Doon & Destined for Doon

17745703Doon & Destined for Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
Published : 2013
Version Read
 : ebook
Read More about it here.

3star Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes? When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months.

But the Scottish countryside holds other plans.

Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation. Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for…or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.

I picked up all four books in the series at once. I was that sure that I would love them. I mean they take place in Scotland for crying out loud. It’s a given that I’ll love them. Well they were okay, but I will probably DNF the rest of the series. I’ve never seen the movie/play/book this is based off of, so I have nothing to compare it too.

For DOON I really enjoyed the book. It kept me engaged and the pacing was great. I loved the princes and Mackenna. Veronica annoyed me for most of the book, but that’s okay. Throughout the story Veronica goes from one extreme to the other. She wants to be with her price, but then she doesn’t because she doesn’t think she’s good enough. She’ll save the kingdom and leave and let him be happy, but then she doesn’t want to leave and takes the crown from him. Granted she had to, to save his life and the lives of everyone else, but I was kept saying that she needed to make up her mind and live with it.

The first book ended like I expected it too, but it did have a nice surprise for me. I expected Mackenna to actually stay in Doon and be with Duncan. I enjoyed that I was surprised for that. After finishing this book I went straight for the second one. I wanted to know more about how it all ended.

DESTINED FOR DOON was a bit of a disappointment. I’m not sure why it’s been a trend with me lately but I really enjoy the first books, and then barely make it through the second ones. Honestly I couldn’t even tell you what happens between Veronica and her fella, because I skipped most of it. My main motivation in reading the second book was to find out what happened with Mackenna and Duncan.

It’s very unlikely that I’ll continue with the series, because I found myself not caring about any character by the end of the second book. It’s not that they were terrible books, but I couldn’t keep my interest in them.

A Court of Wings and Ruin

23766634A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Published
 : 2017
Version Read
 : ebook
Read More about it here.

4starFeyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

I finished this book a few days after it came out, but it’s taken me this long to get my thoughts together. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I was looking forward to this book. It was my most anticipated book of the year. I’m posting this review early because of how disappointed I was in this book.

I know that I gave the book 4 stars, but it was more like 3.5 stars. I’m warning you now there will be SPOILERS in this review. I’ll try to keep them to a minimum but you have been warned!

The most disappointing thing to me was how bored I was with Feyre and Rhys’ relationship. Where was the snarky teasing and flirting? I know that they are a mated couple now, but that doesn’t mean their relationship should change right? Rhys didn’t push her and as many people have said before, he didn’t really  make any decisions. Feyre put her life in a danger for stupid reasons a few times and Rhys seemed like he could have cared less. They just seemed to be a content couple with no problems in the world.

The other thing that disappointed me was the whole situation with Mor. I have no problem with characters who are not straight. When done tastefully it can make the story so much better. That was not the case with Mor. Sarah has been getting a lot of criticism about her stories not having enough diversity in them. I get it and I agree to a point, but I think she took it a little too far in this book. Mor has never given any sign that she was into girls in ACOMAF expect that she didn’t love Az the way he loved her. Then all of a sudden in this book she flaunts guys in front of him to remind him that she’s doesn’t feel that way about him. Since when did she show little compassion towards him or anyone in the Inner Circle? It felt to out of character for her, and I can only think that Sarah wrote it in to please her critics. I was not a fan of the whole situation.

I was very surprised at how much I felt bad for Tamlin. Maybe I like pain and torture or maybe it’s because I have seen my fair share of bad relationships, but I did genuinely feel bad for him by the end of the book. I know, I know, he’s a jerk and he let Feyre waste away and did nothing to help her. But he was going through some bad crap too. She played on his feelings for him and destroyed his court and left him hanging. And yet to come back and saved her and then saved Rhys for her at the end. All he ever did was love her and yes he did it the wrong way, but I don’t hate him anymore. I was in a bad relationship. He wasn’t a bad guy, we were just bad for each other. I feel that way about Tamlin and Feyre. I hope he gets a happy ending in one of the upcoming side novels.

