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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review - She Laughs In Pink by Jessica Calla

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: She Laughs in Pink
(Sheridan Hall Series #1)
Author: Jessica Calla
Publication Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: BookFish Books

Four years after her twin is murdered, Juliet Anderson still struggles with guilt, her parents, and her relationships. Two things keep her from falling into a deep, dark place—dancing and her best friend, Ben. So when Ben decides to play football for New Jersey University, Juliet doesn’t hesitate. She follows. Finally away from her past, there is nothing to stand in the way. Juliet will win Ben's heart. 

Then she meets Ben's roommate, Chase. 

On probation and hell-bent on adhering to a “new life plan,” aspiring artist Chase leaves his New York City home for New Jersey University and meets Juliet before even stepping foot on campus. For him, their connection is instant. She’s the most vibrant girl he's ever seen. Her colors explode on his canvas, and he's never been more inspired in his life. 

Too bad she’s madly in love with his seemingly perfect, good guy roommate.

Buy Links: Amazon 

2 “I wanted to like Sexy Train Man” Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Warning: negative review.

Waning 2:

**I mean it. SPOILERS ahead**

From the cool title, the intriguing blurb and the positive reviews, I went into this book believing I’d love it as much as everyone else. I’m sad to say that did not happen at all.

“She Laughs In Pink” (again, such a cool title) is the story of Juliet and Chase, two messed up people who find each other and try to stay sane together, but (and here’s my biggest problem with this story) end up doing a lot of irresponsible and hurtful things to get to their happy ending.

Juliet and Chase meet at the train station as they head to their first day at NJU. For Chase, this is supposed to be the beginning of a new life. He even has a New Life Plan (NLP) – no fooling around, no drugs, no alcohol, basically become a responsible person… Except Chase is already leaning toward breaking rule number one, because the moment he sees Juliet he’s flirting with her so hard I doubt he’d ever intended on taking his plan seriously in the first place. His lack of commitment to a new life is reinforced by pretty much all his decisions from that moment on.

So…Chase is immediately attracted to Juliet (from the way she flirts back, she feels the same about him), so he’s more than happy when they meet again and he learns they’re living in the same dorm. In fact, Chase is sharing a room with Juliet’s BFF, Ben. Looks like destiny wants them together, right? Except Ben is the reason Juliet is at NJU. She’s been in love (and obsessed) with her best friend since high school and she followed him to NJU because she believes he’ll finally fall in love with her. Juliet isn’t even hiding her intentions at all – everyone, including Ben, knows what (who) she wants.

To make matters worse, Ben is one of those people impossible to hate. He’s way too nice. Sometimes too nice to even be believable.

So, you see, the logical choice would be for Chase to get his shit together, focus on his NLP and leave Juliet alone so she can go after the boy she’s been obsessed with for years. Of course that’s not what he does.

And that’s fine. Really. Especially because Ben made it very clear he was only interested in Juliet as friends. Sure that didn’t stop Juliet from hoping he’d change his mind, but I understood Chase’s insistence. Juliet was single, he was extremely attracted to her and it wasn’t like she was telling him to stop chasing her, either. She liked it. She flirted back. She wanted Chase to like her.

Besides, Juliet was an interesting character. Not a very likable one, but interesting. While she made it hard for me to connect with her because of her little games (I like Ben, but Ben doesn’t like me. Chase likes me, but I want Ben, but I also want Chase to like me), I initially had fun reading about Juliet because of how crazy she was. I actually admire the author for writing a crazy main character. It kept things interesting for a while.

Too bad that feeling didn’t last.

I have to say my first problems with the book started early on, but I ignored them because I thought Juliet was entertaining to watch and Chase’s attempts to make her forget Ben and notice him were actually pretty good. But from time to time I had to take a deep breath so I wouldn’t get too annoyed by the insta-love going on. I’m not normally one to complain about insta-love. Unlike some people, I believe in love at first sight (see my review of Wicked Heart and you’ll understand my point), but the chemistry between the characters has to be extremely strong for that to work in a book. While Chase and Juliet had some sweet, fun and even sexy scenes in the beginning of the story, those weren’t enough to make me believe Chase had fallen for her that quickly. By the end of chapter one, dude was already saying Juliet would change his life. I mean, come on, this is obviously too soon.

As the story progressed, though, more and more problems appeared and it got to a point where I really couldn’t enjoy it anymore.

For example, something that started as a positive, but lost me later on was the “supernatural” aspect of the story. As Chase grew closer to Juliet he started to see colors around her. At first I thought it was just a reflection of his passion for painting (Chase’s an artist), but later I realized it was something else – it was almost like he could read her aura or her mood. That was when I thought… okay, this is going to be interesting. Right? It could add another layer to the story. It initially sounded like a fun idea to explore, but I felt like nothing really important came of it (except for the cool title). Even with the introduction of another character with this “gift” (the eccentric Poja), Chase’s abilities didn’t really have a big impact in the story. I honestly think if handled differently, this supernatural aspect could’ve made the story better.

Another problem I had was that instead of growing on me, Juliet became even more unlikable. Her attitude toward Chase (“If I can’t be with Ben, I’ll take Chase’s attention”), her stubbornness with the whole Ben situation, her insta-friendship with Poja, her lack of awareness of how her actions impacted other people…. Everything about her was highly disappointing. I don’t even understand why she did or acted that way. With a history like hers (the thing involving her twin sister), she should’ve been more conscious of her actions. Juliet knew first hand that when she made bad calls, other people paid for her mistakes. But she didn’t seem to care about it at all, because she kept making bad decisions after bad decisions.

I didn’t get her. I didn’t get her obsession with Ben – a boy she called her best friend but kept major secrets from; a boy she claimed countless times to love but didn’t think twice before betraying; a boy who deserved much better than her, to be honest.

I also didn’t get Chase’s obsession with Juliet. At first I thought he liked her because she was kind of crazy, which supposedly made her different from other girls. But then his ex-girlfriend came back to his life and it seemed like she was even crazier than Juliet, so that couldn’t have been the reason he fell for Juliet in a matter of a few days. After having finished the book, I’m still not sure why he thought Juliet was so perfect or why he thought he’d love her forever when she kept telling him she loved Ben while kissing him.

Oh, yeah, that… we finally get to the heart of my problem with this book. The cheating. The inexcusable cheating. The cheating that made Juliet look even worse than when she was “just” playing with those two guys. I’m sorry, but how am I supposed to care for this girl when, as she approaches the guy she just cheated on to break up with him, she thinks:

“What if he thinks I’m crazy? Or, worst of all, what if he has no reaction and lets me go without a fight?”

I mean… Come on! You cheated. You’re breaking up with him. You’re choosing the other guy! Now you want him to hurt? Wouldn’t it be a little BETTER if he actually didn’t like you at all, so he wouldn’t be destroyed by your actions? Wouldn’t you feel less shitty about your shitty behavior?

I can’t even.

I don’t understand that plot choice, to be honest. It made Juliet extremely unlikable. It made Chase, a character I’d liked a little better up to that moment, seem like a huge asshole. It made Ben look bad (no one is that nice. No one!). It tainted their relationship. Damn. I don’t see how that was a good idea at all.

So while I could’ve gotten over some of the problems I had with the book (some of which I didn't even mention in this review, like the kidnapping and shooting and stalker, Juliet's relationship with her parents, the amount of side characters with no importance to the plot, etc) and enjoyed it a lot more, the cheating – or better yet, the way it was handled – sealed the deal for me. It’s actually sad, because I had really believed I was going to like this story when I requested it.

