First Lines Friday (7)

First Lines Fridays is hosted by Wandering Words.

Here are the rules (as outlined by Wandering Words):

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book

I’m convinced that Hell has an intercom system and the buzz of my alarm clock is played at full volume on repeat against the screams of all the lost souls. “


Scroll down for more info about the book.


Maybe Not: A Novella by [Hoover, Colleen]

When Warren has the opportunity to live with a female roommate, he instantly agrees. It could be an exciting change.

Or maybe not.

Especially when that roommate is the cold and seemingly calculating Bridgette. Tensions run high and tempers flare as the two can hardly stand to be in the same room together. But Warren has a theory about Bridgette: anyone who can hate with that much passion should also have the capability to love with that much passion. And he wants to be the one to test this theory.

Will Bridgette find it in herself to warm her heart to Warren and finally learn to love?

Maybe.

Maybe not.”

 


Confess by Colleen Hoover

Title: Confess
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback
Description (Source: Amazon):

Confess

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…”


Overall Assessment:
This is the second Colleen Hoover I have read, and I devoured it in less than 24 hours. I enjoyed the first CoHo book I read (Hopeless), but not enough to want to go read everything she has written. However, Confess changed that. I absolutely adored this book! I’ve actually already finished another one of hers and will be posting that review soon. 🙂

The story starts with Auburn, our female protagonist, speaking with an attorney but the reader isn’t made aware of why until about 1/2 way through the book. It’s clear that the matter Auburn is discussing with the attorney is something that will take a lot more money than Auburn currently has. A defeated Auburn leaves the attorney’s office and notices a help wanted sign on an art studio. She is immediately drawn to the artist in the studio, the enigma that is Owen Gentry. 

Owen Gentry knows Auburn from her past, but neither she nor the reader knows how or why. Seeing her again makes him believe in fate, and he knows that he has to have her. Unfortunately – life, in the form of misunderstandings, loyalty to family, and bad luck interfere Owen and Auburn’s love story. 

As with most CoHo books, this story is told from both of the protagonist’s POV. This is probably one of my favorite things about her books, as I love the in depth look into both the character’s heads. 

Another great thing about this book is that Colleen Hoover had some paintings commissioned just for this book! I love that it adds to the reader’s experience. The art is absolutely beautiful, and I’ll probably be buying a couple prints from her shop. These are a few of the paintings by the very talented Danny O’Connor as supplements to the book. Click on each painting to be brought to Colleen Hoover’s page to purchase the prints. 

     

Rating:

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: Contemporary YA
Format: Paperback
Description (Source: Amazon):

Risk everything . . . for love.
What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.


I’ve Read many more books than you. It doesn’t matter how many you’ve read. I’ve read more. Believe me. I’ve had the time.”

Overall Assessment:
What a great first line! Definitely one of my favorite openers into a book. Everything, Everything is about Madeline, a girl who was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or SCID. It pretty much means she’s allergic to everything. The book starts right before Madeline’s 18th birthday. Because of her SCID she is forced to spend her days locked in her specialized house with only her mother and a nurse, Carla, for company. Madeline seems somewhat content in this existence until a new boy, Olly, moves in next door. Madeline’s world shifts in a quick and dramatic way as she gets to know Olly. 

I really enjoyed this book. It’s written in a unique way because the “chapters” are short, and the written entries are supplemented with Madeline’s diagrams, diary entries, pictures, emails, and doodles. The book moved fast and was easy to read. I connected with Madeline and Olly fairly quickly, and enjoyed watching their relationship blossom. 

  

Rating:

 

What I didn’t like:
– A little predictable. I kind of saw the twist coming, but it was still good.  

– The ending felt really rushed! I wish we could have had an epilogue or something to help wrap things up a little. I’m not a fan when a book has a huge reveal at the end and then rushes the conclusion. I would have liked more closure and more info on what happened to Madeline.
– I didn’t like how easily Carla seemed to disregard Madeline’s health. Once I figured out what the plot twist was I understood a little better, but still. 

Final Thoughts:
– Overall it’s a good book and I still recommend it. I’m excited to see the movie! Have you seen the trailer? I’m posting it at the bottom in case you haven’t.


City in Embers: Collector, Book 1 by Stacey Marie Brown

Title: City in Embers
Author: Stacey Marie Brown
Genre: NA, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audio
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Description (Source: Amazon):

Zoey Daniels has been tossed from foster home to foster home, where she grows up fast and tough. When she is placed in her “last-chance” home, she finds a reason to stay and turn her life around: her foster sister, Lexie, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Zoey will do anything to keep her safe.

After high school, Zoey is hired by a special government agency, the Department of Molecular Genetics (DMG), where she meets the other reason to remain: Daniel, her co-worker. The man she loves.

But there is something unique about Zoey. She can see fae. Because of this, the DMG hires her to work as a Collector: catching, researching, testing, and using the fae to save human lives. The work never registers on her sympathy radar. She was raised to think of fae as beasts that feed on humans and want to destroy them.

When devastation hits Seattle, Zoey’s whole world is turned upside down. The electric storm connects her to a ruthless fae, a Wanderer named Ryker, whose dealings expose them to even more trouble and danger. They embark on a journey, running and hiding from both the government and fae, both of which threaten their lives and those they love.


Overall Assessment:
Y’all. I am in love with this series. I’ve actually owned this audiobook for over a year because I bought it on impulse, but never got around to reading/listening to it.  I’ve been reading a little more romance lately and wanted something that wasn’t quite YA, and not quite PNR either. I read the reviews on this one and it seemed to be a happy medium. 

The description pretty much tells what the plot is without me having to further delve into it.  Overall, the story moves quick. The audiobook is about 11 hours long and not once did I get bored. The first chapter draws you in as you meet our main protagonist, Zoey, and get introduced to her world. 

About Zoey – she is tough, and not the kind of tough where the author just tells you about it, but you never see any evidence of it in the story. Zoey is not only a formidable fighter, but she also possesses a mental hardiness and resilience that she acquired from bouncing around foster homes the better part of her life. 

And Ryker—sighs dreamily. He is described as a Viking, so naturally I just picture Ragnar from the TV show Vikings. 

Excuse me while I wipe up my drool. Ryker starts out as kind of an asshole, but you can tell there is a squishy center under all the brooding. I know, this sounds like another case of the “bad guy becomes good” trope, but it is done really well. It’s a very slow transition for him, and he’s not quite a “good” guy, just complex. 

The chemistry between Ryker and Zoey is great. It’s definitely going to turn into a romance in the following books, but it’s a verrrrryyyy slow burn. They pretty much bicker the majority of this book, but it’s laugh out loud funny at times. I found myself grinning like a fool several times while listening. 

Rating:

   

What I liked:
– Strong female protagonist! 
– The build up to an epic romance between Zoey and Ryker.
– Sprig, the lovable little monkey sprite. There were times i wanted to ring his adorable little neck because of the “moments” he accidentally broke up, but he adds some extra comedy to a sometimes dark story. 
– Brown does a great job at getting you attached very early to supporting characters. I won’t say anything else about that because of spoilers, but lets just say I may or may not have been crying by chapter 3. 

What I didn’t like:
– I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like. 

Final Thoughts:
– It ends on kind of a cliffhanger, but you learn a major plot development point right before the end. Plus the next book is already out, so quit complaining about it 😉 


First Lines Friday (6)

It’s seriously Friday already?! I have barely posted this week, more on why on a post later.

First Lines Fridays is hosted by Wandering Words.

Here are the rules (as outlined by Wandering Words):

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book

In three weeks, Neomi Vidal will die–here, in this very place.

Today is just practice. “


Scroll down for more info about the book.


She’s a soldier.

Noemi Vidal is seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything–including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine.

Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.”


Defy the Stars is actually not released yet, but I was able to snag a copy on NetGalley. It’s being released in a couple weeks, so stay tuned to read my review of it!

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (9)

This is a weekly feature hosted over at Book Date.

Hey everyone! How was your Monday? Mine was bananas, hence the late night Monday post. 


  

Empire of Storms: Review here (4/5 stars), Fantasy, NA, YA
Hunted: Review here (5/5 stars), YA Fantasy, Beauty and the Beast retelling
Radiance: (4/5 stars), review not on blog, Romance, Fantasy


  

Grim: I’ve been reading a bunch more romance than usual lately, especially with Beta Males!
Beauty of the Beast: I know, yet another B&B retelling, lol. I’m obsessed.
Everything, Everything: Eek. I’m still reading this! I’ve been distracted by other books. I’m hoping to finish this week though.


ehhhhh. IDK. I have so much on my TBR. I’m going to join an April read-a-thon to try and get through these ARCs I have piling up. 


Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Title: Hunted
Author: Meagan Spooner
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Re-tellings (Beauty and the Beast)
Format: Hardcover
Description (Source: Amazon):

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones–and in her blood. Though Yeva grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory–a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?”


Overall Assessment:
I’m still on my Beauty and the Beast binge (and actually beginning another retelling tonight, lol). Hunted has been one of my most anticipated reads this year so I actually set aside everything else I was reading once it came in. 

Hunted is a B&B retelling, yes, but it is also different in many ways. Yeva, our “beauty”, is a hunter. Yeva’s family consists of her, her two sisters, and her father. Her father is a merchant, but lost all their fortune – not in a bad slimy way like gambling. It was just a mixture of bad business decisions and terrible luck. Immediately I loved all of them. Yeva’s father is loving and dotes on his daughters; her sisters are strong and kind, and Yeva herself is strong-willed, selfless, and intelligent. She is one of the most likable characters I’ve read in a while and thoroughly enjoyed reading about her. I don’t want to give too much away, but many of the other characters are different as well. 
.
One cool feature of the book is that before each chapter we get a short journal-like entry from the Beast’s POV. We see his struggle as he continues to grapple between humanity and becoming the beast he shares a mind with. The beast’s curse is unlike any other I’ve read in these kind of retellings. Saying anything other than that might give it away, but it’s definitely unique.
.
I know I’m not giving much of the plot in this review, but I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Just read it! And then come find me so we can talk about it!

Rating:

   

What I liked:
– Likable characters all around. There was literally not a single character that I didn’t like in the book.
– The many twists on the original tale. Even though it was a retelling, it still felt very original.
– The slow-burn romance between Yeva and the beast. It’s definitely not an insta-love situation.
– The big surprise at the end. Actually, throughout the book there were many surprises to be had.

What I didn’t like:
– I can’t think of anything I didn’t like. It was a little slow in the beginning, but it was necessary for the plot progression and character development.

Final Thoughts:
– Hunted is not just another regurgitated B&B retelling. While sticking with the common overall theme, it is filled with original ideas and characters. I recommend it to everyone in need of a refreshing B&B retelling, and anyone who loves a strong female protagonist.

March OwlCrate Unboxing!

Hey everyone!

I hope you’re having a fabulous weekend. I received my very first OwlCrate yesterday and I am so excited to share it with you! If you also receive OwlCrate and don’t want spoilers I would advise you not to click the “Read More” button 😉

OwlCrate is a monthly subscription box service. You receive a newly released hardcover YA novel and 3-5 bookish items, based on a theme. March’s theme was “Sailors, Ships, and Seas”. 

I live on the coast of North Carolina, USA and basically my whole house is nautical so I was stoked for this theme! 

Follow Me on Blovlovin’!

Hey! so I created a Bloglovin’ page ages ago, but never connected it to this blog. If you have Bloglovin and want to follow me, please do! I would love to follow you back! 🙂

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I hope you all have a great weekend! Are you going to see Beauty and the Beast? I am!

I’m likely going alone though because my sons aren’t very interested, lol.