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Guardian (The Guardian #1) by A.J. Messenger

Guardian (The Guardian #1) by A.J. MessengerGuardian (The Guardian #1) by A.J. Messenger
on May 18th 2014
Pages: 242

Eighteen-year-old Declan Jane is just trying to make it through senior year in San Mar, the Northern California coastal town she’s lived in all her life. Perpetually under the radar, she’s surprised by the pull she feels to a mysterious and attractive new student, Alexander Ronin. Despite all the girls vying for his attention, Declan is the one he’s drawn to, and she finds herself returning his interest. As the intensity of their attraction builds and she discovers the truth behind his appearance in San Mar, he reveals the danger she’s in and why their relationship holds deadly consequences. But as Declan overcomes her fears and fights for her life, the connection between the two lovers may be the only thing that can save them both.

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, this story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

Guardian wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing either.

Most of the characters were fillers who stood in the background barely affecting the story. The MC Declan wasn’t unlikable, just unremarkable. She was the stereotypical, unaware girl that finds herself plain and unassuming, until a gorgeous mystery man shows up a.k.a. Alexander. Alexander is your standard attractive love interest with beautiful green eyes, warm chocolate hair, and a hot Australian accent. I had a hard time enjoying his character, because he’s so typical. Alexander is attractive, protective, secretive, hot and cold, and falls in love with the MC immediately. Alexander’s generic-ism was laughable.

The one thing I truly enjoyed about Guardian, was its take on angels. There were good and bad angels that weren’t capable of physically forcing a person to make a certain decision, but rather they stood on the sidelines emotionally and verbally encouraging them. These angels reminded me of the white and dark lighters in a favorite TV show of mine, Charmed.

At the end of Guardian there’s a breakthrough regarding the weird things that keep happening to Declan, and in future books this reveal could either be really cool, or really convenient to the story. I don’t plan on reading book two any time soon, but eventually I might give it a go just to see whether the series comes into its own.

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Amid Stars and Darkness (The Xenith Trilogy #1) by Chani Lynn Feener

Amid Stars and Darkness (The Xenith Trilogy #1) by Chani Lynn FeenerAmid Stars and Darkness (The Xenith Trilogy, #1) by Chani Lynn Feener
Published by Swoon Reads on July 18, 2017
Pages: 368

Delaney’s entire world is thrown into chaos after she is mistaken for Lissa Olena, an alien princess hiding out on Earth in order to escape an arranged marriage.

Kidnapped by the princess’s head bodyguard, Ruckus, and imprisoned in an alien palace, Delaney is forced to impersonate the princess until Olena can be found. If she fails, it will lead to an alien war and the eventual enslavement of the entire human race.

No pressure or anything.

Factor in Trystan, the princess’s terrifying betrothed who is intent on unraveling all her secrets, and her own growing feelings for Ruckus, and Delaney is in way over her head.

Squee! Thinking about this book makes me so giddy. It’s such a fun story with a lot of heart and great character-building. Ruckus and Delaney are just too great together. Their interactions made my heart pitter-patter. No insta-love guys. I repeat NO-insta love. Just two individuals who meet in a kind-of-funny, yet also unfortunate way, and make the best of it by getting to know one another.

Delaney is the perfect YA heroine. She’s brave, but not reckless, sweet, but not naive, smart, but not cocky. She’s the complete opposite of Princess Olena who slyly switches places with Delaney. Olena, who everyone (including myself) hates, is a spoiled child who plays with people’s emotions to be cruel and to amuse herself. I felt bad that Olena was being forced into the marriage with prince Trystan in order to solidify a peace treaty between two opposing alien kingdoms, but the more I got to know Olena, the less bad I felt. I feel totally horrible saying that, but she’s not one of those characters you can easily feel pity for. Olena is selfish and entitled and doesn’t see the big picture. She likes to play games and only serves herself. Delaney is like a whiff of fresh air in the palace, because she actually has compassion and cares for others. She doesn’t let the icy prince Trystan intimidate her, at least, she doesn’t let on that he does. Delaney is a fake-it-til-you-make it girl. Even when she’s scared and full of sorrow, she raises her chin and gets the job done.

OMG. Trystan is so horrible. Entitled. Rude. Demanding. Intrusive. And yet. I’m so in love with him. Not like new bookish boyfriend, but just like, invested in him. It’s my weakness, those damn broody, rude, bad boys that I hope a strong girl will come along and soften up. It’s those attractive jerks who are on the cusp of redemption that I fall the hardest for. Regardless, I’m still team Duckus… or is it Relaney?  Ruckus is just so perfect. He’s attractive, sweet, and protective. He’s the type of guy who doesn’t want to lock you away in a tower, because he knows your’e not a damsel in distress. He treats you like an equal and wants to teach you self-defense so you can kick ass too. Those book boyfriends are so hard to come by. Most YA book guys are so overprotective and you have to fight with them constantly just to show them how strong and bad-ass you are.

I felt like this book lacked planet Xenith world-building, and that there was also a lack of details regarding how Earth coped with the aliens revealing themselves a few years ago, but I still gave it five stars. Call it personal preference, but sometimes when a book has characters that are so enjoyable, and reveals that continue to surprise and delight me, I can overlook small disappointments in other areas.

