Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January 2017 Reading Wrap Up: PART 2

January 2017 Reading Stats: I read 18 books this month

Goodreads Rating System:
5 Star-It was Amazing
4 Star-Really Liked It
3 Star-Liked It
2 Star-It was Ok
1 Star-Did not like It

My Rating: 3 Stars
Format: Paperback
Photo Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts:
** spoiler alert ** I read the first 4 books back to back and got bored which seems to happen when I read too many of a series at the same time. I have waited so long to start Opposition, I thought I would never get into this again or want too. However; I am glad I took a break, as I'm enjoying getting back into the characters and plot so much more than I was in the last 2 books. 

Where I found the last two books a little boring and dragging on, this book starts with a bang. It has a nice pace and so much is happening. You will fly through this. I still have the same feelings as I previously did, as I do feel this did not need to be a 5 book series. I think it would have been even better if it was maybe only 3.

I love Daemon and I continued to love Daemon in this final book. Katy was again just blah to me, but you did start to see some of the independent and strong characteristics she brought in book one.

The plot, again, had some Twilight similarities which goes back to the first book as well. I also was a little disappointed in the ending of the War. It just kinda ended. There could have been more brought to the scenes with the Arum saving the world in the end.

This is marked as an YA book, but be mindful that this does have several sex scenes. I would not allow younger teens to read this series. JLA writes some steamy novels under J. Lynn and you can see that trying to come through in parts of this series.

Also, this represented some issues that our world is facing today, and I liked that tie in into the plot.

I will always be thankful to this series as it was the first Jennifer L. Armentrout books I read, and she has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I will say, her other work has blown this series away though and I am glad I tried some of her other work.

My Rating: 3 Stars
Format: Kindle
Photo Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Thank you St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book.

I am not usually a huge fantasy reader, but I was intrigued when I saw this was about a Goblin King.

This starts off with an Overture, which is fitting since so much of this book revolves around music. I really enjoyed the Overture. Then we get started on the story. The first chapter was pretty intimidating. You are introduced to so many characters and aspects of this world. I was a little taken back with learning everything so quickly. Even the characters have two or more names (example: Elizabeth, Liesil, and Frauein are all the same person). I know some of this makes sense once you get farther into the story, but it was a lot to take in at once with character and plot building.

By the second chapter, you start seeing the suspense the Goblin King is bringing and these were my favorite parts. This is what sucked me in. I really enjoyed the market scenes and the mystery behind the Goblin King in these scenes.

Then the Goblin King takes Kath, and Elizabeth is left playing "a game" with the King in which she needs to enter the Underworld to save her sister. The Goblin King has also erased all knowing of anything Kath in the real world to add a challenge to the game he has set up for Elizabeth. I liked that the grandmother, Constance, is also aware of the games and is still in the reality of what happened.

I found the parts solely focused on music dragging, and I preferred reading the parts involving the actual main characters. The writing was beautiful and I really enjoyed the descriptions of everything going on with the characters and the worlds. I was also a little annoyed with how much they focused on Elizabeth not noting her own self worth and how beautiful she really was. It was a little repetitive.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this book and recommend it to any fans of Fantasy.

My Rating: 2 Stars
Format: Kindle
Photo Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts:
I was sent this as an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is actually written in three different parts. The first chapter sucked me in and I actually almost cried. I love when a book can bring that much emotion right off the bat, as it really makes me want to continue on with it. The first part of part one was amazing. There were some really intense moments that left my heart racing. It was very suspenseful. I loved the flashbacks of the kidnapping and the fear that someone was watching Rachel. However; as the story moved on, it just seemed to fall apart for me.

I thought this book would maintain the twists and turns from a young girl being kidnapped and waking up on the side of a ditch. But, it just feel apart. We start seeing "mean girls" and "fight clubs" and the plot just started to lose my interest. It went away from the whole kidnapping story, and took away from the suspense.

I did not like the character change of Rachel. She was a totally different person in only a years time, and when she loses that years memory is back to the younger version of herself. It was almost too much of a dramatic change.

Overall, this book is just okay. I skipped threw almost the third part to just see what happened in the end. I wish it would have went a whole different path, as it had so much more potential.

My Rating: 4 Stars
Format: Kindle
Photo Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts:
"You'll need to read carefully on the stepping stones to her heart."

