Pure (Covenant #2) by Jennifer Armentrout – 3 stars (out of 5)

Pure (Covenant, #2)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

There is need. And then there is Fate.

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome–especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom–so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do–and sacrifice–for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies–lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon–and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude–or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

MY THOUGHTS *THERE WILL BE SPOILERS*

-I think that I liked this book a little more than the previous book and I’m pretty sure the reason is More Seth!! I love his sarcastic banter with Alex and the times when he’s actually serious with her, too. However, he’s kind of shady about some things and I don’t have good feelings about where it’s all going. I know that this series is now fully published and it’s been announced that Seth is getting his own spin-off series, so it’s pretty obvious that Seth and Alex don’t end up together. But I’m still hopelessly, foolishly Team Seth.

Lux alert! At one point in time Alex tells Seth she doesn’t know if he likes her or if it’s just their connection. I had flashbacks to Daemon and Katie in Onyx. 

-Even though I’m all about Seth, I feel like Aiden and Alex make a little more sense in this book than they did in Half-Blood. They don’t have a lot of time together, but the moments they have are sweet. It’s a little annoying that Alex believes him when he tells her he doesn’t have feelings for her like that, when he obviously does and is obviously just trying to protect her. We find out at a council session what happens when Pure-Bloods and Half-Bloods try to have a relationship and it’s definitely not pretty.

-RIP Caleb!!! I was so mad when he was killed by a daimon. I really liked his character and he was Alex’s only real friend. I’m interested to see who steps in to the best friend role in the next books.

-There’s a lot of time spent at Council and we get to see some of the politics. The Head Minister is super old school and thinks all half-bloods are worthless. He wants to see Alex put into servitude or killed off so she can never become the second Apollyon. There are a couple of attempts on Alex’s life that we never find out (yet) who’s responsible for, but it’s a good guess that it’s the Head Minister and his minions.

-There’s a lot of action towards the end of the book. There’s a daimon attack at the covenant where the council is being held and the furies are let loose to help destroy them – and Alex. I’m usually not a big fan of a lot of action, but I felt it was described pretty well here, with enough interaction between the characters to keep it from getting too overwhelming.

-Overall, I enjoyed Pure. I really liked the character development of Seth, though there’s still so much I want to know about him. I felt like it did a pretty good job of moving the plot along and focusing on character development and did not fall prey to the Second Book Curse. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout – 3 stars (out of 5)

Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals–well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

As I mentioned in my Monday’s Minutes, the Covenant series has a lot of similarities to The Vampire Academy series. There’s a race that is hidden from the humans and they’re divided into 3 groups: The Elite (Pure Bloods in Covenant, Moroi in VA), The Lesser (Half-Bloods and Dhampirs) that are trained to protect the Elite, and The Evil (Daimons and Strigois) that they can be turned into. There’s a girl that’s been away for several years and finds herself back in the community where an older and romantically forbidden guy volunteers to train her. Forbidden Romance ensues.

Though there are all those similarities, it’s not the same book. And I prefer Jennifer Armentrout to Richelle Mead any day (no offense Richelle! I love Adrian Ivashkov very much).

Ok, so here’s My Thoughts:

-I had a  little trouble liking Alex for most of this book. She’s so impulsive and disrespectful. I know she’s supposed to be sarcastic and tough and cool, but I spent a lot of my time rolling my eyes at her. That said, I did start to like her a little more as the book went on.

-I liked Aiden. He’s kind and sweet and funny and brave. He’s the first Romantic Lead I’ve read in Armentrout’s book that doesn’t have that whole cocky arrogant thing going on. This is usually the type of guy that I prefer, but I found I just didn’t really like him and Alex together. I think part of it was that there wasn’t enough build up. It wasn’t insta-love, but I didn’t really get where it came from. She had a crush on him forever. They had a couple nice moments training. Then Boom.

-The secondary characters were well developed. I like her best friend, Calab, a lot and Aiden’s younger brother, Deacon. Lea, the resident Mean Girl, and a couple of other Half-Bloods and Sentinels are all used well and not just backdrop for Alex. I look forward to finding out more about her step-father Lucian’s motivations.

-And then there’s Seth. He has the whole cocky arrogant thing going on that Aiden lacks and I hate to admit that that’s maybe why I love him so much. I am totally Team Seth. He’s such an interesting character and we just didn’t get enough of him in this book. My favorite part was towards the end where he and Alex finally spend some talking.

Overall, I enjoyed Half-Blood. I’ve heard lots of great things about this series and I look forward to reading the rest of it, but the Lux series is still my favorite of Armentrout’s books.

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Things I Am Thankful For

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Things I Am Thankful For (could be bookish or not — up to you).  I decided to list my Top FIVE Bookish Things I’m thankful for.

