Hey there! What you'll find on this blog is a lot of book reviews, cover reveals for book covers I've designed, and book related products I make. Enjoy!

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Posted by Monika MacFarlane on 16 November 2011. Filed under: , , , , , , ,
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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary:
Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.


My Thoughts:
I'm loving this book so far, but utterly perplexed as to what's going on...and that's a good thing :)

Update: Well, now that I've finished I know a bit more about what was happening. Loved the story and all of the characters. Ended with a bit of a cliffhanger so I'm assuming there will be a sequel?? Hoping anyway because I'm still confused about a few things :)

A suspenseful, psychological mystery with a supernatural twist, I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves witty dialogue from realistically drawn characters you will fall in love with.

Update 2: Ok, I just saw that there will be a second book. Guess I should have looked first :)

Format: Kindle Edition

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Review: Reckoning (Strange Angels #5)

Posted by Monika MacFarlane on 07 November 2011. Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Reckoning by Lili St. Crow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary:
Nobody expected Dru Anderson to survive this long. Not Graves. Not Christophe. Not even Dru. She's battled killer zombies, jealous djamphirs, and bloodthirsty suckers straight out of her worst nightmares. But now that Dru has bloomed into a full-fledged svetocha - rare, beautiful, and toxic to all vampires - the worst is yet to come.

Because getting out alive is going to cost more than she's ever imagined. And in the end, is survival really worth the sacrifice?

DRU ANDERSON'S NOT AFRAID OF THE DARK.
BUT SHE SHOULD BE.



My Thoughts:
I just don't like it when a series I love ends, not at all. And although I'm not ecstatic about the way this series ended, I get it. And it will not detract any stars from my rating. I do wish, however, that there were more books in the series to delve into this new element in the story.

It was mentioned in the other books but really became a part of the story in this last book. Also, this new revelation about Dru's heritage needs to be explored further. AND, of course, I NEED to find out what happens with Dru & Graves!

That's why I think there will be a new series, not exactly a spinoff, but something else with these characters. Maybe a continuation from Graves' perspective?? Do I sound desperately hopeful?? I am :)

Anyway, loved the book and really sad it's the end of the series.

Format: Paperback

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Review: Solstice

Posted by Monika on 24 August 2011. Filed under: , , , , , ,
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Solstice by P.J. Hoover
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary:
Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom.

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.


My Thoughts:
The premise of this book is what prompted me to purchase it, but I was somewhat disappointed with the delivery. The writing is fine, but the story seemed choppy to me. It bothered me that Piper wasn't MORE bothered or concerned with what was happening in her life! She kind of just went with it without question. Weird. That made the story more unrealistic & unbelievable for me.

To be honest, I had a hard time finishing it. Not terrible but not great either. But I get why a lot of people like this book :)

Format: Kindle Edition

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Review: The Juliet Spell

Posted by Monika on 16 August 2011. Filed under: , , , , , , , ,
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The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Summary:
I wanted the role of Juliet more than anything. I studied hard. I gave a great reading for it, even with Bobby checking me out the whole time. I deserved the part.

I didn't get it. So I decided to level the playing field, though I actually might have leveled the whole play. You see, since there aren't any Success in Getting to Be Juliet in Your High School Play spells, I thought I'd cast the next best; a Fame spell. Good idea, right?

Yeah. Instead of bringing me a little fame, it brought me someone a little famous. Shakespeare. Well, Edmund Shakespeare. William's younger brother.

Good thing he's sweet and enthusiastic about helping me with the play...and, ahem, maybe a little bit hot. But he's from the past. Way past. Cars amaze him - cars! And cell phones? Ugh.

Still, there's something about him that's making my eyes go star-crossed...


My Thoughts:
Um.....so far, VERY light & fluffy. I mean VERY. Not sure if this book is me. I do like the premise, so I will keep reading :)

**Update: Yes, it remained light & fluffy & cute. The writing was choppy and the pace was way off. The way some of the characters reacted to certain things that, in real life, would need days to wrap your head around, was entirely unrealistic. And the mom, she's perfectly fine with everything that is happening with her teenage daughter. What?!? I mean, why would she have any questions or concerns about the guy from Elizabethan England staying with them? And Edmund, I think he adjusted to the whole situation far too quickly. It was all too easy. I think the writer could have done SO much more with the premise.

I'm sure there will be loads of readers that will love this book. There are some sweet moments, I'll admit, but not enough to carry the whole story or make up for the pacing problems.

Format: Kindle eARC provided by Netgalley

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Review: A Beautiful Dark

Posted by Monika on 13 August 2011. Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Summary:
On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.


My Thoughts:
So far, this book is just "ok". Nothing to write home about. I'm having a difficult time connecting or relating to any of the characters, they all seem kind of flat. I'm almost halfway through and not sure if I even care what happens to these characters, not a good sign for me. The writing is not bad, it just has an overall generic feel to it.

**Update: Finished the book and my feelings about it have not changed. It didn't get much better, in my opinion. It took half the book to get to the actual gist of it and when it got there, I was left wanting more. Flat, one dimensional characters. The mythology was interesting, but not enough to make me love the story. It just wasn't for me. I'm sure some people will love this, though.

The writing is fine, I just didn't connect with it. The artwork on the cover is beautiful. The book definitely ended in a way that pretty much guarantees this will be a series. I don't think I'll be reading the next book, if there is one, I just can't muster up enough feeling to care about what happens to Skye, sorry.

Format: Kindle eARC provided by Netgalley

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Review: Cold Kiss (Cold Kiss #1)

Posted by Monika on 20 July 2011. Filed under: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary:
It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.

Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants--what she must do--is to bring Danny back.

But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.

Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her--and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right.

But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought--even if it means breaking her heart all over again.


My Thoughts:
The premise of this book definitely has the creepy factor and going into it I knew it had the potential to be disturbing. Boy, was I wrong! I'm so glad I read it. From the first page, I was drawn in to this story. When Danny, the boy she loves with all her heart, dies in a terrible car accident, Wren is devastated and lost and ends up doing something that will change her to the core. See, Wren is different and she's always known that but not to what extent. She comes from a line of women who have "powers" but she's just learning the extent of that and what she can really do.

When she loses Danny, her first love, she performs a ritual that she hopes will bring him back from the dead. It works, much to her surprise, and what follows is such a beautiful story of heartbreak, longing, and love and the lengths that some will go to hold on to what they love most.

I was never creeped out by undead Danny, even though he's basically a walking corpse. It all gets to be too much for her, though, hiding Danny away from the world, especially when undead Danny starts remembering things. Eventually, Wren realizes she needs to right what she has done...this is a character that definitely matures through the course of the story. With help from the new guy at school, Gabriel (who also has some powers of his own) she's able to finally say goodbye to Danny and start to mend her broken heart.

Wren is such a real, fleshed-out character, it was easy to see why these two guys would fall for her. I loved all of the flashbacks to the time before the accident, little glimpses into this young relationship. I never once thought any of it was far-fetched. The ONLY thing that bothered me, and I mean literally only one thing, was not having the issue with her father resolved. Why didn't we find out where the father was and why he'd left? All in all, a beautiful, sad, and lovely book. If you're the emotional type, I'd recommend having a few tissues handy :)

Format: Kindle eARC provided by Netgalley

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Review: Bones of Faerie

Posted by Monika on 14 July 2011. Filed under: , , , , , , , , ,
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Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary:
The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza's world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see into the past, into the future, and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza's quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.

My Thoughts:
Let me just say upfront: I'm a huge fan of faeries...the fey are probably my favorite supernatural-type. But that does not skew my opinion of this novel because I've read a whole slew of doozies when it comes to books about fey. This book, however, is not a doozy :) I'd read mixed reviews of this book and I was a bit hesitant to buy it. But I did and I loved it! It's not the perfect fey book, but it's definitely up there.

The writing is superb, to begin with. The premise is unique and sets up a starkly beautiful tale of survival, betrayal, and love in a post-apocalyptic setting. It's also a coming of age story as Liza, our protagonist, is discovering things about herself and her life while grappling with what it means to truly trust someone. Liza is a survivor and feels alone, but along the way, learns that to truly live, you must let those who love you in.

Fans of Melissa Marr & Holly Black will most likely enjoy this :)

Format: Kindle Edition

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