I know this is the second book in The Stone series, but I did not read the first book. After reading about Krys and Alexander, I have already picked up book 1 to read more about how their relationship initially started. I do recommend reading book 1 first, as I think it would clear up some build up into their understanding their initial relationship. However; I still really enjoyed this book regardless.

This book is about finding love, letting go of your past, and learning to love. I liked the aspect of both characters past, and what it brought to this story. It makes you love Alexander even more as he tries to fight his own demons when it comes to his past.

I really enjoyed Alexander and fell in love with him in this book. I also enjoyed how both characters bring so much more to this story than just your typical hot love affair. I also really enjoyed the writing as it was very fast paced and kept me interested from the start. Like I mentioned, I did have some questions since I had not read book 1, but I think most you can fill in the blanks as you continue to read.

I did see some similarities between this and 50 Shades of Grey as you have a wealthy business owner who is a Dominant and wanted Krys to be his submissive. However; there was enough uniqueness within the story that I still enjoyed this. I recommend for any fans of that series.

I will be reading book 1 to see what happens as so many other people are talking about the cliff hanger. I need to know more! I will most likely be following up with book 3 as well. I really enjoyed my first read of this author.

My Rating: 4 Stars
Format: Paperback
Photo Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts:
"You know, usually the people who smile the most and laugh the loudest are the ones who...suffer the most."

Thank you JLA for never leaving me disappointed. This was another great read that had my emotions all over the place. I laughed out loud and I cried. I love when books can pull you in, and can bring out so many different emotions. This book did it all.

I love the relationship between Tanner and Andrea. They have a very playful and back and forth relationship. In the end, Tanner is there for her in ways no other man has been before. I think the dynamics between the two were great.

This book is dealing with mental health issues and addiction. Andrea is dealing with panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. She is also in denial about these issues and is self-medicating with alcohol. Andrea also has past family history of substance abuse. I have not read many books that deal with alcoholism or anxiety issues, and I thought it was a great twist to the story. I did take off half a star due to the lack of intensity to the treatment for Andrea. This may be due to working in the field myself, and I just wanted more around it. However; I still really enjoyed it and I liked how this brings awareness to these issues including the severity of your actions when drinking and driving.

Also, I loved how much of a role Kyler and Syd played in the story. Most spin-offs only mention previous characters, but they were in most of the chapters which I enjoyed.

Overall, another amazing read and I cannot wait to grab the next one!

My Rating: 1 Stars
Format: Kindle
Photo Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts:
** spoiler alert ** I received a copy of Tempting Tanner from NetGalley.

The cover is nothing like what you will get once you start reading. The cover shouts steamy and new adult. It does not remind me of anything that actually takes place in this book. This just fell really short for me.

This starts off with Julianna and Rebecca who are college roommates. Clearly, they have been roommates for several years, but they do not seem to be friends at all. Right from the start, they have a strained and almost hated relationship. It makes no sense why they would be living together. Anyways, Julianna is in love with Tanner who had been dating Rebecca. They break up and Tanner admits he has been just as in love with Julianna.

The plot had so much potential; however the writing was too stiff for my liking and I could not relate to the characters at all. They are supposed to college seniors, but act like they are in high school. There are too immature.
There is no building of the plot or the characters. Even a twist I would normally enjoy (Julianna was in foster care due to her parents dying when she was younger) held no emotions and was just thrown into the plot. It did not fit, and it did not make any sense.

Rebecca was crazy. I called her faking a pregnancy the moment Tanner woke up with her and did not know what happened. Even this was more juvenile, and had so much more potential to bring good drama to the plot.

Overall, I did not enjoy this at all. I did not like the writing, the characters, or the plot. I know others loved it, but it was not for me.

My Rating: 3 Stars
Format: Audio Book
Photo Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts:
I was given the opportunity to listen to the audio book for The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman for an honest review.

I have tried other audio books before, and they were just not my thing. I never could get into them or pay enough attention to the narrator to actually understand the plots. However; I listened to a sample of this book and wanted to give it a try.

The narrator did an amazing job with this. I liked the voice changes and the emotions she brought to different scenes.

I was very interested in the plot of this story in the first half of the book. This starts off with Courtney facing past memories of her grandfather trying to drowned her in a bathtub. All of these memories lead to a mystery involving aliens. Courtney goes on a hunt for clues in regards to her family's past and the truth about her grandfather and the aliens. The initial build up was really fun and suspenseful.

