[Monthly] October ARCs

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kindly provided, in exchange for an honest review.

So much work to do this month! I am trying to bring my ratio up so I kind of have to burry my nose in these books.

1 . The Ninth Circle, Book One: Fire by C.A. Harland

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Tala Morgenstern lives for the hunt, embracing her heritage as a demon hunter. When her younger sister, Hartley, disappears while on the trail of her long-lost father, Tala must seek the help of her other sister Aiva, who has turned her back on the underworld of magic and hunting. Suspecting demonic involvement, Tala and Aiva race to find Hartley before she can be claimed by hell.

Their search takes them deeper into the bowels of Dublin’s criminal underground, where the gangs are led by demons, and the currency is souls. With each Circle of hell bringing new dangers, and new revelations about their own place in the demon hunting world, Tala and Aiva have to rely on each other if they are to stand a chance of fighting their way to the Ninth Circle, and the demon lord who is waiting for them.

2. Firelines by Cara Thurlbourn

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When your blood line awakens, how do you choose between family and freedom?

Émi’s father used to weave beautiful tales of life beyond the wall, but she never knew if they were true. Now, her father is gone and Émi has been banished to the Red Quarter, where she toils to support herself and her mother – obeying the rules, hiding secrets and suffering the cruelties of the council’s ruthless Cadets.

But when Émi turns seventeen, sparks fly – literally. Her blood line surges into life and she realises she has a talent for magick… a talent that could get her killed.

Émi makes her escape, beyond the wall and away from everything she’s ever known. In a world of watchers, elephant riders and sorcery, she must discover the truth about who she really is. But can the new Émi live up to her destiny?

3. Closer (Closer #1) by M.C. Vann

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When Alexandria Summers (Ally) bumps into Henry Pearce during the Sunny Valley Tulip Festival, she never thought she’d see him again in her hometown, the Windy City. Despite several warnings telling her to stay away, Ally finds herself falling deeper for this strange man. But little did she know, their fated encounter is just the beginning of a larger scheme.

This beautiful man was flawed.

He was real … real in a sense that he was human after all.

Fragile. Pitiful. Lonely.

Henry was all of these things — elements that I never could imagine him having.

The more I got to know Henry, the more I realized how much of a mystery he was.

A dark, but beautiful mystery.

*** Trigger Warning: Intended for audiences 18 and older. Contains situations some readers might find objectionable. Ends on a cliffhanger.

4. Ekata: Fall of Darkness (Ekata #1) by Dominique Law

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On Ekata, a utopian world where violence is unthinkable, Asher has been plagued with visions of death and darkness since childhood. On his eighteenth birthday he is confronted with a life-changing prophecy which tells of a threat not only to his world, but to Earth as well.

Alexis has always felt she doesn’t belong. When an extraordinary stranger appears on her doorstep, it raises more questions than answers. If everything she thought she knew about herself was a lie, who is the real Alexis? And how could she possibly be part of an ancient prophecy?

Through startling transformation and grief, the pair defy all expectations. But when everything changes, can Asher’s humanity survive? The fate of both worlds may depend upon it.

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Have you read any of these? Do you have any suggestions on how to improve in Netgalley?

Thank you for reading!

[Review] Fantastical by Kristen Ashley

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Cora Goode has woken up in a fairytale world where she can understand what birds are saying to her, men ride horses and have fluffy feathers in their hats and furniture zigs, zags and whirls in miracles of construction.

The problem is, she thinks she’s in a dream but she’s actually taken the place of the parallel universe Cora and without realizing it, our Cora does something that starts a centuries old curse that will sweep the land if she gets captured by the evil Minerva.

At this point, her dream world becomes a nightmare.

Luckily, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno is there to save her from the clutches of the grotesque vickrants sent by Minerva to capture her. Unfortunately, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno doesn’t like the Cora of his world all that much (to say the least) and he thinks our Cora is her. And no matter what our Cora says or does to try to convince him, he won’t be convinced.

But Cora needs Tor to keep her safe and guide her through this fantastical world as she hopes one day to wake up in her not-so-great apartment in her not-so-great life in her world. The problem is, the more time she spends with the gorgeous warrior Tor, the faster she falls in love with him.

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3stars

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I accidentally started reading the third book because I thought it was the first, which is stupid. Thankfully they’re standalones. I gotta say… I enjoyed all the freaking plot holes. I found them amusing actually. It’s one of these books you enjoy reading even though they’re a bit horribly written. Hahaha I really like how awful it is. Can’t explain it.

Writing Style

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So much wasted potential because of the writing style. The book was written in first person POV, which is always what I prefer. I like that I was able to be in Cora’s head but sometimes it was, kind of, too much… I felt like I was reading the diary of a 15 year old girl instead of a book written by an adult…

The fact that the lead was actually in her thirties, made it even worse. What do I mean exactly?

[Another slap on the ass. Serious ouch. God, I hated it when he did that.]

Really? Serious ouch? I expect a better description about how she felt at that time.

[“Put your hands on me”, he commanded, his knee pressing between my legs.
Oh my!
“Um, okey dokey,” I whispered again and slid my hands up his arms and around his shoulders.]

Who writes okey dokey during a sex scene, expecting to take the book seriously? I was facepalming and laughing instead of enjoying reading it.

[Tor’s room were the shit. In fact, his entire castle was the shit. In fact, his entire princedom was the shit.]

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Do you guys understand what I am trying to say? This description was definitely not the shit.

Not to mention ALL the awkwardly written sex scenes… All the awkward talking and questions like “who am I?” and “who are you?” in every single scene. Yes, we get it. He is your prince, your husband etc. and you’re his wife and princess. How many times do I have to skip these kind of scenes to avoid reading the same stuff again and again?

Plot

The plot had so much potential. The world building was actually pretty amazing and unique. There was this extraordinary, magical world with pretty colors and beautiful scenery. Cora was transferred into that world and tried to survive while she had to endure all the things that went wrong because of this change. (Not gonna spoil). So if the book was written in a different way, I would have loved it.

The plot holes frustrated me a bit to be honest but secretly I found them entertaining and I ignored them.

For example when Tor was transferred to Cora’s world, he demanded he drive the car.

[I showed him around the console, explained the basics, he started up the car and away we went. No joke. He was a natural. He even figured out the road signs and traffic signals and only asked what a few of them meant.] 

This can’t be. Nobody can be a natural when it comes to driving, especially someone from an entirely different universe where cars are not even close to be discovered.

Because the number of silly things like this was huge, I decided to ignore them and just focus on the main plot.

Characters

Cora Goodie is not the worse female character out there. Ignoring the fact that she annoyed the hell out of me at some points, she was most of the time a strong female lead. She was opinionated, (kind of) determined, brave, friendly and fought for her rights and her loved ones. I enjoyed the fact that she could be emotional and not ice cold when she had to. Vulnerability is not always a weakness.

She was annoying when she was acting like a teen in front of Tor but I forgave this behavior because she had to do with the other half of her soul. Love makes us all fools sometimes. Plus, adults need a break from adulting.

Tor was not my type of book boyfriend. I accept that he was a prince, taught to order everyone around but I can’t accept how possessive he was. I felt like I needed space. What saved the situation was his sweetness and all the caring. He was rational and smart apart from handsome and well build. He was the voice of Cora’s conscience and thankfully her protector from all the evil out there.

Overal

I pushed the strict side of me away. I was going for one star but because of all the potential and the little details I enjoyed I decided against it. I admit that I had fun reading it, even if it was for the wrong reasons.

abouttheauthor

[Kristen Ashley]

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

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Thank you all so much for reading! Can’t wait for your opinion. Have you read the book? What do you think? Would you read it?

[Review] Bully by Penelope Douglas

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Penelope Douglas delivers an unforgettable New Adult romance that toes the fine line between love and hate…

My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He’ll barely refer to me at all, and he’ll hardly ever speak to me.

But he still won’t leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got worse as time wore on. I even went to Europe for a year, just to avoid him.

But I’m done hiding from him now, and there’s no way I’ll allow him to ruin another year. He might not have changed, but I have.

It’s time to fight back.

When one brave young woman stands up to her best friend Jared, now tormenter, the consequences go beyond anything either of them ever would have imagined…

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3stars

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Nope, this book was absolutely not for me. I would have rated it lower but I gave it three stars because I enjoyed it at some point.

Writing Style

Not even one complain here. Everything was great and I actually liked the way the book was written. There was a flow and the description of feelings was really awesome. I am a huge fan of authors who manage to make me feel and relate to the characters. There was first person POV, which I prefer at most times, because in order to write in third person and do it well requires skill and usually it’s a failure. I am not implying that Penelope Douglas has not talent, please do not misunderstand. The first person POV is safe in general. So what I am saying here is that the book was really good in this domain.

Plot

Here come my issues with this book. Bullying is bad but I don’t really blame the bullies all the time. I happened to be bullied back in junior high. A guy liked me, I rejected him and he bullied me to the point that he even started throwing rocks at me every time we happened to meet. He usually was trying to assault me by groping me in public and then there were the rocks. I should have stopped him earlier but I was just avoiding him. When a rock actually hit me and injured me I realized that this kid is a fucking asshole and he needs to be stopped. I talked to my parents and they talked to the police and that kid never bothered me again. What I am trying to say is that victims should not be victims and I understand that it’s difficult to speak to someone about being bullied, I’ve been there and I know, but we all have to be brave and stop this from happening. I blame myself for not stopping him the very first time he tried to do this to me and it’s really my fault that I let this happen.Bullies should be stopped. We need to be brave for our own good and we need to prevent these psychotic jerks from ruining our lives. We can do this.

At least there is a logical explanation as to why Jared was a bully and why Tate fell in love with him. I won’t spoil anything but I’ll just say that I’ve finished it because it was realistic and because Tate didn’t just accept this. She found the strength and fought back and stopped her bully. That’s what we’re supposed to do. If I was in her shoes I would have stopped this earlier but better late than never. We’re not all the same and for some people it’s harder to be brave. Eventually it has to be done.

So, the pace was good and the plot made sense. In general the story evolved perfectly well. There was suspence and I had so many questions that were answered the right time. Technically the book was perfect.

Characters

Both Jared and Tate made me so mad at first. I was so rooting for Tate, I was relating and I wanted her to be free of this torture and happy. I had high hopes and expectations and she was driving me crazy. Thankfully at some time she opened her eyes and realized some things and fought back. I was not disappointed.

Jared on the other hand… I wanted to punch his face every single time his name was appearing in front of me. I loved how determined, strong and smart he was was but at the same time I hated his jerk side. You can’t just treat a person like that. So when things got clear and I realized the hows and whys of his personality and all the reasons behind his stupid behavior, I kind of forgave him. Tate got it as well!

Overall

The book was not bad, actually. I’ve enjoyed parts but I was facepalming most of the time because of my own experience. So the reasons behind my own behavior and rating are mostly personal. I also realized that I should prbably avoid that kind of books. Not good for me.

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[Penelope Douglas]

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Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author living in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter. Her books include the Fall Away series (Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away, and Aflame). Please look for her recent standalones, Corrupt and Misconduct. Available now.

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[Review] A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter

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A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mysterious manuscript he’s hunted for over five hundred years. He never expected a young student librarian could be the key to unlock its secrets, nor could he have predicted the danger she would attract.

Now he and Beatrice De Novo follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, though the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation hundreds of years in the making.

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5stars

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Ok let me say that I am not really into vampire fiction but this book was a freaking guilty pleasure. I really really liked it and it has been a while since the last time I’ve considered any character as a book boyfriend.

Writing Style

I am satisfied with the writing style even though I found it a bit odd at first. What I mean is that there was third person POV mostly focused on Giovanni. So when the focus was on Giovanni, the writing style was a bit more formal, just like him. If it was first person POV it would be amazing because we would be in his head and the formal style would make more sense. I got used to it a bit later and I realized that it was probably my imagination or just the vibes Gio sent me. Anyway, it didn’t bother me at all, it was just an observation. Other than that everything were great. Enough details, not tiring, balance among dialogue, description and thoughts.

Plot/World Building

Ok, let me tell you something. The whole book was about a hot vampire and his freaking books! Do you realize how mind blowing is the combination? I didn’t realized it at first and I kept reading about how much he liked books and how important they were for him and that his dream job was being a rare book hunter… that made me obsessed.

So we have an ancient vampire who would do anything to get books in his hands. But then there’s this girl and she is young but passionate and she reminds him how it feels to care about someone and things change. I just love the plot. I love it when the male characters are so affected by the female character. I mean yes, Beatrice was affected as well, of course, but it’s different when you’re in your twenties and you fall for a super hot and awesome dude. You can’t compare it with a 500 years old man falling for a girl.

