by Gena Showalter
Published by Harlequin on March 1st 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Action & Adventure, Love & Romance
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"Utterly unique and absolutely riveting—I couldn't put it down! What a marvelously cool world."—New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. MaasFrom the author of the New York Times bestselling White Rabbit Chronicles series comes book 1 of a brand new series in which life as we know it is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.
Tenley "Ten" Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she'll live—after she dies.
There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.
In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she's drawn to isn't where the boy she's falling for lives? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…
Review of the book Firstlife
Firstlife book is the first book in the Everlife series by New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter. The story follows Tenley “Ten” Lockwood a seventeen-year-old girl struggling to choose which realm to enter when she dies. On Earth, also known as the Land of the Harvest, humans are busy living their first lives- however, before they die they must pledge their allegiance to either Myriad- a dark realm of indulgence and pleasure, where only the strongest rise to power and privilege, or Troika- a realm of light where love, justice, and truth are cherished, and everyone is considered of equal importance. Unfortunately, both reals are embroiled in a vicious war and fight to convince humans to pledge their allegiance to their realm and cause.
That’s where Archer and Killian come in…
Archer, of Troika, is charged with convincing Ten to pledge her allegiance to their side as she is believed to be a “conduit”- someone capable of tipping the war in their favor. Killian, of Myriad, is charged with seducing Ten to their side as well- as they too believe she will bring victory to their realm. Unfortunately, for both guys, Ten is determined to remain “unsigned” as she doesn’t truly feel like she fits into either realm. She is told, however, that if she does NOT choose either realm, her soul will be sent to suffer in the Many Ends- basically, hell.
As Ten struggles to pick a side, she finds herself placed in a perilous position as someone is intent on ending her life. Amid this, Archer and Killian hold a temporary truce to protect her. The dynamic between both guys is interesting- I enjoyed Archer’s sense of honor and justice- he is so easy-going and likable (although there were times I almost thought he was too good). Killian…oh, Killian…this Irish charmer with the wicked tattoos, bad-boy persona, and devilish sense of humor instantly shot his way to my #1 spot for current book boyfriend. I’m seriously not surprised, however, as Gena Showalter creates some of the most tempting love interests in her novels.
There were many underlying themes and parallels drawn in this novel- you have two realms who hold two very different views, though neither of them is entirely wrong in their beliefs, who will do anything to trump or decimate the other side. They try desperately to convince people that their side is the “right” one- their egos overruling their actions- causing irreparable damage. One side even promises money, riches, and status to push their agenda, where another side hides their motives behind poetic words of honor and justice. I enjoyed watching Ten, with her quirky obsession with numbers, work through which world she felt more inclined to join.
Firstlife was a fast-paced, sizzling page-turner that kept me sleep-deprived.
It’s teeming with action, adventure, and romance- three of my favorite things! The dialogue was fun, the characters layered and dynamic, and the plot was thought-provoking.
by Sophie Jordan
Published by HarperCollins on January 27th 2015
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, General, Romance, Action & Adventure
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From New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan, Uninvited is a chilling and suspenseful story about a girl whose DNA brands her a killer, perfect for fans of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and Confessions of a Murder Suspect.
Davy had everything—a terrific boyfriend, the homecoming crown, a bright future at Juilliard—but when her genetic tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, she loses it all. Uninvited from her prestigious school, avoided by her friends and family, she is placed in a special class with other "carriers" who are treated like the murderers they someday might become.
Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life and tells her that she alone controls her actions—not the code embedded into her DNA. But even if she can learn to trust him, can Davy trust herself?
Review of Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
Review by: April Hughes
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
Review of Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
Uninvited is the first novel in the Uninvited series by New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan. The story follows Davy, a musical prodigy from a wealthy and respected family. Her life starts off perfect in the novel- the perfect boyfriend, perfect family, perfect school, and perfect friends. Davy herself is beyond reproach. Unfortunately, her ideal life comes crumbling down around her when she is discovered to be genetically flawed.
This story takes place in the not-so-distant future when the “kill” gene is discovered. This gene is found in almost all people with homicidal tendencies. As crime rates climb to staggering numbers, Davy finds herself the victim of judgmental, ignorant, and presumptuous individuals. Everyone diagnosed with the kill gene is treated like lesser beings. I would say the only “positive” outcome of this discovered gene is that Davy meets Sean- another kill gene carrier. Sean basically shows her that just because you’re labeled a certain way by society does not mean you’re necessarily what they claim you are.
I enjoyed the characters- I loved seeing the different dynamic between those who are carriers and those who are considered “normal”. I enjoyed the different locations utilized by the author- the public school with its “cage”, Mount Haven, and the cabin in the woods. Each location brought a new element of intensity and surprise.
The story was fast-paced, action-filled, suspenseful, and provided enough chemistry between Davy and Sean to satisfy the romantic in me. Uninvited ended perfectly! I cannot wait to see how they get themselves out of the situation they are currently in. When the whole world thinks you’re dangerous and wants you eliminated and there’s nowhere truly safe to go- what do you do?
Pick up your copy today on Amazon!
I can’t wait to find out what happens in the sequel titled “Unleashed”.
See my other book reviews here~
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by Lisa Maxwell
Published by Simon and Schuster on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Pirates, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Adaptations, Juvenile Nonfiction, Activity Books
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From “talented wordsmith” (Publishers Weekly) Lisa Maxwell comes a lush, atmospheric fantasy novel filled with twists and turns about a girl who is kidnapped and brought to an island inhabited by fairies, a roguish ship captain, and bloodthirsty beasts.
For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home. Her mother believes they are being hunted by brutal monsters, and those delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. Gwen’s only saving grace is that her best friend, Olivia, is with her for the summer.
But shortly after their arrival, the girls are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and dragged into a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey. And Gwen begins to realize that maybe her mother isn’t so crazy after all…
Gwen discovers that this new world she inhabits is called Neverland, but it’s nothing like the Neverland you’ve heard about in stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through your fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and tries to find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the captivating pirate who promises to keep her safe.
Caught in the ultimate battle between good and evil, with time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to finally face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But can she save Neverland without losing herself?
Tormentor Mine (Tormentor Mine #1)
Review of Unhooked
Unhooked is a standalone novel by author Lisa Maxwell. I will admit to being intrigued by all the unique and fresh re-imaginings of the more popular fairy tales. Peter Pan has always been a favorite of mine; so, when I saw this book sitting on the shelf of Books-a-Million in Portland, Maine, I just had to check it out. There were quite a few things about this novel that piqued my interest- first, the brooding, seafaring Captain Hook. Unhooked’s captain is nothing like the one in Disney’s animated Peter Pan, or is he anything like Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal in the 1991 film Hook. This Captain doesn’t sport a long, curly wig or sport an obnoxious handlebar mustache- the only thing he sports is a wicked hook, a brooding disposition, and looks that tempt a girl to never want to leave Neverland, despite how dark and ominous this version of the land is.
The second thing that caught my interest was Neverland itself. Lisa Maxwell’s description of this whimsical world is imaginative, that you almost feel like you’re there with the characters. The mermaids in this tale were blood-thirsty and frightening, the fairies weren’t glittery and sweet-they were tricksters whose skills were more aligned with manipulation and deceit. The lost boys weren’t young boys who longed for a mother- Nope. They operate solely on mayhem and violence. They are more apt to terrorize someone’s mother than to ask to be read to and tucked in at night. Even the land itself is dangerous. With it constantly shifting and changing, you could end up being the victim of a harrowing survival tale, rather than the heroine of a dashing adventure. Finally, Peter Pan himself is a character worth noting- This Peter isn’t the fun-loving, brave hero that we were introduced to in “Peter Pan” or “Hook”. This guy might be considered handsome and charming- but he’s as bad as the Fae that I described above.
