BOOK REVIEW: SNAKECHARM BY AMELIA ATWATER-RHODES

30329Title: Snakecharm (The Kiesha’ra #2)
Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Published: June 13th 2006 by Laurel Leaf Library
167 pages
Source: Purchased
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Click here to find it on Goodreads

I was happy to find out that the character’s that I’ve grown to love in the first book, Hawksong, were present in this second book. It picks up right where Hawksong left off, except instead of being told from Danica’s point of view, it is Zane who has the voice of narration.

In the first book, Danica and Zane were dealing with an ongoing war between the avian and the serpiente. They got married, in hopes of setting a good example for their people. The peace that Zane and Danica’s union has brought to both the avian and the serpiente in Hawksong continues in this second instalment.

Danica learns the dance of the serpiente, an important part of the snakes culture, to please her new husband. Being a hawk shapeshifter, she isn’t expected to succeed at this art. The avian were raised to hide all emotion and were not permitted to move as gracefully as the serpiente. She does her best, surpassing everyones expectations, but begins to feel very ill. Zane worries about the health of his new wife and they soon learn that Danica is with pregnant with her first child.

Danica and Zane deal with this news, not wanting to harm the newfound peace between their people. They have enough on their plate when an ancient falcon arrives, claiming that one of her people are hiding in the avian and serpiente land. The falcons are very powerful shape shifters and don’t agree with the alliance that has formed between the avian and serpiente. The presence of the falcon shape shifters stirs up a lot of trouble in the avian and serpiente land.

We get to see a lot more relationship development between Danica and Zane, as they deal with their new marriage and pregnancy. We also get to learn more about Danica’s guard, Rei. I really enjoyed learning about his past and background in this second installment. Lot’s of surprises! It was nice to see that Rei met someone new, after finally realizing that Danica was happy and in love with Zane.

For me, Snakecharm was just as captivating as Hawksong. Both are so full of twists and turns! I love that a new shapeshifter species is introduced in every book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series! I rated Snakecharm 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. Click here to read my review of the first book in this fantastic young adult series.

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BOOK REVIEW: HAWKSONG BY AMELIA ATWATER-RHODES

30334Title: Hawksong
Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Published: September 28th 2004 by Laurel Leaf Library
243 pages
Source: Purchased
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Do you ever not know what to read and just pick a random book from your shelf? That’s what I did with this one. None of my friends have read it and it hasn’t had much hype in the booktube or bookblog community, but it totally surprised me. I loved it!

Hawksong is in Danica Shardae’s point of view. She is an avian shape shifter and has the ability to shift into the golden hawks form. Her land has been at war with the serpiente as long as she can remember and she’s watched too many people die to let it go on any longer. As she will soon become heir to the avian throne, she will do what ever it takes to make peace with the serpiente people. She learns that her best option of stopping the war would be to live in peace with the serpents herself, in order to set a good example for her people. She risks her life as she accepts the serpiente prince, Zane Cobriana, as her husband.

The character’s were very well developed and each had a unique personality. Danica was a brave and independent female lead. Zane was a strong and free spirited love interest. As he points out many times in the book, if he wanted Danica dead – he would have killed her easily. The cobra leader also had a soft side. He cared for his new partner and would do anything to protect her. It took time, but eventually Danica and Zane learned to trust and love one another. I found myself caring deeply for them, as well as the side characters in this captivating fantasy tale.

Overall I was very intrigued with Atwater-Rhodes wonderful writing. The rich shapeshifter history added a lot of depth to the story and to characters. I enjoyed learning about their customs and traditions. The cultures were total opposites. For example, the serpiente’s are very open about they’re feelings. Wether it is love or anger, they don’t hold back any emotion and affection is a very important part of their lifestyle. On the contrary, the hawks were raised to show no emotion whatsoever. It is wrong of them to show tears as they are trained to be tough. Reading about Danica and Zane deal with these differences was extremely interesting!

I seriously couldn’t put this book down after starting it! I had only planned on reading the first 100 pages, but flew through the 243 pages in no time at all. The twists and turns kept me on my toes and I loved the romance build up.

I’m so happy that I picked this book up! I do plan on reading the rest of the books in the Kiesha’ra series, but i’m pretty convinced that this is the most loved book of them all. If you want to give shapeshifter books a try, I highly recommend starting out with this one! It had an awesome setting, a captivating writing style, complex characters, some action, some adventure and a swoon worthy love story. Need I say more? Don’t let the odd covers fool you…
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BOOK REVIEW: NEVER NEVER BY COLLEEN HOOVER AND TARRYN FISHER

24378015Title: Never Never
Author: Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Published: January 7th 2015 by Hoover Ink
159 pages
Source: Purchased
Genre: New Adult Romance Mystery
Click here to find it on Goodreads

If you’re looking for a quick read, look no further. As you know, Colleen Hoover has made quite the impression on me with Maybe Someday and Ugly Love. Let me tell you – Never Never was just as good!

Charlie wakes up in high school with no memory of who she is. She struggles to get through the day. All of her friends notice that she’s acting strange and she finds out that she has a boyfriend. A boyfriend whom she can’t remember… She can’t even remember what happened the night before. Things just get stranger and stranger. As Charlie gets to know Silas, her so called boyfriend, she learns that something is off about him too. Silas has lost his memory, and it happened at the very same time as it had to her. Together, they try to figure out what is happening to them and they fall for each other all over again… But something is wrong about it. As they learn more about their past, they learn that they were not in a healthy relationship. They were actually on the brink of breaking up, for many reasons.

I LOVED THE CHARACTERS, I LOVED THE MYSTERY, I LOVED THE DRAMA AND I LOVED THE ROMANCE. I don’t even know how to review this book because I don’t want to give anything away. It’s really short and definitely worth the read. I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book.

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BOOK REVIEW: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY BY E.L. JAMES

10818853Title: Fifty Shades of Grey
Author: E.L. James
Published: May 25th 2011 by Vintage
356 pages
Source: Purchased
Genre: Adult Erotic Romance
Click here to find it on Goodreads

You must have heard of this book by now. According to my mother’s TV shows, it’s the 2nd most sold book in the world – right after the bible (imagine that!) According to Amazon, more than 100 million copies sold worldwide. For the few of you who don’t know what this book is about, i’ve included the Goodreads summary below:

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
 
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Maria’s thoughts:

I’ve been contemplating on picking this book up for a very long time, for obvious reasons, but decided to give it a try since the movie has recently come out. Honestly, I liked it – but I didn’t love it. I was actually hoping to fall in love with the story, just so that I could defend it. So many people haven’t read the book, or seen the movie, and have been bashing Fifty Shades of Grey and E.L. James since it’s release date. That still bothers me. I don’t understand how people can have such strong opinions without even reading the book. But let’s not get carried away…

I liked Christian from the get go. He’s rich and hot and he has issues. What’s not to love? I didn’t mind Anastasia’s character at first, but as the story progressed she became more and more annoying. I was rooting for their relationship to develop into something more, and for Ana to help Christian with what’s eating him up inside, but i’m not lying when I say that there were moments when I wanted to throw my kobo across the room. The dialogue was incredibly cheesy and I could have done with out the emails going back and forth. And as for sexual content (if you were wondering) I really didn’t have a problem with it until the very last scene. If you’ve read the book, you probably know what I mean. It was just taken a bit too far. I couldn’t help but cringe and yell at Anastasia for being so stupid.

I ended up giving Fifty Shades of Grey 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. For some people, this is being extremely generous, but I didn’t hate the book. It was really entertaining and fun to read for the most part. I just have a lot of mixed feelings towards it! I heard that the books do get better as the series goes on and as their relationship develops. I am interested in knowing what happens, but I’m not sure when or if I will be picking up the sequel.

I just liked the Crossfire series so much more… I’d love to hear your opinion on this book, especially with all of the movie hype going on 🙂 Leave a comment below!

BOOK REVIEW: EMBRACE THE SUCK BY STEPHEN MADDEN

20525598Title: Embrace the Suck
Author: Stephen Madden
Published: 2014 by HyperWave
256 pages
Source: Published
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Embrace the Suck is Madden’s personal memoir of his venture into the world of Crossfit. In the past year and a half I have really gotten into fitness but I have never worked up the courage to try crossfit, so I figured why not start reading about it to see if it is something I would be interested in doing. And let me tell you, from the sounds of this book it does not sound easy or even fun at all, but I still very badly want to try it.

I knew nothing of crossfit so I enjoyed him explaining how it works, like with the WOD (workout of the day). I found it to be quite motivational. Madden was a lot older and not as fit as everyone else he worked out with, but I loved how he replayed his thought processes about not giving up. Your body can withstand a lot, it’s your mind that you have to convince.

This was a very fun, quick and easy read. If you need some motivational reading, you should probably check this out. While reading it I found myself relating and then when I finally finished all I wanted to do was go for some long sprints and lift some heavy ass weights.

I rated this book a 4/5 stars and recommend it to those of you who are fitness obsessed like myself!
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