Sunday, June 30, 2013

Novel Review: Until I Die (Revenants, #2) by Amy Plum

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins (HarperTeen)
Publish Date: May 2012
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.

Something Specific:

  • “‘Um, yeah. I guess lying around reading books all day doesn’t do much for physical endurance.’” (Hardback, pg. 3) Ahh, if only…
  • "He completed me. Not that I wasn’t a whole person on my own. But who he was seemed to complement who I was.” (Hardback, pg. 171) This is a thought that I have pretty much never seen before in a book, so I particularly liked it.

The Cover:

I like these covers. They're pretty, the setting in particular, and it fits for the setting. It also has the typical, girl-in-a-pretty-dress thing, but that's not a big bother for me. It's a little embarrassing, but not too much. Overall, I think it's pretty and fitting.


I put off reading this because I heard about a horrible cliffhanger, but now I have the third, and last, book, so I finally got to reading it. And I’m kind of glad that I waited, because I would not have liked having to wait so long.
This book seemed to move rather slowly. It’s not action-packed, it focuses a lot on Kate and Vincent’s relationship, along with a reasonable amount for the other characters. It’s rather character-based, although there is still some action. It doesn’t seem like very much is happening, but there actually is. And for some reason, it’s really easy to get sucked into the story, to keep wanting to read, and for the pages to go by rather quickly.
The descriptions of the places that Kate goes are rather well done. I get a good image of where she is, and I can easily tell that Kate is enjoying it, is relishing in the view. Also, I like that the Eifel Tower is not the centered Paris Place in this book; it tends to be the main event for most people, is always the thing showed and thought of when Paris is brought up, so I’m glad that Kate sees so much else, and that the Eifel Tower only gets a couple small mentions, in this one and the first book.
I’m still a rather big fan of Vincent and Kate; Vincent is a sweetheart, and Kate is very active and pretty smart, which I like. The romance between them is well done, and a lot of focus is placed on it, which I think is good. There are also several romantic scenes between the two, and the only upsetting thing about that is that they’re so tiny.
I haven’t grown as close with the other characters, and some of them are kind of hard to remember what their personality is supposed to be, just because the time with them is so little. I do like Georgia, Kate’s sister, as well as Jules, and Ambrose seems funny, although I don’t feel like I know the last two well enough. We met some new characters in this book, and I kind of already guessed what was going to happen with them, so I wasn’t surprised.
I think my biggest, and really only, problem with the book was that I didn’t feel very intense emotions throughout any of it. At the end, for example, when this big climax happened, I didn’t feel like I was experiencing what Kate should have been feeling. I think she should have been hurried, rushed, but she didn’t seem to be. And that kind of bothered me. That’s really the only reason that the rating is only a light 4 stars, instead of higher.
The ending, though, was a rather bad cliffhanger. It’s just mean, and I’m not very happy about it. I have several theories on where the story could go from here, some of which regarding the very end of the book, and some regarding the Champion business, but I’m not going to talk about them here, just because they would be full of spoilers and I don’t want to ruin that much. I’ll just leave it at: I’m very excited to read the last book.
As soon as I finish this review, in fact, I plan on starting it. I’m not even giving the series a break/pause to read another book, like I normally would. I’m fully ready to see how this series ends, and very excited for it.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Manga Review: A Devil and Her Love Song, Volume 7, by Miyoshi Tomori

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 13
Spoilers?: Yes, with warning for major.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Meet Maria Kawai—she’s gorgeous and whip-smart, a girl who seems to have it all. But when she unleashes her sharp tongue, it’s no wonder some consider her to be the very devil! Maria’s difficult ways even get her kicked out of an elite school, but this particular fall may actually turn out to be her saving grace... As Maria begins to recall bits and pieces of her tragic past, Yusuke tells her that he’ll stay by her side and support her, no matter what. Meanwhile, Maria still hopes to reconcile with Anna, so she enrolls in the same music school that Anna attends. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Anna wants Maria’s help or friendship…

Reads R to L (Japanese Style) for teen audiences.


Maria finally talks to her friends (excluding Shin) about what happened at St. Katria with Anna. There’s a lot of crying, and a lot of sweet words from Yusuke and Tomoyo. Maria comes to some realizations about herself and her relationship with Anna. Afterward, as Maria and Yusuke are walking home, Yusuke confesses, and Maria has a flashback of her mom. Which starts off Maria’s knowledge of Yusuke’s feelings, their nightly phone calls (to get closer, but also to help Maria from having nightmares), and the beginning of Maria’s realization of what happened to her mother. And Shin is trying to figure out what to do with Maria, is finding out stuff about her and Anna’s past, and cluing Yusuke in on some of it.
Then the focus shifts to music. Maria wants to sing for people, and she has a big confrontation with Anna about it, that rather upsets both of them, and none of them really know what to do about any of it. Maria also decides to sing on the street, but that doesn’t turn out. And the music instructor at the music place, Mr. Sakaki, is pushing Maria to sing, that all that matters is the technique, not the words or the feelings, which upsets Maria immensely.
(SPOILER!) And then Anna leaves. She leaves the school, the dorm, everything, leaving behind an identical necklace to Maria’s, with no word. Maria is upset about this, as she was hoping to clear something up; she was starting to find it hopeless, but still wanted to do something. I don’t think this is the end of Anna, so maybe they’re going to hunt her down, but I’m still not sure what’s going to happen with them. It’s all just messy and angsty and sad and bad, and I’m wondering what’s going to happen and hoping that it doesn’t have a cliché conclusion.
Very much so looking forward to the next volume, though, which I should have very soon.

Novel Review: Sweet Surrender (Sweet, #1) by Maya Banks

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Genre: Erotica with BDSM/Adult Romance
Publisher: Penguin (Berkley Sensation)
Publish Date: 2008
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

First Book in the Sweet Series by Maya Banks, and it “might just singe your fingertips off.”—New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh
Under Faith Malone’s soft exterior lies a woman who knows what she wants: A man who’ll take without asking—because she’s willing to give him everything…

Dallas cop Gray Montgomery wants only to find the guy who killed his partner and bring him to justice. What he’s found so far is a link between the killer and Faith—and if Gray has to get close to her to catch his man, all the better. She’s everything Gray desires in a woman, but he suspects she’s playing games. No way would she allow a man to call the shots in their relationship. Or would she?

Faith sees in Gray the strong, dominant man she needs, but he seems determined to keep her at a distance. So she takes matters into her own hands to prove to him it’s no game she’s playing. She’s willing to surrender to the right man. Gray would like to be that man. But catching his partner’s killer has to be his first priority. Until Faith is threatened and Gray realizes he will do anything to protect her…

Something Specific:
  • "'It takes a very special woman to submit to a man but still retain everything that makes her strong and unique. Her own person.’” (Mass Market Paperback, pg. 193) I like this, the thought that it takes a strong woman to submit in this way.

The Cover:

This cover is fine. It suggests deeper things without revealing too much, and without making it too embarrassing. The colors are nice, and the overall image is just rather simple. Then there's this cover, which is much more revealing and sexy, giving more of an idea that this is erotic. The position of the clothing bothers me a little, but overall it's alright, if rather embarrassing. And finally, there's the fruit cover, which I am not a huge fan of. On the bright side, it's less embarrassing, more simple; but on the other side, it's a piece of fruit, and I don't really understand what the point of making a piece of fruit, particularly a ?, seductive and sexy. Plus, it has nothing to do with the book, so that's another mark down. But overall, none of the covers are that bad, and my favorite is probably the one above.

I rather enjoyed this book. It wasn’t amazing, it didn’t blow my mind or anything, there were a couple slow parts, but overall I rather enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more of the series.
I liked Faith, the main character. I enjoyed her personality, particularly how she knew what she wanted and went after it, even if she was at first a little bit misguided. Within the BDSM scene, she at first was a little misguided in how she was acting toward what she wanted, but I understood fully and related to her reasoning for it. I also liked her relationship with her father and the men around her, who she works with and generally who all just take care of her.
I didn’t feel anything particularly strong for Gray, nor did he leave me with much of an impression. I liked him enough, I suppose.
There was a good amount of sex in this book, all of which was rather good. There was BDSM and a threesome, and it was very nice. Banks usually writes pretty good sex scenes, though, and unlike whereas some of her books have so many that some of them seem to have no point, I didn’t feel that way with this book.
I don’t really have a whole lot else to say about this. I enjoyed it. And I plan on picking up any others in the series when I get the chance.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wishlist Thursday[11]: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: July 2nd, 2013 (in paperback!)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


This just sounds rather cute; like a light-hearted, cute read, something that I’ll enjoy. And I haven’t read West’s first book, Pivot Point, but I plan to, and I’ve heard a lot of good things.
Also, that cover is just adorable.