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Afterwords

I'm just a girl who loves reading more than life itself. A day without a book is a day gone wrong, in my opinion :) Looking forward to meeting new people, talking to them about books and spreading the bookish love!

What To Expect When You're Expecting (A New Blog)

New post! Find out all you can expect from Afterwords to help you decide if you want to commit to a new blog. 

 

New Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

First review on the blog is up, for one of my 2015 favorites - The Ocean at the End of the Lane. 

 

Here's a taste: 

"I wondered, as I wondered so often when I was that age, who I was, and what exactly was looking at the face in the mirror. If the face I was looking at wasn't me, and I know it wasn't, because I would still be me whatever happened to my face, then what was me? And what was watching?"

 I think I have a new fantasy in life; to spend one day inside Neil Gaiman's extraordinary mind. I've a feeling it would either be the most incredible and magical experience of my life, or the most traumatizing one.

I wasn't sold on The Ocean at the End of the Lane before I started it. I've only read one of Gaiman's other novels, Stardust, and I wasn't overly impressed with it. So you could say I was wary of reading this book. Because what if I couldn't love it? What then?

So I breathed a sigh of pure relief when I opened the first page, the one from before the prologue, and realized that there is absolutely no way I could not love this. When I realized that this was going to be phenomenal.

"The Dream was haunting me: standing behind me, present and yet invisible, like the back of my head, simultaneously there and not there."

It's almost impossible to describe this book. If someone asks you what's it about, you would either over-explain it to the point you yourself couldn't make head or tail of it, or simplify it so much it would present it less than it actually is.

It's a book that needs to be read, and that's the best answer there is to it.......

CLICK THE TITLE FOR THE FULL REVIEW

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Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Of Beast and Beauty - Stacey Jay
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Oh my. Oh my. I never expected this book to be... this book. I mean, it was on my GR TBR for so long. First, I saw the gorgeous cover, than read the title and found out it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling (duh), and I was sold. But I did not expect this world, which is actually a bit of sci-fi and a lot of magic, or the beautiful writing, or the captivating characters. And I did not expect to feel like calling this a retelling is belittling it.

 

In Of Beast and Beauty, there is no clear "beast" and no clear "beauty".

 

Isra is a blind princess doomed to a horrible fate. She is strong, opinionated, kind, but also very much a prisoner in her own city. She thinks herself "tainted" by the mutation her people fears so much, and instead of being Belle enslaved by the beast,she is the one who does the enslaving when she meets Gem, a Monstrous, as he is infiltrating her city and makes him a prisoner.

Gem may be a beast in his appearance, but he is such a good person. He only thinks of the best of his people, can't kill even when his duty tells him he must. He tries to hate and yet he can't. And no matter his motivations, he treats Isra with kindness and attention. The (almost) only person in her life who does.


These two are just... *sigh* I mean, seriously, the shipping is crazy. They just... work! They bring the best in each other, they encourage each other to be better, they open each other's eyes. They're also HAWT like lava and so very delicious. And the best part? It takes time for their relationship to grow. They start as semi enemies, then reluctant partners, then friends, then... more. It's beautiful!
Then there's Gaston--I mean, Bo. Occasionally, we get a glimpse into his pov. That was smart, because Jay lets us seeGaston Bo is not a bad person. He is a product of years of prejudice and false information. He truly believes what he's doing is right, and he does have a heart and a sense of right and wrong. He just can't look past all he's been told to see the truth.
okay, Bo is no monster, but how was I supposed to resist?
Another character worth mentioning is Needle, Isra's maid. I love this girl, and I kind of really really wanted to see her happy with someone. I'm all for Jay writing a sequel for Needle, maybe with Gem's brother? I feel like she could really teach him compassion and love...
 
The ending of this book was so amazing! And quite different than the Disney ending.

Honestly, I don't have enough words to recommend this book with. Just read it, please. It deserves more love!
SPOILER ALERT!

DNF Review: Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Dead Witch Walking - Kim Harrison
Why is this series so popular?

