The Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas

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Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.
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OVERALL SERIES RATING: 4.5 stars.

Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5) rating: 3 stars
Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1) rating: 4 stars
It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2) rating: 4.5 stars
Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3) rating: 5 stars
Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4) rating: 5 stars
A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #5): 4.5 stars

A review for a different type of book today! A historical romance! I’ve done a review of The Prize by Julie Garwood in the past and, not going to lie, I felt rather embarrassed about having read these types of books. You know historical romance with a high amount of erotica. But now I’ve realised “stuff it! I can review what ever the hell I want on my blog” and that is what I will do. Expect more of these types of reviews in the future.

Now on to the Wallflower series. Honestly, I was a little apprehensive going into this series. The only historical romances I had ever read were medieval ones and I was a little bored with books set in the 19th century. I picked up the first book in this series on a whim really because a lot of my friends on Goodreads had given books in the series 5 out of 5 stars and they were raving about them. Although I didn’t storm through the books one after another in the space of a week like many, I took my time and read them over the space of about 4 months. Its safe to say, I really enjoyed them. A lot. I’ve even gone back and reread passages over and over again.

One thing that really captured me in this series was Lisa Kleypas’ writing style. It was engaging and consistent throughout. I found that when I started to read a book I would find myself looking up from the book an hour later and not realising how much time has passed. It was a nice experience as over the past few months I had been going through a horrible phase of starting books but taking weeks to finish them. I also really enjoyed Kleypas’ characterisation. Everyone of the characters in these books are original and intriguing. I especially loved Evie and Daisy, and Sebastian and Matthew. Such great characters and I always wanted to know more about them. Even now as I make my way through Her other series The Hathaways I am hoping for more little scenes with wallflower gang.

Obviously there are aspects of the books that are not for everyone. There are things that appeal to different people and everyone will find something that they dislike whether it’s something that happens in the plot or a character. For me, I wasn’t fond of Lillian, I loved her book BUT when she appeared in any of the other books I hated her. I really disliked her in Devil in Winter and Scandal in Spring. Although this is just my personal taste and she had some traits that I dislike immensely in people.
Other than that, there wasn’t much in these that were badly done, the main reason for giving a few of the books a lower rating that the others was because of how much I enjoyed the book. There wasn’t anything wrong with them really, I just wasn’t as connected with the story, I preferred some of the stories over others.

Overall, if you’re looking to read a few light historical romances, look no further than Lisa Kleypas. I can’t express how much I recommend her. I’ve read quite a lot of historical romance over the past year and these were some of the top books I’ve read. So enjoyable and the characters are just divine. I’ve just started The Hathaways series and although I didn’t enjoy the first book as much as the Wallflowers, I will certainly be carrying on with the series.

The Prize by Julie Garwood

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In the resplendence of William the Conqueror’s London court, the lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. A resourceful, rebellious and utterly naive, Nicholaa vowed to bend Royce to her will despite the whirlwind of feelings he aroused in her. Ferocious in battle, seasoned in passion, Royce was surprised by the depth of his emotion whenever he caressed his charming bride.
In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders, Royce and Nicholaa revelled in their precious new love … a fervent bond soon to be disrupted by the call of blood, kin and country!

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Rating: 2 stars.

I came across this months and months ago and its been on my TBR list since. I was kind of putting it off because I was rather embarrassed that I wanted to read this. Despite being an archaeologist/historian I usually can’t stand reading historical fiction because I would be just facepalming the entire time. I have studied the Medieval period in great detail over the past few years and therefore I am a little apprehensive to read fictional books about that period, because of the tendency for the author to make it ridiculously unrealistic and well… wrong. 
This is exactly what happened here. Not only was there a lack of any detail in where this was set, but we are given very little information about the circumstances the characters are in. Yeah, we’re told its set just after the Norman invasion and its alluded to that it starts off a few weeks after the Battle of Hastings but that is it. We barely get any impression at all that there had just been an invasion. Its sort of relevant in the first quarter of the book when Nicholaa is hiding in the monastery after her home has been taken. But it goes out the window pretty quickly. The aftermath of the invasion would have been huge. William the Conqueror most likely would NOT be sitting having various banquets and competitions so soon after becoming King of England. I should think he would have been dealing with rebellions and generally trying to keep his hands on the crown.
ANYWAY, on another note. I went into this book with the hope of liking it, and I did in one respect. The romance was satisfying and lovely and everything I wanted. But my god, Nicholaa pissed me off after a while. The main reason for me in reading this book was because it seemed like the heroine was somewhat badass. What. A. Let. Down. As soon as she got married to Royce she basically completely forgot about being Saxon (technically Anglo-Saxons, Garwood could have used the right terminology) and just basically devoted herself to being a good wife despite the fact that Royce was an ass. The feminist in me was screaming.
The writing in this book was easy and quick to read. However, the shifting perspectives were frustrating. There were times when in one paragraph the perspectives would shift 3-4 times and the way it was done wasn’t all that great. Especially with the Justin bits. It was unnecessary. 
However, I did enjoy the book. I wouldn’t read it again, but it was gripping and fun to read.

Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.
Something worse than the Arum has come to town…
The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.
But then everything changes…
I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?
No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies
betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?
No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies
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Rating: 3 to 3.5 stars.

(shorter review because I’m doing a full series review when I’ve finished the series.)

I just need to get one thing off my chest before I do this review: I. Hate. The. Covers. In. This. Series. Not joking they are horrible. What were they thinking?! Anyway, not a good start to a review but needed to voice that. 

Right, onto the review. This book was definitely better than the first. However, only after the first half. I nearly put it down because of how frustrated I was getting. I swear Katy and Daemon were just having the same conversation over and over again and I’m not joking it was driving me insane!!! The first half was also just dull. Nothing happened, barely any plot development and the new characters? Anyone could see what was going to happen. 

Despite this, I really began to enjoy the book after about half way through when things actually started happening. The plot thickens! FINALLY. I actually find myself wanting to read the next book immediately which is nice. Daemon’s development is coming along nicely although I’m definitely looking forward to more from Katy in the next book (there better be some). I really do want to like this series, but I don’t think It’ll be one of my favourites.   

 

Second Kiss by Natalie Palmer

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‘Even my most humiliating moments seemed funny somehow when I told them to Jess.’ Gemma Mitchell is a normal girl who somehow gets herself into abnormally embarrassing circumstances. And while she thinks she’s the biggest loser in school because of them, there are a few people in her life who would disagree. One of those people is her best friend, Jess Tyler, who is opposite to her in every way. He’s popular, good looking, athletic, and intelligent, and he can’t get enough of Gemma. But while Gemma is dealing with problems like wrong locker combinations and Valentine’s Day dances, Jess is living in a world of serious issues that are foreign to Gemma, until she realizes that he’s holding on to her for dear life. Humorous and true to life, Second Kiss is an entertaining saga about a boy and girl who find that their lives have a lot more meaning once they have shared them with each other.
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Rating: 4.5 stars

I’m still fanning myself over the cuteness of this novel a full 24 hours after finishing it. Which let me say surprises me no end. After reading the synopsis I was a little apprehensive about starting it. I’ve never had that much fun with young adult contemporary, I’ve always preferred fantasy because I read to escape and contemporary doesn’t make me feel like I’m escaping honestly. Why would I want to read about other peoples problems unless they involve a dragon or two. Not to say that I absolutely loathe contemporary, I’ve read quite a lot of it and they aren’t all bad. But I have to say I think this is one of my favourites in this genre. I have no idea whether its just because I read it at the right time and I was feeling particularly connected to the book, or it really is a good book.

The first half of the book I felt like I was going down memory lane to when I was a 14/15 year old, in Year 9 at Secondary School doing stupidly naive things and embarrassing myself to the point that I would look back when I’m 20 and cringe inwardly. I actually found it rather refreshing and realistic. The majority of contemporary YA novels nowadays seem to focus on 16 to 18 year olds and it was nice reading from a slightly earlier age. Although at times you do find yourself just facepalming and thinking “WHYYYY?! Are you blind?!” at the main character Gemma. But when you think about it when I was that age I probably would have been doing exactly the same things.

The romance was lovely. I did find myself wanting to bang their heads together, but it was so adorable that I can’t dislike the book because of it. I loved the parents’ role in this aspect of the plot too. It was amusing and as a reader you can really understand exactly what they are thinking. I think the only downside of this book was a lack of proper interaction with the lesser characters, when the book finishes there are some loose ends which probably should have been tied up especially concerning Trace.

Overall, it was a quick, enjoyable, light and just a bit fluffy read and I think if you’re in need of a book that you can just plough through in one sitting, that has a cute romance and a little family drama on the side this is it.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

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In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
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Rating: 3.5 stars

The hype over this book series is insane. Therefore I felt a sort of reluctance to pick it up. I’ve bought all the books but found that I had no real desire to read them. With this in mind I’m surprised I actually bought them. But a few weeks ago I decided I’d give them a go.

I can appreciate peoples high opinions on this book. It was good. But for me I’m not sure its a 5 star rating. I just couldn’t get into the book. I felt rather detached, so far as to put the book down for a few weeks, and usually when that happens I won’t ever finish it. But because I had already bought the rest of the series I felt I had to finish it. I don’t regret it. I did end up enjoying it. That’s why I gave it 3.5 stars.

The characters were also the reason for this rating. Although they can be a little annoying at times, they were very well written and developed. I also weirdly enjoyed the number of deaths there were. In the majority of YA books I read there seems to be a reluctance to kill off characters and Roth is definitely not afraid of this. Yeah!

The plot however I found felt a little lacking and well predictable at times. Although the simulations and things were fascinating and I really enjoyed those scenes in the book. The rest of the book felt typically YA to me. Okay, yeah, its a YA book and all, but it didn’t stand out as the best of all dystopians I have ever read. I can list off loads that I can give 5 star ratings to but for me this book is not on the same level.

Despite this, it doesn’t mean I’m not going to read the rest of the series. I’m intrigued enough to find out what happens next. But its not on the top of my priorities right now. I’m hoping the rest of the series will be better.

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. 
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 
If I don’t kill him first, that is.

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[mini review. I’ll do a full series review once I’ve finished them]

Rating: 2.5 stars

I’ve started to read this series because so many of my favourite booktubers seem to adore it. Right now, I’m trying very hard to figure out why. It was okay, but not worthy of anything above 3 stars. There are some good things about this book and some really bad things. The only reason I’ve given it 2.5 stars was because it is addictive (but come on… Twilight was addictive)

This book is full of so many clichés that I don’t think I stopped rolling my eyes from start to finish. The foreshadowing was so plainly obvious that I felt I didn’t need to read any more. However, I’m going to be kind and say that this book is perfect if you’ve looking for something fun and easy going. Yeah there’s drama but its not nail-bitingly dramatic. It is also quite amusing. I read this around writing a number of assignments for university and it was a perfect escape from anything complicated. 

I actually am going to finish this series. I’m hoping that they will get better, as there is much potential plot wise for this series. After a year of reading many great books I really don’t want to end it on a bad note.