Book Review: Rock It by Jennifer Chance

Rock It (Rule Breakers #1)

Title: Rock It (Rule Breakers #1)
Author: Jennifer Chance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult, Musician
Publisher: Love Swept (Random House)
Publication Date: March 4th, 2014
Pages: 240
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Lacey Dawes is a total pro at the talent agency where she works, and it doesn’t hurt that IMO Worldwide Media represents Dante Falcone. The rock god has starred in her fantasies since she was sixteen—and remains her secret crush to this day. So when Dante picks her to be the interim manager on his Dream It tour, Lacey can’t believe her luck. Handling Dante is sure to be the most exquisite, spine-tingling, nerve-wracking mix of business and pleasure ever.

Although Dante is grateful for the adoring fans who scream for one more of his full-throttle, soul-searing songs, being surrounded by a cadre of corporate types backstage is wearing thin. Then Lacey shows up. Yeah, she’s organized, smart, quick to get him what he wants before he knows he wants it—but Dante senses there’s something else going on with sweet, sexy Lacey. One kiss tells him what that “something” might be . . . and makes him hungry for more.

My Review:

Ever been obsessed with a rock star? Lacey Dawes has – and she has the scrapbooks to prove it. She’s been in love with musician Dante Falcone for as long as she can remember. When she was a teen she sent him a letter every day for a hundred days and she isn’t completely over her first crush. Now, in her twenties, Lacey’s talent agency has signed Dante Falcone as their number one client – and he wants her to go on tour with him. It’s a dream come true – or is it? Trying to keep her personal and professional lives separate, Lacey struggles as she gets to realize that the man behind the guitar is just as incredible as she always thought.

Rock It reads a little like well written fan fiction. What would you do if you got the chance to get up close and personal with your fantasy musician? Lacey gets to experience just that – however it felt a little odd at times. We get to see Lacey the junior talent agent – willing to do whatever it takes to keep clients and her employers happy. She will do the grunt work that no one else wants to and does all the little jobs her boss Brenda passes down. When she catches Dante’s eye and he requests her, Lacey is determined to be as professional as possible. And yet, it doesn’t take much for uber-competent and businesslike Lacey to be quite sensual and sexual. I found it a little odd and (disregarding the incident with the champagne) could not quite work out why she behaved as she did  – except if it was just her lingering feelings as a fangirl spurring her on. Dante is every bit the rock star. He’s been in the spotlight for a long time and wants to break out and do what he wants to do and not what his record label expects. His reputation with the ladies is legendary and it felt natural that he would embrace Lacey’s sexual side. His realization of his true feelings towards Lacey felt abrupt and uncharacteristic.

These characters have quite a bit of sexual chemistry with each other but as a reader I didn’t connect with either of them. Lacey spent a lot of time worrying that she was going to lose her job (despite the big boss nearly always saying how great she was doing) and daydreaming about how amazing Dante is. I’m not sure what set Lacey apart from the other groupies Dante had and the two didn’t appear to have much of an emotional connection.

This book was a steamy read and not for those who don’t enjoy down and dirty romances. The idea that dreams really can come true is very sweet however I would have liked to have seen more emotional maturity from Lacey and Dante. There are some humorous moments throughout the novel but ultimately this isn’t a story that will stick with me.

 

Purchase the novel from:

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About Jennifer Chance

JenniferChance

I come by romance honestly, having spent several years writing adult romance and entering romance contests through Romance Writers of America–including finaling twice in the prestigious Golden Heart contest and winning once. But despite these and other contest wins, my first published novel came not in adult romance, but as a writer of YA historical fiction (you can read all about my Elizabethan spy girls stories, the Maids of Honor, here.)

Still, despite my love of Elizabethan spies, I could never quite give up those super Alpha contemporary romance heroes. So, in the summer of 2013, I decided to see if perhaps I might still have a romance or two up my sleeve.

I wrote a tale about a girl whose biggest high-school and college crush–a rock star–suddenly becomes her biggest client, only now she has to be professional and not betray the fact that she’s completely in love with the guy. It was a fun, sexy, romantic fantasy, and I suggested the idea to my agent… who asked what other ideas I had in addition to this story. Shortly after, the Rule Breakers series was born.

