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

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“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.

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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


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Book Review: The Light In The Wound (#1) – Christine Brae

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Affected by her parents’ highly publicized divorce, Isabel grows up isolated and alone, with a resolve to never fall in love and repeat their mistakes.

When Jesse Cain enters her life, she falls hopelessly in love with him, and every sadness she’s ever felt is washed away by his intensity and passion. But people change as they grow up. Things can never stay the same forever.

Jesse and Isabel fight to stay together, determined to hold on to what they once had. Isabel wonders if a second love can ever be enough to make her forget her first.


My Thoughts 2

I read `The Light In The Wound` ( The Light In The Wound #1) by Christine Brae right after I realized I accidentally read book #2, `His Wounded Light` first. ( Yes. Even I´m a ditz sometimes )

Weird, right? Ha! Welcome to my everyday norm. This doesn´t surprise me one bit. But hey…. I set things right again after I managed to find time to buy and read the first book. Now, here I am… ready to give my thoughts on book #1 first, as I should have a while ago.

One would think I ruined the whole story for myself by reading book #2 first. In my case, the mix up didn´t affect me or the story. I like spoilers. I have no problem with knowing how a story ends before I´ve even read the beginning. (I´m glad we got that covered ).

Now, did I enjoy `The Light In The Wound`? Yes. I actually did.

I´m a sucker for 1st love vs. 2nd love romances and Christine Brae did a wonderful job with this novel.the light in the wound

I loved the emotional rollercoaster ride I was put through. Lots of angst, heartbreak, frustration, love, loss… This book was a positive emotional mess for me. Because there´s nothing more satisfying than reading a romance that puts you in an emotional stupor.

While I appreciated the things this book did to me there were a few things that did turn me off.

  1. The pace. I had such a hard time sticking with this read because the story dragged. It took me a few days to push through and not completely give up. The last third of the story was what made me truly love this story.
  2. The Heroine. Isa wasn´t what I would call a great Heroine. Her actions and reactions were justified but I just couldn´t find sympathy for the woman. I really can´t say why, either. It´s probably one of those “you either like ´em or ya don´t” situations. In my case, I didn´t like her as much as I thought I would.
  3. The Hero, Jesse. He felt a tad over the top. Yes, I´ve encountered worse in other novels but he wasn´t the type of Hero I would have picked for an old vs. new love.
  4. The choppy chapters. This isn´t a writing issue, per se. It´s a chapter issue. Unfortunately, I felt no swift flow from one chapter to another. Maybe this has to do with the story being stretched over a 15 year time span. Maybe not. The story still didn´t feel effortless due to the choppy chapters.

Other than that I had no complaints. I enjoyed the story for what it was: an emotional wreck with the “three´s a crowd” theme.


Would I recommend this read? That depends. If someone is looking for the ultimate “Oh, just shoot one already to put every other character out of their misery” then I´d say yes. Go for it. Have fun and don´t complain about the dragging pace.

Would I reread this book? I´m not sure.


The Cover – 3 Stars: I´m not a fan. It looks like someone was in a hurry and just used the next best available image. I wouldn´t have bought this book with that cover image.

The Story – 3 Stars: The author can deliver an emotional package pretty well. I had the feels.

The Characters – 3 Stars: I´m giving these characters a generous 3 stars because of the reasons I´ve mentioned above. I will give Alex ( Hero #2 ) 4 shining stars because he truly was a great character.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Satisfied.

3 stars

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com

 


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Book Review ( Before & After ): Easy- Tammara Webber

Out of all the books I´ve read since book blogging, `Easy` (Contours Of The Heart #1) by Tammara Webber is the one I don´t have to reread in order to remember the story ( THE WHOLE STORY ).

`Easy`was published back in 2012 and I was one of the quick little chicas who got their greedy little hands on the new release. Not because the story sounded good. No. I saw the hottie on the cover and thought ” Where have you been all my life, emo kid?!”

( Some useless information: I love men with hair. I´m probably the only woman left in this hygienic, polished world who loves a man with all body hair ) The fact that the guy on the cover had hair, and rough hands, and a tattoo peaking out on his wrist ( More useless information: I´m a sucker for guys covered in ink. Ink and hair ) had me feeling all kinds of desperate.