Normally, I don't rate books I DNF. However, since I DNFed this one because I couldn't really stand it, I felt like I would be forgiven for passing judgment in the form of stars.

I've been really looking forward to reading this book. I heard so many great things about this series, from great sources. I was expecting a kickass witch, in a kickass world, with shipping to be had that will make me want to read sequel after sequel(I guess, in other words, I was expecting nothing less than the Kate Daniels series, or the Charley Davidson, or The Others, or Mercy Thompson. All great series you should read).

Alas, none of my wishes came true.

In retrospect I a) shouldn't have read it straight after a mindblowingly awesome book such Written in Red and b) should've known to lower my expectations when a first attempt to read this book a couple of weeks back resulted in me dropping it after a couple of pages.

I don't know Brit... I honestly don't know. 

Dead Witch Walking is told from the point of view of Rachel Morgan, which means that if you don't like Rachel, you won't like the book. Can you guess what I thought of Rachel? That's right. Hated her.

Seriously, she's just one of those characters that constantly pisses me off.

It's started with how she refused to accept the idea her ex-boss will put a price on her head, even though everyone warned her, and her boss literally told her he will. In no uncertain terms. I frowned at that.

Then, she's supposed to be a witch of some powers (or else, people won't be so interested in her / she wouldn't be the damn good runner she claims she is). And yet she decidedly lacks in powers. By page 90, she's been almost killed about 5 times, and four of those times she was saved by others who happened to be around and she didn't even realize she's been in danger until they nullified it. And you expect me to believe you're capable? You, lady, are no badass. 

Second, she treats her friends awfully. From page one, she is pretty much condescending, judgemental and unforgiving. Her friends help her. Does she thank them? Umm... nope, she complains. She get's angry. She feels justifies at being so.She never shows them any gratitude. And she hurts them constantly, and so callously!

(It's like she thinks Ivy being a vampire means she has no feeling. I'm not a particularly big Ivy fan, and STILL I was just indignant on her account.)

And let's not get me started on Jenks, the only likable character in this whole fiasco. Jenks is awesome. He is by far the most badass of the lot - saving Rachel constantly. He does a lot more than Ivy or anyone else. And yet he is treated as mere comic relief, with Rachel turning decent toward him only when she's turned his size and realizes that, hey, he's pretty hot!

Then, there's the world. For the life of me, I don't understand why the IS operates the way it does. Why can't it just firepeople? Why is getting out a death sentence? Seriously, why would they go through all the hassle of hiring assassins of all kinds? It seemed so stupid and over the top to me when you can just fire someone. And considering this is a huge part of the story, it made the whole thing hard to swallow.

But the real reason I put the book down at page 190 instead of braving the rest of it as I already got so far has to do withTrent. Now, I have this thing. When I'm not clicking with a book that's part of a series, I tend to go read spoilers (I know, WHAT?) so I could make an informed decision on whether I want to read of those events, or rather pass. Which is what I did here.

This is why I know

Trent is end game

(show spoiler)

. I was on board with that, for a while there. Until he killed that man. The whatever-he-is is a psychotic, murdering SOB. And I honestly don't want to read of him redeemed because, there is no good excuse for that murder and cruelty.

 

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall - Susan Ee

I'm going to say sorry in advanced for all the cursing. This book just brings all the best out of me *wink*

Angelfall is one of these books. You know, the kind that takes over the reading community by storm? The kind everybody seems to unanimously love? Naturally, I was pumped up for this book. I wanted to be wowed by it. I wanted it to be the first Angel book that blew my mind all the way to mars.

For the most part, it wasn't. But there was a ton of epic shit going down there at the end, and just for that last 30% I'll be picking the second book up... probably the moment book three comes out, so I could binge read.

This book is not all puppies and rainbows. Unless we're talking about man-eating puppies and rainbows of blood, in which case, maybe it is. This book is bloody dark. Much darker than I expected (I always seem to forget how much crap dystopian worlds are capable of). It has death, and it has munching on body parts, and it has people (creatures? beings?) playing Frankenstein. Which is so not cool.

The conclusion? Don't read it at night. And if you do, make sure all the lights are on, so you'll at least be able to see the monsters coming.

