Monthly Archives: August 2015

REVIEW | MAYBE SOMEDAY by Colleen Hoover

Maybe Someday

BY: Colleen Hoover

SERIES: Maybe #1 | Maybe Not #1.5

RATING: 5.00/5.00 Stars | GOODREADS RATING: 4.24/5.00

ADD TO GOODREADS

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: At twenty-two years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her—and she’s forced to decide what her next move should be.

Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.

A passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance, Maybe Someday will immerse readers in Sydney’s tumultuous world from the very first page.

FIRST IMPRESSION: There is something so seriously sexy and delicious about a guitar player! Sydney is such a wonderfully likeable character, and I want this book to go on forever because I adore everything and everyone in it!

CHARACTERS: The characters in this book were some of the most loveable characters that I’ve had the pleasure of reading about. Even Bridgette got my curiosity piqued – making me know for sure that I will be reading Maybe Not, which is about her relationship with Warren. I loved how quickly Sydney felt at home with Warren, they have an awesome friendship! I also love how great the chemistry was between Ridge and Sydney, and even Ridge and Maggie. Every pain, heartache, and happiness was so easily felt like I was experiencing everything with them. I really cannot tell you in words just how much I truly loved these characters.

PLOT/STORYLINE: One thing that I am never really a fan of, is the prologue that is part of the actual story later on (Think all of the Twilight books.) Colleen makes it work in her novels, but I could do without. Anyway – that really doesn’t have much to do with things because I freaking loved everything about the plot in this book. Well, maybe not everything. I would have loved a little more with Ridge and Maggie. I don’t know exactly what, but I felt like it was too quick when it was all said and done. Like yes, they realized things about their relationship, but I don’t feel like after five years it would be that easy to part ways. Especially with how Maggie’s health is. It’s hard to write and not spoil anything here!

The development of relationships was done magnificently here as well! While feelings were developed early on, it wasn’t Insta-love AT ALL! They took their time in really starting anything, and I loved that. If you don’t like slowly developing love stories, this one might not be for you – but it was so damn good that I would tell you to read it anyway!

I loved how easy and seamless the whole story felt. There were really no slow parts that dragged for me. I felt like everything moved fluidly, and all parts were necessary to really connect with the characters. From beginning to end, I was hooked on this book.

MY THOUGHTS: The thing about me is that I’m a sucker for a guitarist or musician in any love story, because my husband used to play guitar in a band. He was in a band for most of our relationship, having only stopped about two years ago. All of his guitar equipment is still in the house, and when he picks his guitar up, I’m easily transported back to my eighteen-year-old self, when we used to sit in his bedroom and he’d strum out a song on his Washburn Acoustic.

When I read the summary for this one, I knew I’d love it. I also MUST say that this is my 2nd Colleen Hoover book, and it was AMAZING. I am even going to go so far as to say it is my FAVORITE Contemporary Romance & New Adult of 2015. Yes. This book was THAT good. There weren’t many parts that I wasn’t fully engaged in the story, and I definitely stayed up way past my bedtime to continue reading – even on vacation with my one-year-old asleep next to me with a 5:00am wake up time to catch our flight home.

Colleen has a wonderful writing style that is both easy yet good at really conveying the characters thoughts, feelings, and emotions.I am adding her to my Auto-Buy Authors list for sure!

Happy Reading!

Laura

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

REVIEW | Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless

AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover

SERIES: Hopeless #1 | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Losing Hope #2 Finding Cinderella #2.5

RATING: 3.50/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 4.40/5.00

ADD TO GOODREADS

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

INITIAL THOUGHTS: So I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy lately – heavier things that I needed to take a little break from. I thought Hopeless would be a light, quick, contemporary romance for me (which was NOT the case at all. Read on…); especially since I have been thinking about making my way into the New Adult arena, plus – anyone who’s everyone knows that CoHo is blowing up the bookish interwebs.

WHAT I THOUGHT: Holy Lord of all that is holy. This was NOT just any old fluffy contemporary romance by any means. I must say it was more than I bargained for. This book took a really dark turn, and dealt with some pretty hardcore issues. ***Trigger Warning: this book takes on the topics of sexual abuse/rape. While it doesn’t go too far into detail, I thought it was worth a mention just in case you cannot read any books dealing with this topic.***

Hopeless follows seventeen-year-old Sky Davis. Sky lives with her anti-technology/electronics, strict adoptive mother, Karen. She doesn’t have a TV, computer, cell phone, etc. luckily her BFF Six – yes, I totally had issues with picturing Six from the TV show, Blossom here… And yes, that just showed my age haha – lives right next door, and the two have movie nights often. Sky is also home schooled but is able to convince Karen to allow her to attend public school for her senior year. Of course this would be the time for Six to announce that she will be studying abroad in Italy for six months and so Sky will be on her own.

Unfortunately, Six has a reputation for being promiscuous and therefore people think the same of Sky, which makes for some uncomfy moments on her first day of school – including post its on her locker with nasty names. But of course Sky takes this all in stride because she’s just that kick ass awesome!

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I did not expect it to take the dark turns that it did, but that’s okay. It’s not necessarily a bad thing when you think a book is going to be light and fluffy and then it totally blows you out of the water with a darkness and depth that you didn’t know existed.

THINGS I DISLIKED:

  • How contradictory Sky was with relationships. She would describe Karen as this strict, overbearing parent who allows no electronics, and they eat vegan (Even though Sky doesn’t when she isn’t at home.) yet she loves Karen a lot, and is almost defending her at times. It just seemed a little weird to me.
  • How contradictory Sky is with her feelings for Holder. At first she is creeped out by him; and even when they start hanging out she will still make comments about his creepiness and how uneasy she feels around him. Then we are suddenly seeing her gushing over how attracted to him she is, and cannot stop thinking about him. This resolves, in my opinion, but it was weird at first. Holder is just a very Intense and Passionate person.
  • We never got closure – or an ending – with Breckin, or Six. Those are two story lines I can think of off the top of my head; but there were things left unresolved at the end of the book and that annoys me the most – and is the reason I decided to bump the rating down from a 4 Star to a 3.5 Star review. If there will be  sequel I can overlook this! I see there is a 2nd book, but I don’t know if it’s just Hopeless told from Holder’s POV or if it’s truly a continuation of this story.
  • Holder keeping secrets from Sky about herself. If he truly loved her I feel he would’ve done more to get them out in the open. I feel as though if they were true ‘soulmates’ she would’ve felt the same way he did; even if she didn’t remember things.

THINGS I LIKED:

  • I thought I had the book figured out early on. Ha ha, joke was on me! I didn’t have it figured out in the least, Not even a little bit.
  • The intensity and passion of Holder – ONCE secrets are out, and we can like him without him coming off as creepy.
  • How completely different this book was than I thought or expected it to be. When an author can wow me like that, it’s a really good thing!
  • Sky is a pretty incredible chick! She went through A LOT and still came out on top. She is an admirable character.

WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK? Yes. If you are looking to break into the New Adult genre, or just looking for a good book with heavier topics, then this would be a good one for you. It definitely is an 18+ book, and again deals with sexual abuse.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a twisting, winding tale through a teenager’s eyes as she finds herself and comes to terms with a past that she couldn’t remember. A good read for anyone who likes a darker, heavier themed contemporary romance with first love and finding ones self intermingled.

Happy Reading,

Laura

Tagged , , , ,

AUGUST IS FOR ROMANCE | My Favorite Fictional Couples

It is just typical of me to not know that August is Romance Awareness Month until, oh, halfway through the month! But that is just a-okay, because that still gives me 16 days to share some romantic-ish posts that are just so sickly and sweetly love filled that by September we will be glad it is over!

Today, I’m sharing with you, five of my favorite fictional couples…

So without further ado, let us meet lucky couple number one!

