Some really good books that I’ve read lately.

For the past month or so I’ve been trying to catch up on reviews for review copies and have been failing miserably and am still tremendously behind. Because of that, I’ll probably not be able to do reviews for some really good books I’ve read lately, so I’d thought I’d make a post talking about those books!

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  1. The Wrong Side of  Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

I picked this up at chapters because it was like three dollars,the cover was pretty and it seemed vaguely familiar. I had 0 expectations going in but I came out  really impressed. It’s not a favorite or anything like that and I think I rated it like 4.5/5 stars but it was so well done.  It basically follows this girl who finds out that her father is one of the men running for president and she’s kind of thrust into the world of politics as she tags along for the campaign.The characters were stellar, I loved the family dynamic, the plot was so interesting and the romance was A+ very good. It also handled some really important topics which brought me close to tears a few times. All in all, it was a really good book and I would really recommend it.

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2.Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty

I had previously read her “The Husband’s Secret.” and while it was good, it wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be. I was a little wary to pick this up but boy am I glad I did. It was so gripping and exhilarating and I practically flew through it.  The characters were so good and every page had me guessing and then second-guessing. I loved seeing the petiness of school moms because I basically live for petiness.Anyway this was amazing and the plot twist had me reeling. I really can’t wait to watch the t.v show, tho i’m not sure how I feel about the casting.

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3. Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Ever since this book has been relased, I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it. I’ve been wanting to read it for so long but was never able to so I finally picked it up this month and absolutely fell in love with it. I love simon so so much and just all th the characters are so great and I’m really excited to read the Leah spinoff. It was just such a feel good book and it was just so godamn adorable. I low key can’t wait for the movie,i think it’s going to be so good.


4. Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

The minute I read the description of this book I knew I had to read it and plus I had to support this amazing author who was getting harassed by neo-nazis. It was sooo good. I loved the focus on family, the setting and just everything about it was freaking perfect.plus the love interest was super swoon worthy. Such a great summer contemporary,highly recommend

Have you read any of these books? What are some books that you like?

TimeKeeper by Tara Sim Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever

Disclaimer:I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My rating:4/5 stars

Plot:

The Timekeeper  is set in this fascinating world where these clocks control time.It’s such an unique premise and I really loved reading about this alternate Victorian society that is so fragile due to the fact that their existence is pretty much depending on these clocks. It’s such a fascinating idea and I found the mythology that explained how these clocks came to be was so interesting and i loved the snippets we got but kind of wish we got more. It’d be really interesting if this mythology played a bigger role in the other books because I honestly find it so fascinating.

While I did really enjoy the book, personally I found the plot to be kind of boring and not exactly what I would want from a book like this. It was very much a book where not a lot was going on and I usually don’t mind but there was just something about it that didn’t quite captivate me as much as I would have liked to it. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it because I really did, it’s just why  I didn’t rate it a five stars because other than that it was really wonderful and I’m really looking forward to reading the next books in the series.

Characters

Well I loved the setting and the concept of the novel, my favorite part was definitely the characters which is usually the case for me.They were all precious cinnamon rolls and while I did like the development I saw, I’m excited to see some of the more minor characters get some page-time in the upcoming books.

I thought Daniel was such a complex character and I loved seeing his relationship with the other characters and I really liked seeing his PTSD play out. I also thought the subject of his sexuality was handled extremely well and I thought the author portrayed the discrimination he faced very well while also kind of changing that part of history to make people accept him a little more. I also really loved the relationship he had with his mom and how complicated it was.

Colton was also a really great character, and just a really interesting one from the get go considering he is a clockspirt. I loved how curious he was and really liked seeing the relationship blossom between him and Daniel, and it was just really adorable and I can’t wait for more in the next books. I did find it was a little insta-lovey which is kind of to be understood but I do think that the romance could’ve been developed a tad bit more.

Lastly I really loved the two side characters:Daphne and Cassie. They were both such interesting side characters and I loved seeing the friendship between Daniel and Cassie, and thought that cassie was just such a great friend who would do anything for Cassie. I also really liked Daphne’s character, and really liked what we saw of her but I really hope that she plays a bigger role in the next book because she was a really interesting character who I would love to learn more about.

 

 

Looking for beta readers!

I just finished another round of edits for my novel:Dried Roses and while it is nowhere near done, I have decided that it’s time to get some beta readers. My sister and a friend are already reading but I like 2-3 more people to get a clear view on what I need to improve.

Dried Roses follows Rosanna:a  school psychologist and Leila:an English school teacher. Leila seeks Rosanna out for help, not knowing that they knew each other as kids and Rosanna played a large part in Leila’s troubled past.Eventually they become friends and gradually fall in love. It’s around 90k-100k  words and contains mention of abuse,depression and suicide just as a heads up.

I’d be happy to return the favor and read whatever work you seek help with or any other type of non-monetary exchange we can come up with.

There’s a lot of typos and my spacing is a little wack but I’m really just looking for help regarding sentence structure, plot, and characters.

 

If you’re interested at all, send me an email at hannahreadsandblogs@gmail.com and I’ll send you the first two chapters to see if its your thing!!

 

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

Disclaimer:I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:4.5/5 stars

Plot:

The minute I read the first sentence of this wonderful book I knew that I was going to love it. Anna-Marie Mclemore’s writing has a way of grabbing you in and not letting go until the very end. I never really understand what people meant when they said “lyrical writing” but after reading Wild Beauty, I totally get it and want to wrap myself with her beautiful words.

While I was very intrigued from page one, I was still a little apprehensive and wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. Wild Beauty is a very different book, and  I can safely say that I’ve never read anything like that.  Reading it make me weird and in the best way. There’s this very beautiful magical air to it that when you leave the book stays to you. The setting almost seems suspended and you can’t really attach a time period to it which makes  it all the more amazing. If you could bottle the way you feel while reading this book, it will sell for millions.

Characters:

The characters of the novels make everything else pale in comparison as they’re all so wonderful. Everything single one of the Nomeolvides are beautiful and you just want to protect them at all cost. I loved the focus  on family and loved seeing how the cousins interacted with one another.

One of the many amazing things about this book is how diverse it is, low-key like all the cousins are bi and it’s just so natural and unquestioned and it’s just so  beautiful. There’s so many relatable lines that just made me want to scream yeah. There’s also a genderqueer character which is just A+. Though none of these labels are explicitly used it’s pretty clear and just so wonderfully amazing.

Seriously when this book comes out, you need to buy it. You won’t regret it.

It All Comes Down to This by Karen English Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:It’s 1965, Los Angeles. All twelve-year-old Sophie wants to do is write her book, star in the community play, and hang out with her friend Jennifer. But she’s the new black kid in a nearly all-white neighborhood; her beloved sister, Lily, is going away to college soon; and her parents’ marriage is rocky. There’s also her family’s new, disapproving housekeeper to deal with. When riots erupt in nearby Watts and a friend is unfairly arrested, Sophie learns that life—and her own place in it—is even more complicated than she’d once thought. 

Disclaimer:I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:4/5 stars

Plot: It All Comes Down To This is one of those books that 11 year old me would’ve absolutely loved, I devoured books like these when I was younger. Regardless, 17 year old me also really loved it, as it’s one of those middle-grade books that isn’t too juvenile for older audiences to enjoy.

While It All Comes Down To This has the classic conflicts  that many middle grade contemporaries have, it also touched upon some really serious issues such as racism and did so in a really poignant way. It’s really important for young people to read books like these, books that aren’t afraid of talking about certain subject matter that is oftentimes tabooed. I think a lot of time people think that children are too “young” to read about certain things but I don’t think that’s true especially when it’s something that affects them personally,or even when it doesn’t. Children  are a lot smarter than adults give them credit for and you’re only hurting them by shielding them from the truth.I really wish I had read a book like this when I was younger because I think it really changes your perspective.

Characters

I absolutely loved the character of Sophie and it was so heartbreaking to see her face many injustices. She’s just the type of personality that I love when reading books like these so it was really fun reading from her perspective. I also really liked seeing the relationships that she had throughout the book whether it be with her sister,parents or housekeeper. I loved how complex the dynamic was between each and every one of them. I would’ve liked to see a little bit more between Sophie and her friend as I found it was a really interesting conflict that wasn’t explored nearly enough. Other than I thought all of the characters were really nicely fleshed out, which is always nice to see in a middle grade novel.

 

 

 

Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag

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I decided that I’m going to take a break from the endless amount of reviews I need to write to do something a little bit more fun! I can’t believe the year is halfway over, there are still so many books that I want to read.

  1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far This Year?

Looking back at all the books I’ve read so far, I have to say that none of them really stand out as the “best book I’ve read so far.” There are some five-star reads but I don’t know if any of them deserve the best book title. If I had to choose though I guess I would pick either History is All You Left me or When Dimple Met Rishi, both really great reads.

2.Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far This Year?

I’ve read barely any series this year, expect for the Red Rising trilogy which is absolutely  amazing. So I guess Golden Son is the best sequel I’ve read this year though it is the only one.

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet but Want To?

That’s like an impossible question to answer, there’s so many! To name a few: Girl Out Of Water, The Hate U Give,The Upside of Unrequited and How To Make A Wish

4.Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half of The Year?

The Girl With The Red Balloon sounds pretty awesome, other than that I can’t really think of any other ones that I’m excited for.

5. Biggest Disappointment?

Fall On Your Knees was pretty disappointing, it wasn’t my lowest rated book but I was really excited to read it and came out reading it, feeling really gross and just really didn’t like what went on in that book.

6.Biggest Surprise?

The Book of Negroes, I really did not expect to like it as much as I did and thought for sure that it’d be one of those books that just dragged on forever but it didn’t and it was super engaging and I absolutely loved it!

7.Favorite New Author(Debut or New To You)?

I absolutely loved Anna- Marie  Mclemore’s Wild Beauty and thought her writing style was absolutely gorgeous! So good and I can’t wait to read her other books.

8. Newest Fictional Crush?

I don’t really get fictional crushes because I need so much information to even develop a crush on someone which very rarely happens in books.Rishi was pretty cute I guess or Rishi, either or.

9.Newest Favorite Character?

I think either Linus from Meg and Linus or Griffin from History is All You Left Me

10.Book That Made You Cry?

I never cry because of books though some books have made me come pretty close to tears. I was close to tearing up when reading What I Lost, there was some pretty intense scenes in that book.

11. Book That Made You Happy?

When Dimple Met Rishi, Meg and Linus, and The Sun Is also A Star were all adorable reads.

12. Prettiest Book You’ve Bought or Received This Year.

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The Reader is a pretty gorgeous book:inside and out.

13. What Books Do you Need To Read By The End of The Year.

There’s so many I want to get to! I hope to get a Kate Morton I bought,try to finish The Chaos Walking Trilogy, maybe read Simon Vs Homo Sapiens Agenda, and hopefully many more awesome books!

14.. Favorite Book Community Member?

That’s so hard to chose, I love Fadwa’s blog and twitter and Aimal’s blog and twitter and instagram. There’s probably like a million others that I like but they’re all escaping me at the moment

What Were Your Answers For These Questions.How Has Your 2017 Been so far?

You Bring the Distance Near by Mitali Perkins Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:This elegant young adult novel captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse.

From a grandmother worried that her children are losing their Indian identity to a daughter wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair to a granddaughter social-activist fighting to preserve Bengali tigers, Perkins weaves together the threads of a family growing into an American identity.

Here is a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new

Disclaimer:I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:4/5 stars

Plot:

You Bring The Distance Near is one of those books that though is classified as Young Adult can be seen as an adult book which is honestly the best type of book. We follow five girls from the same family across three generations as they deal with first loves and their culture among other things.

I loved everything that was discussed in this book, and loved seeing the girls adapt to American culture. I also thought it was a really interesting way to tell the story as we started in 1973 and finished in 2006 so we got to see the characters progression and got to be introduced to new characters.The subjects that were addressed were very relevant and done in a very poignant manner. I really liked the discussion of racism and also racism within certain cultures as we saw one  of the characters marrying an African-American and a biracial child being born out of that marriage and how the two families  dealt with that. A certain disdain towards black people was portrayed which I think is important to discuss in books like these.

One issue I did have with the plot was the pacing of the novel. I felt as though they focused a lot on two of the girls:Tara and Sonia for the majority of the book and then the other two girls: Chantal and Anna were kind of like afterthoughts, I think if would’ve been a little more interesting if an equal amount of time was spent on the two generations of girls instead of really developing the first generation but not as much the second.

Characters

I thoroughly enjoyed all five girls that were the focus of the story and especially identified with Sonia as she was very bookish and intellectual and I just love reading books with characters like hers as I think they’re very important. As i said previously, I would’ve liked to see more development from Chantal and Anna’s part and while I really loved what I saw, I found it kind of odd that their storylines weren’t as developed. Another thing that I found kind of odd was the fact that Sonia’s and Tara’s mother was considered the fifth women despite the fact that her perspective really wasn’t something that was expanded or shed light upon.This wasn’t really the fault of the author but more of the synopsis.

Another aspect that I think could’ve been expanded on is that of the love interests.While all four girls have boys that they fall in love with, I feel as though we really didn’t get enough expansion in regards to these love interests and would’ve liked just a little bit more insight. This is a pretty short book so I think that had the book been like maybe 100 pages longer, a lot of things could’ve been expanded on which would’ve made the book a lot better.

 

 

Follow Me Back by A.V Geiger Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Disclaimer:I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:4/5 stars

Plot:

Before I start talking about the actual book, I just wanted to say one thing. I really don’t like Wattpad.While I do appreciate what it has done for young readers and I do know that a lot of people wouldn’t read anything if they didn’t read stuff on Wattpad but I think it definitely lowers the standards of writing.This is just my personal opinion and while I may sound elitist, it’s what I believe. That being said, I did appreciate Follow Me Back despite te fact that it was originally a Wattpad sensation.

Follow me Back is filled with tropes galore as we follow mega-fan Tessa as she copes with her Agoraphobia. Her only gateway to the outside world is through twitter as she posts about Pop sensation Eric Thorn. The story is told in alternating chapters as Tessa engages in a online friendship with an Eric Thorn hate account, not knowing the actual identity behind the account..

Despite the fact that Follow Me Back was filled with cliche after cliche, I found myself enjoying it quite a bit. Obviously it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read but it was really fun. I loved the format of the book and how it was told in police transcripts, Dms and tweets and not just typical prose. I also enjoyed how we saw just how scary fans can be and the shit stars can deal with it.  Books that deal with fame is one trope that I can get behind.

While I did enjoy it I did find that it was falsely advertised as a thriller when that really wasn’t the main focus of the novel. That was mostly towards the end and the rest of the book really focused on Tess and Eric. I kind of wish there would have been a lit bit more thriller aspect to it because I wasn’t completely satisfied with what I got. I am curious how there’s going to be a sequel because I don’t know what else could happen.

Characters

Follow Me  Back is one of those books that you really need to like the main characters as they’re basically the only characters that you get to really know. To be honest I wasn’t the hugest fan of either of them and felt their romance was kind of weird and just way too quick and rushed. It didn’t really matter for me though as I was just in a certain mood where I just wanted something super light with not much development so I got what I wanted. I would’ve liked to see a little more of Eric’s and Tess’ personalities.

One thing that  really had me upset was the portrayal of Agoraphobia. Basically the entire time we know that Tess went through something traumatizing and then towards the end this traumatizing event is kind of resolved so she basically says that  that her agoraphobia is gone because it’s no longer a threat. With things like those, while a certain event may be the spark that triggers the illness, such trauma doesn’t just go away because it’s resolved. You can’t just get better magically after months of staying inside with horrible  anxiety. It’s  a gradual process that takes lots of time and I think that they should’ve portrayed it as such instead of just making her mental illness miraculously  disappear. It seemed as though she needed the illness for a plot point and once it was no longer important decided to cure Tess. Really wasn’t a fan of that.

What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:What sixteen-year-old Elizabeth has lost so far: forty pounds, four jean sizes, a boyfriend, and her peace of mind. As a result, she’s finally a size zero. She’s also the newest resident at Wallingfield, a treatment center for girls like her—girls with eating disorders. Elizabeth is determined to endure the program so she can go back home, where she plans to start restricting her food intake again.She’s pretty sure her mom, who has her own size-zero obsession, needs treatment as much as she does. Maybe even more. Then Elizabeth begins receiving mysterious packages. Are they from her ex-boyfriend, a secret admirer, or someone playing a cruel trick?

My Rating:4/5 stars

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

 

Plot:

Books like these are never easy to read but they are so important and instrumental to this generation. If you are able to read books like these without triggering yourself then I highly recommend that you do because I think they shed some light on a subject that is very oftentimes tabooed. Other than Wintergirls, I really can’t think of another book dealing with eating disorders that I’ve read so I’m really glad that I picked this up because it was really good.

What I Lost explores really well the process of getting better in situations like this , and shows that recovery is a huge process that doesn’t happen overnight or once you leave a treatment facility. We also how family really shapes things like this and I liked how we saw Alexandra’s mom’s struggle with eating and showed your behaviors really  influence your children.

A part of the story I really wasn’t that big of a fan was the whole mystery behind the packages.It just felt kind of out of place and while I did like the way it did turn out and I really appreciated the choice Alexandra had made, I still feel as though it didn’t have to be a part of the story.

Characters

Like any contemporary, the characters were definitely the best part of this story. Every  single character that we encountered was really well developed and we really got a backstory for all of them. I loved seeing the girls that Alexandra that she met in the treatment center and how they helped her.

As I said before I really liked seeing the mother storyline and I thought her character was really interesting and there was some really good character development. I think I would’ve liked just a little bit of Alexandra’s  dad but I did like what I saw.

The one character that really really needed development was the secret admirer. I just felt like we barely knew anything about him  and I would’ve liked to understand him a little bit better but I did like him.

 

 

 

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken Book Review.

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Goodreads:

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

My Rating:4/5 stars

Plot:

If there’s time travel in it,I know I’ll love it. I have never found a time travel book that I don’t enjoy, and will never get tired of the numerous takes that various authors have on this complex subject. Passenger didn’t disappoint when it came to the topic of time travel. I love the unique way Alexandra Bracken went about it and the complex world building that was at first confusing but overall made the book what it was. We follow Etta, a violin prodigy, who is thrust into a world of time travel and is forced to search for a mysterious object alongside Nicholas who wants nothing to do with the time travelling world or the family that accompanies it. Together they go through many time periods as they try to find the object before it’s too late.

I absolutely love books where there’s a race against time so this was  a really fun read that kept me on the edge on my seat for the entire time. While it did take me a long time to read it because I was busy studying, Passenger is one of those books that you think you’re at a certain page but it turns out you’re a lot further than you actually are.Though  Passenger was pretty long, I wish there was just a little bit more as I was so enraptured.

While I really did enjoy the plot, I feel as though they could’ve focused on the places they traveled to a little more.It felt a little rushed which is understandable since they were under a deadline but they did focus a lot on unnecessary monologues and the insta-love between Nicholas and Etta. Instead of focusing on those really boring things, I think they’re could’ve been more world development or something to that effect

Characters

To be honest I wasn’t that much of a fan of Etta, and found her to be kind of boring and overall pretty annoying with very little personality. I didn’t hate her but she wasn’t the best as far as characters go. On the other hand I really loved Nicholas, and loved to see his struggles and his character development and also really liked the way Alexandra intergrated the subject of his race into the story.

As I stated before I really really hated the insta-love because it was unbelievably quick and just felt so stupid. You guys are on a deadline, you can fawn over each other later?? I think that maybe in the romance had developed even just a little bit later, I would’ve liked it a lot more. I don’t hate them together and I do think that they have some chemistry but it was just a little overwhelming especially when they barely knew each other.

All in all I really enjoyed the book and I’m excited to read the sequel as the ending was pretty intense. I’m excited to see how Bracken wraps it up in the last book.