For some people, there are many things to get addicted to. For me, it's a good book that gets me hooked. And Raven? It's a fantastic book that had me hooked from start to finish.
It's the story of Lilly Taylor, a teenage girl living in England. The kids at school call her Mellow Yellow because everything she wears is yellow.
Lilly is a lonely girl who doesn't receive affection from her parents. Her mother feeds her tinned food, and usually it is cold.
But she thinks this is normal. After all, she has no friends to compare experiences with.
One day, she meets a new girl at school, December Moon.
It soon becomes clear that Lilly and December are two peas in a pod. From then on, they are best friends.
Lilly's life continues in this fashion until one day something happens that though she doesn't realise it at the time, changes Lilly's life forever.
Jack and Vivian, her parents, disappear.
Lilly having no other family, is taken in by the next door neighbours, sisters, Dorothy and June, until social services can investigate her parents sudden disappearrance.
Dorothy and June soon realise that Lilly has never eaten a decent home cooked meal, and does not know how to cook for herself. So they decide to teach her the basics.
Consumed by guilt over enjoying herself after what happened to her parents, Lilly cuts off her hair and uses a bottle of dye to completely change it. She also decides that she needs new clothes and the sisters help her to make new outfits on their sewing machine.
After a while, Social Services decide to send Lilly to live with family in Canada.
Lilly knows nothing of Canada or her family there. Her parents never told her, and the times her grandfather wrote to her, Vivian intercepted the letters.
The one time she managed to get a letter, she learned her grandfathers name is Gabriel, but Vivian snatched the letter and tore it up before she could read more.
Upon arriving in Canada, she is met at the airport by Ben and driven to Powell River. Lilly doesn't realise that day how much being there will change her life.
When she meets Gabriel he tells her "We have waited many moons for this day to come Lillian Tulugaq, welcome home. Welcome home."
Upon asking him about her surname, as she thought it was Taylor, Gabriel tells her it has long been the name of their forefathers, "It is the great black bird of the sky, the Raven"
Now it would not be fair for me to tell you the rest of the story, but suffice to say, Lilly makes friends, finds a boy she likes, Oliver, and is shown a completely different side to her life.
The story has twists, turns and quirks that captivate the readers imagination. If you like supernatural, then this is a book for you.
I was certainly surprised and held captive until the end.
Now I cannot wait for the sequel, December Moon, in September.
This story spoke to me as a girl who had her share of hardships, and I only wish I had had the journey Lilly had, and made the discoveries she did. Boy would my life have been different (and I would have known vampires, werewolves and werecats amongst other things, were real)
Suzy Turner has a beautiful way with words that touched my heart immensely.
I am not ashamed to say I shed a few tears. It is suitable for teens, but also suitable for people my age too (*whispers I am 28*)
For all of you who look at this book and wonder if you should buy it, you really REALLY should. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. It is worth a lot more than the price you will pay for it. Don't believe me? Take a look and see for yourself.
Thank you Suzy for writing it, and I eagerly await the final two installments
I guess I should start off with the reason I gave this book 4 stars out of 5. Well it is nothing major, that I can assure you.
I found there to be a few spelling mistakes, misuse of a word here and there, and also missing words in a sentence. Also, maybe I would have worded a couple of sentences here and there differently, as I struggled to make them make sense at first. But that is just a personal thing, but because of these slight flaws, I felt I couldn't award it the full 5 stars.
However, based on story content, I would more than happily award it 5 stars. I just felt I needed to be honest, as there is nothing worse for me than reading someones review that is 100% positive with no criticism because, let's face it, nothing is that perfect.
My review of the actual story itself?
Ria is an 18 year old girl who has just started attending the University of Magic, this is a place full of students who are in possession of an element, Earth, Air, Fire and Water.
Ria's element is Fire.
She meets a boy whom she is attracted to, but his element is not the same as hers. This makes things difficult for her because you are only supposed to marry someone of your own element.
But marriage isn't at the forefront of her mind, after all, she's only 18. So she decides to date Michael, even though there could be consequences.
Ria feels threatened by a 'magical disease carrier' by the name of Adrian, as she feels he is dangerous. They are warned to stay away from these carriers, as they are said to become murderers, killing people to steal their element as they do not have one of their own.
So when Ria's best friend Paula starts dating Adrian, Ria is concerned for her friend, and though she doesn't want to see Paula unhappy, she would rather see her with someone who can make her happy and isn't a magical disease carrier.
However, all Ria's beliefs are soon put to the test, as she herself starts showing signs of this magical disease. She doesn't know how she got it, all she knows is she can't tell anyone about it. Anyone except Adrian that is.
I won't spoil the story for you, suffice to say, this story had me hooked from the first page right up to the last. When it ended, I was gutted. I was having withdrawal symptoms from the last word and am seriously hoping to see Alycia publish the next book VERY soon, I need my next fix.
Thank you Alycia for giving me this book to review. I eagerly await the next.
As happens often recently, I am sat at my laptop without knowing exactly what I intend to say in my review. This seems to happen more and more often because I am reading some awesome books. This time is no exception.
This time I was left feeling empty and full at the same time, happy yet sad.
I can honestly say that the characters were some of the most enigmatic I have discovered of late. BONE DRESSING was captivating from the moment the words began and the only thing that was bad about this book was the fact it had to end.
I was about halfway through this book when I stumbled across someone's 1 star rating of it and I was curious what they thought was so wrong about it.
Upon reading that review I honestly didn't know what they were talking about. It felt like they had read a totally different book to me. The things I liked about it were exactly the things this person had hated.
All I could say was, oh well, it's a shame for them that they couldn't see what I saw.
BONE DRESSING is a story about 17 year old girl called Syd. Sydney Annalise Bovay Roberdeau. And boy is she one angry young woman.
In the beginning, just about everything makes her mad. She doesn't seem to have any way of channelling that anger, she just lets it rise to the surface and explode.
I must say, this actually had me laughing out loud. I think Syd is AWESOME. She's feisty, she's mouthy, she flouts the authority of her foster parents. She pulls no punches and tells things exactly as they are.
Quince and Jackie are her foster parents and they have had about enough with Syd always rebelling, sneaking out when she's supposed to be in her room. But as I said, Syd isn't much for authority.
It's really Quince who's harder on her. Jackie is soft at the edges and I think she would let Syd get away with more were it not for Quince.
They may be her foster parents, but they love her and only want what's best for her. Even if that means grounding her for a month and banning her from her school prom, after yet another of Syd's escapades.
Needless to say, Syd sneaks out of the house.
She finds that her feet lead her to the cemetery of their own accord.
They lead her right up to Plot 1327-B. The plot of Lily-Bovay Roberdeau and Jeremiah Remy Roberdeau. Syd's parents. This is the plot she calls 'Home'.
Whilst sitting at her parents plot, a deep male voice asks her what brings her to the cemetery on such a stormy night.
It makes Syd just about jump out of her skin. She had assumed she was alone, talking to her parents to ease her troubles.
The voice turns out to be coming from a guy with shoulder length, straight, dark hair, slick and glistening in the moonlight and the rain from the storm. His name is Jean-Remy Beauchamps St Claire.
He is also beautiful, not that Syd would tell him that.
They strike up a conversation and he tells her he prefers to be called Remy. But Syd struggles with this because it was her fathers name.
(I won't tell you what takes place between them, but I can say Syd is her usual feisty self - argumentative, temperamental, maybe a touch self-depricating)
Then, along comes his sister. Sarah. A sweet young girl who looks to be about 8 years old. She steps out when Syd and Remy are talking, causing Syd to swear - which let's face it isn't unusual for Syd, but is not considered polite in front of one so young.
Sarah La Rosa Genevieve St Claire, as she introduces herself, has bright blue eyes that seem to shine with an inner strength. A strength usually found in a woman beyond Sarah's years.
As usual though, Syd can't keep herself from arguing with someone for 5 minutes. And though she doesn't know Remy or anything about him, she still finds grounds to argue on.
She is shouting and swearing at him, having to apologise to Sarah for her manners, when out of the trees comes a huge glossy black furred cat. A full grown black panther to be precise. It has it's eyes set on Syd. Now what is she supposed to do?
Well, she tells Remy how gorgeous she thinks he is for a start. Confronted with her certain death at the hands, or rather paws, of a panther, she feels she might as well tell him. She won't live beyond this moment to regret what spills out anyway.
Except that she does live. The panther doesn't attack any of them.
Whilst thankful that it hasn't killed her, Syd sure wishes she hadn't spilled her guts to the gorgeous Remy.
As it turns out, the panther is a travelling companion of the brother-sister duo. Her name is TJ and she doesn't like the way Syd was arguing with Remy. TJ is very protective of him and thought that Syd was attacking him.
Turns out that Syd needs to keep a civil tongue in her head. Easier said than done. But if she doesn't, she'll have to incur the wrath of TJ. Still, that doesn't stop our Syd from mouthing off. Boy this girl knows how to push boundaries. Almost like it's an art form.
I can't say too much more without giving the whole game away, I always worry that my reviews might be classed as too 'spoilery'.
All I can say now is how I felt about this book.
Like I said before, BONE DRESSING was captivating from the start. Whether I was laughing at Syd's anger rearing it's head, or at her nearly wetting her pants when confronted by Bagheera - as she calls TJ - there were certainly some laugh out loud moments.
The writing style of Michelle Brooks is unlike others I have come across in the genre. She has a unique voice and I have to say, I love it.
The only bad thing about this book was the fact it had to end. The end left me instantly craving more. In a way, I'm glad I read this book when I did, but in a way, I wish I'd been able to wait until the next book was released. That way I would have been able to get my next fix sooner.
As it is, I along with everyone else, must wait (im)patiently until the next book comes along.
There are some awesome characters to be found within the pages of this book. I not only fell in love with the ticking time bomb that we call Syd, but Remy and Sarah too. We didn't get to find out much about their past, and I hope to find out more in book 2. Their lives are entwined in such a way, and I hope that this leads to more fascinating discoveries.
It has already been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, and I don't see that ceasing to be the case any time soon.
I really can't say too much about the story, but there are more beautiful characters to be discovered than just these 3.
Syd finds she must go back to her previous lives to discover more about herself. If she doesn't, there will be things she is not yet ready and able to face. Things that may be the end of her.
In BONE DRESSING, she goes back and discovers her life when she was Rachel - intrinsically linked and deeply in love with Jesse.
We discover much about the love they had for each other and the life they lived together. Without spoiling it too much, all I can really tell you is that these were 2 beautiful characters. You could tell that they were made for each other.
The way Michelle writes these scenes, it seems as though she herself may have experienced a love as deep rooted and all consuming as the love of Rachel and Jesse, or she has dreamed of love like it often.
The way in which her words paint the picture of a love so pure and beautiful, touched my heart in a way that is tough to forget.
Not all was smiles and laughter along the way for all involved though. There was a point at which I was shocked to the core and sat there for a good 5 minutes re-reading the same paragraph because my heart didn't want to let the words sink in. I am not ashamed to admit, I cried for about the next 15 minutes before regaining my composure.
It truly takes something rich and wonderful to touch me they way BONE DRESSING has. I must own this book in paperback, because much as I love my kindle and my e-books, I do like to own my favourites in hardcopy.
This is a book that I will definitely recommend to all my friends, and indeed to all readers that want something a little bit different and special on their shelf.
I am ever thankful that Michelle asked me to review this book.
Some people appreciate art for it's beauty. Well I appreciate a good book and a good author in exactly the same way.
So, thank you Michelle. I hope I don't have to wait too long for the next installment in this incredible journey.
on Jan. 17, 2012
Firstly, let me address the cover. From the lovely font used for the title to the beautiful model chosen, I love this cover. It's beautiful.
When I was asked if I was interested in reading this, it was obviously the cover that I saw first and it instantly drew me in. I am a cover- magpie as my friends know.
