Journey to the Jade Girl (Idols – A Book Review)

Idols
Author: Margaret Stohl
Published: 2014

idols

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

So I watch while my world spins out of control.

After destroying the Icon in The Hole (Los Angeles), Dol and her friends search out the other Icons so that they can destroy them and save the world from the Lords who have taken over and thrust humanity into slavery. But when Dol’s dreams about a little jade girl grow increasingly alarming, the group journeys all the way to the SEA colonies (Asia) to help her figure them out. This little girl could hold the key to freeing the world.

Along the way, relationships are tested, revelations about what the Icon children truly are is discovered, and a betrayal leaves everyone stunned and hurt.  Can they really save the world or is it too late? More importantly, are they even meant to?

As I trekked through this book, I found it to be just like Icons, (you can read the review here). It didn’t much grab my attention. That’s not to say that it didn’t have nice moments. It did. The usual grab that a story needs to keep me attached just wasn’t there unfortunately. I just felt like I was being dragged along.

I became increasingly disappointed in Dol as I got farther and farther in the book. Here she’s got a great, massive destiny and all she keeps doing is saying no as if she has a choice. She comes across as a very weak character that refuses to do anything to help her friends. It’s understandable to be afraid of dying or of your loved ones getting hurt.  The word no comes out too often, and yet she’s the one who’s rioting for rebellion against the Lords and everybody looks to for leadership and hope like she straight out of Star Wars. It really grated me. Backing out of the Save The World Plan halfway through is uncool and really ridiculous. You don’t get to exit like it’s a video game. Find your courage, swallow it down, and do the damn thing.

Idols

I felt like I was getting bounced from moment to the next without fulfillment. I just don’t feel like I got enough because the moments that I wanted more from were the ones cut way too short. I don’t mean that they were cut off by something else interrupting the moment in the book. There wasn’t enough detail to give me enough of a visual and get me to latch on that it was important.

I really enjoyed that I got to see more of what the world was like. There was an underground community, a temple and elephants. The new imagery really moved this adventure further and since I’ve never been to Asia, I really liked it.

The reveals that really surprised happened toward the end of the book, which was a shame. It left the book hanging like a monkey off a branch. It wasn’t a very pleasant feeling. Just ick that it happened at the end.

Overall, the book wasn’t extremely memorable for me. I didn’t get very attached to the characters. I couldn’t get an emotional grip to be able to. The journey to rid the world of Icons did end on a cliffhanger that left Dol damaged and angry. I don’t know if there’s another book to follow in the series. I haven’t seen or heard about it. I don’t think I’ll read it if is out there. It just wasn’t for me.

Quotabes:

“Out of range, that was us. One sunset, one kiss may have saved our lives.” (Dol, p. 50”

“You are a thing of quick and endless and always-changing beauty. Humanity.” (Bird to Dol, p. 115)

“What’s so passionate about a fruit? It’s essentially just an ovary for a seed.” (Tima, p. 225)

“Jade girls and jade dreams.” (Dol, p. 316)

“Not everything that comes from the sky is an angel.” (Dol, p. 413)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Alien by Thriving Ivory.

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Oh, Death… (Endless Knight – A Book Review)

Endless Knight
Author: Kresley Cole
Publsihed: 2013

Endless Knight

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Shocking Secrets. Unexpected Allies. Gut-Wrenching Treachery.

The Flash has obliterated the world, turning it into  an apocalyptic wasteland, and Evie Greene is no longer the fragile, helpless girl. A deadly game that only one can win has already began between the tarot cards. Oh yes, they’re real. Evie, The Empress, has fully embraced her poisonous abilities, though she hasn’t embraced the part she’s meant to play in this battle to the death. Death keeps calling out to her, growing closer and his craving to end her is also growing.

With her friends and the help of other Arcana cards, she stands a chance at ending this dangerous game and surviving the dangerous threats that lurk in the shadows. Jackson is still reeling from Evie revealing her abilities to him and when dark secrets are revealed, shattering her heart, can Evie truly stay out of the deadly game?

Endless Knight

Following Poison Princess (you can read the review here), this book was just as hot and addictive, seducing me all naughty-like. Tsk tsk! I was a little concerned that this wasn’t going to measure up to all of the intense action and emotions, but let me tell you, there wasn’t a beat skipped. From beginning to end I was rattled. So many new elements were added, expanding the worldview that Kresley created with this series, adding more to the journey that Evie and her group are on: to stop the game and end Death—the deadliest of the Arcana. It really added to the development of the characters as well. Evie was faced with more than her strange abilities and the voices in her head. She’s now faced with her own emotions of how she feels about herself and how she feels about others, whether she can truly trust the people she allows into her heart.

