Friday 28 March 2014

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
My Rating: 3 out of 5


Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat.

His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again.

When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it.


I felt like I had to read this book because it was by Keary Taylor and I loved her Eden Trilogy. Even though its a completely different genre, I had to try it.

Jake was so amazing to Sam. He was like the absolute perfect boyfriend. He went out of his way to take care of her, and I am glad she did not have too much pride to accept his help. Because he was almost entirely providing for her. But they were just great together, despite Sam having no home, and despite Jake having no voice. They could be themselves together. The book ended up focusing way more on Sam's issues than Jake's. I thought that the conversations between Jake and Sam in his notebooks were interesting and cute, but his muteness wasn't as big of an issue as Sam's homelessness ended up being. This book dealt with a lot of issues, and it was really sweet, and I would recommend it to fans of Making Faces.

But it really bothered me that nothing ever happened to Carter. Not only was he underage drinking, but he was drunk driving, and he crashed his car, a pole impaling his best friends neck and nearly killing him. When Jake gets out of the hospital such a big deal is made out of what happened to him by the whole town and the school. It is a big deal, but no one once mentions the fact that someone was drunk driving, and that that should be discouraged, or punished. They just act as if it was a regular car accident. 

Some of Jake's friends vowed to quit drinking until they are done school, but there is still no mention of drinking and driving or of Carter being to blame. Carter is even still driving. Jake mentions that he is jealous that Carter got a new car. Is this how such responsibility is rewarded? I don't know if Carter has a job to finance his own car. Its never mentioned that he had a job. But I really hope that his parents didn't buy him that car after nearly killing his friend. Even if he bought it himself, he should have been off the roads! Did the author forget how Jake lost his voice in the first place?

“What I didn't say before no longer mattered. We had the entire future before us to say everything else.”

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent #3)

Genres: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopian, Romance
My Rating: 5 out of 5


The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.


This book was amazing! It easily made up for any issues I had with book 2. I absolutely loved the characters and the story since book 1, but in this one it seemed to grow so much more depth! Veronica Roth's writing was always good, but neither of the first two books made me think, or made me feel, like this one did.

The story took a lot of turns that I did not see coming. The breadth of the story has grown beyond anything I had anticipated. Looking back to the problems of book 1, they seem so meaningless in comparison to the things Tris and Four had to contend with in this one. And it brought everything together. I remember, when Divergent was first released and started gaining popularity, there were a few negative reviews where the readers could not find the society depicted at all believable. They claimed the concept just would not work, and there was no way anyone would have built such a society in the first place, knowing how doomed it would be. Well, I hope those people are eating their words now.

In Insurgent I became very frustrated with Tris and Four's relationship. After Divergent, I thought they were the epitome of all YA couples. But in Insurgent they had a lot of issues and argued and disagreed a lot, and it really upset me. But in Allegiant, I can see how this just makes their relationship all the more real. That is what love really is in the end, and I think not enough YA books acknowledge that. Its not just passion and feeling. Its commitment and loyalty.

"I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me."

[And then of course there is the issue of Tris' fate. I have to say, the fact that Tris did not survive actually made me love this book, this series, and Veronica Roth even more than I already did. Its exactly what Tris would do, and there is no way around that. Sure, I suppose Roth could have come up with a third alternative, so that neither Tris nor Caleb had to die. But why deny Tris' sacrifice? She did a beautiful thing, and she did it for all the right reasons. I have never read a more selfless and well-written death. The only thing about it that upset me, is the fact that it left Four alone. The fact that they are not together forever is a great injustice. I am a little sad that his memories of Tris were beginning to fade by the end, but he has learned to move forward and honour her memory at the same time. The way that he decided to scatter her ashes while riding the zip-line was just so amazing and perfect and brave, and I love Four all the more for it.]

"[My mother] taught me all about real sacrifice. That it should be done from love, not misplaced disgust for another persons genetics. That it should be done from necessity, not without exhausting all other options. That it should be done for people who need your strength because they don't have enough of their own."

This book, and the series after being disappointed with book 2, exceeded all my expectations; it blew my mind more than once. I am very sad that it is over. I don't know when will be the next time I will read a YA series quite like this one. I just wish more people had been willing to accept what happened to Tris. I have no doubt that is the reason for the drastic difference in the average Goodreads rating. I don't know if Roth has plans to write more, but I hope she does.

