Friday, April 19, 2019

Rebel by Amy Tintera


Synopsis:
Wren Connolly thought she'd left her human side behind when she dies five years ago and came back 178 minutes later as a Reboot. With her new abilities of strength, speed, and healing—along with a lack of emotions—Wren 178 became the perfect soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Then Callum 22 came along and changed everything.

Now that they've both escaped, they're ready to start a new life in peace on the Reboot reservation. But Micah 163, the Reboot running the reservation, has darker plans in mind: to wipe out the humans. All of them. Micah has been building a Reboot army for years and is now ready to launch his attack on the cities. Callum wants to stick around and protect the humans. Wren wants nothing more than to leave all the fighting behind them.

With Micah on one side, HARC on the other, and Wren and Callum at odds in the middle, there's only one option left...

It's time for Reboots to become rebels.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Recently, I read Reboot by Amy Tintera. I loved it. As soon as I finished the book, I started the next book in the series, Rebel. I just had to know what happened with Wren and Callum. While I enjoyed Rebel, I didn't like it nearly as much as I liked Reboot.

Don't get me wrong, I did really enjoy reading Rebel. I thought it was an interesting sequel. Howeer, there was just something missing from the book. I'm not sure what it was. I think part of it was the duel points of view threw me off. I wasn't expecting that at all because in the first book, it was just from Wren's point of view. Also, there wasn't nearly as much action as the first book. I found myself becoming bored at times, and my attention started to wander to other things. While this book did have some action, it was more focused on relationship dynamics, whether that be humans versus Reboots, or in Wren and Callum's personal lives.

There were also things that I really loved seeing in Reboot. I enjoyed seeing Wren and Callum grow as characters. I loved seeing a more softer side of Wren that the reader didn't get as much of in the first book. It was interesting watching her learn how to deal with her feelings, and process emotions in a healthy way. Even though it was really off putting at first, after I got into the book a little bit, I also enjoyed Callum's point of view. It was interesting being inside his head, and watching his character growth. I think out of all the characters in the series, he's the one that grew the most.

Even though I didn't enjoy it as much as Reboot, I really liked Rebel. I thought it was a great finale to this duology. I especially loved the way the author wrapped everything up. I own another series by this author, the Ruined trilogy, and will probably start it sometime soon. I can't wait to read more books by Amy Tintera. 


I give Rebel: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://www.amytintera.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amytinterabooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amytintera
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amytintera/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/amytintera/
Tumblr: http://amytintera.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768611.Amy_Tintera

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Reboot by Amy Tintera


Synopsis:
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
To catch up on books that I've owned for a while and am behind on reading, I decided to start listening to audiobooks. It has been a life saver for my reading goals this year, especially when I'm working on things around my apartment. I've owned the Reboot duology by Amy Tintera for a long time now, so I decided to get the audiobook of the first book in the duology from the library, and read it that way. I'm so glad I finally read it. I loved it.

I think Reboot might be one of my favorite young adult science fiction books that I've read in a while. Usually when I listen to audiobooks, especially YA ones, I find my attention wavering. I either miss part of the story line, or get bored, shut it off, and come back to it. That didn't happen with Reboot. It kept me intrigued from beginning to end. I started listening to it before bed, and stayed up way too late wondering what was going to happen. I finally shut it off and went to bed, but as soon as I woke up, I finished listening to it. It was action packed. The plot and alternate depiction of Texas completely fascinated me. I needed to find out how Wren, Callum, and the others were going to get out of the situations they were in.

Speaking of Wren and Callum, I loved the characters in Reboot. I thought it was refreshing to see a strong female character in a young adult novel. I know it does happen once in a while, but it seems like a rare oddity, especially with recent releases. Wren didn't need a man, or anyone for that matter, to tell her what to do, or to help her. She took charge on her own, and solved her problems for herself. There's a specific scene at the end of the book in a lab that I don't want to go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil it for those that haven't read it. However, in that scene, she was so kick butt that my jaw literally dropped listening to it. I think she might be one of the bravest, strongest female leads that I've in a while in any YA or adult book.

I loved Reboot so much. My only regret is that I didn't read it much sooner than now. There's a saying that the right book finds you at the moment it's meant to, and I think that's what happened with me and this book. I'm going to be starting the sequel as soon as I finish typing this review. I can't wait to see what happens with Wren, Callum, and the society in general, especially after that crazy ending.  


I give Reboot: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://www.amytintera.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amytinterabooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amytintera
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amytintera/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/amytintera/
Tumblr: http://amytintera.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768611.Amy_Tintera

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Risky Play by Rachel Van Dyken


Synopsis:
What else can a virgin do when she’s ditched at the altar? Seattle heiress Mackenzie Dupont is treating herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico and a desire to relinquish her innocence to a gorgeous one-night stand. Fake names. True pleasure. But when she wakes up alone, Mackenzie realizes just how much anger is left in her broken heart.

Suffering a tragic personal loss, pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez has his reasons for vanishing without a goodbye. Right or wrong, he’s blaming the beautiful and infuriating stranger he never wants to see again. They’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up as his new personal assistant. And they both have a lot to learn about each other. Because they share more than they could possibly know, including a common enemy who’s playing his own games. And he’s not afraid to get dirty.

Now there’s only one way Mackenzie and Slade can win: to trust in each other and to stop hiding from the lies they’ve told, the secrets they’ve kept, the mistakes they’ve made, and the attraction that still burns between them.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
This year, I have made it a goal of mine to catch up on my favorite romance author's books. I used to read a lot of romance, but have barely touched the genre in the past couple years or so until this year. Rachel Van Dyken is one of those authors. I decided to continue my reading binge of her books by reading one of her newer releases, Risky Play. I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed it.

Typically, I'm not a big fan of instalove stories. However, Risky Play drew me in and wouldn't let me go. Just something about Slade and Mackenzie's chemistry made it feel like it was practically rolling off the page. I enjoyed their witty sarcastic banter together. They had me constantly cracking up, seeing who could be more petty. Speaking of cracking up laughing, I also enjoyed Slade's dog. There were quite a few scenes with him that I loved, but a scene in general that had me losing it laughing that happened after the dog had an altercation with a bird. I couldn't stop chuckling for a good five minutes after I read it.

Rachel Van Dyken handles a mix of her character's emotions very well. Even though the book was hilarious, it got serious at times as well. I think she found the perfect balance between the two. What happens to Slade at the beginning of the book is really tragic. I could feel his emotions when I was reading, which I think is a sign that the author is doing her job very well. I went through what he was going through a couple years ago, so I felt for him. I know how hard that can be to go through, and the author portrayed those emotions very accurately.

I really enjoyed Risky Play. It's definitely one of my favorite Rachel Van Dyken books I've read out of the ones I've read the past month or two. Heck, it might just be one of my favorites in general. I have an advanced copy of the next book in the series, Kickin' It. I intend to start it as soon as I'm done typing this review. I hope I love it as much as Risky Play, if not more. I definitely can't wait to continue my Rachel Van Dyken binge reading session. 


I give Risky Play: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://rachelvandykenauthor.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RachelVanDyken/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachVD
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachvd/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4882127.Rachel_Van_Dyken

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

DNF Review: Twist of Faith by Ellen J. Green


Synopsis:
When family secrets are unearthed, a woman’s past can become a dangerous place to hide…

After the death of her adoptive mother, Ava Saunders comes upon a peculiar photograph, sealed and hidden away in a crawl space. The photo shows a shuttered, ramshackle house on top of a steep hill. On the back, a puzzling inscription: Destiny calls us.

Ava is certain that it’s a clue to her elusive past. Twenty-three years ago, she’d been found wrapped in a yellow blanket in the narthex of the Holy Saviour Catholic Church—and rescued—or so she’d been told. Her mother claimed there was no more to the story, so the questions of her abandonment were left unanswered. For Ava, now is the time to find the roots of her mother’s lies. It begins with the house itself—once the scene of a brutal double murder.

When Ava enlists the help of the two people closest to her, a police detective and her best friend, she fears that investigating her past could be a fatal mistake. Someone is following them there. And what’s been buried in Ava’s nightmares isn’t just a crime. It’s a holy conspiracy.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
I've really been into reading mystery/thrillers lately. One of my favorite things to do lately has been to pop on my headphones, and listen to audiobooks of them while I do dishes, or generally clean around my apartment. I had heard great things about Twist of Faith, so I decided to pick it up. Unfortunately, I really disliked it. I ended up DNF'ing the book at 45%.

