{Book Review} Am I just regretting not going away for school and subconsciously picking books that feature it?

the principles of loveWhen I started reading the next book in my NetGalley queue (a list of books that doesn’t seem to be going down, no matter how many I read!), I had to laugh at how it had the same idea as the book I read last week, Roomies. THIS book, The Principles of Love by Emily Franklinhowever, didn’t have anything to do with going away for university, but instead living on campus for high school. Is that a thing? I’ve never heard of living on campus for high school before, so it was kind of a strange idea for me.

This book wasn’t exactly about freedom, though, since the main character, Love, lives with her dad, the principal. Since it’s high school, there were strict rules when it came to cutting classes and leaving campus — even in your spare time. At any rate, it was hard to really absorb myself into the book with the characters only being 16 years old.

I’m not even really sure how to go about reviewing this book because while I loved the first half of it, the second half fell flat and the ending felt extremely rushed. In the beginning, I loved Love — the character — because she was kind of hilarious in her head and it was fun seeing her fall head over heels for random hot guys around campus. Towards the middle part, though, she started to get really, for lack of a better word, stupid and I don’t know if it was her or the writing, but I felt like I knew the ending of the story right there. Certain ideas were set up as mysterious, but were just way too obvious to me as the reader. And if Love is supposed to be a super smart girl with a good head on her shoulders, then I felt like she should have seen half of these things coming.

I also thought it was a little weird that part of the book surrounded Love emailing another musician, DrakeFan, but we never really saw their interaction except for a few things that Love would say about it. I wanted to see some of their emailings back and forth. I kind of felt that I was robbed as a reader that I was missing out on them!

This book did have some good potential, but I felt like some of the storylines introduced were done for effect, rushed, or not really explained in the end. At first I was really excited because Love was a musician, but a lot of her musical endeavours were just kind of thrown into the story (like her ad singing on the radio). HOWEVER, I did really enjoy the open mike parts. Being a musician myself, I felt like that brought back good memories of getting up on stage in front of a room full of strangers, feeling the anxiety and nervousness coarsing through my veins.

Maybe this book was just writting for a younger audience because I felt like it just didn’t translate well to me being an adult. In fact, being the adult — and a new parent — I kind of cringed at some of the “freedom” that Love got from her father. Trips to New York with a BOY? Spending the night with a boy and not getting the ultimate in grounding? I mean, she’s only 16 and this wasn’t a book about university or anything, so I kind of thought that some of the situations were a little too grown up for the characters. Even some of the dialogue and social situations were a little too grown up (while others were definitely spot on).

In the end, I feel like this book might work out better in some of the other books in the series. It’s the first in the series, so perhaps Love grows up a bit and the story evens out as the story goes on? I was a little miffed that the whole thing kind of ends on a cliffhanger — we get a great opportunity for a full ending (at which point I figured the next books must be companion novels), but then we’re thrown right into this crazy cliffhanger of life choices that Love has to make.

I can’t say that I’ll read the next books in the series, but at least this one did have some humour in it (a few laugh out loud moments, that’s for sure!) and a few likeable characters. There was also a lot of references to music throughout the story. I only wish that it had resonated more with me.

(Added: As I was finishing up this review, I flipped over to the synopsis on Goodreads to see that it was called to be “The Gilmore Girls meets The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” Thinking about this, I can see undertones of The Gilmore Girls, especially as Rory navigated dating, though I doubt I could compare the actual characters of Rory to Love since I felt like Love lost her common sense somewhere along the way.)

Thank you to Open Road Integrated Media and NetGalley for providing me a review copy of this book! 

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

Do you feel like some YA books are too “grown up” for the audience they’re intended for? Have you ever felt miffed by a cliffhanger ending? 

signature-01

[Audiobook] Review: The Warlord Wants Forever (Immortals After Dark, #0.5) by Kresley Cole

books-reviews-button-01

the warlord wants foreverTitle: The Warlord Wants Forever
Series:
Immortals After Dark, #0.5
Author: Kresley Cole
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Library (Audiobook)

Audiobook Notes
Length: 3 hours 58 minutes (unabridged)
Narrator: Hagan Verret, Simone Famhar
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

Nikolai Wroth, once a ruthless human warlord in the 1700s and now a general in the rebel vampire army, needs to find his bride, the one woman who can render him truly alive. As a turned human, he doesn’t enjoy a heartbeat or breathing and is consequently weaker than fully blooded vampires. He wants his bride for the power she will bring him and can hardly believe it when his heart beats for Myst the Coveted, a mad, fey, mythological creature.

She eludes him for five years, but he has finally chased her to ground and stolen the jewel which commands her, giving him absolute power over her. While he possesses it, he can make her do anything, and he plans to in order for her to experience firsthand the agonizing, unending lust she’d purposely subjected him to for half a decade. Yet when Wroth realizes he wants more from her and frees her, will she come.

my thoughts-01

(Note: This review originally appeared on Reading In Winter: After Dark, which is no longer available.)

