Everneath

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

A modern day mythology retelling of Persephone, Everneath is about a teenage girl named Nikki who has Returned to the surface from the Everneath after spending hundreds of years there. In surface time, this was only six months, and now Nikki only has another six months to say her goodbyes to those she loves before she returns to the Tunnels, forever this time. On top of all of this, the man who first convinced Nikki to follow him into this horror, Cole, is set on having Nikki be his queen in the Elysian Fields. Seeing as this would cost lives Nikki fights against him. As her six months returned wind down, Nikki flashes back to the events that led her to make the choice she did and she tries to make amends for those she wronged when she left.

Brodi Ashton is a terrific author with a fantastic writing style. I know people say this all the time, but I really was sucked in from the first page. I pretty much spent all day Memorial Day devouring this book to see what would happen to Nikki and her ex-friend/ex-boyfriend, Jack. Riveting plot and a very cool twist on Greek mythology, Ashton sets herself apart from other teen authors with her debut novel.

I prefer the first half of the book to the second half, but that’s just because I adore angst and the first half was full of it! Plus, I loved trying to figure out the puzzle that was Nikki and Jack’s relationship and where things had gone wrong for them. Jack became the hero that Nikki didn’t believe existed, and he makes it hard for readers to go back to real like with non-fictional men.

Anyways loved it! And all of y’all should read it. Like now.

The Deep End of the Sea

The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

This book BLEW. ME. AWAY. I know this book only came out a few months ago, but I am bewildered that this book isn’t a phenomenon online, because it really is that wonderful!

A modern day retelling of the Greek myth of Medusa, we discover that after suffering at the hands of someone she had trusted, Medusa is betrayed by the god she worshiped and cursed into being a monster. For over 2,000 years Dusa has remained isolated on an island, tortured by the guilt of accidentally killing men who came to slay her when she accidentally met their eyes.

“I am a monster. The worst kind of monster. The kind that people have told stories about for thousands of years. The kind that daredevils will seek out, even though many believe I’m nothing more than a myth.”

Dusa’s only solace is the visits from her friend Hermes, who desperately wants to right the wrongs done to Dusa by his family.

“My best friend is beautiful. I am so, so incredibly fortunate he never allowed me to push him away. I do not know what I would do without him.”

Medusa is one of my favorite female characters I’ve read in a long time. She is so strong to have lived 2,000 years suffering at the hands of Athena and Poseidon, and while she may be physically weak at times, she always gets back up and fights in the only ways she knows how to. While she often looks back at her life with some regret and sadness, she never, ever came across as whiny to me. Bravo Ms. Lyons for managing to create a lady we can all look up to, and one who doesn’t whine her way through her hardships but deals with them the best way she can.

The love story between Hermes and Medusa is one of the sweetest love stories I have ever read. Hermes is one of the best book boyfriends I have read. A Hermes fan club was mentioned, and I want to know… where I can sign up?!

“‘I adore you’ he whispers hoarsely. ‘There’s only ever been you for me.'”

“I love you. Do you understand that? I love you. That is not going to change, not ever. When we finally fall in love, it’s forever love. Even if you decide one day that you do not love me anymore, I will still always feel this way for you.”

Athena’s unjust actions toward Medusa is a perfect example of rape culture and how people often turn the victims of rape into monsters; in this case, literally so. I was especially sickened by Poseidon’s actions and further more creeped out when he truly believed that he and Medusa were lovers. To me he represented the ways of the past when people thought actions like his were okay, taking away the choices of women because they thought they knew what was best for them.

Overall I was enraptured by this book and couldn’t put it down. This is one of those special books in this genre that doesn’t come around very often, so I implore you, read this. You won’t regret it.

Lastly, one of my all time favorite quotes from this book:

“Change happens to us whether we like it not. Sometimes it’s for the good, sometimes for the worse, and sometimes, you have no control over it, despite just how desperate you may be to do so. Yet, it is in all our natures to try to bring about the change we wish for.”