The pace of the story is perfect. Not too fast and not too slow. There are no signs of insta-love and it evolves steadily. Things happen all the time and you won’t get bored of the book.

Characters

Beatrice was an interesting character. I am not too fond of her but I definitely don’t dislike her. I mean yeah I think all of her actions, thoughts and decisions were realistic and something I would do in her place as well but she was just meh. There was nothing that she did that awed me but she didn’t annoy me as well and that’s good. She was a usual girl in a really awesome adventure but without doing something remarkable. Oh but she was smart and I give her that.

Giovanni… oh where to start? He was a mysterious, composed, charming, elegant gentleman who needed his space and his peace. He was determined to take back what was his at first place and who doesn’t love a man who would do anything to protect what belonged to him? I don’t know about you girls but i think I’ll choose my next boyfriend very carefully because of the damn standards that my book boyfriends have set for me.

There were many awesome characters like Carwyn and Caspar. They both gave the story their touch and made it even better with their great lines and jokes and of course their loyalty and help.

Overall 

I am so glad I’ve found this book because it made me remember how it feels to really like a book and a character that much. I suggest you read it if you’re in the mood for romance and a unique adventure.

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[Elizabeth Hunter]

Elizabeth Hunter is a contemporary fantasy and romance author. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College and a former English teacher.

She currently lives in Central California with her son, two very ineffective canine assistants, and a pitifully empty fish tank.

She is the author of the Elemental Mysteries and Elemental World series, the Irin Chronicles, the Cambio Springs Mysteries, and other works of fiction.

[Top 5 Monday] Recommended by friends

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Hello my darlings! Missed me?

I know I am an awful person and I gave up on blogging for a while but if you were close enough to me, you know why and you forgive me, right? I promise to be a really loyal blogger and make it up to all of you because you guys are awesome. I am going to spam your lives and your comments section! You will see my name everywhere and you’ll say ‘not again’ all the time! Hahahaha!

Ok, this Monday is full of books suggested by dear friends on goodreads. I’ve read many books that were recommended to me but these five were the best! Well only the three first had actually good rating but the rest were not that bad either.

Let’s see!

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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Not really a fan of the book but the potential is here and there’s room for improvement and I hope the next books will be better. I will definitely read them.

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Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

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This was recommended by a friend who’s opinions are so respectful. She said that Kelley Armstrong was amazing and I agree she really was. The book was so full of action and mystery and romance in such a great balance. The only reason I gave it three stars was because of the way the flashbacks were confusing me.

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[Top 5 Monday] I’ve Only Watched The Movie

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This top 5 was inspired by a list in GR. I thought that my come back should be with something easy but catchy.

Here it is~

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Both movies were absolutely adorable and I loved them. I’ve watched them many times and I don’t mind watching them again. I don’t know why I never got to read the books but I don’t even know if they worth it anyway.

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I’ve mentioned before that I am not really into dystopian books anyway but the movies are so much easier to watch. I’ve been told that the movie was much better than the book so I don’t know if I should read the series in general.

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[Review] Tiger’s Quest by Colleen Houck

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Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. Kelsey Hayes’s eighteenth summer was crazy. The kind of crazy nobody would ever believe.

Aside From battling immortal sea monkeys and trekking the jungles of India, she fell in love with Ren, a 300-year-old prince.

When danger suddenly forces Kelsey on another Indian quest, with Ren’s bad-boy brother, Kishan,the unlikely duo begins to question their true destiny. Ren’s life hangs in the balance–so does the truth within Kelsey’s heart.

Tiger’s Quest, the thrilling second volume in the Tiger’s Curse series, brings the trio one step closer to breaking the ancient prophecy that binds them.

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3stars

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[“One’s enemy is often the best teacher of tolerance.”]

Tiger’s quest has the right dose of adventure and romance a reader needs. And admit it, it’s a combination us hopeless romantic readers can’t resist!

Writing Style

I think Colleen Houck succeeded in wrtiting this book. There are many different types of scenes and I was satisfied with the way they were discribed. There were romantic scenes were we could easily relate with Kelsey because we were inside her head all the time. There were thoughts, feelings and great transition to dialogue. I also find amazing that even though it was a first person POV, the rest of the characters were described that way that the readers could also catch a glimpse of their feelings.

