Sunday, August 31, 2014

Novel Review: Back in Black (SBC Fighters, #5) by Lori Foster

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Sport
Publisher: Berkley (Penguin)
Release Date: 2009
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Never before published from the New York Times bestselling author

Gillian is a PR expert hired to smooth out the rough edges on hot- headed sports club president Drew Black. He's rough, raw and ready for any challenge Gillian throws his way. But which one's going to end up on top?

The Cover:

I actually rather like this cover. It's embarrassing, sure, but I also don't like it cause of whether it's hot or not. I just think that the colors and the body work for the title and represent the book and the character (Drew) well. I think it works for this book.


Drew Black is a crude man, and he’s in charge of the SBC, which is why the higher ups have sent a PR person, Gillian, to work with him and his image.
I liked their relationship, and how they didn’t fight it forever but still tried to deal with his image and how their relationship affected things.
There was also a second couple in this book, who got almost the same amount of focus as the first. Brett is a new and coming fighter, and Audrey is protesting the sport. I liked that Audrey had a past, and how Brett tried to help with it. I also just found them really sweet together. I honestly enjoyed their storyline more than Drew and Gillian’s.
This was the last book in the series, and it ended like it. We got to see a lot of the couples from the other books, and that was nice. It was a very good, very satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed the stories; the characterization and writing were good, and the steamy scenes were very nice. I look forward to starting one of Foster’s later series.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Manga Review: Black Rose Alice, Volume 1, by Setona Mizushiro

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Volumes: 6 (Hiatus)
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The young tenor singer Dimitri miraculously escaped with his life after a severe accident. But soon after that, strange cases of group-suicides started to happen all around him… A vampire-romanesque tale of love and survival!


This volume kind of… surprised and horrified me. I’m not going to spoil anything, because this should be surprising, and also because you can’t really be prepared for it. I was prepared for unique and very-different vampires, but I still wasn’t prepared for this. Which is how it should be.
So the book starts pretty good. It’s the early 1900’s, in Vienna, and there’s a singer, who possibly sleeps around for money, and a woman he loves who’s marrying someone he knows. Um, and then he gets in an accident. And then some people die. And then something happens to him involving vampires (and insects, oh gross). And saying anything more would spoil too much.
I don’t think I was expecting all the killing, and definitely not the insects, which had me freaking out. Because gross, and the spiders, and yuck I just don’t even want to think about it. I was not expecting what happened with the woman, and am still a little horrified by it. I only skimmed the synopsis, so the time skip surprised me, and I’m still confused by what the characters did during that time. Like, why did it take so long?
Despite all the surprises and horrifying parts, the characters’ stories were pretty engrossing. We meet two characters in the second half, and their emotions and situation, unrelated to the larger plot, had me really interested. As did the character plot at the beginning of the book. Those parts were done really well.
I’m still a little horrified and grossed out, but I’m more so intrigued. There’s a lot left open, a lot of questions, and I’m interested to see what happens next. And I will say that if you’re even a little interested, if you like books that are unique and surprising, then I would suggest picking up a copy.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, and Erik Jansen from MediaLab PR. Thank you so, so much!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Novel Review: Allegiant (Divergent, #3) by Veronica Roth

Rating (Out of 5): ~3-4
Genre: YA Dystopian Romance
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Release Date: October 2013
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

The Cover:

I like this cover. I think it's pretty, it's eye-catching, and it goes with the other books really well. It represents the book pretty well, and gives the idea that it's dystopian.


  • "I feel like myself, strong and weak at once—allowed, at least for a little while, to be both.” (Hardback, pg. 32)
  • "'Wouldn’t it be more effective to unleash the whole tank at once?’ […] Doing a little at once can fix something, eventually, but I feel like when you believe that something is truly a problem, you throw everything you have at it, because you just can’t help yourself.” (Pg. 147)
  • "Ordinary life surrounds me, and I am alone with these revelations.” (Pg. 190)
  • "People are supposed to fear others, not themselves.” (Pg. 239)
  • "'Sometimes I feel like there is so much to be afraid of, and sometimes I feel like there is nothing left to fear.’” (Pg. 239)
  • "'You don’t believe things because they make your life better, you believe them because they’re true.’” (Pg. 257)
  • "'She said that everyone has some evil inside them, and the first step to loving anyone is to recognize the same evil in ourselves, so we’re able to forgive them.’” (Pg. 277)
  • "I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.” (Pg. 372)


Till about fifty pages from the end of the book, I didn’t know why so many people were upset about the book. It seemed pretty similar to the previous book, which I know quite a lot of people also didn’t like, but I enjoyed it. And so I was enjoying this one. Was thinking it was going to be a set four stars, at least. And then I had about fifty pages left, and something happened.
I’m going to do my best to keep the event a secret, because it should be a surprise, as much as it was for me.
When I first read the scene, I wasn’t sure if that had really happened. So often, something like that happens, but ends up being saved at the last second, so I wasn’t sure. And then I was a little crushed that it had really happened, because what.
On the one hand, I have to give Roth props for doing it. That almost never happens, in a book or a movie or anything. So she had guts for doing it in the first place. And the wording of when it happened was just perfect; it was stated perfectly. That’s one reason why I wasn’t sure if it was fake or not, because of how well it had been written. Also, it really makes me wonder if the movie is going to end the same way, because this kind of thing happens even less in movies.
But then there’s the fact that it kind of sucks. I wasn’t expecting it, not even a little bit. Not even as it was happening. I’m unhappy because I wanted the other ending, the ending that we always get. I was perfectly content to be getting that one. And I’m also unsure if I believe that it really needed to happen.
Would the development really not have worked out as well the other way? Was that really the correct ending for her? Really? Because I don’t know if I agree with that. I’ve taken some time to think about it, and I’m still not sure. I can see both sides, and I really can’t decide.
I’m also not sure how I feel about everything else. The ending for the compound was a little iffy for me, but I can see the upsides. I can deal with that, be content with it, at least mostly.
I found what the reason behind their being locked up in Chicago interesting, but rather frustrating.
Some things happened with some other characters, like Tobias and Caleb. I was quite intrigued by Caleb.
I’ve always like Tobias, and I really enjoyed being in his head, and thought that was done really well. Near the end, too, I really felt for him. I almost cried a little, even. There was a lot of development for both Tobias and Tris, and I loved their journey. I really enjoyed seeing it, but I don’t want to go into too much detail.
I’m not sure how to rate this book. At first I thought a four, then I want back and forth between a two and a four. Now I don’t know if it’s a three or a four. I kind of think it deserves a four, but at the same time, I’m not sure. I just don't know if the ending fits, because I'm leaning toward it not. It’s somewhere between a three and a four, though.