Thursday, October 11, 2018

Triton's Daughter (The Triton Series #1) Review

Triton's Daughter (The Triton Series #1)
By: Emory Gayle

What if the person you had been dreaming of, since you were a child, was real? KyLaya Constantilly is barely holding her life together after her father falls ill and it is left to her to lead the kingdom of Triton. Keeping her city safe from Siren attacks proves to be more than she was bargaining for when she finds herself at the mercy of one of them. When a handsome stranger saves her from a fate worse than death, KyLaya is whisked away from all she knows and into the clutches of a Sirenite, a Siren’s son. But, the Sirenite isn’t what she expects and though a part of her knows she should fear him, something inside her falls for his kindness and charm. Will KyLaya be able to open herself up to a love that is eons in the making, or will she remain faithful to her people and the engagement to a man she could never fall in love with?
Jett has one rule: never engage a Mer. But that is about to change. Jett has grown up on the prairies all his life. Part of a small, tight knit, community his life seems charmed, however, there is more to his people than meets the eye. Refugees from Mer, his people have hidden away from the sea and kept to themselves for decades. But, when Jett sees KyLaya for the first time, he jeopardizes the safety of his people and the lives that they have made for themselves. Something in him calls to her and when KyLaya’s life is put in danger, Jett reacts without thinking, bringing her into a community that doesn’t want her there. Will Jett betray the confidence of his people to remain with the girl who has graced his dreams since he was a child, or will he turn her over to his people and certain death?
As KyLaya and Jett navigate their budding romance, a stranger shows up and they are forced to face the truth behind their connection and the reason they have been dreaming of each other since they were children.


I was surprised yesterday when an author I like on FB asked how everyone was enjoying her new book. I checked my list of book releases that I am waiting for and her book wasn't on it. I was surprised at myself as I really enjoyed her Water Series. It turns out that life had thrown her a few curve balls lately and as a result she wasn't able to market Triton's Daughter as much as she wanted to, so I had no idea she was dropping a new book. It was a fantastic surprise. I bought the book yesterday and my excitement to read it gave me the drive I needed to finish the extremely painful book I was reading. So thank you Emory Gayle, without your book to look forward to I may still be plugging along in a book I was not at all enjoying. 

 Triton's Daughter is set in the same Mer world as the Water Series so I was already familiar with the authors rendition of mermaid lore and all that it entails. It was nice to go back to the familiar deep sea world and meet some new characters. In The Triton Series we get a closer look at the Mer city Triton, and the family that rules it. The main character KyLaya, is essentially the princess of Triton, but their hierarchy has a different name for it. She is dealing with her gravely ill father and being thrust into the position of ruler of Triton before she's truly ready for it.

Both of the main characters in this book were like-able enough, if not a little dull. The author really didn't show a lot of their personalities, but maybe that's just because this is the first book in a series. Perhaps she will delve a little deeper into the characters in the following books. She does give us a peek into their childhoods and their family. We see who is important to them and why, and how those relationships evolved over time. The familial relationship I am most curious to see is the one between KyLaya and her father, unfortunately because he's so sick I'm not sure when we will get to see what their dynamic looks like or how he will take to the news of who KyLaya's fallen in love with.

I was pleasantly surprised that although both KyLaya and Jett both already have potential love interests when they meet, there is no token jealous guy/girl that you normally see in this type of romance story. I actually found myself liking all of the characters that we were introduced to, with the obvious exception of the Gods. The only hint of disappointment I felt while reading this novel was that of the villain of the story. As with the Water Series, the Triton Series villain is a God. While I do enjoy the fusion of Gods and Mer people in these books I would have liked to see another element added. But again, this is the early days of the first book of a series so maybe the author has yet to add new/more components to the story.

One thing we can always count on me loving in an Emory Gayle book is the love story. I love that her characters accept their feelings for each other early on and she doesn't drag out their relationship, keeping the reader in suspense. As much as I always enjoy the first stages of a new relationship between characters there's also the added dilemma of how the characters will meld their lives together when they're really not meant to be together. Sure, I love love, but I love forbidden love that much more!

It's been a long time since I read a series so new that only the first book is released. I'm not the most patient of people so waiting for the second book to come out in 2019 will be very difficult for me. I have already added it to my 'To Be Released' list and am anxiously  waiting.

