Reviews


While It Lasts by Abbi Glines My rating: 2 of 5 stars As I mentioned in my reviews for Breathe and Because of Low, I had been boycotting books by this author until recently. I hoped that maybe I had unfairly judged Abbi Glines and her books. I figured out with Breathe that I wasn’t wrong. And I figured out that Because of Low followed the same pattern of book badness. Still, I thought that maybe I hated Because of Low so much because it featured a more misogynistic male lead. I thought that maybe womanizing Cage would be a bit more compassionate and less of a hate-filled horror show. I was wrong. They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I don’t think that fully covers it. This book inspired me to re-define insanity: Insanity, n.: reading book after book by a particular author and expecting to make it through one without some level of degrading comments toward a particular gender, biological sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, level of ability, class, etc. In other words, this book is so degrading toward women that I seriously started to worry about all the hate being shared. What if this sort of writing inspires more internalized misogyny? How does that help anyone? There is some serious hate going on toward Eva and all female characters. For example, the continued usage of the term “female” or “females” to degrade any woman in the book. It is used specifically and generally. No similar usage of “male” or “males” exists. What’s so bad about “female”/”females”? It’s a scientific term that reduces an organism down to sex. It dehumanizes women by classifying them only by their reproductive organs, it excludes the trans community and those who are not biologically female, and is used solely as a way to speak negatively about one or more female characters. There’s also the grammatical faux pas of using female as a noun; it’s an adjective. That’s why it is 100% cool for me to say “female characters” and 0% okay for a writer to say things like “with the females”–which was actually used in this particular novel. Cage, who I semi-respected in Because of Low, is a misogynist in this book. He makes his first ignorant observation on the tenth page because she doesn’t respond positively to his flirting. I don’t know why this kind of behavior is presented as acceptable for a male love interest to exhibit, but it really isn’t. If a guy treats you like crap in the real world, get away from him. He’s a bad dude. And if he hangs out with a group of extreme misogynists and does not call them out on it, get away from him. Quickly. This sort of thing isn’t sexy behavior. He doesn’t respect you, he hates you. Eva was okay. She was a bit judgmental towards all other women her age. Her cruelty toward her female friends was appalling–even in the instances where it was exhibited solely through the narration. There was very little respect for her personal issues that resulted from the loss of her ex-fiancé. Her grieving and behavior was presented like most of the other mental health issues that Glines tackles: like it’s a character flaw. That still bothers me. And it should bother others. Any writer who suggests things like depression, grief, anxiety, trauma, suicide, drug use, alcoholism, etc. are simply signs of personal weakness is promoting ignorance and stigma. That makes struggling with these issues harder on the real patients who have them. I did have a least favorite minor character. Eva’s ex-fiancé’s mother, who is also the mother of Eva’s best friend, was condescending and I could not sympathize with this woman. She is so self-serving. She tears the relationship between Eva and Cage apart, which I would have supported if it had been based on legitimate factors–not Cage being poor and having a DUI. (Poor-shaming behavior is another thing I’ve come to expect in these books.) It strained not only Eva and Cage’s relationship, but the relationships that Eva has with other individuals. The writing in the book is horrible. Aside from the continued grammatical issues and the choice of uneducated rural phrasing, there are fact issues in this book that I would think an NCAA fan would have picked up on; especially one who is an SEC sports fan. The premise of the story is that Cage is on Eva’s dad’s farm as punishment from being picked up on a DUI. Who bailed him out? His baseball coach. A baseball coach, a booster, or any individual associated with the university cannot give money to a player, nor can they use their money on behalf of a player. Doing so would lead to an NCAA investigation and could lead to fines, loss of eligibility, a coach being terminated, and other not-so-great things. This flaw in the premise lowers the overall quality of the book. And, as you can probably tell, the quality was not high to begin with. Another issue with the book is that there is a lack of depth to the story. You have a bad boy who seems like he can’t hurt a fly and a good girl who is sexually and emotionally inept. In other words, you have the same exact two leads that you’ve had for the previous books in this series. Reinventing the wheel is pretty lazy. The shallowness of the story, as well as it’s predictability, makes it so freaking boring that I was often looking for things to distract me from reading. Readers should be headed toward a book to ease boredom, not headed away from it. I’m confused about why the Sea Breeze books are classified as Young Adult. They are quite sexually explicit. They’re very descriptive of anything and everything sexual in nature. They also promote some mistaken beliefs about female sexuality: (1.) that the first time always has to hurt, […]

Review: While It Lasts


Because of Low by Abbi Glines My rating: 2 of 5 stars As I mentioned in my review for Breathe, I broke my boycott of books by Abbi Glines. I had been hoping that my disdain for the books I’d read was misplaced. And with Breathe, I figured out that it wasn’t. Considering how negatively I felt towards Marcus Hardy in that book, it doesn’t surprise me that in Because of Low, I also found him to be a loathesome, misogynistic miscreant. (Say that three times fast.) This book is so much more degrading toward women than most books by this author. That’s really saying something because it is a common feature of her books to have women portrayed as objects and toys for the male characters to manipulate, abuse, etc. So when I say that this book is absolute misogynist trash, believe it. Marcus is having family issues because his daddy decided to cheat on his mom. While he hates his father’s decision and often complains about it in his own inner monologues, his vitriol is unleashed on the other woman. The nicest things he calls her is: gold-digger, that slut, and his little girlfriend. He repeatedly calls her a whore. He even calls her a “paid-for” toy. He often suggests that his dad is being used for his money and that that indicates how he’s a sucker. He thinks one time that he might kill his father, but then he suggests that he might have an even more elaborate plan for his father’s girlfriend. That part honestly had me a bit freaked out because it took the sexism into a whole new level of awful. Marcus has an obsession with stalking and sexually accosting innocent girls. That too carries over to this book. But this time, the innocent girl is interested. He wonders things like if Low knows that her BFF “had bagged” a certain number of women that week. Bagging or being bagged is grotesque. It not only objectifies women, it makes sex sound like something that is done to one party by another, when it’s not. Even in power-play sexual relationships, sex doesn’t work that way. When sex is something done to a party by another party, it’s called by another word: rape. So, we either need to call the sex between Cage and various women sex or we need to call it rape. If it’s consensual, then we should go with sex. If it isn’t, someone should be calling the fictional police department of the fictional town of Sea Breeze to report this sexual predator. Marcus talks about how he has a righteous fury toward Cage over any possible sexual relationship between Cage and Low. He envies him touching her. Marcus fails to understand that Low is a grown-up. She gets to do what she wants with her body. He gets angry because Low wears cowboy boots when she goes out. They’re so hot on her that he can’t handle the thought of any guy being attracted to her while she wears them. He needs to stop this crap. He talks about going caveman, which is trashy book talk for basically wanting to take a woman back to his apartment/house/mansion and coerce or force a sexual act out of a woman because she’s either pissed him off or because he is feeling insecure. It’s really a degrading phrase for all of humanity. The author uses the term “female” or its plural “females” in many of her books to refer to women. This is sexist and transphobic language. It’s sexist because it breaks women down to their reproductive organs–female is the term for biological sex. It’s transphobic because not all women are born female and not all people born female are women. As usual with her books, there are also slams at single parents. Tawny is portrayed as so uncaring that she leaves her daughter’s care arrangements (baby-sitters being lined up) to her sister. She is portrayed as being a cruel individual because she kicks her sister out any time that her daughter’s father happens to be around, so she leaves her sister homeless. There are also references to Low’s mom dying of cancer, which is something that is not uncommon in her books. And Low’s dad is a deadbeat & Marcus’s almost turns into one; these are other things that come up quite often in her books. There are slams of people who have had plastic surgery–a lot containing talk about breasts being fake and how that makes women ugly or trashier. Low even does this with Trisha. She sees her as a sex object first and can only picture her being good at sex work. This sort of judgment doesn’t work both ways, as she respects her and takes up for her when the guys suggest Low might not be very smart. And if a woman is into casual sex? Oh, honey, don’t even go there. That must mean that she’s an airheaded slut because that’s how they all behave in these books. But the guys who like casual relationships aren’t portrayed as stupid. Lead male characters who have history of casual relationships are suggested to be lacking morally, but that doesn’t keep them from ending up with a girl who has only had and will only ever have sex with them. Yep, the douchebags always get the virgins. I feel like this plot was stolen from an MRA website. The male characters in the books need to learn to stop ignoring when women say that they aren’t interested. In this book, it was Cage who didn’t get it. But both Marcus and Cage spent some time talking about Low as though she was some prize in a contest, not a person. Cage also had a tendency toward trying to tear Low down. It was presented as a best friend being compassionate and caring, but it was a type of bullying. He tried to ruin any confidence that Low had about her relationship. If […]

Review: Because of Low



Breathe by Abbi Glines My rating: 2 of 5 stars Once upon a time, I decided that I was never going to read another book by Abbi Glines again after reading books in the Rosemary Beach series. They were books that degraded women and promoted sexist ideas, stigmatized mental illness, and suggested adoption meant that your adoptive parents weren’t your parents. Her books also tended to lack things like plot and proper grammar. Well, I changed my mind when I found the Sea Breeze books in my local public library’s catalog. I figured that if I didn’t have to buy the book that I wouldn’t feel quite as disappointed if it sucked. I was right. Of course, I went in with the expectation that the book would be pretty bad, so I shouldn’t have been disappointed at all. But there were still some slight feelings of disappointment. I think they were mainly due to the fact that I felt that a book like this one should not have been published in the first place. As you have probably figured out by now, I was not a fan of the book. As with other books by Glines, there were serious issues with her writing style. The dialogue never flowed right. Conversations were wooden; they felt forced. There was only one continuity issue that I found, which is better than some authors do. There were some grammar issues, of course. I was a bit taken aback by the capitalization issues with directions. It seemed like no one had been taught that regions get capitalized. I even wondered if maybe I wasn’t remembering my English classes properly. I wasn’t. It was just that the writer and/or the editor failed to recognize it. There was a lot of repetition going on. One example is the introduction of Dewayne. Over the course of two pages, his name was mentioned six times, including one time where it was misspelled. You would think with that many mentions of him that he was an important character. He wasn’t. I’m not even sure if he showed up at any other point in the book, but I digress. Another example of repetition, in the first twenty pages of the book, Sadie, the seventeen-year old lead female character, complained about the cost of the condoms she bought for her mother. She would go on to complain about that through the book, as well as her mom’s sex life. Speaking of things Sadie did that were annoying, she was extremely whiny and judgmental. She viewed herself as being superior to her mom because she had never been interested in dating. She was a “good girl” and her mom was treated like some sort of evil, unintelligent, lazy, slutty monster. It was clear fairly early in the book that her mom needed some therapeutic help, but Sadie just wrote her off as being spoiled and selfish. There was a dependence upon tropes and stereotypes. Marcus, who is four years older than Sadie, was described as a “nice guy” and he behaved in a way consistent being a Nice Guy™. He befriended Sadie when she first started working with him. He was her first friend and she didn’t feel attracted to him, but he was extremely attracted to her–or attracted to what she represented. He would tell her how she wasn’t like other girls, which Jax also told her. (Writers, can you stop using that line in books? No one is 100% like any other person.) As Sadie expressed her body image issues, Marcus told her that he hoped that she stayed “this way. Sweet and innocent.” He basically was telling her that her self-esteem issues made he attractive. No. No. No. Marcus also had a tendency to follow her around and always seemed to show up whenever she was crying about something–this was particularly disturbing because the crying typically happened after he shared some gossip about Jax. (He even had his sister stalk her for him.) He was actively working to end her relationship with Jax, which he knew hurt her, so that he could be with her. This is not acceptable. This is not what a nice person does, but it is what a Nice Guy™ would do. And his badness didn’t end there. Sadie told Marcus that she wasn’t interested in him as anything other than a friend. She told him that she wass in love with Jax. She actually rejected him a few times. And what did he do? He waits until Jax is out of town and Sadie is alone and he kisses her. This was after yet another time where she told him that she wasn’t interested. This is a type of assault. If she hadn’t run away, I wonder if he would have tried to rape her. You might think that with all this Marcus talk that he was one of the leads. Nope. He was a secondary character. Jax was one of the leads, but Jax was a poorly developed character. As a teen pop star, he had a life that he led in front of the cameras and a different life he led in private. It doesn’t get much more descriptive than that. There was talk of the “old him”, but it was mainly just little mentions of how he had changed at some point in his career. One of the frustrations that I felt towards his character was after the Marcus kiss attack, he flew all the way across the country to rescue Sadie. That felt like he was underestimating Sadie’s ability to take care of herself. In the whole time that they were together, the brooding pop star began making her more and more dependent upon him. And here’s where I get to another thing that really bugged me about this book. This book felt like Glines took different parts of all four Twilight books and mixed them up, then wrote a story. The love triangle between Marcus, Sadie, and Jax was so similar to Jacob, […]

