Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Review: Unteachable

Title Unteachable

Author Leah Raeder

Release Date July 27, 2013

This novel contains graphic sexual content and strong language. It is intended for mature readers.

I met him at a carnival, of all corny places. The summer I turned eighteen, in that chaos of neon lights and cheap thrills, I met a man so sweet, so beautiful, he seemed to come from another world. We had one night: intense, scary, real. Then I ran, like I always do. Because I didn’t want to be abandoned again.

But I couldn’t run far enough.

I knew him as Evan that night. When I walked into his classroom, he became Mr. Wilke.

My teacher.

I don’t know if what we’re doing is wrong. The rules say one thing; my heart says screw the rules. I can’t let him lose his job. And I can’t lose him.

In the movies, this would have a happy ending. I grow up. I love, I lose, I learn. And I move on. But this is life, and there’s no script. You make it up as you go along.

And you don’t pray for a happy ending. You pray for it to never end.

Unteachable is one of the best new new adult books I've read.

Raeder's writing is amazing. The romance is beautiful The sex scenes are actually hot. This book is full of quotables. What more could one possibly ask for when reading a new adult book?

While many of the individual elements of the story aren't exactly unique (neglected girl that's had to grow up too quickly, lost man-boy from a broken home), the overall story and how it's told is unique. To say that Unteachable is an emotional roller coaster is a bit of an understatement. Don't be fooled, though, in no way is this a bad thing. It's done with a very real sense of believability.

There's so many good things I could say about this book, but I definitely don't want to give anything away. Do yourself a favor and pick up this book. Even if you've had a bad experience with the new adult genre (which, let's be honest, is just about everyone), give Unteachable a fair shot. It won't let you down.

Raeder has a true gift for writing. I look forward to reading something from her again.


5 out of 5 stars

Friday, August 16, 2013

Book Review: Shadow's End

Title Shadow's End

Series Light & Shadow, book 3

Author Moira Katson

Release Date April 9, 2013

At last, Catwin and Miriel have chosen their own path, escaping the Court and its machinations, and fleeing to the Norstrung Provinces, to aid the rebellion. As they shed the masks and deceptions of their former life, however, both must face the fact that the same dark forces they fled are at work even in the furthest reaches of Heddred.

But it is not only avarice and hatred that endanger them—the prophecy made at Catwin’s birth is slowly but surely coming true, and betrayal has followed her in her escape from the court. As the shadows of war and rebellion mass, Catwin must face the fact that if she wishes to be true to herself and her alliance with Miriel, it may be she who bears the cost of saving her kingdom…

What an awesome ending to the Light & Shadow trilogy. Moira Katson is definitely an author to watch for!

Starting this trilogy, I would have never imagined that I would become as invested in the story and as attached to the characters as I have. The story was perfectly crafted and the characters had a depth that I haven't seen in a long while.

If you haven't started this trilogy, do yourself a favor and pick up the first book (it's even free!).


5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Book Review: If You Could Be Mine

Title If You Could Be Mine

Author Sara Farizan

Release Date August 20, 2013

In this stunning debut, a young Iranian American writer pulls back the curtain on one of the most hidden corners of a much-talked-about culture.

Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.

So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.

Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants, in the body she wants to be loved in, without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?

While the book is set in Iran, I believe it will be easy to see yourself in Sahar's struggles of love, acceptance, powerlessness, and sexual identity. The characters are likeable, real, flawed, and definitely relatable. The writing was good and I liked the story a lot. Overall, I enjoyed If You Could Be Mine.

A quick and emotional read, If You Could Be Mine is one of the best GLBT books I've read in a while. If you're interested in a different culture, GLBT rights, or just want a good novel to read, I'd recommend this one.


4 out of 5

* This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Monday, August 5, 2013

Book Review: Clementine

Title Clementine

Author R. Jean Wilson

Release Date July 27, 2013

Addison Caldwell has her future laid out before her. She has good friends, applications in the mail for PA school, and sweaty yoga to take the edge off of her lack of love life. Just when she finds herself right where she wants to be, Addison stumbles on a familiar stranger standing before her at a coffee shop. He’s beautiful and brilliant. She’s immediately drawn to him and can’t put her finger on how she could possibly have met him before. She finds herself tumbling head first toward a man that she knows is in a league composed solely of him and a bevy of Victoria Secret Supermodels.

“Wait,” he said, reaching out to touch her hand.
The second his hand reached hers, Addison felt a warmth spread through her body. The innocent contact stopped her mid-stand and she whipped her head down. His sturdy hand was barely resting on hers, and yet it was as if he had clenched it directly onto her heart. Holy. She pulled her hand back instinctively, confused by her body’s reaction to such an innocent touch.
What the hell am I getting myself into?

Clementine is a sweet book. I think the idea of fate intertwining two people was a cute idea.

I feel like the book would have been stronger in first person. We only see things as Addison sees them, so it would have made more sense to me to have it be a first person book rather than third. That being said, keeping it in third person but seeing more of Holden's perspective would have been nice as well.

Overall, it's a sweet and lighthearted book that's a definite change from all the angst and drama-filled books that seem to be a dime a dozen lately.


3 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review. *

Friday, August 2, 2013

Book Review: Shadowforged

Title Shadowforged

Series Light & Shadow, book 2

Author Moira Katson

Release Date April 9, 2013

With Catwin’s help, Miriel has captured the heart of the King, but their victory has come at a cost: the suspicion and enmity of the Duke, and the unrelenting hatred of the Court. As they recover from the attempt on their lives, the two form a fragile alliance, promising that their first loyalty is to each other, and that their one goal is to survive.

But to survive, Catwin and Miriel need power, and the search for power of their own draws them ever further into the Court and inexorably closer to the throne. Enemies surround them, ruthless and vengeful, and the only way forward is a dark path that threatens to sever them from themselves.

For it is not only enemies that are a danger Light and Shadow now, but the weakness of their own hearts. As she protects them both, Catwin struggles against her love for Temar, the Duke’s assassin; to capture the King’s heart, Miriel must forget both her love for Wilhelm, and her passionate belief in the populist uprising. A reckoning is coming, a betrayal that has been in the making for decades, and if they are to survive, both Catwin and Miriel must be prepared to give up everything they hold dear.

What a great second book!

I've completely fallen in love with the characters in this trilogy. Catwin and Miriel are absolutely wonderful female characters. While they are certainly my favorite, I also rather enjoyed Garad, Wilhelm, and Temar. All of the characters have such a realness and depth that I can't get enough of.

The writing is on par with the previous book (which is great in case you didn't know). As the story progresses, it's evident that Moira is a skilled author.

I cannot wait to read the third and final book in the trilogy.


5 out of 5 stars