Book Review: Give The Dark My Love ( Give the Dark My Love #1 )- Beth Revis

synopsis single

When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.

All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Puuh * pushes glasses up nose * I´m kind of struggling to find the right words to describe this YA fantasy novel. I have feelings. Strong ones.

`Give The Dark My Love` ( Give The Dark My Love #1 ) by author Beth Revis is definitely a game-changer in the YA fantasy niché. It´s dark. It´s graphic. Adventurous and a tad brutal. I really enjoyed this story. Give The Dark My Love

A young aspiring alchemist on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease. FINALLY, something to read that can´t be compared to other YA fantasy bestsellers. FINALLY an anti Heroine. I´d be highly shooketh if it wasn´t for one thing. Mind you, this is the only thing I could have done without. The romance. It seemed as if the romance was added only for good measure. Totally unnecessary. I truly believe the story is strong enough on its own and would have been even greater without the insta-love. ( and this is coming from a romance advocate ). Aside from that, I appreciated the rest.

 

  • The title. Can we just stop for a moment to appreciate the title? Give The Dark My Love. I´m not blown out of my socks but it´s still a great title.

 

  • The anti Hero. It´s been so long since I came across an anti-heroine. Nedra ( Heroine ) is a well-developed character. Her journey from being an innocent young lady to becoming something like an evil doctor was great to read about. Her motives, her actions, what she suffered through and the way her life panned out in this book… I have no complaints. Absolutely none. Truly not bad for a YA fantasy book.

 

  • The writing was clean and sharp. Not too over the top.

 

  • The darkness. I love it when books have a certain aura. This one was set out to be dark and boy did that energy grow with the story.

 

All in all I can´t really say much about this story other than I enjoyed it and am willing to start the next one ASAP.


 

Would I recommend this book? For YA fantasy readers who don´t mind necromancy – Sure. I didn´t have a problem with it. It´s an interesting story.

Would I reread this book? I´m going to say it depends on how the story pans out. If book #2 is a disappointment and I end up discontinuing the series I won´t reread this one.


 

The Cover – 2 Stars:  The cover image is not for me. It´s very YA fantasy-ish.

The Story – 3 Stars:  It was the romance that kept me from doing a rain dance around the table. And the dual POV. I just don´t think those are worth it.

The Characters – 4 Stars:  Grey ( Hero ) should have been the first victim ever of The Wasting Death. But Nedra- Well done.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Satisfied.

3 stars

 

You can purchase `Give The Dark My Love` by Beth Revis on Amazon.com

 

Book Review: Frost Blood (Frostblood Saga #1 ) – Elly Blake

synopsis single

 

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating – yet irresistible – Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her – and from the icy young man she has come to love.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

`Enter a world where fire and ice are mortal enemies…`

 

There are two problems here. 1) The synopsis sounds familiar. Like, Red Queen  by Victoria Aveyard familiar. 2) That backside tagline- Sounded also a little familiar.

The fire and ice thingy immediately had me thinking of the Starks and Targaryens. Was I going to read about that in this YA – Fantasy – Romance saga? Good God…

Will this Ruby chick in `Frost Blood` be another Katniss / Feyre / Mare copy? Hmm…

Frost Blood 2
Cover version I don´t have

I mean- We´ve seen this happen before, right? Authors will latch onto the trend-wagon, creating their own versions of an already successful bestseller. Which is fine, I guess. You can´t reinvent the wheel. But you can try to perfect it.

I´m going to keep this nice and simple:  I wasn´t too mad about this book.

Yes, it´s exactly like every other dramatic YA fantasy book. It has almost the same elements: A young badass ( and also slightly annoying ) world-changer Heroine, good vs. evil, arguable romance, bla bla bla… Despite having already read this type of story many times before I can say without a doubt that I enjoyed this one more than I did others. As in – Other popular YA fantasy romance bestsellers.

I enjoyed `Frost Blood ` so much more that I´m willing to give the next book a try.

Frost Blood
Cover version I have

I will say, though, that the writing didn´t knock me out of my socks. It was clean and simple. Nothing to go nuts over, in my opinion.

All in all not a bad read.


 

Would I recommend this book? Yeah, I would. I would even recommend reading `Frost Blood` before reading all the other similar bestsellers. It´s easy on the mind and entertaining.  A great introductory book for anyone new to the YA fantasy romance world.

Would I reread this book? Maybe.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:   A rose. A frosted rose. * sigh * Not terrible but also not what I would consider fabulous, either.

The Story – 3 Stars:   Been there. Done that. Bought the book 5x before. But still a decent adventurous read.

