Review: The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom

33791316The Cruelty is the first book from a groundbreaking new YA voice: an utterly compelling thriller.

When Gwendolyn Bloom realizes that her father has been kidnapped, she has to take matters into her own hands. She traces him from New York City across the dark underbelly of Europe, taking on a new identity to survive in a world of brutal criminal masterminds. As she slowly leaves behind her schoolgirl self, she realizes that she must learn the terrifying truth about herself. To overcome the cruelty she encounters, she must also embrace it.

Paperback, 448 pages
Published February 9th 2017 by Walker Books. Goodreads.

 Amazon AU | Amazon US | Booktopia | Bookdepository


I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review >>

“A woman who seeks to rise in this world must be crueller than even men.”

Yes! Kill them, kill them all Gwendolyn. Oops sorry, that wasn’t me, it was The Cruelty inside me.

We (the reader) follow 17-year-old Gwendolyn Bloom as she goes through the process of; finding out her dad is missing, finding out what her father did for work wasn’t what she thought it was, finding out who she can and cannot trust, and finding out what she is truly capable of.

We watch Gwendolyn harden and evolve as she unearths and follows clues about the whereabouts of her father and the real reason behind his disappearance. Her journey takes her from New York, to Paris, to Berlin, to Prague, to her own personal Hell and back again.

I really enjoyed this book. I am confident I could give this book to my 78-year-old crime thriller loving grandfather and he’d devourer it. I confident that even in my early teens I would have enjoyed this book. Scott Bergstrom has written a captivating story that I think teens and adults alike will eat up greedily.

I loved that Gwendolyn wasn’t instantly a super spy /ninja assassin extraordinaire. She wasn’t a natural born killer, she made mistakes, had regrets, got herself in and out of trouble, needed help and knew when and when not to use the help offered – but ultimately, I loved that she got the job done like a boss, like a badass bitch.

 “…if no one else is going to act for me, then I have a choice: remain a child and do nothing, or become an adult and do it myself. That, it seems to me, is the difference between the child and the adult, the difference between the girl hunted by wolves and the woman who hunts them.”

By the last page of the story Gwendolyn Bloom is dead and a force to be reckoned with lives on in her hard-won skin.

There is a sequel, The Greed, coming out in 2018 and I am interested to see what becomes of Gwendolyn, her crash course mentor Yael and what goes down with the organisation that now, as I see it, “owns” Gwendolyn and her father.

Four “I really Liked It” Stars.

The above is what I drafted before I went onto Goodreads to see what the masses thought. It is, what after much deliberation I ended up posting. I almost altered it, I started to, because of all that I ended up reading online started to sway me (reviews from people I respect, news articles about the author and tweets about the text).

People are calling the author out for comments made in the book by the protagonist. I remember that while reading the particular part of the book they refer to, that I just thought he was trying to make her come across a bit up herself, you know, as if she thought she was above it all. Then after reading all the banter online I thought, damn maybe I got it wrong, maybe he really believed what he was writing. Maybe I’m stupid.

Calling the author out for the story being too farfetched and a protagonist being to superficial in her transformation. Hello you’re reading the YA book version of a mission impossible action movie, of course it’s farfetched and shallow. Isn’t that the point. Again, maybe I’m stupid.

Calling the author out for some belittling comments he and his people made. To me they just came off as idiots not knowing what they were talking about. I’m sure their intention wasn’t to offend. I’m sure that they are just ignorant of the wonderfully diverse and complex world that is young adult literature. Again, maybe I’m stupid.

Once I realised that other people’s views were swaying me I stopped and went back to the copy that I had drafted immediately after finishing it. My honest review. Yes, it is a happy rah rah review where I only mention the good points, but that’s how I try to write all my reviews. There is enough negativity in the world without me adding to it and I want my reviews to make people read more books, not turn them off them.

Sorry, I had to say something. It really upset me how quickly I started to think my thoughts were wrong. Damn you internet.I really enjoyed reading this book. You blew my after book buzz.

Review: I’m Australian Too by Mem Fox

34396859I’m Australian! How about you? Many people from many places have come across the seas, to make Australia their home. How Australian is that?

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2017 by Scholastic Australia.

*  *  *  *  *

Mem Fox my dear, I didn’t think it was possible to love you anymore than I did after Possum Magic and Time for Bed, but now I do!

I was so excited when I saw this beautiful book by Mem Fox and illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh. It celebrates Australia’s multiculturalism, promotes racial equality and shines a spotlight on refugees. All this is wrapped up as a fun and colourful sing-song story to be adored and absorbed by the minds of our young children. Mem Fox you are a wonderful, wonderful woman. I will be repeatedly reading this to my boys.

I’m writing this review after just reading I’m Australian Too for the first time with my 3.5-year-old son. He was fresh out of the bath and about to get into bed, perfect mummy and son book reading time.

This book is absolutely beautiful.  On our first read through when I got to the page that starts with “Sadly, I’m a refugee – I’m not Australian yet.” My spine tingled and a wicked smile crept on my face. I was thinking: You go Mem Fox! Stick it to the haters.

By the end of the second read through I had tears in my eyes and was getting choked up trying to finish the last page. My heart is humming and I need to tell the world about this book. READ IT TO YOUR KIDS. Refugees are mentioned. Aboriginals, Italians, Greeks, Somalians – the list goes on and on – are mentioned. It is truly beautiful.

The last page ends with the line “Together now, we live in peace, beneath the Southern Star.” Oh Mem, how I wish that was so and I hope for a tomorrow when it is!I’m Australian! How about you?

Review: The Limbo Tree by T.N. Suarez

32452755An accident. A secret. The truth.

Something is wrong with Samantha McCallister. Her baby brother is dead, and she has only one memory of the accident: the canned version her parents impressed upon her. But piece by piece, Sam struggles to make sense of it.

Cast aside by her self-involved family, Sam seeks out a friendship with the next-door neighbor, Hazel, until Hazel inexplicably goes missing, leaving nothing but a note and a jar of jam.

Determined to uncover the truth about Hazel’s disappearance, Sam finds out more than she bargained for. Bizarre episodes and nightmares consume her, vicious and unstoppable.

Meanwhile, an adolescent muse moves into Hazel’s abandoned home. Sam is immediately drawn to him—discovering the beginnings of true love—when the unthinkable occurs. Sam is alienated to a world in which she no longer feels she belongs. Try as she might, Sam cannot escape these nightmares or the truth behind them—the truth that lies in the Limbo Tree.

Brilliantly crafted, shimmering with uncertainty, The Limbo Tree is as mystical as it is moving.

Links: Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

My Thoughts: This book was nothing like I expected. It was spooky and made my skin crawl a little bit at times. If I had to sum the book up in one word I would say it was HAUNTING.

The first half of the book frustrated me. It all felt very creepy and I kept expecting something bad to happen. Early on I was confused as to whether Sam (Samantha, the fourteen-year-old main character) was dropping in and out of alternate realities or if she was hallucinating. The story irritated me and yet I couldn’t stop reading. With so much confusion and many unanswered questions I had to keep reading. I felt compelled to find out the truth behind Sam’s life.

I assumed early on that the story was set in the 1980’s with all the references to Madonna headbands, The Lost Boy’s, The Go-Go’s, KISS and The Cure. Indiana Jones the Last Crusade playing at a movie theatre later in the story verified it. I was born in the late 80’s and understood all the references, but I do worry that today’s teenagers won’t.

Sam spends nearly the entirety of the book not being able to remember what happened to her baby brother, just that her parents said his death was a tragic accident. Early in the story on one page she says she misses him and then the next she calls him a little beast. I found it very confusing and rather disturbing. Later, Sam even starts to suspect her mother of murdering her baby brother! We do finally learn the truth and the detail in which T.N. Suarez goes into is heart wrenching. I was internally screaming at the characters for the whole last chapter. Once I finished reading I went in and checked on both my boys, making sure they were both sleeping safe and sound.

Sam is an unreliable narrator and even she can’t trust her own version of events. You think you may have figured out what is going on and then everything twists again and you’re flailing around confused right alongside Sam.

The truth of Sam’s life and the ending of the book are rather sad and I think will continue to frustrate and haunt me for quite some time.star.3

Review: How Not to Fall in Love, Actually by Catherine Bennetto

29991690Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it…

A hilarious debut for all fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Lisa Owens.

General Adult Fiction
Published: 01 Feb 2017
* * *

Emma has a job in television which is distinctly less glamourous and exciting than it sounds. She’s managed to claw her way up the ranks from Tea-Maker and Rubbish-Collector to 2nd Assistant Director (heavy on the ‘assistant’. Even heavier on the ‘2nd’).

So when she finds she’s accidentally very pregnant and at the same time accidentally very sacked (well, less accidentally: she did tell her boss to stick his job up his bum), she knows things are going to have to change.

Luckily she’s also accidentally the heir to a lovely cottage in Wimbledon, with a crazy Rottweiler-owning octogenarian as a neighbour and a rather sexy boy as an accidental tenant. But this baby is coming whether she likes it or not, and she needs to become the sort of person who can look after herself let alone another human being – and quickly.

Hilarious and heart-warming, How Not to Fall in Love, Actually will make you laugh, make you cry, and will reassure you that perhaps your life is not that bad, actually…

What people are saying about How Not to Fall in Love, Actually

‘It’s fresh, young and very exciting. A fuzzy, warm and sparkly story by a very talented author. I can’t wait to see what else Catherine Bennetto has in store for us’ Simona’s Corner of Dreams

‘A phenomenal cast of characters and some real laugh out loud moments. Brilliant!’ Heidi Swain, author of The Cherry Tree Cafe and Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market

‘More bubbly than a big glass of champers and just as fun. How Not To Fall In Love, Actually is bright, breezy, and the perfect way to beat back the winter blues‘ Georgia Clark, author of The Regulars

* * *

MY THOUGHTS: 

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

We follow Emma as an accidental pregnancy makes her stop and take stock of her life, which up to that point had only consisted of a shitty job, a shitty apartment and a shitty boyfriend.

At the start we met 27-year-old Emma just before she finds out she is pregnant. The story covers the months that she is pregnant, with the book ending just hours after the baby is born.

It took me the first half of the book to really get into the story, but I think that’s more because of the fact I was only squishing in a few pages here and there. I managed to get enough sit down time to finish the second half of the book in one day and found myself really enjoying it.

The leading Lady: Emma did at times come off as self-absorbed and whining. But she was pregnant and being pregnant is hard even with a loving and supportive partner and here she was trying to go it alone, so she is forgiven. Emma matures in the second half of the book and I ended up really liking her and wanting her to have a happily ever after. *spoiler alert: she gets her happily ever after*.

The impregnator/ex-boyfriend aka Ned: By the end of the first chapter I already disliked Ned, he came off as a lazy good for nothing leach. But chapter six proved him to be an absolute asshole with him draining Emma’s bank account before her overly trusting pregnant ass even thinks to remove his access.

The supporting cast: The book had some rather amusing background cast members; Emma’s infuriating and over the top mother, the nosey old couple next door and green thumbed Joe were standouts for me.

While the story was predictable at times it still gave me the warm fuzzies.Image result for warm and fuzzy memeThe writing was humours, flowed easily and was a joy to read. I will be keeping an eye out for Catherine Bennetto works in the future. star.4

Mini Reviews: Riley’s Favourite books right now

I asked Riley to pick his favourite books – Riley is my Three nearly Four-year-old son, who’s favourite activities include asking WHY, making the house look like a tornado has ripped through it, going for walks to the park and reading picture books with anyone that is willing  He rummaged around and handed me > > >riley-books-collage

Possum Magic by Mem Fox & Julie Vivas: Oh Mem Fox, everything you touch turns to gold. I doubt there is many a Aussie kid who doesn’t know of Hush and Grandma Poss! Riley and I pretty much read this one every night. The tale of the two possums who go on an adventure around Australia eating people food to try and cure Hush’s invisibility. Gorgeous artwork. Delightful and easy to read out loud.

The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland: This is the tale of a grumpy bear and the group of animals that try to cheer him up. Ultimately the bear is just grumpy because it’s tired – I can relate to that! The book has bright pleasing artwork, with simple sing-song like sentences. Delightful and easy to read out loud.

Time For Bed by Mem Fox & Jane Dyer: Riley and I read this book every night as our last book. Our final Goodnight book. The words flow beautifully and we always end up singing it rather than just reading it. It is rhythmic poetry featuring all different animals saying goodnight to each other. Beautiful artwork. Delightful and easy to read out loud.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Anna Jones. Essentially this book is just the nursery rhyme with illustrations and three pin wheels at the top that you can spin. Riley would be happy just to sing the song and uses the book as an excuse to do so.

Finding Nemo & Dory Storybook Treasury by Disney Pixar: The images are big and bright, with eight separate stories based off of the two movies. Riley loves this damn noisy book. It is such a pain when you’re trying to keep the story flowing to keep having to stop to find the corresponding sound effect button! The stories are easy to read ‘IF’ you leave out pressing the corresponding buttons. I cheat half the time and ignore most of the buttons. Meh!

Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox & Judy Horacek: Every page has a different illustration of a different kind of sheep, with every few pages the question being asked ‘where is the green sheep?’ The green sheep appears on that last page and is finally found. Riley has a green sheep plush toy that came with the book, so sometimes before we sit down and read the book I’ll hide it (somewhere easy) and then get him to find it. Simple sentences, cute artwork and is easy to read out loud.

Five Tank Engine Tales by Britt Allcroft: This book consists of five separate Thomas the Tank Engine adventures. The stories in the book are episodes I can remember watching with Riley on TV and thus are based on the original Railway Series by The Reverend W Awdry. The stories are quite easy to read out loud with big bold pictures and very few words per page. Riley does actually have quite a few of the original books, but they are more wordy with smaller pictures.

While Riley was super excited to get his books out and “help” Mummy take photos of them, Ethan couldn’t have cared less and chose to sleep.img_9615

Ramble & Review: Charmed by Various

As a treat for myself on my Thirtieth Birthday I took the half-an-hour journey into Newcastle to a fancy café / bagel shop for breakfast, then to the only old school comic book store still around (Graphic Action Comics: 572 Hunter St, Newcastle West NSW 2302). The next closest shop would be in Sydney, a two-and-a-half-hour trip. Obviously, I can buy them online, but that is beside the point! If you want to walk into a shop and buy comics and you live in the Hunter, Lake Mac or Newcastle’s surrounding suburbs you must take the journey to Newcastle. I call it a journey as they’ve stopped the train running, so you either must fight for a spot on an overcrowded bus or drive in and do laps until you find a car park. I drove. I hate buses. I’ll do trains no worries, but not buses.

While browsing (this took well over an hour much to my husband’s disdain) I saw an ad for a Charmed Comic re-boot coming in march. I found this amusing as I was in the middle of rewatching the entire TV series, so I pre-ordered it. I sat down and watched the entire TV series when I first got the collection back in 2008 and being stuck on the couch feeding Ethan at all hours seemed like a good enough reason for a rewatch.

Once I got home I started googling the comic series, as before that fateful trip to town I hadn’t realised there had ever been one. Oops and I call myself a Charmed Fan, shame on me. I found it available in collected volumes on amazon (kindle) and promptly began reading.

8380624

Charmed: Season 9, Volume 1 (Charmed Comic Series collects issues 0-5) by Paul Ruditis, Constance M. Burge

Charmed Season 9 picks up where the TV show left off With the source of all evil defeated, The Charmed Ones, three witches destined to be the most powerful force for good our world has ever known, have embraced a new life. One of new family, friends, and a future without the constant battle between good and evil… or so they think.

Paperback, 176 pages. Published February 15th 2011 by Zenescope.

8864792

Charmed: Season 9, Volume 2 (Charmed Comic Series collects issues 6-12) by Paul Ruditis, Constance M. Burge, Raven Gregory, Dave Hoover

The girls are back in town! Season 9 of Charmed continues in the pages of this graphic novel from Zenescope. Follow along everyone’s favorite trio of witches as Paige, Phoebe, and Piper continue their adventures from the hit TV series.

Paperback, 184 pages. Published September 20th 2011 by Zenescope.

My Thoughts: Zenescope has managed to move the girls to the comic medium quite well. Reading the comics I felt like I was still watching the show. The comic’s time line has moved forward slightly from the 8th TV season. I loved seeing Chris and Wyatt (Piper’s boys) a little bit older and seeing the other two sisters with children also. The family dynamic is still strong, with Granddad Victor on babysitting duties as the hubbies jump in to help in the dramatic last battle of Season 9 volume 2. The hubbies may be joining the battles some of the time now, but it’s still very much a magical woman in charge vibe. A must for fans of the show.

At the end of issue twelve we are left with a Prue size cliff-hanger thanks to a conversation between Patty and Cole – which forced me to go and buy volume 3 and realise I’m probably going to want to read all the Zenescope comics before I read my pre-ordered Dynamite first issue. DAMN IT!

For those who don’t know: The Charmed TV show spanned Eight Seasons and aired from 1998 -2006. It focused on three sister witches kicking bad guy ass and finding love. It was all about girl power, sisterhood, doing what is right and staying true to one’s self. Heaps of action was had; the demon killing kind and men wrangling kind, with plenty of eye candy for both the male and female viewers. The Charmed Comic series by Zenescope print run lasted from 2010 to 2016. Season 9 as they called it came out as 24 issues between June 2010 and November 2012 and Season 10 came out as 20 issues between October 2014 and September 2016. Dynamite now owns the rights to CHARMED and will be releasing its first Comic on the 8th March 2017.

Charmed #1 by [Schultz, Erica]

Dynamite is proud to present a brand-new Charmed story by writer Erica Schultz (Swords of Sorrow: Black Sparrow & Lady Zorro, Revenge) and artist Maria Sanapo (Grimm, DC Comics Bombshells) that will CHARM returning fans and new alike! Based on the popular WB television series that ran from 1998 to 2006. CHARMED, like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, had a cult following due to its supernatural fantasy storylines and strong female characters. Our debut series follows the characters played by Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Rose McGowan as they balance adult life with a new demon threat.

CHARMED #1: A dark force has set its sights on the art world of San Francisco and the only ones who can stop it are Phoebe, Paige, and Piper! Balancing work, witchcraft, and a life is never easy, and the Charmed Ones are stretched too thin. Meanwhile, a demon in the Underworld rallies the troops with a plan to take out the Charmed Ones forever.

Mini Reviews: Guardians and Good Neighbors

25815921

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008-2010) #1 by Andy Lanning, Dan Abnett (Author’s), Clint Langley, Paul Pelletier, Rick Magyar (Illustrator’s)

Back-to-back Annihilation wars have weakened the boundaries of our universe. In the face of terror, who stands to defend a desperate universe? Star-Lord and his squad of butt-kickers — the modern day Guardians of the Galaxy! Goodreads View.

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed the 2014 movie based on the 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy comic book reboot so much that after watching it I had intended on going and getting my hands the comics. And I did! It just took me two years.

So 2008’s issue #1. The comic has the same humour I enjoyed from the movie! Some of characters look rather different in print to the way they are portrayed in the movie, but the imagery was easily readable and I had gotten to know who was who by the end. The story was entertaining and fast paced, with a teaser thrown in near the end that hints at a long term underlying plot. I will definitely be continuing with the series. 4/5-stars.

6387496

Kith (The Good Neighbors #2) by Holly Black (Author), Ted Naifeh (Illustrator)

From the amazing imagination of bestselling author Holly Black, a mysterious and wonderful teen graphic novel masterpiece.

Rue Silver’s life is not what it appears to be. Her mother is a faerie, and has been taken back to the faerie realm. As Rue goes to bring her back, she must travel deep into an inhuman world. At the same time, the faerie realm is venturing into our world too, and taking its toll on those Rue loves. When her grandfather’s plans threaten Rue’s city, she realizes that she’s the only one who can stop him. But is Rue a human or a faerie? Where does she fit? How does she know the difference between love and enchantment? Goodreads View.

MY THOUGHTS: ME: Browsing the graphic novel/comic section of my local library “Holly Black I know that name”. Picks up book “Mmm a Holly Black graphic novel, that could be interesting”. Turns book over and reads the blurb “Yeah I’m gunna borrow it, sounds interesting enough”. Gets home and looks more closely at the cover “Ah f*** it says Book Two”. – I read it anyways. Obviously, as this is a review post.

Plot wise the whole 2nd in series thing wasn’t an issue. There was a page of straight text at the front that briefly summarised what had previously happened and the second book’s plot was quite easier to follow. I found the art work quite off putting. It was black and white only, which wasn’t the problem. Unfortunately It was quite dark and unreadable at times. Everyone, humans and fairies alike, all looked so similar it was a difficult at times to keep track of who was who. I’m not sorry I read it as it didn’t take long and was mildly entertaining, but the artwork brought down my enjoyment. 2/5-stars.

Review: Mer by Joelle Sellner

33825562After the death of her beloved mother, Aryn’s father has moved her family to a new town hoping for a fresh start. At first things seem to be going well—Aryn is making friends and has even caught the eye of one of the hottest guys in school. But there are dark forces moving under the surface that Aryn cannot see; and her new crush may not be … human.

Twilight meets the legend of Atlantis in this gripping graphic novel from writer Joelle Sellner and artist Abby Boeh.

Expected publication: April 19th 2017 by Diamond Book Distributors. GOODREADS.

My Review is based on an uncorrected proof via Netgalley – Thank you Joelle Sellner and Diamond Book Distributors for the ARC.

My Thoughts mk3

I decided to read this comic because the synopsis caught my attention. I found the art work to be bright, colourful, clear and visually quite pleasant. Putting aside the cringe worthy insta-love between the two main characters I enjoyed reading this comic. I found the villain amusing and her demise was entertaining.

I think girls between 11-13 would eat this comic up. What tween doesn’t want a sexy teenage Mer-person to instantly fall in love with them and offer them a new magical home and the chance to be a Mer. 11-year-old me would have loved the idea of running away and becoming a mermaid! Hell, 30-year-old me still thinks It might be kind of fantastic.

We follow Aryn as she navigates a new school, new friends, new love and gets herself caught in the villain’s clutches, then back out again, with help.

Aryn bugged me early on in the story and I can’t decide whether I felt she was immature or unhinged. I felt quite detached from the story as she was going berserk at strangers in the school hall and at her father. Actually, her treatment of her father grated on me, but that’s the adult and parent in me. I don’t think the intended audience would feel this way and the younger teens would be siding with her.

Under the cheesy romance and friendship drama there was a deeper story with Aryn realising she loves and needs her family – so that was nice. The comic is only 66 pages long, so all in all it was a light and quick read.

2.5 Stars. It was a bit better than just OKAY, but just too cringey for me to be able to say I liked it as a whole. This one for the young teens only.

Review: Right To Silence by Lily Luchesi

fullsizerender32987656Right To Silence (Paranormal Detectives #4) by Lily Luchesi

The truth can be deadly.
In the first of this two-part novel, we learn the history of hunters Brighton Sands and Mark Evans in their two lifetimes, culminating in their final battle with the insane vampire they have been hunting for centuries.
In the second part, with Angelica Cross still on the run, multiple vampiric murders lead to the kidnapping of a famous vamp. Detective Danny Mancini must drag a mortal into the bowels of Hell in order to rescue her.
But why does Leander Price want her so badly, and what does she have to do with an ancient vampire prophecy?fullsizerender-1

* * * * My Thoughts * * * *

In the first half of this book we learn more about the past-life and present-life history between Brighton and Mark. I quite enjoyed reading how the two originally met and how their souls found each other a second time. Chapter seven was a highlight for me. I really enjoyed the Brighton & “brother” reunion.

The second half of the book picks up where Life Sentence finished. We catch back up with Danny and the PID, see an ancient vampiric prophecy come to light and lose way too many supporting characters. Danny and Angelica spend a lot of the pages questioning each other and themselves, but that all seems to be settled by the end and the book finishes with the characters closer than ever.

Time Jumps: While some readers might find the time jumps in the story rather abrupt, I’m extremely impatient so the approach suited me and I found they really pushed the pace of the story along.

Loose Ends: I can’t help but thinking what’s to stop Leander from being resurrected, but that is just the pessimist in me.

Cliff-hanger: New unknown male villain introduced right at the end – seriously on the last page!

Mature Audiences Only: Right To Silence is a fast paced paranormal-horror-action-romance where everybody swears like sailors and gets slaughtered. But even amid all the violence and revenge seeking, the power of love, loyalty and friendship shine through.

In my reviews of the previous books I’ve said that I felt they could standalone. With this fourth installment I think you need to read the previous books or the depth of the character’s connections and references made to past events will be lost on you.

FOUR “I really liked it” STARS.

* * * * Author Links * * * *

Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Review: Fallen & Story Shorts by Lauren Kate

6487308What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart.

Get ready to fall . . .

My Thoughts: Fallen Angels masquerading as teenagers oh my. 

Reading from Luce’s POV I struggled to connect with any of the characters or buy into her and Daniel’s love connection.

While I quite enjoyed that last few chapters, which were more action packed, I nearly gave up at the half way mark of this book. I read the story shorts at that point and it gave me an inside into Daniel’s side of the story, which led me to bother to read the rest of the book. Nothing really happens until later in the book when Luce, with the help of her new friend Penn, start to piece together who/what Daniel really is. Seriously so much nothing. The synopsis pretty much tells you everything that is going to happen in this book, other than an age old good Vs evil war flaring up again at the end.

Daniel’s First Sighting (Fallen Shorts 0.1) by Lauren Kate Four ‘I really liked it Stars (GOODREADS). In this short we get to see Daniel and Luce’s meeting for the first time (in Luce’s current life time) through Daniel’s eyes. It was actually quite amusing and It made me warm to Daniel.

Daniel in L.A. (Fallen Shorts 0.4) by Lauren Kate Three ‘I liked it’ Stars (GOODREADS). In this short we get to see what Daniel was doing with himself before he ended up at Sword & Cross.

Daniel and Gabbe’s Fight (Fallen Shorts 0.6) by Lauren Kate Three ‘I liked it’ Stars (GOODREADS). In this short we get to find out what was really being said in the conversation between Gabbe and Daniel that Luce partly over heard in the dorm room hallway.

Fallen (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate Two ‘It was okay’ Stars (GOODREADS). I just didn’t connect with this story and that saddens me ’cause forbidden love is my thang’.

I enjoyed the shorts more then the actual Fallen novel. I think that maybe if Fallen had been told in duel POV with Daniel or maybe if it had just been Daniel telling it, it could have been a real winner for me. I went hunting for spoilers and read a bunch of reviews on the other books to find out how the rest of the series plays out and i’m satisfied with that. I’m not sorry I read Fallen, but I do not intend to read the rest of the series.