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See How She Falls (The Chronicles of Izzy #3) by Michelle Graves

Darkness is on the rise.

The prophecy has been called forth.

The Seer must fall.

Izzy knew she wasn’t safe, the lingering runes told her that much. What they didn’t tell her was how to lead the Council, stop the darkness, and keep everyone she loved safe.

With irreparable changes brought on by Aberto’s intervention, a relative she never knew existed, and a whole slew of horrifying visions assaulting her, will she be strong enough? Or will the darkness prevail taking her and everyone she loves down with it.

I loved the first book, LOVED the second and now I have no words left to describe how much I FREAKING LOVED THIS THIRD BOOK!!! Even though by the end I was almost beside myself, as in, I was literally a blubbering mess. If there is one thing I can recommend before you read this instalment, it is do NOT under any circumstances read any reviews with spoilers in! No matter how many times you see readers freaking out over what happens in this book. Do not read the spoilers. This is one of those books, where something is going to happen that is going to make you question absolutely everything that has happened so far in the books… But this isn’t a bad thing, it hurts, but it’s necessary. Even though it will feel like your heart has been ripped out and turned into confetti, you’ll slowly pick up the pieces and try to glue them back together and decide that actually, you’ll keep reading… once the shock has worn off.

Izzy’s world is quickly getting more and more out of control. If you thought she was having issues in the last book, that was nothing compared to what she must face in this book! Honestly, she is one tough cookie. I would’ve curled up and played dead long ago, but she keeps right on fighting her way through each obstacle, no matter how hopeless at times it seems, which is typical of her personality… And I have to say, I love that three books into this series, Izzy is still her same feisty, snarky, inappropriate, stubborn self. I love that she hasn’t morphed into some completely different version of herself, she’s definitely developed and grown, but even when she really doesn’t seem herself at all, she still has that Izzy spark. Which for me was really important since her character was a big reason why I became obsessed with this series. Love her!!!

Never fear, we also get a very strong dose of both Kennan and Aberto in this book. Swoon. What’s better than one potential book boyfriend in a story? TWO potential book boyfriends! Although considering Izzy is busy having runes carved into her, trying to keep the council in check and trying both not to die AND save the world from the darkness, swoon-worthy man moments are probably near the bottom of her list. But at least both Aberto and Kennan are heavily involved in the plotline and although we don’t get a heavy dose of romance (like I said, no time!) we do get the chance you see into the past and really get to begin to understand a lot more about their lives and about the history of Seers, Guardians and Old Ones. It really is fascinating stuff and very well thought out. Every detail is meticulous and everything was so perfectly layered that it was totally seamless flipping between the current day and visions of the past, something which is not always achieved as well as was done here.

By the time I finished this book (and calmed myself down) I decided that 1. I would forgive Michelle Graves for breaking my heart 2. I LOVED the direction the story was taking and 3. I did not know how I was going to be patient enough to wait for the fourth book! I usually am pretty strict about not wishing time away, but I am seriously tempted to start wishing for November to hurry up! I just know it’s going to be an amazing conclusion to one of the best series I’ve read in a long time!

Read my review for book 1: See How She Runs HERE

Read my review for book 2: See How She Fights HERE

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Our WTF! moments and more from the final EVER True Blood…

Kristal – Ok! So, True Blood. Hmm. When you spend hours of your life, and (literally) hundreds of dollars on a book and/or tv series you expect that there will be some kind of pay off. When that expectation isn’t met there’s…disappointment, to say the least. So bear with me will I express my feelings. I’m not 100% sure why I persisted with both the book AND TV series (stupidity?) but I did… and hell, I feel let down. Kind of like when you back the wrong ‘team’ in a love triangle and find out in the 3rd…6th…13th book that your guy isn’t the winner. Except Sookies triangle was more like a square, or a hexagon.

All bitching aside, there were things I liked about the final episode of this series. For starters, Jessica, Jason and Hoyt were absolutely the heart and soul of this show by the end. Without Jessica & Jason this series would have gone to the pot ages ago. The end of their story was beautiful and heartwarming. Perfect. And Jessica was a stunning bride! There’s just something about a redhead in nude and reds. What. A. Babe. She was ridiculous. 

The other thing that I felt (grudgingly) happy about was that Sookie and Bill didn’t end up together. Whoever called this an ‘epic love story’ was a liar. It was gross. Bill as a character was way too soft for me. Like soft features, soft voice, softly spoken….it gave me the creeps. Also, when there are literally hundreds of thousands of fans screaming at the producers about how much they love Eric and Sookie, and the producers then decide to push Bill and Sookie instead, well the trust is gone. I can never trust those producers (or Charlaine Harris) again with a good TV show or book series. I’m pretty sure they would just f-ck me over. “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” 

Honestly there’s not that much more to say. Hopefully Charmaine will be more articulate (and nicer), than I have been. Sorry to the three Bill and Sookie fans that still exist and sorry about the bitch and moan as well – I had to get it out! Let’s end on a positive note – the gif above is everything.

Charmaine – Firstly, that GIF is pretty much the best part of the season finale. Eric bopping along in that car was just perfect Eric-ness and this last episode needed all of the Eric-ness it could get. Now aside from that, I feel kinda bleak on the whole thing. I know that no matter what, when a TV show ends you can’t please everyone… I know this. But this went beyond that. I find it hard to believe that many people would be loving the fact that in the end, after everything fans have invested in the characters, Sookie ends up with a faceless, nameless, no-body. I know that the aim was to show her leading a somewhat normal life in the end like she apparently always wanted… but really, if she wanted that would she have not given up her light when Bill asked? Would we not find it so damn hard to believe? Because, honestly, I don’t for a second believe that Sookie was meant to end up as Mrs average Bon Temps. If this ending was, from the start, the point of 7 seasons of this show then it would’ve been nice to have a heads up so that we could anticipate being lead so far astray there was no chance we’d make our way back to any semblance of a decent conclusion.

Back when I was reading the books, well before the final book came out, I was totally Team Sookie & Eric. Same goes for when this show started, I just wanted Bill to back the eff up and leave those two to find their own version of HEA. But by the time I’d finished the books AND now that the show has finished, I hate to say it but I’m GLAD Sookie and Eric don’t end up in each others lives. I’m glad he’s off doing a million other more deserving things than her. Sookie turned out to be probably one of my least favorite main characters ever. By the end of this series I didn’t want to watch one more second of her storyline (probably didn’t help that they all contained Bill and his time consuming BORING life flashbacks, or the two of them rambling on to one another about feelings.) So if I came away with anything from the finale it was the realization that really, Bill and Sookie were probably the two characters I cared about the least out of the core group. I just couldn’t bring myself to feel anything. There was nothing there. Oh and I have to take a sec to mention that the whole ‘she could hear Bills thoughts’ near the end was probably one of the STUPIDEST things I have seen. Whoever came up with that one obviously wanted to smash us across the head with their apparent love for each other, no room for subtly there obviously.

Now while it seems like I didn’t like anything, I promise that’s actually not true. Like Kristal, I was a huge Jessica fan. I actually read somewhere in a review that she was the ‘beating heart’ of this last season and I believe that is absolutely the fact. Her storyline was just perfect, all of it. It was the right way to end a series for a character. Likewise with Jason, he, like Sookie got the typical normal ‘happily ever after’ treatment, but in his case it ‘seemed’ right. I’ve always loved his character, and I finished watching the finale loving him more than ever before. Since I’m totally team Eric and I love Pam too, I don’t have any complaints about them ending up taking over the world one infomercial at a time together, these characters seemed to be designated to be responsible for the comedy of the season so of course that would extend to this episode… and it was fine. Not amazing, but you’ll hear no complaints from me.

So that’s the end of that. True Blood is finished for good, which is probably a good thing because I just don’t think I could’ve committed to another season. After the last few seasons being pretty darn average, I knew some type of mind blowing ending was probably was too much to hope for, but even so, I don’t think I was fully prepared for how flat it was. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good… it was just an ending. After 7 seasons I think we deserved something more, even if it was big and terrible, at least I could’ve respected them trying and failing. Here it didn’t even feel like trying…

Book Review – Elicit (Eagle Elite #4) by Rachel Van Dyken

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 My book choice for the start of the week was Elicit by Rachel Van Dyken. The intriguing blurb and near perfect ratings were what really sold this one to me. It is the 4th book in the Eagle Elite series but was promoted as being able to be read as a stand-alone. This book is going to be hard to review because even though I loved the story and was totally sucked in, I had NO idea what was going on for the first 80% of the book. So bear with me.  

Cursed, numb, rejected, scorned, wicked, sinister, dark, twisted…my name is Tex Campisi and this is my legacy. I killed my father in cold blood and lost my soul right along with him. 
I crave war more than peace, and I’m about to take my place in history as the youngest Capo dei Capi in the Cosa Nostra…that is until someone stops me, saves me from myself. 

But the only person able to do that…is my best friends sister, Mo Abandanato, and she just ripped my heart out and asked me to hold it in my hands while she put bullets through it. 

Im cursed so I did it. 
I’m numb so I held it. 
I’m wicked so I liked it.
I used the pain Mo caused as a catalyst to turn into my biggest nightmare–the five families greatest enemy. It’s my turn to take a stand, knowing full well I’m going to lose my mind to the madness that is the American Mafia. I’ve always been told Blood is thicker than life. I wish I would have listened. Because regardless of who you love? You will betray. You will kill.
Blood Always Wins. 
The only way out is death…yours.

Welcome to the Dark Side of the Family.

Elicit tells the story of Tex Campisi. Again, I don’t fully understand the dynamics of the relationship between Tex and the other characters in the book because I haven’t read the previous books, but from what I can gather Tex was brought up by the Abandonatos; a rival mafia family. I have no idea why but his Dad was a prick by the sounds. 

The time has finally come for Tex to take the place as head of his own Mafia family (the Campisis) but unfortunately it’s all very, very complicated. Tex’s life is firmly entwined with Mo’s who is the Abandonato princess and twin sister to the head of the Abandonato family. Games will be played, people will die and basically this book with make you damn thankful that your family aren’t Mafia. 

“The Mafia by definition should say, “Happy Endings die here.”

I absolutely loved the writing in this book. It was like poetry at times. Rachel Van Dyken does an amazing job of portraying human emotion and she makes you believe that every single word is real. I absolutely felt like the Romeo & Juliet situation between Tex and Mo was hopeless at times. Beyond repair. There was no way out for them. I was completely engrossed in their world. 

“Story of my life. I give. They take. I give some more. They take it all.”

Ok so here’s where I ran into issues – this was not a stand-alone. It can NOT be read as a standalone. I STILL have no idea about so many things in this book. What is Tex’s back story? How did we arrive at this point in time? What’s the deal with Milly? And just WHO the hell is Phoenix and WHAT DID HE DO?! With a bit of recapping it could have easily been a stand-alone but with absolutely no recapping you will spend the majority of this story lost. Unless you have read the previous three books, obviously. So because of that I can’t give this book 5 stars but I wanted to SO BADLY because I can see how it would be an amazing addition to this series.  

“In the end…he would choose Campisi. In the end…she would choose Abandonato. In the end…there would be bloodshed.”

Rachel Van Dyken is no doubt a talented lady. Her writing is so good and her stories are original and captivating. If this sounds like something you would read then I definitely recommend it – just read the first three books first and you will be golden! 

“I hate you so much, but not as much as I love you. I could never hate you as much as I love you.”

 

 

 

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Book Review – The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

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Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her ‘our little genius’. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

It’s going to be hard to write this review without being too spoilery. Because there’s a pretty major part to this story that you don’t know going in… You’ll either LOVE it or you’ll HATE it. But I refuse to wreck it for you. I personally am possibly the biggest wussy pants ever. Ghosts, zombies, axe murderers, spiders, sharks. You name it and I’ll lose sleep over it, so I have NO idea what on earth possessed me to buy this book. (Ok granted, it wasn’t exactly too clear from the description on Amazon what it was about exactly, but I still knew it was going to possibly be a bit scary… I just wasn’t prepared for HOW scary it actually was!) It sounded intriguing and different from my recent reads… I’m actually glad I didn’t read the reviews in this case because I can guarantee you, if I had there is no way I would’ve even attempted to read this book. No way ever in a million years. But now that I have read it and am sleeping at night again (ha!) I can honestly say that I would recommend it, although with a warning about needing to be brave! (Also I feel my most repeated phrases whilst reading this were: Nooo! Oh my god no! & WTF, ok seriously WTF!)

So the deal is (or as much of the deal as I can tell you) this story is set in a post apocalyptic world. Humanity is struggling to survive, which as you can imagine brings out the very extremes in people that are kept under lock and key in a functioning society… They are all trying to make their mark. Some are much more brutal in tactics than others, some are just trying to live another day. The little girl Melanie, whom the story is based around, is being held at a secure base outside the safety of the main human centre with other children like her, she seems so smart for a child, but also sad and lonely, not able to be a normal kid at all. I kid you not when I say your heart will break for her. She’s part of a bigger plan that she does not understand.

Now she’s ten years old, and she has skin like a princess in a fairy tale; skin as white as snow. So she knows that when she grows up she’ll be beautiful, with princes falling over themselves to climb her tower and rescue her.

You can probably guess from here, things must go awry… and they do very much so, which leaves us with not only a compelling terrifying story of this post apocalyptic world, but also a very intense story of the 5 main characters that have been thrown together in it. And I have to say that I was surprised, that in a book such as this (genre generalisations and all) that there could be such detailed, description character writing. The main characters that you follow through the story are very well fleshed out, (pun intended) they weren’t just one dimensional. It was this character writing, which for me made the story so much more than just a horror read. In fact, I think the main reason I actually kept reading once I realised very early on what I had gotten myself into, was that I was feeling very attached to Melanie. Which is strange really, and a testament to the writing, considering my feelings on the circumstances that surround her are not in the ‘like’ category, or even ‘tolerate’ category whatsoever.

The world in this book is one of those settings where the idea is SO foreign that it makes you feel sick just trying to imagine it. The author does a brilliant job depicting the ruin, torment and coldness of a doomed world. So many times I had to stop reading because it was just too much. The horror, the sickening scenes, the fear, the absolute feeling of despair. It was heavy going. Really heavy going. I could’ve seriously thrown up a few times. I actually don’t know what I was expecting at the end of this book? A Happily Ever After? Ha! For whatever reason I had in my head (I seriously do not know how I finished this) I could not stop reading, I HAD to know what happened at the end. The world was depending on the ending! And I was not disappointed, it was the ending, along with the character Melanie that were my favourite aspects of the book. You would never guess this ending, it wasn’t the obvious route. It was smart. It was heartbreaking. It was hopeful. It kept my brain ticking. It made me glad that I had made my way through the story. It was absolutely worth it. So, yes. Read this book! But make sure you have your big girl/boy knickers on….and maybe some spares. You’ll definitely need them. Good luck!

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Book Review – Fighting to Forget (Fighting #3) by J. B. Salsbury

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There’s a certain expectation when you read a book like this. You know that in the beginning things will build, we will get to know the characters, and their story will develop until they end up happy and in love (even if they don’t know it yet). Then around the 60-70% mark, things usually go pear-shaped before getting back on track around the 90% mark for the big finale – the HEA. That is what keeps me going – knowing that it’s all fine, don’t worry, they will get back together and live happily ever after. Fighting to Forget was no exception – everything turned out ok in the end – but that 65% mark was BRUTAL! So let’s talk it out.

“To every child who waited for a savior that never came.”

The story started off with a heartbreaking prologue. We were introduced to each of the characters and frankly – they were living a nightmare. Skip forward to the present day and Rex is a broken man who no longer remembers his past. The events that occurred were so traumatic, that his mind has locked them away so tight that he can’t recall a single detail. He is a fighter, and he sings in a band. He craves pain, and is disgusted by sex and his own body. Pretty telling, right?
Mac is a girl on a mission. She wasn’t able to save Rex when they were kids but she has been watching him, waiting quietly in the wings for her chance to make amends and let loose the secret of their shared past. 
However things don’t go according to plan and after a chance meeting they find themselves thrown together. But it’s only a matter of time before the secrets between them boil to the surface. 

Phew. I LOVED the first 60% of this story. I’m an absolute sucker for a damaged hero and Rex’s issues have issues. It was that bad. But the way that his story was told was so engaging that you just wanted more, more, more. I felt heartbroken over what he had been through and his inability to deal with it all. I just wanted him to find love and be happy. Forever and ever. Easier said than done though. 
Mac was amazing. She was understanding and patient. Exactly what Rex needed. But, girlfriend held on to that secret waaaay too long! It was never ever going to end well! And here is where things went wrong…

“Black like my soul and my memories
A void beyond consciousness
Red like the way they treated me
Now a man left to clean up the mess”

There are many things I don’t mind reading about in books. It’s pretty rare that I come across something that almost makes me stop reading it. I knew that when Rex found out that Mac had been hiding the truth from him everything would turn to sh-t, but I just didn’t think for a second that it would turn out THAT BADLY. I’m not sure how to say this without being a spoiler, so I won’t, but Macs decent into darkness just made me feel a bit sick really. It was awful. I know, I know, they got back together and it all worked out in the end but I couldn’t seem to shake the dark feeling that lingered from her going down that path. Blah. 

Fighting to Forget is the third book in the series but each book is about a different couple. I have read the first and now I have read the third but I didn’t read the second book. At times I felt a little like I had missed something (and obviously I had) but not reading the second book really didn’t take too much away from the third. I didn’t find it to be a problem. 
All in all, I loved the start and I loved the end. It was just that small section that threw me off a little. I was glad to see things resolved though, and the next book in the story sounds like it’s going to be great. I’m eager to keep reading about this group of friends. 

“What started as a need to alleviate the guilt turned into an obsession to be near him and, now, an undeniable, unconditional, all-consuming love for him.”

 

 

 

Photo 1 –

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Photo 2 –

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Photo 3 – 

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Sunday Loves – 27.04.2014

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In the name of all things WTF! I bring you this weeks Sunday Love… This has apparently been around for a while, so how have I not seen this ‘tribute’ to Sookie by Snoop Dogg before?! Who came up with such an idea? What would Sookie think of this? And Eric for that matter?!!! Seriously is EVERYONE in love with Sookie, even rappers? And whose plan were the dancing Merlottes waitresses?! Honestly this is just everything.

Behold….

I. Just. Can’t.

This made my night.

Wednesday Anything – Happily Ever After?

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This weekend I’m going to be visiting my parents and so it’s the perfect opportunity for me to drag one of my sisters off to see Divergent with me. I have read the first two books in the series but not the third. I’m not going to lie – I haven’t read the third book because of the ending. I read a spoiler about Tris dying before I read the book and that just completely put me off. I’m not even sure if I’ll see the final movie when it comes around because of it. I’m not totally against characters dying in movies and books. Sometimes it’s completely necessary (hello Harry Potter) and adds a lot more depth to the story.  Sometimes the story would be nothing without character death e.g. Game of Thrones. Often, when no one dies in a long running series, the story ends up being a bit ridiculous. Case in point – Twilight. Every single person lived Happily Ever After. Including Jacob, who ended up being paired up with his soul mate aka The Baby. It was bizarre (and creepy) and made the whole story blah. But in the Divergent series I just feel like Tris’ death was not necessary. It had depth without it. What would The Hunger Games series have been if, after ALL of that, Katniss had died at the end? One of the most powerful parts of The Hunger Games series for me was the Mockingjay epilogue, explaining that while Katniss and Peeta did live, it took a long time for them to heal enough to live a normal life and it certainly wasn’t Happily Ever After. It’s the difference between and good series and a great one.