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Julie B "Julie @ Bookaroo-Ju" (birmingham, england)

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Shatter Me
Shatter Me

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, 15 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Shatter Me (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this more than I was expecting to, but a little less than I was hoping to, also. The quirky writing style effortlessly tumbled me from one sentence to the next in a race, nowhere near fast enough, to discover what could come next. Each word seemed to have been chosen with care, and the end result bordered on poetry.

P.s. I loved Adam. Thank goodness he turned out to be on the good team.

Maybe Not
Maybe Not
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Another corker from Me Hoover., 28 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Maybe Not (Kindle Edition)
Yup, yup, enjoyed this one just as much as I expected to. Fun, heart warming, emotional, with a satisfying end.

Specter (Debt Collector 11)
Specter (Debt Collector 11)
Price: £1.19

4.0 out of 5 stars :), 6 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Gargh! Cliff hanger. Why?
Must buy next episode post haste.
Love this series, one of the best out they and delivered in delicious bite sized chunks.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars CUTENESS!, 27 Jun. 2014
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith is so filled with sweetness and cuteness, I felt like I’d been munching on Easter Eggs whilst wrapped in the warm and snugly embrace of a giant Easter bunny. Seriously. To be honest, I’m not sure what to say other than that without giving everything away. I mean, we have Hadley, who ends up on the later flight due to missing her original flight to UK for her father’s wedding (her parents are divorced), and so just happens to end up paired with a cute British guy, who’s been studying in the States, on his way home for a date with family. And she has phobia issues, but because said cute British guy is CUTE, he helps her through them just because he’s nice, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Pretty much everything that happens in this book is as expected as you expect it to be. The romance unfolds exactly as you expect it to. All the twists and turns are exactly what you expect them to be. Yet, it still felt VERY fresh. And I think it was all of the surrounding details that made it as such. The fact that her parents aren’t bitter toward one another after their divorce, and her mother isn’t resentful of her dad getting remarried or of Hadley being a bridesmaid at the wedding—instead encouraging her, guiding her. And the fact that the woman Hadley’s father is marrying isn’t the evil stepmother Hadley wants her to be, but is actually really nice. So often, stepmothers are made out to be complete ogres. Makes a change for someone to portray us as nice (I’m a stepmother, can you tell?).

And on top of these is Oliver. Yes, he’s kind of predictable throughout most of the book. However, whilst he’s not in-your-face-swoonworthy, he’s definitely, definitely just … something special. And it ain’t even the hot British guy angle, because, hey, I’m British, so I don’t get butterflies in my tummy at hearing a British guy speak. Nope, Oliver doesn’t need all hearts and flowers or tattoos and piercing or a motorcycle or guitar to draw you in. Oliver just is. He’s enough, all on his own.

Added to these attributes was the ‘voice’ of the book. Sure, there were a good few moments in the narration where I felt Hadley waffled a bit too much, but this didn’t take away from the pacing, and it certainly didn’t take away from the authenticity of the teenage tone that dominates this story from start to finish.

In short: I really enjoyed it, and I can’t wait to read The Geography of You and Me.

Fire and Flood (Fire & Flood Series Book 1)
Fire and Flood (Fire & Flood Series Book 1)
Price: £4.20

5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED!, 27 Jun. 2014
Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott arrived in my reading pile during somewhat of a reading slump I was experiencing, as in it was taking me a week-ish to get through a single title (sometimes more). But when I picked up Fire & Flood and started reading, I very much didn’t want to stop. So, immediately, I was excited, because it’s been a while since a book has made me feel this way.

Now, if I’m honest, to begin, I kept comparing it to other titles in its genres: The Hunger Games, Divergent (though not for long), as well as titles in the sci-fi crossover like Maze Runner and the like. However, the more I read on, the more it came into its own and, by the end, I realised just how much of its place it deserved amongst these other great titles, because despite the similarities,Fire & Flood is still unique.

Onto the characters, we first have main character Tella. To begin, she comes off as quite self-centred, though if the reader is paying enough attention, they will see the peeks at how she truly feels about her family beneath the attitude—and even more so when she races off to an event she knows zero about for the mere chance of saving her sick brother. From there, her character development only goes up in the reader’s estimation. From start to finish, I connected with this well-developed and authentically-voiced teen.

Next to her was Guy. Le sigh. From the off, this dude had my attention, despite him coming off as a bit of a tool. However, I didn’t let his initial impression cloud my judgement, but trusted the author to show me what he was really all about beneath the brood and brawn. And I loved how we weren’t slapped upside the head with it. How his need to protect combined with his unwillingness to divulge meant we got drip-fed his story, and even then didn’t grasp the full extent of it until right at the very end.

These two combined, with what Guy has planned? The next books are gonna be formidable.

