May
19

Title: True (Elixir #3)
Author: Hilary Duff
Published: April, 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 287
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
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Following the harrowing events of Elixir and Devoted—and the ceremony that almost killed Sage—Clea faces a new reality: With Sage’s soul in Nico’s body, the love of her life looks an awful lot like her best friend’s boyfriend. Can Clea and Sage really be happy under these circumstances?

Clea wants to try to enjoy their new life together, but Sage is acting different—angry—and she struggles to keep her friends from finding out what has happened to him. Something is clearly haunting Sage, and Clea is losing control. Can she trust her friends with the dangerous truth, or will she have to risk losing Sage to madness?

Final Thoughts:
Coming from a massive Hilary fan from way back, I have to say I didn’t like this book. What happened? Elixir showed a lot of promise, adding in mystery, warring factions, and a fun romance. It went downhill in the second book, but compared to this one, it was a masterpiece. Okay, it wasn’t a masterpiece, but it put this one to shame. There’s barely a plot anymore and the romance, it’s hardly setting a good example. Sage has become physically abusive and Clea just puts up with it. What’s worse is that she tells us she’s not one of those girls, but everything she does just shows that she is.

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Feb
24

Title: Demon Eyes (Witch Eyes #2)
Author: Scott Tracey
Published: October, 2012 by Flux
Thanks: Flux
Pages: 395
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Demons don’t die without a fight…

After destroying the demon Lucien, Braden—son of Belle Dam’s most powerful warlock, Jason Thorpe—doesn’t need the power of his witch eyes to see that everything in his life is turning against him: friends, family, and even his visions. When disturbing nightmares of Lucien’s return haunt him, Braden discovers that the simmering feud between the city’s two witch dynasties is fast approaching its explosive boiling point.

While struggling to come to terms with his attraction to Trey, Catherine Lansing’s son who should be his mortal enemy, a diabolical plan starts to unveil before Braden’s eyes. Young women are disappearing from Belle Dam, and as he investigates, Braden is forced to explore the dangerous unknown power within himself. But when the truth about his family is revealed, Braden must pay a terrible price.

Final Thoughts:
This book drained me. I wanted to like it. I really, really did. It just didn’t click for me. I enjoyed Witch Eyes a great deal, but with this one, it just fell flat. I felt like I was reading one big epilogue for basically the first half of the book. Nothing happened. The characters avoided each other, or if they did interact, it was incredibly stilted. As for the ‘plot’ of the book, it seemed like it wasn’t going anywhere. Read a hundred pages of characters whining, throw in few lines about the creepy voice in the main character’s head and repeat. How I managed to finish this one is beyond me.

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Aug
14

Title: Unafraid (Archangel Academy #3)
Author: Michael Griffo
Published: February, 2012 by KTeen
Thanks: Kensington
Pages: 403
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
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The boarding school known as Archangel Academy possesses a legacy of secrets known only to a privileged few. For in this peaceful, charming part of England lives a population of vampires at war with one another–and Michael Howard is caught in the middle of it all. . .

When Michael left his small Nebraska hometown to enroll at Archangel Academy, he couldn’t have imagined how much the experience would change him. Once mortal, Michael is now a vampire with a destiny that was foretold long ago, and a group of friends with their own mysterious abilities.

But there are enemies too, some of them hiding in plain sight. Being strong enough to defend himself isn’t enough. Michael must find a way to protect his entire race of vampires. Dark forces within the school will drive everyone to take sides in the escalating violence. And for all his new powers, Michael will discover that love, jealousy, and vengeance have a danger all their own. . .

Final Thoughts:
It took me over two months to make it through this one. I just found it a struggle to maintain an interest in the story. While I found myself originally drawn into the series and its British academy teeming with sixteen year old vampires, as it progressed, the overall story arc surrounding one seriously pissed off principal failed to enrapture me. In terms of Michael and Ronan’s relationship, I found that book three really didn’t take them any further. The mountain of angst they were put through in the previous instalment is practically non-existent now. Some may like that—they have past their tests and it’s them against the bad guys rather than mistrusting each other. I like a bit of both though. If things don’t get shaken up just a little, they can feel stagnated.

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May
27

Title: Endure (Need #4)
Author: Carrie Jones
Published: May, 2012 by Bloomsbury
Pages: 262
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

It’s all-out war (and no-holds-barred romance) in the climactic conclusion to Carrie Jones’s bestselling series.

Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .

Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.

Final Thoughts:
I’ve been stuck on this one for a while, and it’s slowed down my reviewing because of it. Something must have changed in my tastes since I read the last one because I just couldn’t get into Endure. It took me what felt like ages to get through Zara’s often immature inner monologues and barely plotted journey. It really felt like there was nothing happening. The characters went places, sought out things, even brought together a large scale battle, but it still felt like there was very little to the story. The romantic aspect was especially lacking, even though there was a love triangle. Neither boy brought much in the way of swoon-worthiness, leaving me wondering why I even bothered with this book.

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Jan
30

Title: Vlad The Paler
Author: Malthea
Published: December, 2011 by Dreamspinner Press
Thanks: Dreamspinner Press via NetGalley
Pages: 220
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

When half-Korean sci fi-fantasy gamer nerd Cyrus Gae goes out clubbing on his first night of vacation, he’s not expecting to be bitten by a vampire. Not in Florida, the land of sunshine and Mickey Mouse. He’s not exactly averse to being a creature of the night, but he’s righteously pissed off about the vampire’s cavalier eat-and-run attitude. Determined to track down Troy, the bloodsucker who turned him, Cyrus takes the name Vlad and begins a search that will take him to leather bars, vampire dens, and cyber cafés.

As Cyrus hunts the elusive vampire, he meets Logon, the hipster/geek love of his afterlife; Vinnie, his Girl Friday the 13th; and even an intersexual voodoo queen, while learning that being a supernatural bad-ass isn’t quite what he imagined. In fact, hardly anything is what it seems, and Vlad finds himself in the middle of an intrigue involving Florida’s master vampire—who isn’t thrilled about Vlad’s sudden appearance in his domain. With powerful forces aligning against Vlad, he’ll have no choice but to become the hero he never wanted to be if he wants to keep his beloved Logon safe.

Final Thoughts:
This is the weirdest book I’ve read. I liked the premise, but the execution was just very out of left field. It kind of feels like some of the fan fiction I’ve read in a way. It has that tendency to break the fourth wall at every opportunity, like the main character is giving a tour while he’s running around looking for a rogue vampire. The characters were fun, very quirky, but a little unhinged. There was definitely a heavy case of instaluv going on, with the two main characters professing their love countless times throughout the duration of the book. Oh, and for those that are interested—there was plenty of sex.

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Jan
07

Title: Witch Hunt (Witch Hunt #1)
Author: Nick Chivers
Published: October, 2011 by Dreamspinner Press
Thanks: Dreamspinner Press via NetGalley
Pages: 200
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Mike thought he could escape his past. He renounced his crown as High Mage of The Council, had the Bands of Binding placed on him, and tried to start over as a normal human.

It didn’t work. And now a part of that past wants him dead, and Mike is running for his life.

With his best friend, Andrew, and Andrew’s soulbound partner along for the ride, Mike can’t help but feel lonely until he meets Rick, an all-around gorgeous man who might just be the wrong guy—again—especially since Mike can’t shake an ex-lover who’s hoping for a second chance. It’s a lot to deal with as demonic forces pursue him from Mongolia to Brazil, but Mike has to make it to the safety of The Council if he doesn’t want to be the prize trophy at the end of this witch hunt.

Final Thoughts:
I wanted to like this one, but I just couldn’t get into it. I persevered through it all and made it to the end though. I suppose it follows the title, with the three witches constantly on the run from whoever is chasing them, but personally, I don’t think adventure books are my thing. I did enjoy some of the scenes in the beginning as we were introduced to the boys and their magical heritage, but the second half was a mess with way too many supernatural abilities brought in, sudden (and unbelievable) love proclamations and resolutions that came too easily.

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Dec
24

Title: Tantalize (Tantalize #1)
Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith
Published: February, 2007 by Walker Books
Pages: 311
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

This is a terrific teenage gothic novel – vampires and werewolves abound! Orphaned and in her uncle’s care, fiercely independent Quincie may be the most over-achieving high-school student around, but even she has her hands full with a hybrid-werewolf boyfriend and the opening of Sanguini’s, her hip vampire-themed restaurant, which turns out to have way more bite than she’d intended.

Final Thoughts:
Things started out okay, but went downhill the further I progressed. While I found it to be a quick read, the main character, Quincie, continually frustrated me with her poor decision making and general lack of observation skills. Also, the sudden renaming of a person just felt weird. Using a stage name in front of the customers is somewhat understandable, but in everyday reference to the guy, I just couldn’t wrap my head around that one. Kieren, the half werewolf, was about the only sensible, almost likeable character out of the lot—yet he was hardly around!

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