Monday, March 25, 2013

MY THOUGHTS ON ~ THE GOLDEN LILY, TIDAL, ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)Series: Bloodlines #2
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: 6/12/12
Format: Paperback
Pages: 418
Source: Bought
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her. Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?
 
Gosh. I really want to love this series. I loved Vampire Academy so much, and I think a lot of that can be attributed to the main characters, Rose and Dimitri.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciated the role Sydney played in that series. So far, though, she doesn't have the appeal (for me) to lead her own series. I adore Adrian, and would be so happy to have more of him or his point-of-view (I think I saw this was happening in future books. Is that true?). Basically, I felt The Golden Lily was just Sydney's crisis of conscience, her internal struggle with the Alchemist values. It got sort of exciting at the end. And then...Sydney made me mad again. I know, I know. This is her personality. Who she is. Still...*sighs*

Sidenote: I wrote this review before I read The Indigo Spell, which I'm hoping will change my mind about the series.



TidalSeries: Stand alone
Genre: Contemporary New Adult
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: 12/14/12
Format: Kindle
Pages: 312
Source: Bought

Now that Willow Avery is out of rehab, she's got one chance left to prove herself before she’s officially on every producer’s shit list. At least, that's what her parents and agent are claiming. She doesn't really give a damn if she never makes another movie or not—she just wants to get on with her life, get back to her friends, and find her next escape. But Willow is broke. And whether she likes it or not, acting is the only job she knows how to do.

When she accepts the lead in a beach drama, Willow finds herself in Hawaii. And in Hawaii, she finds Cooper, the gorgeous surfer hired to train her for her new role. With the bluest eyes she’s ever seen and the sexiest Australian accent she’s ever heard, Cooper’s different from the men she’s used to. He doesn’t want to use her. And he refuses to let her fail. But when an old friend re-enters Willow’s life—a friend whose toxicity she’s been drawn to time and time before and whose presence brings about the painful memories she's tried so hard to suppress—Willow will have to choose between the girl she was and the person she’s becoming. The lifestyle that helps her forget the pain and the guy she’s falling hard for.

Heartbreakingly Perfect. I loved Tidal so so so much.

First, I would like to point out to anyone who doesn't know, that Tidal was recently picked up by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. So the cover you see here will not be the cover on GoodReads, Amazon, etc. Congratulations to Emily Snow because this book deserves to be in the bookstores.

Second, Tidal is (to me) what New Adult is all about. To those who think New Adult is simply "sexed-up YA", I give you this book and my middle finger. (Kidding)

Truly? I bought Tidal the day it released, simply because I'd heard good things about Snow's writing, loved the cover, and thought the blurb sounded like something I would enjoy. I expected a light, steamy, good read about a troubled girl and the boy she falls in love with. I didn't expect to fall so deeply in love with this story. Willow and Cooper were brilliantly written characters who won my heart. I wanted them to make it through the obstacles in front of them, and at times I literally held my chest as I read. The story is intensely thoughtful, and Snow definitely dug deep to bring Cooper and Willow to life. And as much as this book squeezed my heart until I thought I couldn't take it, Tidal was also fun, and deliciously steamy.

Tidal is one of the perfect examples of why I love New Adult (and self-published) books so much. Highly, Highly Recommend.


One Week Girlfriend (Drew + Fable, #1)Series: Drew + Fable #1
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Monica Murphy
Publication Date: 1/10/13
Format: Kindle
Pages:170
Source: Bought

Temporary. That one single word best describes my life these last few years. I’m working at a temporary job until I can finally break free. I’m my little brother’s temporary mother since our mom doesn’t give a crap about either of us. And I’m that temporary girl all the guys want to get with because I give it up so easily. According to the rumors, at least.

But now I’m the temporary girlfriend of Drew Callahan, college football legend and all around golden guy. He’s beautiful, sweet—and he’s hiding way more secrets than I am. He’s brought me into this fake life where everyone seems to hate me. And everyone seems to want something from him. The only thing he seems to want though is…

Me.

I don’t know what to believe anymore. All I know is, I think Drew needs me. And I want to be there for him.

Forever.
Even though I bought this book soon after release, I am one of the last of my friends to read it. So I'll be brief. One Week Girlfriend is freaking fantastic. Seriously, I sort of want to punch myself in the face for not reading this the moment I bought it. I will not make that mistake ever again in regards to Monica Murphy.

New Adult is one of my favorite genres. And like a lot of readers, I feel like some of the stories tend to follow a pattern. One Week Girlfriend shatters that pattern. Drew and Fable and their effed up, broken lives are heart-breaking. I read this book with one hand over my mouth and the other over my heart (except when I was tweeting about how perfect the story was). What's really fantastic is that we learn about Drew and his secrets right along with Fable. The big twist is something that I could feel coming, but like her,  I was in denial. My mind and heart just weren't ready. When the moment happened, I was consumed the pain, devastation and unwavering love that Fable felt. I loved Drew. I was enraged on his behalf. I wanted their love to overcome the past.

Monica Murphy knows how to right a compelling, beautifully told story. I am absolutely in awe of how brilliantly she crafted Drew and Fable's story. That ending?! I was crying, devastated, yet smiling at the same time. That's an interested combination, huh? I am literally bouncing until I get my hands on Second Chance Boyfriend.

This is a story not to be missed.



Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)Series: Beautiful #1
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Atria
Publication Date: 8/14/12
Format: Kindle
Pages:437
Source: Bought


INTENSE. DANGEROUS. ADDICTIVE.

Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Let me just start by saying that I was extremely nervous to read Beautiful Disaster. I have owned this book for nearly a year now, but just hadn't taken the leap. I will admit, I let all the negativity surrounding the book to scare me off. I can't say why, maybe it was due to the intensity of the feelings that had me freaked out. But it finally came down to me being practically the last of my friends to jump in, and I hate being left out, guys.
 
So what did I think?
 
I thought Beautiful Disaster was pretty great. There is a certain aspect to the story, and McGuire's writing, that made the book near impossible to put down. I truly enjoyed the story, but have to say the characters are what makes this book shine. I adored Travis and Abby's friends, Shep and America. Their commentary on and reactions to the insanity that is Travis and Abby was hilarious and direct. I found Abby to be a really likeable character. Did I agree with everything she said and did? No, but honestly, I'm sort of tired of the perfection that is expected of characters. Trust me, if I went away to college at eighteen years old, lived in the dorms with no one to hold me accountable, and had the exceedingly sexy Travis Maddox after me... you better believe that I would have been making "stupid" decisions, too!
 
Travis Maddox. The man is worshipped by some readers and absolutely hated by others. He's abrupt, impulsive, intense, has a wicked temper, and is more than a tad possessive. And though I wanted him to calm down and chill for a beat, I didn't hate him in the slightest. Listen, I am sort of known (and mercilessly teased by my husband) for my own temper problems when I was Travis' age. Now don't get me wrong, I've never been in a fight in my life, but let's just say that I know what it's like to be out of control. Travis is passionate to a fault. And this isn't me making excuses for his bad behavior. This is me saying that sometimes people f*ck up. They do things they shouldn't and say thing the absolute wrong things. It's just a fact. Now, do I want my character to be held accountable for their bad behavior and learn from that? Absolutely. And Travis does.
Okay, sermon over. lol I know that Beautiful Disaster is not for everyone. Just like all books aren't for everyone. But you know what? Beautiful Disaster was for me, and I'm so happy I finally gave it a chance.
 


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21 comments:

  1. I hope you like The Indigo Spell, it's fantastic! And Tidal sounds good, too!

    I can't agree with you on Beautiful Disaster, there are way too many girls who now think Travis is a good example of a boyfriend, and that makes me sad. But in the beginning, it was fun.

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  2. I still need to read TIS, but I'm hopeful. Tidal, OWG, and BD were perfect to me. I loved them all. I didn't know you read OWG, did I? I'm so happy you gave BD a chance. ;)

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  3. I am so with you on the Bloodlines series! I have come to love them more, but they will never be VA but yes the next books will have Adrian POV which I am pretty excited for.

    Tidal sounds fantastic! I wasnt a big fan of Devoured by her BUT this one sounds good and I trust your judgement, so I'm going to keep it on the good 'ole TBR.

    I am so ecstatic you loved Beautiful Disaster. I hate all the negativity that books gets. I know its not a book for everyone but jeeze there is no much bashing on it.

    Lovely reviews!

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  4. I still need to read Beautiful Disaster, and Tidal! Tidal sounds amzing, and BD is one I've been putting off, until I'm in the mood!

    One Week GF, was good, and The Golden Lily is prob. one I will never get too!

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  5. I loved BD, but am adding Tidal and One Week Girlfriend to my list, I have read Snow before and enjoyed her book, so excited to add them. Wonderful reviews and wait to you read Walking Disaster!

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  6. Aw, sorry to hear that Sydney isn't doing it for you in Bloodlines. I really like the series more and more as it goes on. But we all have different tastes, that is what makes reading fun.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  7. I still haven't gave Beautiful Disaster a chance. It's been on my kindle FOREVER! I'm considering it though with the release of book 2.

    I have found that I love Sydney and her voice so much more in the audio books...LOL.
    Even when I got Indigo Spell for review I waited until it came out on audio because they are just great that way :D (I can't remember if you have read Indigo yet, but I hope you did and loved it with all it's Adrian goodness!)

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  8. I'm listening to the Beautiful Disaster audio right now, so I have to be honest and say I didn't read your thoughts... I'm one of those weird readers that won't read others' thoughts until AFTER I've written my review. ;) But I did read your thougths on the other books. Thanks so much for bringing Tidal to my attention! I've already added that one to my TBR list and I hope to read it soon. Great reviews! :)

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  9. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I like your reviews. I haven't read the vampire academy series yet but i hear constantly that its great, i think that scares me from reading bloodlines cause its featuring characters from the previous series. but we'll see.

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  10. I definitely want to read Tidal and One Week Girlfriend. They both sound really amazing. Beautiful Disaster is one I have avoided because I have issues with the anger issues and possessiveness. There have been books I would have enjoyed if not for that aspect and I don't want to hate what is probably a great book because I can't get past the male behavior. I'm sure it's a fantastic book, especially judging by the reviews for it. Anyways, fabulous reviews hon!!

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  11. I am soooo glad you liked Beautiful Disaster. It was awesome and I love Travis and his messed up self so much. BD was better than WD, but I loved WD to. I have Tidal and One Week Girlfriend and I can't wait to read them, especially Tidal. I bought the first book in the Bloodlines series, but I don't know when I'll get to it. Wonderful reviews!

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  12. A lot of people seem to have enjoyed Indigo Spell A LOT more than the previous two books in the series. I admit, Sydney took some getting used to, but as usual, Adrian steals the show. :)

    As for Beautiful Disaster, I appreciate your review, but I just don't think I can read this one. So many people just hate the protagonist or the love interest, and I'm all about character-driven novels, so if I can't even get on board with the two MCs, how am I going to enjoy myself?

    Great reviews all around! :D

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  13. It’s hard to get used to Sydney, especially after spending 6 books with Rose who is such an opposite character. In the first book, I had no idea where this whole Sydney and Adrian thing was going or if I was been going to like it. But seeing Adrian really go after a girl was my favorite part. I love this series more with each book.
    I love the new cover of Tidal and after seeing this review and Autumn’s review I think I might like it.
    Well, you know how much I loved OWG and how happy I am you read it :) Loving the second book so far!
    I LOVED Beautiful Disaster even though I hated Abby. I like complicated and effed up characters so this was perfect for me.

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  14. I loved the VA series but I didn't really care for Adrian's character and Sydney was not an exiting character,so I didn't think I would like Bloodlines.Boy was I wrong!I don't know why but I love Adrian in Bloodlines better than in VA series.And Sydney is growing on me,by the end of TIS I really like her.FYI,if you have not read TIS yet, you might want to wait closer to November and the release of FH because TIS ends in a cliffhanger.I am dying to know what happens next!

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  15. So so glad you loved One Week Girlfriend & Beautiful Disaster. Both are fabulous. I have Second Chance Boyfriend and can't wait to get to it. I have too much to read - like you and I find myself struggling to fit everything in.

    As for The Golden Lily. Maybe I'll read it. I did love VA and Adrian a lot. But was never a Sydney fan. So I'm thinking I'll wait till the series is complete. Then maybe.

    Great reviews pal.

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  16. I have been a bit on the fence about Beautiful Disaster but I really want to read the second one so I think I'll definitely have to read it one of these days.
    Tidal sounds really good and YAY for being picked up by a publisher!

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  17. I do hope The Indigo Spell changes your mind about Sydney. I kinda thought I might give up on this series after #1 but gave it another shot with The Golden Lily and it hooked me enough to read TIS. And I loved it! I also really loved Beautiful Disaster, faults and all! ;) So I'm glad it was worth reading for you. As for Tidal and One Week Girlfriend...they're both waiting for me. :) Can't wait!

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  18. Loved your BD review! Glad you finally jumped onto the Maddox train!

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  19. I loved The Golden Lily and The Indigo Spell! It took me a long time to warm up to Sydney. I was never really a Dimitri fan so I'm happy he is gone anyway lol I LOVE Adrian! He is what makes the series. It isn't as Strigoi action packed as VA but I enjoy it just as much.

    I bought Tidal as soon as it came out as well because it just sounded awesome! Must read it soon!

    One Week Girlfriend has caught my attention on blogs and I love NA!

    I read Beautiful Disaster close to when it came out and there wasn't quite as much type. I think Travis makes a lot of mistakes but that is the point of a story. To see characters be real, mess up, learn, change. It is very addicting too! I just finished Walking Diaster which was also great! I especially don't hate Travis anymore now that I can see his side. He still did a couple horrible things but we all do when we are mad and hurt.

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  20. I'm so glad that you found some books to break the same old same old of New Adult. I've only read a few New Adult books but they have all felt the same so I'm going to have to add Tidal and One Week Girlfriend to my wishlist. I'm always looking for something new and I'm tired of New Adult simply being sexed up YA books. They need different plot lines so I'm glad I don't have to give up the genre.

    Beautiful Disaster had several high and low moments for me. I like Travis but he still isn't my favorite male character. He just didn't have a reason to act the way he did for most of the book. I see the anger issues but there had to be more than that for him to be a tortured hero, more for him to act out the way he did. I hope you enjoy Walking Disaster, it was like a repeat for me but provided a few new pieces.

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