Hidden Deep Cover

Hidden Deep (Hidden Saga #1) by Amy Patrick

Hidden Deep (Hidden Saga, #1) by Amy Patrick
Published by Oxford South Press on March 23rd 2015
Pages: 319
Goodreads
four-stars

Give in to the Glamour…

Sixteen-year-old Ryann Carroll has just run into the guy who saved her life ten years ago. You might think she'd be happy to see him again. Not exactly. She's a bit underdressed (as in skinny-dipping) and he's not supposed to exist.

After her father's affair, all Ryann wants is to escape the family implosion fallout and find a little peace. She also wouldn't mind a first date that didn't suck, but she's determined not to end up like her mom: vulnerable, betrayed, destroyed. Ryann's recently moved back to her childhood home in rural Mississippi, the same place where ten years earlier she became lost in the woods overnight and nearly died.

She's still irresistibly drawn to those woods. There she encounters the boy who kept her from freezing to death that long ago winter night and was nowhere to be seen when rescuers arrived. He's still mysterious, but now all grown-up and gorgeous, too. And the more she's with him, the greater the threat he poses to Ryann's strict policy-- never want someone more than he wants you.

Seventeen-year-old Lad knows the law of his people all too well: Don't get careless and Don't get caught. It's allowed his race to live undetected in this world for thousands of years, mentioned only in flawed and fading folklore…

Lad's never been able to forget about Ryann since that night ten years ago. When he sees her again, his fascination re-ignites and becomes a growing desire that tempts him to break all the rules. He's not even supposed to talk to a human, much less fall in love with one.

And the timing is atrocious. The Assemblage is coming, the rift between the Light and Dark is widening, and mysterious celebrity fan pods are becoming more and more widespread and influential. Lad may have to trade his own chance at happiness to keep the humans, especially Ryann, blissfully unaware and safe.

By happy accident I found Hidden Deep on Amazon while scrolling through the section called “Customers who bought this item also bought”. Hidden Deep was a hidden (pun intended) gem among a large selection of books that didn’t interest me at all.

Hidden Deep is a beautifully written love story between Ryann and Lad. Their story began ten years prior to Hidden Deep when six year old Ryann got lost in the woods and young Lad saved her. Ryann never fully understood what happened in the woods and when she tried to explain to her parents what she did remember, they brushed it off as nonsense caused by hypothermia. Ryann and Lad’s story continues in Hidden Deep, when after ten years, they meet again in a most unique and funny way.

Ryann is miserable in the beginning of Hidden Deep because she and her mother recently had to move in with her grandmother. Her grandmother lives in a secluded log cabin in the middle of the sweltering Mississippi woods. Ryann’s life gets a lot more enjoyable and exciting when she meets the handsome and peculiar grown-up Lad. Lad has a lot of secrets that are slowly revealed when he and Ryann spend many sweet moments together.

When Lad’s secrets were revealed I was really happy because I did not expect them. I mean, I had an inkling, but the unveiling was larger than I imagined it to be. Luckily this isn’t one of those books that reveal the number one question at the end. In Hidden Deep we get some time post-reveal before, of course, the dreaded cliffhanger.

I also want to mention that there’s another guy in Ryann’s life, Nox, a teenager who is the complete opposite of Lad. Lad is like the sun; he has golden features with bright eyes and a sweet, kind, and chivalrous persona. Nox is like the night with dark hair and eyes. He’s seductive and a bit aggressive. Nox also had secrets he was keeping. I didn’t like Nox because he was too aggressive. He often pushed Ryann into thinking badly about herself which is a no-go for me.

And guess what!! No insta-love! It’s such a gratifying moment when two characters gradually share their past and current emotions and grow closer instead of two people ogling each other, declaring vows of love, and then hopping into bed.

four-stars
Lady Midnight Book Cover

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1) by Cassandra Clare
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on March 8th 2016
Pages: 698
Goodreads
four-stars

In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

I highly suggest you don’t read this review if you haven’t at least read the Mortal Instruments series. There’s spoilers in Lady Midnight from all previous book series – TMI, Infernal Devices, Shadowhunter Academy, etc..

After I finished City of Heavenly Fire back in June of 2014, I was super pumped for Lady Midnight. The introduction of Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn got me really excited for their story. Emma was fierce and precocious and I loved her immediately. In a way, Emma reminded me of Jace because she was fiercely loyal and reckless, but in other ways, she was so different. Jace was often brooding which irritated. Emma had the qualities I loved about Jace and none of the ones I didn’t.

Lady Midnight takes place five years after Sebastian Morgenstern was defeated in book six of the Mortal Instrument Series, City of Heavenly Fire. Five years ago during what’s known as the Dark War, Emma’s parents were murdered. Julian Blackthorn and his siblings also lost their father Arthur to a demon possession.

Julian Blackthorn is officially one of my all time favorite characters in the Mortal Instruments World. With the support of his parabatai Emma, Julian has fathered his four younger siblings ever since he was 12. Julian never got to be a pre-teen or teen. He became a father-like figure the moment he was forced to kill his own father during the Dark War. I really connected with Julian. Although I never had younger siblings that I had to look after, I was forced to grow up too quick. I related with Julian because we both hold resentment because of missed opportunities.

In Lady Midnight, Emma is harboring a deep secret. She is head-over-heels in love with Julian, something that is absolutely not allowed in the Shadowhunter society. Emma doesn’t know why you can’t be in love with your parabatai, just that “the law is hard, but it is the law”. Besides impending punishment, Emma is afraid that Julian will find out that her feelings go deeper than just parabatai and that it will ruin their friendship. With the exception of Jem, the Blackthorns are the only family Emma has left and she also doesn’t want to jeopardize that.

