Monday, November 28, 2016

The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Page (Review)

YA, Retelling, Fantasy
Publication Date:March 31, 2015
Published By: Harper Collins
SeriesDorthy Must Die #2
Review copy:Purchased
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Chapters

In this dark, high-octane sequel to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die, Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to kill Dorothy and free Oz.

To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die...

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn't wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?

  Once, I had been an angry, righteous little ball of fire.  Now I was something else.
  But what?
"Remember   don't be wicked.  Unless you really have to!"  Parting words, I guess.  It was good advice.  I promised myself that I would try to follow it.
If it were a movie, the strings would have come in at the very moment that our lips met in a passionate, do-or-die kiss.
  But it wasn't a movie.  Instead, we held each other for a few seconds before awkwardly breaking apart and standing there, not quite looking at each other.

  The Wicked Will Rise was a quick read for me.  It wasn't hard to get into and

    There was this constant battle waging in me when it came to the plot in this one.  The pacing was just right for where everything went, but also so much and so little happened in such a short time.  Maybe this was because I had this preconceived idea about what was going to happen, or maybe more happened than I had expected.  There's a good possibility that the random (I'm sure thoroughly planned out) twist threw me.  I can honestly say that the plot was plugging along when if suddenly did a 180 and left me gaping.  We all love those unpredictable moments but honestly there wasn't even an indication.  There were some other little things that twisted in one direction or the other but nothing a massive as the one moment that changed everything that had made sense for basically two books.

  Amy Gumm remains to be the thing I love most about these books.  She is not your conventional heroine and her growth in each book is fun to read.  She is not the bad guy, but honestly does that make her the good guy?  Even Amy herself isn't sure of this.  She believes that she is doing the best that she can and what's expected of her.  However, she also knows that power corrupts and there is a chance that she could slip.  Heck, she's not even sure the people she helps have good intentions because the good are wicked and the wicked are good.  It's a backwards and inside-out world where there is a very good chance that doing the right thing can mean doing the wrong things.

  I think the missing element is... Well, it's the extra something.  I'm not saying it has to be romance because it doesn't but it does have to be there.  I think in Dorthy Must Die, it was not just the slight element of romance but more the extra people in the journey.  I missed the people that filled the pages instead of having Amy seemingly walking circles.  Well, she wasn't walking circles but she was more on her own than not in this book wondering where everyone that was supposed to be on her side was.  We got glimpses of some of the Wicked and others but it wasn't the same.  I'm not even sure if this makes sense to anyone but me but there is something missing and I think just maybe it was the quirk of the other characters.

  Will I continue on with this series?  Absolutely!  This author has created a female lead that I adore for many reasons, and a twist on what happens after that is wholly original.  I have no doubt that when I pick up the next book it will easily be devoured.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Review)

YA, Dystopia
Publication Date:April 2, 2012
Published By: Harper Collins
SeriesDelirium #1 
Review copy:Purchased
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Chapters

In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

  The deadliest of all deadly things:  It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.
  And then i'm frightened.  That's how it starts.  Even if he is cured, even if he is safe   the fact is, I'm not safe, and this is how it starts.
  Gracie's life fell apart because of a single word: sympathizer.

  My world exploded because of a different word: suicide.
  Correction: That was the first time my world exploded.
  Take it from me: If you hear the past speaking to you, feel it tugging at your back and running its fingers up your spine, the best thing to do   the only thing   is run.
  Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge.  That's what it is: an edge; a razor.  It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two.  Before and after.  The rest of the world falls away on either side.

  What a beautifully and wholly original read.  I can't believe that it sat on my shelves as long as it has because I enjoyed every last moment.  This book is so much more than a pretty cover with an intriguing synopsis and I loved every minute of it.  I think in a way I enjoyed this more because of the length of time I waited to read it.  The hype had died down and I had nothing but my own thoughts and opinions going in, giving me a better chance not to consider any possibilities of being let down.  There was so much to enjoy that I'm not honestly sure how I'm going to pack it into one review, but I will try.

