Sunday, December 22, 2013

Review ~ Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Mila 2.0 (MILA 2.0 #1)
by Debra Driza
YA Sci-Fi
Published: March 12th 2013


Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence. 

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past-that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do. 

Now she has no choice but to run-from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila's becoming is beyond anyone's imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life. 

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza's bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be-and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel. 

My Review: 
**3.5 Stars**

Mila 2.0 is a very unique story and unlike anything I have read before. Mila is an android, only she doesn't know it. We all know it from the cover and synopsis, but it takes a little bit for Mila to find out in the book. The beginning dragged on for me because I was just waiting for her to find out about being an android so I could really start the story. 

Mila's character is interesting as she is fighting to suppress her android side and fully embrace her human emotions. Even though she is more "human" than the other androids that were created, she still comes off pretty callous and cold at times. Her emotions are not fully there, and it is just another apsect she is fighting to change. Mila starts to fall for a guy, Hunter, in the beginning, but he soon takes a backseat in the whole story. 

I do plan on reading the next book, but it is not high on my list of "to-reads." While I did enjoy the unique plot, it wasn't quite enough to hold my attention through the entire book, and I drifted at times.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Review ~ Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Vengeance Bound
by Justina Ireland
YA Fantasy/Mythology
Published: April 2nd 2013
Goodreads Link


The Goddess Test meets Dexter in an edgy, compelling debut about one teen's quest for revenge... no matter how far it takes her. 

Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory's mind houses the Furies-the hawk and the serpent-lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.

Cory's perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can't figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory's finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work? As Cory's mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she's worked so hard to build.

My Review: 
**4 Stars**

While I can understand why some people did not like Vengeance Bound, I actually enjoyed it. I found the use of the Furies to be fascinating and interesting in how they have to be tied to a human at all times. They feed off desperation, anger, and violence.

The POV is from Cory's mind, and it is sad to read how much older she seems than her actual age. So much violence and vengeance has made her grow up faster than she ever should have. However, it has also saved her life. I do like how the author brought up this aspect of give-and-take. Normally, you wouldn't really see this in a book. Cory's need for salvation is what brings the Furies to her, and they save her life - just as she, in a sense, saves theirs.

Part of me wishes that there will be a sequel, but the book was left in a good spot. There isn't a need for another one. I do look forward to reading whatever Justina Ireland has planned next. She did a fantastic job integrating mythology into Vengeance Bound and I hope she does it again in the future.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review ~ The Dragon Within by Cindy Lyle

The Dragon Within (The Creation Chronicles #1)
by Cindy Lyle
YA Fantasy
Published: October 22nd 2013
Goodreads Link


Deep within the mortal world of Eiddoril, war rages and the blood of innocents flows freely. Once protected by the four elements-Earth, Fire, Water and Air-Eiddoril was a peaceful, beautiful land. Now, after three hundred years of being ravaged by an evil lord and abandoned by their creators, the people and land of Eiddoril are dying. In the kingdom of Gareth, an orphan girl is raised as one of the royal family. But when she begins to have vivid nightmares it leads her to question where she really came from. Her questions lead her to Fitch, an old magic user, who helps her discover a shocking truth. Karah is not human, but instead part of a long-forgotten race. Desiring answers, she sets out to uncover the secrets of her past, and defeat the enemy wreaking havoc across the land. In this fantasy tale, Karah must somehow find the strength to fulfill a destiny that has been forced upon her and discover the dragon within. She cannot fail. The future of creation depends on her.

My Review:
**4 Stars**
I received a copy of this book for an honest review. 

Cindy Lyle has created a fantastic, large world with a rich history behind it. She has expertly woven the four elements into the tale, along with mythological creatures. The book is highly details, so it does take a bit to get through at points. However, the detail is necessary to the story and makes you appreciate all the work she has put into this creation.

Karah is a fantastic new heroine. She is strong, yet innocent, stubborn, yet foolish at times. It is a hard journey she takes to find out who she truly is, and one of her oldest friends raises more questions than she could have thought possible.

