Sarah (Workaday Reads)

Biography

My name is Sarah. I live in southern Ontario, Canada with my husband and son. I maintain a book review blog.

I have always been a voracious reader. I taught myself to read before I was four. By the time I entered kindergarten, I was reading short novels. I quickly progressed to full novels, and have never looked back.

My favourite genres are science fiction and fantasy, but I will read most anything. I have at one point or another read almost every genre possible. I have discovered that there are a few things that I do not like to read. I prefer not to read overly graphic romance scenes, religious teachings, or a lot of cursing. Other than that, it's an open canvas.

Where to find Sarah (Workaday Reads) online


Books

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Sarah (Workaday Reads)'s favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by Sarah (Workaday Reads)

  • Snow Burn on March 13, 2011

    Tommy and Vince are teenage boys who go camping when Vince's parents go away one weekend. They get caught in a blizzard, and end up stranded with a convict on the run. Will they survive the weekend? I was impressed with this story. It seems like a natural telling from a teenaged boy. The language and thought process were very smooth and logical. There was humour and emotion, and it all seemed very reasonable, like something that could actually happen. It is a short story, but packed full of action and emotion. It flowed quickly and easily. I loved the progression of the what if scenario. As the story advances, the scenario changes to reflect the current situation. If you stop to think of what you'd actually do, it could reveal a lot of how you think and see others. I think that early teen boys would really like the story, and could easily identify with it. I could see an enterprising teacher or tutor using the what if scenarios to prompt a written response from the reader. It would be a great way to get the reader to identify with and examine the story in more detail. As well as explore what they would be in the situation, and how their answer might change as the situation changes. Any story that creates that type of involvement is a great read.
  • The Secret of A Spicy Jalapeno on March 28, 2011

    Joe Parker grows jalapenos on the local sheriff's farm. His secret to growing them is based on questionable methods that the sheriff concocted. When Vera is delivered to the farm to hide from her drug dealing ex-boyfriend, Joe's life is turned upside down. This story is something quite different from what I normally read. I did enjoy it though. Getting past the gruesome growing of jalapenos, there was a surprisingly sweet romance between Joe and Vera. Technically, I found a few incidents in the beginning half where the narrative switched from third person to first person with no warning or reason. This was a little jarring, and caused me to re-read a few pages to figure things out, but it could be easily fixed. I also found there were a few overall graphic and unnecessary sexual references. But getting past these few things, I really liked the growth in Vera, and sweetness of her relationship with Joe.
  • Soaring on April 21, 2011

    Mysterious winged men visit two cities. Julie Rumley, a scientist specializing in birds, is about to learn they aren't a faux, and much more. This is a very short story, so it's hard to talk much about it without giving it away. My best suggestion is to go and read it yourself. You won't regret it. The description of the book states it is "a short story meant to activate your imagination." And it does a great job. Mostly, it spurs me to want to know more. If I had one wish, it would be that this story be expanded into a full length novel because now that I had a short sample, I definitely want more. Something this story lead me to think about is what kind of reception humans would give to unusual visitors. I thought the reactions for the three encounters seemed very true, and that isn't necessarily very good. Personally, I would hope my reaction would be similar to the third visit. What would your reaction be?
  • Other People's Heroes on May 12, 2011

    Josh Corwood has always wanted to be a superhero, and when he unexpectedly develops a special talent, he is excited to join the league. But what if the life of a superhero isn't as real as it seems? I have never read a superhero story before, so I didn't know what to expect. What I got was an amazing read. Action, excitement, surprise, and even a sweet love story. Josh is a really nice guy. He has a solid moral and ethics code, and everything he does is in line with this. This makes for a refreshing, and very likeable character. His crush, and resulting romance, is very sweet, and totally unexpected. Most of the characters are very accessible, and easy to understand. There are a few cliche-type personalities, but this fits with the superhero theme. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and realistic facets that each personality had. I'm not sure if this was just my reaction, or if it also had to do with Josh's surprise at this development as well. Either way, I liked it. There were two bonus stories included, Lonely Miracle and Inciting Incident. Both of these stories were awesome, and complimented the main story well. I loved the little insight into a specific superhero's story. I'd love to read stories about the other characters.
  • The Advice Girl on May 25, 2011

    Kira and Sophia are best friends, and have been since early childhood. Sophia is nicknamed "The Advice Girl" because people just feel comfortable talking to her. When she is killed in a mysterious accident, Kira is devastated. Things become worse when Kira finds a note from Sophia that makes her question everything she knows about her friend. This note draws her into a war between two secret societies who may know more about Sophia than she does. This novella is fast paced and full of action. There are a few places where it seems rushed and I'd love to see more detail, but overall, it is a very exciting read. Kira is a very developed, and likeable character. She becomes really depressed when Sophia dies. Reading those passages, I really wanted to give her a hug and help her feel better. While she doesn't have any special powers, she is still willing to do whatever she needs to in order to help her best friend. Sophia is a interesting character. Her abilities are unique and portrayed in a realistic manner. The one thing I had trouble with was how quickly Sophia and Ethan's relationship progressed. Given a little more time, or a bit more explanation about their time together would go a long way to making me believe how intense they were. The ending had quite a few loose ends, but it was still handled in a concluding manner. It could have been a stand alone book, and even when I finished it, I didn't realize it was part of a series right away. Anyone who reads my reviews will know this is an important detail to me, and this book handled it in a very satisfying way that makes me really look forward to the next book.
  • Inklings on May 30, 2011