The heroine of the novel, Gwendolyn “Gwen” Allister describes a strained relationship with her mother because she feels her Mom’s ramblings about monsters is ruining their lives. After all, they have just moved to London in the beginning of the story to escape them. Luckily, Gwen gets to bring her best friend Olivia along to help her get settled in to her new home. We begin detecting something “off” in the beginning of the story by the situation with the lantern Gwen is told to keep on in her room, and Gwen’s strange encounter with a beautiful, albeit ominous, woman (Unhooked’s creepy version of Tinker Bell). My suspicion that this story was heading toward a more dark re-telling was confirmed when Gwen and Olivia are snatched from their room in the night by monstrous creatures and swept away to Neverland, where Gwen nearly drowns.
This retelling of Peter Pan is brilliant! The characters are three dimensional, the imagery and descriptions were extraordinary, the romance was tantalizing, and the story developed perfectly. I found myself chuckling at a few parts, fanning myself after a few encounters with Gwen and Hook, and anxiously gripping the book during the more tense, bone-chilling moments. Unhooked is the perfect blend of adventure, mystery, horror, and romance.
If you’re looking to be swept away into another world, pick up (or download) your copy of Unhooked today!
by Anna ZairesDima Zales
Published by Mozaika LLC on March 28th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense, Action & Adventure, New Adult, General
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A new dark romance from New York Times bestseller Anna Zaires
He came to me in the night, a cruel, darkly handsome stranger from the most dangerous corners of Russia. He tormented me and destroyed me, ripping apart my world in his quest for vengeance.
Now he's back, but he’s no longer after my secrets.
The man who stars in my nightmares wants me.
Tormentor Mine by Anna Zaires
Tormentor Mine is the first book in a series by New York Times bestselling author Anna Zaires. I will warn you that there are some situations in the book that might be somewhat disturbing to some. For example, you will often ask yourself as you read through whether the heroine, Sara, truly cares for the love interest Peter because of the way he “takes care of her” or because she might be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. To be honest, by the end of the novel I wasn’t quite sure myself.
The story starts off with Peter’s quest for vengeance. Sara happened to be an innocent bystander who had the misfortune of being married to a man Peter is determined to kill. Peter attacks Sara in her home and basically tortures the information of her husband’s whereabouts from her. The methods he used to extract this information is reflective of his experiences working in Russia’s special forces. I found myself outraged and horrified for her. I don’t blame her for unwittingly disclosing the information (he did waterboard her, tie her to a chair, and then drug her after all) which resulted in the death of her husband. We do later learn of Sara’s now deceased husband’s actions which led to Peter’s vengeance.
This is the first romance novel I have read where the heroine suffers from PTSD, anxiety, and panic attacks due to the harrowing actions of the love interest. After attacking Sara, Peter finds himself thinking of her. He then decides it would be a great idea to set cameras up all over her house and have people follow her every move. His interest slowly grows into obsession, until finally he decides to play house with Sara. Peter forces Sara to endure his presence, despite her knowing he had tortured her and killed her husband (which she suffers a tremendous amount of guilt for).
This story is seriously unconventional and if you’re not into the whole stalking, obsessing, torture, or psychological, and seriously twisted form of “love” found in this novel, then it might not be for you. However, if you’re wanting to read something completely different from the mainstream love story, then this one will be perfect for you. I will admit to being intrigued by the concept, shocked by the situations presented in the story, and intrigued by both the main characters. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in Sara’s situation. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be loved by someone as intense, dominant, and somewhat scary like Peter.
Finally, Tormentor Mine was well written and the characters provided enough depth that you enjoyed getting into their heads a little. Anna Zaires certainly knows how to leave the reader gasping at the cliffhanger! Ah! Now I’m going to have to pre-order the next one so I can see where the hell Sara is being taken now. The second novel in the Tormentor Mine series, Obsession Mine, is scheduled to be released on November 14th, 2017.
Like this review of Tormentor Mine by Anna Zaires? Checkout my other reviews here!
You can get this book instantly for the Kindle on Amazon for $4.99.