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GingerRead Reviews

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2) - Julie Kagawa Holy fucking give me the next book now!!!
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1) - Julie Kagawa,  Terese Plummer I adored this book ~ why did I wait so long to read it? Eh, at least I won't have to wait for the sequel!
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell If I was asked to describe Rainbow Rowell's writing in one word, that word would be smart. Rowell has a knack for creating uniquely quirky, yet completely real characters. They are all flawed in some lovable way, some have sass, some have whip fast whit, some are happy, some are depressed - all are relatable.After reading Eleanor & Park and falling in love with the style Rowell exudes, I would have been greatly disappointed if Fangirl didn't live up to that same high. Though, Fangirl is not quite on the same lovefest shelf for me as Eleanor & Park, it is damn close.Cath is a mess when starting college. She has always been one half of a pair. Her twin sister, Wren, and her were inseparable growing up. Now, Wren wants space. A little freedom to find out who she is on her own. Cath is comfortable with who she is...as long as no one invades the carefully created bubble she's created for herself.With a new roommate, who is anything but overly friendly and her roommate's boyfriend who is pretty much only overly friendly - Cath finds that letting new people in her life can be a blessing and a complete disaster to her preciously built world.Cath, as a character was easy to like but perhaps not easy to love at times. She has that smart factor that I spoke of but she also has an incredible immaturity. At times, it was distracting and hard to overcome but as the story unfolds, you understand that the adolescent fangirl in her is really a coping mechanism for some pretty rough life lessons that Cath is still struggling with.With her dad falling apart at the seems, her sister in a downward spiral and an unwelcome person from her past all weighing on her, Cath struggles with the day to day college life and it is Levi, her roommate's boyfriend, that she finds a little light in.Levi is one of the coolest, sweetest characters I've read in awhile and I adored him from page one. He's easy, happy and a rock...mostly. He's not perfect, but he is kind of perfect for Cath. He sees her for who she is and accepts her oddities, embraces them.Fangirl is one of those slow burn love stories. There is no instant hot and heavy here, it is a gently simmering coming of age tale written in a sharp, brilliant style. I loved almost every bit of it. The only thing I could have done without was all the fanfiction written in. There was a little too much of Simon Snow's world and though it parallels Cath's world, it just never really grabbed me.*copy provided for honest review*
One - Mari Arden One is a book I neither loved nor hated. Though, there were aspects that I both loved and hated. Normally, the existence of both extreme emotions would have me rating a book rather high. However, there was just something that kept me from raving about One.One starts off as a light, fun story of a college student. Jules hails from a small town existence and you learn early on that she has some skeletons, so she's fairly lost in the hustle and bustle of a large university atmosphere. Jules starts to find a place in this world when she finds a job, meets some friends and starts a sweet romance with the school football star, Pax.The relationship that forms between Pax and Jules was one of the things I loved. Pax is relentless in his yearning to get to know, learn to love and want to protect Jules. Jules really tries to overcome her past to find happiness and hope in a relationship with Pax. It's not an easy road for either, but the struggle and the want is what made it work for me.Those skeletons I mentioned were also one of the things I loved. Jules past is unconventional and I really enjoyed the slow reveal of it. It gave the story a dark edge, something sad yet exciting.Those skeletons, that past...when it comes back to haunt Jules - that is where the story began to fall apart. It brought an element of terror, which I would have raved about, if done differently. However, how it all shook out was entirely too dramatic and unbelievable for me. Not all of it, mind you. Just a couple of elements. But it was those couple of elements that stuck in jaw and I couldn't shake them.I don't believe every reader will have my same problems and I can see many people loving this story and it's dark turn of events. So, please don't only take my view on it when deciding weather or not to read One. You'll get some great characters, some good drama and some sweet romance - if you chance it, that I can promise.*Copy provided for honest review*
Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy #1) - Ilsa Madden-Mills Nora is the perfect student, perfect daughter, perfect sister - on the outside. Nora is broken, damaged and dead - on the inside. Everyone sees a picture perfect spoiled princess, living in mansion, driving a nice car and going home to a loving family every night. In reality...Nora spends her nights in the mansion alone, her parents too wrapped up in their own careers to care and her brother, absent; a fact Nora would very much like to keep.Nora Blakely is done pretending that her life is perfect. She is done attempting to live up to the ridiculous standards her mother sets, she's done pretending that her life is good and that she is loved. Nora is a shell of a woman and she's ready to crack.This realization comes to her at the same time two brothers fall into her life. Leo and Sebastian haven't had the easiest life either and have moved to this Texas town to make a new home.What these three find is an undeniable sense of connection and sense of family with each other. As the attraction grows between Nora and Leo, so does the tension. Nora wants nothing more than to be loved. Loved unconditionally and wholeheartedly, something she's never experienced. Leo wants nothing to do with love.Leo, for all his faults, is truly a great character. He tries so hard to be right, responsible and good. He is a fixer for everyone but himself. He sees the good in people and wants to nurture it but not if it ends up in anything remotely like love.Sebastian is Leo's opposite in so many ways. He's not afraid to jump into his emotions head first. He sees something in Nora that he needs and sees a need for him in her life. The boy is, to put it bluntly, fucking sweet! I'm a little bit in love with him.Nora is a compelling character, she has some uniquely geeky quirks...an obsession with words and a habbit of assigning everyone she knows an animal, are just a couple. What I loved most about Nora was her shy strength. She gets these bursts of boldness that allow her to do things she wouldn't normally consider, yet she still questions herself while doing them. She challenges Leo, the ultimate commitment-phobe, time and time again. Throwing his own game back in his face whenever she can, even knowing she'll just end up heartbroken. Nora really finds an inner strength that pushes her through some extremely traumatic situations and I couldn't help but admire it. Madden-Mills comes out with a bang in her first novel. Very Bad Things is a heart breaking and blood warming tale of survival, healing, learning to love and be loved - written with a balance of knowledge, pain and humor. I am excited by what she'll bring in the future.4.5 Stars*Copy provided for honest review************************************************************************
Inhale - Kendall Grey 3.5 StarsIf you can make it past the first quarter of the book, you're in for quite a ride.I should clarify. It isn't that the first part of the book is bad or boring. It is just quite a bit of information to take in. I suggest making sure you have some uninterrupted time to focus on it, to get a feel for the dreamscape and the players.Once you grasp it all, you're in it. It envelopes you in this mysterious, sexy and scary place. Maybe, I should explain a little. When Zoe dreams at night she is another world, where she searches for a whale she failed to help in life. She believes that she has control of this dream world and that everything in it, is not reality. She's so very wrong.When she meets a handsome stranger in her dream and he saves her and helps her...she in turn seduces him. But Gavin knows this isn't just a dream. He also knows that the dangers lying in the Dreaming are just as real in the daytime and seeking out Zoe for real would be like dangling her body over a shark pit. Even though he plans to stay away from a woman he may be falling for, other players are determined to either push them together or tear them apart. For good.The switch between waking and dreaming was expertly done and I love the concept that Grey has come up with. It really has a light and dark feel to it.I won't say it seamlessly written. There were some slow parts, some parts that I just really couldn't find myself caring about. Though overall, Inhale is an exciting journey into a very unique world. I'll definitely be giving the second book a shot.
Welcome to Sugartown - Carmen Jenner I had the pleasure...no. I had the honor of beta reading Welcome to Sugartown. I giggled a lot in the first half of the book, then shit got real. Like, really real. I forgot I was even beta reading and was just sucked into the story. Very dramatic, very heart wrenching, very sexy, very intense, very violent, very scary at times. Very enjoyable! Carmen Jenner can now say what very, very few authors can - "I made Ali cry."
