The Nightmare Affair
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.
Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.
Then Eli’s dream comes true.
Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.
The Nightmare Affair caused much inner turmoil for me. The book has wonderful paranormal aspects, a rich and complex world and plenty of hilarity. However, the characters and I did not get along very well, many of the actions of the characters and their dialogue were childish and the ending was lackluster. So ya, I’m not sure what I should focus on more to determine my overall feelings beyond “mixed” or something similar.
So, lets start with the paranormal awesomeness since I want some positive vibes to at least start us off. You want ALL the types? You came to the right place! There are nightmares, witches and wizards, hags, sirens, fairies, well you get the idea. Arnett utilizes many of these paranormal creatures to their fullest potential and then some. She gives depth and a twist on each one to make them fresh and unique. Yes, there is a focus on a few types, but if you’re looking for a few new ones to read about you came to the right book.
The world in The Nightmare Affair is equally as awesome as the characters that inhabit it. The school really came to life for me and while some of the goings on weren’t wonderful I definitely would love to check a place like that out. Ooo and the creepy graveyard and the super freaky crypt? Loved those! Arnett definitely has a knack for creating a captivating world.
Dusty, the MC, gave me mixed feelings. While I enjoyed the edge she often had and her witty jokes there were parts about her that drove me crazy. One example of that would be her going crazy for seemingly every attractive boy she encountered or that gave her the time of day, it was just sad. Also, despite Dusty being an outcast because she’s a nightmare she is way too trusting. Meeting a person for the first time? Practically acts like they have a trust formed from years of bonding. It’s bizarre. Oh and the constant “woe is me because of my mother’s reputation” thing got old really fast. So ya, I kinda liked her but she bugged me at the same time. Eh.
Now, the not-so-fun parts. Love triangle? Check. Insta-love? Mega-super-sized check. The romance was pretty predictable, the direction it went obvious and the ending rushed and without purpose or build up. It was just a mess for me and the amount of times I had to hear how hot this guys is, how sexy the other one’s abs are, just stop it. Bleh.
Predictability. Unfortunately the plot was pretty obvious. The first encounter with one of the major secondary characters might as well of had “BAD GUY ALERT” stamped on it with red flags and flashing signs and lights. Some of the “twists” at the end were just as bad, especially with the crypt. I won’t elaborate because of spoilers and all but really this was what left me unsatisfied with the book overall. I could get over the romantic mess and Dusty’s quirks but when the book’s direction is clear 1/3 of the way in I am not going to be adding it to my love list.
So ya, I didn’t love the Nightmare Affair, but I didn’t hate it either. The flaws were pretty glaring but there were good parts that I did enjoy. It is Mindee Arnett’s debut so I’m curious to see how her writing develops from here. There is plenty of potential for the series but some tweaks and some surprises that aren’t quite so obvious would be welcome. Thanks as always for reading!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #131/200
Summary From Goodreads:
Some things are permanent.
And they cannot be changed back.
Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.
Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.
Somewhere between reality and myth lies…
Hey, you! Ya, you! The tiny handful of people that have looked at my rating system! Umm, scrap it. Just for this book I swear but seriously, like, it doesn’t exist for this review. Good with that? Awesomesauce.
So the always amazing Nikki over at Fiction Freak, and I, decided to read Indelible together because we are fun like that. ^.^ At the beginning we were, to put it nicely, a tad worried about how the book was going to go. However! Once we hit chapter four it was like an explosion of pure awesomeness occurred and BAM the book took off!
The characters were wonderful! With the exception of the best friend, Monica, which Nikki and I would like to erase from Indelible, the entire cast was well developed, a bunch of fun and pretty complex too. My personal favorite was Inq, the sister of the MC’s love interest, who is bad-ass, freaking hilarious and has just enough naughtiness thrown in. Ink, the love interest, was really intriguing. He had this innocence about him in the beginning and we get to watch him figure out who he is, who he wants to be, and see his personality and feelings really grow by the end. I suppose it is a metaphor for how humans grow up, regardless it certainly worked. Also he’ll kindle the fire for ya if you let him. ^.^
As far as the MC, Joy, while she was a bit stereotypical I still liked her. She wasn’t as fun as some of the other characters and her familial issues, as Nikki pointed out, were cliched. Despite that I found her to be surprisingly tough, holding to her convictions and refusing to give up her friends at any cost, while at the same time struggling to come to grips with this new world she has been thrust into. She didn’t magically accept everything she was told which was really refreshing and it took her time to trust the people she met along the way, something that I’ve seen taken for granted in a lot of YA books in particular. She was solid.
