Endlessly (Paranormalcy #3)

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Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)

“Kiersten White’s New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy comes to a breathless conclusion with a signature mix of wit, romance, paranormal creatures, and a truly original heroine.

In Endlessly, pink-loving, butt-kicking Evie has way too much on her to-do list. Paranormals are begging her to open a faerie gate so they can leave the human world, something Evie’s not sure she has the power to do. The Dark Queen is torturing humans and must be destroyed.

On top of all that, Evie’s prom is coming up. She’s not sure what to wear, and, oh, yeah, her shape-shifting boyfriend, Lend, has been cursed so that he falls into an enchanted sleep whenever he and Evie are in the same room…and even Evie’s ex-boyfriend, the faerie Reth, can’t reverse the dark magic.

An epic battle is looming, and the choices Evie makes will determine the fate of whole paranormal world—and her own life.”

– Taken from Goodreads

Gosh, it’s been so long since I read this that I don’t really know what to write about this book *sighs* That’s why I shouldn’t procrastinate so much to write reviews.

It was an enjoyable read, overall. I did like the first book in this series better, maybe because of the novelty. Evie, as nearly every YA heroine has to save the world (no pressure at all there), and she does so by having some not so clever ideas. What could go wrong, did go wrong. Murphy’s Law, anyone?

There wasn’t much romance, because of the plot, but I didn’t really miss it. I got a tiny bit annoyed with Reth and his obsession with Evie and thinking she was going to do things his way. The guy just couldn’t take no for an answer. As for Jack, he was his usual crazy self, though not as annoying as in the second book.

The ending felt a bit abrupt, though it was happy. I wanted to see Evie finally having the normal life she always wanted, and how she would cope with what happened at the end.

Between Shades Of Gray

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Between Shades of Gray

“Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.”

– Taken from Goodreads

Somehow, I was expecting more out of this book. Nearly every review stated that this was a tearjerker. I have to confess that I didn’t cry while reading this. I guess the imagery just wasn’t strong enough for me. This does not mean I’m a cold, heartless person. I cried my eyes out with “Schindler’s List”, especially because of the girl in the red dress.

Did I know that Stalin’s rule killed millions of people in forced labor camps? Yes. But, for some reason, the Western front of World War II gets more attention than the Eastern front. Both instances were horrifying crimes against humanity, and both instances deserve to be remembered through books and movies and memorials in the hopes it doesn’t ever happen again.

While I could see that Lina’s situation was awful, I couldn’t feel it. Most of the narrative was too detached, as if she had retreated into herself to avoid dealing with the horror of her situation. There were some strong turns of phrase here and there, but they were too few and far between.

Lina’s mother annoyed me at times. I understand she was trying to shelter her children, but her optimism was a bit too much for me. Again, maybe she had to cling to that hope that everything would be okay in the end, but I, as a person, don’t relate to that. However, I don’t think I’d have made it as far as she did. It’s more likely that I’d kill myself at some point. Different people, different reactions.

My biggest issue with this book was the ending. After hundreds of pages of one bad thing after the other, I was hoping for a glimpse of happiness, and I didn’t get it. A longer epilogue, with more information about what happened to the survivors after they were liberated would have been nice. I do think the author could have afforded to write ten or twenty pages about what happened afterwards.

Rating: 3 out of 5

The Geography Of You And Me

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The Geography of You and Me

“Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen’s relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and — finally — a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel shows that the center of the world isn’t necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.”

– Taken from Goodreads.

This was a pretty unremarkable book for me overall. It wasn’t exactly boring, but it was dull. While I was reading this, I had the feeling that nothing was really happening, other than a lot of moping around.

I don’t think I could be friends with either of the main characters. They were both too hesitant for me. They were unable to ask even the simplest questions, and that is made very evident in a scene between Lucy and her mother at the end of the book. It started out quite well, but after they leave, it was just a lot of nothingness and shuffling back and forth. Plotwise, there is not much going on either. That was just the thing, it felt too much like a real life, if that makes any sense. And that made it uninteresting for me.

After reading this and one other work from her, I’d say that her books are not for me. Again, this wasn’t boring and it was well written. But it’s not I want out of my books.

Rating: 2 out of 5

The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen #2)

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The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen, #2)

Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town;

My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I’ve been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I’m coming to think I have another purpose here.

Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I’ve discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town, this withering kingdom, and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.”

– Taken from Goodreads

This book was most definitely not what I was expecting. In this case, in a bad way.

The first book had only a nice touch of the supernatural, with the main character, Amelia, being able to see ghosts. Here, the whole thing became supernatural. There were witches, demons, and, of course, ghosts. It felt like there were too many supernatural elements in a plot that didn’t really have any space for them. The end result was quite confusing, for me.

I also had a hard time keeping track of all the characters. Maybe it was because I just wanted to finish this book. The one character that stuck with me was, unsurprisingly, the dog, Angus. He was the one character I kept wanting to see. Furthermore, I felt that the graveyard restoration aspect, which was so fascinating in the first book, was left aside so that all the witches and demons could make an appearance.

After this one, I’m not sure I’ll be reading the rest of the series.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2)

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Killer Instinct (The Naturals, #2)

“Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.

But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?

With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel.”

– Taken from Goodreads

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

In the first book, The Naturals, the main lesson was that no one is above suspicion. In that book, the killer was someone surprisingly close to the program. In this book, I was kept guessing until the very end. I never could have guessed the real identity of the killer. I suspected, however, that some of the suspects were too obvious, and waited to find out who the actual culprit was.

I was very intrigued by the new character introduced in the very beginning, Agent Sterling. She had something going on for her, as Cassie’s profiling of her made evident. Her full story, however, only comes to light toward the end. And it made me respect her. The dynamics between the teenagers didn’t change that much, until, again, the end. Michael and Dean were both annoying at several moments. They had their reasons, granted, but still, there were scenes were I just wanted to throttle them.

As for the love triangle, it was apparently solved in this book, thankfully. I don’t particularly care for them, and this one didn’t impress me.

Given that the first book revolved around Cassie’s past and this one revolved around Dean’s past, I’m guessing we will see killers somehow related to the other three kids (Michael, Lia and Sloane), something I would really like. By the end, it was quite obvious that there will be a sequel, though there is no information yet about the next book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

One Foot In The Grave (Night Huntress #2)

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One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2)

You can run from the grave, but you can’t hide…

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She’s still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her, but when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.

Being around Bones awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline rush of slaying vamps side by side to the reckless passion that consumed them. But a price on her head—wanted: dead or half-alive—means her survival depends on teaming up with Bones. And no matter how hard Cat tries to keep things professional between them, she’ll find that desire lasts forever…and Bones won’t let her get away again. Original.”

– Taken from Goodreads

This was, most definitely, a fast-paced book. There is plenty of action, as well as many twists that I didn’t see coming. What I was hoping for, however, did happen, although I wanted it to have happened sooner.

Cat’s mother deserves to be mentioned. She is still her old, abusive self, and it shocks me to see Cat accepting that, and how all that abuse shaped her, for good and for bad. Whenever her mother, Justina, appeared, I got mad, as I knew she was going to spout some nasty stuff. Seriously, that is one character that needs to be taken care of.

I was confused by one thing: the description of how to turn someone into a ghoul. I just couldn’t understand the process, no matter how many times I re-read the description. And the whole Dave thing felt too surreal, in my opinion. Tate was annoying as well.

I’d say that, what I really like here is that the heroine is no damsel in distress, and refuses to be treated as such. The end, however, was a tiny bit heartbreaking, as Cat makes an extremely hard choice.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Be With Me (Wait For You #2)

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Be with Me (Wait for You, #2)

“Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…”

– Taken from Goodreads

In typical NA fashion, this book has quite a few clichés. Both Teresa and Jase, the main characters, have some issues to deal with. However, what I liked about this story was that it somehow felt more realistic in its characters’ issues than some books out there. You see, by reading those books, one would think that at least half of the college population in the US has been sexually, physically or emotionally abused. Let me emphasize that I do not deny that those abuses are real or that they leave deep scars in the victims. However, abused characters have become too commonplace, in my opinion.

It was, therefore, quite refreshing to have a character whose main issue is dealing with an injury that puts her dream of becoming a dancer in jeopardy. Oh, she has darkness in her past, but it’s not the central issue here, as opposed to the injury. Jase also has issues, but they don’t revolve around any kind of abuse.

It was unnerving to read about those characters, particularly Jase, and their romantic coming and goings. I came really close to throwing my Kindle out of the window at several points. The supporting cast was also really well done. As for the end, it was bittersweet. It was both happy and sad, and my heart really broke for Teresa, but it also filled me with hope for Avery (the main character from the first book).

Rating: 4 out of 5