The story is told from Penryn's point of view, as she navigates this angel ravaged world in her quest to find and save her little sister from the angels who kidnapped her. (Why are the angels destroying our world? No idea. Actually, no one seems to know. Which kind of sucks for us.)

I really liked Penryn as a main character - she was loyal and tough, hardened and strong... but the thing I actually liked most about her is how she is not looking to save the world. All she wants is her family in one piece, and even that is too much weight on her young shoulders.

Her journey companion is Raffe, an angel who had his wings cut off. They both want to get to the same place, for different reasons, so they decide to cooperate. And if on the way they discover the other is not so bad? That Raffe may be an angel - the creature ruining our world - but he's also gentle and caring? Loyal? Well, that's alright. And okay, he sometimes comes out too confident and condescending... but it really works for him.
 
Side note: the way Penryn says Raffe's name is pronounced (like Raw Feet) is actually a name we have here, in Israel. My sort-of grandpa (long story) is called Raffie, so that was fun to read of. 
 
Together Penryn and Raffe were actually... kind of awesome. They don't embark on an epic romantic relationship... yet... but boy do the sparks fly. And in the end... *le sigh* - Raffe is so sweet. The two of them are. I want them together, Susan Ee, and I even have theories and suggestions to make it happen! Email me! We can talk about them!
But admittedly, the first 70% of the book were just "okay" for me. They were mostly travel, and hiding, and running, and you know - stuff like that. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything amazing.
 
But those last 30%? Boy, the epicness. They were fabulous. And utterly heartbreaking, for so many different reasons. I didn't know one could snuff so much heartbreak into one end - it was kind of impressive, and completely depressing. Nothing good happened.The situation looks beyond hopeless... which makes me excited to see how Susan Ee gets them out of it. At least I hope she will... without killing one of my favorite main characters.
This book is also the epitome of mysterious and intriguing. So many things seem to happen backstage, and we have no idea why or how or what the bad guy's end game is. I have so. many. damned. questions. And something tells me I'm not going to get any answers any time soon... *Sobs*


Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Written in Red - Anne Bishop

I'm not even sure if I have enough words to describe the amazingness of this book. And certainly I don't have enough words to explain what's so amazing about it. I don't even know how to explain that to myself, but I will try to anyways. Don't ever say I don't love you guys.

Have you ever read a book so good you just... want to re-read it the moment you finish it? Like, you know you've got other books that need your attention, but you want to go back to these characters and world you almost don't care? You justcrave to be there again? Written in Red is literally THAT book. I applaud my self discipline for not re-reading it again immediately. I did, however, had to order the sequel.

 

The world in Written in Red is beyond incredible, both in the way it's built up throughout the book and the way it just is. It's all constructed slowly, sometimes between the lines, and so believably and seamlessly; from the mythology and thecreation story, to the dynamics, the multiple povs and the un-romanticization of the supernatural.

That's right. Written in Red doesn't gloss over the reality of The Others. That is, they're the predators... and we're the prey.You're going to see your favorite characters kill, and they never hesitate about it. They never second guess. They never show remorse. And it's not going to make you love them less. If anything, you'll love them more for being so blatantly what they are. 

 

That said, they do... soften, throughout the book... thanks to Meg. 

Meg's the girl on the cover--though that's hardly how I imagine her. She's the human that starts to change things. She's running from something (and trust me, it's way creepy and way worth discovering on your own when you read it), and to escape, she applies for the job of the human Liaison in the Lakeside courtyard, where human laws do not apply.

Throughout her stay, she wins over both the humans and Others at the courtyard, with her kindness and innocence that kind of clash with her spunk and bravery (which she shows even in the face of Big Bad Wolves). And she just may be the bridge to create a different world. Already, the Others who have met her start to show more... considerations to the useful humans they don't plan to eat.

Others like Simon, Meg's surly boss and the leader of the courtyard; Vlad (can you guess what creature he is?), Sam (cutest cub ever), Tess, Winter, Jester.... And all of these characters, while being so Other, are also so very lovable. I adore eachand every one of them--even when they murder in cold blood!

