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Bookworm Book Reviews

This is the Bloglikes sister site of Bookworm Book Reviews.  I love books of any kind, so I review many different kinds of books, but most are YA and/or PNR.  Please visit my main site to see more reviews and features.  Thanks!

Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones

Charley is back again and, as usual, she has lots of problems to deal with. As if being pregnant itself wasn’t hard enough, Charley also now has to deal with the ghost of her ex-BFF, Jessica, her father is missing, there’s a demon possessing a house and writing her name on the walls, there’s a new ghost who has a missing body, a new case with Ubie, and the twelve hellhounds who have been released to kill her, of course. I would lie down and die, but Charley takes it all in stride and does what she does best; getting into trouble, pissing off Reyes, and making the reader laugh all the way through.

I loved Seventh Grave and No Body. I had high expectations for it and, I’m happy to say, it exceeded them. I love this series and it seems to only get better with each book. Charley’s wit was just as sharp and amusing as usual. You see a little more of a tender side of Reyes in Seventh Grave and I liked that. I almost cried at certain points when he talked about his feelings about Charley. I was a little worried about how Charley would be her usual self, now that she’s “knocked up”, as she put it, but to the utter frustration of Reyes, she’s exactly the same. She does have added protection this time in the form of “the dealer”, but she’s still a risk taker and just as headstrong as ever. The secondary characters continue to add their part to the story and are just as loveable as before. Cookie really helps out a lot in Seventh Grave, showing that she can be a pretty damn good investigator herself. As usual with this series, Seventh Grave is a wild ride with action around every corner and plenty of suspense that kept me turning the pages so quickly that I finished it in less than twenty-four hours. The only bad part now is having to wait for the next book, Eighth Grave After Dark, which is due to come out in May of 2015. I highly recommend Seventh Grave and No Body.

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Review of Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

Fallen in Love - Lauren Kate

Fallen in Love is a collection of four short stories, centered around Valentine’s Day, about the characters from the Fallen novels. They are all in Medieval England, during the time when Luce is going through time in the announcers and everyone else is following her.

The first story is about Shelby and Miles, and is called “Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles”. It starts as they step out of an announcer into Medieval England while trying to find their way back home. They come across the past version of Luce as well as the present Roland. It’s hard to say more than that without spoilers, unfortunately. I will say that I liked this story. I thought it was sweet and well written. It was actually my favorite out of all of them.

The second story is about Roland, and is called, “Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland”. It tells the reader about Roland’s lost love that he left behind. I thought it was well written as well, but it was a little sad. Despite that, I still thought it was a good story and it gave Roland’s character more depth.

The third story is about Arriane, and is called, “Burning Love: The Ballad of Arriane. This one was really interesting because it explains how Arriane got the burn scars on her neck. I thought it was a great story and I was really invested, but I was let down by the ending. Just like Roland’s story though, this story gives more depth to Arriane’s character and explains her and her motives a little more.

The fourth story is about Luce and Daniel, and is called, Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucenda. This story is pretty typical of the the past relationship glimpses you see in Passion. This story is important because, as Bill tells Luce, this is the only Valentine’s Day Luce and Daniel ever spent together. The Lucenda of this time period is a poor commoner and Daniel is a knight. Lucenda believes she and Daniel can’t be together because of the differences of their class status. Nevertheless, Lucenda hopes he will show up to see her at the Valentine’s Day event outside of the castle. This story was my second favorite. It was a little suspenseful and it was sweet.

All in all, they were all good stories, I just found a few of them kind of depressing, and therefore, not my kind of stories. I like happy endings, I can’t help it. They were all well written and I felt invested in all of them. I think if you are a fan of the series, you should read this. If you’re reading the series, but not in love with it, you can skip this and still be able to follow what’s going on in Rapture. I have to say though, it did satisfy my curiosity about Arriane’s scars.

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Review of Rapture by Lauren Kate

Rapture - Lauren Kate

Luce, Daniel, and the other angels and demons are in a race against time to prevent Lucifer from erasing all history since the Fall. First though, they have to find the site of the Fall, where all the fallen angels landed after nine days of falling from Heaven to Earth. Unfortunately, none of them remember where this is because, at the time, they didn’t even remember who they were, much less where they were. In his past research, Daniel found clues that might lead them to the location. So, using these clues, they go about trying to find the site of the fall. They only have nine days to find the location of the fall before Lucifer will erase everything. They have many obstacles to overcome, because not only do they have Lucifer to worry about, they also still have the outcasts hunting them because they think Luce is their ticket into Heaven. The Elders remain a threat, as well.

Meanwhile, Luce is remembering more about who she is, and who she has been, than she ever has before. Daniel encourages her to try her best to remember as far back as she can. Luce has to piece her past together if they ever hope to stop Lucifer from erasing history. As she recalls pieces of her past, she comes to see that she is not at all who she thought she was, that the curse is actually more about her than about Daniel, and that she was in love with someone else before Daniel. Who is she really meant to be with? You’ll have to read the book to find out! :-)

I loved, loved, LOVED this book! Finally, everything made sense. I was actually a little reluctant to read it at first because I was disappointed by Passion. This one made up for it. In fact, I understand much more now about why everything that happened in Passion was so important. The stakes are high in this book and there is so much that stands in their way. I was completely enthralled in the suspense. My heart raced each time something happened that slowed them down or put them in danger. I came to care about characters that I hadn’t given a second thought to in the other books. This one is a real page turner. I was grumpy every time I had to put it down, and when I could, I picked it back up again as soon as possible and fell right back into the story. I was impressed by the way Lauren Kate tied up all the loose ends and answered all the unknowns so easily. It all made perfect sense. Now I just feel a little depressed that it’s over. Fortunately, there is still another book in this series, Fallen in Love. From what I understand, it’s a collection of four stories about the characters in the Fallen books. You can bet that’s going to be my next read!

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If I Stay by Gayle Forman

 This was a fast read but it was good.  It ended in a cliffhanger sort of situation, so I’ll be reading the sequel next I guess.  I’m invested and I really want to know what happens next.  It’s hard to write a review on this book without giving away spoilers, but I’m going to do my best.  Mia is seventeen and is involved in a terrible car accident with her family.  Mia ends up in ICU, unconscious, and in grave condition.  Mia is able to see everything that goes on around her through an out of body experience.  She shares her thoughts and feelings about living versus dying, a decision she struggles with throughout the book.  She tells us about her friends, her family, and her boyfriend, Adam.  She shares her memories as she experiences happy memories as well as the pain of loss.  There wasn’t much character development other than Mia, Adam, Mia’s best friend, and Mia’s family.  Since those are the most important things in Mia’s life though, it’s enough.  Mia has a tough decision to make and while it may seem that she has a lot to live for, there are also complications that can explain her reluctance to choose.  If she lives, she will have to live a life forever changed by this accident.  She has things to look forward to, but she will have to suffer loss as well.  If she dies, she will be letting go of her dreams and people that care about her.  As the tagline says, “What would you do if you had to choose?”.  I thought it was a great book and I recommend it. See my other reviews and features at http://bookwormbookreviews.com

Passion by Lauren Kate

Luce has gone through an announcer to go back in time, to visit other lifetimes she has had with Daniel in an attempt to find answers to the questions Daniel cannot answer. This has terrified Daniel, who is afraid that she may do something while she is traveling through the past that could destroy their future. He decides he has to find her somehow, so he steps through an announcer in order to try to follow her. The other angels and demons offer their help, but Daniel insists on finding her himself. Passion opens up on a scene with Miss Sophia and the other Guardians. This sets the stage to let the reader know that Luce is being hunted by something worse even than the Guardians and the Outcasts. In other words, Luce is in trouble. Passion follows Luce through many of her past lives and her past relationships with Daniel. It also follows Daniel’s travel through the past as he tries to find Luce. There are big consequences at stake if either of them make a mistake. Since they’re traveling in the past, anything they do could affect their future, positively or negatively.
I wasn’t as happy with Passion as I was with Fallen and Torment. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good book. It was. I just had trouble getting into this one and though some of my questions were answered, there are still some things that I don’t understand. I felt like Passion dragged in the beginning. It didn’t really snag my interest until about thirty percent in, or around Chapter 7. After that though, I was really into it. The further I got into the book, the more it became a page turner for me. The world building was excellent as Luce ends up in all kinds of times and places during her travels through the announcers. After reading Passion, I feel I understand more about the love Daniel and Luce feel for each other as well as the importance of it. I still would like to know why Daniel picked Luce though, what was it about her that caught his attention? There are still two more books to go, so hopefully an answer to that is coming. Overall, I liked Passion. I liked it least of the Fallen books I’ve read so far, but I would still recommend it.

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Review of Torment by Lauren Kate

Torment picks up where Fallen left off.    Cam and Daniel have made a truce, as well as the other angels and demons, in order to fight off the other beings that are after Luce.  Word has gotten out that she can be killed forever this time around so she is in much more danger than she was before.  Daniel takes Luce to another school, Shoreline, where she is supposed to be safer. He tells Luce that he will not be there with her, which upsets Luce and causes her to feel alone, confused, and abandoned again.  She meets a teacher, Francesca, another angel, who takes her to her room.  Luce wakes up the next morning and meets her roommate, Shelby, who is fairly hostile and definitely not happy to be Luce’s roommate.  Shelby explains that the school is composed of a mixture of mortal students as well as Nephilim (descendents of angels and mortals).  Shelby is Nephilim and tells Luce that even though she is mortal, she will be in the special classes with the other Nephilim because of her relationship with Daniel.  This causes Luce to feel even more out of place.  At breakfast, Luce meets some other students who already know who she is and who treat her a little like a celebrity.  These other students know more about Luce’s past with Daniel than Luce does.  Naturally, this frustrates Luce because Daniel has been so tight lipped about telling her about their past. 

Luce spends much of this book struggling to find out more about her past lives and her past with Daniel.  I was able to better identify with her in Torment because she raises the questions that I had while reading the first book, and that I would have if I were her.  Why is the relationship between Luce and Daniel so important?  Why did Daniel take the fall from Heaven to be with her?  What is their history together?  She wonders all these things and presses Daniel for answers but he will not tell her.  This leads her to try to find the answers on her own.  She and Daniel spend a lot of time arguing with each other in Torment because of her frustration at not having the answers she needs and his refusal to help her understand.  She wonders if her life would be better if she were involved with a normal guy and if Daniel had never chosen her.

I actually liked Torment better than Fallen because I felt like Luce showed more spirit in this one.  She wasn’t so consumed by her attraction to Daniel that she was afraid to challenge him.  It got her into trouble a few times, but I don’t see that as her fault.  If Daniel would just be open with her, she wouldn’t feel so desperate to find answers on her own.  I got annoyed with Daniel myself.  I felt sorry for him on occasion because there were times when Luce’s actions hurt him, but still.  I just wanted to smack him and say, “Just tell her what she wants to know!”.  Not to mention, I’d like to know as well.

At the end, I was again left with more questions than answers, but the ending of Torment led me to believe that much will be resolved in the next book, Passion.  

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Review of Fallen by Lauren Kate

The movie adaptation of this novel is scheduled for release on January 1st, 2015.  I actually read Fallen a few months ago, but when I decided to read the sequel, “Torment”, I had trouble remembering much more than the basics about Fallen and felt lost and confused.  So, I decided I would re-read it and give a review as well, rather than jumping to the second book in the series.  Also, since I found out the movie was coming out, I was itching to read it again anyway.  I loved this book the first time I read it.  I was all kinds of caught up in the star crossed romance.  I still liked Fallen this time around, but it wasn’t as spellbinding for me as it was before.  Maybe that’s just because I already knew the ending though.  I don’t know.  I’ll tell you what bothered me about it this time though.  The love triangle thing has been used so many times, it annoys me now.  So, Luce’s involvement with Cam while she was pining after Daniel was a little irritating, but also understandable.  I mean, if the boy you like is downright rude to you, why wouldn’t you be tempted to be involved with another guy who actually notices you?  Still, it bothered me a little.  Also, the plot, once you get to it, seems really complicated yet really simple at the same time.  Basically, it’s a battle between good and evil, but the romance between Luce and Daniel is central to this epic battle.  Why?  Hopefully the sequels explain a little better.  I do like Luce as a main character.  She’s pretty true to life, I think.  She’s seventeen and she’s had to deal with a lot of scary, bad stuff already, so her confusion and moroseness is to be expected.  I’m having a little trouble understanding all of Daniel’s behavior, but I’m expecting that will make more sense later in the series.  I really liked Cam.  He seemed so much nicer than Daniel, but then of course, it turns out there’s something very wrong with Cam.  Hopefully that’s not too much of a spoiler.  Anyhow, despite the few irritations I had with the book this time around, I would recommend Fallen. 

From the publisher:  What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce—and goes out of his way to make that very clear—she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

 

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