Tempting the Bodyguard

 

Tempting the Bodyguard (Gamble Brothers #3) by J. Lynn

A great conclusion to a fun series! Tempting the Bodyguard is the story of Alana Gore, the infamous fixer sent to babysit Chad Gamble in the previous book. You know, she was the villain. Yipes! Anyways, it appears that poor Alana has developed a stalker for the past year, one that became much more threatening as of late and Alana finds herself in the position of needing to hire protection. Insert Chandler Gamble, brother of Chad, the sexy bodyguard who sent her senses into a tizzy after one meeting. Chandler is at first reluctant to help Alana as her situation does not seem dire, but pretty soon he realizes that A) Alana needs his help and B) he really, really wants a piece of Alana.

This was a seriously cute and funny read that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. J. Lynn is one of my favorite authors and her books are always on auto-buy for me, hence the purchase of this one. J. Lynn switched things up a bit by making the female character the flighty commitment phobe and the guy the one who had to chase after her. I personally LOVE stories where the heroine has to be convinced, and this one served up wonderfully! Sexy, steamy, made me giggle; I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys entertaining, quick, brain crack types of books and reading.

One problem? For those of you out there who watched Friends: whenever I saw the name Chandler, I mentally added “Bing” to the end of that. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME! LOL!

Tiger’s Curse

Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

Tiger’s Curse is the story of Kelsey, a girl in Oregon who gets a part time job at the circus and discovers a white tiger named Ren. A strange connection forms between the two of them and so Kelsey is hired to help bring Ren back to India. Once arriving there, Kelsey discovers that Ren is actually a man trapped in a tiger’s body for the last 300 years, and Ren needs Kelsey to help break the curse that was inflicted on him and his brother Kishan.

The descriptions and imagery in this book were wonderful. I loved reading about the myth and the tale of the curse. The dialogue was… meh. I kept thinking “wow, most of this would be better as an inner monologue and not dialogue.” And Kelsey? One of the most annoying female characters I have ever read. Ren as a tiger had a lot of personality. Ren as a man made me wish that he was back in tiger form because he was so boring.

So basically this book had a lot of potential, but got a low rating from me due to bad dialogue writing and an unbearable main character. I still somehow enjoyed it, but I guess I expected more. My casting below:

Tiger's curse

Nash

Nash (Marked Men #4) by Jay Crownover

4.25 accepting yourself stars

I think I fell in love with this book before I technically began reading it. In her note at the beginning Jay Crownover wrote: “Revel in the quirks that simply make you you , and do it with pride.” No better words could be used to describe this book as a whole and it set off a great tone for the entire book.

Nash is the story of well, Nash (duh) and Saint. Back in the day in high school, Saint had a giant crush on the unattainable sexy bad boy Nash. After two bad encounters with Nash, Saint found herself crushed and her image of herself destroyed for many years. The sadder part of this was Nash was completely unaware of how he changed Saint and the course of her life. Now, years after high school, the two meet again at the hospital where Saint works. Both recognize an attraction between them, but can Saint get over her past issues with Nash and herself and give herself fully to him?

Acceptance of yourself was a huge theme in this book for both of the main characters. Saint needed to overcome her insecurities about herself, and Nash needed to overcome a childhood of feeling unwanted. These two characters both understood what it was like to be an outcast, which is one of the reasons why they’re so perfect for each other.

I especially liked Saint as a main character. Was she insecure? Yes. Did I get sick of her second guessing herself? Yes. But, she’s real. I really think she’s a character that many girls and women could connect with because most of us went through that horrible awkward phase in high school that sticks with us, it just manifests in different ways.

One of my favorite parts about this book was how when Nash fell for Saint, he stuck to his guns. He knew she was the girl for him and he accepted it and stood by it. Kind of like Rome did for Cora. I love that at least two of the men in this series make a choice and stand by it and don’t give the reader any whiplash with their indecision like other books in the genre. Nash truly is a great guy who had to overcome a lot of crap, and that to me is what makes a best book boyfriend (which Nash totally is).

Something I didn’t like about the book (and why it got a 4.25 star rating) was how the relationship just seemed to fly by. There’d be moments where the book would say something like the characters had been spending time together for a couple of weeks and I was like, “where was I when this happened?”. I definitely wanted a bit more of an in depth look at Saint and Nash’s relationship. I felt the previous book Rome did more of this and I think that’s what made me like that one more than this one.

So anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am ecstatic that Rowdy is getting a book as well. Loved the small intro to that one, it’s going to be awesome!!

Nearly Mended

Nearly Mended by Devon Ashley (Nearly #2)

Nearly Mended takes place about three months after the events of Nearly Broken. Megan and Nick have gone into hiding, fearful that Megan’s abductor, Zander, in the previous book, will find her and take her again. Megan is still suffering from the trauma of her second abduction, seeing as she actually remembers this last time and not so much the first one. The beginning of the book is spent with Megan and Nick doing their best to reassure themselves they’re safe.

Well, this book turned even darker than the first one FAST. Again, like the first book, this book is best read without knowing too much going in. I’m just going to say this book went to dark places that I didn’t expect. In fact I was nauseous for a good part of the book it was so damn dark.

After finishing the book I did my best to compile my thoughts and how I felt about it. I give it a 3 out of 5 stars because I did like it, and the author’s writing style is amazing, but overall this book just really isn’t my thing. I do think other people would enjoy this book a lot more than me, so don’t let the three star rating fool ya. I don’t normally read this sub-genre and really only did because the first book doesn’t reveal itself for what it is until you’re already sucked in. I also primarily read this because I wanted to know what happened to the characters, as they’re pretty compelling.

Kudos to Devon Ashley for having such a wonderful writing style, this woman deserves more recognition for her hard work. Normally when I read new adult or romance it seems like a 10 year could have written better, but this couldn’t be further than that. Maybe if Ms. Ashley wrote in another genre I’d be compelled to read her other stuff. As it is, I will not be continuing this series. I need some happiness in my life, lol.

Clipped Wings

Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

This book started off fairly slow. The main characters didn’t spend as much time together as I liked, and the relationship was an extremely slow build.  About 150 pages in the book picked up and the chemistry between Hayden and Tenley exploded on the pages. And then about 250 pages into the book I gave up and set it down.

Before any of you think about not reading this , I just have to say that this book was written very well and the author created a very intriguing story with compelling characters. This book just wasn’t for me. 

If I had made it through the book I would have probably rated it 3-3.5 stars. I won’t rate it now because I feel that would be unfair. The pacing was a little too slow for me and when the characters were in some sort of limbo where nothing was happening about 250 pages in is when I decided to throw in the towel.

And here’s a picture I made when I was reading the parts I enjoyed:

clipped wings blog pic

Sweet Reckoning

Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins

I’ll keep this review short and sweet. (Ha! Get it? I know, I’m a nerd). Anyways, Sweet Reckoning lived up to all of my expectations and more. In this final installment, Anna and Kaidan, along with their allies, work towards fulfilling the prophecy from Heaven that dictates demons on earth will be sent back to Hell and those Nephilim who are on the side of good will have a second chance at Heaven. Many dangers and unexpected road bumps mar their path, but Anna never fails to believe in good, and to believe in Kaidan’s and her love.

Ms. Higgins has developed into a marvelous author, this final book in the series was her best one yet! I loved following Anna and her journey through all three books, and how her experiences and relationships from her life help to guide her and her decisions. And the scenes between Kaidan and Anna? Hot, steamy, tender, loving, anguished and beautiful.

This book brought tears to my eyes more than once (but never a full cry). The epilogue was EVERYTHING! My favorite part of the book (and those of you who’ve read it will understand). So, a full 5 star sweet rating. Bravo Ms. Higgins, you are on my autobuy list for anything you produce in the future. I highly recommend this series to anyone who likes YA, romance, and paranormal elements.