And while I can't categorize this book as romance, there is a big enough hint of it to LET THE SHIPPING BEGIN!

Luckily, I'm pretty sure my ship is going to be cannon, and I am going to have SO much fun seeing it come to life!

And finally, I could not stop reading this book. Like, for reals. It's been a long time since a book managed to hold me prisoner like that--and it's not like the book was filled with excitement all the time (a huge part of it is day-to-day life). It didn'tneed that to keep me interested.

My message to you? Read this book. RIGHT NOW. Go, do it! you're not going to be sorry!

Review: Tattoo Thief by Heidi Joy Tretheway

Tattoo Thief  - Heidi Joy Tretheway
If Tom says so, it must be right ;)

Okay, color me shocked. I never really expected to like this book much. Maybe that's mean of me (who am I kidding? It'sdefinitely mean of me), but I just... I was apprehensive. Still, I'm a sucker for the Rock Star x Normal Girl trope (and, if anybody knows of a book featuring this trope but opposite, please share), but it's also not a secret that I've been disappointed by some of the so called best of the lot.

Tattoo Thief tells the story of Beryl, a twenty two years old woman who feels stuck in her job, so when her late dad's best friend shows up and offers her a job in NY, she takes it. And then her roommate deal falls off, and a house sitting gig falls in her lap...

And not just any house - Gavin Slater's. Oh, c'mon. Don't pretend you don't know who that is. Just the hottest lead singer in the hottest rock band alive - Tattoo Thief. He seems to have gone through some form of meltdown, though, and Beryl might be just the person to bring him back.

Now Beryl... she's a tough one for me. I both loved her and hated her. I loved the brave, takes-shit-from-no-one kind of girl she proved herself to be in New York. I loved that she looked at houses and saw people, and that she often wanted to fix them. I liked her dynamics with Dan, Charles and Jasper (who is the most perfect doggie ever!).

I didn't like her shameless snooping. I didn't like that she went on that drive with Peter (seriously?!). And I supremely didn't like the Lulu's Clothes thing. It's a relatively small thing to be so putout by, but I couldn't suppress my distaste and disdain with the fact she was wearing a dead woman's clothes.

Now the love story... I did feel like they fall for each other a bit too fast. I mean, I loved their email chats, but every conversation kind of ended with them mad at each other, so why are you also falling in love? But they were cute. Even ifthere was way too little of actual Gavin.

Stella... Stella reminds me of Stella from winx club. Same type of person; self-centered, kind of boy-crazy, easily hurts her friends without noticing (and sometimes, definitely noticing and still does it). See what you did there, character? You made me draw Winx Club analogies. Shame on you!

I don't think I could've forgiven Stella if I were in Beryl's shoes... though, she clearly uncovered something earth shattering about herself to Beryl at the end there to gain her forgiveness... and I can't wait to find out what! (Sadistic of me, I know)

And the ending.. well, I feel cheated! I was reading along, my kindle telling me I still have 48 minutes in the book when BAMthe end and turns out those 48 minutes are previews for the next book. Seriously?! Bad book, you fooled me!

I wanted more time with Beryl and Gavin just being Beryl and Gavin together!

SPOILER ALERT!

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

I joined the Rainbow Rowell bandwagon a while ago, when I read and loved Fangirl, so Eleanor & Park has been on the top of my TBR list for a while now. I was just so darn excited for this one! But from the get-go, this book and I... we didn't click.

It started with the slang. I know, what? Well, this book is set in 1986, right? 1986 slang should be different than contemporary slang. Maybe not by much, and maybe not all of it, but some. And yet, the boys and girls cursed and swore same as they would today. And that bothered me to no end! I wanted to feel like I was in 1986. I didn't.

Then there was the love story. I loved the love story in Fangirl. I expected to be similarly bespelled by Eleanor & Park's. Can you sense the 'but I wasn't?' coming? Because I wasn't. It started out good. Them not talking. Then them starting to kind-of-maybe be friends through comics. Then them saying they need each other---wait, what? Huh?

