July Wrap-Up

This is really late, I know.

My review for Everything, Everything won’t be posted until the 18th, even though I’ve already finished it.

I also DNF’ed Grid Seekers.

Reviewed:

Sleepless Wolfskin Jorja1 Jorja2 WeAreWatching SLT SoL LC Amazon      

That’s it for last month.:)

~Sage<3

REVIEW: Cutlass by Ashley Nixon

*I received an ebook copy of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Cutlass
Author: Ashley Nixon
Series: (Cutlass #1)
Publication date: Novenber 13th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Synopsis:
Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.

Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.

But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4/5
      Cutlass wasn’t only about pirates and revenge. Oh no, it was about Elves and Lyrics, death and deceit. It was about learning the truth and letting go of and anger and revenge because it only makes you bitter and lonely. It’s about falling in love and being loyal! It’s about freedom.
      Everything in this book from the action on the sea, to the romance on board, to the shocks of betrayal and the fantasy aspects were simply brilliant. Yes, Barren oftentimes was controlled by his anger and need for revenge, but he’s young and still learning! He’s a force to be reckoned with and has a sharp mind, he’s a man holding such a weight as murder, revenge and pain! He lost his father because his brother killed him, his mother for something he couldn’t remember! Barren could never understand why; he didn’t want to understand. And so he stalked the shores of Maris and attacked ships in hopes of luring William out to sea so he could act on his revenge. But William wouldn’t dare and so months later of no change, Barren learns of William’s engagement and kidnaps his wife. But Lady Larkin is not docile and quiet and fearful. No, she’s strong and Barren’s equal with a sword. In fact, she almost killed him the night he kidnapped her. If it hadn’t been for Leaf, his best friend, who knows if Barren would have found a way to live?
      The writing was great, though I did sometimes find myself uninterested. It flowed nicely and yes, at times it was cheesy and parts were slightly cliche, but it still intrigued me. Especially since it’s all one big adventure that no one can deny enjoying. Especially the action. I love the action!
      Overall, Cutlass is a read I recommend to fantasy lovers. Especially those who love pirates.
~Sage<3
(It’s short I know. Sorry!)

REVIEW: Darkness Brutal by Rachel A. Marks

*I received an ebook copy of this from Skyscape via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Darkness Brutal
Author: Rachel A. Marks
Series: (The Dark Cycle #1)
Publication date: July 1st 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Aidan O’Linn’s childhood ended the night he saw a demon kill his mother and mark his sister, Ava, with Darkness. Since then, every three years the demons have returned to try to claim her. Living in the gritty, forgotten corners of Los Angeles, Aidan has managed to protect his sister, but he knows that even his powers to fight demons and speak dead languages won’t keep her safe for much longer.

In desperation, Aidan seeks out the help of Sid, the enigmatic leader of a group of teens who run LA Paranormal, an Internet reality show that fights demons and ghosts. In their company, Aidan believes he’s finally found a haven for Ava. But when he meets Kara, a broken girl who can spin a hypnotic web of passionate energy, he awakens powers he didn’t know he had―and unleashes a new era of war between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness.

With the fate of humanity in his hands, can Aidan keep the Darkness at bay and accept his brilliant, terrifying destiny?

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4.5/5

I really enjoyed Darkness Brutal. It’s a fast paced fantasy novel filled with magic, demons, angels and so much more! I was intrigued and engaged, and at times I had to stop to collect my thoughts because so much was happening and I wanted to try to predict what would happen next. It’s safe to say it was hard to make predictions that came true; but that’s the beauty of it.