Assets (Balance Sheet, #1) - Shannon Dermott You know you are in for a ride when the book opens with two strangers having sex in a nightclub bathroom on New Years Eve. Dermott is the creator of one of my all time favorite book characters (seriously, I want him to be real so he can marry my daughter and give me lots of grand-babies), so I was not surprised when she, once again, delivered great characters.Bailey Glicks is somewhat of a hot commodity. She has said stranger wanting to get to know her more. Her new supervisor is laying on the creepy charm in an attempt to woo her. And after learning of her recent break from her former fiance, a man from her past has show up to lay his cards on the table.It is the stranger, Kalen, that occupies her mind all too often though. There is an animal magnetism between these two and Kalen makes Bailey forget everything she was brought up to know. Steamy. Steamy, is how I would describe Kalen. He's also a little of a controlling and possessive stalker type freak. Which made me love him even more. It's obvious there is more to him than what he shows and I enjoyed trying to puzzle him out.Finding a fraudulent thread of activity at work threatens more than just Bailey's job though. It threatens her relationships and even more dire, possibly her life. Assets is a short read yet full of thrills and chills and super sexiness. It was a brave departure from Dermott's Mature YA series and I feel she pulled it off well. The end is a cliffhanger, and I'm good with that. As long as I don't have too horribly long of a wait for book 2!

Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy

Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy - Elizabeth Kiem Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy has many great elements. Intrigue, paranoia, deception and a little romance for balance. I'm not, however, sure that it will find its target audience in the young adult world.The story takes place in the 1980's, during the Cold War. I am barely old enough to remember much about the time period and I imagine some of the details at the beginning of the book may make for a less than interesting read for a younger audience. Beyond the Cold War aspect is the cultural aspect. While I find the Russian culture of that time very interesting, the first quarter of the book was really confusing.Once the story moves to Brooklyn, it is much easier to process the information and follow along. Though, the pacing was not at all what I would have liked. It meandered a bit too much at times and for an intrigue driven storyline...well, I would have expected a faster pace.That said, the story in itself, was intriguing. Marina has a great inner dialogue as she tries to navigate unfamiliar political waters and an entirely foreign culture. Being a teenager in the USA is difficult enough if you know the language, imagine being thrown into it and told to fly under the radar when you barely speak English. Add to it that she has to pretend to be someone she's not, something she's not.Her life is utter chaos and the more she tries to figure out what is happening around her and where her mother is, the more convoluted her life becomes.I can't say I loved this book. I can say that I made it to the end and that I enjoyed much of it. It was maybe a little too confusing at times, maybe a little too unbelievable at times but it was also a little interesting and had characters who were a little lovable if not always relatable.
Tall, Dark, and Divine - Jenna Bennett Tall, Dark and Divine was a little like reading two books in one. The first half was pretty good, funny, interesting and unique. The second half, unfortunately, just didn't quite hold up.Annie leads a bit of a ho-hum life. She's slightly insecure about her weight but is determined not to let it interfere in her plan to pick up a guy at the local bar. She is over looking for the perfect guy, she just needs someone to help fill her needs. When she learns a divorcee is at the bar and possibly needs the same thing she does, she sets her eyes on Eros.I never really felt like I had a great grasp on who Annie is but Eros was another matter. I really enjoyed his voice, his quick and short snipes and his own insecurities. He's the God of Love but his own marriage failed miserably and centuries later he still doesn't know how to move on.Annie stirs something in Eros that he hasn't felt in a long time. He wants her but she's mortal, therefore he is determined to make her a match that will make her happy. That's what Eros does, he's matchmaker, a creator of love...or so he has always believed. His feelings for Annie make him question that though. Maybe it isn't love he's been orchestrating all this time, maybe it only infatuation. If that's the case, everything he has believed for years is wrong. Even his only feelings.I loved the concept of Greek Gods running a match-making business and I really enjoyed all of the Gods as characters. And, as I said the first half of the book was fun and entertaining. But the end was rushed and I lost the sense of the some of the characters. Annie especially. I felt like she just went along with things, as if she had no mind of her own. It was a departure from my original thoughts on her, and not a good one. Tall, Dark and Divine is the first in a series that promises to be fun, I'm only hoping for a slightly better execution in the next go around as I think Bennett has a winning idea with the concept.
