March 27, 2015

Stung by Joss Stirling

Stung by Joss Stirling 
Series: Struck #2
Source: Netgalley arc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Children's Books
Publication Date: February 5th, 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
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The eagerly-anticipated new novel from Joss Stirling, author of the bestselling Finding Sky series.
Kate's on the run, framed for a crime she didn't commit. Nathan is the boy who must find her and protect her from the people who want to hurt her. Together they will experience a love like no other. But can they keep each other alive?
An electrifying romantic thriller that will make your heart skip a beat.

First of all, I'd like to thank Oxford University Press Children's Books and Netgalley for giving me a chance to read this book ahead of time! As a huge Joss Stirling fan, I can't thank you enough!

I'll start by saying this: I highly recommend Joss Stirling's books. I've read them all, so I can honestly tell you they're all great fun, with swoony characters and engaging plots. You get sucked right into them, and they tend to keep you captive until you're done with them.

Sting is the second book in her Struck series, which deals with teenage spies from the Young Detective Agency also known as YDA. Which makes them Yodas. That amuses me, for some reason. I can't help quirk a smile every time one of the agents says he's a "yoda".
Kate used to be a yoda, until a mission went very wrong. That was one year ago, and ever since then she's been on the run. But now she's back in England, and when the YDA picks up on that, they send a team of yodas to apprehend her and bring her back in to finally find out everything that happened... and why she ran.

Nathan is the leader of that team. A jokester, a happy-go-lucky Wolf. A hunter, in other words. Who used to have a crush on Kate that he thought long over. Of course, he thought wrong, and now all he wants to do is help Kate clear her name and stop those who are after her.

I'll be upfront - their romance was my only major issue with the book. They were extremely cute together, don't get me wrong, but it literally took them a couple of days to fall for each other. For those who don't know me, I hate insta-love. Stirling is one of those author that has managed to make me "buy" it a couple of times, but it wasn't the case here. I felt like there wasn't enough time for them to reach that stage, especially since all they know about each other are from very stressful situation, not their 'normal behavior'.
The only "Too fast" gif I managed to find. Anyone has any to share?
But I'll repeat - they were cute.

Now for two minor issues that didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story, but were nagging at the back of my mind:

#1 - Neither Kate nor Nathan felt like genuine specially trained kids.Yes, they handled the stressful situations very well, and had some unique skills, but I've read book where characters reacted similarly without the covert ops background. I guess I was looking for that edge the training should supply.

#2 I felt like the Scorpions were very nice to Kate, so to speak. I mean, they're a murdering, human trafficking orginazation. And yet, they don't do much to Kate. I felt there should've been more to it, considering the way she spoke of it. Though, I guess I don't wish anything worse had happened...

My favorite parts of this story were probably the Kieran x Raven cameos, and the dynamics between Nathan and Damien, and Nathan and his family. I don't know why, but both really captured me. I am now in debate over which BF I want to get a book first - Joe or Damien? (speaking of Joe... he was sadly absent from the book. I hope he'll get to appear in the next!)

The ending was extremely cheesy, but I admit... I grinned happily. #sorrynotsorry 

So, yeah. I had a few issues with this one. But did I enjoy it? Did I practically read it in one sitting and sneaked pages at work? Yes. Yes I did. 

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