I love to read, and I'm in the process of writing my first book, a memoir. I have my B.A. in Psychology and am thinking about going back to school to become a grief counselor.
Reading is like breathing to me! If I couldn't read or write, I don't know what I'd do with myself! :D
Where to find Jennifer Ricketts online
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Smashwords book reviews by Jennifer Ricketts
on June 26, 2012
I received this book in exchange for a review after signing up for the ARR (authors requesting reviews) program through the We ♥ YA Books group.
From page one, this book was on fire!! Very quickly after I began reading, I felt a strong emotional tie to the main character, Heather. I cared about what was happening to her, empathized with her situation, and wanted a happy ending for her. In the beginning, Heather is leaving to go to college, and the action takes off from there.
Ms. Roberts told this story with natural and flowing dialogue, well fleshed out characters, excellent descriptions, and a captivating plot. I was completely immersed in trying to figure out the mystery and thought the story was written in an interesting and unique way--it alternated between Heather narrating and the author narrating for Heather. The more I read, the more I became drawn into the story.
This book really spoke to me about life, death, and the inbetween. I haven't been this moved by a story in thinking about life and death in quite a while. I will definitely be recommending this book to everyone I know and will be reading this again and again. I love books that explore the human psyche and musings of life and death and between the two.
I won't give away the ending at all but will say that with the way the book ends, Ms. Roberts has set up for the next book perfectly. I wanted more and don't know how I'm going to wait until the fall when the next book, Reaction, comes out!
- Faelorehn - Book One of the Otherworld Trilogy
on July 05, 2012
I received this book for free from an ARR (author requesting review) in the We ♥ YA Books group on Goodreads.
From the very first page when the main character Meghan Elam is introduced, I was immediately pulled into her story, and that doesn't always happen so fast when I begin reading a book! She's an interesting, complex character with a very intriguing backstory that is slowly revealed as the book progresses.
At the age of two, she was found wandering the streets of Los Angeles in an extremely dangerous section of the city. I empathized with her right away, wondering what kind of parents she had who would lose their toddler in such a large city! She is found and later adopted. Her parents have five boys after adopting her, and Meghan never feels like she truly fits in anywhere. She loves her parents and her brothers but feels a bit out of place because she doesn't look like them.
I liked that conventional methods (numerous psychiatrists and medications) were attempted to relieve her nightmares, visions, hallucinations, and voices she hears. This made her situation realistic to me, and for a while, those all went away. Meghan's backstory is unique and different from other books I've read, which made the entire book so interesting and hooked me right away.
I loved Meghan and her friends! They were cool together, loyal to each other, stood up for each other against the bullies of their school, and had a lot of fun together. Meghan is strong, brave, and a loyal friend. She's very likable. The way Meghan and her friends were harassed by the bullies of their school was just appalling! I can totally relate with Meghan and her friends and kept hoping that those vicious characters would get what should be coming to them!
I liked Cade, the character who saves Meghan from several life threatening situations, somewhat. I couldn't help but think there's something shady about him, and he should have told Meghan a lot more than he did. If he had, it would've saved a lot of hardship for Meghan as well as himself. I wished he could tell her more about her parents, but I'm sure more will be revealed in the next book.
Overall, I really loved this book and flew through it. I hated having to put it down, and I can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy! I care about these characters and want to find out what happens next, especially that Meghan knows more about who she is and where she is from. Very exciting!
on July 28, 2012
I received a free copy of this book for a review after signing up for ARR (author requesting review) in the group We Love YA Books on Goodreads.
I'm not an editor nor a writer but after reading this book, I realized it has so much potential if some changes are made. The spelling and grammar mistakes throughout the entire book were difficult to overlook, as well as the issues with the font changes towards the end. I noticed a few inconsistencies with some of the things the main character, Andrea, said. The "DING DONG" and "RING RING" phrases should be taken out and replaced with, for example, the following, "Upon hearing the urgent knocks at my door, I opened it to find Sara standing there."
It was difficult for me as a reader to picture what the characters look like and where the action was taking place due to the descriptions. The description of the house Andrea moves into is weak--I'm not really sure what the house looks like, I just know it has a lot of doors. Each character's eye color, hair color, and skin tones were given, but nothing that really made them stand out from each other. I was also hoping for stronger character development personality wise, and the dialogue between characters didn't come across as natural. Some of the characters would become angry with each other, and then all of a sudden become apologetic. Sometimes they'd become angry over things that shouldn't make them angry but not get angry over things that they should be angry about, depending on the character. I'm excluding Andrea from this because her temper flaring quickly was part of her transformation into a Crusnik. If I was Andrea, though, I would be a lot more upset than she was after finding out important information about her mother and father.
There were a lot of similarities between this story and Twilight. It's mostly between characters and not really the plot itself. Shane and Andrea's relationship seems a lot like Edward and Bella's relationship. The werewolf Jay has feelings for Andrea much like the werewolf Jacob has feelings for Bella. There are mentions made of finding a soul mate in this story that strongly reminded me of the concept of "imprinting" in Twilight. Lastly, the fact that humans in this story can have vampire babies is also present in Twilight. I think Believe is a good story that can stand alone, and if the similarities to Twilight were taken out, the story would not suffer at all and would become even better.
