ARC Review: Endless by Amanda Gray

EndlessTitle: Endless

Author: Amanda Gray

Genre: YA, romance, time travel

How did I get it? Netgalley (thanks @ Month9Books)

Summary: Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them.
When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumble on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought. Like a past life.
Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren’t alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams, was there too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back.
While Ben, Jenny, and Nikolai race against the clock—and the Order—Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins them in life—and beyond death.

Review: I really enjoyed Endless, which wasn’t much of a surprise. Time travel, Romanov Russia (I love this time period), art, romance…it’s right up my alley. Not to mention, the cover is absolutely gorgeous. I read it in just about one sitting, and it was an evening well spent. Jenny was everything a main character should be: brave, smart, quick on her feet. The chemistry between her and Nikolai was sizzling, but I also really enjoyed the connection between her and Ben. Ben made me want to hug him, and I actually teared up during a particularly ouchy scene with Nikolai.

The dreams/flashbacks/memories of their Russian past together were probably my favorite part. I’m a sucker for that era of Russian history, and the incorporation of the Romanov family was just really awesome. I loved the way it was written and the way it fit into the contemporary plot, and it had me on the edge of my seat.

I will say that I wish there was more character development. Jenny was great, but I would’ve liked a bit more…something. I didn’t have trouble rooting for her, but at the same time I felt a bit distant from her. As for Nikolai, I really loved him and his devotion to find Jenny, but by the end of the book he was still very much a stranger. I mean, I still think he’s the hottest thing since Dante’s Inferno, but I wish I’d gotten to know him a bit better as a human being. So far his only flaw that I can find seems to be his resemblance to one Edward Cullen, though admittedly a version far less inclined to behave like a psychopathic, controlling jackass. I’m really hopeful that the sequel will address that and allow the reader to feel more familiar with him, since I really think he’s an awesome character with a lot of potential.

Rating:

Four Stars

Recommend it?

Yes.

Purchase it:

Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository

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Netgalley November Update

Netgalley November

So for the past two weeks I’ve been working on my e-galleys and I’ve actually reached my goal of 4 books, so I’m going to see if I can get to 7 by the end of the month, though I won’t have them all reviewed by that time.

For now though, here are the books that I’ve read so far.

Damselfly

Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic

I really enjoyed this one. It was fun and sweet but not shallow, and I smiled a lot. You can read my official review here.

The Curse Keepers

The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank (thanks @47North)

I had a great time with this one. Great chemistry between the main characters, and I loved the Native American mythology incorporated in the plot. It was right up my alley.

My official review will be up on Monday, and the novel’s release is on Tuesday, November 19, so take a look!

Endless

Endless by Amanda Gray (thanks @ Month9Books)

I really liked Endless for the time travel element and the Russian history, even if I’m kind of disappointed that Nikolai is still very much an enigma.

My official review is coming soon!

Counting Shadows

Counting Shadows by Olivia Rivers

I’m still deciding how I feel about this one, but I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

A Dance of Cloaks

A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish (thanks @ Orbit)

I’m currently reading this and it’s pretty good so far, even if I’m not flailing about with excitement or anything.

What's Next

Witch Finder

Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton (thanks @ Hodder Children’s Books)

I’m soooo excited to read this one. It looks so good, and the cover is gorgeous, and asdkfjasd.

Defy

Defy by Sara B. Larson (thanks @ Scholastic Press)

Girl dresses as boy, kicks ass, evil guy kidnaps her along with two fine fellows. Uh, hell yes. Don’t mind if I do.

That should be plenty for this month, especially since I’ve got other books on my shelf needing my attention. How’s your reading going?

WWW Wednesdays #1

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. It’s a chance for us all to talk about books we’ve just read, books we’re reading now, and books we’re planning on reading soon.

Ash by Malinda Lo

In case you aren’t following me on Twitter and are thus spared my daily intellectual wisdom (in which I talk about highly sophisticated topics such as butts and how many ways one can use a particular swear word in a sentence), I was drooling over this book the second I saw it, and when I finally got it, I had to wait to read it for nearly a week because of stupid life, and it just sat there on my shelf looking seductive and alluring until I couldn’t take it anymore and I scrapped all my work to curl up with it for the afternoon.

“Why, Sam, what makes this book such an irresistible temptation?”

1) It’s a Cinderella retelling.

2) Cinderella’s a freaking BADASS.

3) How can I NOT love a book which is basically a gay version of a traditional fairytale? I mean, you guys, let’s be real here. This is the good stuff. There’ll be a review coming up next Wednesday (November 20) so check back in if you’d like to know what I thought. Hint: I loved it.

This was really a neat coincidence because the book was set in Philadelphia and I was actually on a flight bound for that very city when I read this. There should be a review up within a few weeks.

Reading Now

This one is nice and light, so I’ll probably finish it in like 30 minutes. All the coffee talk is making my mouth water, and I don’t even like coffee.

It’s taking me a while to get through this one, but I like it. Ophelia’s got spunk.What's Next

Book #5 on my Netgalley November list, because the Easy Level was too, well, easy. :)

What are your reading plans this week? I’d love some recommendations for my TBR list to liven things up a bit. Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading!

Stacking the Shelves #2

***Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It’s a chance to share any books you’ve bought, borrowed, or received in the past 7 days. All of the books on this list are linked to Goodreads.
I’ve recently sold my soul to Netgalley, so I’ve got a few new additions to my shelf to share, though fortunately (at least for my wallet) not as many as last time. Although I don’t plan to review all of these books (except the ARCs of course), if you see anything in particular you’d like me to review, let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do!




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Mafia Girl by Deborah Blumenthal (thanks @ Albert Whitman & Company)

Endless by Amanda Gray (thanks @ Month9Books)

The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank (thanks @ 47North)

Through the Door by Jodi McIsaac (thanks @ 47North)

The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski* (thanks @ Julia Debski)

Mind Bond by Julie Haydon (thanks  @ Feather in Cap Publishing)

Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic (thanks @ Patchwork Press)

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke** (thanks @ Angry Robot)

A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish (thanks @ Orbit Books)

*If you’ve seen my update post, you probably already know that Julia is a very good friend of mine who just self-published her first novel, The Hazel Tree. From what I’ve seen, it looks like a pretty fabulous book. I’ll be reviewing it most likely in early November, so stay tuned for that as well.

**I’ve actually already read this gorgeous novel, so if you’d like to know my thoughts on it, check back on Monday for my official review.

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Emma by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Art of Uncertainty: How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It by Dennis Merritt Jones

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

Hopefully, the gods will grant me the self-control not to go book-hunting for a little while considering the sheer size of my TBR pile at the moment. I would offer you a picture of said pile, but I don’t want to frighten you so I’ll refrain.

See you Monday!