Final Rating:
✬✬✬✬✫ 
Probability of Rereading:
Yes

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Sweet Revenge Review

Sweet Revenge (A Curvy Girl Romance)
By: River Laurent

Dawn, 

Great! Just Great! 
My boyfriend of two years dumps me for another woman on the eve of New Year’s Eve. 
And the reason? She weighs less than me. 
Thanks, James. Really. Thanks. 
But, I’m not sitting at home crying for your sorry ass. 
No, I’m going to re-build the confidence you systematically destroyed. 
And then I go and meet Ace, the hottest, sexiest man alive. 
Whoa! And it is sweet revenge all the way.



I had never before read a romance novel where the main draw was a curvy female lead. I myself am pretty curvy, I suppose (I mean, I'm not exactly thin. But I don't really give my body type a whole lot of thought), and was curious to see what authors make of characters with curvy body types. I was also curious to know why this is a draw for female readers. I guess I've never thought of it before but most, if not all, female leads in books are classed as thin or average. Honestly, I just assume that curvy is average these days. I mean, aren't all women at least a little curvy? Anyway, my curiosity was piqued so I caved and got the book. Seriously, FB is costing me a lot of money putting all these books I might like in my newsfeed. I just have no self restraint when it comes to books!

I'm going to start by telling you all that this is a shorter novel. So the author had a lot to fit in to the  pages, which is why some of the story felt quite rushed. I think that most of my reservations with this book came from it being so fast paced. Having the main character, Dawn, get dumped and literally leave her house right after and meet someone new didn't feel authentic to me at all. And why else would women read about a curvy female if not to give the book an authentic and relatable quality? 

I had hoped that this book would be uplifting and empowering being that it states in the synopsis that Dawn is looking to re-build her confidence and take back some of the power she felt she lost in her last relationship. I would have loved for the message in this book to be that no matter what your size or appearance no woman needs a man to feel good about herself or to give her confidence. Instead, it seems that Dawn's confidence is lent to her by Ace, the new man she meets after James dumps her. It takes Ace repeatedly telling her that she's sexy and beautiful before she begins to believe it. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to see women who know their worth being with men who empower them even more, but it's not all that uplifting to see a woman, who's confidence is shattered, only comfortable wearing clothes because a man tells her she looks sexy in them. I just didn't get the inspirational vibe that I had hoped to get. 

That being said, I loved both Ace and Dawn's characters. They're both nice, caring and humble people who really do deserve to find each other. And their love story is sweet. I do think a longer book and more drawn out situations would have done them more justice as a couple. But I lived for the scene in the supermarket when they run into James. All in all this was a cute story, but I don't think I will be seeking out any more curvy female leads, as all the emphasis put on her body type and her confidence took away from the story itself.

Final Rating:
✬✬✬✫✫
Probability of Rereading:
No

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

Monday, October 1, 2018

Ruin and Rising (Grisha Verse #3) Review

Ruin and Rising (Grisha Verse #3)
By: Leigh Bardugo

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.
 




I can honestly say I don't think the conclusion of any series has ever underwhelmed me as much as this one did. There was so much buildup in the first two books and it foreshadowed what promised to be a huge battle of epic proportions, and this book fell so far short of what I expected that I've spent most of today in a stupor trying to ascertain what to write in this review. I feel so let down by the author. 

The story began where the last one left off with Alina powerless and held captive by the Apparat. It takes her a little while to get her power back and when she finally does she leaves the boring underground hideaway to go topside in search of the third amplifier. I got excited at the prospect of the journey because the change of setting was the perfect opportunity for something interesting to happen. I actually spent quite a lot of time thinking 'oh good, this is a great opportunity for something interesting to happen', only to be let down again and again.

One time my other half talked me into watching the Lord of the Rings movies and I remember being bored to death and complaining about how it felt like three very long movies about two people doing nothing but walking. Ruin and Rising was reminiscent of that feeling for me. I was bored most of the time, skimmed a lot and put this book down more than the others in the series in search of something more interesting to do. 

Ruin and Rising had such a depressing defeatist tone to it throughout the entire book that it was almost impossible to feel anything other than sad and upset. Even when the characters had victories there was no air of happiness or triumph, they were already dwelling on the difficulties to come. And it was exhausting to feel so negative the whole time I was reading this. Even my saving grace of the feelings between Alina and Mal couldn't overcome the negative feelings I had while reading this book. 

The battle at the end seemed to happen rather quickly, and I'm still unsure of whether or not the ending was a good one. It, like everything else in this book, had an edge of darkness to it that made it hard to feel completely happy and satisfied with it. 

As I said, I spent all day trying to sort out my feelings for this book and trying to decide what I should write about it. Looking back on it, I really can't think of one redeeming factor in this book and the author did such a disservice to her characters and the great story she was creating that I'm still grasping at straws trying to figure out what the hell happened. That being said, I believe there's another series she has written that I do plan on reading. I'll let you know how it goes.

Final Rating:
✬✫✫✫✫
Probability of Rereading:
No

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

Monday, September 17, 2018

Siege and Storm (Grisha Verse #2) Review

Siege and Storm (Grisha Verse #2)
By: Leigh Bardugo

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.




I debated on whether or not to write this review. Could I write only about the first and third books? Would that be weird? I hate looking too deeply into a book that I am undecided about because more often than not I find myself talking about all the things I didn't like and unable to pinpoint anything that I did like. Thus making me feel like maybe I didn't actually like it after all. Hopefully this isn't the case with this review.

The book started off well enough, Alina and Mal are on the run and managing to live under the radar, staying in hostels and holding down jobs. They both seem a little unsure of their relationship status and how to act with each other. It's like they want to be a couple, but are unsure of how to do so after years of being friends. It was disappointing. I had been rooting for them to work out and had assumed that being such good friends they would be able to easily transition to the next step. The awkwardness between them had me questioning if the possibility of them being a couple even made sense anymore. Unfortunately for me the rest of the book did nothing to solder my opinion of them being together. If anything, it made me think that maybe Mal and Alina weren't meant to be together, which broke my heart. Many times over as events happen that cemented that opinion even more. 

As the book advances Alina and Mal's situation changes and they find themselves back at the Little Palace. Their positions there are tenuous as best both with the King and Queen and with each other. Alina tries her best to build confidence in the Grisha as their leader but can't figure out the political side of the position. She's stuck between appearances and desires, and tends to make decisions based on the thoughts and opinions of others as opposed to her own. It's frustrating to watch but the struggle she faces is understandable seeing as how a few months ago she was a powerless peasant, free to make her own decisions without worrying about the repercussions they will have on others. 

The Darkling is almost absent in this book, but the little we do see of him paints a pathetic and lonely picture, almost enough to garner sympathy from the reader. But not quite. He's still the bad guy, still going after Alina for his own aspirations, not caring who he hurts or kills along the way. We see a lot of known secondary characters die in this book, but we are also introduced to some great new characters that you can't help but like, even if their intentions and allegiance aren't exactly clear. 

My contention with this book comes with the amount of dull scenes in it. It gets a lot more political than the first book with the addition of the King, Queen and the princes. It felt like there were many unnecessary scenes that I found myself skimming through to get them over with quickly. Honestly, most of the scenes at the palace felt like filler. It made for a hard, dry read sometimes.

Final Rating:
✬✬✬✫✫
Probability of Rereading:
Yes

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

Monday, September 10, 2018

His Mate and His Mistress Review

His Mate and His Mistress 
By: Irtania Adrien

Alpha Demitrey Jackson felt on top of the world. He was Alpha of one of the Largest wolf Packs In North America, he was wealthy, and had a beautiful mistress. Yes, a mistress, not a mate, he never wanted one. No one knew why, yet no one questioned his decision. When a smaller pack was being threatened by rogues, he was asked to help, and so a peace treaty was signed through a marriage between him and the youngest daughter of the alpha of the silent moon pack, but who knew that she was his destined mate?

Adelina Veraso dreamed of the day her mate would sweep her off her feet, take her in his warm embrace, shower her with hugs and kisses, and love her for who she was. But she never expected him to be a cold ass hole who loathed and insulted her, made love to his mistress instead of her, who treated her as though she was some animal, yet treated his mistress as though she was a queen. He allowed no other male to approach her, but his mistress gets to saunter around with whomever she pleases. And she hated the way he played with her heart, toyed with her feelings, and teased her body whenever he felt like degrading her.

Demitrey is stuck with Adelina, but he wants nothing to do with her. So why can't he take her out of his mind? Why can't he stay out of her bed at night? Why does he get jealous when another male approach her? And why Oh why can't he let her go?

Join Adelina as she experiences a roller-coaster of emotions, tears, romance, heartbreak, and maybe love, and join Demitrey as he withstand a battle within himself when it comes to Adelina.
 




Every time a reader buys a book they've never heard of by an author they've never read from before they take a chance. I am pretty picky about the type of books I like, so I rarely take this gamble blindly. I prefer to read authors and books recommended to me from friends, or recommended from other authors I enjoy. I don't have an unlimited book budget or unlimited amounts of time to spend on books that I don't derive pleasure from, so I am very choosy. In this case, this books synopsis popped up on my FB newsfeed and I was immediately intrigued. I can't remember reading a book about soulmates where the male was an asshole who devoted his time and affection to someone who wasn't his mate, so I was excited at the possibility of reading something fresh and new. I took a chance, spent $8 on this book (which is expensive for an ebook, usually I get two for this price!) and was beyond disappointed. I have never felt so angry or ripped off after reading any book before, that I deliberately waited a day before writing this review so it wasn't jam packed with swear words.

Let me begin by saying that I have read many a book by independent authors, and I am no stranger to spelling and grammatical errors. Indie authors have procedures in place to try to capture and correct every spelling error so that when they publish their books they are near perfection. They have editors,and a trusted group of people whom they allow to read their book ahead of the release to ensure there are no problems or plot holes. I really hope that this author did not have those trusted people double and triple checking this book for errors, because if she did they failed her greatly. There were so many spelling errors it looked as though this book had been written by one of my children. Spelling errors in small quantities are not a big deal, spelling errors in excess (like a few on every page) start to distract the reader and takes away from the story. One of the most distracting elements for me was the constant changing view points. They sometimes changed as quickly as every other sentence. The author made it obvious, by clearly writing *Demitrey's point of view*, but even that was distracting. The story jumped from Adalina's POV to Demitrey's to third person and them to other random characters. It was weird. The author needs to choose a view point or two and stick to it. 

The plot holes were many, as well. I had so many glaringly obvious questions as I read this book, such as, if the Alpha had the keys to his menacles why did he not just release himself and join the fight? If all of this warriors were freed, why did they not go back and free their alpha? If Demitrey had such an abusive and overbearing father, why did no one else in the pack think to challenge him for the alpha role? How could James have known Adalina enough to know where to look for her, but Peter who had been her friend her whole life didn't know where to look to find her? Why did Kat all of a sudden decide that she no longer liked Adalina, even though they seemed to have been as close as sisters in Italy? There are so many more questions I have but there's no point in writing them all because no one but the author knows the answers. This book was such an incomplete story that by the halfway mark it didn't make sense at all anymore, and the story had gotten so far away from the synopsis and from what had actually reeled me in in the first place that I no longer cared what happened. 

There were no redeeming qualities in this book. The synopsis was a better read than this entire book was. And that's what I paid for. I have read some bad books. I have read some incredibly boring books. Never before have I read a book that read like an eight graders attempt at being a novelist, complete with obvious grammatical errors, plot holes and inconsistent character behaviors. I feel as though I've been cheated by the author. She put out a decent synopsis to represent her novel, charges $8 from her readers to read the book, and can't even be bothered to put out a complete book. To add insult to injury, nowhere did it say that this was the first book in a series but the book ended in a cliffhanger and there were no conclusions to any of the issues in the book. By the time I finished reading I didn't even care what happened to the characters I was just so grateful to be able to move on to a new book. 

Final Rating:
✫✫✫✫✫ 
Probability of Rereading:
No


Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Verse #1) Review

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Verse #1)
By: Leigh Bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.





A friend of mine recommended reading this series to me, and I immediately knew I would love it. She once recommended I read Sarah J Maas' books and ever since then I've trusted her recommendations completely. We seem to have kindred bookish spirits and luckily for me she reads books I've never even heard of and then recommends them to me.

I'm not gunna lie,  it took me awhile to get into this book. Usually I am taken in by the chapters and chapters of descriptive narrative in first-in-series' books, but this book didn't follow that norm as closely as I'm used to. In this book you're quickly thrown into the life of the main character Alina, and characterizations took a backseat to the action that quickly followed the intro. 

Once I adapted to the writing style of the author I fell into this book and the characters and only came up for air when I had to go to work. Alina's character starts out a bit dull as cartography isn't the most exciting of trades, but I liked her relationship with her best friend Mal. I'm used to books where the men fawn all over the women and the women are standoffish, but this time the crush was on Alina's behalf and Mal was the one who seemed interested in nothing beyond friendship. 

