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Almost, by Anne Eliot

Almost______________________________________________
At a freshman party she doesn’t remember, Jess Jordan was almost raped.

…Almost. Very nearly. Not quite. Three years later, Jess has managed to make everyone believe she’s better. Over it. Because she is.

…Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Unfortunately, until Jess proves she’s back to normal activities, her parents won’t discuss college. So, she lands a summer internship and strikes a deal with hockey jock, Gray Porter: He gets $8,000. She gets a fake boyfriend and a social life.

Jess has no idea Gray signed on for reasons other than money. She also never expects to fall in love. But Gray’s amazingly hot, holds her hand all the time, and makes her forget that he’s simply doing his job. It’s like having a real boyfriend.

…Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Gray Porter is hiding secrets of his own. About Jess Jordan. About why he’s driven to protect her, why he won’t cash her checks, or deny her anything she asks.

______________________________________________

“Number one: Make at least two friends your own age. Number two: Go places besides your room. Number three: Get boyfriend. Number four: Make sure Mom and Dad notice numbers one through three.”

Okay, so, I’m kinda overwhelmed right now.

I just finished the book and it was a lot to take in and those acknowledgements sort of knocked me on the ass! So, where to start?…

I’d say that if you don’t know yet if you want to give a chance to this book or not, then you really should. It was in my to-read list for a very long time, probably a year or so, and I don’t know why I didn’t read it sooner. It wasn’t that I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to read it or whatever. I really don’t know why. But it took some time.
But now that I’ve read it, well I know it wasn’t a mistake at all and I would have liked for someone to tell me to have faith and give it a try.
So here you go: “GIVE IT A TRY!”

“Almost. Almost.
How I hate that word and the way it defines me.
Almost raped. Almost over it. Almost normal.
I can almost forget. Way worse, I can almost remember.”

This book treats a subject that is hard, and at first you’d think that it is a subject that has already been treated in books a million times. But it’s not. Because this book doesn’t talk about rape. It talks about almost rape. And there is a difference. And I think that’s something that is, in a way, not easy to grasp because it almost happened. And this book is all about the difference it makes when it almost happens.

“Lucky. Lucky. Lucky girl.
Nothing happened.
Nothing happened.”

How Anne Eliot dealt with the matter of rape, almost rape, harassment and underage drinking was really well done. How Jess felt for what she did, had done to her and the consequences that resulted of it afterward. How she felt after all this. The psychology in this book was very subtle and well done and you can easily get in Jess’s shoes, even though it’s a stretch.

“YES. I’m mental. This is why I have a list called ‘how to be normal”

It is very well done. You are not overwhelmed by the fact that Jess has been traumatized but at the same time you cannot escape that fact because it changed her. Marked her. Broke her. And she tries her damnest to get back to normal. Hence the pretend boyfriend.

“Person slaughtered: Me.
Method used: Dimple.
The guy has a dimple. Of course he does. To match the Hollywood chin divot. To make the lump on my forehead pound even harder.
Pointes for Gray Porter: 3,000,000-bajallion, trillion to the millionth power.”

It is no easy subject to write about and no easy subject to read about either, but it is so well done that you can read about it and actually enjoy yourself, the story and the characters while reading. The fake boyfriend twist gave this book the lightness it needed I think and I loved falling for Gray the same way Jess did.

“He’s so good at his job, that I’ve fallen for him, the mirage of him being my boyfriend, all of it. Like everyone else. Like an idiot.”

I really loved this book. It was sweet, funny, moving, deep and intense. It’s one of those books that follow you long after you’ve turned the last page.
You will fall in love with Gray and how good he is. You will admire Jess for her courage. And you will remember this book for a very long time.

“I’ll make sure you forget every guy but me, Jess Jordan. And that’s a promise I mean to keep.”

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Opposition (Lux #5), by Jennifer L. Armentrout

 

Opposition________________________________________________________

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can’t believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.

________________________________________________________

“Did you ever think this is where you’d end up when you knocked on my door asking for directions?”

It’s the part in a serie that I love and hate at the same time: the last book. *sniff*. I’m having an epic book hangover after finishing this book.