This is insta love. They know almost nothing of each other. They've known each other for such a short while in which they were talking. I'll buy lust. I'll buy attraction. I'll even totally buy them starting to go out because let's face it, when you're sixteen loving the same comic books can totally be a reason to start dating.

But that excessive "I need you's" and "I live for you's"? Were they necessary at that point? Couldn't they have been pushed back eons and be given at a more appropriate time in the plot, where I could believe them?

From the moment those words were uttered, I was over the romance. Big time. I seriously considered DNFing when this line of dialogues continued, but I was so damn interested in Eleanor's family story. I wanted to know what will happen with this heartbreaking background too damned much to give up on the book.

And the ending? I've seen plenty who hated it. I did too, but not on account of Eleanor & Park. No, I disliked the ending because

we have no idea what happened to her family. We know from Park's POV that they left Richie (thank godand it's about effing time and good riddance), but we also know through Eleanor's POV that they're not at their uncle's with her, because she doesn't mention them once. The sole reason I read on - and I wasn't satisfied!

(show spoiler)


All in all, this is not the Rowell book I'd recommend. It's not bad, but it's far from perfect.

Sins of the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sins of the Night - Sherrilyn Kenyon

It's been a few months since I last read a Dark Hunter novel. But for the life of me, I can't figure out what changed. I used to really enjoy these books, but if this one is any indication... I am no longer impressed. It was so mediocre. 

This review is going to be written in points.

THE BAD

1. The writing. I came into reading Sins of the Night from reading The Woman Who Rides Like a Man. I know, a bit of a leap. But had I not done that, I would've never realized I don't notice much different between the two, writing wise. And considering I feel The Song of the Lioness series is kind of childish in it's writing style, I suddenly noticed I feel the same way about this book. I don't remember feeling that way about the rest of the books, though...

2. Insta love - yes, all the DH novels have a very Insta Love vibe to them. But this was probably the worst of the lot. You know right ahead this has to be insta love, as Lexi only has ten days in his human body. But did it have to be... this bad?Did they have to sprut words of deep understanding of each other and undying love by the end of those ten days? guh.

3. Danger is not kick ass. Aside for her name, Danger reads like any other heroine out there. I was so excited to be in the head of a Dark Huntress, but was sorely disappointed by how un-kickass she was. She lacked an edge that all the counter male Dark Hunter in the series so far had, and I was looking forward to seeing that specific edge play in a woman.

4. It wasn't hot. Maybe it's me. Maybe I've read so many "adult" novels by now that this no longer impresses me. But these books were synonymous with "Hot" in my head before, and after reading this book, I'm wondering if my memory is playing tricks on me. This... didn't do much for me. It felt so very blah. 

5. How can the Dark Hunters be so stupid? I swear, after seeing them fall for that stupid lie about Acheron from the mouth of a freaking Daimon, their enemy, my respect for them was taken down a notch. Like, seriously? Maybe I'm biased cause we've freaking read of him being whipped for these ungrateful brats, but shit! THEY'RE YOUR ENEMIES! why do you trust them!?

6. No cameos! I love seeing old characters, and that's the main charm of series like Dark Hunter. I was waiting to see some of my friends to alleviate my sinking thoughts on this book, but it was not meant to be.

THE GOOD

1. SIMI! my god, the only redeeming feature in this book was Simi and Acheron. I love these two, especially together, and I loved watching their family dynamics - especially with the added role of Lex. Though, correct me if I'm wrong, but we haven't heard a peeps on Lex before, did we? That left a sour taste in my mouth, considering he's apparently one of the only things Acheron truly loves...

2....

Sins of the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

SPOILER ALERT!

Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton

Rock and a Hard Place - Angie Stanton

There is only one way to describe Rock a Hard Place:

The story starts with a chance meeting between two very different people: Peter and Libby. A meeting that each comes out from feeling a little... different. Like the other frees and soothes something in them. Attraction ensues. A relationship starts.

They were both great characters; Libby is easy to relate to, because of how human and strong she grows to be.

