Thursday, August 1, 2013

Four short reviews of books I read in 2013 but didn't review

I take a long time to write reviews. Like multiple hours long. I love the process, but I just can't manage it for every book I read. That's why I was very intrigued by Sunny @ The Blue Sky Bookshelf's recent post featuring short reviews of several books she never took the time to review. I really wanted to do my own, and Sunny was very willing to share the idea. Let me tell you, it was incredibly freeing to write quick paragraphs of all of these books. 

Sweet Peril 
by Wendy Higgins
Published: April 30, 2013 by HarperTeen
Source: Kindle purchase
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #2

Description from Goodreads: Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

My thoughts: I though Sweet Evil was a fascinating take on demon lore that made me uncomfortable upon execution (see what I thought about book 1 HERE). Going into Sweet Peril, I was eager/hopeful to see Kai's character development, and how his relationship with Anna was going to progress. I'm thrilled to say that both of those elements surpassed my expectations  I really enjoyed watching him become a bit more vulnerable and real - don't worry there's lots of cock bad boy in here too. Anna grew up a lot as well. I like that despite her bit of edge in this book, she is the same pure soul underneath, and that she hasn't given up the core of who she is. These characters' struggle to reconcile personal survival with their own desires is one of my favorite conflicts in this series. 

Sweet Peril involves travel and I loved going around the world and meeting other children of demons. We also get to see our friends from the first book again, including more Kopano. At one point there's a hint that there could be a triangle, but don't worry. Anna never wavers and it doesn't go anywhere at all. I know that some people have complained that this one is slower and Kai isn't in all of it, but I enjoyed the development of the overall storyline, as well as seeing the characters mature and understand the reality of what they're facing. I can't wait to see where the next one goes. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low


by J. Lynn (AKA Jennifer Armentrout)
Published: July 15, 2013 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
Source: BEA (thank you Spencer Hill!)

Description from GoodreadsFor twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.

My thoughts: Boy does Armentrout know how to amp up the chemistry. These two characters were pretty on fire together. I'm also so thankful that this is a dual narrative, or else I would have not been into Kyler at all. I am totally over the hot-man-whore and his virgin best friend who's pining away for him as he sleeps with anything in a skirt. But as much as I tried to stay away, JA was just too good at making me sympathize with this guy. However, I wasn't overwhelmed by the mystery plotline. it more seemed like a convenient device to finally get these two together. I will also admit to feeling like JA's couples are all starting to run together. I think I will stick to the series I'm reading and not start any more of hers for a while. But Frigid was an indulgent, palate cleansing read with major swoon. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone. Part of a companion series. 

by Sarah Alderson
Published: March 31, 2013 by Amazon
Source: Kindle Purchase
Series: Fated book 3

Description from Goodreads: Fate has won. The realms have been severed...but the fight’s still far from over. 

It’s been three months since the devastating battle that closed the way through between this world and the demon realms but Evie’s still reeling from all she's lost.

When news reaches her that a group of Originals is on the prowl in LA and growing in numbers, Evie must decide whether to join the rogue Hunters in a final battle or fight her fate one last time.

The way through might be closed. But that doesn’t mean Evie’s got closure.

My thoughts: Shadowed is the third book in Sarah Alderson's Fated series. While I enjoyed Fated and Severed, the first two books in this series, I was stressed out for the majority of the time I read Shadowed, and as a result it was just not a fun book for me at all. For the first half of the story I was worried whether certain characters were still alive, and then for the rest I was worried whether two people would ever reconnect. Also during that time a potential love triangle was plaguing me like a buzzing bumblebee threatening me with its stinger. Instead of being excited about all the action and swoon, my nerves where high for most of the time that I was reading this one. All of you should take this with a side of "Lauren doesn't like love triangles." I've also found that waiting until the very end of a series for two people to connect is just not fun for me. But Alderson is still an author that I enjoy and I'm excited about her new book The Sound

Love Triangle Factor: Felt at least medium, but realistically mild.
Cliffhanger Scale: Series conclusion. (Author has hinted that there may be another book in this series but I believe it will feature a different MC). 

Eleanor and Park 
by Rainbow Rowell
Published: February 26, 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Library

Description from Goodreads: Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

My Thoughts: (Slightly spoilery, if you've yet to read this book) You are all probably wondering why this book is on this list. Well I read it after the huge wave of fandom and really really loved it, though it honestly broke me. I worked on what I thought was a great review all about how this book was like falling in love for the first time with all its highs and lows, awkwardness and shivery feelings. Then I read John Green's review of this book, where he said in one sentence, exactly what I wrote in several paragraphs. Of course he did it much more brilliantly than I. That's when I just gave up on my thoughts. But I do love this book, and I am DYING for a sequel, because these two souls need happiness and they need to find it TOGETHER.  

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Written as a standalone, but there may be a sequel. (I hope so!)

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  1. I love short reviews.They really do take the pressure off! I'm looking forward to reading Sweet Peril soon -- glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Hey, I've got some mini-reviews going up tomorrow! I read so many books, there's just no way I can get them all reviewed (even if it's just the ones I requested) so I've got a bunch of minis coming up, just so I can share. Loved Eleanor and Park!!

  3. I need to do some mini-reviews. I just hate not being able to review every book I read, but doing this would really help. I enjoyed Frigid too, it was definitely a fun way to spend a couple of hours. I'll read anything Jennifer Armentrout writes! I'm becoming a bit wary of reading Eleanor & Park--it sounds like the ending is not happy. I've tried not to read anything too specific about it, but I'm getting snippets here and there. ~Pam

  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed Sweet Peril Lauren! I just loved that one, and like you, didn't mind Kai's absence too much because I thought it gave Anna lots of time to really grow and develop without him. And I just loved how Anna handled things with Kope, she managed to make a second book with threat of love triangle into a stress-free situation for me. I've heard good things about the Fated series, though I feel like Severed is one of those books where I'm going to need someone to tell me everything that happens in it before I pick it up so it doesn't stress me out the way it did you! I can't handle books like that, I have to know how everything works out before I read them:)

  5. Ok, didn't read your review for E&P because I haven't read it yet. I'm glad to know that Sweet Peril has character growth and the world builfing continues to be strong. I had the same problem with Frigid, Kyler was a douche. I didn't connect with him at all though and the dual POV didn't help me that much. I feel the same that JLA's books are just melting together too much and the characters are wayyyyy too similar. I'm not giving up though lol:)

  6. I've been doing some mini reviews myself. It's a growing trend, but it makes sense with all of the books we bloggers read. There's just not enough time to do a full, comprehensive review of every single book. Anyway, I wasn't as impressed with Sweet Peril, and it wasn't just because Kai was absent for the first half. Honestly, after a re-read of Sweet Evil, neither book held the magic that my first read of SE did. I guess my tastes have changed a lot in that time. The only other one I've read in this post is E&P, and even though I didn't love it as much as everyone else, I think I'd love it more if I knew there was a sequel. That ending kind of broke me.

  7. I recently picked up Eleanor and Park, so I'm really glad to see you enjoyed that one. I sorta realized JA's books were running together for me when I tried her other adult novels, so while I love the swoon, I'm going to let Lux get over first I think. I'm also not a fan of Alderson. I liked her Hunting Lila duology, but just barely. Great reviews, though, Lauren! I've used to review every book I read, but I'm starting to break away from that mold more often, but I really enjoyed these and found them helpful. :)

  8. Thanks for linking me! I'm so happy you did it because it really is freeing to write such short reviews :) Sweet Peril sounds really interesting and I love the sound of Eleanor & Park, although it would make me nervous. I have such a hard time voicing my thoughts on really great books, I can't have another problem like that! Love the post, Lauren :)

  9. I love writing mini reviews, you get your point across without writing too much or having to take to long!

    I really need to read Eleanor & Park, I've had it for so long :)

  10. Hmm.... I fell in love with the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout and just bought Frigid on my kindle-- but now you have me worried! You are the 2nd or 3rd person this week to give it a less than stellar review!! Boooooo. hahhaha

  11. Of these books I've only read E & P and you know I loved it! Thanks for the John Green link because I never read it--wow, to receive a positive review from someone like Green must absolutely MAKE an author's day:) And ditto to NEEDING a sequel--sooner rather than later.

    I own Sweet Evil, had to get it after reading your review, but still haven't read it yet.

    And Sarah Alderson. You know, I read one of her books, and while I enjoyed it, it didn't wow me as much as I would have liked, so I've never read more. Maybe I should reconsider...

    Love these mini reviews--wish I could do that, mine are so long though!

  12. I love mini-reviews - a nice little mix up sometimes :) Anyway, I've only read Eleanor & Park but I didn't end up reviewing it. I really liked it (and would love a sequel) but wasn't quite as in love with as I'd expected. Have you read her book Attachments? I ADORED that one.


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