Novella Review: Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Shadows (Lux, #0.5)

Title: Shadows (Lux #0.5)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Sci-Fi, Aliens
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: February 2012
Pages: 179
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.

Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.

Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence…and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

My Review:

I’m not normally a novella person. I often find them irrelevant and rather than adding anything to the overall plot – they detract from why I like a series. But that’s so not the case with Shadows. Shadows is the pre-story of how Bethany and Dawson meet. It’s all information that anyone who has read the Lux series knows but getting to read it and know first hand how everything went down – it has changed how I view this entire series.

Bethany and Dawson have a fantastic story. They meet and really get to know each other. There’s no instalove here despite their intense connection straight off the bat. And I liked them more as a couple because of it. Bethany is sweet and grounded – she wants to do what is right by herself and her family rather than just doing whatever she wants. And then there’s Dawson. Why is the fandom so into Daemon when there’s Dawson to consider? He’s definitely my favourite of the brothers now. Compared to Daemon’s dark and surly demeanour, Dawson is practically sunny in comparison.

If you’re a fan of this series and haven’t read this novella – I highly recommend it. It adds a lot more than just the relationship between Bethany and Dawson. We get to see the DoD (Department of Defence), Bethany’s Uncle Will as well has just how the Thompson Triplets operate from a non-biased outsider’s view. And plus – at 179 pages this is more than a typical novella. It’s detailed and offers quite detailed back story. I have to say that reading this had made me particularly eager for Origin (Lux #4) which is released later this month.

Purchase the ebook from:

Amazon

Advertisements

Beat the Heat & Lux Read-a-thons!

I’ve never participated in a readathon before.

But when I saw the Beat-the-Heat Readathon hosted by Auntie Spinelli Reads and Phantastic Reads – I thought it sounded like fun. The premise – two weeks to read as many books as you can. Sounds good to me – especially as I need as much motivation as I can to make a dent on my to-read list.

Phantasmic Reads

The rules are pretty simple.

Ze Rules!

  • The Beat the Heat Readathon runs from July 29th through August 11th. What does this readathon entail, you ask? Well, read as much or as little as you want – the main point is to READ! You set your own goal, and for two weeks you read as many books as you can/want to reach your goal!

  • There will be mini-challenges throughout the Readathon for participants, along with a grand prize giveaway at the end!

  • Sign up at Auntie Spinelli Reads or Phantasmic Reads. You may join whenever you like, but to be eligible for our grand prize giveaway, you must sign up by August 5th.

  • To join, all you have to do is make a sign-up post – even if it’s just a “Let’s do this!” thing – and add your post URL to the linky below! You can put your goals and progress (will be required for the final giveaway) in your sign-up post, or you can make it separate. Totally up to you! Feel free to copy and paste this handy little list for your post. We don’t mind. :)

  • In order to enter for the grand prize, you must have a post to keep track of your progress so we can see that you participated.

That looks like something I can do.

Now this particular readathon began on the 29th. But there’s still plenty of time to sign up and participate if it interests you.

The other readathon I thought looked cooled was the Lux Readathon hosted by StuckInBooks, Just a Book Love and K-Books

Spanning over just three days, the aim for this readathon is to read as many of the books in the Lux series by Jennifer L Armentrout to be prepared for the release of Origin (Lux #4) on August 27.

I started early this morning and read Shadows (Lux #0.5) for the first time. I think it’s lucky that I read Obsidian first or I’d never have liked Daemon as much as Dawson. Seriously – I’m not usually into novellas but this one is fantastic. And I also got a start on re-reading Obsidian.

Movie Talk: Who is your OBSIDIAN dream cast?

Over the past few days there has been some big talk about the YA paranormal romance Lux series being acquired by Sierra Pictures. Obsidian, the first in the series written by Jennifer L Armentrout, tells the story of Katy, a teenager who moves to the middle of nowhere only to get sucked into the world of aliens. Add to that a very hot young alien by the name of Daemon, his twin sister Dee and a whole bunch of other supernatural beings… oh… it’s very exciting! 😛 I know so many people who adore these book and will no doubt be excited by the news.

Obsidian

Check out Jennifer’s blog post about her series being optioned for a movie!!  (be warned – it’s full of so many fangirlyly awesome gifs and excitement!)

 

And it got me thinking.

We all have dream casts for books that we’ve loved and I was wondering: What is your dream cast for Obsidian?

Before things get into production and you’re influenced by who is actually cast (if it gets that far… fingers crossed!) who is your ideal Katy and Daemon?!

Feel free to let me know!

Onyx (Lux, #2)Opal (Lux, #3)Origin (Lux, #4)

And if you’ve not heard of this series before – be sure to check out my reviews of Obsidian, Onyx and Opal!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Thought I’d Like More/Less

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books I Thought I’d Like More/Less

As much as I try not too – expectations get the better of me. When I hear/see people RAVING about a book/series/author, I admit that the hype sometimes gets the best of me. And I realize it’s not the book’s fault – but I often can’t help but feel a little disappointed when a decent book didn’t blow me away like I was anticipating.

