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Wake Up and Smell the Dreams

The other day, I read Wake by Lisa McMann in about two and a half hours. Ever since, I have done nothing but think about the book and how much I loved it and how I want to read it again. In light of that, here is my review:


5/5 Stars

This book was not what I expected. At all. The reason this book first caught my eye was because I was recommended it for an April challenge and it sounded pretty interesting. Once I started it, I was kind of iffy on whether I would like it or not. The structure, at first, reminded me of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and I really did not like that book. It was different because this book is not really broken into chapters, but it is broken down into "stories" (I use that term loosely) because each section is for one of the dreams Janie gets sucked into or short occurrences in her life. However, after the first few "stories", I quickly got over my dislike of the structure. The characters, particularly Janie and Cabel, were too interesting to me for me to have any negative feelings for the book. After I finally got past that, I realized how much I loved the book.

I loved Cabel from the beginning. He was an interesting character to me from the first time they mention him, when Carrie is making fun of him as they wait for the bus. Then, when Janie hits someone with the door at the dance, it was obvious that it was him, and he was so sweet to ride her home on his skateboard. Everything he did was so interesting to me, to point when I'm not exactly sure why he was so damn intriguing.

I was intrigued by Janie's ability and reading about the dreams in the book. Especially when she was in Cabe's dreams, the scary ones (I knew the first time she saw the scary, man-with-knife-fingers dream that it was Cabel!) and the tender ones (i.e. The one where he writes that he thinks he's in love with her. Can I get an "Awwww!"?). I was, also, really happy when she finally learned how to help people change their dreams/nightmares.

I loved Janie's character. She's not the usual heroine, but she had many hardships she still had to go through. I really liked that she practically killed herself with a job so she could buy a car and save for college. She was a good friend, as exhibited by her bailing out Carrie and Stu. The one thing I didn't like, though, was that she readily accepted everything that Carrie and everyone else said about Cabe dealing drugs and sleeping with Shay, and she didn't even ask him anything about it.

I have to say that after Carrie told Janie that the reason Cabe hadn't come to see her was because he was in jail and was a drug dealer, I knew there had to be something else going on. I was soon able to figure out, before it was said, that Cabel was undercover and working with the police. And when Cabe finally decided to tell Janie about it? I was so upset when she said he was crying that I almost started crying. My poor baby! Then, when we found out he said he would quit because he didn't want to lose Janie, I had an "Awww, he's so sweet!" moment and was grinning so wide that my face started to hurt. I was glad that Janie was so understanding about it and even ended up helping the police with being able to see dreams.

I'm really looking forward to reading the next book, Fade. As soon as it comes in the mail. I'm so glad I was able to convince my mom to order it for me!

 


Catching Fire


Catching Fire is the second book in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series, and dare I say, better than the first one? I definitely believe that this book is the best of the series so far. The rebellion of the districts was so exciting for me, and I've been waiting for this to happen ever since I started reading The Hunger Games. This one started out slow for me, just like THG, but once the announcement about the Quarter Quell was made, it suddenly started getting verryyy interesting. I was surprised because, when I started this, I did not expect Katniss and Peeta to be part of the Games again.

Katniss was, again, a great character. She's strong, intelligent, crafty, loyal, protective. She seems like someone that I would want to be friend with. What bothered me about her in this book, though, was that she, again, could not decide whether she wanted to be with Peeta or Gale. Now, I love a good love triangle, but sometimes she just seemed so juvenile about it all. Another "bad" thing about her is that she is very quick to judge people and their actions; as soon as they do something she doesn't like, she has a negative opinion and/or attitude. Despite all of that, though, I still love her. She embraced her place in the rebellion and was willing to risk her life and die so that Peeta could return from the Games.

There were a many things that surprised/enraged/saddened me. First thing would have to be how obnoxious Gale is with his jealousy towards Peeta; he needs to get over it, I think. Katniss is eventually going to have to choose: Peeta, Gale, or neither? We'll just have to wait and see. I was surprised about the revelation that Peeta and Katniss would have to be tributes in the Games again. I was sad and angered when Gale was being whipped in the square. As much as he ticked me off throughout the novel, I do actually like him. I wanted to cry when Katniss and Finnick got stuck behind the wall during the Games and had to listen to the jabberjays that were singing the screams of their loved ones. I was extremely angry when Katniss had to watch Cinna being beaten to a pulp and it made me want to cry. I was surprised that a lot of the other tributes were so helpful to Katniss and Peeta before I learned why they did it, and while I do not approve of Haymitch not telling them about the plan, I understand why he didn't. I'm pretty sure tears actually came into my eyes when Haymitch told Katniss that Peeta had been taken by the Capitol. If you couldn't tell already, I'm Team Peeta and I get very emotional when anything happens to him, and who knows what those horrid Capitol people would do to him. Lastly, I was so sad when Gale told Katniss that there was no District 12. Everyone she knew and loved, with the exception of Gale and her family, was killed and she owuld never see them again.

I think the worst part, though, was the cliffhanger. Collins leaves us with Peeta taken by the Capitol, Katniss and the others headed toward District 13 which is supposed to be nonexistent, and Gale telling her that there is no District 12. Could there be a worse way to end a book? I am wishing and wanting for Mockingjay so bad that it seems like I'll never make it to August. Alas, I wait in impatient suspense for Mockingjay to arrive in stores.


Acheron: A Review

Okay, so I've read Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon a bunch of times, but I just wrote a review for it this last time. Here it is:

Acheron is the sixteenth novel in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series. While I appreciated all of Kenyon's DH books before this one, this is my favorite of the series. I'm writing this review after I've read it numerous times, and I have to say that I believe it gets better every time I read it. I pick up more things each time because for some reason I started reading this series when I only had a few of the DH books and have been going out of order ever since.

First, I want to mention Acheron's past. The things that man had to go through had me crying at some points. When Ryssa first went to see him probably had to be the most heart-breaking because he was so little and so afraid. I did like that with Ryssa's help and the help of the little girl who lived at the house, Ash came out of his shell a bit and wasn't quite so afraid. I hated, though, that his father and Styxx were so cruel to him that there was almost a complete reversal of everything that changed while he was with Ryssa. It made him into a hardened, cynical boy/man, and I wanted to cry when Ryssa, her father, and Styxx found Ash after Estes died and he was in the middle of "doing his job". All that he suffered was made even worse by what his father put him through, with the beatings, force feedings, castration. He should never have had to go through any of that pain and torture, much less all of it. Of course, Artemis only made it worse, and continued to do so even after eleven thousand years. The things he went through to protect her were unnecessary, and then she repays him by drugging him and letting his sister and nephew get killed. Then she watched as Apollo killed Ash and did nothing to stop it so that she could protect her precious reputation. I have to say, after reading all of this, I was thoroughly grateful for reaching the present. I have re-read this book numerous times and I have always had to skip reading Ash's past because I don't think I could handle it again.

That being said, I could read about Ash and Tory forever, I think. Their story is just so beautiful, adorable, honest, understanding. To be honest, the first time I read this, I actually started tearing up when Ash was embarrassing Tory during her presentation. However, it was poetic justice when Julian took her to see Ash and she threw a hammer at his head. I loved their interactions, the wit, the sarcasm, the sincerity of their feelings. I loved that Ash took the time to treat Tory like a princess and protected her from Artemis. I think it takes a special person to be able to disregard a person's past and completely accept them, and I was glad Tory was able to do that; Ash deserves someone to love him. I did not like, however, that Tory was so quick to judge him in the beginning, but with time she was able to see past her quick judgments and see the real him.

Overall, I thought the book was fantastic and I highly recommend it to everyone.


The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is the first book in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series and far more interesting than I thought it would be. Originally, I had no interest in reading this book; for some reason it just didn't appeal to me. The only reason I started it was because my friend, Mary Kate, told me I absolutely had to read the series, so I said okay and she gave me the book. I'll admit that I was very reluctant to read it and I put it off for a while. It even took me two tries to get past the first five pages. That being said, I am so glad that I read this. I now know what all the hype was about, and it really is fantastic. It's probably one of the best new (new for me!) books I've read recently.

I liked Katniss from the beginning and the feelings just grew into love the further into the book I got. She was a strong, intelligent survivor. She was willing to risk her life to take her sister's place in The Hunger Games. She was stubborn and had major issues, and sometimes, she easily gave into her emotions, especially anger. She kind of reminded me of myself in that way. I was able to connect with her and feel like I was there with her because she reminded me so much of myself. That's highly important to me when I'm reading a book; I need to be able to connect with the characters in some way.

Peeta, oh, Peeta. I loved him throughout the whole novel. Despite being the baker's son, he was able to fend for himself and survive long enough to win the Games along with Katniss. I thought it was so adorable when he was telling her that he'd had a crush on her since they were five years old. And, I was crushed when he found out that she was pretending to be into the romance thing for the Games. It made him a shell of himself and I hated that. If it was me not Katniss, I wouldn't have let him go.

But, that begs the question: What about Gale? In the beginning, I thought I wanted Katniss to end up with Gale, but once I got to know Peeta, I wanted her to end up with him. I still kind of do. Now, I know this isn't technically a romance novel, but almost all books end up with the heroine getting the guy, so I'm interested to find out how this little love triangle will play out.

I think the most surprising thing was what happened with the other tributes at the end. The fact that they were turned into some kind of animal in some way was astonishing and surprising. The worst thing was the ending. It was <i>such</i> a cliffhanger! I hate cliffhangers when I don't have the next book to start right away, and that's what happened to me. It was horrible; so I'm eager to get started on Catching Fire.

I thought that the plotline and story, overall, were great, but stylistically speaking, I thought that the writing was a little choppy. The sentences were often very short and not at all complex, and that was a little irksome at times. It was also odd, for me, reading from first person POV again. I usually read books that are in third person, because most books are written that way now, and so it's a rare occurrence when I find a book in first person. And it's even rarer when I find a book in first person that I absolutely love. I usually don't like reading just one person's thoughts and POV.
 


Defeat the Darkness

Small post today: I'm entering a contest to win Defeat the Darkness. Here's to hoping I win!

Here's the link if you wanna enter, too: http://demonloversbookreviewsmore.blogspot.com/


Tags:

Stray: A Review

Stray is the first book in Rachel Vincent's Shifters series. It is about a werecat named Faythe Sanders and her struggle to accept life in the Pride. She wants nothing more than to escape and have her freedom, from her father, from her "responsibilities" to the Pride, from Marc. However, when one of her fellow tabbies, Sara, is kidnapped, one of her father's enforcers come to college and take her home. When she gets there, she is faced with all the things she wanted to leave behind. After a few days, her cousin Abby, another tabby, is kidnapped, and the council congregates at Faythe's house to work out how to deal with the issue. Sara is found, naked, propped up against a tree behind her house for her brothers to find after being beaten, raped, and murdered by her captors. After a night of drunkenness and having sex with Marc, Fathye goes out to the barn "to think" and ends up getting kidnapped herself. She is drugged and then dumped in a cage in a house in Mississippi. She stops Abby from getting raped, fights Miguel, chats with her brother who happens to be one of the captors, and eventually kills Eric and escapes. After getting out of her cage, she traps Ryan in her empty cage and searches for the key to Sara's cage, while talking to her father about what's doing. Her father sends Parker, Marc, Ethan, Owen, and Lucas to go get Faythe and Abby, making Jace stay at home since Marc beat him badly, and then talks to Ryan, working out a small deal with him. After the guys come to get them, Parker, Marc, Ethan, Lucas, and Faythe fly to where the next girl about to be captured lives and meets up with Sara's brothers, Vic and Anthony. They go and set up a trap for Miguel and Sean. However, Faythe falls into Miguel's trap and almost gets taken again. In the end, Faythe frees herself, Marc and Ethan kill Miguel, and Faythe ends up with Marc, much to my chagrin (I love Jace).

Overall, I liked Faythe. She was a good, strong female character. I understood her need for independence, but I did not understand her reckless need for independence. She wanted to leave the ranch at a time when it was extremely dangerous for her to, and it was proven that she would not have been able to take care of herself by the fact that she was kidnapped. I liked that she eventually accepted that she liked being back at the ranch and starts working for her father. I, however, did not like that she led Jace on and then hurt him by sleeping with Marc, and when Marc threw him into the wall, she did nothing to help Jace, not that it would have done much but she should have tried to help him.

I'm not sure how much I like or dislike Marc. To a certain extent, I like him and appreciate his loyalty to Faythe and her father. However, I did not like that he often seemed to use his power as second-in-command to boss around the other guys and hurt Jace. He really needs to get his jealousy and anger under control and stop hurting poor Jace. I did not like that Marc gets his way in the end with Faythe choosing him.

Jace, however, I completely love. Some of it, I know, is because he's the "underdog" and her family doesn't approve of him as Faythe's mate, but he's funny, gorgeous, smart, and loyal. I loved that he was able to get that steamy kiss in with Faythe (that was one of my favorite parts), but I hated that Marc came in and ruined the moment and threw Jace into the wall. I teared up when Ryan told Faythe about how badly Marc had hurt Jace because he thought Jace had given her the keys to his car so she could leave. I wanted to cry at the end when Faythe told Marc she loved him and Jace was the one who heard, the witness. Also, I loved Jace's sensual greeting to Faythe when she first got back to the ranch.

In the case of Miguel's death, I was rather unhappy. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm glad the bastard is dead, but I didn't like that Ethan and Marc were the ones who got to kill him. While it's true that he beat on Faythe and tried to rape her and Marc and Ethan were avenging her, I feel that Vic and Lucas should have been the ones allowed to kill Miguel. Their sisters were the ones who were raped and abused, and in Sara's case, murdered.

In the beginning of the novel, I think there were some parts that had way too much description and not enough dialogue, but I quickly got over that as I moved through the novel. There was a conspicuous lack of sex in Stray, the only sex scene being between Marc and Faythe with a small sexual encounter with Faythe and Jace.


On the Steamy Side

Okay, so, I recently finished On the Steamy Side by Louisa Edwards, and it was fantastic. As per usual, I wrote a review for it on Goodreads.com, and I thought I'd share it with you here. If you wanna check it out on Goodreads, you can see it here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/81593629

So, without further ado (Spelled right?), here's my review of On the Steamy Side by the ever-wonderful Louisa Edwards:

It's been a little while since I've read read Can't Stand the Heat, the first book in the Recipe for Love series, but I have to say that On the Steamy Side might be better. I knew from the moment I met him in CStH that I was going to love Devon Sparks like no other and that is so true.

Devon Sparks, the illustrious celebrity chef, is the perfect complex character. He has all the standard qualities: his father didn't love him and was never proud of him, he wasn't sure who he really was, he put on a facade for all those around him, he's secretly afraid of failure so he is arrogant and prickly to all those around him, etc., etc. His struggle to accept parenthood, and his insecurities concerning his his abilities as a father, made him even more complex and more human than most think he is. I loved that he finally started taking control of his life by the end of the story. That being said, Devon had even me cringing at some parts, especially the first few services at Market; he was a little harsh sometimes.

Lilah Jane Tunkle. She had me cracking up almost every single time she spoke. Her ability to help Devon and Tucker get through the difficulties of parenthood/childhood was touching and made me smile. She was one tough, Southern cookie that anyone would probably be lucky to have in their life.

When Tucker "ran away", I wanted cry. I actually started panicking like I was right there next to Devon. I smiled and made a little squeak noise (embarrassingly enough) when Tucker came running into Devon's arms yelling "Dad!" and holding on like their lives depended on it.

Now, Frankie and Jess. I loved their relationship in Can't Stand the Heat and was really looking forward to seeing where their relationship went in On the Steamy Side. I was interested to see that their relationship had moved to a more mature level. Frankie was afraid to look towards the future and was jealous of Jess' relationship with Wes. Jess was trying to make plans for their future together and was understanding of Frankie, was always there for him. I was glad to see that their relationship progressed to a different level than the flirty, immature-ish relationship they shared in CStH. However, I was unhappy with the way they ended in this novel. I am heartbroken that Frankie broke things off because he thought it was in Jess' best interest. While it may have something to do with that, we all know that Jess was right and Frankie was also scared.

I seriously can't wait for Just One Taste to come out, and I haven't decided whether I can read the excerpt from the back of OtSS for Just One Taste without torturing myself with the wait.

So, if you don't already know, Richelle Mead is having a contest. Said contest called for you to make Valentine's Day cards for her books. Naturally, I embraced the challenge and got really into it. Some of my "cards" are better than others, but I just thought I'd share them here. I'll do the Vampire Academy ones first and then the Georgina Kincaid Series ones.

From Rose to Lissa and Christian:


To Rose from Christian:


To Dimitri from Rose:


To Adrian from Rose:


To Dimitri from Rose:




General Georgina:


To Roman from Georgina:


To Seth from Georgina:


My second favorite Valentine
To Seth from Bastien:


And my personal favorite Valentine
To Seth from Georgina:



So, those are my Valentines. I hope you enjoyed them. I worked really hard on them.


My Review: Bad Moon Rising

I finished reading Definitely Dead and started Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I finished BMR and The Scarlet Letter today. Here's my review of Bad Moon Rising from goodreads.com (it's a tadbit long):


Bad Moon Rising is the nineteenth book in the Dark-Hunter Series (I consider Fantasy Lover the first book in the series), and while a few Dark-Hunters are present and/or mentioned in the novel (Yeah, Ash!), this book focuses on the Were-Hunters, which is completely understandable considering both Fang Kattalakis and Aimee Peltier are Were-Hunters (he's a wolf, she's a bear). The majority of this novel takes place in Sanctuary, the Peltier's bar and a safe haven for Were-Hunters, Daimons, and Apollites.

 

Fang Kattalakis is a Katagaria wolfwere. The book begins with some of his pack going into Sanctuary and there he first meets Aimee Peltier, an Arcadian werebear pretending to be a Katagaria bearwere. He saves her life and the bearweres offer his pack sanctuary and support should they every need it. From that first encounter, Fang and Aimee are drawn to each other. Inexplicably. They can never be together but can't seem to stop themselves. Fang is delivered back to Sanctuary by Vane in a comatose state that he cannot escape until the nine Daimons who attacked him are killed and his spirit freed. Aimee is his only hope (Do I sound like Princess Leia, or what?) since Vane ignores his calls for help. With the help of her brother Dev and a Charonte demon named Xedrix, Aimee succeeds in killing all the Daimons. Fang is returned, but he has already "traded" his soul to Thorn to keep Aimee safe, meaning he has to hunt demons. He mistakenly kills one and absorbs its power, and unfortunately, the demon was very powerful. Drama with Wren makes Fang and Aimee leave Sanctuary to help him. Meanwhile, Phrixis (the demon's whose powers are inside Fang) is trying to overpower Fang and make him turn to the Dark Side (Geez! Another Star Wars reference?!). Fang is accused of killing people and stays away from Aimee, Vane, and everyone else while he tries to figure everything out. Meanwhile, Savitar suspends Mama Lo's license for a while and puts out a warrant for Fang, telling Vane to bring him in or Savitar will kill the entire Kattalakis family. Fang and Aimee have sex but no mate mark appears. Then, Fang turns himself in, Thorn and Savitar free him from the demon spirit, Vane comes to die in place of Fang, Aimee comes with Simi to bust Fang out and ends up losing Sanctuary's license for good. When Nicolette hears about this, she bans Aimee from Sanctuary and she leaves with Fang. Finally, Fang's and Aimee's mate marks show up. Aimee returns to Sanctuary to tell her family and all hell breaks loose. Their enemies attack and their friends and allies come to aid. Nicolette takes a killing blow for Fang and dies, which results in Papa Bear dying since they were bonded. Aimee, her brothers, Fang, and their friends rebuild what was ruined in Sanctuary and Aimee and Fang are voted to be the owners. Fang and Aimee finally complete the mating ritual and bond their life forces, living happily ever after.

 

I found this book to be highly entertaining. I like that it spanned over an extend period of time (a few years) and that Aimee and Fang did not have sex and fall in love within days of meeting each other. Also, I loved that I got to see more of the Peltier boys. It just made me love Dev all the more and develop a soft side for the rest of the brothers, except for Remi. The only time I was able to tolerate Remi was at the end when he told Fang and his family that they were part of the Peltier family now. I continued to love Fury throughout the whole novel, but Vane was another story. I liked (Dare I say "loved"?) him in Night Play. However, I disliked him throughout most of this book. I did not like the way he underappreciated Fang and treated Fang like he was mentally defective or something of the sort. He constantly hurt Fang by what he said and did and he never said sorry. I didn't like that he blamed Fang for being comatose; as if Fang wanted to be stuck in the Nether Realms being tortured by Misery and her horrific crew! He redeemed himself a little bit, though, when he offered to die in Fang's place. I was surprised by how...let's say, mean Savitar was. The only other book I'd read about him in was Acheron, and while he wasn't exactly a sweetheart, he was still...nice? He was less harsh.

 

In the beginning of the novel, I was a little surprised that I wasn't too fond of Aimee because I liked her in every other book she appeared in that I've read. When she warmed up to Fang, though, I was relieved to find that she was a same bear that I loved and I grew to love her even more. There were a few times when I got upset with her, particularly when she was yelling at Stone about how all wolves should be rounded up and executed with Fang standing right there. Otherwise, I couldn't have loved her more.

 

I immediately loved Fang from the moment I met him in Night Embrace. His sarcastic quips were endearing to me, a girl who makes a habit of doing the same. He was handsome, fierce, and protective of his family and friends. Upon meeting him again in this book, I was further amazed by his beauty, inside and out. I felt for his pain and the internal injuries he sustained every time Vane and Anya were cruel to him in any way. I was endeared towards him further at the way he stayed at Sanctuary and tortured himself being near Aimee yet was unable to have her; it showed strength and restraint on his part.

 

The only complaint I have about the book is that Jaden, the demon broker, was not in it. He was mentioned but never showed up. I love him so I would have enjoyed his presence.

 

I have read three of the Were-Hunter books in the Dark-Hunter Series (Vane and Bride, Dante and Pandora, and now Fang and Aimee), and I have to say that Bad Moon Risin is the best I've read. It may even be my favorite book of the whole series. Maybe. All the books are so good that it's hard to choose, but this book is so superb that it definitely makes my Top 5. I eagerly await the arrival of Dev and Samia's book, No Mercy, coming out this year.


Goodreads

So, I don't know if I've mentioned this or not, but I joined this website called Goodreads.com late last year. It's a site where you can talk about books, mark the latest books you've read, are currently reading, and want to read, join groups, participate in reading challenges, and all manner of other fun things. I have recently admitted to myself that I have become obsessed with the website. It's, like, my favorite website now. I'm always updating it with the books I'm reading. I have a bunch of friends. I take trivia questions and have made up many to go along with the books I've read. I can see books by all my favorite authors and new ones that may interest me. I have made a few "lists" and voted on books. I've written reviews, joined a bunch of groups, and as of right now, participated in two challenges. Overall, it's an amazing site. Anyone who loves books should join the site. As I said before, I. Am. Obsessed. But in a good way :)

Since my last post, I have read many books, so I'll just give a quick recap. Since finishing Night Pleasures, I've read Night Embrace (Sherrilyn Kenyon), Night Play (Sherrilyn Kenyon), Tall, Dark, & Hungry (Lynsay Sands), Heart of Darkness (Gena Showalter, Maggie Shayne, & Susan Krinard), Born of Ice (again!) (Sherrilyn Kenyon), Hot as Sin (Bella Andre), Fear the Darkness (Sherrilyn Kenyon short-as-hell story), Kiss of the Night (Sherrilyn Kenyon), Seize the Night (Sherrilyn Kenyon), "Fairy Dust" from A Touch of Dead (Charlaine Harris), Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen), and "Winter Born" from Stroke of Midnight (Sherrilyn Kenyon). Currently, I'm reading Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris (again so that I can finish the challenge I'm part of on Goodreads) and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

But, serious, if anyone is interested, the website is goodreads.com and it's the best site ever :D