Best Kind of Broken (Finding Fate #1)

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Best Kind of Broken (Finding Fate, #1)

Pixie and Levi haven’t spoken in nearly a year when they find themselves working―and living―at the same inn in the middle of nowhere. Once upon a time, they were childhood friends. But that was before everything went to hell. And now things are… awkward.

All they want to do is avoid each other, and their past, for as long as possible. But now that they’re forced to share a bathroom, and therefore a shower, keeping their distance from one another becomes less difficult than keeping their hands off each other. Welcome to the hallway of awkward tension and sexual frustration, folks. Get comfy. It’s going to be a long summer.”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18360175-best-kind-of-broken)

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

As far as New Adult books go, this one fit the mould quite well. The two main characters are tormented by a tragedy (in this particular case, the same tragedy), and are now trying to deal with the backlash. Sarah, or Pixie, as she is called, and Levi have a history, but were thrown apart by the aforementioned tragedy.

This book is told in both Sarah’s and Levi’s POV, which made it more interesting in my opinion. Especially considering that the split POVs allowed us to see how troubled the two were, and how their lives were affected by the events of the past. It was also a bit frustrating to see them denying their feelings, which were obvious for everyone else.

This was an okay read, with some nice scenes, but for some reason I was expecting more. There was one character, Matt, that simply disappeared halfway through the book (given the circumstances, I thought that was a bit weird). As usual the secondary characters stole the limelight, but I still missed something, some sort of spark, in this book. Some things could have been explored further, such as Sarah’s abusive mother, whose only purpose in this book was to stir Sarah into standing up for herself for the first time, a fact which her mother accepted meekly, which felt a bit unrealistic to me.

Rating: 3 out of 5

The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1)

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The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16069030-the-winner-s-curse)

I’d like to thank Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I’d like to start this review by saying that this was cover love at first sight. The cover is just gorgeous, and I hope that the covers for the next books follow this pattern.

Some of the reviews I’ve seen for this book mention the fact that there was not much going on. While that’s true in terms of action, I felt this to be untrue in terms of plot. Granted, the action only really started toward the end of the book. However, before that, we get to see the stage being set so that the action could take place, and that was something I enjoyed.

Another thing that I enjoyed were the scenes focusing on the history of that empire. As someone who really enjoys History, it nice to learn how this empire came to be. Furthermore, there were some politics in it, which I also enjoyed (I’m graduated in International Relations, so I really like seeing how things got to that point before the action begins).

As for the characters, I felt a bit sorry for Kestrel. Granted, she is strong, but not in a way her father, the General, would appreciate. She is smart and can think strategically, but she is not cut out for the actual military life and its rigours. As for Arin, he has been through a lot in life, and that is made painfully clear at the end. I did like him, but I liked Kestrel best. In my opinion, Arin lacked a bit of background (maybe we’ll get that in the next book?)

The one thing that didn’t convince me that much was the romance between them. It felt both too easy (a slave and his owner? Some issues to be dealt with before any romance can take place) and too sudden.

Given the way this ended, I will most definitely be reading the next book in the series.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12)

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The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12)

J.R. Ward’s # 1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood continues as a royal bloodline is compromised by a grave threat to the throne.

Long live the King… 

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle–with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything–and everyone–at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response–or the distance it creates between them.

The question is, will true love win out… or tortured legacy take over?”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17703290-the-king)

After a year-long wait, I finally managed to get my hands on The King. I have to admit I was not looking forward to reading more about the Lessening Society and the Band of Bastards (or whatever they’re called). I felt that the focus given to those groups detracted from the Brotherhood.

Therefore, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that there were few scenes involving the Band of Bastards (and those scenes were directly linked to the Brotherhood) and no scene starring the Lessening Society. This meant, of course, that much more attention was given to Wrath, the Blind King, and Beth. And boy, did they need and deserve that attention.

As the synopsis makes very clear, Beth wants to have a child. Wrath does not. Because both of them are headstrong, this becomes quite a big issue. I could understand both sides, though, at points, I thought Wrath was being a big drama queen (or king, such as it is). I’m not spoiling that plotline, rest assured. But it was really interesting to have the two standing their ground in regards to the delicate matter of having a child or not.

One thing I noticed was the absence of several of the older characters. It seems that so many new characters have been introduced in the last few books that the members of the original Brotherhood and their mates don’t get as much attention as they deserve. Point in case? Butch didn’t make an appearance. Neither did Mary, Rhage’s mate. Tohr was also pretty absent here. I understand that introducing new characters allows Ward to write more books, but still, I missed seeing the older characters.

The ending of this book felt so final that I was afraid The King was the end of the series. After digging on Facebook, however, I learned that it is not the last we will read of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, though further details are still pending right now. There was a bit of a twist in the ending, but I thought it was predictable, given how the story was conducted.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (Between #1)

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1)

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. 

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery… who makes you want to kiss back. 

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12930909-between-the-devil-and-the-deep-blue-sea)

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Faber and Faber Ltd for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This was, for me, a very strange book. The writing style didn’t really click with me, even though I thought it was interesting at the beginning. That might have been because I was distracted by the fact that Freddie was, oddly enough, a woman. As I read on, the writing style became a little tiring, making me want to just be done with the book. Plot-wise, it was quite creepy, especially after River makes his first appearance. Toward the end, it became downright scary and the pace picked up considerably. Until that point, it was quite slow for me.

As for the characters, I couldn’t care about them. Violet had potential, but, after meeting River, she became a bit dull. That might have been because of the insta-love between her and River. I mean, she began the book as a 17-year old girl whose parents up and left to go to Europe and who has to make ends meet after the money runs out. After meeting River, she became meek as a lamb. All the questions she thought up weren’t ever actually made (there is a reason for that, but I wasn’t convinced). She only showed some real spark again at the end. River, the other half of this strange couple, didn’t earn my liking either. He was a compulsive liar, and I didn’t like his way of thinking. In my opinion, River should be locked up in some psychiatric facility.

As of now, I have no intention of reading the next book in the series. The way things ended was not enough to persuade me, nor were the characters or the writing style. I’m just letting this series go.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)

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Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)

For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy…

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17926775-stolen-songbird)

I’d like to thank Angry Robot Ltd and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

When I picked this book up to read, I was a bit hesitant, as I was having a streak of bad books, when I couldn’t care less about what happened to the characters. Fortunately, Stolen Songbird came to break this streak.

This is an action-packed book, with the action starting at the very beginning, when Cécile is kidnapped, right to the very end when… Wait, I’m not spoiling it! Cécile was a strong character in my opinion, as she handled quite well what was thrown her way. I could relate to her, I could care about her, and I could root for her, feelings I had sorely missed in the books I read before this one.

While my sympathy for Cécile was immediate, Tristan had to work a bit harder for it. At first, he came across as a very conceited character, full of himself. Then, as the story unfolded, I began to understand his reasons and his goals, and Tristan became a likeable character.

Because there is no insta-love here (yay for that!), the romance between them can be incredibly frustrating. There were scenes where all I wanted to do was lock them in a room and only let them out when they finally admitted their love for each other. It was a good type of frustration, though. While we, the readers, know that the main couple is in love, they don’t know yet, so we have to wait until they find that out.

The world building was also well done, in my opinion. I found the concept to be both original and engaging, and I also really enjoyed the writing style. To be honest, there were only two things I didn’t like in this book. 1.) Sometimes, it felt like the arguments between Cécile and Tristan were just too frequent. 2.) There is no word yet on the next book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Untold (The Lynburn Legacy #2)

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Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)

It’s time to choose sides…. 

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

A darkly humorous take on Gothic romance, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy weaves together the tale of a heroine desperate to protect those she loves, two boys hoping to be saved, and the magical forces that will shape their destiny”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15801763-untold)

This book started really well, with a good scene full of action. And then, the pace slowed until the end, when it picked up again in typical fashion. The plot was a bit confusing, and I did miss a recap here. However, this book’s strong suit was the writing style: it was the element responsible for pulling me in, as the plot failed to do that.

As for the relationship between Jared and Kami, it was frustrating as hell. I mean, it took them nearly the whole book to sort through their misunderstanding, which felt a bit too much, in my opinion.

Some of the secondary characters really shined in this book, namely, Kamis’s dad and Rusty. Kami’s mother confused the heck out of me (what on earth was she doing??). There was also a big reveal that didn’t seem to have much of an impact, as it went completely ignored.

One more thing has to be said: Jared’s last scene in this book was terrifying.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Altered (Crewel World #2)

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Altered (Crewel World, #2)

Life. Possibility. Choice.

All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.

But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.

In this thrilling sequel to Crewel, Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16140922-altered)

In my opinion, one of the greatest issues with fantasy series is that, in the first book, the world building is introduced, as well as the characters, and the reader is intrigued by both. However, after reading the first book, the reader then has to wait a year before being able to read the second one. By then, the world building is quite blurred in the reader’s memory, and then the author decides to not do a recap. This, in turn, leaves the reader with two choices: either he finds a detailed synopsis for the first book somewhere or he just pushes on and remains confused until the pieces finally start falling into place again.

That was my case when I started this book. Because I was too lazy to look for a synopsis of Crewel, I was a confused reader. Add to it a confusing plot, that also failed to engage me, and you get a relieved reader at the end of the book.

I couldn’t relate to the characters this time, and Adelice’s choices, especially regarding the weird love triangle, were just weird. However, what really made me go “Are you serious?” was the cameo at the end of the book.

Not even the twist at the very end made me more interested to know what will happen in the next book. At this point, I have no desire to read the next book.

Rating: 2 out of 5