Blog Tour | Review | Roomies by Lindy Zart

Roomies
By: Lindy Zart
Publication Date: November 21, 2014
Genres: New Adult Adult, Rom-Com

*I received free ARCs of Roomies from in exchange of an honest review.

Blurb

Graham Malone is my roommate, my personal eye candy, the reason I get up in the morning smiling (that could be from the illicit dreams I have about him too, I suppose. Let’s move on.). He’s also beautiful to look at, but his heart is where his true beauty lies. Take away the exterior and the interior still shines.
I love him. I mean, I’m pretty sure I do, having never been in love before. Anyway, it seems legit.
And now his brother Blake is here, and, well, he’s the complete opposite of Graham. Sarcastic, brooding, and totally available. But he’s leaving soon, and Graham’s the one I want. I shouldn’t have to remind myself of this, right? I wouldn’t have to if Blake would quit looking at me like I’m something yummy and he’s starving.
Here’s a toast to roomies; the ones you should never fall in love with. Or something.
*~*
I loved this book. Without a doubt. Then again, I tend to love everything that Lindy Zart writes. This book was refreshing and fun. This was a stress-free read that hit many high notes. I understand Kennedy’s language and have a Graham of my own, so this was even more enjoyable to read on my end.

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 5/5 Stars
Love me some Lindy Zart characters. They are always so well thought out and complex. Even the less important characters have a great story. There’s something great about a story that every character could have their own spin-off. Anywho – Kennedy is blunt with an excellent tongue-in-cheek way of thinking and speaking about the world. She’s lived with Graham for the last two years and is madly in love with him. Instead of flinging herself at him, she hides behind her wit. Graham is quiet and polite, with a dash of Kennedy’s sarcasm and wit. They’re pretty opposite of one another. In comes Blake, mixing things up a bit. Blake is wonderful. Ha. Both of the guys are. I love how they all play off each other and really drive this story along.

Dialogue – 5/5 Stars
There were very few moments when I wasn’t laughing out loud at Roomies. The witty banter between Kennedy and any other character simply threw me into fits of giggles. Words tend to just fall from her lips in the same way mine do, so I get it. All of the characters have their own speaking style and attitude that is well conveyed in their conversations. My favorite moments were those between Kennedy and either of the Malone brothers.

Plot – 5/5 Stars
Roommates shouldn’t date. It’s, like, the golden rule. It could ruin everything. Besides, there is no way that Kennedy’s feelings are reciprocated. Right? I adore that there is SO much more to this story than what appears on the surface. It has all of the right ingredients to make this a winner: great characters, witty dialogue, a bit if angst, a lot of humor, and conflict. Oh, and attractive guys don’t hurt this story either.

Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Zart does well with the imagery in this story, though there is definitely more emphasis on Kennedy’s wit and the dialogue. That’s perfectly fine. There were some excellent moments, such as anything occurring in the podiatrist’s office where Kennedy works.

Ending 4.5/5 Stars
The ending has the perfect amount of closure, while still leaving the story open to a sequel. There’s a lot to be said about endings, especially in Zart’s books. Always reliable and never disappointing.

My Favorite Quotes: (Please keep in mind that these are from the ARC, so they may have changed slightly.)

“Your crazy makes my crazy make sense.”

“A cool wind plays with my hair, making me think it might have a thing for me. I hug myself against its advances.”

Total: 23.5/25 Stars

R3.jpgYou can connect with Lindy at:Twitter.com/LindyZart
Facebook.com/LindyZart
Lindyzartauthor.blogspot.com
Amazon.com/author/lindyzartListen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com
Get an ebook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com
*~*
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Book Review: The Unicorn Girl by M.L. Legette

The Unicorn Girl CoverThe Unicorn Girl
By: M.L. Legette
Copyright: 2008
Format of Book: E-Book

Synopsis from Amazon
Leah Vindral is suffocating–trapped in her own skin.
In a land where magic is feared, magic saved her from death … but it came with a terrible price. Marked forever, she is shunned and isolated by those she loves most.a
Brimming with bitter rage at those who abandoned her, Leah flees from her childhood home only to be swept into an impending war: Mora, a wicked witch, has been imprisoned for years, waiting like a spider in the folds of her web for the chance to regain the powers once stripped from her. It is there, while she waits, that she learns of a strange young girl … a girl who can speak to unicorns.
Now Leah must save the country that shuns her, for if Mora returns to power, all will be lost. But can Leah, who is so frightened and confused herself, find the strength to save them all?”

I purchased this book from Amazon while it was free at the end of July and I was immediately struck at how beautiful the cover is. There is a simplicity in the pencil drawing, but it draws you in. I was highly impressed by the amazing descriptions from the get-go; I felt a sensory connection as I was reading, which isn’t always easy to accomplish! And now… for the breakdown:

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 3.5/5 Stars
Character building in this story was effective. I got the creepy, desperate impression of the witch from the very beginning; the insecure-in-her-own-skin, innocent persona from Leah; and the protective, noble vibe from her father – to name a few.

Each character has an obvious role from the start, though Leah’s is a bit more foggy until a little later. Leah is an only child who is born into a wealthy family. She is pale, small, and has straight, black hair and large green eyes. She’s also a bit of a klutz. I enjoyed watching Leah grow a little more as a character, though I would have liked to see more of an internal monologue during the bigger plot-points.

Without giving anything away, my favorite character in this story is Ian. He’s adorable, loving, and a bit mysterious.

Another character I love doesn’t speak, but she’s quite important – Iris, Leah’s older white horse.  Might be because I love horses, or because she is a well-developed character – you know, for an animal.

Dialogue  –  3/5 Stars
This book has a LOT of visual imagery (see below) with less dialogue. This isn’t an issue, but there also wasn’t as much to base my rating on. The dialogue helps the story move along, though it isn’t a stand-out. I do love the use of dialect in Ian’s lines; he’s endearing and fun, which is obvious throughout his dialogue with the characters he comes across.

Plot  –  3.5/5 Stars
I found the plot to be clever, but not overly in-your-face. There were points where I felt there wasn’t a lot going on, but others felt well-placed. The only qualm I have is that the heavier plot points felt rushed. I wanted more detail about what was happening, why, and what would be next; all of this felt brushed over during the more important portions.

Visual Imagery  –  5/5 Stars!
Please notice the 5 stars. This is not something I typically do, but I was hooked from the very first few paragraphs. Legette captivates her readers through her brilliant imagery. This is more than definitely her wheelhouse and I love the description of the witch right in the beginning. Legette leaves no stone unturned and I had no difficulty seeing the amazing halls of Willow’s Manor or the rolling countryside or the ominous mountains.

Ending  3/5 Stars
As mentioned previously, there were points in this novel that I wish had been more developed and less rushed. The ending tied everything up quite nicely and there was no cliffhanger, thank goodness. But I found myself wanting far more. The story opened with an introduction/prologue of sorts, so it may have helped the balance to have a closer/epilogue. Regardless, this did not hinder the story. I enjoyed the ending.

Total: 18/25 Stars

Why read this book?
If you enjoy Young Adult Fantasy, this is the book for you. There are intriguing characters and creatures, along with imagery to die for. I would definitely read another by M.L. Legette.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

Book Review: Markings by S.B. Roozenboom

Markings by S.B. RoozenboomMarkings
By: S.B. Roozenboom
Copyright: 2013
Format of Book: E-Book

Celina Bayberry is your run-of-the-mill teenager – angsty, stubborn, insecure, and awkward. She’s uncomfortable in her own skin, works part-time at the wildlife reserve near her home, and meets Aaron, an attractive and strange guy who seems to turn up around every corner. Overnight, things start happening to her that she can’t explain. She quickly learns that there’s something bigger going on.

“The air still carried that aroma of earth, wood, blood. Mostly blood now…” (Sentence from Preface.)

Overall, I found this Young Adult book to be a fun read. It is fast-paced and age-appropriate. Something that really pulled me in was the amazing cover design! Kudos to Steven Novak!

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 3/5 Stars
Celina (Lina, for short) is decently written, though I found her character lacked substance. Her stubborn, man-bashing ways became repetitive, though I did like her growth from the beginning of the novel to the end. I would have liked to see her a little more developed, though I anticipate that when a sequel does come out, there will be more elaboration on her.

I found Aaron, Lina’s coworker in the shelter, to be amusing, confident, imperfect, and loyal. He adds a nice opposition to Lina, giving a bit of variety to her surface personality.

The “bad guys” are really well created. They have the right bit of ooze and ick, balanced with a hint of slickness.

I also love Celina’s cats – Chubby, Harry, Snowella and Albert.

Dialogue  –  3/5 Stars
The dialogue in Markings is realistic, but it doesn’t really stand out. It helps drive the story and move the reader from Point A to Point B and beyond, but I’d have liked a bit more substance. While the story wasn’t heavy on impressive dialogue, I did enjoy the banter between Aaron and Lina, as well as the creepy quality of the “bad guys.”

Plot  –  4/5 Stars
I’m a sucker for anything paranormal that relates to vampires, shifters or witches. In this case, there’s the shifter element. I think that Roozenboom built this story off a great idea and there’s quite a bit of intrigue around the unknown. If I could choose any animal to shift into, I’d probably find myself turning into a cat of some sort.

Visual Imagery  –  4/5 Stars
Description is definitely Roozenboom’s strong suit. Set in Oregon’s Wildcat Country, there were high expectations  for imagery and they were lived up to. Between the images of animals at the shelter, clothing choices of the characters (who doesn’t love a little sparkle?) and other descriptions that help drive the plot along – Markings paints a really great picture of the world Celina Bayberry is living in. It definitely helps that the cover is so striking!

Ending  2.5/5 Stars
I wanted more from the ending. There was a great build-up to the final scene, but I felt there could have been more. It felt abrupt and rushed.  Despite this, I can’t wait until the next book in this series comes out. This is a story I latched onto and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Total: 16.5/25 Stars

Why read this book?
If you like YA paranormal romance, this is your book. Between the great imagery and the fun plot, this is a quick read. There’s a character in this story for everyone, so give it a chance!

**Fun Fact: I’ve also read S.B. Roozenboom’s other two novels and I enjoyed those, as well! Take a look. 🙂

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?