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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

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

YA Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)

Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle
Book #: 2
Pages: 416
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 4.26
Published: Sept. 17th, 2013
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

Taschima's POV:

Dream Thieves, the continuation to The Raven Boys, is captivating, weird, and magical. It is essentially the story of four boys, and a 5th wheel girl, in their quest to find a centuries dead Welch king--Glendower. In the last installment Adam had gone off on his own and sacrificed a part of himself in order to get them all closer to finding Glendower's grave by waking the ley line (a powerful river of energy that surrounds us all). They also all found out Noah's and Ronnan's big secrets; Noah is a ghost and Ronnan can take tangible things out of his dreams.

Dream Thieves focuses more on Ronnan, taking Blue out of the spotlight. What I enjoy about these books however is that no matter who is telling the story the rest of the characters still have things going on. Gansey is still looking for the Welch king and trying hard to be the voice of reason among his friends, Blue is still struggling with her "curse", Adam is being tormented by apparitions, and Noah is literally not even there for more than 50% of the book because something, or someone, is fucking with the ley line (which is essentially what is keeping him "alive"--or at least in this dimension).

Ronan is a very complicated character. He doesn't really want to watch the world burn, he is just really on edge. He has fears and dark baggage he carries along on his shoulders concerning his family; his father was an asshole who died way too soon, his mother is comatose, his older brother is the devil and his younger brother is the angel he could never be. Plus he has this really cool ability he isn't able to control, more like it controls him. All this builds up inside him making him a very unpredictable ticking time bomb.

The rest of the characters are dealing with their own baggage as well. Blue is still worried she might kill Gansey is she kisses him (which seems so trivial in comparison with everything else that is happening in the novel; I wish Blue had more of a role in the search for Glendower), though she is also trying to make a connection come out of thin air with Adam (which is putting Adam on edge because she is sending him all kinds of signals; I kind of feel for the guy). She shouldn't be leading Adam on, specially when she clearly knows that it is never going to work. On the other hand her relationship with Gansey is true and the romance is simmering. I think in the entire 400+ pages they had maybe two romantically tense moments and they were very well worth it. The romance is intense and Maggie Stiefvater knows how to give you just enough to keep you hooked. Though it also bothers me that Blue's contribution to the story is mainly the romance; she herself can't do much except be there for the boys and offer her family's services. Her family on the other hand is a very colorful bunch of ladies who could very well deserve a novella each. I would read the heck out of that.

We get to also meet some new characters, as well as learn more about some old characters that might have seen trivial before but aren't anymore. The Gray Man, new character, was a fantastic antagonist. For the better part of the novel I didn't know if I should hate him or not, and that is kind of the point. Mr. Gray is complicated, he is a hit man (something he doesn't much hide) but he is also a scholar. He is hunting for the Greywaren, beating people up and killing people but you also get the sense that he isn't all bad (which makes us insane because if this man existed in real life he would clearly belong in a prison cell). He is redeemable in that he has an honor code he goes by, and you get the sense he is a lost man who is in bad need of a stable home environment. I cannot wait to read more of him in the next installment. His relationship with the Sargeant family is special and comforting, and even though he is a hit man I can't help but want this exceptionally disturbed man to have a HEA.

Dream Thieves is truly worth the read. Maggie Stiefvater is a terrific author;  her writing is dreamy and occasionally humorous.  She creates characters that are interesting, three dimensional, heart breaking and heart warming. I love her words and her world and I wish to visit it once more in her next installment Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

Monday, 26 January 2015

NA Review: As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2) by Ann Aguirre

As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2)

Title: As Long as You Love Me
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: 2B Trilogy
Book #: 2
Pages: 352
Reading Level: NA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.71
Published: Sept. 30th, 2014
Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons: missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there's the reason Lauren can't admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He's the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever... until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.

Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.
Taschima's POV:

As Long as You Love Me is full of wish fulfillment, one that while entertaining at times might have done better as just a novella. I both liked and disliked As Long as You Love Me, which is why I gave it 3 stars. I liked the writing, the characters (sometimes... mostly Rob and Avery), the conflict (sometimes), and the drama (sometimes). Overall it wasn't as good as [book:I Want It That Way|20945757], and I felt like we should have probably stayed in the 2B apartment instead of moving the story out of its focused zone.

Lauren Barrett is a less than inspiring girl. She dropped out of college because she didn't like being around huge crowds of people and having to study something she did not love nor enjoy. So she moves back home where she conveniently finds that her best friend's brother, a man she has had a crush for most of her teenage and young adult life, is still living at home as well. His name is Rob and he is in desperate need of a friend. No one quite understands Rob, they just think of him as being the dumb jock (with KILLER superstar looks) who peaked in school. Everybody believes this of course, even Rob's current girlfriend, everybody except Lauren. Can you guess what comes next?

"But the smallness of the town meant everybody knew you, and there was some comfort in the familiarity and gossip."

Lauren is a small town girl for sure. Big crowds overwhelm her to the point where she thinks she needs to change her entire personality in order to just COPE. Although Lauren was the main character I had no pity for her situation. Yes, she is extremely uncomfortable around crowds, but the way she managed her problems... I just can't. Nadia is a woman to admire, Lauren is the one you pity.

"Nobody knew this--and I'd never admit it--but the reason I flunked out was because I stopped trying. People always seemed to think I must be dumb, possibly because I'm blond and curvy. And that pissed me off."

Lauren, saying that something pisses you off does not make you a bad ass heroine, or someone even worth respecting. Flunking out of college because you just stopped trying? That is a pretty fucking stupid thing to do (blonde or not). Finish your semester with decent grades in case you want to go back to school, and then drop out like a decent student. I know this is a work of fiction, but as a reader you are supposed to connect with your main character and like them to some extent, and Lauren was just not a girl to admire. She sure was nice to the guy she liked, Rob, and helped him with his self esteem issues, but at the same time she was incredibly self-centered.

"In some cases, time was unkind to high school athletes. They lost their hair and muscle tone. But the opposite was true of Rob. He worked construction alongside his dad, and at twenty=five, his shoulders were so broad that I wanted to climb him.Not with the giggly uncertainty of junior high, either. He was all solid muscle, great guns, ripped abs and incredibly defined deltoids. When you added chiseled features, strong jaw, blue-gray eyes and dark hair, it was hard not to drool."

Meet Rob:

Scott McGillivray from Income Properties, HGTV
He is basically this guy only WAY HOTTER IF YOU CAN EVEN BELIEVE IT. Even though he looks like this, he is still SUPER INSECURE. He was a high school jock turned constructor. The insecurity I could see it, because everybody underestimates Rob. Everybody thinks he is super dumb and that he wont amount to anything, even his family, everybody except Lauren of course. Rob is actually incredibly sweet, if a little gullible. Rob is the kind of guy that is all in when in a relationship, all you have to do is support him emotionally and be there for him and he is IN. Lauren helps him with his self esteem issues and with her Rob learns he is more valuable than he ever knew. Usually at the end of the novel, Ann Aguirre likes to write a small passage in the guy's POV, and if I had one complaint when it came to Rob is that his passage wasn't long enough.

"He smiled as he joined me, apparently not grasping that things were about to fall apart."

The 2b Trilogy has a script it follows. They meet, they fall in lurve, they split for some incredibly moronic reason... Well, that last part was just introduced in this installment (in I Want it That Way the reason for the unavoidable break up was actually pretty serious and valid). But seriously, the reason introduced in this novel for the couple to break up was so lame. It made me just plain hate Lauren, because she is actually pretty dumb. She treats potential enemies better than she treats her closest of friends, and her boyfriend. She is just so dramatic and self centered... I couldn't.

[spoiler]Lauren is an incredible hypocrite. She LOVES being the ONLY one who can tell how awesome Rob is, but once Rob finds something he is good at, something he could excel at without her, she gets all panicky and "OH MY GOD OUR LIFE IS OVER". How DARE anyone else see the merits of Rob? Only SHE has that gift. Now that the show, and Rob's attention, is not solely focused on her is that the world is incredibly wrong. UGH.[spoiler]

I feel like the 2B trilogy doesn't have a focus, a center. It seems to just be love stories tied together, which is not bad at all but I still would like to have something that neatly ties them together. Being as the series is named after the apartment the roommates are supposed to be living in I would have thought the series would kind of revolve around the apartment zone. Every other series I've read with different characters telling the tale there is always something solid that connects them, but I feel that the 2B Trilogy lacks in this area. It doesn't feel to me like the connection is strong enough.

Would I recommend this read? Maybe. I loved Rob, so maybe I'd recommend it if only so you could meet Rob and Avery (Rob's ex girlfriend turned enemy turned friend... she is complicated and I would totally read a novel from her POV). Lauren is a pain but she isn't as bad as other characters; she is a pretty good friend when you are in her immediate area and she does try (in her own special, and at times stupid, way) to help Rob. She was just not someone I could admire or respect. She is not of the kick ass chick variety. I would definitely have you start with I Want it That Way and then go from there.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Friday Feature: EGMONT USA Closing Shop; Top Egmont Titles to Read #BuyAnEgmontBook

"Egmont Publishing, which put its U.S. division up for sale in October, has announced plans to close the unit. The move, the Danish publisher said in a release, comes after the division failed to establish a "market leading position" in the States, and attempts to sell the unit failed."

Egmont USA is throwing in the towel. For real. They are fleeing the states because it seems they aren't doing good enough to justify staying. They aren't a big enough name in the states so they say fuck it. If they are not making enough money to justify staying I understand but... This sucks, majorly, for all the employees currently working for Egmont but specially for the authors who had titles being released under Egmont. Now everybody is going to be hunting for a new job... and a new publisher.

So I've compiled below a list of Egmont's top hits, misses, and the titles I really want to get before they close up shop. Every title is linked to either a review or its Goodreads page. I seriously encourage every reader out there to go on an Egmont shopping spree because they had some really good titles that shouldn't be missed.

TOP Hits:

Hourglass (Hourglass, #1) The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine, #1) Siren (Siren, #1)

The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark, #1) White Space (Dark Passages, #1)
HOURGLASS! It is one of my favorite Egmont reads, as well as Shadow Prince (the SEQUEL!! Can't wait) and White Space (I am still thinking about how weird this title was months after reading it --in a good way-- horror-licious). The Dark Divine has lots of supporters (werewolves, religion!) and Siren is a really good mermaid read (better than many many others I have read).
The so so's:


Pretty good read, if not a bit forgettable.
The Flops:

Of All the Stupid Things  Tris & Izzie

The Titles I Will Buy Soon before they go out of print (maybe? Better not take chances...):

Burn Out (Burn Out, #1) Every Other Day Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves, #1) 

Kill Me Softly (Beau Rivage, #1) Shadows (Ashes Trilogy, #2) The Mephisto Covenant: The Redemption of Ajax (The Mephisto Covenant, #1)

Spring 2015 Releases:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18135513-the-dickens-mirror?ac=1 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21520203-tear-you-apart?ac=1 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18053984-the-eternity-key?ac=1 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22608499-strange-skies?ac=1

**These are the titles I will be purchasing and it doesn't reflect their entire catalog.

Every other title that had a release date for after spring has been (reportedly) scratched. I really hope that every author under Egmont USA finds a new home in a different publishing company. I wish them the best of luck (seriously, I need to read their sequels).

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