Tuesday 30 April 2013

Review -- The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

The Boyfriend App

Title: The Boyfriend App
Author: Katie Sise
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: 30 April 2013
Date Read: April 2013
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

In The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise, super-smart, somewhat geeky Audrey McCarthy can’t wait to get out of high school. Her father’s death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.

But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler—and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she’s the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around. But can the Boyfriend App bring Audrey true love?

The Boyfriend App was, for the most part, a fresh read with a fun, modern premise. Audrey creates The Boyfriend App as an entry to a competition that promises a college scholarship for the winners. She must win this if she wants to have further education because it's hard enough to make ends meet ever since the accident that led to her father's death. Audrey is an entertaining character and the easy narration made for a quick pace and an enjoyable story.

Obviously, technology plays a big part in the novel. It works as a companion to the story telling.The author spends time explaining, in terms super easy to understand, the inner workings of coding and app building. Audrey has to work hard networking as well to spread the word about her app. I just had fun reading about it because, hey, that's what bloggers do, too!

Aiden, the love interest, was nice, sweet and most importantly, a hot geek. He wasn't one of those overbearing dickwads that currently plague the YA love interest area. But, that he didn't really do anything for me. I, as a reader, didn't feel any attraction not did I swoon as a result to anything Aiden said or did. Nothing. It's not like you can't make girls swoon with nice guys. It's not impossible. There's Augustus, Mal, Po and a bajillion others. So what do they have that Aiden didn't? I hate to say it but, a personality. To be fair, the romance wasn't the main focus of the novel (which is a great) but that doesn't mean you can excuse the lack of character development, with Aiden, Audrey and everyone else.

Halfway through The Boyfriend App, the plot took a turn towards the bizarre and unlikely and that's when I started getting problems with the novel.

It's not a bad book. It's nice and cute (for the most part) but I guess, afterwards, I just felt kinda empty, you know? It didn't leave me with anything, apart from anger towards the second half of the novel. 

An ARC was received from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday 27 April 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves at I Have Lived a Thousand Lives 
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. This is where we showcase books we have received or bought during the week.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me mention not getting any more books for April until I'm finally caught up with all the books and ARCs I already had. Well, good news, everyone! I all the books I was supposed to have finished and now I've got new books. Good timing, too, cause it came at a time when my day has been kinda crap. Plus, I had to restock for the 24-hour read-a-thon this weekend. Interested in joining, by the way? All the information is at their website.

Onto my books!

Imaginary Girls The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, #2) 17 & Gone 

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
-Apparently she's a great author. I've got two of her books and I'll see which one is better, if she is as great as everyone says she is.

The Runaway King by Jennifer A Nielsen
-I love this trilogy. But I think I'll reread the first one again to jog my memory since I can't even name five characters in it.

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma
-Look, it's her other book. Imaginary Girls has a much better cover.

Time Between Us (Time Between Us, #1) Prodigy (Legend, #2) The Collector (Dante Walker, #1)

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
-I've already read this one. It was pretty good. I won't be posting a proper review for it because I don't really have much to say. I wrote something teeny tiny up on Goodreads if you're really curious.

Prodigy by Marie Lu
-Finally get to read this. Many have told me this is much better than the first one so I'm looking forward to reading it.

The Collector by Victoria Scott
-Everyone was talking about this lately. I've read it already, and I'm afraid I didn't like it quite as much as everyone else did. I'll be posting my review soon.

Just a couple more egalley ARCs:
Spirit (Elemental, #3)  Starglass

Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer
-I love this series. I don't love Hunter all that much, but the brothers are awesome as pie.

Starglass by Phoebe North
-I don't really know what to expect from Straglass. It definitely looks interesting. Hopefully, I'll end up enjoying it. I'm part of a tour for it, as well, so fingers crossed.

I think that's all for me. That's a lot more books than I realized.
What do you thing of my books? How's your haul like? Sound off in the comments or leave me a link to your post.

ETA: I'm not doing the read-a-thon anymore. I got so confused by the time zones so bad. I thought it was on Saturday, then I realized NZ is a day ahead so I thought it was Sunday. I checked the site on Sunday and it was already half over. I'm still confused about that.

Friday 26 April 2013

Review -- Crash by Lisa McMann


Title: Crash
Author: Lisa McMann
Series: Visions (1)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: 08 January 2013
Date Read: March 2013
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble. The suspenseful first of four books from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode...and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

Actual Rating: 2.5 stars

Jules sees visions of a truck crashing onto a building, causing a fire and killing ten people. She can try to ignore it but the visions will only get worse, increasing in its intensity and frequency until Jules has no option but to try and stop the event from happening. There is no explanation why and how Jules sees her visions. Nada. Is it because she's the chosen one? Is she like the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter of an ancient magician? Did she get bitten by a spider? Does she have a crystal ball in her head instead of a brain? No one knows. It doesn't seem like McMann knows it herself, to be honest. The mystery and the thrill of Crash focused on the sense of urgency Jules had to solve the clues of her visions. I admit, I was curious as to how the visions would play out.

This surprised me with a funny narrative. I found myself chuckling at the unexpected humour, at Jules' all-too familiar, and quite realistic teenage girl voice. And what teenage experience doesn't come with the unrequited love? Jules Demarco has been in love Sawyer Angotti since they were kids. But her secret love for Sawyer is forbidden because their families are mortal enemies. Someone stole the other family's tomato sauce recipe two generations ago and now they still hate each other. It's some weird Romeo and Juliet thing that was borderline creepy because she just obsessed over Sawyer. Should we excuse her stalking because she was working hard to try to save Sawyer and his restaurant. Yes? No?

I loved reading about Jules' siblings and familial relationships. She's doesn't really have that many friends- actually she has no friends- so she's closest to her older brother Trey, and her younger sister, Rowan, was just as cool. You can really see the bond between the three of them, helping each other with their family business and their parents.

There are a lot of quite serious issues that Crash tries to tackle but I don't think it was addressed that well. Depression, physical abuse, mental instability, adultery and I think it was just handled too lightly.

I'll give the second book a go, since I've liked McMann's previous works. I'm giving you another chance, McMann. You should feel special and don't disappoint.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Review -- Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Perfect Scoundrels

Title: Perfect Scoundrels
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society (3)
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Release Date: 05 February 2013
Date Read: March 2013
Rating: ★★★★☆

Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it's that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want. No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale's family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother's billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there's no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won't let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother's will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company's fortune. So instead of being the heir-this time, Hale might be the mark. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she's willing to save her boyfriend's company if it means losing the boy.

Ally Carter, you've done it again. I love you so much, it hurts.

This had a very different tone than the previous Heist books. It was somber and I just felt very heavy while reading it. Like I had a 5-tonne boulder resting on my shoulders or something. This time, one of their own is the one getting conned and Kat is working hard to steal Hale back.

Hale is not the Hale were used to. He's not the playful confident inside man we all knew and loved. He's vulnerable after the death of his grandmother, Hazel, possibly the only member in his family that actually cared for him. The weight of inheriting the Hale Empire is on his shoulders after his grandmother named him the sole owner. It was so weird seeing inside Hale's world. The stark contrast to his and Kat's world gives you insight to how much he really loves Kat and her family. Thieving and heists are what he loves to do best. It makes him feel alive so it was such a heartbreak to see Hale broken.

As awesome as this series is, one thing it's not so great at is characterization. Most of the time, it's focused on the heist or the con or the cleverly twisted reveal of the plot. But Perfect Scoundrels comes the closest to developing the series' characters to more than what essentially are one-dimensional characters. Granted, it was mostly focused on Hale but this is a step towards the right direction and I will only expect more from Ally.

I love Ally's writing style. There's this certain... fairy-tale-like quality to it. It just flows really well in my head and it sounds so enchanting. I can't stop listening/reading even if I wanted to.

I recommend anyone who hasn't given Ally Carter a shot to read some of her stuff. The Gallagher Girls and the Heist Society are both fantastic. She's also got a cross-over novella called Double-Crossed if you want a smaller sample.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Expectations, Expectations

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the girls over at The Broke and The Bookish. This meme feature features a different theme every week, showcasing book-related lists. And hey, who doesn't love a good list?

This week's top ten:
Books I Thought I'd Like More and Less Than I Did
You can't help but have expectations for certain books, whether you thought it was going to be the most amazing thing ever or you thought it would suck like crap. I decided to split the list this week and do half of each category because why not?

First up are the disappointments. All of these books have a massive following and maybe it is because of the massive following and the hype that made me expect so much awesomeness. Then it falls flat. It happens. Warning: Rants Ahead

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1) Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky , #1) Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
-This was my first angel-type novel and I was so disappointed. Almost all of the characters annoyed me and I just didn't care about any of them. I didn't care if they died or lived, if she filled her purpose or not, Christian or Tucker. It was too slow for my tastes. I wanted more action and a quicker pace. I admit, I got swept up with the hype of the third book's release and I almost started the trilogy again. I didn't but NOBODY TELL ME WHO SHE PICKS BECAUSE THERE IS STILL A POSSIBILITY THAT I WILL.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
-Yeah, this one I don't understand the hype at all. I couldn't stand Aria. Perry was a little bit better, but his smell-thing creeped me out so much. I couldn't get over the fact that he can smell her period. Cannot. Get Over. It. The romance was ok and the world-building was simply confusing.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
-Me and sci-fi doesn't really have a good relationship. It is a hit and miss, most of the time, a miss. I thought this one would be one of the few that would hit the mark since everyone was recommending it to me. Yeah... No. The setting just didn't click for me. I couldn't imagine the spaceship in my head properly. The writing didn't flow well, the mystery wasn't a very good mystery and the insta-love was even worse than usual.

The Archived (The Archived, #1) The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
-I belong to the 00.01% of the book blogging population who didn't think this book was amazing. The premise is definitely original and Schwab can write like no one else. But with the amount of praise it was getting, I was expecting fully-developed characters and a more believable romance.

Iron King by Julie Kagawa
-Once again I'm in the minority for Iron King, and the whole series. I hated Meghan. I hated the romance with Ash. I hated the the writing. I'm sorry for hating this so much. The only thing I didn't hate was Puck. I gave it a second chance though! I read the second one, thinking it would get better. It didn't. Especially with how it ended with Puck. Just, no. I was angry and I don't think I should read the rest of the series anymore.

So, enough bitching about the books I thought I would like more than I did. It's time for the books that surprised the crap out of me.. Warning: Gushing Ahead

Teeth Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) Forbidden

Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz
-Like I mentioned in my review, I had read Gone, Gone, Gone by Moskowitz but I thought it was just an ok book. I decided to give her another shot since everyone insists her writing is just amazeballs and the cover looked really cute. They were 100% right. She's amazing. this book is amazing. Rudy is amazing. Teeth is amazing. Her writing is fucking amazing.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
-I thought Twilight completely ruined 'vampires in high school' for me. Turned out Twilight only completely ruined Twilight for me. I don't need to tell you all how unique Vampire Academy is. There are some holes in the lore but it's refreshingly different and Rose's character is interesting and dominant enough to balance out the imperfections in the novel. She can be annoyingly stubborn and so damn rude but at least she actually does something when trouble is there instead of just standing off to the side and bitting her lip while the men take care of everything.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Oh. My. God. Everything about this book just took me by surprise- the topic, the characters, the writing, the crying. I am so glad I read this. I am sorry I can't remember who insisted I read this but I will forever be grateful for it.

Tiger Lily The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
-I love Peter Pan so I knew I was at least going to enjoy the book but I was so unprepared for the feels I was forced to endure when I read Tiger Lily. The book should come with a warning label: "Read at your own risk. Tiger Lily will make you cry for twenty minutes after the last page has been turned. Plus, you'll end up questioning all previous views about the classic Peter Pan. Truly dangerous." It's an extremely long warning but fitting. Actually, I think the warning should just replace the cover entirely. Yeah. We don't need any more hearts broken.

Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
-I'm sure you understand why I thought I was going to like Immortal Rules a lot less than I did. If I hated her Iron Fey series so much, why did I even bother with this one, you ask? Well, Meghan isn't in it, there are vampires and the vampires are living in a post-apocalyptic world. While the rest of the world was riding on the dystopia high, Kagawa took it a step further and mixed it with paranormal. Just great. Allie is a badass bloodsucker.

That's all for me, folks. What books took you by surprise, both in the good or bad way? Sound off in the comments or leave a link to your own Top Ten post and lemme know!

Monday 22 April 2013

Review -- Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon


Title: Strangelets
Author: Michelle Gagnon
Publisher: Soho Teen
Release Date: 09 April 2013
Date Read: February 2013
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

17-year-old Sophie lies on her deathbed in California, awaiting the inevitable loss of her battle with cancer…
17-year-old Declan stares down two armed thugs in a back alley in Galway, Ireland…
17-year-old Anat attempts to traverse a booby-trapped tunnel between Israel and Egypt…

All three strangers should have died at the exact same moment, thousands of miles apart. Instead, they awaken together in an abandoned hospital—only to discover that they’re not alone. Three other teens from different places on the globe are trapped with them. Somebody or something seems to be pulling the strings. With their individual clocks ticking, they must band together if they’re to have any hope of surviving.

Soon they discover that they've been trapped in a future that isn't of their making: a deadly, desolate world at once entirely familiar and utterly strange. Each teen harbors a secret, but only one holds the key that could get them home. As the truth comes to light through the eyes of Sophie, Declan, and Anat, the reader is taken on a dark and unforgettable journey into the hearts of teens who must decide what to do with a second chance at life.

I expected more from this. I don't know what exactly it was I expected, just more than what I got.

It follows Declan, Sophie and Anet as they try to find their way around this unknown environment- an abandoned hospital in one of the busiest city in the country and it seems as if they are the only humans around for miles in every direction. A lot of the novel are the characters understanding what exactly happened to them, and to everyone. It was nice at the beginning, the doubt, the mystery, the urgency of the pace. But the uncertainties just dragged on for too long. I couldn't believe it had taken them so. freaking. long. to figure out what happened to everyone. The novel was also heavy on the science-fiction elements, with quantum physics, multiple universes and aliens involved. It is filled with action-packed scenes one after the other.

I guess my biggest problem was the lack of character development. The novel was told through multiple point of views, Sophie's, Declan's and Anet's. Gagnon was able to provide a wider view of the world than other authors who have tried to use multiple povs. But the thing is, it did not give any insight at all to any of the character's personalities, I think. There was enough distinction between each narrator's voice to determine who's chapter it was but that was it. I was not able to connect with any of the characters nor sympathize with their plight. I honestly couldn't care less if they all just died.

The ending left me with a lot more questions than answers, not to mention a bit anti-climatic. The whole novel was just very focused ton the fact that these teenagers are stuck in this place and they're trying to find their way back home. A lot of trekking, a lot of unknowns, a lot of mystery as to what xactly happened but it all barely amounted to anything, I think. Honestly I feel like I just wasted my time reading the book even if it wasn't terrible. It is mediocrity at its finest. It had an ok cast of characters, with an ok plot filled with ok mystery.

Maybe fans of mystery and sci-fi might enjoy this a whole lot more. Some of my friends gave it quite impressive ratings. Maybe it's for you. Give it a shot. It's not like it was a terrible book.

An ARC was provided by the publisher, and Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

The Return of the Blogger

It's been a while, people of the internet. I've missed you all. Like I said in my previous post, things have been too hectic and I just didn't have time to do blogging stuff. Let's see, what did I have to endure during that miserable two weeks? Oh, yes.
  • Chemistry- Titration Internal
  • Physics- Mechanics CAT
  • English- Opinion piece about Literature in the Digital Age
  • English- Seminar on how everyone is a victim of war
  • Maths- Graphs Internal
  • Art- Completed sketchbook and folio board (that's an A1 board that has to be filled with drawings, sketches, paintings of a stupid sculpture I had to make a couple of weeks before)
Thank goodness for sympathetic teachers, though. My English and Art teachers gave us extensions. Now we have during our holidays to do it. That's right. I have two weeks off.

