Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Take on The Luxe Series

Review: The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Page Count: 1696 (combined)
Rating: 3/5

Plot in Under 10:

Life, propriety, and scandal in New York approaching the 1900s.

The summery for The Luxe (book 1):

Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn. Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions. White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups. This is Manhattan, 1899. Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future. With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear... In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent

My Review

I have to say I was drawn in by the lovely covers, but was disappointed with this series. I loved the first book, but the other three to me were just a slow unraveling of all the happy endings the first promised. The series is based on four women in 1899 New York;

Elizabeth Holland: Oldest of the Holland sisters, at 18 years of age, Elizabeth is Manhattan's top socialite and the perfect example of a Lady, but now she must choose between her family’s reputation and following her heart.

Diana Holland: The youngest out of the two Holland sisters, at 16 years of age, Diana is a free spirit and doesn't like to conform to society's rules of how a lady should act and behave in social affairs. What if the thing she wants more than anything in the world is someone else's hands?

Penelope Hayes: At 18 year's of age, Penelope Hayes is new money. Her style is garish and behavior quite presumptuous but she still is one of Manhattan's most beautiful women. Penelope is ruthless and will stop at nothing to get what she most desires.

Lina Broud: At age 17, she has been serving for the Hollands her entire life. Lina is Elizabeth Holland's personal servant, and has grown bitter and jealous of the older girl. Although she has features some would think pretty, she is held back by her class. Can she make a better life for herself?

The books are: The Luxe, Rumors, Envy, and Splendor.

The 3 things I liked about the series:

1) The clothes and setting. Anna did a great job of pulling me into the world with her lush descriptions.

2) The quotes at the start of every chapter. They set the mood of the book nicely and gave it a historical feel.

3) The twists that I didn’t see coming. Every time I thought I had it figured out, something would be thrown in to completely change the direction of the story.

Now the downsides:

One happy ending out of four just wasn’t enough for me. There wasn’t enough of a payoff for all of the frustrations throughout the books.

I like to feel excited, captivated, or driven when I read, but I found with the final three books I was constantly feeling upset and only finished them because I desperately wanted a better ending, which consequently I didn’t get.

I would suggest, as I did to a friend of mine who had just read the first book, to stop there. I really enjoyed the first book and it had a decent ending. I wrote a happy ending one-shot link here.

*sidebar: I find it funny that in her bio at the end of the book it says that Anna first started writing with a re-write of a book she read that she didn’t like the ending of…

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Children of the Moon Series by Sunny

Title: Monére, Children of the Moon Series
Author: Sunny
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 272 (book 1)
Rating: 5/5

Plot in Under 10:

A mixed-blood Monére fights for her life, love and throne.

Summary for Book 1, Mona Lisa Awakening:

From the time she was an orphan child, Mona Lisa knew she was different—but she never knew how different until a man of otherworldly beauty arrived during her night shift in the ER. Gryphon is hurting and hunted…and he attracts her as no man ever has before. He is a Monère, one of the children of the moon—and what’s more, so is she…Long exiled from the moon, the men of the Monère serve—and mate—with imperious Queens, who can channel the rays of their far-off homeland. Gryphon believes that Mona Lisa is a Queen—perhaps the first of Mixed Blood ever known. But her introduction to the nighttime court of the Monère, simmering with intrigue, casual lust, and calculated cruelty, is far from smooth. The other Queens are infuriated by her potential powers, and they are all menaced by a group of rogue males who have broken away from the women’s sway. Even as she battles threats from within and without, Mona Lisa is determined to discover who she is, and to explore the limits of her growing power—and her secret desires…

My Review

I read this series because it was recommended to me, and the first in the series was on sale at the bookstore. The erotic scenes originally took me back, mostly because I wasn’t expecting them, but once I got into the story I was hooked.

The series follows a mixed-blood Monére (Child of the Moon - shapshifter) Mona Lisa, the first ever mixed-blood capable of basking (drawing down the Moon’s rays to empower her people). The Monére mostly disslike their half-breeds, abandoning them at birth. Someone is always trying to kill Lisa or use her, and her heart is torn in many directions.

The 3 things I loved most: 

(I find it hard to pick these without spoilers!)
1) The plot twists, and there are quite a few. I never knew where Sunny was going to go next, so I was constantly on the edge of my seat.

2) The men. The books are packed full of hunky men of all shapes and sizes. She is very descriptive of the characters and I grew to love Amber and Gryphon in particular. These books are definitely adult reads BTW, Sunny doesn’t hold back on her steamy scenes!

3) Book 4, it’s my favorite so far, going into a whole other dimension and completely changing my view on a couple of the characters.

Downsides for me:

A few too many love interests. It gets more than a little confusing, but it makes sense to their race so by book 4 I was a little more comfortable with her flip-flopping.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

...Bree Tanner

Title: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Author: Stephenie MeyerGenre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Page Count: 192
Rating: 5/5

Plot in Under 10:

Newborn vampire trying to discover the truth about her creator.

Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion.

My Review

I actually feel a little strange, I created my tag/blog/persona around the theme of discovering other literature and art to love while I waited (and hoped) for Stephenie to write another Twilight book. But now I’m still left wanting more, I think I have an addiction, and of course now I’m still hoping for more to continue the series *shakes off the weird feeling* moving right along…

This untold story of the newborn army, as told by Bree, was a great read. I thought it was a little weird without chapter breaks but I got used to the idea and kind of liked the flow. 

The 3 things I loved most:
1) Bree: I loved Bree and was totally sad at the end even though I knew it was coming. She was well written and I really enjoyed her “voice” for the story.

2) I liked that it was a more realistic look into what a newborns mind would be like in the Twilight world. I was a little let down that Bella didn’t experience (and therefore I didn’t) the normal newborn mindset.

3) Obviously finding out what was really going on in Seattle was awesome and what Edward heard from Bree in the field to make him vouch for her.

*Side Note*

I also read the Twilight graphic novel for kicks, and quite enjoyed it. I wish that it was the whole thing in one volume but I guess that's just how it is :) I loved the illustrations, totally how I had most of them pictured while reading (before I saw the movie). Two thumbs up for sure!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hush, Hush - by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush, Hush - #1
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal (Angels)
Page Count: 291
Rating: 5/5

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan.She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her, not until Patch came along.With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust.Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends.She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide.And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life...

Plot in Under 10:

A sacred oath. A fallen angel. A forbidden love.

~My Review~

So I have to admit I picked this one up for the wicked cover-art. It was also recommended to me by a few people so I was very excited to read it. I loved the story and the characters but there was a lot of setup in the plot, which made it feel a little slow for me but will make for an awesome sequel.

The 3 things I loved most:
1) Patch: I liked that I didn’t get to know all of his secrets right away. I had to keep on digging to figure him out. He was dark and sexy and everything you hate to love.

2) I liked that Nora didn’t go running after the first boy to smile at her. It was so much more believable that she would try to deny her feelings for Patch.

3) The ending, I’m not going to spoil anything but I just loved the ending!

My Rating: 5/5

~ Other books in this series ~

1 - Hush, Hush
2 - Crescendo
3 - Silence

~ You'll like this book if you liked ~

Fallen by Lauren Kate, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, or Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

~Links 4 More~

Author Website: here
Add to your Shelfari: here
Add to your Goodreads: here
Buy it at Bookdepository (Free Shipping): here

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