I love it because duh, we get to have all the answers to our questions and to have “closure” with the characters that we came to love and sometimes hate throughout the book. But I hate it too because as I read the book, I realize the closer I get to turning the last page, that it’s the last time I’ll read something about my dear characters! So that’s basically what happened to me while I read Opposition. I loved every minute of it but it broke my heart to reach the end of Daemon and Katy’s journey because I never wanted to let them go.

“This kind of love was the real deal, stronger than a whole planet full of psycho aliens and an entire government.”

One thing’s for sure though, when I started this serie, I never thought for a minute that what seemed to be a regular paranormal YA romance would turn out to be something this epic, that consumed, captivated and enthralled me so much. Jennifer L. Armentrout has written a masterpiece as far as I’m concerned with the Lux serie and she effectively blew my mind with every Lux book she wrote. I’m still amazed by the quality of the story and how captivating it was. This book is intense but in the best way possible and I was always asking for more!

“Did you think I’d forget what you mean to me? That anything in this world — in any world — would be stronger than my love for you?”

Like for my review of Origin, I won’t say much about what happens in this book because it would take all the fun out of reading it. But prepare yourself my Lovelies because like Origin, this book is amazing and will blow your mind! It is fast-paced, filled with action, suspense and twits that will make your mind go crazy. I bit my nails with worry for Daemon, Katy and their friends and family, my heart broke at what both Daemon and Katy had to face and go through to survive and my heart also raced with how deep their love for each other runs and what they would do in order to protect each other and the people they love.

“Sometimes — and it happened at random moments — I was blown away by the fact that she was mine and I was hers.”

Jennifer also made my day with the epilogue she gave her characters. I was so happy to glimpse at what had become of them after everything that happened in the book is over. I loved how she kept it “real” and not too….peachy, considering there sort of was an alien apocalypse going on before that. I am so sad to see this serie end because I loved watching Daemon and Katy grow and evolve throughout the books, and I loved witnessing their love for each other grow and mature too as the story went.

“Your inner book nerd will have a book nerd orgasm.”

Katy is the best heroine I have read about in a YA book so far. I loved her character from the start and as she changed and became the woman she is by the end of the serie I loved her even more because she stayed true to herself and also became a stronger, more resilient and courageous version of herself. She was loving and caring all along and showed a lot of heart, forgiveness and selflessness throughout the story.

“He was mine, all of him — the prickly side and the warm, playful, and loving side.”

Daemon was a perfect match to her character. He challenged Katy but also loved her just the right way. I liked his prickly side, his arrogant, sarcastic and infuriating streak and loved to get to see more of his charming, caring and protective side as the story went. His love for Katy and his friends and family was amazing to witness and his dedication to Katy made my heart swell. No, he is not the same arrogant, stubborn and sometimes rude boy who first treated Katy so terribly, but he’s grown into someone a little wiser, even more loyal to the people he cares about and who would do anything for the one he loves.

You’re perfect for me.”

I am soooooo grateful to Alienor, who introduced me to this serie. Without her, I would’ve missed out of this amazingly epic YA read and that would have been such a shame! I can’t recommend enough you ALL READ THIS SERIE! It has more in store than what it hints at. I can honestly say that I LOVED EVERY SINGLE MINUTE I spent reading Daemon and Katy’s (and the other characters’) story. I loved this serie wholeheartedly. I’ll remember it for a very long time. I’ll keep it close to my heart and that makes it hugely bittersweet to say goodbye because of it.

“We had a week, a month, and a year from now. We finally had a future and many more moments like this.”

Also, to thank the readers for helping Opposition hit the USA Today Bestseller’s list at #34 and putting the Lux Series in the New York Times YA Series list at #4, (and because she is such an awesome author) Jennifer Armentrout gave us a little taste of Daemon and Katy’s life a few years after Opposition. *happy-dance* ⇒ http://www.jenniferarmentrout.com/a-special-thank-you/

Origin (Lux #4), by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Origin

________________________________________________________

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

________________________________________________________

“Well then, it’s time to introduce the world to a little bit of extraterrestrial awesomeness.”

Like I said when I reviewed Opal, it get harder and harder to do in-depth reviews of the book of the serie as I read them because the plot is so thick that doing so would spoil the whole book for you. So I’ll keep it short because it’s no fun for you to know to much at this point. It’s frustrating really because this book like the last one (and I have a feeling Opposition will be no exception) is full of action and there is so much stuff happening!

“Things went from bad to craptastic in a matter of seconds.”

Good Lord this book was intense. I swear this serie will ruin me for the other out there. I mean, Jennifer really put everything that is good in this serie and made it awesome. Opal hinted at it, but Origin really represents a turning point in the serie. Well leave behind West Virginia and get sucked into something that neither Katy nor Daemon expected I think. This book was amazing. After the ending of Opal, Origin starts in the thick of it and and the story keeps its fast-paced rhythm. This book is especially action-packed compared to the previous books, so if you’ve read them, then it gives you an idea of how things go.

“I want a year’s worth of seconds and minutes with you. I want a decade’s worth of hours, so many that I can’t add them up.”

As with the other book titles, I loved discovering the meaning behind Origin. And I loved meeting the new characters like Archer and getting to know more about Luc that we met in Opal. But I really liked that throughout all this action and suspense and nerve wrecking tension, there were sweet, tender moments between Daemon and Kat. My heart was in my throat during the first part of the book because of their situation and when things “got better”, I could breathe more easily just knowing they had each other to lean on again. It was great to have the dual POV for this book because even if I love Katy’s voice, being into Daemon’s head is a great place to be. And seeing just how much he loves Kat and how deep his love for her runs was amazing. That, was a total bonus with this book.

“Staring down at Kat, I fell for her all over again. Lost my heart when she smiled.”

Again, this book was a roller-coaster of emotions. Between the action moments, the down right disgusting and revolting ones, the really beautiful and sweet moments between Daemon and Kat, the good surprises they get and the really really bad and heart wrenching ones, my emotions were all over the place when I reached the end and then I was smacked in the face with yet again a freaking cliffhanger that leaves you screaming at your Kindle in frustration and agony.

Oh shit. ET so phoned home, kids.

I loved every line of this book down to the last comma! I keep saying this but this serie gets better and better as it goes and I really think I’ll need rehab when I reach the end of it so I can function normally again. Jennifer proved to be a literary genius with this serie!

“Yeah, it was going to be ….epic.”

Opal (Lux #3), by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opal

__________________________________________________________

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

__________________________________________________________

 OH. MY.GOSH!!!!!! Is she serious with this ending?!?! How can you write an ending like this one and not want to make your readers go crazy? I was told Opal ended on a cliffhanger but boy, this was the mother of all cliffhangers! I’m serious people, when you read this book, prepare yourself for some serious mind fuck! I might have screamed at the end. I could not believe this was really happening. And my emotions were all over the freaking place! Man, this book was intense!

A lot of things happen in this book. It might seem like something obvious but it’s hard to tell about this book as the story goes because with each chapter, we get deeper and deeper into the story and there is always new stuff happening and new secrets and at some point, unless I start giving spoilers about the story, well I’ll have to cut it on the details.

“I have the feeling we just made a deal with the devil, and he’s going to come back and want our first-born child or something.”
Daemon waggled his brows. “You want kids? Because you know, practice makes–”
“Shut up.” I shook my head and started walking.”

But this serie is awesome and the plot is getting better an better as you read it. Opal felt a little bit like Onyx when it comes to the atmosphere of the story. It as the same darker vide. Daemon and Katy have to do things they really don’t want to do in order to help someone, they have to put their trust in people who betrayed them before and a whole lot of other stuff that kept me one the edge of my seat for a good part of the book. I would have gone crazy had I been in their shoes!

“You really shouldn’t trust a soul in this game. Not when everyone has something to gain or lose.”

You know that nasty nasty feeling that you have when you read a book, and you know what’s about to happen is super important and you root for the characters, wishing they didn’t have to go through what they are about to do, that everything is going to be alright, and all the while, your heart won’t stop beating like crazy and you have this nagging voice in your head screaming at you that you are just fooling yourself and that shit is about to hit the fan real hard? Well, that what will happen when you’ll get at to the end of Opal. I was biting my nails off I was so stressed!

“He…he kisses like he’s dying of thirst, and I’m water.” I smacked my hands over my hot face. “I can’t believe I just said that out loud.”
Lesa giggled. “Sounds like one of those romance books you read.”
“It does.” I started giggling. “But, oh Lordie Lord, it’s true. I’m like a puddle of mush when he kisses me. It’s embarrassing. I’m so, like, ‘Thank you, can I have another?’ Sad.”

But thank God, we had time to enjoy Daemon and Katy too. It was so good to see them together. I love their relationship and Daemon is getting better and better with every book. For all the shit he gave Katy in Obsidian, he certainly makes up for it now. Their relationship, even though very intense with all the plotting and fighting for their lives and everything, is very sweet and often hilarious, mainly because of Daemon and his oversized ego we can’t help but love. The two made me laugh a lot once again and it was a good thing with all the serious stuff that happen in this book.

“Infuriated, I scrambled over him, even more furious when I saw the humored glint in his eyes. “God you tick me off.”
“Well at least I got you–“
“Don’t even finish that statement!”

One thing that broke my heart though was what happens to Dee and Katy’s friendship after what happened in Onyx. It became even hard to read some of the scenes in the book because I loved Dee and Katy’s relationship and in Opal, their friendship is really strained. And even though we get why things have become that way, it was still hard to read those moments.

And one thing is for sure, if you didn’t like Blake before, Opal will make you hate him. I was so on team Daemon and I very much enjoyed Daemon’s antics about Blake. Oh how I wanted to hit his face. I don’t really get why no one actually did, every chance they got but that’s just details. But seriously, some of the things he did in this book, they creeped me out on an epic level. I was actually scrunching my face in disgust as I read. I almost took a shower and I don’t get how Katy didn’t when she found out! But I’m sure Blake has something coming his way. He cannot go on living without something major happening to him after all the shit he has done.

“Dawson shifted, dropping his head into his hand. “Do you ever stop talking?”
“When I’m sleeping,” Blake replied.
“And when you’re dead,” Daemon threw back. “You’ll stop talking when you’re dead.”
Blake’s lips thinned. “Point taken.”

I’ll keep it short for this one because my mind is a little all over the place right now and I need to start Origin ASAP if I don’t want to go crazy after an ending like the one I just read! And you’ll get why with this quote:

“I love you, Katy. Always have. Always will,” he said, voice thick and hoarse with panic. “I will come back for you. I will-” The emergency doors sealed shut with a soft thud. “I love you,” I said, but Daemon…Daemon was gone.”

Onyx (Lux #2), by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Onyx

__________________________________________________________

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

__________________________________________________________

“Resistance is futile, Kitten.” 
“So is your charm.” 
“We’ll see.”

I think I’m officially in love with this serie. I think I said it before, but I’ll say it again, Jennifer L. Armentrout is a very talented writer and she did an amazing job with the Lux serie. I had a blast reading Obsidian and have been “binge reading” on this serie since I started it.

In Onyx, we are once again sucked into the lives of Katy and her hot albeit slightly infuriating alien neighbors, Daemon, and things get tricky for them as the story goes. Onyx is a little darker than Obsidian was but just as good. We find again all the things that made Obsidian so good and top it of with a lot of suspense and revelations that suck you even deeper into the universe of Lux.

“Kat tipped her head back, meeting my stare. Her throat worked on her next words. “I think I might love you.”
Air punched out of my lungs. I held her tight, and I knew right then I would burn down the whole universe for her if I had to. I would do anything to keep her safe. Kill. Heal. Die. Anything. Because she was my everything.”

With this book, as we go deeper into Daemon and Katy’s relationship, we also go deeper into the mysteries surrounding the Luxen and their enemies. In Obsidian, we got to know about the Arum, which subsequently led to Daemon healing Katy and unknowingly linking them together. Well in this book we get more acquainted with the DOD (Department of Defense) and in a way, they are worse than the Arum when it comes to Daemon, his family and Katy’s future. And if the DOD wasn’t enough of a problem, add to that the knew guy at school who might not be as innocent as he seems to be. This book was sort of a wake up call for Katy. She goes through a lot of changes and little by little realizes that the life she knew, and the Katy she is, will have to change in order for her to survive.

