Afterimage by J. Kowallis

Reggie’s dreams . . .
aren’t dreams.

Visions of the future flood her mind like shards of broken puzzles. Caged in her cell, every morning begins the same. She’s drugged, tortured, and images are torn from her memory by Public One.

Until the morning everything changes. The vision is different. The future’s never been about her, and now she knows they’re coming for her:

Nomads.

How will she convince them to keep her alive when Nate, their leader, doesn’t like or even trust her? To him, she’s a science experiment. A machine.

When Public One will do anything to keep her, Reggie must make a decision: remain a slave to her past, or risk her future to venture into a world more terrifying than she’s ever known.

Such mixed feelings abut this book. So many mixed feelings.

J. Kowallis sent me this book for me to read and review, along with her planning on doing a guest post on my blog, which is hopefully going to be on here soon!

So I honestly knew very little about this book before reading it. I just knew the plot sounded good and I’m always up for a free book!

The whole time I read this book, I just kept noticing how similar it was to one of my favorite series of all time, The Anomaly Trilogy by Krista Mcgee. Especially when Reggie was in Public One. They had those same dystopian vibes and the antagonist seemed quite similar.

I must admit that I was expecting this book to be a lot better. I had high hopes for it. Sadly, this book failed to impress me as much as I was hoping, and here’s a few reasons why-

The Profanity: I had asked the author before I recieved the book about any profanity and suggestive content in the book. She responded and told me that its mainly farmer swearing to make the world believable, but since she is a Christian herself, she would not use anything explicit, anything derogatory, or taking God’s name in vain. After she told me that, I was feeling pretty good and was expecting a few minor words here and there. I was so wrong.

By the second chapter, cuss words were used more then I ever thought there would be in the whole book. I understand how J. Kowallis wants the world to be believable. That’s great! But I think the profanity could have been left out and it still would have been believable AND more enjoyable. I tried to count how much profanity was used throughout the book, and here is a rough amount of what I counted-

The ‘H’ word was used 20+ times.

The ‘D’ word was used 15+ times.

The ‘A’ word was used 5+ times.

The ‘S’ word used 15+ times.

Plus many other words were also used countless times. I found it hard to concentrate on the story sometimes because of the amount of profanity in almost every chapter.

There was a slight amount of suggestive content, but nothing much.

The Plot: I couldn’t get into the book very well for another reason also. In the first half of the book, the plot was very slow. I couldn’t find any enjoyment in it. After I got 150-200 pages in, it started to pick up and I could sit and read chapter after chapter. But in the beginning, I just couldn’t get into the story.

Also, there was quite a few grammatical errors. I’m a pretty big grammar freak sometimes, so that kinda bothered me.

The Characters: If a book has good characters, there is a good chance that I will like the book more. Sadly, I only liked about 1-3 characters in the whole series. The hero and heroine were annoying and predictable, the secondary characters were tolerable at best. The only characters I liked were London, Sophia, and Greyson.

Just as a warning, there is a fair amount of violence, and most of it is gruesome and described vividly enough.

Another thing. Is this book supposed to be Christian or not? It had a few mentions of God in one part, then cussing in another. I was so confused.

I didn’t particularly enjoy this book, and I probably wont be reading it again soon. But the ending was, while slightly predictable, satisfying. I think a sequel would be nice, and I might even read it.

I seriously hate writing negative book reviews like this one, and I procrastinated it as much as I could. But, I’d rather be known for writing honest reviews that are negative then positive reviews that don’t tell the whole truth.

-Lilian-

Once Upon A Summertime by Melody Carlson

Disclaimer- I received this book from Revell Publishers in return for a honest review.

Managing the Value Lodge in her hometown was not what Anna Gordon had in mind when she set out in the hospitality industry. But it’s a safe choice for a woman whose childhood was anything but stable. Out of the blue, she gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reinvent herself by moving to New York City, where she hopes for a management position at a stylish new boutique hotel. The big city is full of surprises–not the least of which is Sean O’Neil. Her childhood crush has applied for the very same position!

Sweet, romantic, and endlessly entertaining, this romp through the storied streets of New York City will enchant readers. Melody Carlson has created characters so charming that readers will long to meet them in the lobby of the stunning Rothsberg Hotel.

Once Upon A Summertime is a fun, fresh, flirty story that is absolutely perfect for your summer reading! The quirky characters and interesting storyline makes this story a very refreshing read.

I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous to read this book. It was my first real “New Adult” contemporary romance in a long time. I’ve stuck to mostly YA lately. So when this book arrived, I was a little scared as to how I would like it. I’m also not the biggest contemporary fan, so that added to my feelings.

But I must say, I wasn’t disappointed in it.

The storyline was, as I said above, fun, fresh, and flirty. Here’s why-

Fun- The characters were very well-written and captivating. The protagonist, Anna, was a very likable character. She felt relatable and real. Plus I loved the fun setting of NYC. Hearing about the different sights and places around the city was fun, and it kinda felt like I was there.

Fresh- I have read a good amount of contemporaries. They have never been my favorite genre, but, if written correctly, they can be enjoyed. I felt like Melody did a great job keeping this story surprising and cute. It was a little cheesy at times, but most contemporary’s are.

Flirty- I loved how the romance was new and adorable. It wasn’t overly serious or forced. It was young love that grew sweeter throughout the story.

One thing that I am unhappy about is the ending. The ending felt forced and abrupt. I felt like Melody could have written a much sweeter and more satisfying ending.

I do recommend this book! I think it is especially great to read during the summer. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, out in 2016!

-Lilian-

May Wrap-Up

So May wasn’t my best reading month.. I only got through 5 books. I was hoping to read more, but I’ll take what I can! Read below to see what I read-

So at the beginning I did a May TBR post. I was planning on reading 8 books this month. And while I didn’t get through all the books on that list, I feel like I did a pretty good job sticking to it.

Here’s what I read this month-

Destination Unknown by Amy Clipston:

This was my second time reading this book. It is my favorite in the trilogy, though. I think its perfect to read right around this time of year, when people are questioning where to go in their lives. Because I, like Whitney Richards in this book, have no idea what I’m doing in my life either. Plus Whitney’s really relatable, all the characters are fun, and the storyline is great. You can check out my full review here.

Miles From Nowhere by Amy Clipston:

This was the third and I think final (but I’m not sure) book in the trilogy including Roadside Assistance and Destination Unknown (mentioned above). It was probably my second favorite in the series. You can read my full review here.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer:

I was a little disappointed in this book, sadly. With all the hype, I was expecting more. I do still want to read the rest of the series, though. I’ve heard the rest of the books are better. Check out my full review here.

Before Tomorrowland by Jeff Jensen and lots of other people:

While some of the plot was interesting, it was filled with boring chapters that kept going on and on. The characters weren’t very likable, either. Take a look at my full review here.

Once Upon A Summertime by Melody Carlson:

I just finished this book over the weekend! While I don’t have a review up for it yet, just stay tuned! It’ll be out next week. But I can say I enjoyed it:)

So that’s it!! I did try reading a different book in May also, I just couldn’t get through it. What did you read in May?

-Lilian-