Review: Keeping Merminia



Keeping Merminia (Merminia #2)


Emm Cole






*NOTE: This is BOOK 2 of the Merminia Series, so be warned that this review has book one spoilers.




At the end of Meminia (Book 1) Ulric has possession of Adessia's ring giving him powers over land and sea that no man with his ego and aggression levels should have. He's just gone all creeptastic and waltzed onto shore to start some serious shit with the land dwellers. 


Selinne has buried her brother, become lead Merminian, been abandoned by Gabriel, and has just had a friendly chat with her dead father. Her father delivers a message from the Fate's themselves declaring Selinne must get back Adessia's ring, it's her destiny. 


Book two begins with Ulric continuing his rampage and seizing Dencur with Adessia's ring. He leaves everything beyond the city walls in complete chaos, because he's Ulric, and he can


Selinne must attempt to save Merminia from ruin by journeying into Dencur to battle it out with the crazy warlord giant and finds a hesitant group to aid her on her trek. 


However while Selinne works to stop Ulric from destroying all that she holds dear, her friendships are pushed to their breaking points. 


With the final battle between humans and Enchanteds looming on the horizon, both Seline and Ulric will find out just how much they both stand to lose. 




First of all... I must say, I'm very surprised by this series. I usually can't get into a mermaid series. I'm not sure if it's because they all seem to have that human meets mermaid and falls madly in love romance element or if I just can't connect with fins. Whatever the case may be, they generally just aren't my thing.




Merminia is different though. For one, Selinne is not in love with a human and humans are not in love with her. Why it took so long for me to find a series that operates this way, I don't know, but I'm ecstatic about it.




Also, it's just a good story, and even though the characters possess fins, I found them easy to connect with. Cole does a great job of creating well rounded characters that are flawed enough to make them believable. I found her characters very easy to love... or hate... depending on who we're discussing, but they each did things that completely surprised me.




Speaking of surprise... very few things went the way I expected them to go in this book. If we narrow down to important things that went the way I expected, not a damn one of them went the way I thought it would. NOT A SINGLE FREAKING ONE! So either I'm really losing my touch here, or Cole is a master with plot twists. I'm going with master of plot twists.




Oh, and the end of the book... yeah... it was one of those things I totally got wrong. Yeah, I'm all sunshine and rainbows and then here comes Cole with a big shiny metaphorical dagger to stick in my metaphorical side and twist. Then she just leaves it there... to linger and fester and drive me completely insane. 
Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the ending AT ALL. Like I have said before, I love a cliffhanger. I really do. I loved this one too. It was, however, one of the cruelest cliffhangers I've seen in awhile. 

It's really a fantastic Indie read, and I'm so, so glad that I decided to volunteer for it. The only thing that I will say is kind of odd about the series is the POV switch. Book one is 3rd person, switch POV, and Book two is 1st person, dual POV. It kind of threw me when I hit chapter one of book two. HOWEVER, I will say that I really PREFER 1st person POV, so I wasn't too brokenhearted over the switch. It was just strange to see in the middle of the series. Other than that, I give mad props to Emm Cole for creating an amazing story... with mermaids... that I actually want to read.




BTW... Ms. Cole... when is book three coming out???  Ya know... if you need someone to read it... 






Sleepless (Bird of Stone #1)


Tracey Ward




Alex has a superpower, but not the kind you'd be excited to have. She can't control hers and it lands her all over the world unpredicatably. She falls asleep in her bedroom wakes up in Paris, Ireland, Wrigley Field, or whatever other destination her power chooses at the moment. However, it's not all bad. Her power is how she meets Nick. 


Nick has a power too. He can't feel fear. It's great for his military career... sucks for his social skills.


Their relationship is a long, strange story, but trust me; YOU WANT TO HEAR IT!


First of all, the banter in this book is absolutely hilarious. Which is why reading it in public was probably a poor choice. Apparently if you are sitting at a table alone and burst out laughing over something you just read in a book people just assume that you are insane. Based on the number of times that particular situation occurred while I was reading this book, it's a miracle I wasn't committed.



