Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review: The Romeo Club - Rebekah L. Purdy

The Romeo Club
Rebekah L. Purdy
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Predictable
On Goodreads

When I first got a copy of The Romeo Club for review, I was really excited to read it. The book sounded very promising. And while it wasn't a bad book, it fell short of what I hoped it would be.

The Romeo Club centers around Delyla, who is pretty and popular and has been approached by her brother and his friends -- who she calls the Nerd Herd -- and asked to make them attractive and appealing to the girls they are trying to impress in exchange for giving her enough money to buy her dream prom dress.

One of the things I liked about the book was the dialogue between Delyla and the Nerd Herd. It was well written and free-flowing and in general just good banter. Her dynamic with the other characters was pretty well done and I liked that aspect of the story.

I didn't like Delyla's character, however. Later on in the book, she becomes bearable but in the beginning I just find her annoying and whiny. For one, she goes to great lengths not to tell her boyfriend about what she's up to. It's not like planning to give your brother some advice about how to dress and talk to girls is a bad thing. I get that her personality is very socially-conscious and that she wouldn't want to be seen in public with that group of guys, but she really didn't have to lie to her boyfriend as much as she did. I just found Delyla to be shallow and annoying, especially the first half of the book, and it was really hard getting through her inner monologue. Also, her plans for sabotage? I thought she was being really selfish and that it should not have worked out as well for her as it did.

Also, the storyline with Trey was so predictable. I could literally tell from the first mention of him how the story was going to play out. In general, the plot was pretty predictable and it was so easy to know exactly where this book would go. Which isn't a totally bad thing, because sometimes you want a cute, light read where there aren't very many surprises. And Rebekah L. Purdy isn't a bad writer, so it was easy to get through and pretty well-written (I mean, I didn't much like Delyla's style of narration, but that's just because of her character). I just wondered if I should bother wading through Delyla's annoying behavior just to read the ending I knew would happen (although I kind of wished it wouldn't). There was one plot aspect that I didn't see coming, and that was the neighbor's dog subplot. And it's not that I didn't see it coming in that it surprised me. It's just that there was literally no point to it, so I didn't have a prediction for where it would end up leading to. It didn't do much to further the story and while it provided a few comical scenes, I think it was slightly confusing and not necessary. Maybe if she cut it down to one or two scenes it wouldn't seem like it was intended to be important and then just cut out.

Okay, so I know I just talked about how I didn't like the main character and how I thought the plot wasn't very new and refreshing, which is why I didn't totally like it, but that being said, it isn't a terrible book. It's very easy and quick to get through so if you're ever bored and looking for a cliche love story, it's cute and pretty satisfying in that regard.

- Noor

Have you ever helped out a sibling for a favor in return?
Let us know in the comments!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: The Shock of the Fall - Nathan Filer

The Shock of the Fall
Nathan Filer
Series: N/A
Genre: Contemporary, Mental Illness, Adult
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: A+++
On Goodreads

Wow. I picked this up to read casually on a trip from Edinburg to London and I completely forgot where I was going because I read and thought about the book for those eight hours.

The blurbs are a bit gushy and a bit much, but this novel definitely is remarkable.

Obviously, the most powerful thing about it is the realism that Filer employs. In much the same sense that Mark Haddon employed a very realistic depiction of Christopher in The Curious Incident, Filer presents Matt with utter sincerity. His understanding as a mental health nurse is readily apparent with his straightforward representation of not only the patients but the staff and the institution as well. Both have their ups and downs and the struggle is not tamped down. Filer doesn't seem to have any agenda other than capturing the essence of the system. I didn't feel pushed to over-sympathize with the sometimes indecent practices against the patients, for example. There is a strong sense of the shackling that patients have on them . . . confined to a place because they cannot function in society, doomed to take pills with a hundred side effects, some for the side effects themselves and they can't do anything, about it. Matt admits "I don't hate these people. I just have not having the choice to get rid of them." and that about sums it up.

The way that Filer approaches his themes on death and mental health also begin to linger and they feel sincere and poignant coming from Matt. (Thankfully, there is a good sprinkling of humor to keep you off your feet.) Furthermore, there are small things that add to this picture Filer paints. Simple drawings along with an array of fonts add to the feeling that the text is inside Matt's mind and the reader is experiencing the world as he would. It's terribly confusing with letters and rambles and diary pages thrown in all at once until you realize it should be there. In addition, the story itself isn't always straightforward. Matt reflects a lot and gets lost in his train of thoughts quite often.

But holy Poseidon. The writing. Filer could write about drying walls and he'd probably find a thousand interesting and heart wrenching things to say. Go to the Quotes section of the Goodreads for a glimpse of what I'm talking about.

I can't pick a favorite but it's so varied. You can have "Hello, my name is your potential. But you can call me impossible." or "If it rains outside, or if you stab a classmate's shoulder with a compass needle . . . that is weather." or "The girl with the red hair . . . is called Annabelle. Try and remember that if you can. Hold on to it . . . keep it safe somewhere." A lot of it is poignant only in context so I urge you dearly to read this book it is very very good in terms of writing.

Because of such unique wording and musings, Matt's character comes to life on the page, which is something very minor but very important. The characters are so vivid, I constantly wondered about the origins of the story itself. Matt being haunted by his dead brother constantly, for example, and Filer does so well to place you in Matt's head that the feeling is absolutely painful. One bit that always gets me is this: "It is dark, night time, there is mud in my mouth, in my eyes, and the rain keeps falling. I am trying to carry him, but the ground is wet. I lift him and fall, lift him and fall, and he is silent. . . . Please. Please. Talk to me." And "He could speak through and itch, the certainty of a sneeze, the after-taste of tablets, or the way sugar fell from a spoon." Gosh it hurts.

My main concern, I suppose, is the common one The 'mystery' really is implied quite early on in the novel and though the big reveal takes place two hundred and fifty something pages in, you'll probably have figured it out. And it really didn't bother me much, considering I felt, at the very least, it allowed the novel and Matt's life to have a more linear passage. Furthermore, there is a similar case in The Curious Incident, and the same thought came to me: it's probably meant to be this way. I find it hard to believe Filer, whose writing otherwise is perfectly sharpened, would have botched up the underlying 'mystery' if he intended it to truly be a mystery. But thinking about it made me consider a few other predictable things in the novel. A small thing for this kind of work but it's a fair warning.

- Marlon

So . . . trust doctors? Dentists?
Let us know in the comments!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Early Review: Sell-By Date - Melissa F. Olson

Sell-By Date
Melissa F. Olson
Series: Scarlett Bernard, #0.5
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Awesome!
Release Date: April 22, 2014
On Goodreads

**Sign up for Melissa F. Olson's email newsletter, The Scarlett Letter, by April 21st to get a free copy of Sell-By Date!**

When I found out that Melissa F. Olson was releasing a short story that follows Molly and Scarlett's first meeting, I was instantly excited. I'm a huge fan of the Scarlett Bernard series (read my review of Trail of Dead here), and receiving a copy for review was a very exciting thing.

As stated before, Sell-By Date follows when Molly and Scarlett first meet. For those of you who are not familiar with the Scarlett Bernard series (IT'S AWESOME. GO READ IT.), Scarlett is the main character and she is a null: a person who negates magic within a certain radius. Nulls are a concept that I find kind of difficult to explain but Melissa F. Olson does a great job with it in Dead Spots! Molly, on the other hand, is a vampire with whom Scarlett lives.

The thing I really enjoyed about this story is that we get a look into Molly's head. Molly is kind of an elusive character throughout the series and being able to understand her point of view really adds to the series as a whole for me. The short also provided a lot of vampire mythology, regarding emotions, that I found especially interesting - I had never really thought about whether or not vampires felt human emotions in the series until I read Sell-By Date.

