sabthebookeater

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Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Series #1)

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Series #1) - This and more reviews on Sab The Book Eater.I was a bit wary to read it at first despite the great reviews because the blurb did absolutely nothing for me. New Beijing, cyborg, intergalactic struggle? Yeah, not for me. Knowing this is a Cinderella retelling didn't help either. I really couldn't wrap my head around the world of Cinder. But I eventually gave in. AND I WAS FREAKING BLOWN AWAY!Marissa Meyer is an incredible writer! She was able to create an entirely new world that was actually believable. The story could've easily sounded ridiculous because of the whole post-World War era where cyborgs, androids and Lunars (moon people) exist. But Meyer's writing is super good (I have got to work on my adjectives). Since this is written in the third person POV, some chapters weren't solely about Cinder. The transitions were smooth and the sequence of events really added to the overall excitement of the story. You can never really tell how the story or the retelling would go. I devoured the book so fast because of how the story was written. You can never read just one chapter and do something else after (unless you have to do something really important). It's that addicting, folks.Cinder is made up of a brilliant cast of characters. Cinder has such a great personality that's easy to love from start to finish. I enjoyed reading her thoughts and how her being a cyborg affected her. She's kind but she's pretty kickass - a major difference between her and Cinderella. This is probably the biggest thing I like about the book. Maybe I'm just a feminist but damn it I want strong female characters! Cinder's definitely one. I love all the many ways Cinder's story was just like Cinderella except for a few alterations. She didn't have a fairy godmother but she has an android, a nice stepsister and a doctor helping her out. She's strong and she fights back. She's simply a great character overall.The villains were also equally amazing, I admit. They got my blood boiling, alright! I love it when authors create really despicable villains that make you feel so much hatred towards them. You know they'd be evil but somehow they can still get under your skin. I'm not kidding!Then there's Prince Kai. Oh Prince Kai. I like the romantic non-romance in this book. I really don't know what to call it. It was feels-inducing. The anticipation alone would excite you. And maybe it was just the secret (not so secret now) part of me that wants to be noticed by some well-known person (like a prince!) that has me feeling like this. I don't know! But I do know that Kai is a very likable character even if you don't see a lot happen between him and Cinder. Not yet, at least. The subtle (very subtle) romance is definitely something every reader would want to see in the following books.There are a lot of other things I'd want to discuss but I don't want to spoil anything for you all. That and I don't want this review to simply sound like I'm fan girling. Cinder is a great kick off for a series that has a lot of promise. Yes, it's a retelling but somehow it still feels original. There were things in Cinderella that Meyer put her own twist on and they made the story even better. I'd love to see how the whole series would tie up. The ending left me both satisfied and craving for more. I got what I wanted from the story but at the same time, I'd want to know what else would happen. So... 5 stars for a book that is seriously addicting.

Shatter Me

Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi This review is also posted on Sab The Book Eater.I did it. I can't believe I did it. I actually finished Shatter Me. I wanted to read this so bad but at the same time I didn't. You can see reviews of this book that are polar opposites. Shatter Me is a book that you either super love or super hate. I'm a bit in the middle and I'll tell you why.Okay so the story starts off pretty good because you really see the inner workings of a teenage girl's mind. One who's been imprisoned in an asylum for nearly a year and doesn't know affection. The first couple of chapters were enough to pique my interest because it got me wondering about Juliette's backstory, where her power came from and what exactly happens when she touches people. It was interesting, I'll give it that. But the writing ticked me off after reading a few more pages. The writing's... new. Original. Cuckoo. Juliette talks in a very weird way as far as young adult novels go. She repeats words again and again and again to emphasize her point. Shetalkslikethissometimes a lot and it annoyed me to no end. There were plenty of strikethroughs in the beginning that, fortunately, lessened towards the end. I kind of liked them because they were what Juliette wanted to say or what she was thinking. I think it's a fresh style in writing that makes me somehow like the book. Then there's the excessive use of 'and' and lack of punctuation. Sometimes I feel out of breath reading a whole paragraph of run-on sentences. So she's been in the asylum far too long that she's all kinds of crazy. Fine. But don't even get me started on the ridiculous and awkward metaphors. A lot of people complained about the utterly disappointing metaphors and I understand why.Exhibit A:"I catch the rose petals as they fall from my cheeks, as they float around the frame of my body, as they cover me in something that feels like the absence of courage.""Every organ in my body falls to the ground.""My eyes are 2 professional pickpockets, stealing everything to store away in my mind.""He shifts and my eyes shatter into thousands of pieces that ricochet around the room, capturing a million snapshots, a million moments in time.""I always won­der about raindrops. I won­der about how they’re always falling down, trip­ping over their own feet, break­ing their legs and for­get­ting their para­chutes as they tum­ble right out of the sky toward an uncer­tain end."Let's not forget all the dirty things these hormonal teenagers say.Exhibit B:"You're absolutely delicious when you're angry." "Too bad my taste is poisonous for your palate." "That detail makes this game so much more appealing.""You don't know it yet, Juliette, but you are a very bad girl,""And he's breathing harder than I am and suddenly his lips are on my neck and I'm gasping and dying and clutching at his arms and he's touching me touching me touching me..."WOAH STOP RIGHT THERE. Honestly, Juliette. When you repeat 'touching me' it sounds like something else. *wags eyebrows* I just couldn't catch a break! Every page is filled with this! I'm all for creative writing but you have to know when to stop driving your readers crazy. But... maybe that's what Mafi was going for. Drive readers crazy, as crazy as Juliette. Bingo. In all fairness though, the story gets better once Juliette cracks under Warner's psychopathic rule. You just have to get used to or get past the writing style. Numb yourself. You could actually use it for a drinking game. For every time Juliette repeats a word, drink a shot. Juliette describes her make out sessions with Adam in a really non-PG way, drink a shot. Juliette says a weird ass metaphor, drink a shot. You'll be drunk before you make it halfway Fun times.I don't even know what to think of Juliette. She's whiny, insecure and obsessive but I just chalk it up to being friendless and locked up for so long. She's this super girl one minute, unafraid of pulling triggers but then she's also this weak girl desperate for affection. It just doesn't add up. So no, I don't know whether I like her or not. I could like her mental instability if she stuck with the crazy girl image. Otherwise, what is she? She can't be both girls. And Adam....bland. So bland. No swooning here, nope.What did I like about the book? Oh yes, I found something I actually like about Shatter Me! Juliette's crazy but her power was cool. Amid the crazy writing, Mafi described Juliette's life sucking power in a very... beautiful way. Beautiful. It was intense and I like it. Even if it was mentioned once. Boo! I also like the last quarter of the book where the story unravels and gives readers something to look forward to in the sequels. And to some extent, I also like Warner in all his psychopathic awesomeness. I know fans are shipping Warner and Juliette but right now I don't see how I could possibly like them together. Them getting together... that's just too much crazy. I have yet to read Unravel Me to see why everyone ships them.If you're looking for a good dystopia then you might want to steer clear of this book. You definitely won't get the same substance and world building one can find in The Hunger Games or 1984. I think the insta love and constant self-pitying overpowered whatever potential this book has. I'd still read the next book though because I like torturing myself. No, seriously. I'm just curious how the story would pan out in Unravel Me. Hey, at least Mafi gave me something to hang on to.
Too Close - Lilliana Anderson This review is also posted on Sab The Book EaterLilliana Anderson did it again. I wasn't a big fan of David in A Beautiful Struggle because I was so enamored with Elliot. After reading this though I was completely blown away. I didn't think it was possible to read a prequel (after reading the first book) and care for a character I previously didn't feel much for. I guess it's simply Anderson's ability to create unforgettable characters.In Too Close readers are treated to a flashback of Katrina and David's friendship from primary school up to law school. I enjoyed the story a lot because of the pacing. Considering it's a novella, there was never a moment in the story that felt rushed or prolonged. More than that, I loved that it was written in David's point of view. I feel like I never got the chance to really get to know David in A Beautiful Struggle and that's why I wasn't really rooting for him and Katrina. It was like I was supposed to like him because he's the bestfriend who's been waiting in the wings so he's the obvious choice. But here, I finally understood David and his reasons for waiting so long to let Katrina know how he felt. I loved reading about his home life, his lifestyle and how Katrina fit into all of it. Reading about the two of them growing together was like actually growing up with them. By the time I finished reading, I had this urge to read A Beautiful Struggle again and see how my fresh view of David and Katrina would affect my reading experience for the second time around. I will definitely read it soon. Soon is relative. (Thanks a lot, TBR pile)When I said Lilliana Anderson did it again, I mean, she made me fall in love with her characters and their story once more. She writes these seemingly ordinary characters but once you dive into their stories, you would stay there and ask for more. And that's probably why the Beautiful series keeps growing - fans keep asking for more. Her stories are that addicting! There is really something about her writing and I couldn't get enough of it! It was a short book but I got everything I wanted out of it. Pure satisfaction in 200 pages. That's magic right there. ;)P.S.NOW I NEED THE OTHER NOVELLAS.(eARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. This review is based solely on my opinion)

An Endless Summer (Summer, #2)

An Endless Summer (Summer, #2) - C.J. Duggan Visit Sab The Book Eater to enter the giveaway for a signed copy or one of 5 ebooks of either book in the series!I didn't think it was possible to think the first book in a series was just okay but end up liking the sequel so much. I'm biased when I say this book is really good because Sean's my favorite character in The Boys of Summer and I really wanted to see his story continue. And boy I wasn't disappointed. I got all the Sean Murphy awesomeness I was craving for and a new found appreciation for everyone and everything else in Onslow.When I saw that Amy's the love interest in this one, I was so curious as to how things would work between her and Sean. I neither liked nor disliked Amy in the first book. She was the kid, the publican's daughter (which she hates being called) that everyone knew. I just felt meh about her existence, basically. I was interested in seeing whether or not their pairing was believable. The story started out with Amy contemplating on her parents 2nd chance at making their marriage work and how this affected her. She needed an escape for the summer and this led her back to the Onslow Hotel. Much to her dismay, it wasn't the same place she grew up in. This is where the fun begins. Every time Amy attempted to save the pub by herself, Sean would swoop in and help her. He brought the gang with him and everything seemed like what it was four summers back. I really liked that there was this sense of familiarity when Tess, Ellie, Ringer, Toby and Stan were back in Onslow. They brought the same humor and warmth to the story. It made me care about what happens to the hotel because I felt like I actually knew these people. I especially liked when they started helping out with saving the hotel and they were in on Sean's plans. Amy was quite stubborn at first, refusing to accept all the free help Sean offered. One of my favorite light moments was when Amy started asking around where all the cans of paint came from, everyone answered with the same silly it-fell-off-the-back-of-a-truck story which obviously Sean came up with. It not only showed how much Sean cared for Amy but it also showed how tight their group was.Sean was still the same cocky player he was when he was in his early 20's. Except now, he's met his match. I liked how their relationship started. I felt like it was one of those I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun (*sigh* Darcy) love stories. There really wasn't this grand declaration of feelings where the light bulb clicks and you realize just how much they've fallen for each other. Well, Sean did do this sweet gesture towards the end to let Amy know exactly how he felt about her but by then you basically knew that they weren't playing around anymore. Everything happened gradually. They started flirting with each other, trying to beat the other at the little game they played but you could totally see how smitten they are with each other! I love the banters between them, their casual conversations and everything else in between. So was their relationship believable? Definitely.In the end, I found myself suddenly attached to the whole series. I learned to love the whole gang and the summer town of Onslow. Now I couldn't get enough of their stories. The first book didn't quite do the trick, but An Endless Summer did. It's light, humorous and sweet. I rarely say this about summer reads but THIS is one book that's perfect for the season.(I received an eARC in exchange for an honest review. This review is based solely on my opinion.)
Interim Goddess of Love (Interim Goddess of Love, #1) - Mina V. Esguerra Come check out my stop on the Interim Goddess of Love blog tour and enter the giveaway to win copies of the trilogy!The premise of the novel is quite unique considering the trend in young adult or women's fiction in the Philippines presently. It's something I haven't come across yet so I was excited to dive into the world Mina Esguerra created.Initially I wasn't that sold on the idea of Hannah becoming the interim Goddess of Love. While it was interesting, I had a hard time grasping the whole concept of temporarily taking over for a goddess. I thought the beginning was a bit slow because readers were being eased into the story and I totally understand that. Hannah was still being trained by the Sun God a.k.a. Quin so there was a lot of things that I was eager to know but wasn't tackled just yet. As the story progressed though I was starting to understand what exactly Hannah was to do and how she was supposed to do it all. I also liked Hannah's voice. I thought she was a really relatable character. One thing that I didn't quite like about this book was the general direction of the story. Hannah had a mission to do or a 'project' as how she would put it, that much is obvious. But essentially I wasn't sure where the story was going. Would it just be a series of projects? Or is there a much bigger picture we're not seeing just yet? I was wee bit lost but not to the point where it bothered me. Knowing it's a trilogy, I let it slide because as far as first books go, this one's a good opening. The pacing was good, the plot was interesting and the author's new twist on Philippine mythology was refreshing. Overall an enjoyable book.(I received a copy for review. This did not influence me in any way.)
Romancing the Bookworm - Kate Evangelista I love reading New Adult books, specifically those under the Contemporary Romance genre. But lately I've been reading books that sound more or less the same. Most of what I read have one or two (or all... ugh) of the following: either one (or both) of the leads are "broken," the common case of insta love and a very dysfunctional relationship. However, Romancing the Bookworm did not have any of that. And that's basically what made it enjoyable for me.To be honest, I had a hard time trying to understand Tamara's character. She's so... complex. Obviously I started this book knowing she loves to read. I mean, duh, it's on the title. I thought she'd be relatable because I love to read (another duh) but I wasn't expecting her to be so much of a bookworm that she'd miss out on living her life because of reading. She was closed off, always had her nose in a book and doesn't want to socialize much. She often compared social situations with those she read about in books, sometimes looking for answers there. This seriously bothered me at first. Was it believable? Not quite. BUT as I got to know Tamara, I found something about her that was rather...likable: her awkwardness. And I'm not talking about quirky, cute awkwardness. I'm talking about major social suicide awkwardness. Get this, she literally swooned at the sight of Xavier. She passed out. I'm going to let that sink in... Yep.She looked at him, saw all the godlike hotness and fainted. I'm not kidding. It was so awkward that I had to close my ereader for a bit just to laugh and recover from the embarrassment. I was embarrassed for her. And as the story progressed, Tamara did more awkward (bordering on are you for real) things that, truth be told, made her endearing for me. I still didn't quite like how she made references to the books she's read whenever there was trouble but I somehow understand why she was so freaking awkward. Being so caught up in reading did that to her and I get that. At least it wasn't some kind of quirk that was aimed at making her look relatable or charming. That's just how she was. And to me, that was okay. At least it made me laugh a lot. Then there's Xavier. Unbelievably hot and romantic. A bit of a stalker. But that's okay, we don't call hot guys stalkers. We call them admirers. *wink wink* Some chapters were written in his perspective, which I like. I was able to see what motivated him to concoct his spring break plans and just how much he wanted Tamara. It was also a plus that Xavier's a genuinely nice guy because nowadays it's like the default book boyfriend is the bad ass kind. Not that I'm saying I'm not a fan of those, but to read something that's uncommon is always a good thing. The romance was quite enjoyable. It was very refreshing, even. Tamara and Xavier did not fall in love. Heck, they didn't even fall in like. Tamara had to constantly ask herself if she really did feel something for Xavier (aside from lust that is) even if she's only met him. I love this aspect of the book. I think it's uncommon now to find books where insta love isn't at play. But here, they really did spend time getting to know each other and then some. I enjoyed reading their encounters and how Xavier's plans unraveled. It made for a really fun read that admittedly gave me feels.Zander, Xavier's stepbrother, added a bit of drama to the story. I think he may be the only one with the broken soul but it's completely alright because, well, he's not part of the romance and I can totally take that. I like that he added a bit of depth to the story and that he somehow tied everyone together. It's like a mini-story of some sort that I'd very much like to read more about (this is a shoutout to the author. Ehem). I like how in the end, I was able to get to know even the minor characters, Ronni and Hudson, through everything Tamara and Xavier faced.Summer or not, Romancing the Bookworm makes for a good light and fun read. It has its flaws but in my opinion, everything else makes up for it. No broken souls (Zander not included), no insta love, no I-hate-you-I-love-you relationships. Simply refreshing. I like it!

Shadow (Paper Gods, #0.5)

Shadow - Amanda Sun Also posted on Sab The Book Eater!I read Shadow after Ink and I think that greatly influenced my view of the prequel. Personally, I find it hard to review a prequel when I've read the first book in the series before it. I feel like I already know a lot or even just enough about the characters and the story that the prequel won't appear inadequate. Or that the prequel would somehow give me a little more of the background that I didn't get from the first book and that alone would satisfy me. Such was the case with Shadow.Tomohiro shared the spotlight in this book. His chapters revolved around his relationship with Myu and his nightmares. I particularly liked his chapters more because I felt like I was meeting Tomohiro for the first time. He was such a mystery in Ink that I was so eager to read every chapter that centered on him! Through Tomohiro's vividly described nightmares, readers are given a glimpse of the hell he, and every other kami, has to go through. Aside from that I was also able to appreciate Tomohiro's humanity; he explains why he decided to date Myu and that he actually likes her. When I read Ink I didn't quite understand Tomohiro and his decisions but in Shadow, I somehow got the explanation I was looking for. As for Katie's chapters... well, I can't say I like her better now but at least she's tolerable. She's grieving the loss of her mom, her childish reactions were understandable, I think. What I really liked about Shadow, however, was the little connection made between Katie and Tomohiro - and I won't be spoiling it for anybody. Katie's role in all of the inky weirdness was still cryptic but reading that part gave me chills (sorta).The writing wasn't an issue for me in Ink and it still wasn't an issue with this one. By the time I read this I was already used to Amanda Sun's writing. I wasn't bothered by the frequent use of Japanese words or slight info dump about Japan. I might've rated it lower had I read this before Ink but I got what I was looking for so... bottomline: writing was, meh, okay and the back story was sufficient. 
Destiny's Flower (Saldiora Book 1) - Linda Harley This review is also posted on Sab The Book Eater.It took me a really long time to finish this book. Longer than I usually finish 300-page book that is. The main reason for that is the full on info dump in the first few chapters. I rarely read sci-fi because this is what I usually get. I wasn't eased into the story. I had a hard time keeping up with all the names and terms that they used that I wasn't interested enough to finish it immediately. All the time they spent on their spaceship, Destiny, was really dragging for me. I just kept reading without fully knowing where the story's headed. It took me a while to get a hang of everything but I eventually found myself enjoying it. However there was still this one factor that bothered me all throughout the book: character development.Lynn Davis is a genuinely good person. She tried her best to be polite and to treat Saldiorans with respect and equality. There were customs that had to be followed but she took it upon herself to change those that she felt could use a bit of improvement. Inasmuch as I liked how good she was I also had a big problem with how good she was. From the moment she was kidnapped to the moment everything about her true identity was unraveled, Lynn Davis was too good. She was so resourceful that she was able to use random items in Kyle's bedroom to help her in escaping. She was able to learn how to fire machine guns on a flyer. She led her team of slaves in rescuing a kidnapped person. She's... all that. But what really irked me most was how it didn't seem like she had a hard time accepting everything that has happened to her. She didn't freak out so much upon learning of the existence of Saldiora. She barely flailed when she was being taught how to work the big gun. She was just too good! I couldn't find a single flaw on Lynn Davis except for probably her stubbornness but nobody complained about that because it made her do incredible things that endeared her to them eventually. I have no problems with characters who are kickass and all that. But I don't like characters who are nearly perfect. I have to see some kind of flaw. At least give the character some space for growth.None of the other characters stood out except maybe for Brigieta and it was only because she's evil. You can't go wrong with villains. But the good guys? They weren't as appealing. Take Kyle for example. I didn't see what made him so handsome. I couldn't even remember if there was enough physical descriptions of Kyle (wait, I can't remember if Lynn's appearance was thoroughly described either). I thought there would be some sort of connection between him and Lynn but apparently I was wrong. He was just... meh. The only other character I found intriguing was the prince but he didn't have that much exposure. He'll most likely have a bigger role in the sequel.Despite all of that, I still found some redeeming qualities. I don't always enjoy stories told in the 3rd person POV but I've got to say this was written rather well. The transitions, whenever the focus of the chapters would switch between the different characters, were smooth. You'll just have to get past the info dump in the first few chapters to really appreciate the storytelling. I also liked the world building. While it slightly reminded me of The Selection by Kiera Cass with the competition for the prince's heart, the premise was still enjoyable because of the world Harley created. It was a combination of Star Trek and Star Wars with a cool Saldioran twist. If there's something I couldn't get enough of, it was everything about Saldiora. I also like how the ending leaves you intrigued and interested in what happens in the next book.So. Would I recommend this sci-fi novel? Sure, especially if you're into that genre. I might've had problems with the characters but maybe it was just me. The beginning was a bit rough but once you get past that, you'll enjoy the rich culture and well-thought-out world of Saldioria. You'll find yourself enjoying it just like I surprisingly did.(I received a copy of this book from the author. This review is based solely on my opinion.)

