Book Review: Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout

13047090Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

So this book picks up right where Obsidian leaves off.   Katy is connected to Daemon (who wouldn’t want that) and she is having some issues of the paranormal kind.  Along comes Blake , who I didn’t like from the start, to “save” the day by offering to help Katy control her quirks.  He adds some competition for Daemon, by showing interest in Katy and being kind of normal and not all mad, brooding, or mean.  Competition as we find out can be good, especially with a very self assured character like Daemon, it sort of puts him in his place.

This book will keep your heart racing.  Between the story line and the uh hem tension between Katy and Daemon you really can’t put it down.  The characters are more developed in this book, as you expect from the second book in a series.  The plot is good, all be it slightly predictable, and moves at a great pace.  I like that there are weeks in between action, it gives the characters a break.  I hate when you read a book filled with so much drama that happens in ONE day.  That sounds exhausting.  I also love that Jennifer L. Armentrout allows each character to have flaws, and to not be great at everything.  It makes the books more relatable.

Have I mentioned that Katy is a YA book blogger?  Armentrout captured our essence perfectly with Katy, the way we get excited to receive packages, or when we can’t blog how we feel like something is missing, and books are everywhere in our houses.  LOVE LOVE LOVE.  Now if only a hot “mature” alien with a steady job would move next to me…

Just a fair warning I went to two bookstores to try to find the next books in the series and they didn’t have them.  Also as a side note/gripe I went to Books a Million and asked where the YA section was, and the dude working there didn’t know what YA was…  If you work in a bookstore at a very big mall you should know what YA is.  Grr.  So if you are looking for the books I found them on Amazon.

5 Bards for all the feels

fivebards

 

Book Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

12578077Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

I think I love Jennifer Armentrout.  She basically wrote this book for book bloggers, I mean the the main character is a YA book blogger and she is freaking awesome.  Now I am about to say something slightly controversial so bare with me here, this book is what Twilight could have been.  When I started reading it I got slightly scared, because it had some similarities to Twilight.  Girl moves to small town, meets a mysterious guy who doesn’t like her, he acts weird, and has a big family, and of course has a big secret.  Now do you see where I am coming from?  Fortunately our protagonist is not a vapid, shallow girl like Bella.  Katy is awesome, she is a reader and a blogger (bonus points), she is smart, and witty, and she doesn’t need some guy who is an a hole around her.

So I was a little skeptical that this book was about aliens.  It’s not something that is done much in the YA genre, and when it is done the aliens are not the main characters in the book.  But I liked what Jennifer (I feel like we are on first name bases now, we have a major friendship happening in my head in a none creepy way) did with the characters.  I understood their standoff ways and even thought well yeah, that’s how I would be.  I must say Daemon is hot.  But so are all the Aliens, one day I would like to have a supernatural character be not so hot…

I really appreciated that Katy wasn’t some helpless girl that stuck with the hot dude even know he treated her like crap.  She has backbone and chutzpah (sometimes I turn into a Jewish old lady).  Even at the end of the book when he starts to admit he likes her, she is skeptical and keeps him at arms length.  That is awesome and exactly how she should react.

Lets talk about the action in this book because it is not all about the romance.  I really dug the idea of having the light and dark dichotomy.  It was simple but at the same time complex.  And it causes some amount of tension and some awesome fight scenes in the book.  That thing that happened at the end, well that was something.  It was weird and I didn’t quite understand it.  But it was better explained in the other book (Onyx) that was ever so cleverly attached to Obsidian for my reading pleasure (I have Lux beginnings).  In fact it was so convenient that I didn’t stop reading once I finished Obsidian.  I have also learned there are 5 books so expect more reviews from me soon!

I would highly recommend this book.  Please ignore the similarities to Twilight, this is much better I promise!

4.5 Bards

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Book Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

17838475When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day. 

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

Boyfriends, pimples, or winning your championship softball game should be the typical worries in Kyra’s life until she wakes up, behind a dumpster, 5 years after a fight with her dad with no memory of those years. Don’t we all wish we could just black out most of our awkward teenage years? Personally, it’s a thought I’ve had more than once. But as Kyra soon discovers, her total black out will lead her into a sci fi adventure right out of the pages of something George Lucas would be proud of.

