29 July 2014

Review: Rusty Nailed (Cocktail #2)

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Alice Clayton
Format: ebook
Pages: 288
Rating: 7 out of 10

** Spoiler Alert -- Read the review for Wallbanger RIGHT HERE**

Summary (Goodreads nailed it): In this sequel to Wallbanger, the second book in the Cocktail series, fan favorites Caroline and Simon negotiate the rollercoaster of their new relationship while house-sitting in San Francisco.

Playing house was never so much fun—or so confusing. With her boss on her honeymoon, Caroline’s working crazy long hours to keep the interior design company running—especially since she’s also the lead designer for the renovation of a gorgeous old hotel on Sausalito. So with her hotshot photographer boyfriend gallivanting all over the world for his job, she and Simon are heavy-duty into “absence makes the heart grow fonder” mode. Neither has any complaints about the great reunion sex, though! Then Simon decides he’s tired of so much travelling, and he’s suddenly home more. A lot more. And wanting Caroline home more, too. Though their friends’ romantic lives provide plenty of welcome distraction, eventually Caroline and Simon have to sort their relationship out. Neither wants “out of sight, out of mind,” but can they create their own happy mid-ground cliché?

USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton delivers another delicious, frothy cocktail of a book, shaking up her characters, stirring in laugh-out-loud humor, and serving sizzling romance straight up!

Thoughts: So...this should be brief (I just realized my dislike for the word 'brief'). 

I thought that this novel was pretty unnecessary. I mean, it was a cute story. It felt a bit like a fanfiction in that it continued the last novel and that it seemed to play to what the readership would want to see. I just wasn't a huge fan of it. I loved Wallbanger so I have high hopes for this novel but it just didn't play out. That being said, it was nice to see where the characters went after the last novel. It was nice to get a glimpse of the future. It wasn't a waste of time, exactly, just Wallbanger could stand without it.

I wish we would have gotten more of a glimpse into what was happening in Simon's head. People don't just suddenly change. Change isn't always easy. It wasn't easy in this novel, sure, but it wasn't hard either. I didn't find myself believing what the author was trying to tell me. How could one little thing change his life so much? He can't go from being quiet to very different. I want to be able to follow the change and see that it's happening slowly, over time. I didn't get that in this novel. I could see how what happened could start Simon on a path of change but it wasn't enough for me.

I love Simon; I'd let him so the things he did for Caroline to me...that probably sounds much worse than I mean it. If you want to know what things I'm talking about then you are just going to have to buy the novel and find out. I can't spoil all the good fun of it.

As for Caroline, if I had to do all she had to, I'd explode. Then again, my life looks headed in a similar busy direction so we shall see, won't we? The poor girl...

Basically: Where the novel went was acceptable. It was well written and entertaining. The novel didn't take too long to read. I just wanted more out of it than I was given. That could totally be my own fault. If you read this novel and think otherwise, let's talk about it. I want another perspective. 

25 July 2014

Review: Blood Quantum (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation #14)

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Jeff Mariotte
Format: Paperback
Pages: 310
Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary (Goodreads): The Las Vegas team of investigators has its hands full following a free-spending night at an exclusive nightclub which leaves the chairman of the Cloud Mountain Paiute Tribe dead. Already surrounded by controversy, the victim had a message scrawled in his own blood at the scene that would indicate a crime of revenge--and members of the chairman's inner circle aren't talking, which leads to a vicious cycle of violence and murder....?

What I think: My first problem with this novel is that it uses the two different shifts. I prefer the CSI novels that only use one crime for the plot. Following two, even if they merge into one in the end, is a lot of work. I get confused as to which characters are working which case; though, by the end, I figured out who was doing what. There is just too much science mixed in for my brain to keep up (in the beginning). This makes me take longer to read them. I bet watching the TV show more would solve this problem but who has time to catch up on four seasons?

Actually, this was one of the more complicated of the CSI novels just because of how many characters were involved with each case but I liked this novel a lot. I loved how everything was wrapped up. The cases went right to the last page of the novel which was a little bit weird because even on the TV show they get a few minutes of character nonsense. It wasn't bad, just odd. 

What else? The action was good. It didn't seem forced. It happened as I would expect after watching the TV show. The author didn't try to overdo it or anything.

Basically, I liked it. 

In Conclusion: A great one for CSI fans...duh. I have another CSI review coming...sometime. Not much of a rereadable novel but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I don't really know what to say here, sorry all.

21 July 2014

Review: Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3)

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Cassandra Clare
Format: Paperback
Pages: 565
Rating: 10 out of 10...I guess...

** Spoiler Alert: Read the review for Clockwork Prince here**

Summary (from Goodreads): Tessa Gray should be happy—aren't all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

My Thoughts: URG THE FEELS!!!

I may have died...
I have died...
I am certain...

I loved this novel. Great wrap up. It pulled in things from the other series by Clare to tie it all in together. It made me want to reread the Mortal Instruments. I'm so glad Kristen wanted me to suffer through these novels because as much as they hurt, I didn't feel like anything was missed and I really enjoyed them.

There was an amazing solution to the love triangle. How it was dealt with was more unique than anything I've encountered before. Clare gets bonus points for that. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out until the last minute. I liked it that way. I usually don't. I usually hate love triangles with a passion but there was just something about this series. It might have been that I didn't prefer one guy over the other. Neither were bad people. They each had...faults, but they weren't ones that made me hate them. I was so conflicted while reading these novels.

HOWEVER, this novel gave me the worst book hangover I've ever had. I can't stop thinking about it. I read it weeks ago and it's still the last thing I think about before I go to bed. It's pathetic. Really. I just can't help it. I love them all and oh man, it hurts.

Without spoiling, in the end (not the very, very end) I feel bad for Tessa. Her situation would be so impossibly hard. I'll keep my life, thanks. She would have had to struggle with so many choices that I could never make.

Basically, you should get this series. I think you should read it before Mortal Instruments but I didn't so, obviously, it's not necessary. I think if you liked the other series, you'll enjoy this one but you'll enjoy it if you love adventure and romance and...feels...oh the feels. Enjoy! (Go buy them.)

16 July 2014

Review: Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2)

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Cassandra Clare
Format: Paperback
Pages: 502
Rating: 9 out of 10

** Spoiler Alert: Read the review for Clockwork Angel here **

Goodreads summed it up for us: In magical Victorian London, orphan Tessa found safety with the Shadowhunters, until traitors betray her to the Magister. He wants to marry her, but so do self-destructive Will and fiercely devoted Jem. Mage Magnus Bane returns to help them. Secrets to her parentage lie with the mist-shrouded Yorkshire Institute's aged manager Alyosius Starkweather.

(It's an interesting summary...)

My Thoughts: I liked this novel even more than the last in the series. I had the same feeling about the author's writing; it was great. She is hilarious. She does a wonderful job of tying this series to the Mortal Instruments...except that this series is better, according to me.

I love Magnus...so much! He's wonderful. I would read ten novels that were just about him and his life. My cousin said she didn't like him and I wanted to hit her over the head with these novels. I now plan on forcing her to read this series once she's done Mortal Instruments.

I can't believe that I held on for this long with these two series. I love them. I love the world. I love the magic, the very idea of magic even. I mean, the world is a much darker place for them but it's just so different from what I know of the world. 

I still don't know which guy I want her to be with though I do know which is end game. I won't comment on this much since I've already read the third in this series and I don't want to give too much away. I hate when people do that...

Why do the bad guys always want to take over the world? Why can't they want something smaller? Why do they always shoot for the top. I live in this world too. I know that people don't always go for the big thing first. Sometimes, people like to start small...

Basically, I love this series and think you will too. I don't want to spoil too much and I fear that my love/frustration for this novels could potentially turn into a full on rant-fest, thereby spoiling the entire series and making my cry while I sit here in Tim Horton's drinking my ice cap and writing these last few reviews. It's a risk I am unwilling to take as Kristen is relentless in her mocking at times. Just go read them. I promise they are worth the 1500 pages in the series!