The Major Arcana introduced in this book are The Hierophant, The Devil, The Tower, The World, Strength and Death, pulling Evie and her group onto the battlefield. Then there’s the spinning complexity that is Evie Greene and Jackson Devaeux. Their (extremely intense) feelings for one-another comes to a head and if you’ve read Poison Princess then you already have a pretty good idea of just how these two are with each other-fighting, bickering, immense build of sexual tension that neither really want to admit to. Sparks were flying between them in Poison Princess. Those sparks turned into a full-blown fire here in Endless Knight.

And then, add a side of Death and you get a really messed up triangle. And you just can’t look away. Well, I couldn’t. (And if I’m being honest, I’m a total shipper of Evie with Jackson. Oh yes, very much so.) More so, major secrets were dropped and my jaw dropped along with them. I won’t tell you about them because that’d just be rude, but they completely change Evie’s life.

And then there were cannibals. Yep, people eaters, and that was actually pretty creepy. Kresley’s attention to detail actually gave me chills from time to time. You’ll get twisted and sharply because of how in-depth it gets. I still know the parts I held my breath at.

Endless Knight

I still find the pacing of this story to be really nice. It moves fast, but is completely steady. Not a single bit felt out of place over the span of several months for these characters. The transitioning is so smooth and that’s not something I usually point out, but it was so splendid that I had to. The mentions of time passing was subtle. And I loved the well placed surprises even though they broke my heart. I didn’t except what I discovered. This is coming from a chick who strongly dislikes surprises, but holy crap.

Do I recommend this book? I ordered the third book before I finished this one, so yes! I do. There was nothing that through me off the path. If anything I’m more sucked in than before. It’s been some time since I’ve been this attached to a series.

 

Quotables:

“Death comes for us all…” (Mathew, p.20)

“Sooo….anybody else have a sense of impending doom?” (Finn, 56)

“Hotel California, Evie. You can check out, but you can never leave.” (Lark to Evie, p. 189)

“I desired you before, but I never loved you until this life.” (Aric to Evie, p. 306)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Bad at Love by Halsey.

 

You can also find me:

Twitter: @CheshireKat_92

Goodreads: Kat J.

Cars Aren’t Tree Huggers (Where It Began – A Book Review)

Where It Began
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Published: 2012

Where It Began

My Rating: Full boltHalf bolt

 

Gabby lived under the radar. Way under. That all changed at the beginning of Senior year. She came back to Winston with a brand new look that her over-the-top mother, Vivian, insisted upon. That is when the bad, yet most popular boy, Billy Nash notices her and then she’s suddenly living it up in the popular crowd with his hand in her back pocket.

But then one night, Gabby wakes up on the ground. The stars are spinning above her and not far off, a car is wrapped around a tree and the keys are in her hand, but she can’t remember what happened or how she got there. Everybody else does though. While everyone thinks she’s covering for Billy about the crash, she’s trying to figure out how to get out of this tight, legal fix without jail time.

Soon enough she discovers that she can’t continue to ignore the truth any longer and has to find out what it is. It could be what saves her.

Where It Began - Tumblr

How do I begin? Hmmmm…

Well, there is much I appreciate about this book, but much that I don’t. The style was really unique! I loved it! I was in the front seat of the character, Gabby, who is recovering from a horrendous car crash due to drunk driving. Just like her, we are clueless about what is going on around her. This POV was much closer than your ordinary first person POV. I was planted right into her head and the story pulled you along with her memories and thoughts. That did limit what I knew, though. The natural fluidity that comes with the character physically interacting with everything around them was not there because you never stretch beyond Gabby’s mind. Between Gabby’s recovery from the car accident she can’t remember, I rediscovered some memories with her that retrace her steps to where she is currently, which was really nice. I liked it because it gave some backstory, which really adds to the story. The style is much like Dot-To-Dot.

The blips between Gabby and her boyfriend Billy in their chatrooms were really nice, too. I liked that Ann really held up the style and language that actually occurs online. It added good fluff to the book that filled out the characters.

