Book Review, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Kiss Me Kill You by Larissa C. Hardesty

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Summary via Amazon: “Emmy Duivel believes in true love: heart-stopping kisses, candlelight dinners, and a connection that lasts forever. But not the kind of kisses that land your date in the hospital. Emmy always knew she was different, but not in the supernatural sense. Not in the succubus sense.

Paul Andinn had only one job: watch over Emmy and make sure she doesn’t expose the supernatural world. It should have been easy, but the moment he looked away, she kissed that boy, and everything changed. He should be more upset. But he can’t. Not when he’s falling hard for her.”

My Review: This is definitely for a younger audience, and there were moments I wanted it to be more mature–especially since there are club/dance scenes, lots of physical contact, and the occasional mention of sex. I would have loved for this to be geared toward a more mature YA audience, and those moments to be expanded upon. 

I enjoyed the tension between Paul and Emmy the most. It’s great they work with each other, in a sense, but are also pitted against each other. I would have loved to see one more dangerous scene between these two before the climax. 

This book lacked more discovery, narrative and dialogue on The Powers. There’s mention of “religion”–what Emmy’s mom and Lily call it, but I was left with questions about The Powers. Even with Paul’s POV, there were times it wasn’t enough backstory. 

Speaking of Paul, I don’t think his POV did much to move the story along. It was interesting to see his view of things, but it didn’t really reveal anything to me that couldn’t have been shown or discovered by Emmy herself. I almost wish this story was purely Emmy’s. 

What I really liked was Lily’s plot twist. And without giving away spoilers, I can’t explain why. But this was great. If Paul didn’t have his own POV, his character would have worked in a good plot twist too. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. As much as I love the cover, though, I thought this might be about Vampires, not a succubus, before I read the summary. I look forward to seeing the difference in this book vs. the second-to-come, to find out more about The Powers and how Emmy will save her friends and family. 

I won this paperback and kindle version in a free giveaway. 

Book Review, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult

And I Darken by Kiersten White

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Short Summary: A fictional retelling of Vlad the Impaler, with a gender flip. Lada is a brutal princess. She bides her time in the Ottoman Empire with her brother, Radu, until she can return home to claim her throne. 

My Review: Pleasantly surprised, though not at all what I was expecting it to be. I’ll be honest, I preordered this one for its beautiful cover and was hooked by the first few pages of the sample. 

I love the idea of gender swapping Vlad for Lada. She’s ruthless as a child. However, as she gets older there’s a bit of a lull where her character starts to change because of a potential romance building. I think this tenderness takes away from the unlovable Lada, who the readers are hooked by in the beginning. I’m hoping book two brings back her fiery passion, the unrelenting princess–since, in the end, she’s decided to sacrifice the one thing that might have tamed her. 

I didn’t enjoy Radu nearly as much as Lada, though I did appreciate the feelings he develops for a man close to him. I thought this conflict added great tension to the story and pushed Radu to be braver and stronger. 

There’s nothing I didn’t like about the author’s writing style. However, there were times the pacing slows, and I skipped full paragraphs of drawn-out explanations or backstory, which I would have cut out completely. 

Overall, the writing is fantastic, the story is unique, the title is badass and so is the main character. I’ll be purchasing the second book (and repurchasing this one since it’s full of sand and salt water from the beach). 

Book Review, Fairytale, Fiction, Magic, Uncategorized, Young Adult

Lost Boy by Christina Henry

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Short Summary: A retelling of how Peter’s favorite and first lost boy became his enemy, Hook. 

My Review: I read this book in a day. I couldn’t put it down. The pacing and excitement of Neverland mischief and battles doesn’t slow down. 

Getting into Jamie’s head, seeing his compassion for the boys Peter doesn’t care about, and feeling his anger over Peter’s betrayal was emotionally provoking. I was cheering on Jamie the whole time, routing for Peter to fail. 

The story is dark, like Barrie’s original Peter Pan, since it leads up to Pan and Hook’s rivalry. If you didn’t like Peter’s character in the original, you probably won’t like him in this book. Though, I have to say, I enjoyed this story ten times more than I did the original. If you’re like me, and Hook is your favorite character of the two and you like the dark twist of Peter Pan, then this is the perfect book for you! 

Overall, this is one of my new favorites I’m adding to my bookshelf. I bought the paperback from Amazon for my own enjoyment. 

Book Review, Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult

The Waterfall Traveler by S.J.Lem

34468319._UY200_.jpgMy rating: 5/5 stars

ARC version — release date April 17th, 2017 (available for pre-order)

Summary via Amazon:

All eighteen-year-old Ri wants is to cure her adoptive father Samuel from his hallucination-inducing illness. Everyone in her village tells her it’s impossible. But when she meets two newcomers in the forest—a gruff rogue with a vendetta against the gods and a charming fugitive with the power to travel through water—she’ll be torn away from Samuel and swept across the sea to an oppressed city governed by a ruthless tyrant. Once there, she’ll not only have to confront Samuel’s unlawful past, but a vicious evil that threatens all mankind.

My Review: 

Engaging YA fantasy with a beautiful cover. This book exceeded my expectations. I was thinking this would be in the younger spectrum of the YA genre, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Ri is driven by emotion, for sure, which means logic sometimes takes a back seat when she makes decisions. This can be a little irritating for some readers, but it’s why I like her character. That’s not to say she isn’t strong, though. She takes charge and makes quick decisions, even if they are impulsive at times.

My only real complaint is of Bryce and Ri’s relationship. It’s a slow build up; almost too slow. I don’t mind love triangles, and the fun humor thrown in from Carter too, but I wanted to see more between Bryce and Ri. Would have loved more conversations, flirt, jokes, or playful bickering. I saw pieces of jealousy here and there, but nothing came of it. Ri relates and responds to every other character well, but something is missing between her and Bryce, so by the end, I wasn’t jumping up and down, cheering for their relationship as much as I hoped. I was actually cheering on Carter, if you can believe it. I felt his frustration, flirt, and protective nature way more than I felt anything emotionally moving from Bryce. And, I LOVED what happens in the end, as it relates to Carter.

I was on the fence about how the story turns in the end, and I’m interested to see where it goes from here.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a fun fantasy for all ages, not just YA. Readability is great, with minimal to no errors, and the pace is perfect!

I was asked to read and review this advance copy before the release date.

Book Review, Fantasy, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Uncategorized, Young Adult

Soulmated by Shaila Patel

26928871My rating: 5/5 stars

Beautiful Hard-copy version

Short Summary via amazon: Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan is an Irish, royal empath, is searching for his elusive soulmate when he meets Laxshmi Kapadia, an Indian-American high school student from a traditional family. Liam’s father isn’t convinced Lucky is “The One,” and Lucky’s mother won’t even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. Will Liam and Laxshmi defy expectations and embrace a shared destiny? Or, is the risk of choosing one’s own fate too great a price for the soulmated?

My Review: 
Beautiful inside and out, I’m so glad I pre-ordered this YA book when it was released. It’s engaging and unique!

Soulmated is an easy read. I loved the chemistry between the characters, and the frustration of teenage romance between the expectations of their parents and their cultural differences.

This is a great choice for YA readers and adult paranormal/fantasy romance readers alike. Do yourself a favor, though, and buy the hard-copy because you’ll want to add this beautiful cover to your library!