Knowing `Easy` was a romance was a nice bonus. I just wanted to stare at hot stuff.

Needless to say- I read the book in 2012. 6 years later, I noticed I had 2 paperback copies of `Easy` on my bookshelf.

To this day I cannot remember how I ended up with 2 copies. Doesn´t matter anymore. We´re here to compare my thoughts from 2012 to my 2018 thoughts.

Are we ready for a Before & After Book Review?


 

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Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret.
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth – and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl’s struggle to regain the trust she’s lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

 

before and after

Back in 2012 I was high on New Adult romances. I was so into the college romance phase and wanted nothing else to read. I couldn´t get enough of the simple and charming novels authors published back then. `Easy`belonged to those reads I lived for.

I remember I had a vague idea of what the story was about. Two college kids fall in love. That was it. The book cover interested me more back then. `Easy`was so much more, though.Easy

A slow burn romance that has a touch of innocence to it. That is- until a life changing event happens to Jacqueline ( Heroine ). Then there´s hardly anything innocent about this read. It´s about struggle and moving on. It´s about making the right choices and taking action.

And the romance. * sigh * Boy, I wanted myself a Landon / Lucas so bad for myself. He was the perfect mysterious Hero.

I remember finding this a fantastic short read with fab characters and a wonderful ending. I was in love.

Fast forward 6 years….

My feelings have changed. Not for the book cover, though. * cough * In those 6 years I found out the book cover model´s name and age ( the only book cover model I´ve ever looked up in my entire life ). My feelings towards the story changed. I´m not in my college romance phase anymore and I also have a different perspective of New Adult romances.

36 year old me thinks this is a good read. A cute romance with cute characters who deal with a realistic issue. Even the slow burn love between the characters feels different. Compared to other more modern New Adult romances, this book feels more like it belongs in the Young Adult genre than anywhere else. Because it´s way more innocent now. It´s tame. Don´t get me wrong- I´d still buy this book and I´d still love it but I wouldn´t go nuts over the whole package anymore.

With that being said…

Would I still, after all these years, recommend this book? I would. Because it belongs to one of those mandatory romance reads.

Would I reread this book? I don´t think I can. I spent a great amount of time discussing this book to death back in the day. I know this book inside and out.



The Cover –  5 Stars: The 5 stars go out to the emo kid. * sigh *

The Story – 4 Stars: It´s good. It´s romantic. It´s the whole package but less exciting.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Happy.

I remember giving this book 5 out of 5 stars in 2012. Right now, I´d give this book a 3 -4 stars, with leaning more towards 4 stars.

4 stars

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com


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9 Irritating Things About New Adult Romance Books

It´s time to reveal the top 9 most irritating things about new adult novels.

But why New Adult? Why not chick – lit or just plain and simple romance? Because romance is a broad genre. If I want to criticize the romance genre I´d be busy for weeks trying to pinpoint what exactly it is that´s bothering me and possibly other readers.

Sure, there are plenty of annoying things about other genres ( especially with Young Adult, Mature Adult, etc ) and I will definitely tackle those points in the near / far future. For now, though,  New Adult is on the menu.

Over the years I´ve been blessed with great NA reads and less great NA novels. But no matter how good or awful I thought the NA book was… They all felt very alike. They all somehow have the same irritating patterns, which is A.N.N.O.Y.I.N.G.

 

Here are the 9 irritating things about New Adult Books.

 

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THE CHARACTERS ARE ALL WELL OFF

I have yet to read about some poor sucker who struggles financially.  They all have cars. They all have a roof over their heads and a bed to sleep in. They never seem to worry about how they´re going to pay next months rent or how they´re going to feed themselves until next pay-day. I´m not talking about college students.

 

 

BLINDING BEAUTY

“He was like a model from the GQ.” “He looked like a greek God.”

“She has thick, long wavy hair.” “Her eyes were the color of honey/the sea/the sky / chocolate.”

Immaculate skin. Beautiful orbs. Professional messy hair. Great style.