JAMIE FRASER & CLAIRE BEAUCHAMP RANDALL FRASER

SERIES: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

So I can technically only go on the first three books of this series since I’ve only read up through Voyager, but from those three books I can tell you that Jamie and Claire will ALWAYS have a place in my heart. He is one of those stoic, romantic, sexy kilt-wearing guys that could only exist in the 18th Century.

We start out the series with Claire married to Frank Randall, and the two are on their belated honeymoon and clearly in love. But then…. dun dun dun! Claire time-travels back to 1743 and into the clutches of Blackjack Randall – a distant relative of her husbands. It’s up to Jamie and his troup to save Claire, which results in the two having to be married off and Claire – GASP – takes Jamie’s virginity! Every sex scene is just cheek-blushingly amazing, and Jamie is just so soft and gentle (usually… ) with Claire that I cannot imagine anyone reading this series and not falling in love with him.

ETHAN WATE & LENA DUCHENNES

SERIES: The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

I love the contrast between good ol’ Southern boy, Ethan and his gothic, caster love Lena. Ethan’s life has been pretty simple (except for his recluse dad) until he meets Lena. He can’t help but be captivated by her eccentricity, and as the two get to know each other it’s easy to feel the emotions and love they share; especially as the series goes on. The way her quirkiness and almost negativity play against his easy going charm make it pretty obvious that this is one of my favorite couples of all time.

CELAENA SARDOTHIEN & CHAOL WESTFALL

SERIES: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Okay, I can’t help but get a little spoilery here if you haven’t read Crown of Midnight, buuuuutttt… it cannot be helped. So I know that Adarlan’s Assassin and the Captain of the Guard aren’t exactly together once the second book of the series ends (I’m only halfway through Heir of Fire – book 3 – so I’m not sure where they will end up!) but when they were together, it was like sparks, and magic, and ooey-gooey mushy lovey feelings!! Especially when you combine the fact that they are both incredible hardheaded and stubborn, it’s easy to see why they make such an incredible pair – when they’re on the same page, that is. I have hopes and crossed fingers that these two will find their way back to each other and make beautiful little half-fae babies!

EDWARD CULLEN & BELLA SWAN

SERIES: The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

Go ahead, roll your eyes if you must but I love these two! Even with Edward’s intense, stalker-ish neediness and Bella’s head over heels insta-love, I just can’t help it. This is one sparkly vampire who just does it for me! He truly is just an old-fashioned romantic at heart. He is competitive and willing to do whatever it takes (um, you know, after the whole running away thing in New Moon where he almost lost Bella forever.) to keep Bella’s heart forever. He wants her to be happy, and I think he does a pretty good job keeping her that way!

ISAIAH WALKER & RACHEL YOUNG

SERIES: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (Their story is in book #3 – Crash into You)

So we have known Isaiah since way back in Pushing the Limits, but we had to wait until book three to read his story. Of course his hard edges and bad boy image are just what Rachel finds herself drawn to – but even she is surprised to learn of the intense, romantic, loving guy that is beneath that rough exterior. Maybe because I fall for the fictional bad boys too that I just found myself so into this book, but I really and truly think Isaiah is one of the yummiest fictional guys out there!

I hope you guys enjoyed my first ‘August for Romance’ post! I would love to know who is on your Favorite Fictional Couples list! I have many more, so don’t be shocked if I end up doing more of these posts 🙂

Happy Reading!

Laura

REVIEW | Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate
AUTHOR: Jodi Meadows
SERIES: New Soul #1 | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Asunder #2 | Infinite #3
RELEASE DATE: January 31, 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books
EDITION: Hardcover, 374 pages
AQUISITION: Own
RATING: 3.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 3.75/5.00
New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Heart

