Review: Wicked

Title: Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1)24112149

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publication Date: December 8, 2014

Summary: Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

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This was my first time reading an adult book by Jennifer L. Armentrout and I was not even remotely prepared for the amount of sexy scenes in this book. I was honestly hunched over in fear while reading this book, terrified someone was going to peek over my shoulder right when I was on a sex scene. Luckily I managed to avoid any awkward situations of that sort and managed to finish this book with only minor drooling, constant blushing, and several steamy scenes permanently burned into my brain.

Out of all of the Jennifer L. Armentrout books I’ve read so far, this is probably my second favorite, mostly because I really enjoyed the characters and their dynamics. Ivy was an heroine that I actually found myself really liking at times. Everyone knows that I have a soft spot for women who can kick ass and Ivy falls right into that category. She was pretty spunky, although she did have the whole fiery redhead trope thing going for her, something that I find myself a little annoyed with at times. I liked seeing her stand up for herself and most of the time being fairly smart and resourceful, if only occasionally a damsel in distress. But we all know that’s more just so we could get descriptions of how hunky and firm Ren’s chest felt as her pulled her out of danger, not because the author wanted her to look weak. The only problem I had with Ivy was that towards the end, she started making some really stupid decisions and being super over dramatic about things and it made me want to kick her in the throat.

Ren was scrumptious and sexy and snarky and I loved it. There is a fine line between men being cocky and confident and teasing in a good sexy way, or just straight up being a douche, and I found that in this book, Jennifer L. Armentrout did a really good job of keeping Ren on the good side. He never really swerved over into asshole territory and actually ended up being really sweet and vulnerable at times. He pursued Ivy and made his wanting known, but never forced her into anything and it was really attractive how he kind of let her take the lead and make a lot of the first moves. And damn, this guy knew how to turn on the smoldering, panty melting, swoon inducing sexiness. And he had a surprisingly dirty mouth, not that I’m complaining. I’m pretty sure I had to stop reading and fan myself with the book at some points.

The romance and chemistry between the two of them was of course, ridiculously hot. I liked though that in never really felt forced or awkward and was more of a lust at first sight scenario than love at first sight. I can understand lust or attraction right when you meet someone and that growing into love, but love at first sight is beyond silly. I also liked that you do get to see their relationship grow, they spend a decent amount of time together before they start pursuing a relationship. And once they finally do start having a relationship, I really liked them together. Ivy though causes a bunch of problems and is a big baby, but I love that Jennifer L. Armentrout never draws it out to make you suffer or does that whole cliche thing where they break up and hate each other right before the end so we want to read the next book to find out if true love does exist *yawn*. Because of that, the progress and bumps felt really natural.

I’d heard that the secret order of bad-asses this book was really similar to Shadowhunters from Cassandra Clare’s books and I have to agree. The Order in this book is where people who can see Fae are trained to hunt them down and keep these gates from opening that could potentially unleash a lot of Fae badness. They have special weapons and defenses against Fae and secret headquarters.  You can obviously see the similarities to Shadowhunters. But with that, I really do like the whole “secret society fighting evil” thing that we see a lot. While Ivy’s job was a big part of this book, it was more of her working with Ren than with other members or in the Order itself, so we actually don’t learn too much about it. I’m hoping in the next book we get to meet some of the higher up members and maybe learn a bit more about the inner workings and how the Order is run.

As far as the plot goes, I unfortunately found it to be a little predictable. Jennifer L. Armentrout pulls a few twists out of her sleeve but none of them were particularly shocking. I still really enjoyed this book because it was so fast paced and fun, but it never really made me stop and think. It did make me stop and laugh or swoon though. All of the stuff on the Fae was pretty interesting, I liked seeing their powers and how the Order members fought against them. I also liked reading about New Orleans, it was a magical but dark sort of place and I’ve never really read about book that takes place there before! There is also this big thing about Halflings that was really interesting, but we didn’t get to learn much about them, so I’m hoping that the next book will give us more. This book definitely ended with a cliff hanger, and I’m really interested to see where the next book goes.

RATING: 

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Review: Chasing Power

Title: Chasing Power 20613479

Author: Sarah Beth Durst

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: October 14, 2014

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Kayla was born with the ability to move things with her mind-things like credit cards and buttons on cash registers-and she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again . . . which would mean grave danger for them both.

When she’s caught stealing by a boy named Daniel-a boy with the ability to teleport-he needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family-and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive . . . or survive.

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This book had a few things with really cool potential, but ultimately fell flat. We have a girl who can move things with her mind and a boy who can teleport anywhere as long as he has seen it in a picture; how could that possibly be boring? Well, let me tell you.

To start off with, Kayla was one of the the most uninteresting heroines of all time. She just didn’t really have anything about her that made her stand out and her personality was flat at best. She jumped between being very calm and collected, to being dramatic and kind of stupid. The thing I really did like though was that her powers were very interesting. She can move things with her mind, but only small things, so it requires her to get creative sometimes and I really liked that. For example, at one point, someone is underwater so she sends bubbles of air down so they can breathe. Or she changes the course of bullets instead of ripping the gun out of someones hands. Because she had to be creative, it made it much more interesting when she had to use her powers to steal things or help in fights.

