Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker

25110836 Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 10/27/15.

Ivy is a rebel tattoo artist that has traveled all over before settling down (temporarily) with her uncle Ned in San Francisco. She works with Ned at his tattoo shop and is the unfortunate witness to what appears to be a robbery and his murder.

Sebastian is a former Navy SEAL, now working for a company called Alliance, doing anonymous jobs that sometimes require him to kill, but only to save the lives of many others. His new assignment is Ivy because her uncle was hiding a secret and threatening to expose some negative things about Alliance. He is now on the hunt for a videotape that Ned claims to have that could do them all in.

While searching for the tape, Sebastian realizes that Ivy has a soft side and he quickly finds himself falling for her. She tries to cover up any emotion that she has for anything, but he can tell that she is feeling the same way.  Will they fall in love? What will happen when his assignment is finished or when she sells her uncle’s shop and decides to move somewhere else?

If you have read my previous posts, you know I love K.A. Tucker books. They just feel so real and I feel like I know the characters, especially the ones that have appeared in other books like Ivy has. I just get wrapped up in them and can’t wait to find out how it all goes down. I am not typically a fan of romance, but that’s usually because of the “insta-love” factor and K.A.’s books do not have that, thank goodness! The characters are real and relatable and have the same kinds of problems with relationships as us normal people. If you haven’t read anything by this author, start anywhere….I highly recommend!

My rating: 5/5

Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

23522253 Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 7/7/15.

I was excited to read this story mostly because of the author, she is one of my favorites, but also because I have really enjoyed the characters in the companion novels to this title. Though they don’t need to be read in order, it is nice to know who she is referring to with other characters and their stories. I also enjoy a book that can teach me something new, but in a way that is fun, which is what this one did. I learned some new pieces of history about Ireland and, specifically, the potato famine.

Amber is the little sister of a character from the other two titles in this series, Burying Water and Becoming Rain (read them if you haven’t already!).  She has always had a wanderlust and has planned her ultimate trip all over the world. One of her first stops is Ireland, where she finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and almost dies due to what most would consider as a terrorist attack. She is saved by a man whom she knows nothing out, but recognizes a symbol from his t-shirt on another patron at a local restaurant and ends up tracking him down at his family’s bar.  This is where she meets River (the man who saved her) and becomes quickly involved with him, to her own reluctance. She knows that she is only in Ireland for a short time, but she does have something she needs to check off her travel bucket list that he may be perfect for.  As she falls for River, and his family, she learns pieces of Ireland’s history and some not-so-good (in her opinion) things about his family and their background. She ends up in the middle of a criminal case and doesn’t know what will end up happening. Amber has always been a planner and a follow-the-rules type of girl, so she is stuck trying to figure out what to do. I will not say much more, don’t want to ruin any of the story!

Again, I enjoy a book that teaches me something new without even seeming like I’m “learning”. I have enjoyed this author since the first title I read, Ten Tiny Breaths, and will continue to pick up her books with no hesitation. Her characters are extremely likeable and very real. The titles are a little too “new adult” for my high school library, but I consistently recommend them to friends and have loaned out my copies of her first several books to get them hooked. I can’t wait for the next one!

My rating: 5/5

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

16096824 A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, released on 5/5/15.

I am still a little bit unsure how I feel about this book. I haven’t gotten around to reading her other popular series, Throne of Glass, though it is on my TBR list; so I thought I would try for an advanced copy of this one to see if I liked it. I enjoyed the premise of the story and some of the characters, but did have to force myself to keep going a few times, just felt like it was a little slow.

Feyre (pronounced Fey-ruh) kills a wolf at the beginning of the story who turns out to be a member of the High Fae court in a nearby town(?) that is considered the opposition to humans in her world. In order to atone for her sins, she is forced to live with the Fae for the rest of her life in accordance with a treaty from many years before. Since she is not being held as a slave, her time with them turns out to be not so bad, pretty lavish in fact compared to her pitiful life before. Though she doesn’t want to, she ends up developing a deep attraction to one of her captors. This, in turn, leads to a battle with “her”, not referred to by name until fairly far into the story. She, Amarantha, has forced the other Fae to live in fear and according to her will for many years and Feyre is their only hope. She is forced to complete tasks or solve a riddle in order to free them from Amarantha’s hold. Along the way, she finds help in unexpected places.

I felt the relationships in this story were very dysfunctional, but then again, they are in many of these fantasy stories. It is very reminiscent of the romance in a lot of other books I have read, in my personal opinion. As usual, there is somewhat of a love triangle going on, and I found myself actually rooting for the “bad guy” a few times. I did like the book enough to make me want to try others by the author, so I guess it was a success in that manner. Though many of the characters did despicable things at one point or another, it was still easy to like them and hope things turned out well for them. I just wished all of the action in the last 25% of the book could have been spread out somehow. I have purchased this for my high school library and know it will get some circulation, especially among Sarah’s already established fans.

My rating: 3/5

Seed by Lisa Heathfield

23013819 Seed by Lisa Heathfield

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, it releases 3/10/15.

Seed is the only home that Pearl has ever known, and the people that she associates with consist solely of her “family”, which all live in a house together.  Seed is led by Papa S., a man who teaches them that Nature is the only thing to worship and Nature will take care of them all.  This means no hospitals, no outside people, no tvs, etc.  They grow their own food, make their own plain clothes, and take care of their own medical needs….until Papa S. allows an Outside family of 3 to move in with them–Linda, Ellis, and Sophie.  Linda knows one of the men of the family (called a Kindred) and he promises her that joining them will make her family happy and fix all their problems.  As Pearl and a few of the others get to know Ellis, he exposes them to truths from the Outside.  They start to see the wrongs that are taking place in their little community and try to decide if leaving is an option they should consider. Papa S. catches on that there are “sinful thoughts” happening among his group and decides to take matters into his own hands.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Seed is essentially a cult. Pearl has been brainwashed to think that this is the best life she could possibly have and is baffled by the truths that she starts to learn. There is not a lot of action throughout much of the story, it all seems to pick up at the end; but, that doesn’t keep it from being an interesting story still.  I was intrigued by the way these people thought and how they lived. There is a strong undertone of immoral sexual behavior amongst the elder men and young girls, but nothing is mentioned outright. Most of us seem to find this kind of story fascinating, just think about how many news stories and books are out about people who have escaped from cults and how popular those stories seem to be. I would recommend this book to a lot of my students as something different. Overall, a good read!

My rating: 4/5

Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

burying water Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley.  It’s release date was 10/7.

I absolutely adored this story, as I do all books from K.A. Tucker.  The main character wakes up in the hospital with complete and total amnesia for any detail of her life or identity.  She is treated by an extremely kind woman named Meredith and is roommates with a grumpy old woman named Ginny while recovering.  After her recovery is complete, she realizes she has no where to go and is invited to stay in the apartment above Ginny’s garage (and next door to Meredith’s family).  As she is working to restart a life, she decides to rename herself Water because of the water symbol tattoo that is on her body, knowing it has some kind of significance to her life. During this time, she becomes close with Meredith’s son Jesse and feels like she has know him forever….maybe she does or maybe not. Even though Ginny is a cranky character, Water is able to start bringing her out of her shell and she becomes much more lovable.  In fact, she is my favorite character from the story; I found myself laughing out loud at her comments more than once.  Water is able to find out her true identity and starts remembering key details, some of which are definitely worth not remembering. There is not much I can say without giving away important plot elements.  Though I knew what was probably happening fairly early on, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and did not want it to end.  Thanks for another great one, K.A.!

My rating: 5/5

In Her Wake by K.A. Tucker

in her wake In Her Wake by K.A. Tucker

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, it releases on September 1.

I was so excited to be able to read this novella because I am in love with the Ten Tiny Breaths books and I have always been curious about what Trent was like before he met Kasey.  Though I could have read a full-length novel about him and his viewpoint, I am glad that this was a novella and it only covered what it needed to in order for you to see why he is the way he is.  There is not much more I can say about the plot without giving spoilers for Ten Tiny Breaths, so I will keep this short and sweet and just say—I loved this novella and can’t wait for more from K.A. Tucker.  Another title of her’s is coming up soon on my To Be Read list and I am considering skipping ahead. 😉  Thanks for the great stories and writing!  I recommend your books all the time to my friends.

My rating: 5/5

Channel 20 Something by Amy Patrick

20something Channel 20 Something by Amy Patrick

**This was an ARC from Netgalley.  The title is releasing August 12, 2014.

I have been reading a lot of New Adult titles lately and was getting a little weary and feeling like they were all the same.  While Channel 20 Something does have the themes that are ever-present in New Adult books– sexual tension, some sex scenes, people falling in love even though they don’t want to– it was a good, easy read.  The story is about Heidi, a young news reporter trying to work her way up in the news world.  Her contract with her current station (also her hometown) is coming to an end and she is determined to find a job in a bigger market.  When the weekend sports reporter leaves the station, Aric is brought in as a replacement.  He is the typical good-looking, egotistical playboy…or so Heidi thinks.  Throughout the story, Heidi struggles to stay away from getting involved with Aric for several reasons while also juggling a previous/kind of current relationship; but, of course, they can’t resist one another.  Heidi learns more about the kind of person Aric really is as they develop a romance.  I will not spoil the end, so I can’t say much more.  I am interested in reading the other books in the series as they release.  Overall, I was pleased with the plot and writing style of this book.

My rating: 4/5

Who would I recommend this book to?  Though I wouldn’t recommend this to my high school students because of sexual content, I would recommend it to my friends who also enjoy these kinds of stories.

Language:  Since it is a New Adult title, there is certainly some language, but it does not stand out to me.

Sexual content:  There is lots of sexual tension and, of course, a few sexual scenes are present.

Drugs/Alcohol:  There is quite a bit of mention of going out and drinking, but no drug-related content.