Shooting Scars - Karina Halle If I had to recommend one author that everyone should try, it would be Karina Halle. Shooting Scars cemented that for me. I was already a huge fan of her writing but Shooting Scars took it to a new level.Shooting Scars doesn't miss a beat from where we left off in Sins & Needles. Javier has tracked Ellie down and convinced her it is in everyone's best interest for her to go with him. Leaving Camden alone with an ex-wife and a son who doesn't know him.Ellie falls right back into the life she lead before meeting Camden. Not that she goes ahead without feelings of guilt or doubt, she does. Quite honestly, maybe for the first time ever. She struggles to come to grips with the choices she's being forced to make as well as the choices her heart makes. I really felt for Ellie, more so than I did in Sins & Needles where she came off more cold and hard. She's evolving as a woman and learning that the consequences of her actions won't only weigh on her alone. That is a new concept for Ellie, I think, and maybe an important thought to keep in mind through this read. Because she may not always do what you expect or want. She's walking the border between good and bad, bad is a lot easier to do.Camden also grows exponentially in Shooting Scars. He's a self proclaimed chump at the beginning but I wouldn't call him the same by the end. He toughens up. He has to, as he's really put through the meat grinder. More than once. He finds a stronger backbone, he realizes it will take more than a 'nice guy' to help Ellie, he finds his own inner psycho. I kind of really liked it. But I'm a little sick that way, which brings us to...Javier. Javier surprisingly, did not surprise me. Almost everything he did was exactly what I would expect from him. Maybe this means he is the only character to not have grown. He's changed, yes. Grown? Hmm, I don't think so. But maybe that is only because he's already determined who and what he is, he's accepted himself. Faults and all, and he has plenty of those. Even without growth, I'm no less a fan and had a few swoon worthy moments with my favorite psycho-murdering-drug-lord. Yes, I swooned. At some probably very creepy and inappropriate things. Like I said, I'm a little sick that way.I had no idea what Halle had in store for us going in to Shooting Scars, other than more amazingly well developed characters in crazy situations. Which she wholeheartedly delivered. Yet, it far outreached anything I could have imagined. Shooting scars is dark and disturbing, passionate and provocative, riveting and romantic. And the end...wow. Really, just wow. I could not have imagined a better way for this to end, my anticipation level for Bold Tricks, due in the fall, is very high. *copy provided by publisher for honest review*
Thief (Love Me With Lies, #3) - Tarryn Fisher Finally, a peak into the mind of the much adored, desired, loved...Caleb. The Opportunist has us pining for Caleb through the eyes of Olivia, Dirty Red showed how obsessed Leah was of him. And now, in Thief, we can finally see how his brain works.I have to say, while reading Dirty Red I lost a little love for Caleb. I could not fathom why he put up with Leah, how he could ever have liked her, let alone married her or procreated with her...*shudders*. So going into Thief there was a little apprehension on my part. I wasn't sure if I was going to come out of liking him.I did. I actually kind of liked him a lot. He attempts to be a decent guy, even if he doesn't always succeed. At times, those attempts make it all too easy for him to be manipulated. I think that is what I struggled with the most in terms of Caleb. He so easily sees through some of the ploys but is completely blind sided by others. Regardless...Thief was all of the things I missed in Dirty Red. It came back to Caleb and Olivia. Yes, there are still obstacles, plenty of them, but at the root - Thief is Caleb and Olivia's love story. It's not an easy one, it is painful and volatile and at times not so easy to read. But Thief has a realism about it, it's human and flawed. It shows that people do the most stupid, most cruel and most irrational things when the heart takes over for the mind. It also shows that love can withstand all of that and that maybe it is better for it.Fisher writes in such a way that you can't help but fall into the minds of her characters. You feel so much of what they are going through. I think I learned some things about love and life right alongside Caleb.