Not that I'm going to be doing much except read and blog and eat and relax and read some more.But hey, that's what two weeks off from school are for. So regular blogging schedule is back, with reviews posted three times every week.

Now, excuse me. I've got a lot of blog reading to catch up to.

Thursday 18 April 2013

Blog Tour -- Review: Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Hey, guys! I'm part of a review tour for Debra Driza's debut, Mila 2.0

Mila 2.0

Title: Mila 2.0
Author: Debra Driza
Series: Mila 2.0 (1)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: 12 March 2013
Date Read: April 2013
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Androids. I repeat, androids. Awesome? Hells, yeah!

Mila 2.0 had one of the most exciting premises I've heard of for this year's release. Mila didn't know she is an android. Mila didn't know she had a GPS installed in her brain. She didn't know she could process thousands and thousands of information in her mind in the five minutes. Mila doesn't know her lungs, heart, her vital organs were just ridiculously good replicas of the real thing installed in her instead. Mila didn't know that she has the ability to hurt someone faster than you can say 'Ouch'. Mila didn't know she was government property. But an accident reveals all the horrible ugly truths Mila didn't ever want to hear and now she is running for her life.

The plot of the Mila 2.0 is simple and straight-forward. It wasn't anything i hadn't encountered before but it was very enjoyable and easy to follow. Driza was superb with the action scenes, which played a big part in the novel and resulted with it having a pretty fast pace.

Fans of light science fiction will enjoy Mila 2.0. There is a lot on exploring what defines humanity. Mila tries to come to terms with her androidness throughout the novel. She struggled to accept herself, seeing her 'parts' as ugly and monstrous. I would have truly enjpyed this part of the novel, if it hadnt been for the fact that the thing that Mila saw her humanity in was a boy, Hunter. This is mostly the reason for Hunter's constant and huge presence in the book even though he is only really physically present in it for about five scenes. Mila pined for Hunter while on the run. He was constantly in her mind. Hunter, this. Hunter, that. I don't believe she went five pages without mentioning his name. And fair enough, I suppose. She believed that Hunter would be her salvation from this mechanic hunk of body she was thrust upon.

"If only Hunter were here, with his lopsided bangs and lopsided smile and his flutter-inducing touch that said there was more to me than what they’d created in the lab."

Hunter makes Mila feel, makes her believe that she is not just a scientist's creation. All she she thought of while on the run was how much she wanted to be with Hunter so that she could prove to herself that she is not a robot, because robots don't get these fluttery feels in the pit of their 'stomachs'. All this time, I kept thinking, Mila, you are a strong beautiful android who don't need no man." She truly doesn't. She can kick anybody's ass from here to Montreal using only her pinky finger. And I don't even see anything that special or remarkable with Hunter (same with Mila, to be honest) personality-wise. The novel lacked in the character development area, sadly. However, by the end of the novel, Mila did improve and hopefully the next one will showcase her kick-assness and independence more.

I am interested to see how this series will play out, especially with Mila's character development and the series' overall plot. I wonder if Driza can come up with some fantastical conspiracies that will steal my breath away. By the way, there's a love triangle in the makings and I hate it. But, I hate all love triangles anyway...

Like I said, fans of light sci-fi will enjoy this. It's also a great read if you're looking for something a bit light, I suppose. Because it is quite light compared to the others in its genre.

Mila 2.0 Blog Tour Review

Quick reminder to everyone
This is a scheduled post. I am still not back from the hiatus. I will be back and fully functional next week though. Thanks, guys! I love you all. *smooches*

Monday 8 April 2013

Yes, I know. Not ANOTHER Break!

I've been AWOL the past week already and I am truly sorry. I didn't realize how little time I had to write up reviews and posts and I just kept pushing them back down the to-do list. I was hoping school would wind down around this time already since holidays are coming up soon but quite the contrary! I've never been more swamped with piles of disgusting homework and revision and projects before in my life. The next two weeks are going to be so fucking busy and I'm gonna start crying just thinking about it. I'm afraid I have to cut blogging off completely for the time being. I don't really want to have to worry about how I haven't done a post, on top of other stuff.

