Daily Archives: September 5, 2013

Evermore (The Immortals #1) by Alyson Noël

Evermore (The Immortals, #1)
Evermore (The Immortals #1)
by Alyson Noël
After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people’s auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone’s entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact and suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school-but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste. 
Damen is gorgeous, exotic, and wealthy. He’s the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head-wielding a magic so intense, it’s as though he can peer into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she’s left with more questions than answers. And she has no idea who he really is-or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is that she’s falling deeply and helplessly in love with him.
This is a three-and-a-half star book for me, though it started out higher than that – the second book crystalised all the things that bothered me about this one. 
Ever since the car accident that killed her parents, younger sister Riley, and pet dog Buttercup, and gave her the ugly scar on her brow that she hides behind her hair, sixteen year old Ever has been seeing and hearing things. She sees people’s auras in a rainbow of colours, hears their thoughts, can absorb an entire book simply by touching it – and learn all about a person’s life from touching them. 
With her family dead, her father’s twin sister Sabine, a high-powered lawyer who tries hard but has no idea what to do with a sullen teenager, takes her in and gives her all she could have wanted in her previous life as a popular cheerleader with a boyfriend. The move to California from Oregon isn’t the only change: Ever hides herself in hoodies, plugs her ears with her iPod to try to drown out the psychic noise, and stays quiet and unobtrusive. She’s considered a freak in the new school, where her only friends, Haven and Miles, are also looked down upon. Despite the scar and the hooded sweatshirts, she’s still blonde and beautiful. But she’s far from popular and she likes it that way. 
Her ordered, lonely life – where her only visitor is her dead sister Riley – becomes a big huge mess with the arrival of heart-stoppingly gorgeous Damen Auguste. Well-travelled, knowledgeable, sophisticated, and dreamy, all the girls start fighting over him – but the only one he seems interested in is Ever. Doing magic tricks with red tulips, which he pulls from behind her ear, turning up at her modest Halloween party as the Count Axel match to her Marie Antoinette, getting close to her then drawing away, inexplicably distant: Ever battles to keep a distance herself, to not fall for him, a man she knows almost nothing about. 
But he’s the one person whose thoughts she can’t hear, who has no distracting aura, and who miraculously dampens her psychic senses whenever he touches her or speaks. It’s almost addictive, and as the mystery deepens and Ever tries to understand what’s going on – with her friends, with the gorgeous, haughty Drina who seems very close to Damen – she must face the truth about the terrible accident, her psychic abilities, Damen himself – and decide the course of her life. 
I read this this morning in one sitting; it was itself very addicting. Written in first-person present tense, I didn’t even notice until about half-way through that it wasn’t in past tense, so flawlessly is it written. It’s hard to do present tense well, but it works admirably well here. Ever’s voice is captivating in a subtle way, the prose just right. I found her entirely sympathetic, understandable, mature, and aside from her stubbornness over Ava, never irritating. The pacing, too, is beautifully timed, details revealed at just the right moment, never hidden for the sake of trying to be mysterious.
Another pleasing character was Damen, who was complex, unpredictable, intense enough to please me, and fascinating enough to grip me. It’s hard to picture him as a teenager – I kept seeing him as about 30, 32. Mature. Experienced. Although I find his age – 17 – to be improbable considering what he accomplished at that age, I did find him believable. And desirable! Yeah I have a bit of a crush on Damen. 
Evermore is a lot darker than the others in this sub-genre, but is balanced by Ever’s engaging narrative, sweet Miles (the classic gay sidekick, here handled a great deal better than in, say, the House of Night books), some fun, light-hearted scenes and the warm, sunny Laguna Beach climate. The book drew me in for four hours and completely took over my brain. Just the way I like it. 
I highly recommend this one.
-Kathy @SMBSLT


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Posted by on September 5, 2013 in Friend Reviews


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Goddess of the Sea (Goddess Summoning #1) by P.C. Cast

Goddess of the Sea (Goddess Summoning, #1)

Goddess of the Sea (Goddess Summoning #1)

On the night of her twenty-fifth birthday, alone in her apartment, Air Force Sergeant Christine Canady wished for one thing: a little magic in her life. After drinking way too much champagne, she performed, of all crazy things, a goddess-summoning ritual, hoping that it would somehow make her life a little less ordinary…but she never believed the spell would actually work.When her military plane crashes into the ocean, CC’s mission overseas takes an unexpected turn. She awakens to find herself in a legendary time and place where magic rules the land—occupying the body of the mythic mermaid Undine. But there is danger in the waters and the goddess Gaea turns this modern, military gal into a beautiful damsel so that she can seek shelter on land.CC is soon rescued (literally) by a knight in shining armor. She should he falling in love with this dream-come-true, but instead she aches for the sea and Dylan, the sexy merman who has stolen her heart.
“Goddess of the Sea” is my first foray into P.C. Cast’s ‘Goddess Summoning’ series about normal women transformed by their willingness to believe in the spark of the Feminine Devine that makes all women magical! But the series is not about witchcraft and crones and spells and such, rather it celebrates the female viewpoint and the joys to be found in the care of tending of beauty in whatever form it’s found, whether it’s nature, art, or humanity.
CC is an Air Force Sergeant who’s afraid of flying and not too fond of water either! So when the C-130 aircraft taking her to Saudi Arabia crashes in the Mediterranean, she’s terrified. She becomes entangled with the sinking plane and is sure she’s about to die. Then she’s rescued by–a mermaid? And the mermaid is asking whether or not she wants to live…well, duh?! Suddenly she’s trapped in the body of the mermaid and there’s a merman after her and another merman who’s really hot and…oh wait, you guys need to read the book to get the rest of the story.
Cast’s story is an enchanting mix of fairy tale, drama, magic, love, and discovery. I probably read WAY more into this tale, but here’s a few things I took away from this book.
-No matter what kinds of physical/physiological changes occur, we’ll still be the same inside.
-There’s no ‘magic bullet’ to solve problems, it takes a combination of innovative thought and the will to try new things and maybe even look silly doing so!
-Not even a whole group of men is a match for one determined woman ***big grin***.
-Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder and what’s inside will never fade or wither (stole part of that phrase from the Bible).
-We are always stronger when we lean on our friends.
-Love is worth sacrificing for. Sometimes the sorrow of love lost seems unbearable, but there’s no telling what’s around the next corner.
I could go on, but I think these were the ‘biggies’.
It’s obvious that Cast has done her homework regarding the USAF. As a proud veteran, I appreciated her attention to the terminology, names, and places that give this story it’s ‘real’ contemporary feeling. I also appreciated that the heroine is enlisted, yet still a strong, feminine woman with ethics and morals. The threads of this tale were woven together skillfully and it was a very smooth read. Although the romance and passion were fairly quick, it was necessary to the author’s plot and this is a kind of fairy tale! And speaking of passion, if you’ve ever wondered how merpeople ‘do it’, you’ve really got to read this one. She did a grand job of depicting sensual lovemaking with legs AND fins!
“Goddess” of the Sea” is a love story. It also imparts a message of feminine empowerment and strength without denigrating the male gender and that’s not so easily done. P.C. Cast has penned a tale that will entertain you. It will also make you laugh and make you cry…but end with a smile on your face.
-Cassie @SoManyBooksSoLittleTime



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