(Links will take you to my reviews. Clicking on the book cover will take you to the book’s page on goodreads)

Books I Though I’d Like More (and wound up a little disappointed):

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – This isn’t a bad book. I did enjoy it but I wanted more. Daemon is great but it’d take someone even better than him for me not to resent him for blowing up my computer.

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie Maguire – I love love. But I don’t love over the top jealousy and people who keep trying the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi – There’s a lot I liked about this book. And a lot that left me feeling wanting. This was one of the most talked about books of 2012. It seemed that people everywhere were praising this one. And whilst I thought it was clever I think I spent most of the time I was reading it waiting. Waiting for it to live up to my (possibly unrealistic) expectations.

Marked (House of Night, #1)

Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast – A friend told me this book was absolutely fantastic – the best Vampire Teen series around. I think I got my hopes up and just missed things I would have liked had it not been off the back of such high praise.

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. – This one I think was my own fault that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. The trailer for the movie ruined the book and that in itself frustrated me. Also I listened to this one on audiobook and the fact that the narrator’s voice had an accent but his thoughts didn’t – it really took me out of the story.

On the other hand are books that I went in not expecting too much and being blown away. These are the best kinds of books! To quote one of my all time favourite movies… A Diamond in the Rough.

(and since I couldn’t find any appropriate gifs – here’s one from Aladdin just cause I love that movie!)

Books I Thought I’d Like Less (and ended up loving!):

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)

Anna and the French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – There is the saying “Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover” but perhaps I should not judge a book on its title. These books have names similar to those I’d bring home for homework in primary school. But these books are far from simple. They’re beautiful stories about love, friendship, family problems and the complexities of growing up. These are two of my favourite teen contemporary romance novels and I’m so glad I picked them up because I very nearly didn’t..

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)

Vampire Academy/Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – It probably wouldn’t be a TTT without a Richelle Mead series featuring somewhere on my list. These are both series that feature some kind if paranormal creature in a boarding school but they are both so much more than that. There’s depth and consequences and the gorgeous leading men don’t hurt things either. I had read Mead’s Georgina Kincaid series before starting VA but I didn’t expect for the series to have such a profound effect on my views regarding YA paranormal novels.

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – A sci-fi futuristic cyborg version of Cinderella? This isn’t something I ever thought I’d read let alone like. But somehow Meyer wrote a novel that’s well thought out and the fairytale links are crafted in a way that feels so right for the story.

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – I thought I’d try to see if I could somehow beat the system. I’d heard so much about this book. The Best Book EVER! is a line that many of my friends and reviews had thrown around. Not having read any John Green and having nothing to compare his work to I though I’d go in expecting the worse. I’m a big enough person to admit I’m wrong because I ADORED this book. It’s beautiful and the characters are almost ridiculously perfect in their own way. I cried. So if you haven’t read this book and you’re intending to – try to ignore the hype. Make up your own mind. But this is a book that I recommend for everyone to read. Even if it’s just to be on the bandwagon and know what people are talking about when they’re talking about TFiOS and John Green.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone / Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor – These books are beautifully written. And the covers are gorgeous. And I have no idea why I didn’t think I’d like them but I very nearly passed on the opportunity to read them.

That’s my list for another week. I love reading other people’s TTT’s and blogs in general so please leave me a comment with a link so I can visit back. All comments are welcome and very much appreciated. Thanks!

Follow on Bloglovin

Book Review: Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Opal (Lux #3)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Sci-Fi, Aliens
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: December 2012
Pages: 382
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well… There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

My Review:

After how Onyx ended, Katy and the Luxens are still reeling from how everything went down. Death, destruction and Daemon seem to be following Katy around – and there seems to be nothing she can do to stop any of them. Although the Daemon situation is one that Katy is more than happy with.

If only her friendship with Dee was as strong as her relationship with the arrogant and impossibly sexy alien.

With her world falling apart around her, Katy is doing all she can to keep a handle on her mutated abilities and her boyfriend’s estranged brother being back on the scene. Things only get more complicated when Blake reappears at school and blackmails the Luxens into the most dangerous and insane plan ever – to break into the Department of Defence’s (DoD) secret base and break out his Luxen bondmate.


With less action and more romance, Opal is a very different book than the previous two – all that considered I thought it was a great instalment in the Lux series. Katy is stepping out from the victim role and becoming a character that I like and want to read about. Her relationship with Daemon has evolved – no longer is she convinced he’s just with her because of the bond. Oh no – now they’re “official” with all the trimmings that goes along with their newly defined status. Sweet and sexy as Daemon may now be, I sort of missed the over-confident and harsh character I’d grown to love from the first two books. I found their interactions to be lovely and I’m hoping that they can weather all the DoD and Daedalus throw at them.

Plot wise – this book missed the mark with me. I wanted more action, more development of the new characters (Luc, Paris, Ethan) and some more explanation to some of the crazy twists. Some of the bizarre points seemed a little far-fetched and one part seemed to exist just for some blatant product placement (Macbook Air, anyone?).

