Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Experiment in Terror continues!

On Demon Wings (Experiment in Terror, #5)On Demon Wings by Karina Halle
My rating: 4.8 of 5 stars

To tell you the truth, I didn't think anything could top
  Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror, #3)
but this book so very close! It is that insidiously scary! After   Lying Season (Experiment in Terror, #4)
I was scared that Perry would become like the other so-called heroines in contemporary romances which was true but in a healthy way... I was hardening my heart and chanting that Perry would never ever let that bastard inside but nooooo Halle has this cosmic connection thing happening which I resent really little because she does everything else superbly!
Perry has left Experiment in Terror and has found a crappy job and somewhat  average friends and she's hurting big time which I would expect. On top of that, she has deteriorating health  with scary disturbing dreams and premonitions her plate's full. The bombshell drops and in it's devastation there's enough weakness in Perry that she lets in a hideous force which will destroy her. That 'Devil inside' feeling was SO VERY REAL AND SCARY and that's what made this book so amazing. After Lying Season, it seems that Abby is still haunting Perry and she's having these shit scary dreams where she has a baby and wants to kill Dex. This does sum up her feelings accurately if a little sloppily but I still found myself lost in her mind and her emotions as she kept on experiencing this horrifying possession.
I sorta knew Maximus would 'swoop' in and have some sorta relationship with Perry and then do something asshole-y. Jesus, I didn't think I would hate the guy though!  It appears he's here to help her one second and then just suddenly he's doing a 180 and turning on her ALONG WITH HER FUCKING PARENTS!!!!! Ah, don't get me started on those dregs... I dunno what sorta people don't believe or atleast try to believe their own DAUGHTER! I hated them and for me they never really loved their daughter.
The most scariest thing in the world is when the dark demons are inside you and you're so helpless you can't out them and you can't even help but die so agonizingly slow and yet quick; you just see your family and other trusted people turn on you and you know the reason but you can do NOTHING about it!!! Tell me if there's anything worse than that!!!!!
I appreciated Perry's bravery and strong will and thoughts to fight what was inside her and this was a particular highlight for me. This book was mostly Perry's struggles laid bare and I LOVED THAT! When Dex entered the picture bringing old acquaintances like Bird (love that old coot...) even though he was sorta the eleventh hour samaritan I didn't appreciate him or that he comes to save the day... I would have thought if Dex would have tried harder than the lousy calls he did try only to just stop it simply to drown in his own self-loathing I would have liked him better but he's just a selfish sissy. The romance is gonna be one long-ass drag. But I like the other elements of PERRY (HAH!) and the scare tactics.
The thing about Dex is that he just gives up too easily when he hits some obstacle and this is EVERY SINGLE TIME which is so FRUSTRATING you've gotta admit and I don't like pussy men... SO for the rest of the series I'm gonna grit my teeth and see the Perry Dex link play out.
Can't wait for   Into the Hollow (Experiment in Terror, #6)

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
GOD how necessary this book was I can't express! If this hadn't been there along with
  And With Madness Comes the Light (Experiment in Terror, #6.5)
I would never have continued with the series because I hated that Dex treated Perry in such an inferior manner... This one's a compilation of scenes from the preceding novels, just some tidbits of important (at least from Halle's point) scenes from them to make us understand exactly how Dex thinks. His mind is completely male, hugely perverse, crude, idiotic, etc, etc but along with that you understand how his childhood (if very briefly) was, how Maximus is playing a part in his life (sorta 50/50 with the good and bad) and how his feelings are regarding Abby and Perry. I was banging my head in Lying Season and it's true you would to.... He's that stupid!!!!! I was equal parts horrified and scared.
To tell you the truth it's better to read the corresponding scenes with both their POVs along the series and this helps keep us neutral ground.
Can't WAIT for more!

My rating: 3.1 of 5 stars
Old Blood made me so so sad when I was finished. We've always been plagued with the Creepy Clown Lady right from the beginning and whereas we want to just stick her as an anomaly, through Old Blood you come to understand her if not sympathize with her. Interestingly this book is sorta important to be read before continuing on
  And With Madness Comes the Light (Experiment in Terror, #6.5)
because we understand so much of Dex's conditions. More so you get to know the loving grandmother to Perry and the nanny to Dex and what really went on with her life. Halle has weaved a historic tale from Pippa's childhood to her adult years in Stockholm ending with those refugee American years... The only frustrating and unforgivable thing is that of all the warnings she recieved, and trust me she had so many- a bucket load!, she didn't heed even ONE. The thing is she believed Jacob but never listened to his warnings; at first this is understandable but after that, not so much... This seemed a way to just stretch the story nevertheless I did enjoy reading it. We get to know future bad forces of the series and more depth to characters especially Perry's parents' bizarre mistrust with her; after getting to know that, I hated them even MORE. UGH. This book is just a story of a normal misguided woman who was dealt a bad hand but tried to stumble leaving her mistakes in the wake... Pippa was a saddening woman.

My rating: 3.2 of 5 stars
This book was really as needed as air for the series because the Lying Season and On Demon Wings made Perry look flawless and too broken. I wouldn't hesitate getting the second story so I made short time of reading this book. There were many 'cute' moments as is in a romance but mostly it was true to Halles' word a perverse twisted, sad, broken read just like Dex. I thought I would come to love him as is expected from authors when delving onto the male POV and even though I say it's needed doesn't necessarily say that I loved the person. So obviously Dex is a sad, twisted, blind (emotionally), selfish, scary, strange, broody with a capital B, sick and exaspertaingly acceptable man. You see, for all the Perry ramblings about him and his good qualities I don't see that in his mind. Perry has sadly like most of us, created this illusion of a man called Dex and has a serious crush on him only because of that 'cosmic' love connection. God, I feel that love connection is taking over this series! I don't like that one bit... But I like everything else so.. will continue reading this one!

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"Avoir, adieu, goodnight
I'm too wrong to get right

But I can't wait forever
I've always been alone
A fool believes he's clever

Don't you wanna go
Into the hollow?
I don't go alone
Aren't you gonna follow?

I live behind my eyes
Be sure to keep the surprise

I break what I've borrowed
That's why I always go
Alone into tomorrow

Don't you wanna go
Into the hollow?
I won't go alone
Aren't you gonna follow?"

Into the Hollow by Queens of the Stone Age

Truer words can not be said just as you have proved Halle!
This 'synopsis' is more for Dex than the whole book for me.
On Demon Wings left us struggling with Perry who had just been saved by Dex, the exorcist, Bird, even her sister (first and foremost!) Her sister had been the only pillar of support as everyone else had been turning on her... Now she's back with Dex whom she has still to forgive (which I completely understand). Right from the start there's so much sexual innuendos and tension that I was expecting them to jump each other after every five seconds! *huge laugh* damn! I still hate Dex's guts and know that Perry will take him back easy. Annnyway, Into the Hollow takes us into another myth/urban legend ride and here comes the ... *dramatic drumroll*
SASQUATCH! In other words- Big. Foot. Enough said.
Oh my god, even the ghost-believers don't believe in this mythical creature so I was wondering how Halle's gonna make this a creep-tastic or scary thing!  But don't you challenge Halle- The Queen of Drama and Creepy/ Scary things! This Sasquatch is one scary motherfucker and the worst thing is, this creature might be a living thing (or beast!)!!! Oh MY GOD. The scare tactics were actually normal except for the mutilated Llamas thing- Oooh! speaking of Llamas they were so cute! (yes, a bit fangirling be excused)
Anyway, this plot has as many twists and turns and they manage to surprise the fuck out of us! Damn those red eyes and those scary as shit claws and the furry beast.... This was closer to home and even in the beautiful Rocky Alps setting in the log cabins of mountains if you experience this beast on a rampage mutilating harmless Llamas GOD anyone would shit their pants and run away!
When this Big Foot/ beast was on their asses I was a quivering mess but I knew no real damage would come because hey, they are after all the heroes and heroines of the series! The supernatural abilities both begin to develop after their visit to the 'Thin Veil' (this concept has been a favourite of mine and original from Halle) and are quite easy to keep us on our toes. The whole Dex 2.0 thing- I don't really think he's changed or different that much but he certainly has begun to think more about Perry's safety and is trying (being the operative word) to be honest. He's still quick to shut down when there are problems in the PerryDex so that's still the most negative point of him (Most negative? Ummm maybe second or third, reconsidering everything...) He's still a huge pervert, crude and broody.. But I'm here for Perry and I loved that she found it so hard to forgive him I wanted to shout- Perry, you go girl! Make him grovel and beg not just shove pretty words up your ass!
There was an unexpected 'villain' person in this and that's part of the plot twists which surprises you. I really loved the log cabin in Rocky Alps setting and the scare factor upped because Perry and Dex were so mentally unprepared for the legend to be real (so you go with that flow and BAM! there's the Sasquatch!) There's lotsa physical evidence in this that makes you scared outta your brains and that's a unique point to this book!
WHOOPIE! Come Alive is next!!!!!!!!

My rating: 3.4 of 5 stars
Ah Come Alive THIS ladies and gentlemen, This book was the one that made me interested in the EXPERIMENT IN TERROR series. Very dramatic but so very true! See this came in the newly released tags and I was curious because of that beautiful cover so in I went to discover what this labyrinth was about... And I discovered something exciting, intriguing, new, rare and most of all unexpected! So needless to say I was excited off my pants to start this book because finally FINALLY it seems Perry and Dex are giving each other a chance after kicking the ghostie-asses for almost 6 books through the series! Another sad yet exciting in a perverse sorta way was that this is book from Dex's POV whom I don't really fancy but I expected to be fairly interesting. The last one Into the Hollow left lots to be guessed at; but still certain that Perry- Dex was happening, which was ABOUT TIME! And thus there's piles of excitement starting this. The beginning is cute as Dex is desperate to keep Perry with him (which is understandable) and keeps on showing off Perry (even with the inevitable ex-girlfriend confrontation); he's sorta pressed into showing off his feelings and stuff. Perry!! DAMN I missed her! *sad sniff* I would have LOVED to hear her POV atleast once or more here! Dex's mind is just a discombobulated snarl of perverse thoughts and distracted mind... To say the least, I hated him even more! (is that really a surprise?) There was the really predictable fact about Maximus's (or Jacob's) identity and all with the added unnecessary drama to drive a wedge between the long awaited Perry-Dex...The whole setting is the city of New Orleans, Louisiana with the lower class and derelict sites crammed along with the underprivileged people as the elements for horror. Then, there's the scare factor about which I felt almost cheated that there was none of that found because whatever they are, are nothing compared to the preceding plots AND, they don't even appear till almost after three quarters of the book!!!!!!! THREE QUARTERS! Yes, that needs a mention because this book/series is SUPPOSED TO BE scary! I felt sad that Halle kept me from the goods till the last quart!!! But after reaching that part it was so disgusting and puke-worthy that maybe (?) it made up for the lack of it in the parts preceding it. Or so I say. The 'villain' of this book was easy to figure out because that person fucked up the already 'fucked up' mind of Dex... GAH. Annoying little gnat! The Voodoo thing in this book was really scary though nothing compared to Dead Sky Morning or On Demon Wings. Even Into The Hollow was more intimidating than this. A lot of the climax part of plot elements (of the series) are coming together in this and we get a vague very foggy glimpse of what's to come. Some characters are put to rest and others continue fighting. There are two new characters with the Kick ass Rose in the front and the old woman Mambo bringing up the rear. I felt tired and frustrated (which is apparently all that I feel or at least a given emotion when reading Halle... *rolls eyes hard*) I had picked this series for a good solid reason and that reason bailed out on me, Halle!! How could you snatch this treasure (at least I had the illusion of a treasure shining in the distant horizon!) that you yourself showed in the first half of the series???? So cruel! But even after that I'm still pathetic enough to read the whole thing and still trembling in excitement for Ashes to Ashes!!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

One rainy day...

Some backlog reviews I missed before I got started with EXPERIMENT IN TERROR series, coming up!

The Sweet Gum TreeThe Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
My rating: 2.7 of 5 stars

I've always been fascinated with the concept of 'second-chance' relationships and there are lotsa books with such a theme. What is disappointing is that each one's the same and terribly off-putting... I came to such a point that even reading such plotlines disgusted me... I'm always apprehensive about picking such books up because right from the first one, I've been crushed by the way the authors handled such topics. It's the same tiring, exasperating and angering rigmarole; the last book I started (Forever My Girl) was deleted only after the first 2 pages! Appalling, isn't it?? I put this one off for a long time but after starting, finished it in a night!!!! Which is even more appalling!!! Conflicting feelings war inside me while getting down to this book. For once I was slightly excited for this one.
The beginning is absolutely great and captured my interested attention completely, which is saying something and this got me excited for this book. There were so many good points to look out for- the writing, the prose and style and the characters. It felt like the start of an amazing book. Allred managed to paint such a memorable story (atleast in the beginning). Her physical manifestations were vivid; the characters taking deep root, feeling real and human. I loved it until (as already is hinted) their separation. I just knew she would spin it into some acceptable-because-it's-the-noble-thing-to-do type of situation!!! The aftermath of the separation went downhill. Although I understand the need to give a child security, Alix could have atleast thought over/discussed it/given it time with talking about it if not her mom then at the least her dad. Anyone normally thinks more before deciding marriage. Then there was the overload of melodrama with Jenna and Hugh, Cody, Lindsey and other romances... Most of the 'healing' with Alix was definitely needed but it didn't need to conveniently align with Nick's arrival! Then there's the family component with which I had SO much hope!!! In the beginning I couldn't have imagined a better set of characters- the Judge (I just plain ole loved the guy, you couldn't help it!!), Alix's mom, her unique pair of aunts. I expected deep bonds, more depth in the characters and most of all- that feeling of a family. After a quarter of the book gone, it took all the familial elements with it. As Alix kept on making mistakes, I kept on screaming inside and I guessed half of her actions (more like, all of them!) even without Alix's forewarnings... I thought this book was going to be different than others but that great plotline went down the drain in the ususal contemporary-romance style route... It was as if Allred knew this and so I steal one of her lines when I say that I kept on hoping and hoping that it would get better so I didn't give up on this book but (you guessed it) it only got worse . SO TERRIBLY DISAPPOINTING! I felt as if I was watching a car wreck infront of my eyes and I couldn't do anything except turn around and forget it or keep watching this horrifying thing! I felt cheated! There was so much scope in the characters, the plot and the characters, period, that wasn't explored. After a quarter of the book it felt as if Allred solely dedicated her writing to a superficial, commercial all-too-predictable romance. There was so much potential even in the small-town community psyche... I couldn't even wrap my head around Nick's character!!!!! Her writing made all these flaws noticeable. After everything I sorta feel that this was one of the better books on 'second-chance' relationships so maybe it's worth a read...

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My rating: 2.3 of 5 stars
This is just the second book from kelly Oram that I've gotten aroung to reading. The Avery Shaw Experiment was a light romance read. I thought Oram seemed to have a knack for starting quirky characters and gotta say I love quirky! I had hopes that this one would be better than the former even if a bit cliche. A murder mystery never fails to catch my attention becoming sorta a siren call. Obviously any mystery paces any 'mystery' novel. That superficial mystery, ladies and gentlemen, is the only reason that kept me reading this... I don't generally expect 'tomboy' stereotypes to be knock-outs, first off. Secondly, I hated it, absolutely hated it that every other second Ellie became scared out of her mind (at first due to good cause for suspicion but later for no reason at all!) but then switched to lusting after the typical hot guy in less than a second. It was frustrating as it increased in frequency. That moronic absence of filter is (no other word for it) UNREAL. Sorry I couldn't buy that at all !!!! At first she was quite refresshing- the girl among guys who beats their asses at hockey, the one unaware of her 'beauty' (not being a knockout...) the socially awkward for guys she might like... It held such a vat of potential but like many others it fell short of my expectations... The typicality of her character & assumptions disgusted me and I could barely finish the book.It was SO SO SO SO very obvious that Seth is NOT a serial killer!!!This in itself was a disaster that Oram forced these thoughts through Ellie on us... Seth was an amazing superficial character ( I always, but always love characters with the FBI/cop feel to them!) if a lot typical and card-board-like...
A light stereotypical contemporary romance. 

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Deb Caletti has always been an author whose books are to look out for. Right from The Nature of Jade she has managed to capture my interest with her style, writing, plot and the featuring female lead. Stay is a very unique book with a unique place in my heart as well as my library. It's an attack of sorts on all those books out there dealing with glorification of jealousy, angst, passion and tying them with the concept of 'love' like Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey. I think Deb tries to show the other side of jealousy and passion. For me, jealousy and passion (not angst) are not really deal-breakers as there's rarely examples that get ahead of limits in real life. I feel there's nothing wrong for them to have a place in a relationship because it sorta makes feelings alive and not just something ordinary, to be accepted as part of 'normal'. There are different faces of jealousy and passion that are good and even healthy. Deb shows the unhealthy side of them in this book albeit flimsily. It's like she forces readers to find there's only one face for them and that's what has been portrayed by her. I feel sad for that because nothing is so black and white. Books like Twilight show something different and even teach differently though this book isn't behind in teaching things. Deb has fashioned an interesting tale inspite of it's shortcomings. If she hadn't fallen in the pits of those ususal contemporary romance shit, she would have succeeded in writing an attractive, unusual book but this didn't happen. The beginning of the relationship between Clara and Christian, itself, is, yes, cliche but most romances are. All of the warning signs were there glaringly (and that's not saying just in hindsight, they were clear as day.) and even if I didn't know the synopsis, it isn't hard to guess Christian's character. Christian is an overtly sensitive, slightly schizophrenic, unstable and obsessive (to certain points) character. Clara, ah, Clara was absolutely fantastic at the beginning of the book just like the book itself. (you know what's coming next! And it's disappointing...) She started off being this amazing yet gun-shy girl (due good reason, of course) but then I was astounded because she moves onto another guy as soon as she moves to the sea-town for their vacation even after everything ( I would have thought she would be more cautious or restraining of herself but she turned out to be not that gun-shy after all...) The flashbacks are sorta melding and yet disorienting in which she acts like the typical pig-headed and dumb girl when confronted with the fact that Christian is bad for her. Even after realizing it, she's too naive and idiotic to keep up contact with him (when she's been warned not to!!!! I mean HOW much more stupid could you get?) She isn't clear-headed at all, is too irrational, never ever realizing her mistakes even a bit, turning a 180 from being in love with Christian to fearing harm from him or expecting other extreme actions from him. Christian is definitely over limits of rationality but Clara realizing it too late is very mind-boggling and then her assumptions of his actions are very jarring as well. As the plot progresses it becomes more and more impossible to believe in. The only thing I believed was that Christian and Clara were not fit to be in a relationship at all ( I mean DUH!). Clara is stupid (very much so which is appalling) and acts like a 10 year old on so many occasions... I kept cursing her as her stupidity got only worse. I have no idea why Deb designed such a character ( maybe she couldn't justify any others behaving like this one?!) Clara's father was just like her and the plot- fantastic in the beginning but then crashed downhill... He was wise, easy-going, smart, had  a good relationship with his daughter and had a way with words. But the strange plot twist regarding him and Clara's resulting angsty teenage behaviour ruined everything for me. This story could've been so smart and refreshing, inspiring but Deb got sidetracked in the whole 'making this story an exact opposite of those jealous and passionate ones' thing and the unnecessary twists of the plot regarding Clara's father that she went elsewhere with the whole book!!! There were some snippets of humour, wisdom, beauty here and there...
A unique thought so I would say give it a chance.

What I Didn't SayWhat I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor
My rating: 2.2 of 5 stars

I felt this was a unique plotline because it deals with disability and how people cope from it. The pages in the beginning are so promising- Air Force, small town, cute interesting girl, normal but not-exactly-an-ass of a guy. I expected regret, frustration, anger, maybe some depression because hey, he can't tell the girl that he's liked forever just that. Or talk. At all. So angst is obvious. As is depression Thank god it didn't cripple and crush everything else!!! I'd had enough of that! Samantha I was hoping wouldn't be a two-dimensional character but she was. Jake's a lot better developed but that was really a given point or the book wouldn't be a book at all. The story was based on it's pace for momentum rather than on the characters. Taylor's writing is average at the most and sometimes without character or sloppy. Jake exhibits his emotions too well as if he has a vagina (Taylor would've handled a female lead better). He cries all too often at the wrong situations (which is plain sissy) and remains stoic, a 180 from that sissy behaviour. There feel gaps in the character. I did appreciate that even in her generic writing, Taylor didn't pile on the pointless, teenage angst and even when inserting normal reactions she didn't let them linger and fester. I gotta admit I didn't like how she induced change in Jake's thoughts simply by lamely justifying that others had it worse than him. I feel these '180's never last and are fake, not durable and unrealistic. The first quarter is quite riling but it sorta goes downhill from there, slowly. Jake's family is that small town, huge, knit, loving, reassuring family with lots of kids and supporting in a way. That element kept me happy. After half of the book, the situations seemed calculated/orchestrated to specifically forward the plot. One thing I liked was how Jake felt normal even when depressed, trying to look forward and have hope but yet not easily escaping the anger and frustration. Samantha's situations was sad but the consequences seem too impossible and I don't think Child Protective Services let estranged alcoholic fathers take care of their so-called daughters or maybe they do, what do I know... Although the Jake-Samantha love story is sweet it ain't deep. Jake feels the same. I liked the small-town 'community' feel but there were cons of this as well with the nosy sorta prying of this small-town. The beginning had a lotta points but they were scattered or forgotten and the story was fixed completely if desperately on the romance afterwards. A light contemporary romance read.

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Catch of the DayCatch of the Day by Kristan Higgins
My rating: 3.6 of 5 stars

This is the fourth book from Higgins that I was interested in reading so that fact in itself is very indicating. Higgins always gives a light contemporary romance with the highlight being those quirky endearing and entirely amazing characters that she is somehow able to sketch... and also, the pace seems real-time (a lot of the time). The whole setting for this story is a small town with that familiar and welcoming small-town community feeling, of course with those annoying cons occasionally peeking through the pages. I have to say owners of individualistic warm and welcoming diners that have been inherited in the family is a weak point for me... I loved all the elements of Maggie making her herself! She is generous (sometimes with a selfish reason but still that does get to my heart!), really big babble-mouth (which makes her so endearing!!!!!!!), sorta headstrong, HILARIOUS (and yes, it deserves capital letters to all of it!- I fucking laughed every other minute because of her antiques and each time I thought 'Oh MY GOD! That's happening!'and my hands flew to my mouth suppressing a spurt of laughter!!!) I ABSOLUTELY FREAKING LOVED the town and the sheer beauty of it! Maggie has such a rare and amazing quality that shone through every time her thoughts splashed on the pages- her ability to laugh at her own unpredictable yet honest to god actions. Her straightforwardness is un-fucking-matchable. To tell you the truth Maggie and Malone were gelling on a superficial 'opposites attract' kinda thing but both of them had so many flaws to work out and that is a huge highlight of this book. It's not some sappy romance taken due to a whirlwind leaving devastation in it's wake. What it is, is slow, burning, creeping in at unexpected times. That's not to say that there weren't any flaws with the characters. They were amazing and yet sometimes I was left confused because of the complete 180 or stupid block just to prolong the plot. Maggie was just too assuming of any feelings around her but that prolonged the plot and maybe sometimes created comic situations... Malone is not your typical romantic interest but the quiet (almost pathologically so), inexpressive to the core, caring in his own way, manly, under-statingly charming simple and normal man. God he was AMAZING. I would have loved more of his time in the book... He's definitely not some generically handsome too perfect sorta guy which is so refreshing. I loved the coming-of-age journey even if I was a little disbelieving sometimes seeing Maggie act desperately. I did sympathize with her loneliness because no matter how much of a loving (though not really that obvious in case of her mom for Maggie) family you've got there's the different sorta loneliness and the peaceful settlement kinda feelings that some people yearn to have. What she asks is very simple and yet because of that it's so hard to find. Maggie's family is a bit dysfunctional what with her mom having sibling comparisons at every meeting with the criticisms thrown in, her dad staying somewhere in his own head because of his discontentment with the marriage and lastly having a twin sister making life sweet and yet at the same time a little bit enviable (story of half the sibling relationships out there).  This is really light though it does have it's moments as refreshing with the 'deep' epiphanies mixed in. Worth a read.

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Until There Was YouUntil There Was You by Kristan Higgins
My rating: 1.7 of 5 stars

I feel extremely conflicted for this book. I have never really faced 'conflict' from Kristan Higgins (only for exasperating contemporary romance so you can see where this is going...) but this one is so frustratingly conflicting Sorry for lack of a better word but I feel stressing on that one. I was slightly intrigued with the foreword mentioning her feelings and a bad-boy character although this character is very superficial and two-dimensional which fact I'm terribly sorry to state.
*huge depressing sigh*
Oh well. It started off with me feeling potentially excited. You know what that means- there's a promising start and yet the book turns on itself after... *another sigh which is highly warranted* I have to say, there were more times I loved Posey than I hated her... which is good right? considering the other stupidly unbelievable character of Liam *deep frown*
Seriously, I'm so tired after reading this book that my facial expressions changing according to the different parts of the book say it all and words just don't suffice... The secondary characters like Vivian (I loved that old coot-so interesting! She was the best and it was such a pleasure reading about her estate), Brie, James, Jon, Henry, Stacia and even Gretchen (imagine that!) At first I thought Higgins was going to make it all dramatic but then that drama balloon was deflated and the one thing I did admire after liking the positive 'Posey' points was that she was okay even after the heartbreak (although this was conveyed briefly) A woman doesn't always need a long-lost crush on an undeserving person to live her life, God knows it's the truth!!! Most of Posey I loved- her kick-ass awesomeness, her dressing habits, her profession, her thoughts, her uniqueness, her quiet strength, her being an adopted child and having an even awesome family. Then there's the more off-putting things like her spinelessness around Liam (*again with the deepest of frowns*- yeah, you got it, just assume there's gonna be one every time his name's there... I'll be too tired to type it all the time...), her stupid teenage behaviour around Liam *Eh*, her doormat tendencies while dealing with Gretchen and most of all her ummm 'ability' to ignore Liam's *ehhh* mistakes and 'claiming' to love him. Sorry Miss Higgins, not down with that.
Liam *I don't even need to put that 'eh' now, do I?* is absolutely shocking in the 'bad' way in case you haven't already guessed it.  I loved most of Posey but Liam *hmmmph* here is another story! He was the man-whore from the broken home who always had all the girls trailing after him; then because of some lame excuse, stays distanced from Posey in high school and 'falls in love' with the golden girl of school and 'can't believe her choosing him' (insecure much?- I didn't think guys could act like girls!) and even after the marriage disintegrates; staying in love with that woman and eventually using that woman as a shield when falling in real love with someone else... As for this ex-wife a really confusing image stands by- she's sorta kind to Posey even though she comes from the popular crowd and yet acts like the typical spoilt rich kid in other memories... What is up with that?
The whole 'high school' bond of uhhh-Liam and Posey (I have to ask- WHY POSEY??? From Cordelia to POSEY? I DO NOT get.) is flimsy and sloppy and afterwards it only gets worse. Wouldn't you rather ignore the crush who spoke ill of you even back in high school? I don't care if it's some awkwardly sweet reason which Posey, I will point out, doesn't know?! I swear if I read more 'blushes' I'm gonna tear something apart!
*controlling sigh* Well. Suffice it to say Liam *EH* could have been so much better and although some lines made me hope Posey could be it ALL (particularly when she is full of attitude and ignores the patented apparent 'Liam' effect) she was definitely no better!!!
All the 'plot-blocks' were recognizable and weak as shit.It might be fine for a light read if you overlook the characters flaws, sometimes Cordelia seems worth the crappy read. I regret sitting up the night for this though...

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My rating: 4.4 of 5 stars
Sarah Dessen has always been the teenage contemporary romance writer for an enlightening and yet realistic though light read. Somehow she can always spin off this combination I dunno how... The characters feel memorable, easily relative, predictable (if at least a little), captivating and heftily built. To date,  The Moon and More has become my favourite book. I definitely didn't see that coming! After reading 2 back-to-back shitty novels namely, Motocross Me and Chasing Daisy I fell into a book depression but there's nothing like a li'l Sarah Dessen Magic of somewhat realistic uplifting, cheesy, teenage-y, light yet chic-lit, romance plot lines to restore my good faith in seeking solace from loneliness in books, my best friends, if not all of them. Dessen veers away from her usual commercially-pleasing light bubbles to some heavy clouds. The title is apt to the story so the beginning hitches off perfectly. Dessen, as is well-known, writes summertime romance/coming-of-age and this is no different but that is where the obvious ends. Throughout it all I was expecting the usual stereotypical things and they never came, right till the end. HAH! This is why the story's such a curve-ball and such a 'close-to-heart' kinda book.
It's already summer break after graduation for Emaline (the name itself being unique, is just like the character) in her small beach town. We learn about the relationship of her mother with her, adopted sisters and father as well as her biological mother. The pushing/pulling internal struggle between her love for the home town and the need to venture through new territories is well worth portraying because half of us go through it and relate with it easily. The pace is regular but there are many surprises dotted through the chapters that the line is interesting/ engaging, giving a reality check and full body to characters especially Emaline, her mom, the family and her friends.
There was absolutely no drama (NONE!)with Emaline or her situations and instead it's in the character as is the case in reality. Conoway with his moody artistic personality, Luke with his easy-going yet small-town-boy heart, Theo with his superlatives & ambition, boyish geeky charm, openness, honesty, overall 'NY' vibe, similar and headstrong natures of Margot & Emaline, the bratty attitude from Amber aaand the man who stole the show for me- MORRIS with his troubled childhood years, wisdom, loyalty, unconditional love & support, endearing sloth-y quality, most of all his coming-of-age. There are some beautiful sentences of wisdom scattered throughout the prose. Emaline, I saved for last even though Morris is my fav, is quite a misleadingly ordinary girl. All of the characters even Ivy show atleast one of Emaline's qualities. Benji is of course adorable and an incredible li'l addition. Mature yet uncertain at the best of matters just like all of us, perfectionist, reliable, responsible, Emaline is some girl! Just when I think something cliche is gonna happen, it does NOT. The pace is real-time. In the end she becomes a person who's comfortable in her skin which is an extremely fucking important quality to learn and a great character development. Morris is the stable spine, the rock in the background holding half of Emaline even without more book time and at the end, really comes out on the stage! God, I LOVED HIM! This is a lovely story of a girl who finds exactly what she didn't understand to look for but was unconsciously looking for, as we all do. Miss Dessen if You keep writing like this, I swear you'll be one of the best authors of all time! KEEP IT UP!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

And now the rain has stopped...

Hey guys I'm back and now that the frequency of rain is so slight I feel sad to say good-bye to it... But here are some awesome books I've read in all these days!

My One and OnlyMy One and Only by Kristan Higgins
My rating: 3.46 of 5 stars

Kristan Higgins has a special flare and style that's individual and yet somehow reassuringly normal with all those contemporary romance elements and flow, when combined is successful. For me, each book of hers that I've graduated to, has become only better as a read and that's high praise for a contemporary romance from me. Too Good to Be True was disconcertingly familial in it's theme with not much romance but there was a solid, earthy, grounding quality to the main characters and the secondary ones. She has a sort of formula for the books, mixing family and romance with an almost unnoticeable ease. This story was a curve-ball since I forgot the synopsis and when I started reading the note from the author as the foreword was rather dour and sharp.I expected the usual cliche that a girl with commitment issues meets that naive and tame but romantic guy who ultimately makes her believe in love (because she doesn't believe in love, obviously! )
In the end yes, it was a stereotypical ending but those characters were amazing! They had (along with the plot) such potential and I was excited to read it. I became entrapped in the Harper-Nick romance (Jeez, even their names seem sorta 'meant to be'!!!) I DID NOT expect the guy to be an ex-husband, an architect, a person with just as many flaws as the next one and so real ! This story grew close to my heart with so many reasons for it! Harper is at times frustrating, right, acceptable, the usual combination of smart, beautiful, witty, sympathetic to be a character and easy to understand. I absolutely loved her for three-quarters of the book because she was real and human and a woman not simply some flat character to whom situations happen. A ball-buster at her profession (divorce-attorney- cliche but apt), jaded, cynical upto a point and a realist to another, she made me feel that the most cynical people always but always hope for the best the most earnestly. The irony was bitter-sweet. Harper had abandonment issues regarding her mother that seriously messed her up, coupled with the inability to communicate was a major point in the reasons for her marriage to fall apart. The thing is Higgins weaved it so that I was extremely sympathetic to her. Her birth mother is a jealous-of-her-own-daughter, shallow, selfish bitch. Now when you're a kid you aren't really fit to judge or draw conclusions about a person especially when you grow up with that person as you're somewhat 'conditioned' to believe the best of said person. Harper's need to feel her mother's love or win it is sympathizing... Nick is the first character of a con-rom that felt realistic as opposed to one-dimensional and 'too good to be true' guy... Apart from the expected 'hotness' which is boring, his character is developed to some extent. I liked that Higgins wrote in reality. Marriage isn't some 'happily-ever-after' with the traditional 'wooing' done to just get over with. It needs work, communication, will, from both sides, forgiveness, understanding, support, give n' take and even if it's cliche and not completely dependent- love. I wish you could just get a warning or know about things before a marriage and avoid all the obstacles but that's impossible and thus fake. No matter how hard you try there'll be misunderstandings, regrets, mistakes, disgruntlement, bickering, fights, clashes of personalities, and more problems. The important thing is what you choose to do during and after encountering them.
There were certain things I disliked in this story which hindered a 4.5 rating...
1. 'Ball-buster' Harper becomes a stammering, nervous idiot more times on a pivotal occasion (I suspect it's for plot flow, Higgins has to add more elements rather unnecessary to keep the plot on the move...) which adds pointless drama.
2. The 'Dennis proposal' was souring and cramped the flow to me...So disappointing. I was aghast that Higgins dared to ruin the story like that!
3. Harper became flat after the mentioned proposal and that was an out n' out flaw.The storyline was fantastic until that unnecessary event. Did Higgins wanna prolong the story?

This book is highly recommended even for people who don't really like con-rom/ chic-lit. The family element is noteworty. There's always due stress on it in Higgins' books which I appreciate. In this there's no huge tight-knit family and yet the dysfunction worked great. BeverLee and Harper's dad were amazing. When Harper opened herself up there was her security net to catch her fall if she was off-balance. In the beginning BeverLee didn't make much of an impression being the distant step-mom but under Harper's realisation I came to like her. Her dad was really interesting cuz when your bitch of a wife leaves you wihtout warning and your girl's her clone and 'seems' closer to her, you find it hard to communicate with said daughter.
So yes, this was great for 80% and then went 'Blech'!! But still you should read it.

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There's a new series I discovered that is plain awesome- Karina Halle's EXPERIMENT IN TERROR series and hope everyone reads this!!!

Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror, #1)Darkhouse by Karina Halle
My rating: 4.36 of 5 stars

Wow! Whatever I expected from this it wasn't what I got in the end!!! To tell you the truth I read sins and needles and my expectations were very low coming into the Experiment In Terror series. But I have to say, why isn't Halle doing more 'supernatural' books? She can obviously rock them and I've never read better horror books than hers (although I'm sort of a beginner) But it doesn't matter because I have a feeling I'm not gonna find better books than this series out there.
Halle starts off thrillingly and eases into the 'supernatural' part of the story fast and comfortably... I fell in love with her writing - her descriptions, the atmosphere- building, the suspense, the gore (although not much), the banter and dialogue between the characters.
Perry Palamino and Dex Forray are NOT your typical couply sorta stereotypes nor is the supernatural stuff they encounter. This is the biggest highlight of the book/series. I'll take up Dex Forray first- He's different for me than any other guys from other books. He is real, mysterious with a capital M, broody (nothing more broody has lived the earth!), secretive, strange and 'charming'... But he's not the main focal point of it! Of course it's Perry Palamino!! I haven't read a more thorough or kick-ass heroine in forever! Everyone should read this book if not for the supernatural stuff then entirely for Perry!!!! God, she's awesome! I loved that she's so independent, self-assured (except for her insecurities about her looks but that's another point), able to protect herself, real, and I loved that she's not one of those 'perfect' girls with modelesque bodies... I sympathized with her insecurities regarding her body and that was one of the points that made her real.
I loved the pace, the story, the writing style, the characters, the setting, the reality, the psychological thriller style in the writing, and I have a feeling this series is gonna be one of my favourites despite it being horror/supernatural/psychological thriller and me not reading much of that genre. Halle shines through as an author through this book. The only serious and 'thorn in my pleasure' sorta complaint is that Halle stressed or pressured me to like Dex and there was too much weight and time over Perry's attraction to him- I rolled my eyes so many times at that and yes, it was mentioned more than enough times which disrupted the 'real' feeling of the story and it was a given that they'll be a romantic pair...

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My rating: 4.55 of 5 stars
Perry Palamino and Dex Forray are back with another supernatural mystery to film on their Experiment in Terror web show. This time the danger gets even more life-threatening and they have to trust each other even more to get through it. They travel to a Navajo town Red Fox in New Mexico. A converted couple is tortured by 'hallucinations' with windows being stoned at and wild animals slinking through, sheep being mutilated in front of their house and more strange happenings. There are more terrible and dangerous beings maybe closer to the place where they're living. I loved the story yet again and I didn't think I would get so lost in the characters or the plot and feel deeply for them. This book is at least three steps ahead than the first in all it's quotients of paranormal, action, strange animals, thrill factor, horror and gore with the amazing psychological thriller round of swords. I didn't think it possible but I fell more in love with all the things defining it... For me though there was the usual stress on the Dex attraction from Perry which I hated and it maybe was mellowed by Maximus entering the picture and yet I wasn't convinced with that as well because Max seemed strange and not a contender or potential romantic interest at all... His presence was really short and left unsatisfied with more questions than answers and a bucket load of ulterior motives... Dex is his usual ass-hole self with the broody mysterious air going on but we see more of him exactly as described- alive. He seems more involved here. The bond between Dex and Perry is tortuous for me and a little 'Blegh' as it's expected. I can already state that he'll break her heart but then will have some bull shit epiphany that she really is the one and go back and yes, the most frustrating bit- she'll take him back.... I wanna scream at the romance bits... that is the only ONLY thing keeping me from giving this a full 5 stars!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
OH GOD!!!! That cover itself is so so so so eerie, creepy, fitting and heart-stopping that I couldn't wait to get started!!!! Ever since I read 'Darkhouse' I can NOT stop reading this series and this is the third book on the third day!!!! I was literally scrambling to get these on my ipad... This, for me, has become a book where the crux of the whole series is . As usual, Halle starts with a suspenseful piece from Perry and I can NOT read it fast enough! This is so far the BEST book from the series. Perry and Dex are back to kick the ghostie-asses and the location could NOT be more apt!!! Their destination is an isolated island near British Columbia where Chinese lepers were ignored by the government to eke out their existence.
This in itself gave me a sorta chilling warning of things about to come but you'll be surprised that the whole problem is a two-part deal and another entity is responsible for any real mind-fucking and scariness. On this island, Dex and Perry's fragile undeveloped bond will be severely tested to the point of being frayed. Their biggest enemy is themselves and if they don't trust each other then they're gone- dead. They don't have much truth about the island to rely on and head into it somewhat blind. It is indicated right from the first book that both of them have so many demons to handle and keep some sanity intact. So these very points come into factor here to pit them against each other. On one hand you can see that they want to deepen their relationship and know each other, especially Perry and they do get to do this but on the other the distrust is palpable and more in presence between them.
The setting is so extremely thorough and set so concretely that you can't doubt it. There is too much a spine chilling element in the whole atmosphere of the island that you get lost in it and you actually feel it and for this Halle is really commendable. Even though most horror readers/ movie-watchers must already have encountered such scenes and feelings, you can't help but get pulled into the writing and that atmosphere once again ensnares you wholly. The gore is racheted up here and that is one of the factors making it so good. Her descriptions are so gritty and scary. I loved that. The plot was good and most of the elements came together flawlessly and I have to say, the whole Dex-Perry, ummm, thing came to some sorta head and I didn't really mind it, you could say it helped the plot as well which was surprising!!!
This book is the highlight of the whole series for me. There is not one thing that ticked me or rubbed the wrong way. The whole book, you keep feeling there's something wrong in the picture and when it finally comes into light you feel amazingly triumphant...
If not for the rest of the books you've gotta read tis series for this one!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
THAT COVER!!!!!!!!!!!!! If possible it's better than Dead Sky Morning (repeat: If that's possible!) After that third book I was slightly intrigued about the Dex-Perry relationship and to say it was sketched in relief, here is an understatement. This book is about them and the ghosts in Dex's past. That's it! I wouldn't have thought that Halle would dedicate so much writing to Perry-Dex but here it is. I loved that Halle kept up the gore factor on par cuz I was afraid she would let it slide down. I didn't think it possible to love Perry more than I already did but in this one I do, with each book that love growing, is a serious accomplishment of Halle. For me, Dead Sky Morning is still the best followed by Lying Season then Red Fox.
In Red Fox we learnt that Dex's ex-girlfiend is an important part of his demons and here she's back with a vengeance. For Dex this is one hell of a development because ghosts even unknown are shit scary but one that you know can really fuck up your mind. Perry on the other hand is grappling with her attraction (that's so OBVIOUS for the whole world to see except of course, Dex which is the most frustrating thing EVER) and Dex's ghosts making appearances. Throughout this book I was wondering why Dex is so pig-headed and selfish and LAME. Suffice it to say I HATED HIM and I have a feeling I won't get over that hate as fast as Perry and I can announce truly that this romantic twist was predictable and terribly ruining. I have to be talking about this because half the book is filled with Dex-Perry. The thing I never understand is why Dex is with Jennifer all this time. He really does seem bi-polar because through Perry's eyes he's somewhat caring, funny, 'charming', 'captivating' and everything that he is attracts her (this I hate in every book that I've read! Why does their have to be some 'cosmic' connection and every ass-hole thing the guy does is okay with the girl?!) I hated that no matter how bad Dex behaves Perry seems to get over it and still feel herself growing attracted to him! This is a stereotypical romance requirement which I hate with intense ferocity. It's better to read the chapters pertaining to every book from Dex's POV in The Dex Files and I did just that which still didn't help with understanding him because if he really had the described feelings then there were no earthly reasons to behave like he did but these are all plot twists to stretch the story longer which are COMPLETELY unnecessary (for me). Jennifer is the predictable bitch who cheats and treats her boyfriend like dirt giving nothing into the relationship (if it can be called that!) They are just fuck-buddies for me with the label of superficial relationship stamped on them and if Dex really felt all that he did for Perry then he would have gotten on with Perry not Jennifer solely due to unselfish reasons but he is selfish, extremely. So of course he is the ass-hole. I personally would have not at all notched up Perry's attraction to him this much because really, I don't see much in Dex. But there are slight times when he has some few redeeming qualities but only in previous books. In this one, he acts nothing but like an ass-hole ( it's such a small word that doesn't do justice to his behaviour at all.) All the times when Jennifer jabbed at Perry and acted like a bitch the stupid man was silent and brushed all that under the rug... He claims his feelings for her and yet does not utter a peep in front of Jennifer (it's not like she's an amazing girl in love with him, too) all for a stupid selfish reason of not wanting to 'change' things and needing stability. I completely sympathize with the wish to feel stability and being scared of 'change' but see, what he has is definitely not  stability. He doesn't see that at all and it's like he wants to hurt Perry and keep living in an imaginary world!!!!! If he can't recognise the stability in Perry then he really is in vain. I have a feeling I'm never gonna like him again but that's fine I've always been TEAM PERRY .
Even with the predictability of the plot and stuff that disgruntles me, I still like the series and am excited to read the next one!!