Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Just One Day by Gayle Forman



Just One Day by Gayle Forman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary:  

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of
If I Stay


When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.
So I have readers guilt! I have avoided reading this book for two reasons. 1. I heard this book was mostly about the time after that "one day affair"... 2. I also heard there was a HUGE cliffhanger! So.... I waited until I could use my audible credit plus I waited until the sequel was out so I didn't have to wait so long. Kinda cheesy, right?


Well, my thoughts about this book were all over the place. Willem, a character who, I thought, represented the European playboy to a tee. Not that I have ever known one myself, but if I imagined a young, sexy, smooth, international traveler, Willem would be him. Add Shakespeare to it and viola instant romance! It was exciting to read at first, while on their One day affair, then tragic and heartbreaking. But the depression that Alison felt when returning back to the US just dragged and dragged. I guess if I had "given myself" to someone after one day, that would have brought on all kinds of regrets, heartache and depression, but really... I wanted to slap her out of it!

When it comes to young adult reads, I really get into the growing of the characters. It seems Alison really turned a 180, from being the quiet, timid, rule-follower, to a more adventurous and free-spirited girl. Standing up to her parents and pushing for what she wanted was a huge leap from who she was before.

For me, like in the book, I do not believe in coincidences... I trust fate or "accidents" as Willem put it.

As for the cliff-hanger... UUUGGHHH! Really? That has to be one of the biggest ones I have come across!! Thanks for that, Gayle Forman!! I love this kind of torture!!

There was some bad language, and a sex scene but not very detailed. Not something a young teen should read.






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Monday, May 26, 2014

Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins


Goodreads photo

Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary:  

It’s time.


Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.


What a perfect ending for such a phenomenal series! I felt every emotion while wrapped up in this whirl-wind ending; Anxiety, hope, sadness, longing, desperation, grief, and lots of love.

Kudos to Wendy Higgins and her brilliant writing! The world she created felt so real and true to life, and who says they aren't? The evil in this world comes from somewhere, but the righteousness prevails.

Kaiden... Oh Kaiden. Wendy Higgins, if I could award you with the sexiest, dreamy-ist, hero bad boy in the teen book history, I would. He won my heart from the first book, the first meeting, but THIS...this puts him on a whole other pedal-stool! My heart broke for him in so many ways.. especially for his self-loathing that he tried so hard to cover up. But the very end... OH.MY.GOSH!! I had tears streaming down my face from the beauty of his soul he was finally allowed to show. I honestly don't know how you could bring so much power into one character, but I am just so undone over Kaiden!!

Most importantly, Higgins stuck to so many wonderful values that are now lost in this world. Especially with Anna's character. If we all could learn that we all have the same kind of power that Anna wielded with her sword of righteousness, the world would be a better place.
This quote explained it all...

"As I acquanted myself with all of him for the first time, I learned the power of being a woman - the weakness in his eyes brought on by my touch - and the underlying trust and love I saw there."

This is the kind of romance we need to see more of. There is so much more to this than all sex-scenes I have read in a long time.



Most would consider the others in the series to be secondary characters, but for me they were so much a part of the whole. Nothing would have been as complete without them and their distinctive personalities.

Wendy Higgins has become one of my top favorite writers! The Sweet Trilogy will be a series I will re-read over and over again!!



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John Dreamer by Elise Celine


Goodreads photo

John Dreamer by Elise Celine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary:  

Andy wasn’t usually sure about much, but she was absolutely certain this was the weirdest day of her life as she stood stranded in the middle of a great white room with six strangers. Well, they were mostly strangers. She could have sworn she’d seen the guy with the green eyes before, and maybe that was why he kept staring at her.


When a man calling himself the Guardian appeared and said they had come to make their deepest dreams come true, they embark on an adventure none of them ever imagined, and the consequences of their actions would change them forever.

"John Dreamer" is the first in a series of books set in the confines of the Great White Room


Waking up in a great white room not remembering anything, was how this book began. It caught my interest right away. The chairs are what spoke to me the most, even before the others began to arrive. To me it represented the personalities of those to come and exemplified our own uniqueness in the world. I am a person who likes to see beyond the outward appearance of things, places, and people. To me, this white room represented of where we started out in life; An empty slate, a beginning, a place to start. The Guardian who explained that this is where our dreams will come true, meant this is who you become or who you want to be. Only life experiences can make us who we are. In my opinion, this would represent why we are here on earth and how it all plays out. We are here with family, friends and loved ones. As life happens we move forward, we step up or we don't. We help others in their life's struggles and help them become who they are supposed to be, just as others help us in our own times of need. We all grow, become stronger and develop who we want to be, or we fail in certain areas. We never know when these challenges are for our benefit or that of others and we never know when they are going to hit. So to me, symbolism is all over this book. Very Alice in Wonderland-ish, but yet a deep way of thinking of our own lives.

Elise Celine did a great job bringing the characters to life and creating this wonder-land. A very thought-provoking read.

Thanks to Net-Galley for the ARC and the opportunity to read this and I look forward to book #2 in the John Dreamer series!

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