First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First Comes Love was a nice little surprise. I have to admit, I have put off this book mainly because of the cover – I’m not a huge fan. Since reading the character descriptions, it really doesn’t work for me. Despite that, the book quickly drew me in with some wonderful characters and a good story.
Gray is a closed off guy who happens to be taking classes at the Mesa Community College when he crosses paths with Dylan. Mostly he notices her because she is doing something odd and is very different from the “typical” Phoenix girl. Out of curiosity more than anything else, Gray approaches Dylan and so begins the start of their relationship.
I loved Gray – yes he is moody and cynical but it was what made him such a great character. He and his family have experienced a horrible tragedy and because of it, he decided it was easier to put up walls and withdraw. It was wonderful to see the shift in him throughout the novel and his growth was perfectly done. Add to this a man who listens to good music and can play the guitar and I’m sold.
I liked Dylan as well and the way she approached everything was refreshing. I just didn’t understand why…yes there was the paragraph about how she grew up in a small town but I wanted more information about why she felt the need to wander so much. Even the conversation Gray had with Dylan’s mother implied something more was there but I didn’t get to hear her story as much…and I wanted to.
The book switches between Gray’s and Dylan’s point of views and Kacvinsky does a great job of bringing the reader into the minds of both characters. Dylan spends a lot of time trying to break down Gray’s walls and Gray spends a lot of time trying to figure her out. Over time, they get to the point where they are seeing each other constantly and realize they are more than just friends.
This was a quick read with an engaging story. I will definitely be picking up book two in this series to see how things go with Gray and Dylan. If you haven’t read this one yet, definitely check it out.
Rift by Andrea Cremer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. It mixes historical aspects with the paranormal. I think this is the second book that I intended to read much earlier than I did and found myself wondering what took me so long.
Ember is a 16 year old girl that is looking for a way to get away from the life she was born into. Her father is looking to marry her off to expand his power/control and all she wants is to get away. I really liked this character. She is tough, scrappy and smart but she still doubts herself and shows some flaws. I found myself completely invested in who she was and what was happening with her.
Alistair…at first I supported him but man… he got on my nerves at the end. I am curious to see what happens with him as I don’t trust him or Eira AT ALL. Things are not going to go well (even though I’m not sure what the heck is going to happen) but I have a feeling she is going to do something to stab him in the back. Based on my updates, you may see that I really disliked her…
But I went off track there.
Barrow…love him. It is clear he struggles with his feelings for Ember. In my opinion he is the perfect mix of strong and silent yet once he gets past his struggle, he is passionate and not afraid to tell her he loves her. Can you tell…I love the romance/happy ending.
So – the characters were great! There were a lot but they all play a critical part to the progression of the story. Kael, Agnes (what’s going on with her??), Lukasz, Eira, Barrow.
Overall – great book and if you enjoy a story that has a bit of mystery, some paranormal aspects, a great main character and broody love interest..this is the book for you. This will stay on my favorites list and I will probably come back to this if I have to wait too long for book 2.
I really liked this prequel series and have read that this is the last book before the series jumps to Nightshade. I really would like and appreciate one more book…I felt this one ended so abruptly.
This book focuses on the aftermath of what happens after the group decides to leave the keep and Lady Eira. So much happens in this book and there is so much room for more. I loved seeing the relationship progress between Ember and Barrow. Honestly, Alistair is somewhat of a nutjob and his obsession with Ember was crazy. He actually moves from obsessing only about Ember to a “project” that will have a huge impact on the war between the Conatus guards and Lady Eira.
I won’t go into everything that happens as a whole lot does truly go down. There is a lot of intrigue, magic, danger and some romantic tension.
I have recently read the Nightshade series and I might have been a bit less disappointed in that series if I hadn’t read these books first. I was hoping for more information around what happened between the end of this book and The Nightshade books but who knows, maybe Cremer will take pity on me or feel the need to tell more about the evolution of the wolves. Also, I wouldn’t turn down more stories related to Ember and Barrow.