The second half of the book is where I started to lose interest. Bloodliners, secret societies, badges, and magical helmets all come into play. I feel there was just too many different elements thrown in to the story. Since I was listening to this, I started to get a little lost and a little bored. I wanted to know more about the actual aliens and what was going to happen. It does pick up a little towards the end, but I did not like the ending. It definitely ended with a Book 2 in mind.

Overall, I liked the story even with some faults. I will be looking into some other audio books with this narrator, as I think she brought the story alive.

My Rating: 3 Stars
Format: Kindle
Photo Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts:
This has been all the rage in the Book Tuber community, so of course I wanted to read it. I may be a little more critical than others since I have been working in the field of child abuse for over ten years.
This is about friendship, love, abuse, fear, loss, and so much more. Overall, I can appreciate this book for what it was.

The first part of this book was pretty boring. The only parts I looked forward to were parts involving Julian and his Uncle. The parts with Adam were boring. I did like the parts which revealed how the boys knew each other and how they were past foster brothers. I just think most of part 1 was not really needed or important to the story.

Part two is where everything starts to happen. It is pretty intense, and if you do not like reading about child abuse, I do not recommend this to you. I did not like the police aspects of this story (they were treating Adam, his Mom, and Julian horribly). The ending was not predictable, but I also feet it was rushed/forced. I really think the whole second part was too rushed in general, and would have liked this side of the story expanded throughout both part 1 and 2.

Regardless, it is an emotional read. I like the relationship between Adam and Julian. However; it was not as fantastic as I was expecting and I found myself skimming parts to move the story along.

My Rating: 4 Stars
Format: Kindle
Photo Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts:
I was given the opportunity through Penguin Random House to read an ARC of Right Behind You.

"Families aren't built in a day. But, they can be destroyed in an instant."

This was my first Lisa Gardner book, and I am surprised how much I really enjoyed it. I know this is book seven in the series, but it can be read as a stand alone. I really am interested in reading more about Quincy and Rainie now, and will probably grab book one in the series soon.

The plot of this book was amazing, and I give that 5/5 stars. My heart was in my stomach from page one until the last page of this story. The prologue was heart wrenching! They whole story will keep you on the edge of your seat. I really enjoyed the plot twists. I also feel LG did her research when it comes to past trauma with child abuse cases. Of course, this was taken to extremes, but it was still really well done.

I also liked the characters. You get to read about parts through Quincy and Rainie, Sharlah and Telly, and the sheriff and tracker. I really enjoyed them all where normally I would skip over some sections in other books. I mostly enjoyed learning about Tally and Sharlah and their tragic past. I love that even after being separated for so long, they still have a strong love for each other. LG did a good job of showing how important sibling connections are even after being separated when being placed into foster care.

The writing was amazing in some spots of the story, and lacked in others. If you are a fan of criminology, you will love this. For me, there were times when certain scenes were too detailed and I was ready for them to move on. I also did not like how almost every incident was repeated over and over again. This is the reason I took off 1 star.

Overall, this kept my attention and helped pull me out of a reading slump. I loved the plot and the characters. I am not normally a reader of thriller/mystery, but I am happy I picked this one up.

My Rating: 3 Stars
Format: Kindle
Photo Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts:
** spoiler alert ** This is a very quick and cute short story. It is the fourth book in the Midlife Series, but can be read as a standalone. I have not read any previous books in the series, and had no issues following Unbreakable Hart.

This story is about first love, mistakes, midlife crisis, and second chances. I do wish it was a little bit longer, so some aspects could have been a little more developed.

I enjoyed the plot which involved two people who were married for twenty years and then divorced. Each had moved on with someone completely opposite from their previous spouse. They meet up again, and both realize there is still something there. I know Amelia made Alex run around for a little bit, but I also feel she instantly decided to take him back (which after cheating on her and leaving her, I wish it was a little more resistance or second thought to that decision). I am happy they ended up together in the end though.

I also felt bad for Caleb at first. I was happy to see his happily ever after in the end as well (I do not want to spoil what happened with his character; you will need to read this to find out.)

There were a few things that did not make sense, like Amelia living with her ex-in laws. I know she was trying to get back on her feet after the divorce, but why was she still there a year later? There are some other areas that I also was kinda thrown off by, and this is why I think it if was longer, there could have been some really good deep story lines thrown into the mix.

Overall, this was a fun short story. It is less than 170 pages, so I would suggest giving it a go when you are looking for something short and sweet.

WHEW!  Did anything catch your interest?

Let me know what you are reading down below as I am always looking for new recommendations.

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