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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

"I will be with her again, or I will die.
There aren't any other options."
-Ash, The Iron Knight

"If I let myself love you I won't throw myself in front of her.
I'll throw myself in front of you."
-Dimitri Belikov, Vampire Academy

Thursday, 28 August 2014

NA Review: I Want it That Way by Ann Aguirre

I Want It That Way (2B Trilogy #1)
Title: I Want it That Way
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: 2B Trilogy
Book #: 1
Pages: 352
Reading Level: NA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.76
Published: August 26th, 2014

Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

Taschima's POV:
"I won't survive this, will I? But the fireworks will be spectacular."
I Want it That Way was a surprise to me. A happy surprise at that. With the New Adult genre sometimes you get really good books, or really bad books. There is no in between, so every time I try a new one I dip my toe with some serious trepidation. I Want it That Way was different though, I actually really liked it. Well written with engaging characters that are not cliche. It is the story of two people who find themselves attracted to each other but who have some REAL LIFE reasons why they have to thread lightly around their attraction. Oh, and did I mention it is also a very dirty book? Not crude, just deliciously dirty. I liked it so much I am already conspiring with the gods in order for me to get the sequel NOW.
"Not all love stories end happily. Sometimes they just end."
I liked how real the relationship between the characters felt. Nadia is a College Junior student who is studying to be a teacher. Part time she works for a pre-k day care center. Once she moves into her new building she meets her new neighbor, the red headed grumpy guy. This self proclaimed red headed grumpy asshole's name is Ty. Ty goes to school at night (studying to be an architect) and during the day he works to support his 4 year old child the adorable Sam. Soon Nadia and Ty start having late night balcony conversations, they are clearly attracted to each other, but can this relationship ever end well? Ty has Sam to think about after all, and Nadia is just starting with her future life plans. Will they overcome these obstacles, or will they find a way to make it work?

The thing about this story is that the characters act in such a way to make it not be like every other formulated story out there. They are mature, which is a good thing! Sure we want reckless sometimes, but we also like when characters act in a way that seems real. It makes them approachable and I can definitely see something like this happening to someone in RL. I Like it That Way is about how in life sometimes things don't go as planned, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. Not every standard circumstance fits everybody, everybody is different and with different desires/priorities.
"It gets me hot when you can't help it, when you cut loose—"
Did I mention this book was deliciously dirty? It didn't shy away nor was it too much; perfect balance. The sex scenes? *long whistle* Gotta read it. Though the tender scenes are just as good really. It got the romance part just right.

I Want it That Way is a quick and enjoyable read. This is the kind of well thought out stories that the NA genre needs desperately. I read it in less than 24 hours, and already have the sequel pre-ordered ;)

Taschima's Reading Progress:

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

YA Review: Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1)
Title: Gates of Thread and Stone
Author: Lori M. Lee
Series: Gates of Thread and Stone
Book #: 1
Pages: 335
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.84
Published: August 5th, 2014

In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

Taschima's POV:

The first thing to note about Gates of Thread and Stone was the writing. It captured my attention instantly
"But what if she has someone waiting for her? A brother. A sister. A baby hungry for dinner. What would happen to her family if she didn't get up again? Stupid conscience."
Kai tries so hard to be untouchable, to not let the little things about her shit world to get to her. But ultimately she is a good person which means when someone attacks HER and the attacker accidentaly gets stabbed she has to help them not die alone on the street... even if it is begrudingly. I liked her character a lot! She is fierce and unstopabble. She cares for her brother inmmensly. Saving her brother from the clutches of their military is her number one priority in the book, and she doesn't let anyone, specially a teenage boy, derail her.

Yes there is some romance in Gates of Thread and Stone but it is not the main focus of the story so it doesn't take over and make you feel like it is a nuissance. You know these two friends have a connection,and you know they care for each other, but they have their priorities straight. Real romance can wait until after they save Kai's brother, which makes the few scenes that Kai and Avan have together that much more meaningful. Strenght of characters is so hot.

Avan is Kai's childhood "friend". They don't hang out really, Avan is a year older than Kai and stuck in his father's shop all the time helping the family business, but they always look out for each other. Or, more like Avan looks out for Kai. Their tentative friendship strenghtes when Avan offers to help Kai rescue her brother, which I think it would have been the only way for Avan to get past kai's defenses. Avan is strong and reliable, you just know he will go to the ends of the world for Kai.

The magic that Kai wields in the book is super under developed. Which is to be expected since she has always been told to hide her magic, and she doesn't have anyone with similar powers that can help her hone them. I liked the idea of threads of time ("Threads of Time actually sounds like a pretty kick ass title) that you can manipulate. So far Kai has only been able to slightly slow time down (for very short periods of time) but I can see where with a bit more training she could become an unstoppable machine. I am hoping in the next book she gets to hone her abilities, and that she gets to kick some serious ass.