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

Why I Wanted This Book: I love the idea of reincarnation, and it’s always interesting to see other people’s ideas and thoughts about it. The concept seemed truly unique and fascinating so I knew I had to read it.
Story/Plot: I’ve never been into the fantasy genre before, so when I say that this book was like none other I’ve ever read, I’m not sure if that’s an accurate assumption. But for me, it’s the truth. The plot for this story is completely unique from the beginning to the end. The plot was quite slow until about the last third; that’s when action picked up and a lot of information was thrown at you. I sort of want to go back and reread the last 150 pages because this is where all of the important stuff that should’ve been spread throughout the whole book was all put out there in a big, huge rush. Two hundred and fifty pages had you wondering why Ana exists and how it happened and will there be more newsouls; and then within a few pages you know – kind of – but it’s not satisfying and you are left wanting to know more.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Janan, either. It was pretty predictable for me in figuring out that the temple had something to do with Janan. I was trying to explain the premise of this book to my boyfriend after I finished reading it and he said it sounded like a bad episode of Star Trek TNG. Sadly – I had to agree with him. There are parts that seem like Meadows really had everything plotted out, but then there were other parts where it didn’t feel like she’d thought everything out past what was going on right then and there in the book. I do like the idea of there being matching souls (i.e. – soul mates); and I love how Ana and Sam bonded through music,

Characters: It was difficult for me to develop a relationship with the characters in this book. If you imagine a character having several “layers” of personality and who they are, I would say we got maybe two layers deep into Ana and Sam’s characters. We get a little more than just top layer personality, but it didn’t go really far in depth. It was easy to understand Ana – from her life with Li, to meeting Sam, to moving to Heart – and the writing style also made it easy to see things from Ana’s point of view. There were a lot of times where Ana was very wishy-washy. She would be, “To hell with Li and telling me I’m a nosoul! I’m a real person with the right to think, and feel, and love just like anyone else…I’ll show her!” and then a few chapters later she was like, “Oh, I really don’t deserve to feel because Li told me so, and I’m really not worth Sam’s love and compassion.” That got to be frustrating at times. This style of first person narrative made it hard to connect with the other characters here and there as well. I also didn’t like how okay Ana was when she found out that Sam was lying to her about taking Li and Menehem’s diaries, and sneaking out at night. When he fesses up to it, she was just like, “Oh. Ok.” I would’ve been pretty peeved if it were me. It’s times like that where I felt a major disconnect.

It was refreshing to watch Ana and Sam’s relationship grow, and that there wasn’t the nauseating insta-love between them. Ana goes through a large metamorphosis from when she lived with Li, to living with Sam now in Heart. To watch her grow and learn is wonderful; and for her to finally understand that while some people may be threatened by her, there are others out there who are nice to her, and kind, and even friends with her.

Writing: I have a huge love/hate relationship with the writing style. Why I loved the writing style: It really showed Ana’s character as far as her inexperience; her hesitancy to trust; and her insecurities about herself and being a “nosoul” like Li beat into her head. Why I hated the writing style: It was very difficult to visualize  Range and Heart; the world-building was severely lacking. It was difficult to visualize the characters as very few physical descriptions were given, and they also would give previous incarnations for some of the Heart residents. It was difficult to keep everything straight at times. I really believe if the world-building had been stronger I think I would’ve given a higher rating and had an overall more enjoyable experience. It was too difficult to have to literally stop and try to see what was being told to me.
This is not to say that Meadows isn’t a good writer; she is, in fact, a wonderful storyteller and has pretty cool views on reincarnation. I have plans to continue on with the series, but do hope a few of the hang ups are resolved for the sequel(s).
Ending: The book ended in an okay spot, but leaves A LOT left to still be resolved. I don’t want to say that it was a cliff-hanger ending, but close to it. There was a lot of action in the last 100-150 pages and then it slowly waned to the finish. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending, but I guess I didn’t necessarily hate it either.
Cover: The cover is beautiful and one of the reasons I wanted this book. It is very representative of the story and Ana, yet is simple in it’s beauty. The idea of Ana being like a butterfly is a huge integral part of the story and is very dominant on the cover as well.
My Hopes for Book 2: I am curious to see if any of the people that died in Incarnate are reincarnated; the relationship between Sam and Ana and if it changes at all now that things that Sam’s lied about have come to light; More information revealed about the symbiotic relationship between Heart, the temple, and Janan.
Happy Reading!
Laura
Tagged , , ,

