Review: Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements 3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell …

The conclusion to The Dark Elements trilogy! GO READ THE FIRST TWO BOOKS!
For those familiar with Jennifer L. Armentrout's work, you'll probably know what to expect. This series is much like her other books. It has a quick plot, humorous dialogue, and cheesy romance. I personally enjoyed reading it as it was entertaining and easy to read.

JLA is also very creative in the creation of her creatures and world, which is always interesting to uncover as the story progresses. This series features gargoyles that protect the world from demons. Our main character Layla turns out to be half gargoyle and half demon, giving her the strange ability to see and tag demons.

While this series is not for everybody, I'd recommend it to anyone with an affinity for teen romance novels.
This last installment of The Dark Element Series was a blast to read. It's cute and funny in all the right places, with a strong plot that holds to the end. In regards to the love triangle ... TEAM ROTH ALL THE WAY! This love triangle was unique in the way that Layla could've ended up with either guy, and it would be logical to the plot. Compared to other books, usually there is one more obvious person. So, what Armentrout did, is she created a poll and let the readers choose! I was all for Zayne near the beginning of the series, but Roth was the definite winner by the end of the second book. Gosh, I can't even imagine what it'd be like for Layla to end up with Zayne!

Well, now that I've gotten the most important thing out in the open (kidding), let's talk plot. I have to say, the plot was enough for me to keep turning pages. It wasn't the most brilliant read, but it's fun and I enjoyed the story immensely. The little plot "twists" -- the word is a little extreme -- that popped up throughout the book were unexpected, and convinced me to keep on going.

When I discovered she was Lilith's daughter:

And when I discovered that the familiars were actual people:

Bambi and Hunter are some of my favourite characters in the series! They're so funny. 

But when Sam died:

It was so unexpected that I did actually tear up when I found out. 

The romance featured in this book is the gushy, heart-melting kind of romance, but I think it was executed rather well.
“You make me wish I had a soul so I could be worthy of you.”
“You are so beautiful, Layla. And if I could pick one thing I could stare at for the rest of eternity, it would be you.”
“Do you know how hard it is for me to sit on the other side of this booth and not reach across and pull you against me? Just to make sure you really are alive?”
At the same time, Armentrout's writing style is hilarious!
"You need to stop the Lilin, as the only thing you've really accomplished is the loss of your virginity."
In this particular series, she made several references to pop culture: Guns 'n' Roses, One Direction, Supernatural, and more!
“A gray leather couch was against the wall. Above it was a giant framed photo of One Direction.”
Ha ha, great comic relievers.

I definitely enjoyed this series. Let me know what you thought in the comments below!


Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

After hearing so much about this book, I was more than excited to finally pick this up. Alas, this was not the amazing contemporary I thought it'd be. If somebody asked me to recommend contemporaries, this probably would't come up in that conversation.
Our main character's name in this story is Cadence Sinclair. She comes from a privileged family, a family who puts on their best face forward no matter what the situation may be.

Then we have the rest of the Liars: Gat, Mirren, and Johnny. They are cousins. Each of the liars are distinctly unique, which made their interactions and relationships fascinating to read.

Gat was an especially intriguing character. Unlike the rest of the Liars and their families, Gat did not have the same beliefs and values of the traditional Sinclair. He's of Indian heritage, his father having married into the family.

The two catastrophic events that Cadence has ever experienced are the parting of her father, and loving Gat. Both of these characters (her father and Gat) are represent the faults, for lack of a better word, in a Sinclair. This revelation makes Cadence more aware of her own character.
At the beginning of the story, we find that Cadence's father has left her and her mother. The reason being he didn't have it in him to be a Sinclair. Cadence and her mother carry on with their lives as proper Sinclairs should; spending their summer vacation on their family's private island as per usual.

Cadence tells this story in a series of flashbacks with a few moments referencing to her current situation and state. We learn of her love for Gat and the family's disapproval of their relationship. We learn of the arguments between Cadence's mother and her aunts, pertaining to the future if the island's properties.

The majority of the plot covered Cadence's self discovery, her off-limits relationship with Gat, and family arguments. It wasn't really a page-turner for me.

The twist at the end though, raised my rating. The ending was very emotional and after a bland (I use that word loosely) lead-up, I enjoyed the momentous closure.
The story takes place mainly on the Sinclair family island. Each of Cadence's aunts and her mother, own their own estate. The Liars spend their time all over the island.
The author's writing is very poetic. A lot of the book is written in broken sentences. I don't usually like to read this way, but I understand the atmosphere she was trying to set. The imagery was beautiful though, with strong figurative language.
- The map. I love it when books have maps of the world the story is set in!
- Gat's character.
- Cadence's short stories. They were interesting to read, and added more insight to her circumstances.
- The ending.
- The writing style, specifically the structure. It's really not my preferred way of reading.
- The plot line. It didn't keep me as interested.
This was a nice short read. It's not my favourite contemporary, but it still may appeal to some.
Did you guys enjoy this book? Tell me in the comments! As always, read on.

2015 August Wrap Up!

I apologize that this is eons late but here we are, a week into September! I got through a bunch of books in August, a total of eight books.

Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy 2) by Stephen King

I rated this book 4/5 stars. Full of interesting characters and has a suspenseful story line. Click the title to read my full review.

The Boy in Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

This book was a 3/5 stars for me. It was a nice, short read.

First 5 star book of the month! I loved the characters, the writing was amazing, and it has an interesting plot.

Second instalment to the series. 4/5 stars. Not as exciting as the first book, but still awesome.

