Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review for "The Reaping" by M. Leighton


Beautiful, Dark, and Creepy, but too many Questions left Unanswered

3.5 stars. Beautiful imagery sucked me into the beginning of this book. Leighton describes Carson and the scene around her in a way that really makes you feel like you’re there. The story also moves along at a nice pace and leaves enough mystery for you to want to keep reading.

I really liked some of the supernatural elements of this story. I liked Carson’s powers, and her dreams. In particular, the way Leighton shows us that Carson has developed these powers is wonderful. She connects them to her emotions and then gives her believable reactions to them. I think my favorite scene in this book is the funeral scene, where we see Carson deal with her emotions over losing her father. It is well written, has beautiful imagery, and you really feel what she is feeling then.

One thing I found odd from the start were the names. Carson, and her sister, Grey, have odd names for girls. Although, there is an explanation for why they have these unusual names. Really, the first half of this book had me sucked in with just the right amount of mystery. Everything was being set up for a great story. But as the book went on I had more problems with it.

The biggest issue I had was that I didn’t find Carson’s relationship with Derek believable. She’s drawn to him for no reason. Had why she was drawn to him been explained I would have felt better but it never was. Also, she even admits that she barely knows him and yet feels like she can say that she loves him. Even at the end of the book I have questions about Derek’s motives, which at parts were an interesting twist to the storyline, but the fact that Carson so easily overlooks them bothers me. I think had their relationship been built up better and they gotten to know one another better I would have given this story 4 stars. I will say though that the steamier scenes between them were well written. Still, they would have been more fun to read had I believed that they knew each other well enough to be that crazy about each other.

Another thing that bothered me about this book was how many questions it left me with at the end. The mystery that kept me reading at the beginning never got fully explained. Derek in particular keeps so many secrets from Carson, and he keeps them for far too long. Some things I could figure out on my own, like I assume that Carson’s powers were either related to her upcoming 18th birthday, or the fact that her sister makes a deal with Fahl. And, I know Derek has the power to control water, but I’m not sure what his other power is, fire? I also want to know the significance of 306 and why it kept repeating in the story, and why her sister’s hair is red and then black at the end of the book. Most importantly though I have questions about the ending. There are so many deals made with the devil that I was wondering what people got in exchange for their souls, and if so many people were trading up to keep Carson safe then why was she ever in danger?

There is a second book, and I can understand some of these questions not being answered until I read that one, but I feel like there were just a few too many left open. Also, I liked the message of this book, but it gets laid on a little too thick at the end. And there’s one scene where Carson saves a girl’s life but another boy is basically damned and she considers it a good deed. She also probably gave them both third degree burns and destroyed the girl’s house, not to mention left her with serious psychological damage. So, I don’t quite understand why she thinks she’s done a good thing.

Overall I would say that there is some good writing here and an interesting idea, although there are some issues with the plot. If you’re the kind of person that can look past those ‘drawn to you for no reason’ romances I think you would enjoy this. And, I am considering reading the next book, although it’s mostly because I’m hoping it answers the questions that were left open in this one.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Teaser and Cover Release for "Into the Deep"

Ivy Daniels is a high school junior still learning who she is. After almost drowning, Ivy finds herself with an ability she doesn’t want, an ability to uncover secrets which quickly begins to redefine what she thinks about the people around her as well as herself. Because of this ability, Ivy becomes the one thing that stands between an angry teen and the death of every student on campus. The only problem is she doesn’t know who wants everyone dead. Will she figure out whose secret is that they’re planning to blow up her school, or will she fail to find him in time?

Through her search to do the right thing, Ivy discovers that knowing the thoughts and secrets of those around her may just tear her apart.
Into the Deep is a paranormal romance for mature young adults, that looks at how we define who we are, and what it means to feel alone. It contains minimal use of strong language and mild sensuality.



Teaser:
“Ivy, don’t you dare walk out that door!” my dad yelled.
                In the corner of my vision, I saw my mom stand up; one of the turquoise throw pillows to falling to the floor. I walked out the door. Looking back, it was a fairly childish response, but it was all I could think to do. I had felt trapped, like a lion living like a housecat. Finding the person that was planning to blow up the school was higher on my priority list than going to class, but I couldn’t tell them that. I couldn’t explain what I had been doing or what I could do. They wouldn’t understand. I also couldn’t explain why I was so furious with my father, why I felt like he had no place telling me right from wrong. I couldn’t confront my mother with that information. So I walked out the door, slamming it behind me.
                After that, I found myself driving more than a few miles over the speed limit. My fingers were wrapped tightly around the steering wheel, the bones of my knuckles stretching the skin until it blanched white. I didn’t know where I was going, I just needed to drive. I needed to get away. My mind raced as I drove on autopilot. I felt bad for running out of the house. I’d never done anything that disrespectful before, and yet I felt like my father didn’t deserve my respect anymore. That was truly how I felt, but to think it sounded awful. He was still my dad, he still loved me and I still loved him even if I felt disappointed with him at the time. I just didn’t know how to act around him anymore. My thoughts were conflicting and my head ached as I tried to sort them out. So distracted by the drama that was my life, I failed to notice where I’d been driving to. It wasn’t until after I’d
passed the sign that read ‘Laurel Hill Estates’ that I realized where I was.

Why is Ivy in trouble with her parens? What does she fee she can't tell them about? Why is she mad at her father? What's in Laurel Hill Estates? Read Into the Deep this August to find out.

Add Into the Deep to your bookshelf on Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15756767-into-the-deep

Friday, July 6, 2012

Review for "Borrowed Ember" by Samantha Young

Fierce and Steamy

4.5 Stars. I have fallen in love with this series. The story is truly enthralling, and this book is by far the best of the three. As with the first two books it’s Samantha Young’s characters that have sucked me in to this story. They are deep and complicated and each of them evolves beautifully from the beginning of the story to the end as well as from one book to another. There are no flat characters here, everyone from Ari, Charlie and Jai, to the White King and all of his brothers are complex. I particularly love, when it comes to the kings, trying to figure out just what side they’re on, because they each have their own set of opinions and morals and views on the world that make them who they are. There are no simple good or bad guys here, they all have reasons behind their choices and they all make both good and bad decisions.
I loved the fast pace of this book, something’s always happening, but at times I felt scenes went by a little too quickly. All three of these books are defiantly indie books. They lack some fine tuning, could probably still be weeded for clich├ęs (“pinned in place” in particular was a little overused in this book) and even have some places that could use further scene development. However, I’ve always believed that a good story will win out over grammatical, and style mistakes and these books are a perfect example of this.
This book is filled with surprises and ties back nicely with the first two. Ari is still selfless and honest, but in this book she has to make some hard choices and because of this is learning to let go of things that were holding her back in the past. As she matures so does the story. Her relationship with Jai is also growing and I loved reading about things getting steamier between them. I hope they continue to heat up in the fourth book. Ari and Jai are both overcoming the hardships that were put on them by their parents and it brings them closer. They’re learning to be on their own and not under the power of someone else. On the other hand Charlie continues to be sucked down by his selfishness and need for vengeance. The rift that’s growing between him and Ari is bound to end with heartache. I am eagerly awaiting the next book to see where this story goes from here.
To read my reviews of the first two books of this series Smokeless Fire and Scorched Skies click here.