Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1) You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. 

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back. 

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

My Review:

This book was a creepy Gothic novel about the devil, and a guy named River West.  As you read this book, it pulls you in and makes you intrigued about what is going on in this town, because some pretty weird stuff is happening.


Violet is an interesting main character.  She is different from most other people her age, and she doesn't really fit in with others at school.  She likes to read and pray to her grandma Freddie.  She wears her grandma's old clothes, something that her brother, Luke, thinks is weird.  The only people who she really talks to are Luke and a neighbor named Sunshine.  That is, until River West moves into her guesthouse.

River West is a fascinating character.  He says things that never really seem to be quite true.  He has a way of being charming and winning Violet over.  She starts falling for him, but she isn't sure he is a good guy.  Strange things start happening in town, and it seems like River may have something to do with them. Of course, she is right that he does have something to do with these things.  River is a morally ambiguous type of character.  He does some really bad things, but he doesn't seem to think that he is causing any harm.  He has the glow, which allows him to make other people see things, and he is basically addicted to using it.  

Some other interesting characters are Luke, Sunshine, and Jack.  Luke is Violet's twin brother, and he changes throughout the book.  Sometimes it seems like he cares about his sister, and other times he seems distant from her and mean.  Sunshine is friends with Violet, and she seems to like Luke.  Luke and Sunshine have an interesting relationship.  They flirt with each other all of the time, but it is difficult to tell how they actually feel about each other.  Jack is a young, serious boy who tells other children to watch for the devil.  The scenes when the children are in the graveyard with sticks, waiting to kill the devil, are quite eerie to read.

If you like YA Gothic paranormal, read this book.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: How To Love by Katie Cotugno

How to Love Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

My Review:

I bought this book as soon as it came out, and I scheduled a buddy read for it on a Goodreads group.  As soon as the buddy read date arrived, I dove into this book.  And I absolutely loved this book.  The story and the characters are so amazing.  I kept on reading more of this book whenever I had the time.  


Reena's character is very well-written in both timelines.  In the Before timeline, she is a high school student who is working on graduating early and applying to college.  She wants to travel, and she wants to get out of the town where she has lived for her entire life.  In the After timeline, Reena has a rocky relationship with her dad, and she is raising her daughter, Hannah.  She has taken responsibility for her pregnancy by raising her kid.  

Sawyer is also a good character, one who does some not so good things but also has some reasons of his own for acting the ways that he does.  What happened to Allie has obviously affected him, enough to hurt some of his other relationships.  He does run away, but you find out some things about his running away that makes it not as bad.  Also, he makes a good point when he says that Reena was going to leave him for college anyway.  Sawyer was not the best influence to Reena when it came to him convincing her to skip school to be with him, but he is a good guy at heart.  When he found out he had a daughter, he definitely wanted to step up and be a father to her.  He did not want to just ignore her and pretend she did not exist.  He still wanted to be with Reena too because he loved her.

Reena's relationships with several other characters aside from Sawyer are well portrayed in this novel.  Her dad has not really been there for her since she got pregnant.  He was so disappointed in her that he called her awful names and would not forgive her.  Reena's stepmom, Soledad, was still disappointed, but she was much better about Reena's pregnancy than Reena's dad.    In the beginning of the After chapters, Reena was dating a guy named Aaron, who was the brother of her best friend, Shelby.  Shelby was a good friend to Reena, and she was always there for her, except for when they fought a bit.  I knew that Reena couldn't stay with Aaron because it wouldn't be fair to him when she was still in love with Sawyer.  Allie was Reena's best friend in the Before timeline who died in a car accident.  She had been in a fight with Reena at the time of her death because she started dating Sawyer despite knowing that Reena had liked him for years.  That pretty much ruined their friendship.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsidian (Lux, #1) Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don't kill him first, that is.

My Review:

Obsidian was a great start to a paranormal series that I will definitely be reading more of.  The characters were awesome, and I loved the dialogue, especially between Daemon and Katy.  Those these two liked to pretend they didn't like each other, I am looking forward to seeing some romance between them because I know they would make a good couple.


Katy is a great character who has a few things in common with me.  She has my name, though she spells it differently than I do.  She is a book blogger, just like I am.  I loved the parts of the book that referenced book blogging.  "Waiting on Wednesday" and "In My Mailbox" both got mentions in this book.  And there was also the part when she came home from school and her pre-ordered books had come in the mail and were waiting on her doorstep.  I liked Katy's reactions to Daemon as well.  When he was rude to her, she always had a comeback ready.

Daemon was a great character.  He was rude to Katy, but I could eventually tell that he really did have his reasons.  That was especially obvious when I read the bonus Daemon POV chapters at the end of the book. He knew that he could leave a trace on Katy if he used his powers at all, and he knew that would put both him and his sister, Dee, in danger.  Though it may seem like he's pushing Katy away out of meanness, he really just cares about his twin sister and doesn't want her to get hurt.  There was chemistry between Katy and Daemon, even when they were acting like they hated each other.  I really looked forward to seeing some romance between these two, and I hope they become a couple later in the series.

I thought that Dee was a good friend to Katy.  She is an alien, so she is not exactly a usual friend.  She cares about Katy, though, and she really wants to be friends with her.  She wants a normal human friend, because she doesn't want  to only be able to interact with her brother and the other aliens.  She worries that Daemon will steer Katy away from her.  She doesn't want Katy to get hurt, but that doesn't keep her from becoming friends with her.  Overall, I enjoyed her character and look forward to seeing more of her later in the series.

If you like YA paranormal, read this book.


Friday, November 1, 2013

November Releases I'm Most Excited For

November 12th:
The F-It List by Julie Halpern - This sounds like a good contemporary friendship story.

The F- It List

November 19th:
The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead - I love this series, and I am looking forward to more Sydney and Adrian romance because I love this couple together.  Also, this one is going to be dual POV between Adrian and Sydney.

 The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)

November 26th:
Crash Into You by Katie McGarry - I've loved every book that I've read by Katie McGarry, and I'm sure I will love Crash Into You as well.  I'm looking forward to getting Isaiah's story, and meeting Rachel's character.

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)