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BookLikes Community Guidelines

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BookLikes Welcomes New Book Lovers :-) And now let's start reading.

Shooting Scars - Karina Halle 4.0 stars
I think this is the book that I liked Ellie in the least. I've read several reviews where people have said that they don't like her much, and I really didn't experience that in the first two stories. I like a bad girl protagonist, especially one who struggles with it and has a conscience like Ellie does. But in this one, her very low self-esteem (although understandable) and the decisions she made because if it kind of drove me nuts. I guess it's no surprise that I am Team Camden, given my review of [b:On Every Street|17230557|On Every Street (The Artists Trilogy, #0.5)|Karina Halle|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1359656866s/17230557.jpg|23745831], so I was really disappointed at how easily Ellie went back to being intimate with Javier. And, the obsession he has with her still creeps me out big time.

Overall, the book was very good. Lots of additional character development. I adore Gus; I picture him in my mind like Bobby from Supernatural - gruff on the outside but soft and squishy on the inside. I really loved his and Camden's journey and the build to a hesitant friendship between the two.

On to [b:Bold Tricks|17284874|Bold Tricks (The Artists Trilogy, #3)|Karina Halle|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1377092848s/17284874.jpg|23903667], please.
On Every Street  - Karina Halle 3.5 stars
So, I still love this series. And this book might have been even more well-written than the first. Why the lower rating, then, you ask? Well, it was a little too disturbing for my taste. Let's just say it hit a little too close to home, having firsthand experience in my long ago past with a controlling personality like Javier. I found his obsession very hard to read ... and just as bad (worse?) was the fact that Eden/Ellie accepted and even liked it. It gave me the heebie-jeebies and I couldn't get past it.
That said, it's still an excellent story with incredibly steamy scenes and adds a lot to the arc started with book one, [b:Sins & Needles|16029994|Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1)|Karina Halle|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347859611s/16029994.jpg|21799599].
Sins & Needles - Karina Halle 4.5 stars

Were you looking forward to, but ultimately disappointed with [b:Fifty Shades of Grey|10818853|Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)|E.L. James|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1372516342s/10818853.jpg|15732562] like I was? To me, it was akin to a bad porno - abysmal writing with ridiculous plot line, but (begrudgingly) some hot lovin'.
Now, how about a book that is more like a very cool indie film - excellent story, well-written, real characters, and even better and more believable hot sex scenes? Yes, please.
That's what [b:Sins & Needles|16029994|Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1)|Karina Halle|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347859611s/16029994.jpg|21799599] is for me. As much as I was thoroughly annoyed with the Fifty Shades series, I am as in love with the Artists Trilogy series.
The book is by no means perfect, but the timing could not have been better for me - still on my low after Fifty Shades, it's hard not to compare the two and this one wins hands down.

Give it a try. You'll see.
And if you disagree, let's have a debate about it.
The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern I liked it. The incredibly lush settings and eccentric secondary characters were what captured me the most.

I found several things disappointing; here are a few.
1. A "fierce competition", as described in the synopsis. Umm, not so much. It was pretty languid, actually. I expected much more action and at least one real battle with that type of setup.
2. Marco and Celia "tumble headfirst into love." More like it's some sort of pre-destined insta love that required no building of emotion. Bleh.
3. "A remarkable battle of imagination and will." Refer to disappointment #1. The premise of much of the magic is that it is real but curious or slight enough that regular Joes would think it simply illusion or diversion. That's highly unbelievable to me, given the tricks that are actually performed.

With all that said, there were things that I really liked. The idea of the monochromatic circus that simply appears one day, the interesting performers, the vivid descriptions for all the senses. Lovely and enchanting. And, in spite of myself, I did really enjoy all of the characters. Actually, I think if the description had been better written as something closer to what the book was actually about, I might not have been disappointed at all.

This is a 4-star enchanting story with a 2-star misleading description. So, I'll say 3 stars rounded up to 3.5 for the terrific atmosphere contained within.
Untouched - Jus Accardo Not typically a fan of short stories. Really, it was just another chapter or two and could easily have been added as a prologue to book two, except for the fact that it was from Kale's POV.
Toxic - Jus Accardo I'm not exactly sure why these characters changed for me. In the first book, [b:Touch|11882171|Touch (Denazen, #1)|Jus Accardo|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1317009934s/11882171.jpg|16840536], I found Dez exciting and her kick-assery was splendid. And Kale was endearing and innocent. In this one, I found them both rather tiresome ... Dez's impulsiveness was ridiculously irritating versus exhilarating and Kale's naivety felt clueless versus innocent. Was I just in a different place (less judgmental) when I read the first? Was I expecting too much from this one since I've been reading some really good books lately? I don't know. I still like Alex. He was just as good in this book as in the first and I really like the conflict and confusion his character brings to the story. The scary twins - Able and Aubrey - were kind of awesome. I really loved their dialogue. The whole super powers thing in general is still pretty cool.