REVIEW | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
By: Morgan Matson
Paperback, 344 pages | Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
My Rating: 5.00/5.00 Stars | Goodreads Rating: 4.06/5.00 Stars
Add to Goodreads

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.
MY THOUGHTS: There is just something so perfect about a Morgan Matson novel. You can expect awesomeness, and it will be delivered. She manages to do Contemporary Romance perfectly – there’s no insta-love, and her character’s are each flawed and struggling in their own ways. In Epic Detour, we have Amy Curry – fresh off the loss of her father in a car accident that she is convinced was her fault; and Roger Sullivan – who is still reeling from a recent breakup. They are thrown together on a cross-country road tour, and of course, they both get more than they bargained for.
For the past month, Amy has been living alone – her father is gone, her twin brother is in rehab, and her mom picked up and moved to Connecticut – which is the destination of the road trip with Roger. She is horribly depressed, blaming herself – wallowing in a pool of self-pity, and basically has become an empty shell of herself. She’s abandoned all of her friends, including BFF Julia who is officially giving up on her. 
 “The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them.”
Roger is back in California from Colorado, where he attends college, and is heading to Philadelphia to spend the summer with his father. He was dating Hadley Armstrong – the pretty girl who’s M.O. is to leave guys high and dry, with no explanation of why it went bad. She’s basically not a nice girl. But Roger needs closure – and wants her back. He agrees to this road trip thinking he can drive to Colorado and win Hadley back. 
Day One – Amy and Roger decide to throw her mother’s four day itinerary out the window, and make their way from California to Colorado, stopping to see the sights. What they find on the way is more than either thought they’d get.
***
I cannot tell you how much I seriously HEART this book. It is so perfect, well, except for the end – I want MORE! Please, write a sequel, Morgan, I beg of you! I need to know where our characters end up after this. 
  
I picked this book off my shelf looking for a light read, which I did and didn’t get. Sure, there’s the contemporary part of this book, but there are some pretty hefty topics in this book too – death, addiction, breakups, and finding yourself – and your way out of grief and depression. Matson does this is such a wonderful way too, mixing the good with the bad. You can feel Amy or Roger’s despair one second, and the next you’re laughing. It’s wonderful! 
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT? Oh my gosh, YES! In a heartbeat, I would recommend it to any Contemporary Romance lovers looking for a five-star read.
Happy Reading,
Laura 
Tagged , , ,

REVIEW | The Sword and the Sinking Stone by CJ Dushinski

Hey Bookworms! Today I am sharing with you my review of this paranormal dystopian as my stop on the tour! Continue through the review to the end to enter the giveaway! Leave comments and let me know if you plan on reading this one! Check out the rest of the stops on this book tour HERE.

THE THORN AND THE SINKING STONE
SERIES: Thorn and Dagger Series – Book #1
AUTHOR: CJ Dushinski
RELEASE DATE: March 2015
PUBLISHER: Entangled Teen
MY RATING: 3.00/5.00 Stars | GOODREADS RATING: 3.61/5.00 Stars
ADD TO GOODREADS

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:  Warring families. Forbidden love. And danger they can’t escape…

Daggers. Roses. Cowboys. Boat Men. Survivors of Earth’s Last War, four “families” vie to rule the dreary streets of Rain City through violence and blood. Valencia Hara, Princess of the wealthy Black Roses, is raised in warrior ways with sharpened steel. But she is no ordinary Rose. She is Cursed—tainted with the ability to see seconds into the future…

To avenge his father’s death, Sebastian Leold, of the rival gang Two Daggers, must face off against the Black Princess, he with his dagger, she with her katana sword. Yet a secret from a shared past leaves him unable to kill beautiful Valencia; nor can she kill him. For they once knew each other beyond their blood feud…and they have more secrets in common than they know.

But in a world filled with vengeance and violence, there can be no room for love…

MY REVIEW:  A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The first time that I read the summary for this book; I realized that it was one that I wanted a copy of ASAP.

My first thoughts were that it was a futuristic, dystopian re-telling of Romeo and Juliet – which I see lots of other reviewers saying they thought the same thing – even though this book isn’t marketed as such. Personally, I feel that I’d have picked this one up without a second thought if it had been marketed as such. Romeo and Juliet is one of my fave stories of all time!

The world-building in this story was pretty remarkable. I think that the author had a clearly defined world in her imagination and was able to perfectly portray her visions onto the pages.

I liked the characters too. Each was 3d and able to stand out from the rest. There was such an array of different types of characters too – apart from the main characters that really made this book stand out in its genre.

The writing style was just okay – I don’t think that there was anything that would make it stand out or have me remember it as being incredible.

Would I recommend this book?
Yes, if you love sci-fi/dystopian/paranormal/tragedies. 


Will I continue this series?
Yes, I anticipate finishing the series.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO BOOKS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  While attempting to navigate life as a responsible human being, CJ graduated from university with a B.Comm and worked her way along as a marketer, copywriter, and graphic designer to earn a paycheck while pursuing her passion for creating fantastical stories set in dark and wondrous corners of the world. Born amongst the wheat fields and open skies of the Canadian prairies, CJ’s imagination has always run wild, taking her on adventures across the world from modeling in Seoul, South Korea to backpacking through Europe and surfing (poorly) in Hawaii.

After wandering through ancient cities and civilizations, learning from diverse cultures, and surrounding herself in new experiences, CJ was inspired and began work on her debut young adult novel THE THORN AND THE SINKING STONE, to be published by Entangled Publishing 2014/15. CJ currently resides in Calgary, Alberta Canada – home of the Canadian Rockies – and keeps one hand on her passport and pen at all times, ready to pick up, see the world, and weave her experiences into stories.

CJ is represented by Marlene Stringer of the Stringer Literary Agency LLC.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook  

 
 

Happy Reading!

Tagged , , , ,

February Book Haul

Hey Bookworms!

Check out my latest book haul below… and don’t forget to subscribe to my BookTube channel so you can watch all of my latest videos! Comments welcome – and if you have any ideas for videos let me know!

Happy Reading!

Laura

Tagged ,

REVIEW | The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

THE DEMON KING
BY: Cinda Williams-Chima
SERIES: Seven Realms #1
GOODREADS RATING: 4.21 out of 5.00 Stars
MY RATING: 5.00 out of 5.00 Stars
ADD TO GOODREADS

WHAT THE BACK OF THE BOOK SAYS: 

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana‘Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her—including marriage to a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for.

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

LIKES
  •  Princess Raisa! My goodness, I didn’t realize how badly I’ve been in need of a strong heroine. One thing that I love is when a character completely transforms over the course of the book, and Raisa is no exception. She starts out as a naive, ignorant princess heir but who she is at the end of the book is not the same girl.
  • Han Alister. Or Cuffs Alister. Or Hunts Alone. You know – whichever name you decide to call him! Han is such a unique character as well. He is often thought of as this vicious street gang leader who has no care or regard for anyone, but that is so far from the truth! He is a complex character, and I cannot wait to see where the rest of the series takes him. He has immense potential, so it will be interesting to see if he ends up as a hero or villain.
  •  The world-building. This is a giant world – uh, hello, it’s called the Seven Realms series – and it’s incredible how easily the landscapes come to life right off of each page! From the grimy, dirty streets of Ragmarket or Southbridge, to the royal castle of Fellsmarch to the Vale and the camps – Marisa Pines and Demonai – each is unique and incredibly detailed.
DISLIKES
  • It started off reading a little young, but the content didn’t match that. I enjoy the writing, but it did take me a few chapters to really connect.
  • A few events were predictable.
  • I didn’t realize that there was a map – my Kindle copy opened to chapter one, skipping the title page etc., so I didn’t know there was a map included! Duh!
MY THOUGHTS

I don’t know how I haven’t read this book yet. I mean, seriously – it was THAT good. It just really missed my radar. We start the book thrown immediately into action, and pick up information about the main characters and the realm along the way. I enjoyed that the story was told from alternating perspectives as well. It was a great way to contrast Raisa’s life growing up as royalty, and Han’s life, growing up as a street thug. I thoroughly enjoyed Williams-Chima’s writing style. She writes in such a fantastic way, that the characters came to life on each page. I was able to feel everything that Raisa and Han did – from happy moments to really heartbreakingly sad ones.