When I picked up this audiobook from the library, I had been hearing a LOT of things about Kresley Cole, all of them good, so I figured this would be a good series to start on audiobook. AND the fact that it was only 4 hours long was a HUGE plus.

I did really like this one. It was different and very much an old-school vampire tale, but with romance involved. I can’t say I LOVED the main characters, but I did tolerate them. The male vampire lead, Nikolai, kind of grated on my nerves with his VERY old-fashioned ways and possessiveness (and maybe some jealousy thrown in for good measure), but by the end I thought he was alright.

The female lead, Mist, was a feisty character full of piss and vinegar. I liked her a lot but I felt like her character was somewhat lacking – which probably had a lot to do with the narration.

This book had TWO narrators. While I’m all for two narrators, it really wasn’t even; there’d be a bit here with the female narrator, then a LONG passage with the male. I really enjoyed the female narration and thought she did a great job with the characters, but I didn’t like the male narrator. ESPECIALLY his voice for Mist. With the female narrator, Mist came across as strong, but with the male narrator, she came across as weak and whiny. AND Nikolai had an accent in the story, so the accent varied between the narrators.

While I had issues with the narration, the story was pretty good. There was LOTS of sex going on. Kresley Cole definitely knows what she’s doing when she writes a sex scene and I loved the chemistry between Nikolai and Mist during those times (during other times, Nikolai was … an odd character). It was dirty and fun. I also had to laugh because I had this on in the car and there was the odd time I’d get in to go somewhere and I’d turn it on mid-sex scene. THAT’S a way to wake up in the morning!

The only thing I really didn’t like were some of the modern references in the book, like the mention of an X-Box or a certain TV show. The X-Box especially – at the point of the novel where it’s mentioned, it just seemed silly. And Nikolai grated on my nerves at certain points, but it could’ve just been the narration.

By the end, I really enjoyed this book and would definitely go for the second one – I’m just not sure if I want to do that with the audio version or not. Personally, I think the story could have been way more enjoyable had I been reading it rather than listening.

rating-4-01

Author Links:

WEB | TWITTER | GOODREADS

signature-01

Review: Hot Ticket (Sinners on Tour, #3) by Olivia Cunning

books-reviews-button-01

hot ticketTitle: Hot Ticket
Series:
Sinners on Tour, #3
Author: Olivia Cunning
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Erotica
Source: Bought (Paperback)

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

There are things in bassist Jace Seymour’s past that he is unwilling to share with anyone. To cover his guilt and anguish, he seeks dominatrix Mistress V (Aggie) to temporarily placate his inner turmoil.

Aggie doesn’t have much use for men–besides the power rush she gets when they’re begging for mercy at her feet–but Jace isn’t like her usual clients. His cool defiance and unexpected dominance in the bedroom drives her to distraction and quickly steals her heart.

When circumstances threaten Jace’s position in Sinners, Aggie must help him regain his rightful place in the band while showing him that time and love can heal all wounds.

my thoughts-01

In my review of the last book in this series, Rock Hard, I talked a little bit about how predictable this series is. This isn’t a bad thing. In a way, it makes me think of Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series — we get a wonderful story based on two of our favourite characters and a happy ending. Who doesn’t like that? It’s the story, the words along the way to that happy ending, that isn’t predictable. While we know in this series that each guy on the Sinners tour bus will get his own story and (more than likely) his own happy ending (in more ways than one), there are so many UNpredictable things that happen before we get to the end.

I will admit, before I started reading a book in this series, I always feel a little daunted by the size. These aren’t short little stories, but rather longer stories full of the new guy’s story AND some tidbits from the previous rockers’ stories. It’s kind of nice that the guys on the tour bus are so close that we get to see what’s going on in everyone’s life in one book — with a little more emphasis on the main rocker of the book.

This book revolved around shy Jace. Jace was always the quiet one in the first two books and we got a bit of an inkling of who his woman of choice would be in Rock Hard. I was interested to see what would happen between him and his domanatrix. We really knew nothing about Aggie other than the fact that she worked at the same club as Jessica (Sed’s girl), so it was nice to get more of her story. I can’t say that Aggie was my favourite girl in the series — so far that spot is still reserved for Myrna — but she definitely was a perfect match for Jace. She might have been a bit overbearing and Jace might have been a bit too needy and jealous in sections, but it was still a really fun story to read.

And again. The sex. This was a little bit different from the first two books since we’re dealing with a domme and a submissive in this story, but it was still fun. Really, Olivia Cunning writes some awesome sexy scenes. I hate to say it, but it’s one thing I really look forward to in her books. She knows how to give the readers what they want!

Not my favourite book in the series, but still a lot of fun! There were a lot of twists and turns I wasn’t expecting and it made me really eager to read the next book in the series. I love that the suspense around the Sinners and their album being doomed (possibly) keeps building in the series. I’m interested to see where that goes! Can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

rating-4-01

Author Links:

WEB | TWITTER | GOODREADS

signature-01