Thursday, April 11, 2013

Novella Reviews: Breathless (Elemental, #2.5) and Undone (Unraveling, #1.5)


Breathless  (Elemental, #2.5)Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental, #2.5
Release date: May 2013
Publisher Kensington Teen
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon


Everyone knows that Michael is my favorite Merrick (if you have any illusions that you’ll be able to take him from me, please keep in mind that I have mad ninja skills I’ve been keeping under wraps all this time and that I won’t hesitate to use them), but what you might not know is that smart, calm, level-headed Nick is a close second. There was always something especially vulnerable about him that made me want to hide him and protect him.

I must admit that I love the direction Nick’s story is taking. What lies ahead of him is sure to be painful and extremely difficult, but I hope he’ll find the courage to go where his heart leads him, despite what his brothers might think. In the end, it probably won’t be nearly as terrible as he’s imagining it.

Ever since Spark, I’ve been uneasy when I thought of Nick (and I do think about the Merricks more often than I care to admit). I didn’t like Quinn for him, she is too unpredictable, too wild and self-centered. But Breathless showed a different side of her, and a different side of Nick, too, and I can’t wait to see where it will all lead them in Nick’s full-length novel, scheduled for January 2014. I liked Adam the second he showed up. I think he might be exactly what Nick needs – gentle and wise beyond his age, but also a bit pushy and determined not to let anyone dictate his life. I don’t doubt Nick’s happy ending at all, I just hope neither of them will get too hurt in the meanwhile.

January 2014, huh? Where’s that darn pre-order button?





Undone (Unraveling, #1.5)Author: Elizabeth Norris
Series: Unraveling, #1.5
Release date: March 5th 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Buy: Amazon


My poor, POOR Ben.
The first part of Undone focuses on Ben’s life before Janelle. We see where he came from and how, and it all helps explain his unflinching loyalty to his two best friends, Eli and Reid. Ben spent so many years admiring Janelle from afar, but even though he admitted as much in Unraveling, I never quite understood the importance of it until now. It was charming and a bit heartbreaking to learn how many times he wanted to approach her, talk to her, but could never quite gather the courage to do it.

In the second part, which is also the shortest, we see some of the most important events from Unraveling through Ben’s eyes. His decision to save Janelle’s life carries far more weight now that I know all about the risks it brought with it. For Ben, Janelle shines like a comet, she’s as untouchable and perfect as a goddess.

Third part is the longest and it shows Ben’s life after Unraveling. Going back to his old life wasn’t nearly as easy as he’d hoped – by the time he and Eli made it back, there wasn’t much left to find. Neither Ben nor Eli really belong there anymore, but just as they start to talk about leaving once more, something happens to change their plans.

I’m not quite sure whether I should recommend reading Undone before or after Unbreakable (honestly, I’m leaning toward after), but I definitely recommend reading it. It will give you a very clear idea of Ben’s life before and after Janelle, but even more importantly, seeing Janelle through Ben’s loving eyes will make the intensity of his emotions somewhat easier to understand.

24 comments:

  1. I haven't started either of these series. I have heard only great things about them so I should start them soon. I'll keep in mind that Michael is yours. I guess I have to find another boy there then :) I guess Ben is out of limits too? :D Great reviews Maja :)

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  2. I love how you reviewed two books with two of your favourite characters today Maja. I adored Nick in Breathless too, I always thought I had a clear favourtie Merrick when I picked up Storm, but Kemmerer just confuses me even more with each installment. I also didn't know Nick would be getting his own full length novel! I can't wait! I think I'm going to wait for the release of Unbreakable before picking up Undone, but I can't wait to read Ben's back story! Also how come I didn't know about your mad ninja skills before? I'll definitely have to take one of your guys off you to see what you've got! ;)

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  3. I definitely plan to read Undone, though I'm putting it off until Unbreakable. I can't wait to get more about Ben. I've missed him! And I'm so glad you enjoyed Breathless, too! Nick has always been my favourite and I love that we finally have a clearer picture of him. I really liked Adam's character, too, and looking forward to reading about him again. Great reviews, Maja!

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  4. There's just something about a novella that keeps you in contact with your favorite characters. Love it! Especially when you know there's more to come...

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  5. Oh man both of these sound like they were so good. I have been noticing lately that novella's are becoming much more important to the linear feel of a series. I used to skip over them because it didn't matter if you read them or not but when I read Boundless I really felt like I missed out because I hadn't read Radiant. Anyway, end rant. I have to start both of these series' I suck and haven't read the first books in either but I really want to read both!

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  6. I am kind of sad the next book isn't about Nick but I am glad he is getting one! I talked to Brigid the other day on Twitter and she said she is writing it right now and it is breaking her heart so...eep! I have a feeling it will be really emotional!

    I didn't love Unravel like I thought I would so I haven't read the novella yet, maybe I should though after reading your review and give the series another shot.

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  7. I've read Spark but no further yet, but sounds like I need to put this one on my list as well. I have been more and more attracted to novellas lately as well.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  8. I FEAR NOT YOUR MAD NINJA SKILLS MAJA!!!! I'll give you Michael Merrick, but Ben? Ben is mine and I have mad ninja skills of my own. Okay, maybe I don't, but I fight dirty. There will be hair pulling. And maybe biting. I can't be sure. All I know is there will be no referring to Ben as "yours" ;-)

    Can't wait to read both of these! I never liked Quinn for Nick either, so I'm really excited to meet Adam!

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  9. Oh Maja I feel so left out..i haven't read any of this series and it sounds quite interesting. What I need is time..more time. Wonderful reviews and look you all are all fighting over these characters *sighs and shuffles away*

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  10. I LOVED Breathless as well. Oooh In book #1 Nick was my favorite and then he ended up with Quinn *shudders* Worst pair ever! But that changed as soon as I read Breathless :)

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  11. I can't wait to read Breathless! I love those Merrick brothers. I wasn't sure about Quinn as a love interest either but I hope like you this changes after reading this.

    I think I would recommend reading Undone before Unbreakable because I think people might be more sympathetic to a mistake Ben makes and understand why it could've happened. Undone broke my heart for Ben! Great reviews Maja. :)

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  12. I love the Elemental series! And we might have to share Michael since he's my favorite too. :) I'm really looking forward to reading Nick's book. Thank goodness we have 2 novellas to read meanwhile we wait until Jan for the next full length novel.

    Unbreakable didn't do anything for me, unfortunately, as I had a lot of problems with trying to suspend my disbelief in the science fiction part of the book. Glad you enjoyed it though!

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  13. It is definitely novella week. I want to check out both of these. Can you believe I haven't started the Elementals yet. I got book three so I am now motivated. I am tired of being out in the cold while everyone gushes over the Merrick boys. I am dying to know more about Ben!

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  14. Gosh, I have GOT to get my hands on Unbreakable, because I really liked Unraveling. I'm a fan of these between-the-big-book novella's. If I can get more in the head of a character, especially one that wasn't narrating in a previous book, that makes me very happy. So, Undone AFTER Unbreakable, right?

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  15. I really need to get caught up on the Elemental series. I keep hearing about these Merrick boys and I'm pretty sure I'm missing out on some epic hotness. Since I know next to nothing about Michael, you won't have to use your ninja skills on me (yet....I will catch up, and then all bets are off :D).

    I'm glad you mentioned reading Undone after Unbreakable because I haven't started that yet, and I already have Undone and was thinking of starting it first. I'm glad to hear these novellas are worthwhile (I really hate when series novellas are a letdown). Can't wait to catch up and read them! Fantastic reviews, Maja :-)

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  16. Hm... I still need to read the Elemental books and I've heard such good things about that first one. Ninja skills? Well, I have clumsy skills and I'll make something go sideways. :) Hm... I'm now also curious about the Unraveling series. Must check these out!

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  17. I love Michael and Nick as well, so I'm thrilled that the novella sheds more light on Nick since he gets woefully little limelight. I'm actually seriously considering dropping this series because while I like it, I don't LOVE it and I found so much to nit-pick with in the last installment. Also, the next book features Hunter who isn't one of my favorites...we'll see what I decide. I should probably check out the novella to get an idea of what to do, so thanks for reviewing it, Maja!

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  18. lol - well, hell.. I really need to rad the Elemental series. I just have to meet these boys! :D

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  19. I knew a few people that really liked Breathless, and find him to be one of the best characters in that series. I saw most of them describe it as emotional, it sounds like this novella really rounds his character. I haven't read this series yet, but know a few friends that loved it.

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  20. I still need to read Unraveling but I'm enjoying how authors are writing all these novellas that give us a better glimpse at their character's motivations.

    Your review of the novella makes me want to pick up the series.

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  21. Oh you are really enjoying these! That's sweet to hear. :) And two series I think I need to get to. :) Thank you!

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  22. Bahah i'm totally getting ninja lessons because Michael is my fav!! Actually I had another favorite at first but it changed to Michael during the sequel he's such a great character. I didn't know this novella was about Nick I can't wait to read it I need my next dose of the Merrick boys! :D

    Also, I must read Unraveling!!

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  23. I haven't read either of these series yet, but really want to! Shoot, I should have bought Unraveling with my gift card! I just picked out a ton of books and for some reason that wasn't one of them. Oops, I guess next time!

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  24. I think I will wait to read Undone, but I'm glad it's a good addition to the series!

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