Review:: Kropsy's Curse by Kelli A. Wilkins

Kropsy's Curse by Kelli A. Wilkins

Blurb: Late one Halloween night, two young boys venture into a secluded graveyard in the hopes of conjuring up a spirit. Although Kyle is skeptical and would rather be home eating candy and watching horror movies, he reluctantly goes along with Jerry’s plan. He doesn’t believe Ouija boards work—until this one starts spelling out a message… 

This short story was offered to me by the author Kelli A. Wilkins, in exchange for a review.

What caught my eye at first was its blurb. It sounded really interesting and the fact that the story was about two boys in a cemetery with an Ouija Board, well, intrigued me immensely.

And, I'm glad to say that the story did not disappoint me!
In fact, even if it was rather short, it was straight to the point, making the reader understand the feelings of little Kyle, and actually a bit of his personality, too. Jerry's character was also well-made, too, with all his bossy bravery in plain sight. The cemetery was also quite well-described, making us realize exactly how dark and scary it would be on this Halloween Night. And, I hadn't expected that, but I even laughed a bit towards the end, although I'm not going to spoil this for the rest of the readers. The end of the story was a little sudden. If it was just at the end of chapter it would be a perfectly good cliffhanger. But, in this case, I was just left hanging a little, because of the possibilities. That could be what the writer wanted all along, though.

The author's writing style was very nice, and I felt that the story progressed very naturally. I will totally try more of her stories, seeing as I was able to enjoy this short sample so much.

All in all, it was a very good read, tempting me to invest more time on Kelli A. Wilkins stories. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that it was short. It had so much potential to be a longer story. But, I guess, not one about a dark Halloween night.

I therefore award to this story 4 stars, 
definitely wanting to try some more from this author!

Kropsy's Curse is available for purchase through Amazon right on this link. 
Don't miss it!

Review:: The Ice Princess (Patrik Hedström, #1) by Camilla Läckberg

I purchased and read this book translated to my native language - Greek. I wanted badly to read a Scandinavian mystery novel, after my first - and rather successful, I might add - attempt with The Snowman (Harry Hole, #7) by Jo Nesbø. Nesbø made me adore the Norwegian setting, with all its snow and darkness. But he also made me love mystery books. So, with that in mind - and seeing as the Greek editors dressed those two books with quite similar covers - I decided to pick The Ice Princess.

And, I have to admit, I was not disappointed. Not at all!
In fact, I quite liked both of the main heroes - even if the narration was mostly focused on Erica - as well as the fact that side characters' stories were also explained.

The story line was incredible, as well as the way it was all put together. I can't really say much about the writing style, as the book was translated, but I quite enjoyed it. And that says a lot. If the translation is not quite good I can't even finish the book.

I liked the fact that at no point was I bored or disinterested in the story. Everything was described for a certain reason. And, that was to make us more absorbed to the book. I have to admit, that the writer quite succeeded at that. Because even if at some point it was perfectly clear to me where the story was going, and what existed behind the crime - even if I'm not entirely sure that the writer herself didn't make us go towards that way with subtle comments here and there, to make us more accustomed to it - I still felt goosebumps all over my body when the truth came out. And this happened twice, following two of the three big revelations.

Which brings me to the third and final piece of the puzzle. I expected something else entirely. Well, I even thought that maybe someone else was the killer. It could have been a little more juicy the way I originally thought it would go. But, it was still all good.

Although I liked this book extremely, it didn't quite make it to my favorites list because of two reasons. First, I enjoyed the romance between the main characters alright, but it did seem to me a little bit too easy. I would have preferred something a little more challenging, and not all this lovey dovey feelings so soon. Second, at some points I couldn't help myself, and actually compared The Ice Princess to The Snowman - and not because of both titles referring to cold situations - (I even started the review of the book referring to  Nesbø's book, for crying out loud). It just missed something. Not big. But that's exactly the reason why I can't quite put my finger on it.

All in all, this book was a great experience, with a very nice, mysterious story line, and quite evolved and perfectly described characters. I will totally give a chance to the rest of the books in the series about the adventures of Erica and Patrik.

Cover Reveal Event coming soon...

The cover of Seeking Redemption by Dr.Madhu Vajpayee, is going to be revealed soon!

I already can't contain my excitement!

More information on b00k r3vi3w Tours!

Stay tuned!

Review:: Insatiable (Insatiable, #1) by Meg Cabot

I've always liked the way Meg Cabot writes. The first of her books I tried were The Princess Diaries of course, but because they were translated into my native language, in Greek, I didn't really appreciate her writing style.

But, I clearly remember falling deeply in love with her Mediator series, when I was in my teens, which I still happen to miss reading at times. I even tried getting my hands on other of her books. Actually I have a whole list of books written by her in my TBR list. And, I'm really anxious to get around reading them, too.

So, that's why I picked Insatiable. When I found out she had written in the Adult genre, I absolutely had to take a taste. And, I did.

At first, I must admit that I quickly recalled why I always fall in love with her style. It's just the way she writes that makes you instantly comfortable with the heroine and her life. It never takes me long to adjust to her and start to actually feel the way she feels about things. The main character, Meena, was very likable right from the start. She has a special ability, which wasn't described as something completely unnatural and weird, like it happens in other books.

I actually liked a lot of the side characters, too. Leisha, Meena's best friend, who was mostly described through the heroine's flashbacks, or Jon, her brother, who was quite humorous, although a bit indifferent to me.

As far as the romantic interests are concerned, Lucien was okay, I guess. I really liked him mostly in the beginning. He was dark, he was brooding, he was mysterious. But, all this before he got together with Meena. After that, all this mushy love all the time made me quite estranged with the book. Generally, this is exactly what made the book less appealing to my eyes. But, I'll get back to it.

Previously, I mentioned the heroine's romantic interests, and not interest. This is why, almost right from the start, we were introduced to another character, Alaric, who was also very brooding and mysterious and all. He was the portrayal of a just fine vampire hunter to me!

But, to return back to the point, there is a huge, gigantic "but". All this information about the male characters refers only to the first half of the book. The rest of it is just about them both loving all of a sudden Meena. Both of them were just magically, instantly attracted to her. And not just that, they actually said all the time they loved her, especially Lucien. And, they knew her, what? About two days? Three days? If this was a Young Adult book I wouldn't really mind. Teens really do have a tendency to fall in love in an instant. But from an Adult book, I am sad to say, I expected a little more... maturity.

Beware - existence of spoilers below!

This applies to the heroine, too. There was no slow building of the characters' relationship. Meena was suddenly all girly and silly about Lucien. And, at first I presumed it was because she had been bitten. But, now I'm just not sure that is the case. Also, she was always so clear that she didn't want Lucien to bite her, but all of a sudden she ended up with new bites. And, right before the book ended it was made clear that he was seducing her, doing it against her will, something I really really disliked about him, especially considering that he was supposed to be all wise and stuff. And still, Meena was so in love with him, and then after an incident she became so afraid that she managed to push him away? Well, something just doesn't click. At least for me. I felt like it went way too fast in the end, with their separation being so quick, so seemingly effortless for the heroine, someone who was willing to give up her life to go with him just a few chapters ago.

Spoilers end here (concerning this paragraph, at least).

Which leads me to my final objection to the book. In some instances the storyline was progressing so slowly, it felt like it was dragged from page to page ( *spoiler* like the part where Alaric barged into her place and kept her a hostage *spoiler* ), and in some others the pace was so quick, no sentiments were really able to be born, just like the scene I previously described and many many others. I would have preferred more emphasis to have been given in the characters' development, rather than so much trying to persuade us that everyone loves Meena and is ready to give their life for them - or take hers away in order to forever be with her.

All in all, this book gets 3,5 stars from me, just because it is written by Meg Cabot and I actually liked it in the beginning. But, it lost the half point from a 4 star review, because of the bad taste it left me with, towards the end.

Review: The Snowman (Harry Hole #7) by Jo Nesbø

The Snowman (Harry Hole #7)

Unfortunately, this review was written a while after I finished the book (less than two months, not too much), so my opinion is based more on what I remember of it, rather than the actualy thoughts I had while reading it.

So, from what I remember, this book, oh, this book! It really had me speechless. And I must say I didn't really expect it, because I read it in Greek, and I'm not a huge fan of translated editions. But! The writer and the way he described things (and, of course the way they were all translated) succeeded in making the story very interesting, and me not being able to put down that book. I must add that I finished it by reading three or four days, overall! But, what with the Christmas Holidays intervening with my reading and my schedule, I had to resist getting it on my hands, because if I did, I wouldn't be able to tell when I was going to put it down again.

About the story, I should probably note that this is the seventh installment concerning Harry Hole, but this didn't make it difficult at all to follow the story and get much informationa about the hero's background. There weren't many questions that were left unanswered, with those that weren't exactly described, being some that wasn't crucial for our understanding of the storyline and the hero's personality.

The story itself was quite intriguing and kept me constantly guessing who the killer might be. The answer is quite unexpected but quite logical in retrospect. Everything is very well explained and the writer doesn't let the reader feel at all like there hasn't been any action for a while. As for the hero's love life? It reminded me a little too much of my own love life, which scared me a bit, but also gave the book a little more personal touch for me. 

All in all, I must say that this book made me very interested in reading its prequels, its sequels and generally more books written by Jo Nesbo. He is a brilliant author with an awesome way of thinking and writing. He seems like a quite interesting person who has studied many things, in order to give his books the complete atmosphere they deserve. I am amazed and recommend his works to absolutely everyone.

I therefore award 5+ stars to this book, 
and categorize it as one of my all-time favorites!

2015 First-Reads Reading Challenge - Amateur Level

While during 2014 I didn't really participate in any Reading Challenges, nor did I read too many books, two days away from 2015 I've decided that that's not going to be the case for the new year!
I was invited through Goodreads to participate in a very interesting challenge. Here's its badge!

The Challenge's details can be found here.

Through this challenge, I'm aiming to find books from new authors, or authors I've never read before! This sounds amazing and very intriguing, as I'm going to have the chance to discover new writing styles I could love.

I decided to choose the Amateur level: read 1 - 25 New Authors

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1) by Ally Carter

Okay, so where do I start from?
There are so many things I could actually say about this book, that I practically have absolutely no idea where to start my review from!

Well, I guess I'll start with the basics!
I decided to start reading this book, after having read, and enjoyed so much, Ally Carter's Heist Society. It was a fun read, and I liked the whole good-thief-in-a-mission plot very much. But, with the first book of Gallagher Girls? Well, what can I say? I simply loved it! The author's style of writing, her humor, the evolution of the plot, the characters, the main heroine.

Actually, this book would have been in my "Favorites" shelf, especially for its start and end. I have to admit, that I honestly thought I had so so much time to read something so good, before reaching up the point of the new love interest! I don't know why, but after that I thought Cam was just a 15 year old girl, and not the awesome spy I'd liked so much from the beginning of the book. To be honest, I also cheated a bit, by going to the book's page on Goodreads and reading other people's reviews! And, I got a little surprised finding out that some people actually thought the plot got better after Josh's appearance. But, oh well, we all have different tastes.

From the reviews of the next books in these series, I've come to the understanding that these series become better and better with each book, so I'm totally planning on keep reading! I have a feeling that it will soon be in my "Favorites" shelf!

Until then, I recommend this book, and generally, all the books and series by Ally Carter I've read, to everyone that wants a somewhat light read, about teenage spies, spiked with a bit drama, that make you giggle on your own at some times, and at others even get a little sad. (Or, a lot... Or, it could just be hormones kicking in. I guess I'll have to keep reading to find out.)

Heist Society (Heist Society #1) by Ally Carter - First Book & Review of 2014

I haven't decided yet if there is a spot for this book on my "Favorites" shelf. Its heroine certainly deserves a spot on my "Favorite Heroines" one! The other characters weren't bad either!

Ally Carter has done an amazing book with this book. I've never before read a book of hers, but this book alone was enough of a push to read more of this author. The storyline was narrated very carefully and interestingly enough to hold the attention to the facts the author wanted us to.

The pages were actually flowing, too! I could have ended this book very easily in the same day, if I hadn't started it around midnight! Even that way, I had only almost 5 chapters out of 37, or so, to read today!

As for the heroes? Well, so many things can be said, and they would still be too little to actually do justice to the creativity of the author. Every person in this book had a role, with the mastermind, Katarina Bishop, being the most awesome thief. A thief with honor, teenage but so wise beyond her age. I guess this comes naturally, if you grow up in a family like that.

Generally, the whole book, was like watching one of my favorite movies of all time "The Italian Job", with the whole planning before stealing, with the mastermind, with every person having a part they serve, that suits their personality.
I loved it, just as much as I love that movie! Would probably read the book again sometime, which says a lot about just how much I enjoyed reading it.

Overall, this book gets from me 5 stars, with a possibility of them becoming 5+ in the future!