The end of the world is coming. Will Karah be able to save it? I don't know!!! The book ends with a huge cliffhanger and leaves you begging for more. I hope that Cindy Lyle is able to finish and release the next book soon. I cannot wait to read more.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Review ~ Charmed Vengeance by Suzanne Lazear

Charmed Vengeance (The Aether Chronicles #2)
by Suzanne Lazear
YA Steampunk Fantasy
Published: August 8th 2013
Goodreads Link


In the Faerie realm, Noli Braddock's relationship with her best friend V has grown into something more. But V's mother, Faerie Queen Tiana, has ruled that they are forbidden to see each other. Returning to the mortal realm, Noli joins the crew of her brother's air-pirate ship, the Vixen's Revenge. There she discovers that her brother has hired the scallywag Faerie huntsman, Kevighn Silver. While serving as shipmates, Kevighn and Noli learn that the Earth Court King plans to find a forbidden artifact--one that will bring destruction to everyone Noli loves.

My Review:
**4 Stars**

So, I was a little nervous about reading Charmed Vengeance as I wasn't sure where the author was going to take the story. However, once I read that Noli joins her brothers' crew... well, nervous, me? What?

There is a lot that happens in Charmed Vengeance, and especially between Noli and V. They have their share of troubles they are trying to overcome. I just wish trying to turn Noli back to human was one of them. It seemed like, probably, the most pressing issue at the end of book one, yet they don't really search for the "cure" too much in this book.

Jeff is an awesome addition to the series, however, I do not like Vix. She starts to get better towards the end, but I still don't like her. My favorite addition was the rest of the "Vixen's Revenge" crew. They brought a different aspect to the story, and sometimes a humorous one at that. I cannot wait to read more.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review ~ A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2)
by Susan Dennard
YA Steampunk
Published: July 23rd 2013
Goodreads Link


Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there's more trouble ahead-the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.

My Review: 
**4 Stars**

While I didn't find Something Strange and Deadly quite as good as A Darkness Strange and Lovely, I did find it quite exciting. Eleanor's world is falling apart around her as she leaves for Paris to get some answers and escape.

I like the introduction of Ollie. He brings a different light to the story and also gives another perspective in the wake of Eleanor's emerging powers. Joseph actually made me mad a few times in this book. He was very black and white and couldn't see any gray. Sometimes you need that gray in life to get by.

Daniel was annoying at first but as he slowly became his normal self, he got less annoying. The tension between Eleanor and Daniel was hard to read at points, but fortunately was relieved towards the end. I look forward to reading more of their story and the story of all the Spirit Hunters in the next book.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Review ~ Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Shadowlands (Shadowlands #1)
by Kate Brian
YA Thriller
Published: January 8th 2013
Goodreads Link


Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection program. Entering the program alongside her, is her father and sister Darcy. The trio starts a new life and a new beginning leaving their friends and family behind without a goodbye.

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. Just as they're starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

My Review: 
**3.5 Stars**

Cause this is Thriller...  Yup, this book had me on the edge of my seat at points. In the back of my mind, I was always thinking that there was something not right with how Juniper Landings worked... and maybe, maybe they were dead. But I never really solidified that idea.

Darcy was annoying. It seemed like she didn't have any sympathy for Rory's situation... she had been attacked and could have been killed (and worse). Hello... get over yourself and think of her for a minute. Forget about what you are going to wear to the party on Friday, which you can no longer go to. I also don't think Rory's father really handled the situation correctly either. He also didn't seem to have a whole lot of sympathy and comfort to pass down to Rory. The whole "I almost got raped and murdered" thing just never really seemed to hit anyone but Rory.

I look forward to reading the next book. I would recommend Shadowlands to any fans of thrillers and mysteries. It really does keep you guessing.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Review ~ The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help
by Kathryn Stockett
Adult Historical Contemporary
Published: February 10th 2009
Goodreads Link


Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

My Review: 
**3.5 Stars**

An emotional, yet sometimes hilarious, journey into the past. The Help chronicles the lives of two black maids in the 1960's and one white plantation owner's daughter. I don't normally read contemporary books, but I did enjoy this one. I liked seeing a different aspect of life than what I am used to. It really made me sympathetic to those who are treated differently. I would actually hope that this book became one read in high-schools. I feel that teenagers would get more out of this book than some of the "boring classics" they are forced to read now.

I wonder how a book, like the one Skeeter and Aibileen wrote, would have actually done back during the Civil Rights Movement. I wonder how many white people would have taken it seriously and actually thought about what they were doing and how they were treating blacks. I also wonder how many blacks would have suffered because of the book. If anyone would have mistreated their maids simply because "maybe" one of these stories is theirs.

It is a very interesting and emotional story. One that I would recommend to all audiences. I do plan on watching the movie as well. I have heard that it is very similar to the book.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Review ~ These Broken Stars (ARC) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (Go read this book now!!!)

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
YA Sci-fi Dystopia
Expected Publication: December 10th 2013
Goodreads Link


It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other's arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they being to wonder-would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every stop. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won't be the same people who landed on it.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

My Review: 
**5 Stars**
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

Ok, so my actual review is more like 4.99999 stars. I am still a little upset that Lilac... um... something with Lilac... towards the end. You'll just have to read it and find out exactly what happens to her. But I'm still upset.

I really, really, really loved this story. I don't normally pick up books that take place on spaceships because I feel that there just isn't room to move. Spaceships are confining and I feel that books centered around them tend to be as well. But the ship crashes and this ends up being a survival story. I could go on and on about this book, but I would end up giving too much away and ruining everything for you. So, I will just touch on a few key points.

L.O.V.E. Tarver!!! he is a poor kid - turned war hero - turned "babysitter" for a spoiled rich girl in a survival situation. I love how his and Lilac's relationship grows. There is the initial attraction, then loathing, then tolerance, then... well, you can guess where this is going. BTW... soooo book boyfriend material.

Lilac is a fascinating character as well. She is different from how society dictates she should be, and that helps her grow into a whole other person on the planet. Her transformation is based on necessity and I feel that the authors pulled it off really well.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to any fantasy, dystopian, and sci-fi fans. Even romance fans. Ok, I highly recommend it to anyone. I am just very, very sad that I will have to wait another year for the next book.

Friday, November 1, 2013

~*October Review Recap*~

~* October Review Recap *~

Defiance by C.J. Redwine
    ~ 3.5 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 Dystopia Reading Challenge (book 22 of 24) 
    ~ 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge (book 20 of 30)

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
    ~ 3 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 Dystopia Reading Challenge (book 23 of 24) 

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
    ~ 4.5 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 Sequel Challenge (book 25 of 15)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (re-read)
    ~ 2 Star Review (Link)
    ~ Does not meet any challenges

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
    ~ 4 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 Sequel Challenge (book 26 of 15)

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
    ~ 2.5 Star Review(Link)
    ~ Does not meet any challenges

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

    ~ 4.5 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 Sequel Challenge (book 27 of 15)

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
    ~ 2 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge (book 21 of 30) 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Review ~ Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1)
by Kresley Cole
YA Post-Apocalyptic 
Published: October 2nd 2012
Goodreads Link


She could save the world - or destroy it. 

Sixteen-year-old Evangeline "Evie" Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future-and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can't do either alone. 

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can't totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side.

My Review: 
**2 Stars**

So, what is Poison Princess about? 1) There are these people (ok... teenagers) who are like living Tarot cards. They can communicate telepathically and need to find each other to save the world. 2) There was a solar flare that destroyed every living thing on earth, except a few people who were "lucky." All the water is gone... except for the water in a few deep wells. 3) The flare somehow created Bagmen - slobbery, brainless.... ok, ok.... zombies.

