Posts Categorized: Book Reviews

Book Review – The Renfield Syndrome (Rhiannon’s Law #2) by J.A. Saare

August 26, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Renfield Syndrome (Rhiannon’s Law #2) by J.A. SaareThe Renfield Syndrome by J.A. Saare
Series: Rhiannon's Law #2
Published by Mundania Press on August 21, 2011
Pages: 212
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between

four-half-stars

Vampires, and werewolves, and demons, oh my.

Rhiannon thought facing off against a deranged child vampire was the most dangerous task she would ever have to undertake, but she’s about to discover making a deal with a demon is far, far worse. Sent forward into another reality, one in which vampires are now dominating nearly extinct humans, she realizes the sooner she returns to her vampire lover, Disco, the better.

Unfortunately, time changes a lot of things; including those most trusted around her. When she’s faced with a loss and betrayal unlike any she has ever known, her focus shifts from severing the debt between the demon that wants to kill her, to exacting a revenge that will bring forth consequences she never could have fathomed. By reaching out to the darkness lingering within her, she’ll find the strength to push forward despite the circumstances that would see her dead and buried.

After all, when it’s all said and done, all that she has left to lose is her soul.

Rhiannon’s Law series

Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon's Law, #1)

Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon’s Law #1)

“Vampires, and werewolves, and demons, oh my”

….. INDEED.

Highly recommended that you read book number one, ‘Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between’ prior to reading this book or my review. You have been warned! 🙂

The Renfield Syndrome picks right up from the cliffhanger that ‘Dead, Undead, and Somewhere in Between’ left us all with. But all is not right in Kansas, oh no. Rhiannon is now 101 years in the future after making a deal with the demon Zagan in order for him to forgive his deal with her vampire lover Disco. In a nutshell? The world 101 years in the future is one insane crazy ass place where all kinds of creepy crawlies have decided to come out and play… and they’re not limited to just the nighttime. Rhiannon has to find Disco in order to fulfill her debt to Zagan and she only has a limited amount of time in which to do this.

This book was one wild rollercoaster ride. It seemed like every other page Rhiannon was kicking someone else’s ass… and it was great! She’s evolved into one serious badass chick. I thought ‘Dead, Undead, and Somewhere in Between’ was awesome; ‘The Renfield Syndrome’ was the perfect continuation to a great story. Fortunately for my sanity, the ending to this book wasn’t as huge a cliffhanger as much as the first one was; however, it still managed to leave you wanting more.

As other readers have stated, it’s pretty damn near impossible to really talk about the book without revealing anything that’s vital to the story. Honestly, the majority of the book needs to be experienced first-hand so I don’t want to ruin it for everyone. So what are you waiting for, go pick this one up… you won’t be disappointed.

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Short and Sweet Review – Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #3) by Chloe Neill

August 23, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Short and Sweet Review – Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #3) by Chloe NeillTwice Bitten by Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #3
Published by NAL on June 23, 2010
Pages: 372
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Some Girls Bite, Friday Night Bites, Drink Deep

five-stars

Merit, Chicago’s newest vampire, is learning how to play well with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene—and to spy for the vamps while she’s at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan’s offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.

Merit must accept the assignment, even though she knows that she’ll probably regret it. And she’s not wrong. Someone is gunning for Gabriel Keene, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She’ll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals—not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries old master vampire.

Chicagoland Vampires series

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2)

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)
Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2)

Wow… just wow. This was by far the best book in the Chicagoland Vampires series (so far at least). Total 5 stars… LOVED IT. And okay, it’s official. This book has made me an official card carrying member of the Ethan Sullivan fan club. lol That’s all I’ll say.

Twice Bitten opens where the 2nd left off… Gabriel Keene is coming to town and he has requested that Ethan and Merit be in charge of his security detail. Gabriel is working to bring together all the shape shifters so that a vote can be conducted on whether they stay in Chicago or return to their home in Alaska.

This is going to be a super short review because so much happened that I would hate to ruin for readers of this series. Suffice it to say, this book was one major roller coaster ride that I never wanted to stop. The characters were all sorts of spectacular, except I did kind of want to beat Ethan on the head on several occasions, but my opinion did change by the end. Merit and Mallory have kissed and made up, which was phenomenal because their interactions are beyond hilarious. I mean how can you not laugh at a line like this:

“And leprachauns might poop rainbows on your pillow.”

All in all this book kept me enthralled and I can’t wait to dive into the next installation!