    This is a collection of flash fiction stories covering a wide variety of topics. Flash fiction stories are very short, often only a page or two. The main purpose is usually to describe a specific situation in order to generate a specific emotion. They are a condensed shot of words. I found this to be a nice read, suitable as an introduction to flash fiction with pieces ranging from a few lines to a few pages. I did find that some of the shorter pieces seemed to fit together which lead to a more defined larger picture, but reduced the impact of the individual stories. My favourite piece was The Revolt of the Coconut Trees. It was humorous with a touch of science fiction. I also enjoyed Always and Oil on Canvas, which were each only a few lines, but managed to convey strong emotions.
  • Icarus Rising on June 01, 2011

    Nostraterra is still recovering from the Great War. The peace is shattered when Alfrahil, Crown Prince of Eldora is the target of an assassination attempt. Preliminary investigations hint that his brother Daerahil may be involved. The King and several members of the other races start looking for the truth, but is there a greater evil working behind the scenes? I had a really hard time getting into the story. The first few chapters seemed to be full of geographical and political descriptions that were confusing without knowing the storyline. There seemed to be a lot of looking back at the Great War. So much so that I felt like I was reading the third book in a series and had missed a very large, important part of the story. But once I reached the storyline concerning Alfrahil and the assassination attempt, the story really took off and became engrossing. The world was very developed and intricate. You can tell that the author put a lot of thought and time into creating it. But there was a downside. There were too much unnecessary descriptions. Geographical, historical and political. Much of the content didn't add to the story, and just seemed to be there to prove the author had fully developed the world. With some ruthless editting this would be an amazing first book in a series. As it is, it is hard to get into and stay into.
  • This Human Condition: A Collection of Flash and Micro Fiction on June 29, 2011

    A collection of flash and micro fiction based on human emotions. Flash fiction is a condensed shot of words, often only a few pages or less for each story. The stories in this collection are based on a specific emotion, and are grouped by that emotion. I found this to be a real mixed bag. Some of the stories were great, and some not so great. The ones I really liked were: - Trampled by Cindy Noble - based on inspiration - This was beautiful. The scene described just jumped off the page. - In the Light by Christi Craig - based on sorrow - This matched the emotion perfectly. I didn't even need to be told what emotion it was based on, it was that obvious. - Without Breathing by Taylor Ridling - based on sorrow - This was a choppy little story that managed to convey a range of emotions, not just sorrow. - Heartless by Stacy Reckard - based on anger - Effectively captured the feeling of a broken-heart after the end of a relationship. - Raw by Jayme Whitfield - based on anger - The story made me mad along with the narrator. It was also a surprise situation, which is hard to do in such a short length. Listing them, I can see that I generally preferred stories based on strong emotions. I think these are easier to capture, reveal and understand. These also provoke the most reaction in readers, which is something flash fiction needs to do to be remembered. This is an easy read, and definitely one I'd suggest fans of flash fiction check out.
  • Mind Cafe on June 30, 2011

    Rosie suffered a tragic accident as a young woman, and was left as a living vegetable. She can't move or talk, all she does is sit and think. The Mind Cafe is a place she has created in her mind where she talks to her loved ones. Reading this, I was fulled with overwhelming sadness. Rosie's story is never fully revealed, but what you do learn is tragic. Rosie has been a "living vegetable" for decades. Her sole wish is to die, and yet she lives, year after year. The story mostly revolves around conversations with visitors within the Mind Cafe. These were emotional, and felt like real conversations. This is a very short story, and quick read, but the emotions stirred up will stick with you for a while. This is definitely not a light-hearted read, but still one you should check out. I will definitely be reading the other stories the author has written.
  • Dawn of Avalon on July 03, 2011

    Before they were famous, Merlin and Morgan le Fay were young. This is the story of the day they met and saved the kingdom they knew. This was a short little action story with a bit of romance. Based on the description, I expected more emphasis on the relationship between Merlin and Morgan, but was content with the action-based plot. This was a great glimpse in Arthurian tales, and left me wanting to dive into the author's full length novels.
  • Cassie on July 09, 2011

    This is a very short story about a family dealing with grief, loss and guilt over the death of a child. For a 7 page story, there is a lot of emotional impact here. The pain Cassie feels radiates off the page. I felt so bad for her, and wanted to help her find peace. I was impressed at the punch this story delivers. Definitely worth checking out.
  • Dandelions In The Garden on July 11, 2011

