ARC: Black Diamond by Ali Dean

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

It’s not a place for the weak.

No one here tolerates wimps.

If you can’t handle it, leave.

Welcome to Stark Springs, Colorado, home to the most talented young athletes in the world. 

When Roxie Slade snaps into a pair of skis, there’s no one on Sugarville Mountain in Vermont who can keep up with her. Not even the boys. Still, Roxie was shocked when she received a scholarship to Stark Springs Academy, a boarding school that churns out Olympians in each graduating class. Entering as a high school junior, Roxie can’t wait to learn from renowned coaches and train with the fastest ski racers from all over the globe. But, upon arrival, Roxie discovers that Stark Springs lives under its own set of rules, and it appears one boy plays dictator. 

Ryker Black is not friendly and Roxie cannot fathom why everyone wants to be his friend. Sure, he’s gorgeous and rides a snowboard like it’s his fifth limb, but he’s cold, ruthless, and holds way too much power over the Stark Springs population. Roxie won’t put up with it. She’s here to train, and she doesn’t care about impressing anyone off the slopes. The only problem? Ryker Black doesn’t permit defiance. Not without consequences.

My Review

I am not that particular on my books, but I usually prefer those with characters that are strong, independent and outspoken compared to damsel-in-distress-I-need-to-be-saved kind of girls. And Roxanne Slade is definitely the former – a fighter! That just makes this story more enjoyable. It’s a kind of book you would want to read on a cold winter day, with hot chocolate on your hand. The story has a relaxing vibe into it yet each word strikes me with emotions of each scenes effectively. Emotions are portrayed well through each words and the story seems to be playing live in front of me. I guess Ali Dean has that knack of making her characters feel so alive. 

I like Roxanne’s spirit, and Ryker lack of it in a way(?), making them a really good couple. There’s this chemistry in them like Brangelina. Haha! Seriously, they’re the first couple that came out of my mind to compare. But there’s something more to it. After reading, it feels like I know Roxanne her whole life, and Ryker, I have accepted, will always be a mystery.
“Ryker Black cannot have dimples. It’s wrong. And right. Too right.”

I guess knowing more about him will be too much for both my heart and Roxie. Haha!

Roxanne’s actions are consistent with what her character is, same goes with Ryker I guess. What I’m saying here is as a whole story, all bases are covered for their characters. But honestly, I feel like I haven’t gotten the whole story yet. I am just about to put my feet crossed up in the table saying “this is going tooo beeee gooooooood” when I realized I’m already 80 percent done, and I really started panicking! It feels like the story has just started and I’m nearing the end? I wanted to know more how Roxie and Ryker’s relationship will go, know more about Ryker and all the mysteries behind him and read a lot more! So what’s the worst about this book? It’s that is has to end so soon.

As for other characters, I want to frankly say that I do not like Monica. She’s been too afraid and can’t even stand up for Roxie. Ingrid is okay and the Vermont friends are much cooler. I am not sure how the second book will go but if it is a sequel, I hope their characters will develop more especially Brad. Cody and Player didn’t had the limelight as well, for the few scenes they have, I could see them as supporting and loyal friends, and I hope to hear or rather read more about them. 

Everealm by J.D Wright

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Summary Plot

After the death of his father, the King of Junacave, Breestlin is crowned the new queen. Trying hard to be the good monarch for the kingdom, just like her father, Breestlin has her hands full. But with the return of her past love -- Rowan, the search for a new wizard for her kingdom’s protection and his father’s half-brother trying to take the kingdom away from her, Breestlin seems to need more than a pair of hands.


A captivating story with the perfect touch of humor.

Honestly speaking, I got intrigued by its title, Everealm. It reminds me of a certain book I love (Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta.) As the story goes, I grew enjoying it. Bree and Rowan‘s story is interesting. A princess and the knight growing up together. However, I find the side stories distracting. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sid, Dagan, and Finn. But I just feel like their stories should be written separately as they are taking the spotlight away from Bree and Rowan. I like Bree and Rowan’s story, but with everything else going on (even the Queen Mother’s love life!) side stories became a bit distracting and it feels like Bree and Rowan’s story was not fully developed. Regardless of this, I still find the whole book enjoyable, especially Bree and Finn’s banter. I am team Browan of course, but I just find the camaraderie of these two very entertaining. 

It’s a new world the author have successfully portrayed. And with the characters in it, it became real for the readers in the period of time that we are reading it. I know there’s so much more that is going to happen in the Junacave (how do you even pronounce this???) and I am sensing a big secret is about to be revealed… oh my, there will be more trouble in paradise I guess. I am excited to read the next books. :D