Book Review: Lover Eternal by J.R Ward

Title: Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood #2 Series)
Author: J.R. Ward
Pages: 441
Publisher: Signet
ISBN: 0451218049

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret bound of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant to Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves.

REVIEW

This is the second installment in the BDB franchise and so far the series is on a roll. Love Eternal continues where Dark Lover left off. Well actually both books can stand alone but it’ll be more enjoyable if you start reading the first book. Similar to Dark Lover, this book is story focused on a particular brother and Dark Eternal is the story of Rhage and Mary. I won’t go on and on about what’s exciting and amazing about this because I’ll run out of adjectives – but final say is that the book is definitely recommended, time worth and money spent wisely.

Lover Eternal is both romantic and heart breaking – it is an emotional roller coaster ride and when you start reading the book, it’ll keep you sucked into a hole of emotions and actions until you finish the whole story (which happened to me – beware! You are warned). It is very erotic and graphic with both the sex scenes and the fighting so make sure that you are prepared to be sucked into the world of the Brothers. So far, I can definitely say that the series is starting to be addictive and I just can’t wait to read the next book! 🙂 Another 5 stars on my list.

Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

1. Dark Lover

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Book Review: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Title: Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1 Series)
Author: J.R. Ward
Pages: 393
Publisher: Signer Eclipse
ISBN: 0451216954

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

REVIEW

Dark Lover is the first installment in the BDB series by Ward and it was incredible. I can’t believe I’ve stopped myself too long before reading this series – I am a new fan of Ward and hopefully the other books is as awesome as Dark Lover.

Dark Lover has a whole new vampire concept – Ward wrote BDB with a twist, there were still aspects followed from the usual vampire society/behavior but there are differences. The terms are uniquely for this story so it takes time to get used to but that is also a reason so separate BDB series from the other vampire series out there (and you know there are tons!!)

BDB is fast paced, action packed and intense. This is really not intended for minors or for the wimpy at heart since the book contains a lot of violence and it is very graphic in nature. From my past review, you know I am not a fan of insta-love but when it comes to paranormal books it somewhat works (well sort off, and there are a few writers that can pull this off effectively and Ward is one of them) I love how Ward was taking the time to really open up BDB’s world to the readers yet it doesn’t come out dull or boring.

I am just so glad that I didn’t join the band wagon immediately when the hype was so high – I want to read a series wherein most of the books are already available to relieve myself from stress and anticipation and looking at how much I enjoyed Dark Lover, I can surely predict that I’ll finish the next few books after a couple of days. Definitely a 5 on my list!

Book Review: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Title: Five Flavors of Dumb
Author: Antony John
Pages: 338
Publisher: Dial
ISBN: 0803734336

The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig.

The Deal: If she does it, Piper will become the band’s manager and get her share of the profits.

The Catch: How can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? And how can she do it when she’s deaf?

Piper can’t hear Dumb’s music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb.

Review

Five Flavors of Dumb was a magnificent novel to indulge yourself with. I wasn’t expecting much when I picked up the book, however a few pages into it I definitely smack myself hard for not picking up the book earlier. It was a fantastic read from beginning to end.

Awesome – incredible – marvelous are nowhere near to describing this book on my opinion, actually its hard reviewing this book because I couldn’t describe how good it is and boy did it exceeded my expectation and more!

The concept of the story was epic, that’s what instantly got me interested. the characters were amazing especially Piper – who wouldn’t agree that she was the best? she was head strong, independent and very mature for her age. I somehow felt a little uncertain about her family and her relationship with her parents but thinking about it that was another element that made this story realistic. The flow of the story was steady – wasn’t rush not was it too slow. I won’t go on and on with the list of what I love and did not love about the book (although there weren’t any in this case) since it will definitely take up space, I’d only like to say – If you want a great read AWESOME read, pick this book and you will never regret it.

No matter how many praises I write I will always come short in describing how much I love this book. This is a book worth recommending, re-reading and it certainly deserves a space in every bookshelf for avid readers. It maybe a YA novel, but this is one of those YA novels that surpasses expectations and brings more to the table than what you intially expected from it! 5 stars on my list.

Book Review: The Ivy by Lauren Kunze & Rina Onur

Title: The Ivy (The Ivy #1 Series)
Author: Lauren Kunze & Rina Onur
Pages: 312
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
ISBN: 0061960454

Congratulations! You have been admitted to the most prestigious university in the world. Now what are you going to do?

Callie Andrews may not have money or connections or the right clothes, and she may have way too many complications in her love life, what with
Gregory
the guy she loves to hate …
Evan
the guy she’d love to forget …
Clint
the guy she’d love to love …
and Matt
the guy she really should love …
all vying for her attention.
But she has three fantastic roommates (best friends or her worst nightmare?) and a wholesome California-girl reputation (oops) and brains and beauty and big, big dreams.
Will it be enough to help her survive freshman year at Harvard?

REVIEW

This is a tough cookie and I must be honest, I am finding it difficult to write an opener (evidence right there) for my review so on to it then!

I felt so detached with this book, half way through it I was mostly skipping pages and scratching my head because I can connect to the characters nor the story as I should be. I won’t say that it wasn’t for me or something since I wouldn’t pick it up if it didn’t interest me but along the way – our chemistry wasn’t working at all. I just felt that it was all about booze, sex, shopping and immaturity. Well granted that most of highschool and college is basically like that but I was really hoping it didn’t focus on that alone. I don’t know where the story was in the novel – it’s there somewhere, it was just not speaking to me clearly.

Ohh you know what sucks more? Reading the book was like watching a re-run of Gossip Girl (TV Series not the book) but not in a good way(the opener was the dead giveaway – The Ivy: News article/Publication, GG: Email blast/Website article). Well I don’t know, it seems like I’mone of the few to compare the two but that’s how I felt. The Ivy for me was all over the place and most of the time I kept on re-reading the last sentence because I keep on forgetting the storyline. Another difficulty to adjust to was the POV – it jumps from one character head to another. 😦 When you are reading that type of story telling, it will really be confusing and hard to follow.

The Ivy was suppose to go in my DNF pile but somehow I wanted to give this book a chance but thinking about it now, the act would have prevented me to write this review. (writing this was so hard!) Oh and last but not the last – the ending. Cliffhanger endinga are ok but in this case it was MEH! I didn’t intend to come out as bitchy or mean, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as most readers did. Would I recommend it personally? No. But that doesn’t mean this book is not as awesome as some readers see it. Read other reviews and decide for yourself but as for me, it stays on 1 star. *pout*

Book Review: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Title: Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder#2 Series)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Pages: 368
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 0061779849

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who’ve been murdered–and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she’d turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike’s tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

REVIEW

I was on a cross road for this book – I can’t seem to decide if I like it or not. Desire of the Dead was definitely better than The Book Finder but it still has disappointing issues. I’ll try to lay everything down for you guys.

First, there’s Violet. Stubborn and over sensitive. Violet is too much drama for me to handle. She has issues with a lot of stuff, too much stuff that isn’t as important as it should be but she’s worried/bothered/or angry about (can’t even decide which is which). Unnecessary on my opinion. Next is Rafe. I get that Derting is prepping this character for the next book but seriously the introduction was lacking. I know he’s special and he’ll be a big part of the next book, that’s it. That’s all I know and that is irriating, the lack of information to go on to but also a great strategy to lure readers for the next book. Serial killer angle – again with this one. Like the first book, this is lacking here BIG TIME. It’s like, there’a case, everybody is scrambling to solve the case, then there’s Violet finding the echo, and case close. That’s it. Ohhh there’s a little confrontation. Itsy bitsy part and then everything is wrapped up quickly. See where my problem lies?

Overall, Desires of the Dead as way better than The Body Finder. The momentum is definitely going up and I believe that book 3 would be awesome or I hope it would be gauging on how Derting builds up the story from the first book to this so I am looking forward to that. Would I recommend this book – hmmmmmm that remains questionable although I would suggest that you read The Body Finder first, if you enjoy that one then yes I can recommend this. If by any chance you didn’t like the first story, reading Desire of the Dead is entirely up to you. Great story, awesome pacing – with all its flaws it is still a notch higher than The Body Finder so it lands on a 3 stars rating for me. 🙂

The Body Finder Series

1. The Body Finder

Book Review: Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

Title: Babe in Boyland
Author: Jody Gehrman
Pages: 292
Publisher: Dial
ISBN: 0803732740

When high school junior Natalie – or Dr. Aphrodite, as she calls herself when writing the relationship column for her school paper – is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, she decides to investigate what guys really think and want. But the guys in her class won’t give her straight or serious answers. The only solution? Disguising herself as a guy and spending a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boy boarding school in town. There she learns a lot about guys and girls in ways she never expected – especially when she falls for her dreamy roommate, Emilio. How can she show him she likes him without blowing her cover?

REVIEW

Babe in Boyland was awesome!! Just wanted to say that out as early as possible. Not only was it an easy read but the story was great given that there are numerous novels and movies of the same plot but interestingly, Babe in Boyland had it’s own identity mainly due to the fact that Gehrman created amazing characters who where entertaining, likeable and relate-able.

In addition to the characters, I love how Gehrman wrote the story as light and quirky as it should be. There was never a dull moment and this book is a great example of an indulgent read. Something that you pick up to take a break from your normal genre. This book is simply addicting and oh did I mention that I read this book under 6 hours just because it was too good to put down? Babe in Boyland is definitely a book that I can recommend! 🙂

(I just have to insert this though – have you guys ever thought that this book reminds you of Amanda Bynes 2006 movie “She’s The Man”? I just can’t stop picturing her character Viola parallel to Natalie.)

Book Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Body Finder (The Body Finder#1 Series)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Pages: 327
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 0061779814

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world… and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer… and becoming his prey herself.

REVIEW

Violet can sense the dead, a gift that is very unique but haunting. Not only can Violet “hear” the dead but she can also remember their echoes especially if they have died prematurely or before their years. The Body Finder is a combination of different elements – paranormal, romance and serial/murder mystery – but the impression it left me is that it’s heavily on the romance side.

It started off by giving us a view of Violet’s life, it slowly shows us of how was it growing up and how is it today as she continuesly cope with her gift. Her gift is hereditary, she was not the first to have experienced what she is going through but somehow her experience is more compared to her relatives. For a serial book, it was heavily leaning towards Jay and Violet, on the romance side and most of part of the book it was not as enjoyable as it should be. I mean, I get it – Violet likes Jay and Jay the same – but to repeat the angle over and over again in each chapter most chapter  is nerve racking. Oh the drama. I get the picture, move on!  I felt that the serial killer angle was just added but not the main theme – but that’s not really the case since it should be the other way around right?

I felt that the story build up was slow and then when it came to the near end, everything was quickly finished with a big bright red bow. It was too perfect, to quick and to flat – the momentum of the story goes up, plateuas, and then goes up again and eventually plummets down fast. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book, it was actually a fast read – enjoyable as it should be but the execution of the story was all over which makes reading it not as I expected it. Bottom line is – The Body Finder was an okay read but it didn’t deliver enough for me to go gaga over it. It’s interesting enough for me to read the next book and I definitely hope things would go up from there. Stays at 2 stars on my list.

Book Review: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Title: Demonglass (Hex Hall #2 Series)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Pages: 359
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
ISBN: 1423121317

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

REVIEW

Demonglass was as amazing as the first book, Hex Hall, but I had a combination of both glee and irritation towards it. There are a lot of elements that I loved about the book but there are a few points that I also hate about the book.

What I love:

The story is fast pace. Similar to Hex Hall, Demonglass is a very quick read and you’ll just get sucked into the story instantly. I mean I just read it this morning and after a few hours I am done (same thing with Hex Hall). There’s really not a dull moment in the story and with the intense action and drama, you’ll realize that you have finished the book without even knowing.

Sophie. Yep. I just love her character. She’s quirky, sarcastic, entertaining, naive, complicated – she is a lot of things and a complete package altogether.

Jenna. In addition to Sophie, I enjoy Jenna’s character. Who doesn’t love a vampire – a lesbian vampire on that matter. she’s loyal, blunt and honest and very supportive but not to the level to tolerate stupidity on herself and her friends.

I was also glad for the demon dad-Sophie reunion thinggy. Atleast it came to the story that they fixed their relationship and tried to work it out. Another problem that was given a smooth resolution.

Unexpected plots and twist. I wasn’t expecting the book like this – it was a total “WTF, seriously” moment and that’s a good thing. A book that isn’t as predictable as some book in the market.

What I hate:

LOVE TRIANGLE. I was like seriously? Another one of those 2 guys over a girl scenario where a girl eventually loves a guy when another guy eventually realize that he loves her too! Why didn’t Hawkins made Jenna fell inlove with Sophie instead, or have Sophie or another girl be inlove with the same guy? Or anything else – I am just not a fan of love triangle right now. *sigh* Sophie just went to crush to fell inlove then to hate then to crush on another guy then to fall inlove again with the previous guy and so and on. It’s just irritating.

Cliff hanger ending. Who loves these? I mean one reason that I don’t enjoy reading series that aren’t complete is because some authors tend to do this – and Demonglass is another example of get hooked, I’ll get your heart pumping and then abruptly end it there! It’s just irritating sometimes. A lot of hints thrown with a lot more questions left unanswered.

Leaving these here again:

“Dad, she’s just going to freak. And probably come here and get me, and then you guys will start yelling at each other, and I’ll have to act out by wearing lots of eyeliner and doing the drugs”

Total laugh out moment on this one:

“Last semester was intense,” I said to Dad.

“Intense?” he echoed, picking up my file. “Let’s see. On your first day at Hecate, you were attacked by a werewolf. You insulted a teacher, which resulted in semester-long cellar duty with one Archer Cross. According to the notes, the two of you became ‘close.’ Apparently close enough for you to see the mark of L’Occhio di Dio on his chest.
(See where Sophie’s smirkiness came from? Niceeeeeeeeee)

“Most girls got flowers. I got a dirt pit used for demon raising. Nice.”

And this:

“I spent hours on the phone. Do you know with whom?’
‘One of those psychic hotlines?’

Enough scrutinizing and on with the judging. Demonglass, as well as the Hex Hall series, is worth recommending on my list. There’s no doubt that one will enjoy reading this book but be warned because it is very addicting. Hawkins did a great job yet again, high praises on this one!

Hex Hall Series

1. Hex Hall

FF: Feature & Follow (1)

Feature & Follow is hosted by both Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read

Q: What would your prefer: reading your favorite book over and over again until you got sick of it OR reading 100s of mediocre books? And why?

A: To be honest, I would rather re-read my favorite book over and over again rather than read books that are hyped but doesn’t impress me. What’s the use of reading and recommending a book when you don’t enjoy it as much as you should or if it’s not even worth your time. I’d rather have a few good books than have tons that are not worth the space in my bookshelf. 😛

Book Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Title: American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Pages: 656
Publisher: Headline Review
ISBN: 0747263744

After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But as the days, then the hours, then the minutes, then the seconds until his release tick away, he can feel a storm building. Two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in apparently adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr. Wednesday claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town. But they are being pursued by someone with whom Shadow must make his peace… Disturbing, gripping and profoundly strange, Neil Gaiman’s epic new novel sees him on the road to finding the soul of America.

REVIEW

This is my first Gaiman book and I’ll be honest that reading the first few pages of the book was very confusing on my part. I sometimes think that it is this story then realize that it is another thing entirely until further reading the book jogged my senses and made me realize that this book doesn’t only talk about a particular story but a number. It’s really hard to adjust to Gaiman’s writing style but it was worth it.

This book talks about old gods vs new gods, the progressive world that we live in and how we cope and adapt, it talks about heavily in mythology – the fact that Gaiman is such a talented writer made this book awesome. There is a lot to take it since the story goes back and forth from present to past. It was not a quick read on my part. It actually took me days to finish this book but time invested was worth it. I had a lot of AHA moments and after I finished reading the book – I definitely decided that I need to read more of Gaiman’s work. Will not write anything to give the story away, I believe that you have to read the book to really appreciate it and understand peoples opionion of whether liking it or hating it. I agree to most that this book is not for everyone, some may hate it – more may love it but not everyone can enjoy it. My only question is, did I made the right decision to read this book first than his other novels?