Book Review: Oblivion

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Synopsis from Amazon:

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.
And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can’t stop myself from wanting her – or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy – the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy – a human – won’t just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen…

First, if you’re going to purchase this book please purchase the eBook version. I wasn’t paying attention and neglected to realize the paperback was only Daemon’s point of view (POV) of Obsidian whereas the eBook version also includes his POV of Onyx and Opal.

And honestly I don’t think this book is worth it unless you get all three books. As much as I love Daemon I don’t really like the first two books in this series and although I definitely liked hearing the story from Daemon’s POV more than Katy’s I still didn’t like those books. Opal was definitely my favorite to read mainly because there were moments in the book I’ve always wanted to see from Daemon’s POV and they were just as fun to read as I expected.

My biggest issue with this book was the way in which Daemon’s character was written. Having read Daemon’s POV in  Origin and Opposition I knew he had a dirty mind but I think having a whole book of his thoughts was just too much. I’m not a dude but I just feel like their whole thought process isn’t focused on sex. Literally, the amount of times Daemon would talk about Katy’s butt and how it did things to him was too much. It’s like okay we get it Katy’s hot and you’re into her, let’s move on.

Also, on a smaller note, there were just a lot of editorial mistakes in this book. Either the wrong word was used or there’d be missing punctuation. For example, there was one line in the book where it was supposed to be “we’re” but instead it said “were.” I can understand this happening once or twice but there was at least 10 different spelling or grammar mistakes in this novel. Having spent a little time in publishing I know a book goes through A LOT of edits before it finally makes it to print so I found it a little disconcerting that there were this many mistakes.

Despite these issues, Jennifer L. Armentrout’s ability to drive a plot continues to work for this series. Although I was often thoroughly annoyed by Daemon’s wayward thoughts and may have started to skim those parts, I still wanted to keep reading. Armentrout was able to once again hook me on a series of books that I had already read just in a different POV. I found myself wanting to know what would happen next even though I, in fact, already knew how it would all end.

Overall, this was a great read and although I had no intention of buying two versions of this book I’m glad I have both.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. Honestly, I’ll probably only reread the Opal part of Oblivion but that’s still enough to make this worth the buy.

Stars:

3 stars

Favorite Line:

“I’ve always found that the most beautiful people, truly beautiful inside and out, are the ones who are quietly unaware of their effect. The ones who throw their beauty around, waste what they have? Their beauty is only passing. It’s just a shell hiding nothing but shadows and emptiness.”

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Katy Swartz

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I was rereading the Lux series this week and it reminded me of one of my favorite characters, Katy Swartz. Now if I’m being honest I wasn’t a big fan of Katy at first. I found her incessant overthinking of everything in her life (mainly her feelings for Daemon, the love interest) annoying. Additionally her obsession with books and her blog, although something I should’ve found relatable, I instead found irritating.

That being said Katy grew on me and allowed me to become obsessed with the Lux series and finish it in a very short span of time.

What took me a while to realize about Katy is she has high standards and she’s dedicated to them. The whole reason she has issues accepting Daemon has feelings for her and she has feelings for Daemon is because she has this idea of what a perfect relationship should be: the relationship between her parents. Katy doesn’t want to settle for love; she wants the whole fairytale. Once I got that I respected her a little more.

I also respected her loyalty and her refusal to be shut out from big decisions and big fights. She hates being underestimated but also uses that to her advantage. She’s strong and handles a lot of stuff much better than I probably ever would have.

Therefore, I had to make Katy my crush this week.

“Me and Katy look adorkable in extraterrestrial
highway shirts. You would just look stupid. You can thank me later.” – Daemon Black, Origin

Book Review: Fall With Me

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*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2015 Reading Challenge*

Synopsis from Amazon:

Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.
Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.

But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.

Maybe I should’ve been clued in by the cover but I didn’t expect this book to be as erotic as it was. I guess I had low expectations for how hot and heavy this book would get because the only other books I’ve read by Jennifer L. Armentrout is the Lux series which are teen books. Regardless, once I realized the level of adult content I was reading (actually listening to) I changed my mindset of the book and I actually enjoyed it.

For this book I listened to the audiobook, courtesy of Audible credits. I didn’t expect to get sucked into the story as much as I did but the relationship between Roxy and Reece kept be enthralled. Roxy, who’s loved Reece since the age of 15, let’s her pride get in the way of telling Reece the truth about their “one night stand” and they both let foolish ideas stop them from speaking to each other for almost a year.

Watching them end their long stand off and come back together as friends and then something more was entertaining. Roxy’s a little on the quirky side, wearing shirts with funny sayings that usually have to do with books, and she’s an artist. However, Roxy’s also dealing with taking care of her best friend, Charlie, who’s staying in a long term care facility and facing the guilt she feels over what happened to him. At the same time, Reece, a cop who also served in the military, has his own ghosts that he struggles to deal with. Basically, they both come into the relationship with issues.