As for the love interest Daniel, he just made me really mad. I’m getting really frustrated with every boy in YA books being so ridiculously attractive, then having it brought up like every ten pages. It makes me angry that apparently for a boy to be brave or snarky or have superpowers, he’s also required to look like a super model. Or maybe there are so many hot guys in YA books so all the girls reading drown in jealousy because obviously the heroine must be so much prettier and cooler than us to score such a hottie. In which case, I’m even angrier.

Ranting aside, Daniel seemed like an interesting character and his power is awesome, but we never really get any depth. Mostly Kayla just jumps between hating him, admiring how hot he is, then hating him so more. He was kind of annoying at first because he was impulsive and idiotic and didn’t listen to anyone, but it was also kind of sweet to see how determined he was. Unfortunately, just like Kayla though, he suffered from having little to no personality.

Their relationship isn’t even really worth talking about but I’m going to waste my time explaining why it was awful anyways. This whole book is so fast paced and all over the place that I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure the whole thing happened in just a few days. So if Kayla and Daniel are literally confessing their undying love to each other within this period of time, I’m going to have a little problem. Not to mention that through the whole book, Kayla is hating him and thinking about what an idiot he is. Then they are randomly kissing a bunch and in love? Are you kidding me?

As far as the plot goes, this should have been a really interesting book. Kayla and Daniel travel around to try and find some ancient stones, jumping from place to place, racing against bad guys and whatnot. But basically, they did nothing to work together, constantly got screwed over, and mostly bored me to death.The story behind the stones was kind of interesting, but that was only briefly touched upon. Then the clues they were left to hunting down the stones were solved in like five seconds, so there wasn’t even much of a mystery, it was more like just waiting for them to actually get to the place.

And oh my god you guys, the best part of this whole book was how much of it that Daniel spent unconscious. Being able to teleport is kind of an unfair ability in a fight and if Kayla and Daniel could just jump away every time the bad guys showed up, how would the bad guys ever be able to say some cryptic stuff and try to steal the stones? So the author’s solution? Knock Daniel out every five seconds. Seriously. He either teleports too much, overexerting himself and falling unconscious like an idiot so they are stranded in some dangerous place, or the bad guys knock him out in some way. It would have almost been funny if it wasn’t so annoying.

All of the secondary characters were just as boring as Kayla and Daniel and you don’t end up caring about any of them. Kayla’s best friend, her mother, who she calls Moonbeam (yeah, I have no idea), Daniel’s mother, they were all just one dimensional. They all felt awkward and fake, and anything “interesting” about them felt so forced. Even the villains were predictable and their reasons behind being evil weren’t interesting at all.

Ultimately, with the combination of an uninteresting cast of characters and a plot that almost had me snoring, I was amazed that I made it to the end. A few of the concepts were intriguing and the author had a unique take on Kayla’s telekinesis powers, but even that wasn’t enough to keep me focused.

RATING:  

January Wrap Up

Well I can honestly say that I started this year off strong. I managed to read 15 books in January which I’m feeling pretty damn proud of myself for. But more than that, I actually read a lot of books that I really enjoyed and I think only ended up giving one book a one heart rating this month.

1. Fables Volume 3: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham 

2. Defiance by C.J. Redwine 

3. Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay 

4. Suspicion by Alexandria Monir

5. The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason 

6. The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason 

7. White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armetrout 

8. Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

9. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray 

10. Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

11. Doon by Carey Corp 

12. Exquisite Captive by Heather Demitrios 

13. Partials by Dan Wells 

14.Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews 

15. Poison Princess by Kresley Cole 

What books did you guys read last month? I definitely got lucky and read a lot of amazing, fun books and hopefully I’ll be getting my hands on some of the sequels soon.

Fantasy Giveaway!

That’s right, I’m doing another giveaway! Lately I’ve been purchasing new hardcover copies of some of my favorite fantasy books, and I decided that instead of dumping my old ones off at Half Price Books, I would take this opportunity to share them with you.

Here are the books I’m giving away:

– A paperback copy of Stardust by Neil Gaiman

– A paperback copy of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

– A paperback copy of Eragon by Christopher Paolini

– A paperback copy of Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

– A paperback copy of The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

This giveaway is for people living in the US only, I apologize to my international followers but as I’m shipping it myself, I have to keep it affordable.

There will be one winner and you can pick which ever books you want out of the five. You can take all or just one, it doesn’t matter to me either way.

Also, just so you guys know, I buy lots of my books from Half Price Books and these are ones that I’ve owned, so they are not in pristine condition, some might have a little wear on the spines or the occasional creased page.

Thank you to everyone that’s participating and good luck! Feel free to message me with any questions.

Enter to win here: Rafflecopter Giveaway