Book Review: You by Caroline Kepnes

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

You (You, #1) You by Caroline Kepnes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published on September 2014 by Atria
Buy: Amazon

Goodreads Summary

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

My Review

I feel like I underestimated just how twisted you were going to be. Just how creepy. How intense.

You had me addicted, lured into your twisted games and your pretentious talk about books and literature. I could almost feel you watching me, dissecting my tweets and monitoring my emails. You had me on the edge, a bit more wary of the world. You claimed me. You had me desperate to find out more.

Everyone should read you. Feel your stare on their back as they take their morning jog, have pieces of their lives nestled in the hole in your wall, have their very existence running through your mind 24/7. They won't know you're watching. You will charm them with your wit and your extensive knowledge.

You may be viewed as vile and crude and offensive but you are an excellent creation. A giant warning sign. A memorable character committing a heinous act after heinous act. You are an advert for all the things men shouldn't be, the things our parents warn us about.

You were an utterly amazing read. Suspenseful. Thrilling.

Book Review: Protecting Caroline by Susan Stoker

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Protecting Caroline (SEAL of Protection, #1) Protecting Caroline by Susan Stoker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Published on September 2014 by Susan Stoker
Buy: Amazon

Goodreads Summary

Matthew “Wolf” Steel hated flying commercial. Luckily his job as a Navy SEAL meant he didn’t have to do it very often. He’d been unlucky enough to be assigned a middle seat on the cramped jet, but fortunately for him, the woman next to him was willing to switch seats with him. Hoping for a relaxing flight, Wolf was pleasantly surprised at the good conversation and sense of humor the woman had as they flew 36,000 feet over the countryside.

When Caroline boarded the plane to Virginia to move across the country for her new job she never expected to be seated next to the hottest guy she’d ever seen. She also never expected he’d be so easy to talk to. She knew he’d never be interested in talking to her if he hadn’t been trapped in the seat next to her, but it was a nice way to spend a long plane ride.

Neither Wolf nor Caroline were prepared for a terrorist hijacking of their plane, but if Caroline thought that would be the last time she’d see, or need, Wolf, she’d be sorely mistaken.

My Review

This book was absolutely awful. The premise had so much potential to be an enthralling romantic suspense but Stoker absolutely bombed it. Destroyed it. Butchered it. Dismembered and disemboweled it.

I truly don't understand this trend of having lead female characters that are plain Jane's with little to no confidence in themselves and constantly second guessing everything. These are also the characters that mysteriously haven't managed to bag more than a fly until some muscly macho man arrives and blows her mind.

Caroline actually had a lot of potential to be so much more than she was. She was intelligent, loyal and at certain points in the novel when Stoker wasn't butchering the fuck out of her character, she was pretty badass. But no. Stoker utterly destroyed it. Why was it necessary for Caroline to be a woman so ugly that no one, and I mean no one, ever actually acknowledges her existence? When does that ever actually happen? She wasn't just 'plain Jane' Caroline, though, she was unlike any other woman around because she didn't throw a few flirtatious glances or words at the very attractive SEAL (because ALL of the SEALs in this were attractive. No SEAL is ever ugly or without muscles. None of them. None. Not even a few disfigurements could truly stop them from being 'pretty'). Ergo, she was 'plain Jane' no more. She attracted the attention of an extremely attractive man. Excuse me while I roll my eyes.

I also didn't quite understand the need to shame every single female in this book that used her own agency, was in touch with her sexuality and made the decision to willing spend a night or two with any of the men in this book. None of them complained. They enjoyed it. This is not feminism. This is slut shaming.

Book Review: Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Assassin's Heart (Assassin's Heart, #1) Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Published on February 2016 by HarperTeen
Buy: Amazon

Goodreads Summary

In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

My Review

This book was such a major disappointment. Mafia families, assassins and vengeance should equal a recipe for success but in this case, it plummeted into a dark pit of dissatisfaction. Lovero’s greatest Saldana assassin was mediocre at best and spent most of her time blundering her way through the novel instead of actually getting any satisfactory “assassin-ing” done.

The thrill of being an assassin in this book is lost when it became a profession that is admired, and death accepted like an old friend. It loses its edge. There is no longer any danger or fear because everyone is promised to be reborn into a better life. The whole concept, although interesting, fell flat. It was probably too much of a stretch for me to hope that this book would have had a Godfather-esque vibe but I guess this is what you get when the title of the book is “Assassin’s Heart”.

This would have gotten 1 star but I gave it 2 because I enjoyed the occasional sass. Will I read the next one in the series? Highly unlikely.

Book Review: Extreme Exposure by Pamela Clare

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Extreme Exposure (I-Team, #1) Extreme Exposure by Pamela Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published on August 2005 by Berkley
Buy: Amazon

Goodreads Summary

It's been years since her child's father dumped her, and since then Kara McMillan has kept men at bay - although every day she aches more for a lover's touch. But to get that, the hard-boiled journalist must become vulnerable - a feeling she vowed never to have again.

With his dangerous good looks, charm, and power, Senator Reece Sheridan could have just about any woman he sets his piercing eyes on. But he's intrigued by only one. This Kara, this gutsy investigative reporter, has a sensuality that arouses him to no end. If she's a firebrand in print, he guesses, she must be just as fiery in bed...

