Reviewing the Unreviewed: February 2015

 

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

The Secret of Pembrooke Park

The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen. Read February 8-12. 3 stars.

This book was a little unnecessarily long at times, but overall I enjoyed it. I liked the characters and thought they were well developed. The mystery was pretty well done, too. While there was one part of it I guessed basically right away, and another I guessed fairly early on, there were other parts that I didn’t and I enjoyed the surprise. Even though her previous book was not really to my liking, this book once again reinforces my opinion that Klassen is one of the best authors in this particular genre.

Arranged

Arranged by Catherine McKenzie. Read February 18-20. 3 stars.

This book had a unique premise that intrigued me, but didn’t blow me away. I found the Blythe & Company process interesting, though a bit outlandish. I thought they were going to end up being something a little more sinister than they were and was a little disappointed that they weren’t.

I liked all the references to Anne of Green Gables.

I didn’t always care for the main character. She was shallow and annoying most of the time, but as the book went on she really grew as a person and I enjoyed that.

The twist in Anne and Jack’s relationship wasn’t what I was expecting, but I thought it was good. My biggest complaint, though, is that I was hoping for the end to be a little less predictable.

The Girl Who Kissed a Lie (Otherworld #0.5)

The Girl who Kissed a Lie by Skylar Dorset. Read February 25. 2 stars.

There were some humorous moments with the aunts and Ben, but there really wasn’t anything that happened in this book. Perhaps if you read it before you read the first book in the series, you might find it more interesting, but I don’t think it will make you understand the first book any better. But it was a quick read and was good to get reacquainted with the series before I read book 2.

The Boy with the Hidden Name (Otherworld, #2)

The Boy with the Hidden Name by Skylar Dorset. Read February 25-26. 3 stars.

I debated between 2 and 3 stars for this one, but since it did ultimately entertain me, I went with 3. The story, as in the first book, is confusing. There were often times I didn’t understand what was going on. But I found most of the dialogue humorous. If you plan to read this series, I would recommend doing it all at once so it may be less confusing.

The Beautiful Daughters

The Beautiful Daughters by Nicole Baart. Read February 22-25. 4 stars.

I read this book in February, but my full review will post in April since this is an ARC and I wanted to post closer to the release date.

I’ve never read anything by Nicole Baart before, but I think I’ll definitely be giving her other books a try after reading The Beautiful Daughters. Her writing was beautiful, even when it was heartbreaking. I was drawn in, straight from the Prologue.

*************************************************************************

BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits, #1.5)

Breaking The Rules by Katie McGarry. I waited a long time for this to be available at the library, but once it finally came I couldn’t get into it. It seemed like just a bunch of re-hashing of their first book and I got bored pretty quickly. I may give it another go some time, though.

*************************************************************************

DNF

Seeker (Seeker, #1)

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton. I got this from NetGalley and just could not finish it. I was so confused the whole time and I didn’t really care about any of the characters.

*************************************************************************

RE-READ

Illusions of Fate

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White. I enjoyed this just as much the second time around!

Free Books are my Favorite

Since I don’t feel like doing Top Ten Tuesday – I didn’t pre-write and schedule it like I normally do and by this point in the day, I don’t think I have any characters to add to the conversation – I thought I would just share what was waiting for me yesterday after I got home from a long, awful day.

photo

Thanks to Fiktshun for the giveaway!

Review: The Return (Titan #1) by Jennifer Armentrout

The Return (Titan, #1)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

The Fates are cackling their bony asses off…

It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.

Seth was pretty much my favorite thing about the Covenant series, so I was really looking forward to The Return. However, I went into it expecting to be disappointed. The Covenant series is YA and Armentrout announced that this series would be NA. By now we all know how much I hate almost all NA books because most of them are basically just a synonym for erotica. I’m glad to report that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. With the exception of just a couple of overly graphic scenes, there was way more story to this book than most of JLA’s other NA books.

While this is a spin-off of the Covenant series, supposedly you can read it without reading the prior series. However, I would definitely recommend reading the first series before you read this book. There are a lot of references to Alex and Aiden and previous events that are not explained until over half way through this book. It has been awhile since I read the other books and I found myself confused at parts, so I don’t know what it would be like for people who have no prior knowledge of the Covenant world.

I still love Seth and enjoyed being able to see his point of view. I found Josie pretty likable as well. She is the classic JLA heroine, so basically if you like one of them, you like all of them. The story was told in alternating 1st person POV, which was fine, but their voices were pretty similar and there were often times it took me awhile to figure out who’s view we were getting.

Overall, I enjoyed The Return. I was pleasantly surprised that it read more like a YA book than an NA book. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and would recommend this book to those that read the Covenant series.

Rating (out of 5)

3 stars

Burn Out

There are seriously very few things I do in my personal time. Mostly there is reading and there is blogging. I’m still reading, though not with the zeal I usually have for it. But blogging is just…not doing it for me lately.

I finished a book yesterday that I wanted to write a review for and I spent probably an hour writing and re-writing the first paragraph before finally giving up on it. For some reason, I just feel burnt out on writing reviews. I can’t figure out how to start them, how to transition from one point to the next. When I do finally write something, I realize after I publish it that I forgot tons of points I wanted to make. There is not one review I’ve written this year that I’m proud of. I honestly can’t think of the last review I wrote where I thought, “yes, that’s a good one.”

The Worst

I also get discouraged comparing my blogs to others. My viewing stats, followership stats are probably better than I ever expected them to be, but then I’ll come across a blog with thousands of followers or blogs that get more views in day than I get in a year and I just don’t get it. Some of the blogs are super fun and clever. But some of the other blogs I think, “Really? That many people like this? My post was better than that.” (*Note, that is a rare thought, indeed, as I mentioned above, I don’t think my posts are great.) I see blogs that get all sorts of free books to review when I get turned down more than I get approved.

So, anyways, this is just a grumpy, I Hate Everything sort of day. I blame all the snow. I’m going to try to come up with some more standard outline for reviews that will help me with my writers block. But until then, I’ll probably be sticking with random pictures of funny things I find on Pinterest.