*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Promo Post - Steel Victory (Steel Empires #1) by J.L. Gribble

Title: Steel Victory
(Steel Empires #1)
Author: J.L. Gribble
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2015
Category/Genre: Urban Fantasy/Alternate History

One hundred years ago, the vampire Victory retired from a centuries-long mercenary career. She settled in Limani, the independent city-state acting as a neutral zone between the British and Roman colonies on the New Continent.

Twenty years ago, Victory adopted a human baby girl, who soon showed signs of magical ability.

Today, Victory is a city councilwoman, balancing the human and supernatural populations within Limani. Her daughter Toria is a warrior-mage, balancing life as an apprentice mercenary with college chemistry courses.

Tomorrow, the Roman Empire invades.


Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | BAM |B&N

Victory kept to the shadows when she neared the rear of the barge. If only mythology and legend were reality, and she actually had some form of psychic connection with her sire. Instead, hearing heartbeats warned her of anyone approaching, her one main advantage.

Speaking of which—the dull roar of blood echoing through a heart’s chambers alerted her before she heard the gentle rhythm of the crewmember’s footsteps. She kept between two containers in the last row, sinking to her heels. Her right hand found its way to the hilt of her sword.

A shaggy-faced man in no apparent uniform wandered through the space between the cabin bulkhead and cargo. Making a split-second decision when he passed by, Victory lunged from the shadows and grabbed the back of his coat, then hauled him between the containers.

She pushed him up against the sturdy metal, bracing her forearm across his throat. “Don’t scream. Don’t make any noise.” She dug her arm into his neck, not enough to cut off air or circulation, but enough to show she meant business.

He didn’t even try to open his mouth, and his eyes shone with fear. The man nodded his head a little.

“Good,” Victory said. “I have no intention of hurting you if you tell me what I need to know. I’m not a pirate, and I only desire one thing on this boat, something that does not belong to the Empire. Understand?”

“Yes’m.” Just a whisper, but the reek of too many days on the boat with not enough toothpaste washed over her. “You’re here for the vampire, then?”

“Smart man.” Victory released him a tad, but stayed tense, ready to restrain him if needed. “You know what will happen if this boat continues to Calverton with him on it?”

“He’ll die,” he said. “Cap’n knows this, but made us lock him up anyway. Said we couldn’t afford trouble. But Asaron don’t deserve that. He’s been a good passenger, playing cards with the crew and the like.”

“Well, I’m here to relieve your captain of his problem,” Victory said, “and I don’t want to give you any trouble either. So you can either take me to him, or tell me where he is.”

“I’ll tell you, and then you better do something with me,” he said. “So I can tell Cap I resisted.”

“Fair enough,” Victory said. He asked for it. It was obvious Asaron had made quite the impression, which surprised her not in the slightest.

The man gestured toward the back of the boat, from the direction he’d come. “Follow the side all the way to the back, then take the first door you come to. Asaron’s locked in the second cabin.” He paused, looking apologetic. “I don’t have a key, and I don’t know who’s keeping it.”

“Thank you very much, but that won’t be an issue.” Victory released the man, taking a step back. “Asaron and I are in your debt.” He looked up, meeting her eyes for the single second she needed. “Sleep.”

The crewman dropped like a stone.

1. Your debut novel has vampires, the Roman Empire, and mages. How did you come up with such a genre blend?

I’ve been reading urban fantasy stories for a long, long time, and while I still read plenty of novels and stories that fall into this category, I found myself getting a bit tired of the constant stream of worlds where the paranormal exists, but only a few (special) people know about it. This can still certainly be done to good effect, but I wanted to go in a different direction. So I started thinking about a world where all of these paranormal elements exist, and EVERYONE knows about them. They haven’t hidden themselves away for whatever reason. How would they affect the course of history?

So I started with the vampires. The classic view of elegant, sexual creatures fits right in with the historical image of the excessiveness of the Roman Empire at the height of its power. But what if the Roman senate and noble houses were populated by creatures that are functionally immortal?

