Book Review: Bound by Kira Saito

Title: Bound (Arelia LaRue #1)
Author: Kira Saito
Publisher: Self-pub
ISBN: 2940032871132

Sixteen year old Arelia LaRue lives in New Orleans where the music is loud, voodoo queens inhabit every street corner, and the ghosts are alive and well. Despite her surroundings, all she wants is to help her Grand-mere Bea pay the rent and save up for college.

When her best friend Sabrina convinces her to take a well-paying summer job at the infamous Darkwood plantation, owned by the wealthy LaPlante family, Arelia agrees.

However, at Darkwood strange things start to happen, and gorgeous Lucus LaPlante insists that he needs her help. Soon, the powers that Arelia has been denying all her life, come out to play and she discovers mysteries about herself that she could have never imagined.

REVIEW

Gorgeous cover strikes again! Bound has an interesting premise and it looks very promising but unfortunately the story line felt really flat. Continue reading

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Book Review: Survival by A.M. Hargrove

Title: Survival (The Guardians of Vesturon #1)
Author: A.M. Hargrove
Publisher: Self-pub
ISBN: 2940032876106
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tour

“Maybe I was caught between the two worlds. I was having serious trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality.”

While on a backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, nineteen-year-old Maddie Pearce finds her world has been thrown into a vortex and is madly spinning toward the impossible. Abducted by a mad psychopath, Maddie narrowly escapes with her life. But that is only the beginning. Her mysterious rescuer introduces her to a world that Maddie has difficulty accepting as reality. Will this strikingly gorgeous stranger be the key to her future or will she return to her mundane world, scarred from her experience? Follow Maddie as she is forced to make difficult decisions that carry her to mysterious places only to find that perhaps it was all for nothing.

REVIEW

** NOTE: This book has been read and reviewed prior to the edits of Survival. There maybe a lot of changes or there maybe none. Again, this review is written BEFORE any additional edits that was done by Hargrove recently.

Survival started sounding like a mystery thriller novel. Killers, prey, survival, death, psychopath. We are introduced to the killer and in a few chapters retold his background and the need-to-know details then the story took a spin at around 1/4 through the novel.

The next chapters lingered too long around Maddie’s recovery and how confused she was. It’s mostly back and forth questions of what happened, where she is, and stuff like that. I just felt the story needed to move on. Maddie’s exasperation was unavoidable and I am close to feeling the same as Maddie. Half of the book was too much word play and I kept on skipping through the pages.

Okay now the other part is Rayn’s POV. This part was also a lot of word play and re-encounter of what we already read. I can see what the author is trying to achieve but the dual POV is not working for me in Survival. It’s too much repeatition and that is where the appeal unfortunately disappears. I get that Rayn is hot, gorgeous and beautiful, perfect, awesome – but how many times does this have to be reiterated? We’ll also hear Maddie’s pity-babble, “I am not worthy of you” woes and after a few times it does get old.

The gushiness and mushy lines are overkill for me especially if they are repeated over and over. I just wanted to get past all the insta-love thing. I need to read more than I-love-her-so-much-I-can’t-be-without-her drama. In spite the things that bugged me in Survival, it is very unique and I do want to know how the story will pan out. Another thing I love about the story though is that we get to know about Rayn’s planet and background plus everything in between. This is the most important aspect in a story especially if your character is not human. One more thing I like is that although the author tends to linger on details a bit too much, that’s also her advantage. It’s very hard to write descriptively and make readers imagine what they are reading – in my opinion, the repetitions just needs to be toned down.

I really wanted to love this book but I just can’t. This is, as far as I can remember, the book with the most eye roll from me – it surpassed my disliked for the Morganville series and if you read that post you’ll know that it’s not good and that makes me sad because I had a lot of issues with the Morganville series. But since this is the first book of the series, I am willing to leave everything here and keep an open mind with book 2, Resurrection.

Is Survival for you? I really don’t know and I don’t want to tell you instantly don’t read it. I am hesitant myself but it is very promising and entertaining once you get past the issues I stated above or if you don’t mind my points stated. Maybe the other readers who rated it higher than 3 stars might help you though. Check them out HERE. This review is rated more of a 1.5 stars.

Book Review: Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

Title: Spellcaster (Spellbound #2)
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Pages: 384
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISNB: 0373210507
Source: Netgalley

Finding your eternal soulmate – easy.

Stopping a true-love-hungry evil – not so much…

After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although…it’s not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain-especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close….

But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan’s deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma’s crash course in über-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.

REVIEW

Soulmates reincarnated, two souls forever destined to be together – sounds like your perfect tale, right? Well not much for me and here’s a run down of what I think of the book.

Brendan and Emma’s relationship is cute being teenagers and all, hilarious with their banter and whatnot, gushing with romance – but sometimes MOST OF THE TIME I feel like it’s too much. I get that the two are a happy couple, reincarnated souls but the author didn’t need to write it in big letters. We get it! There were times that I enjoyed reading about it but there were also instances that I just rolled my eyes and flipped the pages.

Brendan has a heroine complex, his character didn’t work for me. Angelique was surprisingly entertaining. I loved her character being a devoted friend and a passionate witch. Emma, well Emma’s as stubborn as Brendan but less annoying and more quirky. I had a lot of laugh reading her thoughts and one I can remember is:

Of course, the handle just had to be carved with a bunch of grinning skulls. I would never be so lucky as to be attacked with a boring old wooden-handled steak knife, would I? Noo… I get the skull monsters.

Megan, who presumably is a powerful witch is not as threatening as I want her to be. Texting Angelique excessively! Seriously. As strong as she is, all she does is text threats? okay, moving on . . .

The library scene was too much for me. I mean, there was just too many pity points and “I am sorry” thrown back and forth that I can’t help rolling my eyes. It was too much drama, too many dialogues. To top it off, Brendan’s idea of stopping a witch is with a restraining order – well okay, great thinking. That was hilarious. The confrontation between Angelique and Brendan near the ending was a pain as well – that was the part where I totally hated Brendan’s character.

I seriously wanted to like this book, alot of readers seemed to love Spellbound but this book failed to make my heart flutter. Maybe I should read the first book and re-read this again to get a different feel – but if the first one is almost the same as this book, I think I’ll pass. Don’t get me wrong, I did not hate the book it’s just that I feel that this was too “teen-ish” and too much drama for me. It was just not working for me at all. *sigh*

Book Review: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

Title: Bridget Jones’s Diary
Author: Helen Fielding
Pages: 271
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 014028009X

Meet Bridget Jones—a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could:

a. lose 7 pounds
b. stop smoking
c. develop Inner Poise
“123 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds in the middle of the night? Could flesh have somehow solidified becoming denser and heavier? Repulsive, horrifying notion), alcohol units 4 (excellent), cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow), number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but nevertheless useless)…”

Bridget Jone’s Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget’s permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.

Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and — like millions of readers the world round — you’ll find yourself shouting, “Bridget Jones is me!”

REVIEW

Bridget Jones Diary is about Bridget and her constant obssession with vices, weight management and finding “the one” or that’s how I understood it. At one point, the book is incredibly funny and fun to read but most of the times, I just skimmed through the pages hoping that by the next page the story ends.
It’s harsh to call this book shallow but I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as other did. To be honest, I enjoyed the movie more than the book. I felt that the movie version had a credible story than the book itself which is very weird if you ask me. Here’s a few details of why I didn’t enjoy the book:

1. I was not fond of the “diary” style that the story was presented – okay granted that it is Bridget Jones’s DIARY but somehow for me it wasn’t as effective as the author wanted it to be.

2. The story. I understand that this is suppose to be the insights of Bridget’s thoughts but somehow what I got from the story was booze-cigarettes-calories count-zero lovelife. That’s basically how the whole story went – on my point of view that made this book shallow. Bridget came off as insecure, obssessed with mundane things and dull. Where’s the story? I needed more substance even though this story was marked chick lit.

3. Love story. It wasn’t as believable as I wanted it to be. Boring female lead + self centered lover + charming man at the end = predictable. *sigh*

4. Because of the writing style, reading the story became boring and irritating.

Let me point out one thing I enjoyed about this book – Bridget can write humorous that can make you laugh BUT that’s also a hit and miss.  There’s a lot of women who enjoyed this book, unfortunately I am not one of them. I usually favor a book over a movie adaptation but in this case – I’m chosing the movie over the book all the way.

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*