I am a disabled SAHM with Fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, Aspergers, PTSD (and a *whole lot more*) with 3 wonderful sons who all fall somewhere on the Autism Spectrum. Photography, writing my blog and poetry, and reading and writing book reviews are my sanity. I read just about every genre available - fiction, non-fiction, biographies, memoirs, romance, erotica and everything in between. Beyond that, I take life as it comes, one second at a time. :-)
on Feb. 25, 2012
Five is a coming-into-her-own/paranormal romance novel written by Christie Rich. As Rayla Tate is just beginning to figure out who she is and what she may want out of life, she also finds that life and the fae may have alternate plans in store for her.
When I first began reading Five, I wasn’t a fan. Christie Rich was incredibly detailed and descriptive when giving the reader as much of the back story as possible, without giving away any plot twists and turns that may be in store later on. While those are typically both good things to have in a novel, they just seemed to make the first few chapters sluggish and slow-moving. However, I later found myself reflecting back on every “sluggish and slow-moving” detail as I read-on.
Once the momentum picked up, it kept up a steady and engaging pace throughout the rest of the book. I found myself hanging on every detail, every description…essentially, everything that had irked me in the beginning now had me hooked. Christie Rich’s characters are very relatable and emotionally well-developed. She also has an ability to describe a setting and make you feel as if you are actually there, right next to the characters. I found myself experiencing the emotional ups and downs right along with Rayla as her life unfolds before her.
In the end, I found that I didn’t want Five to end. In fact, I have to keep stopping myself from going back and checking the end of the book…just to make sure I didn’t miss anything or there wasn’t more to read that I somehow over-looked. Christie Rich has made a fan out of me. And I know where I’ll be, on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next “Christie Rich novel” to be released.
“Love should be the great leveler: The thing that obliterates all other emotions into the insignificant rubble they are.” Rayla Tate, Five, written by Christie Rich, Chapter Sixteen, page 170
(I was given this book to review.)
A Marked Past
on March 30, 2012
For Lyla Mercer, life couldn’t possibly get any better. She has a best friend and a boyfriend who love her and a newly secured spot on the Varsity Cheerleading Squad. Yup, life is darn near perfect. Until a freak, car accident murders her father on her “perfect day”. That one tragedy sets into motion a chain of events that Lyla never could have imagined. The question is, is she ready to accept all that she’s about to learn?
When I started to read A Marked Past, written by Leslie Deaton, I was immediately taken with how skillfully she was able to capture not only my attention but my emotions, as well. From the first sentence of chapter one, I was hooked. However, I wasn’t expecting such an emotional roller coaster ride right from the start. I found myself so wrapped up in the plot and the emotions of Lyla’s story that I actually had to put the novel aside for a few days and take a break because reading it was leaving me ‘emotionally raw’. (Yes, I can really be that big a sap.) Sappiness aside, I have never had a novel affect me that quickly.
The only issue I really had with A Marked Past were the frequent typo’s which occasionally made reading the novel a bit more difficult. However, they were honestly more of an annoyance and slightly unprofessional in appearance than anything else. And truly, in the grand scheme of all things novel related if that’s the only complaint I have (and it is!) then there isn’t much to worry about.
Typo’s aside, I was hooked and invested from line one; I couldn’t wait to sit down each night and read on to uncover more of Lyla’s story. While parts of the plot were fairly easy for me to figure out before they were revealed; there were still plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing and on my toes.
I found it to be a quick read. The slower a novel is, the more likely it is to lose my interest and A Marked Past was the perfect speed for me. The plot kept moving pretty quickly only slowing down in a few spots and even in the ‘slow spots’ the story held relevant information concerning plot line or characterization.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed A Marked Past. I know I’ll reread it again in the future, probably numerous times, which I often do with novels I particularly enjoy. I’m already anxious for the next book, A History Renewed: Book Two of The Mercer Legacy, so I can see how the next ‘chapter’ of Lyla’s life unfolds.
If you are a fan of the House of Night series, written by P.C. & Kristin Cast, A Marked Past (The Mercer Legacy) is a good match. Especially if you found the House of Night series to be a bit more ‘R’ than ‘YA’, A Marked Past is definitely a good place to start.
I received a free copy of A Marked Past, written by Leslie Deaton, to read and review.
on April 22, 2012
I received this novel free from the author to read and give an honest review.
When I first started reading Dangerous, Book One of the Elemental Preservers Series, written by Alycia Linwood, I really wanted to like it. The plot idea was original and intriguing and I was excited to have the opportunity to read it. Unfortunately, my desires and expectations were way off the mark on this one.
Ms. Linwood has the potential to make this a good series. About two-thirds of the way through the novel, the plot finally began to smooth out and become the outstanding novel I knew it could be. Prior to that point, it was a roller coaster of inconsistent writing and too little show vs tell.
For the first two-thirds of the novel, I really wanted to like it. I wanted to be able to write a glowing review. What I got, was a novel set in a high school/junior college, which felt like it was a repeat of high school for me. It was drawn out, tired and just painful at times with cursing, frequent excessive drinking, which of course led to getting drunk. All of these things came together to create a novel that was juvenile and felt forced.
Now Dangerous had its share of issues, I’m not denying that; however, there are positives as well.
The main characters are very likable and easy to relate to. Ria is up-tight, slightly boy-crazy with her priorities in the right order – friends, boys, studies. Her best friend, Paula, is Ria’s polar opposite in every way. Paula is studious, easy going, and while she does set her sights on one boy, she will never be mistaken for a boy-crazy teenager. The only thing I wish I had more of where the characters are concerned was background. I wish I knew more about them – where they came from, what they like, what they don’t like, what makes them tick (besides boys or studying). As much as I liked the characters and could relate to them, I also felt as if I hardly knew them.
Then for that final third of Dangerous, I simply couldn’t get enough. I couldn’t find enough time to read. I wanted more! It felt like Ms. Linwood had finally found her voice and knew exactly what she wanted to say. The dialog became more natural and flowed easily with the context of the novel itself. As if someone had flipped a switch, the novel suddenly clicked. It all came together. In my opinion, the final third of the novel is what saves it from mediocrity. If not for that magical piece (pardon the magic pun), the novel would have been a shell of what it could have been.
As for the sequels, I’ll likely read the next one for a few reasons. First, I want to see where she takes things from here. Most importantly, I’ll read the second novel to see if Ms. Linwood manages to maintain the momentum she found in the end of Dangerous and carry it over into Book Two. If she can carry it over, there is hope for the series. If she loses it, I likely won’t read past Book Two.
If you are looking for a paranormal novel with magic, witches, wizards and all other things magical, then I would suggest you check out the Harry Potter series, if you haven’t read them already. Also if you are an older teen or a young adult (early twenties), then you might enjoy the House of Night series by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast. It’s also about magic but it tends to have some rather intense situations that aren’t really appropriate for teenagers or younger teenagers. Overall, it’s a fantastic series and I highly recommend it.