Since when have authors decided to create perfect characters when the world is clearly filled with all sorts of imperfect beauty? A guy with a crooked nose / tooth? That can be just as sexy as the sex God with the 8 – pack from down the road. And what about women with short hair? Big feet? A tooth gap? I´m just saying….

 

NO ONE SEEMS TO NEED GAS

Book characters sometimes ( if only rarely ) go grocery shopping. They even order takeout. They do all sorts of normal activities, such as driving aimlessly around town in their cars to “clear their minds” , but getting gas doesn´t belong to those day – to – day life activities. It´s as if their cars only run on love and air.
Or, maybe I got it all wrong and the characters went to the gas station before the book started. Yeah, maybe…..

No.

 

THEY HAVE MORE SKELETONS IN THEIR CLOSETS THAN A DEAD BROOKLYN MAFIA BOSS 

Secrets. They all have major secrets that are explosive and can threaten and effect the happiness of EVERYONE when they´re revealed. The thing that bugs me the most is that these “secrets” aren´t really worth being called secrets. NA readers usually deal with characters that have dealt with something in college or highschool and that… that causes a character to act as if they´ve commited a deadly crime.

 

 

LOVE: THE CURE FOR ASSHOLES

This might be the most unrealistic aspect of New Adult romances. Love conquers all. Love is the answer to all physical and mental illnesses. Love can even convert an asshole character into a soft kitty. Sure, I believe in the powers of love, yada yada yada. But I don´t believe that love can change characteristics. Some of these emotionally charged characters don´t need a girlfriend with whom they can snuggle up with at night. They need therapy. Anger management. A good beating with a frying pan? All is better than having a lunatic roaming the streets.

 

 

THE CINDERELLA MOMENT

The worst. Ever.

There isn´t a NA book I´ve read where the grey mouse ( female protagonist ) doesn´t get turned into a looker by the world´s best stylist ( female protagonists BFF ). I cannot stand these make – over scenes. There´s never anything wrong with a female lead´s wardrobe or sense of style until she wants to go on a date. THEN she´s this fashion mess that needs to be caked in make – up and dressed like a Christmas tree. Why this is necessary… I have no idea. It´s annoying, though.

If I were to go on a date with a guy then he´d have no choice than to accept my jeans and t-shirt and flip-flops because there is no way I would squeeze myself in a short red number for a date. It´s a ” take it or leave it, babe.” situation. And the thought of letting my BFF doctor on me is horrific!!

 

 

MID 20´S VIRGIN

I´m not saying this isn´t realistic because there are women who´re in their 20´s and are still happy virgins but it feels like the whole New Adult female character population are virgins. Why? WHY? Do authors believe this to be acceptable? We´re not talking Young Adults. We´re talking New Adults. It´s perfectly fine to have a female lead who´s already had her fair share of men without making her out to be the village mattress. Let the ladies shag, for crying out loud!

 

 

DRAMA 2.0

Drama is okay. In fact, I expect drama from people in their early – mid 20´s. It´s what they do. There´s not enough daily routine to provide a drama – free life so lots of things are quite dramatic for New Adults. Just don´t make characters over dramatic. That´s far from realistic and can be a turn off.

 

 

CHARACTERS HAVE MORE LIFE EXPERIENCE THAN GRANNY AT AGE 96

I 100% hate this.  I hate hate hate hate…..

Young boy with no living family deals with anger issues. Runs away for years and magically pops back into the picture at age 23 and owns half a city / state / country.

Teenage girl- Physically and mentally abused by alcoholic adoptive parents.  By the sensitive age of 22 the young woman has had 8 jobs, has lived on the streets, has had no luck with men…..  throw in an abortion and more beatings from boyfriend #5…

Again, I´m not saying that isn´t realistic. I´m sure a few mid 20 year olds have been through Hell and back but…. I just can´t.  There are too many book characters going through the same shit over and over and over again. Not every character has to have such a heavily loaded life story.
I get the message. But we´re talking about New Adult romances here. WHY go to such extremes? Because we´re just not reading about over exaggeration here. We´re reading about extreme cases. It´s okay for a character to not have been through so much in their short lives.

 

In all fairness… I understand why authors include all of the points I´ve mentioned. Many of the above work perfect for certain stories in the New Adult genre. I mean- reading allows us to forget about our own personal exhausting lives. We get to live in another world, in a different place and accompany characters on their own crappy paths and find happiness when they do. Readers are able to have moments they probably wouldn´t have in real life.

It´s an escape.

But is the escape worth it? Do we really need another New Adult romance with too much drama? Do readers need to read about characters who have it all and have experienced the worst from the absolute worst?

Yes. In my opinion… it´s worth it… to some degree. As long as there´s a healthy balance in all areas.

Tone down on the drama. Give characters some realistic features. Hell, let them have a job as a barista. Just give them something readers can relate with.
Unfortunately, many New Adult romance novels lack balance and therefore offer little readers can relate with.

 

What are your thoughts on New Adult romance novels? Do you agree with the list or is there anything else you´d like to include? Let me know in the comments below! 

 

Hope you all have a great day!

Share the book love,

Morgana ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: A Court Of Frost And Starlight – Sarah J. Maas

synopsis 2

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

 

My Thoughts 2

 

I wasn´t a huge fan of the first 3 books. What was there to be a fan of? Stealing major parts from other successful stories and adding them to an already good story isn´t going to win any plus points from me. ( review- ACOTAR, ACOMAFACOWAR )

So, why did I read `A Court Of Frost And Starlight`( A Court Of Thorns And Roses # 3.1) by Sarah J. MaasA Court Of rost And Starlight?

Because I have hope. That´s all.

I don´t know why but I feel like the autor is just holding back. I could be wrong, though. Let´s hope I´m not wrong. Let´s keep our fingers crossed that the author will write a book that doesn´t have Rhys and Feyre ( MCs from books 1 – 3 ) in it.

I´m not going to beat around the bush with this one.

A Court of Frost and Starlight wasn´t fully a waste of time but it wasn´t a mandatory read, either. It was a book for devoted fans of the series.
When a blogger buddy ( it was Sabrina  @5171 Miles Book Blog )sent me a Whatsapp with the cover I felt my blood pressure rise. ANOTHER ONE? Good Lord above. Aren´t Rhys and Feyre ever going to call it a day? I thought the whole story was done after book #3 – It sure felt like everything was over.

Apparently not. So, as the good blogger I am…. I didn´t bother buying the paperback and went straight for the kindle version and began reading.

The truth? The ugly truth?
This book is about exchanging presents. Nothing more. It´s less about how the characters dealt with their lives after the great war ( although that was mentioned… if only a little ) and more about what each character was going to gift the other in great detail.

A shame, really, because the author had SO many options she could have chosen from for this book to make this an exciting read.

If it weren´t for the Nesta and Cassian scenes I would have eaten my carpet out of pure frustration.
Nesta and Cassian have a really gripping story going on and their spotlight is far over-due.  Unfortunately, Nesta and Cassian´s story is an over shadowed side story at the moment.

The author created SO MANY characters… she could have easily given a few more some major spotlight. But she didn´t. And now I´m not satisfied at all.

 

Would I recommend this book? No. Because 1) it cannot be read as a standalone. One has to read the other 3 bricks to understand this read. 2) It´s basically for the hardcore ACOTAR ninjas. If you are not a fully devoted ACOTAR fan nor a fan of having to start at book 1 to understand book 3.1 then I simply cannot recommend this read.

Would I re – read this book? No.

 

The Cover – 4 stars ( My favorite cover from the whole series so far. )

The Story – 2 stars  ( Not really what I would call a story when you get to read about Faeries going shopping for gifts. Nesta and Cassian saved the day )

The Characters – 2 stars ( My feelings haven´t changed for the characters so far.  All I´m now asking for is to be able to read more about Nesta and Cassian because those are the only 2 characters with substance. I wouldn´t mind seeing a bit more from Tamlin, if I´m honest. His character has so much potential.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Feeling disappointed.

2 stars

Purchase Link

Amazon.comA Court Of rost And Starlight