Tuesday, 30 July 2013

[REVIEW] Complete Me by J. Kenner

Complete Me by J. Kenner
Published: July 2013
Age Group: Adult - 18A
Series: The Stark Trilogy [end]
ARC courtesy of Random House, provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review 

The story takes place where the last one ended. Damien is a suspect in a murder case and Nikki has joined him in Germany where the case is taking place. Damien and Nikki have a lot of trust issues and that's still the same in this book. Damien has a lot of secrets and I think this is the first book where Nikki really comes to a realization that there's a lot she doesn't know about the man she loves.

The story moves at a really brisk pace. The scenes, in my opinion, happened much too quickly. Some events there could have been a couple of chapters dedicated to the emotional response the characters had instead of resolving the issue in the same chapter or the next one.  There wasn't a lot to engage me in this book. I'll admit there were a lot of scenes I enjoyed, particularly involving Damien and Nikki and their lovely romance, and then there were scenes that seemed predictable, and somewhat boring even.

I didn't have extremely high expectations for this book although I did expect it to be good since Release Me and Claim Me were both interesting especially dealing with the character's psychological being and them trying to overcome their fears and their past. Complete Me was just missing all that. I didn't find myself emotionally attached to anyone - I didn't feel anything and as a die hard romantic and avid reader that's what probably hurt the most. This book didn't evoke anything inside me. In fact I finished reading it and didn't really remember any distinct passages that I absolutely loved.

I wasn't that surprised with the climax of this. There was one scene inside the coffee shop where Nikki is talking to a supposed friend and immediately after I read that I knew who that friend was and that I would expect her soon in the book as the villain.

The ending was okay in my opinion. I don't really think it was a complete ending for the series, as Complete Me is apparently the final book in the Stark Trilogy. I think this is a good ending for an installment and is usually how many books like this have ended their second volume.

This book entirely was subpar. Everything was boring and rushed. I'm still not really clear as to how the anonymous stalker turned out to be the same person. It just seemed like the notes from the stalker changed in meaning from the second book to the third. Maybe a detective would tell you that the stalker is getting more violent, or more agitated, or ready to make a move (which is what happened) but I also would believe it if someone told me that these were two different stalkers. In fact the latter seems to be more plausible to me.

I saw many people rating this book quite high and I don't understand why. Perhaps I'm missing something but I just didn't feel like this was an amazing book.
(3 because although I said how much I didn't feel much from this, Nikki and Damien's relationship is still one that I'm intrigued about and do find very interesting. Also because there were a couple of scenes that I quite enjoyed.)
(Like many other books that are in the series I would say this is BORROW as a stand alone but if we're considering if one should purchase this based on the series then it would MEH)

Monday, 15 July 2013

[REVIEW] This Man Confessed by Jodi Ellen Malpas

This Man Confessed by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Published: July 2013
Age Group: Adult 18A!!!
Series: This Man #3 [end]
When I first found this book I completely devoured it, but at the end I was left with a satisfied but not intense feeling that I had after the first. I debated on writing this review not because I didn't like this book - I did like it - but because I didn't have an intense feeling to rant, share or somewhat bring attention to it. It may seem like I'm disappointed in the outcome of the finale of this lovely trilogy (maybe I am at this point) but honestly any final book in a series is hard to write. How do you end everyone's story on a satisfactory note so that the fans are pleased and so is the author with their work. Well I found that although lacking in the intense romance that I loved from "Beneath This Man" I still found "This Man Confessed" to be a wonderful read.

The story starts up where the last ended: Jesse just proposed to Ava and of course she says yes (why you would say anything but yes is beyond me). And so Jesse being the domineering, controlling male that he is plans the entire wedding for her. And Ava complains. Well let's be honest it's every girl's dream to plan their own wedding but all Ava has to do is pick out her dress, everything is being taken care of by the wedding planner or Jesse.  I understand Ava's frustration but let's be honest here. If my experience from watching all those wedding shows has taught me anything it is that planning a wedding is stressful! So lucky Ava for getting out of that but still I understand her sorrow at having a wedding that wasn't planned by her, it's not really her wedding. More like Jesse's wedding, but what else is new.

Ava and Jesse still have issues in their relationship to find out. I think one of the reasons why I love this couple so much is that they're so dysfunctional it borders fiction and yet still so relatable to real life relationships because there is no perfect relationship and I'm sure there isn't a relationship filled with as much drama as these two but at least Jodi Ellen Malpas makes it so that it is evident that Jesse and Ava have issues and they work them out. And hey ladies if these two can figure out their problems I'm sure the everyday bickers of a relationship these days can be solved too. Have faith! So in the first few chapters Ava runs away. Of course she does. Ava will always be a drama queen with some insecurities about Jesse, which is to be expected because everywhere he goes people want him. So she declares she wants some space and Jesse obliges, for two days-ish, which for Jesse time is really good. Then a couple of days later they have their make up sesh and all is good. Ava and Jesse's relationship isn't going to be perfect (well honestly I don't think anyone's relationship is 100% perfect) and they obviously fight and make up which we see.

Sarah actually has a heart in this book. She made her bed and Jesse bulldozed her. In this book we get some background story on her and honestly I don't hate her anymore. The past two books I've ranted and complained about how I feel about this woman but I find my opinions have changed and I can only say it is because of brilliant writing that this has happened.

I never compared this series to 50 shades mainly because I didn't find any glaring similarities. In fact I WAS content to declare this as another great romance series. But then we get to this final volume and I can't help but find similarities. Although the nature of the situation is different and the outcome as well, I just found This Man Confessed to have more similarities then it's predecessors.  Honestly I was just confused in some parts, and I'm not sure if it was a good confused or a bad confused...

What I absolutely loved in this book was Jesse's continual bulldozing. He just doesn't care who gets in his way and I found that my favourite scenes were of his bulldozing.

I will say though that this one of the series that I've finished and felt very happy with the ending. The epilogue was lovely and I enjoyed reading about Jesse and Ava's life after. As in most romance novel endings it seems, Jesse and Ava have children. I LOVE their children. They seemed to have adopted the wittiness of both their parents and I can picture them as two adorable kids who are as gorgeous as their mom and dad. There were sometimes though when I felt some of their dialogues seemed too articulate or too complicated of a sentence for a five year old.

My favourite line is at the end: "I don't demand to see her eyes anymore. I don't need to check she's real. As long as my heart keeps beating, I'll know she is."
I think that sums up the series perfectly and how far Ava and Jesse have gone in their relationship. A lovely ending to a lovely series that went out 3, 2, 1. Zero, baby!
(I feel I'm being biased in saying you should BUY this book because I honestly love the series so much but if I were to base this on this book only it would only be MEH)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

[REVIEW] Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Published: March 2013
Age Group: YA
Series: Lunar Chronicles #2
Scarlet, the much anticipated sequel to Cinder. Scarlet follows the story of Scarlet Benoit, or more commonly known as Little Red Riding Hood in classic fairy tales, and her eventual meeting with Cinder.  Scarlet is desperate to find her missing Grandmother whom she's convinced was abducted. One day she meets the mysterious Wolf and instantly feels a connection with him.  Then when Wolf joins her on her journey to find her Grandmother ... well let's just say some things aren't what they're assumed to be.

Of course in true dystopia fashion the story is filled with action and much banter between the main characters. The story goes between Scarlet and Cinder, although the majority of the focus is on Scarlet. Cinder's adventure is her escape from prison and meeting the fascinating Captain Thorn (which I must admit is probably one of my fav characters from this series so far) and then her eventual meet up with Scarlet and Wolf.

I didn't love this one as much as I loved Cinder. Maybe it was the fairy tale, I like Cinderella more than Little Red. Or maybe the fairy tale was less present in Scarlet then Cinder. I'm still feeling really mislead by the cover blurb as well. The blurb puts extreme emphasis, or makes it seem like the most important part is the meeting of Cinder and Scarlet but that doesn't really happen till the last 50 or so pages. I just kept thinking when are they going to meet, when is the main action going to happen, why is there so many back story. I guess I got frustrated easily while reading this novel. It definitely took me more time to finish Scarlet than Cinder. I devoured Cinder. Scarlet I was hesitant at some parts and wasn't as willing to continue reading it. that being said it was still a lovely read. I love Marissa Meyer's ability to seamlessly add characters - important characters - into the story without making it seem forced (cough cough Cress cough cough).

Cinder is also a much more powerful character than Scarlet in my opinion. When Cinder's speaking, I'm instantly hooked. And when Scarlet's speaking I don't feel that pull that makes me become completely enraptured in the story. Wolf on the other hand is a very handsome dude (or at least what I picture him to be). Even though I had doubts about the relationship between him and Scarlet I must say that it definitely grew on me and by the end of the story I was "aww-ing" at the romantic scenes and rooting them on.

The twists were amazing. I didn't see them coming. And I liked the small interlude scenes that were small enough that they didn't take attention away from the two main stories but still explained enough and provided enough background information so that when the characters brought them up in later chapters the reader wasn't confused, and in some cases the reader even knew more about the situation then the characters.

I just wasn't as hooked with Scarlet as I was Cinder. I expect that to change for the next book in the series, Cress, though. After the first chapter of Cress I was instantly hooked. I think it has to do somehow with the characters. I guess I just can't connect to some characters and that is in no way complaining about Marissa Meyer's writing because her writing is amazing, more like my own strangeness.

P.S. The cover is still absolutely amazing and I love it. Whoever is designing them, props.

MEH (borderline BUY)
I can't justify entirely buying this but I can't entirely justify not buying it. It's one of those books where if you don't buy it you'll be missing out on a part of an amazing collection but if it was a solo novel then it would be MEH.