Review: Open Thy Heart (Flora, #2) by Jessica L. Brooks

Open Thy Heart (Flora Book 2)Open Thy Heart by Jessica L. Brooks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Jessica L. Brooks in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Open Thy Heart’ was a great sequel in the ‘Flora’ series that really built on the tension, drama and mystery that we see in novel one, ‘If I Speak True’. The characters were awesome, funny and generally superb (excluding the evil villains). And let us not forget the ending! Because the ending was just………………beautiful. *cries tears of regret at ending the book*
What really appealed to be and something that I noticed was the characters: when they were mad, we became mad; when they were happy, we were happy; when they were sad, we were sad. It really was an emotional rollercoaster for this novel. Soooo, when Dahlia, the MAIN character in this book, is bored…well, to be honest, I was quite bored, too. In fact it was a slow beginning, and this series tends to have moments when things just drag on. I just couldn’t wait for the action to START! A little warning for those readers who dislike a slow beginning.
On the upside, the pace does pick up about a quarter of the way through the book and more surprises are revealed.
Now to the hilarious quotes from this book that cracked me up!
‘Helen sighs. “I disagree.”
“Well you’re the only one on earth who does.”
“I guarantee I’m not alone here in saying this, Dahlia. Many parents do.”
Really? Parents where? Timbuktu? Australia? Uranus?’
– this struck me as really funny because I am from Australia and the whole thing is just hysterical. I mean, Australia is NOT THAT FAR AWAY FROM OTHER COUNTRIES/CIVILISATIONS. I mean, pffff, we’re ONLY an ISLAND! Doesn’t mean we’re ISOLATED! (Even though we were for the first 200 million years.)
I really enjoyed the humour in ‘Open Thy Heart’ and the relationship dynamics and how there were a diversity of REAL emotions that I experienced during the novel. I laughed, I teared up and I went rampaging mad. But all’s fair in love and good novels.
Like in the previous novel, I loved the diversity of characters and how the author contrasts Ambrosia and Shaver. Sometimes lines tend to get blurry for some novels – but not in this one! It gave me this exhilarating rush every time Dahlia entered Ambrosia and I really admire how it was the unspoken feeling that lay underneath the words like a current that brought that rush about.
Ok, so the novel was slightly clichéd with the continuation of the love triangle that started in book one but I thought of it as a kind of re-enactment of history like Dahlia’s own grandmother’s experience with Shaver and Ambrosia. But there were plot twists and serious that were GOSH DARN UNEXPECTED. It totally built the anticipation and mystery in the story.
Sooo, let’s talk about THE ENDING! I loved, loved, loved the ending. I can’t wait for the next book and am dying miserably because there is no sign of it actually happening on Goodreads. I just get this weird instinctual feeling that the whole time during the – sometimes boring – span of the first two books, the author was leading up to something REALLY exciting and I CAN’T WAIT!
The plot twists and secrets are just seriously unexpected. Loved it. Built anticipation and mystery in the story.
The grammar was awesome and I loved Jessica L. Brook’s prose. There were a few typos I spotted in the novel but no spelling mistakes.
Congratulations Jessica L. Brooks! Whoop-whoop!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

View all my reviews

Review: By Sun and Candlelight (Flora, #1.5) by Jessica L. Brooks

By Sun and CandlelightBy Sun and Candlelight by Jessica L. Brooks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Jessica L. Brooks in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘By Sun and Candlelight’ is written in ROWAN’S PERSPECTIVE! Just a little reminder in case you haven’t noticed it in the blurb and for crazily excited wackos like me! I was really happy to FINALLY get inside that mysterious, good-looking, dark, wavy-haired, green-eyed, swoon-worthy, princely head of his. A highly recommended read as it gives you some important clues for ‘Open Thy Heart’.
Like the blurb says, this novella really does give you an inside look at daily happenings at Castle Lennox. It really made the world that Dahlia knows so little of, easier to picture and understand. Best of all, I wasn’t constantly wracked by curiosity of Ambrosia and what Rowan’s life is like outside of Dahlia’s visits.
A downer to this novella was that it seemed to drag on in the beginning. It also seemed very lengthy (a whole 199 pages) as it took me quite a while to read it for some reason – I felt that it could have been its own novel in its own right. I know the blurb says that it could bridges the gap between ‘If I Speak True’, the first in the ‘Flora’ series, and ‘Open Thy Heart’, the second novel, but I really didn’t understand the point of it in the beginning.
Yet on the upside, ‘By Sun and Candlelight’ was as well told and written as the first novel. I would highly recommend reading this novella before going onto the second as there were quite intriguing actions-packed scenes that I believe will play an important role in the next book of the series.
Congratulations to Jessica L. Brooks on a well-written self-published novella!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

View all my reviews

Review: If I Speak True (Flora, #1) by Jessica L. Brooks

If I Speak TrueIf I Speak True by Jessica L. Brooks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Jessica L. Brooks in exchange for an honest review.

Review

First thing you should know about ‘If I Speak True’: it was a MAJOR attention grabber. I mean, who doesn’t love dreamy princes from different worlds? You can even see it in the blurb! And if you haven’t guessed by now, I ABSOLUTLEY LOVED IT. As in her debut novel, ‘Pity Isn’t an Option’, Jessica L. Brooks delivered and I know this because this is my SECOND novel by her.
Quick fun fact: the yellow flower you see on the cover is actually a dahlia, so Dahlia Kennedy is named after a FLOWER!
The first thing that absolutely thrilled me was EVERY DARN TIME that Dahlia Kennedy starts dreaming about her prince, Rowan Rochfort, I get this really weird sense of satisfaction which flows through me. The whole time I was reading the novel, I just COULDN’T WAIT till the part she meets him again. I stayed up till 1 am (which is pretty late for me as I tend to be a zombie in the mornings if I don’t get enough sleep)!! There was also this whole mystery going on in the novel that made my heart beat slightly faster; especially when it is just Dahlia and Rowan. *swooooooons*
Ok, so there was a point in the book when I seriously questioned whether this book might be a bit like Beauty and the Beast, but I don’t know if it’s just me. You’ll know what I mean when you get to the part. I remember thinking, if it was, I would jump into the air and just plain out SQUEAL!
The second thing that stood out about ‘If I Speak True’ was it’s really good plot. I loved the whole idea that surrounded it. Of course this might be a bit of a drawback for some people, but, yes, the novel did have clichés. For me, I loved having the clichés in the book. They just made the book, enticing, somehow…
Dahlia, Rowan and all the other characters were really sophisticated and well established. I loved their variety and how they weren’t archetypical as well as their dynamic characteristics.
Talking about Dahlia and Rowan: I loved, Loved, LOVED that they didn’t experience instant-love like sooooooooo many characters nowadays, but they actually FELL in love. Whoops, spoiler alert! But you guys knew that they were going to, anyways.
This novel is written in first-person, so if you have anything about ‘the unreliability of seeing the world through first-person narration’, this one is not for you. I felt like it brought me closer to Dahlia, but maybe that’s just me. It really helped me visualize her world.
Sadly, there were a few typos here and there, but only a couple. The grammar was EXCELLENT though, and so was the spelling. Unfortunately, you sometimes see poor grammar in some independently published novels – but not in this one!
Congratulations to Jessica L. Brooks on independently publishing a novel – can’t wait for more of this series!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

View all my reviews

Review: Pity Isn’t an Option (Cozenage, #1) by Jessica L. Brooks

Pity Isn't an Option (Cozenage, #1)Pity Isn’t an Option by Jessica L. Brooks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Jessica L. Brooks in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Pity Isn’t an Option’ was a well-thought-out, dystopian novel that follows two teens, Jonas Norton and Hattie Akerman, as they try to survive and navigate a world where only the strong survive, life takes and doesn’t give back…where pity really isn’t an option. It was bitter-sweet, a real tear-jerker and a novel that made me think. It is my first novel by Jessica L. Brooks, but it was one that I DID NOT regret.
The first thing that struck me about this novel, was its lovely prose and excellent grammar. It’s always a letdown when you open an indie novel or an arc, and the writing is just horrible. Jessica L. Brooks is able to convey the emotions, atmosphere and surrounding that Jonas and Hattie experience. She doesn’t just tell, she shows and she weaves the story to paint a realistic world in a time where America’s leader is cruel, harsh and unforgiving.
Yet another thing that struck me when I opened the novel was that it had a slow beginning. It would go on and on and on about the lives of Jonas and Hattie, recounting all their personal thoughts, letdowns, motivations, but nothing really happened. This made the novel hard to pick up again because it would just tell us about the sad story of some two (albeit very realistic) characters with problems who live in a dystopian world…same old, same old…and I really didn’t understand why. If only the writer started off with a BANG, then the beginning of the novel would have been a lot better. Instead it often lulled me to sleep. This was a major comeback, too, as it lasted until half-way through the book when I was ready to write it off, speed read though the rest and name it a three star.
On the other hand, ‘Pity Isn’t an Option’ was ripe with suspense and anticipation and a lingering mystery as to who this enigmatic President Kendrick figure was in the book. It made you question everything because the reader knows nothing about him. At times I often wondered whether he really was evil or maybe just a puppet who had his strings pulled by someone more powerful than him. It frustrated me that he remained an unknown but was the cause of all the troubles.
The novel also gave an excellent portrayal of hard times in a dystopian world. It painted the perfect setting for just the right conditions to make this novel awesome. It was ripe with emotional outbursts that were the main reason I kept reading. You could literally step into the world and breathe the air of Hattie and Jason.
What really made me connect was the first person narration as it allowed me a deeper insight into the book. It really allowed me to connect with our two main protagonists and experience feelings and emotions as they did. Third person would have worked, too, but not nearly as well I believe even though I often did get confused when changing between Jason and Hattie.
I SERIOUSLY LOVED THE ENDING; IT WAS JUST THE RIGHT ENDING FOR THIS BOOK – I couldn’t imagine a better one. I REALLY can’t wait for the sequel. I was unsatisfied and upset with the ending as I wanted more to happen and I felt it left me hanging with all these unsatisfied expectations. ARGH!
‘Pity Isn’t an Option’ had a quite intensity and power to it that made me adore it. This is the main reason for MY FIVE STAR. In the end, I didn’t dislike one bit about the book as all its flaws were made up for.
Congratulations to Jessica L. Brooks on publishing a five star novel! Whoo!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

View all my reviews