On top of all of that, Roxy also has a stalker and there’s a mystery of who her stalker could be (although, honestly, it was pretty obvious to me who it was early on). With all these factors in play Armentrout writes a pretty interesting book that kept me drawn in. However, I did have a few issues with it. Overall, I liked Reece but his use of “babe” in reference to Roxy was too much for me. Additionally, the whole premise for why Reece and Roxy stopped speaking seemed a bit ridiculous and then easily resolved for something that made them stop speaking for 11 months.

Lastly, as I previously mentioned, the whole stalker mystery wasn’t really that much of a mystery but that could just be me. Maybe others were shocked by the “twist” but I was not. Even so, I still really liked this story. I fell for Reece and Roxy’s relationship and the relationships of the other supporting characters. Plus, I really liked Roxy. She’s smart, funny, and although she makes a lot of mistakes she eventually gets it together.

Favorite Line:

‘I’m scared, too. And there are times I question what I deserve, but we’re in this together. So fall with me.’

Stars: 3 out of 5. In terms of keeping me entertained this was a good book. Like I said, I was hooked. However, if I’m being honest, writing and plot wise it wasn’t that great. The idea of Roxy taking so long to realize someone had been in her house was a bit far fetched. As was the whole premise of Roxy and Reece’s reasoning for not speaking.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. It’s not a book I could see myself rereading.

Book Review: Cursed

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Synopsis from Amazon:

Dying sucks–and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things–including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden’s adopted father, a man she’s sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister’s hand again. And hell, she’d also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn’t? But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not’ve been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

I got this book for two reasons: one, it’s written by the same author of the Lux series that I’m obsessed with and two, it was free.

That being said I didn’t love this as much as I loved Armentrout’s other books. It was okay but it wasn’t exactly thrilling and the main character, Emma, annoyed me a little bit.

The story centers around Emma and her sister Olivia who has the ability to bring the dead back to life which comes in handy when their family gets in a car accident and Emma dies. However, bringing Emma back from the dead has it’s consequences. Everything Emma touches dies. Talk about a superpower.

This of course makes life especially difficult for Emma who’s treated as an outcast by her classmates and is only left with her one best friend, Adam, and her little sister, Olivia. She can’t even talk to her mother because ever since the accident her mother believes Emma is dead and has gone into a comatose like state only leaving her room for food and to use the restroom occasionally. Emma is thereby left to take care of herself and her little sister.

Emma’s life is thrown into even more upheaval when she meets Hayden Cromwell who tells her she’s gifted and so is her little sister. Emma has trouble believing her “death curse” is a gift but is thrown into a new world where she’s offered the chance to learn how to control her ability and have a chance a relatively normal life while also living amongst other gifted kids and people she doesn’t trust.

Unfortunately for Emma nothing comes easy and while learning to control her abilities she also has to deal with dead animals popping up in her locker and someone trying to kill her. Again.

This book had a lot of mystery going on although I was very suspicious of the culprit from the beginning and wasn’t exactly surprised by the ending. Of course there’s romance between Emma and Hayden that’s forbidden as all romances are. It found it interesting the twists and turns the book took including the mystery of what really caused the car accident that killed Emma’s father and herself and also what exactly Cromwell (Hayden’s adoptive father) wants with all these kids with special gifts.

Additionally, there’s a lot of typical drama and teenage angst as Emma, Olivia, and their mother (mainly Emma) adjust to their new life.

Overall I didn’t think this novel was fantastic but the love story between Emma and Hayden is cute. I found myself constantly frustrated with Emma however but in her defense she’s definitely goes through a lot and I can understand why she has trouble trusting anyone.

Although the novel seems to have some finality to it I think there could also be a sequel as the novel does leave us with a few unanswered questions. Even so this book came out years ago and is listed as an individual book on Armentrout’s website so a sequel probably won’t be coming, at least not anytime soon. We shall see.

Favorite Line:

“You quoted Oscar Wilde.” I smiled.

Hayden laughed. “Yeah, that was, like, the height of geekdom.”

“No. It was kind of cool.”

Stars: 3 out of 5. It was good but not spectacular.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. It’s not worth a second read.

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Book Review: Opposition

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Synopsis from Amazon:

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came. She can’t believe Daemon stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

I have been obsessed with the Lux series since the first book so it was bittersweet to see the series come to end but man did Ms. Armentrout end it with a bang. This book was so good I couldn’t put it down for a second. Amazing.