If you were to put me in a bookshop that was split into only two sections, the Gorgeous Covers and the Not So Gorgeous Covers, I would only shop in the Gorgeous section. Shallow? Yes. But I won't make apologies for who I am. This cover spoke to me before the contents of the book did. It said "Come, read me, fall in love" - so that is exactly what I did.
I sit here at my computer, nervous as hell. You won't see that because you read the words only after they are published in this post. But I am so nervous. This book broke my heart into about a gazillion tiny pieces and I am not sure my words or the words of any other, can truly do it justice. All I can do is try.
I knew this before I read this book that it was a Paranormal Romance so obviously I was prepared for romance. But I was not prepared for someone to reach into my chest, pull my heart out and stomp on it a few dozen times before shoving the mangled mess back in. Why do I feel like this? You will have to read it for yourself and find out. I can't share all my thoughts, it would contain far too many spoilers. But what I can share, is this:
MEETING DESTINY is about a girl called Lauren Davis. She is visited in her dreams for years by a man claiming to be her 'Destiny'. But Lauren is in a relationship with Seth, her best friend. Their parents were best friends and bought houses next door to each other. Seth and Lauren grew up together, went to school together, so the next natural step - dating each other.
Lauren believes her dreams are just that, dreams. She's with Seth so how can anyone else be her destiny?
Little does Lauren know that Destiny is about to cross her path.
During a failed robbery attempt at the Tasty Burger where Lauren works, she meets a stranger and experiences a kind of chemistry she has never known. She comes to doubt the relationship between her and Seth. Are they really a good couple? Or are they better off as just friends? This is something you will have to read the book yourself to find out!
The thing about Lauren, she has a keen intuition and sense of people. She can tell if they have good or bad intentions. One could say she has a kind of sixth sense about things. It was this that made the robbery attempt just an attempt.
Throughout this book, you don't really learn how or why Lauren has this gift. But that's okay because it is jam packed with so much action that you don't mind not knowing. You just hope to be explained to a little more in book two.
There were so many ups and downs in this book for me. It was like Nancy put me on a roller coaster wearing a blindfold. I didn't know where the twists and turns might be, I just had to hope that it would all turn out right in the end. In the beginning, it was like the ascent of the roller coaster, it was going along at a decent pace, things were nice. In the middle, there were the loop-the-loops and things that made your tummy funny. But then the end, that was most akin to being left at the height of a huge precipice - hanging there for a few minutes - then being dropped into a black hole.
I laughed, I cried, my heart stopped once or twice along the way. I fell head over heels in love with Max Meyer. No, I'm not telling you who he is.
Lauren had her ups and downs. She was happy, she was sad. Every time she felt an emotion, I was dragged right into feeling just the same.
The biggest emotion I felt was at the end. I was so in love and happy that I could not see the end coming.
I can't and won't give you any hint as to what happens, all I can say is, I am welling up now remembering it.
My heart was shattered into too many pieces for me to be able to find them all and put them back together.
I can only hope that book two - DESTINY's REVENGE, can help heal a broken heart.
In all honesty, I went through a range of emotions after I put MEETING DESTINY down. I felt sad and couldn't stop crying. Then when the tears finally dried, I was seething with anger. After that anger subsided, I felt more understanding and acceptance. But boy it was a rough ride.
I'm sorry if you came here hoping for a review that tells you more of what is going on in the book. I just don't feel that I can tell you without ruining it for you. It's a journey each person must experience for themselves and I encourage you to go and buy this book to do just that.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I am now off to take a short break before book 2 so that I can pace myself for when book 3 comes out the end of January.
Firstly, my thoughts on the cover. I think this model is so beautiful. Even better when you look at the paperback. She is simply stunning. I am a self-confessed cover-magpie, as regular visitors to my blog know by now. For me, there is something to be said about a remarkable cover as opposed to a cover that fades into the background. The cover for DESTINY'S REVENGE is one that stays with me. The colour is bold and striking. I could not have wished for better. The whole trilogy actually have some of the nicest covers I've ever seen.
I know you're thinking 'Oh just get on with it' so here goes:
Anyone who has read my review of it knows that I had a broken heart at the end of MEETING DESTINY.
I had a book hangover and could not read for a couple of days afterwards because the emotions stayed with me and I could not enjoy another book.
I read, a lot. So anyone who knows me knows that 2 days without reading is like a lifetime! But I was just too emotionally battered and raw. Seriously, if you think I'm being over-dramatic, go and read it for yourself. It will leave you reeling. I went through loss, sadness, hurt, heartbreak, anger. I defy you not to feel the same.
After reading a few others to give myself some distance, I finally managed to pluck up the courage to pick up DESTINY'S REVENGE. I knew I was in for another emotional battering so I mentally prepared myself.
Or so I thought.
I wasn't in fact as prepared as I had hoped. I got 17% through and I am not ashamed to admit, I cried like a baby. I will share with you my status update from Goodreads at the time:
"For all the hurt I felt, all the anger and frustration - I really felt broken at the end of Meeting Destiny. So much so, I delayed reading Destiny's Revenge. But now I've picked it up & am 6 chapters in. Now my heart has been put back. I just pray it doesn't get torn out again. I sometimes cry at the END of a book but this time, i've just started and am in floods."
DESTINY'S REVENGE starts where we left off at the end of MEETING DESTINY. Lauren was in an unexplained coma. Her physical injuries were healed and there was no other reason for her to still be in a coma. The doctors thought it best to move her to a care home where she would receive the best care, in the hopes that one day she would wake up.
It had been 2 and a half years since Lauren had been attacked by the bear whilst camping with her boyfriend Max. For all that time she had been in the coma. Max was by her side day and night for the first year but then he gave up hope that she would ever come out of it.
At this point I must make a little jump forward. I am too scared that I will a) reveal too much and b) start crying all over again.
So... fast forward to Max being home.
The man I love - I mean Lauren loves, Max is home from war. [no explanation, read the book & see what I mean] He goes to visit his grandfather, Joe who happens to be in the same care home as Lauren. [Lauren doesn't know that Max and Joe are related. Joe doesn't know she's Max's girlfriend. Max doesn't know that Lauren is out of the coma] He and Lauren have a wonderful, emotional reunion.
*Insert me crying like a baby here*
So now the pair are happily reunited, they can get on with a normal life. Right? Couldn't be more wrong!
I can't and won't tell you of the journey that awaits them. I don't like to overdo the details. All you need to know is this is one heck of a ride. From beginning to end, I was hooked. The only time I put it down was to go to bed last night (very grudgingly) and to take my son to school/collect him from school today. I really could not put it down. Too much was happening.
From the reunion of the two lovers, to the arrival of a very unwelcome [spoiler removed] called Samael. The journey is one of tension, emotion, happiness, sadness, a whole barrage of feelings that just slam into you one after the other. If I wasn't biting my nails, I was laughing or crying, I was sitting on the edge of my seat - praying for a good outcome for Lauren, Max and all they hold dear.
For me, this book was like a drug. I was the junkie and this was my fix. There are not enough words in the English language to describe how much this book stole my heart. Nancy Straight did it again.
I wasn't sure how the sequel would match up to the first book but it was just as emotional, just as gut-wrenching.
I will share with you the status update I wrote upon finishing...
"Whilst the last book ended on a note of sadness, loss, anger & broke my heart - this book ended in shock and anticipation. What is it that makes Nancy not end these books on a happier note? I can't wait to read Destinys Wrath. I can only hope as it ends the much beloved trilogy, that it ends happily. it's not a fairytale but we all dream of happily ever after!"
I can honestly say, though my heart doesn't hurt as much at the end of this book, I am still approaching DESTINY'S WRATH with some trepidation. I never know what is coming next in these books. One of the things I love so much about Nancy Straight is, you never know what's coming. Nothing about these books is in the slightest bit predictable. You might think you know where it's headed but let me tell you, you are SO wrong!
What more can I say? Only that I love Nancy's style of writing and I wish I were half as talented as her. It is truly amazing how an author can be responsible for so many emotions within my head, heart and soul!