I had such high expectations for Twist of Faith. It's almost always on Amazon's Movers and Shakers list. I had also heard great things about it from some Goodreads reviewers. Unfortunately, it just wasn't for me. I tried listening to the audiobook, and reading the ebook. Either way I chose to consume the story, I was incredibly bored. It felt like nothing of great importance was happening, and the writing style had me wanting to start skimming the book. I also didn't care about any of the characters, which is very unusual for me. Usually in a book, I can make a connection to at least one of the characters, even if they're minor. At a little before 45%, something very important happens in the story line, although next to no detail is given about it. When that didn't shock me, or make me feel again, I knew it was time to give up and move on to a different book.

It makes me so sad that I didn't enjoy Twist of Faith at all. I know a lot of people did, but it's apparently just not my thing. I wanted to like it so much. Unfortunately, I just ended up finding it boring, and couldn't connect with any of the characters. I'm not sure I will try any more of this author's books in the future due to how much I disliked this one. 


I give Twist of Faith: 1/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6433471.Ellen_J_Green

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Sheriff's Secret by Susan Meier


Synopsis:
Can a feisty four-legged matchmaker help four best friends find the romance of their dreams?

Marney's 9-1-1 emergency help arrives in the form of a rugged, blue-eyed cop. Now she has the perfect bodyguard to keep her safe during those dark, steamy nights...

(Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
Lately, I've been on a mission to read as many books off of my TBR as possible. My TBR has gotten incredibly overwhelming, and due to a few recent things that have been going on, my reading has slowed down a lot so far this spring when compared to winter. Therefore, I wanted to read a few small books to get them off my TBR. I decided to start with The Sheriff's Secret. It was an okay book.

The Sheriff's Secret was my favorite book so far in these interconnected novellas. There was just something that I really liked about the male love interest, Dell. I can't exactly pinpoint what that something was. I think he's because, in the end, he doesn't let his past get to him. He learns to trust, despite everything he's been through. I also loved that we got more of Charlie. I think he is the cutest dog ever, and love how he matches all four of these women with their soulmates.

However, there were also quite a few things I didn't like about The Sheriff's Secret. Like all of the other novellas in this series, it was over the top cheesy. There were several scenes that had me rolling my eyes. They were ridiculous, and completely unrealistic. My other main complaint is that I didn't like the female main character's actions. Marney drove me crazy. She really needed to talk to Dell about something important. However, as soon as she saw him, she didn't stand her ground and talk about it. Instead, she just kept pushing things aside, which only created more problems. It drove me insane.

All in all, I thought The Sheriff's Secret was just an okay book. I did definitely like it a lot more than the other books in this series. I think I would have liked it a lot more though had it had a stronger female lead. I only have one more book left in the series. Even though I haven't loved this series, the books are so short that I'll definitely be reading the final one.


I give The Sheriff's Secret: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://www.susanmeier.com/
Blog: http://susanmeier.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Susan-Meiers-Books-120647777954747/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/susanmeier1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/296471.Susan_Meier

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Stained by Cheryl Rainfield


Synopsis:
An intensely powerful account of a teen, bullied for her port-wine stain, who must summon her personal strength to survive abduction and horrific abuse at the hands of a deranged killer.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for "normal." Born with a port wine stain covering half her face, all her life she's been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she's abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It's that-or succumb to a killer.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
Close to ten years ago, I read Scars by Cheryl Rainfield. At the time, I really enjoyed it. It had a huge emotional impact on me. I've had the audiobook for another one of her books, Stained, for a while. I recently decided to start listening to it. I'm glad I did. It also had a huge emotional impact on me.

I enjoyed listening to Stained, if enjoyed is a word that can be used in this situation. The subject matter made it incredibly difficult to listen to at times. The author puts so much detail into what Sarah goes through. At times, it gave me a lot of anxiety, and I had to step back from the audiobook, take a break, and go listen to some cheerful music to get my head out of that mindset. That's not a bad thing though. That means that the author did a great job of writing a character and situation that the reader is able to connect to very well.

I think Stained is a book that everyone should read, as long as they can handle the subject matter. It brings awareness to a subject that most people don't think about. Sometimes as a society, we see missing girls on the news, and think "oh, that's tragic", and move on with our day. Maybe if more people read this book, they would be more willing to help with search efforts, or just go out of their way to show support for the family. In this book, the author details not only what Sarah goes through, but what the family goes through as well. I couldn't even imagine going through a hell like that. It will definitely make me think twice about what I can do to help the next time I see a case like Sarah's on the news. No amount of help is too small when something like this happens.

I found Stained to be an impactful book. Even after finishing it, I can't stop thinking about it. I have a feeling it will be one of those books that stays with me for years after I read it. My only complaint was that I thought the money situation that happened was wrapped up in a way that was too convenient and slightly took some believability out of the story, and that's a very minor complaint. Otherwise, I thought this book was incredible. I definitely recommend reading it if you can handle the harsh subject matter. Just do some research on the trigger warnings before going into it just in case, and, as Cheryl Rainfield taught me, remember you can always take a break if it gets to be too much. 


I give Stained: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.cherylrainfield.com/
Blog:  http://cherylrainfield.com/blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.rainfield.fan.page
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherylRainfield
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BvourdtHwyK/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/cherylrainfield/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3305514.Cheryl_Rainfield

Friday, March 29, 2019

Cheater's Regret by Rachel Van Dyken


Synopsis:

Austin Rogers’s dreams of domestic bliss involved watching Netflix and eating hot dogs with the love of her life. But then he cheated on her. And dumped her—as if the whole thing was her fault. To maintain her pride and restore her sanity, she decides to get revenge. It feels immensely satisfying to plot her ex’s downfall—but so does kissing him.

Thatch Holloway, a plastic surgeon straight out of residency, knows he ruined the best thing that ever happened to him. But not all cheaters are created equal. He got himself into this messed-up situation—true—but he has his reasons for what happened, and he’d do it all again to protect Austin.

He’s not over her. And she’s not over him.

Austin wants closure, but since Thatch refuses to give it to her, she takes matters into her own hands. She needs to write a human-interest piece for her MBA, so she demands the full plastic-surgery experience. Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together. But Thatch isn’t afraid to play dirty in return. And he’s still hiding something—something that has the power to destroy not only Austin but their second chance at finding forever…
(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Earlier this week, I read Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken. I wasn't a big fan of the book, but I decided I wanted to read the next book in the duology, Cheater's Regret. I was more interested in the couple that's featured in Cheater's Regret, and wanted to know why Thatch did the things he did in Cheater. I'm glad I decided to pick up Cheater's Regret. I enjoyed it a lot more than Cheater.

There were still a couple of issues that I had with Cheater's Regret. Although the abusive behavior wasn't as prevalent in this book, it still happened a couple of times that made me uncomfortable. Austin displayed abusive tendencies toward Thatch during the first half of the book. I don't want to get into too much detail because I don't want to spoil the book for those that haven't read it. However, during one part of the book, she slits his tires. I understand being mad at someone, but there's no excuse for that level of payback. Another part of the book, she slaps him so hard that he loses his balance and staggers. And we won't even talk about the whole soy thing. He treats both instances as if she's being cute. To me, that's abusive behavior, and shouldn't be encouraged. As I've previously stated in my review of Cheater, women abusing men is a real thing, and most people just brush it off. That's one of my biggest pet peeves. I feel it should be acknowledged for what it is, not encouraged.

In Cheater's Regret, it almost seemed like Austin was two different characters. In the beginning of the book, I had to keep reminding myself that she was an adult in college because of her actions. She still lived with her parents. She also talked a lot about the classes she was going through, and needing to get good grades. The last thing that made her feel so much younger than what she is was her behavior. She was incredibly immature, so much so that it pulled me out of the storyline. I can't believe someone her age would act that way in real life. However, something happened around the fifty percent mark. All of a sudden, I was really starting to like her. It was almost like she became a completely different person. She stopped treating Thatch in an incredibly jerkish, abusive way. She became a lot more mature. The book started to focus less on her parents, and school, and more on her relationship with Thatch. Instead of being so selfish, she started helping those around her. Her and Thatch started to have a lot of chemistry, even though I still feel weird about their relationship based on her previous abusive behavior. From that point on, I really started to get into the book and enjoy it until the last sentence.

Even though it had a rocky start, I really did enjoy Cheater's Regret. I had a lot more fun reading it than I did reading the first book in the series, Cheater. I especially loved the last half of the book. Between the two books in this duology, I think that this was just an okay series for me. Without the problematic issues, I probably would have loved it. I will definitely continue to read Rachel Van Dyken's books though because I've loved most of her other books that I've read. She will always be one of my favorite authors. 

I give Cheater's Regret: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://rachelvandykenauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelVanDyken/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachVD
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachvd/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4882127.Rachel_Van_Dyken

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.