Book Review: Emerge ( Evolve #1) – S. E. Hall

synopsis single

“You never have to be without me, Laney, never.” 

He lied…my everything I ever knew, trusted, wanted…I am, in fact, without him. 

On my own and out of my shell, I learn new things about life, friendship and…myself. 

Like what you’ve always known may not be what you’ve always wanted. 

Dane Kendrick awakened things within me that I never knew existed, unraveling and uncovering the real Laney Jo Walker. 

I’m a NEW adult…so is my story.

wall

My Thoughts 2

This book…. I swear on all that´s pink and fluffy… was THE most unromantic romance I´ve ever read in my entire reading career.

Let´s start at the beginning, shall we? This book was a gift from a friend who said:

“OMG! You HAVE to read `Emerge`! It´s the perfect romance and it has a love triangle in it. You love those. You´ll adore this book!” 

Then my friend said the magic words. Something that always gets me to drop whatever I´m reading.

“This is exactly like Thoughtless! Kellan Kyle is NOTHING compared to Evan Allen!”

 

Dangerous because I hold `Thoughtless` by S. C. Stephens above all other romances. Ain´t no Hero has ever been worthy enough to reach Kellan Kyle´s level of perfection.

So I read `Emerge`by author S. E. Hall. I dove into this book with extremely high expectations and fell flat on my ass after I finished the story. And boy, did my fall hurt like a bitch. I´m still in agony. emerge

`Emerge` ( Evolve #1 ) is NOT like `Thoughtless`. In fact- It´s not even similar ( which, in my opinion, is a good thing. It means the author didn´t get “inspired” ).  `Emerge` is a YA / NA ( can´t really tell the difference with this one. It´s a blurred fluff ) romance that´s about a love that wants to last but doesn´t. The reason? College.

I guess it would be wise to mention the synopsis is also a little more dramatic than the story actually is. Which is also a bummer because I expect a synopsis to give a hint of what the story is about and not to be misleading.

The romance is, as I´ve mentioned above, almost non existent. Sure, a reader reads about a young couple who fall in love and have to find a way to maintain that love. It´s told. It´s hard to feel, though. I blame this on the writing.

There´s no doubt in my mind that the author wanted this to be an epic love story but the lack of emotional description didn´t allow me to get emotionally attached to these characters or the story. This was something that frustrated me beyond words. Don´t say you love her… SHOW HER! Don´t say you can´t live without him… SHOW HIM! SHOW US READERS!

Then there´s my all time least favorite thing about characters:

The over use of nicknames. Honey, beautiful, cutie, sunshine, baby,…. Don´t get me wrong. Nicknames are good. But it´s not acceptable to include nicknames in a dialogue… all the time. There are quite a few scenes where the Hero rolls out at east 4 different nicknames for the Heroine. One nickname per sentence in one scene / chapter.

Another thing I dislike is when characters address other characters by their full names.

“Evan Mitchel Allen.”

What am I supposed to do with this information? I mean- I have a middle name too, AND I´m from the “south” and no one has ever gone out of their way to call “Morgana Julia Peters!” no matter what situation I was in. It´s annoying when this happens. This is useless additional information that doesn´t enhance the romance in any way.

As for the writing: I wasn´t a fan of the writing but I wasn´t totally against it, either. Very simple. Very curt and cut down to the basics.

The characters… * sigh * I did mention that a love triangle is included in this story. A love triangle that doesn´t feel like one because technically, there isn´t one. This is a story about a girl who can´t tell the difference between up or down. Laney, a no bullshit Heroine who´s has no redeeming qualities. And this can also be blamed on the lack of character description and development. And even if the Heroine were well developed, I doubt I my feelings for her would be different. Very unlikable.

The same applies for the Hero / Heroes. A reader meets Evan first ( Laney´s first love or first friend ) and he´s supposed to be this to – die – for – guy with a perfect chart. He wasn´t. Because actions speak louder than dialogues. Enter Dane ( Hero #2 ) and a reader gets the same problem.

I´m definitely a spoiled reader when it comes to romances. I want the whole package all the time because I´ve read books that actually have the whole package. `Emerge ` wasn´t what I would call a well-developed romance.

 

With that being said… I´m going to leave this on a good note and say that I would recommend this read to readers who want a light and less demanding romance.

Would I reread this book? No. And I will not continue the series, either.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars: Not bad. I like the color choice.

The Story – 2 Stars: To much of the unimportant stuff. Not enough of what was needed.

The Characters – 2 Stars: Absolutely not.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Disappointed.

2 stars


This book can be purchased on Amazon.com


Banner name

 

Book Review- Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher

Book Description

When Fig Coxbury buys a house on West Barrett Street, it’s not because she likes the neighborhood, or even because she likes the house. It’s because everything she desires is next door: The husband, the child, and the life that belongs to someone else. 

My Thoughts

Sometimes I read a book from a specific author and end up not liking it. That once happened with Tarryn Fisher´s novel, The Opportunist ( Love Me With Lies #1 ), back in 2013. After not seeing what the hype over that book was about, I decided to not include the author´s works in my monthly Amazon shopping lists again.

I wasn´t a fan.

But sometimes, often years later, an author pops out a book that grabs my attention and I decide to give that author another chance.

`Bad Mommy` by Tarryn Fisher wasn´t the shining light I had hoped for. Bad Mommy

Since I want to keep this review clean and spoiler free I´m going say that the problem with this book was a combination of everything and the lack of.

The writing was not close to what I´m usually used to. The topic was rather interesting but it was a bit off. The dialogue Not for me ( a problem I had with the author´s former works). The characters were all over the place. It seemed like someone left the gates to Crazy Town open. The emotions the story brought out in me and the overall feeling the book gave out was closer to negative than positive.

`Bad Mommy` is a thriller. I expect a tad more thrill when reading a thriller. I expect a story to pull me in and make me forget everything else surrounding me.

The story was indeed like a rollercoaster ride. Chaotic and flat. Confusing and long ( as in: it took me forever to finish reading.)

I´m sad to say that `Bad Mommy` wasn´t my cup of tea.

Would I recommend this book? No. Personally, I wouldn´t. I believe a book has to have more than just a flashy cover, catchy title and mysterious synopsis. A story that includes multiple personalities is bound to be confusing but this one takes the cake.

Would I re-read this book? No. I might even go so far and say that Tarryn Fisher isn´t the author for me.

The Cover – 4 stars ( The cover is surprisingly great. I like the vibe it gives off. )

The Story – 1 star ( Too chaotic. Too flat. Not what I expected. Not was I hoped for.)

The Characters – 2 stars ( Confusing. Some characters even felt like shadows. Again, I expected more)

My emotional state after finishing this read– Very disappointed.

I´m giving `Bad Mommy` by Tarryn Fisher 1 star out of 5.

stars18

Purchase Link

Amazon.com

Book Covers- What Happened?

Book Covers

Book covers / cover images are the first thing we see when we look for books. Whether it´s while we´re scrolling through an online shop or simply combing the bookshelves in a bookstore- It´s always the cover that grabs our attention before anything else does. 

Let´s get one thing out of the way before I begin:

Book covers / images are a matter of taste. Everyone has a different idea on what is great or what´s eye catching.

Personally, I like book covers that hardly give away anything from the story. I believe a cover image should grab someones attention, not give the story away. A book cover has to make me stop dead in my tracks. I mean- it’s the first thing a reader sees, right? And if a reader doesn’t like the cover, how fat are chances the reader will buy the book unless they´ve been forced by a friend/family member to read the book? ( The power of recommendations. “It has a hideous cover but awesome story!” )

All this means- I judge a book by it´s cover. I know I shouldn´t. No one should, yet we all do it.

I love to see covers with lots of color / color clashes, unique symbols or anything that stands out ( eye catching, remember? ) Contrasts are also brilliant.

 I’m Amazon’s Costumer Of The Year. Alot of my hard earned money goes for books. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this devastating condition. But if you asked me about book covers then I’d have to say that maybe half of the books I own have decent covers and half from that half have AWESOME images.In other words- I find alot of book covers / images boring and sometimes questionable. 

While reading books from the Romance, New Adult, Young Adult, Erotica and even Horror genre, I’ve come to learn that each genre has their preferred book covers or colors.

Young Adult usually has some teenagers holding hands in a meadow ( colors are usually light ), New Adult covers are a bit more mature ( colors are more bold ), mostly showing some skin or a headless figure… you get the picture, right? We don´t really need to mention Horror covers because many of those covers are just down right brilliant. Creepy but cool.

Also, one has to see the difference between traditional published and self-published book covers. It most cases, self-published book covers / images aren´t done well. But then again- alot of traditional published books have horrible, tacky covers. I can’t really speak for trad-published authors because most of them don’t have a say in the matter. The publisher calls the shots and authors have no power over what cover will be used for their story. That all depends on the publisher and how tight the contract is. Some published authors are lucky and get to chose a cover image themselves. Very few have covers that are able to knock me out of my socks.

