Book Review// Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

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Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 30, 2007
Book Length: 358
Publisher: Avon
Review: 4/5

My Review:

I only thought I was living before I met you. You’ll love me until you die, that’s not nearly long enough

I’m on a roll this year with starting books whose covers I hate where I end up loving what’s inside. It really is what’s on the inside that counts, I guess.

Cat is a half-vampire with super strength whose eyes glow green – she’s been murdering vampires since she was 16, trying to find her father and avenge him for the harm he caused her mother. One night, while on the hunt, she meets the charming British vampire bounty hunter, Bones. They learn that Bones is hunting some of the same vampires as Cat, except he’s hunting them for information. If Cat kills them all, there won’t be anything left for him. Together, they strike up a deal – he will help her find her father, if he gets to use her as bait to lure the vampires he seeks. Though Cat is wary at first, she agrees to help, but what starts off as a deal between friends ends up being way more than she bargained for.

Okay confession time: The movies are a different story, but I never did get into the Twilight books. However, with this, I was hooked. I thought the plot was so interesting, and the banter between Cat and Bones was very engaging. I also thought they had amazing chemistry, which made the steamy scenes *chefs kiss*. Admittedly though, Cat on her own did annoy me. She was extremely jealous and insecure, and that got on my nerves because she would start petty arguments out of nowhere from it. With that said though, she was nothing if not self-aware:

“I’m saying that I’m a moody, insecure, narrow-minded, jealous, borderline homicidal bitch, and I want you to promise me that you’re okay with that, because it’s who I am, and you’re what I need.”

That quote pretty much sums her up, but Bones on the other hand – oof. I loved him! The parts at the end where it was just Cat and her mother were almost unbearable; he made the book better for sure. There was never a dull moment here; there was always something going on, and it felt really fun to be on that adventure.

– Catherine

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It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover – Mini Character Mood Boards

Recently, I was reminded of an old favourite book, It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover, as I noticed a lot of people talking about it on Twitter. I decided to re-read it, and let me tell you – it was just as good as I had remembered. This book contains some powerful messages, and deal with some sensitive topics such as: alcohol abuse; attempted rape; depression; domestic abuse (graphic); and suicide (brief discussion).

I decided to make mini character mood boards of each of the three main characters: Lily, Ryle, and Atlas.

Lily

I loved Lily as the main character who the story was told in the perspective of. Everything that she went through broke my heart. I decided to put a picture of the ocean because her motto in the book was, “Just Keep Swimming” from Finding Nemo. I can’t even imagine going through half of what she went through; her mother told her early on to be brave and bold when trying to realize her dreams of opening a flower shop, and she kept that mentality all the way through the book. Her journal entries were a unique touch, and I enjoyed the parts where they came up.

Ryle

This was a re-read for me, and the second time around, I noticed a lot more red flags of Ryle’s than I did the first time. One moment he could be the sweetest guy, and the next he was a nightmare. He had a lot of inner demons that he had to battle, and even though he said that he wouldn’t use them as an excuse, I felt that’s all he did whenever he would apologize to Lily. The cycle of abuse in this book was terrifying and eye-opening.

Atlas

Atlas was a sweetheart. He was reliable, kind, hard working, and an all around amazing guy. I thought it was so cute that at the beginning of the book, he would cook for Lily at her house, and by the end he owned his own restaurant. Just like Lily, he didn’t let his life circumstances stop him from realizing his dreams. I want to believe Atlas’ exist in real life, because if they do, then there is hope for the world.

Have you read It Ends With Us? What did you think? I’d love to know 🙂

– Catherine

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Book Review// It Ends With Us

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Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Book Length: 376
Publisher: Atria Books
Review: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up
— she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

My Review

Before I read this, I was skimming some reviews on Goodreads and most of them said something along the lines of “it’s so important for people to read this” and I didn’t understand it because how important can it really be to read (what I thought to be) your average romance novel?! Now that I’ve read it, I completely understand. I’m glad I didn’t spoil any part of the plot for myself because I liked that I didn’t see any of what happened coming and I advise that if you are planning to read this, you don’t read too much into the reviews.

The overall message was powerful, the characters were relatable, and I honestly just like the way Colleen Hoover writes. What I wasn’t too keen about were how Lily and Ryle overused their phrase “naked truth?” every chapter (it just bugged me, it seemed inappropriate at times and they said it far too much) and how some parts were a little too far fetched to be believable but this was minor in relation to the big picture. The author’s note at the end was also an added touch; had me close to tears, it was very personal and heartfelt. Definitely would recommend this book to anyone.

– Catherine

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