The tone however? I did not enjoy. Not. At. All. Gabby’s over-exaggeration that doing anything that would help get her out of her nasty legal situation with drunk driving and wrecking a car was mind-numbing. She was going to just DIE if she had to lift a finger to do anything. Not very appealing. And neither was her boyfriend, Billy Nash. I couldn’t believe she wanted to be with this guy. He’s conceited, obnoxious and could care less about the condition Gabby is in. The girl was completely mangle from that car accident, but yes, let’s fix his sexual need. Queue my flattened and disgusted look. He cares more about his probation and if he’ll get out of this. Ann did phenomenal job in getting me to hate this guy.

And then Gabby is telling herself what to not do in order to keep him—don’t do this, don’t do that, it’ll chase him away. If a boy acts like a jerk and has you trying to figure out how not to be yourself then he is not a keeper. I was just disgusted with this kid! Who did I love in this book? Gabby’s friends, Anita, Lisa, and Huey. All three have decent heads on their shoulders. They were not falling for any of this deceit and even though Gabby was ridiculous, they were loyal to her and never ditched her once through her recovery and return to Winston.

This book was more disappointing than I expected. It’s not my taste, I believe. Rich, privileged kids and their parents working to get them out of a fix by nailing the girlfriend with it is just downright slimy. I just struggled too hard trying get on Gabby’s level. She didn’t seem like much of a better person. She was too snooty and uptight and felt entitled. I just can’t give this book much love. I was happy that she’d found a happy ending to a better life, though.

 

Quotables:

“This is how a person falls in love with Billy Nash.” (Gabby, p. 97)

“I had never been beautiful before this moment, but now I am. I am beautiful because Billy says.” (Gabby, p. 100)

– Okay, I plucked this one out because it made me cringe. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a grand and special feeling when the one you’re falling for finds you to be beautiful, but-and this is sole opinion of course-do not, I repeat, DO NOT sit there and think that you are only beautiful because he/she says so. No. You were beautiful before you met them and you will always be beautiful after. Their say so does not determine beauty. It’s you.-

“I want to be back in my After and not in some weird after-After Purgatory, waiting to find out if I am Saved or damned.” (Gabby, p. 127)

“Nobody believed I didn’t remember, so nobody told me the truth; they all thought I knew the truth already.” (Gabby, p. 326)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Baby Don’t Lie by Gwen Stefani.

 

You can also find me at:

Twitter: @CheshireKat_92

Goodreads: Kat J.

You’ve Been Beeped, It’s the Apocalypse (Poison Princess – A Book Review)

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2012

Poison Princess

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

She could save the world-or destroy it. 

Evangeline “Evie” Greene has the perfect life, with a best friend and the perfect boyfriend she’s ready to go all the way with. It starts crumbling when she begins to have horrifying visions, and hear scary things call out to her. Evie is desperate to figure out these visions to find out what is real and what isn’t. All she knows is that it has something to do with tarot cards…the Arcana.

Turns out, the tarot cards don’t just tell your fortune. They’re real people and threatening her, wanting to kill her. That’s according to her grandmother who tried to kidnap her when she was younger, though.

Now, after the world has been decimated, Evie has to turn to the last person that she wants to in order to survive, Jackson Deveaux. From the bayou and with a wicked attitude and irresistible grin, this Cajun will do whatever it takes to help Evie, as long as she tells him what she’s hiding in return. But, can she trust him enough to tell him what is really happening to her? That her grandmother wasn’t crazy, and the tarot cards are calling out to her in her head and seeking her out to kill her?

poisonous

This book. THIS BOOK!

I’ve been told by several people that I need to read Kresley Cole and they were right. I picked up this book at my bookstore, my curiosity certainly piqued at the idea of tarot cards being brought to life as actual people. Such originality. I find the use of tarot cards to be fascinating. I use them myself from time to time so to see them as real people with unnatural abilities gives me the shivers. Good shivers, of course.

Poison Princess

I loved how fast-paced this book moved. The pace also felt slow with how much detail there was. A perfect mix, like swirling chocolate and vanilla ice cream together. The amount of detail from the tidbits in Evie’s life and how she’s trying to hold on to it by the very threads that threaten to snap because of her visions and then zooming out to the gain a perspective on what was happening across the world with various dangers that could end her and Jackson was phenomenal. There wasn’t a single moment I wasn’t engulfed in this book. I could not put it down.