  I think a part of me had expected the plot to go roughly like it did, but there was also a few really good surprises along the way.  It's more about the twist and turns and the gradual development for me than anything when it comes to plot in dystopia reads.  There is always a general expectation from the synopsis when opening the pages, but it's how the author executes it that matters.  There was a great original development of Lena, her world and why she was the way she was.  There was something about the consistent pace in the way things were set up that slowed and yet carried pace throughout the rest of the read.  My attention never wavered and  the picture only became more vivid, more movie like as I read on.  I guess you could say that the pacing was damn near perfect.

  Lena wasn't the rebel right from the start.  She wasn't the girl that questioned how things were done, or really looked at anything beyond what she was told.  Heck, she did everything in her power to be the model citizen because her family had carved a name that made her constantly have to worry.  I think that I didn't form a connection in the start but I did find myself understanding her.  In a world with so little control actually allowed to you and such swift and potentially deadly measures taken against those that may have 'the disease', I could understand her.  No one wants to live life being judged by their family and their actions, but more so no one wants to risk the little choice they have being taken away by questioning.  Though I will admit that something wonderful happened when Lena made the choice to question things.  Made the leap into not having a few choices picked out for her but seeing that there is a choice beyond everything she has been taught to believe is true.  Honestly, I think I could go on and on about Lena and her development but to cut it short, she had spectacular and clear development.

  I think with the synopsis it was fairly obvious that there would be some sort of romance.  Alex was both what I had expected and not.  When thinking about it he really was just what Lena needed to snap out of the haze that she lived in.  When thinking about it to write this, I can't say if actually adored him but I loved what he did for Lena and that it wasn't rushed.  That is what made the romance for me in this.  It wasn't rushed, it was paced really well making it almost perfect.  Of course it wasn't perfect because they live in a world where love is a disease and that isn't a thought that disappears overnight.  No, it took time to figure out if what Lena felt was a disease, or if it was something that was worth any loss.  This isn't something that happens overnight and Alex had to jump through a lot of hoops to even get Lena to take a chance, take a look past what had always been drilled into her.

  I embraced this story.  Each page, every word, every turn became more real and pulled me in that much more.  It's hard to say what exactly drew me in to start but I know by the end that between character development, and perfect pacing that I would be hooked.  This is one of those books that you sit and simply find yourself lost withing the pages, routing for characters to figure out a better way.  I know many people feel that dystopia novels have a pattern an expectation, and I guess all of the little things are there that are expected but there are some wonderfully original points throughout the read.  I know I am late to the punch in reading these books but I can say after reading just this one that I regret not picking them up sooner.  If you enjoy a good dystopia read I can recommend this one without a single hesitation.  Lauren Oliver has created an addiction for me with this one.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (Review)

YA, Fantasy
Publication Date:May 3, 2016
Published By: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
SeriesA Court of Thorns and Roses #2 
Review copy:Purchased
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Chapters

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

  It was all I could do to keep from screaming, to keep from shattering into ten thousand pieces as I sank onto the marble floor, bowing over my knees, and wrapped my arms around myself.
  He'd trapped me; he'd trapped me; he'd trapped me   
  I had to get out, because I'd barely escaped from another prison once before, and this time, this time   
  And I realized I was in a free fall with no end.  I had been for awhile.  From the moment I'd stabbed that Fae youth in the heart.
  I didn't look up at him again as i devoured the food.
  "So I'm your huntress and thief?"
  His hands slid down to cup the backs of my knees as he said with a roguish grin, "You are my salvation, Feyre,"

   Okay so I am at no point going to promise that this review will be spoiler free.  I have told anyone that will listen that upon finishing this book my life is ruined.  Maybe ruined is a little much but my soul is screaming for an undefined number of reasons.  This is the kind of book that you pick up and when you put it down everything has changed.

  For some reason I was under this impression that I could pick this book and the story would continue on its merry little way.  Why?  Why did I expect this?  I'm starting to think it was because I'm a blind fool.  Nothing ever stays the same long and obviously with a new book comes a new conflict, but this was indescribably so far from what was anticipated.  However, with all the change and the progression of the plot there was never a dull moment and ample amount of emotions.  There was not a single moment where I was not reeling from one thing or another.