To separate these books from my historical work, I adopted the name Jennifer Chance. I am now pursuing my dreams (pretty much round the clock as it turns out) and am THRILLED to be able to have four e-books coming out in 2014 and early 2015, all with Random House LoveSwept’s New Adult romance line.

As to what will happen from here, who knows? But as long as there is a story to be written and an HEA to be had, I’ll be the one over in the corner, tapping away on my keyboard.

Connect with Jennifer at her Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Book Review: Covert Assignment by Missy Marciassa

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Title: Covert AssignmentCovert Assignment
Author: Missy Marciassa
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Suspence
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: December 2013
Pages: 234
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Covert Assignment is a New Adult, Coming of Age Novel with a strong romantic element. Elle is ready for graduation and full-fledged adulthood: no more living like the leftover of her parent’s divorce. She’s about to graduate with her degree in Information Science (the 21st century term for Library Science) and has a ten-year plan as well-designed as any model for analyzing metadata: earn her JD/MBA, enjoy a couple of years as a single professional, then marry her college sweetheart, Adam, and start her own family.

Yet Elle feels like she returned to an alternate universe her final semester. There are pictures of Adam with a classmate who must be surgically enhanced, but he insists he wants Elle. CIA recruiters show up on campus, and they aren’t just interested in recruiting Elle for future employment: turns out she’s already working for them since they’re funding her thesis. Hot operative Preston Raddick is tasked to work with her. Preston isn’t just hot: he’s hot for Elle, but is he offering happy ever after or happy for right now? A fling with Preston could be the beginning of a new life plan, which is exciting and scary, especially with espionage thrown in. Elle needs a predictive model to tell her which decisions have the greater likelihood for happiness…

My Review:

One semester from leaving her university in her past and preparing for adult life, Elle has it all worked out. Go to her father’s alma mater and double in law and business, marry her college sweetheart Adam and then settle down and start a family by the time Elle and Adam are in their early thirties. Sounds perfect, right? Spanner is thrown into the works when Elle returns from Christmas break to find intimate photos of Adam and someone who very definitely isn’t Elle.

Determined not to let Adam’s cheating ways ruin her final semester, Elle tries to work out if she wants to salvage that relationship whilst still working on her thesis project. A project that – unknown to Elle – is funded by the CIA. Working closely with a field operative, Preston Raddick, Elle manages to somehow prepare for adult life whilst making the most of her time in college.

I love the concept of this novel. It reminded me of the tv show, Chuck – with top-secret agencies cherry picking graduating classes for their newest recruits. Elle is apparently very logical and methodical which would make her a great analyst. However, I didn’t see very much of her analytical nature when it came to dealing with her personal life. Elle came across as incredibly judgemental and (especially with regards to the Adam situation) needed her friends to make her decisions for her. I think her reaction and actions to Adam’s betrayal were slightly hollow with Elle never talking about how she felt about the whole situation. It made me like her less as a character because I perceived her to be more upset about her future plans being ruined rather than having anything to do with feelings or heartbreak.

Spy wise – I like where this book was heading. Elle got a taste of exactly what life as an operative might entail. There’s drama and slight suspense although it only really occurred in the tail end of the book. Elle’s friends were a little over the top but fiercely loyal and Elle definitely needed that. I had some issues with some of the things that occurred in this book (like what was with Elle’s family at the end. That felt so completely out of character) but overall it was an entertaining read and a new adult novel that focused on the bridge between college and adulthood.

 

Purchase the novel from:

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Book Review: Hopeless For You by Hayden Hill

Hopeless For You

Title: Hopeless For You
Author: Hayden Hill
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, 
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: September 2013
Pages: 215
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Ash Jensen, a squeaky-clean sophomore at the University of Tennessee, has a trail of baggage a mile long―she buried her fiancé only a year and a half ago. She swore she’d never love again but when she finds herself interned to a yummy Canadian conservation officer that promise is tested big-time. Kade Gyllenhahl sports wild tattoos, a rebellious attitude and a fohawk to die for. He’s definitely the wrong man for her and she knows it.

Kade doesn’t have time for a girl like her. She’s a pretentious, unreadable princess who lives her life by her parents’ rules. Kade knows nothing about her past and he’d prefer to keep it that way. Besides, he’ll lose his job if he sleeps with Ash. Now if only he could get his mind off her.

