Saturday, 31 May 2014

Perfection by R.L Mathewson

Perfection by R.L Mathewson (Neighbor from Hell #2)| Review

Perfections by R.L Mathewson

Published by Rerum Publishing House on August 26, 2011
Pages            278

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Summary:
Zoe is used to taking care of herself and has long ago accepted that if anything bad was going to happen, it was going to happen to her. So when she loses her job over something most bosses would probably be happy with and her life starts going downhill from there she doesn't expect it to get any better. She certainly didn't expect any help from the loud jerk next door, but then again she has nothing to lose so puts her trust in him and hopes for the best. What she didn't expect was the once in a lifetime opportunity that he offers her through an arrangement where they both benefit and no one is supposed to get hurt, but she should have known better because her luck has never been that good.

Like most Bradfords, Trevor has a soft spot for food, but that's about all. He leads a pretty straightforward life and likes to keep things simple and that includes his relationships. He wants the perfect woman and knows exactly what she'll be like. So when he discovers much to his horror that he's thinking about his frumpy little neighbor he decides the best way to get his head straight is by working her out of his system. He'll keep her around, but only until he finds perfection.

What I think:


So this is book 2 in the ‘Neighbor from Hell’ series and I can honestly say the author is a genius. In this story we meet Zoe, a sweet, independent girl who's down on her luck. Her neighbor from hell is Trevor; Trevor is the ultimate jackass, he is the epitome of the word jerk. I honestly disliked Trevor for the entire novel, I just couldn’t stand him; hats off to the author for being so talented so as to evoke such emotion in me because I have never met a character that I truly disliked as much as I did Trevor. He’s entitled, superficial and his head is so far up his ass it’s unnatural.

This book shows that love doesn’t always come in the package that you might it to. I tend to shy away from book with weak women who have self hate issues, so at first I was apprehensive about reading it because I got the impression that was all I would get. Fortunately I decided to give it chance in hopes the author wouldn’t disappoint. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as I thought, because while Zoe insecurities about her body, she is still a strong and independent woman. I appreciated that while it focuses on the very popular subject of body issues and what is or isn’t beautiful, it’s still funny and compelling; it’s not depressive and sad. It’s extremely rare when I find a female character that I truly like; I usually find myself being annoyed by the female character but I genuinely like Zoe. She knows what she wants and she’s not pathetic and definitely not the typical damsel in distress.

Regardless of my obvious aversion to the male character because of his complete lack of any redeeming quality, I truly I enjoyed this book. In my opinion, it’s simply his tragic flaw… don’t we all have those? It takes a really good author to write about such a character and still have a good story in the end because of the strength of the other characters in the novel.

SincerelyYoursTheReader.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Playing for Keeps by R.L Mathewson

Playing for Keeps by R.L Mathewson (Neighbor from Hell #1)| Review

Playing for Keeps by R.L Mathewson

Published by Rerum Publishing House on April 29, 2011
Pages            220

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Summary:
Done with being the world's biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn't expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won't let herself forget just what the bad boy next door is capable of.

The last thing Jason expected was for his little shy neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruined flowers. After he decides to take her under his wing he can't help but notice that she fits very nicely in his life. Now the only thing left is to convince her that this is anything but a game.

What I think:


This is a fairly old book since it was published in 2011. I was recently introduced to this author by a family member. So in the space of a week and a half I binged read all her books. This is because I’m on break from school so I have lots of unoccupied time… what better to do than read right?

If you haven’t met this author yet, then you need to go out and get at least one of her books because I can guarantee that you’ll eventually try to get your hands on all of them. Lucky for me, my cousin had them either on kindle or hard copy… I’m kind of a book thief so she tries to hide her favorite books from me; which explains why it took me so long to read them.