The chemistry between Joy and Ink though? Loved it! There were some elements of “insta-love” but it was done in such a sweet and tender way (not crazy physical all at once nonsense) that it felt the most believable out of the books that have used it. Their relationship had such a nice build up to it and the growing affection was incredibly sweet. They meshed really well and I just loved the pairing. All the sappyness.
However, despite all of that previously mentioned goodness, I haven’t even made it to the best part! Allow me to go full squee-mode over the world that Metcalf created! It’s super complex, there is time travel, other dimensions, a vast array of paranormal creatures and it’s all done perfectly. Seriously, the world was one of the best I’ve ever read about! I was captivated and mesmerized and just all of the happy feels toward it. I liked the balance system of power they use, the cool way each type of creature fit into our current world and this mysterious one all at once and the way they incorporated Inq and Ink into it was incredible. Plus, think of all of the fantastic symbols! Well, you’ll have to read the book to know what I mean by that. ^.^
So, this book, I loved it. That much is clear. There were some minor things that keep it from being a perfect five but it was soooo close and I have every hope that book two, Invisible, will make it there! It doesn’t come out until APRIL though so it will be a long wait until we know for sure. I definitely recommend Indelible to anyone, YA readers, romance lovers, paranormal junkies, it’s just a great book. Thanks as always for reading!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #134/200
A Bad Day For Voodoo
Summary From Goodreads:
When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, “Trust me. This is gonna be awesome.”
Of course, you probably wouldn’t believe a voodoo doll could work either. Or that it could cause someone’s leg to blow clean off with one quick prick. But I’ve seen it. It can happen.
And when there’s suddenly a doll of YOU floating around out there—a doll that could be snatched by a Rottweiler and torn to shreds, or a gang of thugs ready to torch it, or any random family of cannibals (really, do you need the danger here spelled out for you?)—well, you know that’s just gonna be a really bad day…
A Bad Day For Voodoo was really, really weird. It is all about the humor as opposed to Strand’s usual 50/50 split of horror and the hilarious. Unfortunately I think that this worked against him. I understand that this is a YA which is also unusual for Strand, but I never felt any fear or trepidation at all and I missed that. The book constantly makes fun of itself, the content and characters within and even the reader on occasion. If there were some serious bits mixed in maybe this would have worked but it felt over the top and the slapstick humor got old after a while.
The characters were empty shells for me. I didn’t connect with any of them and they didn’t feel like they had any substance. I’m not sure what Tyler (the MC) was supposed to be. A hero? Not really. Courageous? Not intentionally. A “model friend” type? Ya, I guess that fits the most. Adam, the best friend, was just a moron. His role was the funny guy with the outrageous plans and ideas, he succeeded in the latter part but his humor felt forced and mostly I just wanted him to get whacked over the head. If I had a favorite character it would be Kelley (the girlfriend) who was the closest to meaningful as the book gets. She was tough, had a good head on her shoulders and didn’t panic in the face of (ridiculous) danger or adversity. I liked her but I have no clue why she associates with the other two.
Part of my problem with A Bad Day For Voodoo is its constant breaking from the story to say something from the “author” to the reader. You know that fourth wall in comedy or acting where the person on stage acknowledges the viewing audience (especially if it is being filmed for tv or a movie)? Well if there is one in the literary world this book shatters it. Throughout the story the audience is being addressed, questioned and even given suggestions. While some minor use of this tactic would probably be effective it felt like I was never able to connect to the story because Strand kept taking me out of it. Immersing myself in a book’s story is often the best part of reading it, forgetting reality and diving into an alternate universe, A Bad Day For Voodoo refuses to allow that and it was irritating.