    Amara Borbala was the lady-in-waiting companion to Countess Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess. They were together from the time they were young girls until after Elizabeth's trial. This is her account of what really transpired, as dictated in a manuscript intended for Elizabeth's grandson. Reading these books, I realized neither is a stand alone story, or even books in a series. They are two halves of the same story: a single story split into two volumes. I can see why, the first is over 400 pages while the second is 300. It is a long story, but quite a fascinating one. The first volume starts with Amara first joining Elizabeth and covers up to right before Elizabeth's reputation as the Blood Countess begins. The second volume details Elizabeth's exploits and her downfall. The story is more than just Elizabeth's though. Amara takes centre stage and much of the story focuses on her as the narrator. This is especially true in the second volume when Amara begins to distance herself from Elizabeth. I found both volumes fascinating. The second volume is much darker, as can be expected. The first was much lighter as the girls were much brighter, happier and more adventuresome in their youth. Something I found interesting was the feeling of age in the narration. It was easy to distinguish which sections were written as Amara as an old lady. The feeling of these sections was much older than the narration of her youth. As the narration progressed, the tone definitely matured and aged. I thought this was very well done. Overall, I was impressed with the story. I would recommend it to fans of historical fiction. With the warning that you need to read both volumes back to back to get the full story.
  • The Hidden Will of the Dragon on July 11, 2011

    Amara Borbala was the lady-in-waiting companion to Countess Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess. They were together from the time they were young girls until after Elizabeth's trial. This is her account of what really transpired, as dictated in a manuscript intended for Elizabeth's grandson. Reading these books, I realized neither is a stand alone story, or even books in a series. They are two halves of the same story: a single story split into two volumes. I can see why, the first is over 400 pages while the second is 300. It is a long story, but quite a fascinating one. The first volume starts with Amara first joining Elizabeth and covers up to right before Elizabeth's reputation as the Blood Countess begins. The second volume details Elizabeth's exploits and her downfall. The story is more than just Elizabeth's though. Amara takes centre stage and much of the story focuses on her as the narrator. This is especially true in the second volume when Amara begins to distance herself from Elizabeth. I found both volumes fascinating. The second volume is much darker, as can be expected. The first was much lighter as the girls were much brighter, happier and more adventuresome in their youth. Something I found interesting was the feeling of age in the narration. It was easy to distinguish which sections were written as Amara as an old lady. The feeling of these sections was much older than the narration of her youth. As the narration progressed, the tone definitely matured and aged. I thought this was very well done. Overall, I was impressed with the story. I would recommend it to fans of historical fiction. With the warning that you need to read both volumes back to back to get the full story.
  • The Witch Queen's Secret on July 25, 2011

    Dera is a former army harlot who takes refuge with Queen Isolde at Dinas Emrys. When they uncover a dangerous plot, Dera risks everything to help save the queen and her fortress. I didn't realize that this is set between the first and second books in the Twilight of Avalon series. It is meant to be a stand alone novella about Dera, one of the secondary characters from the series. I found myself a bit lost in the beginning, trying to understand the situation, but this quickly took the backseat to the story. This is a fast-paced action story about Dera's adventure. It is a bit simplistic, but entertaining. It makes me want to read the whole series, which is a great accomplishment for an accompanying story.
  • Between The Land And The Sea on Sep. 15, 2011

    Marina has always lived a life on the road with her scientist father. When he decides she should spend her last year of high school with her aunt in "regular school", Marina is not happy. But shortly after she arrives in the pretty beach town strange things start happening. Marina almost drowns twice, and comes face-to-face with a mermaid. Maybe this year won't be so boring after all. This is a very sweet story. There is surprisingly a lot of action, mixed in with very unique characters. Marina's cousin Cruz is definitely quirky and lovable. He is a fashion designer in training, and is delightful to meet. His exuberance and energy leap off the page and left me smiling everytime he entered the scene. I found Marina's closed nature and difficulty in opening up to and accepting help from her family and friends very frustrating. It made sense based on her lifestyle and experiences growing up with her father, but it was still very frustrating. I was confused about the family structures present. There were no two parent families, only single parent families, with the missing parent either dead or run off. Everyone was in this situation, and it just seemed a little extreme. I was also concerned with the cluelessness and absense of the existing parents. Marina's father was easy to accept since he was on the other side of the world, but the rest of them? You would think that all those single parents would be a little more tuned into the happenings in their children's lives. Overall, this was sweet and unique story. The mermaids were not quite what I expected, in a good way, and the storyline itself was different and fresh. This is a story that will appeal to a variety of ages.
  • The Moon And The Tide on Sep. 16, 2011

    Marina's slowly coming to terms with her family's secrets when another huge secret is revealed. Feeling betrayed from multiple angles, Marina seeks comfort in surfing with Lorelei. This brings its own dangers, and when an enemy finds them, Marina must try to save herself and her mermaid family. Following the first book, I was slightly disappointed in this one. The storyline was great, with lots of action, but it was definitely aimed at a teenaged girl audience, and not just YA lovers in general. I found the teenage drama to be overwhelming and annoying. Marina and Ethan swung from overly sweet continuous makeout sessions to full out ignoring each other break-ups. The teenaged drama of "I love you" turning to "I hate you" over the slightest small misunderstanding was annoying and frustrating. Very realistic, but not very satisfying to read. While the drama was never ending, I did find that portayal of a teen caught between being an adult and a child was very realistic and well done. Marina had some profound insights into the people around her, which helped to offset the selfishness and self-centeredness her actions often portrayed. Overall, this was a good follow-up book, however it was a little heavy on teenaged drama for me. I've never been one for drama, and I have a hard time enjoying it while reading. The story itself is good, still very original and fresh. I'd recommend this book to readers who enjoy angst in their stories.
  • Eternal Knight on Sep. 21, 2011