The cliffhanger was totally cruel, but also totally understandable. I mean, how could you not need book 2 immediately after the end of book 1?!!

This book made me smile and melt and left me shocked. I re-read many passages, one, two, even three times, because I wanted to re-feel the feels they gave me. This is one of the books you keep in your head for a while down the road. I just know that I will have a hard time not comparing it to the next couple books I read, because it was so good and the next few have a lot to live up to. I’m not huge fan of aliens, but this book made me a believer!

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The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on January 2nd 2018
Pages: 384

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

This book left me speechless. The last scene was incredible! I was at the edge of seat expecting one outcome, and then the chair was pulled from me when something completely different happened.

When I first heard about The Cruel Prince, I brushed it off. I mean, yeah, the cover looked cool, but the description didn’t immediately grab me. On Goodreads I started seeing a lot of people reading and praising it. But still, I wasn’t going to buy it, because I’ve been avoiding spending money on books lately, preferring to utilize my trial of Kindle Unlimited. But when I got a second reminder email from Barnes & Noble saying I had a credit due to a lawsuit settlement (this is the third time it’s happened which is pretty neat), I was like, what the heck. I might as well take advantage of the credit before I lose it. It only paid for half of the ebook, but I was totally okay with covering the $4-ish dollars.

I’m so glad I made the decision to buy The Cruel Prince. It’s the first book in a long time that had me glued to the pages, forsaking sleep.

Jude and Taryn, both human, live in the land of Faerie, along with their older sister Vivi, who is half-fae. Vivi’s father is a redcap general who, by nature, is extremely violent. The Cruel Prince begins with Vivi’s father slaughtering her mother and the father of her two younger sisters. Vivi’s father drags her, and out of obligation, Jude and Taryn, to Faerie.

If you’ve ever read about the fae and their seelie and unseelie courts, you know how vicious they are. They’re bloodthirsty tricksters that lead humans beneath the hills to dance until they drop, among other horrible things.

Jude and Taryn are lucky because, even though Vivi’s father is not theirs’, he treats them like fae daughters. They have splendid rooms, lovely gowns, take the same classes that noble faes take, and are allowed to go to lavish balls.

Although both Taryn and Jude know that darkness lurks beneath the beauty, they have both, in different ways, adapted to the fae world they were thrusted into. For ten years Jude has resented the fae. She’s responded to their cruelness by becoming a formidable opponent in swordplay and the mind. In The Cruel Prince, after ten years of inferior treatment, Jude starts to bite back. Then you have her twin Taryn who has spent the last ten years keeping her head down, trying to the mimic the graceful ways of the fae. Taryn doesn’t want to just blend in, she wants to have a place amongst the fae. She’s pretty foolish in Jude’s and my opinion. Taryn has this romantic notion about the fae even though she’s witnessed the horror they bestow. I’m sure it comes as no surprise when I say I prefer Jude, the smarter and braver sister who stands up for herself and others that need the protection, even if they don’t deserve it.

There a lot of fascinating characters in this book. You have the twins of course, and their older half-fae sister Vivi who is hilarious. Vivi despises the fae in general and their old ways. She wants to be free, to live in the modern world with electronic devices, like cable. Then you have Vivi’s ‘stepmother’ Oriana, who reminds me of the wicked stepmother from Cinderella. She only tolerates the sisters because their stepfather expects her to. Oriana has a young son named Oak who is a wild child, but clearly loves his older sisters, and they him. There’s Cardan, the cruel youngest prince to the king of the seelie court who I despised in the beginning, but slowly began to love. He’s kind of the typical, attractive, brooding, jerk that is shielding deep problems that you’re dying to learn about. Other characters I enjoyed included an attractive fox-like fae that seems to be part of Cardan’s cruel group of friends, until he slowly changes his tune and takes an interest in Jude. *wink*

This book has action, heartbreak, sabotage, espionage, romance, and more. I was so riveted by Jude. I cheered for Jude when she stood up to Cardan and the other vicious fae, and I felt sorrow when she slowly started turning dark like her recap stepfather. I understood her transformation though, to survive, sometimes you have to become the very thing you hate most.

I can’t gush enough about this book. It’s so juicy and one of kind (in my eyes). Now I’m agonizing over the 1 then 2 year wait for books 2 and 3.

White Raven Cover

White Raven (Raven #1) by J. L. Weil

White Raven (Raven #1) by J. L. Weil
Published by J. L. Weil on March 20, 2015
Pages: 278


It only took one heartbeat to change my life—one chilling phone call in the middle of the night.

And then, as if my life didn’t already suck, my dad sends my brother and me to some idyllic island for the summer to live with a grandma we never met. WTH. Naturally, I rebel. In the end, I find myself shipped off to Raven Hallow…and bored to tears.

Until I get an eyeful of the mind-bendingly gorgeous Zane Hunter. The dark-hair cutie makes my pulse go bonkers, and I think, maybe this might not be so bad after all. Six feet of swoon inducing looks, with a hint of Celtic charm in his voice, he was the type of guy that left a string of broken hearts in his wake. And I had all the heartbreak I could handle.

