"I spent my life folded between the pages of books." -Tahereh Mafi

Some of my reviews are normal non-spoilery reviews. But some of reviews contain lots and lots of spoilers to help you (and me!) remember what happened when the next book in the series finally comes out. Both review types are clearly marked.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Clouded Sky by Megan Crewe

This review is spoiler free!!

My rating: 3/5 stars

Just not as good as the first book. This isn't bad, but it's just not great. Nearly the entire book takes place on an alien space station, which sounds exciting, but isn't. It's pretty boring. Skylar is basically trying to find the traitor in a group of people she's just met. Why her? Why can't anyone else figure this out? And the "mystery" of who the traitor is is just too damn obvious. What is she even doing there? You'd think that for all the trouble of bringing her along, they'd have something important for her to do...

The "pet" thing just freaked me out too much. A lot of people keep humans as "pets" and it's just as creepy as you would think. I've actually avoided other books that include this and probably would have avoided this one too if I had known it was part of the storyline.

I liked the idea of the love interest, but it just fell a little flat - I just didn't really feel anything. I actually really liked Jule, but I never got the sense that Skylar did.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Shadows by J.R. Ward

This post contains lots and lots of spoilers!!

Omg, this one is heartbreaking! It mostly focuses on Trez and Selena. Trez finally finds out about Selena's disease and even though he knows she's dying, he still wants to be with her for whatever time they have. Which ends up being like a week. I seriously thought they'd figure out a way to save her, but nope. :(  At the end Trez wants to die but at the entrance to the Fade, Selena tells him he has to stay to take care of his brother.

The secondary storyline involves iAm finally finding his HEA. He sneaks into the Shadows compound to look through the library for a cure for Selena. He ends up meeting and falling for Princess Catra (the same one that Trez is promised to!) disguised as a maid. With s'Ex's help, she finds out her mother has faked astrological charts. The queen faked the one that determined that her newborn daughter (with s'Ex) wasn't the heir (which means she was killed). And she faked Trex and iAm's charts - iAm is actually the Anointed One who's supposed to make babies with the princess - not Trez! What a wonderful coincidence since her and iAm have already fallen in love. s'Ex kills the queen as revenge for her causing his daughter to die; Catra becomes Queen and promotes s'Ex.

But this is a Black Dagger Brotherhood book so there's like a thousand other storylines to keep track of! First, something's up with Rhage. Mary thinks it's panic attacks because what's happening to Trez and Selena is too similar to what could have happened to him and Mary. But I think it's more that that. And the next book is about him, so...

There's little Assail and no Sola at all in this book. Wrath finds out that Assail's supplying the Lessers with drugs and that they're using those profits to buy weapons. Wrath confronts him and tells him he needs to stop. Assail agrees, but way too easily. He beheads the Forelesser, presents his head to Wrath, and tells him where the Lessers can be found. But he's definitely planning something else.

Xcor and Layla are still meeting up in secret. Xcor's bonded with her but doesn't think he's worthy. Layla's starting to fall for him too. Even more when she realizes that he has no intention of bringing down Wrath anymore. He feeds from her but then freaks out at his reaction and is afraid he'll hurt her and her unborn youngs (twins!!). He makes her leave.

Throe leaves the Band of Bastards because they no longer intend to overthrow Wrath. Now that he's democratically elected, Xcor doesn't want to overthrow him. Throe tries to convince the rest of the Bastards to leave with him, but they stay true to Xcor. Throe goes to Ablaone (Wrath's assistant) and asks to stay there and says he has info about the BoB. He tells Wrath that he's parted with the Bastards because he doesn't want to go after the King (liar!!). As Wrath and the Brothers become suspicious, he leaves Abalone's and asks to stay with an upper class female who's whored for the Bastards before.

The Brothers are also restarting training. And opening it up to everyone - even the poor and females!! Abalone's daughter Paradise wants to try out. Abalone doesn't want her to, but eventually he gives her permission. Her best guy friend Peyton is also trying out but is against her going because the females of the species are precious. Ugh.

Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

This review is spoiler free!!

My rating: 3/5 stars

This book has a bit of a paranormal aspect to it, but it still reads exactly like a contemporary. It was sweet, if not a little predictable. 

The book rotates between 4 POVs. The thing I liked best was how realistically distinct each of the girls are. And I don't mean in a stupid Sporty Spice/Posh Spice kind of way (these are the only Spice Girls I can remember! lol). They are each complex individuals who have their own personalities and interests. They're distinct, but not in a stereotypical ways. A lot of authors have a hard time writing one, let alone four, complex character. 

While the characters were interesting, the story was a bit boring. Sweet, but boring and predictable. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian

This review is spoiler free!!

My rating: 1/5 stars

This book sounded so damn good, but it ended up being rather problematic.

1) Will felt so disconnected from everything. There was no emotion at all, even though emotional things happened. It felt like he was in a fog, which just made no sense. It made the book incredibly boring, even when things happened.

2) Where is the plot??? Seriously, what was the point of this book? Books are still supposed to have actual plots, right? Where there's some sort of story, with a climax and a resolution? This book had none of that. There was nothing. Just a jumble of things happening, without any reason. And the end. Ugh, seriously, the end isn't an end. Nothing is resolved. At all. Why did I waste my time when I get nothing at the end?

3) The painfully stereotypical portrayal of bisexuality. I was so excited for this book because there needs to be more discussion of bisexuality. Bis are horribly ignored in the lgbt community and in society at large. I thought this book would help fill that void, not play up existing stereotypes. The stereotype of bisexuals is that they are promiscuous - it's impossible for them to be in a monogamous relationship, because they always want both genders. Btw, while I'm totally cool with polyamory, not all bisexuals are unable to monogamous. This book plays into this stereotype in a damaging way. Will constantly cheats on Brandy with Angus, because he just wants them both so badly. And that's another thing - both relationships seem to have no actual foundation rather than sex. Casual sex is cool and all, but being bi (or gay or straight for that matter), isn't all about sex. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

How the Wolf Lost Her Heart by Sarah Brownlee

This review is spoiler free!!

My rating: 2/5 stars

This book would have been so much better if it had been written in and/or set in the 1980s. But apparently 200 years in the future, we still have crap like this:

"Picking on girls again because you're too much of a coward to take on anyone your own size?"
"And why in the world are you wearing men's clothes?""Oh, ah," said Skye. "I, erm, bought them.""Bought them? Why?""Oh, just felt like a change," said Skye in a would-be cheery voice."Felt like a change? Oh Skye... Please tell me this isn't a sign that you've lost interest in the male species!"
Nice to see that sexism and transphobia are still around in 200 years! Everything from the nightclubs to the weird rivalry between Skye and the "mean girl" seems straight from some '80s movie!

The world building here was weird. There were things that we explained in too much detail, while we were just supposed to let other things slide. Like apparently newspapers being abolished? Wtf? Why? There isn't a strong authoritarian government here so that just makes no sense. There's an attempt at explaining all the thugs that run rampant in the city, but it makes no logical sense. It would be better if there just wasn't an explanation. 

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This review is spoiler free!!

My rating: 5/5 stars

This book was so damn cute! Simon is just adorable! Simon is not the typical lead character. He's not popular, but he's not a loser. He's a geek, but people like him. You know, the way high school is for most of us, am I right?

The friendships he has are wonderful. And the e-mail relationship he has with Blue is so sweet. And this book wasn't nearly as predictable as I thought it was going to be. There were so many times that I thought I knew who Blue was, and then, nope, I was wrong. Which was wonderfully surprising.

Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay

This review is spoiler free!!

My rating: 3/5 stars

This was okay. Just okay. It was just so similar to Pivot Point, which was way more awesome. With Pivot Point, there was a purpose to the two different alternate universes; here there wasn't. Which just made the whole book feel pointless. I probably would have liked this if I hadn't read Pivot Point before. Honestly, if the concept intrigues you, just read Pivot Point. 

I also had a difficult time keeping track of each timeline. They're labeled with different names, but it was still hard to remember what had happened to each one. There's really not much more to say - everything about this book was just a big meh for me.