Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Yes
Finished or ARC: Finished, ebook
Source: Bought

GoodreadsOne kiss could be the last. 

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses. 

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever. 

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul. 

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

I’ve only read this book and the Lux series by JLA. My friend that has read her series about gods says I need to read that one soon, too. Eventually I will. But if you want to skip a few of her books and read something out of the ordinary, read White Hot Kiss.

No, it is not about an actually white hot kiss. It has nothing to do with that except that Layla can’t kiss anyone that has soul. But it makes the romance part of the book interesting. More on that later.

The plot of the book involves these warriors that go around fighting demons from Hell. Theses warriors are called Wardens, which are basically gargoyles that can change into human form to blend in. Layla is stuck between two worlds since she is half demon and half Warden. Yes, there is some crap about her being between the two and struggling with her place in the world, but that just leads to the bigger picture. The bigger picture involves raising a bunch of really evil demons, and to do so, Layla’s blood is needed.

Enter Roth. Higher level demon and a kickass hottie. Note: Roth can be caring and a smartass too. His job is odd for a demon, but it involves Layla. What is crazy about this book is the fact on why Layla actually exists. It’s crazy, but oddly, romantic, if it didn’t involve something bad happening to Layla. Anyway, Roth’s and Layla’s adventure together is what you may expect from a demon and a half demon: they become friends and try to stop the world from imploding.

Now, the romance part is a bit…annoying, but at the same time, you aren’t rooting for a side. There is a stupid love triangle. In fact, there are two. I know! Stupid right. But in one, there is already a clear winner (or at least I think there is). There is: Danika, Zayne, and Layla. Both Danika and Zayne are expected to mate, but Zayne likes Layla and she him, but she can’t be with him because of the whole soul sucking thing. And then there is Layla, Zayne, and Roth. Roth likes Layla, and Layla likes both boys, but I was rooting for Roth. Fortunately, the love triangles are highlighted to an extreme. It more like Zayne is overprotective of Layla and Roth loves insulting Zayne, but only to Layla (though he did once to Zayne’s face). Anyway, the romance isn’t cheesy, but it still is annoying to have a love triangle.

Layla, despite being a totally girl (I’m one too, but I’m not that cry-babyish about it) about her place among the Wardens, is a girl with spunk and willing to take risks to find out who she is. But I was happy when she started rebelling. The kicker in finding out who her parents are was mind-blowing. Seriously, it was the one thing in the book you wouldn’t see coming. Roth I already talked about. He is sweet, kickass, and a smartass. End of story. Zayne is a bit annoying. He’s one of those characters you want to strangle and slap over the head because they can’t see what is going on in front of them, but at the same time, he’s like the boy next door every girl wants. I still root for Roth.

The ending was okay. Not what I wished would have happened, but the summary of the next book makes me feel better. Now, go out and read this book!



Review: Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce

Title: Cold Spell (Fairytale Retellings #4)
Author: Jackson Pearce
Series: Yes
Finished or ARC: Finished
Source: Christmas gift! :D

GoodreadsKai and Ginny grew up together–best friends since they could toddle around their building’s rooftop rose garden. Now they’re seventeen, and their relationship has developed into something sweeter, complete with stolen kisses and plans to someday run away together.

But one night, Kai disappears with a mysterious stranger named Mora–a beautiful girl with a dark past and a heart of ice. Refusing to be cast aside, Ginny goes after them and is thrust into a world she never imagined, one filled with monsters and thieves and the idea that love is not enough.

If Ginny and Kai survive the journey, will she still be the girl he loved–and moreover, will she still be the girl who loved him?

So, based on the summary, anyone can guess that this is based on the Snow Queen fairytale. Jackson Pearce is good at retelling fairytales. Well, this one is pretty amazing.

Plot starts off pretty close to the same as the original tale (except Grandma dies). Kai and Ginny (Gerda) are best friends and in love, but the Snow Queen comes in and takes Kai away. Ginny, not being one to watch while her love is taken, goes after him and to stop the Snow Queen. Pearce adapts the original tale to fit into modern times and makes it quiet interesting. The witch Ginny was supposed to stay with turns into a group of Travelers, or gypsies that can live a long time.

Here’s the kicker: No shard of glass to get rid of. And besides being in modern times, there are werewolves. I love the way Pearce incorporates the previous novels, which involve the ocean girls and the monsters, and how that translates into this book. If you can guess, the Snow Queen was an ocean girl, and then was turned into a werewolf. Fenis are the werewolf species, and let’s say that they are the reason the Snow Queen, or Mora, is who she is and why she does what she does.

The romance is cute. Basically best friends fall in love, but then Mora comes in and hypnotizes Kai into loving her. I love that Ginny never gave up on Kai, but I also love that she got over her fear of being without him. Ginny is the only character in the book to grow. She goes from this girl who has no clue what to do in life, but is fine with it as long as she has Kai (yes she was one of those), to a girl with no clue what to do in life, but is okay if Kai wasn’t there. I feel that though this type of character is sometimes annoying to read about, her quest was enough to keep a reader going. It was entertaining.

The ending didn’t hint to any “sequel”, but knowing Jackson Pearce, there will be another book within the same world as the ocean girls and monsters between the pages of her book. It will be interesting to see what she does next. Meanwhile, the ending to Cold Spell was perfect, except one detail. I won’t say it, though, since it would give away the book. 

Rating and Cover: