Sins and Needles by Karina Halle ($2.99)
S&N is the first in a series by Karina Halle, and I was hesitant to dig in. The other Rebels had been raving about them for some time but there was something in the cover art that kept turning me off. That combined with the title had me thinking it was going to go in more sadistic directions then it really did. Don’t get me wrong – Ellie and Camden do some crazy stuff – but it’s all above board. The storyline was real and gritty and the attraction between Ellie and Camden was intense and palpable. Their backgrounds were believable and their reactions realistic (which is a necessity if I’m not reading my normal genre of fantasy).
Ellie has lived a life on the run and she’s found herself back in her hometown, where she runs into Camden, someone she thought she’d walked away from a long time ago. As things start to heat up between them, Ellie can’t keep her old ways in check and ends up trying to make one last score. The problem is Camden saw it coming and has some surprises in store for her. I can guarantee you’ll be one-click happy on the other books as soon as you finish S&A. It’s inevitable. Halle sucks you in and leaves you craving the rest of their story.
Theresa had recommended Left Drowning to me months ago and I gobbled it up. I actually ended up crying, shoved between two large men, on a plane while I finished it. They might have been uncomfortable – I didn’t notice. So I downloaded FOL but again, there was just something about both the cover and the back blurb that had me thinking, “Really, why do I want to read this? It doesn’t sound anything like Left Drowning.” But I did it anyway and I was blown away.
Jessica Park doesn’t mince words. She will rip your heart out and stomp on it, then slowly stitch it back together as she secretly ties you to her characters. She writes with abandon, using jokes and words that sometimes you have to look up to fully get the humor, but challenging you to actually think while you read. She doesn’t write for the lowest common denominator, she writes for people who devour words and hunger for real storytelling. And she tells stories about love and heartache and choices. She uncovers the parts of lives most people try to keep hidden and she shows you that it’s okay to be broken.
Not only did I read Flat-Out Love, but Flat-Out Matt was instantly downloaded and Flat-Out Celeste may be one of my favorite books.
I don’t normally do zombies. I’m pretty easily grossed out and the whole apocalyptic thing just isn’t really for me. But I trust Rachel Higginson and she wrote it. I was hesitant, but the L&D episodes come out in novellas and I was knee-deep in writing my own book so it was nice to be able to sit down and read 30 pages, have the story “complete” and walk away. I thought it would be a nice distraction, I didn’t think I would end up saving up three or four episodes at a time because I was SO HOOKED and I couldn’t bear to only have 30 pages of time with my new favorite characters.
Rachel writes a story that is unique, with a dynamic cast of characters that each has their own distinct personality and background. She allows you to visit the heads of multiple characters, giving us some alternate POV episodes and makes even the nastiest, grossest, most disgusting zombie fights something you still can’t pull your eyes away from. You are torn between loving and hating certain characters and when each episode ends you’re still not positive if you’re completely sure about whose team you’re on. All I’m saying is that you’ve got to at least give L&D a shot.
Do you have any books you didn't expect to like but ended up loving?? Share in the comments.
And don't forget, my book - Bound by Duty - is out NOW! At time of posting it already has 38 5-star reviews. People are loving it, so it might be one to consider - even if fantasy isn't your thing. :)