I know this book, this trilogy, will stay with me and I will be telling people about them for many years to come.
I have been lucky enough to receive an email from Nancy today saying that she is sending me books 2 & 3 in paperback. (I already have book 1). This means that I will have a SIGNED trilogy for keeps AND another to give away!! I am so excited. Beyond excited really. So stay tuned for details. When they arrive, I will be sure to let you know!
Thank you Nancy for allowing me the chance to read & review your beautiful books. I hope what you told me is true and that you will continue to write many wonderful books!
Firstly, it's time for cover appreciation. I adore all the covers in this trilogy, yet I maybe like this one the best. I think the girl is stunning but this time we get to see Max too. I seriously heart me some Max. He is my fictional all time favourite man. So it is great to see him on this last cover. I think it is a beautiful cover and so fitting. Seriously, much love to Dreamscape Covers!
I am sat here asking myself a question. How on Earth do I write this review? I am a person who talks a lot and generally has a lot to say about books, so how is it that I am speechless?
The answer to that question is simple. Nancy Straight. How so? Well sit back and let me tell you.
*WARNING: Grab a drink and get comfortable*
Nancy Straight is an amazing author. She has created a beautiful trilogy that I am proud to call my favourite series of ALL TIME! I have read a lot of books and will read a lot more in the future. But no matter what, The Destiny Series will stay with me. It is part of my soul now.
Nancy created some amazing characters and an awe-inspiring paranormal romance that you never know where it is heading or how you will feel from one moment to the next.
I was in hook, line and sinker from the first word on the first page of MEETING DESTINY and that sensation didn't end with the last word on the last page of DESTINY'S WRATH. Instead it ingrained itself in my memories and in my heart.
I have loved some books in my time. But there is just something about this trilogy that I cannot put into mere words.
In book one I met and fell in love with Max Meyer. He will forever be one of my all time favourite fictional crushes. Not only is he handsome but he is a good person with a good heart and a courageous soul.
I also developed a bit of a girl crush on Lauren Davis. She is so pure of heart. I totally love her.
As I sit here writing this, I feel despondent. I am heart-broken. Not because this book ended badly. More so because I know that this is the end. I will never see Max or Lauren again. (Okay I will because I'll re-read the series, but you know what I mean.)
I guess you're waiting for me to get a grip on myself, get over the smooshy stuff and just get on with my review? Well, I'm not sure I can. The first book left me with a book hangover and I think the trilogy has left me that way too.
All I can tell you about this book in and of itself is this:
DESTINY'S WRATH is the conclusion to Lauren and Max's journey. They are set to face maybe their hardest challenge yet.
Samael has taken possession of the body of a teenage boy. In doing so, he has gone on a killing spree and murdered 9 people.
What can Lauren and Max do? Can Lauren really use the powers she took from Samael when he held her captive? Powers she knows nothing about using to her advantage. Can she learn what needs to be done?
Nothing about this final book was ever meant to be an easy journey. In their life together, they were meant to attain Empathy, Trust, Virtue and Passion. Lauren had been able to attain Courage in MEETING DESTINY when she put herself in the position to take the bullet instead of the young boy.
Well they do say 'Ad Astra Per Aspera' - A Rough Road Leads To The Stars - and for Lauren & Max, it sure hasn't been easy. But then I guess nothing in life that is worth having comes easily.
All I can say is, this may have been the toughest part of their journey together, but it was also the most fulfilling.
The end of this story held a mixture of emotions for me. It was a mixture of sadness, loss, happiness and joy.
To find out why I say that, read it for yourself. I promise you won't be sorry you did.
Nancy Straight has an amazing way with words. She has an uncanny way of using a few words but making the most impact. Those words have a habit of worming their way into your heart and soul.
I really am looking forward to a lot more from Nancy. She has the makings of a best-selling author. Is she the next Rachel Vincent? Is she the next Laurell K Hamilton? No! She's Nancy Straight! She doesn't need to compare herself to other authors. Her work speaks for itself.
Many, many thanks to Nancy for the chance to review this series. You rocked my world in a way I can never fully express. Thank you just isn't enough!