Wednesday, 26 February 2014

My Guest Review: Revival by Jena Leigh

With the release of Resistance, book 2 in the Variant series, I wanted to reread Revival before I read its sequel. After reading it, I looked back at my review of it (one of my more popular reviews) from when I originally read it back in 2012. I found that while some points remained the same, I felt differently about the book as a whole. I found the rating I had originally gave it was especially unfair, so I wanted to re review this novel and voice my new opinion about it. 

In collaboration with Forever Obsession, I posted my ReReview there as a Guest Post. I hope you will all help me support Forever Obsession by visiting her blog and checking out my Guest Review! And don't forget to look for her Guest Review on my blog of Cursed by Tara Brown.

Stay tuned for the review of book 2 in the Variant series, Resistance! 

Monday, 24 February 2014

Resistance by Jena Leigh

Title: Resistance
Author: Jena Leigh
Series: Variant Series Book 2
Genre: YA, paranormal, romance
Source: Kindle edition
Rating: 4 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Alexandra Parker might be the most powerful Variant the world has ever seen—but even that won’t get her out of finishing her junior year of high school.

The challenge of keeping her abilities under wraps during class is daunting enough, but throw one surly, sandy-haired Jumper into the mix, and things can get downright complicated.

Declan’s new job? Watch over Alex while she’s at school and do everything in his power to keep her from losing control. But as sparks of every kind begin flying between Alex and her new bodyguard, she's left feeling more unstable than ever.

When avoiding her abilities results in a surprise visit from her parents’ killer, Alex’s worlds collide with a bang that nearly levels Bay View High.

With her freedom now squarely in the Agency’s crosshairs, Alex will be faced with the fight of her life… and a decision that could forever alter the course of her destiny.

My Review:
If you have not read my guest review of book 1, Revival, you can read it HERE on Forever Obsession’s blog.

You know those instances where the sequel is better than the book that came before it? Yeah, well, this is one of those instances. Jena really upped her game with the second book of the Variant series, Resistance. The action was more intense, the plot go thicker, and the writing was even better that we saw in Revival. And, most importantly, most of our questions from Revival are answered. Most. Not all. We have book 3 for that. Long story short, Resistance was well worth the wait.

Starting with what I didn’t like, we see the main antagonist in this novel shift heavily to the Agency rather than Samuel Masterson. Actually, we barely get to see Masterson at all. He has one major appearance, one sneaky appearance, and then there are a few mentions of his name that act more like a warning over the characters head rather than the threat he was made out to be in Revival. I wanted to see more of him and I was a little disappointed that he didn’t get to play a bigger role.

The Agency on the other had… idiots. They keep making threats and promises and never fail to go back on their word at the first opportunity. I found this incredibly irritating. The Agency had no backbone what-so-ever and backed down the second they saw they didn’t have the upper hand. No elaborate plans. No scheming. Just rush it with guns ablazing and run away when you-know-what hits the fan. Is there no honor amongst villains anymore?

Now, where the antagonist was lacking, their constant threat did manage to keep the plot moving. The character development, with an emphasis on Alex and Declan once again, was great. First we see the changes in them just from the first book, but we also see their growth as the novel went on. Alex in particular went through a huge transformation of fear to acceptance to downright bravery and determination. The unraveling of these layers was amazing to watch unfold and I found it incredibly realistic considering everything that had happened to her. This was probably my favourite part of the entire novel.

The plot was also well thought out. What little we saw of the little conspiracy and secrets we saw from Nate in Revival come out to tease and play once more in Resistance. While all the answers here aren’t answered, clues have been laid to foreshadow what happens next. I know that I already have my crackpot theories!! Alex is determined to become better at controlling her power and we see her exposed to a whole new set of abilities in this book. Some she finds easy to control, while others she can barely manage before things get out of hand. It was nice to see that not everything came easy to her; it made her more real as a character.

Now, lastly, can we just talk about the romantic factor? DAMN, the sexual tension, the conflicts, the action… I LOVED IT! It was a perfect blend of intimate moments, almost kisses, and conflict before everything kind of just came together. The role Jessica (Alex’s arch high school nemesis) plays within the whole thing was interesting and fun to watch play out. This was another favourite for me.

Now this was kind of a long review. The ending ended with a cliffhanger, which I did not expect after seeing such a beautiful denouement in book 1, but it definitely had my attention. You can bet that I will have my eyes out for book 3! Stay tuned people; I think it may just be the best book in the series yet! 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

GUEST REVIEW: Cursed by Tara Brown

ISBN: 0991841107
Pages: 287
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Find it on:

Sometimes the scariest things in life aren’t the Vampires and the Werewolves. Since the dawn of time there have been things God doesn’t want to know about. Which is why he created the Devil's Roses.
There is a place between worlds where our souls take a moment, before they go to Heaven. It is a quiet place where everything feels as if it has paused. 
It is here that Aimee James first meets him. 
He is standing over her dead body. 
He is more beautiful than anything she has ever seen. 
Waking in the hospital after the first attempt is made on her life, Aimee discovers the missing pieces of her memory may have something to do with the one thing she does remember. A man. 
Not just any man, but a beautiful man who has enchanted her from her dreams. No one else saw him or recalls him, but Aimee isn't convinced that he doesn't exist. 
From the moment she wakes, she is thrust upon a journey that will contradict everything she holds true in the world and reveal secrets about her mother's untimely death. 
In the end Aimee must choose between life and love, as death is forced upon her once again.

Hi everyone! This is my first time doing a guest review and I'm so happy I was given the opportunity by Vanessa to do one so THANK YOU!! Anyway, without further ado, let's get into the review!

The first chapter is a flash forward, if that's what you call it. It starts off with Aimee already who she is and you see her come into contact with the man she loves. The meeting sets the overall depressing mood to the story, but do not get discouraged by that. The second chapter brings you "back in time" so to speak and the rest of the story brings you through Aimee's journey. 

To be completely honest, I have very conflicting feelings about Aimee. I like her, but at the same time, she bothers me. I sympathized with her in the beginning as she deals with her popular/annoying sister and mourns over the death of her mother. As the book continued, I felt myself getting more and more annoyed. She starts off as a character who struggles against the gale of life and instead of developing into a stronger character, she becomes ripped between two guys. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against a love triangle, but when that love triangle tears down a character instead of building them up it bugs me big time. Towards the end, I began to feel bad for her...again. She's been pushed around, drugged, disorientated, and is now dying. She's been through a lot through the course of the story and while some parts of the story hit her character hard, in the end, she does overcome those trials.

The guys are also in the gray area in my point of view. I love Shane because he's super sweet and loving even though at the end his distrust bugged me. At the same time, I love Aleks because he's your typical macho-man who comes in and makes the world better, BUT (there's always a but) he did hurt Aimee throughout the story. So it's really hard to say who I ship Aimee with...struggles.

One more guy to mention and his name is Blake. He's your typical nerd of the story and Aimee's best friend + rock. I liked him, I seriously did. He was the guy that even with his flaws, you like him. At the end, man I hate his guts. (Spoiler starts) Instead of being supportive and helping Aimee after she "changes" he completely condemns her and rips her apart. He calls her crazy and insists that she gets sent to a mental institution. (Spoiler ends) What type of friend is that! Dude, I forgave you when you betrayed Aimee for Alise (Aimee's twin), but this, this kills.

Overall, I did enjoy the story. It was addicting and fun to read. I laughed, cried, and felt a bunch of other emotions. Though I have to say, be careful and don't let your emotions take control. ;)

Alright, that's my review! Thanks so much for reading and if you liked this please check out my blog:

Foreverly Obsessed,
Rivalie :)

Monday, 17 February 2014

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken (with reference to her novella In Time)

Title: Never Fade
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds book 2
Genre: Young Adult, fantasy, dystopian, romance
Source: paper
Pages: 507 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flash drive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

My Review:
I just want to mention at the beginning of this review that I did buy and read In Time, the novella that takes place between The Darkest Minds and Never Fade. So far, the novella has nothing to do with book two, but I have a feeling that it will be useful in understanding the events in books 3. If you have not read it, you can read my review of The Darkest Minds HERE.

Now onto the Review of this novel!

Alexandra Bracken has done it again! Book 2 was an excellent sequel to The Darkest Minds. Immediately at the beginning of the book we see the new life Ruby has agreed to live at the Children’s League. We get to meet a lot of new characters, including Liam’s notorious brother that we had only heard about in The Darkest Minds. I mention this because 1) we get insight as to why there is a rift between Liam and Cole based on Cole’s personality. And 2) because we get to see how much Ruby suffers with the decision she made at the end of The Darkest Minds. Also, we get to FINALLY meet a Red. I now understand why they are called Red’s; I now understand why they are placed as the most dangerous color. (My prediction was way off! But I should have guessed)

As always, the character development in this book was phenomenal. We see Ruby growing as a woman and as a leader while simultaneously trying to cope with accepting who she is as an Orange and continuing to master her ability. In addition, while we have just met a new set of secondary characters, almost all of them subtly, but gradually, develop through the novel. We get to understand these new characters and love them as much as we love Zu, Chubs, and Liam.

Do I even need to mention how great the writing is? Well, not really, because the writing speaks for itself. Alexandra Bracken is a master of words. There is barely any useless fluff thrown in to fill the pages and almost every thought, action, and description has a purpose. The writing was effortless and engaging and completely fluid throughout the novel.

In true Bracken fashion, the novel ends with tears that makes you want to scream and, of course, a killer cliffhanger. There is so much more I want to say about this book, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Take my word on it people. You WANT to read this series. Pick it up. Read it. Love it. I can’t wait to read book three!!! This was an easy 5 stars.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Damaged by Becca Vincenza

Title: Damaged
Author: Becca Vincenza
Series: Rebirth book 1
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: ARC
Pages: 242 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
There are some beings in this world, long thought to be extinct. Some seek to protect them, others want control, but some . . . some are hell bent on their destruction.

Audrey was taken from her father, hidden away from the world, and tortured for five years. She was rescued, but is she really safe, or is there someone else waiting to betray her? Can she trust those who saved her? Can she learn to accept who she really is?

Stone was on a routine mission to extract valuable information from a rival clan of paranormals. Instead, he and his team find something much more valuable: a scarred, damaged young woman who holds many secrets, and whose power is beyond anything they could ever have imagined.There is much more to Audrey than meets the eye and Stone is determined to protect her.

Audrey and Stone are about to find out it’s hard to know who to trust.

My Review:
I was immediately interested in this book when Becca Vincenza contacted me. The blurb had me enthralled right away and I couldn’t wait to read it.

This was a fairly short book, only 242 pages. I find that with short novels such as this, the plot tends to suffer a bit because everything is a bit rushed. This novel wasn’t an exception to this point. While there was a conflict, it was left on the back burner while the romantic aspect of the novel took center stage. The main characters easily escaped the conflict that was established and very few minor conflicts arose. What minor conflicts did arise was also easily disengaged or short lived as the characters found some semblance of peace within the ‘chaos’.

The main aspect of the story was almost entirely focused on the main characters romance. I would like to point out that while the overlying plot line did suffer a bit, the romantic factor did not in any way. It would have been nice to see more happening outside the romance, but what was happening inside it was engaging and exciting and overall, steamy. I found that because the romantic factor was so well done, it made up for most of the forgotten plot.

The characters themselves were well-written and showed considerable development throughout the novel. I found that, considering the length of the novel, the author did a fantastic job of opening the characters (especially Audrey) up at the perfect pace that made their development believable and realistic. Going back to the love interests, Becca couldn’t have paired the two better. They were both broken and damaged (see what I did there… damaged… like the title ;)) in their own way that complimented the other. They were perfect match and a big reason why I liked the book so much. I would like to point out that the subtle development of another character (that shall remain nameless to avoid a spoiler) was EXTREMELY well done. It was so subtle that you didn’t really pick up the clues until you are thrown a curveball at the end. Well done.

Lastly, we come to the writing itself. I think that the book could have possible gone through one more draft before publication. There were a few distracting grammatical mistakes that you had to read over a few times to understand and a couple typos that caught my eye, but I am a little over observant that way… it is what I am going to school for. However, grammatical issues aside, I found that the writing was very fluid and intriguing. She did a great job of describing settings and people and an excellent job of showing the reader what was going on rather than just telling, which, I may note, I found refreshing. Authors that assume their reader is stupid and have to tell and explain every action are incredibly annoying. Thank you for not being one of them Becca!

Overall, Becca Vincenza caught my attention. I am told that there is going to be a book 2 (there better be after that ending!!!) and it looks like it is in a different character’s POV. I am looking forward to watching this author develop with her stories and I am excited to read what happens next. 3.5 stars!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Hope's Rebellion by Jade Varden

Title: Hope’s Rebellion
Author: Jade Varden
Series: N/A
Genre: Dystopian, Futuristic (ish), YA
Source: ARC
Pages: 169
Rating: 4.5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Their friendship will test the fabric of tradition, duty and destiny...

There are only two seasons in Godenor: summer and winter. Weather brings the only surprises to a society where everything is planned, and everyone's status is determined at the color of their hair.

Rinna has the right hair, Drexi the wrong, and Prelly is almost too ordinary -- in every way but one. Small mistakes bring them together, creating ripples in a pond that knows nothing but serenity. If they reach their goals, they can't help but shatter the world they know.

Love of any kind, even the bond of friendship, isn't allowed in their world...but then, the heart can't always follow orders

My Review:
I want to start off by just clarifying a few things. First, while this book says it’s 169 pages, it must be longer than that. It seemed longer than that, but it was an ebook version so I can’t say for sure. Second, I am not sure I would classify this book as a Young Adult novel just because of the seriousness of the content and the writing style in general felt directed at an older audience. It was hard to classify what genre this book was in. It definitely had a dystopian feel to it, and there was a significant romance throughout the novel, but other than that, it was hard to say.

Now for the actual review! When I was originally asked to read Hope’s Rebellion, I was wary. It didn’t really seem like my kind of story, but I am so glad I finally read it. The writing in this novel was superb. It was sophisticated, and witty, and engaging, and incredibly eloquent.

The plot was flawless; I didn’t have a single problem with it. There was an excellent introduction of the characters, a critical conflict with several minor conflicts that were introduced along the way, the climax had me at the edge of my seat with my heart racing, and the ending was both tragic and beautiful all in the same breath. The part I loved the best was all the foreshadowing. It was so subtle that you didn’t even realize it was happening. I don’t think I have ever seen a plot or foreshadowing that was so thought out and so perfect in every possible way. This isn’t just me saying that either. I am a hard sell, I am incredibly picky and the smallest of things bothers me, and yet I have no words to describe how phenomenal this book was written. Every little tiny detail had a purpose, and it all comes together in such a way that, at the end, your mind is completely blown.

It should be noted that the character development was off the charts as well. You watch the characters grow up and you grow up with them. Every action, thought, and word spoken made sense. It was incredibly realistic, almost too realistic in fact. Everything in this book was 100% plausible and could potentially happen in the real world. That’s kind of a scary thought actually….

I only had two small problems with the book. First, there were exactly three typos that were a bit distracting. I know the exact number because there wasn’t much else wrong with the novel. The other problem, and I can’t believe I am going to say this but Jade Varden assumes that her audience is a little too smart. It was hard catching up with the lingo of this world. Things like cultural references, titles, and terms were incredibly confusing and it took a long time to try and figure out what was what. I wish more information had given about each new term when it was first introduced to get a better handle of things. Or a glossary. A glossary would have been perfect. I still don’t know what an Argot is… This last point was kind of a consistent problem throughout the story, so it was a little bit of a difficult read and the only reason that this book is getting 4.5 stars instead of 5.

Overall, the story was a little dark and heavy. But, I still loved it and I am so glad I finally buckled down and caught up on my reading. A fantastic job done by Jade Varden and a must read for the dystopian lovers out there! A round of applause for Hope’s Rebellion everyone!