Sunday, January 31, 2016

Review: A Darker Side of Magic by V.E Schwab


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Summary from Goodreads:

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit. 

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

My Review:

The magic and the different Londons was amazing, one of the best world buildings in a fantasy novel I've seen since Mistborn.

The action and the pacing was great but I would have liked more characters and characters development instead of focusing more on the world building and plot.

I would have rather had the novel from Lila's POV because she was by far the best character in the novel. Kell was okay but parts of his chapters fell flat and I would have liked more character development for him.

I recommend checking out this interesting fantasy.

My Rating:

Four Stars Out of Five


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Stacking the Shelves/Weekly Update #86

Stacking the Shelves



Reviews:

Of Dreams and Rust: Review
Say What You Will: Review
The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen: Review
A Thousand Pieces of You: Review
Falling Kingdoms: Review

Bought:

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Library:  

When We Collided by Emery Lord
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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For Review:



Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: Of Dreams and Rust (#2) by Sarah Fine


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Summary from Goodreads:

War erupts in this bittersweet sequel to Of Metal and Wishes, inspired by The Phantom of the Opera and called “relentlessly engrossing” by The Romantic Times.

In the year since the collapse of the slaughterhouse where Wen worked as her father’s medical assistant, she’s held all her secrets close. She works in the clinic at the weapons factory and sneaks away to nurse Bo, once the Ghost, now a boy determined to transform himself into a living machine. Their strange, fragile friendship soothes some of the ache of missing Melik, the strong-willed Noor who walked away from Wen all those months ago—but it can’t quell her fears for him.

The Noor are waging a rebellion in the west. When she overhears plans to crush Melik’s people with the powerful war machines created at the factory, Wen makes the painful decision to leave behind all she has known—including Bo—to warn them. But the farther she journeys into the warzone, the more confusing things become. A year of brutality seems to have changed Melik, and Wen has a decision to make about him and his people: How much is she willing to sacrifice to save them from complete annihilation?

My Review:

I utterly loved the first book in this two book series, and part of me wishes  that it had stayed as a stand-alone novel. The phantom of the opera is one of my all time favorite novels/musicals and I wanted more from this sequel.

The love triangle feel flat and no big actions or consequences happened between the three characters, and I was not a fan of how they ended the Phantom storyline (he is my favorite character in the musical and needs a better ending).

I still enjoyed Fine's writing style and her characters, I loved Bo, and Wen, and I hope that the author does other retellings because she did a great job staying true to the original story. And it is one of my few steampunk series that I like.

I recommend reading (mainly the first novel Of Metal and Wishes) both of them mainly for the amazing characters.

My Rating:

Three Stars Out of Five

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Review: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern


Say What You Will
Summary from Goodreads:

John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell'sEleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern's insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.
 

My Review:

Yet another novel that I started and didn't finish when it was first released. I decided to give it a second chance before reading McGovern's new YA novel.

I love how novels are now touching on mental illness and the stigma it has compared with physical disabilities. The writing style was good and the email part was a cute addition, however, some of the plot was bleh. I enjoyed the majority of the story but ending and the twist could have been better.

I loved reading Amy's POV but could have done without Matthew's, and I wanted less of him and more of her chapters. The last part of the book does not have enough of Amy.

I recommend checking this contemporary out, it dealt with a lot of interesting and hard topics.

My Rating:

Four Stars Out of Five

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Review: The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen by Katherine Howe


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Summary from Goodreads:

t’s summertime in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychic’s in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie.

As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose-petal lips and her entrancing glow. There’s just something about her that he can’t put his finger on, something faraway and otherworldly that compels him to fall even deeper. Annie’s from the city, and yet she seems just as out of place as Wes feels. Lost in the chaos of the busy city streets, she’s been searching for something—a missing ring. And now Annie is running out of time and needs Wes’s help. As they search together, Annie and Wes uncover secrets lurking around every corner, secrets that will reveal the truth of Annie’s dark past.

My Review:

I randomly picked up this thriller ghost tale because I was hoping for a gothic novel (there is not a enough of those in YA) but it was not what I was expecting.

I started off liking the story when the POV was solely Wes, however, when the format changed and Annie's weird and somewhat magical realism parts happened it was exteremly hard to follow. I doubt I would have kept reading if the POV had not gone back to Wes, who was one of my favorite characters in the novel.

The author does a great job with the characters and the setting, however, it was too confusing in parts to enjoy it fully.

I recommend checking this out just for the writing, it was beautiful, however, it was the plot structure and parts of the story that fell flat for me.

My Rating:

Three Stars Out of Five

Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray



20877332Summary from Goodreads:

Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father's killer through multiple dimensions.

Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.
 

My Review:

Once again another novel that I tried to read when it came out but just could not get into it. I decided to give it another shot and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

My main problem in the first 60 or so pages was Marguerite and the rushed plot. I believe the back story about Paul and her parents invention should have started the novel instead of jumping straight to the time travel. Also, the main character got on my nerves in the beginning with her constant belittling of her own looks, and how she could never be beautiful, thankfully that went down as the novel progressed.

And the romance was a bit too heavy for me, however, I really liked Paul and Theo as characters, none of them were annoying.

I really enjoyed the multiple diminutions that the characters jumped to, a futuristic London, Russian nobility, and I can't wait to see where else they go in the sequel.

