Thursday, August 21, 2014

Taking Control - Review

Taking Control (Kerr Chronicles, # 2)

By: Jen Frederick

Expected Publication: September 16th 2014 by Pear Tree LLC

280 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads )

Goodreads description--A slip of a woman holds me in her hands. Every dream I had of revenge, the very juice that powered my engine from age fifteen to now, is swirling down the drain at our feet. I can deny her nothing. The only thing I fear is her flight. That she will wake up from her emotional fog and realize that I am a manipulative son of a [...] who is more trouble than he’s worth.

That I’ve bought my way into her heart and life.

That I’ll lie, steal, cheat, and kill anything that would take her from me.

If the very heart of you is threatened the only rational response is to strike back harder until your enemies quake at the very whisper of your name.

Taking Control makes the fifth book by Jen Frederick that I’ve read and reviewed. And I’ve enjoyed each one. However, I feel like each book has gotten more and more graphic. I’ve discussed pretty frequently how I have a pretty low graphic tolerance, and so Taking Control was really a struggle for me in this area. Not only was it overly graphic in my opinion, but I also thought Taking Control was utterly unrealistic when it came to Tiny and Ian’s physical relationship. Maybe the rest of the world knows something that I don’t know, but I find 4-5 sexual encounters PER DAY EVERY DAY to be a bit extreme. Poor Tiny man. I mean seriously. How can the girl even walk? A personal request from me to Jen Frederick would be to scale back to a more realistic approach to the physical relationship in the future, and to tone it down when it comes to graphic description as well. Am I alone here?

Taking Control is narrated by both Ian and Tiny. I enjoyed seeing both sides of the story as I usually do. And there was a clear distinction between the two voices. I always applaud authors who can dual narrate well and Taking Control certainly fell into that category for me.

I don't think this is really a spoiler, but I just see this so rarely that I have to comment on it. Usually in a series the couple spends the first book falling in love and finding a way to be together. In trilogies the second book is where the couple spends time apart or they breakup. They realize for whatever reason that they can’t be together either simply physically in the same location or there's some reason they need emotional space, but they’re also miserable. And then the third book is about them finding a way back to each other. Maybe this wasn't the case because the Kerr Chronicles series isn't a trilogy, but I LOVED that the main conflict of Taking Control didn’t involve Ian and Tiny having relationship problems. They faced the major conflict of this portion of their story together rather than spending half the book alone and miserable. Kudos to Jen Frederick for that. I love to see a couple working together to overcome their struggles instead of working against each other.

I still love that Tiny isn’t your typical leading female character. Yet I was still struggling with her being so against Ian’s money. I mean obviously she shouldn’t be with him BECAUSE of his money, but we already know that’s not the case. And fighting him on it has proven useless as well. Just get over it already. Ian is a loveable guy even though as I've already discussed his expectations for their physical relationship is beyond ridiculous. He's cave-man "I want to protect my woman" in the best possible way. And while things do get physical (violence wise) a couple of times (not against Tiny, but in her protection), most of the protection he provides her comes in other ways.

I had some struggles with Taking Control. It wasn’t anything too bad, but Taking Control wasn’t my favorite by Jen Frederick either (that would be Undeclared if you're curious). I enjoyed that the conflict wasn’t about Ian and Tiny’s relationship, but my biggest problem revolved around the unrealistic physical relationship that they had. Taking Control gets 3.5 Stars from me. Have you read Taking Control? What did you think? Let me know!

Undeclared (Woodland, # 1)
Unspoken (Woodland, # 2)
Unraveled (Woodland, # 3)
Losing Control (Kerr Chronicles, # 1)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Top Ten Books Others Say Are Must Reads

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Books Others Say Are Must Reads.

  1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  2. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
  3. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  4. Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, # 1) by Danielle L Jensen
  5. Maybe One Day by Melissa Kanter
  6. Inhuman (Fetch, # 1) by Kat Falls
  7. Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1) by Rebecca Ethington
  8. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  9. Just One Day (Just One Day, # 1) by Gayle Forman
  10. Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, # 1) by Kendare Blake
  11. Zombie Fallout (Zombie Fallout, # 1) by Mark Tufo

What are the books that other people have told you that you MUST read? Let me know!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lick - Review

Lick (Stage Dive, # 1)

By: Kylie Scott

Published: October 11th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published July 1st 2013)

286 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Borrowed from my Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this.

Evelyn Thomas's plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man in her room, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

One thing is certain, being married to one of the hottest rock stars on the planet is sure to be a wild ride.