Believe has a lot going for it--I wanted to know what would happen next to these characters. When I had to put the book down to do something else, I looked forward to getting back to the story, which is creative and original in my opinion as well as entertaining. The concept of the Crusnik is really interesting, much more so than if Andrea had been written as just an ordinary girl. I like the powers that she has, and I want to find out more about her family history in the next book. If the suggested changes from above were put into place, then I believe this book would gain a ton of four and five star ratings.
- Fated Dreams (Book One In The Affinity Series)
on Aug. 13, 2012
I signed up to review this book through the group We Love YA Books at Goodreads.
I really loved this story of Sarah and Lucas. At first they're adversaries with Lucas being anti-social and a jerk for no apparent reason to Sarah. Sarah on the other hand has two close friends and is a friendly person. Lucas soon thaws out, and they begin dating immediately.
I did think their relationship happened too quickly--there wasn't a slow build up but rather they instantly fell in love. It must have been due to the dreams they had about each other. I was surprised how much time they began spending together, which was just about every single day. I wondered why their parents weren't worried about them becoming so serious so quickly.
I really loved Sarah's parents. Her dad was nervous when she began seeing Lucas as most dads are when their daughters begin to date, and he reminded me a lot of how my dad reacted when I first began dating in high school. There were so many parts that had me laughing--not all of the book was serious. I liked how generally relaxed her parents were and how much interest they have in their kids' lives, although Sarah's brother wasn't usually around much. I was just really endeared to Sarah's mom and dad.
The fact that Sarah and Lucas were having the same dreams was so eerie and mysterious. I hated having to ever put this book down! I looked forward to when I'd have time to start reading it again--the mystery growing around Sarah and Lucas kept me turning the pages. Immersing myself into the story was so easy and so interesting. I read every time I had a chance.
Whenever I thought I knew what was going to happen next, the story would take off in a new direction, leaving me guessing right up until the very end. This book is more than just a simple mystery--the story will appeal to readers of many different genres. I definitely enjoyed this book and will recommend it to others!
- The Second Wave: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale
on Aug. 14, 2012
I received this eBook for free from the author on Review Seekers on Facebook in exchange for an unbiased review.
I've seen and own so many zombie movies it's crazy. I never in a million years would have thought that I'd read a tale about zombies that was so fresh and different from any movie I've ever seen. This story blew me away! I can't rave about how much I loved reading every word. The author's spin on the zombie genre had me surprised at every turn and was told so vividly, I was freaked out! I live in Ohio, you know, and very close to where the story takes place. You will be shocked by the ending--I know I was! This is an absolute must-read for every zombie fan!
on Aug. 28, 2012
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through the We Love YA Books on Goodreads.
I really enjoyed this story about a young man who ends up in a world he helped create, where if he grows up and stops believing in it, it will be destroyed. I love the idea behind this book; I just wish there had been more time to get to know the characters better and for the world building to have been more detailed. The beginning was confusing for me, but soon afterward I began to understand what was happening.
The characters are definitely likable and smart--I just wanted to know more about them. Some of the dialogue didn't come across as natural and was weak, but overall it wasn't a huge distraction from the story itself. The plot is well planned out, and the character's actions and reactions made sense to me. Even if I disagreed with how a character felt or reacted to an event, I could understand where he or she was coming from. There are serious times as well as humorous ones with a nice balance between the two.
While reading, I felt there were some elements of "Peter Pan," "The Neverending Story," and "The Lord of the Rings" that pleasantly reminded me of my own childhood and how my own imagination has changed as I've grown up. If you like any of the above mentioned books, you will definitely love this book as well.
- In the Middle of Nowhere (Willow's Journey #1)
on Dec. 05, 2012
I signed up to review this book through the ARR program at Goodreads. I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I really empathized with Willow, the main character, and the awkward relationship she had with her mother. Losing a parent is a terrible experience, which I have gone through myself, and I know that's why I related to Willow a lot. On top of dealing with the loss of her father, she ends up having to move away to a new house and a new school with new people surrounding her. It's tough enough to be the new kid at school, but with grief compounding that already difficult situation, well, I think she handled herself very maturely, more maturely than I would have.
Willow doesn't seem to be able to catch a break, either, because not long after the move, her mother ends up dating a coworker when she begins working at the school Willow's brother attends. Willow is understandably resentful and feels like her mother is replacing her father, which is definitely how many kids who have really gone through this would feel. Willow's brother was so busy playing video games, which I believe was his way of coping with the loss of his father, that he seemed to be more accepting of the new man in their mother's life than Willow was.
Willow meets Michael at school, and even if I hadn't known from the synopsis that he has a serious illness, I would've been able to tell just by reading about him. Sometimes I was frustrated and didn't understand why Willow couldn't see that Michael wasn't being reclusive on purpose, but then I think about her age and the fact that once you lose someone so important in your life it's really difficult to form new relationships with others for the fear that you might lose them, too.
I really liked the relationship between the two of them. They formed a bond that was unusual, and the author did a great job slowly growing them together over the course of the book. It wasn't a typical romance; it was quite different with no sappy moments, and I was happy with its uniqueness. Without a doubt, this is a book I'd like to read again, and I'm looking forward to seeing what stories come next from the author.
- Jezri's Halloween Nightmares
on Jan. 07, 2013
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
One of the previews of the author's bonus material contained in this book is from "The Second Wave: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale," which is a story I read and reviewed last October. You can read my review here. After reading that story last fall, I will read anything and everything by this author--she is an amazing writer with an imagination I wish I had. :) She will take you to that dark place inside yourself where your fears run wild, and sometimes those fears are ones you didn't even know you had.
This collection of horror stories was completely satisfying and scary, and the very first one took place in Bainbridge, Ohio, not too far from where my mom's side of the family comes from! It's really freaky reading these stories with some of them set in places where I've been myself. Despite the inclusion of Halloween in the title, this is a book you can read any time of the year--I know I'm personally in the mood for horror stories no matter the season! I loved every story in this collection, but there were a couple that stood out for me and became my favorites, one of which being "A Prank Gone Too Far." I'm excited and in anticipation of more scares from this author!
on Jan. 20, 2013
I signed up through the ARR program on Goodreads to receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I loved the interesting twist on the zombie genre this story presented and haven't laughed so hard about a zombie apocalypse since the movie Shaun of the Dead. On an interesting side note, Shaun of the Dead was on TV yesterday, and one of the characters called a zombie a "zed." I immediately thought of this book and loved it! I do want to point out that though I thought of this book, it's completely different from the movie and any other zombie book I've read--it takes place from the zombie's point of view. I'm only comparing the two because both have comical moments.
The changes in Zed's behavior and thinking once he met up with Chase were so cool! I loved their partnership--it was the two of them against the world...the world who wanted to kill off every zombie out there. Zed was a zombie I found myself rooting for, and Chase was the perfect partner to team up with him. She is a force of nature and definitely smart in her survival mode, which is one of the things about her that Zed admires and I did as well.
There aren't just awesome characters either. Plenty of action kept my interest, and I was so nervous and on the edge of my seat every time they found themselves in a situation with obstacles to overcome. I never thought I'd be on a zombie's side until I read this book! I couldn't get over how kick ass Chase is and how unafraid and matter-of-fact she was in teaming up with a zombie and fighting for their survival right alongside him. I can't wait to see where the next book takes me!
- Fire in the Blood (Last Moon Rising #1)
on Feb. 01, 2013
Haley is a typical junior in high school who finds out on her seventeenth birthday that she actually isn't so typical after all--there's more to who she is than she could have ever imagined. Falling through a portal, she ends up in another world.
I thought the idea behind the story was really creative--gods of the elements begin fighting, and this is what begins the global climate change on Earth, while the people on Earth are making it worse. This idea was what drew me to read this book in the first place, and I thought it was an original and interesting idea. The synopsis definitely made me want to find out more.
In the first half of the book, not a lot happens--mostly there's set up of the story, introduction of the characters, many mentions of events in the past before the book begins, but it was a slow buildup for me. From halfway through the book to the end, however, I was riveted. There was plenty of action and suspense to keep me hooked. If the first half of the book had been as exciting as the second half and not been so slow, I would have rated it higher.
Haley is spunky and tough, and I really liked her. She was the only character I felt I really got to know. There weren't many characters that I connected with--there isn't much background given for any of them, and I would have liked to know more about each of them, especially Tuggin, the other main character. I want to know more about him and what makes him tick. I did like how I was kept in suspense along with Haley--who should she trust? Who is lying to her? Who is telling the truth? This could be why the characters weren't more fleshed out--if they had been, it might have killed the suspense.
So much information was introduced in this book that it was difficult for me to keep up with all of the names for the different places and characters and had to keep looking back for reference. There are a few things I'm still confused about, for instance, why the gods began fighting and what happened to the stones. I'm hoping for some answers in the next book. I was happy with the way this book ends and suprised by the way it ends. It sets up perfectly for the next book in the series.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through an ARR group on Goodreads.
- Delusions (Book Two In The Affinity Series)
on Feb. 06, 2013
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This book was an emotionally powerful read, and I loved every minute of it. It was difficult for me any time I had to put it down, and all I could think about was how soon I could get back to reading it. Every time I was able to pick it up again, I was pulled back into Logan and Lisa's story as if I had never left.
Logan really grew on me in this book. In the first book, I wasn't a fan of his--he seemed arrogant and snarky. In this book, however, another side of him is revealed without his personality getting lost , and I had suspected a more vulnerable side was probably there all along, just covered up with arrogance. I liked that the relationship between Logan and Lisa slowly simmered and was allowed to blossom over time. It gave me time to root for the relationship, care about them and want them to be together. I liked the idea of soul mates and how Christina Smith infuses that idea with her own unique twist.
Lisa's friend Kelly is wise for her age and such a loyal friend. I really liked her, and the advice she gave Lisa was spot on. As for Adam and Ethan, I thought it was cool how tight knit the four of them are. Since I read the first book, I already loved Sara and Lucas. There weren't any characters I wasn't interested in knowing more about--they were fleshed out and seemed like real people, not just characters.
There was a message behind the story that resonated with me--life is too short to hold onto anger and grudges. Live life in the now, let go of regrets, and move on. Logan had learned this and wanted to help Lisa learn to let go, but throughout the book she insisted on holding a grudge against him and her father. She lied and kept secrets from Logan instead of talking to him about what was bothering her, leaving him completely confused with her hot and cold behavior. I was so frustrated with her! I just wanted to tell her to allow herself to get over the past and move on, but I know from experience it isn't that easy, which made the story even more realistic.
I loved this book! There was a little of everything--the funny, the sad, the romantic...it was a story that resonated with me and will stay with me for a long time. I highly recommend this book, and if you haven't read the first one yet, you definitely have to read it as well.
- Fresh Flesh
on Feb. 18, 2013
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through a read and review group on Goodreads.
I couldn't breathe normally while reading this book. The pacing and buildup of suspense was done in such a way to make you question your own sanity. It was written so well with the language used in such a way as to awaken your fears and make you want to hide under the covers and/or leave your light on all night. I opted for hiding under my covers. ;)
Deliciously terrifying and mysterious, the book was so surprising, which kept me turning the pages. It wasn't anything like I was expecting, and I loved it. I never wanted the story to end. The characters were such a motley crew--people you definitely wouldn't want to meet down a dark alley! The more I learned about them, the more frightening they turned out to be. Even the location of the story is frightening!
I'm thrilled to see the author is writing a second "flesh" book. I'm definitely getting my hands on that one!
- The Soul's Mark: FOUND (The Soul's Mark, #1)
on March 01, 2013
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review through the We Love YA Books group on Goodreads.
I thought the author gave an interesting new take on vampires, witches, and the idea of soul mates. After moving away to escape her past, Amelia Caldwell soon finds out what she thought was a simple birthmark is actually where she has been marked by a vampire. She holds the vampire's soul and is his soul mate. In this book, the idea of soul mates isn't just an idea, it's a physical reality for Amelia and Mitchell, and I think that was exactly what gave this story a boost and made it different from other vampire novels.
Amelia was a strong character and didn't fall all over herself in Mitchell's presence. She remained her own person as much as she could even though Mitchell's hold over her was intense. It was a relief to finally read a book with a strong female character in a plot involving the idea of soul mates. I ended up resenting the control Mitchell tried to exert over her and was hoping against hope that Amelia would find a way to undo the spell. By taking away her freewill, Mitchell created exactly what he feared--their love soon turned to hatred, and I knew that was going to happen. Love just doesn't work that way.
I rated this 3.5 stars out of five because I felt there could have been more action; the story lulled at times. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment of the series and finding out more about Amelia. What memories from her past are painful for her? What's her powerful secret? I really want to know!
- He Came For Me! Book One in 'The Protector Series'
on March 01, 2013
The cover and title of this book really caught my eye. As I began reading, I wasn't sure what kind of supernatural beings Seb and his friends were; I just knew they weren't "ordinary." I liked that I thought I knew but was unsure; my curiousity and interest kept me turning the pages.
The setting was really cool--I haven't read a book that takes place in Queensland before, and it was enjoyable getting a visual of what living there would be like from this story. The author did a wonderful job describing the area of the Sunshine Coast, and as a result I'd love to visit there someday!
I don't want to go into too much detail concerning the plot so as not to give anything away, but I do want to say that there were several twists and turns in the plot that were fresh and original! I really appreciated the author's unique spin on this fantasy story of young love.
I connected with the main character, Jazz, right away. She isn't your typical delicate flower type of character--she's independent and tougher than I thought she'd be, which was a happy surprise. All of the characters each have his or her unique personality. Bliss was one of my favorite characters--there was so much to like about her. Seb is mysterious and multilayered--there's much more to him that is slowly revealed throughout the book.
I gave this book a four out of five star rating only because of a very slight issue I had with the author's use of exclamation points. I felt the way the dialogue was written conveyed how passionately or dispassionately a character was speaking, and many times an exclamation point wasn't needed in my opinion. This was very minor, however, and I still flew through the book, needing to know what would happen next.
The ending was so good--I definitely need to read the next book to find out what happens next!
I received a copy of this book from a read and review group on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.
- The Athena Effect
on March 04, 2013
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through the Goodreads group Never Too Old for YA Books.
Wow! I can't stop thinking about this book even though I finished it three days ago. I need to buy a hard copy for my shelf because I'll be reading this over and over. I love this book! It's extremely well written - I was completely engrossed in the story, feeling like I was right alongside Cali, experiencing everything she experienced. I hated having to sleep. I'd tell myself, 'One more chapter, just one more chapter,' but that one chapter would turn into three or four more. :)
I was completely invested in the story and the characters. I could see why Calvin was living his life the way he did with all of his grief and bitterness bottled up inside. I could understand why Cali was so reluctant to spend time with Calvin, fearing he could never change. Cali had a lot to process for a girl her age - she has an ability she needs to keep secret, she's in danger but is unsure who poses a threat to her, she feels out of place after living in the wilderness away from other people for her entire life, and then she also has her grief.
Cali's ability begins developing and becoming stronger, changing in ways that surprised me (I won't give away how her ability changes, sorry lol). She can see colors around people based on how they're feeling, and I thought the author did a fantastic job showing Cali's ability rather than telling the reader about it - I felt like I was able to see the color of emotions, too. I loved how Cali was so strong but also had her vulnerable moments. Those moments made her so real and relatable.
Just when I thought I knew the extent of the evil intentions Dr. Reed was capable of, they became much much worse than I could have imagined. His plans are absolutely chilling!
An entire range of emotions were brought out in me, and I love it when a book can do that. My heart melted with the best swoon worthy moments I've read in a long time. During the times of danger, I'd find myself so into the action I thought my heart would burst out of my chest from the stress! I felt the sting of loss and grief right along with the characters. At times I forgot I was reading words - I was experiencing them, and that's exactly what a book should be able to do for its reader.
- The Eslites (Prequel/Short Story)
on March 26, 2013
I read this along with my Goodreads group, David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite, downloading my own copy which is offered for free at this time on Amazon and Smashwords.
Please don't tell me there isn't more! I was pulled in right away and loved it. I have a strong feeling there will be more coming soon; this story is that good. I can easily see this becoming a series or trilogy. This has to be only the beginning of meeting Miranda, and I want to find out more about this world the author has created.
A few months were skipped over in the middle of the story, which is the only reason I rated this four stars instead of five; however, this is a short story - not a novella nor a novel - and maybe those months weren't that essential to the overall story. I still would love to know what happened during that time, and I am definitely looking forward to more from this author!
on April 16, 2013
I read this story before and after I read the book Intangible--before because the events of this story take place before Intangible, and after to refresh my take on the characters. I recommend you read this story before and after also!
I enjoyed the story more the second time I read it because I had more insight into Luke and Sera's personalities as well as their relationship as twins. I was left wanting more!
It's funny because I had downloaded this story shortly after I received my Kindle for Christmas this year. I entered the giveaway here on Goodreads for a copy of Intangible, not realizing the two went together. I hadn't had a chance to read Intuition yet.
I didn't end up winning the giveaway for Intangible, but the author emailed me and so graciously offered to give me a copy of the book for my Kindle to review. I follow her blog, and I love the topics she writes about. Check out her profile and follow her blog! She really seems to love her readers and is completely friendly and approachable--my favorite qualities in an author. :)
on April 18, 2013
As a huge fan of the horror genre, books and movies alike, I liked this book but didn't love it. All different kinds of horror appeals to me from ghosts and zombies to demons and supernatural psycho killers (Jason Vorhees anyone?). Goriness doesn't bother me, and while there are some gory moments, it didn't make me ill or want to stop reading. The killers are, after all, dangerous and unhinged. I can't do the torture porn kind of horror (think of The Human Centipede, which I will never ever see!). Luckily, there isn't that kind of torture, so if you're worried about that, you need not be.
This book had a lot of potential, but it fell a bit short. Not enough to where I didn't enjoy the story - on the contrary, I was quite caught up in the terror and action. The Welsh terms and places were difficult for me to keep up with as I am unfamiliar with all of it. I had a difficult time picturing the scenes where the action was taking place. Though I experienced some difficulty, what was most important to me was how creepy the island was described to be as well as the island's residents.
There wasn't much chance to connect with the characters, although you have to remember that in the horror genre, you usually aren't supposed to connect with the characters - it's accepted and known most of the characters will die. Many times in horror, I even find myself rooting for some of the characters to die, especially if they're particularly annoying or just awful people. What makes this story so scary is not knowing which characters will die or if they even will, and of course their desperate attempts to stay alive by running away, hiding, and fighting off the killers.
I felt like I was in the story, trying to escape from the evil surrounding the island, wondering what I would do if I found myself in this situation, and how successful would I be fighting for my life. That's what made this novel so scary for me - living the fear and terror right along with the characters. I kept thinking to myself why would anyone want to go there? Especially by yourself? Although who would think about crazy things happening to you like this? My questions kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next.
The story is amazingly terrifying, and I found myself in for a big surprise once I began to realize what was going on. There's more to this story than what you think there is as you begin reading - I ended up shocked and pleased with the way the author incorporated more than just crazy, isolated island inhabitants. There are other evils lurking, and just wait until you find out what those evils turn out to be! So while I wasn't completely satisfied with this novel, I did like it enough to keep turning the pages to find out how it would end, and the ending was definitely phenomenally done.
I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
- The Mackenzie Legacy
on July 31, 2013
Rating 4.5 / 5
*Possible spoilers if you haven't read book one, but I tried to keep any out* :)
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you've followed my reviews, you know how much I absolutely adored The Athena Effect. I love this one just as much! Cal and Caledonia are two of my favorite characters ever. Cal's past as a "bad boy" and the changes he's made in his life for Caledonia's love makes him appealing to me without taking away his mystery and allure. There's no denying he is an amazing book boyfriend! ;)
On the run from Professor Reed and his henchmen, Calvin and Caledonia are surviving day to day the best they can. Once they run out of money, they begin using Caledonia's gift in ways that cause Caledonia to become uncomfortable. Cal becomes carried away, and I knew he would. He isn't a bad guy - he just becomes caught up trying to make life comfortable for the two of them. He never had much growing up, and he wants to give Caledonia everything he can, all out of love. I know his heart is in the right place.
Caledonia, on the other hand, believes she has been given her gift to help others instead of gaining anything for herself. She has a good spirit and doesn't want to hurt anyone, which are just two of the reasons I love her. A warning causes her to question everything about her life and its purpose, and she knows if she and Cal continue using her gift in the way he wants, there will be dire consequences.
Some of my questions from the first book were answered while some things remain veiled, and I am anticipating the third book! Huge plot twists take the story further and are so shocking, you'll never have seen them coming. I can't even tell you how much the new information revealed about the Athena Effect amazed and stunned me, giving even more depth to an already stellar story. The new direction in which the plot heads is incredibly clever, and crazy good and crazy addictive!
I'll try my best to be patient until the third book comes out! :D
on Sep. 09, 2013
I received a copy of this book to review honestly for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
At first, Joanna really annoyed me, and I had a hard time connecting with her character. I didn't think she talked like a seventeen-year-old, and while I felt bad for her feeling like her stepdad crashed into her life and turned it upside down, she seemed immature for her age and at times selfish. I did identify with her insecurity about her body - she describes herself as freakishly tall and feels no guy would want to date a girl so tall. In my case, I'm shorter than practically everyone I know, and I was teased relentlessly for being short. Even in high school.
While Joanna was difficult for me to connect with, I really liked James. A LOT. He was mysterious with the mission he couldn't talk about, and I wasn't quite sure where he was from. Another dimension? I thought that was so cool and maybe he was from planet like Earth but more advanced. Or from another alternate reality of Earth. But he talks about being equipped with a human body so as not to arouse suspicion, so I enjoyed trying to figure his character out. Plus he's hot, lol.
Tommy's character went through a major overhaul from before Joanna's accident to afterward. He seemed like a great friend to her before, and even though she was pining away for him, I found myself wishing their relationship hadn't changed in the alternate reality. He became a jealous, possessive boyfriend, and Joanna's mother didn't seem to like him at all, which I could kind of see why. Before, Joanna's mom had absolutely loved him, so these new feelings Joanna's mom had toward Tommy caused a lot of tension between mother and daughter.
Stan, Joanna's stepdad, never came into her life in the alternate reality. I can give Joanna credit when she realizes how unhappy her mom is since she never met Stan. The job her mom works at is wearing her down. This is definitely one aspect I don't think Joanna really thought about when she wished her life was different.
I loved the alternate reality aspect of this story the best - how Joanna wakes up and finds herself living in a life she doesn't recognize with some of the things she wanted coming true. With those parts of her life changed though, there were other parts that changed in ways she wasn't happy with. It was as though she traded one set of headaches for another. Her life wasn't exactly the way she wanted it to be. For example, since she woke up the height she had always wanted to be, she was too short to play volleyball, which she absolutely loved before the accident.
Alternate reality theories have always intrigued me and have led to some interesting conversations with my husband and friends. I really loved reading the author's take on how one girl's life could change so drastically. I thought it was really well done. I look forward to reading more of Janine Caldwell's books.
- Wander Dust
on Nov. 12, 2013
I honestly reviewed this book for my stop on the blog tour.
Seraphina has to have had the most depressing sixteenth birthday ever. She's at a restaurant with her father and his girlfriend, and he's so into his girlfriend, he barely noticed his own daughter. On her birthday!! He also doesn't notice Sera is almost set on fire by her own birthday candles! Suffice it to say, I couldn't stand Sera's father - he's cold and completely uncaring. Not like a father should be at all. I really didn't like him.
Sera's sixteenth birthday is when everything begins. She sees the Lady in Black for the first time at the restaurant, leading her to have nightmares about this Lady setting fire on her house. Then other strange things begin happening to her, and she started thinking she might be going crazy. That's exactly what I'd think about myself, too! At a certain point, though, I'd start asking my father some questions.
Sera's mother died in a car accident a long time ago - before Sera had a chance to get to know her at all. If you've read some of my past reviews, you know this immediately endeared me to her character. I completely understood this character although I was lucky enough to have a. known my mom and b. had a loving father.
One random day, Sera's father decides she should go live with her mother's sister. I was so happy to meet Mona - she's a breath of fresh air in Sera's life. While I was sad for Sera because she couldn't believe her father was shipping her off, I also felt this was a decision that ended up benefiting her. Her father wasn't the parent that she needed him to be, and by living with Mona, she would be able to learn more about her mother.
All in all, Wander Dust was a great read. I connected with Seraphina right away, and while I felt like she should have suspected something magical was happening to her a while ago, I also understood the fear that she might be going crazy instead. I love reading stories with time travel - it was a lot of fun for me that time travel is included in this story. I loved the romance, and I'm excited to read the rest of this trilogy!