The subject of alien abduction always seems so taboo to me. Even now, with the massive amounts of science fiction books running around, people still get weirded out about aliens that can abduct or take you at any moment. I thought Derting did a very good job at addressing the subject in a manner that seemed almost plausible. Kyra freaked out but the idea made sense, so she just accepted it and moved on with the “why’s” of the whole thing. The idea that only teenagers were taken and most were only missing for a short amount of time made the idea seem almost real and I appreciated that. I also liked that as the kids were abducted, Derting didn’t go into detail about them being poked and probed. Which is the same old boring things everyone thinks of when they hear the word “abduction.”

The overall development of the characters was believable and I enjoyed watching the main character come to grips with what needed to be done in her situation. The major and minor players of the book all got a long really well and no one seemed out of place or context. There was just enough interaction between people in Kyra’s life 5 years prior to waking up to give you an idea of who she was but not over doing those relationships.

As much as this type of book is not my normal go to read, I did enjoy it and am looking forward to the next book to come out so that I can see how the characters develop and how the story plays out. I do have to say that the overall plot reminded me of every other tv show or book I have read about alien abduction and I hope that the next books in the series twist the plot a bit so they don’t become predictable.

Derting did an outstanding job with dialogue and just enough description to leave a reader understanding where the book is taking place but using their own imagination to really “see” the story happen.

3.5 Bards

3.5bards

Book Review: Adaptation by Malinda Lo

10744752Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are—or how they’ve been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction—and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.

The book started off really cool.  Then it sort of went nowhere and picked pack up towards the end.  I felt like it should have been two different books.  The love triangle between Reese, Amber and David didn’t feel genuine.  While I applaud Malinda Lo for the progressive nature of the triangle it felt forced.  And the Reese/David story line felt weird and not real.  I wish the book was either about Amber and Reese or the Aliens.

I really thought the alien premise was cool and fascinating.  And when the book solely focused on that it was really good.   I was immediately fascinated with the story at the beginning, and freaked out that the birds were taking down planes.  I wish there could have been more speculation from Reese as to how she was different, the extraterrestrial aspect was not brought up as an option in her mind.  So when we find out that’s what it is, I was like huh?  It was a neat idea, that the aliens look just like us but have cool powers, and have been trying to improve the human race, but the US government keeps getting in the way.  That is surprisingly realistic. And if the book had focused on that and developed that story line better then tossed the romance with David out it would have been a great book.  Alas that was not the case.

I will give it 3 Bards because it had potential

threebards

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta

 

Seventeen-year-old Cade is a fierce survivor, solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar. Or so she thought. Her world shakes apart when a hologram named Mr. Niven tells her she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan.
Cade’s quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws—her first friends—on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there’s no turning back.

 

Yikes what an abrupt start to a book.  I literally had no idea what was happening, where the setting took place, or what year it was supposed to be.  And then I am introduced to this girl (I assume) who has white noise in her head and plays guitar.  At first I wanted to put the book down and pick another to read.  But I kept reading.  And I’m glad I did.  They book turned out to be decent.

 

I thought the story was neat.  The idea of being connected to another person on a cellular level was interesting.  However some of the terminology went over my head but that’s ok.  I liked the supporting characters.  I found the weird romance between Cade and Rennik to be unnecessary, however that might develop into more in subsequent books.  I thought Xan would be more of a romantic contender or that their romance might play a part in the book, since the whole book was centered around finding him.  However that is clearly not the case.  I didn’t find the end to be very good.  I get that there could be potentially more books in the series but it was kind of final for me.  If more books come out I feel no urge to read them.

 

I  think my favorite character was the ship.  She/he seemed to have a better description and personality than some of the main characters.  I don’t want to bash the book too much.  I didn’t hate it, it was a good book.  It is a “give it a chance book”.  So if you find yourself wanting to put it down, keep reading.  It gets better.

 

3 Bards

threebards

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