And around this duo is the rest of the cast. From irritating and self-obsessed bully, to tough girl, more mature-in-age contender, young and seemingly too naïve to be there young guy, and very likeable twins in the first round. Not to mention the new additions—and new revelations—in round 2, on both sides of the playing field. Because I very much liked the twist on a certain one of the characters, even if I did have my suspicions on that front from very early on.

Plus, on top of the cast, we have to mention the Pandora’s. I loved these. Loved what they added to the story. Loved how one that seemed almost faulty surprised everyone with its kick-a$$ery. More so, though, I loved how they each had special traits that didn’t necessarily tally with what they were on the outside, and how they surprised me each time we discovered a new ‘skill’ from them.

So, yeah, great plot, great storytelling, and great characterisations—all from an author who’s not afraid to kill people off. Now, ring the bell for round 2 (or 3, to be pedantic) already! Because I am definitely ready to head in.

Animal Magnetism: Animal Magnetism Book 1
Animal Magnetism: Animal Magnetism Book 1
Price: £4.31

3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars, 27 Jun. 2014
Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis was just an okay kind of read for me. Did I enjoy it? Yes. But did it grab me by the short and curlies and leave me seeking out moments of solitude just so I could delve back into this world whenever I put the book down? No, not really. But like I said, I did enjoy it. So, I guess, really, the book did its job.

The story focuses on the dual POV between Brady and Lilah. Both of them are likable. Both of them have nice enough personalities. Actually, I think that might be the point: they were both ‘nice’, and nice is such a nondescript way of stating an almost indifference when giving an opinion.

From the off, we see the attraction between these two, but for some reason, I didn’t quite ‘feel’ it. However, I stuck in there, because I was new to Ms Shalvis’ writing, and so wanted to see where she’d take me if given a chance. Hats off for not tossing this couple into bed too early on in a way that screamed of contriteness, even if we *could* already guess this was where the story would eventually end up. As a result of dragging it out a little, the situation that led to them getting some alone time felt natural, even if the manoeuvring of said initial scene seemed a little bit forced. Also, once the first deed was done, aside from plenty of narration from the duo telling us exactly what they felt when they saw the other—Brady more so than Lilah because Lilah just appeared to be permanently sex starved and horny—the chemistry between them seemed seriously toned down outside of the bed (or anywhere else they got hot and heavy). Which meant that almost every successive intimate scene between the duo also felt forced—until the final one. Because the final one was easily the most believable.

Okay, let’s focus somewhere other than the sex, then.

We have Brady, whose buddies (who just happen to also be Lilah’s buddies, but Lilah and Brady had never met due to Brady being away and serving his country) want him to stick around, and so buy a helicopter that needs fixing up because they know, with his background, he won’t be able to resist. This angle of the story, I really liked. It was a solid, believable angle, and Adam and Dell’s relationship with Brady, and their brotherly-ness, dragged me along with them until I, too, wanted Brady to stick around. Wanted him to create some roots, some connections worthwhile sticking around for. In fact, Dell and Adam may well have been my favourite characters of the book. Their loyalty to Brady, their protectiveness toward Lilah. They added a LOT to this story and created great flavour, with a decent job done of setting up the potential romance for book two.

And on the other side of the main coin, we have Lilah. In all honesty, her romance gone bad didn’t quite ring true for me, and certainly didn’t hold any uniqueness—to the point, I don’t believe it added an awful lot to the story. I also kept searching for a really solid reason for the watchfulness and caring attitudes of Dell and Adam, but didn’t really find one, especially as Lilah had no issues with ANY guys in her hometown and even her exes still treated the woman like she was a saint.

However, I’d imagine most readers of Ms Shelvis’s books are mostly interested in the romance, and she does deliver well enough on that angle, and there are some decent moments within the sex scenes that will keep readers returning for more, as well as the very sweet happy ending. Not to mention how refreshing it was for the man to show his eagerness for a relationship with far more vibrancy than the female. So, all in all, an enjoyable enough read, but I would have liked to see a little more substance to the plot.

by Tom Hoyle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an intriguing read, 27 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Thirteen (Paperback)
In Thirteen by Tom Hoyle, we experience the dangers and extremism of cultism and fanatics. I wasn’t wholly sure this would be a cult-based book heading into it; however, this soon came pretty clear.

I’m not sure whether to call Adam the MC due to the POV used, though it definitely seemed to revolve around him the most. And despite the POV used, the author did a good job of providing a decent connection with Adam and making me like him and root for him. He also did a good job of creating a ‘hero’ out of this supposedly ‘normal’ teenage boy, without it seeming contrite or forced. And his best friend/almost girlfriend/girl next door is also a great addition to this book.