I really love that Ward didn't limit the banter to just Alex and Nick. Alex's sister Cara and Nick's fellow PJ's, Walter and Campbell are all sharp and have no problems holding their own with both Nick and Alex. The banter kept the story interesting and amusing even during the heavy world and relationship building periods. Those are usually periods where I get impatient for SOMETHING to happen, but I was too amused with what all of the characters where saying and thinking to even care. That's impressive in and of itself.



As for the story itself, I loved it. I really did. Ward did a great job of creating chemistry between Alex and Nick without creating insta-love. The progression of the relationship was perfect. No “OMG, he gives me the tingles and I'm in love” bs.



Ward also creates a story that is unique. It's different from anything else I've read. That is something that I don't get to say very often. A lot of times I really feel like I'm reading the same story with different charecters in other YA books. It was refreshing to have a completely unique story that was all her own. Plus, it was just a really fun read.



Finally... that ending... OMG. I'm sooo dying to find out what happenes next! Its definately not the most intense cliffhanger ever, but it's intense enough. I'm a sucker for cliffhangers (i don't know why.... glutton for punishment or something like that), and I was happy with it. It left me all “NONONONO! You can't just LEAVE it like THIS! I NEED TO KNOW NOW!!!” To me, that is an ideal ending.



I didn't have huge expectations going into this book. I honestly kind of had my doubts. I'm soooo glad that I didn't let them stop me from reading this though. It's truly an awesome book, and Tracey Ward could be well on her way to becoming a favorite author of mine. 


Read it. Love it. Share it. Seriously. It's that good. 


Also... Tracey... please hurry on book two! I'm dying over here! 


The Darkest Minds


Ruby is 10.  Kids are dropping like flies everywhere.  That's not the part that scares people though.  It's the kids that live that terrify them.  Those that survive are developing startling abilities.  Ruby is 10 when she develops hers.  Her terrified parents lock her in the garage and call the police to come pick her up.  She is transported to Thurmond.  A facility set up specifically for kids like her.  A facility that seems more like a prison camp than an institution set up for their own good.

Ruby lies to cover up what she is, but when she is found out, she barely escapes with her life.  While on the run, she runs into a group of kids that have escaped from another institution like Thurmond.  They band together and form a friendship on their journey to East River, a supposed safe haven for kids like them.

However, when they arrive at East River, they discover all is not what it seems, and Ruby will be faced with a gut-wrenching, life changing decision.


To be completely honest,  this is exactly how I felt for the first 80% of the book:

The premise in and of itself was really interesting, but the book was seriously lacking when it came to making me feel connected to the characters, or just character building in general.  All of the characters felt very flat and predictable throughout most of the book.

There's Ruby:




Who, to me, is really a boring main character at this point.  I don't dislike her, I just don't love her.  You spend the entire book in her head, but all she really seems to think about is hiding her ability from everyone around her, and pushing everyone around her away so she doesn't accidentally use her ability on them.  Every time she brings it up in the book, this is what I see:



I mean, lets be real.  She's 16, she's with a dude, who I'm obviously supposed to think she's at least a little bit attracted too, but she NEVER ONCE thinks "oh, he's so hot" about this guy.  Not one freaking time.  It's maddening.

Then there is Liam:

He's the group's "fearless leader".  I really don't hate Liam.  For all intents and purposes, I like Liam.  He's a nice guy.  However, I don't feel the "spark" between him and Ruby.  There are a few moments where I feel like he's "kinda" into her, but that's about the extent of it.  He seems more like the big brother, who is always there to watch her back and give her a pep talk when she's feeling down.  He's also pretty predicatable.  He's always going to do the right thing and he's always going to put the groups well being above his own.  Not that those are horrible traits, it's just those are really the ONLY traits he seems to have.

Then there is Zu:

Honestly, even though she's a mute and says NOTHING, she, at least in my opinion, was the most developed character. She had a personality that I could see even without her saying a single word.  She shows more wit and charm than the rest.  You really can't help but love her.

And finally there's Chubs:

This is how I pictured chubs through most of the book.  He's a complainer, a whiner, and for the first 80% of the book, really freaking annoying.  I will say that he does redeem himself exceptionally well by the end and ended up being another favorite for this book.  However, for the most part, you could count on him lecturing Liam about what a bad idea whatever they were doing was.

So basically, the characters personalities were just BLAH.