So this story is about Haley, the typical shy girl, the pushover, the girl who notices everything but says nothing simply because she doesn't want trouble. To Haley’s dismay, she is forced to live beside Jason, the annoying, loud and extremely obnoxious neighbor who borrows her stuff without asking. Haley being the type who hates confrontation avoids Jason and allows him to do whatever he wants until she’s had enough and attacks him. Turns out people are not always who they seem and they happen to become friends where Jason decides to help Haley break out of her shell and stand up for herself

It’s been awhile since I've read a book that I enjoyed so much I started looking up other books by the author. This novel is truly funny, I found myself laughing out really loud at numerous times while reading. The characters are real and witty; Jason and Haley’s friendship is adorable. My favorite thing about this book is the fact that they don’t just fall in love; there is no love at first sight kind of bullshit. Their love develops over time; too many times authors make characters suddenly fall in love and the readers are left wondering how the hell did that happen? It sometimes makes the story boring and a little too predictable.

Of course this book isn't perfect; my issue is with their fight at the end. Naturally with this being a story there has to be a conflict. The conflict/fight just doesn't do it for me; I feel like the writer had to find a way to put a fight in there and that’s the only thing she could come up with, I was disappointed with the fight and that almost ruined the book for me; however I’m a very forgiving person so I overlooked it because the rest of the book is so good. 

SincerelyYoursTheReader.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Breakable by Tammara Webber

Breakable by Tammara Webber (Contours of the Heart #2)| Review

Breakable by Tammara Webber

Published by Penguin Berkley on May 6, 2014
Pages            368

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Summary:
He was lost and alone. Then he found her.
And the future seemed more fragile than ever.

As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise — until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed.

All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy…

As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat.

What I think:
Breakable comes from the writer of Easy as book 2 in the Contours of the Heart series. This book as stated by the author is not a sequel; it is the story from Easy as told from Lucas’ point of view. I was more than ecstatic to read this book because the previous novel was told solely from Jacqueline’s point of view and I often found myself wishing I could know what Lucas was thinking while reading it. Lately I've found that a lot of authors are now choosing to write two separate books to show the point of view of each character instead of simply alternating each person's view in one novel. This can sometimes be annoying as we as readers often find ourselves simply re reading the story, just from a different point of view. That however was not the case with this book, because while the story of how Lucas and Jacqueline met is still the same, we get a whole different world when reading from Lucas’ point of view. I found myself liking this book a million times more than the first one, simply because this book was written better. The writer paid more attention to detail and while her skill at creating flashbacks was lacking in Easy, it was done properly in this novel. I did not find myself being confused when she switched between time periods because; this book was simply… better. Also, while the author failed rather miserably to develop a setting in Easy, I have to say that she did an excellent job in this novel.

The story gives us a glimpse of Lucas’ life long before the faithful night when he finally meets Jacqueline and while Jacqueline was ignorant of his existence, we see in this book that Lucas knew her before that night when she was assaulted. He was a little creepy at times, watching her from a distance, making drawings of her etc. I mean, I don’t know about you, but stuff like that rings a little bit like stalker tendencies to me. This however, can be overlooked by the fact that he is such a sweetheart.

In Easy we were made aware of the fact that Lucas was also a victim of assault, albeit indirectly. We are taken on a journey from the night of his mother’s death to the moment he meets Jacqueline and after.

This story is enthralling and compelling. It has the ability to break your heart for the little boy that Lucas was before his mother’s attack and the person he became because it, a broken young man who made dumb choices but was luckily saved from himself by those who love him.

While this story is not a fast paced one, I still found myself enjoying it and being unable to put it down. I mean, who says a story has to be fast paced to be good? Don't we have enough of those? In my opinion, the story is worthy of 4 stars and I would definitely recommend it.

SincerelyYoursTheReader.  

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Easy by Tammara Webber

Easy by Tammara Webber (Contours of the Heart #1)| Review


Easy by Tammara Webber

Published by Penguin Berkley on November 6, 2012
Pages            321

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Summary:
Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

                                What I think:                             
I came across this book on goodreads and was captivated by the summary; so I went out and got it. The story is about Jacqueline, a girl that was attacked at a party by her ex boyfriend’s friend at a frat party. This happened right at the beginning of the book and while this was shocking and managed to get some emotion out of me, I have to honestly say that the first few pages of the story were a little less than beguiling. The problem? Sometimes flashbacks are not particularly easy to write and I don’t really think this author did so well with it; there were times in when I was slightly confused as to where in story I was. I continued to read the story simply because of the fact that I absolutely hate not finishing a book and I try to avoid doing so as much as I can. So I continued reading in hopes that I made the right decision by buying the novel. Fortunately, it didn’t fail me because the story turned out to be as enthralling as the summary and it turned out to be a good read; so much so that I actually ended up giving it a 3 star rating on goodreads. Assault of any kind is a delicate and touchy topic but I think the writer did an excellent job. She showed the thoughts and actions of a victim after an attack and how such victims interact with other people around them. She also displayed how the community surrounding a victim can affect how he/she reacts to being attacked.

This book forces a reader to feel, it brings out emotions and causes readers to stop and think about their role in causing victims to stay silent in these situations. It has been a while since I've read a book that induced so much emotion in me; so much so there were times when I had to pause and put the book down because of its shock factor. While this story looks at assault, it is far from depressing and dark as one might expect. Jacqueline finds herself liking two guys, one is the guy that saved her from being assaulted and the other is her tutor. There were times when I found myself cheering equally for both of them as they were both great guys in their own way. The thing is both guys have a secret, something I found very funny and a very original move by the author.

My reason for giving this book 3 stars instead of 5 is very simple; the lack of a setting. I love a good description of a story’s setting and this book didn't have one. The most we got in terms of location is that they were in a college (with no name by the way). While many other people might not see this as an issue, I do, because a setting makes the story more real. This did not prevent me from enjoying the story however as the plot was well written.

All in all it’s a good read which I would recommend it.

SincerelyYoursTheReader.







Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Scent of a Soul

The Scent of a Soul by Jennifer Thompson| Review


The Scent of a Soul by Jennifer Thompson

Published by Create Space on December 8, 2012
Pages            480

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Summary:
Fleeing her recent past, Lilliah Woods finds refuge in the anonymity of the present day inner-city slums. As she settles into the seedy apartment she must now call home, she meets mysterious Marek Jamison when he materializes in her doorway demanding to know who she is. From that moment, he becomes a guardian and guide as she gradually discovers his hidden world.

As their relationship develops, Lilliah learns of Marek's dark past and of a brothers' quarrel he has been embroiled in for years. The quarrel turns into a larger battle of good and evil, liberty versus tyranny, and the separation of love and lust.
With Lilliah as the ultimate prize, the deadly conflict reaches out to threaten her family, and the outcome of the final battle will determine her fate. Lilliah must embark on an unexpected path that teaches her to trust in the man she has come to love, and give of herself as she never thought she could...

                              What I think:
I was approached by the author of this novel to do a review. I have to say I was happy to review this book as I am a huge fan of paranormal romance. I mean, who is the biggest and most loyal fan of vampires of this generation if not me? While I was happy to read the story there was also a little part of me that hoped and prayed that this book would not disappoint me and destroy my already wounded heart with a bad vampire story; I mean there have been so many really bad ones out there (can anyone say "Buffy the vampire slayer?"). I admit that when it comes to paranormal stories whether it is about vampires, ghosts or lycanthropes; I can be the biggest snob. It takes a really good story to get me going so believe me when I say that this book was a great read (in slang terms it was bad ass to say the least). I was sucked into the story the moment I started reading.

This story in my opinion is a paranormal romance in the vein of other paranormal stories like The vampire Diaries and Twilight. Now I am not saying this to mean that the author copied from any of these stories; I'm just saying that to enlighten prospective readers of the nature of the story. Kinda like describing the taste of pomegranate juice to someone who has never tasted it by comparing it to cranberry or grape juice. With this being said I think the author was very creative and original with her own twist on the lives of her vampire characters. For example she had a different twist on what a vampire looks like, how they die and the whole issue of immortality (which to me are almost always similar in every vampire paranormal story, so much so that they are fast becoming cliches). The fact that this book gave a completely new take was refreshing.

I liked all the characters in this book. Albeit there were times when I found it extremely hard to like the heroine Lilliah, but that was only because she constantly made decisions that I thought she shouldn't especially when it came to Jack. I had a love/hate relationship with her because while she did things I didn't like she was also really strong and independent; I love that she didn't play the role of damsel in distress like so many of the heroines in other books. She did not change completely and give her herself over to the hero (Marek) like some silly little school girl. I appreciated the fact that she stayed true to herself and her original character even to the end of the story. At the beginning of the novel it was said that Lilliah is a virgin and that she plans to wait until marriage. I love love that she did not just change her mind the minute Marek took his shirt off. As a matter of fact there was no graphic sex scenes in the book, so this is a story that is ideal for a reader that likes romance but does not want to have to suffer through uncomfortable sex scenes (even though I am fan of erotica I still found this fact refreshing).

Marek, the hero of the novel is European specifically Scottish. Now I normally prefer my villains to be European because there is nothing like a bad boy with a sexy accent. But Marek was the definition of sexy. Though there were times I did not agree with him because he was a little too commanding towards Lilliah but I guess he was trying to protect her. I like that he was in some sense a little old fashion, maybe it is because I am a huge fan of medieval times and he reminded me of that.

All in all I think this book was a great read. I loved that the author developed each character perfectly however I think that there were characters who could have been written in a separate story instead of simply giving them a point of view in this novel for example Abraham and Keri were two characters that I think could have been written in a great sequel to this book. It was hinted at the end of the novel that Lilliah's sister and Marek's friend might be written as a sequel so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Overall this is a story I would definitely recommend.

SincerelyYoursTheReader.


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Order of the Dimensions by Irene Helenowski

Order of the Dimensions by Irene Helenowski| Review

Order of the Dimensions by Irene Helenowski
Published by      Irene Helenowski on September 14, 2012
Pages                287

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Summary:
When Jane Kremowski first began her graduate studies in physics at Madison State University in Wisconsin, little did she know where her work would take her. Now, she is embroiled in a multitude of dimensions all leading to different outcomes. She and her colleagues therefore must act wisely in order to take and keep away the Order of Dimension from falling into the wrong hands for the sake of her loved ones.


What I think:
Now while Science Fiction is right up there in my list of  top five favorite genres of movies and TV shows (It comes in at a close second right behind paranormal/supernatural); I can't really say that I have read a lot SciFi books. The main character in the story is Jane Kremowski; Jane is a physicist who with the help of other physicists has come up with a device called a "multiverser" which in theory is supposed to transport matter between different dimensions. Jane however has a secret; she has been using the multiverser to transport herself between dimensions. Jane thinks she is the only person who knows about the fact that she is jumping dimensions but little does she know that Dr. Zelov has been watching her. Now Dr. Zelov I have to say is my favorite character in the story. I have always preferred the antagonists in stories (Lord Voldemort, Zod, Loki and Lex Luther are my all time favorites). He comes off as the typical antagonist in a story; he wants to take over the world ("Pinky &the Brain" anyone?). What I realize after a while is his obsession with Jane, you'll see this in the fact that whenever he manipulates the multiverser he goes to a dimension where he is married to Jane even though he knows very well that Jane has a boyfriend. So this makes me wonder, is it unrequited love? Or is he just obsessed with controlling everything and everyone. His character to me is the most complex and interesting one in the story.

"Well, I was just thinking ... it would be fascinating ... if we could incorporate several dimensions into one. To create a world optimal for everyone ... a New World Order, if you will,” Dr. Zelov continued.

In the story we see where Dr. Zelov's character has come up with an elaborate scheme to use the multiverser to control the world with a "new world order" (think "1984" or "Brave New World"). There is one instance in the novel where the history of a whole country and the nationality of various influential historical individuals were changed to glorify one country which, you guessed it is where Dr. Zelov is from (talk about arrogance!). Every time Dr. Zelov uses the multiverser to merge dimensions and control the world, Jane wakes up in a dimension where she is his wife. She along with her boyfriend Randy and other characters oppose Dr. Zelov and end up back in a dimension where he does not control them anymore. However when they return to the correct world nobody but her remembers. Jane is always aware of the dimension she is in, however other characters do not always know about it. So she finds herself living in constant fear that she might wake up in a different dimension where she may or may not enjoy it.

Now I am very open minded when it comes to stuff like human cloning, time travelling, super human powers and the works but there were times in the novel when I was utterly confused because it was not always obvious when The characters were "jumping" dimensions. However, the further I went into the story the better I became at telling whether or not the characters were switching dimensions.
I did not particularly like all the characters in the novel for example I could not stand Randy (Jane's boyfriend and husband in some dimensions). I often found myself wishing Jane would stay with Dr. Zelov instead of him. That is what I appreciated most about this novel, the author found a way to evoke different emotions based on the characters.
I can easily picture this book as a film. I found myself coming up with different actors or actresses I would love to see play each character (I can see Tom Hiddleston playing Dr. Zelov).

I think Irene Helenowski is a very unique writer; she thinks out of the normal story lines that is seen these days. The plot was great and the characters interesting. While some of the ideas that are described in the book are a little out there and sometimes a little too impossible, it was still in my opinion, a good read. The only hang up I have with this book is that while reading I felt that the thoughts were a little rushed at times with too much happening in one breath which was confusing sometimes. Apart from that however, I would definitely recommend it.

SincerelyYoursTheReader.


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Friday, 4 April 2014

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass| Review

The Selection    by Kiera Cass
Published by      HarperTeen on April 24, 2012
Pages                 336

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Summary:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

What I think:
Now while I tend to shy away from young adult fiction, I have to say that this book was a great read. I had bought it on a whim because I liked the cover and the pretty dress... a little juvenile I know but what can I say? At first I was a little skeptical about it because after reading the first few pages I realized it was set in a future world or post war era and I am more of a medieval times kinda girl; I tend to prefer the past (I was born a few centuries too late). I however decided to read it and see where it took me. By chapter two I was completely sucked in to America Singer's life and all her surroundings. Kiera Cass did a great job in painting a world that was both magical and frightening at times. Though the struggles that were faced in the novel are quite similar to the struggles being faced today, the rich's oppression of the less fortunate and the wide contrast between rich and poor, high class and lower class societies, she described it in a way that was so different you could not help but wonder what it would be like if you were in that position. 


“True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.”

At the beginning I got to see how painful it can be when true love between people is just not enough, I saw where sometimes one has to be selfless for the one he/she loves even when it's not what he/she wants to do. I are then swept up into the whole "selection" process and I got to experience it all along with America. I liked that while Kiera Cass clearly had the theme of beautiful prince and shy poor girl, she did not create a knight in shining armor out of Prince Maxon; I mean I love the whole white knight situation as much as the next girl but not all of us want to be cinderella. 

Throughout the novel, I found myself getting very angry at some of America's decisions. There were other times when I laughed out loud and even broke down in some instances, imaging me sitting by myself in a restaurant making snickering sounds and grumbling at things that happened in the book... I must have looked like a crazy person! 
While it is written in first person narrative, we only get to see the world from America's point of view. I didn't mind this though it would have been great to see what how Prince Maxon saw the world (we luckily get to see a little of this in the novella "The Prince"). 

Though this book is not as fast paced as others, I really had a good read. After reading I found myself seeking out young adult fiction at the book store or on amazon. Overall I would definitely recommend it. 

SincerelyYoursTheReader.