The story really picks up when Emma and the Blackthorns discover that a bunch of bodies are being dumped around LA. All the bodies have been found with demonic carvings on the skin, similar to how Emma’s parents’ bodies were discovered five years prior. Emma, who has never once believed her parents were killed by Sebastian, is thrilled when the bodies start showing up. In five years, it’s the first real clue that Emma has discovered that could prove her parent’s weren’t a victim of Sebastian.

I really enjoyed Lady Midnight. It took me a year plus to finally sit and read it, but once I got past the first 50 pages or so I really got into it. I can’t give the book 5 stars because I feel like it was a little bumpy at times. However, I feel like Lady Midnight is setting up to be something really great and I have high hopes that the books to follow will be amazing.

 

four-stars
ps i like you book cover

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Published by Point on July 26th 2016
Pages: 330
Goodreads

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

I tend to start drafting reviews in my head while I’m reading a book. Obviously the final outcome changes because a story can get better, or in some cases worse. For instance, a few chapters in and I was already planning on giving P.S. I Like You a 2-3 stake rating – the lowest ever for a West book! Why you ask? Well…

This story revolves around my new #spiritanimal Lily. Every word out of her mouth is hilariously sarcastic and so well timed. Most of the time her family, peers and even best friend Isobel, have no idea what Lily’s talking about. She truly lives in her own little indie-rock world. 
 
One day Lily scribbles music lyrics on her desk in Chemistry class, and then the next day some mysterious person (who we quickly find out is a boy) writes the next verse. Eventually these two start passing notes back and forth, first discussing how awesome indie-rock is, and then sharing personal items about their life. Isobel may be Lily’s best friend, but there’s parts of Lily that she doesn’t share with anyone, that is, until her mystery pen pal comes along. Both Lily and “he” are able to say in writing to a complete stranger, more than they’ve ever been able to share with anyone else. 
 
West tries to trick us by throwing in three different guys who could be Lily’s mystery pen pal, but the moment “he” was introduced I knew immediately it was him. I became angry because I was loving P.S. I Like You so much and I felt like West had let me down by making it incredibly too obvious.
 
So how did I end up giving this book 4 stakes? Because the story became even juicer once “he” was revealed! When Lily finds out whom her letters have been going to, she freaks out. She’s afraid that once this individual realizes its her, he will be disappointed. For someone who wears whatever she wants and says whatever she wants, Lily has low self-confidence in herself and how the world perceives her.

This story was cute. Not the best West book in my opinion but maybe the best character building in terms of Lily? Not sure. I think West needs to write many more books so I can get a larger sample to compare. 😉

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Pages: 272
Release Date: May 1, 2008
[Goodreads]

Although not an amazing book, Oh. My. Gods. was nonetheless, a fun read. 

Phoebe’s life is pretty good. She’s got two great friends and a solid chance at getting a full-ride to USC for her superb cross country running abilities. Everything seems to be going right until her mother comes back with two big surprises. 1: She’s engaged and 2: She and Phoebe are moving to Greece in a matter of weeks. Phoebe’s life is quickly turned on it’s axis.

Early on, we and Phoebe, find out that not only is her new stepfather a descendant from one of the main Greek gods, but that the school (where he works) that Phoebe will be attending, is a secret academy for Greek god descendant children. And oh yeah, Phoebe is the only non-supernaturally-gifted student there. Phoebe feels like an outsider the moment she arrives at the academy.

Oh. My. Gods. was cute in the sense that it didn’t take itself too seriously. It was a lighthearted read, never really exploring too deeply, the darker and crueler nature surrounding the Greek Parthenon. 

This was a fast-paced novel, but not in a good way. A lot of events were rushed or not fleshed out enough. A character could be nasty one minute and in another 5 pages, a completely different person. There’s also some insta-love which I find, totally cheapens a potential and budding relationship. I liked Childs’ spin on Greek mythology and wished that the book had been meatier, more character and world building could have really made this book stellar. 


An “okay” read. Borrow don’t purchase.

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

Book Review: “The Last Academy” by Anne Applegate

Publisher: Point

Pages: 320
Release Date: April 30, 2013
[Goodreads]

When it comes to books, I’m an instant sucker for pretty covers and/or mentions of an “academy”. Therefore, the decision to read The Last Academy, was pretty much inevitable. The minute I saw the blog tour sign-up – I applied. Although, The Last Academy didn’t end up making my all-time favorites list, the ending was nothing short of spectacular.

Okay, let’s break this one down…

PROS
Ballsy main character. There’s a lot of spooky incidents and sketchy people running about Lethe Academy. If I was at this academy and like Camden, begun witnessing the extra-creepy that goes down, I’d probably be permanently attached to the underside of my mattress. Even though she practically faints at the sight of her crush, Camden always managed to keep it together when it counted the most. When she felt like her friends were in danger, she fearlessly ran towards and stood-up to whatever or whomever was the cause.

Amazing supernatural twist. So I’m kind of spoiling the fact that there is a supernatural aspect… but I won’t divulge any exacts. I will say however, that the ending was totally mind-boggling!!! I’m pretty good at guessing the big reveal, but not when it came to The Last Academy. My theories were not even close! Major props to Applegate for adding some new spice to the YA mix. She proves that there is still new material out there to work with.

CONS
A dragging storyline. Like I said, there was a lot of spooky bits to The Last Academy. Being personally freaked out a time or two, I was constantly begging for the big reveal – or heck even a tiny one – while reading. The ending was outstanding, but the beginning and middle included nothing near-as stellar. This book could have easily been cut in half and still have been a decent story.

Instant love. Nuff’ said. 

Overall, The Last Academy was an enjoyable couple hours. Sure, a lot of aspects frustrated me, but the ending left me with more positive than negative feelings which means I definitely look into future Applegate books.

3 Stakes!