And what if the clans in Albion that united to expel the Romans from the British Isle were werewolf clans?

And what if the mages—Okay, I really just like writing about magic.

2. Did you ever doubt yourself or your book when you began submitting it? How did you deal with that pressure?

Steel Victory was originally my thesis novel for the creative writing graduate problem at Seton Hill University. When I pitched the idea of an urban fantasy novel that focused on family and adventure rather than the more typical paranormal romance that was currently selling like crazy, my mentor leaned across the table and said to me, “Well, you know. Vampire sex sells.”

He was 100 percent right. This was the height of the Twilight craze. After graduation, I was rejected by more than a dozen agents and editors (both through query letters and in-person pitches), usually with some variation of “We don’t know how to market this.” Read as: Where’s the romance?

Of course I doubted myself. I doubted myself so much that I put the book away for five years and instead focused on my professional career and resolving health issues that kept cropping up. (I also played a lot of World of Warcraft.) I caught a lot of flak from other writers about that, who insisted that I should be writing other things (or add sex and romance to my book), but I needed to do what was right for me at the time. And eventually the publishing market shifted, as it constantly does.

So I pulled out the book, brushed it off (edited the hell out of it and cut 15,000 words), and tried again.

3. What are some of the dynamics you had to balance to get this story right?

There is a lot going on in Steel Victory. Even after I cut 15,000 words for the final incarnation of the book, there’s still a lot going on. During graduate school, I was honored to have one of the very first versions of my synopsis reviewed by an agent for a workshop. Her initial reaction was that this book must be 200,000 to 300,000 thousand words and that the plot takes place over years. (It’s not. It’s just below 90,000 words and it takes over about a week and a half.)

In that short amount of physical space and narrative time, there is threat of an outside invasion, internal political divisiveness, and family drama. It was definitely a delicate act to balance all of these issues, not let one overshadow the others, and make sure all the plot threads intertwined.

And on top of that, when one of your characters is a vampire, you have to pay really close attention when switching scenes around to make sure that day and night aren’t bleeding into each other! (This involved colorful timelines made from Post-It notes spread across the walls of my home office.)

4. You're a professional medical editor. Did that help or bog down your creativity when writing the novel? (Sounds like such a serious line of work!)

It’s relatively serious but also incredibly rewarding to contribute even a small part to the academic field advancing medical research. It also helps that it’s completely different from creative writing, so it’s not that much of a hardship to come home from a long day of working at a computer and promptly sit down at another computer. Much of my work is very mentally intensive, but another part is simply inputting hardcopy edits into a computer file. That’s when my mind tends to wander, and I’ve come up with a good number of story ideas or plot bunnies during my day job. (That’s where the Post-It notes come in handy again.) (At this point I think the Post-It note company should be paying me for all this free advertising.)
Another way that my day job helps my creative writing is that it adds a level of realism to my work. I know enough about traumatic brain injuries now that I get twitchy when people in other works of fiction (both on page and screen) get knocked out and then pop up again as if nothing is wrong. Removing this trope from my own work led me to develop some of the uniqueness of the vampires in my world. I also know enough about posttraumatic stress disorder to know that further down the line in my series, a least a few of my characters are going to fall hard after all the drama they’ve been through.

5. You must let us know what you're up to next.

Steel Victory stands alone but is also the first book in the Steel Empires series! Book 2, Steel Magic, will be released in July 2016. Meanwhile, book 3 (tentatively named Steel Blood) is in revision and I’m reading to start drafting book 4 this summer. I am also working on a collection of prequel short stories set in the same universe.

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. She is currently working on the Steel Empires series for Dog Star Books, the science-fiction/adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press. Previously, she was an editor for the Far Worlds anthology.

Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where her debut novel Steel Victory was her thesis for the program.

She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits).