The Characters – 3 Stars:  I was going to rate the characters with 4 stars but then I remembered how little I knew of the Heroine. I would have liked a little more background info on her. Fingers crossed I´ll get more of that in the next book.

My emotional state after finishing this read:  Relatively happy.

 

3 stars

 

You can purchase `Frost Blood` ( Frostblood Saga #1 ) by author Elly Blake on Amazon.com

Book Review: I Hold Your Heart – Karen Gregory

synopsis single

The tense, tender must-read book of the summer – perfect for fans of Louise O’Neill and Sara Barnard

‘You make me feel like there’s something good in the world I can hold on to,’ Aaron says. He kisses me again, draws me so close it’s almost hard to breathe. ‘I love you, Gem. And I promise I’ll hold your heart forever.’

When Gemma meets Aaron, she feels truly seen for the first time. Their love story is the intense kind. The written-in-the-stars, excluding-all-others kind. The kind you write songs about.

But little by little their relationship takes over Gemma’s life. What happens when being seen becomes being watched, and care becomes control?

Told in both Gemma’s and Aaron’s words, this is a raw, moving exploration of gaslighting in teenage relationships that skewers our ideas of what love looks like

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Puuh! * scratches forehead * That book definitely wasn´t what I expected it would be.

You know the feeling when you see a book title and you think “meh” but then you read the tagline and think ” Oh?”

`When does love become possession?`

Oh? indeed. Seriously, I had so many things going on in my head. Young adult with the promise of a true crazy character?  I wanted the crazy. The full-on stalker, bat shit loon from our worst nightmares. Well, I got more than I asked for, I can tell you that much. And I fully enjoyed every minute I spent reading.

`I Hold Your Heart` by author Karen Gregory sounds relatively harmless but the story… The way it starts and how it develops and the way it ends… I´m impressed.

 

A powerful story about an abusive relationship between college students.

 

I´ve read many young adult novels that had abusive characters or were about abusive relationships but hardly any of those novels come close to `I Hold Your Heart`. I hold your heart

You meet Gemma / Gem, a young college student, who is your everyday young woman and shortly after you meet the wonderful Aaron, also a college student attending the same college as Gemma. They have an insta-attraction and from there on, their story unfolds. And boy, does it unfold. It unfolded downhill for everyone involved in the story.

This is not one of those stories that try to make you fall in love with the Hero. There´s no chance for that because from the get-go you have this indescribable ill feeling that you can´t shake off. That certain something that sets off all alarm bells although nothing terrible has happened ( yet ). You like the Hero ( Aaron ), you might even put up with his odd ways or even wave his behavior off, dismissing it and blaming it on true love. But then you quickly get sucked in and realize how systematically he works and it´s painful to witness. You know this. The Hero knows it. All the sub characters were aware of it and sometimes Gemma was aware of it, as well. You can understand how easily Gemma overlooked the warning signs.

This is what makes this story so fascinating. A reader witnesses the excruciating slow burn abuse inflicted upon the Hero´s one and only true love, Gemma. Is it pretty? Absolutely not. It´s spooky, actually. And come to think of it – It´s all realistic. You suddenly realize that this could have happened to someone near you. Or perhaps it´s happening now and you´re not aware of it.

And the writing? Well, you won´t hear me complaining. It´s clean and sharp.


 

Would I recommend this book? I would. I think there should be more novels about abusive relationships and the effects they have on the victims and the people around them.

Would I reread this book? I would. I will. This gem is going to be placed on my sacred top bookshelf.

 

 

The Cover – 4 Stars:   Not exactly what I would call fantabulous but it was enough to grab my attention.

The Story – 5 Stars:  Well paced. Gripping. Nail – bite-worthy. Emotionally brutal. Powerful. What I loved most was how a reader doesn´t get a sugar-coated happily ever after. A reader gets a realistic ending. One I appreciated.

The Characters – 5 Stars: Aaron is perfect until you see his coercive and controlling behavior. He´s manipulative. I couldn´t have asked for a better developed character. As for Gemma,… Her character has proven that no matter how level headed or strong-minded you are, you´re not immune or safe from an abuser. I loved Gemma for being `only human`.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Emotionally pooped beyond words.