With a title like Lick, I can’t say I was expecting much out of this book. I looked like the typical new adult book. And there were definitely aspects of Lick that were cliché and lived up to the typical new adult patterns. I’ve discussed multiple times that my expectations play into my overall experience of a book. If my expectations are high sometimes I feel even more letdown by the book than I would under other circumstances. Expectations certainly played a part in my overall experience of Lick but because those expectations were on the low end of the scale this ended up being a good thing for the book. I wanted a book that would hook me and that I could read quickly without getting too bogged down, and Lick was a nice fit for that.

The “oh crap we got married while I was drunk in Vegas” concept isn’t original, but I liked that while David had been drinking, he knew exactly what he was doing when he signed up to marry Evelyn. I’ve never been a drinker and so the concept of completely losing an entire night’s worth of memories is so foreign to me. Obviously that has to be possible or there wouldn’t be so many books and movies about it, but because I’ve never experienced it, I find the whole thing a little far-fetched. But this entire story isn’t exactly supposed to be realistic.

Evelyn, obviously, freaks out to wake up and find out that she’s married. This is compounded by the fact that David is the lead guitarist in an extremely popular band. Because David is famous, the paparazzi begin to follow Evelyn wherever she goes. Evelyn is whisked off to be with David until they can get the marriage annulled and until the paparazzi find another story upon which to focus their attention. Since David went into the marriage with eyes-open he’s not exactly thrilled with Evelyn’s desire to dissolve it. Evelyn can’t really understand why, but the thought of never seeing David again leaves her cold. So they decide to try to figure things out and not make any additional rash decision.

Evelyn is described as being curvy—not a size 0. I liked that she was more average in body shape and that David was attracted to her anyway. She’s borderline with her self-esteem, but while she’s with David focusing on her body-image issues is difficult. David wants this relationship. He is prone to throwing mini-temper tantrums though. And the two in combination have a relationship that crossed into the unhealthy, potentially abusive zone—yet this didn’t bother me too much. *shrugs* Evelyn impressed me with her ability to remain fairly objective despite David’s temper tantrums, but of course she appropriately jumps to her own conclusions when we hit the 70% conflict mark that so often happens.

Said conflict is clichéd and a bit too easy. It was like there had to be something bad happen so let’s just make this particular event occur and then we’ll call it a day. **Spoiler alert** The fact that David’s ex-girlfriend kisses him, Evelyn happens to walk in at the exact moment it happens and assumes that David must have something going on with Martha was just too easy. I think the better, and even more realistic conflict choice, would have been David’s inability to let go. He still holds onto the house that he bought with Martha in mind. He still wears the earring that’s paired with hers. There’s a deeper issue there. However, for book purposes I guess that would be too simple to fix. Not that offering up a “she kissed me” explanation isn’t simple as well. **End spoiler**

As I said, there were some clichéd moments that offered some frustration. David and Evelyn have a borderline unhealthy relationship. And the conflict and resolution was too easy. But overall, I actually got sucked into this entire story. I was rooting for these two. And I found myself liking all of the characters for the most part (minus Martha and maybe Ben). I wanted to go back to Lick when I had to put it down, and I’ve been wondering about the other characters since finishing it. All this leaves me feeling like Lick deserves a 4 star rating. Have you read Lick? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Post - 110 & Stacking the Shelves - 76

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

The past week was long, but good. It wasn't too eventful. I didn't read as much as I normally do, but sometimes you have to slow down, and after the month I had in July, I'm pretty sure August isn't going to come close to matching. My sister-in-law and her family are here this weekend for us to celebrate my niece's 14th birthday. They live in Georgia, and I really wish we were able to see them more.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (4.5 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Books To Read or Not To Read
Wednesday: Waiting on What If by Rebecca Donovan
Thursday: Review of Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, # 1) by Susan Dennard (3.5 Stars)
Friday: DNF Review of The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner, # 2) by James Dashner

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Lick (Stage Dive, # 1) by Kylie Scott
Tuesday: Top Ten Books Recommended to Me as Must Reads
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Taking Control (Kerr Chronicles, # 2) by Jen Frederick
Friday: Series DNF # 2

Don't forget to sign up for the 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge! Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with a BIG giveaway at the end of the year! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

In Her Wake (Ten Tiny Breaths, # 0.5)

By: KA Tucker

Expected Publication: September 1st 2014 by Atria Books

256 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Before you knew him as Trent in Ten Tiny Breaths, he was Cole Reynolds—and he had it all. Until one night when he makes a fatal, wrong decision…and loses everything.

When a drunken night out at a Michigan State college party results in the death of six people, Cole must come to terms with his part in the tragedy. Normally, he’d be able to lean on his best friends—the ones who have been in his life since he could barely walk. Only, they’re gone. Worse, there’s the shattered body of a sixteen-year-old girl lying somewhere in a hospital bed, her entire life ripped from her because of a case of beer and a set of keys.

Everyone assures him that they know it wasn’t intentional, and yet he can’t ignore the weight of their gazes, the whispers behind his back. Nor can he shake the all-consuming guilt he feels every time he thinks of that girl who won’t so much as allow him near her hospital room to apologize. As the months go by and the shame and loneliness festers, Cole begins to lose his grip on what once was important—college, his girlfriend, his future. His life. It’s not until Cole hits rock-bottom that he can begin to see another way out of his personal hell: forgiveness.

And there’s only one person who can give that to him…

Whisper

By: Heather Hildenbrand

Published: August 13th 2014 (first published April 17th 2012)

284 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mythological

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The Cherokee believe when a person dies, their soul is reborn. Life is repeated. An endless cycle of lessons to be learned, love to be found, destiny to be fulfilled. For the past six months, in every flower, every bird, I’ve imagined my parents, relieved of their human forms.

Now, after five months at the Skye View Wellness Center, it was summer. A time for parties and friends, but that’s the last thing I want to do. So when my best friend Erin convinces me to attend a bonfire at Eagle Point, I can’t handle the crowd full of sympathetic stares or drunken class clowns who would use my tragedy as a way into my heart – or my pants. The solitude of the woods offers an escape, until I stumble upon a boy, unconscious and bleeding, his pockets stuffed not with identification but with poetry illustrating the beauty of dying. I’ve seen enough death. I will not leave this boy’s side.

Even after he wakes, when the only thing he can remember are visions of events that haven’t happened yet…

Chameleon (Supernaturals, # 1)

By: Kelly Oram

Published: June 25th 2013 by Bluefields (first published June 20th 2013)

356 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Amazon Kindle Freebie

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--For small-town rebel Dani Webber magic and monsters are no more real than the Easter Bunny… until the day she accidentally stops time. Dani quickly discovers that not only do supernaturals exist, but she herself is one of them. This is great news for her life-long best friend Russ, who can finally come clean about his own supernatural status and his undying love for her. Before the two can start to enjoy the long overdue relationship, Dani is taken by a powerful council of supernaturals who believe she is the Chosen One destined to save them from extinction.

As if being kidnapped and expected to save the world isn’t bad enough, an ancient prophecy warns of the Chosen One’s dark nature: “Only the truest love will keep her an agent for good.” The council believes they know who this “true love” is and, unfortunately, that person isn’t Russ. The mysterious, powerful and devastatingly handsome Seer is the last person Dani wants in her life, but when she starts having visions of a horrific future, she has no one else to turn to for help.

Soon Dani finds herself torn between two very different boys with two very different opinions of whom she can trust. With the visions getting worse and time running out, Dani is forced to put aside her feelings and work with both the Seer and Russ before an ancient evil is unleashed upon the earth.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Scorch Trials - DNF Review

The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner, # 2)

By: James Dashner

Published: October 12th 2010 by Delacorte Press

360 pages

Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic

Source: Borrowed from the library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

I didn’t love The Maze Runner by James Dashner. I was curious about what was happening and how it would end, but the book was really slow for me. And there wasn’t much driving me to read it. I didn’t feel any burning need to know what was happening, and that’s essentially how I felt when I finished it too. Even though things ended in a bit of a cliffhanger, I wasn’t feeling a big pull to start the second book. I always felt like I would read it…at some point. Then I saw that the library had the audiobook version and so I figured that would be the perfect way for me to get it “read” and marked off my list.

Once I received the audiobook version from the library, I started it up and completed about 22% which equates to roughly 75ish pages. While The Scorch Trials does have an air of mystery about it, I still felt a disconnect from the storyline and the characters. I didn’t have a single urge to continue listening and uncover all of the secrets. I can’t pinpoint one element that I disliked other than simply not being connected to the story or characters.

And so I’ve come to the point in my reading life when I realize that it’s just not possible for me to read ALL THE BOOKS. Given my lack of connection to the events and characters of The Scorch Trials, I decided to mark this one as DNF and move on with my life. Have you read The Scorch Trials? Did you love it? Or did you have the same problems connecting as I did? Let me know!