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Book Review – Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires #2) by Chloe Neill

August 20, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires #2) by Chloe NeillFriday Night Bites by Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #2
Published by NAL on September 2, 2009
Pages: 368
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Some Girls Bite, Twice Bitten, Drink Deep

four-half-stars

Vamps in Chicago!

You’d think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, ten months later, we’re enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite—fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross and stake-wielding slayers. Don’t get me wrong, Joe Public isn’t exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven’t stormed the castle yet.

But all that will change once they learn about the Raves—mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle and drink themselves silly. Most civilized vampires frown on this behavior, putting mere mortals at ease with their policy of asking a person’s consent before taking a big gulp of the red stuff. However, that doesn’t make good copy for a first time reporter looking to impress his high society family.

So now my “master,” the centuries old, yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivan, wants me to reconnect with my own upper class family and act as liaison between humans and vampires—and keep the more unsavory aspects of our existence out of the media. But someone doesn’t want people and vamps to play nicey-nice—someone with an ancient grudge.

Chicagoland Vampires series

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)

The second addition to Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire Series picks up where the first left off (and it’s recommended you read the first before diving into this one.) Merit is still learning to adjust to her new status as a vampire but as Sentinel to Cadogan House. News that vampires are conducting raves where humans are practically slaughtered causes Merit to have to become reacquainted with her family members in order to act as a buffer between vampires and humans. Merit’s ‘separation’ between her and her vampire starts becoming more and more problematic.

The Relationship(s)
So slowly but surely we’re heading in the love triangle direction and I am not all for this… however it’s not the most painful one I’ve encountered. Merit and Ethan obviously have the hots for each other but neither seems willing to act on it… but the tension is still definitely present. Merit and Morgan were practically forced into a courtship at the end of the last book but the emotions aren’t exactly forced, I’m not talking arranged marriages here; however, Morgan certainly has far more feelings for Merit than she does for him.

So I was all for Ethan in this book (as most of you are)… especially after the scene where he (view spoiler) I mean way to touch the squishy parts of my heart. But there’s just something I really like about Morgan… maybe it’s the tall, dark and handsome thing he’s got going for him.

I went to Chloe Neill’s website and she has a picture posted of her interpretation of Morgan and … oooh. I like him even more. Hahaha Up until then I’d be imagining Morgan along the lines of this:

*Swoon*

I actually enjoyed this one even more than number one… it was funnier, far more interesting, and way more exciting. Believe it or not I’m actually moving straight on to book 3! 🙂

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Short Story Review – Second-Guessing Fate by Claire Robyns

August 20, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 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.

Short Story Review – Second-Guessing Fate by Claire RobynsSecond-Guessing Fate by Claire Robyns
Published by Carina Press on September 26, 2011
Pages: 167
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

Can She Outwit Fate?

Gemma is on a collision course with heartbreak. At least, according to the fortune-teller her best friend drags her to see. Gemma doesn't believe a word of it, but when other predictions start to come true, she begins to suspect that gorgeous, gray-eyed Nick is the man foretold to break her heart before she can find her soul mate. Too bad she's never met a man she's wanted more, because now she has to get him to dump her before she falls too hard.

Nick has plans of his own. He's ready to settle down with Ms. Right, and everything points to the beautiful Gemma. He's determined to prove to her that he's the perfect boyfriend—even if she does seem to be trying her best to scare him off…

Second Guessing Fate is the story of Gemma. Gemma visits a fortune teller, Madam Hooch, and she tells Gemma “Eez a bad, bad time. Eet is – how you say – big achy heart.” At which point in time I wanted to bust out singing Billy Ray Cyrus – Achy Breaky Heart

But Madam Hooch continues spouting her magical knowledge. “Eez a big love and the man, ah, he eez dark and so handsome, but eez no good for you. He break your heart. First the big breaky heart and then you find soul mate. How you say – tears before happy, no? Time eez up. Goodbye.

That woman is quite obviously full of brilliance and I can totally understand why Gemma took every single word she said to heart. Madam Hooch is described as being ancient with snow white hair… kinda like this!

Not saying she was giving out poison apples or anything… but then again, who knows.

So Gemma starts dating Nick after they’re both involved in a car accident. Which I guess Madam Hooch predicted… I don’t know, I think I missed that part. Nick asks Gemma out and they go to dinner. After Date #1 she starts to have a ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ moment because he took 2 days to call her after their first date, because he asks her to dates on Monday rather than the weekend, and oh noes! He keeps making out with her but has yet to sleep with her by date 5; however, she continues accepting his requests for another date… because Madam Hooch told her to. Because the next guy she dated was supposed to break her heart and she has to let that happen in order to meet her soul mate! Gemma wants to dump him but her friend Helen convinces her not to:

“You can’t be the one to say cheers. He has to dump you—otherwise you may corrupt the fate-line. Changing the order of events could split your destiny path and even block the branch to your soul mate.”

Yes. The FATE-LINE. Dun-dun-dun.

I could’ve done without the fortune teller stuff or it could’ve at least been done differently. I actually really liked Nick; he was my favorite character because he seemed the most real and down to earth. Here’s this guy that’s trying really hard to get back into a relationship but he’s continually scared he’s going to screw it all up… again. I really felt for the guy.

And what was up with Gemma constantly wondering when he’s going to take her to bed? I don’t know it was just off for me… Gemma didn’t even seem to like him and that made me feel bad for him. It totally made me think of ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.’ Here’s Gemma who’s already expecting to get dumped by this guy (because Madam Hooch told her) and she’s basically trying to speed up the process so she can get on to meeting her soul mate (because Madam Hooch told her). But she’s also trying frantically to get him to sleep with her. So Gemma was kind of an oxy-moron to me.

All in all, this story just fell flat for me. I was bummed because it sounded like this super cute romance novel that I was completely in the mood for but it ended up missing the mark for me.

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Book Review – Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #2) by Darynda Jones

August 19, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #2) by Darynda JonesSecond Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #2
Published by St. Martin's Press on August 16th 2011
Pages: 307
Genres: Diiiirrrrrrttyyy, Funny-ha-ha, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: First Grave on the Right, For I Have Sinned, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

four-half-stars

If you hang around with dead people, life can deliver a whole world of trouble.

Take it from Charley Davidson, part-time P.I. and full-time Grim Reaper. The deceased find her very sparkly. Demons find her irresistible. And one entity in particular wants to seduce her in every way possible…

When Charley and Cookie, her best friend slash receptionist, have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally.) has left his corporeal body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty.

Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Can she keep those she loves out of harm’s way? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel her as she does?

Charley Davidson series

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones {PurchaseMy Review}

Well, it’s official. Charley Davidson is one of my most favorite book characters of all time. Oh my gosh I love this girl. Yes, I’m having a silly fan-girl moment where I end up saying things like, “I’m going to be Charley Davidson for Halloween!” She’s not just funny, she is absolutely hilarious and I cannot get enough. If you’ve read the first novel (which you definitely should before reading this one or you’ll be super duper confused) then you’ll remember laughing practically every single page. I’ll admit, this one wasn’t AS funny, but I still wasn’t disappointed… I had to make sure to keep from drinking liquids when my eyes were on the pages for fear it would come out my nose. 🙂

I started this book the day that it came out and due to my current crazy schedule it was hard for me to find time to read… I still managed to read it in 2 days though. A bit sleep-deprived? Yes. A bit backed up on work from too many breaks? Yes. Was it worth? Oh heck yes!

‘Second Grave on the Left’ picks up right where ‘First Grave on the Right’ left off with a brand new mystery (or three) to boot. Darynda Jones? You’re an amazing writer and I kinda love you. You’ve now written two amazing novels that, well… I can’t get over how much I love these books. I totally dig a good grim reaper novel, I’m always up for a good laugh, throw in a mystery to keep me guessing (please do!), and then there’s the way you describe Reyes. To quote Charley: “Holy mother of banana cream pie.”

”He was like the desert, stark and beautiful, harsh and unforgiving, with the promise of treasure behind every dune, the allure of water hidden just beneath the surface.”

And if you need a visual? Whoever posted that picture on Goodreads of ‘Reyes Farrow’ totally hit the nail on the head. Lol

I’m not going to go into details about the plot or anything because I don’t want to give anything away to the non-readers of book 1 and because all I want to get across with this review is to say that you really need to read this series. If you’re looking for a serious mystery, this probably isn’t the novel for you. It’s one of those books that I’m sure if you spent a lot of time critiquing the story you’d find some holes but it’s such an enjoyable read that I don’t personally see a damn thing wrong with it. Not so much a cliffhanger ending but I most certainly cannot wait for January to roll around. And that cover? Awesome.

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Book Review – Craving Perfect by Liz Fichera

August 15, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 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 – Craving Perfect by Liz FicheraCraving Perfect by Liz Fichera
Published by Carina Press on July 25, 2011
Pages: 241
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

A Life Less...Hers

Grace Mills craves being perfect almost as much as she craves raspberry scones. In fact, her life would be perfect if only she could lose ten more pounds, if only the pastry café she co-owns with her sister would turn a profit, if only the hottest guy at the gym would look her way...

And then "if only" comes true. Grace is suddenly straddling two lives: an alternate reality where she's a size two, weathergirl celebrity and being chased by the hot guy. Only Mr. Gorgeous isn't very nice.

In her other life, she's starting to realize her sister is less than happy running the family café, and hunky Carlos, the gym's janitor, seems to have a secret crush on her. Maybe there's more to him than meets the eye...

Grace is living two lives and it's beginning to cost her. Is there a way to pick one...that's perfect?

I was totally in the mood for something different and since I rarely read chick-lit I opted to give this one a shot. Reading the summary it sounded like your typical chick-lit but with enough originality to make it interesting plus there’s even…

Magic Treadmills!

I won’t expand upon that… I’ll let you all read about that interesting funny tid-bit. 🙂

Craving Perfect tells the story of Grace Mills, a baker in a pastry café that she co-owns with her sister Kathleen. Grace and Kathleen are quite close considering they are the only family each of them has left after the deaths of their parents. Grace is constantly ‘craving perfection’ and is always trying to lose more weight so that she can hopefully catch the eye of the hot guy at the gym, Max, that she’s been ogling over for several weeks. Which kind of turned me off from this novel and Grace in general because it’s more than a little obvious that Max is a superficial jerk, but don’t worry, you’ll end up loving Grace just like me.

One day when Grace is at the gym she hops on one of the brand new treadmills (Yes! The Magic Treadmill!) and proceeds to black out and wake up as someone completely different. She comes to and finds herself the spitting image of perfection (read: Barbie) and engaged to Max. But is what she’s always dreamed of actually what she wants in the end?

This book was GREAT and I loved it… super quick, fun, light read that took me maybe 24 hours to read. (Yes I slept). I loved how the author developed the characters and I loved how I ended up loving Grace in the end. Carlos was plain adorable and I loved how infatuated he was with Grace even with the extra weight she always said she needed to lose. The writing was spot on and completely enthralling. It was an interesting and extremely original story!

The one and only low point in the novel that made me cringe (but still didn’t manage to lower the 5-star rating) was the professions of love after the very first date. You just don’t say I love you after the first date. It’s corny, clichéd, and it totally makes me flash back to my junior year of High School and how I agreed to go on a date with this guy because I totally loved his car and he told me he loved me after the first date. In case you’re wondering, yes, I did learn my lesson.

One word of warning there is a lot of talk about raspberry scones. You will end up with a massive craving for them… I know I sure did. To make matters worse there is even a recipe at the end. I’m running to the store to buy raspberries right now.

Don’t miss out on this little gem of a novel. Highly recommended as a light summer read.

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Book Review – Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

August 13, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 2 Comments

Book Review – Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days #1) by Susan EeAngelfall by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1
Published by Self-Published on May 21st 2011
Pages: 288
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Fantasy, Horror, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: World After

five-stars

It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

What an outstanding debut novel by Susan Ee! Don’t be fooled by the pretty glittery cover, or even the title of the book, or the fact that people are calling this young adult, or the fact that you think ‘ooh! It has angels in it!’ so you automatically think of something like this:

This is dark fantasy straight up, nothing cute or froo froo about this. And MAN was it awesome!

This was a marvelous novel that hooked me from the beginning. From the very first page you’re thrust into the gloomy post-apocalyptic society that Earth has become since the angels of the apocalypse invaded 6 weeks ago. The main character Penryn is in charge of protecting her seven year old paralyzed sister Paige and their schizophrenic mother. Penryn’s purpose in life at this point is to do nothing but protect them and she’s completely devastated when her sister is kidnapped by the angels. She proceeds to do whatever necessary to get her sister back and get her back quick when she resorts to teaming up with another angel, Raffe, and makes a deal with him so he will take her to the angels aerie.

Pendryn is a total badass and I loved her. She could totally hold her own, she knew what it took to survive… she was one tough cookie.

High Points
Okay, so, with most books these days where there’s a side story that involves a ‘romance’ it usually tends to sway towards instalove. I. Hate. Instalove. It’s corny, irritating, and it makes me want to pull my hair out. I am pleased to inform you all that I did not hate the way Penryn and Raffe’s relationship progressed; it ended up being quite realistic and believable. *phew* What a relief.

About the last 20% of the book, things started happening that were CRAZY! I mean seriously dark twisted crazy ass shit. No morphing into a YA teenage melodrama here yippee! I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll just leave it at that.

The ending was well timed and it wasn’t a cliffhanger that made me turn into a crazed madman that made me need to know more NOW. I mean the book has to end somewhere and I think that was an appropriate place to do it. I did end this book and proceeded to frantically search for any future released dates of book 2. Alas, I failed to find any but I will definitely be on the lookout, no doubt about that. There are several questions that I’m dying to have answered View Spoiler »

I’d like to take a moment to thank Michelle for not only convincing me to read this but also loaning it to me. You’re the best. 🙂

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Book Review – Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1) by Chloe Neill

August 12, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

Book Review – Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1) by Chloe NeillSome Girls Bite by Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #1
Published by NAL on February 21, 2009
Pages: 356
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Friday Night Bites, Twice Bitten, Drink Deep

four-stars

First in a brand new series about a Chicago graduate student's introduction into a society of vampires.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was Merit's. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.

Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she?s traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan Lord o the Manor Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries? worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude? and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan?s attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone's still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war and there will be blood.

This was a great start to a new series by Chloe Neill. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun read because fun it definitely is.

Vampires existence has been revelealed to humans and they’re still in the… adjusting phase. Some are skeptical, some are convinced, and some are just plain scared. The ‘Chicagoland Vampires’ series introduces Merit, a graduate student who didn’t exactly buy the whole vampire thing, is attacked on campus one night by a rogue vampire. The rogue vampire ends up running off when Ethan Sullivan, master vampire of Cadogan House shows up and saves her life… but ends up making her a new initiate of Cadogan House. When Merit comes to next, she’s already been turned and can’t remember anything since the attack that night. She has some difficulty adjusting to her new lifestyle but that ends up changing as the book progresses.

She’s also got support from her Grandfather who is an ex-cop but still involved in protecting the people. He works with a group of people, Jeff (shapeshifter) and Catcher (sorcerer), who is in charge of ‘patrolling’ the supernaturals in the city; including the ones that the humans still don’t have knowledge about. Catcher accepts the job of teaching Merit how to fight in order for her to be a useful member of Cadogan house, especially since there seem to be more human deaths occurring and quite possibly by the same vampire who attacked Merit.

Naturally, Merit and Ethan have chemistry, but it’s not the immediate hot and heavy for each other chemistry that you typically see. Their chemistry is a chemistry that can’t be helped even though it’s the last thing that either of them wants. Can they learn to fight it or do they eventually give in? Well, I’m going to keep this spoiler free, you’ll just have to read it. 🙂

Highly enjoyable, not lacking in originality, and will definitely be continuing this series!

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Book Review – The Reapers Are the Angels (Reapers #1) by Alden Bell

August 11, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 4 Comments

Book Review – The Reapers Are the Angels (Reapers #1) by Alden BellThe Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell
Series: Reapers #1
Published by Holt Paperbacks on August 3, 2010
Pages: 240
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Zombies
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

This contains some spoilers and is a bit of an ‘all over the place’ type of review. I had a hard time gathering all of my thoughts into an organized review.

The world that Temple lives in is the only world she’s ever known. She never lived in a world where there weren’t any zombies, a world where everyone was peaceful and didn’t have to wake up and fighting to survive each and every day.

“The world, it treats you kind enough so long as you’re not fightin against it.”

Temple is a great character. She somewhat reminds me of Saba from Blood Red Road, but Temple seems to have a better grasp of the English language. She’s a survivor and definitely far beyond her years; I never would have pegged her to be 15. This is obviously due to the world she’s had to live in, the things she’s had to do to survive, and the things she’s had to experience. She’s a very emotional character and it’s quite sad how she keeps it all inside.

She ends up on the run from Moses Todd after accidentally killing his brother. I was a bit upset at that whole aspect of the story because it lacked a purpose. He became intent on killing Temple as retribution for his brother but there seemed to be another reason entirely that was never explained and something I never ended up understanding. I really wish the ending had been different… it ended up being an awkward piece that didn’t quite fit the rest of the puzzle.

High Points
The author’s writing is outstanding. Even though this seems to be your typical end of world/zombie novel where it’s not another person out there trying to survive… it’s not. It’s another book where I would say it’s not even a zombie novel per say, it’s a novel about survival (not just from zombies) and about living.

Temple is the main focus and what a great character she was; definitely a multi-faceted character with each new facet a new surprise. Don’t take her at face value – she’s more than meets the eye.

