I am a 26 year old living in Kansas. I am married, have a 3 year old son, and LOVE to read. That's why I started my book review blog, Bookerella. Check it out!
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Smashwords book reviews by Jamie Kline
- Anathema (Causal Enchantment, #1)
on June 20, 2011
For some reason I find it harder to write reviews on books that I truly loved. I'm not sure why, I guess it's because my mind gets pulled in so many different directions, remembering all of the incredible scenes in the book and wanting to share them, but not wanting to spoil the story for anyone else.
The characters in this book? Amazing! I loved Evangeline as the main character. She was tough, smart, and persevered even when everything seemed impossible. I felt compassion for her having lost her mother at a young age and not having anyone in her life to confide in. She is extremely likable and relatable, which makes this an easy book to get sucked into. The secondary characters were just as important to the story. We Sofie who takes Evangeline under her wing without really knowing her and whisks her off to New York. Then there's the mysterious Viggo and Mortimer who welcome Evangeline into their home but are harboring some very dark secrets. I really loved Evangeline's guard dog, Max. At first he seemed just like an ordinary dog (albeit a very intimidating, large dog), but as the story progresses he plays a bigger part and we learn more about him. Then there are the characters from the other world; Amelie, Fiona, Bishop, Rachel, and of course Caden. I loved all of them, except Rachel who isn't meant to be liked because she's got her sights set on Caden and for the most part he seems to reciprocate some of those feelings much to Evangeline's dismay. I won't go into any more detail with the characters, but I found it impossible not to connect with each and every one of them.
The romance between Caden and Evangeline felt very genuine and makes you want nothing more than the two of them to be together. The wrench thrown into the mix of course is Rachel, who thinks that he only has eyes for her. There are some very tender moments between Evangeline and Caden that make you just want to melt, but terrify you at the same time wondering what will happen at the end, if they will ever be able to truly be a couple.
Another thing I loved about this book is the unique story line. It has two different worlds; one is set in present day New York, the other is a sort of dystopian society where everything is in ruin. The author did an excellent job of painting this other world for us so it's very easy to visualize and imagine what it would look like. The story was just a breath of fresh air after reading so many books with practically the same premise and I enjoyed every bit of it. There is a pretty big cliffhanger at the end and I know some people are turned off by that. To me, cliffhangers just serve to get me more excited about the next book in the series so they don't bother me in the least.
What more can I say? This book rocked and I would go so far as to say it's one of my top 3 books of this year so far; it was that good! I can't wait to see what else the author has in store for these characters in the next installment in the series and I will most definitely be pre-ordering it when it becomes available. Go check out Anathema now, I promise you won't be disappointed!
- Angle of Incidence
on July 09, 2011
1) Character Development: The characters in this book were fantastic! They were believable, relatable, and I was able to easily connect and sympathize with each of them. The two main characters are Gwen and Rob; they start out as a happily married couple, but after a devastating miscarriage and Rob's shocking revelation their dream life is left in shambles. I felt so bad for Gwen. It's one thing to have a miscarriage after so many years of trying (and so late in the pregnancy too), but to be blindsided by a huge secret her husband had been keeping would be too much for anyone to deal with. She reacted exactly how I would assume someone would in that situation; she pretty much shuts down completely, mourning the son she'll never hold in her arms and slowly letting her marriage crumble. Even though Rob did a horrible thing by keeping the secret from Gwen, he had no idea it would reveal itself at the worst possible time when they already had so much to deal with. I felt bad for him too, because he didn't mean to hurt her and it's obvious how much he adored her and valued their marriage. When the story starts out, the narration is in 3rd person and switches back and forth between Gwen and Rob. Later on we also get a glimpse at another married couple, Deanna and Vincent, and their teenage son Brandon. I can't go into any detail about them, but let's just say they play a fairly big part in the story. There's also Justin Rappaport who was Gwen's close friend in college. It's obvious he has feelings for Gwen and sees her failing marriage as an opportunity to make his more. I thought it was really slimy of him to try to take advantage of the situation when Gwen had already been through so much.
