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sensitivemuse

sensitivemuse

Book blogger, chef, gamer, avid reader, hockey fanatic. Potential book hoarder and cat lady.
Drink, Slay, Love - Sarah Beth Durst

This was a joy to read! Pearl’s such a great character and she made the book entertaining. I loved her wit, it provided for the majority of the comedy parts in the plot. Her sarcasm and her attempt to try and fit into school life was absolutely hilarious.

 

The vampires in this book are well done as well. They’re bloodthirsty and ambitious. Just the way I like them! no sparkly ones here! The scheme to get Pearl into high school so she can lure the food to feed her fellow vampires was well done (plus Jadrien is quite the hottie!)

 

Although the plot was pretty good, there were parts that are predictable and cliched. However because of Pearl and her personality (which pretty much is the highlight of the book) it can be overlooked. You pretty much figure out who the unicorn is, and Pearl’s choice on who she decides to be with isn’t a bad choice (although, I’d rather prefer the bad guy, he was your stereotypical bad boy, but you couldn’t help but fall for him.)


Definitely recommended for YA lovers. Read it for Pearl! she’s one of the best protagonists you would ever find.

Annoying main character, worth a read....

Everneath - Brodi Ashton

First, loved the cover of this book. I fell in love with it the moment I saw the cover. As for the story, well, it was good at some parts and then at times it felt like it dragged. It’s an interesting twist on the Hades/Persephone myth, which is also what got me into the book as I’ve taken a liking to these types of plots. So it was an interesting and great read at the start. It wasn’t until midway through the book that the plot starts to slow down considerably, and characters start to annoy me at this point.

 

Take Becks for example. Oh my goodness. I’m surprised I went through reading this book because I was starting to get annoyed at her whiny personality. She got so emo and lamented over her situation. There wasn’t much personality to her. She was just, emotional baggage that’s carried all through the story. She doesn’t even put much of a fight so I don’t see her as a strong character nor as a likable one. Cole and his crew were just as annoying. Sometimes it might just take a punch to the fast to make him stop. But it looks like Becks was too busy immersed in her self pity to do something like that.

 

Out of the characters, Jack was the only one I really like the most. He was such a sweetheart and for what he did just categorizes him into the best YA boyfriends ever. However despite that, the love and chemistry between Jack and Becks wasn’t really there. She was too much of a cardboard character to really make the romance become something substantial.


So it wasn’t that bad of a book. The ending was great. Although I have a feeling more whininess is going to come from Becks in the second one. Nevertheless it’s worth the read for YA lovers.

Greatly Recommended!!!

Born Wicked - Jessica Spotswood

Oh wow I loved this book. The three sisters were such memorable characters and each had their own distinct personality. Of the three I’d have to love Maura because of her outspoken personality, her temperament made her explosive and exciting to read about. I felt sorry for her at the same time because of what she goes through, but I’d have to say she’s my favorite character of the three.

 

The plot of the book was really good and interesting. World building was wonderful and I loved the setting. The pace of the plot was also steady and filled with mystery. I liked the concept of the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood, it’s interesting and different. The prophecy mentioned in this book was a little drawn out too much as I hoped, but perhaps that’s because I was eager to figure out what it was.

 

I can’t say that I really like Cate. She’s a typical older sister but I found myself yelling every few 50 pages: ‘CATE. FFS. TELL YOUR SISTERS’. It’s her keeping all the information away from her sisters that makes the plot even more entangled than before (but more exciting!). Of the two possible romances, I’d prefer Paul, only because he just sounds much more romantic (but a bit of a cad) than Finn.

 

Naturally with books like these, it leaves on a HUGE CLIFFHANGER that makes you want to pull your hair out because you’d have to wait a long time for the next book to come out. I’m telling you, it’s an ending that’s enough to make you want to scream.


I’d say, fans of A Great and Terrible Beauty, and Prophecy of the Sisters would enjoy this book. Similar setting, but very different plots. Overall fabulous reading and most definitely recommended!

