Reading Challenge Update!

I just finished reading “Tiger’s Curse” last night, and I realized that means I only have one book left to read to complete my Goodreads reading challenge of 15 books. I know 15 isn’t very impressive, but for me, that’s progress compared to last year’s list which was probably half that.

But what about you? Did you set a goal for yourself this year? And if so, how close are you to reaching it? I’d love to know the answer, so leave me a comment down below! We can cheer each other on : )

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REVIEW: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

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Synopsis:

For the first time in a stand-alone paperback comes Stephenie Meyer’s Life and Death, a compelling reimagining of the iconic love story that will surprise and enthrall readers.
There are two sides to every story….
You know Bella and Edward, now get to know Beau and Edythe.

When Beaufort Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edythe Cullen, his life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With her porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edythe is both irresistible and enigmatic.

What Beau doesn’t realize is the closer he gets to her, the more he is putting himself and those around him at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back….

With a foreword and afterword by Stephenie Meyer, this compelling reimagining of the iconic love story is a must-read for Twilight fans everywhere.

REVIEW

First off, I want to start by saying the NOSTALGIA WAS SO INTENSE YOU GUYS. And if you’re wondering why, it’s because Twilight was my first ever paranormal read when I was a kid (and also contraband since my mom didn’t approve of bloodsuckers lol). Like every other fourteen-year-old, Twilight was my fav read for quite awhile until I started to explore other series in the paranormal genre. But still, it holds a great place in my reading heart today, which is why reading this reimagined story was like revisiting a part of my childhood.

So…I had not idea what I was getting into when I bought this, not really. I knew the sex of the characters were switched, but I didn’t know just how much of the story Ms. Meyer would change to fit the new theme. And to a degree, all was relatively the same. Except one part, one VERY BIG PART, which I’ll get to in a minute.

I thought it was interesting, getting the same story but from a male perspective. Honestly, when I heard about this anniversary edition, I was really hoping we would get Twilight told from Edward’s POV. I think that would have been super interesting to read. But alas, it was taken in a different direction, and according to Meyer, it was because she wanted to shut down the haters that were saying that since Bella was a girl, her overwhelming feelings for Edward were because of just that, her sex. This new retelling was supposed to disprove that theory. And I agree, it would have been the same whether Bella was male or female. But one thing bothered me about this, and that was the hero worship Beau had for Edythe. I remember that Bella was incredibly in love with Edward, maybe a little too much. But I NEVER remember this kind of, he-can-do-no-wrong, crap. It was kind of annoying, if I’m being honest, for him to flaunt over her looks on every page. Especially when she would get mad at him for no reason, and he would just freaking apologize. A relationship should be about equality, mutual respect. This was idol worship, and it left me feeling kind of awkward, which I’m sad to say.

Now, on to what I really want to talk about.

SPOILER ALERT Y’ALL

GAHHHHHHHH THAT ENDING! Dude, I was thrown for a serious loop, thinking it was going to be the same as the original, because everything else had been up to this point, so why would that change? But oh, HELL, no. Instead we got to see what would have happened had Edward let the venom spread through Bella in the dance studio, turning her into a vampire, and essentially eliminating the need for the next three books in the series, and honestly, I was shook. I loved that I got to see how it could have ended had Twilight been a standalone, because really, that one moment of hesitation could have taken their lives in a completely different direction. No Jacob love triangle, no Renesme, no Voluri nonsense, NOTHING. It was bizarre, satisfying, but also sad to experience this alternative ending. In this version, Charlie and Renee think Beau died in a car accident, the werewolves still hate the vampires, and that’s how it ends. Just…done. Over. He’s gone, the Cullens move to another town a year later, and blah blah blah.

I’m not surprised to say that I liked the original better. Your first love is your first love, book or person, and I don’t think any version of retelling could have changed that for me. But I did enjoy this book and the nostalgia it brought back, the memories attached to it.

Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer = 3.5 stars

June Book Haul!