Title: Steel Magic

Check the cover reveal post to learn more

Friday, May 27, 2016

Promo post & On Sale - Charlie McClung Mysteries (Brilliant Disguise | A Good Girl | Criminal Kind) by Mary Anne Edwards

***Kindle Countdown Deal for just $0.99***

KCD - MAE (2).png

The first three books of the Charlie McClung Mysteries are on sale May 27 - 31st as part of a Kindle Countdown Deal. Now is your chance to get in on the mystery and suspense!

Get the books:

Detective Charlie McClung no longer finds his job fulfilling and has given up finding that "someone" his granny promised he would find. So he leaves behind the big city and his close-knit family and takes a job in a small town police department in Georgia, resigned to live a quiet life in solitude.

Things change when he meets Marian Selby while investigating the mysterious death of her best friend. But Marian swore never to love again after the death of her husband 11 years ago. What seems to be a suicide turns into a tangled web of deceit, corruption, and complicated shadows. Can the two of them come to grips with their feelings for each other before the killer closes in on them?

Brilliant Disguise Teaser

For Charlie McClung, going home to Virginia with Marian was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but upon arrival at his childhood home, he’s met with a note instead of his family.
“Don’t worry, Love, we’re all okay. Come to the shop. A dead girl was found in an armoire delivered just now. Huggies, Ma” Charlie is quickly recruited to help solve the murder of a young girl who was on the path to becoming a nun. The suspects begin to mount as Charlie delves deep into the girl’s life, revealing a sordid and ugly side of the town’s good girl.

A Good Girl Candle


It’s the perfect setting for a romantic getaway at sea: Caribbean breezes, clear blue skies, passionate nights, and murder? Not exactly what Detective Charlie McClung and Marian had in mind for their honeymoon. When one of their fellow passengers is murdered on her 35th wedding anniversary, Charlie and Marian get pulled into the investigation. Who would want to kill poor Tammy Ferguson in such a brutal way? As Charlie uncovers more sordid details about Tammy and her husband, Peter, it becomes clear that someone else has found the same skeletons in the Ferguson’s closet and Tammy has paid the price. Is Peter next?
Trapped on the ship with an insidious killer, shadows seem more ominous and even the most innocent faces seem sinister. Has Charlie inadvertently put Marian in harm’s way? How long does Charlie have before the hunter becomes the hunted?

Criminal Kind Teaser 2

Mary Anne Edwards is the author of The Charlie McClung Mysteries. These are traditional murder mysteries (with a touch of romance) set in Georgia during the early 1980s. She is a wife, a writer, and an advocate of the developmentally disabled. Mary Anne was born in Mercedes, Texas. She now lives in Georgia with her husband of 35 years and her Tuxedo cat, Gertrude . Mary Anne loves her readers and enjoys hearing from them.

Author linksWebsite | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+

*Hosted by Book Buddy Author Services

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Review - Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: Glass Sword 
(Red Queen #2)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publication Date: February 9th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. 

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. 

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. 

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Buy Links: Amazon 

I would:

  • Befriend: Cameron
  • Take to prom & kissShade
  • Take to a desert island and leave behind: Mare
  • Change into a vampire so we can be young together & foreverCal, maybe. 

If I turned on the TV, I'd find Mare, Cal and the others on:

  • X-Men: Evolution (LOVED that cartoon)

1 “The most selfish, annoying, enraging, disgusting MC in the history of young adult literature” STARS

Warning: super negative review.

Look, I try really really hard not to be mean when writing reviews. There’s usually a lot of work that goes into writing and publishing a book, so being mean to someone who went through all this trouble doesn’t make me feel good. Not at all. Look at the rest of my reviews and you'll noticce I always try to point out the good things about books, even when I don't fall in love with them. 

But I can’t help myself this time. I really can’t.

I mean… I could just rate this 1 star and let it go, but where would all this rage I’m feeling now go? I need to let this out.

Please, let me be mean just this once.

Warning 2: mean review. Probably best not to read it if you loved the book. If you do read it, though, please don’t curse me.

Waning 3:

**I mean it. SPOILERS ahead**

Here we go. *takes a deep breath* 

I hate this MC. 

I don’t simply hate her. I despise her in a way I didn’t think possible. I despise her in a level that surpasses my hatred for Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse (and I hated her so very much), but this is something else.

I have to believe Victoria Aveyard wrote her protagonist the way she did on purpose. I mean, there’s no other explanation. No one would write such a selfish, stubborn, cold-hearted, despising main character and not know what they’re doing, right? I don’t mean to offend the author, but she can’t possibly not see everything that is wrong with her MC. Not possible. She had to know.

The problem here is simple, though. Even if Victoria Aveyard did this on purpose, there’s nothing – I mean NOTHING – she can do to fix this for me. There’s absolutely nothing Mare (that’s her name – it pains me even to think of her as someone with a name – even a fictional someone) can do in the next book (or books) that will make me tolerate her. Just as simple as that.

She could die to save all humans and dogs and cats and the entire freaking planet and I’d still not tolerate her.

To be completely honest, I didn’t remember much of “Red Queen” when I started “Glass Sword”. I’d read it so long ago and hadn’t hated or loved the book, so it hadn’t made a lasting impression. Going back to my review of “Red Queen” (I gave it 3.5 stars, but now I’m starting to doubt the fairness of that rating), I noticed that the first thing I pointed out as a problem was Mare – the MC. I called her selfish and immature, but from the little I remember about book 1, she wasn’t half the monster she became in book 2.

Sorry, but there’s no other way to put it. Mare is a monster. Forget Maven or Queen Elara. The real villain is your damn MC.

I’m not going to go on about the lack of plot in “Glass Sword”. For details on how the story was boring and led to nowhere surprising at all, you can find other reviews on Goodreads. Same for how the rest of the cast was uninteresting and one dimensional, or how the romance lacked chemistry. This review is solely focused on Mare and how she had me make over 50 notes on my Kindle (it’d never happened before) just because I couldn’t stand reading about her and not marking all the places she was insufferable.

One might be asking at this point why I kept reading if I hated it so much. Well, the train wreck theory explains it well. Google it.

So, I’m going to write some of my Kindle notes so you get to experience what I did when reading about this selfish, despising character’s thoughts.

1) Mare being her lovely self.

Mare: “now I know I am special”
Me: how many times is she going to call herself special in chapter one???? (look at the question marks and you’ll understand I’m already agitated, and it's 8% in)

Mare: “I’m worth more than the rest”.
Me: *raises eyebrow* Really? Did she… Did she just say that?

Mare: “I’m more valuable than most, because of what I’ve done and what I can do.”
Me: here we go again. And why is she so valuable? There are so many others with more interesting abilities than her stupid lightining!

2) Mare being lovely to all her “friends” and “family” (yes, quotation marks needed here)

Exhibit A)
Mare talking about Kilorn - the boy who’s clearly stupid enough to stand by her side since childhood, always defend her and still find it in his heart to love her. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but Kilorn has a serious problem.

Mare: “To think he’s spending his time flirting while I’ve been unconscious…”
Me: Really? You want to control him even when you’re unconscious? Great.

Mare: “Like a dog following commands.”
Me: *gasps* Did she just say that about Kilorn? Great way to refer to a friend. *rolls eyes*

Mare: “He can weave a net faster than anyone I know, but what good is that when we’re catching people, not fish? (…) He survived the Hall of the Sun because of me, and outlived the massacre of Caesar’s Square because of luck.”
Me: She’s so annoying. How is Kilorn still her friend? Someone explain that, please.

Mare: “Glad? You’re jealous, plain and simple. You’re not used to sharing. And you don’t like being useless.”
Me: Someone hold me back. Did she just say that? Did she just called him useless to his face?

