Aliaa El-Nashar

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Smashwords book reviews by Aliaa El-Nashar

  • Caged (Talented Saga #2) on July 20, 2012

    The second I finished reading ‘Talented’ I was so excited to know what happened next that I rushed off to the author and asked for a copy of ‘Caged’ – much like with ‘Silver Knight’. The thing with ‘Talented’ was, I got a copy by joining the ARR program on Goodreads, but since this one wasn’t a part of it, I wasn’t sure about the author’s reaction. However, Sophie was so sweet and agreed to send me a copy of ‘Caged’ which I then proceeded to read right away. The new world Sophie had created in the first book ‘Talented’ had been brilliant and well formed. The identities and different talents – as I had said before – were very creative and well thought out. This book just carries on in the same level of greatness I’d found in Talented. Sadly, there wasn’t much on combat as before, but it still existed, which for some unknown reason was my favourite part of book one. This book starts off with Natalia recovering from her botched up mission from book one. She’s been cut of everyone else to recuperate as she wallows trying to understand what’s going on around her, and how badly her mission had ended up. She also has to deal with her ex-boyfriend Donovan – who turns out to have saved her life – and spend a lot of time in his company as Mac gives her the new mission. If this wasn’t bad enough, she also has to deal with the hostility of many trainers in school where she was relocated, and a lot of seizures every now and then. The good side in all of this was her being able to spend more time in the company of her new best friend Penny, though guy-wise, she’s as confused as ever. Donovan had cheated on her, but he also saved her life and donated some of his blood when he thought she’d die, not to mention he’d stayed by her side for long periods after she’d suffered from a seizure. With Erik, he hadn’t contacted her in months on end, and they’d ended things badly between them as he didn’t even see her off and sent her a letter via Henri before she’d gone to her mission. Yet, the sight of him, and just one touch and she’s basically melting. As she is in conflict between the comfort of her childhood friend with whom she can be herself, and the guy she cares deeply about that makes her heart race, she discovers a lot more about the people surrounding her. And not all of it necessarily good. Deep in her mind, whenever she thinks of what had happened in her mission, she thinks of Ian Crane’s words. She hates him for killing her parents, she knows she seeks revenge, and yet, his words keep playing through her head: You have no idea what your Agency does to innocent people. Deep down, she’s starting to doubt what he agency stands for, not believing Mac would be capable of that or what had happened to Erik, and yet, what if it was all true? I really really loved reading this book, and cannot wait to read hunted! Definitely would recommend it. Rating: 5/5
  • Delusions (Book Two In The Affinity Series) on Sep. 08, 2012
    (no rating)
    I just recently reviewed the first book in this series Fated Dreams, as I mentioned before it had been a part of the ARR program on Goodreads. I'd really liked the story, and once I heard there was a book two for Logan, I rushed up to the author wondering about it. Christina was nice enough to send me a copy of the book as it was just my luck she'd been giving away 5 free copies of the book! Within the next few hours of receiving it, I'd had the book read. No seriously, even ask her, she was surprised too. Now, since that day I've reread the book a second time just for good measure. That and I really liked the character of Logan, much more than that of Lucas, not sure why. That and, did you guys see this amazing cover? I honestly fell in love with it, just as much as I'd done with book one! Now onto the review! *Potential Spoilers if you haven't read book one* In Fated Dreams, every bad thing Logan had ever done - at school or otherwise - was promptly reported to his mother. Logan didn't have a clue how that happened and was very upset. The only three people who knew who it was reporting that were Logan's mother, his twin brother Lucas and his brother's girlfriend Sarah. It happened to be Lisa, an employee at his family's restaurant. You see, Lisa had actually met Logan at a party a couple of years back, he told her he'd dreamed about her, and she'd almost fallen in love with him. They made out, but as she goes to answer her phone and comes back, she discovers him kissing someone else and from thereon onwards she's been out for revenge. With him graduating she thought her methods might not be as effective anymore, so she decides to crank it up a notch. Everyone in school knows Logan is a jerk. It wasn't until he had a heartfelt conversation with his brother's girlfriend, Sarah, that he decides to turn himself into a decent guy. And after being grounded and forced to do chores at the restaurant, he realizes how important it was for him to be a good guy as he sees Lisa. Ever since he was a kid, Logan's been dreaming about this girl, so seeing her working at his parent's restaurant surprises him, but also has him determined to show her how he's such a nice guy. For Lisa, that caused a problem because she really didn't want to like him, and for Logan, he had no idea why she seemed to dislike him so much. They both embark on a journey and discover more about one another and their friends. They are also a bit thrown back by the strange messages Lisa's been receiving which seemed to threaten their relationship. That and Lisa's friends who don't seem to want her to let her grudge go. But even if she didn't could she face Logan with what she's done? Did he even deserve it anymore? This was such a fun read! I honestly enjoyed it. That and, the style was very simple and the pace was quick. I finished it in a few hours and was very excited about it that I picked it up again in a few more days. I am a hopeless romantic so this book appealed to that side of me! The characters were greatly developed, though I wasn't so fond of Adam's friend who seemed to drop in a lot. I really enjoyed the different aspects of their characters and the easy relationship between them. All in all, a cool summer read! Rating: 4/5
  • The Moon Dwellers on Sep. 16, 2012

    I honestly don't know why I didn't read this book right after I got it. I guess it might have to do with the fact that I've had a lot of book tours and work at the time, but I knew this book was worth me requesting it anyway, and guess what? It totally was. Starting with the basics, the cover, title and synopsis, I'd have to say it's two out of three. I wasn't so fond of the cover - it didn't draw me in like others usually do. But the title and the synopsis made up for it and kept me interested. What turned the minor interest to full-on excitement was the prologue. The second I was done with it, I was emotionally invested and had to go on reading. Adele's family was torn apart when Enforcers came in to capture her parents for treason. She fought them off, and ended up in the 'Pen'. She was sentenced for life, and had nothing to look forward to in the hell she was thrust into, her life losing any whisper of hope, until her eyes lock with Tristan - the son of the president of the Tri-Realms- that's when a little thrill is returned to her. Then, to her surprise she makes friends with Tawni and Cole, her world turns from dull and worthless to hopeful in the span of a day. The three friends try to escape and are surprised to find Tristan right on their trail. Why on earth was a Sun Dweller following them? Maybe because the feelings she had when their eyes locked, he had them too, they were strong enough for him to leave his world behind and risk his life, just to make sure she's alright. They then proceed to embark on a journey to save her sister and father, trying to escape the many dangers on the way. This is such an amazing dystopian novel. Granted, I hadn't expected it to turn out the way it did, but it was even better. The writing was so hooking, so were the details, I could almost feel like I was there, imagining everything Tristan and Adele were going through. The book goes back and forth between the protagonists, giving us insight on both the characters and what's going on through their heads. This book reminded me of so many novels I'd read before - and loved - combined, yet it was also completely different. I don't know how to explain it exactly. It's just one of those books that if you pick it up, you wouldn't be able to put it down until you're done. Which is exactly what happened with me. The background stories added a very real and harsh touch to the reality they were living in, them being lowly Moon Dwellers. I could almost understand what drove them all, and why they hated Tristan. I was so drawn into their pain and loss, it was so emotional and amazing at the same time. David's writing is great, too bad book two isn't out yet. I cannot wait to read it! Hopefully it would be just as amazing as this one. Rating: 4.5/5
  • Sweet Blood of Mine on Sep. 21, 2012

    The cover, synopsis and title. The Title was actually quite good, I think the combination of that and the -awesome- synopsis are what made me choose to read this book. Why not the cover? Well, the original cover of this book didn't look so good for me, this one is so much better, so now it's an improvement and definitely all three ticked off in that section, all good. Justin does not have an easy life. But I guess it comes with the turf, being a nerd and all. But things go from bad to worse once he decides to help Katie - a girl he's been crushing on for a long while - away from the unwanted attention she's been getting from the head football player. He becomes her sort of confidante when her boyfriend cheats on her, and yet she chooses the loser boyfriend over him. Justin goes all mad alienating everyone around him including his best friends, turning his life into a bully-fest. He finds himself sitting with a group of goths and with them he decides to change his image. With them he finds a great friendship, and maybe even someone he'd actually fall for that was worth it, Elyssa. He changes his hair, the way he dresses and works out in the gym. The changes are slow and barely visible, until one day - without a warning - they become more noticeable! Like super strength and good looks. His detention turns from cleaning - with Elyssa - to being forced on the football team. His noticeable change has them winning games, him making new friends, and Katie notices him again, but it also alienates Elyssa big time. He misses her more than he can imagine and hates every minute of being popular and being on the football team, all he wants is her back. The problem is, she'd called him a monster, and he doesn't know what she meant. No one is explaining, and he's stuck not knowing what he is anymore, only that he's completely changes and can seduce anyone. Oh, and that his mom ran away and his dad is being hunted then kidnapped by mythical creatures, making him need help to get him back, from more mythical creatures. His life is obviously not letting up. I think this book is one that I hadn't expected to like so much. I mean sure, the synopsis, cover and title were great, but the whole nerd wanting a popular girl was all played out for me. But the way it turned out in the end was so unpredictable and absolutely awesome! I love the mythical creatures thrown in the midst, but seriously hated the headmaster, coach and most people in the administration in school. I can't believe they'd allow Justin to go through so much crap. I wanted to punch them for him, they were so ridiculous. I did get a chance to get the feel of each character and enjoyed getting to know them. The Goth kids, Justin and Elyssa. I want to know more about what goes on! About where his mother went, and the Slade family - his dad's- what's going to happen? I guess I'll have to look forward to reading book two. As for the writing, it was quite good, and I enjoy it being written in first person since it's more likely for me to get attached to it and read it quickly. Speaking of which, it was a quick read! I finished it in no time and enjoyed every minute of it. Here are some parts that made me laugh: With a team like this, I was more certain than ever we were going to die. And this one: "He's a special case." "Special in the head maybe." "Hey," I said and playfully punched Elyssa in the arm. "That's not nice." Elyssa smiled a sad little smile. "We're all special in the head for going through with this crazy plan." Rating: 4/5