But this is no fling. A sudden political scandal - and attempts on Kara's life - could very well drive them apart. Or maybe, just maybe, adversity could draw them into a bond even more intense than their steamy sexual embraces.

My Review

Senator Reece Sheridan is future husband goals. I absolutely love, love, loved this book. I fell in love with the characters about 5 pages in and I'm ridiculously sad about the fact Reece, Connor and Kara won't be at the centre of the following books of the series.

Extreme Exposure was packed with amazing twists, a lot of which you won't see coming if you don't over-think whilst you read. It was refreshing to see a woman dedicated to her job because she wanted to create a better world for her son. I'm so used to the women in these types of novels that do what they do because they were raped or abused in their past so this was a refreshing backstory.

Book Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Sunday, 22 November 2015

November 9 November 9 by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published on November 2015 by Atria Books
Buy: Amazon

Goodreads Summary

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

My Review

I honestly never thought Colleen could write a book any better than Maybe Someday and Ugly Love but November 9 happened and I am a sobbing mess on the floor.

This book was absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking and I don't have enough words to describe how Colleen Hoover successfully stomped all over my heart in 300+ pages. Also, the surprise visit of two characters who I shall not name was the very best ever and I was ridiculously excited about it.

Book Review: Gabriel's Rapture by Sylvain Reynard

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Gabriel's Rapture (Gabriel's Inferno, #2) Gabriel's Rapture by Sylvain Reynard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published on May 2012 by Penguin Berkley
Buy: Amazon

Goodreads Summary

Professor Gabriel Emerson has embarked on a passionate, yet clandestine affair with his former student, Julia Mitchell. Sequestered on a romantic holiday in Italy, he tutors her in the sensual delights of the body and the raptures of sex. But when they return, their happiness is threatened by conspiring students, academic politics, and a jealous ex-lover. When Gabriel is confronted by the university administration, will he succumb to Dante's fate? Or will he fight to keep Julia, his Beatrice, forever? In Gabriel's Rapture, the brilliant sequel to the wildly successful debut novel, Gabriel's Inferno, Sylvain Reynard weaves an exquisite love story that will touch the reader's mind, body, and soul, forever.

My Review

I honestly loved this book so much more than the last one. The stakes were higher and I found myself truly invested in the outcome of Gabriel and Julia's relationship. Paul still remains an irritating little shit imo. Sorry bro, just because you're a nice guy and SAY you'll treat Julia right means jack all to me. Even though Julia and Gabriel's relationship is largely an unhealthy one, they have both grown and developed as people and have made the appropriate actions to make themselves better and in turn make their relationship a healthy one. Some of those I won't sleep with you until we get married conversations left a big question mark dangling over my head though ngl.

Nothing is more irritating in this book than the constant headhopping which is the only big pet peeve I have with this series. It's not great storytelling. Stick to one POV in a scene. I don't need to dance from head to head whilst these people are having a conversation.

And lastly, I lead a Katherine Picton appreciation life. This woman is absolutely golden and I hope to see more of her in the next book.

Book Review: Creep by Jennifer Hillier

Thursday, 29 October 2015

CreepCreep by Jennifer Hillier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published on July 2011 by Gallery Books
Buy: Amazon

Goodreads Summary

Pulsing with the dark obsession of Radiohead’s song “Creep,” this taut thriller—Jennifer Hillier’s superb debut—rockets from its seductive opening to a heartpounding climax not easily forgotten.

If he can’t have her . . .

Dr. Sheila Tao is a professor of psychology. An expert in human behavior. And when she began an affair with sexy, charming graduate student Ethan Wolfe, she knew she was playing with fire. Consumed by lust when they were together, riddled with guilt when they weren’t, she knows the three-month fling with her teaching assistant has to end. After all, she’s finally engaged to a kind and loving investment banker who adores her, and she’s taking control of her life. But when she attempts to end the affair, Ethan Wolfe won’t let her walk away.

. . . no one else can.

Ethan has plans for Sheila, plans that involve posting a sex video that would surely get her fired and destroy her prestigious career. Plans to make her pay for rejecting him. And as she attempts to counter his every threatening move without her colleagues or her fiancĂ© discovering her most intimate secrets, a shattering crime rocks Puget Sound State University: a female student, a star athlete, is found stabbed to death. Someone is raising the stakes of violence, sex, and blackmail . . . and before she knows it, Sheila is caught in a terrifying cat-and-mouse game with the lover she couldn’t resist—who is now the monster who won’t let her go.

My Review

This was pretty good. I wasn't convinced for over half of this book that Hillier would be able to pull it out the bag and make this book great but the last 5% saved it. One scene in particular had my jaw drop and may have been the only moment this book truly shocked me. It certainly shocked the person on the receiving end.

The scenes between Ethan and Tao fell slightly short for me after the *spoiler*. It wasn't particularly gripping or thrilling or put me on the edge. I was more concerned about Morris' opinion of Tao than whether anything "bad" would happen to her.

Jerry and Morris are the real MVP's of this book in my eyes. The banter and Morris becoming a little wannabe P.I. just to find his answers was fab. I want more of it in the next book.

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