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As you can see, I went out of character and bought three paperbacks on kind of a whim. I mean, when the kindle copy is $10.99 and the paperback is $7, you kind of let logic guide your mouse, lol. These three have been on my to-read list for what feels like millennia, so the fact that they should be arriving in a few days has me feeling like:

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And with new books to read, that means I’ll finally be able to post some reviews again. And that makes me want to get down like my friend Napoleon here.

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Comment below if any of these titles are on your to-read list, or if you’ve already had a crack at one or all three. I’d love to know what you thought of it/them!

STAR REVIEW: HUNTRESS BY JULIE HALL

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Synopsis:

No one’s afterlife is as dispiriting as Audrey’s―at least that’s what she believes after waking up dead without her memories and being promptly assigned to hunt demons for the rest of eternity. She’s convinced God’s made a cosmic mistake; after all, she’d rather discuss the color of her nails than break them on angelic weapons.

It doesn’t help that her trainer, Logan, is as infuriating as he is attractive. And just when Audrey and Logan appear close to developing an amicable relationship, a decision made under duress pushes their hearts in a direction neither of them saw coming.

Despite her sub-par fighting abilities, an ancient weapon of unparalleled power chooses Audrey as its wielder, attracting the cautious gazes of her fellow hunters and the attention of Satan himself. With Satan’s eyes now fixed on Audrey, a battle for the safety of the living looms in the shadows.

STARS

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REVIEW: ASH (HIVE TRILOGY #1) BY JAYMIN EVE AND LEIA STONE

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Synopsis:

Are you an Ash?

*Increased stamina
*Lack of appetite
*Anger outbursts
*Insatiable thirst
*Beauty & Strength
*Male

Call the hotline if these symptoms come on suddenly!

Turns out Charlie Bennet was all of those things except the last. Don’t let the name fool you, Charlie was all woman and she wanted nothing to do with the ash … until the day she found out she was one.

It all started when infected bats bit a small group of humans and created what are now called vampires. Then, the male vampires knocked up some female humans and the result was a gorgeous race of all male ash. Superhuman freaks that had looks to kill.

Charlie is the first female ash, aka unicorn of the Hive – the gated compound in Portland that the humans have designated to isolate vampires and ash from society.

Problem? The Hive is full and only a select few will be allowed to live there. To live at all, really. If Charlie wants to earn the right to become a citizen of the Hive, she will have to survive the culling – a series of fights to the death. And guess what? Just because she’s a girl doesn’t mean she’ll get special treatment.

Good thing there’s Ryder, the mysterious lead ash enforcer, who seems to always have her back. But when secrets bubble to the surface, it will take more than one guy to save her.

REVIEW

Wow…this was…wow. It was like Divergent meets The Covenant series meets vampires in a clash of awesome lol. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually liked this read. It was interesting, funny as hell, and it had the Sexy Six, which are a bunch of kickass alpha males that make you wish that this book wasn’t a work of fiction. Needless to say I was a fan.

Charlie is sassy, headstrong, and a girl you would be happy to call a friend. When life throws her a curve ball, she steps up to the plate with a Louisville slugger in tow. So when she discovers she’s an ash, something that was thought to be impossible until now, she owns up to it and treats it like any other obstacle life has thrown at her. All she has to do is survive the culling: a heinous, medieval like tradition to eliminate the weak from the pack and allow newly turned ash the chance to live.

Along the way she meets a totally awesome roommate/best friend. A bunch of hardcore enforcers that somehow become her family, and even a hot as hell super ash who decides to train Charlie personally for the culling – the likes of which has a few demons of his own.

Plot twists galore, I thought this was a fantastic start to the series. We get enough information to understand the world of the Hive, but at the same time we’re not overwhelmed with details. It was the perfect mix of paranormal, romance, and action. My hat goes off to Leia and Jaymin for writing this one 😉

ASH BY JAYMIN EVE AND LEIA STONE = 5 STARS

AUTHOR INFO:

Jaymin Eve

Jaymin Eve has a passion for reading, writing and arithmetic … okay maybe not the last one but definitely the first two. She loves surrounding herself with the best things in life: her two girls, a good book and chocolate.

