Sunday, December 1, 2013

Review: Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Book 0.5 of the Dark Elements series
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Publication Date: December 1, 2013
Rating: 5 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

In a sizzling prequel novella to her new series THE DARK ELEMENTS, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons.

Dez wasn't just Jasmine's crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining balance between good and evil. He was her everything...right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn't help that Jas's father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he's back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn't taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again...

What I Liked:

I will be the first to tell you that novellas are unnecessary and a slight waste of money. Usually, I skip novellas in series, because I think it's a waste of money to pay $2.99 for less than a hundred pages of content - and it's not even printed. Novellas don't continue the plot; their purpose is to give more background or more insight on an event or a character or a mixture of both. And usually, at least one full-length novel will come out before any novellas come out - which is annoying, because many times, novellas are set BEFORE the full-length novels.

Well, I really, really like this novella, for many reasons. I love the background information provided, I love Dez and Jasmine's story, and I love the role and placement of this novella. Armentrout does an amazing job of introducing this new world and series to readers in this novella. She also shows us the progression of Dez and Jasmine's relationship, which is exciting and beautiful. Finally, this novella is made available BEFORE any of the full-length novels are out, which is a really great thing. 

 This novella provided a wealth of information about the world that Armentrout has created. The author does a brilliant job of describing the world, the characters, the paranormal creatures she has created, the rules of society, and so on. I found like, zero plot holes, and when I had questions, they were gradually answered as I kept reading. The world-building is very well-done, as is the character development. Novellas a difficult to write, because you have to cram a ton of world-building, character development, and a plot into a story that should be like, three to four times smaller than a full length novel. That's not easy! But Armentrout did a really fantastic job with this novella. 

Dez and Jasmine's relationship is so near-perfect, in my opinion. Not their relationship, but the manner in which the relationship exists is near-perfect. Dez and Jasmine have a past they have to work through, but they have a present that is steamy and meaningful, and a future that is (hopefully) amazing. Armentrout always has the right amount of hawtness in her books, and this novella is no exception. But I loved how the romance is worked into the plot of this novella. This story is really all about Dez and Jasmine, but Armentrout subtly slips in bits and pieces that foreshadow what is to come in book one. Bravo!

The role of this novella is superb! I usually hate how novellas come out AFTER the first full-length novel comes out. There is no point! I mean, I totally respect every author's work, but like, novellas usually are not necessary to read, to understand the rest of the series. And they always come after the first full-length novel comes out. Which is annoying. What I like about this novella is that it comes out BEFORE the first full-length novel. Therefore, it is actually somewhat necessary to the series. If you read this novella, you get a lot of information concerning gargoyles and gargoyle customs and whatnot. A lot of things will make sense even BEFORE you even read the first book. Which I like!

Basically, this novella is the exception to all of my opinions about novellas. And, as a story, it is a GREAT novella. I enjoyed the story, and I would highly recommend reading this book, especially before the first book comes out. Armentrout does not disappoint!

What I Did Not Like:

I have nothing to say in this section! No work of literature is perfect, but I can't think of anything I didn't like about this novella.

Would I Recommend It:

DEFINITELY! I usually dislike the roles of novellas (I think they're a little unnecessary), but this novella had an interesting role to it. For one, it came out BEFORE any of the full-length novels in this series, which like, never happens. This made its purpose different, because it really is giving us background about the gargoyle world, before reading the actual novels. I like that! 

And I actually have White Hot Kiss - I got it before I got Bitter Sweet Love - but I'm really glad I read this novella before I read the first book (I have yet to read it). So, I highly recommend you pick up this novella, before reading book one. I was sure I'd never say that, but, I did!


5 stars. This novella is totally worth $2.51 (or however much you will pay for it). Run, don't walk!

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  1. Nice review!! Looking forward to reading this one and White Hot Kiss in another agonizing 2+ months!! Jennifer's prequel to the Covenant series was like this too. In fact, it really set up how the first book began! I never did read her prequel to the Lux books, but I have a feeling it would be much of the same awesomeness in setting up the first book!

    Glad to hear this one was good! Great review!

    1. I am sure that you will love this one, Jessica! I haven't read JLA's Covenant series, and I never read Shadows. In general, I don't read novellas, but I'm glad I got the chance to read this one.

      Thank you!

  2. So glad you loved it! I read White Hot Kiss without reading this first. Sounds like I need to go back and read this one! JLA is fabulous.

  3. Although I LOVE novellas, I'm with you in that I would prefer novellas come first to give a taste of the world first. Harlequin Teen is good about pre-novellas. They did it with the Steampunk Chronicles series by Kady Cross too, although I read book 1 before I realized there was a novella. I also really like the setup of this world. I didn't know that gargoyles could be so sexy! I really enjoyed White Hot Kiss, but I was slightly disappointed in that I just wanted more of Jasmine and Dez. It took me a while to get used to the primary story being Layla as opposed to Dezmine! ;) Great, great review!

    Mary @ Mary Had a Little Book Blog

    1. Harlequin is pretty great about that! I actually didn't know about the novellas for the Steampunk Chronicles until after I'd read books one, two, and three.

      I have an ARC and eARC of White Hot Kiss that will be read in the next few weeks... I have a feeling that I'm going to want to see more Dez and Jasmine as well. Oh well!

      Thank you so much, Mary!


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