Romancing Mini-Reviews: ‘Texting’ Series by Teagan Hunter

Last week I posted my review for the first book in Teagan Hunter’s Texting series: Let’s Get Textual. This weekend I binged on the rest of the series and decided to share mini-reviews for the remaining three books. I was really in the mood for some romantic comedies this weekend and this series definitely fulfilled the funny and romance needs and I would highly recommend it if you don’t mind books that are also a little bit on the steamier side 😉

Goodreads: I Wanna Text You Up (Texting #2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

When I put up a ROOMMATE WANTED poster, he was the last person on earth I thought would respond. He was also the last person on earth I’d agree to let live with me…on purpose. But, here we are⁠—roommates. I’m certain we can coexist without it being awkward, and I’m determined to make it work. There will be no sexual tension building with each accidental touch, no flutters when he wears that stupid backward baseball cap, and definitely no flirting when we text back and forth.

Caleb Mills can’t be the guy for me. He’s my best friend’s ex-boyfriend.
And that would be wrong…right?

The second book in Teagan Hunter’s Texting series was no less cute and funny as her first! I fell in love with both Zoe and Caleb’s characters when they were introduced in book one and I’m so glad that we finally got their stories — although I was initially surprised to learn that they end up together! They were a very sweet and wholesome couple though and I enjoyed their journey from roommates, friends and eventual lovers. I continued to love Zoe’s fresh and spunky attitude. She was so easy going and it wasn’t difficult to like her character. Caleb was a total sweetheart and my heart absolutely broke for him in this story. He has a much darker past than I expected, I jumped right on that bandwagon thinking he was the typical boy-next-door jock type (just wholesome), but his past and family history was sad to read about. They were so wholesome and this was much more of a slow burn than I anticipated. Their chemistry was undeniable and the steam in this would be a 3 out of 5 on the steamy scale! The one thing I missed in this book was seeing more of Delia and Zach but obviously it’s not their story anymore so they wouldn’t play as much of a role… I missed their hilarious banter though!

Goodreads: Can’t Text This (Texting #3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

“Hi Monty. Wanna see my python?”
That’s how I ended up in the bathroom of some dive bar with a stranger.
Me, Monty Andrews, the quintessential virgin girl next door.
I was so out of my element, but there was no denying our explosive attraction, even via text.
Commence Operation Bang Each Other Out of Our Systems, because that was all it was⁠—unfinished business. I had no intention of falling back into the sheets with the tattooed, muscly, dirty-in-the-best-kind-of-way single dad over and over again…but I did.
Everything was going great—until we discovered I was his son’s teacher.

Did I simultaneously cringe so hard and laugh my ass off reading that pick up line? Yes. Yes, I did. I can’t deny the cheese factor is high in this one but I think I’ve discovered my second fave book in the series! This was super fun, super steamy and I was cracking up multiple times. To say that I have a thing for guys with tattoos all over would be an understatement — I’m obsessed (with tattoos in general but tattoos on guys? *swoon*)! So it’s safe to say that I really loved Robbie’s character. Robbie is basically my type? He’s a bear with the softest and kindest heart and reading his interactions with Monty not only cracked me up but had me swooning and giggling like a little school girl. Not only that but seeing how he took care of Xavie really had me ‘awwing’. The single dad trope isn’t normally my thing but damn if it didn’t work for Robbie! His constant sexual innuendos and cracks did come off a little bit too much at times but what a laugh! Monty was of course the total opposite to Robbie. She’s conservative/reserved but being with Robbie makes her want to step out of that shell and while you wouldn’t think they’d work, they really work together! I love how her confidence grew throughout the story but I liked that she also didn’t change who she was after meeting him. She was adorable! Yes, the innocent virgin getting with the player ‘bad boy’ is a trope that’s been overdone but I still really enjoyed it here. Their chemistry was intense and so swoon worthy! I’d give this read a 4.5/5 on the steamy scale. It was legit fire! I absolutely loved this one.

Goodreads: Text Me Baby One More Time (Texting #4)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

I love you, he said.
Forever, he said.
Turns out, he lied.


When he leaves me high and dry after a cross-country move, I push him out of my life as much as I can, which is hard to do when the guy who broke your heart also happens to be the most famous dude in town.

After a disastrous year, he’s aiming to rehab his reputation, and I just so happen to be aiming for a promotion at the paper. So, we strike a deal, and it’s a win-win all around. Besides, what’s the harm in a few dates to charity galas anyway? He’s arrogant, a total jerk. There’s no way I’ll fall for him…again. I used to love him. Now I hate him…I think.

Out of the whole series this one probably had the most ‘complex storyline’. If you’ve read the first book of the series you’ll remember our man Shep and the deplorable thing he did at the end. I wanted to smack the shit out of him and I’m glad that someone in the book actually did (and good too)! So you can bet I was surprised to learn that the last book was about him. Was I excited to see if he’d get a HEA? Meh… But I liked the glimpses we got of our female MC in the previous book, so I read on…

The story switches between past and present day. Denny and Shep have a long history that pretty much no one knows about. A history that started with a strong friendship foundation that slowly moved into romance as they continued to exchange texts and got to know each other back in high school. It was an easy progression that didn’t feel at all forced. I did enjoy getting to know more about the two characters and we see how drastically Shep changed over the years, but sadly not for the better. And this is where I face problems with the situation because all of it was a bed of Shep’s own making. I mean, I get it. Being in love can be scary AF and it’s even more shocking when you’re young and you least expect it to happen. At the same time I didn’t feel like his reasons for doing what he did came through strongly enough for me to feel sympathy for him in this situation… There was so much angst that could’ve been avoided if he wasn’t such a knobhead… I loved Denny’s super sassy and feisty character and I wish that she was better treated. There’s no denying that people can change, grow and learn from (terrible) mistakes though! That said, the chemistry between Shep and Denny was also pretty intense and undeniable. All that tension built up over the last five years definitely made itself known and on the steamy scale this was a solid 5/5 lol

Overall, I am glad that I read all the books in this series. Although the last book was my least favourite, we got closure for certain things and of course you can’t feel bad with HEAs! I’m sad that this series has ended because I really enjoyed it and I’m glad that I picked it up thanks to the puntastic title(s)! I’m looking forward to reading more by Teagan Hunter and I think I will read more very soon 😉

Have you read the Texting series or is it on your TBR?
Did you have as much fun reading it as I did?

The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia
Panda Rating:

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

You know when you’re so excited to read a book and then you finish it and you’re left feeling pretty… whelmed? Not over or under whelmed just… WHELMED? I think that’s kind of how I feel after finishing this series. I don’t know, I’m honestly kind of confused!

“You can whisper, and people will still hear thunder.”

Continue reading “The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman – #BookReview”

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman – #BookReview

Goodreads: Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia
Panda Rating:

The stakes are high in this chilling sci-fi thriller, in which professional scythes control who dies. Everything else is out of human control, managed by the Thunderhead. It’s a perfect system – until it isn’t.

It’s been a year since Rowan went off-grid. Hunted by the Scythedom, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. Citra, meanwhile, is forging her path as Scythe Anastasia, gleaning with compassion. However, conflict within the Scythedom is growing by the day, and when Citra’s life is threatened, it becomes clear that there is a truly terrifying plot afoot.

The Thunderhead observes everything, and it does not like what it sees. Will it intervene? Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?

“That’s exactly what the scythedom is: high school with murder.”

A somewhat slower paced sequel to Scythe but it is no less enjoyable. I savoured learning more about this dystopia and I became even more invested in the characters. I loved the Thunderhead and as a reader, I felt its helplessness to do anything very acutely!

Continue reading “Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman – #BookReview”

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman – #BookReview

Goodreads: Scythe
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia
Panda Rating:

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Having just finished my first re-read of Scythe I’m reminded of just how much I freaking love this series. I didn’t write a review after the first time I read the book and there was actually a lot that I actually forgot (not surprising considering my trash memory). In a way it kind of felt like I was reading it for the first time and wow, it was just as crazy a ride as the first time!

“The growth of civilization was complete. Everyone knew it. When it came to the human race, there was no more left to learn. Nothing about our own existence to decipher. Which meant that no one person was more important than any other. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, everyone was equally useless.”

Continue reading “Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman – #BookReview”

Top 5 Saturday: Series I Want to Finish Before 2019 Ends…

Yes, I’m aware it’s now Sunday but yesterday was a weird day for me combined with work + bingeing The Good Place. I didn’t realize I hadn’t posted anything until it was 1AM and I was still binge watching the series. So I’m posting this a little late… But one day late is better than never!

It’s time for another Top 5 SaturdaySunday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: books to be read by the end of the year. I actually answered a similar prompt for last week’s Thursday Discussion post, which you can read here. For this prompt I decided to look at the final books in series that I wanted to read this year and still haven’t got to. Is it highly ambitious to want to finish these series seeing as December is already here and I’ve got so many freaking books that I hope to finish before 2019 ends? It definitely is. But who knows what’ll happen, right?! Maybe December will be my miracle month of reading and I’ll be able to fly through whatever I pick up, even if I’m unsure that I’m really in the mood for it 😃It could be my tropical Christmas miracle! 😂

Continue reading “Top 5 Saturday: Series I Want to Finish Before 2019 Ends…”

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff – #BookReview

Goodreads: Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Conquer your fear, conquer the world.
Mia Corvere, destroyer of empires, has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry do not believe she has earned it. Her position is precarious, and she’s still no closer to exacting revenge for the brutal death of her family. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.
When it is announced that Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself into slavery for a chance to fulfill the promise she made on the day she lost everything. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold, secrets are revealed and the body count rises within the collegium walls, Mia will be forced to choose between her loyalties and her revenge.

CW: Gore, Murder, Abuse (Physical)

When I started Godsgrave two days ago, the first thing I told myself was: DO NOT GET ATTACHED. I mean, this was my mantra and I was ready. Kristoff could bring all the emotional fckery to the table and hit me with it because I WAS NOT GOING TO GET ATTACHED. He can absolutely take his torture elsewhere! I see you, Kristoff. I know better after Nevernight!

O, gentlefriends the lies we tell ourselves, neh?

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If I wasn’t 100% convinced after Nevernight that Kristoff takes absolute pleasure in making his readers writhe in agony as he slays off one character after another, it’s safe to say that I don’t need convincing now because I have zero doubts about it. Kristoff is eerily like George R.R. Martin. If you like a character in this book, chances are they’re going to get fcked over at some point, and hard! And yet, I still can’t get enough of this series (and what does that say about me exactly?). When I wrote this review my thoughts and emotions were still all over the place, so fair warning, this review might be as much a hot hot mess.

Audiobook

I followed along to the audiobook again because it played such a big part in my enjoyment of the story of Nevernight. The audio started off a bit shaky and I felt it wasn’t as strong as Nevernight, but I still enjoyed the narrator, Holter Graham, and thought he did a great job with voicing the cast. I did notice there were a lot of errors in wording and sometimes voicing but it wasn’t a very big deal. I’d give this performance 4★s!

The Writing

Kristoff’s writing has really grown on me a lot since Nevernight. I enjoy the OTT metaphors and similes, as well as the dry and often crass humor that’s interjected and brings much needed levity to such a dark story. I found that I still loved the footnotes because you learn so much about the republic through them, and I find that the text is often hilarious. If there’s one thing I’m dying to know is who the narrator is! Does anyone have any guesses?

“If Vengeance has a mother, her name is Patience.”

The Plot

Godsgrave moved at a fast pace that didn’t let up until the end. The world building continued to be fantastic, and I especially enjoyed the horrific and jaw dropping arenas where the gladiatii battled. These arenas were mind-blowing and like an insanely “pimped up” and magical Gladiator. Unsurprisingly, there’s even more blood and gore as Mia joins a collegium of gladiatii as part of her plan to avenge her familia. There are also a few well-written sexy scenes! The plot gets more complex as conspiracies and ugly truths come to light. There are plenty of twists, revelations, lies and heartbreak, but also some great, heartwarming friendships too. There’s a romance storyline that I didn’t love but I’m sure many will enjoy–I just don’t trust the character at all! Some of the revelations I saw coming but the very last one had me shook. I was definitely over here screaming like a banshee as I read it! I’m STILL shaking and hella curious to see how these elements will come together in Darkdawn. There’s so much anticipation!

The Characters

There’s a completely new cast that appear in Godsgrave. Few characters from the first book reappear, but they don’t play big roles in the story, except for one/two.

Mia Corvere continues to be an incredibly complex character. She has become an even more proficient killer and although her lack of fear has made her a bit colder, she still retains her conscience; I love those two sides to her character. Towards the end of the book, I ended up shouting at and hating her for what she was doing, but I should’ve known better. Tricksy little Kristoff! We get to see a bit more of Mercurio in Godsgrave, and I really love his paternal relationship with Mia. I love a gruff character with heart!

“When you take a person out of the world, you don’t just take them, do you? You take everything they were, too.”

We’re introduced to many characters in Godsgrave, especially when Mia joins the collegium. We have Leona, the Domina of the collegium. Arkades, a former gladiatii and now Executus of the collegium. Maggot, the young girl who was the collegium’s healer, absolutely stole my heart with her sweetness and curiosity! Then there are the other gladiatii and although most of them remain minor characters, I couldn’t help loving what I learned of Sidonius, Bryn and Byern, Bladesinger, and Wavebreaker! I thought for sure there would be one asshole that makes life at the collegium unbearable for Mia, but for the most part they treated each other like family. I loved the camaraderie between them, and the banter like that between siblings. I wanted to spend more time with them and learn more of their interesting backstories. This is obviously where I also got attached to characters that I should not have done and the big event at the end seriously broke my heart. I was railing so hard at both Kristoff and Mia!

AND THEN OF COURSE

There’s the big twist and reveal of characters and their relationships in the last few pages of the book! WHAAAT?! Kristoff is so cruel to end this on such a note, but I’m so glad that I decided to start this series when Darkdawn came out because now I don’t have to wait years to know what happens. I’m honestly a little scared but also very excited to see how this story wraps up. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s going to be terrifying, horrifying and heartbreaking. Will I be ready for the feels?!

Have you read Godsgrave? What’d you think of it? Also, have you read Darkdawn? Are my feelings going to be absolutely destroyed?!
Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff – #BookReview

Goodreads: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death. Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything. But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult. The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.

CW: Gore, Murder, Abuse

HOLY MOTHER. THIS BOOK! I don’t even know what to do with myself right now? My feelings are so… betrayed? Confused? What? I don’t know. I’m just feeling all of it and I’m going to try writing a coherent review but sorry in advance if it’s all just a load of blabber! I read Nevernight on my Kindle while following along with the audiobook. It made my experience 100% better and I’d highly recommend it.

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Audiobook

My first impression was that I didn’t think I’d like this narrator, especially when he voiced Mia. I always find it awkward when males do female voices and vice versa? However, that changed very quickly the more he played out the roles. I LOVED IT! I thought this narrator was a wonderful voice actor and his impressions/accents really stole the show for me. There were times I found myself a little annoyed with his reading because he pauses as he enunciates every two or three words (I really don’t know how to explain it), but after a while I didn’t notice it as much. At the times I read without the audio, I actually found myself reading the way he would lol as I’ll no doubt mention a few more times in this review, the audiobook was what initially really pulled me through this book. There’s a lot to take in but somehow the audio helped me bridge the missing pieces that allowed me to get sucked into the story. I’d give this performance 5★s!

The Writing

This is where I took some points off because I have to be honest, I was reading back and forth at the start, trying to make sense of what was happening, making sure that I wasn’t missing anything and that what was happening really didn’t make sense. I was frustrated to say the least and if it wasn’t for the audio I might have given this is up and claimed it wasn’t for me. The writing is surprisingly dense. It’s riddled with metaphors, similes, it’s a little (okay, it’s a lottle) dramatic and sometimes OTT. Fair warning friends, there are also TONS of footnotes (and not the short kind). I found them pretty annoying at the start but as the story progressed, I found I really enjoyed the mini-(hi)stories that came with each footnote. That said, I loved how (Kristoff’s) humor was so effortlessly weaved into the story. I think he might be an ‘acquired’ taste as not everyone will be into his quirky(?) and bold writing style, but I came to love it.

The Plot

The plot was incredibly fast paced and I felt like it didn’t let up until the end. As already mentioned, there was a lot of a whole new world to take in at the start. But wow, the world building of the Itreyan republic is incredible. The histories of the various regions, the politics, the religions, the societal structures, the legends and myths… I know a lot of other books have these but I feel like I haven’t read any lately that’s on the same level as this. I loved all of it! Not a spoiler, but this book starts with sex and murder and it’s a pretty good indication of what’s to come. There’s a lot of blood and gore, not surprising considering it’s a story about a school of assassins, and while I’m usually not that great with the stuff, I didn’t find it overwhelming. There’s also sex of the smut variety, which was really surprising! Although I had heard talk over on Twitter and Instagram about it. It wasn’t distasteful though and the chemistry between the characters made it fire! But again, a warning for those who don’t like these elements in a story. The ending is something that I’m still processing. You best believe I was screaming incredulously at the book and there may have even been a few tears (I’m emo, don’t hate). I’m still shook. I can’t believe it. I honestly don’t know where to hate or love Kristoff for what he did. Just… WHY?!?!

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The Characters

MY NUMERO UNO MISTAKE WAS GETTING ATTACHED TO CHARACTERS. I’m getting the feeling Kristoff is a lot more like Martin than I could’ve ever suspected. I think I’ve also figured out who was responsible for all the painful deaths in the Illuminae Files series because the character deaths in this book gave me the same sort of heart hurt! URGHGRGRR… I want to say NEVER AGAIN but… yeah, I know myself better than that!

Mia had a horrifying past that made my heart ache for all that she’d been through. Her character was incredibly complex! I didn’t think I’d grow to love her so much but I did and I rooted so hard for her! She’s smart and cunning, fierce and a killer intent on avenging her familia, but she’s also got heart. While some may find her weak for it, I thought it was a strength that set her apart. Her character development was well done and I can’t wait to see how else she grows in the coming books, especially with what happened at the end of this one. DAMN YOU, KRISTOFF!!!

Tric. Oh, Don Tric. Be still my heart! I don’t even have the words for how much I loved Tric’s character. Like Mia and many others in the school, he had such a painful and heartbreaking past that led him to being an assassin. He may be a side character next to Mia, but he was so well developed that it didn’t feel like it. His banter with Mia had me giggling so many times, and their chemistry was OOF! I just wanted to fling myself onto him and never let go! He was such a great character, I’m crying.

Mister Kindly – the not-cat that was ever present in Mia’s shadow. His reactions often had me barking with laughter (I just can’t get enough of the humor in this book)! He’s the ultimate companion and pet. I loved his steadfast support for Mia, even if it was for his own gain too!

I guess you can say the rest of the characters were minor-ish but they still played considerable roles in the story. Ashlynn, one of Mia’s closest friends in the school had a great attitude, made me lol plenty and I loved her devil may care attitude. Lotti was another one of Mia’s friends and she grew on me quickly! I loved her deadpan reactions and her smarts! Jessamine was enemy #1 and has a similar history to Mia, but she blamed Mia for what she went through. She was a great villain that I continued to strongly dislike until the end. There were lots of other side characters that also really grew on me, like Naev, Hush and I’d even go so far as to say Adonai and Marielle. Unsurprisingly, everyone was tricksy AF and just when you think they’ve got a heart… Well, you can cancel that thought!

Aaaand breathe.

My thoughts are still reeling over that ending. I still can’t believe it! So much… SO MUCH THAT I CAN’T GIVE AWAY! If it isn’t obvious already, I loved Nevernight and as much as my chest actually aches with all the hurtful things, I think I might’ve found myself a new favorite series! I’m so glad that I’ve finally read a book by Kristoff (solo), especially since it’s given me insight into which parts he may have contributed to the Illuminae series, another favorite of mine. I can’t wait to continue this series!

Have you read Nevernight? What’d you think of it? Was your reaction as crazy as mine? LOL let me know in the comments and let’s chat!