   Feyre was and still isn't a weak character, but something in her has changed.  Well, she believes something about her has changed and I guess you can't go through what she went through without carrying some baggage.  Thing is I am not really sure what I expected of her beyond what I got because she was still as bad ass as always.  Regardless, for awhile I was feeling let down and wanted something more or less of what I was getting.  Turns out that something more was only brought on by the wanting and being trapped.  Then when things started to change with her I kind of rebelled.  I couldn't help but think she had once again become unrecognisable and yet something was the same.  Feyre is kind of like a phoenix, reborn from her own ashes and though she is the same she is completely different.  I don't know maybe I am failing at nailing what I want to portray but I was honestly floored in both good and bad ways by her in this book.  Honestly, she is so very much of everything that I want in a character, the very few things that irk me are forgivable.  Heck maybe they make her a better character... Ya they probably make her a better character.

  Here we go with the potential spoiler...  The romance.  For the love of all things why?!  Okay I admit that something wasn't right with the entire Tamlin thing but WHY?!  Okay, I mean ya Rhysand is awesome and you know he is like a damn onion with his layers but WHY?!   No, I do not mind a triangle or a potential one, but the damn romance here had me reeling and rebelling like a freaking toddler in a temper tantrum half the time.  THIS ROMANCE RUINED ME!!!  And maybe it shouldn't have.  Maybe I should have been like the mass of people that anticipated this, or wanted it... but I wasn't. I wasn't... I was conflicted and irritated and then I settled into this acceptance that was like a calm/happy.  Then what happens you may ask.  Then... Well, then Maas blew everything apart like a grenade in a paper factory (no one is injured in the factory of course but the paper isn't doing well).  I was legit torn.  I was torn and raging on the inside and couldn't believe after that entire ride and reluctant acceptance, I was thrown right back into the place in where I want to scream about this happening.  Of course there is some happy thrown in there but I don't even know what to tell you.

  Maas surely crafted this book and its changes to everything to rip us readers apart and leave us to put the pieces together in whatever fashion we can.  I have not had a hangover like this from a book in awhile and I don't even know what to do about it.  This is either going to be a book that people absolutely adore or want to scream about.  Maybe the responses will be one in the same because it's all kinds of amazing and I don't see anyone not loving it no matter their feelings throughout it.  If you are fan of Maas you seriously need this book in your life, or if you haven't tried...  YOU NEED TO!  These books are an obsession that you don't want to miss out on.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Queen by Aimee Carter (Review)

YA, Dystopia 
Publication Date:November 24,, 2015
Published By: Harlequin Teen
SeriesBlackcoat Rebellion #3
Review copy:Purchased Hardcover 
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Chapters


  Kitty Doe is a Blackcoat rebel and a former captive with a deadly connection to the most powerful and dangerous man in the country, Prime Minister Daxton Hart. Forced to masquerade as Daxton's niece, Lila Hart, Kitty has helped the Blackcoats take back the prison known as Elsewhere. But Daxton has no intention of ceding his position of privilege—or letting Kitty expose his own masquerade. Not in these United States, where each person's rank means the difference between luxury and poverty, freedom and fear...and ultimately, between life and death.

  To defeat the corrupt government, Kitty must expose Daxton's secret. Securing evidence will put others in jeopardy, including the boy she's loved forever and an ally she barely trusts. For months, Kitty's survival has hinged on playing a part. Now she must discover who she truly wants to be, and whether the new world she and the rebels are striving to create has a place in it for her after all.

  But I wasn't a Hart, either, and I was barely a member of the Blackcoats as it was.  I didn't belong down here, but I also didn't belong in the manor.  And that was far scarier than anything Daxton could throw at me   the realization that no matter what rank I'd earned or whose face I wore, I had no idea where I really belonged.
It was up to us now.  All we had to do was find a way to kill the most powerful man in the country, and we would win this war for good.
  But while my mind whirled with the desire to kill, my body didn't want to die.  My feet remained frozen to the floor, my hands glued to my sides, and though everything inside me screamed to do something, to stop this before Benjy paid the price I should have   and would have   paid a thousand times over for him, I couldn't move.  I couldn't speak.
For her, death was freedom.  And a pardon from the life she would have had to live if she'd survived.

   I have really enjoyed this series.  The Black Coat Rebellion was an interesting and fun trilogy to read, filled with twists and turns in every chapter.  I had really invested myself in this trilogy and had put off reading the finally because I worried it wouldn't hold up to expectations.  Though it was still packed with the creative writing I have come to enjoy from Carter, I found myself let down when turning the last page.

