Review Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

ObsidianTitle: Obsidian
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

My Review:
I only recently discovered Jennifer L. Armentrout as an author, and I purchased the Lux series after I devoured the entire Covenent Series in less than a week (I seriously did nothing else all week but read, couldn’t drag myself back to normality at all).
While I definitely enjoyed reading Obsidian, and I’m dying to continue this series, I was a teeny bit disappointed. I didn’t connect as well with the characters as I had with Alex, Seth and Aiden from the Covenent Series.
However, it still contains all those amazing qualities that I have come to expect, and love, from JLA: compelling dialogue, addictive prose and swoon-worthy romance. It has all that in bucket-loads. And I’m totally down with the whole hot-alien thing.
I had a few issues though. Katy starts off being described as timid, but quickly turns quite sassy without really any explanation. Daemon was totally rocking an Edward Cullen type funk, you know – nasty and mean on the surface, but secretly yearning for Katy underneath it all, and just trying to protect her. Not a big deal for me as I love Edward Cullen, it’s more an observation. The biggest issue for me was that a lot of the stuff that came out of Daemon’s mouth was pure Seth, so much so, that I actually kept thinking of him as Seth which was jarring at times. Also, in the Covenent series a ‘demon’ is spelt ‘daimon’ and in the Lux series the character ‘Damon’ is spelt ‘Daemon’. For that reason, I kept reading demon in place of Damon and it bugged me. I know it’s minor (and it wasn’t an issue in the later books) but I wish she had just spelt it Damon.
Overall, my issues were quite minor, and this is still a very good book and I would suggest it as a recommended read.

Review Shadows (Lux #0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

ShadowsTitle: Shadows
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #0.5
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.

Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence…and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

My Review:
At first I wasn’t that interested in reading about Dawson and Beth, mainly because I felt we really didn’t get to know them that well during the course of the series. However, Shadows was included in the print copy of Opposition that I bought so I wasn’t going to not read it.
I’m so glad I did because I loved it, and it really helped me to connect with Dawson and Beth and I adored hearing their back story. It was also interesting to witness Daemon’s response to their relationship, and it helped put his initial reaction to Katy into perspective.
A thoroughly enjoyable read in JLA’s usual addictive prose. I really dig all the bonus material Jennifer includes with her books, it brings the overall reading experience to a much higher level and has given me ideas for doing similar ‘add-ons’ with my own series.
Definitely worth a read.

Review Wait For You (Wait For You #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Wait For YouTitle: Wait for You
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout/ J Lynn
Series: Wait for You #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

My Review:
Avery is desperate to escape her past, and her neglectful parents, so she enrolls in college in West Virgina. Sweet and innocent, she’s still struggling to deal with the events from five years ago that irrevocably changed her life forever.

She literally bumps head-first into Cam Hamilton on Day 1, and they both feel an instant attraction. Initially weary of him, due to his player reputation, she comes to enjoy his company and has to fend off his near-daily requests to take her out. Cam was so sweet in the way he did this, and the protective manner he displayed towards Avery.

It’s very obvious what happened to her, but we don’t hear the full story until the latter part of the book. We also find out that Cam is harboring his own secret, and he’s scared that Avery will take off running for the hills when she finds out.

The romance plays out like a lot of JLA romances – constant flirtations, near brushes, getting together and falling out etc, but ultimately they end up together and you can see how perfect they are for each other.

The themes are quite dark in this novel, it’s definitely not for young teens. I thought Jennifer handled the traumatic event that Avery experienced very delicately, and the emotions she experienced were very real. I could totally imagine how she would feel the way she felt, and her fear of intimacy was completely understandable. I loved how Cam was so patient, and so willing to wait for her until she was ready. Always willing to put her needs above his own. Her parents on the other hand, made me want to hurl.

As usual I raced through this :)And I loved it. I’ve always felt that Jennifer writes romance so well, now I can add sex to the list.

The only thing I didn’t like was how Cam called Avery sweetheart all the time. Now this is kinda signature Jennifer. Daemon called Kat Kitten, Seth called Alex Angel etc. To me ‘sweetheart’ is something a sleazy old bloke says, not a hot young stud-muffin. It just felt so unnatural for Cam to call her this. It’s my only gripe though, and it’s really minor.

Jennifer has been quoted as saying she writes books very quickly – I believe she wrote this in 20 days. I’m in awe of her talent. As a writer I wish I could deliver such quality so quickly. I’m holding out hope that she’ll master the art of writing a book a day so that I constantly have a JLA book in my hand. That would be the stuff dreams are made of!! (Laughing at my own cheesiness!)

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

CinderTitle: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy Science Fiction
Links:

Blurb:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My Review:

This book has a very interesting premise – a modern twist on a classic fairy tale. Intriguing, right?

While I liked it, I didn’t love it; though, I’m interested enough to continue the series as I want to see where the author takes the story from here.

Cinder is a sought-after highly skilled cyborg mechanic in New Bejing. While she feels emotions, she often can’t express them (she can’t cry or blush though the latter is a major bonus point in my view.)

Her step-mom is a prize cow and her eldest step-sister is a nasty piece of work. Cinder is close with Peony, her younger step-sister, and she is fond of her android assistant Iko.

Cinder crosses path with Prince Kai and they strike up a friendship which develops into a flirtation and possibly something deeper. Cinder suffers from huge self-doubt as a result of her cyborg status and she goes to great lengths to hide her true nature from Kai.

Character development is strong and Cinder is a likable MC. Some of the scenes at the end were difficult to read, but that’s only because the emotion was dripping off the page and it was easy to cringe at the awkwardness of it all. These scenes were very well executed.

The writing is good, but there was nothing stand-out about it for me. I thought the pacing was a little off in the middle and I found myself skimming some sections. It reminded me a little of the Legend Series by Marie Lu in parts (A love-interest Prince who becomes Emperor and has to juggle a minefield of global politics, technology-driven future world, and a crippling plague that forces the Emperor to make some difficult choices.)

I really enjoyed the technology of this future world and it was right up my street.

The biggest issue I had was with the plot; I felt it was too predictable. I figured out Cinder’s true identity pretty early on and that took away from my enjoyment of the story.

The plot, flow, and writing, all improved in the last quarter of the book and the last few chapters, in particular, were brilliant.

There is no way I’m not continuing with this story given that ending and I’ve already started Scarlet.

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Review The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsTitle: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Links:

Blurb:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

My Review:
This book is total genius, I absolutely loved it and I have read it four times at the last count. I adore John Green’s writing, he is so witty and eloquent and there are so many quotes that stand out for me. I personally really liked the dialogue between Hazel Grace and Gus and it was so easy to get invested in these characters. I’ll happily admit that I spent parts of this book laughing out loud and others sobbing into my pillow (always the sign of a brilliant book in my view). I have seen some criticism which has stated the dialogue is unbelievable for kids of their age and I couldn’t disagree more. While I appreciate that not every teenager would converse like that, I think to assume that some aren’t capable of articulating in such a fashion is insulting to the intelligence of teenagers. I found it very refreshing. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book.

New Blog

Hello, Everyone!

My YA&NA Book ObsessionI’ve decided to start a new blog! I’m an avid reader, and I love YA and NA books in particular and I wanted to find a way to share my reviews with you all. I will still use my blog to post updates about my own books, and to share guest posts and interviews and any general news, but this will be interspersed amongst reviews of other author’s work.

I’d like to thank Michelle from My Limabean Designs for the awesome banner she’s created for this new blog, and Lola, of Lola’s Reviews for all her help with my blog set-up. All my previous posts are imported from my old blog, and effective immediately, all new posts will be posted on this blog only. I had always intended on posting my book reviews on my author blog but was unable to find the time to set it all up, until now!

I’m aiming to post book reviews every couple of days, mixing some of my older reviews with more recent reviews.

Blog posts will be shared on my author social media accounts as standard. So you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with the blog or follow me on Bloglovin. There’s also an option to follow by e-mail in the sidebar.

Thanks for stopping by,

Siobhan.

Release Date Light of a Thousand Stars

Today is the release day for Light of a Thousand Stars (True Calling #2.5)! This novella is about Zane and Ariana when they were still on earth, so chronologically it takes place before True Calling, but as reading order I recommend to read this book after Beyond Reach (True Calling #2)

LOATSLight of a Thousand Stars (True Calling #2.5)
by Siobhan Davis

Ariana Skyee has been the center of Zane Anders’ world for years. They got together as a couple ten months ago, so Zane finally has the girl of his dreams. Life should be peachy.

But it isn’t.

Haunted by a shared secret that threatens to destroy their relationship and claim their sanity, Zane is on a one-man mission to prevent Ari from falling apart.

Then Commander Skyee drops the biggest bombshell of all, and everything Zane has taken for granted about the future is shattered overnight.

Always and Forever: That’s what Zane has promised Ari.
Keeping that promise is about to become the hardest thing he will ever do.

Links:

Release Day Beyond Reach

Today is the release day of Beyond Reach, the second book in my True Calling series! I am really excited to share this book with you!

BeyondReachBeyond Reach (True Calling #2)
by Siobhan Davis

Back on Earth, Ariana is caught in a dangerous crossfire between clandestine rebel organization Clementia and the power-hungry government. Refusing to divulge the location of the secret information entrusted to her by her late father, she desperately tries to bargain for her Mom, Lily, and Cal’s rescue. She’s fighting a losing battle, and the clock is ticking.

Presented with evidence of her fiancé Cal’s apparent betrayal, she loyally defends him despite her concerns. With her emotions in turmoil, matters become even more complicated as she grows closer to her ex-boyfriend Zane.

When the stakes are raised, a succession of shocking revelations rocks her world, setting her on a path that will not only change her destiny but the fate of humanity.

Confronted by a memory so abhorrent comes a truth she would do anything to forget.

But some things just can’t be undone.

BLOGGERS LOVE BEYOND REACH!
“There was not a single page in this book that was not full of excitement and adventure. I loved True Calling but Beyond Reach has taken the story to a whole new level. Best book of 2015 so far for me.” Emma. coxy88.blogspot.co.uk

“Once again the author took me inside the book and made me feel what the characters felt… I was hooked from start to finish. I loved this story and I can’t wait for book 3 to come out!” Kim. Superbookgirl13.

“This book managed to surprise me quite a few times and the twists towards the end might have been the most surprising of them all, it was really well done.” Lola. Lola’s Book Reviews.

“Trying to think of words to describe this book. Wow, epic, brilliant, OMG, just don’t cover it. If you liked Book 1 you will love this book.” Karla, Goodreads Reviewer.

“OMG. That is pretty much all I can say to properly express this book. I loved the first book very much, but this….*input words when thought of.* Even if I give a book 5 stars, it doesn’t mean that it completely floored me, however, this book sucked me in and left me speechless.” Amber. Paradise Of Pages.

“Page one and the action, characters, twists and tension just kept bursting out…..Talk about a story coming to life under the skill of a brilliant author! Siobhan Davis’ world goes beyond gripping, nail-biting and gut-clenching into a realm of action and atmosphere on steroids.” Dianne, Tome Tender.

“It’s been so long since I’ve been this emotionally invested in a book/series. Beyond Reach is fast-paced and heart-wrenching. In other series, it feels as though love triangles are just thrown in for the heck of it but Davis doesn’t do that, and it’s really quite refreshing. ” Danielle. RamblingB00ks.wordpress.com

“This was a really awesome sequel! So much happened in this book and I was very surprised with every page. If you enjoy great sci-fi dystopias, I recommend this series.” Jessica. Psychoticnerd.blogspot.com

Links:

True Calling FREE to download this week only

TRUE CALLING FREE TO DOWNLOAD ON AMAZON UNTIL APRIL 17TH

“True Calling is a dystopian-sci-fi-romance that is FABULOUS! Siobhan did not fail to impress me with this debut novel.” Ashley Colby. The Caffeinated Booknerd

If you loved Matched, The Selection, The 100 or The Hunger Games then you will love True Calling. Pick up a copy while it’s free! And don’t forget you can download a free Kindle app from Amazon – for iPAD, tablet, desktop, laptop or mobile phone.

This is the second edition released in Jan 2015 so if you have already read TC this is a good opportunity to download the latest version free of charge!

Is it wrong for adults to read young adult literature?

There has been a lot of controversial articles, blogs, posts and heated online discussions over the course of the last year on the topic of adults reading literature intended for young adults. I was particularly incensed by this inflammatory article  in Slate.

As an author of young adult fiction and an avid reader of the genre, I wanted to share my thoughts on this rather heated subject matter.

It’s only fair that I should point out upfront that this post comes with a pretty hefty ‘rant warning’.  You have been forewarned!

Eighty percent of my time, I am a responsible wife, mother, employee and quite strait-laced! I relish the other twenty percent where I give in to my inner-teenager and indulge my passion for teenage books, music, and movies. For me, it is pure escapism and a way to chill-out. I think life is about diversity in our choices and our interests, and we should never be afraid to show who we truly are.

Harry Potter and The Twilight saga were the stories that hooked me on the YA genre though at first I remember feeling embarrassed that I was reading them, until I realized that I was not alone. I read the same survey quoted in the Slate article, where the analysis identified that fifty-five percent of people who purchase YA books are adults. I wasn’t in the least bit surprised.

Now, I don’t just read YA books, I am also a voracious reader of murder-mysteries/crime/suspense novels. Tess Gerritsen is one of my all-time favorite writers, alongside Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, and Michael Connelly, to name a few. I also read other adult genres; I’ve read a lot of the classics, plenty of corporate non-fiction books and I do not discriminate in my choices.  If I like the sound of a book or I have received a recommendation then I’ll read it.

However, there are certain times when all I want to read is YA. Because I love-love-love the action/adventure, kick-ass heroines, swoon-worthy romance, and the pure fantasy of the worlds created by some of my favorite YA authors. I don’t tend to read much contemporary YA stuff though I adore John Green’s TFIOS, and I disagree completely with Ruth Graham’s observations of this book in the Slate article. I found the dialog between Hazel and Gus to be very compelling, emotive and refreshing, and yes, it was a little cheesy at times, but I still loved it. Seriously, who doesn’t love a bit of cheese every now and then? Moreover, how is that ending a typical satisfactory ending? Or Allegiant’s ending? That had the entire Divergent fan base split right down the middle.

So if it’s seemingly wrong, as an adult, to read books ‘written for teenagers’ then does that logic apply to movies as well? Some of the greatest, and most successful, movies of all times have been children’s and teen movies. Back to the Future, Rebel without a Cause, ET, Harry Potter, etc., etc. Does going to see the latest Avengers Assemble movie with my children (one is a teenager) set a bad example? In the same way it’s suggested that my reading of Laini Taylor’s ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ Trilogy or Jennifer L. Armentrout’s ‘Covenent Series’ would imply? To suggest, as Ruth Graham does in her article, that reading YA fiction sends out the wrong message to our teenage children, is absurd in my view. Surely the point is this: If children see their parents reading, they are more inclined to read themselves, irrespective of what genre the content is. Anything that encourages the youth of today to read more is a positive in my book (pardon the pun). Sharing some of the same reading material opens up opportunities for parents to engage in meaningful discussions with their children about these books, and to explore the issues/themes.

Rant almost over.

Some commentators have said that the writing quality in YA literature is questionable in the extreme. I disagree. While I do not pick up a YA book expecting it to be a literary work of art, I am often pleasantly surprised at the exceptional talent of so many who write in this genre. Many of these books surpass the quality of a lot of so called ‘adult literature’ that is out there in the market.

In my opinion, readers should be allowed to make their own decisions regarding books they choose to read, without risk of vilification. Because the pleasure of reading is what it is all about, and that is purely subjective. If we start expecting people to restrict their reading material, based on a narrow societal categorization of what’s deemed appropriate, then ultimately fewer people will read, and that is not a good thing.

Are you an adult who reads young adult books? If so we’d love to hear from you! What do you feel about all the controversy? Why do you enjoy reading YA books and what is it in particular that attracts you to this genre?