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Smashwords book reviews by Kristin Kim
on Aug. 20, 2012
"Raven" is about a young girl named Lilly Taylor, living in England with her parents, until they disappear one day. After she moves to Canada to live with her paternal grandfather, she finds out there's more to her (and her family) than meets the eye. She must learn to cope with this shocking information, discover the secret to her parents' disappearance, and navigate the course of young love.
I really enjoyed this book. It grabbed me from the beginning, and I found myself drawn to Lilly. Although she's only thirteen years old, she seems wise beyond her years throughout her story, and yet there are several incidences where you can see her for her true age. I am not ashamed to admit that there were tears in my eyes on quite a few occasions, as the author really knows how to pull the reader in to share in the characters' emotions.
I had no sooner finished the last sentence of "Raven" before I was purchasing the second book in the series, "December Moon," from Amazon. I can't wait to see how the story unfolds!
- Project ELE
on Sep. 13, 2012
Disclaimer: I received a free e-book copy of this book from the authors in exchange for an honest review.
I absolutely LOVED this book! It pulled me in from the beginning, and I would've read it all in one sitting if I hadn't started it so late in the evening and needed sleep!! Still, I finished it the next day, and I desperately need the next one. I laughed, I cried, I thought back to how I felt during my first "real" relationship, and I pondered what I would do if I had to deal with the types of things that Willow and her friends see on a daily basis. I honestly don't think I could, and that's what pulled me into the story so much: The fact that these teenagers are having to live through this world, losing their family members to a virus, or having to leave them on the outside while they survive in this shelter. The relationships, whether just friends or otherwise, are exactly how I remember my teenage relationships (friendly, kinda awkward, but definitely "real" and "true", as much as they can be at that age), and I can't wait to see how they continue into the next book!!!
- Redemption (Night Marchers #2) Written by: Rebecca Gober and Courtney Nuckels
on Sep. 14, 2012
Disclaimer: I was given an e-copy by the authors in exchange for an honest review.
SOOOOO happy with this sequel!! I picked it up as soon as I finished "Night Marchers," and I read it all within 12 hours (had to break for work lol). I can honestly say I laughed, I cried, I cheered, and I even fist-pumped at certain points. =)
The characters are so much fun, and their story is so crazy you just can't tear yourself away from it. I just HAD to keep going, to know how everything would work out. And the ending, oh the ending. Don't want to give anything away, but there's quite a jumble of emotions to be had throughout the whole last third or so of the book.
And the closing words: "Finished for now" -- you mean there will be more?? YES!!!!
- Devastation: Built on Fear 1
on Sep. 21, 2012
Disclaimer: I was given an e-book copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.
"Devastation" is set in 2032, and it follows a group of kids and a soldier as they try to escape from the war raging around them, a war between the U.S. and a very unlikely foe. Some of the children are related, and they are trying to save what little family they have left; others meet each other along the way and work to protect one another from the hazards of war, the elements, and just plain dehydration and exhaustion.
This book really pulled me in. As an American, I kept trying to put myself in the children's shoes, asking, "What would I do if this really happened?" (Answer: Probably die.) The opposing country is somewhat out of left field (for me anyway), but I think that really added to the story, just the simple fact that a country many Americans wouldn't dream of going to war with is attacking the U.S., and winning. Aside from that aspect, the relationships between the characters was very life-like, as they're just kids (the oldest is seventeen) trying to stay alive and help one another get to The Safe Zone in the South.
Meanwhile, we also get the perspective of a soldier from the opposing army, who is starting to wonder whether or not his side is right. His inner dilemma was very intriguing for me, as I know several soldiers who are overseas now, and they've often discussed feeling that dichotomy between what your country's asked of you and how you truly feel about the situation around you.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes dystopian stories, thrillers, action/adventure, and/or anybody who just wants to know who the other country is and why they've declared war against the U.S.!
5 stars, and I can't wait for "Isolation," the continuation of this dynamic story.
- S.P.I.R.I.T. Fire Storm
on Oct. 15, 2012
Disclaimer: I was given an e-book copy by the author for an honest review.
I fell in love with this book. More specifically with Samantha (Sam) and her hilarious attitude. She had me laughing throughout the entire story, and I couldn't wait to read what smart-aleck thing she'd say next. On top of that, the relationship between her and Zander is just awesome. They're so cute it's almost sickening, but in a good way, and the fact that they really do complete one another is just amazing. And let's not forget the burning trash can..... =)
Aside from the above, the story itself really grabbed me and never let go. It was so intriguing, and I just wanted to keep reading all the time (but wouldn't you know, life had to go and get in the way). I would think about this book while I was at work, driving, and I even had a dream about it, that's how good it is!!! The beginning just pulls you in, because you really have no clue whatsoever as to what's going on, and neither do the characters. You just learn along with them, which is so much fun to do. And the twists and turns the story takes were so great, I'd keep saying "One more chapter" only to find a cliffhanger waiting at the end, and I'd have to keep reading to see what happened!
I definitely recommend this for everybody who likes paranormal stories, especially mysteries, because this one has a lot of it. Go grab your copy, you won't be sorry!!! =)
- Destine; The Watcher's Trilogy Book 1
on Oct. 21, 2012
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
So, here we have Michelle (Chelle), who's your average 17-year-old girl just trying to make it through her last year of high school alongside her best (and only) friend Cami. School starts, Cami falls head over heels for Alex, the boy running for class president, and runs away from Chelle like she's got the plague. So while Chelle's all mopey over losing her friend, the new kid in school, Gabriel, decides to chat her up. They chill, they talk, and eventually he tells her that not only is he THE Gabriel, the "text message from God," but he's there to protect and guide her, because she is to be the savior of humanity during the apocalypse. Not exactly what Chelle expected to happen during her senior year.
I have to say the storyline really pulled me in. The idea of the apocalypse starting in a random high school in New Jersey (and the irony of Hell on Earth happening in Jersey was not lost on me, no offense to anyone from N.J.) was just really interesting, and I like how Gabriel explains WHY it makes sense (the 7 deadly sins are widely apparent throughout high school, etc. etc.). I also liked how the author used the different Bible verses at the start of each chapter, as they helped to spearhead what that chapter was about.
I couldn't help but compare the story and the different horsemen to how it was depicted on the TV show "Supernatural," which I absolutely love. I was drawn in to the author's version though, which was very fun to read. I can't wait to see how she continues the story in the next book and how Chelle and Gabriel fair on their quest to save humanity from utter destruction.
- Finding ELE (ELE Series #2)
on Oct. 30, 2012
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Wow! That's what first comes to mind when I think of "Finding ELE". It picks up exactly where "Project ELE" ended, and the story just builds from there. We follow Willow as she meets her mother's group of survivors, tries to both explain and deal with her boatload of powers, and starts to train with Tony, her mother's right-hand and her new protector. On top of all this, Willow's friends are still nowhere to be found, and her Dad's still inside the shelter. What happens with them? Well, you'll have to read to find out!
I really enjoyed this story, as it delved deeper into Willow's different powers (and she gets a few more during this book), it showed her struggle between being back with her Mom/brother but missing her Dad/friends, and it started the idea of a love triangle, which is just so much fun. I feel like this was an awesome continuation of the series, and once again, there's that cliffhanger at the end!! I can't wait to see what Rebecca and Courtney give us in the third installment!!
It would only let me give 5 stars =(
- More than Magic: Semester Aboard
on Nov. 06, 2012
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Words just can't seem to describe how awesome this book is!!! But I will try...... =)
We follow Jen on a Semester-at-Sea type program around Latin/South America, and along the way, she meets some rather.....interesting characters who tell her something about herself that's incredibly life-changing. Throw in things like vampires, werewolves, elementals, mermaids, and witches, among many others, and you have one amazing story!
I hated to put it down to work/sleep/etc, and was almost late for work one day because I was so engrossed in the story. I found myself really attached to the main characters, and they reminded me of some of my friends. I want to be in Jen's shoes so badly, not only to go on a summer-long cruise (although, without the classes would be better!), but to meet all the new people she does. Her world is simply awesome, and I greatly appreciate Elizabeth Kirke's ability to write a story like this, that I consider vastly different from other supernatural books out there. Kudos, and give me the next one already!!! =D
5 stars (wish I could give more)
- It Can Always Get Worse
on Nov. 13, 2012
Disclaimer: I won a free e-copy of this book from a giveaway by the author.
First of all, I have to say that this is probably not a book I would have picked up off the shelf for myself, had I not won it. However, that being said, I'm glad I got the chance to read it, because it was a really good story. The characters are fleshed out really well, and there were plenty of times where I could definitely picture the scenes in my head, just based on the writing and character descriptions.
Clay Cove is in a neighborhood gang, The Locals, with his two brothers and a bunch of their friends. The whole point of their gang is to keep their part of the neighborhood clean and safe, both for themselves and for non-gang-members. However, there are other gangs around, most notably The Hakers, who are violent and push drugs. The Hakers are trying to encroach on The Locals' territory and sell drugs there, and Clay and his group want no part in it. They fight for their turf, but it soon becomes clear just how hard that's going to be.
This book gives a very clear depiction of what gang-life could be like, especially in a somewhat-small area. The gangs themselves are not huge, and, The Locals at least, started out as a group of friends that just got tired of how things were going. Not only does the reader get to see the fights, the violence, the drug use, etc., but we also get everything from Clay's point of view: how he feels about his fellow members, his involvement in the gang itself, what living this way has done to him and those he loves. As the story progresses, things get worse and worse, and you can tell that it's starting to break Clay, bit by bit.
Like I said, this is probably not something I would have read on my own, just because it's not my usual type of read. But now that I've read it, I'm glad I did, and I would recommend it to those who might live in a "rough" neighborhood, or who work with disadvantaged youth, or just anyone who might like a glimpse into gang life, other than what you see on those "reality" TV shows.
on Dec. 02, 2012
I loved this story. I read it while Shandy was posting it in installments on Wattpad, and I kept bugging her about when the next part would be available! For being a short story, you really get pulled in by the characters (but Shandy's awesome at doing that!). The ending is really good; I definitely didn't see it coming, but I thought it was a great way to go. I hope she writes more short stories, as they're just as good as her novels, and she can get them out to us faster! ;)
- Descent of Blood, The Red Veil Series, The Prequel
on Dec. 05, 2012
Disclaimer: I received an ARC e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed the storyline of this book. I'm usually not a big fan of historical romance, but I wouldn't say that's all this is, there's so much more there. What drew me in was the vampire angle, because I'm a softie when it comes to anything with vampires. The idea behind the different vampire clans, the floated theory about how the vampire lineage, etc., all of it drew me in from start to finish.
This story is just the prequel for The Red Veil series, and it's an amazing start. I could actually get lost in the story, the time period, the characters' relationships, etc. while reading, and that's something I think every author strives for. What really did it for me was the use of period language, phrases, manners of speaking, and so on. I've read a couple other historical works, and while the story may have been set in a certain time, the writing just didn't pull it off. However, this was not the case with Descent of Blood, and I will definitely be on the lookout for Book One in the series, as I just have to know how the rest of the story goes!
5 stars =)
- Isolation: Built on Fear 2
on Jan. 01, 2013
Disclaimer: I was given an e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I just LOVE this series! Between the characters and all their struggles to the idea of America being at war with Canada, of all countries, these books have really pulled me in. New characters are introduced in this installment, and some familiar characters go through harrowing events. There are budding relationships, separations, and treks to find loved ones, both family and friends. To say this story pulls at your emotions is a bit of an understatement: I was almost screaming at the book in certain places (if I hadn't been at work I probably would have), and I had tears of joy as well as tears of sadness.
I definitely need the next one ASAP, because I feel left hanging by the ending, and I just want more of Fallon and Des and everybody else. =)
5 stars (because that's as high as the rating goes)
- Exposing ELE
on Jan. 05, 2013
Disclaimer: I received an unedited ARC e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This is the third in the ELE Series, and the story just keeps getting better and better. I'm attached to the characters, engrossed in the story, and glad that I'm not in their situation!! The triangle between Willow, Alec, and Tony is just insane, and I'm not sure who I want to win. Aside from that, Zack is a complete jerk, and he just keeps getting creepier and more evil every time he's mentioned. Willow's friends are all amazing, and her little brother Sebastian is just the cutest thing, I love the way he talks. =)
This one made me laugh out loud (the Trivial Pursuit questions about Beiber and Gaga were hilarious, and when Willow called Zack a sparkly vampire, I thought I'd die laughing), cry quite a few times (you'll know them when you get there), and I definitely cursed at a few characters/scenes, especially the "To Be Continued" at the end. I NEED to know what happens!!!
The story keeps building and building, and we're nowhere near the end. I can't wait to see what Rebecca and Courtney come up with next! =)
10 stars (even though it only says 5)
- The Brown House
on Jan. 14, 2013
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
I absolutely love scary stories, ones that keep you on your toes, trying to figure out what's going on, and this one definitely has the creepy factor. Christy has said the house used to be her husband's home growing up, and some of the experiences described in the book happened to him and his family. Whoa!!!
I couldn't help but get engrossed in the story, especially the developing relationship between Ephraim and Brylee, as well as her friendship with Lynley. Then there would be parts that made me just want to scream at the book, throw it across the room, something, because that's how drawn into it I was. Oh, and I read it in one day, because I just couldn't put it down, THAT'S how great it is. Although, because of the ending, I'm on pins and needles waiting for more. I'm so glad my book club read this one this month, so awesome!! I'd highly recommend to anyone who likes supernatural stories, ghost stories, haunted houses, and the like. Fantastic!!
5 stars =)