April 22, 2016

Book Review: HIDDEN DARKNESS by Amy Patrick

Book:  Hidden Darkness
Author:  Amy Patrick
Publisher:  Oxford South Press
Genre:  Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Romance

Blurb via Goodreads:

The Darkness is Coming...

Ryann and Lad are together and in love, but they are not yet bonded. Wedding plans are underway, but they cannot marry until the mourning period for his father, the murdered king, ends. Waiting is sweet torture and gets harder all the time. 

Nox and Vancia are touring the world with his band The Hidden and enjoying their honeymoon. They’re also working to convince the holdout tribes in Europe, Asia, and Australia to disband their fan pods and sign the new peace treaty between the Dark and Light Courts. It’s the only way to ensure the safety of humans worldwide. 

But unbeknownst to any of them, dark forces are still at work. There are some who don’t support the treaty—or their new king. And they’ll do anything necessary to restore Elven reign over humanity. 

When an ambassador from the Dark Court arrives in Altum, Lad expects relations between the formerly antagonistic clans to improve. What he didn’t expect is her unique glamour—or her traveling companion.

And Ryann’s own glamour gift is warning her… if they can’t uncover the hidden truth in time, the much-anticipated royal wedding may never happen.

As the Hidden Saga continues, friendships will be formed and broken, the bonds of love tested, and beautiful and dangerous new glamours revealed.

My Review:

After Hidden Hope ended, I thought I had heard the last of Lad and Ryann.  Their story closed on a happy note that I assumed meant everyone lived happily ever after.  I was wrong.  And I'm glad.

Hidden Darkness brings us back to the world of Light and Dark elves.  Though both factions are now headed by "brothers" Nox and Lad, things are not so stable among the dark elves.  There are still those who want to control humans and will stop at nothing to get it, despite the fact that their leader Davis, Ryann's father, is already dead.

Ryann and Lad are waiting to marry after the mourning period for Lad's murdered father, the King, has ended.  In the meantime, two emissaries have been sent by the dark council to stay with them.  The problem is these two have unusual glamours they plan to use to destroy everything between Ryann and Lad. Ava and her fiancĂ©e Culley are both beautifully dangerous and are controlled by the Dark Council.  Despite her misgivings, Ava does what she has to do....so does Culley.  Can Ryann and Lad survive the biggest threat to their relationship and their kingdom?

As with the first three books, I highly enjoyed reading Hidden Darkness.  Much of the book is about the relationship of Lad and Ryann and its near destruction, but it's also an introduction to two very welcome characters Ava and Culley.  

Seeing that I am a fan of Ryann and Lad, I should want both Ava and Culley out of the picture, but on the contrary, I am now curious about what will become of them.  Author Amy Patrick wrote them in such a way that I sympathized and understood Ava's reluctance about doing and NOT doing what she is supposed to.  As for Culley, I feel like there is so much more to him than what he shows the world...  There must be some good in him somewhere....and this idea is what keeps me from hating him completely.  The addition of Asher, a human, completes the triangle for Ava and Culley.  I can't wait to read more about them in the next book.

As for Ryann and Lad....wow.....I do love their relationship.  And the wait for their becoming one was painful.  But anything worth something is, so the ending of this book is cathartic in a way.  

That...... And it has left me in quite a state.  There was a great cliffhanger at the end that I'm now too curious about.  I want to know everything and soon.....waiting for the next book Hidden Danger will be horrible.

On a side note, I'm still curious about what it would have been like had Ryann actually ended up with Nox whom I also loved for her.  Still waiting for that alternate ending.....

April 08, 2016

Book Review: IF WE WERE A MOVIE by Kelly Oram

Book:  If We Were A Movie
Author:  Kelly Oram
Publisher:  Bluefields
Genre:  YA Fiction, Romance

Blurb Via Goodreads:

Music meets Movies in this sweet college romance from the bestselling author of Cinder & Ella. 

NYU freshman Nate Anderson is a triplet who is desperate to escape his wild and crazy brothers. After they screw things up for him one too many times, Nate flees his housing situation and takes the first available room for rent as far from his brothers as he can get.

Enter his new roommate Jordan--a quirky LA girl who believes that everything in life has already been done in the movies. In this heartfelt tale of love, friendship and family, Nate learns how to deal with his new adult life using Hollywood films as a guide.

My Review:

The first thing about this book that intrigued me was the title.  As a movie lover and book addict, I figured I couldn't do better than a mix of the two right? Add to that the fact that the author is Kelly Oram..... She who wrote THE BOOK that wrenched such emotions from my body and that which remains one of my favorite YA romance stories ever, Cinder and Ella.

This book uses many movies as reference for moments and directions Jordan's and Nate's lives are heading, as well as titles for each chapter, which makes me want to watch those I have never seen (like Sid and Nancy) or re-watch those that I have (How to Lose a guy in 10 days etc).  I can imagine Oram having a blast watching all these movies and more for research.

The book itself isn't melodramatic and in a way, is predictable in that some angles I have already read elsewhere before.  But being predictable isn't bad if the ride to the end is a good one.  And in this case, it was.

Nate is a triplet who is fed up with his two boisterous brothers.  Pushed by fate, he finds himself living in a beautiful apartment owned by trust fund baby Jordan. Everything goes seemingly well except for Nate's beautiful but shallow and jealous girlfriend Sophie who has a hard time choosing between Nate's brothers and Jordan as the lesser evil.  Jordan and Nate are worlds apart in terms of family life but at their very core, being artists who feel such passion for their craft, they are the same.  And this very factor is why they end up becoming the best of friends and falling in love.  But just when it seems everything is already oh so perfect, Sophie drops a bomb that kills all joy and hope for both.

Compared to Ella’s (of Cinder and Ella) issues which are many and massive, Jordan's is pretty simple.  The only problem she has is LOVE. Will she get it or won't she?  I do like how at the bottom of every situation and problem, she refers to a movie because she believes there is no situation in life that has not been tackled in film.  And I guess she is right, based on the many references here and other movies that I am personally familiar with...... Is there anything left that hasn’t been used in cinema?

When it comes to twists, If We Were A Movie is relatively straightforward.  Reading it is like riding a Japanese bullet train:  it is relaxing, smooth and it gets to its destination.  I appreciate the storytelling ability of Oram and I always enjoy her endings.  They are well thought out, nicely paced and clean.  No cursing. No sex.  And it leaves no doubt about the future of its protagonists. 

As with other Oram books, I do recommend this one.  Though Jordan and Nate aren't my favorite Oram characters (yay Cinder and Ella forever), had they been real people, I would have loved to hang out with them.... Maybe throw in Colin, Chris and Ty too..... And let's not forget Pearl the matchmaker.  Who is she?  Her middle name is Fate and all that happens in this book is her fault.  Read it.