Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Title: Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: April 29th, 2014
Genres: Drama, Action, Romance
Medium: Hardback, bought

Dare You To is a fantastic novel that is a perfect mix of romance and drama. It's suspenseful and full of characters that are easy to fall in love with. The writing is fantastic, the plot is amazing, and the characters are all perfectly written. This series by Katie McGarry is one of my all-time favorites, because it gets better and better with every novel she writes.
The plot is amazing. It's suspenseful, action-packed, and full of sexy romance. These novels are the epitome of romance novels, as they sometimes have a certain "damsel-in-distress" feeling, while at other times, the roles are switched, and it's the female protagonist that saves the hunk. I love how with her novels, there is the balance or equality in all the relationships. The girls are always strong, independent women, and the boys are just as equally brave. This makes these stories very easy to read for both genders and all ages. It's mature romance and it's definitely not just some 'daytime-soap-opera' romance. In these novels (and especially this one) the romance is continually interrupted by sporadic bursts of drama and action. This is also another reason why these stories are just as interesting for boys as they would be for girls. The action and drama will draw anyone in.
The characters, as usual, are spectacular. Each character is so perfectly written, that they all feel so lifelike. This is another reason why this series is so popular, because the characters all feel like you could know them in real life. Each has a unique personality, and they all contribute to the plot in some way. They are raw and emotional, and each demands you fall in love with them.
Katie McGarry's writing is so spectacular that I come to expect it every time I read one of her works. I expect is so much, I would be absolutely astounded if I did read one of her novels where the writing wasn't spot-on. As I said previously, McGarry writes with a certain balance. Not only does her characters have this balance, but so does her writing in general. She has mastered the art of perfectly balancing action and romance together in a plot. Her words all seem specifically chosen to tell the story and situation, and display the correct amount of emotion. I know I always say this, but her writing is raw, it's emotional, and it's simply one of the best I've seen.
Overall, this novel was yet another home run from Katie McGarry. The characterization and plot depth in her novels is what really draws the crowds in, as it surely was what hooked me. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I cannot wait to see what else she comes up with.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Review: Obstacles by Christopher Reardon

Title: Obstacles by Christopher Reardon
Publisher: Solstice Shadows
Release Date: December 18th, 2013
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Drama
Medium: Paperback, Received for Review from author (Thanks Chris!)

Obstacles by Christopher Reardon is a unique new novel about making difficult decisions, facing your fears, and fighting for what you believe in. It is a perfect mix of action, drama, and fantasy. With an intricate plot and many plot twists, this novel is a good read for those looking for an original fantasy tale.

The plot of this novel is truly one of a kind. In it, a man named Alcott is faced with a difficult decision; let a small child die or compete in a set of obstacles to win the child his life... and Alcott take his place and lose his own. This original plot makes for a suspenseful ride. There's plenty of action and drama, making this novel perfect for both genders, and a fantastic fantasy element that ties everything together and makes it enjoyable for any age. It's fast paced and full of twists and turns you never see coming.

The writing was good. I won't say great, because it was lacking in many places. Most noticeably for me, the sentence structure was off and needed some variation. It felt like every single sentence was short and had the same number of syllables. There needed to be some differentiation here and this would have improved my opinion greatly. Secondly, the writing could have been a bit more natural. It would have flowed so much easier if this has been done. Thirdly, the dialogue could have been more natural as well. I just wish the writing hadn't been so rigid and fake at times. Aside from these few problems, the novel is very descriptive and keeps a good pace. The creativity is there, but the writing needs some work.

I'll briefly touch on the characters. They were all very nicely done and each played an important part. They each had great back stories (may I say I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of the characters had a sister with Down Syndrome. As I, too, have a sibling with Downs, I love seeing representation in fiction today.) Every character was perfection.

Overall, the novel was quite good. It was unique, with a great plot and wonderful characters, and although the writing needs a little work, I will recommend this novel to fantasy-lovers. Christopher Reardon is definitely one to keep an eye on for the future.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

ARC Review: Gypsy by Trisha Leigh

Title: Gypsy by Trisha Leigh
Publisher: Self
Release Date: May 7th, 2014
Genres: Drama, Action, Romance
Medium: Paperback ARC via Author

Gypsy by Trisha Leigh was an spellbinding novel full of edge-of-your-seat action, exciting drama, and believable romance. This novel hooks you right away from it's originality and unique voice, and is definitely a series you don't want to miss.

Starting off, what was the biggest thing that drew me in about this novel? The setting. The moment I found out this novel was set in the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina, I knew I had to read it. A bit of a backstory here, last summer I vacationed in the charismatic city and for one week, I was in paradise. More than a year later, here I am, and I have not been able to get the charming city out of my head. In a few years time, I will be moving there to continue my career. Trisha Leigh wrote Charleston into this novel perfectly. She describes the city in perfect detail, and allows you to lose yourself in the city though her words. I could clearly picture the streets and areas in my head, remembering the quaint streets and the inviting homes. It was fantastic. And aside from that, the plot was brilliant. It was a perfect mix of slightly apocalyptic action, drama, and a touch of blossoming romance. The exciting and fresh plot draws you in and refuses to let you go. There isn't a minute that passes without something exciting happens, and it leaves you craving more whenever you are forced to pause in your reading.

The characters are as charming as the setting. They are interesting and all manage to be unique, despite the large amount of characters. Each has certain traits that define them, and they all involved in a complicated tangle of relationships that is very interesting to explore.

Along with that, the writing is also great. It's concise, yet descriptive and full of inner conflict and monologue at the same time. Trisha Leigh writes with an uncanny ability to keep the reader interested, no matter the situation or lack of action. Her tone of writing is as exciting as the plot; it's fast, riveting, and full of suprises.

All in all, this was a great novel full of twists and turns you never see coming. I will admit that I had trouble getting into the novel in the beginning, that the beginning is slightly slow, but it picks up and redeems itself about halfway though. The last half is packed to the brim with drama and romance, and surprises await you at every turn. This first installment of the Cavy series is one you simply cannot miss.