Friday, August 30, 2013

REVIEW: SHOOTING SCARS BY KARINA HALLE

Sometimes the right choice can be the deadliest.

When Ellie Watt made the ultimate sacrifice for Camden McQueen, she never thought it would be easy. But walking away with her ex-lover, Javier Bernal, in order to ensure Camden’s safety has brought a whole new set of dangers. With Javier’s plans for Ellie growing more secretive by the moment, Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game before her past swallows her whole.

Meanwhile, Camden’s new life is short-lived. Fueled by revenge and pursued by authorities, he teams up with an unlikely partner in order to save Ellie. But as Camden toes the line between love and retribution, he realizes that in order to get back the woman he loves, he may have to lose himself in the process. He might just turn into the very man he’s hunting.

Told in dual POV from Camden and Ellie.


Published August 20th 2013 by Grand Cen­tral Publishing
eGalley provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Where to Find Shooting  Scars: 


The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she's preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup. 

Karina is represented by Scott Waxman of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

Where to Find Karina Halle:

Our Review:

Honestly, Courtney, I've been messing around online for an hour or so as I consider what to write for this review because my mind is still trying to digest everything. I've managed to cyberstalk Karina Halle on every one of her social media sites, tweeted her like an angsty teen, liked her FB page, and am now trying to figure out where in the hell this story is going next. 

You have no idea how happy it makes me that you have came over to the dark side with me! (AKA Team KH) And really that is a big compliment because I kinda have a girl crush on Karina Halle, and seriously can count on zero sleep when she releases a book. They are all so good and I've read them all! Okay..wait. I haven't finished Come Alive yet, but I'm working on it! Anyways, Eeeep! I have been processing emotions too, but I really loved the ending! 

From about 50% to the end of this novel, there was just one word that captured my mindset...be prepared...it's not a pretty word...and the word is: fucked. Not only are the characters fucked, the reader is too--at least if you are as emotionally entrenched in these characters as I've become. As I told two of my friends--this book is one delicious mindfuck. I enjoyed every single second of torture dished out. So what was so amazing about it? Well...each chapter was almost like a mini-cliffhanger and so I was constantly compelled to read the next chapter, doing so until my eyes refused to stay open. 

*Happy dance* Right. Our poor readers might give up on us after the Texting & Talking Tuesdays for this book, because well..it will be heavily laced with profanity. But...that one word can portray a lot of emotion between the two of us, so it really speaks for itself. That being said Wow. Just Wow. There is never a dull moment with these people and they really suck you into this world of pulling a con and the drug cartels of Mexico and how everything is so corrupt. (As of this publication, I don't see myself venturing to Mexico..ever) I never knew what was going to happen and you literally get it all unveiled to you one page at a time. Karina Halle does not write predictable folks. And it is AWESOME! 

Ellie is forced to deal with Javier and his constant manipulation of her feelings towards him, Camden, and Travis. She never quite knows what to feel or believe and so she winds up very twisted up --trying to think her way through things but constantly questioning, in doubt, or mistrustful of Javier...as she SHOULD be. He's such an asshat. The thing I hate for Ellie is that she questions herself and her innate goodness. She's so turned around that she finds herself questioning if she can ever be good. I hate her parents and Travis and Javier for that. I really do.

After reading On Every Street, I really felt like I had this insider knowledge to the relationship with Ellie and Javier. Yet, this time around he is just as unpredictable as ever. I do like your assessments of him up there...but I knew that something was going to happen! Ugh....We found out so, so, so, so, much...but still there is so much more to find out in the final book! Ellie has been learning to be a con since she was a tiny girl, and for her to trust people is really, really hard. I want Camden to be that person. So. Much. 

Camden. Poor Camden. He gets royally screwed in this entire situation. Between his dickhead dad, his horrible ex-wife and in-laws, and the Ellie situation, it's a wonder that he hasn't exploded into a ball of uncontrollable rage. I want to rage for him. When Ellie leaves and all hell breaks loose with his ex, he takes off on his mission to find and save Ellie. The path to her is paved with bullets, betrayal, blood, and (I cannot find another b word! ruins my alliterative effect!) pain. My heart was racing from fear and heartache and anger and sadness. 

Badass?? Does that work? Camden is seriously badass. I shall also state for the record here that I am still 100% Team Camden. I totally get it if you are Team Javier or you've jumped the fence...but I am a loyalist and I usually stick with the person I pick from the beginning...(ask my friends, I may be the only Team Stefan hold out left in the world..sorry TV show..bitter)...Camden has gotten the short end of the stick pretty much his entire life so when he unleashes his rage monster I am totally rooting him on. 

In the background of all of this we have the beaches and jungles and cartels of Mexico--such a beautiful setting for the deceptions taking place. In this novel, we also see a return appearance of Travis, Raul, and Gus--all have interesting and integral parts to play in the way this story progresses. Beautiful or not, still not going there. Nope. Not gonna do it! -- But really...the few times that humanity can be seen in Javier is when he is talking about his home town, culture, old life that he remembers with childlike ideation...I think that is the reason people jump ship to him...

As we leave the end of book two, there are lots of questions to be answered. Can Ellie see that she's good? Can Cameron stave off his murderous rage or will he embrace it? Will Javier help them? Hurt them? Murder them? Who will Ellie walk away with? Will anyone walk away? So.Many. Questions. And I'm loving every second of it! And to the powers that be...if we could have this as a movie, that would be awesome. Wouldn't that be incredible! I'm for that. 

Perfect Shel, truly. I don't have anything better to add to that. Except that I honestly did not see that ending coming...at all...I cannot wait until October to see how the rest of this plays out! 

Shelley: 5 shooting stars
Courtney: Ditto! 5 Stars




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