Reviewing the Unreviewed: July 2016

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.

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Zero Day by Jan Gangsei. Read June 28-July 1. 2 stars.

This book was full of interesting ideas that were never really fully developed. It left a lot of loose ends open – so much so I thought it was series, but according to the author it’s a standalone “with potential for more.” Which honestly just makes the lame cliffhanger even more frustrating. I think the book would have been better if it focused on less perspectives and cut out a couple of the extraneous storylines and just really focused in on Addie and Cerberus.

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Paper Princess (The Royals #1) by Erin Watt. Read July 1. 3 Stars.

Um, this is supposed to be YA? It definitely reads way more adult, even though the main characters are in high school. I’ve been seeing such great reviews for this book that I finally decided I had to read it, even though I knew it wasn’t the type of book I usually go for. And it’s definitely not the kind of book I generally like, but once I started it, I couldn’t stop. It was a very quick, easy read with interesting, if often clichéd, characters. I hated them half the time and rooted for them the other half. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this to YA readers, even though it’s supposed to be YA, but I think usual Romance readers will like it.

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This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills. Read July 4. 4.5 Stars

I loved this book so hard! I read it basically in one sitting. The characters, the family, the friendships, the humor, the emotion. This book just made my heart happy. I think Emma Mills has made her way onto my auto-buy list. Full review to come closer to release date.

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The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Read July 2-4. 3 stars.

I think this book tried too hard to teach me something and in doing so came off a little cheesy. I liked the main characters and I liked the romance enough – even though there was an “Anna and the French Kiss” inspired love triangle that took WAY too long to be resolved. In some ways I could really identify with Mallory, but there was just something missing where I didn’t feel at all connected with her. There were definitely some sad moments, but I didn’t feel that much about them either. Not a bad book, but kind of a disappointment, given my love for JLA.

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Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder #8) by Linda Castillo. Read July 12-16. 4 Stars.

This is the eighth book in the Kate Burkholder series and I think it’s my new favorite. I really liked the story – the undercover aspect and how genuinely creepy some of the characters were. There was a surprise towards the end that I definitely didn’t see coming. I was a little concerned about Kate being in a different state and not having the usual cast of characters around, especially Tomasetti, but it worked. And while I am always wanting more Tomasetti, he still had a presence in the book. I wish there was just a bit more interaction with Bishop Schrock since he was such an interesting, creepy character. Overall, though, a very good read.

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Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein. Read July 17. 3.5 stars.

There was a great deal of cuteness in this book, but there were several things that kind of annoyed me, too. Lately I seem to be reading a lot of books where the main characters hide behind sarcasm and a generally bad attitude to avoid having feelings about things. And while I completely and totally relate to that, it’s made me start to wonder how annoying other people must find me. I mean, about 99% of the drama June goes through in this book is manufactured by herself. I felt like a lot of it could have been avoided. But, overall, while I did have some issues with this book, it did have so many cute moments. I loved, loved Oliver and I really liked June’s friendship/relationship with him (when she wasn’t screwing everything up). A cute, fast read that I think a lot of YA lovers will enjoy.

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Best of My Love (Fool’s Gold #20) by Susan Mallery. Read July 16-17. 3.5 Stars.

I was a little iffy about this in the beginning. The premise that you need to set up some “experiment” to be friends with a member of the opposite sex was kind of silly to me. I also thought setting up a time limit for that friendship was odd. But once I got past that, I did really end up liking the relationship between Aiden and Shelby. I wish there would have been a little more Just Friends time before they started to fall for each other, though. However, I did really like that they became such good friends and I shipped them hard. The message of opening yourself up to love got a little heavy handed towards the end and a part of me wish they would have only been just friends. It kind of took away from the point that men and women can be just friends by having them fall in love. But, I guess you can’t really expect anything else to happen in this type of book. And I did really like their relationship. Overall, it was a cute, quick read that fans of romance and the Friends to Lovers trope would enjoy.

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Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare, Read July 18-22. 3 Stars.

This book was ridiculously too long. It could have been a couple hundred pages shorter and if it was I think it would’ve been much better. It was still a solid 3-star book, but I do have to admit I got bored for long stretches of it.

I liked pretty much all the characters. I liked that one of them is on the Spectrum and how he was written. I was a big fan of the romance, but found the ending regarding it completely annoying (though not as annoying as supposed incest like in some of other Clare’s books…). Julian was my favorite. It was often repeated that he kept a lot of secrets, but I thought they were completely obvious. When he pulls Mark and Emma aside to tell them about one of the secrets, I was expecting something really shocking, but what he told them was something I thought we already knew? And did Emma really not figure it out before that?

While the book was almost completely predictable, I was surprised by who the Guardian was, so that was a good twist, even though it made me sad. I think the rabid Clare fans will really enjoy this book and the cameos from characters from the other series. For me, it was kind of average, but I’ll still plan on reading the next book in the series.