Good world building. The state of the world was explained, no letting the reader wonder aimlessly. I liked the idea of mahjos (descendent's of the Infinites who possess some sort of magical ability), and the Infinites (which are like gods in a way). In the book it is said there are more than 50 Infinites in the world, and so far we have only met a few. Maybe we will get to meet more in the next book. Infinites are god-like entities that personify certain infinite concepts of the world (Time, Famine, etc). I liked how this an original, fresh take on all powerful beings. I give points for trying new things!

I felt like we were a little disconnected from the rest of the world though. There HAS to be more cities, other towns, if not where are all the Infinites making camp? This ONE city can't be all that is left of the world. So where are all the people?

The only things that slightly annoyed me about this book was that the author replaced cuss words with "original" words. It was ONLY the cuss words, which is why I was so annoyed. It is one of my pet peeves. If the author wants to create her own language, sayings, phrases, etc., then that's fine by me! I just don't think it is necessary to replace only cuss words. It breaks you from the flow of the read, and it is quite frankly unneccessary.

The ending was both equally sad and happy. Bittersweet. It doesn't leave at a cliff hanger, but still leaves the door open for a lot of things to maybe develop. I really am looking forward to the sequel, the possibilities are endless!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

YA Review: The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

The Aftermath
Title: The Aftermath
Author: Jen Alexander
Series: The Aftermath
Book #: 1
Pages: 288
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.86
Published: August 26th, 2014

Sometimes, I dream that I'm someone else.

A girl with dark hair who doesn't worry about hunger

or thirst or running from flesh-eaters.

In her world, those sorts of things don't exist.

Since the spring of 2036, when the world changed forever, Claudia and a small clan of survivors have roamed the streets of a very altered Nashville: polluted and desolate, except for the ever-present threat of cannibal Hoarders. Together they must undergo punishing tests of endurance and psychological challenge sometimes with devastating consequences all just to live another day.

With food and water in dwindling supply, and with danger lurking around every corner, no one can be trusted. And as her world starts to make less and less sense, Claudia begins to realize something terrifying: she is just a pawn in some sort of game, and all of her actions are being controlled from afar by a mysterious gamer. So when she meets a maddening and fascinating outsider named Declan, who claims to be a game moderator, she must decide whether to join him in exchange for protection and access to the border.

If they play the game right, they are each other's best hope for survival and a life beyond the only world Claudia's ever known: the terrifying live-action game known as The Aftermath.

Taschima's POV:
"There was no end of the world. There's only a game called The Aftermath, and I feel stupid for just realizing this."
The Aftermath was quite honestly a really cool idea that wasn't executed as well as I hoped it would be. There wasn't enough action for my taste (the whole idea being a video game-esque scenario), and for the most part the novel went by very slowly. I never felt like the main character was in any real danger, the sense of urgency was just not there for me. Still, the novel is full of fascinating ideas. What if the character you play in your RPG game were real? What if the game you are playing is their reality?

The beginning is confusing as hell, because you don't really know what is going on with this reality. Is the MC a character in a game, or is she a real human being? What is she? What is this place? And who is the girl who seems to be controlling her? I had a lot of questions, tons, and for the most part a lot of these were answered. The world of the Aftermath was well developed (as well as a devastated waste land CAN be developed anyhow) but the world outside The Aftermath is still mostly just a mystery. I don't exactly want to give any of the story away but I still have questions that were not answered about the country's history, questions that could have been easily answered here.
"I am not just some virtual person stuck in a reality that was created by computers. I am something else. Something called a character. A human trapped inside an intentional hell that's been created by designers--other humans."
The character of Claudia was okay. It felt kind of weird she had supposedly been sentient for years but then she just ignored all the weird stuff coming out of her mouth? And the weird shit she would do? She just brushed it off... Yeah, if I felt like my body was doing things without my consent I would FREAK OUT. It would have made more sense for her to have had the mentality of a prisoner inside her own mind, but this is not the case. One day she is just... fully sentient, realizing all the weird shit she has done or said through the years wasn't her. Again, interesting concept, little sketchy execution.

Also the "gamer" that was in charge of Claudia, Olivia, was a complete and total bitch. I absolutely hated her, and I hope to god that was the point. I couldn't sympathize with her at all, not even with her forbidden love scenario because of how ridiculously bad she treated her "boyfriend". Claudia on the other hand was more relatable, and after being under the thumb of Olivia you just wanted her to escape and be free.

Romance between Olivia and her boyfriend is just, blah. I couldn't exactly believe how he could stick by her, or why. She didn't make anything easy. As for Claudia and her romantic interests I thought it was rushed. I am not in awe of the boy she feels the butterflies for. I don't feel butterflies for him at all so... Also the objective of the boy in the game was very unsurprising.

I don't know what is on hold for the future of the series, but I think I would pick up the sequel if only to see what exactly comes next for Claudia. She was the only character I really liked in this book, I also kind of want to see Olivia burn (or at least seriously explain her behavior). Overall not a bad novel, it was just slow and it lacked some much needed action (specially for being in the video game genre).

PS; If you liked The Aftermath then you must try RUSH as well. Much more action, and better romance overall.

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