Book Review: Inhale by Kendall Gray

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Inhale (Just Breathe, #1)Book Synopsis:

Just Breathe #1
Published May 2012 by Howling Mad Press
Adult, Fantasy | 426 pages

After years of suffocating under her boss’s scrutiny, whale biologist Zoe Morgan finally lands a job as director of a tagging project in Hervey Bay, Australia. Success Down Under all but guarantees her the promotion of a lifetime, and Zoe won’t let anything—or anyone—stand in her way. Not the whale voices she suddenly hears in her head, not the ex who won’t take no for an answer, and especially not the gorgeous figment of her imagination who keeps saving her from the fiery hell of her dreams.

Gavin Cassidy hasn’t been called to help a human Wyldling in over a year, which is fine by him. Still blaming himself for the death of his partner, he keeps the guilt at bay by indulging in every excess his rock star persona affords. That is, until he’s summoned to protect Zoe from hungry Fyre Elementals and learns his new charge is the key to restoring order in the dying Dreaming. He never expects to fall for the feisty Dr. Morgan…nor does he realize he may have to sacrifice the woman he loves to save an entire country.

Book Review: ★★★.5

I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I really liked the writing style and how there was a perfect blend between description, dialogue and story. I liked how the characters were portrayed and how there was enough focus on a multitude of them rather than just the two main protagonists. Each one was alive and thoroughly filled out. No two-dimentional characters here.

The story itself was unique and intriguing. I liked the world of the Dreaming and the idea of Elementals. My biggest issue was the world building. It wasn’t explained well and I felt like the reader was just tossed in head first. I’m still confused about a lot of things – like why the Fyres are attacking, or the dynamics of the Archelementals and what their role is with everything else. The book came with a glossary which mentioned that elementals gave taxes to the Archelementals to give to the gods in order to keep Balance but this wasn’t mentioned in the book. So while I liked the story line and its overarching problem, I felt confused as to how the issue came about. I would have liked more world building/explanation to make things smoother.

Regardless, I enjoyed the story and where it went. I immediately purchased book two before I finished. I’m glad I did because that cliffhanger has me wanting more. Overall it was a good story with good writing and some wonderfully steamy bits.

Warning: this book does contain sexually explicit material. Read at your own discretion.

Book Review: Everblue by Brenda Pandos

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Everblue (Mer Tales, #1)Book Synopsis:

Mer Tales #1
Published March 2012 by Obsidian Mountain Publishing
YA, Fantasy, Mermaids | 314

She wanted her life to change… he wanted his to stay the same. 

Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana’s twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.

Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn’s life forever.

Book Review: ★★★

I got this book for free (or really cheap, don’t remember which) fully knowing it could be a cheesy YA novel that had mermaids. That’s exactly what I got. It wasn’t an amazing blow your mind story but it wasn’t god awful either. The characters were okay but there were moments when I felt their reactions could be a bit more realistic. I felt Fin was a bit too childish and whiney for his age at times.

I really liked the mermaid world Pandos created. I found it fascinating how not only did she create new rules/laws for how mermaids function (like when they have fins or not, their love/partners, etc.) as well as creating the entire civilization and culture of Natatoria. I found it interesting how different it was from the land of the walking. I would have loved to learn more about it’s history too. The plot line could have used some more twists and turns. I felt it lulled a lot during the first half which is why I put it down for so long and even considered not continuing to read it.

Overall it was pretty much what I had expected. A somewhat cheesy YA mermaid book with romance where the pair needed to fight for their love, etc., etc. It’s the first of a series but I don’t plan on continuing the story.

W…W…W…Wednesdays (35)

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W…W…W…Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)I actually haven’t finished anything since last week T_T but rather I started reading another book on top of the ones I’m already reading. I’m still slowly making my way through Paskagankee by Allan Leverone. It’s still really good but I feel like it’s one of those books that I have to read slowly (or at least it feels like it’s taking forever to finish it). I started reading Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey. It has a beautiful cover and I love the font used in the title. I bought the second and third book in the series and they were all taunting me from my bookcase so I picked it up on a whim.

I haven’t been reading much this last week because I’ve been focusing on my other hobby – cross stitching. I’m getting to the final stretch with this piece and so I’ve just been working on that instead of reading. I’m hoping to finish at least Paskagankee within the next week as well as Poe: Nevermore which is the ebook I got from Story Cartel.

What have you been reading?

Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

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The Elite (The Selection, #2)Book Synopsis:

The Selection #2
Published April 2013 by Harper Teen
YA, Dystopia, Romance | 323 pages

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over – and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending. 

Book Review: ★★★★

“It’s okay, Kriss. Have some pie.” – The Elite page

I had really high hopes for this book. I was looking forward to learning more about the rebels and see if America was going to make a choice between Maxon and Aspen. Honestly, after such a great first novel I was rather disappointed with this second installment. The characters – practically all of them – started to annoy me in this book. America was constantly flipping back and forth between Aspen and Maxon. I understand being a hormonal teenager, I was one at one point. I remember feeling giddy anytime a nice guy would pay attention to me or do something special. But America just could not keep her mind. It was ‘oh Maxon did this sweet thing I like him!’ and then a few pages later ‘Oh but Aspen and I have something special’. At one point she starts to question Maxon and his actual intentions when he starts paying more attention to the other Elites. But I would have found it more believable if she had stuck to her gut instead of falling back ‘in love’ with him after a simple (and sometimes not so straightforward) explanation. It was even more annoying that Maxon was telling her how much he cares, but only if she changes the basis of who she is. Aspen was equally annoying because he kept telling America he would always be there for her, but never gave her enough space to make decisions. He was constantly smothering her with his attention and love (which is dangerously stupid given their situation). The only characters that I didn’t find utterly annoying was Marlee.

The competition – which I guess is the basis of this series – continued on interestingly. The girls are given more appropriate tasks and lessons. They are being taught how to act like a queen and learning about the issues they will have to deal with if they get the crown. They are learning about politics and world issues. I thoroughly enjoyed when they were given the task to organize a party for foreign guests (the Italians were hilariously fun).

What I really enjoyed was learning more about the rebels. I find this – currently – subplot a lot more interesting than America flip flopping with her love life. They are present more in this second novel and we even learn more about how the country was created. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil this for anyone.

Regardless of my annoyance with most of the characters, the book was still very good. It was a good second book and I really look forward to reading the third and final installment. I do really hope to learn more about the rebels and how this world is a dystopia because I feel like so far we’ve only had a very superficial look into the world and its problems.

W…W…W…Wednesdays (34)

Tags

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W…W…W…Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

Siren (Siren, #1)The Elite (The Selection, #2)Since the last time I’ve made a WWW post I’ve read a few books. I finally finished A Little Night Magic by Lucy March. It was a cheesy and yet still interesting paranormal romancish novel. It’s the first of the series and I’ll be writing my review for it soon. I also finished Siren by Tricia Rayburn the first of this month. I liked it a lot and you can see my review of it here. I also finished reading The Elite by Kiera Cass (the second in The Selection series). I didn’t like it nearly as much as the first, but I was glad to see there was more action with the rebels. I look forward to the last of the trilogy because I hope we find out what the rebels really want. Yet another review I’ll have up shortly (I hope >>). Most recently, I’ve finished reading Chasing Mercy by Stacy Claflin. It was provided by Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review. Sad to say I didn’t like it at all. If you want to read my opinions on it you can do so here.

Paskagankee (Paskagankee, #1)I’m currently working my way through Paskagankee by Allan Leverone. It’s a creepy, horror mystery novel and so far it’s been a lot of build up. I can’t wait for the real action to start. I still have The Cuckoo’s Calling on the backburner but I’ll get to that eventually >>

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1)Up next is Cyndere’s Midnight by Jeffrey Overstreet and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. Both of them are on my list of books to read this month and are sitting on my nightstand so I’m sure I’ll be starting those soon. I also have another Story Cartel book – Poe: Nevermore by Rachel M. Martens – that I will also be reading soon.

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