The Hunt (Project Paper Doll #2) by Stacey KadeThe Hunt by Stacey Kade
Series: Project Paper Doll #2
Published by Disney Hyperion on April 22, 2014
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed From A Friend
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Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N
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Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. While on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life.

But accepting Zane's help means putting him in danger.

Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently. To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?

You can check out my review of the first book in this series, The Rules, here.

I’m just going to address Zane’s character first because he is so epic-ally SWOON WORTHY.

Honestly, I couldn’t say if I preferred reading from his POV over Ariane’s because it was wonderful being inside both of their heads, but Zane just melts me. Every.Single.Time.

The complexity of his thoughts and the candidness of his steam of consciousness is so utterly satisfying. Zane is a thoughtful and brave accomplice, and ever so loyal to Ariane. He’s basically Clark from Smallville. But a thousands times better. The intimate scenes between him and Ariane from his POV are so worth every moment spent reading this novel.

Zane’s POV:

 

She curled her fingers hesitantly in the collar of my shirt, and keeping her gaze fixed on me, she leaned in.

Her lips brushed lightly over  mine. So light, in fact, it felt more like one of those accidental mouth brushes when you go to kiss someone on the cheek and miss.

It was still electrifying, oddly enough, ramping up the tension and anticipation I could feel building between us, but I didn’t understand it.

I slid my hand to the back of her head, my fingers tangling in her hair, and angled my mouth against hers, tasting her deeply, showing no hesitation, no fear. It was easy. I didn’t feel any.

Ariane clutched at my shoulders, her breath escaping in a quiet gasp, sending a gratifying thrill through me.

Then she wrapped her arms around my  neck and pulled herself into my lap.

Blood rushing away from my head, I promptly forgot about pretty much everything except for her tongue in my mouth and her body against mine.

Ariane’s character is equally complex and candid, and while her confidence is increasing regarding her abilities and what course she is going to take to set things right, she is still struggling with insecurities about how she stands with Zane. Ariane still finds it hard to believe that Zane could like a strange breed like her, and there were so many moments in this story that I wished she had been reading Zane’s thoughts at the right time. Ariane’s character is so conflicted but ultimately courageous and considerate. I really enjoyed her struggle in this book.

And, OF COURSE, I have to include a steamy scene from her POV with Zane as well.

Ariane’s POV:

 

His hands were gentle on my face, at the back of my head under my hair, and then tracing a line down from my jaw down my neck, under the collar of my shirt and the T beneath it.

His fingertips skidded to a stop on the first button of my shirt, and I shivered in anticipation.

“Okay?” he whispered.

“Yes,” I whispered back, trying not to sound as breathless and desperate as I felt.

He released the button slowly and then moved to the next, again so slowly. Giving me time to think, to object.

But I didn’t want that. Didn’t need it.

I pushed his hands out of the way and he froze, an apology written across his face. I got my remaining buttons open in seconds, and I was struggling with my sleeves before he caught on enough to help me pull the cuffs free over my wrists.

I pulled at the front of his shirt and he needed no further encouragement, releasing the buttons as efficiently as I’d dispensed with my own.

 

There’s a lot of action in this book (romantic and otherwise *snickers*), and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time Ariane and Zane were running for their lives. In The Hunt, Kade addresses the complex question: Is it okay to sacrifice one person for the greater good? To lay down one life, to save multiple lives? And a question for anyone to ponder- Which part of yourself do you identify with most?  And which side do you let win- the good or the bad?

Stacey Kade’s writing has such a hypnotic cadence, and I just cannot express enough how much I enjoy her writing. Her characterization and descriptive prowess are like kryptonite to me. I’m destroyed by their expressive power. Okay, I’ll stop reviewing before I get any more cheesy. Just know- I flippin’ LOVE this series and Stacey Kade’s writing, and I think EVERYONE should read her books.

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The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1) by Stacey KadeThe Rules by Stacey Kade
Series: Project Paper Doll #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on April 23, 2013
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed From A Friend
Add to your Goodreads TBR shelf.
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N
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1. Never trust anyone.

2. Remember they are always searching.

3. Don’t get involved.

4. Keep your head down.

5. Don’t fall in love.

Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”

But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules…

I think The Rules is secretly dedicated to all those Smallville Clark+Chole fans out there.

 

Judging by the cover of this book, I would have never guessed it was a Sci-Fi novel with an Alien- hybrid protagonist. Good thing I actually read the back blurb after my bestie lent me a stack of books because I was ready to pass on it. But, as any regular reader of this blog knows, I LOVE me some Alien/Human romance and action. The Rules alternates between narrators Ariane and Zane, providing a well-rounded reading experience.

Ariane Tucker is dealing with a lot more than teenage-angst and keeping up her grades. On top of being in high-school, (which is hard enough) she’s trying to hide any trace that she has extraterrestrial DNA by blending in beyond blurred lines. She needs to be invisible.

Ariane was created in a genetics lab for a government agenda and has been hiding in plain sight, just miles away from the facility that created her, with the man that helped her escape.

Forced to abide by a set of rules that will help her stay off the radar, Ariane has been forced to keep people at arms-length and has not had the experience of true-friendship or a romantic relationship.

Previews for the movie Lucy, starring Scarlet Johansson (bleh) totally remind me of Ariane Tucker, the protagonist from this book, even though Ariane is supposed to be extremely petite and pale, barely able to fill a ”B-cup”.

Ariane opens up a can of whoop-ass of telekinetic powers when she’s pushed to defend those she grows to care about in this story, and it was either imagine her as Carry or imagine her as Lucy, so I went with the latter.

Lucy/Scar Jo as Ariane
Lucy/Scar Jo as Ariane

Despite the monotony of Ariane’s life, she was a vividly imagined character whom I was able to empathize with throughout her daily struggles, painful memories, and new experiences. She may have been hiding from ”The Man” but in no way was she a coward.

After further reading, the mental image I had of Ariane switched to Chloe from Smallville, not only because Ariane is extremely smart and resourceful, but also because Ariane admits to having a thing for Clark Kent and casting him in a virtual reality game she plays to pass the time that she should otherwise be spending socializing with other kids her age.

Chloe/Allison Mac as Ariane
Chloe as Ariane

Now, let’s get to my favorite part about this book: Zane Bradshaw. Talk about INTENSE swoony-feels for Zane. He starts off as that guy we love to watch in teen movies- the one that runs with the popular kids and falls for the dorky-girl who’s like an enigma to him. But as much as I personally LOVE cliches, the relationship that unfolds between Zane and Ariane is beyond that. It’s unique and so, SO good.

Clark/Tom Welling as Zane.
Clark/Tom Welling as Zane.

Stacey Kade swept me off my feet with Zane in all of his six-foot-four, Clark Kent-esque glory. She really gets into his head and shows us everything that makes him tick. The romance that is kindled between him and Ariane starts out awkwardly but lands firmly on it’s feet by the end of the book.

The Rules started out slow but the pacing allowed for wonderful, thoughtfully crafted main characters. The author’s use of Deep Point of View was masterfully executed and really made me forget I was reading the book and not actually living the life of Ariane.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Rules and I am currently reading The Hunt because I couldn’t wait to continue Ariane and Zanes story.

Here’s a sneak peek of an intense moment between Ariane and Zane from Zane’s POV:

Her hands were cool and tentative at first, at the back of my neck and then moving with more confidence over my shoulders and through my hair.

Reaching up to touch her face, I could feel her delicate bones beneath soft skin–she never seemed fragile or small except for when I touched her. Her personality made her seem bigger, more powerful.

I slid my hand beneath her hair, which was heavy and soft and held the heat of her body, making me want to touch more. I tipped her chin at a slightly stronger angle and tasted her mouth, and she let out a gasp, her hands clutching tighter at my collar.

 

Excuse me, while I go reread that chapter. *Fans self like a hefty woman in a church pew on a Summer Sunday in Texas*

 

 

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