Excerpt from ‘The Understudy’ by Casey Carlisle

Here’s a little snippet from another work in progress…
The Understudy by Casey CarlisleThe Professor located the spare key, exactly where Ricki had shown us it would be, and opened the door to a surprisingly posh apartment. A small scruffy terrier came bolting from another room to jump up and down in front of us like a kangaroo. Ricki cooed silently at the mutt as it continually attempted to reach the ceiling with each bound.

“What’s the dog’s name?” The Professor asked me.

“Muggles.” I repeated after Stacy joined Ricki in trying to get the canines attention.

I moved further into the lounge area while the Professor went to find the food bowl and give Muggles a meal. The place was spotless, no doubt Ricki’s parents had a cleaner making regular visits, or maybe a neighbour tidied things up when they stopped in to tend to the dog?

Sure the little buggar was cute and all, but I was much more of a cat person. At least cats didn’t demand your attention every hour of the day. To prove my point Muggles began sniffing and pawing at my leg.

“No.” I pointed at him. “Sit.”

Muggles turned his head and pawed one ear the way you see dogs on television acting cute. I bent down to scratch him atop his fuzzy little skull, resulting in a pink tongue lolling out one side of his doggy mouth in satisfaction.

“What exactly are we looking for?” I called out to the Professor, still rummaging around in the cupboards.

“You should be able to feel something… I always got a wave of nausea. Then you’ll be close.” Stacy gave up trying to get Muggles to answer her.

“And then what?”

“I’d release the energy.” Stacy replied matter-of-factly.

“Is that like farting or something?”

“You don’t feel anything?” Stacy ignored my comment.


“Try another room. Ricki died in hers. Let’s go in there.”

“You’re not creeped out or anything? Being in your dead friends house?”

“She’s not dead. She’s right here.”

“Says the ghost.”

“Just look around will you.” Stacy waved at the apartment.

The Understudy v 2            I wandered across the lounge with Muggles in tow playing at my feet, taking the few photographs on the Entertainment Unit. A few of Riki posing for school portraits and then a couple of her pulling faces at the camera were cluttered to one side of a large golfing trophy. On the other were two obviously modelling shots, but no evidence of her mother I noted.

“You look so cute in this one.” Stacy complimented her mute friend as they ogled over Riki’s pictures.

Check please! Narcissism for two. Our whole reason for being here began to lose its appeal.

“I don’t feel anything.” Snapped in irritation.

“You sure about that?” Stacy sniggered just as Muggles hugged my leg and began thrusting his hips.

Ricki fell backwards through a wall laughing without a sound.

Interpreting the spirit

Sometimes there is a different type of language barrier – maybe you’re existing on different Plains?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of my favourite challenges while temping, was for a company offering spiritual services and courses. It had more to do with understanding the way my new boss spoke… she didn’t have traditional ways of thinking and I was frequently needing to decipher what is was she was really after. That’s not saying that she was difficult to understand or work for, she just has an artistic interpretation of the world.

We were about to launch a new curriculum and introduce subjects and course material to clientele and the general public. It sounds simple, but throw in a Director who, being true to the stereotype, tended to talk and operate in concepts – and the task became more and more intimidating.

I had to learn a whole new way of communicating and mused how our conversations would look with subtitles:
Topic by Casey Carlisle

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Support Material by Casey Carlisle


It may sound like I had a frustrating task with no leadership when attempting to organise a series of spiritual seminars, but in truth it was fantastic. You could get as creative as you wanted, make things bright and colourful, think outside the box… way outside!

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If you want to know what I did for the seminar:

Instead of throwing together a PowerPoint Presentation on a set list of topics, I created ‘Stations’ around the room which had flatscreens looping material on multimedia packets for each area of speciality. Substituting the typical folder with pages of information for products with our branding, complete with information on use, company background, courses, contact info etc. – essentially a show bag of goodies.