Then, we add to that the book really doesn't do a great job with relationship building.  So, we end up with flat characters who are just kind of thrown together and along for the ride.  They get in situations throughout the book, but up until the last 20% I didn't really feel all that worried about it.  I wasn't panicking over their safety or worrying about how they were going to get out of it.  I was just kind of sitting there, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the next chapter.

So, WHY in the name of all that is holy did I give a book that spent most of its time boring the crap out of me 3.5 stars?

Well, it's because in the last 20% of the book things suddenly got interesting.  I'm really not sure why we went from 0-60 in the last 20%, but:


At least all the time I invested in this book FINALLY paid off.  I went from not caring and just wanting it to be over to this:

And then to this:

And finally to this:

So.  In short.  Is it my favorite book?  Not even close.  Is it horrible:  Not really.  Will I read the second one:  Probably.

The end of the book has a fantastic pace, and if the author keeps the book on that pace for book 2 it should be a good read.  However, if she falls into the same slump she did with the vast majority of this book....




Dan Wells

Ok. So it’s the year 2076. 11 years after the outbreak of RM, a virus that annihilated all but 1% of the human population. In fact, humans are so annihilated that they have all pretty much set up camp on Long Island. The survivors that are left have natural immunity to RM. However, even though those that are left are immune, the human race is still doomed, because the survivors can’t reproduce.

The government thinks that if they force the women to just keep having babies, eventually one of the little tykes is bound to be born immune. So they implement the Hope Act and tell everyone woman over whatever age they have to get knocked up, immediately. They’ve been going at it (pardon the pun) for 11 years now, and so far, nada. Their answer is just to lower the pregnancy age again and cross their fingers, because THAT'S been working so well.

Enter Kira. She’s 16 and training to be a medic. She’s watching babies die left and right, and it bugs her. Instead of hopping on the “lets just make more babies” bandwagon, she decides to go directly to the source of RM. The Partials. 

The Partials are bio-engineered robot/cyborg/whatever things that the U.S. created to fight wars for them. They are cold, unfeeling, and ruthless. Which is all good for an army fighting for you, however, when that army turns on you and the releases a virus that annihilates you, not so good.

However, since Kira knows that producing babies at an alarming rate doesn’t solve anything, she decides to go get herself a Partial. If she can go out into the vast wasteland that was once the US, capture one, and bring it back without getting herself killed, she can study it, and hopefully come up with a cure for RM.

The story is her doing just that, and let me tell you, it’s freaking awesome!

I really love Kira. The only way to make her better was if she had been written as a little more sarcastic. However, she emcompasses most of the other qualities I adore in a female lead. She is smart, strong, independent, and able to think for herself. I also love that she doesn't spend the ENTIRE book whining about how much she loves this guy and/or that guy. She isn't waiting for prince charming to come rescue her. As far as she is concerned there are bigger issues out there and prince charming can suck it.

Wells' did an amazing job of creating the world around them. I could just imagine how utterly insane it would be to walk through these cities outside of Rhode Island and it just be a desolate wasteland. All the buildings, skyscrapers, homes, etc are empty. Cars are left haphazardly on the street, some of them still occupied by their owners remains (because this virus wasn't playing, it wasted no time killing your ass).

Also, since I live in Georgia, the kudzu references kind of cracked me up. I promise you, if something like this happened in Georgia, Georgia would just be a giant ball of kudzu. So, to me kudzu growing up around all of these giant buildings and slowly taking back all that man had claimed seemed pretty realistic. That shit doesn't play.

It was a good read with a lot of twists and turns that I really didn’t expect to see coming. Which is nice, because I read a lot, and often, things get rather predictable.

Overall, I found it a good read and I would highly recommend it to those who love dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories. This is a series I definitely intend to keep following. Hopefully it just gets better!

So... that being said… I’m off to read the second book in this series Fragments. I’ll let you know how that goes!



Amy Tintera

At the age of 12, Wren is shot 3 times in the chest... and she dies... and she stays dead... for 178 minutes. Then her body Reboots and she comes back to life faster, stronger, able to heal, and almost devoid of emotion. The longer a Reboot is dead, the less "human" they are, and Wren is the least human of them all. She stayed dead longer than anyone ever has. Now, she's 17 and she is working for HARC, or the Human Advancement and Re-population Corporation. Part of her job is training new recruits. However, her newest recruit, is going to be a challenge. He was dead for a mere 22 minutes. Which is kind of like a death sentence in and of itself for a Reboot. Their emotions get in the way, which gets them killed. However, when a Reboot dies, it's dead. There is no coming back. Callum is slow, asks to many questions, and has one of those smiles that doesn't disappear... like ever. Additionally  he really sucks at following orders. She has to get him in line because if she doesn't SHE has to eliminate him. She's supposed to be utterly devoid of emotion as a 178, but Callum is somehow making her feel more alive than ever. 

So, first off, let me just start out by saying that I am terrified beyond any rational reason or explanation of zombies. The whole coming back from the dead, rotting skin, and trying to eat your brain thing just freaks me the !@&$ out.
I had a few qualms about picking up Reboot, but most of what I read prior to picking up the book led me to believe that the only reason they were being called "zombies" was because they died and came back to life. No rotting flesh. No brain eating. No problem. For the most part they were right, but there are elements in this story in which characters act out zombie like tendencies... like trying to eat people. GRANTED, it's not ALL the characters, and there is a REASON some of the characters go all bat-shit crazy and start trying to eat people.
Anyway, not the point. The point is, that for me to continue reading past one close call with people eating says a lot about this book. Generally speaking, once people eating zombies are mentioned the book goes flying across the room and I huddle in a corner for hours freaking out over every little noise. It's not pretty.
So what possessed me to continue reading after the whole "oooh, human... nomnomnom" episode(s)?? By the time it became really evident that it was going to happen I was already in love with the characters  including some of the characters who were doing the nomming. Tintera was pretty damn brilliant in that respect. She made me love a "zombie" that was trying to !$#%*^@ eat people. I didn't even know that was possible.
The only real complaint I have about any of the charecters is that I felt like Wren had too much emotion too quickly for someone who was supposed to be devoid of emotion from the word go. Like the book starts out and she's all "There's no human left in me, I don't care, I'm following my orders, $#&% YOU!" Then she meets Callum and suddenly she's all "I worry about him. He needs my help. I must save him!!" I wanted her to get there, but I think it could have been a little more drawn out or something. I don't know.
HAHAHA!  I'm not human, I have no feelings!  Wait... wait... OH GOD... I DO HAVE SOME HUMANITY LEFT... OH THE FEELS!!!!
Callum was pretty awesome. His character made me crack up a couple of times. He may only be a 22, but he can be a bad ass when he needs to be. However, he isn't a badass just to be a badass. I wouldn't go as far as to say he's "book boyfriend" material at this point, but I will say I find him amusing.
There are a few twists in the book that I didn't see coming. They weren't MAJOR twists in my opinion though. Most of the MAJOR twists I kind of saw coming, so I wasn't all that "WTF!?!?!" over them. But there were some smaller ones that totally blindsided me. So that's nice. I like those "Oh... snap... wtf just happened" moments. I find them fun. I'm weird like that.

Zombies and all I found Reboot to be a fun read. It was fast paced, easy to grasp, and without a lot of ooey-gooey lovey-dovey bullshit.
For the record:  I do not actually hate romance in a book.  I just hate when it's bullshit romance *cough* Twilight *cough*
It was a good book, and despite my RIDICULOUS fear that the whole zombie-wanna-eat-your-flesh theme will progress in the next book, I STILL intend to read it, cuz I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT THE HELL HAPPENS!

Also, the image below is a total front.  It makes me look all badass and ready to face my fears.  Like I'm all "I'm gonna read the shit outta that book!"  In reality, I'm terrified that the zombie brain eating is going to really get going in book two.  Which in turn means I may very well have to seek professional help before, during, and/or after reading it.  

Now, quit staring at the screen like one of those zombie freaks and go get the damn book and read it. Like now. Because it's good. And because your zombie stare is kind of freaking me out.

... seriously

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave
Rick Yancey

The 1st Wave - Lights Out
The 2nd Wave - Surfs Up
The 3rd Wave - Pestilence
The 4th Wave - Silencer
The 5th Wave - ... I totally can't tell you without spoilers, but I'll sum it up:

Now... Onto the review...
Aliens are here. They are destroying the human race so that they can call our planet home. Cassie's parents are dead, and her brother has been taken away from her. She must find him. To find him, she must survive. To survive, she must trust no one. 
When she meets Evan, he may be her one and only hope of finding and saving her brother. Can she trust him?
I'm just going to go ahead and say it right here, right now. You really need to go out and buy this book. Like yesterday. Stacey and I have been saying it since it was released: This could very well be the best book of 2013. It's THAT good. 
I'm usually not a big fan of alien invasion stories. To me, they are generally generic. The aliens come in, they start killing people, and, despite being so advanced they can travel light years through space to get here, they can't do their homework. In the end we find this really ridiculous way to defeat them. The aliens die. We live happily ever after. 
Yancey, however, creates an alien invasion like no other. If aliens actually came here, and actually did all of the things Yancey describes, we'd be utterly screwed. 
Yancey's characters are freaking awesome as well. I absolutely love Cassie. While Cassie is a badass, she isn't a badass because she is somehow different than you and me. She's a badass simply because she has to be to save her brother and survive. She doesn't have any superhuman ass-kicking superpowers. Just sheer determination and grit. She also has plenty of snark, which, personally, I adore. 


I also love to think that if I was in her shoes I could be that badass. Even though, in reality, I would probably be hiding in a hole pissing myself every time the wind blew.
Evan is that mysterious male lead that you are all "Don't trust him!" about in the beginning.
And the whole time you are begging Cassie to get her head out of her ass and pick up on all the mistrust you have for Evan and run for the hills.  Then, when she does figure it out and run for the hills your suddenly all:
And then you suddenly realize at some point during all this you decided you loved Evan and she CAN'T LEAVE HIM!  However, you have absolutely NO idea when or how that happened.  It happened though.  Also, I DAMN well BETTER get good news on the Evan front in the next book Mr. Yancey.  
You know EXACTLY what I'm talking about Rick!!


Then we throw this guy Ben into the mix, who I do love. I do. I just love him in a different way. I'm sure he's totally swoon worthy to some. However, I really hope he gets friend-zoned by Cassie.
Don't get me wrong. I want Ben to have a love interest... Just not Cassie. I have the perfect person in mind... but you'll have to read the book, cuz I'm not going there and spoiling all your fun. 
The only thing I really didn't LOVE about the story was her younger brother Sammy's POV. I guess I see why he wrote it in there, but it just wasn't as thrilling as the rest of the POV's in the book. 
I could really go on and on about how much I love this book. HOWEVER, to say much more would cause epic spoilers and that's no fun for you. Instead, you know what you should do???
YOU should go BUY the BOOK and READ it YOURSELF! Like yesterday. It's that good.
And because Evan is hot. 
Why are you still here?
He TOTALLY means the books are out there....
So you should probably go find it and read it. 

Project ELE


Project ELE

Rebecca Gober & Courtney Nuckels


A virus is wiping out man-kind. Millions are dead. Thousands more are dying. The government creates a program called Project ELE as a last ditch effort to save the human race. All remaining survivors who have not yet been infected are forced into F.E.M.A. shelters to wait it out.

Willow Mosby is a 15 year old girl. Life as she knows it ends when she walks into the shelter doors. She must adapt to the demands of shelter life, work a full time job, and make new friends.

After making a discovery, Willow and her new found friends begin exhibiting strange abilities. They embark on a mission to find out what is happening to them.

Will Willow survive?

Ok. So the first few chapters of the book had me sobbing. Seriously sobbing.


It was beautifully written and heartwrenching. I could literally feel the anguish that Willow was facing.

Once they got into the F.E.M.A. shelter I got kind of bored. I went with it though, because, ya know, world building.

Then she starts meeting her new friends, and I was like "Ok, cool, now we can do something cool"

Then nothing really happened.

Then they went on an adventure, and I was all, "OK! NOW THINGS WILL GET INTERESTING"
Then shit happened, but it wasn't like "OMG!!!" crazy shit, it was just shit.
Then they went on more adventures.