I would recommend powering through the beginning and some of the annoying character thoughts because in the end it was enjoyable.

My Rating:

Four Stars Out of Five.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #87

IT'S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING?



THIS MEME COMES NOW COMES FROM THE BOOK DATE


Books I Read Last Week:

Falling Kingdoms (#1) by Morgan Rhodes (4 Stars)
Beholden to the Throne by Carol Marinelli (2 Stars) (For Class, lol)
Awake by Natasha Preston (3 Stars)
Dead Upon a Time by Elizabeth Paulson (3 Stars)
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (4 Stars) 136131421580323425981557233991688664353



Number of Pages: 1,610


Currently Reading:
A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)22754644

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Review: Falling Kingdoms (#1) by Morgan Rhodes



13613142Summary from Goodreads:

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed... and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It's the eve of war.... Choose your side.


Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword....
 


My Review:

As you may have guessed I am not a fan books made up duel POV, it tends to take me out of book when their are so many character chances. I stayed away from this fantasy YA series mainly because of the amount of character's POVS, but since Six of Crows I've been able to hand more characters.

I still believe I would have enjoyed this more if it was told by one character or only two not four, however, I really enjoyed all of the POVs (Jonas the least of the four) and I really enjoyed Cleo and Magnus (and might ship them a tiny bit, lol).

The action really picked up throughout the novel and I enjoyed the fast pace story-telling. It left me wanting to get my hands on the second novel to find out what happens to the Princess, Cleo, and her interactions with the cold Prince Magnus. 

The magic aspect was toned down and I tend to enjoy novels/series that slowly build up the magic and power of the main characters instead of just throwing it at us (like Throne of Glass).

I recommend checking out this great start to a fantasy YA series.


My Rating:

Four Stars Out of Five

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Stacking the Shelves/Weekly Update #85

Stacking the Shelves



Reviews:

Soundless: Review
The Martian: Review
Vision in Silver: Review
Slasher Girls and Monster Boys: Review


Library:

2205526216160797

For Review:

Friday, January 22, 2016

Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead


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Summary from Goodreads:

From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore. 

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. 

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever....

My Review:

Richelle Mead is one of my favorite YA authors and I binge read the majority of her novels in 2014 after I discovered The Vampire Academy Series. I was expecting quite a lot from this novel, mainly because the amazing cover, however, I was disappointed.

I got the feeling that this is a stand-alone novel because the end does wrap up, if that is the case I wish that the novel had been a lot longer and focused more on the mythical elements and the life at the top of the mountain before jumping straight into the plot/goals of the characters.

Even though I felt that the novel was rushed and never stayed on one topic too long I still loved the characters that Mead introduced us to and the world building that she started to do.

I recommend still reading this because of the amazing main character and the beautiful writing.

My Rating:

Three Stars Out of Five

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir


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Summary from Goodreads:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
 

My Review:



I could not read this novel the first time I picked it up, mainly because of the hard science that the author has throughout the novel. However, once I got past that, and not understanding a few things, I saw the humor in it (like the 70s shows) and also seeing the film first helped me.

Downside to watching the film first is that they stuck to the book really well so there was not a lot of surprise or differences to keep me invested.

I enjoyed the duel povs with Mark and those at NASA trying to help him, and it was amazing what Donald Glover as Rich Purnell did with such a small role in the film version.

Despite the somewhat over use of math/science (and a lot of it I could not understand) the best part of the novel was all of the great characters and I would read another novel by this author.

I recommend checking out the novel, but I would recommend not watching the film first.

My Rating:

Four Stars Out of Five

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wishlist Wednesday # 85



Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while, the meme is hosted by Pen to Paper.

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Summary from Goodreads:

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed inSeabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.
 

My Notes:

I've had this waiting on my shelf for months and I am finally going to read it soon.

Waiting on Wednesday # 85



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where you pick a book that is coming out soon that you want to read.

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Summary from Goodreads:

The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.

Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.

Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense.

Release Date: March 1st.

My Notes:

This sounds like it will be amazing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Review: Vision in Silver (#3) by Anne Bishop


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Summary from Goodreads:

The Others freed the  cassandra sangue  to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

My Review:

I feel over-the-moon in love with The Other series in 2014 and was pumped when I recieved it for review from netgalley. However, it has taken me almost all year to finally finish the last half of this novel.

Don't get me wrong it was still an amazing read and I loved going back to my favorite characters (Meg, Simon, Skippy, Vlad, Sam and many others) but this third novel just dragged for me.

This last week I finally pushed to finish the last 50 percent and once again feel in love with the world, but I would have loved more personal character interactions rather than plot/exposition. I did give it four stars because I loved reading it and I adored the characters and want the next one to solely focus on them. And I would have liked more of a focus on the other blood prophets, like Hope.

I already have the forth book waiting for on my kindle and I hope it gives me more of my favorite characters and expands on my favorite couple (or wish they were a couple).

My Rating:

Four Stars Out of Five

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I've Recently Added To My TBR #85


1. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Release Date: September. 
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2. Once Upon a Kiss by Robin Palmer
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3. A World Without You by Beth Revis. Release Date: July.
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4. Night Shift by Charlaine Harris. Release Date: May 3rd.
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by Jenn Bennett 
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by Virginia Zimmerman 
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by Drew Barrymore
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by Nova Ren Suma
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by Richelle Mead
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by Siobhan Vivian 
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