Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Miniviews #23: Velvet & Last Year's Mistake

Velvet by Temple West
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: May 12th, 2015
Pages: 416
Series: Velvet Trilogy #1
Source: ARC from publisher**I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Rating: 4/5
Going into to this one I was expecting to find it entertaining and enjoyably. Probably around a three star read. Velvet is definitely both of those things, but surprisingly I also found it even more than that. Velvet is a vampire book, I don't know the last time I read one of those. You know, kind of moved on from that phase. I think it's really hard not to compare vampire books to Twilight as well. And I'm going to do a bit of that now. I did find Velvet to be a kind of reinventing of Twilight. It has some of the same elements. New girl to a small school. Mysterious hot boy. Velvet has its silly and absurd moments. But where Twilight is pretty much just ridiculous, Velvet tries to be smarter. And I think it succeeds more often than not. Velvet is definitely a light and fluffy read with quite a bit of LOL'ing.
I really liked Caitlin. She's super angry and angsty, but her mom just died and she has every right to be. I'd expect her to be. She was a lot more believable as a character this way, rather than if she'd just shrugged her shoulders and continued on. Adrian was likable as well. I thought he was going to be another Edward, but thank God he wasn't. He immediately comes off as mysterious but as soon as we know him, we learn it's because he's this nerdy shy guy who has been told to not to make friends with the humans. Poor guy just wants some friends. Caitlin and Adrian had more of a slow burn romance. It has got its angsty moments. But no insta-love. No creepy co-dependency. Their just friends for most of the book.
Velvet did fall into quite a bit of the typical paranormal tropes. Had some cheese. The whole vampire reveal saw Caitlin hardly bat an eye. But I was expecting that. I just liked the bit of a spin West created with the vampire demon hybrid. The vampires were a hell of a lot more believable when they don't sparkle and need to eat and sleep. Velvet was certainly a surprise of a read. And I'm really interested to continue on with the trilogy. I think it'll be even more fun. 

Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 9th, 2015
Pages: 320
Source: ARC from publisher**I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Rating: 4/5
Turns out I really felt for the characters in this one. Like totally caught up in the feels. The feelings were real guys. Last Year's Mistake follows Kelsey and David and their friendship. A strong friendship. Where strong feelings are developed. Which unfortunately leads to a lot of misunderstandings and missed opportunities.
I really loved the dual time line going on. We got to see from the start of Kelsey and David's friendship and the other time line is the present, which is after they've had a following out and Kelsey moved away. So the past is working towards the present. Teenagers and their lack of proper communication could really cut back on the hurt feelings by opening their mouths.
I loved both Kelsey and Daivd. Not only is their friendship a really good one but they are both good people that life decided to hand some tough breaks to. Even though the book is from Kelsey's POV it didn't take away from getting a good read on David's feelings. I could just tell he really wanted to tell Kelsey about his deepening feelings for her on multiple occasions, but kept holding back because Kelsey would pull back. And I was like no. She'll kiss you back. So David seeing other girls made my heart hurt for Kelsey but I couldn't fault him. Also Kelsey was feeling lonely as her best friend had found a new set of friends that doesn't include Kelsey. When she moves, getting the chance to re invent herself is of course a great mood lifter. I just was really pulled into the emotions of the book. I will say that Last Year's Mistake walks the fine line on cheating, but I think because the emotions from Kelsey and David's past run so deep it was for me to understand their actions. Even when they were hurting each other it was never malicious. It was just trying to keep themselves from drowning in their own emotions that won't go away. Like I said, the missed opportunities sucked.
As this is Ciocca's debut novel, I think it was a really solid start. The teenage characters had very believable feelings and problems. And their decisions and actions made sense with how 98% of teenagers would react to those situations. Where I was going with that is I think Ciocca has a bright future. I'll definitely be picking up her next book.

Happy reading!



  1. I love when a book unexpectedly wows you! Hope the rest of the trilogy lives up to it. I'm not really a vampire reader or a YA reader (I know you're shocked) but this sounds really run and like what Twilight could have been. I'll have to look for this one. Last Year's Mistake sounds like a good one as well. I absolutely love the title on it and the premise sound great. It may not be for me because you know how I am about YA but I may have to push it on Emma. I think she'd love it.

  2. I am excited that you really liked Last Year's Mistake, I was planning on reading it but I figured it would be a solid three for me.
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  3. Great reviews. I haven't heard of Velvet before but it sounds really interesting. I LOVED Last Year's Mistake, which I really wasn't expecting. But that is probably based on the fact that I was judging it on the cover, which I should stop doing. But I adored that book. Definitely need to buy a physical copy for when I am in the need for a reread.