Review: Breathe


The Switch by Diane Whiteside My rating: 1 of 5 stars The Switch was a really bad book. I absolutely loathed this book. I knew five pages in that this book was going to be boring and, in that aspect alone, I was not disappointed. The book was excessively repetitive on topics that weren’t really all that important to the story-line. An example is Beth’s continuous grief over Dennis. I get it. This was set two months after 9/11 and he had supposedly died when the World Trade Center collapsed. It would be reasonable for a person to grief and to obsess over the loss of their friend in such a traumatic way. But it didn’t seem like she was even mentioning it as part of the grief. It seemed like a ploy by the author to make Beth more sympathetic. The same goes for Sean’s character with the continuous rehashing of his dead wife’s aneurysm and stroke history–and how it was so horrible that she didn’t want to have sex with him because of how extreme her pain was. There was never any real depth added to Beth and Sean’s feelings toward Dennis and Tiffany. There also wasn’t any depth to the feelings between Beth and Sean. They used one another to act out fantasies, ones that had already been described in depth. One chapter spent more time describing Beth’s fantasy (in a sort of “flashback”/italicized way) of having sex with a conquering hero than it did on Beth doing anything in real life. Sometimes it seemed like there was more time spent by the characters masturbating about their fantasies with one another than they ever actually spent with one another. It’s also worth noting that the fantasies themselves were really, really awful. Beth had a fantasy of conspiring with the Germans against the French Resistance during World War II, which would then lead to her kidnapping and rape by the Resistance, which would turn into a D/s sex scene. Yes, a white author wrote a biracial character having a fantasy that involved helping a government that preached vehement hatred of anyone who wasn’t 100% white. Though Hitler technically named Japanese persons “Honorary Aryans”, there were still laws against inner-marriage and there were still potential acts of discrimination perpetrated against them. That made that particular scenario more than a bit disturbing. Several of Beth’s fantasies dealt with potentially racist ideas. This is one of those books that after you read it, you want to take a shower–and not a cold one. It has a very high ick factor which, when combined with it’s very high boring factor, makes it practically unreadable. I would recommend finding something else to read. View all my reviews

Review: The Switch



Anything He Wants by Sara Fawkes My rating: 2 of 5 stars This book. How do I explain how I feel about this book? My feelings toward this book are very complicated. Why? I found the book entertaining, but it was also horrible. The things that entertained me were the worst parts. A good example of this is the horrible quality of the writing itself. The writing was repetitive to the max. One of the favorite repeated phrases in the sex scenes was the main character’s “weeping entrance”. It was inspiring thoughts of either weeping blisters and hives or the Weeping Angels of Doctor Who. Neither of those images are really conductive to setting up a hot scene. And when this happens in almost every chapter–sometimes multiple times in a single chapter–it becomes really hard to take. I didn’t know if I should just laugh at that particular issue or throw the book at the television. It was really confusing. There were other things that were regularly repeated, which mainly had to do with Jeremiah’s genitalia. It felt like the writer lacked the creativity to come up with any other descriptions of the characters. There were some spelling and grammar issues, as well. The most memorable one for me was where Lucy was noticing how the “sunlight shown” into the room. I’ve heard that sometimes publishers leave grammar mistakes in to ward off bad luck, so maybe that’s why that particular noticeable error got left in this story. Aside from the bad writing, there was the problem of just how disgustingly abusive Jeremiah was. You think that Christian Grey is bad? Jeremiah is, in many ways, much, much worse. Where Christian kissed Ana on the elevator before she knew of his sexual proclivities, but after they had actually had a few conversations, Jeremiah fingers Lucy on the elevator the very first time he is on the elevator alone with her. He didn’t even know her name before that day and she didn’t know his until the next day. And he didn’t have permission by her to finger her. She was attracted to him, which he took to mean that he could do whatever he wanted without ever asking. The next meeting with him is more intense and more grotesque. He sneaks up on her, has sex with her, and then offers her a ride home, but seems shocked when she doesn’t want to get in the car with a man whose name she doesn’t know and who just had sex with her without getting consent. The next day, she finds out who he is and that he knows a lot about who she is. After terrifying her by having her come to his office, he tells her that he’s been planning on firing all the temps, which is what she is, but that he wants to hire her as his personal assistant. Part of her duties include doing, as the title says, anything he wants. Because Lucy is poor and no one else is hiring, she sees the job as being necessary to her survival. This is coercive. It is sexual harassment. It is abusive. Her choice has essentially been taken away and she even admits as much. Lucy has been stripped of her basic rights & dignity and we’re just 3 chapters into the story. Of course, there’s the nice-ish side to Jeremiah. There’s the side that some people might see as being caring and compassionate. Usually, it is just him throwing a tantrum about how he hired her to whatever he wants. And the tantrums work. He gets what he wants over and over again. This is not a Dominant and submissive relationship. This is an overgrown toddler dehumanizing a woman who has been through enough trauma and grief already in her young life. Most of the book is about sex between Jeremiah and Lucy. It seems that it’s used to distract the reader from noticing that there’s not really any development of the characters or the plot. The suspenseful part of the book isn’t that suspenseful. It’s just random acts of nakedness and violence thrown together in a very haphazard sort of way. I may read the sequel to this story, but I will only be doing so if I see it at my local library. I would not buy it and I’m reconsidering my desire to read any other works by this author. View all my reviews

Review: Anything He Wants


The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen My rating: 4 of 5 stars This book was the kind of book that I didn’t want to put down, but also couldn’t read much of at one time. There was just a lot of information that I needed time to be process. There was a lot of talk of vile things like torture, war, murder, etc., which was uncomfortable to read unless I took breaks between sections of the story. Another slight issue is that the book was dry, but I wasn’t reading it because I wanted to read a good story. I was reading it for the information and insight that it could provide. The information was so intriguing that I didn’t want to stop reading it. Before reading the book, I knew that this man was one who has encouraged homophobia, sexism, and who was linked to some very suspicious deaths of political dissidents. The story painted in the book showed that my personal description of him was way too nice. One could argue that everything was conjecture and speculation, but I can’t. There were so many well-known victims of this man’s corruption who were mentioned and whose stories were told in even more depth than I’d seen before. It helped to give this book more credence in my perspective. Several people have said that it is a biased account, which is obvious without their stating it. She lived under someone who can easily be classified as an authoritarian or a tyrant. That would lead one to develop certain opinions of that political leader. And when the leader is notoriously private about his life and is a real “lives in the shadows” personality, it is hard to present the full picture of this man. Gessen did the best that she could with the information that she was available to accumulate. The whole idea of him being “a man without a face” comes from his extremely secretive nature and ability to be whatever the situation requires him to be–so long as it doesn’t conflict with his own personal interests. I think this is definitely a very informative book and that people who are interested in Putin, Russia, and the more recent history of the country will enjoy the book. Other people probably should look for something a little less intense. View all my reviews

Review: The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of ...



1
I saw Fifty Shades of Grey today and… The movie is better than the book. That was the consensus of everyone who talked about it as they left the auditorium. The movie doesn’t include most of the abusive behavior. Anything abusive that was left in was not as bad as it was in the book. Ana actually comes off as less of a “doormat” and Christian isn’t as horrifyingly creepy as he was in the book. He actually comes off as almost sympathetic, which could be worse in some ways because it might lull some people into thinking that his behavior is acceptable.  The movie highlights how poorly written the books were. Like the books, there’s no real plot. There’s no real way to gauge the time. It ends in what should have been before or during the climax of the story, but that’s a problem with the books.  Though Christian mentions his mom’s drug use (and her preference) and being a prostitute, there was no calling her a crack whore. (His doing that in the books always made me cringe.) I don’t know why they couldn’t hire total nobodies for roles like Mia and Grace. They barely had any lines at all. Also, Max Martini’s main job in the film as Jason Taylor is to stand behind Jamie/Christian and take objects from his hands. It felt like they were using him as an extra. There was one scene where you could infer that oral sex was supposed to be happening. And it was actually a Christian going down on Ana one, which is still oddly taboo in American cinema. But it was the only oral scene. It was also the only real foreplay scene of any kind, which is a little cringe-worthy because there would be a whole lot of chafing. And there were a lot of shots of Dakota’s magically always-erect nipples and Jamie’s very lovely butt.  Oh, if you don’t want to see the movie yourself, for whatever reason, I would still recommend getting the soundtrack. It’s pretty damn awesome. via Tumblr

Fifty Shades of Tame


The Proposition by Katie Ashley My rating: 1 of 5 stars I’m not really sure what other people are seeing in this book when they rate it so highly. It wasn’t good. Emma is clearly in need of some therapy to get over her fiancé’s death. The dude died four years earlier and she’s still treating it like it’s the first day after his death. I think that her inability to truly get over his death is part of why she is so obsessed with having a baby before she turns thirty. (Unless she has a full-on fertility issue, she shouldn’t be as concerned about being almost 30 and baby-less. And clearly she doesn’t, since it only takes a couple of tries.) Aidan’s proposition was also pretty shameful and could be considered sexual harassment. He isn’t seducing her. He isn’t really even helping her. He wanted to have sex with her and she turned him down, so he uses her obsession with having a baby to advance his own agenda. That’s not a sign of a caring and giving person. There were some serious issues with overzealous religious types. Emma’s backwoods family get-together was so trope-y that I almost expect it to be a prequel for Deliverance. I could almost hear the banjos playing in the background as I read. I know a lot of people still have issues with the idea of out of wedlock pregnancies, but these people were a bit over the top about it. And then there was the male entitlement and slut-shaming. A cleaning lady at the office simply smiled at Aidan and he thought she was being a tease. That’s pretty indicative of some of the more problematic thinking that went on in this book. Of course, it fits in well with the previously mentioned Wanna Baby attitude that Emma has, the religious nuts, and Emma’s judgmental tendencies toward certain sex positions. (Who knew that kitchen sex was trashy? Only Emma and some people who probably have very boring sex lives.) Women are treated as sex objects whose only real importance is to provide pleasure for the men and babies to continue the human race. Basically, women are just ovaries, a uterus, and a vagina, but not in the well-written, let’s-stop-thinking-this-way style of The Handmaid’s Tale. No, this is one that PROMOTES the idea that the only value a woman has is her fertility and her ability to make a guy orgasm. Very, very backwards. Very, very gross. It was extremely easy to read. Sometimes ease of reading is a good thing, but in this book it most certainly wasn’t. It was too easy to read. There wasn’t really enough going on in the story, which made it too short. It also left it feeling like she didn’t truly put effort into the story. There was a lot of rushing going on and the sex was boring. There was no chemistry between the characters, which meant that the entire story felt very flat. I knew going into the book that it wasn’t going to be some great work of literature, which is why I waited until I found a copy at my local library. Of course there was a cliffhanger, so the author wants you to pay up so you can find out what happens next. She needn’t have done that because this book was short enough that another 200 pages or so wouldn’t have been some horrifying reading task. I can only assume that she split the book into two parts because she wants the moolah. Well, I have no intention of buying the other books because the quality is so low and the story-line/style is so offensive. I may want to know what happens with these characters, but I will only find out if I stumble across a copy of them at the library. And I really hope that my library doesn’t buy the other books because they could spend that money on much better books. View all my reviews

Review: The Proposition



The Destiny of Violet & Luke by Jessica Sorensen My rating: 2 of 5 stars I received an ARC from the publisher of The Destiny of Violet & Luke through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review. I would say that this book was an extreme disappointment, except that it wasn’t. It was exactly what I expected from Sorensen. Her stories are extremely formulaic–from the swirling script font choice for the titles to the characters being horribly broken with abusive pasts to the plotless stories where you’re waiting for the inevitable coupling followed by some “cliffhanger” ending where they are torn apart or just the regular issues with things like grammar and spelling. (As this was one that was not self-published, I had hoped that the grammar would be better. That it wasn’t was actually a disappointment.) When it comes to sticking to her formula, Sorensen doesn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, her choice to write such formulaic stories is a disappointment because I think that Sorensen could actually write a really good story if she put a little more effort into it. There’s nothing truly special about this book or this couple. Yes, they are broken, but this is not any different from any other couple she writes about. The stigmatized virginal girl and misunderstood oversexed boy have been the leads in her Ella and Micha & Callie and Kayden books. The boy having a substance abuse issue isn’t all that unusual, nor is the girl engaging in self-destructive/parasuicidal behaviors and lying to those close to her. I could easily change the names of the characters to those of her other books and have the same stories that I’ve already read by her. There’s not really any respect for the issues that Luke and Violet suffer from. They’re just there to help advance the idea of these characters being poor unfortunate souls. The relationship and the attraction feels forced. It seems that she was so determined to hook these characters up that she didn’t actually feel the need to describe how these feelings were changing. Their love story needed a little more work, as did the character development. But, again, this is not any different from every other book of hers that I have read. There were no true surprises or developments in any other aspect of the story. The ending issue? It wasn’t something that threw anyone who had been paying attention for most of the book. The only “shocker” is that it drove them apart. It didn’t really change anything within their relationship and they had answers to some of their questions, but it shouldn’t have driven them apart. It seemed that the only reason that it did was that this would allow Sorensen to write yet another book about these characters; a book that will probably be almost exactly like this. But here’s the completely wackadoodle part of all of this: I still want to know what happens with them. The book may not be special and may be exactly what I’ve read before. The characters may just be the same ones she’s written over and over, but I want to know what happens to them. And THAT is why the book is getting a two-star rating instead of a one-star one. Sorensen has enough writing talent and story-telling skills that even with all this craptasticness I still want to discover what happens to these two broken souls. View all my reviews

Review: The Destiny of Violet & Luke


Captivated by You by Sylvia Day My rating: 3 of 5 stars It’s the people you love who hurt you the most. This could be a good way to sum up the “plot” of the book and a good way to explain how this book was really disappointing. This is one of my favorite series and authors, so it would be fair to say that I expect a lot from these books. This book did not deliver. It would have been more acceptable in a series I wasn’t a fan of or an author that I didn’t expect more from, but from Day? This book just wasn’t up to snuff. Switching between the perspectives of Gideon and Eva was, shockingly, not that bad. That part was done well, but I did feel like Day hadn’t really thought out Gideon’s perspective on everything. His chapters felt less developed and some of the word choices during them (i.e. the continued use of lush to describe Eva’s curves) did drag things down a bit. My biggest issue with the book was that it lacked a real plot. There was no real sense of purpose in the book. I knew in the beginning that despite their doubts Gideon and Eva would still be together in the end. I knew that they would get through their big obstacles. But I didn’t expect there to be as much of a cop-out in developing a real story. Gideon and Eva are both stormy characters and, even in the most dramatic of scenes, they were really weak in this book. There was no real bite in either of them. I hate suggesting that she didn’t put enough effort into the story, but that is how it came across. Maybe she felt rushed or maybe she just needed to get certain plot points out before the next book, so she was just setting up the next one. I do know that I was very disappointed by it. I don’t know what exactly led to this book and the drop in quality, but I’m hoping that the next book makes up for it. I would like to note that for anyone with a history of being abused or who is triggered by such things that this book has very graphic descriptions of sexual abuse. If that is something that might impact you personally, you might want to stay away for that reason. Also there is some casual mentioning of self-harm View all my reviews

Review: Captivated by You