There were action scenes, detailed enough yet not tiring and that’s important because I can’t stand too much information. I mean yeah ok it’s good to know the surroundings of the characters but get to the point cause I don’t really care about the rest. I could easily picture what was happening in my mind and it was like I was experiencing the adventure with Kelsey.

Last but not least there were descriptions about scenery and India and small villages and I loved the way they were portraited. I feel like I have to visit India after reading the book.

Plot/World Building

I think the first third of the book was absolutely unessacery drama. There was no point in writing it at all. Kelsey was in love with Ren and Ren was in love with Kelsey, the end. The book would be awesome if it wasn’t for the first (tiring) third. I felt like I was reading a different book at first and then transformed back into Tiger’s Quest. The pace was so slow and I was struggling to keep reading. At the end I got the adventure I was looking for.

Because of my lack of knowledge about Indian History and world’s history in general, I can’t really tell if any of these stories and information is real. My guess is that they’re based in history and in facts and that makes the author well informed. It’s good that she studied and researched about what to write and how to connect her story with facts or to come up with new facts. My congratulations!

I am not even sure If I make sense but I love it when the world that the author builds has no flaws and when I want to know more about it and that’s how I feel about Tiger’s Quest.

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[Rant Tuesday] Book Haters

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Why would you even hate a book?

It’s one thing to dislike a book but it’s entirely an other to actually hate it. Do you even know what the word ‘hate’ means?

Let me help you find out.

a :  intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury

b :  extreme dislike or antipathy :  loathing

Noticed the word hostility? Why on earth would you be hostile towards a freaking book for crying out loud?

Yes you can dislike a book and you can even loathe a book but when you feel like being rude and hostile then it’s just wrong. Don’t you ever forget that even though the book was probably not good, the author who wrote it, is still a person with feelings and they can be hurt. It might also not occur to you but that person had to work hard to publish this book. Someone put an effort into doing something but you hater, the only effort you put is on hating and you’re an awful person for doing that. Get a freaking life and stop being jealous over someone else. And you know what? if you think you’re better than the author then I am sorry for reminding you but you’re not. If you were, you would have written a better book… oh scratch that, you would have written a book. Did you? Fuck off!

I admit that sometimes when I am angry over a book or disappointed, I tend to be sarcastic. It’s not because I don’t respect the author and the hard work but because I write reviews before my feelings have calmed the fuck down. I can take the blame for doing that and I think I should stop it. Hahaha I might even ranting on myself but thank God I know the difference between hating and disliking and I don’t do hate. I even encourage people to read the books I didn’t like because you never know. I might not like but you might do so who am I to say ‘Hey, don’t read that book because was not good.’ NO! Read the book and let me know what you think. I say what I feel but you might feel differently.

Anyway, don’t hate because nothing good came out of hating.

[VS Battle Saturday] Stand Alone Books VS Book Series

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Hello my darlings! Saturdays are getting popular here in BookLand because of these VS battles and I am just so excited everytime I am back with a new battle for you. Today I am here to ask your thoughts about a dilemma many readers are dealing with.

Stand Alone Books

These are either completely stand alone books or spin-offs from other book series, Either way we have one complete story in one single book. That is really awesome if you can’t read to much and you want to read something quick and easy. Usually contemporary books are stand alones but there are a couple of paranormal books that do the job fantastically as well. I personally like quick stories when I am so tired of too long, never-ending series and I need a break. It’s like the sun after raining too much and it feels great!

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Book Series

Book series can be a precious, enjoyable treasures or a serious pain in the ass. I mean if the story is good and you can’t have enough of it and you need more and more books, it’s just amazing. But if the sequels are failures and disappointing then you just regret picking up a series. But how do you know if you will like the series? Are you willing to take a risk and pick a long series, just to read half of it? I do. Sometimes I just don’t care if I will be able to read all books. I just pick one and read it and then if it’s not to my taste I just drop it. I like series because they give me the feeling that they will last forever and the more details I read about the world the characters live in the more I excited I get. Book Series can be tiring but they’re are just a sweet temptation.

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What about you? Are you fan of both or you specifically prefer one of these and why? Let me know and let’s have an interesting conversation!