If that wasn't enough for you, then throw in a spoiled, selfish, annoying, rich brat main character and a juvenile delinquent handsome bad boy who is equally annoying. Aside from all this, the 2 cores of the story were actually interesting. I just wish it would have stuck to either magic/arcana OR post-apocalyptic. It just didn't quite work well combined.

I don't think I will be reading the rest of the series. I might pick it up in the future, but probably not.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review ~ Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
by Sarah J. Maas
YA High Fantasy
Published: August 27th 2013
Goodreads Link


An assassin's loyalties are always in doubt. 
But her heart never wavers. 

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown - a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade-while pretending to do the king's bidding-will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin's loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

My Review: 
**4.5 Stars**

Perfection!!! I always get nervous when reading the 2nd book of a series... but Crown of Midnight delivered! I really feel bad for Celaena. She is on her way to winning her freedom, but of course the *&@*$&% king does not make it easy for her with his assignments and threats.

So much happens in this book that I don't even know where to begin. We delve into the magical mystery even more in this one, and it is fascinating. Also... CHAOL!!! Oh yes, there was more Chaol... and FINALLY some Chaol and Celaena. We don't really see much of Dorian, which I'm not sad about. He was not a favorite character and I didn't miss him. There was so much more going on to focus on.

Even with some of the horrible that happened, I look forward to getting my hands on the next book. I cannot wait to see where the story will take us and Celaena. Why do I have to wait????

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Review ~ No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy **Adult Novel**

No Country for Old Men
by Cormac McCarthy
Adult Suspense
Published: October 9th 2007
Goodreads Link


In No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy simultaneously strips down the American crime novel and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary as his morning's headlines.

My Review: 
**2.5 Stars**

This is a really short review, but there isn't too much I can say about this book. I will start with the good.... I really liked the story of the book. The whole man-hunt with the different perspectives was great. I know I would have liked it a lot more if it wasn't for all the bad.

Now, for the bad. The writing style is HORRIBLE. Everything is so disjointed and there is little to no punctuation. It made it very hard to tell who was speaking and when, and what was just thoughts vs. speech. The writing honestly gave me a headache.

I do plan on watching the movie so I can see the story without all the headache writing.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review ~ The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3)
by Rae Carson
YA High Fantasy
Published: August 27th 2013
Goodreads Link


The epic conclusion to Rae Carson's Fire and Thorn trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of ht enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.

Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most.

My Review: 
**4 Stars**

Not as good as the first two. Although, I can't believe it is over. The book was very slow in the beginning. It was a lot of travel, and not much going on otherwise. I do like how we bounced between Elisa's and Hector's point of views. It really added something to the whole story. The ending was very exciting though, but I wasn't happy with how Elisa acted towards her friend and sister. But, I understand her reasoning and need behind it.

Ahh... finally... Hector. There isn't anyone who didn't see this coming, but that doesn't mean it wasn't welcome. I am so very happy they ended up together. It was a much needed "happy" in a book filled with wicked secrets. I'm not quite sure how I feel about Mula. I saw her addition to the group coming, it was obvious when we first met her. She did grow on me though. The completion of Elisa's purpose was anti-climatic. But, then again, I guess it is supposed to be as we don't know the real purpose at this time.

I still can't believe the series is over. I look forward to reading whatever Rae Carson decides to write next... (I hope it is another awesome high fantasy).

Monday, October 21, 2013

Review ~ The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson **Adult Novel**

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1)
by Stieg Larsson
**Adult** Contemporary Mystery
Published: September 16th 2008
Goodreads Link


Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch-and there's always a catch-is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.

My Review:
**2 Stars**

This is the second time I have read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and hopefully the last. I dreaded reading it again, and was wondering why on earth I had given it 3 stars the first time.

The writing is way over done. The author goes into too many descriptions that he doesn't need to. I don't need to know that her office is 10x6 and every little thing that is in it. Too much info just made the book boring. The story does pick up around the middle and the descriptions do get a little less.

