title: Matched (Matched #1)

Author: Ally Condie

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Synopsis: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

My Review: I started this book thinking it was about a love triangle. It even starts off feeling that way. With most of the love triangle books I have read, I tend to have a favorite; To want one relationship to work out more than the other. In Matched, as I read I was interested and intrigued but as far as the love triangle goes I felt as if I was riding a wave. I was going with the flow waiting for the pin to drop. For the defining moment that’ll give me a favorite. Contrary to my beliefs the central point of this book is not about a love triangle. Most books that share this theme tend to revolve around who she would choose. However, this “love triangle” is pretty one sided and I realized that this book is about something else entirely.

This book is truly about rebellion. For Cassia it revolves around the Dylan Thomas poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. Matched is a novel about Cassia learning what it really means to “not go gentle.” It is about the moment where she decides to do things she wants because she chooses to and not because she is told to them. It is a nice story and I enjoyed seeing Cassia’s character grow. Because that is for certain, Cassia is a very dynamic character.

The book was interesting and I was definitely hooked. However, I really think it could of been better. There are so many dystopians that are similar in themes and scenarios and Matched seems to have a bit of a unique edge. What you unique edge, you ask? The biggest difference I found is how aware Cassia is of the effects of her actions. She is in no way ignorant and it was a nice change to have such a conscious character. Selfish but conscious. I just found that it wasn’t unique enough. It wasn’t different enough to not remind me of all the similarities it shares with today’s dystopians.

Still, it wasn’t a bad book and I am looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel.

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood

Author: Kendare Blake

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Synopsis:Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story…

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

My Review: Many of you, who know me and what a scary cat I am, are probably wondering what I was thinking picking up this book. Well I was actually intrigued by a few reviews I read on Goodreads a few months back. There was one thing in particular that I read that really got to me. I don’t remember who the review belonged to and therefore cannot properly quote it but it was along the lines of reading and reading and getting really into it. Then all of a sudden you realize that you are all alone and how scared you are. So this got me thinking, “What book can be so subtle or so addictive that the reader didn’t even realize how scared they were becoming?”

So now that you know what it was that caught my interest and that on most days I am scared of my own shadow I think you can fully appreciate my review.

Just as the mentioned reviewer said is exactly as it happened. It’s creepy- with all the ghost stuff, action packed- Cas the protagonist is a ghost hunter after all, and impossible to put down. Sadly, it doesn’t last long. The first few chapters completely drew me in. Here I am reading, totally into it when all of a sudden I realize how hard my heart is pounding and that I’m in my room, all alone. So after I run into a more populated room I start reading again….

However, the pace of the story slows down. There are probably two more action scenes (that is me being genereous as there is really only one major scene and a hint of action before that), some suspense (nothing major. Seriously, scary cat me was barely impressed). However, there is a great plot twist in there that again lends to the horror theme. Next, I personally disliked most of the characters. The only exceptions were Anna, Cas’ mom, and Morfran. As the reader gets to know Cas better, the more I came to dislike him. I dislike his rationale and how quickly he changes his mind with his convictions.

So next I’ll warn you that you might find *SPOILERS* in what I will say next. It turns out that a romance forms between Cas and Anna. It is was quite nice to see how that came about. How they bonded and got to know each other while Cas was trying to figure out how to kill her. So again the romance was nice I just wish there had been more of an emphasis on it.

To summarize, it isn’t a bad book. Its actually quite good. I just wished it was more consistent. More horror, more romance, more suspense, more action…. More of everything expect the trivial high school bickering, high school nemesis and I honest could have lived with a little less dialogue. Wow! I never thought I’d say something like that. Let me explain, I didn’t always enjoy the dialogue but the reason for my previous statement simply deals with the fact that I wished there was more doing and less talking.

Book Review: Any Love But Mine

Title: Any Love But Mine

Author: Debbie Davies

Rating: 3 of 5 Star

Synopsis: Look but don’t touch has never been more true…
The gods forbade her to love, but love is a powerful force. Acacia has been created purely for Eros’ pleasure but discovers within moments of being summoned into his presence that he has no interest in her whatsoever. Rejected, she is banished to Earth to serve as Eros’ minion with the task of promoting the blissful state of love among all those around her, a state she must never indulge in with a human being herself on pain of immediate destruction. And then comes Josh, someone whose power of attraction over Acacia is so intense she will find it utterly impossible to resist him. But is he human? Is he a god? Or is he a trick of the gods? And what would happen should they kiss?

To perfectly sum up how I feel about this book let me state what a three star rating means to me: It was mostly a good read for me but I had some issues with it. It was just good enough that I enjoyed it and don’t regret reading it. I am not likely to re-read this book.

Anyone who knows me can contest to the fact that I am a romance lover. Good thing I am, were it not for that I would have never finished this book. And that’s saying something! I pride myself in finishing every book I start.

However, in order to not get ahead of myself I will start with the good. As you may have guessed with the synopsis, this book is based on Greek mythology. That in itself was a positive for me as I tend to enjoy that from time to time. I also enjoyed Davies rendition of the gods. Along with everything else, and as previously mentioned, I particularly enjoyed the romance. The second bout more than the first.

*Continue at your own risk as I will now provide SPOILERS

As it turns out I have a long list of dislikes and will apologize now for the ranting I am bound to do. So, my first and biggest dislike is Acacia. I found her to be weak and selfish. I was disgusted with the way she ALWAYS tended to act. Had she been a strong heroine this book would have been great all around for me. I think there is a difference between playing the hand you’re dealt and taking everything lying down. With that being said Acacia tends to the latter. Big emphasis on the word tends. As it turns out, she is not always that way. When she finally stands up for something she proves to the reader that not only is she weak, she is also selfish. If you are asking yourself what situation lead me to this conclusion I should first remind you that she is forbidden to love anyone who is not Eros. Well it turns out that not only does she find love, but she finds her soul mate. Upon Eros finding out he warns her that if she continues to see Josh (her first love interest and again emphasis on first) he would send them both to hell (literally). Upon which time he would make sure that her punishment be watching Josh get tortured forevermore. As the reader I was happy to see her finally get some backbone and stand up for something. However, she does not think things through and never reveals the truth to Josh. This leads to Josh’s “death” and her being sent to the underworld.

It’s important for me to now stress that finding a soul mate is a big deal, especially in this novel. So this leads to my next dislike: how quickly she moves on from Josh (her soul mate) to Lucas, his murderer. Now is the part where I grudgingly admit that Lucas was my favorite character- until it turns out that he was a backstabbing liar. Ok, ok. Sheesh! I know calling him a backstabber might be a stretch.

So in order to cut my ranting short I will move on to my next big dislike: I was truly frustrated and annoyed by all the secret keeping. Call it a life lesson but I don’t trust people who keep too many secrets. Acacia was surrounded by people who did only that. And I cannot count the times I was tempted to throw this book down in frustration at her easy acceptance of this. (Although she tossed around the idea of confronting these secret keepers she never acted on it.) I refuse to believe that if any person knew that another held a secret that has to do with them and can help them not only take control of their life and understand it better but also alter it would simply let sleeping dogs lie. But to be fair, secret keeping tends to be a BIG book pet peeve of mine.

Since I am sick of ranting I  hope that I have expressed myself enough. If not, here is a quick recap: I had mixed feelings about this book. It mostly annoyed and frustrated me; Had it not been for the romance I would have never enjoyed or finished this book.

*I received a free copy of this book from the author to review