That said, Thirteen definitely had a healthy balance of pros versus cons.
In its pros column is Adam, as already stated. In fact, it would be wrong of me to only place his character in there. Because whilst I didn’t necessarily ‘like’ all of the characters in the story, it would be amiss of me not to give credit to their distinct personalities and quirks and vibrancy, which made each and every player unique and identifiable as themselves, ensuring the reader constantly knew which character we were focused on at any given time.

And then, in its con column is definitely the POV used—which is what made having to keep track of who everyone was such an important job. I couldn’t help but wonder how this one would have fared if the POVs had been restricted a little. Not necessarily the ‘amount’ of POVs displayed, but maybe a use of third person limited, and scene/POV switches, might have brought a new seasoning to this dish. Because the constant flicking, from one character’s head to another, definitely took the most getting used to in this book. To the point that the narration almost read as erratic, like the ranting recap of a madman so excited by his tale that he had to get it out of his head before implosion.

However, this particular style of narration also then leads to another pro: the pacing. The fact that we didn’t ever have to wait to see all of the opposing sides of the story meant that the story flew by—in, like, rapid speed. And it was this that kept me going as I was getting used to the writing style—because once it had me by the short hairs, it certainly had no intention of letting go.

Okay, so let’s get to the actual story itself. I’ve never studied cults, nor do I know an awful lot about them beyond my own preconceived notions. Which makes Thirteen a definite eye opener, as well as extreme to the point of absurdity. However, I can’t discredit it. Despite hating every time we got a mass glimpse of the antagonist’s mind and motivations; despite hating ‘him’, even; despite all of that, this book still managed to hold a level of believability, even down to the expansive reach of the cult, and the pies they had their many fingers in. I think Thirteen did a great job of highlighting the horrors, the dangers, and especially the manipulation that comes with a following of such powerful devotion and dedication. It’s a terrifying thought, for sure.

Intrigued? Then check it out. This high-speed chase to an indefinite finish line will keep you entertained whilst worrying the c*** out of you. Oh, and bonus: I think there might even be more to come in future book.

Gretel and the Dark
Gretel and the Dark
by Eliza Granville
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book I've read in a long time, 27 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Gretel and the Dark (Hardcover)
You would be forgiven, I think, for believing Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville to be a new kind of fairytale retelling. After all, the title and cover combined could most certainly give that kind of impression—and, indeed, had convinced me I was heading into this aware of its content.

Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Because what I actually found was not a simple fairytale at all, but a multi-faceted story within a story within a story, which was so dark and full of intrigue, I spent the ENTIRE book trying to figure out how everything tied in together. In fact, to begin, it was almost like I’d headed into a bookish yet expertly crafted version of Donnie Darko/The Butterfly Effect—you know those kinds of films that make you consider them long after you’ve finished watching them because they have the possibility of being interpreted differently be each individual viewer—except the closer I crept to the end, the less I believed this evaluation to be correct. And then when I actually did reach the end, only to discover I had absolutely NONE of it right ... it was, with all the pieces in place, heartbreaking.

That said, it doesn’t take long for the reader to become aware that this isn’t what they’re expecting, and the tone alone will warn of the dark and twisted content you will be subjected to quite early on. However, the actual telling of the story combined with excellently portrayed characters will entrance and lure and INSIST that you read on, no matter how much your mind is asking if that’s wise.

Told from multiple POV’s, which hop from timeline to timeline, Gretel and the Dark is one of the best-woven tales I have read in a long time—possibly ever! With the different characters, their backgrounds, circumstance, actions—everything—you will spend the entire book trying to piece together what, at first glance, appears to be one huge jigsaw puzzle of a tale; one of a blackened night sky, where the only variations to shade are the miniscule wisps of cloud, ones that shift and change with the breeze so that, just when you think you’ve grasped it, the tendril is suddenly out of reach again. Am I even making sense? Or maybe my words are intended to advise of the cleverness disguised beneath convolution that is this book. I’m afraid you’ll have to make up your own minds, as I refuse to delve into the who, why, where and how of what happens between its pages, because to do so would ruin absolutely everything there is to love about this one for each individual reader, and I shan’t be held accountable for that.

All you need to know is what I’ve already stated, and that this, my friends, is storytelling at the MUCH finer end of the scale. Because the wordsmithery (it’s a word!) within these pages is nothing short of brilliance made beautiful.

P.S. You will need tissues for the ending, because when your mind finally becomes filled with clarity, and you reflect upon the sadness, the conquers, the sheer content of this one, and then are hit with that heartbreaking final page or two, you … will … cry! So, off you go, grab your own copy, weave your way along these shadowed and twisted paths … but be sure to take tissues, because you’re going to need them.

Onyx (Lux Novel)
Onyx (Lux Novel)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars :D, 14 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Onyx (Lux Novel) (Paperback)
Wow! Holy Hawt Chemistry, Batman! Awesomesauce! A-Mazing!

