Friendship by Emily Gould

18490619I wanted to so desperately to like this book. Love it, even.

When you’re going through something in real life, it can often be comforting to read about someone else going through it in a story. It is for me, at least. In a way that only glimpsing into someone else’s life can, it makes me feel as if someone else is feeling what I’m feeling. It gives me someone to identify with, someone to cry with, someone to get upset with, someone to feel relieved with when it’s all over.

So when I read the Goodreads summary for Friendship, I thought I’d hit the emotional jackpot:

Bev Tunney and Amy Schein have been best friends for years; now, at thirty, they’re at a crossroads. Bev is a Midwestern striver still mourning a years-old romantic catastrophe. Amy is an East Coast princess whose luck and charm have too long allowed her to cruise through life. Bev is stuck in circumstances that would have barely passed for bohemian in her mid-twenties: temping, living with roommates, drowning in student-loan debt. Amy is still riding the tailwinds of her early success, but her habit of burning bridges is finally catching up to her. And now Bev is pregnant.

As Bev and Amy are dragged, kicking and screaming, into real adulthood, they have to face the possibility that growing up might mean growing apart.

So, in my mind, I read that as two grown women who are best friends and eventually learn that growing up may mean growing apart…and that’s ok.

That was not the case when I read these 233 pages of obnoxious, childish bullshit that went down between Bev and Amy.

I would have put the book down, but two things stopped me: one, I actually really enjoyed Gould’s writing style, and two, I suffered through 90 pages before finally considering putting it down, only to realize I was almost halfway finished. Her writing style and the need to review won out.

I was irritated for the rest of the book. For being thirty years old, these women are ridiculously childish and stupid when it comes to life and common sense.

Right of the bat, Bev has unprotected sex during a one night stand, and calls Amy the next morning, asking if she should use the Plan B pill. She doesn’t really want to spend the cash on it, though, so she risks it. And the craziest thing happens: she gets pregnant?!

That’s only the beginning of a string of ridiculous decisions that these girls make. The ending was the most infuriating part of the book, though, as they reconcile their differences with two heart emoticons. Gag.

Three out of five on Goodreads, just because I do like Gould’s writing and hate the plot. I wouldn’t recommend the book to anyone, but I would try reading another one of Gould’s books.

Lauren11

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Top Ten Tuesday: 9/30

Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

5632446
Columbine

1. Columbine by Dave Cullen is by far the most difficult book I’ve ever read. In fact, I haven’t even finished it yet. It isn’t difficult because it’s written poorly or it’s boring—it’s difficult because when I’m reading non-fiction, I have a tendency to put myself in the shoes of the people involved. This book covers the brutal Columbine massacre in 1999. It covers the suspects. The victims. The law enforcement agencies involved. The families and friends of victims. The incident completely shocked and stunned everyone, and reading about how devastated parents, siblings, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends, teachers, etc. were…it’s rough.

2. Working off of the same “putting myself in other people’s shoes” deal, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden stands out in my mind. Nitta is 9-years-old when she is sold into slavery at a geisha house—essentially a whorehouse. They say that being a geisha is not the same as being a prostitute—but no matter how you sugarcoat it, sex for money is prostitution in my book. She is taught the ways of the geisha; dancing, wearing a kimono, how to appeal to men. Her virginity is auctioned off and she’s required to sleep with an older man who she doesn’t know. It’s awful. But the book is amazing. Way better than the movie.

3. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer is terrible. I’ve read all of the Twilight books. I enjoyed the first one. The second one was slow, but I still read it. The third was a little worse. The fourth was because I was invested and felt that I had to. It was hard to finish—the only reason I did was because I couldn’t burn the $20 I’d just spent on it. Parasite baby birth? Come on.

18490619
Friendship

4. Review to be posted this week, but Friendship by Emily Gould was incredibly difficult for me to read, primarily because I was so incredibly irritated with the main characters. It’s about two thirty-something women who are best friends—they’re supposed to learn that growing up and growing apart is okay, but holy hell. They were selfish and immature and extremely obnoxious and unlikeable.

5. The Fifty Shades trilogy was difficult for me to get through, especially after learning that it was essentially thinly veiled Twilight erotica fanfiction.

6. My Story by Elizabeth Smart was emotional, terrifying, and eye-opening. I struggled reading about the rape and abuse of the thirteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart. I remember when she went missing—I was the same age. My mom was so upset because she could identity with Smart’s mother. I remember when she was found. I was outside, and my mom shouted out the door that she had been found. Everyone was surprised. In turn, everyone became judgmental. Why didn’t she run? Why didn’t she try to get away? Her book covers that, and what she went through during her captivity. It was riveting and well-written, but extremely difficult to process and read.

Lauren11

The Heroin Diaries
The Heroin Diaries

7. The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx was probably, hands down, the hardest book for me to read since I’ve started reading (aside from text books). It’s a very detailed, in depth description of Motley Crue co-founder Nikki Sixx’s drug addiction, specifically heroin, and how he got to rock bottom. There for awhile I was very intrigued by drug addiction and the journey there and back. I read book after book on the subject, anything I could get my hands on really, and I learned a lot. But this book? This book was just too much for me. It’s filled with drugs, sex and alcohol and was very, very depressing. I read it about 5 years ago so it might be better now, but I have no desire to attempt it.

8. Anything after book 11 (Eleven on Top) in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich basically made me want to rip my hair out, but  I read through to book 18 (Explosive Eighteen). I LOVED the entire series up to about book 10, and then I started noticing that every single book was exactly the same with a few different people, and then it started getting out of control. I’m sure it happened well before that, but I honestly didn’t mind up until then. My dad got me hooked on her books and I wanted to badly to finish the entire series but I just couldn’t. I don’t think it helped that I read all of those books within about 4 weeks though… oops.

The Book Thief
The Book Thief

9. I feel a little bad putting this book on the list, but The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak was absolutely terrible for me. It gets such good reviews and it covers a topic that I’m very interested in, but I just could not get into it. It was very boring to me, and did not capture my attention at all. I pushed through as far as I could but honestly? I couldn’t finish it. I’ve tried 3 or 4 times to get into it, but it’s just not going to happen.

10. Melissa Explains It All by Melissa Joan Hart – it was advertised and marketed as being this really awesome tell-all, how she really was sort of a wild child while filming Sabrina but was smart enough to hide it, etc. But the entire thing felt like she was trying way too hard. Talking about trying drugs and smoking and being crazy just to make her sound cool, when really it made her sound old and annoying. I feel like the book was just a desperate attempt for publicity with a show that isn’t doing so hot and a need for money since she hasn’t been in the public eye since Sabrina went off air probably. If she had just been honest, even if her life was boring, it would have been better. Fail for Sabrina.

Kiesha

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke & the Bookish. Check out more Top Ten features on their site. 

 

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

19486412“Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.   But who did what?”
– Goodreads

Big Little Lies follows the lives of three women who are each at a very different point in their lives. Madeline is bat-shit crazy and forty—she craves drama and isn’t afraid to stir the pot to create some. She speaks her mind. She holds grudges. Her ex-husband walked out on her and her newborn daughter, Abigail, fifteen years prior, and she never lets him forget it (that’s right—her ex-husband and his new wife live in the same suburb…and their five-year-old daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s daughter, Chloe).

Single mom Jane is sad, single, and completely closed off from the world. Her five-year-old son Ziggy is in the same kindergarten class as Chloe. Jane is new to Perriwee, and is just figuring out the politics of kindergarten.

Celeste is gorgeous, rich, and has two twin boys (also in kindergarten). She’s often flustered and in her own little world—but who wouldn’t be, with two monsters and tons of money?

The three are friends and grapple with their individual secrets and kindergarten politics.

I love this book. I didn’t think I would at first—there were so many points of view, and sprinkled throughout each chapter were snippets of interviews with parents. The book is centered around a single event—Parent Trivia Night—an annual fundraiser where the parents spend tons of money on the school and dress up. Each section of the book is in relation to this evening, where presumably, after reading the snippets, a murder takes place. Six Months Before Trivia Night, Three Weeks Before Trivia Night, One Day Before Trivia Night, etc.

Though the book is centered around Trivia Night, there is so, so much more to it. So much that I cannot do justice. Throughout the book’s 400-odd pages, I became so attached to each the characters. I love their children, hated their spouses, hated their abusers, disliked the mean mummies at school.

This book was confusing. It was hilarious—probably the funniest book about murder and domestic abuse that I will ever read. I found myself laughing at Moriarty’s wit one moment and cringing the next. The book was fabulous at addressing such a huge, pressing issue like domestic violence and turning it into a beautiful, funny, memorable story.

We all tell ourselves little lies to survive…but just how dangerous are they?

Lauren11

The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

18844839Oh, hell. I hate giving bad reviews, especially on books that most people rave about–I certainly don’t want to put anyone off from reading this book, but it certainly wasn’t for me. I suspect I was an exception.

Disclaimer: I’m all for romance novels. I do enjoy them. I do not enjoy the cheesy kind, though. The ones where the woman only cares about her beloved, only lives for him, only talks and thinks about him. If I read “I’m in love with my best friend!” one more time, I thought I was going to freak out.

I agree with the majority of the Goodreads population that it is a fantastic contemporary take on Greek mythology.

In a nutshell, Medusa, a handmaiden to Athena, is raped by Poseidon and ultimately punished by Athena. This punishment turns Medusa into the myth we’ve all heard of—hair of snakes, eyes that turn men to stone–and she lives in solitude for several thousand years. After a while, her friend, Hermes, petitions the Gods to break the curse and she turns into a regular girl, living in the house of Hades and Persephone while all of the drama between Athena and Poseidon is worked out.

One thing I liked very much about this book was how the author address sexual assault. I’ve read several books where the main character is raped, but emotionally, it doesn’t seem to effect them for more than a few chapters. This book addressed how much it hurt her (even two thousand years later), and how much it effected her relationships with others. It took a lot of self healing for her to get better. There’s also a page in the back of the book that tells sexual assault victims where to go if they need help, which I really appreciated.

I loved that Lyons made Athena a total psycho. I loved that she put a spin on the traditional evil-Medusa story.

I didn’t love the cheesy, horrible love story. It was nauseating, and Hermes was too perfect. In fact, there isn’t a single flaw I can think of. He’s hot, he’s a knight in shining armor, he’s smart, he’s employed, he’s rich…I think the only thing he couldn’t do was write poetry.

In fact, everyone was perfect. Persephone and Aphrodite were so sweet, so sisterly. Bernadette was mean for two seconds, and then became incredibly Grandma-sweet. Jocko was awesome. The only person with some sort of character flaw and depth was Hades, and I appreciated that.

In a nutshell, I did like the first third of the book. I thought I was going to love it as much as all of the other four and five star reviewers…but I didn’t. It fell flat, and I became incredibly bored. Medusa had been so strong for so many years, but the moment her best friend announced his undying love for her, they have a bunch of sex all of the time and she basically fails to stand up for herself until they take a break for a while. Drove me nuts. She could have been an amazingly strong heroine, but she waited for the last three chapters to do so.

I rated it a 3/5 on Goodreads.

Lauren11

Kiesha’s Autumn Reads

Fall is a little more than a week away, and since Lauren already posted her autumn to-read list, I figured I would too! I’m going to go ahead and not be as ambitious as she is, since I’m in school it leaves a lot less time for me to read (in case you hadn’t noticed the lack of posts from me). I’m going to give myself until December 21st, the official start of winter, to get these books finished. I can’t wait to get started!

63986341. (Finish) The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I’m about two chapters in on this book and I AM SO IN LOVE. Every time I read it, I’m texting Lauren telling her she needs to too. There are so many things that speak to me in this, and it all just makes me want to change my life for the better right away. Need to finish, and possibly re-read.

 

 

177429142. Gemini by Carol Cassella

Partial summary from Goodreads: Enlisting the help of her boyfriend, Eric, a science journalist, Charlotte impulsively sets out to uncover Jane Doe’s past. But the closer they get to the truth, the more their relationship is put to the test. It is only when they open their hearts to their own feelings toward each other — and toward life itself — that Charlotte and Eric will unlock Jane Doe’s shocking secret, and prepare themselves for a miracle.

 How could you NOT want to read that?! It gets good reviews and I’ve seen it on a few other book blogs too.

 

184906193. Friendship by Emily Gould

I smell another ‘two review’ on the horizon! This book sounds like just what I need right now: friendship, growing up and growing apart.

 

4. The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson18634726

I’ve heard such great things about this book! I keep reading the summary and reviews over and over so I think it’ll be the first one I cross off this list.

Goodreads summary: Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter’s come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I’ve watched the danger swell.

 

160450015. Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess

I feel like this is Sex and the City but updated, with girls more my age. I am an SATC addict, so this is right up my alley! It’s also much lighter than the others on this list so far so it will give me a good break in between them.

 

 

 6. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

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Lauren recommended this to me quite a while ago and it’s been on my Nook shelf since then but for some reason I keep getting distracted by other books. It’s the first in the series, so I think I will save it until last so I’ll be able to start the next book right away.

Partial Goodreads summary:

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

 

Well, there it is! My list of 6 to be read before December 21st. I’m confident I can do it and these are all books I’m REALLY excited to start.

Kiesha

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

13481275A couple of weeks ago, right before school started, I wanted something light to end the summer with. The book version of a good old fashioned chick flick more or less. I’d had Lost Lake sitting on the shelf of my Nook for months now, just never getting around to reading it, and I wish I had a lot sooner! This book took me away just like every other one by Sarah Addison Allen does.

Lost Lake is about Kate. She’s been “asleep” for the past year since her husband passed away, and she’s finally woken up. Her mother in law has taken over her and her daughter Devin’s lives, telling them what to wear, what to eat, even going as far as selling their home and making all of the plans for Kate and Devin to move in with her. The day that Kate “awakens,” is moving day, and Devin is up in the attic going through a trunk full of old clothes, where she finds a post card from Lost Lake in Suley, Georgia. It turns out that Lost Lake is the site of cottages and land owned by Kate’s Aunt Eby. Kate and Devin decide that moving can wait, and they take a road trip out to see Aunt Eby and find out if Lost Lake is still there. What they end up finding is themselves, and how their lives are meant to be.

I REALLY liked this book. It is definitely not my favorite of Allen’s (that award goes to The Sugar Queen, hands down) but it is definitely up there. I love the writing style and the magic that is always intertwined throughout every book that Sarah writes, and this definitely had that. I would say that the only reason I didn’t like it more, was because I wanted more of Aunt Eby’s story. I rated it 4/5 on Goodreads. Can’t wait for her next book!

Kiesha

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

10964 (1)Where do I even start? I just read a 700+ page book in less than a work week. It wasn’t because I was in a rush to finish it and move on to the next thing—I loved it. And this is coming from someone who isn’t a huge fan or historical fiction or historical romance!

The first 60-70 pages were dreadfully boring. I appreciate scenery, but let’s be real: I wanted to get to the time travel part of the story. I rushed through these and hoped the book would get better.

It did.

It got much better.

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, the first Outlander book follows Claire Randall, a nurse from 1945. While visiting the British Isles with her husband, Frank, she’s transported through time via some magical stones. She’s then in the year 1743 and is suddenly an outlander. She meets Jamie Fraser, and is torn between two time periods and two men.

This is one of the best series I’ve read—and I’ve read a lot. It pulled me in, painted vivid scenes, and left me sad when I reached the end (though I did let out a groan when I saw there are eight whole books in the series).

There was a lot of emotionally intense sex in this book. Actually, a lot of sex, period. The characters would do it anywhere, anytime, in front of people, in private, whatever. There were several rape-y scenes (her husband wanted to have sex, she said no, they did it anyway—that’s spousal rape).

I think the book could have been about 200 pages shorter, as there was quite a bit of fluff and filler stories of the past. I get the historical bit, but it was super boring in many parts. The last third of the book was my favorite, and I lost a lot of sleep powering through it because I wanted to know what happened.

Claire and Jamie are a phenomenal couple. I’ve been putting up with lackluster couples for a while—the shallow, known-you-for-five-minutes type. Though their marriage starts out in a way neither of them planned, they worked through it and developed a deep, strong relationship.

I made a mistake halfway through reading, though. I remembered that Starz was doing a TV adaptation of the book, and I wanted to see who they cast for Jamie and Claire. Such a terrible mistake. The actors they cast are completely unlike the Jamie/Claire of my imagination, and I was confused for the rest of the book—I couldn’t help but bounce between picturing my version of them and the “real life” version.

In all, I rated it a 5/5 on Goodreads and would highly recommend. I need to finish the rest of my fall list before I read the rest of the series, but I will definitely be reading the other books in the series.

Lauren11

Epic of Palins (#1 and #2) by Elizabeth Vaughan

1810286Well, let me start by saying I didn’t finish the series, despite the misleading post title. But we’ll get to that.

I started with Dagger Star. I recently finished the Warlands series by Vaughan, and I loved it. I figured I’d love another Vaughan novel, too.

I didn’t. Maybe my hopes were too high, or maybe I was comparing it to her other series. Regardless.

I did finish Dagger Star, the first book. It wasn’t terrible, but I didn’t love it. While I enjoyed the depth of Red Gloves, the main character, I felt that the other characters fell short and flat. Lord Josiah was a random love interest who Red Gloves forced to bed (though he fell in love with her and was totally cool when she murdered his ex-girlfriend). Gloriana was a whiny brat who miraculously hopped on Red’s side after a short talk, and the Regent wasn’t explained well. I do enjoy Vaughan’s writing style, but the plot and story fell short for me. I rated it 2/5 on Goodreads.

I didn’t finish White Star, the second book in the trilogy. I just couldn’t. It was boring, the main character (different from the first book—this one follows Priestess Evelyn) fell in love with the bad boy, Lord Orrin, way too quickly (she was kidnapped and developed a serious case of Stockholm Syndrome reallll quick). I got 100 pages in and had to quit. As with the former book, the plot was flat and fell short. 1/5 on Goodreads.

In conclusion, this series was nothing like the Warlands series.

Lauren11

Lauren’s Autumn Reads

I’m currently struggling through a book I’m not thrilled with (it’s not quite to the ‘didn’t finish’ stage—I’m too far in), so I thought I would think positively and look toward the future: the books I want to read this fall.

In my world, fall begins September 1st, though in everyone else’s it’s typically at the equinox (September 23rd, folks). I have pumpkin spice wax cubes in the Scentsy dish, cinnamon-apple Glade cones in every corner, and have sipped my first Pumpkin Spice Latte. Once the temperatures drop below 75, my scarves, boots, and leggings are ready to be wiggled into.

My favorite fall activity is sitting in a cozy coffee shop, reading a book. With that in mind, here are my eight ‘to-read’ choices for this fall:

122627411. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

People seem pretty 50/50 on this book—some are inspired by Cheryl, and others are annoyed by her. I enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love, so I might enjoy this book.

Partial Goodreads summary: A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again. 

To me, fall is very much a ‘self discovery’ period, where I get back in touch with myself and where I’m going. This will fit into that theme.

194864122. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Kiesha read The Husband’s Secret and loved it, and I think this one looks intriguing as well. The reviews it has received so far seem pretty positive and highly rated, so I’m excited to check it out.

Partial summary from Goodreads: Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
  A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?  
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.   But who did what?

3171593. Nearlyweds by Beth Kendrick

As a newlywed, I think the plot sounds interesting—and totally fluffy. It’s about three newlyweds who discover that their marriage paperwork was never filed, meaning for the past year, they weren’t legally married. Do they stay in their marriage? Do they skip the messy divorce part and go? They say the first year of marriage is the most difficult.

I don’t have high hopes for this book, but it might be a nice break from the other “heavy” books I’ve chosen.

109644. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Someone from work recommended this book to me, and since then, I’ve heard tons of good things about it. I understand that there is a sexual/domestic violence to the book, which I don’t think will bother me too much as long as I view it in the historical context that it’s written in.

Outlander is about a former combat nurse who is hurled back in time to 1743, leaving the life she knows behind.

It’s been on my Nook for awhile, so this might be the next book I tackle.

188448395. The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

Summary from Goodreads: Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard.

I love the concept of a fairy tale/myth flipped around, and this sounds fabulous. Hermes, one of Medusa’s few friends, shows up unexpectedly and petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to break the curse. “Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.” Sounds fantastic to me!

184906196. Friendship by Emily Gould

It’s been a while since I’ve read a good book that is centered around friendship, and I think that Friendship (you think?!) may be the ticket.

Bev and Amy have been friends forever—they’re now thirty and at a crossroads. Bev is pregnant, drowning in student loan debt, living with roommates, etc. Amy is cruising through live on her luck and charm. Both are realizing it’s time to grow up, even if that means growing apart.

56324467. (Finish) Columbine by Dave Cullen

I started this book months ago, and I’m having a hard time finishing it. Partly because I’m getting distracted by fiction, and partly because it’s a difficult book to read. It’s very…psychotic. It provides an intense look into one of the most famous school shootings in the United States: the Columbine shooting.

Cullen is a fantastic writer, and his writing style alone makes this book an amazing read. It’s a book that took ten years to write, and provides an all-around view of what happened on April 20, 1999.

1287558. Cross Bones (Temperance Brennan #8) by Kathy Reichs

I absolutely love this series. I enjoy Reichs’ writing style, and I love the character development and forensic science in the books. It’s a night and day difference between the show—in fact, it doesn’t even feel the same! The only similarity between the two is the main character’s name and occupation.

I’ve been reading this series for the last year at my mother-in-law’s recommendation, and I haven’t been disappointed. Some books are more exciting and gripping than others, and #7 turned me off for a little while. I like to spread these books out between other books I’m reading, rather than read one after another.

I have until November 1st to finish this list—NaNoWriMo is in November, and I’ll be beating away at my keyboard to reach 50,000 words. Any recommendations? Leave them in the comments!

Lauren11

Chronicles of the Warlands 1-4 by Elizabeth Vaughan

78070After reading Stolen Songbird, falling in love with it, and then realizing I would have to wait until spring for book two—well, I was looking for a fantasy series with more than one book. I wanted several. I’m a total binge reader (obviously) and a series? A series is awesome. A series is the best. So, after perusing Fantasy recommendations on Goodreads, I stumbled across Elizabeth Vaughan’s Warprize. After reading through the reviews, I realized that Warprize seemed to be on of those books where people either loved it or hated it.

So I rolled with it.

And I fell into the first camp, finishing Warprize in one day. The story is about Xylara, a healer (who happens to be a princess) who heals the prisoners of war. She learns their language, and establishes a relationship with them, realizing they’re not the firebreathing Firelander monsters she thought they were.

In a mission of peace, their Warlord comes forward to sign a treaty with Lara’s brother, the king. In exchange for peace, the Warlord requests Lara for his Warprize. Her brother agrees, and she’s sent to live with the enemy.

Without giving too much away, the rest of the series focuses on the relationships she fosters with the Firelanders, how her healing ability is perceived and used, and so much more.

I really enjoyed the way the world was constructed—it was full of rich detail and complex characters. Vaughan did a great job at paying attention to the side characters and their respective stories and personalities.

I’m not a sex-crazy reader or anything, but I did find the sex scenes to be random. Some were very vivid, and others merely hinted at what was going on. Some consistency would have been good. The build-up to each scene led me to believe it would be very erotic, but that wasn’t the case (for most of the time).

I was definitely in love with the first two books in the series—Warprize and Warsworn (both recieved 5/5 on Goodreads). The last two–Warlord and Warcry–were good, but not as good. They received 4/5.

I enjoyed Vaughan’s writing, and I think I’ll definitely read the other two books she has written.

Lauren11