Publisher: Harlequin

Ominous October – The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

October 22, 2016 Bonnie Book Reviews, Ominous October, Read in 2016, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ominous October – The Women in the Walls by Amy LukavicsThe Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics
Published by Harlequin Teen on September 27th 2016
Pages: 304
Genres: Horror
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads


two-stars

Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They're inseparable—a family.

When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she's ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother's voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin's sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.

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“The girl lives in a beautiful dollhouse made of stone, […] But underneath her shining plastic smile, there are only screams.”

Lucy Acosta lives in her family’s estate, home-schooled, with only her cousin Margaret for company. Her father is a constant absence but her Aunt Penelope is their main caretaker. After Walter, the cook, commits suicide, her Aunt Penelope walks into the woods and disappears without a trace, and Margaret says she’s hearing voices in the walls, Lucy has no one to turn to. Lucy’s hold on her mental stability is fragile and her answer to hardship is to sequester herself in her room with a razor. She begins to realize though that no one else seems to grasp the seriousness of the issues going on and that it’s up to her alone to battle whatever evil resides within her home.

With a blurb essentially guaranteeing you sleepless nights, the story unfortunately felt lifeless, causing the intended terror to be nothing more than a distant mirage. The characters appear as mere caricatures without any solid background development to help the reader feel sympathetic to their plight. The lack of backstory is an enormous issue too with a complete lack of “connecting dots” that are clearly meant to be make this story more mysterious but ends up just not making sense half the time. What seemed to be a Gothic Victorian period piece ended up being the modern equivalent when the slang being used (“That promise sure lasted a hot minute.”) and the random sprinkling of curse words  were taken into account. I really wish I had more nice things to say about this because I was genuinely excited for this story, alas, I wasn’t impressed by much until the very end and by then it was merely too little, too late.

Combining the uncertainty of your own sanity (The Yellow Wallpaper) with a gothic mansion and paranormal entities (The Haunting of Hill House), The Women in the Walls had potential to terrify but fell short of hitting the mark.

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The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud [Purchase//Review]
Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake [Purchase//Review]
Long Lankin (Long Lankin #1) by Lindsey Barraclough [Purchase//Review]

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Waiting on Wednesday – Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows

June 22, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday, YA 5 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva DarrowsDead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows
Published by Harlequin Teen on March 28th 2017
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Awesome

Quinn Littleton was a mean girl—a skinny blonde social terrorist in stilettos. She was everything Emma MacLaren hated. Until she died.

A proud geek girl, Emma loves her quiet life on the outskirts, playing video games and staying off the radar. When her nightmare of a new stepsister moves into the bedroom next door, her world is turned upside down. Quinn is a queen bee with a nasty streak who destroys anyone who gets in her way. Teachers, football players, her fellow cheerleaders—no one is safe.

Emma wants nothing more than to get this girl out of her life, but when Quinn dies suddenly, Emma realizes there was more to her stepsister than anyone ever realized.

A meaningful and humorous exploration of teen stereotypes and grief, Dead Little Mean Girl examines the labels we put on people and what lies beyond if we're only willing to look closer.

About Eva Darrows

Eva Darrows is Hillary Monahan is also an international woman of mystery. Holed up in Massachusetts with three smelly basset hounds, she writes funny, creepy things for fun and profit.

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I love this author and I love the idea behind this one, and how there is always more that meets the eye with anyone. Hillary/Eva wrote up a fantastic article about the story behind this story that is worth a read over on Barnes & Nobles Teen Blog so be sure to check it out here. This one doesn’t come out for ages but I’m ready and waiting!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Book Review – The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

October 25, 2014 Dani Dani's Reviews 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Good Girl by Mary KubicaThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Published by Harlequin MIRA on July 29th 2014
Pages: 355
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads


two-half-stars

"I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will." 

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems….

“I’ve been following her for the last few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I’ve never spoken to her. I wouldn’t recognize the sound of her voice. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”

Meet Mia/Chloe. Mia was kidnapped by a stalker with the intent to extort money from her very wealthy and prominent father. Chloe is the girl who returns to her family while Mia remains trapped by her own subconscious after the horror she faced.

The Good Girl relies heavily on cliché; It has a pretty, little rich girl who loathes her wealth and status, a kidnapper with a conscience, a dickish detective with a heart of gold, and totally aloof, distant parents that Mia detests with little foundation. I never grew to care for Mia – not when she was cold and crying in her captor’s lair, and not after a shell of her former self had been returned to her family. I never disliked or feared her kidnapper, but I took larger issue with him sprouting a conscience after abducting someone.

“But there’s the gun. She sees it. And in that moment, things change. There’s a moment of recognition. Of her mind registering the gun, of her figuring out what the fuck is about to happen. Her mouth parts and out comes a word: ‘Oh.’”

“Oh” precisely sums up my reaction to this book. It didn’t get scary psychologically and the suspense built within one chapter would quickly diminish with the frequent chapter breaks that not only change point-of-view narrators, but also had temporal shifts before and after the kidnapping. The result was jarring and confusing, not mysterious.

I think the largest problem this book had was me as a reader. I just recently finished two awesomely creepy books about missing women: Gone Girl and The Collector. On the heels of those 4-star works, this novel didn’t stand up. It was conventional and predictable, even in the midst of its “major” shocker (which I won’t spoil for you).

If you’re looking for a genuine thriller about a kidnapper, check out the oldie but goodie Along Came a Spider by James Patterson. Want something about a rich girls who you don’t hate, go for Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar.

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Book Review – Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) by Katie McGarry

June 21, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) by Katie McGarryPushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 1st 2013
Pages: 397
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

So wrong for each other…and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can PUSH THE LIMITS and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her HOW TO LOVE AGAIN.

Pushing the Limits is a contemporary YA story about romance and friendship and dealing with loss. Echo was involved in an accident with her mother but the trauma was so strong that her mind has blocked it completely. All she wants to do is remember, but is she strong enough to handle the truth? Noah is still dealing with the loss of his parents in a house fire and is struggling to survive the foster care system. He was separated from his two younger brothers and all he wants to do is obtain custody of them so they can all be a happy family again. Echo and Noah have both suffered in life but are complete opposites of each other, yet they fall for one another just the same.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: YA contemporary is not my go-to genre. This book sat on my shelf for years because let’s be honest, that cover screams nothing but high school! romance! angst! drama! to me. I was surprised that while the romance (and yes, all the angst and drama one could ever hope for) is a major part, the story possessed a depth I was not expecting. Echo and Noah were individuals that had been forced into growing up sooner than necessary due to incidents in their life and Pushing the Limits is their coming of age story that treads the line between YA and NA and will be well-liked by fans of both.

Pushing the Limits was entertaining and I read it fairly quickly, however, it didn’t manage to generate much in the way of opinion. I was overall a bit indifferent about Echo and Noah’s story. While I appreciated the complex and separate side stories of both characters, it was all too melodramatic for me in the end. The romance was given some time to develop so instant love wasn’t a real factor, but once the romance started it, the seriousness between the two progressed at the speed of light. There were the obligatory ‘I love you’s’ thrown around and the constant use of ‘babe’. While the characters stories possessed depth I didn’t feel that their romance did. The story suffered in pacing during the second half and would have benefited from a trim in length as it only succeeded in adding more of the already abundant melodramatic flair. Excessively long yet still compulsively readable, it disappointed by ending too predictable. I seem to have nothing but negative things to say, yet I did enjoy the read overall. It’d be worth it to give the author another shot to see how she progresses as a writer.

How to Love by Katie Cotugno {PurchaseMy Review}
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta {Purchase}
A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley {Purchase}

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

April 30, 2014 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 2 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Good Girl by Mary KubicaThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Published by Harlequin MIRA on July 29th 2014
Pages: 400
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Amazon
Goodreads

"I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will."

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems….

About Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening, and caring for the animals at a local shelter. The Good Girl is her first novel.

Gotta love a good mystery thriller. This is author Mary Kubica’s debut novel and it sounds promising!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link to your post and I’ll be sure to stop by!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Early Review – The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa

April 8, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2014, YA 3 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie KagawaThe Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #3
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 15th 2014
Pages: 416
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Iron King, Winter's Passage, The Iron Daughter

two-half-stars

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

Blood of Eden series

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) {PurchaseMy Review}
The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) {PurchaseMy Review}

Another series ender that has unfortunately ended in disappointment for me this year. I found The Forever Song to be, for the most part, incredibly lacking in any sort of plot progress. Basically, there was walking, walking, then they’d fight some rabids, walking, walking, oooh let’s stop to feed on some humans, fight some more rabids, walking, walking.. throw in the occasional snarky comment from Jackal, soap opera style drama and various near death scenarios and that’s The Forever Song in a nutshell. Oh and let’s not forget how they have to save the world. Apparently, saving the world isn’t as exciting as one would think. In addition to the lack of excitement, there was an extreme lack of common fucking sense that made for frequent eye-rolls.

‘What do you mean, when he realized what was happening?”
“This was a trap, Allison.” Kanin looked back at the inferno. “Nothing catches fire that quickly unless it has been doused in something.”

You mean to tell me these idiots with their heightened sense of smell weren’t able to tell that the entire house was drenched in gasoline? I realize their not needing to breathe means they aren’t smelling constantly but you think if they’re entering a house with someone shooting at them from upstairs they’d open up all their sense to check and make sure they aren’t walking into anything disastrous. Like a house drenched in gasoline.

‘The door loomed dead ahead, and I didn’t stop. I didn’t pause to reconsider my plan. Whether I was walking into a trap or straight to my death.’

And that’s the problem I have with Allison; the lack of common sense. She’s constantly trying to prove to herself/everyone around her that she’s a badass and can handle herself except it’s clear that she’s not. Now, I think I would normally say that this show of weakness is meant to make her likable or relatable or something of the sort, but it came off making her look completely senseless and like a complete imbecile.

Where Allison lacks in common sense she makes sure to make up for it in ANGST. LOTS AND LOTS OF ANGST. When she wasn’t whining about her ‘monster’ she was whining about Zeke or about Sarren or whining about everything being her fault and it was PAINFUL to read.

I read the first 1/3 of this book and had to set it aside for a few weeks because it was just too much. I understood in the beginning of this series that Allison would have to go through the inner turmoil of coming to terms with being a vampire that is forced to kill people to survive but I thought we’d be over that by now. Jackal once again made this installment bearable but even he irritated me with his shit sometimes. But his sarcastic quips did allow me to finish this and find out the ending to this story. Was it worth it? Sure. Was I disappointed how everything turned out? A bit. See, the ending involves aspects that truly come out of nowhere and only serve to be a convenient solution which kind of felt like a cop out. It also was incredibly predictable and I wasn’t surprised in the least. It could have been done worse though.

Minus the angst and ending cop-outs, there is one aspect of this book that was done extremely well: the atmosphere. Kagawa knocked it out of the park describing this broken and gloomy world. It truly immerses you. If only the characters had been a bit more tolerable. The Forever Song is a satisfying conclusion that answers all the lingering questions but is undoubtedly the least interesting of the series. This is the second series I’ve read of Kagawa’s that has ended up feeling very mediocre for me but I can see this one being a good one for fans of dark, gritty and violent dystopians that are heavy on the romance.

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Early Review – The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa

April 12, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013, YA 4 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie KagawaThe Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #2
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 30th 2013
Pages: 448
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Vampires
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Iron King, Winter's Passage, The Iron Daughter

four-stars

Out here in the Fringes, there is only one rule: Blood calls to blood. She has done the unthinkable: died so she might continue to live. Now Allie, the reluctant teenage vampire who was cast out of Eden, and Zeke, the human boy who loves her, must attempt to save the world from a deadly new strain of plague. In order to do so, they must first hunt down the monster who holds the promise of the cure—and Allie’s beloved mentor—in his sadistic grip…. Joined by Allie’s blood brother, Jackal, this unlikely posse of companions will brave a landscape stalked by raiders, rabids, and rogue vampires. But even if they survive, they’re bound for the Inner city, and a vicious showdown that will test their bonds in ways they never expected. It may just be that becoming undead was the easy part. Confronting the horrors of Allie’s awakening hunger, her growing feelings for Zeke, and the uncertainties of their future is going to be the ultimate challenge.

Blood of Eden series

Early Review – The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) {PurchaseMy Review}

*spoilers from Immortal Rules. Please don’t read if you haven’t read the first installment!*

Admittedly, Eternity Cure was not a planned read for me. I wasn’t a big fan of Immortal Rules, I gave it 3 stars but it was a reluctant 3 stars because when I think back it was deserving of less because it was dreadfully dull at times and took me forever to get through. There was so much potential but it was severely lacking… in what? I can’t quite put my finger on it but it could have been much better. The outpouring of immense love for Eternity Cure started rolling in and as soon as I read those magical words “even better than the first” I knew I had to give this one more chance. For those of you, like me, who weren’t in complete love with Immortal Rules I suggest you check this installment out. It’s not perfect but it’s immensely more exciting.

The story picks up right where Immortal Rules left off: Allison has continued her quest to free Kanin after leaving Zeke and the rest of the human group in their new home, Eden. After teaming up to save their master, Jackal and Allison set aside their differences and join forces against the much imbalanced Sarren who has captured Kanin after a many years long grudge.

Jackal and Allison were quite the pair. Definitely entertaining, these two together really added some much needed humor to the story that made me love it infinitely more than the first. And I can’t even begin to explain to you the excitement. This for me, was the best part of the whole thing. My biggest complaint about Immortal Rules was the parts that dragged on for far too long. With Eternity Cure, it was non-stop excitement and there was always something going on. This was truly an edge of your seat thriller and there were twists you will not see coming and turns that will leave your jaw on the ground.

The relationships… for me this was a huge flaw in Immortal Rules. I never quite understood Allison’s need or desire to continue staying with the human party despite their ongoing terrible treatment towards her (despite even knowing she’s a vampire) and her ongoing blood lust which made it extremely hard to travel with them. The relationship with Zeke was so touching and sweet and really made Allison’s ongoing desire to remain human make complete and utter sense. To me, this is what truly sets this series apart from the rest of the ‘typical’ vampire stories. Allison has constantly struggled to retain her sense of humanity and still has a desire to remain a ‘decent human being’ minus all the feelings of entitlement like her brother Jackal has. She doesn’t feel she’s better in any ways to the humans and wishes to be like them but has no way of ever making this a reality. Her feelings were true and something that I could completely understand and empathize with.

And guys.

Yeah, seriously. That ending?

I have to wait how long to find out what happens?

Cliffhanger… yes. Mind blown… yes. Well worth it… definitely yes. This is one thrill-ride of an installment you won’t want to miss.

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Early Review – Speechless by Hannah Harrington

August 19, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Speechless by Hannah HarringtonSpeechless by Hannah Harrington
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 28th 2012
Pages: 288
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself.

‘I can’t change what I’ve done and what I haven’t done, but I can change what I do now. I can actually do something. Stand for something.’

After Chelsea stumbles upon something at a high school party and unintentionally tells the entire party what transpired she’s horrified at what she ended up causing. She realizes that her gossiping mouth has done more harm than she could have ever thought possible and in turn decides to take a vow of silence.

Chelsea Knot is not an immediately likeable character so don’t expect to right off the bat. It takes time and development and maturity on her part. She was incredibly realistic nonetheless; I think we all went to high school with a ‘Chelsea’, I know I did. I was having vivid recollections especially when she said lines like:

‘He won’t even look at me! And, not to brag, but I am something to look at, dammit. I’m not gorgeous like Kristen, but I’ve been known to turn a head or two in my time.’

Oh yeah. I might have gone to school with a few Chelsea-types.

Despite being the one who did the right thing by telling the police what really happened, even though that resulted in the ruin of her social standing (which involved a few friends being thrown in jail) she still worries day in and day out whether she made the right choice, still doubts that she’s really a good person and didn’t just have a lapse in judgment. After making friends with an unpopular girl named Asha who manages to see Chelsea for the good person she is, even though Chelsea herself doubts that she’s really that good.

This story was not flawless. There were times where I really enjoyed it and others when I felt like tossing it. I think that largely had to do with the fact I felt it was for a less mature crowd despite the serious message intended. I typically write my reviews immediately after finishing books but had a hard time turning my thoughts into words with this one. After taking so much time for it to run through my brain I ended up actually reducing my rating from 4 to 3 stars. I loved the message and I loved seeing the popular girl transformed; however, I had a hard time relating to Chelsea and often felt her actions weren’t entirely authentic. Maybe because I’ve never been the popular girl and could never relate… maybe because of the fact that she decided to take her ‘vow of silence’ after glancing at a magazine article. Either way, this was enjoyable but unfortunately not completely my cup of tea.

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Early Review – The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa

April 1, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 5 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie KagawaThe Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 24th 2012
Pages: 484
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Iron King, Winter's Passage, The Iron Daughter

three-half-stars

To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what–and who–is worth dying for…again.

Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

‘There will come a time when the road before you splits, and you must decide your path. Will you choose to become a demon with a human face, or will you fight your demon until the end of time, knowing you will forever struggle alone?’

Allison Sekemoto was a survivor living in the Fringe struggling to survive on a daily basis. Now that she’s been turned and is now learning how to live as a vampire she’s struggling to maintain her fleeting humanity. Allison intrigued me in the first part of this novel with her strength and her constant persistence to stay as human as possible. The Immortal Rules compared to most vampire stories was vastly different as Allison was sympathetic towards the human race despite the fact that she relied on them in order to stay alive. In that same sense it reminded me a lot of Warm Bodies and how R cared for the human race, or Julie in particular. It’s an interesting and original take on a consistently similar story but, I didn’t fall completely head over heels for it. I think for me the main issue was that she was almost too humane to be a ‘credible’ vampire and I missed the typical bad-ass vampire.

I felt that after the interesting start, when Allison and Kanin part ways and she discovers a group of human survivors seeking a place they call ‘Eden’, what followed was easily the books lowest point as it was in desperate need of some excitement. The story really lost its hold on me during this time and it took me several days to get through it. After getting a small glimpse of Kanin in the beginning I kept waiting for him to make another appearance in order to spice things up. I just had a hard time understanding her attachment to this group of people and why she never decided to go back to Kanin. The group reminded me of some creepy religious cult-type group much like the one in Ashes. It was inevitable that she be discovered as a vampire and I didn’t understand the insistence that she stick around in order to make sure that the group remained safe since the majority of them were incredibly unlikable people and were constantly rude to her. I suppose this was just another facet of her attempting to keep a hold on her humanity.

The ending was a bit lackluster but fortunately didn’t leave off with an enormous cliffhanger. Will I continue this trilogy? More than likely. I went into this book naturally comparing it to the Iron Fey and was pleasantly surprised that it was nothing like any of the books in that series (which was a good thing as I wasn’t the hugest fan of that series) but I was still hoping for something more but more of what I’m not completely positive.

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Book Review – The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa

March 12, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4) by Julie KagawaThe Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #4
Published by Harlequin Teen on October 25, 2011
Pages: 400
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Iron King, Winter's Passage, The Iron Daughter

three-half-stars

My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl—smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end—a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.

To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

The Iron Fey series

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)Winter's Passage (Iron Fey, #1.5)The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2)

The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1)
Winter’s Passage (The Iron Fey #1.5)
The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey #2)

The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3)Summer's Crossing (Iron Fey, #3.5)

The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey #3)
Summer’s Crossing (The Iron Fey #3.5)

“My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl.”

In the Iron Queen, Ash made an oath to Meghan to be her knight; however, after she became the Iron Queen and she severed the bond with him he was unable to honor the oath since remaining in the Iron realm would have meant his death. Ash realizes that he has only one choice: he’s going to travel to the end of the world to obtain a soul and become mortal so he can remain by her side.

After wrapping up Iron Queen and dubbing it my favorite of the series, I was actually kind of surprised that there was an additional installment in the series; I felt it could have been left as is despite its imperfect ending. The puzzle pieces of this series came together a bit too well in The Iron Knight; however, it was still an enjoyable read.

In this story we got to travel to the end of the Nevernever. The River of Dreams, the Deep Wyld, Phaed… all unknown territory which added some much needed mystery to the story and which I really enjoyed. Julie Kagawa’s descriptions were extremely vivid. Puck, Grimalkin, and even the Big Bad Wolf were along for the ride. Puck and Grimalkin definitely added some much needed humor to Ash’s dreary story.

I think die-hard fans of this series will be extremely pleased with how the author wrapped up this series, but will still be sad that the story is over. I think the wrap-up was done enjoyably well and I’m thankful that it wasn’t stretched to its breaking point with additional and unnecessary installments.

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