During February, I ended up reading the same amount of books I did in January which was around three. Even though I wanted to read more, other things decided to get in the way of my reading time. My overall reading goal for 2014 is to read 40 books, so at least I’m keeping up with my goal.

I’m still reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline because I ended up reading two other books. It has taken me quite a while to get back to reading this story, but I plan on finishing Ready Player One in March.

*All descriptions for books taken from Goodreads and all descriptions for movies taken from IMDb.

Ravens – Kaylie Austen
Genre – Young Adult/Paranormal
My Rating – ★★½

What are Ravens, and are they as the world wants us to believe—sinister and without human qualities? When abruptly taken from their world, select humans are transformed into creatures of the night with penetrating eyes and uncanny abilities that most believe are a threat to mankind. Stripped from their mundane and ordinary lives, these creatures have no choice but to stalk the night and fight back in order to survive.

One such Raven is eighteen-year-old Liam, who uses his telepathy to communicate with Kendra in order to lure her into the transformation. It proves to be a double-edged gambit that turns into a tumultuous journey. Racing against time to save her sister, whom she believed to be dead, Kendra falls through a portal and into a parallel world where humans hunt her. She becomes a Raven with ill-controlled powers, trapped in a torrid affair with Liam, and desperately struggles to find a grip on her new reality.

Review: Ever since I finished Ravens, I’ve been trying to decide what to rate it. Let me just say that I went in thinking it was about actual ravens, as you can see from my TBR post. I felt like an idiot when the story was about beings known as ravens. This fact didn’t affect my rating because after I found out, I accepted it and moved on with the story. I enjoyed the beginning, and the book had a good premise. However, I had a few problems with it. I wanted some things explained more such as the world, the ravens, and the hunters. I felt like I could have learned a lot more about each to really pull the story together. There were also aspects that I found a little bit unnecessary such as Randal’s point of view. It just seemed unneeded. Some of the conversations didn’t flow that well, and Kendra seemed rather calm when Liam was explaining the parallel universes. Overall, I was excited to read this book, but I was disappointed with it. I do want to read some of her other books though.

The Sheik’s Defiant Fiancée – Elizabeth Lennox
Genre – Romance
My Rating – ★★

Laila knew in her heart that marriage should be for love, not for duty. Her union with Sheik Jabril would help improve and maintain political stability in her country, as well as bring the people of her province honor and pride. And Jabril was certainly easy on the eyes. He was tall, built like an Olympian, and exuded power and masculinity. But the man was a player of the worst sort, with mistresses all over the world! She realizes that she cannot say no to the Sheik of Surisia, so she respectfully requests that they treat their marriage like the business arrangement that it is. His response? He kisses her! Through that kiss, he demonstrates that he will not accept anything less than her full acquiescence, but she also discovers that his passion and physical presence stir something within her that she cannot control.

Their first public event together convinces Jabril that he made an excellent choice for a wife. She is not only stunningly beautiful, but smart and socially adept. She will be a worthy partner to rule his kingdom, and to share his bed! Her trembling response to his touch excites him, but her suggestion that they essentially live separate lives confounds and amuses him. There is no way he will allow that. The intensity of their first kiss lingers in his memory and he will not relent until he has experienced all she can give. He wants her in his bed, every night. And he will have her!

Review: I started this book in between reading Ready Player One, mainly, because I just added it to my tablet. It was a very short story. It felt as if it was a novella, and I’m not sure if that was the intention. There wasn’t any character development and hardly an characterization. Throughout the story, I had a hard time understanding why Laila was pushing Jabril away. I mean I know the initial reason was because she believed he was a player, but once he tells her the truth, she doesn’t really give much reason to keep pushing. It also felt as if the story wasn’t developed enough. I ended up not caring about what happened to the characters because they’re not memorable. Others may like The Sheik’s Defiant Fiancée, but it wasn’t for me.

Beyond – Graham McNamee
Genre – Young Adult/Horror
My Rating – ★★★

Jane is not your typical teen. She and her best friend Lexi call themselves the Creep Sisters. Only Lexi knows why Jane is different from anyone else: Her own shadow seems to pull her into near-fatal accidents. Jane is determined to find out why these terrifying things happen, and to overcome her shadow enemy. Her sleuthing with Lexi connects her own horrors to the secret history of a serial killer.

Review: I enjoyed Beyond for being a unique ghost story. Even though, I haven’t read that many ghost stories. I felt the visions Jane had were pretty accurate and well described. By accurate I mean, when she was experiencing them, she reacted how someone would feel and act in real life. Jane was an enjoyable protagonist that was easy to root for. She has a lot of near-death experiences that the reader will need to expand his/her disbelief for. It made me wonder how she kept surviving. There are a few more moments where it’s hard to believe, but it sort of adds to the ghost story. Jane and Lexi’s friendship was nice, and it seemed believable. Overall, I liked the plot of the story and the idea behind the shadow. I did want the story to be a little scarier and it didn’t end how I would have liked, but it was entertaining. Beyond is worth reading.

What About Bob?
Rating – PG
My Rating – ★★★★

A successful psychiatrist loses his mind after one of his most dependent patients, a highly manipulative obsessive-compulsive, tracks him down during his family vacation.

Review: What About Bob? is a really enjoyable film. There were quite a few laugh out loud moments. It really lives up to the comedy genre because it was funny without being dumb, which a lot of movies have been doing for cheap laughs. There was a lot of good character development, and the characters were enjoyable. It was interesting how none of the characters were annoying. It would have been really easy to make any of them irritating, but they were all portrayed well. All character actions seemed justified and made the characterization even better. I loved the ending because it was funny and ironic. It took me a while to watch this movie, and I’m glad I finally did. It’s definitely worth a watch.

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