I think that pretty much sums it up.

I guess, really, I should just leave it at that. Especially as I've just finished reading an ARC of Onyx, provided to me by Entangled (you have no freakin' frackin' idea how much bowing in their direction I did when I spotted that email) and I'm (perhaps idiotically) writing my review within an hour of finishing before cohesion is a stable presence in my mind. But I'm sorry, folks, I simply have way more to say on this matter so you're going to have to put up with my ensuing waffle. Here goes:


Did I think JLA could possibly write another `blow my frickin' head off' novel?

Of course not! I thought she'd HAD to have hit her pinnacle with Obsidian. I don't think I'd ever been as impressed by a YA novel before reading Lux #1.

Until now.

Dudes! You think Obsidian is awesome & Kicka$$? You ain't seen nothin' yet!

There is HUGE character development in Onyx. HUGE!

Is Daemon still an a-hole?

Of course he is!

BUT ... he is also totally swoon-worthy, ridiculously hilarious, and scorchingly HOT!

Oh yeah, and those `totally swoon-worthy' moments?


And Katy has grown even bigger balls than she'd developed by the end of Obsidian, too. Yeah, there were moments when I wanted to smack her upside the head--like when she went out with Bart or Biff or Flake, or whatever the hell his name was *snort*; or like when she kept stuff to herself that I just knew in my gut was going to lead to some craptapular s***; or when she let the dude of many names (thanks to Daemon) keep treating her the way he did ... BUT I did kinda get her reasoning behind it and so can forgive her--well, except at the point where Daemon was hurting so bad over it all coz that made me cry.

Admittedly, I was around 50% through when something clicked in my brain and hit me *KAPOW!* right between the eyes. Actually, it was a hard enough brain wallop that I quit reading and rushed straight to PM Kay of K-Books (coz she'd already read it) just so I could say: please tell me X who's dating Y isn't Z's Uncle, to which I got the response of: OMG how the heck did you figure that out? But I'd had my eye on this dodgy character because I'd taken as much of a dislike to him as Katy had.

AND Blake/Flake/Biff/Whatever ... the second he showed up in Katy's class, the alarm bells in my head started going DODGY! DODGY! RUN AWAY! ABORT ABORT ABORT!

Oddly enough, Katy didn't listen to me.

And she paid the price for that. *nods head*

Oh yeah, and let us not forget the biggest mystery of the book. Because the blurb of Onyx alone has brought strangers together across the globe just to share their conspiracy theories surrounding the potential reappearance of early disappeared characters.

Did it happen? Were everyone's theories true?

Hell, I'm not telling you that. You'll have to read the book, for goodness sake.

What I will say on the matter, though, is that niggle of worry that *should* be creeping into readers right at the very end, when what should have been a tender moment wasn't quite as tender as peeps (or the character's) may have been hoping for ... I expected that.

After all, this is JLA, and when has she ever been known to take it easy on her character's OR her readers?

Never, right?

So ... if you read Obsidian (or anything of JLA's) you'll LOVE it!

If you don't mind going on an emotional roller coaster (coz I went from smiling to grinning to laughing to giggling to crying to sniffling to laughing to rubbing my chest coz it ached like crazy over the emotional torment ...), you'll LOVE it!

If you HEART Daemon Black? Dudes, you will so LOVE it!

If you like mystery and intrigue and kicka$$ fight scenes and hot scenes and funny scenes and just about any kind of scenes, you'll LOVE it!

Okay, in other words? JUST READ IT! Coz Onyx WILL blow your mind!

That is all.

My rating for this has to be 6.5 stars out of 5. HAS to be! I can only begin to imagine what Opal will score and I cannot wait to find out! Where the FUDGE is OPAL?!?!?!

Fearless (Elemental)
Fearless (Elemental)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars :o), 2 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Okay, I officially like Hunter a lot better.
It's not that I didn't like him in Storm. More that I just wanted Becca to be with Chris and Hunter was kind of getting in the way.
Well, what a difference having him as the frontline character can make.
Yes, Fearless is real short (not a problem when it's pretty cheap to buy), but I felt as though I learned so much about Hunter's character in here, as well as about his family background, that I now understand his motivations in Storm a lot better. It also means I'll be looking forward to Spirit a lot more, now I've had a taste of Hunter as MC.
The only issue I have is the timeline. Because Goodreads has this one listed as #1.5, which would mean (in my head) it's set after Storm, but the story is actually set pre-Storm, so I got a little confused for a while as to when's about in the series we were.**
But I still enjoyed it, for sure--enough so that I kept trying to read slower just so I wouldn't reach the end so fast.
Oh, and I really liked where it ended. :)

**somebody please feel free to correct me if I have that data wrong

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