Conclusion to the series! 4/5 stars.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

3/5 stars. Not my favourite contemporary, but was a nice read.

Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout

4/5 stars. I did a book babble on this; you should check it out!

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

5 Stars! My favourite read of the entire month.

And there we have it! I'm still behind a couple of reviews and babbles, but I promise to get to you before the week is through.

Read on.

Review: End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days 3) by Susan Ee

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

The concluding book to Penryn & the End of Days. My expectation for this book was high; I loved the first two books. Although the ending was satisfying, it didn't have that wow factor of which was present in the first two instalments.
Penryn's and Raffe's relationship takes a spotlight in this story. They are both conflicted about their alliances; with each other, and with their own people. It's a forbidden love, and they're in the midst of a war. But they want each other. It's just a matter of how badly.

I LOVE how much Penryn has grown since we met her in the first book. I like how she grows into a selfless person, rather than the typical main character who unrealistically risks their life for a stranger. She has much more confidence in herself, and where she stands in this war. While she has feelings for Raffe, she'd never risk human extinction.

Paige has become key in the battle to stop Uriel's advances, but she's still only a kid. Her strong morals keep her from succumbing to the monster everyone expects her to be. She's very strong willed, and I admire her for it.

And finally, all the bits and pieces fit together to form Raffe's story. I want to avoid spoilers though, so I'll keep this short. I think he's someone who feels strongly, and Penryn is the only one who is capable of receiving his love.
The final battle is drawing close. The angles are at the climax of their elections, and the finishing act? A human hunt fest. Penryn won't stand idly by. Raffe will lose everything if he doesn't defeat Uriel. The tension was thick in this fast-paced story line.

The ending unfolded well, in my opinion. It was everything I could've imagined. While they may not have gone out in a blaze of glory, it was satisfying.
The same atmosphere is present in all three books; dark and tense. You never know what's on the next page.
There were so many Penryn/Raffe moments in this book that made me warm and cozy. But unlike the other two books, I didn't feel the earth-shattering rawness of emotion that I felt while reading the previous stories. Don't get me wrong though, it was beautifully written, but it didn't showcase the height of which Susan Ee is capable of reaching.
- Their kiss in the rain. Cliché, I know, but it was in hell so ...
- This applies to the whole series, but I find the whole Daughter of Man story very intriguing.

-  A few sparks were missing here and there between characters. I'm not complaining though. I still think it wrapped up quite nicely.
A nice conclusion for an awesome trilogy. I totally have a book hangover.
Have you read this series? Let me know in the comments! Read on.

Rewiew: World After (Penryn & the End of Days 2) by Susan Ee

In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

I dove right into this after the first book which I rated 5 stars. I found this book not to be as exciting as the first one but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Review: Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days 1) by Susan Ee

It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Travelling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

This book was amazing! I loved it! I find stories about the apocalypse very interesting, and this takes a spot very high up my list. I really loved the character dynamics, the world, and the author's raw writing style (you'll understand when you read it). It had the perfect mix of action, romance, and comedy (as odd as that sounds), and I definitely recommend it!

Back to School Book Haul

I will be going back to school in less than two weeks, so I decided to go book shopping to cheer myself up! There were so, so many books I had to leave behind though ...

Fullmetal Alchemist (Volume 1) by Hiromu Arakawa

I've been wanting to start this manga series for a while now, so I picked this up. No where near the top of my priority list though.

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles 3.5) by Marissa Meyer

Story time! When I began The Lunar Chronicles, I was unaware that there were four books in the series, and as such I marathoned the first three books. Alas, the end of Cress did not give me my satisfactory happily-ever-after. After a bit of research I discovered that there is, in fact, another book ... coming out in NOVEMBER!

So this is my fix until it comes.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I Loved Before 1) by Jenny Han

I've heard quite a bit about this series. It looks really cute! (We'd all be lying if we didn't judge books by their covers.

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I Loved Before 2) by Jenny Han

If I'm picking up the first book, why not the second too?

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I have this in paperback, but it was only nine bucks at BMV so I HAD to pick it up.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Again, NINE DOLLARS. Now I can pre-order Library of Souls. *Happy Dance* (I like all the books in my series to be the same format.)

The Shadowhunter Codex by Cassandra Clare

Just another book to add to my Shadowhunter collection. I'm super excited for Lady Midnight to come out!

Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Review: The Boy in Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

A quick read, this book takes us back to one of the darkest times of human history. I wholly enjoyed this book, but it seems to be a hit and miss with each individual reader. Still I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys a bit of historical fiction.

Review: Finders Keepers by Stephen King

“Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.

Not since Misery has King played with the notion of a reader whose obsession with a writer gets dangerous. Finders Keepers is spectacular, heart-pounding suspense, but it is also King writing about how literature shapes a life—for good, for bad, forever.

Finders Keepers was an amazing adventure. On the dust jacket of the book, the synopsis unveils it as a revenge story; a reader's obsession with a book series leads him to murder the author for the undoing of a beloved character. The suspense was great, the characters were incredible (as was expected), and the book was just a good all round crime/thriller. I recommend it to anyone looking for a slow but steady suspenseful read.

Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 3rd 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 419 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.
Holly Black's interpretation of vampires. Need I say more? I love the magical work that is the writing of Holly Black (Spiderwick is dear to my heart) and this read was no different. It was enticing to say the least, the kind of lure you feel to something taboo. You know you shouldn't, but you really want to. The characters are decent, the plot is solid, and the expressive setting completes this wicked novel. I'd definitely recommend it.