The locked room mystery is really interesting to try and solve and that is the only reason why this book got 2 stars in the end. The reasoning behind the mystery is horrifying and all the sexual abuse in the book is awful. I really don't want to read about that when I pick up a book.

Honestly, not a book I would recommend to anyone. I don't know why it is a best seller, but maybe it is the shock value that makes it popular. The is definitely not a book for younger audiences.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Review ~ The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2)
by Rae Carson
YA Fantasy
Published: September 18th 2012
Goodreads Link


In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

My Review: 
**4.5 Stars**

Oh boy, oh boy. What a great continuation. It is filled with just as much adventure as  The Girl of Fire and Thorns was. Elisa goes through even more in this book, and once again becomes stronger for it. She is now tasked with ruling the country of her former husband, the King. The council around her isn't making this task easy and you want her to just kill them all. To quote Sweeney Todd... "They all deserve to die."

Yes! Sorry, I will try not to give anything away, but what Elisa says to Ximena... AWESOME and FINALLY!!!! I know you always saw her as a friend, but come on. How much does she have to keep from you before you snap? I am also happy that the author broached the topic of birth control. Many books leave you wondering why no one gets pregnant when they don't mention BC. I always assumed it was a plant, but Rae Carson actually does a good job of creating it in her book. Oh... don't worry, still teen friendly - nothing graphic, or really anything at all.

Oh Hector and Elisa... you both need to Open. Your. Eyes! It is so obvious that they love each other, yet they keep hiding it. STOP!

I finished the book and immediately reached for the next one. It leaves readers with such a big cliff hanger that I am glad I had the last book ready and waiting for when I finished this one.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review ~ For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars #1)
by Diana Peterfreund
YA Dystopia
Published: June 12th 2012
Goodreads Link


It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong cause the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society... or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

My Review: 
**3 Stars**

Even though I do not like Jane Austen's books (any of them), I decided to give For Darkness Shows the Stars a chance. Parts of it were better than expected, and parts were just as confusing and boring as any Austen novel I have read.

I couldn't tell if this dystopian society was formed from our world, or a magical made up land. I guess we will probably learn more in the next book, but it would have been nice to see in this one. I really don't understand how the Reduction really happened. It was very confusing to follow. I understand the Posts, but how the Lost became the Reduced (not why - I get that) in the first place was just confusing.

I like Elliot and I don't. She is a great character, but very stupid for most of the book. Also, how did she create the new wheat if there was no genetic instructions anywhere anymore? Did she figure it out herself? And if that is the case, wouldn't it have taken years and years, even if she was a genius? Kai... oh how I hate Kai. Yes, he comes around towards the end, but I still don't like him. He hates Elliot for making the right choice and he knows it was the right choice. He was just being selfish, childish, and stupid.

I was invested enough to want to continue the series. I am sure a lot of questions will be answered and we will see more inventions, lands, and exciting new adventures.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Review ~ Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Defiance (Defiance #1)
by C.J. Redwine
YA Fantasy/Dystopian
Published: August 28th 2012
Goodreads Link


While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan - the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

My Review: 
**3.5 Stars**

Don't let the 3.5 stars fool you. This is a good book. I really enjoyed the story and look forward to reading the rest of the series, I just had a few problems with the book. First off was the horrible treatment of women. I understand why it was in there. The book seems almost set in a Medieval-ish period. Except it is dystopian, and there may be no electricity - but there are some fancy gadgets being created that far outstrip anything we have now. So, why no electricity?

The main character, Rachel, is written really well. She is a very strong anti-heroine/heroine character. (Sorry, it can get confusing because she is really rebellions - hence the anti). Logan is also a good character, but I think I'll like him better in the next book. He just seemed... off in this one.

I really look forward to reading the next book and continuing the series. I hope to actually see more of what has become of the world outside the city walls.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Where I have been

Ok, wow. I am sorry I have not been around for a while. I am going back to school and had to take a Pre-Calc class. It took up most of my time as I never went past Algebra in high school (some 13+ years ago).

I am back, and have a back-log of reviews to post.

I will also be attending the Boston Book Festival this weekend and hope to have a fun post or two upon returning.

Happy Reading everyone!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

~* September Review Recap *~

~* September Review Recap *~

Shadowlark (ARC) by Meagan Spooner 
    ~ 4.5 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 Sequel Challenge (book 20 of 15)
    ~ Dystopia Reading Challenge (book 17 of 24)

A Midsummer Night's Scream by R.L. Stein
    ~ 1 Star Review (LinkDid Not Finish
    ~ Does not meet any challenges

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
    ~ 4.5 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge (book 16 of 30)

Hysteria by Megan Miranda
    ~ 2 Star Review (Link)
    ~ Does not meet any challenges

Reached by Ally Condie
    ~ 3.5 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 Dystopia Reading Challenge (book 18 of 24)
    ~ 2013 Sequel Challenge (book 21 of 15)

A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron (Blog Tour)
    ~ Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 Sequel Challenge (book 22 of 15)

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
    ~ 1 Star Review (LinkDid Not Finish
    ~ Does not meet any challenges

Gravity by Melissa West
    ~ 2.5 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 Dystopia Reading Challenge (book 19 of 24)

Legend by Marie L(Re-read)
    ~ 4 Star Review (Link)
    ~ Does not meet any challenges

Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards
    ~ 4 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 Dystopia Reading Challenge (book 20 of 24)
    ~ 2013 Sequel Challenge (book 23 of 15)

Prodigy by Marie Lu
    ~ 4 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 Dystopia Reading Challenge (book 21 of 24)
    ~ 2013 Sequel Challenge (book 24 of 15)

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
    ~ 2.5 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge (book 17 of 30)

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
    ~ 4 Star Review (Link)
    ~ Does not meet any challenges

Undead by Kirsty McKay
    ~ 3.5 Star Review (Link)
    ~ 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge (book 18 of 30)

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
    ~ 4 Star Review ()
    ~ 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge (book 19 of 30)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review ~ Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

Valkyrie Rising
by Ingrid Paulson
YA Fantasy
Published: October 9th 2012
Goodreads Link


Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: A tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she'll finally get out form under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she's there.

What Ellie doesn't anticipate is Graham's infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and the strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there's suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it's up to Ellie-and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck-to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl's unexpected-epic coming of age.

My Review: 
**4 Stars**

Oh boy. This was a great book. I really like all the mythology that was integrated into the book. And, oh yes, Tuck is soooo book boyfriend material. He is smart, funny, and loyal to his friends. Oh yeah, and hot.

I feel bad for Ellie in a lot of ways. It has to suck to have such an over protective older brother. He doesn't give her room to even breathe. I also feel bad for her being left in the dark about what is going on over the summer. Her grandmother didn't seem very interested in keeping her safe by telling her what was going on. Why does everyone seem to think that ignorance is best? It is the worst possible thing you could do. Prepare the girl! Tell her what is going on!

Ok, anyway. I really enjoyed the book and very much look forward to seeing if there is another one on the horizon.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review ~ Undead by Kirsty McKay

Undead (Undead #1)
by Kirsty McKay
YA Fantasy Humor
Published: September 1st 2012
Goodreads Link


Out of sight, out of their minds: It's a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.

The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.

Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back.

But they've changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they're zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin' fast, because that's the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates' next meal. It's kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.

Combining the chill of THE SHINING, the thrill ride of SPEED, the humor of SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and the angst of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, Kirsty McKay's UNDEAD is a bloody mad mash-up, a school-trip splatter-fest, a funny, gory, frighteningly good debut!

My Review: 
**3.5 Stars**

It is so cliche it is funny. At points it reminded me so much of the movie "Shaun of the Dead." The book lost its steam, however, around the middle. It got a little stagnant and needed a little more excitement after the exciting, action packed beginning.