Low Points
I enjoyed this book. That said I love books that have fabulous world building that manage to completely absorb me into the story. This book lacks any sort of world building so that was kind of disappointing for me. When reading a new dystopian novel I always find it interesting to see how the author decides to create the world and how the world came to be how it is. A lot of things weren’t exactly explained and I ended up questioning a lot of it: how she’s able to stop at several gas stations and there are peanut butter crackers, how she’s also able to stop at several gas stations and be able to fill up her car, how do people have electric fences set up around their property, and where did they get the chicken, peaches, and everything else for dinner?? And will somebody please explain to me the tracker used on Temple’s car?

Like other reviewers, I had a big problem with the lack of quotation marks. At times the author would get so into describing things and situations that when someone would start speaking I’d have no clue and be so confused I’d have to backtrack to figure out what the hell was going on. At first I thought that it was an issue with my ebook, but apparently others had the same issues.

My main issue didn’t even have anything to do with the book or the story itself; I loved the story. I have a huge problem with books that are tagged as YA that I would never let my children read in their teens. Just because the main character is a 15 year old girl does not automatically make it YA. (view spoiler)

The Reapers are Angels is a sad, very moving and emotional read but still highly enjoyable.

”And the beauty he looks over is fathomable only by a girl who would have felt the measure of it as deep as to her dazzled soul.”

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Book Review – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

August 9, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

Book Review – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick SüskindPerfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind
Published by Penguin Books on September 12, 1986
Pages: 272
Genres: Classics, Horror, Literary Fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Pigeon

five-stars

The year is 1738; the place, Paris. A baby is born under a fish-monger’s bloody table in a marketplace, and abandoned. Orphaned, passed over to the monks as a charity case, already there is something in the aura of the tiny infant that is unsettling. No one will look after him; he is somehow too demanding, and, even more disturbing, something is missing: as his wet nurse tries to explain, he doesn’t smell the way a baby should smell; indeed, he has no scent at all.

Slowly, as we watch Jean-Baptiste Grenouille cling stubbornly to life, we begin to realize that a monster is growing before our eyes. With mounting unease, yet hypnotized, we see him explore his powers and their effect on the world around him. For this dark and sinister boy who has no smell himself possesses an absolute sense of smell, and with it he can read the world to discover the hidden truths that elude ordinary men. He can smell the very composition of objects, and their history, and where they have been, he has no need of the light, and darkness is not dark to him, because nothing can mask the odors of the universe.

As he leaves childhood behind and comes to understand his terrible uniqueness, his obsession becomes the quest to identify, and then to isolate, the most perfect scent of all, the scent of life itself.

At first, he hones his powers, learning the ancient arts of perfume-making until the exquisite fragrances he creates are the rage of Paris, and indeed Europe. Then, secure in his mastery of these means to an end, he withdraws into a strange and agonized solitude, waiting, dreaming, until the morning when he wakes, ready to embark on his monstrous quest: to find and extract from the most perfect living creatures—the most beautiful young virgins in the land— that ultimate perfume which alone can make him, too, fully human. As his trail leads him, at an ever-quickening pace, from his savage exile to the heart of the country and then back to Paris, we are caught up in a rising storm of terror and mortal sensual conquest until the frenzy of his final triumph explodes in all its horrifying consequences.

Told with dazzling narrative brilliance and the haunting power of a grown-up fairy tale, Perfume is one of the most remarkable novels of the last fifty years.

‘Perfume’ tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille a boy who grew up on the streets of Paris. Jean-Baptiste was no ordinary boy, he had a gift… a sense of smell that could not be rivaled. Naturally he found his niche by becoming an apprentice to a master perfumer who teaches him the art of making perfume. He excelled at this and people were scrambling to buy his product. As he branched out and started searching for new scents to include in his perfumes, his fascination with trying to find the “ultimate perfume” takes a morbid turn when he finds that ultimate scent is coming from a beautiful woman, and he has to capture it by any means necessary.

I picked this book up on a whim at a used bookstore one day simply thinking that I’d like to read something different for a change. ‘Perfume’ managed to root itself so deep in my mind that I still remember this novel in vivid detail to this day; I must have read it at least ten years ago. The story is disturbing in so many ways yet so unbelievably brilliant and fascinating that you can’t help but be enthralled.

The novel is extremely graphic at times but that’s what really makes the story. Highly recommended, I love this novel it’s one of my absolute favorites.

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