The Boys of Summer (Summer, #1)

The Boys of Summer (Summer, #1) - C.J. Duggan Also posted at Sab The Book Eater.Yet another summer themed book I wanted to like so very much but couldn't. I found it very hard to get into the story and to connect with the characters. Maybe I just wasn't in the proper frame of mind when I read this or maybe it really was just the pacing that kept me from enjoying the book fully. Even when the story was starting to get where I wanted it to go, I still didn't feel so excited about it.The story starts during the last few days of school where Tess (more like her friends) has to deal with her ex-boyfriend's constant bullying. He nicknamed her tic tac Tess and pulls childish pranks on her all the time (did seventeen year old boys do this in the 90's? What is up with that?). Aside from that, readers are also introduced to Ellie and Adam, Tess' bestfriends and are shown just how close they all are. Summer then kicks off and Tess begins her adventure working at the Onslow Hotel where she meets the famous Onslow Boys. Tess transforms from a shy girl who can't even defend herself from a dumb ex-boyfriend to a bold, outgoing one who's not afraid to flirt a littke with a 22 year old. I would've liked seeing this transformation had the pacing been better. The beginning was a bit too slow for me. I just didn't get that excitement from Tess and Toby's early interactions. It bothered me that Tess appeared to be a bit obsessive when she was still in the dark about Toby's intentions. She was always wondering about how he felt or what his actions meant. It was so... tiring. But I think most of my irritation came from Toby's personality. I don't think Tess' actions would've irritated me if I actually saw what made her so interested in Toby in the first place. He's great after they hung out more but earlier in the story I didn't find his character so appealing. I actually enjoyed scenes with Adam or Sean more. I liked their outgoing, witty and sometimes cocky personalities. I thought the love triangle with Sean would happen and I would've like seeing that. I think it would've added a bit more excitement to Tess and Toby's story.While I didn't enjoy most of the love story, I did like how the whole summer town was created and how much Aussie slang was used. I felt really immersed in the story. Although at times I needed to Google and take notes, it didn't bother me much. It made me like the gang more, in fact. They were all fun-loving and hilarious.Overall it was okay as far as summer romances go. For me, at least. I was waiting for that exciting build up to their relationship but it just didn't do it for me. I did like it when everything was finally clear between Tess and Toby but it's still not enough to boost my rating up. I might have to re-read this sometime in the future because I seriously think I'm missing something here.(Copy won and sent by author)

Chameleon (Supernaturals, #1)

Chameleon (Supernaturals, #1) - Kelly Oram Book reviews, giveaways, interviews and more at Sab The Book Eater!Reading Chameleon was like a breath of fresh air for me. After reading so many contemporary books I was ready to dive into a world full of supernatural elements and great world building. Chameleon gave me just that.There were a lot of things that I liked about the book. First, I really really liked Dani. She's sweet and spunky at the same time. Since she's the Chosen One, her powers are freakishly ahmazing! Her bestfriend, Russ, calls it supernatural awesomeness. And indeed it is! I loved seeing how kickass Dani can be one time and vulnerable the other because of her power. You'd think being the Chosen One would mean you're awesomeness would be on all the time but that wasn't the case with Dani. I also enjoyed reading the story through her perspective because of her rebel personality. She was up and down and all over the place but I loved it! She was truly a strong and well-rounded character that it was impossible not to like her and her story. Second, I liked the writing. This is the first Kelly Oram book I've read and I was blown away by how smooth her storytelling was and how gripping the plot was. I never felt like skipping pages because it was just that good! The mystery had me gripped from start to finish. You're given bits and pieces of the puzzle along the way but Oram had a way of building up the characters as the story progresses. It's like the more you find out, the less you want to trust anybody -and it was exciting like that! Furthermore, I liked that she incorporated a bit of history and combined it with supernatural beings in one tale. She had Joan of Arc mixed in with vampires, warlocks, witches, werewolves, faeries and the likes. I absolutely loved the world that Oram created in Chameleon! It had the danger of sounding so far out and disorganized but Oram managed to combine all the elements and turn it into something so addicting.Third, and this is the one I'm conflicted about, is the weird ass love triangle. So..... Dani loves her bestfriend Russ, Russ didn't make his feelings clear early on, Dani meets Gabriel (the Seer), things get complicated when Russ goes caveman on Dani, Dani loves both guys but totally not in a Bella Swan kind of way (thank goodness!). Where does that leave Dani? Thankfully, she's smart enough to make the right choice without. I liked how wrong and right the love triangle was, to be honest. It's unlike anything I've ever read. The love triangle was... understandable. What I didn't like was how awkward and annoying it was for most of the story. Russ was the annoying factor, actually. I didn't see his appeal, I didn't feel like rooting for him because he just seemed like a huge douchebag 90% of the time. I know that it was crucial for Dani to make the right choice because it's part of the prophecy but I think it would have been better if the story didn't focus too much on the drama. Russ constantly bitching about Gabriel's role in all of it was too much for me. That and I'd much rather read about Gabriel and the weird way he talks that makes him sound like he's centuries old. That's sexy. I'm serious.If you want a fresh, fast paced and highly entertaining young adult fantasy, you should definitely check out Chameleon. It's a great start for a series that will no doubt be as addicting and engaging.(eARC was provided by author. This review is based solely on my opinion.)

The Love Game (The Game, #1)

The Love Game (The Game, #1) - Emma  Hart More reviews on Sab The Book Eater!Play the player... the story's pretty typical to be honest. But somehow I got so drawn in by the mix of characters and the way Emma Hart wrote the story. So it starts out with the girls getting Maddie to play the player, Braden, to teach him a lesson. On the one hand, the guys got Braden to agree to making Maddie fall in love then sleeping with her because... well, because. They both had a month to make the deal happen. A month! That's a short time for a relationship to bloom but somehow the task didn't appear so impossible in Maddie and Braden's situation. Let's face it: they were driven by the sexual tension between them more than the motivation of winning the game. I guess it was only normal for them to feel so attracted to each other early on. It also helped that they wanted to win so badly at first that they were willing to go through the normal boyfriend-girlfriend stuff they'd much rather not do like listening and putting up with mood swings. I just LOVED how sweet and natural it all was even when they felt they were only pretending. I also loved that they were already in a REAL relationship even before either of them realized it. I think that's the part that really captured me.Aside from the sweet and steamy romance, I liked the characters that molded the story. I really love the fact that Maddie's not a total goody two-shoes so that lessened the cliche a bit. She's sweet, tough and all-around lovable. I have the tendency to like the love interests more. Such was the case here but Braden didn't actually outshine Maddie. There was simply something about Maddie that made me like her character a lot. And then there's Braden. He sleeps around but he's not as big of a douchebag as his other friend Aston. He's gorgeous and completely charming. He's easily one of my favorite New Adult book boyfriends. In fact I named my Kindle after him. Uh-huh. He's truly one unforgettable leading man. Maddie and Braden's friends were quite as lovable because of their energy and humor. I think they helped balance the story out and brought more fun to the story.As much as I loved all that, I did have issues with The Love Game. Firstly, I wanted to see more of the gang being college students rather than simply being in college. It felt like all they ever did was party at the frat house. Although events that took place at the frat house were significant, a change of scenery might've been better. I wanted more variety and I didn't get it.Secondly, I didn't understand how they were able to get their reputation, fall into their routines and become the best of friends when they were only starting college. As freshmen! I might be nitpicking but it bugs me how Braden and Aston already had their player reputations when they were merely weeks into the school year. How many girls did you have to sleep with in a day to achieve that? I don't like over thinking stuff like this, really, but whenever the timeline is mentioned it makes me wonder. And when I wonder, it irritates me.Thirdly, and this is my biggest issue, the conflict between Maddie and her brother was resolved so easily. I was expecting something HUGE to happen after Maddie constantly stressing out but it was reduced to a rather calm confrontation.Flaws and all, I still really liked The Love Game. I liked the romance and how it was written. I enjoyed the set of characters that made the story a memorable one. And I liked that in spite of the typical plot, it kept me engrossed from start to finish. (Ecopy provided by the author. This review is based solely on my opinion.)

Subject to Change: 2 (Picturing Perfect)

Subject to Change: 2 (Picturing Perfect) - Alessandra Thomas Visit Sab The Book Eater for more reviews!This was a surprise. I was ready to be swept away by the romance but I ended up liking it for something out of the ordinary for most New Adult Contemporary Romance books. Before I get to that, let's dig into the part that I didn't exactly like about the book: The romance. Is it crazy that I wasn't entirely sold on Joey and Hawk's relationship? Here's how it went down: Joey meets Hawk in class, she immediately hates his guts, they get paired up for a project (of course), she continues to hate him -but wait!- he's not such a bad guy after all, they hook up, all hell breaks loose, they kiss and make up, and they live happily ever after. It was formulaic but don't get me wrong, I have a soft spot for love stories like that! And I liked Joey and Hawk as individuals. However I just didn't get that magic in Subject to Change. The build up was a bit forced, their relationship wasn't so convincing and the resolution felt rushed. To me the romance was raw and needed much development. The sex was steamy, I'll give it that, but I think it overshadowed everything else that was supposed to make readers see what exactly makes their feelings for each other real. If I don't get anything more than the physical attraction between the characters then there's no way for me to understand their relationship. The resolution, as well as the happily ever after, was nice albeit rushed. I think if I had gotten more from their relationship, I would've appreciated the HEA more.But this is the part that I did like: their college life. Joey's having so much trouble coping with her pre-med major because she really wasn't into it. She's so bent on making it work because she promised her dad before he died. So she's caught between pursuing what she wanted but dealing with the guilt or finishing what she started because of a promise. I really liked reading about Joey's struggles in her academic life and how she finally came to a life-altering decision. There was so much emotion and insight that I was reminded of my own struggles. This aspect of the book hit home for me. For three years I was stuck in a major I thought my parents wanted for me so I tried my hardest because I didn't want to disappoint them by changing majors. Long story short I made the change, I'm happy now and my parents are still as supportive. Not only was Joey relatable, her story is something I rarely see in most books under the same genre. Even Hawk has his own dilemma to deal with. He's a working student, struggling to get a degree while keeping his business afloat. It was all stressful and chaotic but it's the reality that people face growing up. They were actually college students who had grown up problems to deal with. College wasn't superficial in this book; Joey and Hawk were very much immersed in it. It was refreshing and I love it.I liked Subject to Change as a whole. I enjoyed everything else about the book except the romance but hey, you might find it more to your liking. (eARC provided by author. This review is based solely on my opinion.)
Ink - Amanda Sun This review and more at Sab The Book EaterInk has been on my radar for months. I liked the cover, the setting and the plot. So there I was, reading this book I so eagerly waited for but when I was a quarter in I felt like giving up on it solely because of the infuriating insta-love (I'll get to that -prepare yourselves). Halfway through the book though the story was finally getting somewhere and it was such a relief!In a nutshell Ink is about blonde American Katie (everything about her screams foreigner!), who moves to Japan after her mother's death. There she struggled to adjust to her new life in a country that barely speaks English. She meets Tomohiro, who's basically the center of all the hullabaloo in the story, and her life is turned completely upside down.Thumbs upI liked that readers are immersed in the unique Japanese culture all throughout the story. This is probably what I liked most about Ink. There were Japanese words in the dialogues and interesting tidbits about Japan. I enjoyed reading Katie's trips to the nearest conbini (convenience store) and hanami (cherry blossom viewing) with her friends and their bentous. It was all so colorful and fun! Another aspect of the Japanese culture that was used in the book was the Kami (Japanese gods). I didn't know much about Japanese mythology prior to reading this so I was really impressed at how the author was able to explain and blend everything nicely. The Japanese backdrop definitely set Ink apart from most young adult books today.I also enjoyed Sun's imaginative storytelling a lot. I thought the pacing was good and the action scenes were well written. I especially liked how vivid the descriptions were for the scenes with ink and sketches coming to life. It was interesting picturing Tomohiro going crazy over his sketches and the ink that's trying to take control over him. Sun took an entirely unique concept and gave it life with her flawless writing.Thumbs downInasmuch as I enjoyed all that, I had a big problem with one aspect of the book: the romance. Ink reminds me of all the Japanese (and Korean) dramas they show here, as far as the romance is concerned. There's the gorgeous, mysterious and ultra-snobby (and slightly bipolar) leading man. And then we have the spunky female lead who's charm is her stalker tendencies. I think I've watched enough asianovelas to see the same pattern applied in this book. The guy is so obnoxious but for some weird reason the girl keeps chasing after him. After some really awkward run-ins, the guy finally finds her attractive... because she's "different." Japanese drama, check. It annoyed me to no end how big of a stalker Katie was. She repeatedly wondered about Tomohiro (even before they started talking) and why he's so hot-and-cold and she did all sorts of crazy stalker things to get answers. She even climbed a tree to "challenge" him! WHAT?To be honest, I'm all for stereotypical Asian drama because I have a soft spot for those but for a love story to take over a large chunk of a book that's not primarily a romance is too much. It was out of place most of the time, especially when Katie would over think about Tomohiro and their relationship in the most inconvenient situations. Now is not the time! The love story took over so Katie was, well, obnoxious most of the time too. Katie's personality in the first half of the book was the biggest thing I didn't like about Ink. The verdict. Did I like it? Yes, after the 60% mark. The action really kicked off then. Do I want to read the next book? Hell yeah. There's so many questions left unanswered and they're enough to make me want to read book 2. For example, and this is probably the biggest question of all: What is it about Katie that attracts the ink? I'd like to know more about that in the sequel and hopefully we'll get more ink action than drama. Take away the cheesy Japanese romance, Ink is still worth reading. It's fun, unique and overall entertaining.(I received an ARC via NetGalley. This review is based solely on my opinion.)

Winger

Winger - Andrew  Smith This review and more at Sab The Book EaterI don't know why people find the cover so hideous. I don't think it is. I actually like how it captures the overall feel of the book. It's different and raw and funny and painful and oh-I-have-so-many-ands-now. The cover looks different than most YA books, the title's different, the plot.... okay maybe the whole nerd-makes-something-out-of-his-loser-life plot isn't that different but hey, the main character's voice is entertaining enough for me to enjoy the cliche of it all.So let's get down to what made me love the book immediately: the humor."I said a silent prayer. Actually, silent is probably the only type of prayer a guy should attempt when his head's in a toilet.And, in my prayer, I made sure to include specific thanks for the fact that the school year hadn't started yet, so the porcelain was impeccably white - as soothing to the eye as freshly fallen snow - and the water smelled like lemons and a heated swimming pool in summertime, all rolled into one.Except it was a fucking toilet.And my head was in it."This was the first thing I read and it literally made me laugh out loud. I enjoyed reading the story through the eyes of Ryan Dean - yes, he has two first names. It's not just Ryan. Not Ryan-Dean either. Ryan Dean. It's weird and awkward but I love it. Ryan Dean was very witty and funny. The narrations and dialogues were highly entertaining. However, and this is a common problem I noticed with overly intelligent protagonists, there were instances where I felt like his humor was getting annoying. For example, I love that he poked fun at himself by saying he had a "skinny bitch" body but when that term got used repetitively, it wasn't as funny anymore. Not to worry though because that didn't really do much to influence my rating.Aside from Ryan Dean's voice, I also liked the dynamics between Ryan Dean and his friends. It's hard imagining a 14-year old trying to fit in when he's 2 years younger than his batch. He may have the intelligence to keep up in class but everyone still considered him as a kid and that made him feel like an outsider. But seeing how Ryan Dean eventually fit in with the boys from O-Hall, his friends outside O-Hall and girls was quite interesting. He felt more authentic whenever he'd push himself to do something, anything, to fit in because his mind would go on overdrive trying to figure things out. You can just see how insecure he actually was despite the confidence he displays for everyone. The honesty in his thoughts was definitely a plus for me.While most of the book was highly entertaining because of the protagonist's wit and the generally light feel of the story, the ending took a quite abrupt and dark turn. I didn't really like how heavy the ending got because there wasn't much added to it to make the sudden change sensible. True, you can kind of see it coming but to end it so abruptly like that wasn't really enough. At least to me it wasn't.Abrupt ending or not, this book is still great. It sort of has that John Green feel to it so I think fans of that author would definitely enjoy Winger. The characters were real, the message was solid and it's definitely entertaining from the first page up to the last. Readers shouldn't miss out on this one.(I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is based solely on my opinion.)
Thin Ice - Mikael Engstrom, Susan Beard This review and more at Sab The Book EaterThin Ice is about a boy with a terrible home life and his quest in finding a real home. This book was simply not for me. There were certain aspects of it that I liked but as a whole, but I couldn't connect with it on any level. The characters in the book seemed really flat and quite odd, especially the ones in the small town Mik's Aunt Lena lives. You'd think that them being a bunch of odd townsfolk would give them a bit of depth. However they all seemed just that: odd. It's almost as if they were odd because they were townies and townies are supposed to be odd. They were fun to read about because they definitely made the story livelier by just how weird they all are (there's this girl who sucked on Mik's earlobe when they met. How weird and inappropriate is that?) but I just didn't care about them at all. Their weirdness was entertaining but not endearing. Mik was well developed, I got to give him that. He went through a lot of pains living with a perpetually drunk father then eventually being passed around by social services. However there were more moments where I felt like he was being a big brat. I guess I can't blame him though - he's just a kid, clueless to everything that's happening around him, forced to deal with a really difficult situation. I did like reading about his gradual (bordering on too slow) transformation.I do have to say though that what the story lacked in character development made up for with adventures. Considering the protagonist in the book is a boy with kids around the same age as him, I'd say their adventures were well written and highly imaginative. Sadly though, that wasn't enough for me to like the book entirely. The way the story ended wasn't really appealing. It was almost like everything happened because that's what happy endings are about but it wasn't written in a better way. Speaking of writing, I had trouble getting into the story because of how the chapters were cut and sentences were formed. It was almost like most of the time, the writing felt....distant. Detached. Emotionless. (Awkward.) I could only feel Mik's emotions whenever he wrote to his brother Tony about the weird things he witnessed, or how he felt when he went to a new school, or what he did whenever he was scared. But I didn't get as much insight from him as I'd hoped. 6th graders are allowed to have some insight, right? Maybe this could be due to the fact that this is an English translation. Perhaps things got "lost in translation." I don't know. The writing was a bit off. I can see how this book could work for some readers, especially those who's read enough books in this category but for me... not so much. At most, I thought it was okay.

Reflected in You (Crossfire Trilogy Series #2)

Reflected in You - Sylvia Day Reviews, giveaways and more on Sab The Book Eater!I'm very disappointed with this book. I expected so much more from it because there were so many unanswered questions and issues with Bared to You that I thought would be answered here. Unfortunately this book spent more time repeating what readers already know rather than offering something new to keep the story going.Let's start with what went down for 2/3 of the book: sex. It was hot, no doubt about it. Day knows how to write sizzling intimate scenes but it drove me crazy when all they ever did was go at it like bunnies. They celebrate their love with sex. They resolve their fights with sex (not a very healthy solution by the way). They break up (sort of) then have sex after. They get back together, then they have sex. You get the point. They basically say anything they couldn't say (or at least what Gideon couldn't) with sex. I keep repeating the word it's starting to lose it's meaning. And the same thing happened while I was reading the book. The more they did it, the more pages I skipped. I needed something more from this book, some sort of progression in their relationship. It didn't help that the book started immediately where the 1st book left off. I hated reading about the same drama and knowing that everything took place in less than a couple of months. I know they're both damaged and they needed intimacy to express their feelings each other but could we speed things along here, please?What was interesting though were the last few chapters of the book where we're given a glimpse (it felt like just a glimpse) of the real story - what should've been the focal point of the book in the first place. I enjoyed the mystery, how everything tied together and how Gideon finally opened up. Seriously, that guy is so broken it takes a huge fight (usually one with Eva dramatically saying she's "done" and telling him to piss off) for him to open up and to share his past with Eva.The book ends with a very weird plot twist and yet another cliffhanger. I'm honestly having a hard time coming to terms with the unexpected turn of events. Okay, it wasn't so unexpected because I had an inkling which I forced one of my blogger friends to confirm. But it wasn't something I expected out of this novel. It brought the story into a whole new level because there's so much more at stake now. I'm interested to see how the story unfolds in the next one and how Gideon and Eva's relationship develops (really develop) this time around given the circumstances. All in all, it was okay. I didn't like it as much as Bared to You but I'm still looking forward to reading Entwined with You now.

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