May 29, 2014

Review: Hope's Rebellion by: Jade Varden

Hope's Rebellion by: Jade Varden (Dec. 2013)
169 ebook pages
Genre: Dystopian/YA
Source: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. Thanks Jade!
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords
Goodreads Summary: Their friendship will test the fabric of tradition, duty and destiny...

There are only two seasons in Godenor: summer and winter. Weather brings the only surprises to a society where everything is planned, and everyone's status is determined at birth...by the color of their hair.

Rinna has the right hair, Drexi the wrong, and Prelly is almost too ordinary -- in every way but one. Small mistakes bring them together, creating ripples in a pond that knows nothing but serenity. If they reach their goals, they can't help but shatter the world they know.

Love of any kind, even the bond of friendship, isn't allowed in their world...but then, the heart can't always follow orders.

My Review

Hope's Rebellion is a fresh take on the somewhat overdone dystopian genre. The world in Hope's Rebellion has its own little unique quirks and for being such a short novel it's also complex. How would you like to live in a world where you would be judged just by your hair color? 

Although it took me a little while to get used to Varden's writing style and the fact that there are no obvious breaks (like line breaks) between the different character's POVs, which was confusing at times, I did end up really appreciating Varden's story telling skills. Hope's Rebellion may not have blown me away, but I liked it just fine.

One big plus of Hope's Rebellion is that the plot is always moving forward, and at a good pace. I was always curious about the characters, history, events and everything else going on in the novel at all times, keeping my attention throughout the entire novel, even when I could see the twists coming in advance. Not to mention when the book really picks up speed near the end, I couldn't stop reading, even if the ending was a little eh. 

I loved that the book centered around three main opinionated female characters, Rinna, Drexi, and Prelly. I enjoyed watching these strong girls grow into even stronger women. They don't agree with how society tries to put them in certain categories/jobs and although it takes some longer than others, they fight back.  My favorite part about these characters is how they all end up meeting/connecting. I also liked how so many different types of relationships are dissected in this novel, from friendship to love and everything in-between.

Hope's Rebellion is a very quick read with three very tenacious young women at its core. I'm glad I gave it a chance, even if the cover doesn't do a whole lot for me.


7 comments
May 28, 2014

Library Loot #21

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. 

** I can't believe this is the first time all month I have had an actual library loot to share with you! I love my loot this week. I love it so much that I am having a hard time deciding which book to read first. Click the covers to find out more about each book!


My Library Loot


1. A Friend Once Told Me Dante Walker = Damon Salvatore 
(I also enjoyed the author's book Fire & Flood)

2. Why Not?

3. I've Heard It's Good

4. I Enjoy a Good Coming of Age Story

5. A Dog on a Cover Always Gets Me

6. This Books Is Said To Mess With Your Head - Bring It On!

7. I Hope This is a Good YA Dystopian
4 comments
May 27, 2014

Teaser Tuesday #6

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
  • Make sure to share the title and the author too!

My Teasers


"I never set out to pose nude." (pg. 1, first sentence of the book)


"My mother might have forbidden me to walk out the front door. But she had said nothing about the window." (pg. 45)


~ A Mad, Wicked Folly by: Sharon Biggs Waller


Share the link to your teasers below!

26 comments
May 22, 2014

Review: Half Bad by: Sally Green

Half Bad (#1) by: Sally Green (March 2014)
394 Pages
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult/Witches
Source: The Library
Goodreads Summary: Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy's struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.

You can't read, can't write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You've been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you've got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.

Easy.

My Review

Half Bad rocked my world hard. I hope you read it and that it ends up rocking yours too. The following is my somewhat nonsensical (it jumps all over the place) but high praising review of the book that I won't soon forget.

Half Bad is unique, it really can’t be compared to any other book I’ve ever read. Those of you looking for something completely new, here is your book. But beware, it’s different, you have to be okay with trying something different to enjoy it. One of its quirks, it starts off in 2nd person point of view. Now that doesn’t last that long if you are worried it will be too weird for you, but I actually kind of liked it.

Half Bad is more of a coming of age story than anything else. As readers we get Nathan’s story from when he is little until he is a teenager and getting ready to become an adult in the witch world. He is half white witch and half black witch, and the white witch’s council never lets him forget it. They treat him inhumanely... so much for being white witches. Every character in this novel is complex and has a hidden story and secrets. I love them all and I can’t wait to read more about them in the next installment. I want to learn more about Nathan’s infamous murderous dad and Nathan’s oh so charming best friend Gabriel among everyone else.

Half Bad made me feel so many different emotions. I can’t even begin to pinpoint them all. The writing is dark and excellent. The tidbits of second person point of view is interesting, nothing is black and white, and not to mention there are some good chilling and WTF moments. Although I am sad to say we don’t get a lot of magic in this first book and it could be a little slow at times. Luckily that was the only thing that really bothered me about Half Bad and it ending up not being a big deal. I still loved reading Nathan’s story and can’t wait for it to continue. I think book two will be even better.

This book isn't for everyone, but I think everyone should give it a try to find out if it is for them.



15 comments
May 19, 2014

Review: Fire & Flood by: Victoria Scott

Fire & Flood (#1) by: Victoria Scott (Feb. 2014)
305 Pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
Source: The Library
Goodreads Summary: Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

Victoria Scott's breathtaking novel grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go.



My Review


Fire & Flood may not have been the best dystopian I have ever read, but it was shocking, entertaining, and had the cutest most adorable awesome character ever to grace the pages of a young adult novel.

The Great

The Minor Characters – Guy was mysterious, I really liked that quality in him, not to mention that if I was participating in this race I sure as heck would want Guy on my side. The other people in Tella’s group were interesting and easy to like as well. Plus, it was a blast seeing everyone’s Pandoras in action.

Madox – I want Madox. I LOVE Madox. Madox is Tella’s beyond adorable Pandora, an animal created just for her to help her survive the race. Madox really did steal the show. If you are an animal lover you will enjoy this part of the book beyond all reason. Side note: Nicole and I WILL find a way to get Madox to be ours. We will. (Sorry, not sorry, everyone else who wants him.)

The Surprises – There were a few instances in Fire & Flood that completely surprised me. I actually didn't see them coming, and since that is rare I was more than excited. I give Victoria Scott mad props for that. To put it simply Fire & Flood had some crazy parts in it that I simply loved. It is a great well written adventure with some beyond shocking moments.

The Not So Great

Something Was Missing or It Was Too Similar – I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but Fire & Flood just doesn't earn 5 stars from me. It may be because this is another dystopian novel that wasn’t quite unique enough. 

The Main Character, Tella – She may be a little dumb and slightly annoying at times, but she also did seem realistic, and more unique because of her girlishness. Tella did grow on me and was pretty darn funny. However, if I hadn’t been warned about her annoying qualities in advance I probably would have liked this book a lot less. Therefore, if you haven’t been warned yet now you have. Go in knowing Tella is a little dumb and kind of vain (she always seems to care about her looks even when she shouldn’t be) and you should enjoy the book a great deal.


The Bottom Line

I want the next novel as soon as possible, please and thank you! In regards to my wonderful readers... you should take a chance on Fire and Flood. If you are sick of young adult dystopians I would understand if you skip this, but seriously, read it just for Madox and you won’t be disappointed.



10 comments
May 18, 2014

The Bookish Report

Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. I put this post up every Sunday so come back again next week for more bookish awesomeness.

Click away and enjoy your Sunday!



News

Have you ever lied about which book is your favorite? I'm guilty of this, but at least I don't do it anymore.

Do you want to find a way to stay off the internet when you are writing? Take a page from George R.R. Martin's playbook.

Check out Publisher's Weekly and Buzzfeed's summer reading lists.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is set to open in theaters on Nov. 18, 2016.

A new species has been named after HP characters, this is both interesting and gross.


We now have a cover for Blood of  Olympus! Although I love it, I'm a little sad that Percy isn't on it. :( That better not mean anything.

We all know books are better than movies and these ads show that perfectly.

I had never even heard of Kickstarter until the whole Veronica Mars thing. I don't even know what I think about it, but so far not great, (perhaps because I don't have any extra money to help support movies/projects that involve famous/rich people that do have money. Sorry, that was a little harsh, I know that isn't what Kickstarter is all about...), but apparently publishing companies are starting to grow on Kickstarter.

Blog Posts

If you listen to audiobooks then you should take a second to head over to Parajunkee and vote/nominate your favorite audiobooks for the Sultry Listeners Award.

You know that moment when you are hardcore fangirling over a book and then you read a review that didn't love it, or perhaps you recommend a book to someone and they don't like it? Kimba speaks out about this topic perfectly, and with gifs!

I have yet to do so, but if you are looking for some instructions on how to make a grab blog button then this post is for you.  

Because you can never have too many book recommendations check out The Book Addict's Guide to Crossover Books.

Trailer

What happened to my beloved childhood book? It looks kind of funny BUT...




Photo


7 comments
May 15, 2014

Review: Ever Near by: Melissa MacVicar

Ever Near (#1) by: Melissa MacVicar (2013)
200 Pages
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Genre: Young Adult/Supernatural
Source: I received a free copy of this book from the author and publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!!
Goodreads Summary: Love is ever near. But trouble is never far.

Nantucket Island is haunted, but only sixteen-year-old Jade Irving knows it. Ignoring the disturbing spirits isn’t an option, because one dwells in the enormous historic home she shares with her newly blended family. Jade is finding it more and more difficult to explain away Lacey’s ghostly, anguished tantrums, especially with Charlie, her gorgeous, almost step-brother, living right across the hall.

When a power-hungry ghost hunter tracks down Jade and blackmails her, Jade’s secret teeters on the edge of exposure, and her entire future hangs in the balance. If anyone finds out Jade can talk to ghosts, her life will be forever changed.

Can she save herself, free Lacey, and hang on to her tenuous connection with Charlie? Or will everything she ever wanted slip through her fingers?

My Review

Quick Summary: I had a lot of mixed feelings when I first started reading Ever Near, but in the end it was a darn good ghost story.

The setting was great. I’ve never been to Nantucket but I got a good feel about it thanks to the descriptive writing about beaches, interesting buildings, etc. that the author did a great job at providing.

I found the main character Jade to be very much a typical teenage girl, but with the slight problem of seeing ghosts and having to keep it a secret since she was ten, because of her fear that people would think she was crazy if anyone ever found out. I also thought Charlie, her soon to be step-brother, was a very sweet boy. The only problem I had at first, was how uncomfortable it was for me to read about Jade and Charlie’s relationship. I understand that they are in no way blood related, but it was a little weird that they were a couple, even if they were super cute. I also really liked all the other minor characters and their relationships with Jade, including her mother and best friend. I actually wish there was even more bestfriendness in the book.

Now let’s talk about the ghosts. They were not friendly in this book. They were pretty much spirits in pain that were mostly down right creepy/scary. I found the author’s take on ghosts interesting, especially Jade and her discovery on how/why exactly she can see them. Jade is dealing with one major ghost in particular in Ever Near, one that just so happens to live in her new house. I liked Jade’s story and the ghost’s story, except for one thing, Jade never had to dig very deep/hard to find out about the ghost that is haunting her new house. I wanted a scene where she takes a big trip to the local library looking through microfilm strips and such for a great reveal about who the ghost was, but we didn’t get that. It was the one thing that bothered me the most in this novel. I wanted a bigger reveal on who the ghost was.

The Bottom Line: Ever Near is a solid read. I am sure I will be reading the second book.



5 comments
May 14, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #10: Afterworlds by: Scott Westerfeld

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I'm Waiting On...

Afterworlds by: Scott Westerfeld
Release Date: Sept. 23, 2014
Goodreads Summary: Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings… Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

Why I'm Waiting: I am a fan of Westerfeld's Uglies series. Not to mention that this is a book within a book... bookception anyone? 

What are you waiting on?
15 comments
May 12, 2014

ARC Review: Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) by: Emmy Laybourne

Savage Drift by: Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14 #3) (May 6, 2014)
306 Pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Young Adult/Survival
Source: I received a free ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thanks Feiwel & Friends!
Goodreads Summary: The stunningly fierce conclusion to Emmy Laybourne's Monument 14 trilogy.

The survivors of the Monument 14 have finally made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Dean and Alex are cautiously starting to hope that a happy ending might be possible.

But for Josie, separated from the group and trapped in a brutal prison camp for exposed Type Os, things have gone from bad to worse. Traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue or safety.

Meanwhile, scared by the government's unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid (with her two protectors, Dean and Jake in tow) joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with his lost love Josie.

Author Emmy Laybourne reaches new heights of tension and romance in this action-packed conclusion to the Monument 14 trilogy.

My Review

When I heard there was going to be a third book in the Monument 14 series I was pretty darn excited. For some reason, I guess because I found enough closure in the second book, I just didn't expect there to be a third book, I didn't know it was a trilogy apparently, but I’m sure glad there was. I missed these Monument 14 kids. (Now sit back and enjoy my somewhat all over the place high praising review of Savage Dirft.)

There is one 100% true statement I can say about Savage Drift with complete confidence, it is NEVER boring.

From the first page to the last, Dean, Josie, and the other kid survivors are guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat during their last large act of survival before their journey finally comes to an end.

The Monument 14 trilogy is a unique survival story about a group of kids, all ages, and I really think more people should give it a try. I’m not saying it’s the best out there, but it is gripping, entertaining, funny, dark, and heartwarming, especially this last book.

Savage Drift was exceptional in every way. The effects of the original chemical release are still being examined and even more so in this last installment. I loved it. I enjoyed seeing the main character, Dean, finally really start to grow into a man. (At the beginning of the book he is still kind of really frustrating/annoying.) I too loved getting Josie’s view point, and getting to see how the government is handling the people with blood types that have violent reactions to the chemicals that were originally released in the first book, it isn’t’ pleasant. There is so much more to Savage Drift than meets the eye. Not to mention, there is also no lack of action. 

The ending was perfect. It brought tears to my eyes. Laybourne really did a great job in this third and last installment of The Monument 14 trilogy. It may have even been her best.

Next time you are searching for an interesting survival story about a group of kids take a chance on The Monument 14 trilogy. As an added bonus, all three books are pretty quick and easy reads, so none of your time will be wasted if you don't end up loving them.

Here are my reviews of the other two books in the series.
Monument 14 (#1) by: Emmy Laybourne
Sky On Fire (#2) by: Emmy Laybourne



6 comments
May 9, 2014

Help! I'm Struggling. I Need to Get Out of My Reading Funk.

I DO want to get as excited about books again, as much as Winston loves puzzling. 

I DON'T want to feel the way R did.

Lately, every single time I have the opportunity to read I just can't seem to go through with it. I get as far as picking up the book and holding it in my hands before I put it back down...FAIL




I'm not struggling because I've read a lot of bad books or anything. The last couple of books I read were really good. I mean I loved Half Bad. I'm also not struggling because of any arc/review pressure, and I don't think I'm struggling due to any personal life issues or anything like that.

So what the heck is my problem? 


I usually cure a reading slump before it even fully hits me. Which is why this reading funk I am currently in is starting to freak me out. My reading has been so touch and go lately.

This is how I normally avoid reading slumps...the minute it feels like it is happening I do the following:
  • I force myself to read, because every time I do I don't regret it. If I can't accomplish this by myself my husband helps me. Usually he does so by playing video games and limiting my choice of recreational activities.
  • If my problem is picking a book, my husband either picks one at random, or reads all of the synopsis of the books I am choosing from and decides what he thinks I will like best. Almost every time he chooses a book this way he ends up being 100% right about me loving it. Shhh...don't tell him I said that.
BUT

This reading slump/funk is holding on tight and not letting go this time. NOTHING on my bookcase sounds good to me, but I MISS reading. I used to read at least a little bit just about every day, but for the last three weeks I have gone several days in a row without reading at all. A couple of times it took me a whole week to struggle through one book, which is rare for me. Then even if I enjoyed the book I had no desire to start a new one. WTF is up with that? I never seem to be in the mood to read.

Side Note: I have been in a weird "I don't want to write any reviews" funk lately as well. I've always made a point to post two reviews a week, but last week and this week I only posted one. Sigh.

This is where your help comes in. 


I'm sure most of you reading this has had some sort of reading funk/slump happen to you at some point (and if not I'm totally jealous) so please share any ideas below on how I can fight this. Perhaps the best solution may even be just to roll with it and not fight it? I just don't know what else to try. I would love any and all advice you can give me. 

Thanks for listening to me ramble on about my problems and for the advice!
23 comments
May 6, 2014

TTT #21: Top Ten Book Covers I'd Frame as Pieces of Art

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Here are the top ten eight book covers that I would frame as pieces of art and where I would probably place them in my hypothetical house. :)

1. The Library

2. My Bedroom

3. Kitchen/Dinning Room

4. My Office

5. My Little Girl's Room (If I Had Kids)

6. Living Room

7. My Little Boy's Room (If I Had Kids)

8. The Guest Room
17 comments

ARC Review: Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) by: F.J.R. Titchenell

Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) by: F.J.R. Titchenell (Released Today: 5/6/14)
270 Pages
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Genre: Young Adult/Zombies
Source: I received a free ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | Amazon
Goodreads Summary: The world is Cassie Fremont’s playground. Her face is on the cover of every newspaper, she has no homework, no curfew, and no credit limit, and she spends her days traveling the country with her friends, including a boy who would flirt with death just to turn her head. Life is just about perfect—except that those newspaper headlines are about her bludgeoning her crush to death with a paintball gun, she has to fight ravenous walking corpses every time she steps outside, and one of her friends is still missing, trapped somewhere in the distant, practically impassable wreckage of Manhattan. Still, Cassie’s an optimist. More prone to hysterical laughter than hysterical tears, she’d rather fight a corpse than be one, and she won’t leave a friend stranded when she can simply take her road trip to impossible new places to find her, even if getting there means admitting to that boy that she might just love him, too. Skillfully blending effective horror with unexpected humor, this diary-format novel is a fast-paced and heartwarming read.

My Review

Quick Summary: Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer is a decently unique zombie novel guaranteed to make you laugh.

What I Liked

  • A good amount of the zombie fighting scenes in this book were original and a nice twist on the zombie killing genre. Sure, this book isn’t unique all the time, but there are a few very strongly original scenes that Titchenell deserves to be given credit for.
  • Cassie is a very entertaining narrator and hearing her story from her first encounter with a zombie and throughout her entire adventure of travel to find a friend kept me rather absorbed in her tale.
  • The author does a marvelous job at remembering to include the characters encountering real life problems such as the weather and food among other things and not just the zombies during their fight of survival.
  • I loved the friendships among the survivors, but most of all as I mentioned before, I loved the humor.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The characters were sometimes annoying, but I believe it was just because of their age. In general the characters really were hit and miss with me throughout the novel.
  • As a reader, you never really do get any closure on how/why the whole zombie apocalypse thing started in the first place, zombies are just pretty much there.
  • I mentioned that I enjoyed the different zombie killing/encounters that this book has to offer, but at times it also seemed like some of the plot/these instances were forced, or felt like the novel was trying a little too hard to be better or different than the rest of all the zombie books out there.

Bottom Line: A fun and funny zombie novel perfect for teenagers who like humor mixed in with their blood and guts. If you like novels with zombies you might as well give this one a try.


2 comments
May 4, 2014

The Bookish Report

Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. I put this post up every Sunday so come back again next week for more bookish awesomeness.

Click away and enjoy your Sunday!



News

Apparently just about every book is being made into a movie or television show lately, as I'm sure you have noticed simply by reading these bookish news posts. This time J.K. Rowling's Casual Vacancy is being made into a television mini series. 

The third Throne of Glass book by Maas, Heir of Fire, has had its cover revealed! YES!

I am sure all my followers know by now that I am a big Downton Abbey fan. Well, I have another lovely article that gives some great young adult historical fiction reading suggestions for Downton Abbey fans.

The Princess Diaries series is coming back...for adults! This series was my favorite when I was younger. This news made my whole day.

This is a must read: The 23 Things We Think Upon Entering a Bookstore.

Even though I'm sure you all have heard, if you haven't then you should take a second to get updated about wanting more diversity in young adult books. Here are two interesting blog posts about the subject: Bookcon's Lack of Representation & Thoughts on Diversity in YA

Blog Posts

Check out this cute Where The Wild Things Are nursery!

You really should check out Buckling Bookshelves' new unique feature, Required Re-Reading where she re-reads books she had to read for class. This week she talked about how she didn't appreciate The Joy Luck Club the first time, but really enjoyed it the second time.

Have you ever had trouble organizing your TBR pile on goodreads? I know I have. Nicole over at The Quiet Concert shares her organization tips. It may give you some helpful ideas for your own list. It did for me.

It's not okay to steal, ever. If you want some free and/or cheap books, read this post.

This discussion post was a lot of fun to read and comment on. Have you ever thought about your favorite fictional characters and their lives once the book your reading ends?

Picture

7 comments
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