When the two of them end up alone and isolated on a routine field trip in the woods, things get a little complicated…

One man afraid of commitment.
One woman afraid to love again.
Two lives.
Two hearts.
One life-changing journey.

My Review:

She’s the privileged doctor-to-be and he’s a tattooed nightclub doorman. Seems like they’d have nothing in common. But Ash and Kade are more similar than they’d first thought. Spending the summer in British Colombia looking after beautiful birds of prey, they find another side to the other and maybe something like love.

This is one of those books that when you pick it up you know exactly what you’re going to get – no surprises just a lot of romance and some fun characters. And there are times when that’s exactly what I want to read! Ash is damaged after her previous romantic relationship fell apart and left her broken-hearted. Her relationship with her parents is slightly shaky and it seems like her best friend Gina is the only one who really gets her. Until arriving in Canada and meeting Kade. Kade is similarly broken. His ex-girlfriend destroyed his sense of self and his family don’t know how to treat him since. Despite both of them not trusting their hearts – there’s instant attraction. The centre they’re working at has a no fraternization policy but with the sparks flying between these two – it’s only a matter of time.

The plot develops at a nice pace – despite the smattering of instalove between Ash and Kade. He sees her photo and just knows. There’s some great supporting characters that I wouldn’t mind getting to know a little better perhaps in a spin off novel. Kade is slightly crude at times which just helps his bad-boy persona and Ash does a fair job of not crying too much. The romance is lovely but a tad unrealistic – both the fast paced nature of things and the sheer impossibility of just how much you can do when you’re wet, cold, starving and broken in the wilderness.

It’s a sweet story and a nice way to pass away a few hours.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon

Book Review: I Wolf by Matt Boyd

Title: I Wolf
Author: Matt Boyd
Genre: Supernatural, action 
Publisher: ABC Books
Publication Date: 1 June 2013 
Pages: 279
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Romy suffers from a disease that will send him mad…and ultimately kill him. His last hope is to travel to an isolated castle in Austria, where a cure is promised. But the treatment is drastic. Romy is turned into a werewolf.

When Romy meets Antonia, beautiful, headstrong and a natural-born werewolf, he slowly starts to come to terms with life as a lycanthrope. But then a spate of grisly night-time murders are reported and wild animals are suspected. What has Romy become?

My Review:

Matt Boyd’s debut novel, I Wolf, is an exciting tale featuring one of my favourite supernatural creatures – werewolves! Romy (aka. Romulus) is a sixteen year old who has been facing a death sentence since before he could remember. He’s had a terminal illness hanging over his head and no sign of a cure… until now. Romy’s father has found a secretive, exclusive and somewhat mysterious program in Austria who might be able to save Romy. Not completely sure what the treatment entails, Romy and his family set off from Australia and travel to Europe in hopes that the program may save his sanity where everything else has failed before.

I Wolf features a fantastic breed of werewolves. The account of the shifters history and just what it means to be a wolf in this universe is strong. Romy’s feelings whilst running in his beast form was one of my favourite parts of the novel to read – it was rich with thoughts and feelings. The romance angle between Romy and Antonia felt a little off-putting and awkward – adding nothing to the overall plot as it didn’t feel natural for the characters. The secondary characters of Nat and Dimitri added a lot to the story and brought out Romy’s humanity – which I felt was a little lacking even before the treatment.

This story is a little raw in terms of emotion. I thought that Romy was an accurate narrator with regards to the werewolf lessons and action but he was a little lacking when it came to emotion and feeling. There are some rather terrible and dramatic things that happen to him after arriving in Austria but he doesn’t let the emotions rise to the surface and rather moves on with the next course of action.

I thought that the flow of this novel at a little disconcerting at times with there not being a solid direction of just what the characters were doing. But there were other times when I was there with Romy and his pack as they went on their adventures.

Overall, I found this book to be a great quick read and I loved how Matt Boyd created his particular breed of werewolves. I feel like this book would be devoured by younger readers as it lacked a little depth and emotion for me personally but I think I’d have loved this book back when I was 12 or so.

Thanks to HarperCollins and Netgalley for the digital review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Book Depository

Book Review: Natural Born Angel by Scott Speer

Title: Natural Born Angel (Immortal City #2) 
Author: Scott Speer
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Angels, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 23 April 2013
Pages: 360
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Life turned upside down for Maddy Montgomery when she found out she was half-Angel and was catapulted into the scene of flashbulbs, paparazzi, and the fervent adulation that comes with being in the celebrity Angel world. She’s trying to juggle her ordinary life—high school, family, friends—with the intense demands of being in the public eye as heartthrob Angel Jackson Godspeed’s girlfriend.