Then Kilorn stops talking to her and what does she do?
Mare: “If I were not so preoccupied with my own duties, recruiting and training, I would try and snap him out of it. But I barely have time to sleep, let alone coax Kilorn back into the fold.”
Me: I didn’t expect you to stop being selfish now. We’re already 59% in.

Mare: “Who is he to question my orders? He’s no one. A fish boy with only good luck and my foolishness to protect him.” (this right after her brother died)
Me: WHAT??????????????????? I'm done.

Exhibit B
Mare when thinking or interacting with Shade, the brother who saved her more times than anyone can keep track.

Mare: “His face falls, torn by the knowledge that I will not save him.”
Me: SELFISH!!! How can you leave your brother behind like this???? He’d never leave you!!

And of course Shade had to die. No surprise there. Just as predictable as Maven being the bad guy in book 1. The only surprising aspect of it was when it would take place. Hmmm.. Not really. Shade would only be killed when he was not useful anymore, meaning when the author didn’t need him to save Mare from the impossible situations she managed to get herself into. So she had to wait until the end of the book to do that, right? Yeah. No surprise.

So, after Shade dies, what does the lovely MC do? Cry? Break down? Has a redeeming moment? Of course not. She verbally and physically abuses her brother’s girlfriend, the only person mourning poor Shade. When the girlfriend tries to fight back, Mare acts like her lovely self again:

Mare: “Farley, you never know when to quit. I used to admire you for it. Now I lonely pity you.”
Me: Don’t know why I’m surprised, but still can’t believe she just said that.

Exhibit C
Mare being mean to her best friend and older brother isn’t enough, so she needs to bully the rest of her family, too.

Mare about her other brother: “It’s probably the smartest thing I’ve ever heard Bree say.”
Me: OMG. I can’t even. No words.

Mare about her decision to NOT stop her siblings from going with her to a mission that will mostly end in their deaths five minutes after delivering the body of her dead older brother to her family: “I wish I could tell them not to come. They would listen if I truly meant it. But I can’t. I need them, just like I needed Shade.”
Me: Yeah, and look at where that got him. Dead. Not enough to kill one brother, huh?

3) Mare caring about the only person she shouldn’t.

Here obsession with the one who betrayed and tried to kill her is still shocking to me.

13% in and I couldn’t stand how many times she’d already thought about how much she missed Maven. He tried to kill you!!! Are you stupid or…? *groans*

Then Maven starts leaving letters next to dead bodies of children and babies and PEOPLE saying he’ll kill everyone if she doesn’t go back to him. What does Mare think? “I miss him”.

4) Mare being overdramatic.

What about her non-stop overreaction to absolutely everything? Every-damn-thing pained her. Everything was more than she could bare. More than she could take, but she was soooo strong, so damn strong because she was the lightning girl and had to keep going so she could save the world. *rolls eyes* Please, have mercy!

5) Finally, the good parts.

You know the little parts that didn’t suck? They were the ones when other characters finally called her out on her bullshit. I lived for the moments those with a little bit more sense than the ones blindly following an incompetent leader (Mare, in case you don’t know who I’m talking about) addressed the MC the way she deserved.

Colonel: “Not everything revolves around you, Miss Barrow. The world does not rise and fall at your command.”
Me: YESSSS!!! If only the author understood this, too.

Cameron (my favorite character who obviously came into play way too late and disappeared shortly after with no reasonable explanation): “‘Don’t act so high-and-mighty’, she presses on, throwing words like daggers (…) ‘You’re no lordy lady now, no matter how many of us you try to order around. Bedding a priencleing doesn’t make you queen of the heap.”

Of course Mare goes on to call Cameron a bitch and a brat she needs to “educate” – this word was used. Educate. Really. I couldn’t even make this stuff up.

6) The rest.

Don’t even get me started on the “amazing cliffhanger” everyone was going on about. Really? That was it? Really?

After everything you read here, do you honestly think I care what happened to Mare????

*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.