I did find the reasoning behind the turned zombies interesting and worth building upon. However, I realize that the main point of the story was to be funny and it can be hard to add a serious theme to comedy.

I would recommend the book for any fans of "Shaun of the Dead" and anyone who likes cliche humor. Especially with zombies! I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review ~ A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini
Adult Contemporary
Published: May 22nd 2007
Goodreads Link


A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years, from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding, that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives, the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness, are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heartwrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love, a stunning accomplishment.

My Review:
**4 Stars**

A Thousand Splendid Suns was one of my required books for a college class. I was dreading reading it because I did not think I would like it at all. I actually ended up enjoying this heartbreaking story. Khaled Hosseini did a fantastic job creating the two main characters. I developed such an attachment for them that it was hard to read the book at points.

The book also made me very aware of what Afghanistan and its people have gone through. I knew that the women who lived there were treated poorly, but I had no idea that they did have a certain amount of freedom at one point when the Soviets had control. It brought up the question... is it better to have and have lost, or never had at all?

I would highly recommend this book to all. It is very emotional and be prepared to cry a lot.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review ~ The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater
YA Fantasy
Published: September 18th 2012
Goodreads Link


"There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve," Neeve said. "Either you're his true love . . . or you killed him."

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them-not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He has it all-family money, good looks, devoted friends-but he's looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we've never been before.

My Review: 
**2.5 Stars**

I didn't not like, but I didn't love it either. It took me a while to actually get through it. It just didn't have a fantastic flow, and the 3rd person POV kept changing between characters without warning.

I didn't like how Blue kept repeating her "no-boys-especially-Raven-boys" motto at the beginning. It seemed really repetitive and unnecessary aside from the initial mention. I did like how Blue and Gansey came together and ended up working together. She fit right into their group. Noah.... surprised me. It was sad what happened. I would actually like to hear more of his story from before The Raven Boys. 

Blue's family was also interesting and I do look forward to hearing more of their stories. So, yes, I guess I will be continuing the series. It won't be at the top of my list, but I will continue.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review ~ Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy (Legend #2)
by Marie Lu
YA Dystopian
Published: January 29th 2013
Goodreads Link


June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request-June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It's their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she's haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood-what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

My Review: 
**4 Stars**

Oh boy, where do I start? June and Day are fantastic as always. I can't stand the Patriots and Anden is great. There... that is my review.

Just kidding. I really don't like the Patriots though. That part is true. They are just another form of the Republic vying for power. And we really see this lack of difference when June and Day make it to the colonies. Yup, they do.

Now onto Anden. I like him. I think he will be the leader that the Republic needs. One the people can rally behind. I just don't think he and June should end up together. She and Day have gone through too much for their relationship to end. Yes, he is a good fit for June, but the June before she met Day.

Arg. There are so many questions left unanswered. I cannot wait for Champion to come out. I am really excited to learn what happens to not only Day and June but the country as well. Wondering if it will still just be from their two perspectives or if a third will be added in... hmmm.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Review ~ Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

Phoenix (Black City #2)
by Elizabeth Richards
YA Dystopian
Published: June 4th 2013
Goodreads Link


Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie's life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose's Law-a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth.

When Ash can't bring himself to trade Natalie's life for those of millions of Darklings, her fate is sealed. Enter Elijah Theroux, the handsome Bastet boy Natalie once saved from her mother's labs, where he'd been experimented on and tortured. It was his venom the Sentry used to create the lethal Golden Haze, the heart of the government conspiracy that led to Black City's uprising and Ash's rebirth as the Phoenix, the face of the rebellion. Elijah is back and Ash doesn't like him; it's clear he's taken with Natalie, and Ash fears she may have feelings for him as well.

But Elijah also may have the answer to taking down Purian Rose for good-a powerful weapon called the Ora. Ash, Natalie and Elijah just have to escape Black City undetected to find it. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon (if it even exists) are easier said than done, and the quest could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

This enthralling sequel to Black City is just as absorbing, delicious and steamy as the first book, leaving readers hungry for the series conclusion.

My Review: 
**4 Stars**

While I enjoyed bits and pieces of Black City and was invested enough to continue reading the series, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Phoenix. I actually liked it a whole lot better than Black City. The characters had more development and depth to them and it wasn't all about Ash and Natalie's relationship. Well, I guess Black City wasn't either, but it felt like it.

Phoenix is a non-stop adventure right from the beginning. There is so much that happens and at points you are left feeling empty and wondering, "did that really just happen?" I won't say who, but I will tell you that Elizabeth Richards has no problem killing her characters. Elijah is an interesting character that I still don't know if I like or not. Ok, after the ending... don't think I like him.

I can't wait to read what happens next. Especially since I no longer want to smack Ash and Natalie on the back of the head and tell them to trust each other again. Excellent book that actually makes me want to go back and re-read the first to see what I missed.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review ~ Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend #1)
by Marie Lu
YA Dystopian
Published: November 29th 2011
Goodreads Link


What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths-until the day June's brother Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

My Review: 
**4 Stars**

I went to pick up Prodigy after having read Legend over a year ago. Of course, I couldn't remember where Legend had left off, so I had to re-read it. This is my review for the re-read.

Once again, I have to give Legend 4 stars. It was a really enjoyable and quick read. The world Marie Lu created is fascinating. It is a dystopian that you can see actually coming true to a point.

June goes back and forth between likeable and stuck-up-rhymes with witch. Once the story progresses more and she finds information Metias left for her, you can see that she just strongly believed what the Republic told her. It isn't that she harbors hatred because she is mean, it is what has been engrained in her by her country.

Day is a fantastic character and has a lot of depth to him. You can see why he does what he does every step of the way. He is one of those brave few that actually take a stand for what they believe in, instead of sitting around doing nothing.

As before, I really look forward to Prodigy and seeing how everything progresses. I have a feeling we will see more of the Patriots and how they work.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review ~ Gravity by Melissa West

Gravity (The Taking #1)
by Melissa West
YA Sci-fi Dystopian
Published: December 18th 2012
Goodreads Link


In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don't. Ever. Peek. 

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed - arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she's been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she's falling for him. But Ari isn't just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She's a military legacy who's been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know - especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

My Review: 
**2.5 Stars**

Gravity  was not what I expected. The "history" behind the Ancients was really interesting. I wish I could have learned more. The book seemed like it couldn't quite decide what it wanted to be - dystopian or sci-fi. The blend between both genres wasn't done quite well enough to make sense. Overall it felt more sci-fi with hints that everything was occurring after the almost complete destruction of Earth.

Also, I did not understand the reasoning behind the Taking. Why do the Ancients still need to do this - and what were they "taking" from humans to begin with. They live off of Xylem - which humans' don't have.

Ari was a likeable character for the most part. While she did question the society she lived in at points, she was really naive at others. I do plan on reading the next book, but not sure if I will continue after that. It all depends on what happens.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Review ~ Glitch by Heather Anastasiu (Did Not Finish)

Glitch (Glitch #1)
by Heather Anastasiu
YA Sci-fi
Published: August 7th 2012
Goodreads Link


In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or "glitch"), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they're caught and deactivated, or worse.

In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.

My Review: 
**1 Star**

I hate to say, I couldn't finish the book. I didn't have any connection with the characters, and even though the world was interesting, it wasn't interesting enough for me to continue past the 150 pages I read.

There were a lot of plot holes, the main one being that if Zoe (really any Community member) couldn't smell, then why did she keep comparing new smells to old ones? For example: the sewers she compared to rotten eggs and turned butter - but how would she know what those smelled like?

Also the "swearing" started grating on me. They were made up words that were used over and over in place of common swears. They were used way too much and it just got really annoying.

I wish I could have finished the book, but it just wasn't holding my interest and attention.