Sunday 23 March 2014

The Eve by Keary Taylor (The Eden Trilogy #3)

Genres: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
My Rating: 5 out of 5


A plan was laid out as the Evolution crushed mankind, a plan that was right under Eden’s nose all along. And Eve is the key to everything. New Eden—mankind—they have a small chance at fixing their dismembered planet.

But it will be a reckless sprint against time and the coming Bane to retrieve the final piece to the plot. New Eden’s worst fears have become reality. The Bane are back in the city and they’re smarter and more aggressive than ever. They know where the humans are and they’re coming to finish what they’ve nearly completed.

Eve has been content with the family she’s found—Avian, West, Gabriel, Royce. But she’s about to discover she may have the one family Eve never thought she would: blood. With every odd stacked against her, all the lies and all the secrets of her origins will be exposed.

The past and the future are about to come full circle.


This had everything I could have wished for in an Eden finale. Absolutely everything!

It started right where The Human left off, with Dr. Evans explaining his plan to save the world to Eve. Then Eve, Dr. Evans, Avian, West, and Bill, head off to the NovaTor headquarters with three goals in mind. And they accomplish all three goals. When they head back to LA, pretty much all the characters get everything they have ever wanted, and then they save the world.

Although there were a few chapters there where we were tricked into thinking something had gone wrong. We were led to believe that Eve died in the process of saving the world. It was sad, and I cried, but after a
few chapters of seeing Avian and West cope, I came to terms with it. It seemed fitting, and a very Eve thing to do. She reminds me of Tris in that way. If she had thought she was going to die, she still would have gone through with it. But of course, she didn't stay dead.

I love how this book gave us several chapters once it was over, to see how everyone chose to live their lives after. I really love what became of Creed, the inclusion of Tristan and Lin, Royce, Tom, everything! I am so, so grateful that this series exists. It is definitely my #1 favourite post-apoc series. I love that it has so much action, I love the world and the science behind the TorBane, I love the characters, I love that Eve's relationship with Avian is steady and eternal and her relationship with West is so complicated and evolving. But most of all I love the HEA! Thank you Keary Taylor for expanding on Eden! I wish I could own these in paperback.

Friday 14 March 2014

The Human by Keary Taylor (The Eden Trilogy #2)

Genres: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
My Rating: 4 out of 5


The city of New Eden is cleared, but it won’t stay that way forever. The Bane continue to advance in horrific ways that will wipe humanity from the face of the Earth. A storm is coming, one none of them could have dared imagine.

When a group of outsiders come to the city, everyone is on edge. They have too many questions and not enough answers about where they are from or what they want. Just because they are human doesn’t mean they can be trusted.

Eve made a choice–one that could have deadly repercussions. Desperate hearts bring about desperate actions. Now she must make another decision as her world continues to crumble: come to terms with who she really is, or risk her sanity. She thought she had unlocked all the secrets from her past, but there are truths still buried that leave her questioning what is real and what is not.


I love Eve! She is an amazing YA heroine. One of my favourites. In book 1, The Bane, she kicked so much butt! But in this one, I love her for new reasons. She is incredibly selfless. She hates the city and almost always feels like she is on the brink of a panic attack. But she stays because she knows she is the last line of defense for her friends. She cant abandon anyone. Not even West, who had hurt her so many times. She is so strong. She handles everything she has gone through so well, with all the weight on her shoulders.

But she does have help with the emotion inhibitor chip. Which I am kind of confused about. Is there actually something wrong with her emotions that causes her to not be able to handle them? Or is she simply not used to having to handling them and the chip gives her an advantage that no one else gets?

I love the fact that Eve did not go back on her choice to be with Avian. Its too rare for love-triangles to be resolved, and to stay resolved, after the first book in a series. But I really like it. It gives the romance an interesting dynamic without dragging it down. Eve knows who she is enough to know what and who she
wants, and that is not going to change. She has too much respect for herself and Avian to ever go back on her word. And it is clear how much they belong together. She loves him so much that there was no need for lingering jealousy. On Avian's part, at least. Although Avian did totally flip on West at one point, it had nothing to do with his feelings for Eve, but the fact that he put her in danger. And I think Avian's reaction was understandable. Maybe a bit too much, but after what had been done to Eve, it was at least understandable. Seeing them still together after everything makes me extremely happy. And I hope they are still together in The Eve.