Then she starts to fall in love, which is cool I guess. However, it felt more like high school love than a real romance.
I can almost hear them arguing over who loves who more.  
Then they start getting weird abilities, and I'm like "OK, we're going to really go somewhere with this, right?!"
Instead it's all like "Whoo! Look what I can do, lets not tell anyone!"
Then we spend several chapters hanging out with friends and comparing notes on Willow's eyes.
... Are you getting the idea?

It's basically this until like the last 4-5 chapters of the book, then things pick up again.
And then you get to the end, and its like:
In short, it had a really strong beginning, and a really strong ending. The middle was just blah to me though. HOWEVER, TO BE FAIR, I think someone who is like 12-15 might enjoy reading this. I think it's just to young for me. There was way to much time spent building the friendships and going on pointless adventures for me to feel really connected. I didn't want to murder any of the charecters with a spork though, so thats a plus.

Additionally, where the book leaves off leaves a very interesting scenario for the next book. Perhaps it will be more fast-paced, edge of your seat than this one is now that all the relationships are established.

BECAUSE I FEEL that it is really a story for younger readers (and at almost 30 I'm definately not a younger reader) I gave it a 3.5, because I feel like someone in the right age group could connect better with the characters and what they are going through. I feel like the friendships that are built might seem more meaningful to them. The adventures that they are going on more exciting. The love interest scenarios more OMG! Blah, blah, blah.

So, if you're into that, by all means, please read it. If you know someone who is a younger reader I wouldn't hesitate to recommend they try it.

I really don't feel like it's a BAD BOOK, I just feel like it's a bad book for ME.



Jennifer L. Armentrout


I have never in my life come so close to going into cardiac arrest while reading a book. Ever. 

Thank you Jennifer Armentrout, because of you, there is a very real possibility that I will need heart medications for the rest of my life. All because of this book.
I should probably just go ahead and buy stock in these. 

If you are reading this, I'm assuming that you have read Opal. If my assumption is wrong, I would strongly suggest you scroll down to the gif of the dancing bear. Go ahead. I'll wait.







Ok. Those of you that are still with me... you all know that the end of Opal was all like:

Because Katy got caught while trying to escape after rescuing Beth from Daedalus and Daemon didn't. So they are all separated and stuff, and that in and of itself is sad.

Add to that what we had witnessed of Beth at that point, and now you're sad and terrified. Because, although Krazy Katy has a nice ring to it, none of us want that.

It's not a good look for her.
Origin picks up where Opal left off.

Daemon is going all rage monster trying to get back to Katy.

Only waaaay sexier!

And Katy is all:

Only less whiny.

So how far will Daemon go to get her back? After what Daedalus reveals about the Luxen, will Katy still be able to trust them?

*Cue the dramatic music!!*

(Note to those that haven't read Opal: I can't tell you about Origin until you read Opal, so get on that! What is below however, should be spoiler free enough that it won't ruin it for you)

This review is really hard to write without epic spoilers, because so much happens in Origin. It's a HUGE game changer. Characters die, new characters are introduced, there are epic battles, betrayals, lots of sexy sexiness, and a CLIFFHANGER (that's right Jen, A CLIFFHANGER!!!) for an ending. OH, and did I mention that its DUAL POV, so you get to be all up in Daemon's head. Oh yeah.

So I'll just say that you should be mentally prepared. Reading Origin is like hopping on the worlds most epic emotional roller coaster. That's not a bad thing. I love that edge of my seat, can't get to the next page fast enough feeling. Origin is pretty intense though.


It's epic.

Also, a side-note that ties this book, author, and blog all together in a pretty package.

Jennifer Armentrout inspired the name of this blog.

How so you ask?

Because when she made her appearance at Decatur Book Fest, she stated during her Q&A that THIS BOOK... ORIGIN... was NOT a CLIFFHANGER!

That's right.

She says it's NOT, I repeat, NOT a cliffhanger.

So when we went back to get our books signed, I told her that I totally disagreed and that it was sooo a cliffhanger. She laughed good-naturedly, and signed my book as follows:

We were so amused, we decided to name the blog "This is Not a Cliffhanger"

So there you go.

Additionally, if you have read the book and would care to vote as to whether or not the book is, in fact, a cliffhanger, feel free to take the poll below.

Is Origin by Jennifer Armentrout a cliffhanger? free polls