The short also provides a bit of Scarlett's personality before Dead Spots. The Scarlett we see in Sell-By Date feels like a much gentler Scarlett than in the books. I always think of Scarlett as this sarcastic, strong woman but this was a good reminder that she does have a gentler side.

Overall, I really enjoyed Sell-By Date and it got me even more excited for Hunter's Trail! (Which doesn't come out until September. Sob.) This is a series I highly recommend to lovers of paranormal and mystery!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stuffed Animal Saturday [12]

Stuffed Animal Saturday is a meme that we post here at We Live and Breathe Books to showcase the book we're currently reading with one of our favorite stuffed animals and discuss our stuffed animal's opinion (well, it's really our opinion, but that's besides the point). We hope you enjoy our quirky feature as much as we enjoy writing it!

Hi guys! I know I haven't posted in a while, but now that college and future plans have all been figured out for me, I will be back regularly! This week, Sally (my American Girl Doll) and I have been enjoying Shredded, by Karen Avivi! Sally has always been an avid reader, but never before has she read about girls who fearlessly ride BMX. So far, she's liking the characters (Sally is all about independent women) and can't wait to see how the book turns out.

Sally loves strong female leads just as much as she loves romance, and she knows that this book is so far combining both fantastically.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cover Cosmetics: Branded - Keary Taylor

As the end of the semester, and my first year of college, approaches, I'm finding myself with less and less time for fun things like blog posts and sleeping. Fortunately I found some time to put aside for one of my favorite things - makeup! The cover I chose for this post is Branded by Keary Taylor! I really love this cover, as I mentioned when I reviewed the book, and I thought it would be a good one to use as inspiration.

The cover:

The makeup:

I chose to do a neutral, flesh-toned color for the lid so that the outside would really pop. The blue I used was to match the background and I imitated the shattered looking wings at the top of the cover by sponging on a few different colors.

- Kiersten

What did you think of this week's look?
Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog Tour Review + TWO Giveaways: Pretending - Shanna Clayton

Shanna Clayton
Series: N/A
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: B+
On Goodreads

About the book:

Four years.

That’s how long Wesley Kent has to live with the girl his dad shacked him up with, and then he can collect his inheritance and escape small town life. He gets through the prison sentence by pretending Dahlia Reynolds doesn’t exist. With three years down and one more to go, he doesn’t expect much to change. That is, until the girl that’s not supposed to exist sharpens into his reality, making it impossible to ignore her.

Three years.

That’s how long Dahlia Reynolds has been living with a total stranger. She’s convinced herself Wesley Kent is no more than illusion in the hallways. It’s easy to do, especially since that same illusion has never spoken more than two words to her. But one mistaken identity later, and she finds herself caught up in the mysterious world Wesley lives in. One by one, he begins knocking down the safe, comfortable walls she built, leaving her wondering what his motives are. Does he want to expose her—or free her?

Recommended for 17+ due to mature language and adult situations.


I received this copy of Pretending for an honest review.

Well the blurb certainly doesn't prepare you for the book itself, not really. Neither does the genre, nor the first few pages. Where to begin?

I loved loved loved the opening lines:
"Anyone who thinks living in a mansion is a dream come true has obviously never been alone at night. . . . First thing tomorrow I swear I'm buying a dog. A big ferocious one. With fangs." (Clayton, 1)
It isn't because it's a particularly spectacular opening in itself, though I do love the immediate break from the conventions of glamorous fairy tale life, it's because Doll's voice is so clear. And it doesn't stop being clear. This is my favorite part of the book, how Doll and Wes are expressed vividly and more or less realistically.