There are 2 types of book covers that do not grab my attention at all.  

  1. shaded, oiled torsos with tribal tattoos
  2. covers that look like every other cover

I can’t begin to tell you how many books I have that have black covers with some tiny animal, a key, a keyhole, pearls, diamonds or has some shadowed body parts on it. It’s a nightmare that will not end. 

It´s a trend, I get it. Still… It´s annoying. And when I see certain covers I immediately say to myself ” Uugh. Not again.”.

20161128_010727

( Those are only a few taken from my private bookshelf from only God knows how many )

Many would argue with me on the fact that black book covers aren´t an issue. They´re practical because they look good on a bookshelf, etc.  It truly isn´t an issue. It´s just nothing spectacular.

Then there are those covers with half naked, totally muscular, tribal tattooed, well oiled and well tanned, headless guys. In short- eye candy in it’s tackiest form. I stopped counting those covers because they’re endless. I know I know…sex sells and all that stuff…..but can’t someone stop this nonsense? Tribal tattoos went out of style a while back. Plus, I like guys who have a head. Hands can be sexy, too. Also-  I’m also not a huge fan of character covers, which is when the cover has a face on it. That ruins alot for me and I will ignore the book, risking the chance to read a fantabulous story. Why? Because a character image ruins my own personal image I like to create myself of a character. 

Another thing that brings my blood to boil is when there’s too much going on on a book cover. 

I once saw a cover that was in full color and had an oiled naked, tattooed bod, except- the lucky headless guy had arms and hands ( yay!) and those hands were holding a suit which hung from a coathanger ( I have never in my life seen a suit hanging from a hanger on a book cover before…NEVER) in the background stood the Eiffel Tower. The title- Caged. Can you imagine how confused I was? After taking all the images in I knew what the story was about. But the real question was- Was I interested in the story although I knew there was some godly guy in it, who was probably going to wear a suit at some point, paying the Eiffel Tower a visit? No, I wasn´t. Not even the coathanger was able to convice me.

My point- There´s no need to overload a book cover with dozens of images. That´s only confusing. 

Copying. It´s not a secret that many self-published authors like to copy. Which is fine. I´m the last person to point a finger at anyone in particular. Whatever works best for an author, right? Right. No wait- that´s wrong. Copying is wrong and often doesn´t work out well for an author who wants to make money. What worked for author A doesn´t necessarily have to work for author B. Many writers seem to forget that. 

What happened to self-published authors wanting to be original, standing out and making their book cover better than others? Any, if not all, want to make a living ( eventually ) off of writing, right?

I understand that cover designers are costy. And, yes. I´m aware of how prices are sky high. But they´re worth it. If an author finds a good, professional designer, and both communicate then nothing can go wrong. No one in the history of writing said it would be easy, or cheap. Unless writers don´t value quality and focus their attention more on their story. Then I´d say ” Whatever floats their boat.”.

Still, many don´t or are financially unable to take that path and invest in a cover designer. And if an author doesn´t have a clue what they´re doing when creating their own cover I´m 100% positive it will affect sales. Because, let´s face it- If I notice bad quality / a copied image then other readers will too.  There could be a chance people will ignore a not so great cover and read the story OR they´ll skip the book because of the cover. Who knows. I´m not an expert. But I´ve been watching this business for the last 10 years and can say that covers mean alot. 

I´m not out to ruin self-published authors. I´m not even out to diss traditional publishing houses for their often lack of taste in cover images. Just remember this before the next book hits the market:

1. Sex doesn´t always sell. ( Keep them well oiled studs in the late 90´s where they belong.)

2. Less is ALWAYS more. ( Be tasteful. Be creative. Be original. )

It may not be up to me to decide what cover image is acceptable for a book cover or not. After all- Cover images are a matter of taste.  But since I spend the majority of my money on books I can skip a cover that´s not original or won´t grab my attention.

My wish for the future? For writers to be more creative when deciding on a cover image. Or, invest in a designer. Although, I have seen a small inprovement in the past year ( see Colleen Hoover´s cover image for `Too Late`, for example. What a color explosion! ) so my hopes haven´t died completely.

( NOTE: A cover image alone won´t influence sales. Titles and excerpts play an important role as well. The cover is just what we see first.)