I especially love how the main character, Aidan, is a guy who is not seduced easily and into using girls (he’s actually quite the gentleman). He is a strong, but weak character all the same, in a way that while he spent so much of his life trying to do right by everyone, there are times he wants to give up. He has a rather shit life (he’s an orphan [maybe] living on the streets (in the sense that he doesn’t know his father or where he is and his mother is dead)), but overall he’s a nice guy trying to make the best of it all. He’s especially protective and devoted to his sister (because she was marked by a demon as a child and ever sense they have attacked every three years on her birthday, killing those close to her in order to get her, and so she’s bounced from foster home to foster home). and he’s got common sense. He isn’t normal though; he has unique abilities and powers that he was born with, though he doesn’t fully understand them. The great part about his powers? This book is well-written enough to make me feel like he’s a real character and not a special hero/strong and invincible guy. He’s fairly uncertain of his powers and tends to underestimate himself.

Jax brightens at the sight of me. “Ah, the Chosen One has returned!” he says in a very dramatic voice. “The One who shall be the most powerful!”

I give him a look that I hope says: Shut the fuck up, ass face.

I love how there’s not too much romance (though the attempt at a love triangle really wasn’t needed…). I also love the action and gore! It was all so well written and I easily emerged myself in Aidan’s world, never feeling like I want out. Which brings me to say that the world building was great! I could visualize everything I wanted to and I loved the descriptions by the author!

All of the characters had their own personalities, their own snark and sass and humour. It was fantastic!

But basically, since Aidan has to protect his sister from those dang pesky demons, he fears the nearing of her twelfth birthday (naturally). In his sense of slight helplessness, he takes Hannah’s advice (she and Eric help him earn money and get certain things to trap the demons) and calls up helps from a group of Ghostbusters (actually, he walks up to their doorstep and asks to talk to their leader). Actually they call themselves as Paranormal Investigative Agency. They hunt down demons and ghosts (though to them demons are not exactly the norm), and so Aidan falls in with a group of oddballs who are as strange as he is in the sense of having powers, led by a really weird guy. he also brings his sister along, trying his best to get her the protection she needs.

Honestly, this isn’t a perfect book (when is one perfect, really?). There was talk of rape, there was a fair bit of gore, and swearing can definitely be found. If anything though, it made the characters feel more real. And so I recommend Darkness Brutal to lovers of action, fantasy, and books with great characters. Or everyone. That works too.

~Sage<3

BLOG TOUR/REVIEW: Wish For Me by A. Star

 *I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Wish For Me Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.

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Title: Wish for Me
Author: A. Star
Series: (The Djinn Order #1)
Publication date: April 27th 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Steampunk

Goodreads || Amazon || B&N


Synopsis:

Three wishes. Two lovers. One destiny.

When the snarky Glory St. Pierre discovers the gold mechanical vase in her deceased grandmother’s basement, she has no idea that she has uncovered a priceless treasure: a genie lamp. With a real genie inside. A very sexy genie with a not-so-sexy grudge against the entire human race.

Irving Amir hates being called a genie. He’s a Djinn, and he is none too happy to be in the service of Glory, who is as intolerable, and beautiful, as humans come. Now he owes her his gratitude for freeing him and three wishes. Damn his luck.

But an arrow through the shoulder alerts Irving to the fact that he is being hunted, and after a truce dinner with Glory ends with them both almost being killed, hating each other goes right out the window. As feelings change and love starts to develop, they must dig through the secrets and lies to find the truth…a truth neither of them will ever see coming.

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4/5

      Wish For Me is different than I thought it would be. I was expecting the whole genie/djinn part with wishes (I was looking forward to it, actually), but not the whole hunters-out-to-kill-djin and djinn-have-their-own-world-with-royalty-and-politics. It was fantastic! I wasn’t expecting there to be a whole new world full of Djinn with their own rules, rulers, and history. I haven’t read many books about Djinn, but out of the ones I have, only Wish For Me really explored the Djinn and made a world for them that we could get to know. Which is why I loved learning about Shrinelyn and Irving’s family! The politics, rules, history, and overall workings of Irving’s world was amazing.

      I also love the twist near the end. I mean, hunters? Madeleine? There were so many secrets that we didn’t even know existed until that meeting between hunter and Djinn! It makes you question what else the author has waiting to be revealed. Because honestly, I never saw it coming. And yet for some reason, it made so much sense when it was finally revealed!

What I like:

      -the witty banter between characters and the way the characters were developed. It made for an interesting, entertaining read most of the time. Especially since while Irving and Glory weren’t exactly fond of each other right away, they were both obviously attracted to the other.

      -Irving hates humans = judgmental for good reason. It made it interesting to see how his view changed and how he acted before it did. Also, it was interesting how just being with Glory made him see not all humans are bad.

      -The world-building and detail of Shrinelyn is amazing! It felt real and mixed with the creations Irving made really made it that much more intriguing and enchanting.

      -Twists I did not see coming. It was great! it was one curve ball after another and I didn’t catch any of them.

-Steampunk = Irving making animals out of metal and his lamp/Chronelier being a vase needing a key to summon Irving

-Easy to read and fall into.

What I Had Problems With:

      -I don’t like how it was left as a cliff hanger. It doesn’t affect much for me, but I just really dislike it when a book ends on a cliff hanger. It’s frustrating.

      -I don’t get why she took him to school with her. They weren’t friends nor did they really enjoy each others company, and it’s not like he’d have much to do there. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

      -I also don’t get why he give her sabers she doesn’t know how to use. Won’t that be more dangerous? She could hurt herself or Irving, since I doubt she even knows how to properly handle one.

      Overall, I really enjoyed this book. And while I had a few problems, there wasn’t much not to love. I recommend this to lovers of fantasy, romance, and books involving Djinn. And steampunk!

A.Star

   AUTHOR BIO:
A. Star is a fan of dirty passion. She loves to read it, and she damn sure loves to write it. She is the author of the Mythos: Gods & Lovers series, the Djinn Order series, and the Knights of the Joust series. She is a night-owl and a coffee junkie, and the only sneaker she would be caught dead wearing are Converses.
   Author links:

THE TOUR STOPS

July 27th
A Lick Of Romance
Reading To Distraction
Awesome Book Assessment
I Feel the Need, the Need to Read
GeekBoyOnThePage

July 28th
Fun-Size Reads
Cat’s Guilty Pleasure
Reader Girls
Book Nerd Paradise
LittlePInkCrayon Book Reviews
Kristin Un-Ravelle’d
Evermore Books

July 29th
Lynn’s Book Blog
Mythical Books
Glorious Panic
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
happy tails and tales
Books Can Take You There
All in One Place

July 30th
The Bibliophile Chronicles
Library of Books {me}
Ogitchida Kwe’s Book Blog
blackteaandmilk68
A Thousand Words A Million Books

July 31st
A British Bookworm’s Blog
Nadaness In Motion
Fathomless Reveries
Brooke Blogs
MM Jaye Presents
books and photographs

August 1st
The Book Rogue
Remember the Books
Jazzy Book Reviews
Between the Lines

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So, this review is dull and short. I apologize for that.

~Sage<3

REVIEW: The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak

*I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Heartbreakers
Author: Ali Novak
Series: (The Heartbreaker Chronicles #1)
Expected publication date: August 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

“When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. Unbeknownst to him, I was the only girl in the world who hated his music.”

Stella will do anything for her sister—even stand in line for an autographed

Heartbreakers CD… for three hours. At least she met a cute boy at the Starbucks beforehand. A blue-eyed boy who looks an awful lot like…

Oliver Perry. Of course Starbucks guy is the lead singer for her least favorite band. Thanks, universe. But there may be more to Oliver than his world-famous charm, because even after she insults his music—to his face—he still gives her his number. Seriously, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver—dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band—when her sister could be dying of cancer?

Format: eARC
Rating: 4/5

If you like quick, perhaps slightly unrealistic romances, then this is definitely the book for you. And, it’s pretty much the perfect summer read.

I had absolutely no doubts about this book. Why? Because I was lucky enough to have read the first draft on Wattpad before the author even began the process of publishing it. I loved it then and I love it now. Sure, there’s instant love between Oliver and Stella, but it works. And they don’t get together right away. They have so many issues to go through first, considering he’s a famous singer in a band and she’s just a normal teenaged girl trying to get through life with her photos and sister who is a cancer victim.

      But that’s also why it’s unrealistic: I mean, she’s a normal girl, and he’s a famous pop star rock star, and they so happen to meet in Starbucks before his huge signing and they’re flirting, and then later that night she finds out they’re staying in the same hotel as her and her brother and the next thing you know, the whole band is in an elevator with her. I mean, he still gives her his number even after she yelled at them all in the elevator…
      So why, you may ask, do I love it so much if I hate instant love (as I have mentioned so many times before in other reviews)?
      It’s simple really. Why? Here you go: family and friendship. Those themes were abundantly clear throughout the novel.
      Stella’s sister, Cara, is horribly sick; she has cancer. And it’s pretty bad. Stella blames herself, wondering why she hadn’t seen the signs sooner, and so she can’t bring herself to leave her and go to college in another city; she’s too afraid she’ll miss something, that Cara will get worse and she won’t be there. But since their birthday is coming up soon, Stell and Drew have the best idea as to how to make Cara truly happy this year; get her a bunch of singed merchandise from her favourite band in the whole world: The Heartbreakers. And though Stella herself despises the group and their music, she goes on a trip with eh brother anyway because Cara is a die-hard fan of The Heartbreakers and it’s the perfect opportunity to get something Cara will definitely love and cherish.
      The fact that Stella decided to put her life on hold just for her sister is truly beautiful, because not many others would do that. She doesn’t want to miss out on Cara’s life in case there’s no Cara left to live anymore. And I adore that her and Drew care so much, enough that they’d drive hours away and wait another few hours in a line just to get Cara a gift signed by a band both Drew and Stella can’t stand. They sacrificed their ears (seriously, they hate their music) to make sure Cars would be happy.
      And that’s just family. For friends, wow. I adored the time Stella spent with the band. They were having fun!  Everything was so light and completely enjoyable. No matter what happened, you were left admiring how they formed such a strong friendship bond. Secret of life; people change people. And that shows clearly throughout the book as the band returns to their former glory (or, they’re starting to take risks to be who they really want to be) and Stella bursts out of the shell she cocooned herself in, in order to stay with Cara. She grows and becomes more confident in her work and being away from Cara.

     Heck, even Cara’s illness was a pleasure to read about! Sure, she was sick and so close to dying at times, but she was always so optimistic and full of life! She was never moody or brooding or just plain rude just because she was sick. She was energetic, bursting at the seams with energy that her body couldn’t seem to stand! She was a great character, and it was easy to fall in love with her, as well as the others.

      Overall, The Heartbreakers is a sweet, fun and light read that I definitely recommend. That is, if you don’t mind a good insta-love and slightly unrealistic story.
<Sage<3

REVIEW: The Dreamer by E.J. Mellow

* I received an eARC copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


Title: The Dreamer
Author: E.J. Mellow
Series: (The Dreamland Series, #1)
Publication date: May 15th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Goodreads || Amazon || B&N


Synopsis:
It’s night. Always night. Dreams guard against the evil forged by nightmares. Infinite shooting stars illuminate a moonless sky. A city stands alone, surrounded by a darkened field. On its fringes, a man watches one star separate from the masses and fall. What survives the crash will unveil a secret centuries long hidden.

Molly hasn’t slept well since the night of her twenty-fourth birthday. Being struck by lightning might have something to do with it, but then again, her chicken did look a little undercooked at dinner. Whatever the culprit, her life quickly catapults from mundane to insane as, night after night, Molly is transported through her once dreamless sleep to a mysterious land illuminated by shooting stars.

There she meets the captivating but frustrating Dev, and together they discover Molly possesses a power coveted by his people—the ability to conjure almost anything she desires into existence. Seduced by the possibilities of this gift, Molly shifts her attention from waking life toward the man, the magic, and the world found in her dreams.

But Molly must ask herself—does something truly exist if you only see it when you close your eyes?

Faced with the threat of losing everything—her job, best friend, boyfriend, and most importantly, that little thing called her sanity—Molly will learn just how far she’ll go to uncover what is real and what is merely a figment of her imagination.

And Now For My Review!
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4/5
      The Dreamer is a very well written story about a 24-year-old woman who was struck by lightning. Now she suddenly has these dreams, theses seriously vivid dreams, that leave her questioning her sanity and yearning for someone she’s sure isn’t real. By day she’s just Molly, a normal woman resting and recovering from her recent accident (being struck by lightning), usually hanging out with her best friend Becca, and sort-of boyfriend Jared (they’re untitled, not labelled, but together). By night she’s Molly, The Dreamer with crazy cool powers who’s discovering a whole new wave of feelings with Dev, and a whole new world full of a bunch of new people.
      So, I just want to get this out right now. Molly irritated me a lot. It’s not because she was a bad character or anything, because she is actually a pretty good one, but because of her… situation with Jared and Dev. Jared is a nice, handsome young man who is clearly in love with Molly. He understands her, always makes her feel at ease, and things with them are just so in touch that it makes you want what they have. Jared adores her, he’s there for her and wants to be her forever. And Dev, well, Dev is a handsome man in her dreams. He’s strong and odd in a sense that he comes from a whole new place where everything is so new and different to Molly. He’s a jerk at times, never answers her questions, flirts with her a lot, and he obviously likes her. And so the reason she irritates me? While she’s basically dating Jared, who is a nice and brilliant guy in the real world, she’s also experiencing feelings for Dev and kissing him and flirting and touching. When she’s with Dev, she forgets all about Jared. In fact, she hardly spares him a thought while she dreams! And while she’s with Jared, she has a hard time forgetting Dev, forgetting his touch and his kiss. It irritates me because she’s basically cheating in Jared, and it’s like she doesn’t even care! Until she has sex with him and feels guilty for thinking of Dev. But seriously, she’s Jared’s whole world and she doesn’t even love him. Not yet, at least, but she’s sure she can some day. It’s safe to say I’d rather she be with Jared. I mean, Dev’s great and all, but she only sees him when her eyes are closed. And Jared’s more open.
      Whew. Okay, so not that I got that out of the way…
      I’ll start off with the world building. It was amazing. I could visualize most of what was described and I really liked the feel we got of the workings of Terra. However, there were times that while things were described really well, I just couldn’t visualize them. And so while reading, there were points where I had a blank visual because I just couldn’t picture it in my mind. Though I really love the people. There were the Nocturna, who all wore black, and there were Vigil, who wore fancy robes and the likes. The Vigil are the leaders, the council, basically, and they know a lot that they keep from the Nocturna. I really like how they had the two different groups, much like us normal citizens and then the government. I also like how the author balanced between Terra and the real world. I was never bored or sick of wither world, and I actually eagerly awaited to get back to the other while I was reading of one. I was so invested in both sides, that Molly’s decision (which I’m sure she’ll have to make) about Jared or Dev, is really tearing into me. I want her with Jared, but then Dev will get all sad and empty again and Rae will probably be very angry with her…
      I also like how Molly thinking she’s going insane was portrayed. It really felt like she was losing her marbles. She definitely changed since meeting Dev. She wanted to sleep more, she was zoning out a lot. She even took sleeping pills at one point just to get answers from Dev. Which may or may not have worked, I won’t say because it’s be a spoiler.
      Which brings me to characters. They all play a big part in Molly’s life and how things go. I adore them all. I can’t think of a single character I didn’t like. And while at times they may have irritated me (Molly), or made me want to punch them in the face for potentially ruining something great (Dev), I loved them more than I didn’t.
      Overall, I liked this book and all the characters, the world building, and the feelings it makes you feel. I recommend it to you lovers of romance and fantasy.
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~Sage<3