Once a Witch (Witch, #1) by Carolyn MacCullough

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin’s magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant. (Amazon, Once a Witch Kindle Edition)

This book was: unique, strange and not entirely in my taste.
The plot was: alright I presume, but I would have liked a lot more “umpf”.

The beginning was: slow and boring.
The middle was: intriguing, but still slow.
The crescendo was: confusing, and not really all that good.
The finish/ending was: expected, but still surprising.

The characters were: dynamic, but at the same time plain (but not static).
The world-building was: really good.
The language was: alright.
The themes represented in the book were: classic and a bit boring.

Would I recommend this book? Yes/no? Why/why not? No, I would not. Even though I didn’t like this book much, there was still something there that made me finish it. That’s why this book gets two stars instead of one. But I still wouldn’t recommend this book.

– Sofia Sundfors

Wolf Fever (Alpha Project, #1) by Milly Taiden

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Changes she can’t understand…
When Raine Bowe volunteers for a sleep study for the extra cash, she didn’t expect to wake in a lab or to be victimized by a mad scientist. She escapes with one objective–to find someone strong enough to wage war with the evil growing inside her.

A job he won’t accept…
Ryder Storm is a man with a reputation–the bad boy of his own universe. He doesn’t take prisoners, won’t give into a sweet smile, and doesn’t cut his pack an inch of slack. He knows the desperate woman in his bar is his the moment he lays eyes on her. He’ll give her anything she wants, except the one thing she’s begging for. Death.

Passion neither can fight…
Raine enlists Ryder’s help to unravel the mystery surrounding the hours she lost in the lab and to help tame the beast inside her. In their search for answers, the road will lead them to a twisted experiment involving shifters, humans, and the creation of the ultimate Alpha. He’s ready for the adventure and she’s ready for her answers. Neither are ready for the lust that calls down from the mating moon. But a wolf knows its mate, and an alpha will not stop until he or she gets what they want. (Amazon, Wolf Fever Kindle Edition)

This book was: hot and steamy… Yes; but it was also very disoriented, confusing and badly structured.

The plot was: good; but it needs a little (perhaps a lot of) polish.

The beginning was: good… but it didn’t continue to be that way. You want answers from this beginning; and sure, you get a few answers, but not nearly enough to satisfy you.

If you have read a lot of “shifter-books” than you know most of the things already about your typical werewolf; but if not, then you’re out of luck since the main character doesn’t know a thing. The annoying part though is that she doesn’t even ask questions, she just accepts everything… I’m mean come on, what’s up with that?!

The middle was: so-so.

The crescendo was:

The finish/ending was: a relief… I’ve finally finished this book!

The characters were: not exactly as bad as static; but not good either.

Would I recommend this book? Yes/no? Why/why not? No, because of all the reasons I’ve stated above.

– Sofia Sundfors

Paladin (Paladin, #1) by Sally Slater

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam of Haywood is the most promising Paladin trainee in the kingdom of Thule… and knows it. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady Samantha, daughter of the seventeenth Duke of Haywood, and if her father has his way, she’ll be marrying a Paladin, not becoming one.

But Sam has never held much interest in playing damsel-in-distress, and so she rescues herself from a lifetime of boredom and matrimonial drudgery. Disguised as a boy, Sam leaves home behind to fight demons-—the most dangerous monsters in Thule—-alongside the kingdom’s elite warriors. Pity that Tristan Lyons, the Paladin assigned to train her, is none other than the hero of her childhood. He hasn’t recognized her–yet–but if he does, he’ll take away her sword and send her packing.

Sam is not the only trainee hiding secrets: Braeden is a half-demon with a dark past that might be unforgivable. Whether he can be trusted is anyone’s guess, including his.

As demons wreak havoc across the land, rebellion stirs in the West, led by a rival faction of warriors.

A war between men is coming, and Sam must pick a side. Will saving the kingdom cost her life–or just her heart? (Amazon, Paladin Kindle Edition)

This book was: fantastic.
The plot was: something I haven’t read before (not really, something similar yes, but not the same) and I loved it. I’m immensely pleased I purchased this book on the off chance it could be read that I might enjoy. Let’s just say it surpassed my expectations.

The beginning was: very intriguing, at times confusing, but it still filled me with suspense.
The middle was: great.
The crescendo was: epic.
The finish/ending was: a bit sad since I had another ending in mind… but I’m not disappointed or anything because the ending is more than acceptable.

The characters were: nicely portrayed and grew with the storyline.

The language was: not exactly simple, but it could have been a lot fancier.

Would I recommend this book? Yes/no? Why/why not? Yes, I would; because it’s a wonderful book filled with lots of great stuff!

– Sofia Sundfors

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1) by Kristin Cashore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Kristin Cashore’s bestselling, award-winning fantasy Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable-yet-strong Katsa, a smart, beautiful teenager who lives in a world where selected people are given a Grace, a special talent that can be anything from dancing to swimming. Katsa’s is killing. As the king’s niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his thug. Along the way, Katsa must learn to decipher the true nature of her Grace… and how to put it to good use. (Amazon, Graceling Kindle Edition)

This book is awesome which is why I gave it five stars. In truth though, this book wouldn’t have gotten five stars if half-stars were possible to dish out. It would have gotten 4,5 stars (which is still good).

I love the whole concept this book has going on and this was actually my eighth time reading it. It possesses all the right quirks, plot-tools and themes that make for a great book.

From the beginning of the book until the end pages, you see a lot of personal growth in the protagonist and that is a huge plus for the book (since I feel that a lot of books nowadays already have strong main characters from the get-go).

The world Kristin Cashore has created is amazing. It has a clear structure (even a map at the beginning of the book) that makes it easier for the reader to understand everything that happens in the book.

The language is well adapted to both the contents and the intended audience(s).

This is definitely a book I would recommend to family and friends.

– Sofia Sundfors

Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1) by Josephine Angelini

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart. (Amazon, Starcrossed Kindle Edition)

I love this book. It is a great combination of teenage trouble, Greek mythology and everything in-between.

If possible, it would have received 4,5 stars out of the possible five; but alas, it’s not.

This book is great. Not just in one area, but all of them. The characters are great, the setting of the plot is awesome, the language is well used and all the usual themes are touched at least once. The one thing that would have gotten the book five stars would have been for it to not only target YA readers, but an adult audience as well. Don’t get me wrong, I love YA-books (and this one is labelled YA. Yes, I know adults can still read it; heck, adults read Harry Potter which is labelled as a children’s book series), I read them all the time and enjoy almost every one of them. It just feels like there should have been something more to the story. I just can’t put my finger on what.

Ha, don’t know if this review will be understandable or if it is just very confusing and incoherent – so back to the main point. This book is awesome and I would without any reservations at all recommend this book to my friends and family.

– Sofia Sundfors

Unbeautifully Loved (Breathe Again, #1) by Emma Grayson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Lexie Todd has held on to three simple words to make it through life’s challenges: Life. Goes. On.

These words comforted her through circumstances that weren’t always easy, but more importantly, it offered her the promise of something more… someday.

Lexie knows what she needs to do after dealing with years of abuse at the hands of her son’s father. Enlisting the help of her best friend, they go on the run to escape the man who threatens to destroy her life.

They finally find the perfect home in a safe town after months of transience; they decide to stay a while. Suspicious and guarded, always looking over her shoulder, the last thing Lexie wants is to become involved with someone new.

Detective Lukas Gunn is Lexie’s bossy, persistent, and extremely hot neighbour.

After an incident leaves her vulnerable, Lukas discovers that she’s haunted by her past. His goal is to protect her while making Lexie his, but she keeps Lukas at a distance.

When history repeats itself, will Lexie be able to trust those around her to keep her safe? Will Lukas save her from her past in time? Or will the only love she ever knows be unbeautiful? (Amazon, Unbeautifully Loved Kindle Edition)

This book was: lovely. I enjoyed it quite immensely. It had nearly all the elements I’m looking for in a book in this genre.

The plot was: really good and I enjoyed all the themes going back and forth creating a beautiful concoction of suspense.

The beginning was: quite slow, but at the same time, it created suspense for what to come, and for what had already happened.

The middle was: amazing at times, and less so in between the good times.

The crescendo was: breathtakingly horrible and lovely.

The finish/ending was: nice. Just what I wanted.

The characters were: dynamic, which made it possible to really care for them. I especially loved how Emma Grayson portrayed little Finn.

The world-building was: exactly how I wanted it to be. Not too much, but not too little either so that you had to fill in everything by yourself.

The language was: used in a great way, and I didn’t find many faults (or things I myself interpreted as faults). Those I did find were inconspicuous and no bother; or maybe just something my Swedish-talking-brain imagined…

Would I recommend this book? Yes/no? Why/why not? Yes, I would definitely recommend this book and I would do it because it’s a great piece of literature that I enjoyed immensely to read.

– Sofia Sundfors

Chosen (The Warrior Chronicles #1) by K.F. Breene

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis: It is said that when war threatens the world, one individual will be selected by prophecy to lead the Shadow Warriors out of the Land of Mist and reclaim the freedom which has been stolen.
Shanti has grown up under the constant threat of war. Since she helped her people defeat a raiding party by using a special power, she’s been a hunted woman. Carrying rare abilities and an uncanny fighting aptitude, Shanti is the only hope of salvation for her people. The problem is, she doesn’t believe in her own divinity, and when she flounders, she nearly fails in the duty hanging so heavy on her shoulders.

It seems like any other day when Sanders and his band of misfit boys find a foreign woman clinging to life in the wastelands. Oblivious to the weapon they now have in their possession, they are content to harbor the mysterious woman until she is well enough to continue her journey.

But when the war spreads its arms and lands on her borrowed doorstep, Shanti has no choice but to reveal her secrets, plunging her saviors into danger. If they band with her, they will face certain death. But to trade her to Xandre, the warlord desperate to add her to his war machine, would be to give up their entire way of life.

War is coming. The only choice becomes: Which side do you choose? (Amazon, Chosen Kindle Edition)

Wow, this book was not as I expected. It was awesome, a lot of kick-ass-ness and a whole lot of sazzyness!

I like how our main character adds to her persona throughout the book and that she’s not a believer of the myth that is “THE CHOSEN”.

This book could have been a flop since the main character is so “beaten down”, filled with sorrow, regret and guilt; but since our Shanti is also sazzy, proud, determined and overall a hardcore kick-ass-heroine, I believe it’s working out spectacularly.

I think I’ve read this book about 8 times already and I love it just as much as I did the first time around.

This book is very much recommendable and highly at that!

– Sofia Sundfors