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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Teaser Tuesday[156]: The Book of Luke by Jenny O'Connell



The Book of Luke by Jenny O’Connell

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Publisher: MTV Books

Release Date: 2007


                     

Goodreads Synopsis:



Emily Abbott has always been considered the Girl Most Likely to Be Nice -- but lately being nice hasn't done her any good. Her parents have decided to move the family from Chicago back to their hometown of Boston in the middle of Emily's senior year. Only Emily's first real boyfriend, Sean, is in Chicago, and so is her shot at class valedictorian and early admission to the Ivy League. What's a nice girl to do?
Then Sean dumps Emily on moving day and her father announces he's staying behind in Chicago "to tie up loose ends," and Emily decides that what a nice girl needs to do is to stop being nice.
She reconnects with her best friends in Boston, Josie and Lucy, only to discover that they too have been on the receiving end of some glaring Guy Don'ts. So when the girls have to come up with something to put in the senior class time capsule, they know exactly what to do. They'll create a not-so-nice reference guide for future generations of guys -- an instruction book that teaches them the right way to treat girls.
But when her friends draft Emily to test out their tips on Luke Preston -- the hottest, most popular guy in school, who just broke up with Josie by email -- Emily soon finds that Luke is the trickiest of test subjects . . . and that even a nice girl like Emily has a few things to learn about love.




Excerpt:

“I wanted to tell Luke that he was a dick.” (Paperback, pg. 110)

What are you reading right now?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Manga Review: Deadman Wonderland, Volume 8, by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou



Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Volumes: 13.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 7 .9. 
Add on Goodreads 

VIZ Media Synopsis:


Ganta and Warden Makina join forces to prevent Tamaki from gaining control of the Ninben killers. But the “Ko Unit,” the ultimate Ninben, stands in their way. Once hostile toward Ganta, the residents of G-Ward offer their help, but each must fight against their old wounds as well as battling the Ko Unit. Ganta’s search for the truth is going to cost him, every step of the way.


Review:

This volume kind of astounded me.
There are some gorgeous color pages, and then we get back to the fighting. The group splits up, Ganta’s Deadmen friends splitting up the enemies to fight them. It’s extremely brutal, and I don’t quite understand how they’re not all dead, but it’s intense. We also get each of their pasts, why they’re in prison. It’s so well-done, and so horrible.
Then Ganta fights with a deadman, and Shiro ends up in the crosshairs. And it’s horrible for Shiro, especially from Ganta’s view, but the viewer already knows there’s more to her. But it’s also crazily beautiful, the way that Ganta fights for her, and then pulls her up. And while I’ve always loved Shiro, their friendship has always been a main point for her and the series. But their love for each other, and the way he shows it, is so sweet and pure and I’m amazed. I was not expecting this almost declaration of love, and I’m blown away and so in love with it.
And then there was the cliffhanger, which shows that something horrible is going to happen with Shiro. I’m so, so excited, but also a little terrified of what’s to come.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Novel Review: Saved By His Submissive (The WILD Boys of Special Forces, #1) by Angel Payne



Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance; Erotica; D/s, BDSM; Military
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: 2013
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Garrett Hawkins is the most valuable asset to his Special Forces unit—because frankly, the guy doesn’t care if he lives or dies anymore. Since the love of his life, Sage Weston, was kidnapped and killed with her medical unit a year ago, Garrett has turned the shell of his soul into the impenetrable armor of a finely-tuned fighting machine. Being the first tapped for the unit’s craziest missions is just fine by him. The less time for memories, and the agony they carve into his soul, the better.

It’s a plan that works—until one night, deep in the jungles of Thailand, Garrett’s world is upended when memories become stunning reality. The unit is called to rescue a group of kidnapped aid workers, only the head count on the retrieval is unexpectedly doubled. Sage and her teammates, believed dead, are very much alive. Only now that Sage is back in his arms, Garrett doesn’t know what to do. He has changed in dramatic and daunting ways, especially in the darker tastes of his passion. If he touches Sage again, he’ll want to claim her, restrain her…dominate her.

Is Sage’s love strong enough to let Garrett back in not only as her fiancĂ©, but her Dominant? Can she trust that visiting the new shadows of his life will lead her to ecstasy and not ruin? Or can it be that Garrett’s discipline is exactly what her own soul needs to find its way back to life—and love—once again?

The Cover:

I had this cover when I first read the book, and I think that one's okay. This one I don't think is a huge step up, but it is somewhat better. The first cover had a muscled army man, and this one shows more of the romance, I think. The grabbing of the hair. But I think the positioning of the head is kind of weird, and the photo-shopped ribbon and tags are kind of odd and stand out too much. I don't know, I'm not impressed with either one, but they're not horrible.