Peter is easy to love, because he never let fame get to his head, and what he truly loves is the music - not the attention that comes with it.

this feels like Libby and Peter to me. 

The book mostly revolves around their romantic relationship, which is pretty insta love, BUT, I felt like it was okay like this. And trust me, as an advocate against insta love everywhere, this means something.

They both drew strength they might've otherwise not possessed from the relationship: Libby finds the will to stand up for herself, and Peter finds inspiration and a renewed energy to face the limelight now that he has the solace of Libby's company.

I find that this is the type of relationship I like best.

But the thing that really convinced me of them happens half way through... and it's a spoiler. A long one.

Libby and Peter get separated, and quite dramatically. But what makes this book beautiful and unique is how they both handle it. 

How many times have we watched a main female character break apart and fall to pieces over a breakup? But don't worry, there's no Bella Syndrome for Libby. Instead of letting their time together bring her down, she uses it to draw strength to move on and become better. To become an independent, strong young woman who knows exactly what she wants and gets it. 

I cannot express the amount of love I have for Libby (and Angie, who wrote her), for choosing this path.  

On the other hand, it's Peter who shows the more traditional symptoms of depression and unhappiness. But it's not pathetic, because he doesn't let it stop him from doing his job--or stop him from finding Libby. It was heartwarming ♥

(show spoiler)


This book was just so good. I read it in one sitting, the pages flew by this fast. And When I was done, I wanted more.

 

Source: http://www.thebookbabesreads.com/2015/04/rock-and-hard-place-by-angie-stanton.html

AMAZING Hardcover Bargains!

 

Looking for hardcover bargains? Check out this HUGE list of hardcover sales on amazon!: http://bit.ly/MarchHCbargains

 

If that’s not enough, check out this other list listing all the former bargains we’ve featured that are still relevant: http://bit.ly/HardcoverBargains

TWO AMAZING DEAL

Written in Red - Anne Bishop Die for Me - Amy Plum

Hey guys, I wanted to share with you a couple of bargains I found on kindle these last few days who just knocked my socks off (and by that, I mean I totally one-clicked)

 

The first is for Amy Plum's Die For Meand the second is for Anne Bishop's Written in RedJust click the names to get to the cheapies ;)

Review: Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Such a Rush - Jennifer Echols

I came into Such a Rush weary. I've read Echols's Dirty Little Secret and I wasn't exactly a big fan of it. But I knew she was considered a really great contemporary writer, so I decided to give her another shot. And ultimately, I'm really glad I did.

I have to admit, Echols has the best and most interesting settings. Like in Dirty Little Secret, which was all about fiddle playing, Such a Rush brings to the plate the unique setting of piloting planes. I've never read such a book and I enjoyed the ride--or, well, the flight--even though I'm one of the people who go "hmm, plane" rather than watching it fly.

I'm beginning to understand Echols writes really humane characters. And that means, you're going to hate them sometimes. You're going to want to shake them, or slap them, or tell them to 'snap out of it!'.

Take Leah, for example....

 

To read the rest of this review, click the title!!

Review: Vain (The Seven Deadly #1) by Fisher Amelie

Vain - Fisher Amelie

This book is about second chances and changing one's self… but not the usual kind. The heroine has not been wronged and hurt and is now learning to trust again and etc… instead, the main character used to be a horrible person. And by the time she realizes she is such, she just doesn’t know what to do with the information. She wants to change. But… how?

 

I absolutely loved this book, from beginning to end. Aside for being a gripping book, withwonderful writingbeautiful characters, and amazing plot, it’s also special. It shows you two separate unique realities; the first of the rich and famous, with a main character who is vain and pretty much a horrible person (at the beginning of the book), and the second life in Uganda, which was a breathtaking reality to read about, both in its beauty and sadness. 

 

Sophie Price, our main character, is a bit different from most heroines, mostly because instead of being a character we can all relate too, she’s the bitch we often see in all those dramas? The one who acts horribly toward our poor MC and makes her life miserable while ruling her little flock of the “popular kids”? 

Yep. That one. 

But...

 

**to read the rest of the review, click the title!!**