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Splintered (Splintered #1) by A.G. Howard. Read July 23-24. 3 Stars.

I’ve had this on my TBR shelf forever (mostly because I adore the covers for the books in this series) and when nothing else was keeping my attention, I decided it was finally time to try it. I think I *wanted* to like it a little more than I actually liked it. I liked the premise and for the most part I liked Alyssa. I liked Jeb to an extent, but his super-protectiveness often veered into controlling, which is not cool. Morpheus had SO MUCH potential to be this really awesome character, but he fell a little flat for me. Though there were several chapters I kind of skimmed, I did overall like the book enough to continue the series.

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The Moth in the Mirror (Splintered #1.5) by A.G. Howard. Read July 24. 3 Stars.

I liked the idea of getting to see some of Jeb’s POV from the first book, while getting new scenes with Morpheus. Unfortunately, most of Jeb’s scenes were him finding things out we already knew, with little insight into anything else. I did like the scenes with Morpheus, though. I have high hopes that he’ll live up to his potential in the next book.

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Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard. Read July 24-26. 3 Stars.

There was a bunch of nothing happening for most of the book and it would have benefited from being shorter. However, there were some good things that happened, too. I liked Morpheus a lot more in this installment, though I still don’t LOVE him yet (but I’m definitely not Team Jeb, either). I’m glad that we got to find out more about his and Ally’s mom’s past. I liked where things ended and am looking forward to the next book.

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Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. Read July 26-29. 3 Stars.

Once again Moriarty writes some amazingly well-developed characters. While they weren’t always likeable (in fact they were almost all unlikable a good deal of the time), they did really start to feel like people I knew and cared about. Poor, sweet Oliver was my favorite.

While the character development was spot on, the story, unfortunately, underwhelmed me. It took over half way through the book to find out what the big incident at the barbecue was and it wasn’t as shocking as I thought it was going to be. I felt myself just wanting to kind of get through it, instead of enjoying it or being entertained by it. So while it definitely wasn’t my favorite Moriarty book, I think fans of really character-driven stories would enjoy it.

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BACK ON THE TBR

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Blitzing Emily (Love and Football #1) by Julie Brannagh. I got a copy of this for free awhile ago and we all know how much I love fake relationship stories. But this one just wasn’t keeping my interest. I do plan on trying it again sometime, though.

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And I Darken by Kiersten White. I was really looking forward to his book since I love some of White’s other books, but it just didn’t really keep my attention. I’m not sure it’s my type of book, to be honest. However, it might have just been my mood and I will definitely try it again someday.

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DNF

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Lady Renegades (Rebel Belle #3) by Rachel Hawkins. I just could not get into this book. After reading some reviews I decided it didn’t look like it was going to be something that would suddenly catch my interest. I ended up skipping ahead and reading the last couple chapters and I’m glad with my decision to not continue reading.

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Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker. DNF at about 44%. Since I got this from NetGalley, I really wanted to finish it, but I just couldn’t take any more. The characters are completely unlikable, the plot is unbelievable. While Christian is slightly more likable than Lexi, his POV included basically caricatures of Mexican culture and was honestly a little offensive and uncomfortable to read sometimes. I think heist books need to have a certain level of Fun, but I was completely unentertained. I just felt sad for the characters.                  

Shadows and Opposition (Lux Series by JLA) Cover Reveals

Opposition & Shadows Cover Reveals Banner

Let us know what you think of the NEW covers for Opposition and Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout!

Opposition (Lux, #5) and Shadows (Lux, #0.5) release on November 1, 2016

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled TEEN and YA Books Central!

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About Opposition:

Don’t miss Opposition, the fifth and final book in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s bestselling Lux series, now available as a standalone in print for the first time!

“An unmissable series!” –Samantha Young, New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street

“This is the stuff swoons are made of.” —Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of Sweet Evil

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.

Want to read the LUX series on your ereader? Each book is sold individually in e-format:
#1: Obsidian
#2: Onyx
#3: Opal
#4: Origin
#5: Opposition
Dawsons story: Shadows

Want to Read More? Pre-order Opposition Today!

add-to-goodreads

Amazon | B&N | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca

Shadows-500x750

About Shadows:

Don’t miss Shadows, Dawson Blacks story in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s bestselling Lux series, now available as a standalone in print for the first time!

“An unmissable series!” –Samantha Young, New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street

“This is the stuff swoons are made of.” —Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of Sweet Evil

The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life-form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane. Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in. Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence…and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

Want to read the LUX series on your ereader? Each book is sold individually in e-format:
#1: Obsidian
#2: Onyx
#3: Opal
#4: Origin
#5: Opposition
Dawsons story: Shadows

Want to Read More? Pre-order Shadows Today!

add-to-goodreads

Amazon | B&N | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca

About the Author:

JenniferLArmentrout

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Find Jennifer L. Armentrout Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads’ Author Page

Review: The Playboy’s Proposal (The Sorenson Family #3) by Ashlee Mallory

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

Doctor Benny Sorensen has had it up to here with her party-throwing playboy neighbor. She’s declaring war. She doesn’t care how gorgeous or charming he is, he’s going down. That is until he proposes something she’s not sure she can say no to…

Wealthy ad man Henry Ellison lives an uncomplicated life that revolves around work, women, and partying. In that order. Until Benny storms into his life. To placate his attractive but hotheaded neighbor, Henry offers to help her land a date with the man of her dreams. Only as Henry makes her over and coaches her on the fine art of flirting, he realizes that the idea of this woman in any other man’s arms but his own is unacceptable. But Benny’s a forever kind of girl and forever might just be the one commitment he can’t make.

Each book in the Sorensen Family series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 Her Backup Boyfriend
Book #2 Her Accidental Husband
Book #3 The Playboy’s Proposal

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

I’ve been in the mood recently for a cute romance and The Playboy’s Proposal was the perfect book for my mood. It had great characters and a cute, slow-burn romance that makes me want to break my self-imposed rule to never use the word “swoony” in a review.

Benny Sorenson (the youngest of the Sorenson clan, who we’ve gotten to know from the first two books in the series) has a major crush on another doctor in her practice, but lacks the confidence to do anything about it. I found her spazzy behavior around cute guys to be really relatable, as was her lack in self-confidence. When she finally makes a formal complaint to the HOA about her excessively loud neighbor, Henry Ellison, he makes a deal with her. He’ll help her become more confident with men if she drops the complaint.

Benny and Henry begin to spend time together – clothes shopping, makeovers, golf lessons. But they also begin to just hang out together, watching Property Brothers and drinking wine, becoming friends. Though the book doesn’t span a whole lot of time, the romance still seemed like a slow-burn, which I always like. They really became best friends as they fell in love. There’s obviously some roadblocks along the way – Benny’s lack of confidence and Henry’s disbelief in love and I liked the way those problems were reconciled. I really liked both characters and I loved seeing them together.

Overall, The Playboy’s Proposal, was a cute, quick, romantic read with likeable characters. I enjoyed seeing the Sorenson clan again and am looking forward to Daisy’s story. I would recommend this to fans of romance.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

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The GoodReads Book Tag

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I recently saw this tag over on Rattle the Stars and thought it looked like a fun one.

What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

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Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein. I had some issues with it, but overall it was really cute.

What are you currently reading?

Nothing. I just finished Shuffle, Repeat, and haven’t started a new one yet. I guess I still have Blitzing Emily by Julie Brannagh marked as “currently reading”, but I started it like two books ago and I don’t think I’m going to finish it anytime soon.

What was the last book you marked as ‘TBR’?

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Chance of a Lifetime by Marissa Clarke. I generally don’t reach for books with this type of cover on it, but I am interested in it because one of the main characters is blind. I love seeing books that can break stigmas on disabilities.

What book do you plan to read next?

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My hold from the library finally came in for Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, so it might be what’s next. I’m not really sure if I’m in the mood to jump back into the Shadowhunter word, though.

Do you use the star rating system?

Of course

Are you doing a Reading Challenge?

Yes. I actually met my goal of 75 books with the last book I read. I’m debating between increasing it or just feeling accomplished.

Do you have a wishlist?

I have a TBR.

What book do you plan to buy next?

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I am thinking about either P.S. I Like You by Kasie West or Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Do you have any favorite quotes, would you like to share a few?

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I am actually really horrible at remembering quotes. I bookmark and highlight all these lines when I read, but they rarely stick with me. There is one, though, that I love from Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I have no idea why this is the one that stands out when there are soooo many good lines from that series.

…It isn’t their concern. And it shouldn’t be mine. Apparently my head is going to roll. I ask them what they will swing. “I have all the axes.”

Who are your favorite authors?

  • Rainbow Rowell
  • Pierce Brown
  • Linwood Barclay
  • Kasie West
  • Linda Castillo
  • Karin Slaughter
  • Allison Leotta
  • Leigh Bardugo
  • Liane Moriarty
  • Jojo Moyes
  • just to name a few…

Have you joined any groups?

I’ve joined one book club group, but I haven’t actually been interested enough in any of the books they were reading to actually participate in it yet.

What do you think that Goodreads could do better?

Obviously the 1/2 star thing. I use a 1/2 star rating a lot on my blog and when I transfer that rating to Good Reads, I always round down (i.e. 3.5 Stars on blog = 3 Stars on Good Reads). I think my average rating would be higher if we had half stars.

I also would like to see Nook Book/Epub versions to choose from. I know that Good Reads is owned by Amazon now, so that’s probably not going to happen. But the number of pages in a Nook Book varies SO MUCH from the hard copy – and even from the Kindle. So when I’m updating my status, I have to use the percentage instead of page number to get an accurate picture – and since my particular Nook doesn’t tell me percentage, I have to calculate it.

Tagging:

Feel free to tag yourself if you would like.

We should be Good Reads friends! Come friend me!