Monday, April 11, 2016

Romancing the Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

Romancing the Nerd (Nerd #2)
Author:  Leah Rae Miller
Publisher:  Entangled Teen, 352 pages
Publication Date:  April 5, 2016

From Goodreads:
Dan Garrett has become exactly what he hates—popular. Until recently, he was just another live-action role-playing (LARP) geek on the lowest run of the social ladder. Cue a massive growth spurt and an uncanny skill at taking three-point shots in basketball and voila…Mr. Popular. It’s definitely weird.
And the biggest drawback? Going from high school zero to basketball hero cost Dan the secret girl-of-his-dorky dreams. A tuba-playing nerd with an eclectic fashion sense, Zelda Potts’s “Coolness” stat is about minus forty-two. Dan turning his back on her and the rest of nerd-dom was brutal enough, but when he humiliates her at school, Zelda decides it’s time for a little revenge—dork style. Nevermind that she used to have a crush on him. Nevermind that her plan could backfire big time.
It’s time to roll the dice…and hope like freakin’ hell she doesn’t lose her heart in the process.

After absolutely loving The Summer I Became a Nerd, I was so excited to read this one.  But it was just ok.  The romance was lacking for me and I actually didn't even like the main characters too much individually.  They acted really young and it was a bit simple for me.  

And why did everyone say "ya know" all the time?  Things like that normally don't bother me but every time I read that phrase I cringed.

Posted by:  Pam

Friday, April 8, 2016

Book Review: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2)
Author:  Jodi Meadows
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books, 544 pages
Publication Date:  April 5, 2016

From Goodreads:
Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

I liked this sequel and the ending was satisfying and sweet (albeit sad), but I didn't love it.  Wil and Tobiah spend a lot of time apart, and the pacing felt really slow to me.  

I did think the character growth was important, especially for Wil, who has to figure out what kind of queen she wants to be, and how she has to take responsibility for her actions.  I just thought the wraith boy had a lot more potential to be a bigger part of the story, especially as he evolved.

And there's one twist that I sort of saw coming, but it was rather convenient that Wil forgot something that happened in her past.  Um…what?  How did you forget that?  I know that's vague but I don't want to spoil anything.  

I have to say, though, Tobiah's list…that is worth a star (ok, 5 stars) by itself.  Definitely recommend the series and it's so nice that it's a duology.  More of these please!

Posted by:  Pam

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Book Review: Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

Revenge and the Wild
Author:  Michelle Modesto
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray, 384 pages
Publication Date:  February 2, 2016

From Goodreads:
The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.

Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.

But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.

There's a lot to like about Revenge and the Wild.  It's different, for one thing.  I mean, you have a 17 year old recovering alcoholic who is hunting for the cannibals who ate her family.  What?  Then you have a book that mashes up steampunk, western, and paranormal (werewolves, banshees, vampires, ogres, etc).  And it's entertaining for sure.  I still didn't love it, though, and I think there are a couple of reasons for that.  One, the romance was lacking for me.  Just not enough chemistry between the couple.  Second, every single guy is in love with Westie.  Really annoying.  But that plot twist that I didn't see coming…whoa.  Quite brutal.  

Posted by:  Pam

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Book Review: Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Tell the Wind and Fire
Author:  Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher:  Clarion Books, 368 pages
Publication Date:  April 5, 2016
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

Confession:  I have not read A Tale of Two Cities, although I do know the basic plot.  But I was intrigued by a re-telling and I absolutely love Sarah Rees Brennan so I was super excited to read this one.  And it was good, but not great.

I really liked the magic, the premise of the City of Light and the City of Dark (the info dumping in the beginning was a bit much though).  But the characters fell a little flat for me, especially Ethan.  I only got to know him from what Lucie thinks about him, not from seeing it for myself.  Now Carwyn, he was interesting and complex and had a few funny lines, but this book didn't have the humor that made the Lynburn Legacy books so amazing.  

I do admit that, by the end, my heart did break a little.  So all and all, a mixed bag for me.

Posted by:  Pam

Monday, April 4, 2016

Book Review: Forever Dusk by Jocelyn Adams

Forever Dusk (Mortal Machine #3)
Author:  Jocelyn Adams
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing
Publication Date:  February 8, 2016
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
Since their last battle, life for the Mortal Machine—the secret-society that protects Earth and its inhabitants from dark outside forces—has become almost...normal. For everyone but Addison. The evil she’s imprisoned in her soul has begun eating away at her sanity, and despite her soul mate Asher’s efforts to hold her together, it’s causing painful and terrifying delusions.
Consequently, nobody believes Addison's warnings that Marcus, their old enemy, has returned. When Marcus threatens Asher and the Machine, she agrees to find what he seeks—a treasure that, in his hands, could be deadly.
If she relies too much on Asher, she knows he’ll likely imprison her, if only to preserve what's left of her deteriorating mind. But if she fails this final test, Earth will fall. So Addison is forced to distance herself from her love, to prevent the life she wants with Asher from being over before it truly begins.

Satisfying ending to the trilogy but this was my least favorite book because it had a couple of my pet peeves in it.  One, almost nothing happened.  It was a lot of waiting and sitting around, the reader was in Addison's head way too much.  Two, Addison and Asher didn't work together.  Why why why can't authors write books where the couple work together?  Instead, Addison was alone.  A lot.

I do recommend this series, however, especially the first book.  

Posted by:  Pam