I'm an author and lover of dark fantasy and romance books.
This was an enjoyable read. I liked the intrigue right off the bat with Jenna's illness and the antagonist's recognition of her, telling us Jenna was deeply involved in whatever disaster threatened London. Luke is also a likeable, swoon worthy hero with flaws and ghosts of his own, which I love in a hero. I have to say I'm a big fan of British TV, books and the general attitudes and humor of the British, so I quite enjoyed the language and "voice" of the characters.
The romance took a back seat to the mystery in my opinion, but it was still well rounded and still heartfelt. The plot moved along well, and although the most immediate threat was averted by the end, the main story arc seemed as though it will continue into another book. One I will most definitely read.
I had a few brow raising moments, but not many, like one decision on Jenna's part to do something she knew would endanger the lives of others, but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the book. Overall, Ms. Croft helped me escape into another world for a while, and I would recommend this book to those who love a good mystery, lots of action, and a hard-won romance.
** spoiler alert ** Ok...wow. I don't even know where to begin. The first two books in this series were okay as series openers. By book three, though, I expect some character building, a little depth to those people I'm investing my hours in. What dark little nuggets in their past will help me understand them better? Especially when they're acting like spoiled children. And making ridiculous, un-thought-out choices without any regard for who they're hurting. Nothing, really? No flash-backs or insights into their psyches?
The entire cast is a total flat-line for me. The only one I kind of like is Dorian, but I still only know him on the surface, which has little substance. Tim is totally out of place in this book. He's a total fail on the side-kick front. And Eugenie, oh, hell, Eugenie. She has no loyalty, no redeeming qualities at all that I can locate on the moral map. She gets pissed with Dorian and goes to screw Kiyo. Gets pissed with Kiyo and goes to screw Dorian. WTF?
Even the sex scenes fall flat because, first, there's no anticipation or build-up of heart and affection behind any of it. Second, the writing of those scenes is...well...dreadfully boring and repetitive. Honestly, I've skipped most of them, and that's usually part that has me turning pages, to see two characters come together. But since she's just screwing whoever and whenever, well...what's the point?
I was happy when she ended up with Dorian, but how easily she tossed him aside in this book without even a discussion killed this whole series for me. Even if the baby had ended up his to tie them together and make him a little bit happy, I could have accepted that. Nah. This very much felt to me like the author thumbing her nose at the reader, laughing all the way to the bank that us idiots would spend money on this crap.
This is the end of the road for this series for me.
This is a witty, funny book that will make you laugh out loud. The book has a great voice with a lot of snappy lines that are unique and colorful.
The main character's shallowness and obsession with her own boobs were the only negatives for me, but not enough to take away from my enjoyment of the read. If you want a good laugh and like to poke fun at traditional romance novels, this book is right up your alley.
Isn't this cover amazing? I loved having this image of Birdie in my mind's eye as I read, and I could totally see this cover girl throughout the story, surviving through what the author put her through. Whatever artist created this is incredible. I bow to you, whoever you are. Your talent is mind-blowing.
What I loved about the book:
In one word: Birdie. Her character is so simple, yet so complex it just about blew my mind. She's hilarious and wounded deeply, a survivor I couldn't help but pull for. As an author, I'm always looking for what works and what doesn't, and the characters and world Ms. Reece creates are colorful and believable, working to paint a complex tapestry for me to admire and even learn a thing or two from.
I've read scarce few present tense books that I enjoyed. It has to be spot on, and this one is, and how. I was IN the story as I was reading, right there with Birdie.
There are subtle lines throughout the book like these that are extremely creative and awe-inspiring:
“Uh hmm. That’s why you be sittin’ here in someone else’s piss? Girl, you gonna have to come up with somethin’ better than that.” Shondra shakes her head. She looks younger than me, but, like, a hundred years old, too. I can’t explain the quick bond between us, but I like her, and I don’t like many people. “They’s places you can go. Some churches, a day shelter on Ethel Street, Hosea House on Donnelly Avenue, and the Guthrie Shelter, but you ain’t got no kids, right?”
She scoots closer on her butt cheeks until our shoulders touch. “Then you can’t go there. You stick with Shondra, honey. I’ll help you.”
Seeing as how Shondra is sitting in the same pee I am, I don’t know what she thinks she can do for me, but at least I’m not alone.
That simple line, that Shondra is sitting in the same pee struck me when I read it. Simple, vivid, tells a story within the story in only a few words. Birdie's "voice" is just perfect.
Here's another bit that makes me love Birdie in all her blunt glory:
My trip to the corner market was fun. When you’re homeless, you don’t dream of Perrier, or the surf and turf special at the local steakhouse that you pay for with plastic from your new Coach purse. You dream of bologna and cheese sandwiches, bottled water, and a grocery bag to keep your crap in.
This is a wonderful story that young adult fans everywhere are going to gobble up and rave about.