My only complaint in this book is the whole conflict. It was so unnecessary. When another group of survivors shows up in LA, they want to stay with New Eden for a while to see what they can offer. They ask a lot of questions but answer none. They were obvious about it too. They refused to answer questions and
were suspicious from the beginning. Why would they expect any cooperation when they gave none? They lie about where they are from for no apparent reason. And then, after a week, they kidnap Eve and West and leave. They implant a beacon to the Bane in Eve's brain and use West as leverage for her cooperation. Of course Eve doesn't know about the beacon, so when she escapes she goes back to LA, and calls all the Bane to her with a broken EM pulse. The new group of survivors wanted to force the New Eden group into using the pulse. Instead of just going to LA, being open and honest and telling them, "So we invented this beacon, and you have an EM pulse. So why don't we join up and rebuild the pulse, turn on the beacon and when the Bane come, fry them. Then set the beacon for a slightly higher radius, and fry them too, etc, etc." But no, because kidnapping and brain surgery is obviously the easier option.

Gah, these people piss me off. And as much as I wanted to give this another 5-stars, as I did its predecessor, its going to have to be 4/5 because of them. But I love all the main characters, and I love the world of the TorBane. I cant wait to read the finale, and I hope everyone gets their HEA. Is it too much to hope that West can get an HEA too? Please?

“It took a man capable of an immeasurable amount of understanding to strip away the insecurities I'd felt after learning what I was. It took a man capable of loving me until the end of the world to make me accept myself. 
And I would move heaven and hell to keep him. 

Sunday 9 March 2014

Alpha Goddess by Amalie Howard

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy/Mythology, Romance
My Rating: 3 out of 5


In Serjana Caelum’s world, gods exist. So do goddesses. Sera knows this because she is one of them. A secret long concealed by her parents, Sera is Lakshmi reborn, the human avatar of an immortal Indian goddess rumored to control all the planes of existence. Marked by the sigils of both heaven and hell, Sera’s avatar is meant to bring balance to the mortal world, but all she creates is chaos. A chaos that Azrath, the Asura Lord of Death, hopes to use to unleash hell on earth.

Torn between reconciling her past and present, Sera must figure out how to stop Azrath before the Mortal Realm is destroyed. But trust doesn’t come easy in a world fissured by lies and betrayal. Her best friend Kyle is hiding his own dark secrets, and her mysterious new neighbor, Devendra, seems to know a lot more than he’s telling. Struggling between her opposing halves and her attraction to the boys tied to each of them, Sera must become the goddess she was meant to be, or risk failing, which means sacrificing the world she was born to protect.


The story in this was pretty interesting. Despite all the mythology that was in it, and the many different types of deities and demons and hells and everything else that we were introduced to, it still managed to make sense. It explained everything well enough to follow and there was a good amount of action. I don't have any complains really besides the characters, namely Dev and Kyle. I think this book handled its love-triangle rather poorly.

The book alternated between Sera and Kyle's POVs, so I was definitely Team Kyle. We got to know him a lot better than Dev because of his POVs, and I felt like that meant something for the outcome. Although I was really frustrated with the back and forth. You can trust him. You can't trust him. You can trust him. You can't trust him. My demon blood made me do it. Its really hard for a character to be an individual when they are so easily controlled, and their loyalties begin to mean nothing when it is not their own choice.

And Dev we hardly knew at all. I hated how he just strolled into Sera's life and started acting like he belonged there because of something that happened thousands of years ago. We never really got to know him, and any relationship he had with Sera was based on the past. We never saw them connect in the present, and it just felt really intrusive and presumptuous. It made me hate him in the same way that I hate River Song.

And what the hell was with that ending?! Who did she pick? Did she pick neither or both?! She spends months in a realm between realms, where she is mourning Kyle's death alone, which I assumed meant something in favour of Kyle. But then Dev shows up and tells her that Kyle is still alive. And what does she do? She kisses Dev! And while she is kissing him she thinks. "It was a kiss of hello and a kiss of goodbye, a kiss of love and of friendship. It was a bridge between the past and the present, and a promise of the future. It was a kiss for forever." I like the part where it says 'a kiss of goodbye and a kiss of the past'. But I certainly do not like the part where it says 'a promise of the future and a kiss for forever'. Blah. But then, on the very next page, she visits Kyle and when she sees him, she thinks, "Sera knew without a doubt that there was no other place she needed to be...there was no other place she would rather be. She was home." And then the book ends. Huh, sooo what just happened?!

I would recommend this to fans of books heavy with mythology, and especially books that visit hell. There is a lot of hell and demons in this book. Or I should say Xibalba. But not necessarily for fans of YA romance. The romance in this book was a mess.