- A Boat Made of Bone
on Feb. 05, 2014
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for the blog tour. You can find my stop at Donnie Darko Girl.
A BOAT MADE OF BONE has the kind of synopsis that sounds too compelling to miss. The plot was original and unique for me with likable characters, and the mystery of why and how Kate has met Will through her dreams kept me turning the pages and involved in the story.
Kate begins having dreams about a man named Will, and in the dreams, they're passionately and madly in love. The more she gets to know him, the more she begins to think about him in her waking hours - to the point where she'd rather be dreaming with him than living her life. She acts like two very different people - when awake she is insecure and overly sensitive yet while dreaming she's confident and happy. I know what it's like to feel insecure, so I don't want to judge her for that. I just wish she could have felt the way she did in her dreams.
Kate's dreams kept me riveted and were beautiful and mysterious; however, when she was awake, a lot happens that doesn't seem to be too important to the story. Some parts could have been cut without taking away from the story. At the same time, I think those parts were meant to keep the truth behind Kate and Will's dilemma mysterious. It's just that some of those scenes were slightly uninteresting to me.
Audra is an awesome best friend and roommate. She's supportive of Kate and cares about her, not to mention she has a great sense of humor. Not always the best advice giver though! :) Halfway through the book, a character named Jill seems to come out of nowhere. When she made her appearance, I looked back through the previous chapters thinking I must have missed her introduction. I didn't realize Kate and Audra had another roommate. I was confused with her sudden appearance. I still think I must have missed something.
Ty's character fell flat for me while Will was complicated yet dreamy (no pun intended, lol). I didn't like it when Ty invites Kate to go rock climbing with him, making it sound like a date, only for her to arrive with him to a large group of his friends, none of whom she has met before. Awkward! I thought that was kind of a douchebag move. And he took forever to even kiss her. She begins wondering if he's even interested in her, and I did, too. I didn't find him interesting and thought Kate could do better. Looks only get you so far, lol.
Will on the other hand made ME as happy as he did Kate! I looked forward to his scenes as much as Kate looked forward to her dreams. I worried he was using her for nefarious reasons, but he seemed so genuine and real I didn't think too much of it. Kate was understanding and loving towards him no matter what he admitted to her, and they communicated well with a level of trust that are building blocks to a successful relationship.
Despite a couple of the issues I have with A BOAT MADE OF BONE, I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series. I wonder what Grotepas has in mind next! :D
- Ride of Your Life
on May 08, 2014
I received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Ride of Your Life was a cute and fun book to read. The cover immediately caught my eye; I LOVE roller coasters, and now I'm even more excited for summer than I already am! This is a perfect time of year to read this book.
I liked Tracy even though she takes care of everyone but herself. She made the decision to stay with Mack at the Amazing Land theme park rather than go into the light. She's only going to go when Mack is able to go, and so they hang around the park. It's been thirty years since they died, and with the way he aggravates her on purpose, they seem like they were brother and sister even before the accident.
Mack wasn't a likable character for me in the beginning, but once I delved into what his life was like when he was still alive, I understood him better. Plus he died when he was only eleven years old. He had so much life ahead of him - I felt sad he died so young. I'd probably be bitter and jaded, too.
I was sad for Ashley, too, and especially her mom. Though I didn't want any characters to be dead, I think Ashley and Josh made a wonderful addition to Tracy and Mack's little family. Ashley brought out a softer side of Tracy that I really liked seeing, and I think Josh did the same for Mack. Josh's love for Tracy was unwavering no matter how many times she tried to push him away. I'd love to have Josh in my life!
Ride of Your Life is more about emotions and living and dying rather than action and adventure, which I personally appreciated. I love stories exploring what it means to really and truly live. There were times I laughed, and times I shed a few tears. I would have added a fifth star except at times Tracy and Mack teaching the rules of being a ghost to Ashley and Josh didn't quite keep my attention. The story of these four characters was beautifully told, and I believe Arnold accomplished what she set out to do when writing this novel.
on May 16, 2014
I remember feeling wowed after seeing the cover for Scorned and reading the synopsis. I had to find out how LeKrista killed a vampire and what chain of events that would set off, especially with the vampire's lover hell-bent on revenge.
LeKrista is a character who was for the most part likable and strong. She was brave even with all of the danger surrounding her and is the type to not go down without a fight, which saves her life time and again. I think she's interesting and intelligent, and I wanted more background on her before jumping into the action.
I wasn't too sure of her relationship with Pierce - I wanted to like him but found him to be strange and not quite deserving of LeKrista's love. There was something about him I didn't trust; it was more of a feeling rather than something I could specifically point out.
Scorned is packed with a lot of action, and the twists and turns kept me guessing. I liked the story and the direction it took. I wanted to give Scorned at least one more star but couldn't because LeKrista passed out too many times to be believable, and I was confused with what was going on in the story at times. I needed things to be more clear, and a lot of action was skipped over during the times LeKrista was unconscious.
With the huge potential I see in this story and Kemp's writing, I'm looking forward to reading Hunted.
- Days Gone Bad
on Oct. 24, 2014
Days Gone Bad is infused with humor and stellar writing. The characters are amazingly well fleshed out - you feel like you really know them. My favorite character is Damian and not just because he's the main character. He talks to you like you're an old friend, he has a great sense of humor, and he's brave. Plus he's a necromancer - a necromancer who isn't evil. He's become one of my new book boyfriends! I also thought it was really interesting that Damian casts spells to fight against demons and rogue vampires.
Damian's vampire sister, Sam, is a close second as one of my favorite characters. She's full of life (haha), spunky, and beautiful. I love that she has this gorgeous, straight black hair. Damian and Sam have a close relationship, and they get along well. Damian seemed to be protective of his sister, and that's one of the many things I appreciated about him.
I really liked how the fairies are bad ass - there is nothing sparkly or dainty about them. Foster, his wife, and his mother Cara are tough cookies - you can tell by the way Cara reacts when she thinks the new employee Damian hired has insulted fairies. They will tear you limb from limb if you aren't careful around them! That's how they should be. ;)
I liked the gore. That makes me sound demented I suppose, but as someone who's a huge horror fan of both gory horror as well as psychological horror, I like to see the "monsters" get splattered. With all of the supernatural creatures running around wreaking havoc, Days Gone Bad couldn't be told as well without some gore - Damian and his friends are battling for their very lives. There are going to be casualties. Gory scenes are just satisfying, especially when a puppet master rogue vampire is after my Damian!
Days Gone Bad is packed with action, humor, and some bloody fun. I highly recommend this for readers who enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse series, or even if you were disappointed by the series. Asher breathes new life into the urban fantasy genre, and I'm excited to see where the next installment takes us.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
- The Forgotten Ones
on Nov. 28, 2014
I must admit the cover is what initially drew me to this story - it's gorgeous and now that I've read the book, I love it even more. I can't help that I have a huge affinity for purple! Once I looked beyond the cover to read the synopsis, I was interested to see that there would be a character with schizophrenia. It's always been such a mysterious disorder to me, and I wanted to see how it would be handled in fiction.
While Allison started out as a bit of a bland character for me, I did appreciate her determination to take care of her mother and the way she loved her no matter what. I wanted to argue with her about closing herself off to others, but I knew I'd do the same thing in a heartbeat. Allison doesn't believe she can have a life outside of working and taking care of her mother, but I believed there would be room for love with Ethan. I kept hoping she would be able to see that for herself, too.
I wasn't sure about Ethan at first. He seemed like a player in the beginning, and I questioned his intentions toward Allison; however, I warmed up to him. He ended up becoming a character I wanted to see happy. I felt the same hesitation towards Allison's father except even more so. I didn't trust him and felt the same as Allison in wanting to protect her mother from him. Where had he been all this time? Why did he suddenly show up now? Whatever you might be thinking, you won't guess the answers to those questions! You'll be surprised just as I was!
The plot explodes in the second half of the book, and this is really where Allison begins to shine. Not to say I didn't like her in the beginning because I did, but here I was able to see so much more of her personality. She became fierce, courageous, and just jumped from the pages. She came alive. Sometimes in books the reader is privy to information the main character doesn't know yet. In this case, I loved how the author chose to allow the reader to discover things along with Allison. I felt more connected to her that way.
Overall, with the colorful cast of characters, Irish lore, and the way in which the plot unfolds, I relished this book and am looking forward to the next in the trilogy.
* I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour. *
- Game of Love (Love in Bloom: The Remingtons)
on Dec. 01, 2014
Ellie and Dex's story in GAME OF LOVE is beautiful, sweet and tender with characters I adore! This pair was amazing and likable right away, and there was something magical in the air when they're together. They were friends in high school, and with all of the turmoil Ellie was going through with being bounced from foster home to foster home, Dex was the one constant in her life.
In the present Dex is successfully running a PC game developing company. Four years ago he was hurt almost irreparably by Ellie when she left without a word after he confessed his love for her. Since then he has built up walls that would take a wrecking ball to tear down, but if anyone could do it, then it would be the very woman who had caused those walls to go up in the first place.
Ellie is starting over - she needs a new job, a place to live, and a purpose in her life. Despite having hurt Dex in the past and possibly hurting him again, she's been through her share of pain and heartache as well. She has a hard time allowing herself to open up to the possibility of love - she sees herself as someone who would wreck Dex's life when I think it's clear she couldn't be further from the truth.
Rooting for this couple to find their way to each other as more than best friends was all I wanted to do while reading. I can't express enough how much I loved GAME OF LOVE. I'm blown away by Melissa Foster's writing; this is the first book I've read by her and certainly won't be the last. Dex gave me chills - I could just imagine how it must feel to be loved by him. He's completely swoon worthy, I mean wow!
I raced through GAME OF LOVE. I was glued to my Kindle needing to know what was going to happen next, and my only regret is when I came to the end of the book. But I have the rest of this series to look forward to reading, and I'm going to do just that!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.