Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mini Reviews #12 ♥ Sugar, Dark Triumph & more.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sugar
Deirdre Riordan Hall

Genre: Contemporary, mature YA
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Goodreads
Source: Review copy was sent free of charge via Skyscape (Amazon Publishing).
Thoughts: I shall be doing mini reviews today of hyped books & upcoming releases, mini reviews are getting pretty popular these days so here's to hoping we find some gems in stones. This is a diverse and realistic novel about a young girl name Sugar Legowski Garcia who is Puerto Rican-Polish. She wasn't always fat but now she is at the age of seventeen. Sugar's life is based on her family, she runs errands for her mother who is obese to the point where she cannot even get out of the bed or move that much. Her brother Skunk is making her life miserable and she is constantly bullied in school - she meets a guy name Even who sees beyond her appearance. Now this is a contemporary novel, but it is much more than just romance. This is also a harsh novel about family drama and bullying - it shows the bad side of families and the extreme circumstances bullying takes. Even and Sugar begin a relationship based solely on friendship, it's adorable to read about a romance that starts off with genuine friendship - there is no teenage angst in this novel and Even helps Sugar face the harsh realities of her life. She does not change because of a guy - rather she takes the form of who she wants to be and not what her family needs her to be.  It's a novel about a young girl coming out of the darkness. I really did like this novel quite a lot, it does have plenty of food descriptions and it tells the tale of how taking your anger out on food and over-eating makes a negative toll on your body and life. This was a beautiful novel that does ultimately break your heart, I don't know whether to scream or cry at that plot twist - but I feel it was necessary for the story to develop even more. Sugar's life sounds terrible, but I love how the character is quite strong and she never complains about her life.  I would really recommend this uplifting novel if you're looking for ordinary yet diverse characters.


Flight from Death
Yasmine Galenorn

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Goodreads
Source: Review copy was sent free of charge via Berkley Books.

Thoughts: The cover is stunning, it's the first thing I noticed about the novel. I like badass heroines in leather with a sword. It reminds me of the series Throne of Glass, but I believe Lara Croft from Tomb Raider started this trend. Shimmer is a blue dragon shifter who has magical abilities. She has been exiled due to a mistake she was made, now she is forced to work under Alex Radcliffe who is a vampire. This is a spin off series, but it can be read as a standalone - although, it does feel like a continuation but from Shimmer's perspective. Shimmer is a likeable heroine, she can shift into a dragon with water elements so that was pretty unique. Alex was a good hero, but he pretty much flat for me - I never really got the chance to know him as well as I wanted to, maybe it's because this is a spin off series and I haven't read the original series. I wanted more from his character, and the writing couldn't justify it. There is an over emphasis on Shimmer's beauty though, I'm really fed up with that skinny yet curvy trend of females in books. Otherwise, the book is really fast paced and very creepy at the same time - the world-building suspense around the mystery was intriguing especially the supernatural aspects which were different. It is a good start to a series though, and I do look forward to checking out more of the author's future work.
Exposed (Captive #2)
Brighton Walsh

Genre: New Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Goodreads
Source: Review Copy was sent free of charge via St. Martin's Griffin.

Thoughts: A young woman name Evie has gone from hiding from her criminal past, and now she has been taken captive by her ex boyfriend Riley. Riley and Evie were childhood sweethearts who were separated due to unfortunate circumstances. I love the concept of childhood sweethearts and second chance romances, it's just quite cutesy. Exposed is the continuation of the first book in Captive which I had previously liked. I liked the book Captive much more and I couldn't help but be disappointed by this book as a whole - I couldn't connect to any of the characters Evie and Riley, the plot twist in the book was really unnecessary and I felt it was put to justified their "second chance romance." I didn't feel any slow burn romance, it was too intense right away - I understand the couple was together before but I don't believe they could have easily connected once again. The development lacked between the romance and characters. The second half is much better than the first half though, it was less angst romance and more of an actual plot. It was interesting to see Riley's and even Ghost's personal stories, I adored the secondary characters Ghost and Madison - I thought their chemistry was still there throughout this time. The book could have been better since I expected much more from the author.


Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin Book #2)
Robin LaFevers

Genre: Fantasy, mature YA
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Goodreads
Source: Personal Kindle Purchase. 
Thoughts: I had actually DNF this book the first time I read it, mainly because I was in a reading slump. I picked it up again because I loved the first book Grave Mercy, and I love female assassins in stories. I'm really glad I picked up this novel again because I happened to fall in love with it.  This is a companion series, this series can be read as a standalone - although the characters in the previous books are secondary characters here which might spoil the fun factor. I thought Sybella was a crazy, bratty, and cranky assassin nun in the first book, my thoughts about cranky and bratty have changed although crazy is still there. I love how dark her character is, yet there is easily some goodness in her character as well. Sybella serves Mortain, and their convent has the sister's of death, they serve the God of death. They are trained to become assassins and carry out the killings. Sybella is trained in the arts of killing and seduction - she uses her charm to attract others. I thought Ismae's story in Grave Mercy was a bit dark, but this novel is much more darker. I do love the first novel more, but this novel is amazing as well. It's haunting, compelling, and it does deal with mature concepts as well - this has more action than the previous book as well. I also loved the male lead, Beast. Now, he is actually hideous looking - but he's still cutey in his own way. I love how the author creates intense dark characters who are ordinary looking and combines them in this diverse series. IT'S A BEAUTIFUL PACKAGE. All of the characters are a breath of fresh air - If you haven't read this series yet, you should! I find this series much more compelling than Throne of Glass. The characters are dark and twisted, yet they never try to imply they're good. They're believable. They're humble, and are actually ordinary looking - this book can make you feel, it's easily one of my favorite novels. I do look forward to reading the third book, I hope it's just as epic was the previous ones. 

Brutal Youth
Anthony Breznican

Genre: Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Goodreads
Source: Review Copy was sent free of charge via St. Martin's Griffin.

Thoughts: Three freshmen at a Catholic high school join forces to survive in their school against bullies. Saint Michael has quite the reputation of expelled delinquents and religious students, soon an incoming freshman name Peter Davidek signs up. He partners up with Noah Stein, and Lorelei Paskal who are fellow freshman's - the trio join forces to destroy the bullying culture at their school. This is a strong and of course, a brutal novel. It's a coming of age story, and the first thing that automatically draws you in is the first chapter. It's actually really hard to grasp my attention right away with the first chapter, and this novel actually does that. The novel is addicting to read and it is mainly fast paced - I also liked the multiple perspectives which helped adapt to the characters and it helps the reader understand them. The characters are quite complex and they're ultimately unlikable, and that's what bothered me the most. I don't mind complex characters, I love dark characters who do bad things (except in the case of rape of course) but it doesn't necessarily mean they're a bad person  I mean the characters who do sin but their choices are accurate to a human being in reality, the ones you can relate to. I can still like those, but I didn't really like any of these characters in the books. The plot itself wasn't that unique about bullying, but it is a refreshing novel.


Thank you for reading this! Have an amazing month of July - Leave your blog links in the comments & I'll be sure to check them out & drop by :) Stay in tuned pretty creatures.. 

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron 
femmmefatalee@gmail.com

45 comments:

  1. Wow, great reviews for all of these and I'm glad you got some great books mixed in with the so so ones. I loved Dark Triumph so I'm so happy you did as well. :D

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  2. Wow, fabulous reviews! Now you have REALLY made me want to start the His Fair Assassin series! And I have had my eye on Sugar for quite some time, so I just added it (and Grave Mercy) to my wishlist! Brutal Youth also sounds quite good! Sorry Exposed was disappointing though :(

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. Aw thank you Shannon, His Fair Assassin is sooo goood! READ IT ALREADY ♥

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  3. Looks like a mixed week of reads there. Glad you loved Dark Triumph despite DNFing it first time round. Love a good CRAZY main character! lol

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

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    1. Haha I agree I love crazy characters :)

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  4. Omg, yes to Dark Triumph! I'm glad you picked it back up. I still need to read the 3rd book. Sugar sounds good too, and I like that she doesn't change FOR a guy.

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    1. Thank you for dropping by Christy ♥

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  5. omg YES TO ALL OF THESE. Fabulous reviews :)

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  6. Sugar sounds like a really strong message, she does sound like she has an awful life but I'm glad she doesn't change because of the guy. Although his name is called Even? Hmmm...

    I totally agree about the frustratingly perfect skinny beautiful heroines. Glad to hear the suspense, world building and mystery was interesting in Flight from Death!

    Disapointing about Exposed, even though the plot did pick up at the end. Sounds like a pretty fast romance.

    Ahhh yes I can't wait to read Dark Triumph! I lvoed the first book and I have to track this one down.

    Brutal Youth sounds really refreshing as you said, with the complex characters and everything. But yeah, lots of bullying novels sound similar.

    Great mini reviews!

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    1. Sugar & Dark Triumph was really really good, I would recommend checking those books out ♥ Thank you for dropping by Jeann <3

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  7. Dark Triumph is one of my favorite books of all time! I just LOVE that series so much and I can't wait for more books by the author.
    I'm sad that you didn't enjoy Exposed more, but it wasn't my favorite book by the author either, so I understand where you're coming from. It just wasn't as good as Captive.
    I need to check out Sugar because it sounds really interesting!
    Great reviews!

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    1. I agree, it was truly an amazing book - the series is sooo good though, I prefer it much more than TOG. Thank you Nick ♥

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  8. I still have to get to Grave Mercy but love that the next book is great as well. More incentive to start it. Brutal Youth is a book I won and am excited to get to it - Lovely reviews!!!