Apart from one scheduled tour, I think, I'll be absent for about two weeks- that's reviewing, commenting and yes, reading. After I finish the one I'm reading now, I won't even read anything until after the two weeks. I'll still be over on Twitter every now and then so if you wanna have a chat, don't hesitate!

Really sorry about that, guys. I feel like such a douche, taking breaks so often and not posting reviews as much as I probably should. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

See you all on the other side!

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Review -- Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Title: Everbound
Author: Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath (2)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: 22 January 2013
Date Read: April 2013
Rating: ★★★★☆

Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

Add Everneath to Goodreads

I am angry. Just angry. I'll focus more on how I felt the majority of the time I was reading this because if talked about That Thing That Happened, I'll end up writing a different review, one with spoilers and too many feels. Why would you do that, Ashton? I feel like I just got run over by a semi-truck going 120kph after reading Everbound.


Nikki signs on the help of Cole and Co. to assist her in navigating the world of Everneath to get to the Tunnels and rescue Jack. Ashton maintains and improves the originality of Everneath. I've always admired her unique world-building. She takes a random assortment of myths, mixes and mashes them together to create something completely new and different. Nikki, Cole and Co. must travel through the Rings of Earth, Water, Wind and Fire to get the Tunnels. Each Ring proving to be a bigger obstacle than the last. Each Ring is specifically designed to target the traveler's emotions, mind and physical strengths. Not to mention the hungry Wanderers that lurks in each Ring, always chasing them, always wanting to devour them. Everbound had a much quicker pace and was filled with much more action than its predecessor.

I hated Cole in Everneath. I even wished that he die a horrible, slow, painful death in a hole filled with elephant pee. But I see now, after reading Everbound, that my hatred was misdirected. The rightful recipient of my hate should've been Nikki. More than once, I caught myself wanting to punch her in the boob. She was annoying and felt very... flimsy(?), like she would break if you nudged her too hard. Not exactly the kickass heroine I'd been hoping for. (She is determined though, I'll give her that) Plus, she was ridiculously oblivious. What more do you want from Cole, Nik? What would it take for you to finally realize that he loves you? A blind person can see that he's fallen hard for you. She asked so much of him and the fact that she doesn't even realize the pain he has to endure just to fulfil her wish, risking his life to save the love of her life, just infuriated me even more.

Cole... Sigh. Yes, I hated him in Everneath. But he is a developed character in Everbound. He's got so many layers and gray areas and history. Turns out, this Everliving has got a lot of human in him. Ashton brought out a completely different side to Cole, one of vulnerability and tenderness. I didn't think Nik deserved him but if he's going to be happy with her then fine. I just want my baby to stop hurting.

The love triangle was executed beautifully. This is coming from someone who loathes love triangles. I don't even know what Ashton was doing but next thing I knew, I was suddenly in love with Cole. Ashton maintained Jack's presence with flashbacks from Beck's memories of the two of them. This was enough to remind me how perfect and flawed Jack was. There I was, in cloud nine, admiring Becks and Jack's undying romance. No one can deny that these two belonged with each other. Then BAM! I'd feel guilty at the end of the flashback because Cole had to listen to how much Nikki loved someone else. Do you understand my confusion? My dilemma? Another thing I loved about it is that Nik herself took time to change her perception of Cole. It didn't feel like Ashton just pulled it out of her ass just to add romantic tension. Like "Oh, Jack isn't here right now and I feel really sad. Cole is here so maybe I'll just be with him for the time being." No. Nik was right to be suspicious of Cole. But after seeing the cracks in his tough facade, friendship between the two blossomed where one trusted the other with their life.

Everbound made me want to do such violent things to everyone involved even though I didn't hate the book. I say that's a good thing. I recommend this to everyone. If you're on the fence or didn't enjoy Everneath that much, just read this because it is so much better.

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