And now Maddy must face the most difficult choice of her life. She’s been offered the chance to become a Guardian. This means entering into dangerous and high stakes training, with no guarantee that she can succeed. But more than that, it would mean leaving her mortal life behind—forever—and allying with the Angels at a time when their relationship with humans is heading for war. . . .

My Review:

After slaving away at her uncle’s diner and studying hard to get the marks required to get into college, Maddy Montgomery is faced with a choice. Her dream school or the chance to train at the top-secret Guardian school. Going from the anonymous high school student to being the world’s number one It-Girl in less than a year, Maddy also has to navigate her new-found popularity and balance her new professional life with her relationship with the oh-so dreamy, Jackson Godspeed. Life will never be the same and Maddy needs to work out what she wants and where her allegiance lie before the war between Angels and Humans decides for her…

Natural Born Angel has so much going on – it’s fantastic! We get to see some Guardian training, the rise of a new dangerous enemy and the fantastic Former Angel, Detective Sylvester, is around again trying to save the world (this time with some help from Mark and Jacks). I loved the way that this novel managed to be describing a fantastical concept (like Angels on Earth) and have it mirror modern-day life – prejudices, terrorism and elitism. This book reminded me of a film in terms of  how it is set up and in some ways I think this would make a better film than novel. There isn’t a lot of emotion evident and I think had I been watching actors they would have been able to bring the intensity that these characters in the novel couldn’t.

I had high hopes for this novel. I loved the concept of Immortal City and the dark underbelly of the Angelic world. This book is a breath of fresh air with regards to the action. There is no chance of getting stuck in a characters thoughts because this book is about what’s happening now – happening to Maddy, to Jacks and to the world in general. And whilst I liked the different style of storytelling I felt like it was a missed opportunity. We skip a year from where the first novel ended to a time when Maddy is well established in a relationship with Jacks. She’s almost come to terms with her new-found Angelic state and she’s handling the fame like a professional.

What disappointed me most about Natural Born Angel was the romance. I don’t need romance to enjoy a good book and this is one of those stories that I think was trying a bit too hard with the relationships. Maddy and Jacks have lost any sort of chemistry they shared in the first book and there’s a new element that made this book go from a suspenseful action fantasy novel to just another clichéd teen romance… but even then the romance was unbelievable and flat.

Overall – there are some great things about this book and some not-so great things too. IF you loved the first book I think you’ll enjoy where Speer takes Maddy and the others in this instalment. Will I be reading the next Immortal City novel? Absolutely! But I think I’ll go in with slightly lower expectations than I had for Natural Born Angel.

 

Thanks to Penguin Teen and netgalley for the digital review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Advantage Erin by Kris Kreisman

Title: Advantage Erin
Author: Kris Kreisman
Genre: Contemporary, Sports, Time Travel
Publisher: self-published
Publication Date: 22 August 2012
Pages: 140
Rating: 2.5 stars

Click here to read the first chapter of Advantage Erin.

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Erin’s mom is driving her crazy. Especially about tennis. Erin is good and enjoys the game. But it’s not her fault she’s not the megastar her mom claims to have been when she was Erin’s age. If only there was some way to get Mom to understand…

Spring break arrives, which means a visit to Grandma and Mom’s old hometown. Grandma is eccentric, but she’s also cool and understands Erin’s frustrations. And she can help. By taking Erin on a visit to Mom’s old high school. Not Mom’s school today. But Mom’s school as it was in 1970.

Erin experiences the trip of her lifetime. Back in time, where she struggles to fit in with a bunch of kids who never heard of the Internet or laptops or cell phones. Where she meets some very cool kids. And one not so cool kid named Catherine. Now known as Mom.

Talk turns to tennis, and inevitably the challenge is made and accepted. And they play the tennis match of the century. Erin had repeatedly heard how Mom was undefeated. Now was her time to do something about it. They battle hard until, in unexpected fashion, it’s over. But when she returns to the present Erin learns the truth about her Mom. And Mom learns some lessons as well.

Enjoy Erin’s thrill ride, her fun, her excitement, her anxiety. And discover how her trip to the past changed her present.

My Review:

More and more lately I’ve been thinking about what life must have been like for my parents back when they were my age. Through a magical computer and a crafty grandmother, Erin gets to go back to the sixties and meet the teenage version of her mother. Before children, before her tennis dreams were crushed and before life got complicated and “grown up”, Erin’s mother Catherine is like a different person. Erin realizes that maybe there’s more to her mother than she ever realized.

Conceptually I thought this book was great. Time travel, tennis and sixties fashion – I loved it all. However I had some problems with the pacing. Everything happens too quickly (Erin’s entire time travelling adventure occurs within an 10 hour or so window). I also thought that in terms of emotion and drama, Erin managed to deal with all that was happening without any trouble. I’m not sure I’d have been able to handle being dragged back in time five decades anywhere near as well as she did.

There were some surprises and fun quirks along the way that kept me reading up until the last page. Advantage Erin is a fun and quick novel about mothers, daughters and how sometimes the time and distance between them isn’t as large as you might first think.

Thank you to author Kris Kreisman for providing me with a review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

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Barnes & Noble
Apple iBookstore
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Book Review: Model Spy by Shannon Greenland

Title: Model Spy (The Specialists #1)
Author: Shannon Greenland
Genre: contemporary, romance, chick lit, teen spy
Publisher: Puffin (an imprint of Penguin)
Publication Date: December 2007
Pages: 224 pages
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Teen genius Kelly James is in a lot of hot water. A whiz with computers, she agreed to help her college RA, David, uncover some top-secret information. After all, she doesn’t have many friends and David has always been nice to her. It doesn’t hurt that he’s supercute and irresistible, too. All she has to do is hack into the government’s main computer system. But a few hours later, her whole life changes. She is caught and taken in for questioning, only this isn’t your run-of-the-mill arrest. Rather than serve a juvenile detention sentence, she accepts the option to change her name and enlist in a secret government spy agency that trains teen agents to go undercover. As if that wasn’t overwhelming enough, she discovers that David works for this agency as well! And before she even begins to understand what is going on, she’s sent on her first mission as an undercover model. And who better to partner with than David himself!

My Review:


Kelly James is a teen hacker extraordinaire. School records, top-secret government databases – neither of them pose a problem for the sixteen year old college junior.

But when she gets caught trying to dig up some ultra sensitive information for a cute boy, Kelly gets given a choice. Join a team of teenage spies or go to juvenile detention. Easy decision. Kelly becomes the newest member of The Specialists. 

There were a number of things I liked about this book. For a book all about espionage and teenagers being able to save the world from terrorists, it had some great realism to it all. Kelly is not perfect but she’s trying. Whilst she has no problems getting computers to do whatever she wants them to she has some huge interpersonal issues.

The rest of the Specialists are interesting characters that whilst we didn’t get to see all that much in this first book I can’t help but to think they’ll be fascinating to read about in the other books of the series. I liked TL and David but they were a little two-dimensional.

In terms of plot – it was a little predictable and unbelievable. The super secret mission involves a role that only a teen model with off the charts computer skills can handle? Good thing Kelly was there to save the day. That said, I liked how everything played out. And how the rest of the team treated Kelly and her efforts.

It’s a fun story that has a family friendly vibe – refreshing in a world where most of the teen literature is PG-13.

Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 

Also by Shannon Greenland:

Down to the Wire (The Specialists #2)

I read this book as a part of the 2013 TBR Reading Challenge

Book Review: Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

Title: Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions #1)
Author: Louise Rozett
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Publication Date: August 2012 
Pages: 384
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make.

…1. I’m livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I’m allowed to be irate,don’t you?

2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is nowenraged and out for blood. Mine.

3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and “seeing red” means being angry—get it?)

Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.

(Don’t know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)

(Sorry. That was rude.)

My Review:

Soon to be fifteen-year-old Rose Zarelli feels like everyone she loves has abandoned her. Her father died recently in Iraq and as a result her mother is a shadow of her former self and doesn’t seem to notice that Rose still exists. Her older brother Peter has moved away to go to college and has a new life there and her best friend from the time they were in pre-school, Tracy, is more interested being a cheerleader than being there for Rose.

Understandably, Rose is feeling a little angry.

Now as September rolls around, Rose has to try to deal with the pressures of high school as well as trying to cope with losing her father.

There are a lot of issues dealt with in this book. Losing a loved one, first crush, drunken parties, teen sex. Rose is a character that whilst I didn’t always like her or how she dealt with certain situations, I did admire her overall for her actions and decisions. She didn’t always choose the easy way out. I really felt for her at times because I could see a lot of myself in her and I think that a lot of other people would be able relate to Rose in a similar way. I liked how the book addressed the topic of teen sex and sexual health. Not many books do that and I liked how uncertain about the whole topic Rose was. But I felt like some parts were a little unfinished – did the nurse ever call Rose with the results? – and could have done with some closure.

I think the part of the novel that touched me most was the dealings Rose had with her best friend Tracy – this is where I felt like this could have been my teenage diaries being narrated. And I loved how Rose dealt with the situation.

As far as her love interests go? I couldn’t really see many redeeming features for either Jamie or Robert. Jamie is the boy who is all kinds of bad for her and essentially only recognizes her existence because her brother called in a favour. He’s also sort of flat in terms of personality. This may be because Rose is sort of infatuated with him and the story is told in first person but I just couldn’t like him. He needed to do something more for me to really believe that he liked Rose – and not just because of Angelo’s recommendation that he does. Robert does show in the end that he’s not as bad a guy as one might think but it was too little, too late. I think I would have liked it if Angelo was the man of Rose’s affection.

This story isn’t action packed and drama filled – it’s rather a journey of an everyday girl dealing with life and I liked that about it. It’s full of heartbreak and learning to with life after a family has broken apart. I liked how this book focused on a teenage girl’s grief and feelings of abandonment.

I did feel like this book could have been left as a standalone novel and I was surprised to see that there is a sequel being released next year.

 

Thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen (Fallen #1)
Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Angels, 
Publisher: Delacorte Press for Young Readers (an imprint of Random House)
Publication Date:December 2009
Pages: 452
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

My Review:

I read this book because it had been recommended to me by a friend. And to be honest, I was a little disappointed. I wasn’t sure if that’s because I always have high expectations of book when they’ve been recommended to me or because for the majority of time that I was reading this novel I had the oddest sensation of deja vu.

This novel opens with Luce Price starting at a new school – a school for social misfits who are one step away from juvenile detention. But the students at this school aren’t just socially maladjustment – they’re harbouring a secret. When Luce finds herself inexplicably attracted to the mysterious Daniel, she goes out of her way to find out just what it is about him that calls out to her. Why does she feel like she’s known him her whole life when she’s only just laid eyes on him for the first time. And why does he see to have such an attitude towards her when they’ve never met before?

Ringing any bells for anyone else?

The particulars may be slightly different but a lot of this novel was almost straight out of the YA teenage paranormal romance hand book.

I feel like if I had read this book earlier and been slightly less jaded regarding the genre then I would have enjoyed the journey a lot more.

Luce was a fairly selfish main character – selfish in actions and in thoughts. She is at the Sword and Cross because she has an incident a few months ago when the boy she was dating ended up dying tragically. And whilst she still thinks about the fire that took his life, she’s very quick to dismiss it from her thoughts before moving on too much more important topics like Daniel. And why Daniel doesn’t like her. And why she really thinks she has some sort of connection with Daniel.

I’m not a Daniel fan.

The best part of this novel was the supporting cast – Molly, Arianne, Gabbe, Cam and Penn. I would have loved to have gotten to see more of them. They’re quirky characters who are more than just the boy they’re attracted to. I would have loved to have seen their back stories and learnt more about them.

Towards the end this story does pick up its pace and becomes a novel that was new and exciting to me. There is more to this story than meets the eye at first but there’s a lot to get though before you get to see the action and drama that exists beyond Luce’s little bubble.

This is one of those books that I recommend borrowing – either from a friend or the library – before buying it for yourself. I can see that it’s going to be one that people either love or hate with not so much middle ground. It is the first in the series and there is a lot of groundwork to be laid for the future novels. I’ve read the next two in the series (Torment and Passion) and I enjoyed them both a lot more than I liked this first instalment.

Whilst there was a lot I didn’t enjoy about this novel I understand that it was necessary in order to build up for the next books in the Fallen series.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository