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Captivated Reading

I love books. Especially anything that has a love story. I'm a sap for a love story.

Review: Revolutionary (Anomaly #3) by Krista McGee

Revolutionary - Krista McGee

Each book in this series just seems to have gotten better and better.

What started out as a book with just a minimal amount of characters, grew into a story with many characters--all integral to the plot. Not only that but the characters that have been in the series from the beginning are so much more fleshed out in Revolutionary. There's been some definite growth here.

With each installment having its own specific death-defying scenario, it's no surprise that Revolutionary was able to capture and keep my attention the whole way through. This is definitely a read that I didn't want any interruptions for.

There is a slight love-triangle, but I believe if you read Luminary, you knew that it was coming. Seeing as how it wasn't really the spotlight of the story, I think it actually worked quite well in getting the plot moved along.

After this series I can honestly say that I'm very anxious to read more from Ms. McGee.

Review: Luminary (Anomaly #2) by Krista McGee

Luminary - Krista McGee

Another great installment to the Anomaly series! Luminary kept me wrapped up in the story start to finish! This was one of those that I read overnight.

I love the character development that happened with Thalli. She's more and more showing the humanity that labeled her an Anomaly. She's simultaneously trying to embrace the emotions that were forbidden yet at the same time, she's having to learn to control them.

What a fantastic story!

Review: Anomaly (Anomaly #1) by Krista McGee

Anomaly - Krista McGee

Truth be told, as much as I love Jesus, I don't usually read a lot of Christian fiction. I find it a little contrived and a whole lot cheesy--at times. There are a few exceptions, and I've reviewed some of those exceptions on here.

My newest exception? Anomaly.
Now, before you decide to ignore this one because of its "religious" undertones, please let me remind you: I don't normally do Christian books!
But, this one has such an intriguing story that the message just serves as the cherry on top of the fantastic apocalyptic-sundae.

The characters are intense yet relatable, the setting is mysterious and foreboding. The main character, Thalli, seems to be up a creek without a paddle, so-to-speak, for most of the story, yet there's a beauty in the hopelessness BECAUSE of its inspirational message.

Christianity not for you?

Well, I firmly believe you can still enjoy this tale. While I believe in its message whole-heartedly, I also believe that for those that aren't Jesus-inclined, Ms. McGee created a world that will still leave you wanting to know more. Questioning how everything will come together. Wanting to know a little more about the belief-system that drives these individuals into thinking they can survive the impossible.

I think you'll also be wanting to see more of the Thalli-Berk romance. Because I have a feeling that it's just the beginning for these two.

Romance, suspense, a uniquely wholesome message? What's not to love?!

Review: Carrier (The Line #1) by Anne Tibbets

The Line Book One: Carrier - Anne Tibbets

You'd think a book about the prostitution and hopelessness of young girls would be morose and depressing. Yeah, so at times, parts are a bit of a bummer.

Nevertheless, there's something altogether hopeful and optimistic about Carrier, in that the author illustrates it with real-to-life characters. "People" that are believable. And because of that there feels like there's even more reason to invest. I guess that makes me hope more. Which would make me an optimist.

The world that Ms. Tibbets main character, Naya, lives in is a harsh one. One where she's sold her body for a vile meal and a place to rest her head since she was a child. Now in her early twenties she's kicked off the Line--as it's called--and given, what she feels, is a chance to succeed. The only kicker is, the reason she's let go? Because she's now pregnant with twins. Twins that shouldn't exist, given the fact that all girls are "effectively" sterilized upon entrance to the Line.

From the beginning Naya defies the status quo and immediately attracts all sorts of interesting people in her quest to make a better life for her and her babies.
Did I fail to mention that there's a stipulation to Naya's freedom? Well, there is.

I can't give much more information on the story without giving too much away.

So let me end by saying that Naya's story, while not over, is beautifully done and has an ending that left me feeling satisfied. Well, partially. I really do want more Naya and Ric.

Ms. Tibbets is a fantastically talented writer!

Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Perfected - Kate Jarvik Birch

Amazing. Just what I needed to read right now. I absolutely fell in love with a story concept of humans returning to the role of slaves. People can't really get much more depraved than when owning a human being. Only this time we've endeared the slaves as "pets" to help soften the blow. Well, sort of.

Females bred to be sold for others' entertainment and use. Bred to "perfection". Children's playthings. Men's playthings. And what's worse is most of the pets think nothing of it.

Ms. Birch brilliantly sucked me into the story and took me from a slower-paced introduction all the way to an extremely climactic ending. This is one story you are not going to want to miss.

What happens when a "pet" decides she doesn't want to be a pet any longer?

Love this! Can't wait for more!

Review: Dwellers of Darkness (Darkness #3) by Stacey Marie Brown

Dwellers of Darkness - Stacey Marie Brown

So, seriously, what is it about this series that has me so hooked?!
I can't even pin it on one thing, exactly. There are just too many amazing things to choose from!

So, if you're looking for a slow-building, chaste, sweet romance, please don't pick up this book. Wait. Just kidding. Pick up this book, anyway, because you're going to change your mind about what kind of stories you enjoy.

The chemistry between Ember and Eli is crazy! And I'm talking about just their conversations. These two are going down as one of my all-time favorite book couples. I'm just a little worried about what this big secret is that I can tell will most likely be hashed out in the next book. I'm terrified, actually. Ugh.
But, I'm hoping it'll just bring Em and Eli closer in the end.

As for the other characters, I'm still loving most of the supporting characters. But, I'm pretty sure that Kennedy is my favorite. She's so overlooked in the first books in this series and then she pretty much has the ability to steal the show.

Now, let's talk about who I don't like for a moment. And this may be a little against-the-grain, here, but I really, really, truly do not like Lily, Ember's mom. And I feel so torn about that because Ember missed her so much! But, seriously, this lady is NOT a fun character. I'm really hoping to see her in a better light in the future.

All-in-all, this series is a must-read. Take it from me, there is so much right with this story!

Review: Carnelian (The Chalcedony Chronicles #1) by B. Kristen McMichael

Carnelian (The Chalcedony Chronicles) - B. Kristin McMichael

After reading a few stale romances, lately, this book was a refreshing dose of awesome. I already LOVE time-travels, so from the get-go I knew that Carnelian was a must-read.

One of the things I loved the most about this story was the strong characters: main and supporting. Both Mari and Seth had me rooting for them--not just as a couple--but as individuals from the beginning. So many stories fail to make me love the people in them that when I read a writer like Ms. McMichael it gives me some great hope!
The supporting characters were amazing! Ty, Dee, and Sim made me love them! And I LOVE when characters make me love them!

While I absolutely do recommend Carnelian, keep in mind that it IS YA. Now, I just so happen to believe that YA can be a pretty underrated genre. However, there are times when you're in the heads of the "young adults" who are the voices of these stories and you have to stop and remind yourself that you were slightly less mature when that age, too.
This story is the same. There are moments when I felt a little disconnected from the characters because of that. BUT, I think that's normal. It just makes what will happen next even more entertaining.

All in all, I'm pretty excited to read the next book in the series, and I'm going to HAVE to pick up another B. Kristen McMichael book. She is one. Talented. Author.

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi

I've heard from the beginning that this book was one that everyone needed to read. But for whatever reason it took me three years to get on the bandwagon.

This genre really is a dime a dozen, nowadays and it's difficult to find reads that actually stand out among the numerous attempts at originality.

Even if this story, itself, didn't stand out and exude "other", then Ms. Mafi's writing would still be enough to make it's permanent mark on the reader's mind.
It's like every peek into Juliette's brain is a poem. A song. Something that is both depressing yet beautiful.
Only when she speaks does she seem to be human. But, it's almost jarring when you realize that she doesn't SPEAK in prose.

Sometimes fragmented, but always poignant, Juliette's narrative is delightful.

The rest of the story is also enough to draw any reader in. Also, I can't help but wonder if Ms. Mafi may be going against the grain with this one.

We shall see.

Review: Shadow Fire by Kimber Leigh Wheaton

Shadow Fire - Kimber Leigh Wheaton

Just on originality alone, this book had me. I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't this.

I LOVE that there was a love story in this tale but that it didn't CONSUME the book and hold it captive. It was a perfectly planned balance of love story, action, and suspense.

Ashlyn made me love her for her bravery and her willingness to overcome. She was loyal and incredibly mature for her age.

This book was perfect in that I felt complete at the end and felt that there were no holes left in the story, but at the same time, I could read more about all of these characters and never be bored!

Bring on some more Light Chronicles!!!

Review: Fire in the Darkness (Darkness #2)

Fire in the Darkness - Stacey Marie Brown


And when I thought Ember and her story couldn't get any better. Then this happened.

Poor Ember. While she IS a badass, she can just never catch a break. Someone always wants her dead and she's never free to just BE. She's always under someone's thumb. I'm starting to wonder how long this'll last.

Don't get me wrong, I can see the benefits to the way the story is shaping. And the dramatic elements keep me sucked in. I just feel bad for our poor heroine.

The writing is still strong in this second installment and I have yet to find fault with anything that Ms. Brown does.

The romance gets more romantic, the fighting get more intense, and the plot just thickens.

Stay tuned, folks. This story will suck you in!

Review: Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown

Darkness of Light - Stacey Marie Brown

Oh. My. Goodness.

So, I signed up to review the third book in this series, "Dwellers of Darkness"--NEVER having heard of the author or series before. I was hoping it'd be something that I'd enjoy.

I'm having a difficult time coming up with words other than, "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness!" right now. I feel like I'm sixteen again and just discovered the paranormal genre for the first time. Ugh.

So, yeah, there are some definite strong feelings about this book.

First off, I LOVE badass female characters! LOVE them!! Just add Ember to that list!
While she can be impetuous and immature at times (she is, after all, just a girl) she is one of those characters that just makes me so happy.
She can fight, she's smart, she's loving, devoted, crazy, emotional, a little rough around and the edges and altogether wonderful.

Then add on top of that Eli Dragen. Oh, boy. That Eli. Let's just say that if you like the "bad boy" thing, he's your guy. I, personally, believe that these kind of guys are not for everyone (myself included). BUT, paired off with a girl like Ember and you have chemistry that just jumps at you from the pages.

If you haven't started this series yet, what the heck are you waiting for?! It's amazing!

www.captivatedreadingreviews.com/2014/06/review-tug-of-love-by-glynnis-rogero.html

Tug of Love: A Romantic Comedy - Glynnis Rogero

Review: Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

Branded - Abi Ketner, Missy Kalicicki

Review: See Through Me by Sera Bright

See Through Me (Lose My Senses) - Sera Bright

Review: Love's Paradox by Laura Kreitzer

Review: Find Me by L.J. Baker

Find Me (Life After the Outbreak, Book 2) - LJ Baker