Book Review – Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

Seven Ways We Lie

Author: Riley Redgate

Publication: March 8th, 2016

Publisher: Amulet Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 352 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ+

Read: February 2016

Riley RedgateGoodreads

 

Synopsis
In Seven Ways We Lie, a chance encounter tangles the lives of seven high school students, each resisting the allure of one of the seven deadly sins, and each telling their story from their seven distinct points of view.
The juniors at Paloma High School all have their secrets, whether it’s the thespian who hides her trust issues onstage, the closeted pansexual who only cares about his drug-dealing profits, or the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal. But it’s Juniper Kipling who has the furthest to fall. No one would argue that Juniper—obedient daughter, salutatorian, natural beauty, and loyal friend—is anything but perfect. Everyone knows she’s a saint, not a sinner; but when love is involved, who is Juniper to resist temptation? When she begins to crave more and more of the one person she can’t have, her charmed life starts to unravel.
Then rumors of a student–teacher affair hit the fan. After Juniper accidentally exposes her secret at a party, her fate falls into the hands of the other six sinners, bringing them into one another’s orbits. All seven are guilty of something. Together, they could save one another from their temptations—or be ruined by them.
Riley Redgate’s twisty YA debut effortlessly weaves humor, heartbreak, and redemption into a drama that fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins will adore.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
The first half of this book was painfully slow, it took me so long to get interested in it. I didn’t really want to pick it up but as I continued, the second half improved and was much more entertaining. Some things were kind of boring and it wasn’t as engaging as I was hoping it would be. It’s a coming of age story with important themes throughout but it just didn’t capture my attention.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
It was really confusing and complicated, it was really hard for me to understand what was happening. I understand what the author was trying to do but there were way too many POVs. However, they were each distinct to each character which was good, I just couldn’t keep up with them, even though the writing style was very simple and easy to read.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Usually this is the section where I talk about the main characters and a little bit in general about side characters, but this book in particular has seven main characters so I’m just gonna share my thoughts in general. First off, seven is way too many main characters for me. I thought the concept was a really interesting one, each character is meant to represent a deadly sin (you can hypothesize who is who which was great discussion in my book club). However, because there were so many, I didn’t connect with the majority of them. I enjoyed some of their points of views, I hate others, but in general, I just had a meh feeling towards them, specially added with the fact that the first part of the book was slow. Olivia is spunky, Matt is kind and quiet, Valentine is pretty peculiar, Juniper was okay, I hated Claire with a passion and I felt like Kat wasn’t really needed. I just realized that I didn’t mention Julian in my notes at all. I liked him but that just further proves that I was overwhelmed with the amount of characters.

Emotionally

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Book Review – The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

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The Lies of Locke Lamora (The Gentlemen Bastard #1)

Author: Scott Lynch

Publication: September 18th, 2008

Publisher: Orion

Format: Kindle Edition, 573 pages

Genre: Adult, High Fantasy, Science Fiction

Read: January 2016

Scott LynchGoodreads

 

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.
Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.
Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it’s a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city.
But there are whispers of a challenge to the Capa’s power. A challenge from a man no one has ever seen, a man no blade can touch. The Grey King is coming.
A man would be well advised not to be caught between Capa Barsavi and The Grey King. Even such a master of the sword as the Thorn of Camorr. As for Locke Lamora . . .

Trigger warning for graphic violence.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot  is really intricate and super intense. It was so much more complicated than I was expecting it to be but it was exciting all the same. There’s violence, blood and stealing but also friendship, love and intelligence and personal growth. Honestly, there were like various different plot lines going on that managed to intertwined in the coolest of ways and I was really impressed.

Writing Style – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is my biggest issue in this book because of one thing: the world building. I was so confused the entire time I was reading and it was a huge bummer. There wasn’t enough explanation though it still managed to be detailed, descriptive, intricate and thorough. The story moves between the past and the present and it’s really intense and also really graphic, so watch out if you’re squeamish.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Never in my life did I think I would get so incredibly attached to the characters in this book but here we are. They are so precious to me in their little deceitful and crass way. Locke is such a shit but in the best way possible. We get to know him as an adult and as a kid and we see how he grows up. He’s street smart, cunning and kind of cocky. He’s really good at what he does and he’s kind of the brains of the operation. But he’s also a really sucky fighter and he gets caught in this worst situations ever. He’s kind of desperate towards the end of the books and really hurt and torn over what to do. I liked seeing his progression as a person and also how he interacted with the rest of the crew. They are amazing as well! Honestly, one of my favorite parts of this series is seeing the dynamic of these gentlemen bastards. Their friendship is so honest and real and they care about each other, but in that dude way where you like give each other shit for stupid stuff that you do, it’s so awesome. They’re hilarious and loyal and one of them is the most adorable thing to live on the page and it just made my reading experience so much better. Jean is Locke’s closest, maybe even best friend, and their bromance was amazing. They look out for each other, they care for each other and they just want to steal and live life to the fullest together and gosh, I love them.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

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Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge

Author: Paul Krueger

Publication: June 7th, 2016

Publisher: Quirk Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 288 pages

Genre: New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: January 2016

Paul KruegerGoodreads

 

 

4-stars1

Synopsis
In this sharp and funny urban fantasy novel, booze is magic, demons are real, and millennial Bailey Chen joins a band of monster-fighting Chicago bartenders instead of finding a “real” post-college job.
Bailey Chen is fresh out of college with all the usual new-adult demons: no cash, no job offers, and an awkward relationship with Zane, the old friend she kinda-sorta hooked up with during high school.
But when Zane introduces Bailey to his monster-fighting bartender friends, her demons become a lot more literal. It turns out that evil creatures stalk the city streets after hours, and they can be hunted only with the help of magically mixed cocktails: vodka grants super-strength, whiskey offers the power of telekinesis, and rum lets its drinker fire blasts of elemental energy. But will all these powers be enough for Bailey to halt a mysterious rash of gruesome deaths? And what will she do when the safety of a “real world” job beckons?
This sharp and funny urban fantasy is perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and grown-up readers of Harry Potter. Includes 14 recipes from a book of ancient cocktail lore.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
I really liked this book which was kind of surprising for me. I feel like the premise is really new and interesting, I’ve never read anything like it before. It’s action packed, there was mystery, it was entertaining and I enjoyed it. I liked that the paranormal creatures described and involved were unique. There was some graphic descriptions but the ending was conclusive though slightly open ended which is great!

Writing Style – 3.5 out of 5 stars
The writing style is really simple, descriptive and detailed. I found that the world building was really interesting and thorough, there were a lot of special elements that made it so much easier to understand and to immerse myself in. It’s kind of graphic but also kind of funny and engaging. I was really invested in the book while reading and flew through it.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I liked the majority of the characters in this book but they all have their annoying moments. Some of their decisions and actions were questionable and irritating but in general, I liked them and their personalities and they made the story fun and entertaining. Bailey is kind of annoying but I really liked her determination and bravery. She actually reminded me (and my book club) of me which I don’t really know what that says about me since she has a kind of anal and obsessive personality. She’s smart, hardworking, curious, kind and defiant. She had moments when she was kind of petulant and moments where I just wanted to shake her silly but overall, I liked her as the narrator. There are quite a few side characters in this series. Some that I loved that totally brought a lot of energy and joy into the book and into what was going on. Others that I did not like at all and that I was totally suspicious of. However, I feel like they were all really individual and complex by themselves. Some weren’t as fleshed out as I wanted them to be and I would’ve wanted to get to know them a lot better but they all added something special to the story. There was a lot more drama than I was expecting, specially for an urban fantasy book and we definitely talked about that in our book club book chat. Some of the characters had shitty stuff happen to them and that made me so sad and this whole paragraph makes no sense, sorry guys haha.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Imprudence by Gail Carriger

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Imprudence Cover

Imprudence (The Custard Protocol #2)

Author: Gail Carriger

Publication: July 19th, 2016

Publisher: Orbit

Format: Kindle Edition, 368 pages

Genre: Adult, Steampunk, Paranormal, Historical Fiction

Read: December 2016

Gail CarrigerGoodreads

 

4-5-stars1

Synopsis
London is in chaos.
Rue and the crew of The Spotted Custard returned from India with revelations that shook the foundations of the scientific community. There is mass political upheaval, the vampires are tetchy, and something is seriously wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most inappropriate military types.
Rue has got personal problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they all really are… is frightened.
When the Custard is ordered to Egypt, transporting some highly unusual passengers, Rue’s problems go from personal to impossible. Can she get Percy to stop sulking? Will she find the true cause of Primrose’s lovesickness? And what is Quesnel hiding in the boiler room?

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book picks up right where the first one left off. My biggest issue with this series in particular is that the pacing is really slow, when I’m used to Carriger’s books being constantly fast paced and entertaining. This one has specific scenes that are action packed and some that are full of crazy and unexpected situations but its definitely not the entire time. This book in particular deals with a lot more romance and familial relations, from the main character’s perspective as well as others. I definitely liked the story line in this one a lot more than the first book.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
This is the part that I can always count on when it comes to these books. The writing style is done really well in my opinion. It’s always really descriptive and detailed, though it can get a bit much for some people. While it’s historically accurate and really verbose, it’s easy to read and really freaking funny. As for the narration, there’s a lot more growth in the character from the first to the second book and that is shown in the way she speaks to the reader. It’s still quirky and entertaining but you can see how the adventures she’s had and her current struggles have affected the main character’s thought process and personality.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I’m happy to say that this part has improved, yay! I was not the biggest fan of this cast of characters in the first book but they’ve definitely improved in this one. There’s a lot more character development, a lot more background on most of them and some new editions that I really enjoyed learning about. Rue as a main character has also improved for me. She got on my nerves really easily in the first book and while she’s still kind of arrogant and spoiler, she’s also a lot more mature. She’s not as annoying though still kind of clueless about some things though very smart about others. She’s struggles a bit emotionally in this book, considering the family issues she has, and I enjoyed seeing more depth to her. She’s honest and bold though very guarded with her heart. I really loved the views on sexuality that this book had, specially considering the time this book is set in. Rue is very clear on her wants and desires as a woman, and has a very forward thinking approach to sex. I loved to see a historical romance starting in such an unconventional way for them. The side characters are definitely more developed in this book as well. Each one has their own little things going on as part of the whole plot process. There are always so many different pieces to Carriger’s book and it’s always plausible to expect to see characters from the earlier series show up again. This one has a lot more new and old character show up and I have to say that in this entire cast my favorite is Tasherit.
She’s badass as hell.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Prudence by Gail Carriger

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Prudence Cover

Prudence (The Custard Protocol #1)

Author: Gail Carriger

Publication: March 17th, 2015

Publisher: Orbit

Format: Kindle Edition, 384 pages

Genre: Adult, Steampunk, Paranormal, Historical Fiction

Read: December 2016

Gail CarrigerGoodreads

 

4-stars1

It has come to my attention that this book may have misrepresentation of Indian/Hindu culture and religion. This review explains it more.

Synopsis
ON BEHALF OF QUEEN, COUNTRY…AND THE PERFECT POT OF TEA
When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances – names it the Spotted Crumpet and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea.
But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier’s wife and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone’s secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Unlike most of Carriger’s books, this one in particular is slow and a bit weak plot wise. It was boring sometimes which has never happened to me with one of her books. There was some action and loads of crazy situations but that felt very disconnected. However, I really enjoyed the expansion of the world specially in terms of supernatural creatures and the characters we get to see.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’m a huge fan of Carriger’s writing style. It’s very simple yet descriptive and detailed. It’s historically accurate so it may be confusing to read in the beginning but it has amazing humor and is full of sarcastic quips and barbs. However, because of this particular POV, it can get a bit immature and naive. It’s quirky and whimsy and it was a bit frustrating at times.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is probably my least favorite part of this book. I tend to like Carriger’s main female characters but Rue kind of rubbed me the wrong way. She’s very naive and clueless. She has a tendency to act immature as well as really spoiled and arrogant which was annoying. She’s imposing and bossy which reminded me of her mother but it was almost like she was trying too hard at it, not like a specific part of her personality. She’s inventive and she comes up with a lot of crazy ideas and schemes which is fun. I liked her a lot more when I could see her interacting with the rest of the cast. She has two of her best friends accompany her on her journey, Primrose and Percy who are twins. I really liked both of them because of their differences and their similarities and how that played into their twin dynamic. I’m glad it was something that was explored in this book. She’s a very sensitive and girly girl, very conscious of society and how a lady of her social status has to act in these times. He on the other hand is more focus on books and learning and has a very quirky way of thinking. He’s much more reserved and would rather spend his time alone. Then there’s Quesnel who I was very happy to see all grown up and holding his own in the scientific community. He’s very cute and flirty and kind of what a player would be then. It was very interesting to see how all these very different people did or didn’t get along in such close quarters.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Bad Blood (The Naturals #4)

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publication: November 1st, 2016

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Kindle Edition, 384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Espionage

Read: December 2016

Jennifer Lynn BarnesGoodreads

 

5 Stars

Synopsis
When Cassie Hobbes joined the FBI’s Naturals program, she had one goal: uncover the truth about her mother’s murder. But now, everything Cassie thought she knew about what happened that night has been called into question. Her mother is alive, and the people holding her captive are more powerful—and dangerous—than anything the Naturals have faced so far. As Cassie and the team work to uncover the secrets of a group that has been killing in secret for generations, they find themselves racing a ticking clock. New victims. New betrayals. New secrets. When the bodies begin piling up, it soon becomes apparent that this time, the Naturals aren’t just hunting serial killers. They’re being hunted.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
I don’t know how to rave about these series anymore. The plots of these books are so intense, emotional and powerful. This book in particular was completely and totally nerve wracking for me, I was dying while reading! It deals with violence, death, family, friendship and grief. As always, it’s a little creepy but I think the ending, while sad, is also really hopeful.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
One of the best things about this series is how well the writing style works with it. It makes it so easy to fall into the story and get addicted to it. It’s intense and powerful and emotional and it’s really easy to read. The sentences are short and to the point which really drives home the anxiety inducing plot haha. It’s descriptive and creepy, but don’t worry you can handle it!

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
It took four books but I can finally say that I LOVE these characters! Slowly  but surely, they’ve gotten me under their spell and I just adore the way they look out for each other. Cassie in this book finally caught my attention. In general, I haven’t been sold on her as a character. I felt like there was a lot more I could get from her and that I didn’t really know her. But boy oh boy, she really stepped it up in this book! Which might be bad to say because she’s pretty distraught and obsessive in this book which isn’t very healthy but it was just so much easier  to get to know her. I felt like she finally let her walls down, with the rest of the group as well as with the reader. She’s anxious and feels very vulnerable and a bit unstable emotionally but she’s so determined and smart. She keeps moving forward toward her goal and I really loved her tenacity. Besides the regular plot line, each book focuses deeper into the pasts of some of the side characters and this one takes a look at Michael and Lila. It’s pretty safe to say that they’ve been my least favorite members of this series but I’ve grown to like them after awhile. They both have very volatile and sort of dangerous personalities and it was really interesting to see how they became those kind of people.

Emotionally

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Book Review – All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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All In Cover

All In (The Naturals #3)

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publication: November 7th, 2015

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Kindle Edition, 384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Espionage

Read: November 2016

Jennifer Lynn BarnesGoodreads

 

5 Stars

Synopsis
Three casinos. Three bodies. Three days. After a string of brutal murders in Las Vegas, Cassie Hobbes and the Naturals are called in to investigate. But even with the team’s unique profiling talents, these murders seem baffling: unlike many serial killers, this one uses different methods every time. All of the victims were killed in public, yet the killer does not show up on any tape. And each victim has a string of numbers tattooed on their wrist. Hidden in the numbers is a code—and the closer the Naturals come to unraveling the mystery, the more perilous the case becomes. Meanwhile, Cassie is dealing with an equally dangerous and much more painful mystery. For the first time in years, there’s been a break in her mother’s case. As personal issues and tensions between the team mount, Cassie and the Naturals will be faced with impossible odds—and impossible choices.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
This book have got me hooked guys. The plot is entertaining, intense and powerful. It’s full of creepy things and violence and death. Grief, family and friendship are huge themes in this book and I love the way the author worked them in throughout the story. There are a lot of crazy reveals and twists and turns that kept my jaw on the floor and my head spinning, gosh I love these books.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing for these books just really accentuates the story. It’s really easy to read because of its fast pace and addicting narrative. It’s powerful, intense and emotional. The sentences are short and to the point while still being descriptive and detailed. There are some really creepy and weird parts but that honestly makes the story that much more amazing!

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This book in particular made me completely and totally fall in love with every single character of the cast. I know I’ve said they’ve been getting to me, but I feel like this book solidified my love for them and their status as a family. Cassie is our narrator as always and I feel like through all the different experiences in these books, while they affect her, they also make her stronger. She’s smart but quiet. She’s really good at what she does and she’s determined to make a difference. However, in this book, she’s torn, haunted and hurt by a lot of different things. It’s a tough situation and things are revealed that shake her foundation. I loved how she continues to grow throughout the series. In this book, there’s a lot of focus on another of the side characters and I love how this particular plot is also centered around the team and their connection to each other. Honestly, this book definitely hit me a lot harder  than I expected it to. It’s so much more emotional than the rest of the ones before it and I had a LOT of freaking FEELS while reading!

Emotionally

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Book Review – Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

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Blood For Blood Cover

Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2)

Author: Ryan Graudin

Publication: November 1st, 2016

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Format: Kindle Edition, 496 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction

Read: November 2016

Ryan GraudinGoodreads

 

5 Stars

Synopsis
There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it.
For the resistance in the Third Reich, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun. Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against Hitler’s army, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.
But in the midst of the chaos, Yael’s past and future collide when she comes face to face with a ghost from her past, and a spark with a fellow rider begins to grow into something more. Dark secrets reveal dark truths and one question hangs over them all—how far can you go for the ones you love?

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I was totally and completed pulled into this book from the minute I started it, no joke. The plot is powerful, emotional and full of suspense. It was slow at first which threw me off a bit since the first book was so action packed. However, it was filled with twists and turns and dealt with death, violence, lots of blood, power and hope. I do have to say that every time I stopped reading, I was reluctantly to pick up the book again because I knew that it was gonna hurt and it fucking did. Not sorry for that curse word.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve come to really like Graudin’s writing style. It’s poetic in the way that she weaves sentences which sounds weird but it’s actually really cool while still keeping up the intensity, power and emotional within the characters’ voices and narratives. There’s several POVs and they all read very distinct to me. It’s simple, detailed, descriptive and very engaging.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
Goodness, this cast of characters. They definitely make this series for me, they are amazing and complex and interesting and I just love them so much. Yael is the baddest badass lady to hit the book world. Honestly, I don’t know this series isn’t more popular because she’s freaking amazing. She’s angry and yet kind and open to people. She’s really smart and savvy about the world she’s a part of. She’s determined and strong and stubborn. I absolutely love her development, specially in this second book. There’s so much that happens around her and to her and it changes the way she is in such a deep way but makes her so much better as a character. I just think she’s amazing and it’s astounding to me how she could push forward in life so much to get to the point where she is at the end of this book. There’s a lot of side characters in this book, specially ones where we get their POVs. I loved most of them, I can say that there’s one in particular that I do not like at all in this book. My opinion of them quickly went downhill and I am very, very mad about how their specific story line came out. However, there are a few other side characters that I love with every fiber of my being. I keep them in a safe little place inside my heart where all my little cinnamon rolls live happily ever after. Yes, I’m a weirdo.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Killer Instinct Cover

Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2)

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publication: November 7th, 2013

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Kindle Edition, 321 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Espionage

Read: October 2016

Jennifer Lynn BarnesGoodreads

 

 

5 Stars

Synopsis
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.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
I am absolutely obsessed with these books. The plot is fast paced and entertaining. It’s intense, powerful and sometimes really freaking creepy! It deals with violence, death and grief. This one is a lot more personal than the first. We get to learn more about one of the other members of the program and it really tore my heart up! And this book in particular also has more romance, which made me happy.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style works incredibly well for the story it’s telling. It’s super easy to read and really fast paced. The sentences are short and to the point which makes them easy to devour, because that’s basically what I do when I read this book. It’s really intense, powerful and creepy because it’s really descriptive. I’m gonna be honest, sometimes it gives me goosebumps. BUT THAT MAKES IT SO GOOD!

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This cast of characters are slowly but surely becoming my babies. They’re still really weird but like, I’m getting to know them so much more now that I want to snuggle them and love them! Cassie had a rough time of it in the first book so she’s haunted in this book, plagued by nightmares and memories. She’s gotten a bit obsessed with her ability and is also a bit confused on some things going on. But she’s really smart and quiet and hopeful. She’s slowly sliding right at home with this group of crazy kinds and it’s super awesome. This book also takes a closer look at Dean. This book takes him through ups and downs and lots of emotions. He’s scared, angry and haunted by his childhood. I just wanted to wrap him in my arms and protect him honestly. I feel like I definitely connected more with the side characters in this book, Dean first and foremost. Because the plot hits so close to home, the author makes it a point to build their friendships a lot more and to develop the side characters more which I really appreciated. It starts to feel like they are all part of the same team now and it’s pretty great.

Emotionally

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Book Review – The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

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The Rose and the Dagger Cover

The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Publication: April 26th, 2016

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Format: Kindle Edition, 420 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Retellings, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Read: September 2016

Renee AhdiehGoodreads

 

5 Stars

Synopsis
The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as “a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance.”
I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.
While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This is an amazing sequel and finale. It’s so intense and full of twists and turns. This one in particular is a lot slower paced and it doesn’t have as much action but it doesn’t away from the excitement and power of the story. There’s a lot of different parts and pieces in place and deals with war, romance,  betrayal and heartbreak. I loved it but it was not what I was expecting to happen.

Writing Style – 5 out of 5 stars
I absolutely love and adore Ahdieh’s writing style. It’s engaging and addictive. It makes the story really easy to read even though it’s poetic and lyrical. It’s beautiful, powerful and emotional. It packs a serious punch and manages to tell the story perfectly, both plot and writing fit well together. The writing is detailed and descriptive and I love reading it, just makes it so much fun to experience the book.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I am utterly and completely in love with these characters. They are so real and so tangible even through the page that I couldn’t help but be enamored with them. Shahrzad is an amazing narrator and protagonist. I love her. She’s determined and so very smart. She’s powerful and self-reliant, though sometimes a little bit too much. She’s very sassy and she stands up for herself even when it’d be much better for her safety if she doesn’t. She knows how to spar verbally to kick some serious ass that way which I loved. She has a really strong temper and I loved her character development, I feel like she learns a lot about herself and her family in this sequel. Khalid breaks my heart, that poor baby. He’s still so broody and apologetic. But he’s also strong, and smart and just tenacious. He’s always ready and steady for any confrontation that comes his way,  big or small. I loved how he did what was best for his country and not what he wanted to do, it shows a lot of integrity. I’m glad that we got to see a lot more from the side characters in this sequel. Not only ones that we came to love in the first book but also ones that were more behind the scenes. They’re all complex, interesting and intriguing. Their motivations and actions cause a lot of disruption and make the story that much more entertaining.

Emotionally

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