Monday, November 10, 2014

Burn For Me

Book: Burn For Me
Series: Hidden Legacy #1
Author: Ilona Andrews

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.-Goodreads

Review: A new book in a brand new series by the amazing writing team of Gordon and Ilona Andrews? Yes! I was so excited to read this and overall it was great. First things first-this is being marketed as a paranormal romance. I'm not sure why because this is urban fantasy with a dash of romance. Since this series is scheduled to be 3 books, the romance will burn hotter than Kate/Curran per the authors (if you are an UF fan and don't know who Kate Daniels is, read the series, it's fab) but I think there was maybe one kiss in the entire book. A lot of fans are griping over the cover of this book, which definitely screams 'cheesy romance' more than 'kick ass heroine and powerful magic man' (that's my cheesy tagline..). I had the opportunity to hear the Andrew's talk at a book signing about the cover and several people had to sign off on it. They had a great one with lightening shooting out of Nevada's arms but Walmart insisted on this cover showing 'more skin.' Anyway, don't judge a book by it's cover!

As for the book: the world building was great, Nevada and her family are hilarious and Mad reminded me a little bit of Barrons (don't know who Barron's is? Do you live under a rock?! Read the Fever series, you won't be disappointed). He's powerful, conceited and possibly a sociopath. I can't wait to see how this relationship develops in the next installment. 

Overall-loved it!

Grade: 4.5/5

Big Girl Panties

Book: Big Girl Panties
Author: Stephanie Evanovich

Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich is a rollicking and poignant romantic comedy about a young widow who decides to get in shape...and winds up getting her groove back--and a whole lot more! Holly Brennan used food to comfort herself through her husband's illness and death. Now she's alone at age thirty-two. And she weighs more than she ever has. When fate throws her in the path of Logan Montgomery, personal trainer to pro athletes, and he offers to train her, Holly concludes it must be a sign. Much as she dreads the thought of working out, Holly knows she needs to put on her big girl panties and see if she can sweat out some of her grief. Soon, the easy intimacy and playful banter of their training sessions lead Logan and Holly to most intense and steamy workouts. But can Holly and Logan go the distance as a couple now that she's met her goals--and other men are noticing?-Goodreads

Review: I'm a fan of the Stephanie Plum books and bought this during a quick layover at a book store in the Atlanta airport. I failed to notice this was written by Stephanie Evanovich, not Janet. Big mistake. This was terrible-unlikable main characters, stilted dialogue and fat shaming. The romance was not sexy and I was actually routing against a HEA. The only semi-likable characters were the secondary characters of Chase (a famous baseball player) and his wife Amanda. They had a spanking fetish which could have been fun, but just felt out of place with the rest of the book.

Skip this one. 

Grade: 1/5

The Darkest Minds

Book: The Darkest Minds
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Author: Alexandra Bracken

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.-Goodreads

Review: While I was reading the 'Throne of Glass' series, I saw the author's (Sarah J. Maas) review of this book and she mentioned it was one of her favorite books ever. Since I overall enjoyed her ToG books, I figured I would give this a try and I'm glad I did. This was a dark, gritty read with a compelling main character and strong world building. Children are dying in mass amounts and those who survive only do so because there is something 'wrong with them.' They are sent to camps and segregated by their abilities (red, orange, yellow, blue and green). Ruby is able to hide her true abilities for years until she finds herself rescued from the camp and before long, she is on the run again. Strong secondary characters round out the cast and the 'big bad' (I'll avoid spoilers but I'd say there are technically two) was pretty intriguing. I was shocked that I actually teared up a little at the end of the book. 

I can't wait to read the next two books in this series and see where Bracken takes this-at this point, I cannot imagine a happy ending for any of the characters. Strong start to a series. 

Grade: 4/5

A Wrinkle of Time

Book: A Wrinkle in Time
Series: A Wrinkle in Time Quintet #1
Author: Madeleine L'Engle

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract".

Meg's father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?-Goodreads

Review: First time reader here-I somehow never found this book as a child. My husband was excited I was reading this as it was his favorite book as a child. My best friend's husband also said this was his favorite book as a child. One of my girlfriends loved this book so much she named her cat after the author. I was expecting to love it-kids going on a time traveling adventure to save her missing father? Count me in, sounds exciting! Sadly, I was not entertained in the least.  Poor world building, unrealistic dialogue and I wasn't a fan of most of the characters. I did love that Meg, our main protagonist is a young teen who loves math. That is awesome and inspirational, especially for young readers. Her 4-year old brother Charles Wallace, who is some sort of genius with psychic abilities to read emotions, creeped me out. He was like a 35 year old man in a little boy's body and as a parent of a 4 and 6 year old, I didn't find him precocious in the least. Meg and Charles Wallace meet up with Calvin, one of Meg's classmates and they become 'insta-friends.' It was too fast and unrealistic especially considering he was borderline offensive to Meg. He had absolutely no role other than holding Meg's hand throughout the adventure. His character could have been eliminated completely without impacting the story in the least. The worlds the kids travel to were poorly developed and the bad guy "IT" wasn't that scary. I think having a physical body would have helped. There were also random Christian themes throughout the book, they could have been woven into the story better.

For those of you who loved this-sorry! Maybe if I read this as a child, I would have loved it.  

Grade: 1.5/5