Review:

Sage and Garrett were in a serious relationship, and then she disappeared. He’s gone on living, feeling empty, ever since. Going on missions, doing his job. And then he goes on a mission with his team, and rescues her, unknowingly.
I love the attraction, and the love, between these two. Garrett thought Sage was dead this entire time, and tried to deal with that. And now she’s back, and they both want their relationship back, but he’s fighting it. Especially since he has more dominant desires that he thinks are wrong, no matter how much Sage tries to tell him she wants it.
I loved the way he fought it, and how she tried showing him, convincing him, that they could try again, that she wanted the same things he did.
This book went by very fast, and I loved every bit of it. The next book in the series stars their friends, and I’m really looking forward to reading it, and am surprised I haven’t grabbed it up already.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Manga Review: Yukarism, Volume 2, by Chika Shiomi



Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Volumes: 4.
Spoilers?: Not really.
Volume: 1. 3.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Yukari Kobayakawa, an accomplished author at the age of 17, writes with amazingly accurate details about historical Japan. It turns out he has the ability to travel back in time…to his past life as a renowned courtesan in the Edo period! As he goes back and forth between the past and present, he unravels the karmic relationship he has with his beautiful classmate Mahoro Tachibana…

Review:

I was surprised with this volume. While I enjoyed the previous one, this one was even better. It had me all caught up and excited in the action.
Yukari continues going to his past self, trying to figure out what the connection to his present is. He lets Satomi stay with him, take care of the house in place of his aunt.
Yukari is pretty much just along for the ride, entertained by life and the people around him, practically trying to take a back seat and let it all happen. But he’s getting more genuinely interested in the people around him, even while not realizing. He seems to be interested in Mahoro, the feelings slowly developing for him. They’re developing much faster for Mahoro, though.
Unbeknownst to Yukari, Mahoro and Satomi are having flashbacks, almost black-outs while their past selves take over. This is surprising for them, and for each other, as they have lingering hatred and betrayals. I was surprised with the twist thrown in about their identities, and the apparent betrayal hinted at from their pasts. I also love it, and am so excited about it.
This volume surprised me and really pulled me in, as I was hoping it would. And now I’m super excited to get the next volume.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Novel Review: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout



Rating (Out of 5): ~1.5-2
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance; Korean
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin's Press)
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Spoilers?: Some.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A teen escapes to a boarding school abroad and falls for a Korean pop star in this fun and fresh romantic novel in the vein of Anna and the French Kiss.

Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can't stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can't deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she'll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process

The Cover:

I really like this cover. I don't know if it really fits the book, given that I didn't feel all the happy feelings the cover shows. But the color is so pretty, and I love the pose of the couple. Plus, the couple actually looks like the characters!

Review:

I knew, going into this book, that it was going to either be amazing or horrible. I was hoping it would go the way of an extremely enjoyable contemporary romance, fun and cute, instead of being badly written, one dimensional, or annoying. And I’m surprised to say that it wasn’t really either?
Grace, running away from a tragedy in her family, decides to go to boarding school in Korea, leaving her famous and rich family in southern America.
My first problem is the Korean part. Now, this appeals hugely to all Kpop and Kdrama fans, of which I am one. And I was thinking, I don’t know, that Grace would be a fan? Instead, Grace doesn’t even like listening to the Koreans talk. Watching Korean television and listening to their music sounds dreadful to her. She grumbles and groans and is very superior American, about all of it, and even refuses to learn Korean. Which, after living there for a full school year, surrounded by the language, watching and listening to it, and even taking classes to learn it, she barely learns a word? How does she not absorb even a little, and still pass her classes?
It also seemed to take some of the fun, diverse effects out, when the two people that Grace gets to know, go by American names, and speak perfect English. That seemed like cheating.
Grace is a very judgmental person. It takes her forever to finally come around to watching Kdramas, and even though she finally starts to enjoy them, she does it for everything, every time--the music, the food, the people. Which makes it hard to believe that, with less than half way through, she’s all the sudden not judgemental about something that Jason does? Suddenly she’s Miss Understanding.
If the main character was anyone else, this would have been a better book. I just hated Grace, I think. She’s shallow, judgmental, runs from anything that scares her, is extremely biased. I didn’t even like the romance, the attraction between her and Jason. I felt like I barely got to know Jason at all, because she was always judging him, and that his actual feelings and emotions were never shown to the reader.
I liked the side characters enough, but I don’t feel like I saw enough of them, or got to know them well enough. Sophie seemed nice enough, and I liked seeing her relationship grow, but there wasn’t really any conclusion there. Yoon Jae was a sweetheart, but then he kind of just left. Jason seemed nice.
I will say that the surprise with Grace’s family was well done, and revealed with good timing. I understood some of her feelings and thoughts, then. That didn’t make me like her any more, though. 
I was disappointed with this book. I wanted it to be amazing, with all the Kdrama fun and feel. And it was pretty much the opposite of that.



A review copy was provided by the publisher, St. Martin’s Press. Thank you!