5 stars


 

You can purchase `I Hold Your Heart` by author Karen Gregory on Amazon.com

I hold your heart

 

 

Book Review: The Silver Swan ( Elite Kings Club #1 ) – Amo Jones

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Riddle me this…
“I am neither dead, nor alive, and I’m not something little Madison can hide.
But you will be dead, by the time this is done…
the timer starts now, and the games have just begun…”

Madison Montgomery comes from money and power, but when someone close to her commits the ultimate crime, Madison must live with her tainted name for the rest of her life. When she begins Riverside Preparatory Academy, the private school her father has swept her into in The Hamptons, she hopes for a fresh start. What she wasn’t hoping for was the pack of bad boys who run the school; ten, to be exact. When Madison gains the attention of their leader, Bishop Vincent Hayes, a whole new world that she didn’t think existed is exposed to her. A whole world that starts and ends with The Elite Kings Club and these boys, are about to flip her world upside down. Secrets are overflowing and family lies are about to be exposed. Is there more to Madison Montgomery than even she knows?

ººººº

Note From Author Taken From Goodreads

About this book: 
I need to admit something right now. The Silver Swan is f*cked. It might be the most insane story I’ve ever written with equally insane characters. Who knew? You know, when I started this book, it was supposed to be YA. I wanted to write a book that my sisters could read. A book that won’t have people look at my mum like “damn… what sort of messed up shit happened to your kid?”. The angst, the assholeness, the games, the f**kery, the WHAT THE F**KING F**K ARE YOU DOING???!!!…
I cannot even…. anyway, this is a warning (and the only one I’ll give you). It’s crazy. I don’t compare my work to my others, but this book is f**ked. It will most likely stomp all the f**k over people’s hard limits (and not give a sh*t while it’s doing it) and will make you second guess all the morals you thought you had.
This most definitely is not looking like a love story right now… more like a….. I don’t even….*shakes head* anyway, I apologise now. You asked for it……….

 


 

My Thoughts 2

I must be one weird screwed up chick because I didn´t find anything insane or da fuq worthy about this book. The note the author left beneath the book description on Goodreads got me all excited. Even had me squealing with anticipation. Hard limits? Looks like I have none. Make me second guess my morals? `The Silver Swan` ( Elite Kings Club #1 ) did nothing of the sorts. Well, at least not for me.

It is true- `The Silver Swan`by Amo Jones cannot be compared to other books. But I can The Silver Swandefinitely compare the vibes I got from this  read with a particular movie – Cruel Intentions. Remember that one? Yeah, the story is so not the same but the vibe it gave off ( and still does ) is similar to what I felt while reading this book.

Judging by the description this book sounds a lot like a dark romance with a good dose of mystery. After having read the story I can say there is, indeed, mystery. The romantic aspect? Not sure. The lines are blurred.

 

 

What I appreciated most about the story:

 

  • The Flair. I´m a sucker for dark settings. Put a blue filter on the story and I´m happy. I liked the overall feeling I had while reading `The Silver Swan`.

 

  • The Characters. Although I wasn´t completely on board with half of these wackos I definitely appreciated how individual they were.

 

  • The Writing. This has been my first rodeo with the author´s work. I´m pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the unique writing. It´s smooth and easy on the mind.

 

Unfortunately, there are parts I didn´t enjoy.

 

 

What I didn´t appreciate about the story:

 

  • The dragging mystery. Hear me out on this one. I was a fan of the secrets and all. Until they became boring. It´s almost like the case of the boy who cried wolf. The secrets are mentioned quite often but it isn´t until the end when a reader gets a glimpse of the entire disaster that´s Madison´s life.

 

  • Madison Montgomery. The Heroine of `The Silver Swan`. In the beginning I enjoyed her character very much. Until I reached the point where I was like

 

“Here, sweety. Let me call the cops for you because you´ve clearly forgotten how your phone works.”

 

I´m not sure if her character will grow much more in book #2 and book #3. In this one, though, she wasn´t what I would call a powerful young woman with a good head on her shoulders. She was fearless but that, alone, doesn´t make a character great.

 

  • Enter Bishop. The Hero of the story. When he was first introduced I was game. When he popped in to the picture every now and again, I became more curious. But then he turned into this figure who didn´t do it for me at all. What a shame, really. Instead of rooting for him I found myself wishing he´d just leave the picture. There were definitely others that felt like a more suitable match for Madison.

 

  • My Inner Dialogue. This is something I love to rely on when writing my review. Why did I think? What were my initial thoughts during certain scenes?

– Hmm

– Huh?

– What the….

– Oh.

– Do we have any waffles left?

 

All in all, I wasn´t tickled senseless. There were parts I enjoyed immensely but then there were parts that made no sense to me. Without wanting to disrespect the author or the story- I didn´t feel the awesomeness this book offered me.

 


 

Would I recommend this book? Yes. For readers who like a good drawn out mystery will probably enjoy this type of YA / NA dark romance. I´d also recommend the author because the writing is really nice. Will definitely be checking out other works by Amo Jones.

 

Would I reread this book? Probably not. I like a little cat and mouse play in my dark romances. There can be a whole lot of mystery for all I care but there has to be something that holds on to my atention. Reading a book and calling it a day ( as I did with this book ) will not move me to invest more time in further books that belong to this one.

 


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:    It´s okay. Not necessarily my cup of tea….

The Story – 3 Stars:    The idea is great. The way it´s written is great. It´s just that the exciting parts weren´t as exciting and these dragged on a little for me.

The Characters – 3 Stars: Hands down- The sub characters were great. The main characters, though, they could have had more positive traits. Something to make a reader fall in love with.

My emotional state after finishing this read:  Indifferent.

3 stars



 

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com

Book Review: Reason To Breathe ( Breathing #1 ) – Rebecca Donovan

synopsis book 1

“No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?”

In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection while pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises – not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth – but at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.

Reason to Breathe is an electrifying page turner from start to finish, a unique tale of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and one girl’s fragile grasp of hope.

 


 

NOTE: Read in 2012. Opinion hasn´t changed since.

 

My Thoughts 2

`Reason To Breathe`( Breathe #1 ) by Rebecca Donovan is one of the most depressing Young Adult romances I´ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Reason To Breathe

 

Sad. Deep. Hard to get your head around. Messed up. Deep. Confusing

 

 

I´m well aware that this is just fiction . But even if it wasn´t and the author chose to incorperate real life events in to the story- It didn´t make this whole sad blob any better.

 

 

A disturbed young woman making idiotic decisions at every turn because she´s a victim.

Emma-  The shoved around, barely tolerated living being who just existed. Living in an abusive household she´s determined to pull through. To win at life and save whatever is left of herself ( which isn´t much to begin with ). But she wants to win on her terms.

I felt a slight burn in my soul from the choices Emma´s character made and how determined she was to stick with her ill choices. This trait of hers made me dislike her instead of feeling bad for her and her life situation.  I would have loved to be able to see Emma as the victim she truly was but because of her questionable choices I just couldn´t.

 

The author tested my limits with the story.

As with any sociology / abuse, YA, romance ( the genre and categories, alone, are quite a stunning combo ) it´s not too difficult to include drama in a story. With `Reason To Breathe` the author went all in, making an already tough subject extremely painful to digest. Because to include abuse isn´t enough. Every cruelty needs to be amplified and every painful situation needs to be 10x more gruesome. Well, in my case… I didn´t care much for the abuse because it was too Cinderella´s step mom´s gone ape shit for me.

 

Now, i bet you´re thinking there can´t possibly be a romance in such a book, right? Right. No, wait. Wrong! So wrong!

There has to be a balance in a story or else it´s just one huge sad black hole with no ending. There was some good to give readers hope that not everything in Emma´s life was shit. And that hope was named Evan. But hey, he was only a tiny spark in a pitch black universe.  What good can a spark do when there´s nothing but darkness and Emma continues to make terrible choices? Exactly, an endless cycle of depressing events happen.  It felt like Emma´s nightmare would never end because Emma didn´t want it to end.

 

That was about the story. Let´s get technical now.

Although I didn´t really enjoy the full on sad story as much as I hoped I would I thought the writing was fantastic. I had absolutely no troubles with the pace. There was a great balance between dialogue and details.

 

However… I will say this: The ending had me sold. I don´t know how the author did it but I wanted to continue the story. Usually, if I don´t like a story I won´t bother with the next books in a series. For some damn odd reason I wanted to find out what Emma´s next move would be. What direction will she take? Will she ever want to stop the madness?

 

`Reason To Breathe` shows a reader how awful and painful life can be if you don´t take help that is offered to you, and that the choices you make are the ones you have to live with.


 

Would I recommend this book? I wouldn´t recommend this book to anyone who is emotionally unstable. It´s a tough read and so depressing. If you think you can handle the abuse in this book, then go ahead. Buy the book and put yourselves through it all. This book will get under your skin and it won´t leave you alone for a while.

Would I reread this book? Nope. One round is enough.


 

 

The Cover – 2 Stars:    Nope. Not doing it for me at all.

The Story – 2 Stars:    I´m torn. It´s an awfully depressing read but it´s also a story well told. Can´t fault a good story telling.

The Characters – 4 Stars:  As much as I disliked Emma I have to admit that she was a pretty picture perfect ruined YA character. The author created messed up characters and wonderful, charming, loving figures.  A world of good people and terrible people and little Emma stuck in the middle.

My emotional state after finishing this read – miserable AS FUCK.

2 stars



 

You can purchase `Reason To Breathe`( Breathing #1) by Rebecca Donovan on Amazon.com

Reason To Breathe