The over-dramatic dialogue between Jackson and Evie was superb. I normally don’t go for a book that over reaches in  how people interact, but with this being and apocalyptic world and these being two, hormonal teens, it worked SO well. Not going to lie, I ate it up shamelessly. The chemistry between the two of them was intoxicating, turning my stomach to knots. It’s danger boy meets sassy girl and both of them are unrelenting. As if the apocalypse didn’t have enough problems with cannibals and slavers, eh? Then there’s the Arcana, the tarot deck that are real people, and to be honest, this book only hits the cusp of that whole ordeal. And it’s just enough to keep me hanging on curiously because only knowing that they’re all fighting to be the last man standing isn’t enough. There’s got to be more to it.

I can’t wait to read more. I have already ordered the next book in this series because I’ve become quite infatuated with this series. Give me more!

 

Quotables:

“If Brandon was a good boy but not yet a great guy, Jackson was a bad boy—and already a bad guy.” (Evie, p. 82)

“Evie, people with no hope for the future can be very dangerous.” (Evie’s mother to Evie, p. 149)

“The last two monarch butterflies are thousands of miles apart and flying away from each other. A boy is skateboarding across old Lake Michigan…” (Mathew to Evie, p. 280)

“For as long as you’ve been looking down your nose at me, I’ve been craving you, an envie like I’ve never known.” (Jackson to Evie, p. 341)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Teenage Wasteland by The Who.

Dead Hot & Turning to Dust? (Accidentally Dead, Again – A Book Review)

Accidentally Dead, Again
Author: Dakota Cassidy
Published: 2012

Accidentally Dead, Again

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

 

Nina gets more than she bargains for when Sam is dropped on the doorstep of the Out in the Open Paranormal Support (OOPS) office unable to remember very much about how he was turned into a vampire. Enter Phoebe Reynolds, a young woman who claims to be Nina’s sister. She’s turned into a vampire in the midst of a fight between her and her new sister. Trying to process, or rather, not process it, Nina and her friends have to figure out how to help the two newest vampires after discovering that vampires are being experimented on and then turning to dust. They’ll all have to get to the bottom of it before both Sam and Phoebe disappear.

 

Every once in a while I’ll jump into the middle of a series. It mostly happens when I find the book in the wild—on a bargain shelf or dollar rack. That’s how it happened here.  I have started in the middle of a lot of series and loved them! And for being only $1.00 this book was fun.

This is basically a supernatural soap opera. The drama is like a prairie fire from the very start and it blazed hotter and hotter until the very end with romance that was red hot and fast paced with no holding back. Every once in a while you just need those steamy, muscle tensing parts. No shame from me, bookworms. It was pretty yummy.

The language was fun and extremely laid back. If you’re not into a lot of cursing from your characters then steer clear, but I didn’t have any issues with that. There was an abundance of puns, cliches, and sarcasm. All it of was both great and not so great. I can’t handle so many cliches, even if they are well placed. I feel like their something to use only in dabbles, not five a page. The punniness and sarcasm kept me hanging on. Sarcasm is my first language, English came second. Ask my mother. So while there was one thing that itched me, the overall language was fun and consistent.

Now, while this book was whipping me back and forth with the plot twists, the story didn’t get me entirely engulfed. Each over dramatic twist felt forced, like they were pulled out of nowhere. That made it difficult to get attached to the characters and the story, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have any favorites. I actually loved Nina. She’s a bipolar firecracker with no tolerance for stupidity. Reminds me of myself a little.

Angry

More so, there was so much that didn’t need to be dragged out as much as it was. While I understood the main points getting drawn out, the repetition of small bits like vampire sleep, was something that grated me. It was pointed out too much. However, I loved seeing everything about being vampires as brand new through Sam and Phoebe’s eyes and how they were struggling with the adjustment, showing that not everyone can just skip to bloodsucking like it’s pie.

This isn’t one I think I’ll tackle again. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. I enjoy paranormal novels to no end, but I feel like there just wasn’t enough to keep me captivated.  However, if you love the quick and steamy and nonstop drama, definitely pick up this book along with the rest of the series.

 

Quotables:

“What the fuck is next with you two? Invisibility? I don’t get it. You can jam your ass in a wall, dude. She can teleport and see her reflection. Swear to Christ, if you two can eat, even one bite, I’ll stake you myself.” (Nina, p. 92)

“We’re vampires, Sam. Sweet baby J, vampires really exist. They really drink blood. They really live forever. They have friends that are werewolves and demons.” (Phoebe to Sam, p. 177)

“Girls, I’m going to say this once. Keep it clean. And if you want to pummel each other like nothing more than common thugs—I will hit you with my shoe. Hard. Often. With so much glee.” (Wanda to Nina and Phoebe, p. 268)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? All I Have by Jennifer Lopez.