Slow start, but a good mystery

Crocodile on the Sandbank - Elizabeth Peters

This book went off to a bit of a slow start, but it was a nice introduction to Amelia and how she came to be. I enjoy her character, she stands out in Victorian society, she’s strong willed and fiercely independent. Evelyn comes along later in the plot and she’s the complete opposite. Yet the two are fast friends and compliment each other. When the Emerson brothers are introduced, one can already come to conclusions as to who goes out with who. They make cute couples, although Amelia and her love interest was the best of the two couples (love their bantering)

 

The plot itself is a really nice mixture of historical fiction and mystery. There’s elements of thriller/horror in the plot itself so as it progresses. The mystery doesn’t really start until at least a third way into the story. There is a supernatural element into the story as well, but of course, being a historical mystery, there’s a logical explanation to it all.

 

The only few criticisms I have of this story is the slow pace of it, character development is fine and fills the plot in between, but it’s not until you read further into the book does the mystery intensify and become more thrilling.


Still, it’s worth a read. Historical mystery lovers will enjoy the start of what looks like a great series. I’ll be looking for the second one to read as well.

Great villains, annoying hero

Amped - Daniel H. Wilson

This book grabbed me from the first page and I’m thinking Daniel H Wilson is quickly becoming my favorite new author. I loved reading this from cover to cover.

 

It’s certainly an interesting concept, where we can become ‘amplified’ to enhance ourselves but then you’d have to ask yourselves where the line is crossed and when it’s too much? when does it become out of hand to the point where those with ‘amps’ are then ostracized and become second class citizens. These are all the things to look at while reading this book.

 

What makes it so good is the action that begins right in the beginning of the book, and all throughout the book which engages the reader and makes the book a non stop read. It’s pretty much fast paced, although through the middle of the book it does slow down but only to give Owen a bit more character development.

 

As for Owen as a character, I had to admit I’m still not that crazy about him. He’s a bit of a twit. Sure, he looks at the world sometimes through a rose colored lens but you’d have to wonder when reality is going to hit him and when he’s going to react. It’s not until he’s actually FORCED with his back to the wall type of scenario to finally act. He does seem to be a bit blind to what’s going on around him and his fellow Amps.

 

The villains in this book are very well done. They’re awesome bad guys (Lyle moreso. Vaughn’s just a jerk). They’re so bad you’re not sure if you want to hate them (like Vaughn) or like them because they do such a good job at being bad (like Lyle). Overall the characters in the book are pretty well written. The only one character I wasn’t too keen on was Lucy, because I thought she was just there to play a romantic love interest and that was it. She didn’t really contribute much for this book in my opinion.

 

The writing style is good. Nothing fancy or so wordy when it comes to the ‘high tech’ part that you’ll be left looking through wikipedia on some of the terminology and all you get are metaphysical answers. Thankfully this book has none of that so even if you’re not much of a sci fi fan, you should give this book a try. The action packed writing should be enough to get you going!


I’m definitely going to put Daniel H Wilson on my authors to watch for list. I really liked his style of writing so I’ll be looking for more works by him. Definitely recommended for those that want an action packed read. Sci fi readers might enjoy this also (even those who don’t care much for high tech speak!)

Not as great as the first

The Dead and the Gone - Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life as We Knew It was pretty good. I enjoyed reading it. The Dead and the Gone isn’t really a continuation of the first one, it’s set in a different setting this time in New York City. Instead of a female protagonist, we have a male one who’s like the previous main character, has a family to take care of.

 

What I liked about this book is the development of the setting. I liked how throughout the book areas around Alex and his sisters start dying out, and the city starts getting abandoned slowly. I enjoyed how this was illustrated throughout the story. Character development was well done in this book. I thought Julie did a lot of growing up especially during the last third of the book. Alex, well he did take charge of being the ‘man of the house’ but he wasn’t a great as a main character as I hoped he would be. Bri on the other hand, just ended up being the annoying character nobody wants to read about.


The plot itself isn’t as good as the first one, but it’s still worth a read through at least once at least to see good character development and how it was like in a different setting. I’ll be continuing along this series as it does have a lot of potential. I hope it doesn’t fall short.

SPOILER ALERT!

Couldn't put it down

Dust and Decay - Jonathan Maberry

**Caution: Spoilers! Read at your risk!**

 

Loved Rot and Ruin. This book was also ten times better than Rot and Ruin. Everything just got better when I read this book.

 

The characters got better (except Nix, for some reason I just can’t get myself to like her). There were moments of close calls for these characters and some nail biting moments. I absolutely loved the introduction of the different hunters (the Surfers were awesome! and Sally Two Knives!). The humor is back again in this book, I loved the banter between Benny and Chong. I also loved the banter between Lilah and Chong. I’m so happy they eventually became a couple. It’s an odd couple nevertheless, but given the circumstances of what’s happening around them, it goes hand in hand.

 

The writing style and character development is excellent. There’s a handful of characters to keep track of but the main core would be Benny and his friends. Benny’s group including himself develop, and you see them grow up mentally. After what Nix experiences, she’s matured but through no choice of her own. However whenever you do read the banter between the friends, they act just like kids do and in a sense, it’s comforting because they can still act like their age despite what’s going on around them.

 

The plot itself was excellent, and keep in mind it follows right after the events of Rot and Ruin, so it’s best if you read in order. The final third of the book is filled with action and an epic fighting scene. Unfortunately some characters do have to leave. I didn’t want this particular one to go and was absolutely blindsided with this turn of events. I was so attached to this particular character, I have to admit, I cried. This shows though, that Maberry’s writing and characters are very well done, because we get attached to them emotionally and we cheer them on.

Definitely a good follow up to Rot and Ruin, and it looks like it’s a great series so far. An absolute must read for zombie YA readers.

Beautiful Writing

22 Britannia Road - Amanda Hodgkinson

I enjoyed reading this one. I rather liked the story, even though it’s dark and moody. The setting and the theme was well done and although Silvana and Janusz are supposed to be together, you can feel the detachment between the two of them because of the war. It changes everything and when they do get together, the love just isn’t there. You’d have to wonder if it was lust at first sight instead of love.

 

You don’t quite connect with the characters here. Again, it feels like detachment is the main theme of this story. The characters themselves don’t quite connect with each other either. So I can see why this book might not be for everyone. Nevertheless, despite this, I liked how it was written and the mood overall was very well done.

 

There is a little twist in the plot. It’s not mind numbing or shocking, but it sort of livens up the story a bit and it was an unexpected twist for me. I’d have to say Silvana’s story while she was trying to survive was a good one. She endured a lot and while reading her side of the story it’s filled with how people would just take advantage of one another during these times (or in any time during a war). It’s just a matter of survival and how humanity would take drastic steps to do so even if it means stepping over particular boundaries that one wouldn’t normally do in other circumstances.


Historical fiction readers may like this book for its’ beautiful writing. I thought it was worth the read. It may not be for everyone, but it’s worth a read through.

Needs more action!

Until I Die - Amy Plum

I absolutely loved the first one. I loved Vincent so much and he instantly became a book crush. Both he and Kate made a great couple, and although they had the chemistry going on, their relationship sort of went in the way of the overall plot.

 

The plot had great potential and it was just as exciting as the first book. I loved the idea of the Revenants, and Kate managed to develop into a stronger character (remember the middle finger incident? haha!). My favorite characters still are Jules and Vincent. Their personalities are likable and I’m glad they haven’t changed a bit.

 

Although the book was a good one, there were quite a full lulls throughout the story, and as mentioned before, Kate and Vincent’s romance marred it. Don’t get me wrong, I love them both together, they had wonderful chemistry and a great romance, but I don’t want to read their sappy one liners, and how much they love being in each other’s company. I want the plot to keep going, I want to see the action, I want to see what next suspenseful thing is coming next. But I’m stuck reading on love and kissing scenes. Not quite what I had in mind. On top of that, the action really happens in the last 50 pages. So it felt as if time was wasted.


So, it’s worth a read because it’s the second in the series, but I’m hoping the third will be better. A little less on the sappy romance, more action on more Revenants please!

Great characters, story comes a bit short

Embers of Love (Striking a Match, Book 1) - Tracie Peterson

I enjoyed this book somewhat. Deborah was enjoyable to read as a character, she’s very strong willed and knew exactly what she wanted from life. Especially during this particular time period where she had an interest in medicine and science, it would have been hard for a woman during that time to pursue these types of interests. Her strong and likable personality was what made the book a nice read.

 

So! why did I say I enjoyed this book ‘somewhat’? a few things. The pace of the plot was a bit too slow for my tastes. The characters are great and all, but if the plot is going nowhere, or it’s going at a snail’s pace well, there’s only so much the characters can do to capture and maintain your attention.

 

Then come the ‘convenient’ bits. Not going to go into much detail here to avoid spoilers, but let’s just say some people just pop up magically, while others just disappear and you’re wondering where the heck they went to. It seems like a cop out, and it’s like these characters can’t have anything wrong happen with them, and if it does, it’ll be swept under the rug conveniently. This gets tiresome and it makes the story dull and predictable possibly warding off potential readers.


I haven’t read the second or third yet, but I don’t think I’ll rush to go ahead and do so. If I find the second one, I’ll take it, otherwise I’ll take my time. Take it or leave it on this one.

Absolutely loved this book

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) - Laini Taylor

Oh my. It’s been a while since I’ve read an excellent book. Then you pick up a giant tome like this one and it just sweeps you off your feet. I fell in love with this book in the first few 50 pages. It had an interesting fresh look on fantasy for YA without your standard monsters (ie: dragons - not that there’s anything wrong with dragons, but we’ve all seen and read about them dozens of times).

 

The idea of the chimeras and the seraphim with a Romeo and Juliet twist is what I found the most appealing in this book. Now it may not be entirely different when it comes to the starcrossed lovers theme, but putting that theme with something different and fantastical is always a good thing and refreshing to see. Also, I loved the setting. Not many that take place in Europe, so that also makes the book all the more worth reading.

 

The characters are all memorable. Loved all the chimeras they each had their own personality and you couldn’t help but love them all. Zuzana made the perfect sidekick with Karou, I loved her and how much she supported Karou through it all. Thiago is horribly slimy and makes your skin crawl. The plot goes back and forth between what’s happening now, and in a different fantastical world, but it’s weaved together and it’s so well done you don’t notice any hitches. It’s a beautiful plot, and although the size might intimidate some, don’t be. You’ll be surprised at how fast you fly with this book because the plot is so engaging and will draw you in.


Definitely recommended. It’s something different, and the cliffhanger ending will make you scream.

Read for the Action..and that's it.

Hybrids - Whitley Strieber

I loved the book for the action. The utter chaos and graphic depictions in the book are rather hard to swallow at times so it might not be for the feint of heart.  It’s a typical story plot where you have elements of aliens and the government going hand in hand. So, don’t expect anything new or different. I’d have to say there’s two memorable moments that got to me in this book: San Francisco gone absolute amok, and the part with the hybrids and that village. The latter creeped me out. I’d have to give the author major props for writing descriptive settings that make the hair on the back of your neck rise.

 

Besides the action, well, writing wise it doesn’t do much, and sometimes when you think you’re on a roll to something in the plot, it stops abruptly and the rhythm of the book is all gone. It may not make a difference to some, but it makes the reading haphazard and uneven.

 

Characters in the story aren’t that much to be fully attached to, and really they’re just there for the plot. The little romance going on between the two main characters was a bit leaning towards the cheesy side, the book could have done without that.


Don’t expect too much from this book. To me, it was just a decent quick read (sort of like the Hollywood movies you watch just for the special effects, not for the storyline) the creepy factor makes it a good read otherwise, you could give it a pass if it’s not your thing.

Characters made this happen

For Such a Time - Kate Breslin

I normally don’t read these types of books. Everything about this just sounds so….let’s say cliched. Either I was going to cry over the complete uber cheesiness of this book and power through it or I might just actually enjoy it.

 

Nevermind that the author took various liberties with the historical aspect of the book and changed a couple of things herself. This sort of thing would have gotten my knickers in a knot and I would have been pulling my hair out in sheer anger at how someone could just do such a drastic thing especially with this type of historical subject. She does write a good author’s note at the end so I can forgive…..

 

I also shrugged off the fact that it got a little semi preachy towards the end of the book, (I had to remind myself this was an inspirational novel - however I’m not that fond of the preachy tones) not to mention the romance during the last third of the book got my stomach a little queasy as I’m just not that used to this.

 

I shrugged off the biggest thing that made me irksome in this book and that was the name Aric and I wondering how the heck is that a suitable name (what the heck was wrong with Erich???  which is a much more realistic sounding and perfect name for that era….if there was more research done in this particular era in history you’ll find DOZENS of soldiers named ERICH (including a famous general) so why does he need to be named something different??? is he a child of Hollywood??????)

 

I overlooked all those three things that normally in any other book I’d have thrown to the wall and never touch again. Why?

 

Because I absolutely loved Aric and Hadassah.

 

The tense moments, the moments where they’re oh so close yet they come apart, or that one dramatic moment where everything actually DID, it just all was an emotional ride. However because their chemistry was so good,  I couldn’t help but love them both together. They were so good together you wanted them to hit it off right away. They’re both almost made for each other and one just can’t help but be totally caught up with them through the entire book.

 

So I said this was an emotional ride. Yes...aside from the very sensitive subject matter, you can’t help but absolutely hate the antagonists in the book with such a rabid rage you feel like going into the book and gave them the haymaker of your life, or skewer them like sausages (hahah a reference to Hadassah’s Herr Sausage haahhaha!) however if the author’s intention was to instill these kinds of emotions from the reader with these kinds of characters; then consider the job very well done.

 

As to the plot; again if you’re a historical nitpick this might hurt. However, detailed setting descriptions and the overall mood of the story does fit well. The story itself is alright if one can forgive the historical inaccuracies and the attempts to make it fit into the plot, all the action seems to have been crammed into the final third of the novel which does give it a feeling of being rushed, but nevertheless the reading is good. It’s really the characters that carry the novel.

 

The ending, made me weep (whether happy or sad tears, I am not going to say. It would be considered a spoiler) :)


Would I recommend this? yes, if you want to read a pair of characters that just hit it off from almost page one. No, if you’re bothered by the preachy undertones, the historical warping, and the somewhat nauseous romance that develops later…

Not What I Thought

In the Shadow of the Lamp - Susanne Dunlap

The historical detail in this book is pretty well done. It’s on a historical subject (Crimean War) that is not really covered by a lot of YA out on shelves. So, to choose a subject like Florence Nightingale, the Crimean War,and nursing is an interesting one. So right then the plot was bound to be interesting for any historical YA reader out there.

 

I myself was a little disappointed. Although I like the historical detail, the book is really just a love story. It did focus a lot on the romance elements and less on Molly and her nursing job which was unfortunate. I don’t have much knowledge about this particular aspect on history and a little more information would have been better than just reading the romance story, nevertheless the romance was all right and readable, but to some historical fiction fanatics this might not be something they want to delve into.

 

I for one, could not really sympathize with Emma, and I actually figured out just by being introduced to her character what was going to happen to her. It just seems to be common that there’s going to be that one stupid character to cause a great upheaval (whether good or bad) in the main character’s storyline. Argh. Someone surprise me with a scenario where the main character slaps the stupid one upside the head and leaves her to her own fate. I’d love to read something like that. What’s even more aggravating? Will just happened to be a character to be conveniently there. Oh goodness. Can I roll my eyes now?

 

This wasn’t really what I was looking for.  I was hoping more historical fiction. Less romance. Not really recommended unless romance is more your style.

 

Great story, great characters, overall a worthwhile read

Dominion - C. J. Sansom

It’s been a while since I’ve read a real good alternate history book. This one really got me turning the pages and got me wanting to stay up late to finish it (despite it being about the size of a tome).

 

So the book is mostly told in three different character narratives. David, Frank, or Sarah. The three characters have issues of their own, (David and Sarah sharing a personal tragedy) each of them having their own way of developing their character throughout the story. Suffice to say, all three of them are stronger than how they started off in the book. Frank, I would have to say, ends up being the strongest one of them all. Of the three I’d have to say it’s a close tie between Sarah and Frank as my favorite. Frank especially, after all that he goes through and with a superb background story. I liked Sarah a lot because although she was going through so many marital issues with David, she got it all together in the end and was able to face the danger and she managed to save face and stand head to head to Natalia (whom I found rather odious and extremely unlikable). Good for Sarah, on top of that instead of breaking down like a poor sod with her marriage issues she met them straight on and told David exactly how she felt. Sarah darling, I’m holding a torch for you.

 

David would be my least favorite character - but a step above Syme and Natalia (oh goodness, yes I put Syme and Natalia in the same boat here). He was okay until this thing with Natalia come up and he suddenly became a likeable very helpful and loyal character to a lovesick poor twit who behaved like a dumb cow. Get over it buddy. You have much more IMPORTANT things to do but noooooooo you got the one track mind going on here (the scene with saying goodbye on the boat just about had me wanting to push David off of it. Seriously!?! your wife is looking at you and while she’s surviving on her own without any help from you, you’re too busy looking for Natalia arrghhh!!! You don’t deserve Sarah!!!!!!)

 

The plot overall was excellent and well written. It gives a good alternate history of a ‘what if’ scenario and does it well. It nice both sides (German and Resistance) are portrayed here. I sort of felt sorry for Gunther, but on the other hand I didn’t because he was your typical Nazi with those silly political views which induces eye rolling throughout certain parts of the book but you can also feel a sort of weariness in him as if he’s really tired of it all.


The author’s note in the back provides good insight and information that deserves a walk through. Overall I was very pleased and happy with the book and am glad I had the opportunity to read and review it. Greatly recommended and I’m definitely going to check out C J Sansom’s other works.

Disappointed

Sweetly - Jackson Pearce

The story was good at first. The mystery aspect of the story and the scary moments were well done and gave me the heebie jeebies.  I was sort of hoping for a sequel to Sisters Red but knew this wasn’t the case as I read the summary before so I was mildly disappointed. Although it’s nice to see fairy tale retellings.

 

What’s guaranteed is your sweet tooth will start to crave the various delicious sweets and desserts listed all throughout the book. You’ll want to raid a sweet shop after reading this book. They’re told in descriptive detail and it’s very well done.

 

Although that aspect of the writing was good, I have to say I didn’t really enjoy reading the story that much. It was slow paced and I found it quite dry in some parts. Gretchen wasn’t much to be intrigued about. Also even the romance between her and Samuel just didn’t have enough to get my attention. So the ending went out with a bang but it just wasn’t enough to make up for such a dry book.


Needless to say I was disappointed. This could have been better. Sure, I feel like grabbing a handful of candies and cupcakes and there were moments of scariness but there characters didn’t really engage me and I didn’t find this a page turner. Take it or leave it. Lovely cover though!