This book begins exactly where Origin left off, with the world falling to pieces. The other Lux have arrived and they’re ready to take over the Earth. They’ve got Dee drinking their “we are great and humans suck” Kool-Aid but thankfully Daemon and Dawson aren’t falling for it. However to stay on the aliens good side they have to play along while trying to figure out how to escape. Meanwhile, Katy, Bethany, Archer, and Luc were left to fend for themselves and try to figure out how they were going to handle the alien invasion.

Forced to make allies with former enemies, not knowing whom they can really trust, and the loss of even more lives makes the conclusion of this series BIG. There’s all out war on Earth and no one is safe and Daemon and Katy’s love is greatly tested.

Opposition had me on an emotional roller coaster. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, not knowing what was going to happen next. Armentrout kept surprising me with all the twists and turns of the novel. She even had me in tears at some points. For a moment there I wasn’t sure who would make it to the end of the book alive.

It was also great learning more about some of the lesser characters. For example we get more insight in Luc’s plans for himself and the people he cares about. We also learn more about Daedalus and (crazy) Nancy. Lastly, we see that not everything is so black and white when it comes to the Luxen and Arum and they’re actually more alike than Daemon cared to admit.

Also this novel is again told in Daemon and Katy’s point of view which I enjoyed because I love hearing Daemon’s thoughts. He’s hilarious but also really sweet. Too cute.

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Overall, this was a great conclusion to an amazing series and I can’t wait to go back and read this whole series all over again. If you haven’t read the series yet I definitely recommend it. Such a good read.

Favorite Line:

Sometimes – and it happened at random moments – I was blown away by the fact that she was mine and I was hers. This was one of those times.

Stars: 5 out of 5. I loved this book from beginning to end. There were definitely some parts that ripped my heart out and I wished some events didn’t occur but overall I thought the book was great and I loved how it ended.

Borrow or Buy: BUY!! Absolutely buy this book. Actually buy the whole series while you’re at it. You’ll definitely want this on your bookshelf.

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Live Book Read: Opposition

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Anyone that is in love with the Lux series as much as I am knows the final book in the series, Opposition, came out today.

Although I’m sure people are already half way done, if not finished, I thought it we would be fun if we did a Live Book Read of the novel on Twitter.

The way it’ll work is while reading you can Tweet your reactions to the book with the hashtag #OppositionLiveRead that way everyone else reading can see your reactions and reply, retweet, and/or favorite. I think it’ll be a great way for all of us fans to collectively read together.

Obviously everyone reads at different paces and some of you may already be almost done so try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. You could also say #ch1 or #ch2 for example so people know how far you are.

I personally don’t know a lot of people who read the series and would love to have other people to fangirl with.

If you’re in follow me on Twitter (@BooksTVMe) or just follow the hashtag #OppositionLiveRead and join in on the fun.

Let’s get to reading!

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My Summer Reading List

Nothing’s better than being able to lay by the beach and catch up on some much over due reading. This summer there are plenty of amazing books coming out that must be read. Additionally there’s a long list of books that have already been released that I can finally get a chance to read. Here’s my list of all the books you should check out this summer if you haven’t already.

New Releases

1. Opposition (A Lux Novel) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – August 5

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Anyone that follows my blog on a regular basis knows how obsessed I am with this series. Opposition is the last book of the series and although I’ll be sad to see it all end I’m so excited to know what happens. The wait is driving me crazy. If you haven’t read the previous books in the Lux series I would definitely recommend checking them out. The series focuses on a girl named Katy who just moved to a new town with her mom, after her father’s death from cancer. Their neighbors, the Blacks, are an interesting bunch that includes Daemon, a hot jerk that Katy can’t stand but is regrettably attracted to, and his sister Dee, an eager beaver who really wants to be Katy’s friend. Eventually Katy learns the truth about the Blacks (they’re aliens) and it turns her world upside down. From there drama, mystery, fights, and a lot of romance ensues. The first one isn’t the best but they get better over time. Trust me.

2. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet – June 24

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If you have any interest in adaptations this may be one of the coolest things ever. It’s a book adaptation of a YouTube series adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The premise of the novel is a retelling of Austen’s original novel but in the point of view and context of the The Lizzie Bennet Diaries YouTube series. If you’ve never watched this YouTube series I encourage you to check it out. Even if you’ve never read Austen’s novel (finishing it is still on my to do list) you don’t have to read the book to love the show. Does having background knowledge make the show even more entertaining? Certainly. However, if you watched the 2005 movie version with Kiera Knightley you’re basically covered. Either way you should definitely watch the show and then read this book when it comes out because I believe it’s going to be fantastic.

3. Silver Shadows (A Bloodlines Novel) – July 29

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It all began with Vampire Academy, which was an excellent series. Then Richelle Mead decided to stick with this awesome fictional world she created and do a spin off series focusing on a human Alchemist, Sydney. To give a little background as an Alchemist Sydney’s job is to ensure that humans don’t learn the truth about vampires and dhampirs (half vampire, half human people). Even though she’s meant to work with them she’s not supposed to like them, recognizing that they are actually abominations. Well it’s a little difficult for Sydney to stay true to her beliefs when she’s forced to live with vampires and dhampirs on a regular basis and learns they’re not as bad as they’re made out to be. In fact, not only can she like them but she can love them too. If you haven’t read any books in this series or the Vampire Academy series you have a lot of catching up to do but it’s totally worth it. Besides, if you read like I do you can finish all the books in no time; they’re that good.

4. Endless (A Shadowlands Novel) – July 22

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This is the last book in Kate Brian (aka Kieran Scott’s) awesome trilogy about the afterlife. The trilogy follows Rory Miller and her family who have run away from their hometown to escape a killer who’s after Rory. They end up in Jupiter Landing where things get strange. Or at least they do for Rory. People start to disappear yet no one seems to notice except Rory. Eventually Rory learns the truth about Jupiter Landing and it rocks her to her core. Definitely a must read and of course if you haven’t read the first two you should check them out before this book is released.

Already Released

5. Smoke by Ellen Hopkins

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I love Ellen Hopkins. I’ve read all her books, both adult and young adult and they’re great. The best part about her books is that they’re written in poetry style but they come together to tell a whole story. Smoke is the long awaited sequel to her book, Burned, about a Mormon girl who falls in love and risks everything to finally found her own independence away from her father. I’m definitely going to have to reread Burned before I dive into this one but I’m excited to finally have a chance to read it.

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth

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When I first heard about this series I was very hesitant to read it because it just sounded like another dystopian trilogy to me and I was just so sick of reading dystopian fiction. However, now that I’ve given it some time and the movie has come out I feel ready to dive into another dystopian world. I’m currently number 159 on the waitlist for the book from my digital library. Here’s to hoping I actually get to read it before the summer is over. Fingers crossed. If you haven’t heard of this book before, it focuses on a young girl named Beatrice (aka Tris) who lives in a world where everyone is placed in a faction: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. Each person has to take a test that will determine their faction, however, for Beatrice she is not placed in a faction but instead is classified as “Divergent”. This goes against the society’s rules thereby putting her in danger. Similar to many other dystopian novels no one is really happy with the way this new world is set up and of course there’s those who are ready and willing to rebel against it. There’s also a lot of romance involved as well. Basically, it’s my kind of book.

7. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Ever since I read Speak I’ve been obssessed with Laurie Halse Anderson. She has the ability to write about such serious topics that isn’t preachy but instead eye opening. In this novel she focuses on a young girl, Hayley, and her father, Andy, who return to Andy’s hometown so Hayley can attend school. Andy has been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder since his return from Iraq and it has greatly affected him and Hayley. This father-daughter pair tries to find peace by going back to Andy’s roots but one can’t run from their demons forever. I have a feeling this book will break my heart but in the most incredible way.

8. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

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Since The Fault in Our Stars there has been this fascination with teens with cancer, mostly because it’s a pretty scary thought to face death at such a young age. In Julie Murphy’s novel Alice is diagnosed with leukemia and in an effort to right all her wrongs and get revenge before she dies she creates a bucket list that she and her best friend fulfill. Regrettably, however, Alice then learns she’s in remission and she’s going to live a bit longer. Now she has to face the consequences of her actions. I’ve never read a book by Murphy before (which makes sense since this is her debut novel) but this book sounds like a heart warming and funny novel that will be good to read by the pool.

9. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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Another author I’ve never read before but am excited to try. This novel focuses on Kestrel, a 17 year old girl, who is the daughter of a general and is at the age when she has to choose whether to join the military or get married. Kestrel has no intention of doing either and instead buys a slave, Arin, who she begins to have feelings for but also has his own secrets. Truthfully, I’m not sure what to expect from this novel. There’s obviously going to be romance but I’m not sure what else. It seems like a dystopian novel but also different. Either way I’m excited to give it a chance and you can download the first five chapters free from Amazon if you want to try it before you buy it.

10. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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I first heard about this novel when I interviewed Kieran Scott a few months ago. When I first read the synopsis it reminded me of Frozen (the book not the movie). Alexandra Bracken’s novel focuses on a girl named Ruby who has extraordinary powers that got her sent away to a government rehabilitation camp when she was a child. Now having escaped she’s on the run with other kids just like her. The groups leader, Liam, begins to fall for Ruby but scared of what getting close to him could mean Ruby is determined to keep a distance. The first in the series I think this will be a great adventure/love story that I will quickly fall in love with.

I’ll definitely be adding to this list of books throughout the summer but for now I believe this is a good start. Happy reading!

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