Each station was a sensory adventure with music or live instruments, flowers, burning oils, and shimmery stones. A smorgasbord of stimulation. The Director was then able to head to whichever station she wanted to and give her excitable spiel, with complete freedom to follow a train of thought, or follow where the largest group of participants gathered.

Tales of a Temp by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – The Taking

The Taking Book Review by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

A flash of white light… and then… nothing.

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ‘n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed… yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra ‘s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken… and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

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I really enjoyed The Taking, I know the story itself is nothing new, but the way Kimberly Derting draws her characters was exciting and relatable. The premise of alien abduction is a major draw card for me in picking up this title, and there is plenty of mystery thrown in here, and I enjoyed how Kimberly wove character development into the story rather than a massive sci-fi fest.

The Taking Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleI liked how the protagonist, Kyra, handled her situation, her reactions, her lashing out… it felt very realistic and relatable. I got plenty of feels for her and the people around her: dealing with loss, confusion, and ultimately acceptance.

The love interest – Tyler, definitely made this book for me. He was adorkable and unquestioningly loyal – these traits made him exceptionally attractive in my eyes. Some readers have knocked it for instalove, but if they read the novel properly they would understand that Tyler had been crushing on Kyra since childhood; and now a man, is on a mission to win her heart. He does this by believing and supporting her without question. There was nothing instant about it. He really has to work for Kyra’s affections. And it’s not like Kyra falls for him at once, there’s a graduation from friendship, to security, and to something more. It may be a bit soppy, but I love a romanticised coupling every now and then.

The Taking Book Review Pic 03 by Casey CarlisleThere was a lot of climbing in and out of bedroom windows, which reminded me of sneaking out so often in my teen years.

Kimberly’s writing style lends The Taking to a fast read, and it is scattered with internet abbreviations (i.e. FML), weird verbs within the narrative: I’m not sure if she was trying to connect with the target audience or not, and while it could annoy some readers, I found it amusing.

The pacing was a little stop-start, as Kyra made discoveries throughout the novel, but it did not distract from my experience and I completed The Taking in one day. Ultimately is was a little clunky, but not unreadable. Maybe with a little more editing/rewriting this could be an outstanding novel. But for now, it falls into the ‘great way to spend a day reading at the beach.’

If you liked the Lux Series by Jenifer L Armentrout, this has a similar feel. And for those of you who remember and loved the television series Roswell on the WB Network – this is in along the same vein.

I am really looking forward to getting the next book in the series, The Replaced in April this year.

The Taking Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

   Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

 © Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Three Furmigoes!

Having the opportunity to work from home means I never miss out on the crazy antics of my fur babies… and this week was a doozy!


Writing full time, means I can take my office wherever I go, but usually it is in the study where I have an allotted amount of time to create new content – and it is never without an audience… which can sometimes turn into a big distraction.

MM Dat face! Ben looking cute by Casey Carlisle

The baby of my trio – Ben – and I say baby because he is hopeless. A big snuggly teddy bear – despite being the largest of the three, this cuddle monster is always the one trying to sit on your lap, attached at your feet like a shadow and only comes alive in your presence. At the beginning of the week we had some massive thunderstorms. And Ben hates thunder. He is reduced to a quivering, slobbering mess. It doesn’t matter if you are asleep, he will manoeuvre his was onto your bed and climb atop your head to wake you with a face full of drool. So I didn’t get much sleep that night. I spent it sitting in bed with a towel under the dog, wrapped up in my arms vibrating like a massage chair. Needless to say, the next morning, hours after the storm had dissipated, this fluffy bunny still did not want to be put down. When I went to the bathroom he was most indignant, using the full force of his puppydog eyes in hopes I would pick him up again… I am so under his spell!

MM Bobby loves Baked Beans  by Casey CarlisleOur grumpy old man dog, Bobby, has a protence for all things cardboard. Forget fluffy toys – give him a box or toilet paper roll and he’s in heaven. [Tip: never leave a tissue box in his reach – even if it can be accessed via the chair, desk and bookshelf – he will delight in pulling our every tissue to decorate the room before chewing the box to bits… You get the picture: he’s a freak for cardboard!] So to my amusement, one afternoon when fixing myself a snack of baked beans on toast, the wrapper fell to the floor, which was made out of… you guessed it – cardboard. Only this time I think he decided it would look much better as a necklace than in hundreds of bits over the floor.

MM Hamburger Baillie by Casey CarlisleThe newest addition to the family – Baillie – has personality galore! He loves to sleep in weird places, run, bark… a real ball of energy. So during my cleaning day, I’d stacked the dog beds atop one another while vacuuming. Later I noticed the little black and white mischief maker was nowhere to be seen. I called and called to no avail (which is nothing new – Baillie is selectively deaf and only responds to a squeaky toy or the crinkle of the dog biscuit bag). So I started looking about room by room until, as I walked by the mattresses, out pops a head to growl and lick my leg. Someone was playing hide and seek! Run your fingers along the edge and out would jump a static haired face to make some noise and disappear in an instant. I swear my dogs are batshit crazy at times, but am so glad I get to have the opportunity to witness their childish games.

My work day would be so boring if not for my fluffy companions, they entertain, reduce stress, and listen intently when I discuss my latest plot twist.

I’m just hoping I don’t end up getting labelled the crazy dog lady…

Do your pets help you write?

I’m thinking the personality traits they exhibit would make for some interesting characters.

Muttly Mania by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Film vs Novel – The Giver

An audacious experiment in social justice and identity.

 Film vs Novel The Giver by Casey Carlisle

I had brushed past The Giver a number of occasions, and it was only after watching the movie did I bother to give this title a go. While I enjoyed the book, it wasn’t one of my favourites, and felt like it was an echo of Divergent (actually the other way around since Divergent was written later – but that happened to be the order I read/watched them in). There are many distinct differences between the written and film adaptation; the most notable is that of character development and the passage of time…

Where the movie embraces a more sci-fi element to make the story more visually stimulating, the book focused more on human rights, identity of self, and right to choose. With the advances in VFX, it certainly adds an eye-popping dynamic to any story, and the scenes produced in the film of the drones and technology woven into day to day living enhanced my enjoyment. However, I would have liked to see the film tackle a stronger sense of the more serious topics presented in the book. With that said, I feel that the social aspects weren’t discussed properly in the novel either – merely topics introduced for discussion without truly being explored. Quite possibly they are themes that are carried through in the subsequent instalments of The Giver quartet, but with not addressing them enough in this debut, it felt a little wishy-washy for me.

I noticed how in the movie they completely ignored the fact that all Giver/Receivers had blue eyes, signifying that it was a genetic trait that enabled the person to assume the position, (because the entire community is engineered). I guess they overlooked that to embrace a more diverse cast, but I think it had the viewer confused (it certainly didn’t sit right with me)… the community is supposed to be more sterile and monoethnic.

The Giver Film vs Novel Pic 02 by Casey CarlisleJonas in the book was very young when it came to assuming the position of a Keeper of Memory, and I had issue with this. The narrative sounded and felt too old for someone of that age. Plus the responsibilities and tasks felt way too important to be entrusted with someone so young. The passage of time in the book took years through the storyline, which added credence for me, like Jonas was undertaking a real apprenticeship. The film failed to convey this passage of time, leaving me questioning how Jonas (played by Brenton Thwaites) sufficiently developed in the story. But I liked the representation of his age in the film – it felt more appropriate.

There were other distinct differences I’d like to discuss, but in wanting to avoid spoilers, I’ll paraphrase… Jonas’s turning point in the film was much more satisfying – it created a culmination of action and tension – and involved more of the cast, where in comparison to the novel, eluded more to Jonas’s character development than an acceleration of blockbuster effects.

The Giver Film vs Novel Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Having Asher (played by Cameron Monaghan) become a Drone Pilot instead of a Recreational Director added a different dynamic in the film version. Within in the book it was to illustrate the naivety of war, but in the film it was a tool to expose the landscape in and around the community and it Big Brother-esque governmental control and inject some action and pacing.

I found the book more satisfying, its underlying commentary on identity and community as handled well for a young adult market. The book overall, however felt unfinished and not fully discovered. The Film, comparatively was entertaining but lacked the clout of a social conscious you garner from the book, which left it a little wishy-washy. So it’s the book for the win!

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Scarlet

Scarlet Book Review by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling instalment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. 

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

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 Scarlet was highly anticipated and had some big britches to fill after the amount of enjoyment I got out of reading Cinder – and it did not disappoint.

Even though we are introduced to new characters, primarily Scarlet, the storyline also picked up Cinder’s story and wove the two of them together expertly.

Again, as it is based on a fairytale, (Red Riding Hood) there is an amount of predictability to the plot; but yet I was still surprised and delighted at this adaptation and what eventuated in the pages of Marissa Meyer’s second instalment of the Luna Chronicles.

Scarlet Book Review pic 01 by Casey CarlisleScarlet is a great main character, a strong female who can hold her own. She differs from Cinder where she is a little more naive and relies on the help and guidance of her new companion, Wolf. The way aspects of the original fable are brought to life in this science fiction epic are masterful. Scarlet is a girl made through hard yakka and poverty. Intelligent enough to run her own business, but still sheltered: yes her character mirrors Cinder a little, but they shine as distinct separate women. Plus it was great to see the characters from the first and second books interact with Scarlet. The only negative I can mention about this novel, is that I felt that we didn’t get to know Scarlet as well as we did Cinder in the first book – much of this instalment dealt with events around Scarlet, rather than getting to know her as a character. But still very entertaining and totally had me fangirling!

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Marissa’s writing style is effortless, and at times satirical, to ensure Scarlet is a quick and eloquent read. I did miss the comic relief that was present in Cinder, in the form of Iko… but our little robot friend jumped back into the story later in the novel. But as my favourite character, I would have loved to read more of Iko’s jarring and funny dialogue.

This has been one of my most enjoyed reads (and series) in the past year, so it will remain in my top ten recommendations. Will be jumping into the next in the series, Cress, in the month to come…

Scarlet Book Review pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – The Selection

The Selection Book Review by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

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I’d passed over this title many times because of the premise – a raffle for a Prince to choose his bride – sounds a little overdone and pretentious. Many have said it was The Bachelor meets The Apprentice (I didn’t get a feel for the Apprentice part until the end of the second instalment though). I must say I was pleasantly entertained by The Selection. Even though it rubs the wrong way against my ideals, and I felt there were some major plot holes in the world building, I was able to submerge myself in the narrative, and admit that Keira Cass has created a piece which has become a guilty pleasure to read.

The ick factor with this book came from the pomposity of the world – it did not feel believable for me. But if you can indulge the fantasy, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the development of some of the characters. Plus there are some real mean girls in here that took me back to my high school experience; how I wish I could have dumped a bucket of fish guts over their heads!

The Selection Book Review Pic 03 by Casey CarlisleKiera Cass does a great job in using the narrators voice, in this case America Singer, as a tool for her storyline reveals. We discover the facts as she does. A real case of show, don’t tell. It ticked a big box for me. But the most annoying thing about this novel (and which continues throughout the series) is America’s indecisiveness. For such a strong willed character she flip-flops all over the place. At times I just about left dent marks in my e-reader from gripping onto the case in frustration.

It was refreshing to meet a character who started to enjoy the trappings of class. America begins to get more and more daring, putting on more make-up, choosing flashier clothes, getting comfortable with her maids, and made no apology for her excitement. Every girl likes to play dress up and feel pretty. We can’t be self-sacrificing martyrs all the time.

Other issues I had in the storytelling had to do with America not exploring her situation enough. Questioning why things were the way they were… but having said that, if Keira Cass had explored that train of thought The Selection series would have a much different, darker tone, and ultimately less enjoyable. So I’m chalking it up to America’s naivety to the world around her…

The Selection Book Review pic 04 by Casey CarlisleKeira’s writing style is like a warm breeze tickling your skin and waving through your hair: it’s effortless and unseen. I whipped through this book so quickly. Which attributes to the pacing as well, I did not feel the need to put the book down. I have to say, The Selection was a light romantic read very close to a Cinderella story.

If you are on the fence with this series by the end of The Selection, I will say – it gets better. There were a few unexpected twists that brutally surprised me throughout the subsequent editions that I feel totally redeem the collection. So, yes I picked up the next book in the series, The Elite to read straight away…

The Selection Book Review pic 05 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

 © Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Keep your dialogue positive

I’m not just talking about the character dialogue you write – it’s what you tell yourself and say to others.

Recently, most conversations with friends and relatives have consisted of listening to their woes (and some of mine). While I don’t mind being there as a sympathetic ear for them to vent, or commiserate in camaraderie, I think it is important for that type of exchange not to be the dominant form of discourse. No-one wants to be thought of as a Debbie Downer. Whether you are aware of it or not, you could fall into a negative cycle where all you do is whine.

Hells no, I’m not going to fall into that pit of despair!

When I was reading through a draft last week (which I remember writing in a particularly difficult period in my life) one on my characters had broken into an extended poor-me speech… and it did not relate to the story at all. That tone continued through a number of chapters, and I could imagine readers putting the book down. If it was someone I knew in real life, I’d be avoiding them like they’d just sharted.

Guess I must have been venting.

But those words had the power to drag me back to a morbid moment. That’s what writing is all about – but it needs to be in the right place, serve a purpose.  Darkness makes the light all that brighter… and all that. I’m all for drama and angst, but want my experience on this planet to be more about bright colours and pretty sparkles.

You see it online – people are more inclined to rant on blogs and videos these days. Yes, though occasionally entertaining, most of the time I am clicking on in search of something more substantial.

Keep your dialogue positive 05 by Casey Carlisle I think it is important to focus on achievement and things you want to accomplish. Don’t lose track of those goals! That way, when people keep ask you about what you are working on, you have the ability to act as your own cheerleader. It creates the encouragement and sense of achievement you need to strive forward.

I’ve noticed this personally. I’m practising at being my own best salesperson, always talking about my projects, thinking of ways to boost exposure or expand the universe of my novel. (You have to learn these skills if you want to succeed in the writing biz.) And people respond to that. They ask questions. They talk about you to their friends – because you are interesting, your work is interesting.

Your positivity and enthusiasm is infectious!

Though, it is a two-way street. Don’t forget to actively listen to others accomplishments and goals, give them a greatful pat on the back too – after all it’s not all about you. Be that bright light in the room that puts a smile on everyone’s face. A smile catches like fire!

So I think it’s important to be aware of your own dialogue – not only to keep you in a happy state of mind to boost productivity, but also to let others see you in the best possible light. It’s a perpetual cycle that can fuel success… if you let it.

UPPERCASE lowercase banner by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Rebel Belle

Rebel Belle Book Review by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

Harper Price, peerless Southern Belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favourite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him – and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

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I thoroughly enjoyed Rebel Belle – it took me back to the days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, however wasn’t as punchy (pun intended). The subject matter is great, as is the mythology, but the characters felt a little underdeveloped and cheesy for me.

Harper as a bad-ass heroine, is at first, a great premise, being a superficial girly-girl. Her character goes through some development in this novel, but it did not ring true for me. There was something missing. It felt like the reader (and Harper) were being led through the story and didn’t let her organically grow and choose her path through the plot. If you have read Anna Dressed on Blood by Kendare Blake, it is similar, but isn’t executed in a better fashion.

Rebel Belle Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

There is some witty dialogue, but wasn’t laugh-out-loud for me, but does keep your interest and drive the story forward. Much of this book is cliché, however it redeems itself on pure unadulterated entertainment. It’s fun, simple and tells an interesting story. The heroine is a little different to the plethora of normal-girl-turned-chosen-one. Harper is a mean girl who lucked into her predicament.

The love interest of David Stark – though annoying at times – he’s such a big nerd – and that worked for me. I lurve geeky, nerdy guys!

Rebel Belle Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

There is a great amount of predictability with Rebel Belle, it very much mirrors an after-school special. Thankfully the pace moves quickly and we don’t get bogged down with insignificant or longwinded narration. I will say the style felt a little abrupt and immature, and I would have liked to have seen some information left out for the reader to discover to create more interest.

I’d recommend Rebel Belle for a great, light quick read – perfect for a girls night in…

Rebel Belle Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle

   Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Onyx

Onyx Book Review by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defence are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

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Onyx Book Review Pic 07 by Casey CarlisleI’m beginning to develop a love/hate relationship with this series. It is a guilty pleasure – I am drawn to the trashy Mills & Boon-esque love story, the teen angst, the drama, the all-stakes action (with some sci-fi thrown in for good measure). I definitely enjoyed this book more than the debut Obsidian. Daemon Black still has me melting into a pool of my own making. Although I am periodically pulled from the narrative with the writing style when Jennifer L Armentrout attempts ‘teen-speak’ – it comes of off as trite on occasions. But then again it is her target market – not an ol’ bitty of my vintage.

A plus for the story telling typical in this genre – the protagonists weren’t so two dimensional, and in addition to the plot twists, you were never entirely sure who they were. I liked how I was kept guessing at their underlying motivations. It created some great tension.

The biggest failing for me was the repetition of our main character (Katy’s) inner lamenting. Although her mental dialogue was sufficiently angsty, at times became frustrating and boring, as it had only been described ten pages before. So too were her, (and the love interest – Daemon’s) behavioural patterns. As much as I love the uncertainty of their reasoning, at times felt a little too drawn out.

Onyx Book Review Pic 04 by Casey CarlisleThe last little niggling thing that kept pulling me from the narrative were some of the long-winded kissing scenes… don’t get me wrong, I love a great hot and steamy snog-fest, but Onyx had me squirming at times, like I’d just walked in on my parents playing tonsil hockey.

One the whole, I enjoyed this second instalment in Jennifer Armentrout’s Lux series, the pacing was superior to its predecessor. As was the predictability of the storyline, it had me guessing at aspects of the plot. There are still some glaringly obvious forecomings, but that did not distract from the experience.

There were some definite laugh out loud moments in this book, but overall seemed few and far between than in Obsidian, but we’ll worth the wait. I miss Katy’s goofs, clumsiness and one liners.

I liked Daemon a lot more at the end of this novel, upon completing Obsidian, I really felt him to be a little too contrite and nearly blew my interest in the series; but totally redeems himself in Onyx. Katy grows up a little more in this edition, but as stated earlier I felt her narration annoying at times. She’s always had a backbone (which I like) but wasn’t given the opportunity to let her sass shine as much here. Also the great relationship she had with Dee (Daemon’s Sister) fell by the wayside for much of the book. That disappointed me – great girlfriends are hard to come by, and Katy and Dee have been my favourite lit gal-pal pairing to date.

Onyx Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Whether Jennifer’s writing is improving, or the storylines becoming more intricate and realistic, Onyx is definitely a fun read. I’m a sucker for a bit of romance and a bit of science fiction with a side of teen angst. I’d recommend this series to anyone who is a sap for gorgeous brooding men, aliens, and some heavy petting.

The Third book, Opal, is in this months T,B,R pile… so stay turned for a review of that one 🙂

Onyx Book Review Pic 06 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle


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