Even in Graphic Novels They Sparkle (Twilight the Graphic Novel: Vol. 1 – A Book Review)

Twilight: The Graphic Novel Vol. 1

Author: Young Kim

Published: 2010

Twilight

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

“It’s twilight…”

Coming to life in a unique way is Stephanie Meyer’s novel, Twilight. The graphic novel, beautifully illustrated by the way, has a whole new POV of how the characters act to how they look. In Volume I, discover how Bella meets Edward and discovers what he is as she falls in love with him and possibly discover a whole new way to imagine the world of vampires.

 

Now, I’m not going to do comparisons here. If a comparison is what you seek then I suggest picking up the Twilight saga guide which will give you the in-depth look and comparison of the series.

Twilight

 

When I read Volume 1 I was really drawn to the artwork. It’s certainly different from the novels and the movie saga. Forks, Washington is still dismal and rainy with that mist that makes it magical, but the characters are very different. They aren’t anything like what I imagined them. There’s a perfection to every little bit, down to the very facial expression of each character. The Sepia coloring was rich and gorgeous. All of it is one-of-a-kind.

Twilight graphic novel

Something that steered me away from this book though, was that only the good lines we all know and love from the saga are featured in the book. From there I had to gauge from the actions of the characters what was happening. For major fans, that’s not an issue, but I like to have more. I’m a greedy reader. I wanted more to keep me engaged.

While I found bits that I enjoyed and bits that I didn’t, the book isn’t half bad. It really sits in the middle with me and maybe if I get bored I may pick it up and give it a reread.

 

Quotables:

“First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was part of him—and I didn’t know how potent that part might be—that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.” (Bella)

“As I looked into his eyes, I abruptly grasped that this was every bit as now to him as it was to me.” (Bella)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? When It Rains by Paramore.

Party Goes Murder (The Cabin – A Book Review)

The Cabin
Author: Natasha Preston
Published: 2016

Cabin - pintrest

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

They think they’re invincible…

Mackenzie joins her friends on a weekend escape to a cabin in the middle of nowhere so that they can have fun before everyone heads off to university in the fall. Sparks fly and alcohol is flowing and in the morning two people are dead with the only possible suspects being the ones in the house.

Mackenzie, determined to get herself and her friends off the list of suspects, investigates, going to great lengths, but what she discovers shocks her to the core. Everybody she thought she knew is hiding secrets and she isn’t so sure that her friends are really innocent anymore. Could the people that she trusts so wholeheartedly be capable of such a heinous act? Everybody tosses blame, increasing suspicions and fears. And when the killer is revealed, Mackenzie fears that the worst has yet to come.

 

When I read the back cover of the book I was intrigued. This is about a killer tracking a group of kids and knocking them off one by one. But it’s not. I was thrown back by this. I felt like the description was completely different from what the book was truly about. I didn’t expect a murder mystery. I was intrigued though. Like peeling back petals of a flower, you slowly discover that none of these characters, even Mackenzie, are who they seem.

What is happening

 

The repetition really got under my skin. I was losing it. There were certain points that Mackenzie kept repeating throughout the whole book. As the reader, I didn’t need her to tell about the things her dead friends would never get to do again. I understood that the first time she thought about it. I understood that when their bodies were discovered. I also couldn’t stand how she kept saying that she couldn’t be falling for Blake, the brother of one of her dead friends. Instead of thinking it all the time, I would’ve liked to see her deflect these feelings more if it bothered her so much. I just felt like she was whining too  much.

Would I read this book again? Probably not. I was thrown off balance too much with it. Between Mackenzie and Blake’s back and forth Will I? or Wont’t? I was dizzying. All of the characters had such short fuses and their emotions ran so red hot that I couldn’t take it seriously. The idea of this story is so good. It truly is, but I feel like it needed more work to get me invested.

 

Quotables:

“His gaze was intense like he saw everything. I didn’t want him to see anything about me.” (Mackenzie about Blake, p. 5)

“The secrets you hide from yourself are always the most dangerous.” (Blake to Mackenzie, p. 21)

“My stomach turned over in fear. The killer could want more blood.” (Mackenzie, p. 194)