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)