Review: Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez

kiss kill vanish by jessica martinez

Valentina Cruz no longer exists.

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.

She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.

She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.

Description taken from Goodreads.


KISS KILL VANISH didn’t do it for me from page one, and that didn’t help the fact that I was so uninvolved with this book that up until I actually opened it, I thought that the title was Kiss Will Vanish.

First things first: boring. This is a boring runaway story disguised a thriller. It is not a thriller in any way, shape or form. I was bored with the majority of this story, and it didn’t help that Valentina is so unlikable. All she does is complain. Complain. Complain. Much like I’m doing about Valentina right now.

Valentina likes to think she’s better than everyone else, which is part of why I dislike her so much. She is constantly along the lines of if I were at home you would know how cool I am. Speaking of home, of course Valentina ran away from home right after realizing that her boyfriend was a killer. She didn’t stop to think about how to run away or plan at all so she ended up with basically nothing after awhile. Then someone came to rescue, which ends up happening the whole book.

It all goes back to the matter of the boyfriend, or boyfriends, considering this is a love triangle. But the original boyfriend. Valentina ran away in a panic because she saw Emilio kill someone, BUT THE ENTIRE BOOK SHE’S CONSTANTLY PINING AFTER HIM. Yes, even when she’s with the other guy.

Y U MAKE NO SENSE???

Then Valentina’s benefactor dies, and the whole mish mash of nonsense continues. The plot holes, dislikable characters and lack of pacing were only part of why I just couldn’t bring myself to love this story the way I wanted to.

All in all, KISS KILL VANISH is an okay story if you don’t go into it expecting a thriller and you’re okay with Valentina’s minor annoyances. Some books I would recommend instead are TRANSPARENT by Natalie Whipple or LIARS, INC. by Paula Stokes. 2 stars.

pg count for the hardback: n/a

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Review: Inked by Eric Smith

inked by eric smith

Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.

Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.

And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can’t escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.

But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.

Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.

Eric Smith takes you on a high-octane fantasy adventure, perfect for anyone who has dreamed of being different… only to discover that fate is more than skin deep.

Description taken from Goodreads.


INKED had a great concept. For people out there who really enjoy looking at tattoos, I’m sure this book had a lot of interesting ideas behind it, and even for people who aren’t that interested in tattoos. I loved the ideas and power in tattoos in Rick Riordan’s THE RED PYRAMID, and being able to see those kinds of things portrayed in a different light was a lot of fun for me.

Overall, the plot wasn’t bad. It was believable, and I really enjoyed a lot of events in the story. There was lots of fun dialogue and scenes. In fact, my problems with this book really didn’t lie in the plot at all. Or the pacing. Or the writing, characters or themes.

It was all of it put together.

INKED was great, and to someone who is new to young-adult fiction, maybe this book will be awesome for them. To someone who has a lot of experience reading children’s and young-adult fiction, or maybe even just watched a lot of movies, the cliches are undeniable. For example, a boy in love with the girl next door who doesn’t even see him. An occasion that will determine the future of a girl/boy *cough* DIVERGENT *cough* MATCHED *cough*. The government is evil. Whoa.

Quite honestly, I do believe that I could’ve gotten over the fact that INKED is so predictable. It is an enjoyable story once I cut out my sense of predictability. It was more the ending, which is so disappointing because I really wanted to love this book.

The thing is, this ending could have been so much. The most. It’s where Caenum (could not get used to this book. Never throughout the entire story) begins to realize that things aren’t what he thought they were (in a way that was surprisingly not cliched) and there’s a huge ‘ah-ha’ moment for him. Well, it didn’t turn into a ah-ha moment. It turned into deaths. And ruined moments. And could’ve-beens.

I had hoped that this story could be so much more, but it just couldn’t. The ending was too much for me to handle, because I had such high hopes for it, and it fell short of my expectations. 2 stars.

pg count for the ebook: n/a

Cover Reveal: For the Record by Charlotte Huang

First cover reveal of the year for RealityLapse, and I’m so glad that it could be FOR THE RECORD, Charlotte Huang’s debut! The cover is gorgeous, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you. First, a little bit about the book:

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like . . . until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything. Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen hearthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.

Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule . . . Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

 

I need this book. Luckily, there’s a chance to win the very first ARC of FOR THE RECORD below! And the blurb is the not the only thing that looks awesome:

 

for the record by charlotte huang cover

For the record, I love this cover, and I look forward to holding it in real life the second that I get the chance. I think this book really captures the concert scene that I envisioned Melbourne with, and I hope that I’m right about them. :D What do you think of the cover? Yay or nay? Enter this giveaway for the first ARC of FOR THE RECORD and FTR swag! (US only, must be 13+ to enter).

Find Charlotte and keep up to date with FOR THE RECORD: Ξ Twitter Ξ Blog Ξ Website Ξ Add FTR to Goodreads Ξ


A little bit about Charlotte:

charlotte huang

Charlotte Huang is a graduate of Smith College and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, which is clearly something every aspiring writer should do. When not glued to her computer, she cheers her two sons on at sporting events and sometimes manages to stay up late enough to check out bands with her music agent husband. Charlotte lives in Los Angeles and is the author of For the Record (Delacorte, 2015)

Once Upon a Gif: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Once upon a gif is a feature by Hafsah and Asma at Iceybooks, where a pre-review is written with gifs. My full review of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU will come out on February 2nd, 2015. 

a thousand pieces of you by claudia gray

Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

Description taken from Goodreads.


At first, I thought this book was clever.

impressed gif

But then I realized it was so much more. I got to love the protag, and the people around her, and her relationships with them.

do you want a hug adventure time gif

attack hug gif

Then I got into the schematics of it all and the physics and worldbuilding and plot.

witchcraft gif

it's magical gif

 

I loved so much of this book, and it truly was amazing to read. I did have a few minor problems with it, but overall it could end up being one of my favorite book of the year. Check back on February 2nd to see my full review!

pg count for the hardback: 339

Series: Anna and the French Kiss

ARC Review: Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards

gone too far by natalie d. richards

Keeping secrets ruined her life. But the truth might just kill her.

Piper Woods can’t wait for the purgatory of senior year to end. She skirts the fringes of high school like a pro until the morning she finds a notebook with mutilated photographs and a list of student sins. She’s sure the book is too gruesome to be true, until pretty, popular Stella dies after a sex-tape goes viral. Everyone’s sure it’s suicide, but Piper remembers Stella’s name from the book and begins to suspect something much worse.

Drowning in secrets she doesn’t want to keep, Piper’s fears are confirmed when she receives an anonymous text message daring her to make things right. All she needs to do is choose a name, the name of someone who deserves to be punished…

Description taken from Goodreads. I received an advance copy of this book, to be released January 6th, 2015, in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.


Shall we say… Death Note?

Okay, no.. just, no. But GONE TOO FAR can stand on it’s own.

Probably my favorite thing about GONE TOO FAR is the characters in it. When I first opened this book up, I expected it to be at least as good as Six Months Later, but it wasn’t.

It was so much better.

The mystery was the very first thing that I noticed I was enjoying much more than SIX MONTHS LATER (not that SML was bad, it just wasn’t my favorite book. I actually really enjoyed it). The mystery goes by at a fairly fast pace. It isn’t too hard to figure out, but it kept me occupied the entire course of the story. I enjoyed watching every aspect of the book play out, especially when I saw where everything was going.

The fact of the matter is that in the beginning, Piper just wasn’t very likable to me. Sure, there were plenty of strong points about her. She was never so unlikable that I thought about not reading the book the whole way through because of her, just irritating in many ways, especially when faced with the ups and downs as well as consequences of what she brings about in the aftermath of Stella’s death. In fact, Piper is likable in a lot of ways. She’s smart, she knows what her weaknesses/strengths are, she’s realistic and she’s relatable.

But she’s also reckless at times, and dives straight into the idea of revenge without looking at the mysterious texter seriously sideways even once, what her actions could mean for other people. I also didn’t love how she handled the realization that the so-called vigilante had “gone too far”, to bring in the namesake of this book.

Things got way better after Piper realized that she had to do something about the situation at hand, to reverse things and make them better instead of worse. After that point, she came to genuinely think about the assumptions she’d made to get her to that point and help her out of it. Then an awesome character change came into place. The development that happens here, because of the events that have happened and the people around her, Richards highlights her characters at their very best and very worst in a way that shows how nuanced and real GONE TOO FAR is.

I think my greatest disappointment with GONE TOO FAR was that at the end, it struck me that this book could’ve been more. There were a few scenes that were spent on petty drama that I especially wanted to stick out more, to reach farther, to dig deeper into the mystery and the mess Piper got herself into, or get into the emotional weight of certain scenes more.

Overall, I really enjoyed GONE TOO FAR. The observations by Piper are vivid, well-drawn and allowed me into her world. Richards shows the relationships, growing, broken and the way they are in the beginning/end extremely well. They’re not just kind or mean, they’re everything in between. GONE TOO FAR has a complicated villain, a great mystery, an endearing heroine and writing that completely transported me into the middle of it all. I would recommend this book for people who liked DEAR KILLER by Katherine Ewell but wanted more. For people who have read GONE TOO FAR already and wanted more from it, I would recommend LIARS, INC. by Paula Stokes. 3.5 stars.

pg count for the paperback: 304

Review: Ignite by Sara B. Larson (Defy #2)

ignite by sara b. larson

Murder, abductions, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson’s acclaimed YA debut, DEFY.

Alexa remains by the newly crowned King Damian’s side as his guard, ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion’s people, despite continuing to harbor a secret love for him. However, when another threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on their newly forged allies from Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. With the fate of her nation hanging in the balance once again, will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy — before it’s too late?

Description taken from Goodreads.


**This review does have some small spoilers**

I started 2014 off with DEFY, the first book in this trilogy, and 2014 ended up being pretty freaking spectacular so I decided to start 2015 off with IGNITE.

IGNITE starts out where Damian and Alexa left off. And Damian’s king, which makes this book entirely different from DEFY. In the spirit of love and honor, let’s talk about the romance first.

This series is a love triangle. To be honest, I don’t really enjoy love triangles, but I’m open to them when a good one comes up (i.e. Marie Rutkoski’s THE WINNER’S CURSE). This book really teeters in the middle of a good love triangle and a bad one for me. For one thing, I do like the romance. Damian and Alexa seem like a good couple to me, but Alexa and Rylan? I really just don’t see why the love triangle exists, or if it’s even a love triangle, because Alexa has absolutely no interest in Rylan in that way and for most of IGNITE Damian doesn’t even know that Rylan likes Alexa. It’s basically all Rylan by himself, so I don’t know if something is going to happen in DEFY #3 or what, but I had wanted to see more of Rylan and what’s going on in IGNITE.

Despite that, the romance was still very much in IGNITE. One thing I thought was a little sketch was when Alexa reveals all her fears to Damian and he brushes them away by saying that maybe all people aren’t like that and his opinion is the only one that matters. I can kind of accept this, but Alexa being convinced that he’s right and that the people will just love her because Damian said so and Damian’s opinion is the only one that matters when he’s a king and he’s got a nation to rule? ehhhhhh probably not.

There were a few other instances I’m not going to name here of things going a little towards the direction of suspended disbelief, but I really did love the romance in IGNITE. Alexa and Damian finally get somewhere, and they confront the fears from both Damian and Alexa’s sides. Larson did a fantastic job with Alexa’s inner-conflict and acceptance, and I hope that she continues on with Alexa. Initially, in DEFY, I didn’t think that Alexa could grow very much as a character, but she does in IGNITE, and I was really impressed by that.

As for plot, I did think it went around in circles a little where Damian and Alexa are stuck in this trap of trying to save everyone and everything that goes awry. I really enjoyed the cliffhanger that Larson leaves off on, but I CANNOT wait for the next book in the series. Larson also really focused on Damian’s struggle with his new duty as king and the scars that come back from his past. She wrote the political sides to this story very well, in a way that wasn’t boring and moved quickly but still covered what needed to be covered.

Overall, I think that IGNITE was much better organized than DEFY. I never had to go back to see what was going on and the book follows a very clear storyline. I was interested the entire time that I was reading it, and the pace never slowed down too much. I did want a little more action/actual fight scenes and less of the Girl Terminator archetype, but this book isn’t nearly as bad as many of those that have come out recently.

There’s plenty going on to keep the reader occupied, and the plot points are well-covered but not frustrating. IGNITE was very realistic in the sense that it talked about Alexa’s struggles with herself and others, and I enjoyed those parts a lot. It also went way more in-depth with the supporting characters and showed me different sides to them.

I would recommend DEFY and IGNITE to high fantasy fans and people who loved DEFY. Whether you want good juju or you’re simply looking for a great book, pick up a copy of IGNITE and join me in starting off 2015 right. :D 4 stars

pg count for the ebook: 304

Series: Defy #2

Dream Cast + Giveaway Winner: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

all the bright places by jennifer niven

Thanks for visiting! This post, along with a few others, have been moved exclusively to my other blog, The Silver Words. All of my posts, including the ones on RealityLapse, are included on The Silver Words. Please go there for this post and all new content.

the silver words.com