One thing I can't abide by that I know definitely soured my experience is typos. This is a professionally written, edited and published book, is it not? How annoying. And, due to my slightly obsessive nature (or not so slight, depending on who you talk to), once I saw them I couldn't get it out of my mind. *sigh*

Overall, still a generally entertaining read and I will soldier on to the next one, [b:Tremble|15811134|Tremble (Denazen, #3)|Jus Accardo|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1365751236s/15811134.jpg|21536309]. I sure hope there aren't any typos ...
The Witness - Nora Roberts It was fine. I read a Nora Roberts book for simple, easy, and gentle romance...and that's what I got. There's nothing very complex and its really not very believable, but suspension of reality for an easy chick-lit story is just what I need sometimes.
Touch - Jus Accardo Solid 4.0 stars
I really enjoyed this book. What's not to like? Relatively easy read. Plenty of action. Some interesting plot twists. Snarky protagonist. Hot love interest. Sticky love triangle.
All my faves.
If you're a fan of X-Men (which I'm not particularly, actually), then this should be right up your alley.
Partials - Dan Wells Review to come.
The Forbidden Game: The Hunter; The Chase; The Kill - L.J. Smith 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2.0 stars
With the mazes and games that have deadly consequences, to compare this book to movies ... it felt very "Saw"-light ... or maybe "Jumangi"-dark. The writing started mediocre at best, but got a little (just a little) stronger throughout the three books. I found most of the characters very cliche and predictable, although I will admit that Julian's character was written with a touch of smolder and danger that I liked (but, alas, there were MANY issues with his character as well).

Here's what I will say. Just like with a TV series, a book series is best done in marathon form one right after the other. Had I purchased the first book [b:The Hunter|88495|The Hunter (The Forbidden Game, #1)|L.J. Smith|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1222651597s/88495.jpg|85398] and read it independently, I almost certainly would not have moved on to books two ([b:The Chase|88496|The Chase (The Forbidden Game, #2)|L.J. Smith|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1222651862s/88496.jpg|85399]) and three ([b:The Kill|333670|The Kill (The Forbidden Game, #3)|L.J. Smith|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1222652102s/333670.jpg|324194]). In the end, I'm glad I had all three in one book because I do like to wrap up a storyline/series (even though I saw that ending coming a mile away).
Froi of the Exiles - Melina Marchetta Solid 4.5 stars, deservedly rounded up to 5.0
I really loved this book - probably even better than the first one, [b:Finnikin of the Rock|4932435|Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1)|Melina Marchetta|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1346007613s/4932435.jpg|4998084].
Froi is such an excellent character; I love his temper and his internal struggles to be someone worthy and do the right thing. The introduction of Quintana was terrific; the story of her damage was spellbinding. I simply adored Gargarin and Arjuro - I really couldn't get enough of them.
This is a very long book with a lot that happens, so I wouldn't be able to do it justice with a reveiw that only skims. So, I'll just leave it at this: I loved it and am very much looking forward to the next installment, [b:Quintana of Charyn|10165761|Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3)|Melina Marchetta|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331187719s/10165761.jpg|15064476]. Wish I didn't have to wait so long for it to come out in paperback.
Angelfall  - Susan Ee 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4.0
I really loved the first 90% of this book. The last 10% ... not so much. It was a terrific story - an incredible concept - the angels of the apocolypse swooping in one day and immediately changing everything about the world. Yes, I imagine it would.
The journey that Penryn and Raffe take is wonderful. Everything that they struggle with was suspenseful and felt believable in the context of the story. Beautiful.
But, like I said, I struggled at the end. There better be something really good that happens right away in book 2 that offsets all the horribly awful at the end of book 1.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir - Jenny Lawson DNF
Rules of Civility: A Novel - Amor Towles 3.0 Stars
I liked this book. It was definitely slower than the pace I'm usually drawn to. But the story was beautiful, the characters rich, the setting lovely.
Will I re-read it sometime? Probably not. Am I happy to have read it this time? Yeah.
Major positive: I did not see the twist coming. Even though it was a pretty minor plot twist, I liked that I was caught off guard by it. Chapter 23 was a hoot.
Cinder  - Marissa Meyer 4.0 stars
I liked this book. The tie to a fairy tale was intriguing and strong without being too similar. And how could it be, really, with a cyborg as the protagonist.
Loved Cinder, Peony, Iko and Prince Kai as characters.
I'm interested in seeing where this goes and how the other fairy tales are incorporated, so will definitely be picking up the next installment, [b:Scarlet|13206760|Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)|Marissa Meyer|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1342485529s/13206760.jpg|18390691].

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11/22/63
Stephen King