I liked the concept of the Grisha, although I have to admit I'm not sure I fully understand it. The Grisha is regarded as near royalty as they are rare and all possess some type of magic. They have created their own hierarchy and way of doing things and adhere to their own rules and regimes of school. They have their own leader they call The Darkling who is a character surrounded by mystery and legend. We are given a glimpse into who he is and what he's about after he discovers Alina's ability and takes her in to train her to reach her full potential. It's right about here that I became conflicted about who Alina should be with; although I liked Mal's character and the past that he and Alina share I loved the mystery and power of the Darkling and he seemed to show more interest in Alina than Mal did. 

The twist comes closer to the end of the book, and while it's expected it still made me sad. I hate when I start liking a character only to find they've actually been the behind the scenes baddie all along. I have such bad judgement when it comes to book characters. One thing I did love about the twist is that Aline and Mal, who had been ripped apart when they learned that Aline is actually Grisha find each other again and their dynamic changes. You can see the growth they've both experienced in their interactions with each other and it changes their relationship. 

While it took me awhile to appreciate the writing style of the author I really did learn to love how she spins her stories. I felt everything that Alina was feeling and at times got emotional when she did. The best thing a writer can do is touch on the feelings of the reader and make them feel as though they are apart of the book. At one point I had to stop reading because I knew I was going to cry like a baby, but I had already done my makeup for work and didn't want to have to re-do it. That's right, my vanity came first this time. It was refreshing to see an author write the same type of stories that I've been obsessed with lately but in a way that stands out from other authors. I'm excited to see what the rest of this trilogy brings.

Final Rating:
✬✬✬✬✫
Probability of Rereading:
Yes

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

Monday, August 20, 2018

Touch Review

Touch
By: Melissa Haag

A touch. That’s all it takes for Tessa to know her future with a boy. Her mom tells her she needs to choose her best option before she turns seventeen. Problem is, she sees all her ‘options’ dying before they turn thirty. That may have worked for the last fourteen generations of women in her family tree, but she can’t choose and condemn someone to an early grave.

An unfortunate incident at school starts a chain of events that reveals a centuries old chaos demon and a chance to remove her 'gift' forever.


I've been on a Melissa Haag kick as of late. After loving her Of Fates and Furies series (thus far) and liking her Judgment of the Six series I thought I'd give one of her stand-alone's a try. I'm glad I did. I almost forgot how much I enjoy single books with a quick resolution. I forgot how a single book can still be as fulfilling and complex as a multi-book series. It was a good reminder to me not to get stuck in a rut with sticking to the same types of books repeatedly. Sometimes it's good to take a step out of the box I put myself in. 


This book broke away from the fantasy books I've been reading quite a bit. It involved a family curse and demons instead of the usual werewolf/faerie/vampire dynamic. While it is clearly still fantasy, I loved the change of pace. I loved the idea of the curse and the mystery surrounding it. The more we found out about the curse and why it began the more intrigued I became with it. It was gratifying to see some members of the family question or challenge the terms of the curse and not fall into the monotony of doing what they're told with no clue as to why they're doing it. 


Tessa, the main character, is a normal teenager, who happens to live by the strange set of rules laid out for her by the curse. She is open-minded, independent and tenacious. She's a hard ass when she needs to be and stands up for herself in unfair situations, and always in a very mature way. I think the thing I liked most about Tessa was her completely level head in situations where most would lose their mind or dramatize the situation. She was an unusual teenage character in the sense that she shied away from drama and could recognize when she was wrong and apologize to whomever she had to to fix the situation. I've read a lot of books with a lot of strong female leads, this was the first one where I thought 'hey, I think we could actually be friends in real life'. 


The main conflict of this book is obviously to break the curse put on Tessa, but there are a few mini challenges along the way as well with some extra villains and side stories. Haag threw enough into the mix that at no time did I find myself bored of this book or skimming my way through any of it. I finished the whole thing in one sitting and then upon finishing it found myself wanting to reread it immediately. Unfortunately my TBR list is getting out of hand so I can't reread it just yet, but I have no doubt that when I do I'll enjoy it just as much if not more than I did the first time around.

Final Rating:
✬✬✬✬✫
Probability of Rereading:
Yes

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

Triton's Daughter (The Triton Series #1) Review

Triton's Daughter (The Triton Series #1) By: Emory Gayle What if the person you had been dreaming of, since you were a child, was  re...