The plot was all over the place and just plain disjointed. There was no flow and random events occurred that were seemingly only for comedic effect but that added no depth, substance or truly anything of value to the story. Maybe the underlying message if there is one (I doubt it) just went over my head but I’m guessing if there was one it was buried so deep under the crazy antics that it didn’t want to be found or recognized. Voodoo, craziness ensues, random gang, more insanity, hey look the undead! Oh and now a psychotic family of cannibals… right.
Until I started writing this review I didn’t realize how much I didn’t enjoy A Bad Day For Voodoo. There were a few moments where I actually laughed but for a book relying so heavily on comedy it fell way short. The plot was a mess, the characters were (with the possible exception of Kelley) unsubstantial and the author refused to let the reader stay inside the story even if they wanted to. I can’t say I recommend this one even for fans of Strand. Thanks as always for reading!
So, if you have visited my blog in the last few days you might have noticed something pretty freaking awesome. I have new images to go with my brand new features! Huzzah! The only one I don’t have is something for Sunday and that’s because it is just a standard review and I don’t really have a name for a “feature” for that anyhow. It may not get one, but I’ll still post the review, at least most of the time. However! This Sunday, aka today, shall be random and filled with my brand new wonderful images!
Where did I get these? Who made them? Why it was Kelly from Reading the Paranormal, one of the brilliant minds behind Bout of Books and one of the writers of a favorite feature of mine, GLA reviews! I asked Twitter if anyone would be kind enough to make me a few images for the new features on the schedule and she was generous and accepted! I paid of course, I’m no mooch or anything, but I am soooo happy with them! Thank you Kelly!!! ^.^ Without further ado, or squeeing, ok maybe some more squeeing, the new feature images!
Mini Review Monday is all about my Hobbit Sized Reviews where I give you a short and sweet dose of what I think about the latest book I read. What is one of the main reasons I like to do these? I can get out all of the feels in review form without spending time I don’t have on perfecting a full length review. That doesn’t mean I skimp on the good stuff! I just compact it a little and share my overall emotions. What do I try and do with the time I save by writing a mini-review? See those stacks of books? Yep, I read more. That’s basically what my wall looks like right now, stack after stack of books waiting to be read!
Squeee! This one is my favorite of the new images! Kelly went for the random items to match the name and that plus the color scheme works perfectly for me. I feel like there could be historical documents or something in that pile! Weeee, loooove this! Embrace the random!
Isn’t it preeeeeetty?! ^.^ I looove the scroll, it’s almost as fabulous as the cool art display going on behind it! I need something bright and cheery sometimes and this image does the trick. Plus the lighthearted theme goes well with the usually-lighter YA books. ^.^
Last, but certainly not least, Frodo’s Frisky Friday! I love having an adult/mature content feature after being so YA heavy in the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, I love my YA books, they still make up the majority of my reads, but every so often I need to get naughty or at least read about people that have made it out of high school. Kelly was so sweet in letting me use the image that has been used for Doin’ It Dirty and tweaking it a bit for my feature! It’s sexy without being over the top and just perfect. Yay!
So those are the lovely new pictures for the features on the new schedule! I hope you like them as much as I do! Thanks for the umpteenth time to Kelly for making these for me! Enjoy your weekend. ^.^
Summary From Goodreads:
Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex’s parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape.
But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than shoveling manure. He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach Lex the family business.
She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can’t stop her desire for justice – or is it vengeance? – whenever she encounters a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again.
Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with her reaper skills?
Croak is a hilarious, if sometimes dark, read that had me captivated from the very beginning. It was easy to fall in love with the snarky MC, Lex, and the rest of the cast of goofball characters. The writing was great, the powers awesome and the plot intriguing. So ya, I liked it.
Lex is a perfect main character for me. She’s sarcastic, she doesn’t put up with crap and she happens to be an all around badass. Sure she’s a hot head and doesn’t have the most tact in the world but she’s genuine and I loved her for it. She wants to fit in just like every other teenager but she refuses to change who she is to achieve that and that is commendable.
The romance in Croak was the only thing that felt a bit forced to me. First, it was made painfully obvious from the get go that they liked each other, at least a little. Second, the back and forth romantic “tension” between them didn’t seem all that realistic especially the awkward exchanges and moments they kept having. The end reveal was obvious and I just didn’t care much about it. It was kind of cute and all but definitely the notable weak point in the book.
The plot though? Genius. Twists and turns, one unexpected reveal after the next and plenty of subplots worked in for depth made this story a great one. The reaper skills were pretty incredible, the possibilities seemingly endless and the creepy deaths added some extra chill to the otherwise humorous piece. Damico worked in plenty of moral dilemmas and discussions on a variety of different topics from who deserves to die, who deserves worse than death and who should hold that power if anyone. Plus the ending? Brilliant!
The quaint, if a tad wacky, little town was as easy for me to fall in love with as it was for Lex. The names were funny, the descriptions thorough without being overly so and I really liked the map provided at the beginning. The complex world of the reapers, the craziness they travel through to do their duty, and all of the other strange and wonderful places that are hidden within the realm are captivating. It’s simply lovely.
I really enjoyed Croak. The writing was unique and Lex was a fantastic, and relatable, main character. The world Damico created was nothing short of remarkable and while the romance was a tad irritating at times that was not enough to knock the story down too much. I already ordered Scorch and pre-ordered Rogue and I’m sure I’ll love those too. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^
New Blog Schedule!
I’ve been talking about a new blog schedule on Twitter quite a bit lately. While I haven’t finalized the image headers and what not that I’ll be using I have completed the schedule itself. Huzzah! So this will just be a quick post about what to look for in the future on ze blog, sound good? Let’s do this thing!
Monday: Mini Review Monday – The title is pretty self explanatory but every Monday (apart from today since I’m doing this post instead) I will do a Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Review! They are short, sweet, and, I think, a pretty nice and easy way to start off your week. A quick review to lighten your Monday woes! ^.^
Tuesday: Totally Random Tuesday – Again this is pretty obvious based on the title but this is where I’ll try to bring a little randomness to the blog. I also really like The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday meme, though I’ve never participated prior to the new schedule, and I’ll be mixing in some of those type of posts as well. You’ll never know exactly what kind of post I’ll do on Tuesdays and I think that adds a little excitement! Weeee!
Wednesday: YA Wednesday – The title isn’t set yet on this one but it’ll work for now at least. Most of my reviews when I started the blog are YA but that has changed lately and I’m trying to bring it back around to the YA I love and enjoy. Every week you will be getting at least one YA review this way so if that is your cup of tea (or coffee) make sure you stop by on Wednesdays!
Thursday: OFF/Open – No, I’m not going crazy and trying to post every day. I’m working full time and going to college (online) full time as well so I just can’t generate that much content. There may be posts on Thursday but nothing weekly.
Friday: Frodo’s Frisky Friday – This is the feature I’m really happy with. I’ve been reading more Adult/Mature Content/Naughty books lately, especially after I discovered Leigh Wilder and Zoe E. Whitten which made it to my small auto-buy author list immediately, and I wanted to feature those books. In order to do this while knowing I have a lot of younger teens reading the blog, and because I don’t like having to put warnings and “see more” tags, this day is devoted to books/pieces with mature content. Mostly these will be reviews but I may have an interview or guest post in the future. If you don’t like Erotica, reads with mature content, adult-oriented reads or what have you just skip Friday, I totally understand. Otherwise come on and enjoy the fun! I have a bunch of these ready to go! ^.^
Saturday: OFF/Open – Same as Thursday, another breather day for me on the blog. Again, there may be posts on Saturdays but nothing weekly.
Sunday: Standard Review Sunday – That’s not a title/weekly event necessarily, just a description for now. Sundays will be devoted to book reviews and while they may be YA they don’t have to be. There will NOT be any reviews that would normally fall under Friday’s content, I’m just leaving this one open to any other style of book I happen to have read recently.
So what do you lovely people think? Too much content? Not enough? Are the weekly features ones you would be interested in and are there any in particular you are excited for? Let me know! This schedule will officially start NEXT WEEK! I’m going to use this week as testing grounds because it is the first week of college, a full week at work and my last days to get content ready for the new schedule. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^