I also love the character growth in this book. Raisa becomes such an admirable character by books end, that it’s hard to believe she came from where she did. She always had it in her to start a revolution, and now she’s ready to carry it out. She isn’t the type of future monarch to sit around and let her people live in squalor while they live in grandeur in the castle.

Another great part of this book is the range of characters. From humans, to those who wield magic, to those who create magical amulets. I love, love, loved the magical themes in this story! We had good magic users and of course, bad. It was written beautifully, and I cannot wait to see how the magical use will evolve in the next books. It was nice to see such an array of characters as well, from all races and walks of life. It really added a diversity to the book that was wonderful.

The world building was helped greatly by the provided map in the beginning of the book of the Seven Realms. It can be a little overwhelming at first, since the books takes place in many different parts of the world – and different areas are mentioned often. But once you really get a handle on it, it’s incredible how author’s can create these worlds in their minds!

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT? Whether your a newbie to fantasy or an avid fantasy reader – you’ll love this book!

Happy Reading!
Laura

Tagged , , , , ,

REVIEW | Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

SILVER SHADOWS
Series: Bloodlines – Book #5
Author: Richelle Mead
My Rating: 3.50/5.00 | Goodreads Rating: 4.40/5.00
ADD TO GOODREADS

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

 
LIKES
  • Sydney and Adrian’s love for each other.
  • Hopper – the dragon!
  • Sydney and Adrian’s relationship status – at the end of the book.
  • How fast paced and full of action this book (and ultimately the entire series) is.
  • How strong the bond of friendship is between Jill, Angelina, Eddie, Sydney, Neil, and Adrian. In a world where dhampirs and vampires do not have relationships (friendship or otherwise) with Alchemists, the way they’ve banded together and the loyalty towards each other is insane!
  • Sydney’s magic. I love this aspect of the book, I truly do!
  • Carly Sage.
  • Rowena.
  • Jill’s bond with Adrian – and her maturity.
  • Jill and Eddie. Please, get together! I’m OTP’ing it! Jeddie?
  • Diversity in characters and lifestyles.
 
DISLIKES
  • The Re-education center and the Alchemists.
  • Queen Tatiana’s voice in Adrian’s head. (Curious to see what that’s all about.)
  • Adrian’s negative Spirit attributes.
  • Some parts that seem to lag and drag.
  • The Alchemists. Did I already mention them? I hate them.
 
MY THOUGHTS:
*I cannot promise that this is a spoiler-free review. If you haven’t read the first 4 books of the series, I recommend not continuing with this review!*
 I have been obsessed with the Vampire Academy world from the first page of Vampire Academy, and when I found out that there was a spin-off series, it made my little vampire-loving heart leap with joy! So far, I’ve loved Sydney and Adrian’s story, told throughout the Bloodlines series.With  every book, I’ve closed the cover and had the worst book hangover – desperately awaiting the next book to come out.
While I did enjoy the continuation of the story, I felt that this one was just a little stagnant. At the end of The Fiery Heart, Sydney was taken by the Alchemists for re-education, and Adrian is left fighting to find her. But in his spirit-wielding way, Adrian falls back into old habits at the start of Silver Shadows, and Sydney is wasting away in a dark cell, drugged until she admits she sinned, and is willing to undergo re-education to find her way back to the light. She is in this dark place both physically and emotionally – as it was her own sister, Zoe, who betrayed her, and her father who committed her to this place. She leaves her hopes of rescue in Adrian – who is back at Court, after his mother came to get him and bring him back after Jill contacted her. Back at Court, Adrian teams up with Nina – another Spirit user – who joins him in his drinking escapades, and makes sure he gets back to his room. She also has feelings for him.
Mostly, this book just starts to tie up the loose ends from the series, getting ready to end it all in just one more book.
While it ended on a cliffhanger in true Richelle Mead style, I found large chunks of this book leaning towards boring. Even though we get the typical unexpected – like what Sydney and Adrian do in the end – that I can say that I wasn’t expecting AT ALL – for the most part it’s Sydney in re-education, confirming what we already know – that she is a bad ass – and Adrian falling back into old drinking patterns and we follow him around Court while he parties. I don’t feel like a lot happens, which I suppose being the last book before the finale, it can happen.
I still love Mead’s writing style, and her characters feel like they are really some of my BFFs. Her characters have such depth and emotion that it’s hard not to get invested in them. Even though this was not one of my favorite books in the series, I still fully enjoyed it and I am so sad that when I read The Ruby Circle, that this series will be finished. I don’t think I am ready for that!
Would I recommend it? Obviously, if you’ve read the first 4 books then YES you need to read it!

