Friday, August 18, 2017

River of Time Series (#1-3) by Lisa Tawn Bergren

River of Time Series (#1-3) by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Published 2011
Summary on Goodreads
Review:
So there’s apparently four books in this series but since I can’t find the last book anywhere, I will conclude the series at book three.  That being said, I adored these books.  I found the plot to be highly enrapturing, the characters lovable and the overall writing style/pace of the book to be realistic.

The basic premise is Gabi and her sister, Lia, stumbled upon these caves with eerily similar handprints that suddenly brought them to 14th century Italy.  There, they had to first figure out a way to reconnect with each other because they got separated and then they had to survive all of the territorial fighting between different families.  Not only that, Gabi obviously falls in love with a 14th century Italian lord and as the story progressed, both Gabi and Lia had to figure out whether or not they want to stay in this century or go back to the world they grew up in.  It’s all quite fascinating.

I really enjoy time traveling romances and this one was no exception.  Even though I do find the whole time traveling concept to be quite far-fetched, I do think it’ll be quite intriguing to visit the past or the future.  And because time traveling is quite out there in terms of reality, a lot of stuff that happened in the book that didn’t seem realistic is obviously to be expected so I had to really clamp down on times when I was like “…really??” 

Anyways, the characters, Gabi, Lia, their parents, Marcello and Luca all had a special place in my heart.  It was clear how much they were devoted to their other and probably because the times were so different back then, everyone grew up so much faster and became so much more mature than their present counterparts.  Even Gabi and Lia realized that they just grew up faster and because of that, they had to make more serious decisions that would affect their future – decisions that most people today wouldn’t have to face at all.  The guys, Marcello and Luca, were also so much more grown up – I mean, they were essentially lords to a castle and had to fight on a regular basis to keep that status and station.  Even though the story was fiction, it definitely made me think of how things could have been back then.

I thoroughly enjoyed the plot.  I loved the fighting and the action.  It was so easy for me to play out the scenes in my head and honestly, my imaginary fighting scenes seemed eerily similar to GoT…so I guess that’s saying something LOL.  And they’re not just fighting for no reason – they’re usually fighting to protect one’s territory or fighting to save someone who was captured which I thought was quite grand.  It wasn’t any sort of petty infighting or whatnot.  These were “serious” fights!

Even though Gabi and Lia had a lot to contest with such as figuring out if they should stay or not or what should they do with their actual family (i.e. mom and dad) was also a drive for me to finish reading the books.  I was also curious to see which century they would ultimately decide to live in especially with Gabi in love with the 14th century Lord Forelli. 

Overall I thought these books were great to read – they were fun and full of adventure which is something I adore.  Plus there’s that sci-fi element and romance to boot so there’s something for everyone.
Rating:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Video Review: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
Published January 10, 2017
Summary on Goodreads

Review:
Check out our new Video Book Review that I did on our new YouTube channel, Shut Up & Read.  You will see that we have already published a few videos that are all book related from book reviews to compare & contrast and more!

SUBSCRIBE HERE: https://goo.gl/7oAl9f


Monday, August 14, 2017

Video Review: Looking for Normal Series by Jean Gill

Looking for Normal Series by Jean Gill
Published 2017
Summary on Goodreads

Review:
Check out our new Video Book Review that I did on our new YouTube channel, Shut Up & Read.  You will see that we have already published a few videos that are all book related from book reviews to compare & contrast and more!

SUBSCRIBE HERE: https://goo.gl/7oAl9f


Friday, August 11, 2017

The Malediction Trilogy by Danielle L. Jensen

The Malediction Trilogy by Danielle L. Jensen
Published between 2014-2017
Summary on Goodreads
Review:
I feel like this is a trilogy that is relatively underrated but actually shines through.  And I’m referring to the fact that I don’t really see any of these books that much on social media or any other reviewers hyping it up.  However, I am really glad I got a hold of these books.  I had somehow entered the author’s giveaway to win the audiobooks for the entire trilogy plus her latest novella and I am so glad I won! 

The books were amazing.  I loved the characters, the plot, the writing, pretty much everything in these books.  Let’s delve into the plot first.  Basically the premise of this story revolves around trolls and how they are trapped under the mountain and have been trapped for the past half millennial because of a witch.  To break the curse, they have to somehow kill the witch but since they can’t leave the mountain to search for her, they’re stuck in a bind.  Enters Cecile, a farmer’s daughter with dreams to become a singer on stage at the biggest city on the Isle.  She gets kidnapped and is forced to bond with the troll prince, Tristan.  During her stay under the mountains, she starts to befriend the fellow trolls and actually starts to wish for their freedom as well.  So that’s basically the gist of the plot with tons of action and romance involved as well.  There were definitely a few key plot twists that made the story that much more interesting and I found myself extremely engrossed the books.  The narrator also did a phenomenal job with voicing all of the key characters and it really made the story so much more entertaining.

I definitely fell in love with the characters.  Cecile, Tristan, Chris, Sabine, the twins and everyone else just felt all so dear to me at the end.  Obviously Cecile and Tristan are the main characters and they both have a lot of strong qualities about them and shortcomings that really complemented each other.  Cecile was kidnapped and taken to a strange place where she encountered trolls, a mythical legend by that point.  Rather than simply whining and freaking out, she actually took charge of it.  And that’s what I like – a strong female character.  She was smart and resourceful with just the right amount of girl-ness in her to make her seem realistic and relatable.  She definitely had her moments when she freaked out but then she would put her head together to figure out a solution.  And that’s something I can really admire.

As for Tristan, you can definitely tell that he grew up in a royal setting because he liked to be in control.  However, once bonded with a human girl (something completely unheard of), he started to realize that his control only went so far which allowed him to learn how to trust in others.  In the beginning, I was kind of iffy on his character but as the story progressed, you can see how much he matured and grew which is vital for a character. 

The side characters were all so amazing.  I loved the interactions between Cecile and her human childhood friends, Sabine and Chris, and how much they were willing to go to save her.  Even though they were wary about the trolls at first but because they trusted in Cecile, they learned to trust in them as well.  Those relationships cannot be created on a whim and I don’t really see those kinds of relationships anymore these days.  I’m referring to real life and that’s my cynical side coming out.  Anyways, Tristan’s troll friends were also wonderful in creating and continuing the story.  They all played pivotal roles.  I especially enjoyed the twins because they definitely provided a lot of comic relief.

The writing style was also beautifully done.  I liked the alternating perspectives between Tristan and Cecile – I definitely wish there were more Tristan’s POV in the books though because his perspectives would be more sprinkled throughout the chapters which the books more heavily focused on Cecile instead.  His perspectives would have been especially nice in the first book because I don’t think I heard from him till a good quarter or halfway through and then I was like “ohhh, Tristian is here as well.”

Overall, fabulous series.  It was definitely underrated and I didn’t really know what to expect but I am incredibly glad that I won these audiobooks because this trilogy is definitely a hidden gem.
Rating:

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews

Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews
Published August 8, 2017
Summary on Goodreads
Review:
I really don’t like bashing books but OMG this book was painful to read. The only thing I liked about this book was the premise – I thought the whole “halfway” house for the ghosts was an interesting concept and seeking revenge for one’s death was intriguing. However, the execution was by far the worst I have ever seen. 

First of all, the characters specifically Echo, the MC, was TERRIBLE. I absolutely abhorred her. I thought she was whiney, annoying, entirely too self-centered and everything else negative. Obviously I understand that when you die, you need time to come to terms with that fact; however, she was INTOLERABLE. I just found her so incredibly selfish especially with the whole Andy situation. Andy was her boyfriend (now that she’s dead) and rather than trying to let him be happy, she was basically like “no, stay away from other girls. He’s MINE” even though she was clearly dead. And while she didn’t want him to be with anyone else except for her, there she was dilly-dallying with a fellow ghost. Like seriously? You’re allowed to like someone else but you won’t give the guy you supposedly love the same courtesy? By this point, I was already like please just go away and I want this book to be over. 

Second, the other characters also had no substance. All I ever read about Andy was his moping around and being all forlorn. I mean, it was to the point where he wanted to kill himself to be with Echo. Like seriously? You were both in high school – “true love” does not happen there. Echo’s fellow ghosts felt like they were just second-handed characters. Other than helping her do the hauntings, they didn’t really play any sort of role in the story. Cole, a fellow ghost, was also someone I didn’t really get. I’m not sure why he felt that attraction to Echo – I mean, what exactly did she do so far? At that point, all that happened was him meeting her and now all of a sudden, he’s super into her and would do pretty much anything. Huh?? 

Third, the plot was so unoriginal. There were the obvious suspects and the hauntings that the ghosts did were literally your stereotypical manifestations (i.e. banging, electricity, cold air, apparitions, etc.) that I was kind of unsurprised and not at all impressed. It was no wonder why the actual culprit for Echo’s death was so blasé about the whole situation. And while I was surprised who the murderer was, the overall ending was just meh to me. I felt that the author tried too hard to make it seem as something tragic occurred and the extent of it was just crazy to me. 

Overall, this is not a book I would recommend – I really, really disliked it. I’m just glad that this book was a quick read so I didn’t have to spend too much time on it.
Rating:

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