Furthermore, the narration for the characters isn't stale and overly general, much of it is quite specific to each character. It's often a problem for writers to define the ways characters narrate in a book with multiple viewpoints, but Clayton pulls it off magnificently. Here's an excerpt from Wes's viewpoint to compare:
"I am lying. Sort of. I hadn't been thinking of the library girl when Christine asked, but I've been thinking of her every second since she left my room."
Wesley is seriously self-aware, in a way that Doll doesn't even try to be. While Doll is too busy to stare at her inner working, Wesley has an iron hand on them. He analyses himself more than anyone outside his head, and often is quite mechanical in doing so. There are also very few passages where he isn't thinking of sex, and many of his little musings are about who has broken up with who, who is lonely (hint, Christine is lonely), and all the wonderful tidbits of everyone's romantic and sexual lives. What fun!

Apart from having distinct voices and mannerisms in the narration, both characters are genuinely interesting. I didn't think I'd start to care for them, and it's quite subtle too, so you might not even notice. I expected to just sit through a terrible chick flic and watch it run without really caring about who got involved with who.

And then one scene suddenly shifts from hate to love and ugh the feelings! It's so subtle!
"Why hasn't he gone back to ignoring me?" turns into "You smell really good." and her realizing they have the same address and ugh! (72)
This touches upon what I wrote above, that the blurb does not prepare you for the book. I meant it. Clayton sets up cliche situations and then derails the whole lot for a new story.

You've got a girl who is pretending the boy she's stuck with doesn't exist, or at the very least can't see her, a boy who is a notable jerk. Then the boy, typically as if you could hear a Nicholas Sparks novel whispering to you, notices the girl's beauty. The girl is opposed to this dearly, but moreso because she thinks she might like him. And then there's an ex? And best friends who I hate but are hilarious? Oh yeah, totally going to hate this book. Well, I thought so. And then I read the first lines and got dazzled by Doll's distinct voice.

Which, after a while, started to fade into the background as I was trying to work out who the characters where and how they knew each other and why I cared.

But before I had time to be terribly confused, the solid writing kicked in and the adventure sort of just exploded on the pages. At first I wondered who the hell were the Black Templars? And then treasure? Swords and secret groups and the reason he hates his dad! And everyone's betraying everyone and cheating on everyone and wow the scene where Dhalia's a maid, and he finally sees her? DAMN. And so, so much more that makes the book absolutely worth a read. It takes a bit of time to get there but it's quite incredible when it does and I don't want to spoil anything.

The reason this isn't more than four stars, though, is that the writing at times, especially in the first few chapters, can seem confusing. At times, I didn't fully understand Dhalia's narration and sometimes I got angry that Wes was too caught up in his sex life to get on with the plot. And later on, I had a hard time coming to terms with how far my imagination was being stretched. There needed to be a bit less subtlety and more foreshadowing in the beginning, to prepare me for the total plot shift that happens. Though these are big hits, they seem a lot more minor once you've reached the 3/4ths mark and settled into everything, even the shift, and so I still think this book is well worth the read.

And then there was a nice and tidy conclusion that left me feeling happy but not terribly affected.

- Marlon

Purchase links:

About the author:

I’m not sure if my mother predestined me to become a romance author when she named me after her favorite Kathleen Woodiwiss book, but that’s what happened. Now I live and breathe all things books. When I’m not glued to my desk writing, I can be found eating too much chocolate, obsessing over Game of Thrones, and cyber stalking my favorite authors. Keep up with me on Facebook and Instagram. I love hearing from readers!

Author links:

Tour-wide giveaway: $25 Amazon gift card
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We Live and Breathe Books giveaway: One ebook copy of Pretending in the winner's choice of Mobi, ePub, or PDF.
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Tour hosted by:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Chain of Thorns - Cassandra Clare

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

So with all the craziness of the semester, I'm basically waiting on all of the books and Cassandra Clare always delivers so I'm very impatiently waiting for the next three years for Chain of Thorns.

Chain of Thorns 
Cassandra Clare
Series:  The Last Hours, #1
Release Date: 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Waited on by: The entire world but mostly Noor
On Goodreads

It’s too bad that Tatiana Blackthorn, the matriarch of the family, has always been, as her father Will Herondale says, “mad as a mouse trapped in a teapot.” Since the day that her father Benedict murdered Tatiana’s husband, and was killed in turn by a group of Shadowhunters that included both her brothers, Tatiana has nursed a burning grudge against the London Institute and all its inhabitants, especially Will, Tessa and their children: Lucie and her brother, James …

As we all know, the most currently-awaited book is City of Heavenly Fire, but we've already discussed that so now I'm going to cry about how I never ever want Cassandra Clare to stop writing because she is perfect on all of the levels. Do you see that description? Do you see those names? DO YOU SEE THE NAMES OF WILL AND TESSA AND THEIR CHILDREN? Because I do. And I know for sure I am so not done with their story and it makes me extremely happy that this story brings them back after all the tears that happened when I last heard from them in Clockwork Princess. So I need this book right this second and I need to read about the Blackthorns because come on, how cool of a name is Tatiana Blackthorn? Someone with a name that fabulous must have a hell of a story. Basically I'm going to die until 2017. 

- Noor

What are YOU waiting on?
Let us know in the comments!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: The Only Boy - Jordan Locke

The Only Boy
Jordan Locke
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: A
On Goodreads

I received this book for the exchange of an honest review.

I was pretty excited for this book for several reasons, especially just glancing at the reviews on Goodreads and the rating, which I usually don't do, but I wanted to check it out. 

And I was struck by the premise, a dystopian novel where there are no boys? Wait! Could this mean that finally someone in this genre chose to appropriate material on gender and sex association? Did they write about that? Is that even possible? Short answer, I was a bit naive, and foolish, and Locke doesn't spend a terrible amount of time on the topic.

But The Only Boy reasserted itself quite nicely. What I love about Locke's writing is that it is utterly straightforward and so easy to read, which neatly fits in with fluid narrative construction. She begins with a sober description from Mary's eyes:
"I picture the city streets filled with people . . . I imagine both women and men, girls and boys, even though I’ve never actually seen a boy." (1)
What is so crucial here that is often missed by Sci Fi/Dystopian authors is need for an instant connection. Rather than an infodump on how the alternate world is, one needs a vantage point and pathway into this world. Locke definitely allows us this connection and I stayed curious with Mary's observations and feelings (and Taylor's) right up to the end of the book. It was just good friggin narrative. Streamlined, punctual, flexible. Wonderful for implementing tension between characters and concepts and suspension between plot points. AND THERE IS A HELL OF A LOT OF SUSPENSION GOING ON HERE, PEOPLE. (Of course there is the Lauren Oliver style of 600 pages of poetry, but that's good in its own respect).

If I do have one gripe (and I've noticed this among other reviewers so I'm not crazy), it's that though this narrative is good, it is sometimes hard to figure out who is narrating. Taylor, in the beginning, has very similar concerns to Mary and sometimes I'd have to turn back a few pages to figure out who was supposed to be narrating. It's not major, and it only happened a few times, but I would have liked to see more variety in narration.

There are striking themes throughout the book, which caught my attention and kept me hanging on as much as the suspension. Not-a-spoiler-alert, chapter 46 opens with a back and forth with Taylor and Wren, where after Taylor notes the gender equality before the cleansing, and how Wren could have been "anything [she] wanted", she still chooses to say "Nah. Let him go out and work. I'd rather stay home." (Locke, 182-3)

The characters, however, are pretty fantastic. Most of the secondary characters, like Wren, provide a backdrop for the story. Rather than being important themselves, they are machinations of the dystopia and represent something or other thematically, like Wren with the gender association. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since this is a very focused noveTaylor's anxiety about his position in the Matriarchy and whether to stay with Mary or run is quite impressively connective. I really felt horribly sorry for someone stuck in such a situation. 

Mary can be a bit quiet, but her curiosity wins me over. She is, even from the onset, always imagining things the way they might have been or will or could be and it's quite inventive, yet realistic, for a girl stuck in such a restricted place.

The ending was absolutely out of this world. Short, and so, so bittersweet. Warning, this book will leave you forever with questions. G-DAMNIT "STAY WITH ME" UGH. SUCH. YES. UGH. I'm trying to remain professional.

There are just so many positives to note it would take forever, and I think I've bored and worn down anyone at this point into either hating me or loving this book. So go! Read it! 

- Marlon

So . . . if you were the last guy on earth . . . (had to say it.) Anyway, would the world be better without men? Or women (perhaps a less viable option)? Do any of you even believe in gender associations?
Let us know in the comments!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Stuffed Animal Saturday [11]

Stuffed Animal Saturday is a meme that we post here at We Live and Breathe Books to showcase the book we're currently reading with one of our favorite stuffed animals and discuss our stuffed animal's opinion (well, it's really our opinion, but that's besides the point). We hope you enjoy our quirky feature as much as we enjoy writing it!

It's been quite a while since our last Stuffed Animal Saturday, but I'm glad to be bringing it back! Today I am here with my lovely friend Grumpy Cat! (Whose birthday happens to have been yesterday... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRUMPY CAT!) Grumpy Cat and I have been reading Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book by Grumpy Cat.

So Far: Grumpy Cat really loves this book, mostly because it's about her and all that... She thinks it's one of the few things in life that aren't that bad. In fact, she's already read it several times through and she says it never gets old.

A Sneak Peak:

Like I said before, Grumpy Cat is really loving this, but does that really surprise you? I mean, it is the Grumpy Cat book...

- Kiersten

Are you and your stuffed animal reading anything interesting? 
Let us know in your own Stuffed Animal Saturday!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Book Tour Giveaway: The Romeo Club - Rebekah L. Purdy

The Romeo Club
Rebekah L. Purdy
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
On Goodreads

About the book:

THE ROMEO CLUB is Hitch meets The Secret of My Success.

What happens when you agree to help your brother “de-nerdify” so he can catch the attention of the popular Chloe Anders, and to everyone's surprise, he actually lands her?

And what if his equally geeky friends come running with girl wish lists of their own, offering money for your services?

Well, if you’re sixteen-year-old, Delyla Denson, then you start The Romeo Club. A secret club where she’ll teach these guys how talk, act, and be cool around girls. It’s a win-win situation.

She’ll get enough money for the awesome prom dress she’s had her eye on, and the guys, well, they’ll get dates and maybe learn how to do something other than beat the next level on their video games.

There are only two problems with this plan. One, her quarterback/track star boyfriend is getting jealous of how much time she’s spending away from him and decides to try and figure out what’s going on. And two, Delyla is kind of falling for her brother’s BFF, Trey who she’s been hanging out with a lot more. And who thanks to her help, has caught the attention of the beautiful, perfect, and popular, Portia Rickard. With Portia and Trey heating up, Delyla realizes that maybe the person she’s meant to be with has been in front of her all this time.

But falling for Trey means she’ll have to take drastic measures including sabotage, with a capital S.


     Video game explosions sounded from the family room downstairs, followed by several voices. Great. My brother’s friends, otherwise known as The Nerd Herd were here. Not that I should be surprised. They probably spent the better half of their lives in my basement.
      “Please tell me someone didn’t eat the last slice of cheesecake?” I hollered as I tossed my bag on the kitchen floor and searched the fridge.
      “Sorry,” C.C. yelled. “But I was hungry.”
     Ugh. Of course it was him. C.C. Porter IV, whose real name was Clyde Cornelius. I ought to take his red afro and use it to mop up Jimbo’s grossness from our lawn gnome.
      “Seriously? You guys are pigs.” With a groan, I stomped downstairs to find all four guys seated in front of the TV, game controllers in hand. “I thought I told you yesterday, the cheesecake is off limits.”
     C.C. grinned, his mop of red curls poofed up like five small poodles taking cover on his head. “Aw, does that mean you’re gonna punish me? Because I could use a spanking.” He stretched his long legs out in front of him.
     My brother shot him a quick look and mouthed the words don’t start.
      “Yeah, come on over here, because I think I’ve got a foot I can shove up your ass.” My eyes narrowed.
      “Okay, how about we talk about something else before this turns into World War Delyla.” Trey, Drake’s best friend intervened.
      “He’s right.” My brother flipped off the video game. The other three muttered obscenities and whined. “Besides, I need to talk with her about a few things.” He glanced at them as if threatening bodily harm to the next one who opened their mouth.
     I moved closer to the stone fireplace at the back of the room, careful not to bump into the mantel where my dad’s antique toy trucks were displayed. Uneasiness settled over me as my shoes sunk into the plush, burgundy carpet. What the heck was going on? My gaze rested on Trey who, even I admitted, was kind of hot—in a nerdy way. Dark brown hair, blue eyes that made you envision summer pools and all that Shakespearean stuff. Not that I’d tell him of course. We’d grown up next door to one another and he, Drake, and I had been best buds since they were two and I was one. We practically lived at one another’s houses.
     The Nerd Herd grew quiet as they stared at me. “Okay, you guys are weirding me out. What’s going on?”
      “I want a cross between Princess Leia and Wonder Woman,” C.C. blurted.
     At the same time, Kevin said, “Maybe someone like the chick from Dark Invaders IV.”
      “Um—hold on, what are you guys talking about?”
      “Quiet down.” Drake held up his hands then turned to me. “Here’s the thing. I kind of told them about you helping me land Chloe.”
      “I thought you wanted to keep it a secret.”
      “Yeah, about that.” He gave me a sheepish smile.
     Oh hell. What did he do? “Drake?”
      “All right. They want you to help them out too. I mean, you did such a good job with me. Besides, you’re already popular and have an in. You could teach them the ropes.”
      “Whoa. Are you crazy? How am I supposed to do that? Besides they want some Princess Leia, Wonder Woman, and a Battle Worn hybrid. And in case you didn’t realize, this is reality.” Holy balls. This wasn’t quite what I expected when my brother said he had something important to discuss. Because on my scale of one to important this ranked like a negative ten.

C.C.'s top ten favorite hot chicks from movies, video games, and comics:

C.C. here, when I was told I had to come up with a list of my top ten favorite chicks from movies, video games, and comics, I realized that I had WAY more than ten. I mean, have you guys not seen all the movies in the sci-fi section at the video store? Women with laser guns, man. Kicking alien ass. Not to mention my favorite comic book series.

Not that I’m a complete nerd or anything, well, according to Delyla I am, but let’s not get into that. For the purposes of this post, I’ll limit my babe list to ten and pray none of my luscious wonders read this post and feel like I’ve left them out (sorry Padme—you are the mother of the beautiful Princess Leia and you’re on my babe list, but I had a limit).

C.C.’s Top Ten:

1). Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi. My God, she’s hot and her poster is hanging over my bed—and she knows how to use a laser blaster.

2). Elena Fisher from the Uncharted Video Game franchise. Hottest journalist out there my peeps.

3). Mary Jane (M.J.) from Spiderman (comics and movies). Red head, enough said!

4). Wonder Woman (comics). She can use her whip on me any day, am I right guys?

5). Morrigan from Dragon Age Video Games. This chick is all about the dark magic. Totally hot.

6). Starfire from Teen Titans (both the comic and the cartoon). Who knew cartoon chicks could be so hot. *growl*

7). Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings. The most beautiful elf in the world. Long blond hair, powerful, hangs out with cool guys who wield swords and bows.

8). Lara Croft from Tomb Raider (the video game not the movie). I want to find a badass chick like this!

9). Zelda from the Legend of Zelda Video Games. Just something about her—don’t judge.

10). Selene from Underworld. Now this is one vampire I wouldn’t mind having bite me. She kicks massive butt and doesn’t sparkle.

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About the author:

Rebekah Purdy grew up in Michigan, where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. When not hiding at her computer and getting lost in her stories, she enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games and hanging out with her kids. She loves the unexplainable like Bigfoot, the Dogman, and the Loch Ness Monster (lots of good story material)! She admits to still having all the books she bought throughout her childhood and teen years, and she may or may not have an obsession with anything chocolate…

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review: New World Order - Elle Casey

New World Order (War of the Fae, #4)
New World Order
Elle Casey
Series: War of the Fae, #4
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: A-
On Goodreads

Well I finished! I deviated for a couple of weeks, but I finally finished Elle Casey's War of the Fae series, and it was . . . well . . .  really really awesome, and then really, really confusing.

One of my favorite parts of this novel is that the comedy and word choice are consistent with the past books: utterly spectacular. Casey remains critically aware of when to insert humor and how to express character interactions. Quality work. (I won't waste more time on it, if you want detail and references to Tom Hiddleston, refer to my reviews on the other novels in this series, such as here.)

Good Thing: Remember how, in the first books, trees were dangerous? Don't hug trees? Yeah just don't screw with a Pixie. Especially Pixies named Tim. Especially Pixies named Tim who is still angry at being locked away with "a hungry incubus during all the good parts." Tim and Jayne were so good in the last novel, and they remain that way. (By this I mean, Tim steals the show, man.)

Mostly because of a Bad Thing: Jayne is mostly consistent with past Jayne except that she starts to become stressed out and that's understandable but that stress turns into terrible amounts of b-wording all over her fellow people.

Confusing Thing: Wait the enemies are Demons? Not the Dark Fae? What? Chase is a what? JANE CHOOSES WHO? Spoiler alert (not really), it's not Spike. Or Chase.

Remember Ben? In the last book, I mentioned his 'kill you, love you' attitude and his mentality was a nice way to show that magical societies contain unstable people. And in this book, this wonderfully minor character becomes a major point. IN THE LAST 10 PERCENT OF THE NOVEL, MIND YOU.
"I've been watching over you for a year," he says to Jayne. And their courtship in the last bits of the novel just freak me out. They get to know each other well enough, I suppose . . . and then they get married.

What I loved about the first book was the lack of love nonsense. What I hate about this book is the overflowing love nonsense. I'm sort of glad that Jayne didn't end up with either of the guys, though she does spend a hell of a lot of the novel drooling over Spike and being confused about Chase, but I'm angry. I feel cheated that Chase is revealed to be this transcendent creature and above Jayne's love and Ben is just thrown in there. If a love triangle is constructed, trite as it is, can't I have some kind of resolution to it? Objectively, this seems like a potent way to end the series. Jayne ends up choosing Ben because it's the right thing to do for the world. But Jayne really didn't have as much choice as I'd have liked for her, because if she hadn't ended up with Ben, the security of the world would be compromised. I'm torn between loving the fact that a relationship is formed out of mutual need rather than unintelligible lusty romance and hating the fact that it was introduced so late, as a deus ex for the romance problem.

That ending was just . . . I don't even . . . what happened? It was very well written, in proper Casey style: ending right at the peak of the crescendo.

I know that I might be giving you, my dearest reader, a terrible impression of this novel. But though I have had a lot of complaints, read this book. It's extremely worth it, redeemed by its construction, comedy, character set . . . basically everything that made the past few books great. The novel will trick you a bit: a few things will start to change and you'll be discouraged (these are the real spoilers), but don't worry! Push through! This book is still worth it!
- Marlon

Love Triangles? Yay or Nay?
Let us know in the comments!