Yet, there is something uncanny, almost supernatural about Zane, and it’s not just his devastating smirk. No matter how much distance I put between us, Raven Hallow isn’t big enough, and the sparking tension between is undeniable. Of course, the one person I want to avoid becomes my salvation.

My past comes back to terrorize me. Someone wants me dead, and the closer I get to the truth, the more I realize my whole life is a lie. I am no longer sure what is more frightening—the attempts on my life or the guy whose heart and soul are synchronized with mine.

White Raven was an inexpensive urban fantasy that I found on Amazon. I bought it because it had a couple hundred good reviews, and it also had a vague, interesting description. I love short, vague descriptions, because, who wants to read a book when the description gives you the whole play-by-play?! Not me!

I’m going to jump right in – After Piper and TJ’s mother is murdered on the streets of Chicago, the two siblings are ferried away to their Grandmother Rose’s house for the entire summer. Not only have they never met Rose, she happens to live on an island out near the New England coastline.

Because Piper and TJ did not want to visit Rose, they instantly, and irrationally, hate the look of the town, and their new home. However, TJ is still polite to Rose when they arrive. Piper on the other hand, always the rebellious and sarcastic one, doesn’t take it easy on Rose. Rose has saintly patientence when it comes to Piper. TJ quickly enjoys his new digs and electronics while Piper remains unhappy. At least Piper was unhappy until she spots an incredibly gorgeous guy at the local country club. Rose immediately tells Piper to stay away from the guy because he’s “trouble” and of course, being a teenager, Piper doesn’t listen.

The mysterious and gorgeous guy is named Zane and he is one of four siblings. Piper’s hormones ignite whenever Zane is around regardless of the fact that he’s rude and standoffish. Piper is irritated at Zane but not the type to go cry in her bedroom, nope, she gives him just as much sass back. Their banters are electric and hilarious. They clearly have great chemistry. Piper starts to think staying on the island wouldn’t be so bad until a scary ass dude tries kill her. Luckily Zane appears and saves Piper. Piper learns that a lot of bad things and bad people are also on this island…

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the mythology in this book. There’s so many details left out. The author used bits and pieces of already established ancient mythology to create something unique, but it lacked the glue to make the pieces stick together in harmony.

Lastly – It enrages me that the girl on the book cover, Piper, I presume, is wearing a bright pink dress. Book Piper has said twice that she loathes pink – she’s a girl who wears combat boots and black nail polish. The cover is pretty but doesn’t stay true to the character at all and it’s a shame.

Vampire Girl cover

Vampire Girl (Vampire Girl #1) by Karpov Kinrade

Vampire Girl (Vampire Girl, #1) by Karpov Kinrade
Published by Daring Books on April 5th 2016
Pages: 270

You think it's safe to walk alone at night. It's not.

You think the only threat is other humans. It's not.

Monsters are real. Demons are real. Vampires are real.

And I'm about to become one of them.

My name is Arianna Spero. I was an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life, until my mother lapsed into a coma. Now, I am her only hope. She made a deal with the devil, and on my 18th birthday he came to collect. But there's a way to save her. There's something the princes of hell want more than my mother.


So I signed my soul away and promised to pick a prince to marry. I would take the blood oath, become one of them, and give them an heir. I would become a princess of hell, and my mother would live. I expected fire and brimstone. I expected pain and misery. I didn't expect beauty. I didn't expect magic. I didn't expect love. But the princes are keeping secrets from me. Secrets that could shatter everything.

It only took me a couple hours to finish Vampire Girl because, the writing was fairly simple and myself, being a fast reader, blew right through it.

I have mixed feelings about Vampire Girl. On one hand, I loved the idea of Ari bargaining her soul for her mother’s by agreeing to marry 1 of the 7 princes of sin; lust, war, pride, etc. I was really excited in the beginning of the story because I immediately liked the two princes Ari had met already, the grizzly, and fiercely protective Fen, and the witty, handsomely-dressed Asher. Once Ari got to hell though, I became less excited.

I felt like the author’s spin on vampires, demons, and the fae was missing some finesse. So many races, their history, and their rules, came at me so quick that I had trouble keeping up. The major info dumps left me dazed. At one point I just stopped caring about the setting and races, and instead focused solely on the relationship between Fen and Ari. Fen and Ari become the dominant pairing early on, while Asher fades into the background. We never fully meet any of the other princes in this book which bummed me out. I was looking forward to a giant love circle – haha.

Also – I’m sorry, but I think Vampire Girl is a horrible title for this book. It totally gives the wrong impression for the whole series. I started the book thinking it’s all about bloodsuckers, and that Ari had a fetish for them. Nope. Not even close. The title is completely misleading, and doesn’t belong with the story. I’ve read the titles of the books to come, and they sound enticing. I’m going to read book two to see if it improves on the weaker parts of book one.

It seems like I have nothing good to say about this book, but I do. I liked Ari because she reminded me of Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She swapped places with her mother (father) in order to stay with the princes of hell (the beast). She’s incredibly kind, loving, and brave.

Some of the writing was corny, but overall Vampire Girl was a decent read.