Top Ten Characters I’d NEVER Want To Trade Places With

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

So, even though I do read a lot of stuff with different worlds, I found that most of my answers for the top 10 worlds I’d never want to live in depended a lot on who I would be in that world. Given that, I decided to go with the second topic to make things a little easier on myself. So. Here we go!

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ARC Review: “Criminal” by Terra Elan McVoy

CriminalCriminal by Terra Elan McVoy

Goodreads | Amazon

A searing and gripping read that explores the depths of desperation true love can inspire, from the author of Being Friends with Boys.

Nikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing.

So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime—a crime that ends in murder—Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him.

But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about? Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.

3 stars

Thanks to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for this eARC! This title is now available.

I will be the first person to admit that I’m a fairly easy to please reader in a lot of big ways. Sadly, though I appreciated this book’s brutal honesty and unflinching storytelling, it failed me a couple of big ways.

The book opens up with a phone call. Dee and Nikki wake up to the news that the police want to talk to him about something. He tells her to follow, and she dutifully does. They make up a story on the way there to hide the truth: a cop was killed, Dee killed him, and Nikki drew the getaway car. She had no idea what was going to happen, or even what really happened, but she loves Dee and she wants to protect him. Though scared out of her wits, she goes along with his plan. But when the police start uncovering the lies and come after the people that have helped Nikki through everything Dee was never there for, she starts questioning her choices and realizing that maybe she is really being blinded by love.

To be honest, I hated Nikki from the second the story started. (Maybe it was the gratuitous sexual actions with which the book began and continued throughout the story.*)It is made clear that she’s always taken care of herself, from when her step-dad went to jail to when her mom spaced out on drugs. She pays her own bills, she has a job that she’s very good at, and she even looks after her friend Bird, Bird’s daughter and even her mother. From what is said about her, there is no doubt that Nikki should be able to stand on her own–and has done so on the past. This makes her complete devotion to Dee is ridiculously out of character. As far as I could tell, he had never done anything remotely large enough for her to destroy the self-made life she’d built for herself and made her dependent on him. Even he says he only bought her beer and weed when she asked for it. (Given the ease of which Nikki forgets her drug problem, she wasn’t really dependent on drugs anyways.) Dee is also never a fleshed out character. He wants sex, and he screams at her. That’s all there is to his character. There was just missing something from Nikki, because I never even felt sorry for her.

There is also the matter of the entire action part of this plot being over by the time the book starts. The murder is rehashed, yes, but in flashbacks. Most of it is waiting, whining and crying. (And doing other inmates’ hair in prison.) The amount of self-discovery that Nikki was undergoing was enormous, yes, but since her character never caught me I cared less and less as each paragraph flew by. It was mostly thinking and self-rumination that guided 95% of the book, and I got bored.

Don’t get me wrong, this book was beautifully written and tackled serious subjects with brutal honesty that was impressive. This just isn’t the kind of book that meshes with every kind of reader, and I admit without shame that I am not the reader for which it was intended. I tried, but I could never connect with any of the characters and so the rest of the self-exploration that occurred never felt important to me.

This book is not one for someone looking for a light read (which you can guess straightaway, let’s be honest). It is also not for someone looking for an action packed thriller. This is an examination of the human psyche that takes its strength from the exploration it takes into the human mind. If you’re looking to wax philosophical, check it out. If not, you’ve been warned.

*The act of sex is only described once, but not in the overt language used in a romance novel. However, there are a few description of sexual actions that take place before sex and a few uses of mid-vulgar language.

Top Ten Books on My Have-But-Need-To-Read List

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week’s topic is a TTT Freebie, so I decided to give you guys a taste of what’s coming up on the blog! These are the next ten books I’ll be reviewing – roughly. I’m trying to make it through the pile of ARCs I’m behind on, but there’s no telling when a book I have on my actual shelf will call me and then I’ll derail and read that one. But this should give you a general idea!

The Boyfriend App1. The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

I’m not sure why I requested this contemporary romance, but it sounds interesting so what the heck? If my calendar goes as expected, this review will be up May 30.

2. Going Vintage by Lindsey LeavittGoing Vintage

I’m excited about this book for multiple reasons. I’ve been tracking it ever since I found it, and Bloomsbury was nice enough to give me and eARC. This review should be up May 31st.

Criminal3. Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy

This book seems darker than the stuff I usually read, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It’ll be interesting to see how my stomach takes this. 😛 This review should be up June 3rd.

4. City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam ForsterCity of a Thousand Dolls

This actually isn’t an ARC, but rather the next book my book club is doing – it’s my pick, if you couldn’t tell by the ya-ness of it all. I’m really excited for this one. Hopefully it’s going to be good! This review should be up, with the hangout video, on June 5th.

Reboot5. Reboot by Amy Tintera

I don’t know if the people who did the covers for Criminal and Reboot know each other, but I’m loving the minimalist colors on black that’s going on. Can’t wait to read this one, with the review going up June 6th.

6. Born of Illusion by Teri BrownBorn of Illusion

A book set in 1920s  New York, all about magicians and mediums? This book promises to be interesting if nothing else! Look for this review about June 7th.

Gameboard of the Gods7. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Alright, technically this isn’t a young adult, but it’s RICHELLE MEAD. When it popped up I HAD to request an ARC and then I got it and I’m so happy. Look for this review about June 10th.

8. Transparent by Natalie WhippleTransparent

This is a story about an invisible girl. I was sold before I had to read any more of the blurb. This review should be up about June 13th.

Dare to u9. Dare to You by Katie McGarry

If you read my review of Pushing the Limits, then you know that I have a shameless LOVELOVELOVE for that book. I got an ARC of this one, and I’m crossing my fingers its as good as the first! Look for this review June 14th.

10. Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran FoerTree of Codes

This is likely to be the craziest book I have ever read. It’s for book club, and it’s one of those post modernist texts that are just cuckoo for cocoa puffs. The pages are all cut funny and … man, this is going to be one hangout you won’t want to miss. See the review and video  June 19th.

Stacking the Shelves #11

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews!

Alright, so this one is a little crazy. It’s all eARCs, and it’s way more then I should have requested. Oh well!

FROM NETGALLEY

Renegade by Amy Carol Reeves ~ Renegade by J.A. Souders

Moonset by Scott Tracey ~ Also Known As by Robin Benway

Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs ~ Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas

Elemental by Antony John ~ The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

FROM EDELWEISS

Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy