Creatura – Nely Cab

Title: Creatura
Author: Nely Cab
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy, Romance

Buy Link:  https://amzn.com/B00WQ5YUAS

Blurb (from Goodreads):
When seventeen year-old Isis Martin is having trouble sleeping due to perturbing dreams of a horrific growling beast, she decides to confront her fear. But what Isis discovers is something other than a menacing entity.

The human-like creature offers Isis assurance that he is not a figment of her imagination. Unwilling to accept his avowal, Isis sets his words to contest by asking the entity to prove himself—a dare, he readily welcomes.

It is in her dreams that Isis innocently stumbles upon the silent existence of the divine lineage of those that man has long forgotten.

In a quaint town, deep in south Texas, this story leads Isis onto the path of impermissible love and captivating life-changing truths. Isis Martin’s journey is sure to leave any reader ravenous for more.

Blurb 2 (from Amazon):
Isis can control her dreams. Or she could—until recently. The creature in her nightmares has been haunting her for months. As if being dumped wasn’t bad enough, now she dreads going to sleep. She decides to confront the creature and win back some of her peace; only, she finds that he’s not a monster and he’s not a dream. A sacrifice for love, a shocking discovery and a jealous ex-boyfriend blur the lines between reality and dreams, making it hard to tell who the real monsters are.

Who would’ve known…that sometimes love is lethal?

My Review:
This book is not one I would have picked up on it’s own.  Judging from the blurb (I had read the Amazon version) and the cover, it sounded a bit more thriller/horror for my taste.  However, this was voted as the May book of the month in a book group that I belong to, and since it otherwise fit my ‘type’ of book, I decided to suck it up and give it a chance.

What I Loved:  So, I try and make it a rule to not reveal anything about a book that isn’t already in the blurb, in the attempt not to spoil anything, so I’m sorry if I’m vague – I’m working with what I’ve got! 🙂

I enjoyed the world building and back story of Creatura, especially when it came to the human/creature. The concept behind these creatures was unique and interesting.

Isis has great family and friend connections throughout this book, everyone in her life is very supportive, especially considering her months of insomnia, which is having its effect.  While at time I felt Isis’ mother behaved a lot more like a friend than a mother during times, and then switched back – I loved the comradery between them.


Not So Much:  I really was expecting something more with this book.  I already mentioned that I felt like it was going to be thriller/horror like, and I feel like the cover indicates this too, however the reality is that this book was closer to a typical young adult, paranormal romance novel.  There is little real action, and a lot of smoldering glances.

I really thought that Isis’ dreams would play a much bigger part in this book, but after the beginning the fact that she could control her dream and was able to dream into this place that the creature dwells sort of became a back-burner detail after the first couple chapters. Then there was her jealous ex-boyfriend, who played his part but I really thought he was something more and in the end it felt anti-climatic to me.

The Verdict:     +.5

While the writing was decent and the world building was pretty good, I felt like this story just fell short for me.  My expectation based on the blurbs was that this book was going to be a paranormal version of when the girl falls in love with the boy who isn’t what he seems – he’s much more dangerous – and it turns into an action filled drama of her attempting to escape.  This book is good for the Young Adult genre, age appropriate.

Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend – Becca Ann

Title: Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend
Author: Becca Ann (Cassie Mae)
Genre: Young Adult – Romance, Self Image

Buy Link:  https://amzn.com/B00AY6OT70

Blurb (from Goodreads.com):
It’s stupid to fall for your brother’s ex. It’s even worse to enlist another’s help to win the ex over. But Brody is desperate and Hayley, his partner in American Sign Language, is more than willing to lend him a few tips.

She’s the school’s matchmaker,’ and with her bizarre and positive personality, Brody finds her easy to talk to, even about the most awkward situations. Hayley’s tips seem to be working, but as Brody learns more about his matchmaker, he starts finding reasons to spend time with her, and not the girl he thought he was in love with.

But Hayley isn’t ready to fall for anyone. Labeled the “Funny Fat Friend” within her group, her self image makes it impossible for Brody to share his feelings without Hayley shrugging it off as a joke.

Convincing her Brody can, and did, fall for the “Funny Fat Friend” turns out to be harder than simply falling in love.

My Review:  
After being in the supernatural world for a bit, I decided I wanted something light and fun and normal to read. What better author to turn to than Mrs. Cassie Mae?

What I Loved: This book was exactly what I needed. It was a sweet romance with likable, real characters who were goofy and down to earth. I loved that this story was told from the guys perspective, which is always a little refreshing, despite me wrinkling my nose every time he talked about how badly his bedroom smelled (at least he was aware of it!). Hayley was pretty funny, and a lot cheesy, but I could tell the person she was meant to be right off. I’ve met those people who seem so incredibly self-aware and confident, who are easy to talk to and know how to keep conversations moving, yet have something going on underneath. I could see why Brody would have a hard time understanding her reluctance to believe that he actually liked her.

Not So Much: Part of me is happy that Hayley’s home life wasn’t as bad as I had originally thought, at the same time I kind of felt like that part of the story was a little underdeveloped. It could have been me wishing to get into Hayley’s head (since I’m used to the girls being the narrator) but I kind of wanted more there.

The Verdict:    

As always a great read! There is mild cussing, and there IS non-descriptive sex in this book, so older YA would be my recommendation.

Onyx – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Onyx (A Lux Novel – Book 2)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal, Romance

Buy Link:  http://amzn.com/1620610116

Blurb (from Goodreads): 
Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

 
My Review:

No sooner did I finish Obsidian then I went and purchased Onyx. While I may have had some character troubles with Obsidian, I was still captivated by this story and wanted to know more about what was going to happen.

What I Loved: The continuing building of heat between Katy and Daemon. I enjoyed Daemon much more in this book than the previous. He was done fighting what were obviously very strong feelings for Katy, and he was in aggressive pursuit. There was a lot more kissing in this book – and boy can Jennifer Armentrout write a good kissing scene!

We learned more about what is going on between Katy and Daemon’s strange connection and what it might all mean. We also are introduced to Blake who is more than he seems.

In Onyx we get a few more twists and turns in the story, while the progress on the relationship front seems to be more the issue here.

Not So Much: Katy is driving me crazy. She is still so obtuse and just wishy-washy. She says things that she desperately wants to believe, but are obviously not true. She has become a horrible friend and really not admirable at all. She lies, and hides things that should be brought to light, and trusts way more information to people outside of her alien circle than she should.

The Verdict:    

Gosh, the romance draws me in. The story is interesting enough…but I’m just a bit perturbed by Katy. Some reviews of the third book indicate that she gets better, but I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to move on yet.

V is for Virgin – Kelly Oram

Title: V is for Virgin

Author: Kelly Oram
Genre: YA – Romance

Buy Link:  http://amzn.com/B00AJUVJN8

Blurb (from Goodreads): 
When Val Jensen gets dumped for her decision to stay a virgin until marriage, the nasty breakup goes viral on YouTube, making her the latest internet sensation.

After days of ridicule from her peers, Val starts a school-wide campaign to rally support for her cause. She meant to make a statement, but she never dreamed the entire nation would get caught up in the controversy.

As if becoming nationally recognized as “Virgin Val” isn’t enough, Val’s already hectic life starts to spin wildly out of control when bad boy Kyle Hamilton, lead singer for the hit rock band Tralse, decides to take her abstinence as a personal challenge.

How can a girl stay true to herself when this year’s Sexiest Man Alive is doing everything in his power to win her over?

My Review:
Kelly Oram is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I am loving her YA stories so much. I recently re-read Cinder & Ella for the 3rd time since November, and once I was done I decided to pick up V is for Virgin.

What I Loved: Well, for starters I loved Val from the start! She was such a strong person with convictions that I could relate to. I had a somewhat similar experience to her, not in the standing on lunchroom tables sort of way, but I did have my best friend at the time basically indicate that I either hung out with her new group of friends, (and partook of the drugs and alcohol) or I didn’t. I didn’t and I wouldn’t all through Jr High and High School. I grew up with that stuff around me – I knew what the results could bring, I wanted nothing to do with it. So ….I just didn’t. I didn’t get ridiculed for it, but I did lose someone who was very important to me. Anyhow, I digress, I loved Val not only because she was strong, but because she was funny. She was quick witted, and passionate. All admirable qualities.

I loooooved the heat between Val and Kyle. I’m a little bit of a sucker for the ‘all up in your personal space’ kind of passion. I enjoy it in books almost as much as I enjoy it when my husband surprises me like that. And that is pretty much Kyle’s signature move.

I think the issue of being/feeling pressured to have sex as a teenager is tackled pretty well in this book. It is a BIG deal. And honestly, I hated how many of the characters were portrayed as whining that they weren’t ‘getting any’ because – why has this become such an everyday occurrence? What is wrong with this being special. And I mean really special? Not something that is expected of you with every passing boyfriend or girlfriend. I felt like both ends of the spectrum were laid out pretty well. I felt like my personal convictions were adequately portrayed as well as how others feel on the matter. A very fair assessment.

Not So Much: I didn’t realize when I picked this book up that it was a part of a series. (If two books can be considered a series.) The first book stands alone well enough, but no one is NOT going to want to pick up A is for Abstinence. But I really wanted it to be a stand alone. ::insert my own pouty face here::

The Verdict:        

Go buy Kelly Oram’s books! Clearly this particular book has sex talk in it…but it is a clean book. Good for teens.
(cross posted from http://www.iloves2read.blogspot.com)

The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Raven King

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA – Paranormal, Romance

Buy Link:  http://amzn.com/0545424984

Blurb (from Goodreads):  For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey…and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

My Review:  

The very much anticipated series finale has been bought, received, and read. And I must say, Stiefvater does NOT disappoint.

What I Loved: So the last book of a series that you’ve shouted from the rooftops from the beginning that you love is not the easiest kinds of books to review. Why? Because I am predetermined to love it. Well..maybe not..but this isn’t Divergent. Anything that has, can, or will happen in this book is pretty much out on the table in the ways of endings, so getting mad at this series would be a moot point. So, I’ll lay it out here right here and now; I loved this series. I loved this book. It’s a 5-Hearts…and probably would have been since The Raven Boys was released way back when.

So what do I say beyond that? Well, there are a few things I’d like to say regarding Maggie Stiefvater’s books, and hopefully if there are any remaining that haven’t jumped on the Stiefvater train – they will be convinced to do so…

I have always loved Maggie’s writing. I have LOVED every single book – and they were not all happy ending love stories either. I can quite honestly say (and here I go all hipster) I read Maggie Stiefvater prior to her becoming overly popular with The Wolves of Mercy Falls. In fact, when I picked up Shiver I didn’t realize at first it was by the same author that wrote Lament and Ballad, back when I was on a Fae kick. But her writing has always captivated me. She writes lyrically and draws clear pictures, not unlike her actual art. But it’s more than that. See, we book lovers love to latch on to characters, and in the groups I ‘hang’ with, we tend to want to two main characters to fall in love, and we expect a story that is entertaining but mostly based around them no matter what the circumstances they are trying to overcome are. What Maggie has done more than once is this; she has given us the couple we want – but since that ‘story’ has been written a million times over, she makes them background noise. Oh, she gives us what we want; we get the falling part of the falling in love, we get shy kisses and passionate kisses, and all the feelings that the characters have no idea what to do with…we get it all, but all the while she’s building this other thing that takes center stage. I believe The Raven Cycle  was the master class of this tactic.

The Raven King was such an awesome conclusion in that when it ended it was just….right. All the individual story lines started to come together and more than once I found myself thinking ‘of course that is how it happens..” or “ well, that makes perfect sense now,” while yet at the same time not expecting these things at all.

I will finish with this, and I’m going to leave it alone (as there is not a “not so much” this time), Maggie wrote a post the day before the book released, and in the end she basically said that she wanted her readers to ‘want.’ I can honestly say she has achieved her goal. I want so much more, while at the same time feel like this conclusion was perfect.

The Verdict:        

The Raven King was darker than the other three novels, but it was necessary to the story line. I highly recommend this series. It is clean, some mild cussing.