“Why are you telling me this, Dev? You could have let me believe that she didn't love me. Things would have been much easier for you." 
Dev smiled. "Because its not the truth. And why would I hurt you when its clear she does love you? What she feels for you doesn't change what exists between me and Sera. That existed far before your time and will endure long after it. Even if she loves another, I bear that person no ill will because I love her. And love is infinite, is it not?”

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt (Maiden Lane #4)

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Smut-O-Meter: 8 out of 10
My Rating: 5 out of 5


A masked man...

Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he's the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles-protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.

A dangerous woman...

Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she's asked to tutor the Home's dour manager in the ways of society-flirtation, double-entendres, and scandalous liaisons-Isabel can't help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar-and his lips so tempting.

A passion neither could deny...

During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed... But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything-the Home, Isabel... and his life.


Oh! This is definitely my favourite in the series so far. My goodness! It was a bit uncomfortable at first reading about Temperance and Silence's brother. Like the first time reading about Meghan's little brother in The Lost Prince, but worse (or better, depending on how you look at it) since there is sex in this one.

But it wasn't even about the sex. It never really is in these books for me. It is just like an accent to the story. The gravy but not the meat. But in this one I hardly even remember the sex. It was actually pretty awkward because Winter was a virgin, but it is his passion in their daily interactions that I will always remember. When
she first rescued him, during their tutors lessons, when they met again at the opera. Oh my goodness, the heat was just burning off of them! There were so many scenes where my heart was beating so hard that I was feeling a little light-headed. Including the final chapter, of course. That was such an amazing scene. *happy sigh*

And I love Winter. He ended up being so complex. He is my new favourite hero of the series, as well as this being my favourite book. Mickey was my previous favourite, but now I think it goes Winter, Mickey, Caire, Griffin. Not that there is anything wrong with Griffin, but the others are just spectacular. Although I have nothing against Isabel, my favourite heroine would still be Hero or Silence.

I have now caught up to the one book in this series I read last year, Lord of Darkness. But I will be re-reading it to keep continuity. Plus, I may enjoy it more now that I know so much more about these people. I am very much looking forward to it even if I am tempted to jump to Duke of Midnight. Each book ends with an epilogue that tells you who will be featured in the next book, and when I finished Lord of Darkness it left me wanting to read Duke of Midnight so badly! But it wasn't released yet at the time, and I thought I should read the first 4 book first before moving forward. And now I am almost done and I am so excited and anxious at the same time!

"She was tired of waiting for him to acknowledge who he was. Tired of donning a false mask of gaiety when she was so much more—felt so much more—beneath. No one had ever noticed her mask. No one but him. If he couldn't or wouldn't make the first move, then damn it, she would.” 

Sunday 2 March 2014

Cress by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #3)

Genres: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Romance
My Rating: 4 out of 5


In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.


I think this series would be a lot better if it kept its focus on Cinder instead of always getting sidetracked with new characters and trying to force another fairy tale into the story, when it would be so much better without it. The fairy tale princesses is a gimmick that this series doesn't need in order to be good.

Although, this book did focus a great deal more on Cinder than Scarlet did, which is a shame since if one of these books needed more Cinder, it was Scarlet. I really didn't care about either of the new characters in that book, and it only got good at the end when Cinder was reintroduced.

But luckily this book only introduced one new character instead of two, and it didn't take as much time away from Cinder, and Cress wasn't so bad. Although their relationship is only in the very early stages, she and Thorne seem to make more sense together than Wolf and Scarlet do. And Cress really comes in handy. I really couldn't care less about what is happening to Scarlet right now. She is the most useless character in the book.

But still, every single time there was a chapter from Cinder or Kai's POV, I would forget about everyone else, I would forget that it wasn't their story all along. Because it should be. This is Cinder and Kai's story and everyone else just fades away into the background. They are the only characters with the power to keep bringing me back to this series, as well as the great story. And Thorne of course. And the last chapter. Oh my gosh! That is what I have been waiting for for the past 2 books! My heart is singing!

“But you're a prisoner," said Thorne. 
"I prefer damsel in distress," she murmured. 
One side of Thorne's mouth quirked up, into that perfect half smile he'd had in his graduation photo. A look that was a little bit devious, and all sorts of charming. Cress's heart stopped, but if they noticed her melting into her chair, they didn't say anything.”

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