Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Review- Blood and Chocolate (Annette Curtis Klause)

Blood and Chocolate



Synopsis


Vivian Gandillon relishes the change, the sweet, fierce ache that carries her from girl to wolf. At sixteen, she is beautiful and strong, and all the young wolves are on her tail. But Vivian still grieves for her dead father; her pack remains leaderless and in disarray, and she feels lost in the suburbs of Maryland. She longs for a normal life. But what is normal for a werewolf?

Then Vivian falls in love with a human, a meat-boy. Aiden is kind and gentle, a welcome relief from the squabbling pack. He’s fascinated by magic, and Vivian longs to reveal herself to him. Surely he would understand her and delight in the wonder of her dual nature, not fear her as an ordinary human would.

Vivian’s divided loyalties are strained further when a brutal murder threatens to expose the pack. Moving between two worlds, she does not seem to belong in either. What is she really—human or beast? Which tastes sweeter—blood or chocolate?


                     Goodreads.com


Review 


As far as werewolf books go, Blood and Chocolate is one I can read again and again (and indeed I have). Written quite some time ago (1997), long before the hype of Twilight and other supernatural books like it. Blood and Chocolate follows the typical path of werewolf girl falling for a human boy, but it’s not all candy and roses.

Our main character Vivian finds kinship in a male teen, Aiden, from her high school, after she reads a poem he’s written for their school newspaper. The poem speaks to her wolf side on many levels and shows an understanding that she would never expect to find from a human. Teen romantic escapades ensue, and Vivian begins to believe that she could actually reveal her true self to Aiden and have a somewhat normal life.


“It's only a game, she told her herself, to see if I can snare him. But she wanted to know what was in a human head to make him write that poem, and she wanted to know why he'd stolen the breath from her lips"
- Annette Curtis Klause (Blood and Chocolate)

Vivian is hard character to empathise with. The author did a great job of giving her a lot of ‘canine’ traits that I would expect to see in a werewolf; aggressive, hyper-sexuality, conceited and drop-dead gorgeous. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make for an easy character to like. There are a lot of instances where her dominant wolf-side comes out and it’s not necessarily pretty or nice. 

“I'd like to feel my teeth in her throat, Vivian thought. I'd like to slit her gullet"
- Annette Curtis Klause (Blood and Chocolate)

Aiden on the other hand is your typical teen boy, who falls for a mysterious, beautiful girl. While his character loses some esteem in my eyes, I really can’t blame him for his faults. A teen boy can only accept so much.

I have a feeling there will be many ill feelings regarding the ending, but for me it makes perfect sense. I don’t want to spoil it, but Vivian learns that having someone who truly accepts and understands you as a mate is better than hiding who you truly are. Unfortunately, this may disappoint some people who were hoping for a romantic ending about love overcoming all obstacles blah, blah.

The wolf pack itself and all the main players really gave off the vibe of a pack. There was hierarchy, fights for mates, dominance, and a hell of a lot of misogyny going on. Which while may be difficult to read in this day and age with equality between the sexes as the ideal, it pretty much nails the principles of pack and canine behaviour on the head.

Overall an enjoyable re-read, that I will more than likely come back to again in the coming years. Definitely one of my favourite romance werewolf novels that appears to grasp the morals and conventions of a wolf pack, without any of the ‘sparkles’.  

My Rating 4/5


Saturday, 11 February 2017

Review- Defending Taylor (Miranda Kenneally)


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Synopsis

There are no mistakes in love.

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor's always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that's what is expected of a senator's daughter. But one impulsive decision-one lie to cover for her boyfriend-and Taylor's kicked out of private school. Everything she's worked so hard for is gone, and now she's starting over at Hundred Oaks High.


Soccer has always been Taylor's escape from the pressures of school and family, but it's hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she's going through is her older brother's best friend, Ezra. Taylor's had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it's hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?



                     Goodreads.com


Review 


After a ‘misunderstanding’ in which Taylor takes the fall for her boyfriend, she is expelled from her boarding school. The fallout of her choice affects not only her and her future but her family, specifically her father’s senator campaign. Taylors world starts to collapse and everything she has worked so hard for starts to fall away… her future at Harvard is not as unquestionable as it once was. Not only has she lost her friends, boyfriend and the trust of her parents… add to that starting a new school.

Personally I couldn’t connect with Taylor as I have previously with the authors other characters. I felt she didn’t think things through properly and her rash decisions caused her to be in that situation in the first place. However, I did admire her dedication to her future, she was hardworking and a good team player when it came to soccer. Mostly I admired her ability to forge her own path and make the most of the situation she was in. She broke the yoke of her family’s expectation in regards to her future and chose to do what felt was right for her, instead of majoring in business which was expected.


However, the overall plot was somewhat predictable, along with the romance between Taylor and her brother’s best friend Ezra who she hasn’t talked to for many years, after a misunderstanding. While it was an OK read, it was not my favourite of Miranda Kenneally’s work and I feel she has much better books in her ‘Hundred Oaks’ series to choose from. 

My Rating 3/5


Friday, 3 February 2017

January Wrap-Up

Alas, Earwax... I mean alas, it's February already! Time has flown this month and I've been lucky enough to read some pretty great books to start me year off with. I was also able to get some time off work which has helped me read some more this month and having my bullet journal has helped ALOT with the organization of the rest of my life. I'm especially loving my habit tracker! Anyway on with the books...

Finished 

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnisTo All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny HanP.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
  
Buffy by Kel McdonaldBuffy by Faith Erin Hicks Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Landry Park by Bethany HagenThe Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn BennettFables by Bill Willingham

To All The Boy's I've Loved Before was a reread for me in preparation for the release of Jenny Han's new book 'Always and Forever Lara Jean'. A Madness So Discreet was possibly my favorite book of the month and you can find my review here. Mindy McGinnis has a great way of writing, and if you want something a bit dark and creepy I urge you to read this book. 

Landry Park was a bit of a slow read for me, but I got there in the end and I 'm interested to see what happens in the next book. Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell, was an adorably cute short story, that I feel anyone who has ever belonged to a fandom can relate too. 
  
  

Up Next In August

Reboot (Reboot, #1)Rebel (Reboot, #2)None of the Above


Other Favorites


Image result for wynonna earp
Image resultSo I finished the first season of Wynonna Earp on Netfllix and wholly hell, it brought back all my love for fantasy shows. I kind of reminds me of Buffy in the early days a little, the show's not over polished and the characters are witty and charming. Even the villains are somewhat charming in their own right, and my, my, my Doc Holiday with his southern drawl and cowboy hat. 


I also caught the first episode of Riverdale on Netflix and its GOOD...like REAL GOOD. It's a little Pretty Little Liars meets Gossip Girl with it's intrigue and mystery and I can't wait to see where it's going.

I'm also loving the Duolingo app. It's one of my goals this year to learn a language and I'm currently trying out the French on the app. So far it's going well and my habit tracker is making sure I'm practicing everyday. Speaking of habit tracking, my bullet journal is a Godsend. I feel so much more organised and I keep all my go-to lists in there ie. Books I've read, Series I want to start/finish, weight loss goals, Bucket list etc. 




Are you on the bullet journal craze yet? What was your favorite read from the New Year? 





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