Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Arrow by Maureen O'Leary

  After a traumatizing encounter with a demon virus, healer Fynn Kildare has departed from her family in the Keep, and accepts that she is destined to live a human life, and embrace the ugliness in the world that is humanity.
  But her mother has a different fate planned for Fynn. Her mother knows that she is destined to be The Arrow. It is her duty to protect the Keep and humanity from a destructive and terrible army of demons being created right this very minute...
  Will Fynn rekindle her old flame with famous rocker, Komo? Does Fynn have what it takes to save the world? Will she become the Arrow and rescue humanity from the evil clutches of an unknown force?
  I'm very sad to say that this book missed the mark for me. I read anything and everything, so the plot of the book itself didn't disinterest me.
  To be honest, with the right amount of editing, changes, and plot shifts, this story could be a winner. The possible outcomes of the characters' perspectives were the only aspects that kept me reading, when I so desperately just wanted to put the book down. In my experience, I felt that there was too much focus on the main character's obsession with drugs, and not enough focus on the progression of the story. I honestly didn't become attached to any of the characters, with the exception of one male who became likable about halfway through the book. (By that point, I wasn't happy with the main character, and was disappointed to discover that she and this newly turned-around character were going to end up together.)
  I've read reviews on Amazon saying how much they enjoyed Ms O'Leary's The Arrow, and I understand how someone can become enchanted with Fynn's story.
  I'm just sorry to report that the enchantment was lost on me.

Book                                ebook

Friday, May 20, 2016

How to Be Manly by Maureen O'Leary Wanket

  Poor, sweet Matty "Fatty" Sullivan is unpopular, overweight, and out of the love of his life's league. Matty is almost at the end of his rope, until he comes across a book in his neighbor's house titled "How to Be Manly," written by a late famous football player.
  The book instructs how to lose weight, become the most popular kid in school, and get the girl. Matty follows this famous athlete's rules, and takes it upon himself to shed his extra pounds, his Matty "Fatty" Sullivan persona, and win the girl of his dreams, all before summer is over.
  I thought this book was precious. Absolutely precious.
  It's a typical coming of age novel, so some aspects of it may be easy to predict to the frequent YA (young adult) reader, but I thought it was positively charming.
  There were unexpected twists, heart-fluttery parts (at both young love and intense scenes), there was a fantastic message to Matty's story, and overall, it had a wonderfully feel-good ending.
  This book isn't perfect; there were some flaws easily spotted by a well-trained eye, but they were easily overlooked by the charm of the plot.
  While I was reading How to Be Manly, I was anxious to get back to Matty's story when I was forced to put the book down. Now that the book is over, I find myself thinking back to Matty's world, and using his book as a reference to every day life.
  This book was very enjoyable.

Book                               ebook

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Reaper by Stephanie Erickson

  In all honesty, I was a bit nervous to start Stephanie Erickson's The Reaper, her latest installment of The Children of Wisdom series. I am a huge fan of Ms Erickson's (huge, HUGE fan), but I felt let down recently when I read book one of the series, The Fate. I don't know what it was for sure, but I do know that there were aspects of The Reaper that made me realize what I was missing from my perception of The Fate.
  When I started The Reaper, I was afraid that it would miss that mark. The mark that Ms Erickson's Unseen made me feel. It's not that The Fate was missing that completely either, because I obviously enjoyed it enough to welcome The Reaper with open arms. And when I finally did start Michaela, the Reaper's, story, I was a goner.
  I fell in love with Michaela and her story so much, I just could NOT put the book down. Every time I was forced to accomplish mundane tasks such as eating, using the bathroom, and socializing with family, my mind would wander off to Heaven, Hell, and Earth.
  "Who is causing all of these souls to become imprisoned?"
  "What will happen to ghosts doomed to wander Earth for all of eternity?"
  "Why, Webber?! WHY?"
  I was fascinated with her life as a Reaper. I was sweating every time she had to break into and out of Hell. I wanted to cry every time she had to escort a soul from Earth into Heaven. This book had me experiencing every single emotion possible, and all in under 200 pages. I miss her. I actually miss her.
  As disappointed as I was that The Fate didn't capture my interest as much as Ms Erickson's other stories, I can now firmly state that The Reaper has rectified any previously conceived notions I established when I first started this series. I am chomping at the bit to get my hands on her third installment of the series, The Human.
  I positively cannot wait to revisit Michaela, and hopefully get some answers and a happily ever after!


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Dragon Justice by J.D. Hallowell

  After a traumatizing childhood as a servant, Simon has just committed an unforgivable crime against Lord Bastian's son, and Simon is on the move in an attempt to escape surely what will be a death sentence if he is caught.
  The only beings he has on his side are his own mother, his mentor Boron, and the dragon egg he has just witnessed being hatched. But Simon doesn't know that coming across this egg could mean fulfilling a destiny larger than he'd ever expect from his previous life as a servant.
  Simon has become a Dragon Rider. Feared by many, Dragon Riders are a part of a world Simon has only heard about in folklore. But this tale is soon to become a harsh reality for our Simon.
  As a reader of J.D. Hallowell's previous Dragon Rider books, I can honestly tell you that I was not disappointed with his new story. It was everything I expected and more.
  Like many, these books do have flaws, but it is easy to look past them and get lost in Simon and Sienna's story.
  In some ways, I actually prefer Simon's story to Delno's, which was quite an interesting revelation to have during my second read through.
  You will see some familiar faces from the other Dragon Rider installments, so be sure to enjoy Dragon Fate and Dragon Blade before you delve into Simon's story.
  Fantasy readers and long-time fans of J.D. Hallowell will not be disappointed with Dragon Justice.