NOOK Simple Touch

1. My Nook. I love it. So many books I can get without ever leaving my house. And it fits in my purse and I can take it everywhere.

2. Library E-books. For my nook. Or on an app. Free books!

Rainbow Rowell  Attachments   Fangirl

3. Rainbow Rowell. She writes amazing books that I love.

Origin (Lux, #4)

4. Jennifer Armentrout. She gave us Daemon Black.

5. Book Blogs. Starting my own book blog has introduced me to so many other blogs that I’ve gotten countless book recommendations from.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday’s Minutes

MM

Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)

Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout. We all know how much I love Armentrout’s Lux series and I’ve heard lots of good things about this series so I finally decided to start it. There’s a lot of similarities to The Vampire Academy. Like, a lot.  Except instead of vampires it’s Greek mythology. But so far I’m enjoying it.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Pure (Covenant, #2)

Pure, book 2 in the Covenant series. Because once I start a series I have to finish it. Thankfully this time I picked a series that’s entirely done so none of that pesky waiting for the next installment.

What are you reading?

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead – 3 stars (out of 5)

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)

Good Reads Synopsis:

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

So. The Fiery Heart. I just don’t know. Sometimes I really enjoyed it. Sometimes I was just getting through it. I’m going to try to collect my thoughts.

-This is the first book in the series where we get multiple 1st person POV. The chapters alternate between Sydney and Adrian’s POV and I liked it. However, I felt like Adrian’s POV chapters could’ve been a little more Adrian. While I didn’t have trouble forgetting who’s POV we were in, they weren’t really that different. I expected Adrian’s head to be a little more funny and sarcastic than it was. His dialogue still had it, but I would’ve liked to have seen it in his thoughts. I also felt like this allowed more to be added to the story instead of just being stuck with Sydney the whole time.

-We get to see a little of Lissa, Rose, Dimitri, and Christian from The Vampire Academy series, which I liked. I would’ve liked a little more, though. We finally get a little more Lissa, but Christian is still getting the shaft.

-There wasn’t a whole lot of development of secondary characters. I still despise Angeline. And I especially dislike that Trey is still into her. Trey was one of my favorite characters in the first couple of books, but he wasn’t given a lot of time in this book.

-Adrian and Sydney’s romance. What the book lacked in plot, it made up for in romance. Seriously. Not a lot happened in this book that didn’t involve them declaring their love and making out. And they took their relationship to the next level. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think there should be that much sex in YA books.

-There were some developments with learning how to protect from Strigoi attacks and in making the special Alchemist tattoos for Marcus’ rebellion, but the biggest plot point in the story was Sydney and Adrian trying to keep their romance a secret from her sister, Zoe. Zoe was a poorly developed character and a poor villain, although she did turn out to be more of a threat than anyone really believed.

-The end left on a cliffhanger. Mead wrote in her Acknowledgments, “We’re in the middle of a series, so you know things are going to get rough for the characters, but hang in there! It’ll be worth it.” I read an interview where she compares the development of the series to the way The Vampire Academy developed. This does not give me a lot of hope for what happens next: the book where *VA SPOILER* Rose goes after Dimitri after he becomes a Strigoi and the whole time is spent with Rose pining away and NOTHING HAPPENS.

-Overall, I mostly enjoyed The Fiery Heart. I would recommend it to those who have already started the series. It was an easy, fluffy read with some sweet moments.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To The Reluctant Reader

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend to “X Person”. I chose The Reluctant Reader – the person that doesn’t understand the concept of reading for fun. The following are books I would recommend from various genres to get someone into reading again.

Recommended to the Romantics/Lovers of Chick Flicks

Attachments  I've Got Your Number

1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
2. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Recommended to the History Lovers

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)  A Voice in the Wind (Mark of the Lion, #1)

3. The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock
4. A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

Recommended to the Crime/Mystery Enthusiasts

Defending Jacob  Gone Girl

5. Defending Jacob by William Landay
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Recommended to the Young at Heart

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)  Divergent (Divergent, #1)

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
8. Divergent by Veronica Roth (I hated the last book in this series, but the first is still one of my favorites)

For the Sci-Fi/Paranormal Fan

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)  Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

9. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

 

 

Monday’s Minutes

MM

Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

The Best Man (Blue Heron #1)

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins. I’ve read one other book by Kristan Higgins (Just One of the Guys) that I liked, so I thought I’d give this one a try. It’s chicklit at it’s finest. Fun, silly, sappy. I also enjoy Higgins writing style. Even though I can totally predict what’s going to happen, I’m enjoying the read to get there.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)  World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead and World After by Susan Ee. Both come out tomorrow!

What are you reading?