Review: Black Iris by Leah Raeder

Black Iris by Leah Raeder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: April 28th 2015
Publisher: Atria
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 16+
Genres & Themes: New Adult, Contemporary, Lesbian, Romance, Dark, Mental Illness, Revenge, Love Triangle

BLURB:

The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Unteachable.

It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She’s going to show them all. Continue reading

Review: In These Words, Volume 1

In These Words, Volume 1 by Kichiku Neko

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: June 12th 2012
Publisher: Media, Inc
Point of View: Masculine
Genres & Themes: Adult, Manga, Yaoi, BDSM, Dark, Thriller, Psychological, Death

BLURB:

Asano Katsuya is a US trained psychiatrist who has been recruited by the Tokyo Police Department to provide a profile through the victims’ data. Based on Asano’s profile and recommendation, an elaborate plan is put into place to lure the serial killer out – a plan that bore successful results Now, after three years and twelve victims, Shinohara Keiji is finally in police custody. Shinohara has promised a thorough confession, however, on the absolute terms that Asano has to be the one to receive it. Besides the curious request by the killer whom Asano was only familiar with on paper, disturbing nightmares begin to plague him as soon as he’s given the case… Continue reading

Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Swapped
Publication Date: May 5th 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, FairyTales, Dark, Romance

BLURB:

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

(This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe.) Continue reading

Review: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: August 31st 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Margaret K. McElderry
Genres & Themes: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Vampires, Demons, Witches, Conspiracy, Steampunk, Dark, Friendship, Romance

BLURB:

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…. Continue reading

Review: Under My Skin (Immortality Strain #1) by Shawntelle Madison

Under My Skin by Shawntelle Madison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: December 9th 2014
Publisher: indie
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Dystopia, Dark, Manipulation, Love, Friendship, Family.

BLURB:

Everyone wants to either be a member of the Guild or work for them. Little does the populace know that the Guild hides sinister secrets…

For Tate Sullivan, life in her small, coastal town is far from glamorous. The affluent lives of the Guild members and their servants isn’t something she has ever wanted. But all sixteen year-olds must take a simple test, and Tate’s result thrusts her into the Guild’s world, one where they hide horrible plans for those they select. Tate must fight the relentless General Dagon for control of her mind, body, and soul to keep the one precious thing she has always taken for granted: herself.

Her only ally is the same handsome boy she is pitted against in General Dagon’s deadly game. Quinn desires nothing more than to end the life of General Dagon who has taken over Tate’s mind. While romance blooms between Tate and Quinn, General Dagon plots to eventually take over Tate’s body, and love might end before it even begins. Continue reading

Review: Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1) by Heather Demetrios

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: bought
Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Genres & Themes: YA, Urban Fantasy, Dark, Magic, Romance.

BLURB:

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light. Continue reading

Review: The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: bought
Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genres & Themes: YA, Fantasy, Dark, Magic, Romance, Friendship, Family, Betrayal

BLURB:

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

Continue reading

Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: November 4th 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pacing: fast
POV: Alternative (3) female + masculine
Genres & Themes: YA, Dark, Thriller, Romance, Family, Survival

BLURB:

There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run.

Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there run drugs or work in brothels—or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself. Continue reading

Review: Bliss by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

Bliss by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: August 18th 2014
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pacing: slow
POV: 3rd person & masculine
Genres & Themes: M/M romance, Dystopian, Adult, Dark, Secrets, Control.

BLURB:

They’re always happy.

Rory James has worked hard all his life to become a citizen of the idyllic city-state of Beulah. Like every other kid born in the neighboring country of Tophet, he’s heard the stories: No crime or pollution. A house and food for everyone. It’s perfect, and Rory is finally getting a piece of it.

So is Tate Patterson. He’s from Tophet, too, but he’s not a legal immigrant; he snuck in as a thief. A city without crime seems like an easy score, until he crashes into Rory during a getaway and is arrested for assaulting a citizen. Instead of jail, Tate is enrolled in Beulah’s Rehabilitation through Restitution program. By living with and serving his victim for seven years, Tate will learn the human face of his crimes.

If it seems too good to be true, that’s because it is. Tate is fitted with a behavior-modifying chip that leaves him unable to disobey orders—any orders, no matter how dehumanizing. Worse, the chip prevents him from telling Rory, the one man in all of Beulah who might care about him, the truth: in a country without prisons, Tate is locked inside his own mind.

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Review: The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil #1) by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought
Publication Date: May 14th 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genres & Themes: Fairy Tales, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic, Adventure, Witches, Boarding School.

BLURB:

The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

Continue reading