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    1. I hope you enjoy both of these books ♥

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  9. Dark triumph, EXCELLENT. It's my favorite book in the series (and Mortal Heart is such a stunning conclusion) Definitely one of my favorite series of all time.

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    1. I have yet to read Mortal Heart, I hope it's just as good as the other two books in the series ♥

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  10. Sugar sounds like a really good book and I know a lot of people have been loving it lately, so I have added it to my TBR myself. I am glad you could like it too and found it to be realistic. The Brutal Youth is one I have been seeing more and more so I have my curiosity piqued for that one!

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    1. Sugar is a really fantastic book and I happened to like it a lot ♥ I hope you enjoy both of these books though :)

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  11. Ah, I am so glad to see that you liked Dark Triumph so much. I plan to start this series soon so seeing how much you liked sequel is very encouriging :)

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    1. AAHHHH yess you should start this series! It's seriously soooo amazing ♥

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  12. I own Grave Mercy, but I still haven't read it. I heard lots of good thigns about the series. I am glad to hear you also enjoyed the second book. Suagr sounds like a well written book, although those character names sound a bit weird. I like it when couples become friend first and only get to the romance after that, so that part appeals to me. Flight from Death sounds like a decent start of the series. Great review!

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    1. You should give Grave Mercy a try soon, the characters are amazing and the actual plots are fantastic as well. Hope you enjoy these reads :) Thank you Lola ♥

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  13. I'm reading Sugar right now and Sugar's struggles really touched me but the book feels like it's dragging halfway through :/ Hopefully, it picks up again. Your description of Brutal Youth got me excited to pick it up now! I really need something that can capture my attention and hold it :D

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    1. Yes, at times the book Sugar slows down but it does get better eventually. I hope you really like it! ♥

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  14. You have me curious about Sugar and Dark Triumph totally rocked for me, I own book three but have been afraid to read it...LOL

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    1. Lol aww how come ? I hope the last book is just as amazing as the rest.

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  15. I love your mini-reviews! I need to read Sugar. I am hearing a lot of great things about it. I need to read Grave Mercy too! I have had it on my TBR forever.

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    1. Thank you :) & you should defo. give Grave Mercy a try! ♥

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  16. Great mini reviews, Benish. Sugar sounds like it's going to hurt me in a bad way, but it's a socially relevant read. Definitely have to add that to my list. I'm glad you loved Dark Triumph! I have to read the last book to this series. :)

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    1. Thank you Joy, I hope you enjoy all of these books as much as I have :) We're on the same page then, I only have the last book left now!

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  17. I'm so happy to hear you went back and finished Dark Triumph. I actually loved it even more than the 1st book. I was surprised because I didn't think I'd warm to Beast as a love interest.

    This is the 2nd review I've read of Exposed that is negative. That's too bad. I have read one book by Brighton Walsh and liked it, but Exposed doesn't sound like my type of read. I think Evie would bug me.

    Great minis, Benish! :)

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    1. I agree, Beast doesn't seem that likeable but I loved his character - he was still cutesy in his own way ♥ Exposed was a bit terrible kind of book, the first book Captive was much, much better. Thank you Rachel! :)

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  18. Whoop whoop, love His Fair Assassin! I'm so glad you are enjoying that series as well. I like my favorite is Mortal Heart because I liked the twists but they are all great, the way the author writes her characters-amazing. Haven't heard of the rest of these!

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    1. I have yet to read Mortal heart & since it's your favorite, I look even more forward to it since our thoughts are similar at times :)

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  19. Great Mini Reviews Benish! Sugar and Dark Triumph sound really great. With Sugar, I like that the character comes out of the darkness and becomes who she wants to be. Bullying is such a relevant and important topic today. I'm glad that the author wrote this hopeful story. Dark Triumph sounds awesome. I find the whole female assassin aspect interesting, and heard so many positive things about Grave Mercy.

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

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    1. Thank you Lindy :) Sugar & Dark Triumph were both amazing books. You should really try reading them soon, they're beautiful books ♥

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  20. Ooh, I'm so glad you gave Dark Triumph another chance! It certainly worked out, huh? It's the best of the three in my opinion, but the whole series is just wonderful. :) Great reviews, Benish!!

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    1. I agree, the whole series overall is truly a wonderful one. I feel there's not much hype about it as other assassins books even though it deserves it! ♥ Thank you x

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  21. Yay for Dark Triumph! I think that one was my favorite of the series!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I'm glad you loved it as well Nicole :)

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  22. I'm glad you ended up liking Dark Triumph. Loved that one. I have Sugar on my TBR pile so I'm happy to hear it was a good one & I've read mixed reviews for Brutal Youth.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. Sugar was a really good novel & yes, Dark Triumph was actually really good :)

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  23. Oh, no! All these reviews of Dark Triumph remind me that I need to get back to the series soon. Sugar and Brutal Youth sound like very nice reads. Great reviews, Benish!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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