Pretty When She Destroys - Rhiannon Frater Everything comes together perfectly in Pretty When She Destroys, the third installment in Rhiannon Frater's Pretty When She Dies series.Amaliya has really found herself, she is understanding her role in the power struggle between evil and well, more evil. She's understanding her gifts and embracing them. She is also coming to terms with her relationship with Cian, as well as his cabal.She will need the combination of all these things to conquer The Summoner. He's amassing power and followers and the end is nearing, quickly. Amaliya knows the fate of the world falls on her shoulders and she'll do anything to save it.What I loved most in Pretty When She Destroys was where my thoughts on Samantha traveled. I honestly could not stand her in the first two books but that's all changed. She is a total little poofy pink badass now and I never expected to like her, but I do. Other characters who were introduced in book two, are much more developed now as well. Most notably, Cassandra. The relationship that forms between her and Cian was so sweet, it was cool to see the fatherly side of Cian. He's always been protective of those in his life but it is different with Cass.There were also some new powers introduced and developed. The addition of magical elements and ghosts was most entertaining.Aside from the character growth, which is stellar, was the action. The battles were supremely epic and when the shit wasn't hitting the fan, the pages were filled with tender, endearing moments from many of the characters.Pretty When She Destroys is the perfect combination of action, drama, love and hot, steamy sexiness.*Copy provided by author for honest review*
Dirty Red (Love Me With Lies, #2) - Tarryn Fisher Leah, Leah, Leah.You are a vile bitch. I hated you in The Opportunist, but my feelings have greatly evolved. I now not only hate you, I loathe you. You suck the blood out of my veins and replace it with vomit. I kept reading your story, hoping and praying for some sort of redeeming quality to surface. Any little bit of a quality characteristic would have sufficed, yet it never showed. Your heart is shriveled and black, your soul is empty. You are a disgrace to strong women everywhere.Luckily for me, Dirty Red was a really quick read. I say luckily because (obviously) I am not a fan of this woman and being inside her head really made me feel, well...cruel and dirty. I found myself greatly missing Olivia, who I really wasn't much of a fan of in The Opportunist either. Also, Caleb seemed so different here.But, that is probably the brilliance of this series and the writing of Fisher. She really does well at getting into each of the characters head and showing how they see the people in their lives. Because Leah is so obsessive, Caleb came across way less flawed than I saw him when I was reading Olivia's point of view.There were a lot of details of Leah's past that were brought to light in Dirty Red. I know they were there to give insight as to who she is, why she is the way she is. Unfortunately, I just didn't care and found myself bored with them at times. Maybe it is just because I hate Leah so much or maybe I really just missed Caleb and Olivia's story. I'm not sure.Dirty Red is a good followup to The Opportunist, I would have liked it to be more, but it served a purpose. It did not elicit quite the same emotional response I had to The Opportunist, but it did still incite some major feelings, which only proves that Fisher has an amazing talent and I look forward to more from her.
Deeper - Blue Ashcroft Well. I made it to the 25% mark before I, sadly, gave up. I found the characters dry and boring from the start but wanted to give it time for them to develop. Unfortunately, that just didn't seem to be happening. I'm a character driven reader, so if I can't find something interesting in them upfront...I'm not going to stick around.The bland characters was not the only problem or even the biggest problem. The biggest problem was the fact that the names of characters changed. Twice, if I was reading correctly and I'm pretty sure I was. I even back tracked to confirm. So, either I am correct and the names were given the big switcharoo or the storyline just didn't make any sense. Either way equals bad for me.I liked the setting and the basics of the plot but it wasn't nearly enough to keep me reading. Don't take my word for it though.*Copy provided for honest review*

Jet (Marked Men, #2)

Jet (Marked Men, #2) - Jay Crownover In the first Marked Men book, Rule, readers were introduced to Ayden, a spunky and confident chick. As well, as Jet who was the mysterious, almost broody, rock star. Those first impressions were pretty far from what was delivered in book two, Jet.Not that it is a bad thing. I actually was not a big fan of Jet in the first book and, honestly, wasn't sure I would be grabbed by his story. Boy, was I wrong. I fell hard for his story. I think, because even though he looks edgy and hard, he is really so very tender. Melted me instantly. He's troubled, sure but he knows what he wants, what he has to offer and that he isn't willing to let the people he cares about get hurt. Even if that means he sets his own heart aside.Ayden, on the other hand, lost a bit of her spark. I still liked her but she wasn't the same little firecracker that she had been. I can attribute a good portion of that to the fact that this book really delves into her background and it isn't a happy place but I wanted her to fight back more. I was rooting for her and it took her a long time to hear my cheers.Crownover has a knack for writing good natured characters with a dark or broken side to them. Which, are my favorite type of characters. So far, the Marked Men series is delivering great characters who, on the surface don't fit together but find a way to look past that and work from the heart. It's full of gritty bad boys and (maybe not so) sweet good girls finding out that opposites can and do attract and maybe love really does conquer all.*copy provided for honest review*