    Hadde is a very unique and intriguing woman. She isn't afraid to be herself, even if she is different from those around her. She is proud of who she is, with good reason. Hadde is an awesome heroine you can easily root for. I was a bit disappointed that she seemed to become a little less unique after being in Salador for a while, but I guess it is to be expected. Put a person in a stranger land and they will eventually begin to assimilate. Morin was also a great character. I'm not sure if he was a good guy or bad guy though. He made me both smile in happiness and growl in frustration. Either way, he was a great complement to Hadde. The world building in the story was extraordinary. Everything was very well thought out and complete down to the tiniest detail. But all without hitting you over the head or taking away from the story. It is very easy to tell that Matt put a lot of work into not just writing, but also editting. Overall, this was an amazing epic fantasy story. One of the best I've read in a long while, possibly ever. If you can't tell, I loved this book. Everyone should definitely check it out.
  • Half-Inch on Sep. 22, 2011

    This is powerfully emotional short story. Anyone who's been in an abusive relationship is sure to recognize Pammy's feelings and self-doubts. It is understandable that she would fantasize about escaping any way she can. This would make a great book for discussion. I can easily think of several questions that could lead to intense discussions and debates, such as: Such Pammy be punished for her actions, or has she already been punished enough? How much pre-planning does it take for a murder to be considered to be done in cold blood? Is there such a thing as a perfect crime? I think this is a very intense story. Well packed into a very short space (50 pages). Not a single word is wasted or missing. I was very surprised at what a punch the story packed. One thing I would love to see changed is the cover. It doesn't match at all. The cover made me think it was a horror story, possibly with lots of gore. This is totally not the case. What would be better? I'm not sure. I also don't really get the significance of the title, but it's the cover that kills me. This is definitely a story to check out. Just be prepared to have a strong reaction to it. You will either root for Pammy whole-heartedly or hate her for what she did. I'm fully in Pammy's boat on this one.
  • Doodling on Sep. 23, 2011

    This is a fun short story.I was a little concerned that it would be too fanciful, but it was actually quite delightful. The characters are definitely a quirky collection. Each of them was unique in their own humorous way. I found that there were some very important themes in the story: finding your purpose in life, and making time to slow down to enjoy the moment. The whole idea that Neville let go of the world because it was just moving too fast sounds like something most people can relate to at one time or another. I loved the way he took the time to have a few moments to himself before deciding to do something he considered to be important. It is definitely a lesson to be remembered.
  • Misconception on Nov. 02, 2011

    When Christy sent me the book's blurb and cover back in July, I jumped at the chance to read and review it. I've only just got to it now, but I have thought about dropping everything, skipping my carefully prepared lists and reading it right away. I did just that last week and I'm so glad I did. I love this story. When I made notes about what I wanted to say in my review, I started with just three words: wow, powerful, emotional. Now I will try to expand on them because that doesn't really say much. I really felt for Pace, much more so than Jason. Yes, it was easy to feel sorry for a guy who is committed to his family and relationship, and who knows he couldn't have fathered another child with his wife, but his behaviour was not something I can condone. Pace on the other hand really tore at my heartstrings. How do you prove that you didn't cheat on your husband? How do you cope with the fact that he thinks you did? How do you both move on and rebuild your relationship. These are the questions the book deals with. There was a scene where Pace and Jason are talking to their kids and trying to explain why things are so tense between them. Their youngest son tells Pace to simply apologize to Daddy because she obviously did something to make him mad. It made me want to cry. It was so heartbreaking. My review is making this book sound sad. But while there are some sad scenes, the overall feel of the book is not negative. The ending leaves you feeling happy and wishful for a good future. And yes, the pregnancy question is answered. I was so happy to actually get an answer. It seems to be rare to have all loose ends tied up, but this one was very satisfying. Overall, I would highly recommend this book. It is a quick read, yet very powerful. It definitely met all the expectations that were building in my head every time I glanced at my TBR list.
  • Dreams Unleashed, Book 1 of The Prophecies Dystopian Trilogy on Nov. 03, 2011

    This is a slightly cheating review, because everything I said in my first review still stands. The technology is scary and very plausible. There is a definite stance regarding the environment and politics in the book. This stance forms the backbone of the story, and heightens the dystopian-style changes that have happened to the world. The huge cliff hanger ending still bothers me, but luckily I could start the second book right away, which greatly lessened the impact of it. Overall, the story is almost exactly the same, just a bit smoother. The story is definitely a good one to pick up, but you will likely want to have the second one ready for when you finish.
  • Guardian of Time, Book 2 of The Prophecies Dystopian Trilogy on Nov. 03, 2011

    I thoroughly enjoyed aspects of this book, and didn't really enjoy other parts. The best parts were the settings, and the relationships and dialogue between characters. I didn't really like developments that Ann's talents took. The settings were vivid, exotic and magical. Every setting was described so it felt like I was there experiencing it in person. The locations jumped off the page and made the book easy to fall into. The relationships and dialogue that Ann had with the other characters were every realistic and entertaining. Ann and Bennett's friendship bloomed late, and every interaction was entertaining and fun. Ann and Chow had a very easy friendship. I was a bit thrown by Ann's constant play punching, but the actual dialogue was both serious, fun and enjoyable. My main concern with the story was the development of and extent of Ann's talents. It just didn't ring true believable with me. I think my main issue had to do with the completely realistic and current setting, contrasting with Ann's talents. I just couldn't buy into them. Overall, the story was still enjoyable. Quite a few of my questions from the first book were answered in this one. But again with the uber cliffhanger ending?! Why must you do this to me?
  • The Tribe on Nov. 08, 2011

    This is a very cute heartwarming story that would be perfect for cat lovers. I am not a cat lover, but I still found the story enjoyable. Told in alternating viewpoints from the cats and the two-legs, it was an interesting look at what humans are like from a cat perspective. I was pleasantly surprised at how natural the cat's stories were, and how distinct each cat's personality was. I definitely favoured Daca, but maybe only because she knew how to live it up. This is a clean read that is perfect for young teens.
  • Ex Cineribus Resurge on Nov. 16, 2011

    I don't read many steam punk stories. It's not a genre that really appeals to me, but I did enjoy the small glimpse into a steam punk world that this story offered. The story centers mostly on the characters, with the world only seen in the background. I did find the plot to be a little too easy. There seem to be no obstacles or conflict to slow down the characters. They wanted something, so they ran out and did it. With everyone and everything around them acquiescing to their desires. As a prequel to a novel, this short story serves the purpose to introduce the world and some characters.
  • Every Last Kiss on Dec. 20, 2011

    Before I talk about the actual story, can we take a moment for the cover? I love it. It's majestic and mysteriousm and oh so captivating. It reflects the story quite well. Now the story. I loved the intimate look at Cleopatra as a woman on love with her husband Marc Antony, and not just as a ruthless leader of Egypt. As a general rule, I love Egypt stories, and this did not disappoint. It was such an informal look into the world at that time. I found Macy/Chamain to be an interesting character. Her third person references to her life as Macy was an unusual technique. It helped to keep details separate and yet still engaging. This unique habit was actually remarked upon by one of the other characters, which I found quite amusing. This is a clean read, but there are lots of sexual references. I found Charmain's habit of constantly mentioning how sext Hasani is to be quite tiresome. Did she really need to mention that he was irrestible every time she saw or thought of him? Overall, this is a complete story that will appeal to readers based on many different elements: Egypt based, paranormal and YA all in one.
  • A Soul Less Broken on Jan. 05, 2012

    This to me felt like three separate and only vaguely connected stories: Cat's ordeal, the love story, and Maddie's illness. I enjoyed the majority of each story, but they didn't feel like one cohesive book. I am not typically a fan of soulmate stories, and this one had my usual complaint: the nonbeliever flips to a complete soulmate believer with very little detail. One look and that's it. No struggling against or difficulties excepting the idea at all. I also felt that there was more telling than showing. Particularily when it came to developing relationships. We get no insight into the development of Cat and Maddie's friendship. One minute they are therapist and patient, and the next they are best friends. Where was the transition? And how does such a professional relationship become such a personal one? Even with those complaints, this was still an emotional story that was enjoyable. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and the writing flows. With a little bit more development, this would be an amazing story that could easily transition to a romantic tearjerker movie.
  • The Fate Of The Muse on Jan. 12, 2012

    This series is like crack. I don't particularly like Marina, I find her more and more annoying as the series progresses, yet I keep wanting to read. The mermaids are such a draw: carefree and wild, without a thought of anything but the present moment. This book was less about the mermaids than the others, and more about the consequences of Marina's action from book #2. It still manages to be a complete story that was easy to pick up and catch up to, even though I read the second one a few months and several books ago. Marina herself is annoying. She's selfish and insecure. She rarely seems to consider the consequences of her actions, and seems to have no idea hwo other people think and react. Her constant doubts about Ethan's feelings and motives are ridiculous. I want to shake her so bad when she gets going on her pity-party tirades. And yet I can't stop myself from reading the series. When's the next one out? Some time this year? Can't wait to see what the next adventure holds.
  • 17 Stories About the End of the World on Jan. 23, 2012

    This is a quick little collection of flash fiction about the world ending. I found some of the stories a little lacking in detail and hard to connect to. I enjoyed the story On That Last Afternoon the most, which, ironically, is the only story where the world does not actually end. This story had a realism and humour that made it stand out from the others.
  • Birthright: The Evolution Chronicles Book 1 on Feb. 03, 2012
    (no rating)
    I was very disappointed, but I couldn't finish the book. I only got a third of the way through it. The night I found myself trying to remember what book I was reading and couldn't come up with the title, author or plotline I decided that there was no way I was going to finish it. I did eventually figure it out, without picking up my ereader, but only because I tried to remember what covers were showing as currently reading on Goodreads. I remembered it was dark, which lead me to the title, author and plot. Unfortunately, the story itself didn't draw me in. I couldn't get into the characters. What was happening to Raine was interesting, but Raine himself was rather boring. I kept thinking Sierra's name was Elizabeth, and Vince was just inept.
  • Unlovable on Feb. 23, 2012