Living on the beautiful Gold Coast, in Australia, the family loves spending lots of time on the beach. And travelling as frequently as possible.

When Jaymin isn’t trying to wrangle two daughters, a puppy and her husband, you will find her hiding in a corner trying desperately to write her stories (without little fingers pressing random keys). She asks forgiveness if you notice the occasional sskkkkssjs appearing in her book, her children are proud of their contribution.

She’d love it if you contacted her, giving feedback or just to have a chat.

Stay updated:

http://www.jaymineve.com

https://www.facebook.com/JayminEve.Au…

And check out her blog at:

http://jaymineve.blogspot.com.au/

Leia Stone

Leia Stone lives in Portland, OR with her husband, two kids and her dog. When she is not chasing around her twin son and daughter, or writing, she has her nose shoved in a book. She wrote her first book when she was 23 years old. Keep reading, live with purpose. Freeworld!

Follow me on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/leia.stone

REVIEW: Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Synopsis:

Some loves will last ’til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

REVIEW

So if you’ve been following my blog for a while now you already know I am a huge fan of Ms. Armentrout’s work. She has a way of weaving a story that makes it an unforgettable read. Every Last Breath was no different. Being the third and final book in the Dark Elements series, I was rather anxious to read this one. Normally, I never finish reading an entire series. Matter of fact I can count on one hand how many I’ve actually finished in their entirety. I don’t know what it is, but I hate seeing a series I loved dearly end, and I also hate when I do happen to finish it, that it may not end the way I had hoped. For those reasons, I usually stay away from the last book, as weird as that sounds. But with this series, I just HAD to see what happened to Layla, and who she picked.

Zayne or Roth.

I felt like this ‘choosing sides’ thing was almost like a Team Jacob or Team Edward kind of deal lol. I’m sure the fandom was tied at first, but alas, the tribe has spoken and the winner was…

Ha ha. Did you really think I was going to spoil it for you? Nope, you’ll just have to read to find out for yourself. Like I did.

Regardless of which side you were on, I don’t think there will be a single fan disappointed with the outcome to the end of this series. It was a fun read/journey and I’m incredibly happy that I decided to complete this saga. It will definitely be a series I go back to in the future to read time and time again, just like with the rest of Armentrout’s work.

Romantic, witty, endearing, and heartbreakingly sweet, I give Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout 5 stars.

REVIEW: Ruined (The Seraphim Series Book 1) by Sophia Stafford

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Synopsis:

For centuries, Azrael’s sole purpose was to find her—and kill her.

And now he has her, just down the hall to be exact! So beautiful and fragile, she is so close he can almost hear her precious blood pumping through her veins. Blood he has been hunting for since the day he fell.

His mind is screaming, “Kill her. Stick to the plan, drain her blood, and ascend to Heaven.” But every fibre of his soul refuses to harm her.

If he won’t kill her, what will he do with the beautiful Lilliah Daniels?

He smirks. He might be an Angel, but he’s never claimed to be a saint.

REVIEW

What can I say about Ruined…it was a rather interesting ride, to say the least. Filled with action (LOTS OF IT), romance, and sweet moments between friends and brother, it’s sure to fit many people’s liking one way or another. Well paced with an interesting plot, I was happily surprised with this read. When I read the blurb I figured the whole angel thing would be something I’ve read before, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. This author tastefully created a story filled with originality and surprising plot twists that left me impressed and wanting more. The only point I could really deduct is that the female main character had her moments of being rather naïve or immature. But then again she’s only seventeen years old, so I guess some of that is to be expected 😉 Overall I was really happy with this book and look forward to seeing what this author does in the future!

P.S. I would make this review longer but I don’t want to give too much of the plot away! Needless to say though, the guy is swoon worthy and that’s all you really need to know lol.

Ruined by Sophia Stafford = 4 stars