2) The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: The Good - I loved the characters, I enjoyed the story line, and the book was extremely well written. The author certainly has a way with words and I had trouble putting this book down; it just flowed really nicely and had me flying through the pages to find out what happened next. The Bad - Honestly, I can't really think of anything bad to say about this book. It definitely exceeded my expectations! The Ugly - Absolutely nothing to say here, except that I'm really going to miss these characters!
3) Romance Sizzle Or Fizzle: Ok, so this isn't really appropriate for this book, since Gwen and Rob are wondering the entire time if they will be able to salvage their marriage. I will say this though, even with all they were going through, it was obvious that they loved each other very much and if there was a way to make things right between them again they would find it.
4) Uniqueness Of Plot: I wouldn't say the plot was especially unique; I know all of these issues have been in novels before. It didn't detract from my love for the book though because it was so well written. I already had the secrets and mysteries figured out early on, so there weren't a whole lot of shockers for me while reading; it didn't make me want to stop reading though and I really loved the ending.
5) Final Thoughts: Overall this book was a really fantastic read, full of heartbreak, secrets, and it shows that love has the power to heal.
- A Soul Less Broken
on July 09, 2011
When I read the synopsis for this book, I couldn't wait to read it. I love stories about people overcoming incredible obstacles and finding true love. In this book, the main character, Catherine, is raped, stabbed, and left for dead. At the hospital, Dr. Alan Peterson takes over her care and as soon as he lays eyes on her he feels an immediate connection. He's never even seen her before, but he already feels like he knows her. As she slowly recovers, he makes himself a fixture in her life, being there for her always. Catherine starts to fall for him too, but will she ever be able to overcome the physical and emotional trauma that haunts her every day and be able to have a normal relationship with Alan?
1) Character Development: I really didn't connect with the characters in this book. I wanted to, but it just didn't happen. Catherine ("Cat)" is tough, but understandably she has a lot of issues after the attack. As horrific as her attack was, I just didn't sympathize with her like I felt I should. That's when I knew I wasn't connecting with the characters. I thought Alan was sweet for sticking by her side all of that time, even before she even knew who he was, but if I was Catherine I might think that it was kind of creepy. Especially after what she had just went through; he was around a lot, asking about her and sending her flowers. He wasn't really being pushy in the beginning, but his shows of concern could have very easily pushed her away. Madeline ("Maddie") starts out being a crisis counselor for Cat, but they end up becoming close friends. I felt like her friendship with Maddie seemed a lot more genuine than her "relationship" with Alan; I'll explain more about that later.
2) The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: The Good - This story has a great message about taking a stand against rape and violent crimes against women. It also deals with the terrifying and devastating effects of cancer, both the physical effect on the person's body who is suffering from it and the emotional toll it takes on those who love them. I also like how at the end of the book the author gives links to resources: RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) and the National Brain Tumor Society. They are certainly both issues that we can all help bring awareness to and give support. The Bad - I found the dialogue between characters to be slightly awkward. It didn't flow well for me. For instance, when two characters would be talking to each other, they would use the other person's name every time they addressed them. Without it, the dialogue might have felt a little less clunky. There is one major plot point in particular that bothered me; it was extremely predictable and far too convenient in my opinion. It's actually a revelation that Maddie makes, but I won't go into any more detail because I don't want to ruin it for anyone. The Ugly - I appreciated the major issues that this book tackled, but I think it took on a bit too much. The book really had 3 main themes: rape, love, and cancer. I think it would have been a lot better read if it had just focused on Cat's attack and then on her healing process, with more emphasis on her growing relationship with Alan. The cancer aspect just threw a wrench in everything and, to me, made everything even less believable. I appreciate that awareness that the author is trying to bring to the subject of cancer, but maybe it could have been tackled in a separate book.
3) Romance Sizzle or Fizzle?: I have to say fizzle. I wanted to believe in this blossoming love between a woman who has her world torn apart and the man intent on saving her. In the end I just didn't believe in it. It's not that I don't think that maybe everyone has a soul mate; there's no guarantee you'll ever meet that person, but maybe when you do, you instantly know. I think that idea might have worked. But the story jumped around too much; one minute she didn't really know who Alan was, aside from being her doctor, the next they were basically in a relationship. There was no gradual easing into it, them getting to know each other and us as readers getting to see sweet moments between them that would make us believe that they were truly falling in love with each other. I wish there would have been more time taken for those little details, it would have built the story up a lot more, made it much easier for us to connect with these characters. The way the story skipped around, it made it seem as though they were barely together at all, surely not long enough to develop a healthy relationship. Even at the end I still wasn't convinced that they were really soul mates.
4) Uniqueness of Plot: I didn't find the plot to be especially unique. It was kind of like a mash-up of other fiction/romances books I've read in the past.
5) Final Thoughts: To be completely honest, I didn't enjoy this novel. I couldn't connect with the characters and therefore had trouble sympathizing for them. I did shed a tear at the end because I've had a family member die from cancer and I know how heartbreaking it is. By reading the synopsis I assumed that the story would focus more on Cat and Alan's relationship and although they did think about each other a lot and attempted to communicate occasionally, they simply didn't spend enough time together to show us why they were in love.
- Galaxy Girls
on Dec. 01, 2011
I wasn't sure at all what to expect with this book, as I don't normally read sci-fi. I definitely was all for giving it a chance though, because it sounded so unique. It certainly didn't disappoint in that aspect. In short, it follows four women from another planet, Kergeron, who steal away to earth in hopes of a better life. When they are ovulating they send out massive amounts of pheromones which basically entrance and incapacitate any surrounding males, which we get to see in action in the first chapter.
I found the characters to be fun and interesting, but I wasn't able to connect with them as well as I had hoped. I just never felt like I got to know them enough to form feelings for them. For the most part the story focuses on the story line between Phyrne (one of the women from Kergeron) and Hawk (an FBI agent). The point of view jumps around throughout the whole book so you get to see a little of what everyone else is thinking, as well as insight into the other, secondary story lines. I definitely liked Phyrne; she was loyal to her friends/family and fiercely protective of her daughter. The only think that annoyed me about her was every time she was around Hawk, all she could think about was jumping into bed with him. Completely understandable though, considering that women from her planet are focused on breeding, but it got to be a bit much at times. I liked Hawk from the start, and he was never quite the same after his first encounter with Phyrne (as can be expected - read the book, you'll know what I mean!). He had a lot of determination and drive, which I admired. Sometimes I think he sent some very mixed messages, but I'll get into that in a minute.
I enjoyed the other characters too, but as with the main characters, I just didn't form a good connection with them.
To call the relationship between Phyrne and Hawk "sweet" would be inaccurate. Instead I would use "dysfunctional" and "sexy". I know, those words are a little strange together, but it completely works in this case. Sure, they do have some sweet moments together, but you have to take into account that she pretty much ravaged him on their first meeting. Back to what I was saying before, I felt like Hawk gave Phyrne some pretty mixed up signals at times, making her feel like her feelings weren't a top priority. True, they weren't dating or exclusive at the time, and we weren't able to get inside his head and see what he was really thinking, but at times it made me wonder if he truly liked her that much. Overall though I thought they were a great match; they just had a lot of obstacles to overcome.
I loved how unique the story line was. To me anyway. Like I said, I don't read a lot of science fiction, but this one caught my interest. I can honestly say I've never read anything quite like this before so it was like a breath of fresh air.
The story was interesting (and at times very sexy), but my lukewarm feelings for the characters brought down the overall grade. That being said, I did enjoy the author's writing style and could definitely see me reading more of her books in the future. If you're looking for a story with sexy aliens, passion, romance, and a little humor thrown in, then you will definitely enjoy this read!