    I'll cut to the chase: I loved this book. It reminded me of a Nora Roberts trilogy, except sweet and clean instead of steamy and borderline erotic. It is the first in a trilogy with each book focusing one person from a tight group of awesome friends. In this case, it's a group of sweet and hot guys. Maggie's life is heartbreaking. Her mother is an alcoholic who is just plain mean, and Maggie is slowly starving to death while trying to keep everything together and hidden. It's hard to read, especially since Maggie is such a good person. One of my favourite parts comes closer to the end of the book: the wordplay between Maggie and Booker. It is so funny and light-hearted. It's such a great contrast to everything else that happens. I love the zingers they send each other. Overall, this is a great book and a great start to a series. I can't wait to read the other two books. I would definitely recommend this book to readers of all kinds of genres: YA, romance, drama, and contemporary. There is something here for everyone.
  • The Turning Tides on April 19, 2012

    The series finally comes to an end. I am glad I didn't have to wait years between the books because I really wanted to get through the series and see how it ended. This book was a satisfying end to the series, although the first quarter of the book felt more like a recap of the series so far, rather than the start of another adventure. My feelings toward Marina did not improve in this book, I still don't like her. She really came across as selfish and judgmental this time around. At one point she mentions that she tends to pull into herself and shut people out, and I would definitely agree. To the point that it is hard to sympathize for what she goes through. This book was mostly about Marina and Ethan, and I found myself really missing the rest of the group. Cruz especially. I loved his snarky and sarcastic comments, and missed having that light-hearted element in the story.
  • Coexist: Keegan's Chronicles on July 12, 2012

    This was a light, somewhat fluffy, fast read. A fairly short book, there were scenes that could use more details. And some scenes that could use less, like the constant overly detailed descriptions of everyone's clothes. I want to hear more about what is happening, not what people are wearing, unless it directly pertains to the plot. As a character, Keegan was annoying. She was an immature young girl whose life revolved around clothes and boys. A typical poor little rich girl, who is very oblivious to everything around her. Rourk had a creepy vibe going on. His constant surveillance of Keegan toed the line between destined soulmate protector and dangerous stalker. His interactions with Thaddeus helped make him more real and less one-dimensional, but I'm not sure I'd want him watching over me as closely as he did Keegan. The ending was a surprise. Not a real cliffhanger, but there was enough loose ends and threads that I can see many readers rushing to read the second book right away.
  • 2066 on July 12, 2012

    This was a short, slightly rushed story with a lot of potential. It read more like a half-fleshed out outline than a finished book. If everything were slowed down and completed the story would be quite interesting. I loved the world history, but it was simply info-dumped in the beginning. Not a great way to learn everything. I admit to being completely lost with Caitlyn. She seemed to suffer extreme mood flips and mind changes. I couldn't keep up with her, or understand her. And the insta-love? Don't get me started. Overall, a very interesting world set-up and great potential for a story, but not completed yet.
  • Claire-obscure on Sep. 05, 2012

    This was a dark, depressing read. The story is quite heavy with a desperate feel to it. Even with this though, the ending had a glimmer of hope and the idea of overcoming darkness. The characters were the biggest part of the story. Claire was frustrating, and at points I started to hate her. Finn was scary and dangerous, and was easy to hate. Raoul was the light of the story with his gentle understanding nature. He had his own dark side, he seemed much more controlled and “normal”. While I didn’t like most of the characters, the writing quality was great. The fact that I had such a strong reaction to the characters said a lot. They felt real, and so I had a real reaction to them.
  • We Don’t Plummet Out of the Sky Anymore on Jan. 04, 2013

    This was a fun and quirky short story about a man who wants to replace his reliable beater car with a new fancy model. It gently pokes fun at ads where everything good is followed by a disclaimer. There is a great moral about looking beyond the superficial to the truth hidden beneath. Not everything is as it seems, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. I greatly enjoyed this story. It was entertaining and amusing.
  • Ice Tomb, Second Edition on Feb. 19, 2013

    This book had a little bit of everything from volcanos, a trip to the moon, a trip to Antarctica, Atlantean myth, romance and disappearing scientists. It seems like a wide variety, but it does tie together to form a cohesive story. Not exactly plausible, particularly the later part of the book, but it is certainly entertaining. There were scientific explanations provided for everything that happened along the way. While this makes sense since the story has all scientist characters, it was a bit much at times. The full details did not need to be laid out every time; it just didn’t enhance the story. The romance of the story was exciting, and a welcome break from all the science. The tension between Erica and Allen was great. They seemed to toe the fine line between attraction and hatred very well. David, Erica’s ex-boyfriend, who plays an active role in the book, was not one of my favourite characters. He was a stuck-up jerk who lied and cheated his way through life. It was impossible for me to like him, no matter how much he “seemed” to want to change. It just didn’t feel genuine given his past behaviour. Overall, this was a exciting, conspiracy based story that sometimes delved a little beyond plausible. It contained some interesting mythology and theories, and it was fun to see everyone reacted to the intense action.
  • Arctic Fire on March 04, 2013

    This is a fun adventurous story that is full of conspiracy theories and action. There is a very interesting theory on the fate of the Titanic that sounds outlandish, and yet plausible. That seems to be the key theme: outlandish yet plausible, and it all twists together to create a very interesting story. The book started out a little jerky as we are introduced to each character, but once they all converge on the boat the story smooths out. It proceeds easily until BAM! everything goes crazy near the end of the story. After that I felt a bit lost because the plausibility factor slipped a little, but it was certainly exciting. The twist is something that begs to be discussed, not reviewed, because it’s a doozy. Overall, this is an exciting book that contained a lot of science that was smoothly explained and stood just on the right side of plausible. It had a crazy twist that I could have done without, but it was still quite exciting. The story ended well with most loose threads wrapped up neatly, yet not too obviously. I’d recommend this to readers who enjoy cutting-edge stories featuring science and crazy twists.
  • Shadow of the Sun on April 03, 2013

    This was a book that I was drawn to as soon as I saw the cover. It is gorgeous with a sci-fi feel. and fits the mysterious and adventurous summary. Needless to say, when I picked it up, I had high expectations. Unfortunately, I was left feeling very unsatisfied and let down. The plot felt like it moved quite slowly, and there was a lot of repetition. Over and over Gabriella talked about her grief and her feelings for Andrew. It was the same feelings and thoughts every time, and it just felt like too much. I didn’t connect with Gabriella at all. In the beginning she was a skeptical scientist whose job was to prove or disprove supernatural occurrences. With this in mind, she seemed to accept everything that happened way too easily. Once things started, she never once stopped to question anything. She fully believed and accepted everything as it happened. It didn’t feel like the same character that was introduced in the first chapter. I also took exception to her instant connection with everyone: Joseph, the angels and her mother. Everyone she met seemed to form an instant and intense connection with her. It felt awkward and fake since she laments about having no friends in the first few chapters. It doesn’t feel reasonable that a self-proclaimed loner hermit would form such close and intense relationships to several people within such a short time frame. Overall, I didn’t connect to this book at all. I had problems with the main character, and the constant repetition of her thoughts and feelings. I loved the concept of the book and the cover, but the actual content didn’t meet my expectations. I am especially saddened as it seems that everyone else I know who read this book loved it. I just wish I had too.
  • The Whispers of the Sprite (The Whispers Series #1) on April 24, 2013
    (no rating)
    This book makes me so sad. Not because the content is sad, but because I couldn’t finish reading it. I absolutely love the cover and the summary sounds exciting. Unfortunately, the story itself doesn’t live up to either. I made it most of the way through the book, but gave up when I realized there really wasn’t any plot developing. The start of the book was exciting. Ania’s overbearing mother is a mess with her leaving for school, and on the very first day away Ania is attacked. But that’s about it. There isn’t really much else that happens. Other than a lot of sex. And not clean, YA-style sex. Be warned there is an erotic-style sex scene. It seemed that the whole story revolved around Ania either crying and pining over a boy, or she’s freaking out at a boy, or she’s sleeping with a boy. Not my cup of tea, and so I quit. I’m still going to sigh and pet the cover though, because I still utterly adore it.
  • The Emperor's Edge (a high fantasy mystery in an era of steam) on May 15, 2013

    This was a fun, quirky steampunk read featuring a strong heroine. Amaranthe starts out as a good-guy all the way, and through some bad luck ends up on the wrong side of the law. She still has the best of intentions with a noble and good goal, however she is learning that sometimes rules need to be bent. As the leader of a motley group of guys, she is the heart of the story. Amaranthe has the ability to talk her way into and out of any situation, and can get almost anyone to do anything. For example, she somehow managed to talk the world’s best assassin into not just letting her live, but also into joining her crew and helping her out. The dialogue in this book is great. It feels real with the various characters bickering and provoking each other. Amaranthe’s smooth-talking is amusing and believable. She could totally talk me into anything. Overall, I was surprised at how quickly this story drew me in. It has steampunk and fantasy elements, but it’s more of an adventure story than anything else. The characters are a crazy crew, and I want to see what adventures, and misadventures, they get up to next.
  • Vampire in Denial on July 04, 2013

    Let me start off by screaming: AAAHHHH! Cliffhanger! Now that I have that done, on with the review. I really liked the story, although the cliffhanger ending is killer. Extreme action suspense. So just be warned, you will want the second book right away. This story has a unique twist on vampires. Tessa is only half-vampire, with a lot of her human genes being very apparent, making her stand out from her vampire family. Due to this, she really feels like an outsider with everyone. She’s very unsure of herself and her self-confidence is not great since she can never fully be herself with either humans or vampires. I liked that as the story progressed, Tessa grew into herself. It was a very positive thing to see, and let me tell you, she may not be a full vampire, but she has some wicked awesome abilities. The story also has a subtle love triangle in development. It’s very subtle, taking the backseat to the action. It’s clean and sweet, and a nice addition to the story. I’m just saying that because I adore Cody, and want to see a lot more of him in the next book. Overall, this was a quick read. It featured a unique twist on vampires, and while there isn’t a lot of background to explain how things got to where they are now, it wasn’t really needed. The story is focused on the present day and current events, and is very enjoyable. Except the cliffhanger, which made me upset because I need to know what happened.
  • Daughter of the Sea on Aug. 14, 2013

    This story was a disappointment. The mythology was great, with a unique twist on Atlantis, but the execution did not match the potential of the story. Everything seemed to happen too fast and the ending didn’t really have a good conclusion. There were numerous gaps of time where it wasn’t even mention how much time had passed. But for everything to have happened, the time lapsed over the course of the book seemed much too long. Calista was a frustrating character. She was a mix of brave and whiny, headstrong and brat. She was forever changing her mind and causing trouble. She wasn’t at all likable, which made it even harder to enjoy the story. Overall, I was not impressed with either the characters, the plot or the execution. I did like the twist on Atlantis, but it wasn’t enough to redeem the book.
  • Nimbus: A Steampunk Novel (Part One) on Sep. 25, 2013

    This was an exciting start to a serial story. There is no sitting around or unnecessary descriptions here, the action starts quick and continues straight through the whole book. Since it is a serial, it has a non-ending, instead, simply stopping in a cliffhanger fashion. The story starts with two different threads, having only the world in common. I’m sure the plots will come together later in the story, but for now, they are quite distinct. It is easy to tell them apart, and easy to follow each of them. The world building was quite intricate, however not a lot of details are shared in this first part. The general layout is revealed, however much of the history and details are absent. It’s good that there was no info dumping of information, however a little more history would be beneficial since the world is so different. Overall, this is a good start to a story, but since it’s a serial, it’s not a complete story at all. I like the action focus, and the feeling that the world is quite intricate, but a bit more detail would help flesh it out a bit. The story was originally described to me as “steampunk for people who don’t know they like steampunk” and it seems accurate as I enjoyed the story, and I normally don’t read much steampunk.
  • y1 on Dec. 02, 2013

    This was an intriguing book that happened to teach me a little bit of knowledge on a lot of varied subjects, all while focusing on an exciting plot and enthralling characters. I’d never have believed that a book could take a murder mystery, a missing person mystery, paranormal abilities, fire dancing, pharmaceuticals, South Pacific geography and history, and meritocracy teachings and turn it into one cohesive story. Yet this book managed it. I loved how all the various elements played into each other in a smooth and believable manner, yet there was very little info dumping. Instead, the learnings where pieced out in appropriately small bits during the applicable parts in the story. This was truly a globe-spanning tale. The characters were quite an intriguing mix. Zane was an incredibly talented and morale-guided young man. Toby was a mysterious yet helpful father-figure. Afi was sweet, and I wanted every happiness for him. Joy was incredibly strong, and so supportive. All the secondary characters, and even the bad guys, were also well developed and a delight to encounter. Overall, this was a story that took me completely by surprise because while I expected to like it, I ended up loving it. There is so much in the story, yet it never gets confusing or overwhelming. I picked up this story during a free download special, and I definitely regret not picking up the other books in the series at the same time. Speaking of which, this may be the second book in the series, but it is a completely stand alone story, which is always great to find.
  • The Writer on April 16, 2014
    (no rating)
    While I enjoyed the premise of the story, this was one instance where the writing left me DNFing the book. I found the plot pacing was too uneven. Nothing happened for long stretches, and then too much happened all at once. It was hard to follow and stay engaged. I found the wording to be very repetitive, with the same details being retold over and over. Combining that with the constant verb tense changes that had me rereading passages to understand what was happening left me exhausted and unable to enjoy the story. I can usually overlook or read past some minor language or grammar issues, but there were just too many in this story, and I ended up DNFing just as the action started to pick up because it was too much work to read. It seems slightly ironic that I gave up on The Writer because of the writing, but that’s what happened.
  • Open Minds (Mindjack Trilogy #1) on April 18, 2014

    This was an exciting story that started as a high school paranormal drama, and morphed to a high-powered thriller. The action comes fast and furious, and caused me to stay up late just so I could finish the last 50 pages. I couldn’t put it down without getting to the end. I loved Kira. She was a likable heroine whose internal dialogue was easy to relate to. Her soft heart and strong moral compass are great attributes that helped make her character easy to support. Kira’s ability, or disability, had very realistic reactions within her high school. This was especially noticeable by how her teachers reacted to the situation. Some teachers handled things well and tried to make the situation easier for Kira, while others were pretty clueless and just didn’t know what to do. This realistic portrayal of the way people react to situations was great to see as it brought more realism to a paranormal story. I like my paranormal to be believable, and small details like this go a long way to creating that believability. I did find that the vocabulary and slang used in the story took a bit of getting used to. It was actaully worked into the story quite naturally, and once I got the hang of it, it was fine, but the first few times were a bit offputting. Overall, this was an exciting and fun story. I loved that there was an unpredictable air to the story; just look at the surprise twists involving Simon, very unexpected. The story stood well on it’s own, but with lots more ground to cover, this is a great start to the series.
  • The Iron Locket (The Risen King, Book 1) on Dec. 26, 2014

    This story wove an intriguing mixture of King Arthur legends with faery tales. Many of the faery characters were recognizable from classic stories, such as the four Faery Queens. The way the faeries and King Arthur’s knights were connected was unique and believable. In addition to mixing King Arthur and faeries, there was also some modern humans in the form of faery hunters. The set up for them was also believable. I quite liked the histories and background woven into the story as everything was cohesive and logical. The characters themselves were well formed. The personalities were realistic, and there was plenty of variance between the different people. There were a lot of characters in the story, and yet I never mixed them up, they were each distinct. Overall, I liked the story, and found it very intriguing. The action moved quickly, and I was quite impressed at the boldness of the story. I won’t give any spoilers, but I will say I’m afraid to become too attached to any of the characters as more than one perished in this first story. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.