Happy Reading!

Laura

Tagged , , , ,

REVIEW | The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

The Beginning of Everything
By: Robyn Schneider
Published By: Katherine Tegen | August 27th, 2013
Edition: EBook | Library Loan
My Rating: 2.50/5.00 | Goodreads Rating: 3.82/5.00
ADD TO GOODREADS

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

LIKES
  • How Ezra changed over the course of the novel.
  • Toby’s character. He didn’t let his personal tragedy ruin his life. He is completely confident in who he is.
  • The writing; Schneider is a good author.
DISLIKES
  • Cassidy Thorpe.
  • Ezra and Cassidy’s relationship.
  • What happens to Cooper.
  • The End.
  • All of Ezra’s old friends – the jocks/song squad.
  • Comparisons to The Great Gatsby.
  • Ezra’s entire book-long Pity Party.
  • Cassidy’s “personal tragedy”.
MY THOUGHTS: Upon initially finishing this book, I gave it a 4 star rating. I couldn’t write the review immediately though, I needed time to digest what I’d just finished reading. Over the past day or two, I’ve decided that this book is not a 4 star for me. In fact, I am bumping it all the way down to a 2.5, which pains me to do. I did find some enjoyment in this story, and I did enjoy portions of it. However, I did not really like or love enough of it to warrant a higher rating.
We start out the book learning about Ezra’s past friendship with Toby Ellicott, and how it fell apart after a day at Disneyland when they were on a roller coaster and someone a few seats up on the train stood up and was beheaded. Toby caught the severed head. This was his ‘personal tragedy’. Throughout the book, Ezra is fixated on tragedy, and how everyone has a personal tragedy that completely changes the course of their life. This was an interesting concept, but ultimately set up the book for Ezra really to just pity himself the whole time.
There are a lot of references throughout the book towards F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I’ve read the book a couple of times and seen both of the movies, and I must say that I cannot figure out the meaning of it. It doesn’t seem like a parallel to the story, though I can pick out a few things that may seem similar. Ultimately, I think it’s just Ezra’s dog calling him ‘Old Sport‘ in his mind. Or Ezra thinking he is, anyway.
As the story goes on, I started to enjoy the building of Ezra and Cassidy’s relationship. I really thought that it was going to be one of those epic love stories and that they would save each other. But when I started really thinking about it after I finished the book, I realized that their relationship sucked! First off, Ezra fell in love with her really fast. Which is okay to a point because there were some really cute one-liners about how beautiful she was in his eyes. It felt real and believable. But once they were together and I really got to see how big of a train wreck Cassidy is, it started to go downhill for me.
What I liked the most is how Ezra started seeing that popularity didn’t equal lifelong friendships and loyalty. He lost his friends and girlfriend but gained a group of really great and loyal friends – including Toby, whom he ditched all those years ago. This is a wonderful book when it comes to friendship and realizing that sometimes the people you think are your friends – aren’t.
 
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK? I think that this book would really resonate with some people. It was likeable and had tons of funny and sweet moments while also exploring heavier topics like grief, death, and losing the person that you once were – but finding a new, better version of yourself.

Happy Reading!

Laura

Tagged , , ,