The only saving grace and the reason this is a 4 star instead of a 3 is the relationships between Cassian/Nesta and Az/Elain. I found myself getting excited when they were on the page and wanting to know everything I could about them. I LOVED the banter between Cass and Nesta and I could feel and see their relationship change right on the page. I hate how it ended and I really hope that their story will continue in future books. As for Elain and Az, that surprised me the most of anything in the book. I know that Elain is the mate of Lucian, but I really hope she doesn’t accept it. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Lucian, but I feel that Az needs someone like Elain in his life, as much as she need someone in hers. In the previous book you could tell that he cared for Mor, but with Elain you can actually see him gentle around her. It was really awesome to see that side of him.

My favorite part of the book was Feyre’s reunion with Az and Cassian. I was reading that part at work (slyly under my desk, oops) when I literally jumped up and fist bumped the air. Luckily no one noticed or I might have gotten in trouble. That part made me so excited it lasted throughout a lot of the 1/2 half of the book, and I’ve re-read it twice since then. I want to be the kind of author that makes someone fist bump the air at work and have a stupid grin on their face for the rest of the day.

I will read the rest of the books that come out after this, but I was disappointed in this finale for Feyre and Rhys. They should have gotten a better story, but it’s not completely over yet. Right?

 

Siege and Storm

14061955Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo 
Published
 : 2013
Version Read
 : paperback
Read More about it here.

2starHunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

This was probably one of my most disappointing reads of the year so far. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book, I mostly did, but it did not live up to what I expected. After loving Shadow and Bone so much, I wanted more from this book. It almost feels like its only purpose was to set up the last book.

I hated Alaina, Mal and the Darkling by the end of this book. I even skimmed through huge chunks of it because I was so bored. It was a struggle to get to the last few pages without just spoiling myself so that I could finish. I know that I’m in the minority here, so please don’t hate me.

The only, and I mean ONLY saving grace for me was Nicolai. I love him so much. You know how they say some people light up a room when they enter, well he did that for on the page. I kept finding myself wanting to read about him, more than the other characters in the story.

I just found myself not caring about where the story was going and if everyone was going to make it there alive. I will try to give the last book a shot, but at this point, I’m so depressed that the series wasn’t a home run for me.

P.S. Had to give up on the last book and DNF it. I’m sorry guys, I couldn’t do it. I didn’t care enough about anymore, and even Nicolai couldn’t save it for me. Not sure if I’ll give Six of Crows a shot or not. Could be the writing style that I’m not connecting with.

Shadow and Bone

10194157Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 
Published
 : 2012
Version Read
 : paperback
Read More about it here.

4starSurrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

I’ve had this book on my TBR for a very long time. Probably one of the longest books sitting there, since I started this blog site. Not sure why it’s taken me so long to pick it up, but I made a promise to myself to start reading the books I’ve been putting off. Starting with what is the oldest and working toward the newest.

I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. The world building was fantastic and I felt drawn into it almost instantly. Like a lot of people I really crushed on the Darkling until near the end. I can’t say that I ever shipped him and Alaina, but I can see why some people may have.

The plot was very slow going and at times I wasn’t sure where it was going to end up. I had a feeling that not all was what it seemed and there were a couple characters that really freaked me out. If they freak me out, that just means they are well rounded and perfect.

I’m really interested in seeing where this series goes. I know it’s one of the most popular out there, and so far it’s lived up to the hype. I hope the second book doesn’t have the sophomore slump. That would be a shame.

The Fill-in Boyfriend

23291575The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West  
Published
 : 2015
Version Read
 : ebook
Read More about it here.

4starWhen Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Right along with my romantic contemporary reads, I started this bad boy.  I enjoyed the heck out of it and almost read it in one sitting. The characters were well written and with just the right amount of angst to keep the plot going.

Although Gia is not my favorite heroine, I loved the heck out of Hayden. For once, we have a guy that is not shady and seems like a genuinely good guy. Where are they at in real life? Anyway, their feelings toward each other are a little too insta-love for me, but I can easily over look it.

I enjoyed the relationship Gia had with her family, and it wasn’t a great one. I thought her brother was a little mean with his video, but I get the point he was making. Gia was shallow and only worried about how many likes/hits she got. I thought that helped drive the plot to where she would realize how crazy she is and straighten up.

It wasn’t the most original story, but it was so well written and I loved the characters so much that I will probably re-read this one again.