13 July 2014

Review: Return to Me (Last Chance Rescue #2)

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Christy Reece
Format: Paperback
Pages: 330
Rating:  6 out of 10

Summary (I've returned to Goodreads): 
Posing as an underage teenager, Samara Lyons is out to trap an online predator. Smart, fiery, and fresh off a broken engagement, Samara is up for the challenge. But this challenge might not be so easy. Her boss, Noah McCall, head of a private international corporation called Last Chance Rescue, can't disguise his raw, physical desire for Samara-and she's going crazy battling her own feelings for him. The middle of a high-stakes op, with the fate of dozens of innocent lives on the line, is not the time to indulge in sensual delights. 
Then the sting explodes, forcing Noah to face his dark past and throwing Samara into the middle of an evil tug-of-war. Noah must confront an enemy he knows better than anyone else in the world, while Samara must find a way to stay alive. Now it's no longer a matter of desire-it's all about survival.

So, I can't remember reading the first book in this series. I swear I have it and I've read it but I remember nothing of it but the cover. I can't even find it in my house. From what I gathered, that doesn't really matter. There are overlapping characters but it isn't a hundred percent necessary to read the others in the series. I say this because I am certain that I don't have the third one. Oh well...

Anyway, I enjoyed this novel. It was easy to follow and to understand. I'm sure I would have been drawn into the story more if I had known the characters from the previous novel. I most likely would have already known a bit about the characters. Maybe some facts about the characters would have been less of a jump or less sudden had I read it...but I didn't. Sigh. 

At times, it felt like information was given because the story would not have made sense without it. No, that last sentence didn't make any sense. Most novels give some information on characters or plot on an as needed basis because if the author gave all the information at once the reader would be overwhelmed and would forget what was important. It would also spoil the whole story line. This I understand and I respect because the author has to do it this way. I can't even claim to do anything different in my own writing. I'll also admit that some things are made up on the spot so that there are no plot holes. I understand this as well. I felt, however, that the information was so sudden, just a quick thought, that it was too easily missed. Other information was obviously important in the moment because of how it was said in the story. This whole paragraph isn't making much sense to me. I hope you can figure out what I'm trying to say. I think that the author could have put more into the thoughts of each character. Had this been done slowly, over time, when 'new' information arose it wouldn't feel so forced, so out of place.

Now about the ending...Half way through the novel, I felt like I had reached the end. Almost everything was wrapped up. After finishing the novel, this no longer bothers me but, at the time, I was looking at the unread pages wondering what they could possibly hold. It wasn't a waste of paper, space, or time. It was just a feeling I had. Thought after all the build up to the end, it all comes so suddenly. I didn't hate the ending, I won't tell you that I did. I won't even tall you that it was unsatisfying. It was just...I don't know, out of left field? I wanted more about how Noah came to the decision that he did. Three hundred pages, give me a little more about it!

Basically, I liked the novel. It was a fast enough read. The middle felt like the ending but, then again, so did the ending. We'll say that it felt like two novel in one without all that (sometimes) annoying (most of the time useful) recap information authors put at the beginning of sequels. The action kept me interested in the plot, enough so that I can over look the cliches. Reading the first novel in this series (or whatever it's called) is unnecessary but I think I read it (I need to take a memory test or something). Honestly, I probably won't be searching for the third novel. This doesn't mean that romance fans should ignore this novel. It will never be failed as the best book to come from its genre but it was worth the handful of hours it took to read. How's that for explaining my complicated and confusing thoughts on the topic of this novel?

10 July 2014

Review: CSI: Binding Ties (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation #6)

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Max Allan Collins
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary (Bound to Goodreads): Ten years ago, Las Vegas was terrorized by "CAST" -- a vicious serial killer responsible for nearly half a dozen brutal murders, and who tested the mettle of the LVPD's new Captain, Jim Brass. After a two-year spree, CASt suddenly disappeared and has not been heard from...until now. Gil Grissom and his CSI team are called in to investigate a homicide that perfectly fits the notorious criminal's modus operandi. But all hell breaks loose when a reporter made famous by the original cases receives a letter from someone claiming to be CAST -- and who says he has nothing to do with the latest slaying.
Now the CSIs must stop someone who may be a copycat killer from striking again. ...even as a murderer from the past continues to evade capture, and isn't taking too kindly to rivals....
My Thoughts: Soooooo, I read the beginning of this novel twice. I'm almost a hundred percent positive. It didn't make a difference because eventually I found a part that I hadn't read before. I was confused to say the least but I moved on.

In the beginning, this was easy to follow. This soon turned out to be a lie. It wasn't impossible to understand. There were just so many characters. There was a copycat? There was an original? There were reporters and police? Never mind that there are like seven CSI characters to follow along with. It was practically, Anna Karenina! A million characters. Too much to follow.

The case was interesting enough though. There was solid action and some science behind it all. It was true to an episode of CSI. Kristen and I were talking about how strange it was that in an hour on TV you can get the whole story but it takes a couple hundred pages to get the same story in book format.

I've read a couple CSI and Criminal Minds novels now. They haven't really grown on me; I can't lie to you. They are a little dull for me. I want more character building and back story. There just isn't time to give the reader these things when there is so much about the case that they have to talk about. I understand that there are limitations, I just don't like them. For this reason, I can't give these books a 10. I do, however, have a couple more to read and review in the next few months...it should be interesting.

So: It's true to the TV show but not much for focusing on the characters. I don't really know how I feel about these types of novels. I won't be reading it again but if you're a hardcore fan of the TV show or the CSI:NY or CSI:Maimi or Criminal Minds novels, you should check out the normal CSI novels too. That's the best this novel is going to get out of me.

8 July 2014

Review: Clockwork Angel

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Cassandra Clare
Format: Paperback
Pages: 479 (Here's another long series for poor, tired Kelsey to read...)
Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary (I have Goodreads to go on my [mobile] device): In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them...


Let's just start this review off by saying that I liked this series way more than I liked the Mortal Instruments series which I did enjoy quite a lot. Clare is an amazing author. I love her wit the most. Characters would literally be dying but they remain true to themselves and to the humor in the novel. The characters always have something funny to say and it helps to defuse the tension in the novel as well as build it. I don't know how she manages to do that. I would read her work forever.

I quickly found myself attached to the characters in this. None had to work to grow on me. It was instant love. It could not be denied. The comic relief helped this a lot I'm sure.

This series made me want to reread the Mortal Instruments series, which is a huge time commitment...We'll see. One of the best parts of this series is that it gives back ground to the characters in Clare's other series. You find out how their ancestors acted and learn more about them through this. It's also cool to see where some of the Shadowhunter tools and traditions came from. You even find out where the cat came from!

I couldn't for the life of my choose which guy I would rather Tessa be with. It hurt me even more. Also, Clare has some serious issues with brothers.

So: You should read these if you enjoyed the world of the Mortal Instruments even the slightest bit. This series is a million times better and hurts a million times more. It's wonderful. Go buy them right now and read them.

4 July 2014

Follow Friday

What are your favourite picture books?

I'm actually not really a fan of picture books. I've never really been a fan. I don't know why. I just remember always reading novels (aka Judy Blume amazingness) or having novels read to me.

But, this is one picture book that I absolutely loooooooved when I was younger. I remember reading it constantly. Thinking back on it now, it might have had something to do with the glitter. And shiny pages. 

What kid doesn't like glitter?

- Kristen

I can remember taking this book out of the library every other week as a child. It was like that scene in Beauty and the Beast where Belle takes a book out so much that the librarian just gives her the book.

Honestly, I can't really remember the plot at all. All I remembered was the princess and the balloons. Do you have any idea how much of a pain it is to search those things in Google? I'm amazed I could find this novel at all.

Seeing it now, I kind of wanna find it in Chapters and reread it.

So, yeah, there it is. Check it out. Let's bring it back.

- Kelsey

3 July 2014

Review: Out of Breath (Breathing #3)

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Rebecca Donovan
Format: Paperback
Pages: 422
Rating: 7ish out of 10

** Spoiler Alert: Read the review for Reason to Breathe or Barely Breathing here **

Summary (Goodreads should be out of breath due to all the work it does for Kristen and I): Emma leaves Weslyn and everyone in it behind to attend Stanford University, just as she always intended. A shell of her former self, she is not the same girl. She is broken, and the only way that she’ll be whole again is through forgiveness. Emma must find a way to forgive herself and recognize her own worth before she can receive the love she deserves. This final installment will have readers holding their breath until the very last page.

My Ponderings: I hate time gaps so much! So much. You don't understand. You cannot possibly understand how much unexplained time gaps bother me. What happened during all that time? I don't know. We will never know! That bothers me.

What else bothers me? When the children of alcoholics drink to get drunk...all the time. Enough said about that. 

What did I notice about the time I started reading this novel? This series has like a million pages in it. They are so long. Why are they so long? 

What happened then? I got distracted by my interest in the stories. I wanted to know what happened to the characters. I needed to know what happened. So I read this novel, faster than I thought I could read. Why? I still felt bad for Emma. I still loved Evan. I felt meh about Chase....was that his name? I've already forgotten.

P.S. I wish I was rich like she was so I could just rent a huge ass house of the beach. Sounds like it would be an awesome time. Kristen and I are going to go read on the beach soon...maybe next week. I digress...

Other thoughts about this novel? I really enjoyed them even for all the pain they put me through. 


So: I liked this series a lot. I would reread them, were I not battling a pile of to read books sitting beside my bed, threatening to murder me in my sleep. Anywho....these novels were good though they pull at your heart and I can't help but blame Emma a little bit for her problems (Don't move in with your mother or stay there or drink like you've been). I'm harsh; I know. I'm sorry. But, yeah, check this series out.

Words Worth Wandering With

Words You May Be Using Wrongly
1) Travesty
What you may think it means: a tragedy, an unfortunate event
What it actually means: a mockery; a parody
2) Ironic
What you may think it means: a funny coincidence
What it actually means: contrary to what you might expect
3) Peruse
What you may think it means: to skim or glance over something
What it actually means: to review something carefully/in-depth
4) Bemused
What you may think it means: amused
What it actually means: confused
5) Compelled
What you may think it means: to willingly do something, to feel like you need to do something
What it actually means: to be forced to do something (willingly or unwillingly)
6) Nauseous
What you may think it means: to feel sick
What it actually means: to cause nausea
7) Conversate
What you may think it means: to hold a conversation
What it actually means: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
8) Redundant
What you may think it means: repetitive
What it actually means: superfluous, able to be cut out
9) Enormity
What you may think it means: enormousness
What it actually means: extreme evil
10) Terrific
What you may think it means: awesome, fantastic
What it actually means: causing terror

2 July 2014

Review: Every Day

Reviewer: Kristen 
Author: David Levithan 
Pages: 322
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary (thanksies Goodreads): Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

My Thoughts: Holy moly, this book is different than what I'm used to. As soon as I read the summary, I knew that I had to pick this up. It was such a different premise from the typical "oh shit the world is ending" and the "oh shit you're hot" kind of books that I normally read. And I mean, while  I do love me some dystopia and some romance, going outside of my comfort zone is nice once and a while. I mean, really, it's not that out of my comfort zone. It's just not a straight up romance novel. It's different.

Honestly, 95% of the time, I really enjoyed this book. The other 5% was either me going, "Okay, is this over yet?" or "Was this really necessary to the story?". And, yeah, I guess most books have their moments, but it just felt like they were really obvious in this one. Some of the plot lines didn't really make sense to me, and it just felt like filler.

Onto the characters. Now, for the most part I liked A. I mean, I can't even imagine I would be able to cope with changing bodies every day, let alone fall in love with a person in one of those bodies. So, most the time, I was on board with what they did. However, when they started to mess with other people's lives I was a little iffy. I mean ya, you do you and whatever, but to what extent? Though the messing with the lives left for some very interesting plot twisty events (some of them, again, felt unncessary to the story as a whole). Rhiannon, I don't know about her. I think I liked her, but sometimes she felt a little too young, or a little too naive. Who knows, it's been 5 months and I still don't have a solid opinion on her. 

Final Thoughts: Definitely interesting, and definitely not like anything I've ever read before. You should check you out. It's a quick, easy read. Perfect for summer. 

P.S, anyone whose read this: what do you think of the fact their is a sequel in the making? I'm not too sure about it. Will you pick it up?
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