“That’s the funny thing about trying to escape. You never really can. Maybe temporarily, but not completely.”

I though Katy was very brave in this book considering everything that has and is happening to her. But as she tries to keep up with everything that changes, she makes mistakes and things get a little nasty. I thought, once again, that everything that happens in this book was very believable. As things happen and revelations are made, I felt like the ground was vanishing under my feet and I was way in over my head. You really feel like you can’t really trust anyone anymore (except Daemon and the character’s already present in book #1) and as Katy makes mistakes and learns the truth about some people, your heart breaks for her, and you have this feeling that you have to second guess everything and everyone that comes near you.

I also loved that we get to know a little bit more about Daemon’s brother and what happened to him and his girlfriend. In Onyx, thanks to what Daemon did to Katy and other things, we get to know more about what really happened to Dawson and Beth and as a consequence, we get even deeper into the story.

“I always liked you. From the moment you first flipped me off.”

“Oh, I still want to strangle you. But I’m insane. You’re crazy. Maybe that’s why. We just make crazy together.”

But even though Onyx is darker than Obsidian was, the book still has this “light” and funny/sweet quality to it because of Katy and Daemon’s relationship. Oh and how I loved how things go between them! The sexual tension that was present in Obsidian is just as present in Onyx. And so is the witty banter between Daemon and Katy. I loved that this aspect of their relationship stayed in this book too because God know I love it! And I love Katy’s voice in the book. She is still this book obsessed girl and I loved all the things she said about book lover that only book lovers can relate to, such as “Dogeared pages were Antichrist of book lovers everywhere.” or “Your mail could’ve waited.” Daemon followed me into the kitchen. “What is it? Just books?” Grabbing the OJ from the fridge, I sighed. People who didn’t heart books didn’t understand.“. And I mean, how can you not love her when her vocab includes words such as “craptastic” and “dickdom” and the likes. Even if I bit my nails through half the book, I was laughing and swooning throughout the other half because of Katy and Daemon!

Daemon appeared in front of me, eyes narrowed. He thumped his hand off his chest, directly above his heart. “Because I know what I feel in here. And I’m not the type of person to run from anything, no matter how hard it is. I’d rather face-plant against a brick wall than live for the rest of my life wondering what could’ve been. And you know what? I don’t think you were the type to run either. Maybe I was wrong”

In Obsidian, Daemon was a very prickly characters even though we know that under all those thorns he’s a softie at heart. Well, in Onyx, we get to see more of his soft side and I, for one, wished to be in Katy’s shoes to have the pleasure to have him “put the move” on me. I loved seeing the two of them banter and argue during this book. Daemon is still arrogant and sure of himself, he’s also a big flirt but he’s also very sweet with Katy even though they still get on each other’s nerves. Daemon was relentless in his pursuit of Katy and  I loved him for it. Between the treats he gets her (the cookie scene still makes me giggle like crazy), the encounters in the school library and all the times he was just being himself with her and let her see who he really is, I think I swooned for half the book. I’m not sure Daemon could do any wrong in my book at this point.

“Cookie?” he offered, holding a cookie full of chocolate chips.
Upset tummy or not, there was no way I could refuse that. “Sure.”
His lips tipped up one side and he leaned toward me, his mouth inches from mine. “Come and get it.”
Come and get…? Daemon placed half the cookie between those full, totally kissable lips.
Oh, holy alien babies everywhere…”

Katy I loved just as much as in Obsidian, even though I wanted her to cave and admit to herself and Daemon that she has feelings for him. Now, I get why she made it difficult for him. One second he seems to not be able to stand her and the next, the two of them are “physically” linked to each other and he’s all “let’s be together now”. So I get that even though she obviously wants it, she’s not really thrilled to have him offer her to be in a relationship the moment they are connected to each other. So the fact that Daemon is a relentless bugger was a good thing here and I loved that he made good on his promise to not give up on her, even when Katy had her head up her bum.

“If there is anything, there is us. You and me. No one else.”

When you read this book, you know that what Daemon and Katy have is something strong and sincere and you know that things are going to be intense between them but also that their relationship will be their compass in the mess that in coming their way.

“Say it.”
“Say what?”
“Tell me what you told me earlier.”
“I love you.”
“That’s all I ever need to hear.”
“Those three words?”
“Always those three words.”

I really enjoyed Onyx. It was a great sequel to Obsidian, full of mysteries, lies, revelations, suspense, grief too, but also full of funny, sweet and heart warming moments. I can’t wait to start Opal now and et even deeper into Daemon and Katy’s world.

“What are we going to do kitten?”
My toes curled at the deep octave of his voice. “I don’t know.”
“I have a few ideas.”
I cracked a grin. “I’m sure you do.”
“Wanna hear about them? Although, I’m much better at the show part rather than the tell.”
“Somehow, I believe you.”
“If you didn’t, I could always give you a teaser.” He paused, and I could hear the smile in his voice. “You bookish people love teasers, don’t you?”

Obsidian (Lux #1), by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsidian

__________________________________________________________

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is

__________________________________________________________

Thanks to a new friend on Goodreads, this week I found out about a new to me YA serie and I am loving it so far.

I had seen the cover of Obsidian around on the website but had never really paid attention before. I was very briefly into vampire stories due to Twilight and then dove into fallen angel stories that I much preferred, to finally leave behind the paranormal YA for contemporary romance. This year, I “relapsed” with Red Hill by Jamie McGuire and the Experiment In Terror serie by Karina Halle that I loved.

So when I was first told about the Lux serie, I wasn’t really in a hurry to start it because my paranormal phase was gone for a while now. And then, on a night when I was asking myself this existential question that all book lovers ask themselves at one point or another: “What can I read next?”

Long story short, I started Obsidian…..and a night later I finished it. Yeah, it was that good. I’ve read NA books by Jennifer L. Armentrout and loved them too and I was glad to find in Obsidian this little something that I loved so much in her writing while reading the Wait For You serie.

“Will you show me what you really look like? You don’t sparkle, do you?”

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure this book was going to be my thing. Like I said, I’m a little picky when it comes to my paranormal reading and besides weird creatures, fallen angels and zombies, there isn’t many other creatures I enjoy reading about. And I thought aliens weren’t going to be my thing. Boy I was wrong! I LOVE ALIENS!!! Well, I loved Daemon really. I honestly wasn’t expecting a YA book to have so much sexual tension in it, but I was soo glad to find it here between Daemon **swoon** and Katy.

“My palms itched to have a close encounter of the bitch-slap kind with his face.”

Speaking of, I loved her. She was a great character. She’s funny and she has some serious backbone, which is needed when you have a neighbor like Daemon. I liked that she never took shit from him and I loved the banter between them. Also, I could relate to Katy so easily! Not about the whole my-neighbors-are-aliens thing obviously, but the girl is a complete bookaholic and she writes reviews for her blog. I kid you not. I think it’s the first time I have such a crush on a heroine.

“Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys.”

Katy and Daemon’s first conversation/encounter had me hooked and I was so eager to keep reading about them because I love this kind of dynamic between characters. So basically, I fell in love with the book and its characters from chapter one. The story in fast-paced, the dialogues are catchy and funny and the dynamic between the characters was just great. I laughed a lot and was giddy for no reason just reading the exchanges between Katy and Daemon but also because of the other characters.

“Oh, yeah.” Carissa nodded. “They were googley-eyed in class on Friday. It was pretty steamy, the whole ‘I’m screwing you with my eyes’ thing they had going on.” I choked on my drink.“That was not what we were doing. We were talking!”

There is nothing huge that happens in this book in terms of action, even though there is plenty of it for my taste, but the humor, the banter, the characters, the engaging storyline and just the fact that our supernatural creatures are aliens made this book stand out and totally sucked me in and made me want for more the moment I finished the book. Oh and let’s not forget the unresolved sexual tension! This part was sooo gooooooood! **fan-self**. Also, I liked that the book kept this light quality to it even though it hinted at more mystery to come.

“Aliens—if they exist—are little green men with big eyes and spindly arms or…or giant insects or something like a lumpy little creature.” Daemon let out a loud laugh. “ET?”
“Yes! Like ET, asshole. I’m so glad you find this funny.”

I also liked that the story felt like it was really anchored into reality. There was never a moment when I rolled my eyes at the paranormal stuff happening. Nothing over the top or anything, which is usually what I fear when I read this genre. And I loved that the end had a twist that most paranormal storyline like this one don’t have. It was refreshing, kept things original and made me want to jump on the next book in the serie to know what was coming next.

“Holy Hawt Chemistry, Batman!”

Now, Daemon. Man I love that bad boy! I know he’s arrogant and infuriating and a jerk on more than one occasion but you just know that he’s really a sweet guy…well, maybe not sweet but he has his soft spots even though we only get to see little glimpses of this part of him here and there. And he was such a badass too! And how I LOVED reading his POV scenes at the end! Gosh that made me feel all fuzzy inside! You just know he’s a good guy with a big heart even though he’s infuriating very often throughout the book. 

“Daemon stilled above me. ‘I won’t hurt you, Kat.’ His tone was softer, but still laced with fury as he tried to control me without doing any real damage. ‘I could never hurt you.”

And I’ll say it again, I loved that Katy didn’t put up with his BS even with the crazy chemistry between them. And I just loved how he got under her skin and she just couldn’t help but get in his face every time. And she was a badass too in her reactions to him and what he did and she stood up to him every time too. She really never annoyed me in this book by her reactions or anything else. She was just great and I loved her just as much as Daemon.

“Why are you such an ass?” The words came out before I could think twice.
“Everyone has to excel at something, right?”
“Well, you’re doing a great job.”

And one thing I really liked about this book and how it ended was the fact that by the end, Katy and Daemon weren’t a “real” couple. They aren’t together romantically in this book even by the end and I loved that about the book. Daemon and Katy don’t have an easy relationship at all on many levels. Daemon’s kind isn’t supposed to mingle with humans and Daemon especially isn’t really a fan of the idea. Katy is a liability to him and his family…..well to his kind too. And then there is the way he is around Katy for all those reasons, which, even with the crazy chemistry they have would put a damper on any possible relationship. But things just happen in such a way that they keep having to deal with a number of things together and by the end, even though they are not together together, you still feel a connection between them. I’m actually really glad that the first book finished on that note because I’m not sure it would have felt right otherwise and I don’t think I would have liked it. I loved that the book ended this way.

I am already halfway through Onyx, the second book in the Lux serie and I think I’ll keep reading ’til I reach the end of it.

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Earlier I was telling you about some extra scenes written from Daemon’s POV. The whole book is written from Katy’s POV so we really have no clue what Daemon really thinks in certain scenes (even though we have our own suspicions), so I’m sure you’ll be as curious as I am and won’t be able to resist getting a glimpse of what’s going on inside Daemon’s head! So here’s for you my Lovelies:

Daemon’s POV – Homecoming Dance

Daemon’s POV – Laptop Scene

The Sweet Gum Tree, by Katherine Allred

The Sweet Gum Tree

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Sweet tea, corn bread, and soup beans—everyday fare for eight-year-old Alix French, the precocious darling of a respected southern family. But nothing was ordinary about the day she met ten-year-old Nick Anderson, a boy from the wrong side of town. Armed with only a tin of bee balm and steely determination, Alix treats the raw evidence of a recent beating that mars his back, an act that changes both of their lives forever.

Through childhood disasters and teenage woes they cling together as friendship turns to love. The future looks rosy until the fateful night when Frank Anderson, Nick’s abusive father, is shot to death in his filthy trailer.

Suddenly, Nick is gone—leaving Alix alone, confused and pregnant. For the next fifteen years she wrestles with the pain of Nick’s abandonment, a bad marriage, her family and friends. But finally, she’s starting to get her life back together. Her divorce is almost final, her business is booming, and she’s content if not happy—until the day she looks up and sees Nick standing across the counter. He’s back…and he’s not alone.

Once again Alix is plunged into turmoil and pain as Nick tries to win her love, something she resists with all her strength. Only one thing might break the protective wall she’s built around her emotions—the truth about Frank Anderson’s death. But when that truth comes out and those walls crumble, neither Alix nor Nick is prepared for the emotional explosion that could destroy as well as heal.

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“There’s a part of everyone that needs to be taken care of. Denying it exists doesn’t change the truth, it only makes you very lonely.”

I expected more from this book when I started it. It was on my recommendation list for quite some time but something in the description just kept me from giving it a go. Then I read a review of it on a blog and said okay, I’ll give it a try.

Don’t get me wrong. I liked it. I read it quickly and I was curious to see how it was going to end but something that took all the fun out of it was that the author kept telling us what was going to happen next at the end of almost every chapter. I mean, seriously, way to kill the suspense! So every time you start a chapter, you already kind of know what is going to happen and since it’s usually something bad, well that sucks for the reader because you know shit is gonna hit the fan. That was the thing that annoyed me while reading.

“Lies and half-truths hurt not only the liar, but the people they love most.”

But besides from that, I really liked the book. I don’t know what it is with family secrets in books but it always makes it feel very realistic. And this one is full of it. One thing after another and almost every member of every family in this book has a secret. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but every time I read a book with family secrets, it takes place in the South and it is mixed with the notion that people have to save faces and represent the perfect little family. So the more the family looks perfect, the more twisted the secrets are. But that’s what makes this story interesting.

“God, I can’t lose you again.” His whisper was harsh, filled with pain. “Not now, when I’ve waited so long to hold you. I think it would kill me. But I’m so damn scared you’ll hate me when you find out the truth.”

I liked the characters too. Pretty much all of them and on different levels, but there was not one character I didn’t like even a little. There was a moment or two when I really wanted to slap them upside the head of course. But all in all they were decent.

“I’d read enough to know that one of the symptoms of grief was a deep anger at the loved one who’d died, anger that impaired your judgement, made you want to scream and curse because they’d left you. But Nick hadn’t died, and I didn’t realize that I was suffering the symptoms of grief.”

The story is told from Alix’s POV and we follow her from her childhood throughout her life. And at first, the story is about her friendship with Nick. Alix and Nick were two different but equally interesting characters. They come from different sides of town and live in a different world from each other, but somehow, they still become very close and faithful friends. They both go through a lot but at different moments of their lives. The synopsis hints at some of the stuff that happen to them, but reading it was…heavy. That’s when you realize how strong Alix is.

“You can’t turn love on and off like a light switch, no matter how hard you try. All you can do is wall it off, one brick at a time, until you’ve created an impenetrable fortress around your emotions. And once that fortress is built, you camouflage it so well that even you can’t see it anymore.”

I liked that her character evolved as she grew up and as life happens to her. As a child she is great. She cute and funny and ballsy and always up to no good. You fall in love with her instantly. And as she grows up, and faces so much trauma, she turns out to e very strong but she also hardens herself. This was hard for me to read because it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes quite some time for things to fall in place for Alix and the watching her go through so much grief and heartache was very hard.

“The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. And you couldn’t be indifferent to him if your life depended on it.”

Some will think that she becomes less likable as the book goes but I thought it made sense. She has been scared by life and found a way to protect herself somehow. And I loved that Nick was so patient, kind and understanding with her. I thought he stayed the same throughout the book but I don’t mean that in a bad way. He, too, went through a lot as a child and his teenage years and you’d think it might have hardened him, but turns out, it was quite the opposite, and I liked that. He makes mistakes and the path to forgiveness isn’t an easy one for him, but Nick will charm you. I won’t say more about Nick and Alix because I don’t want to spoil the book for the readers.

“I promise you this. I’ll love you until the day I die even if I have to live without you. And if it’s fifty years from now, you come home, Nick Anderson. Do you hear me? I’ll be waiting on you.”

This book is also very heartbreaking. There are things that happen to the characters that I wouldn’t wish for anybody to go through. But again, I think that’s also part of why the story felt real.

“Life isn’t kind, and we rarely get what we want out of it. We do the best we can, and we keep putting one foot in front of the other.”

So what I would say to those who haven’t yet read the book and who are still hesitating is, give it a try. Because even if the story ends up not being what you expected at the beginning, it’s a great story about life, family, friendship, heartache, loss and love.

“Do you want to know the real reason I came back, Alix?” It was because of you. You’re my roots. Wherever you are would be home to me.”

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