Overall, I enjoyed Opal. The characters grow on me more every time I immerse myself into the Lux universe and I’m on the edge of my chair with anticipation awaiting the release of Origin (Lux #4) after the cliff-hanger at the end of Opal. 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 

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


Book Review: Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Onyx (Lux #2)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Sci-Fi, Aliens
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: August 2012
Pages: 376
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

My Review:

Onyx picks up right where Obsidian ends – with Katy, Daemon and the other Lumins having defeated the latest Amun threat. And it seems like the arrogant alien has turned over a new leaf. Daemon is now romantically pursuing Katy and whilst she’s not immune to his charms, she’s slightly put out. She’s convinced he’s only interested because of the connection they share after he healed her from her near fatal injuries after the Amun battle. Katy wants the kind of relationship her parents had. “Undying love. Powerful. True. [Something] a whacked-out alien bond [just] couldn’t do [for her].”

Things between the two of them don’t get any easier when the new guy in school, a surfer from California, Blake Saunders asks Katy to a party… and stumbles upon her secret. That ever since Daemon healed her, she’s been starting to possess alien powers that she can’t control.

With the Department of Defense (DoD) arrive in town and the Amun show up again, it seems that Katy has more to worry about than ever before…

I’ll admit it. I’m a little bit of a Daemon fan girl. I liked him in Obsidian and he didn’t disappoint in Onyx. Although I do wonder just what it is he has against computers – they don’t seem to stand a chance when he’s around Katy. The bad boy alien shows off his jealous side and started to become more than just the angry boy-next-door. Despite all the arrogance, I could tell that he really does care about Katy, and not just because she possessed the information to out him and his family to the authorities.

Katy, as many main characters in the books I like to read have a tendency to do, doesn’t always think before she acts. Even when it’s likely to put her at a disadvantage in a life or death situation. But this time around I found myself wanting her to succeed.

Blake was a great new addition to the story. A romantic rival who brings more than just Daemon’s jealousy to the plot. He’s interesting and I enjoyed learning all about the Lumins and the connections between certain aliens and humans. The DoD added an extra element of fear and suspense to the novel. I liked that the supernatural beings (not including the Amun) were the good guys and the human department are what the characters should be fearing.

I enjoyed all the drama that occurred in this book. There’s suspense and action but it’s more than just drama. I liked how the relationships developed. This book is exciting. Just when I thought everything was wrapping up, something new happened and I was thrown right back into everything.

There’s new characters who are more than they seem and a sinister plot that’s really ramping up with lots too look forward to in the next instalment of the Lux series.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsidian 
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Sci-Fi 
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: November 2011
Pages: 299
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Starting over sucks.When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.And then he opened his mouth.Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me.You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don’t kill him first, that is.

My Review:

I love when I come across a novel that features a supernatural being that I haven’t read much of. I don’t think I’ve read a YA alien story since I read the Roswell High series many years ago. It was on of my favourite series and I think that this series has the potential to become a favourite of mine too.

Katy’s mother moves the two of them out into the middle of nowhere for a new start. Both of them are living in the shadow of their former life since Katy’s father died of a brain tumour three years ago. Now, Katy has the entire summer with no friends in a small town (they don’t even have their own grocery store) with no one but her blog followers for company. Or at least she would have them except that the internet hasn’t been hooked up yet.

After promising her mother that she’d make and effort to try to enjoy life in West Virginia, Katy goes next door to introduce herself to the teenagers who live there. What she’s confronted with is a shirtless Daemon – the most irritating, rude and arrogant person she’s ever met. Despite the constant tension between the two, there are sparks of chemistry from the start.

Katy is furious with Daemon but manages to strike up a close friendship with Daemon’s sister, Dee, much to his disapproval. He wants nothing more than to ignore the girl next door but he can’t – his sister’s safety depends on him to make sure Katy isn’t a threat but also as much as Daemon would like to fight it, he can’t help his feelings towards the new girl.

I loved the relationship between Katy and Daemon. This is not a story where the main couple are insanely in love at first sight for no apparent reason. Instead, this is a novel where both the heroine and the hero seem to hate each other for many reasons. Katy can’t start Daemon’s attitude and hates herself for being attracted to him. Daemon thinks that Katy is a risk to his family and wants nothing more than for her to go back to where she came from. I loved their interactions. The novel takes place over several months and during this time you can see their relationship develop and grow.

As an avid reader myself, I could relate in many ways to Katy. I’m still unsure why her blog was featured so prominently in the story – as far as I could tell it didn’t really add anything – but I enjoyed how many of the memes and sites she talked about where ones that I’d come across myself and that helped make Katy the perfect girl-next-door. She amazed me with how calm she was with the revelations revealed in the book. I think I will put that down to how many paranormal novels she reads.

This was a perfect introduction to the Lux series. I loved the pacing and the interactions of the character. I can’t wait to read the second book. If you enjoy teen paranormal romances where the hero is not quite what you’ve read before, I strongly suggest you read this book.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository