Saturday, March 30, 2013

Review of The Star Dwellers by David Estes

The Star Dwellers by David Estes
Second in Dystopian Series
The Star Dwellers is the continuation of Adele and Tristan's story in the Dwellers Series.

The story picks up where Moon Dwellers leaves off with Adele and Tawni going to rescue Adele's mother from prison and the rest of the group including Tristan staying behind with Adele's father, Ben. As I started to read this book I noticed the author's writing was a little more relaxed, still told in both main character's POV;  taking the world building a step further. As it evolved the author developed and revealed the characters' relationships in an honest way. I was drawn in because every time I anticipated something happening I was surprised with a twist and turn taking the story to a different level; it has moments where you laugh, smile then there are those where you tear up and want to cry. Mr. Estes does not disappoint in the action department but most of it happens towards the end of the book. There are still many questions I need answered and I can't wait to read the next installment to this series. The book is definitely a YA read. 

Rating 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review of Love Unscripted by Tina Reber

Love Unscripted (Love, #1)
A Predictable Read

Love Unscripted a contemporary romance novel about the trials and tribulations of a self-made woman and an up and coming actor.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley. Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read her book.

The story line is predictable and the writing sounds somewhat immature although the story is told in the POV of a woman in her upper twenties. The book is quite long and all the details about the mundane things in their lives are a bit tedious. The protagonists are "sweethearts" but Taryn has a lot self-esteem issues even though she seems to be perfect and Ryan the quintessential "HOT" actor of the moment is a little too controlling for my taste. Their egos are very fragile;  the more I read the more I grew tired of all the going back and forth between the main characters especially the fickleness of Taryn's emotions. The climax of the story and the details leading up to it were foreseen however I was expecting something much more.  By that time I just didn't care about the story anymore even though some chapters before I started to feel for the couple after going through what they went through.  I thought that maybe that would be the turning point in the book. Another reason I took another star is that there are things that are contradictory and I had to go back and forth to make sure I was reading correctly(One of my pet peeves when reading!).There are a couple of redeeming things in this book, one is the relationships the main characters have with their families and friends and two, that the author wrote some very sensual sex scenes between the protagonists but she didn't focus every other chapter with their lovemaking in graphic detail like other books I have read recently and I liked that. This is an adult book, there is mention of sex, drinking, and abuse of prescribed medication. 

Rating 2.5 out of 5 Stars

Side Note: If you would like to see spoilers to this review here is the link:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Review of The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abé

A Beautifully Written YA Fantasy

Spoiler Alert:

The Sweetest Dark is a YA fantasy romance set during WWII when the Germans began to bomb England; where a teen girl unbeknownst to her is the last of her kind, a Drákon and the boys who are her destiny. 

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley and Bantam Dell Publishing(Random House). Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read her book.

The development of the characters and story are done quite well although the author's writing seems a little hesitant in the beginning as it is told in all three protagonist's POV although mostly in "Lora" or Eleanor's POV.  However, I did find that as the story progressed I became more and more engrossed; imagining the scenes as the characters interacted. I loved the characters' dialogue and the way they spoke with one another even when they were insulting each other. I am not well versed in the formality of language of that time period but it reminded me very much of the Declaration of Independence and how civilized and beautiful the document expressed a big "shove off" to England. In my humble opinion the author did very well in developing and gracing us with that lost form of speech. There are some things in the story that didn't make sense to me however it is a fantasy novel about "magik" and because I was so invested in the story and the heroine I made some allowances. There are some sensual scenes and mentions of sex,  drinking and drugs but it was done in a way that it doesn't take away from the story. I am really looking forward to reading the second part of this saga and I hope the author goes in a little more about "Lora's" background as it is a mystery. I want to thank the author for writing this beautiful eloquent story with  genuine sincerity. The cover is absolutely beautiful. 

Rating 3.5  out of 5 Stars

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review of The Athena Effect by Derrolyn Anderson (Goodreads Author ARR Program)

The Athena Effect by Derrolyn Anderson
Refreshing Sci-Fi Read!

Spoiler Alert:

The Athena Effect is a science fiction romance novel about a teen girl whose parents raise off the grid until their tragic deaths; only to find herself running with her first love from the very people her parents hid her from.

I would like to thank the author Derrolyn Anderson and Goodreads YA/NA Fanatics' ARR Program for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review. 

The story line is original and is written honestly although it did remind me a little of Stephen King's Firestarter. I like the way Caledonia or "Cali" is introduced to the reader and how the main characters evolve simultaneously from one extreme to another finding themselves uniting at the perfect moment in the story. However I wanted a little more insight to Cali's relationship with her parents and although some of the secondary characters were just blips the author got her point across using them the way she did for the development of the story. I love how she built up the relationship between Calvin or "Cal" and Cali. The author decided to forego the "Insta-Love" fall into bed fad that most YA or NA novels have been sporting recently and I found it really refreshing. The story develops well with different characters' POV; the action sequences are also done well however the one major complaint I do have is that I found the ending to be rushed and quite abrupt, I love cliffhangers however this one just stopped me short. There is some language but nothing major, mention of drinking and drug use but it is not gratuitous, and there are some sensual scenes between the protagonists but again Ms. Anderson foregoes the graphic detail and leaves it to the imagination of the reader to bask in the sweet romance of first love. All in all I really liked this read and I am anxious to find out what happens with this series. The cover is done well. Thank you Ms. Anderson for a fun quick read! 

Rating 3.5 Stars out of 5 Stars

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Review of Quest for Celestia by Steven James

Quest for Celestia: A Reimagining of the Pilgrim's Progress
An Epic Fantasy Worth Reading

Quest of Celestia is the fantasy retelling of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress.

I would like to thank Netgalley and AMG Publishers for the opportunity to read the book for an honest review.

Quest for Celestia is an epic fantasy book about a young man leaving his home and family after a wizard approaches him with the idea of going on a journey to the Kingdom of Celestia. The story is compelling and the author develops the characters quite well. Although I have never read John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress I found myself recognizing certain aspects of the story mirroring the New Testament of the Bible but it is done in such a way that it is congruous to the story being told. I would recommend this read to any teen or adult fantasy fan out there because there are certain themes that are not appropriate for younger readers. I love the cover. 

Rating 4 of 5 Stars

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Review of Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz

Prisoner B-3087

A True Story Retold

I would like to thank Netgalley and Scholastic Press for the opportunity to read the book for an honest review.

Prisoner B-3087 is the true story of Jacob Gruener or "Yanek Gruener" (only told with creative license by Alan Gratz) who survived 10 concentration camps during World War II.

The story is what a young Yanek Gruener goes through when Poland is invaded by Germany in the 1930's. The story is told well by Mr. Alan Gratz, with heart-wrenching details of how Yanek is torn apart from his family and learns to survive through horrible conditions that were put upon him and so many millions of Jews during that period in time. I had the pleasure and privilege of hearing a Holocaust survivor tell her story to us in high school when I was a sophomore, everything she told us about came rushing back to me when I read this book. The little joys and precious moments that both survivors, Mr. Gruener and Mrs. Rose Eliot lived in the face of atrocities are the hope that they held onto to survive.I cried during her speech and I cried when I read this book. It is raw and real, no holds barred about the cruelty and harshness of their treatment at all the camps. I just wish that Mr. Gruener had allowed his tale to be told frankly without the creative license. It is a good read for high schoolers but not sure for middle schoolers. The cover is haunting.

Rating 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Side Note: I want to take a moment and honor the memory of Mrs. Rose Eliot who came to my high school and told us of her life before, during, and after the camps and war. May she rest in peace. Gone but never forgotten.  

Friday, March 1, 2013

Review of Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha

Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha
An Erotic Read 

First of all I would like to thank Kit Rocha and Netgalley for gifting and giving me the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.

*******************Spoiler Alert********************

Beyond Shame is a Dystopian Erotic Romance about a city girl who is booted out of Eden and is rescued by a gang member from the O'Kane family but learns to survive on her own terms. 

The story line is definitely interesting and original with the backdrop being the perfect clean city of Eden where people are expected to live sin free lives and then the outer Sectors where all the sinners are ruled by different gangs from each Sector. The characters are engaging however I got a little lost with what the supporting characters from the gang and love interest, Jasper expected from Noelle until about two-thirds into the book. It almost seemed like there really wasn't a love story developing just a lot sex and a lot of guilt from the protagonist for feeling the way she did. The sex scenes are scorching with a little bit of BDSM and a ménage à quatre thrown in for fun although it really didn't do anything to develop the warm fuzzies of romance between the main characters. The author does a good job giving us a glimpse of the supporting characters' back history in order to develop future stories for a series. The cover is nice and tastefully done. All in all it was an o.k. read

Rating 3 out of 5 Stars