  There was so much build up to this book, I was disappointed to find that Queen itself had very little to offer in independence from the previous two novels.  Though there was action and everything I wanted, it was often predictable and offered very little intrigue until about the last quarter or so of the book.  This also may be part of the pacing.  Pacing is something that I personally as a reader rely heavily on, and found myself drifting away more often than I would have liked.  However, when I reached that last stretch I really found myself pushing through and wanting to see the best possible outcome.

  I had always somewhat admired Kitty.  She has been a victim since day one, and tries to fight her fate in one way or another.  Along side this, she can be selfless and kind, often putting others before herself.  I think I expected her to really step up in this book, become the strong leader that was obviously begging to be let out.  However, despite a few revelations I was sad she never stepped up to become the girl I had hopes she would become.  She did however have some growth and gained some maturity, showing that she had learned with everything she went through.  Though a really well panned out character from start to finish, I just don't feel like she ever really made that last leap into independence.

  The romance and the friendships in this on may be what really drove me over the edge.  I found myself often groaning or wanting to scream.  I have always been able to appreciate and even respect a well done love triangle.  After finishing Queen I'm not even sure what I think.  Was it really a triangle?  Was it ever?  Did I miss something?  This could 100% be a me thing.  I was so sure that there wasn't one but everything changed with this one book.  I think that the possible switch up was done well, but left me stumbling because I just didn't expect it.

  I honestly don't know how to say what I want to say about this book and the conclusion to this trilogy.  There has been so many ups and downs, but Carter and her phenomenal way of weaving a tale kept bringing me back for more.  Though I found myself let down with this book, I do not regret this series and have them lined up with pride on a shelf.  I think that my feelings on this book will be an anomaly, and many people will find themselves enjoying it.  Though I felt a little empty after finishing this book, I recommend the trilogy as a whole and will as always purchase anything Aimee Carter puts out.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Wondrous and The Wicked by Page Morgan (Review)

YA, Paranormal
Publication Date:April 14, 2015
Published By:  Doubleday Canada
Series:The Dispossessed #3

Review copy:From Random House Canada for honest review
Buy it:
Amazon ~ Chapters ~ B&N 

Since the Waverlys arrived in Paris, the streets have grown more fearsome by the day. As Ingrid learns to master her lectrux gift, she must watch Axia's power grow strong enough to extend beyond her Underneath hive. By all indications, the fallen angel's Harvest is near-and the timing couldn't be worse.

Targeted by vengeful gargoyles, Gabby has been exiled to London for her own protection. Meanwhile, the gargoyle castes are in disarray, divided between those who want Luc to lead them and those who resent him and his fondness for humans. The Alliance is crumbling from the inside as well, its members turning against one another, and possibly against the Waverlys, too.

Axia has promised that the world will burn. And now, unable to trust the Alliance, separated from Luc, Gabby, and her twin, Grayson, Ingrid is left to face the demon uprising alone.

  A swell of nausea and exhaustion, chased by more pain, brought Ingrid's head back to the dirt floor.  She couldn't move.  And if she couldn't move, she certainly couldn't fight.  It was too late anyway.  It was over.  Axia had won.

  "I'm a criminal," Grayson said, his heart gaining speed and his body growing warm from the way Chelle was looking at him.  "I took a life, just as brutally as any rogue gargoyle.  Why trust me?"
  "I love you, Gabby."
  Air.  There wasn't enough of it.  Nolan stood a moment while Gabby stared up at him, stunned speechless, just as she'd been the first time he'd said the words to her.

  It is so hard for me to finish a series.  Unless it is a stand alone, I seriously put off reading that last book.  This is a serious problem I have only recently begun to recognize and correct.  Though Morgan's series isn't the first I have decided to finish this year, it has proven to be one of the many reasons why I have problems doing so.  Finishing the Dispossessed trilogy left me both happy and torn.  

  What always sweeps me away when starting these books, is the strikingly beautiful writing.  Morgan has a perfectly flowing and intriguing way of telling a story, pulling you deeper in with each chapter, each page.  There was a lot of build up leading to this epic conclusion, and a lot that I wanted to happen and I couldn't figure out how it could all happen in 352 pages.  Needless to say I got basically everything I had hoped for and a whole lot that I hadn't seen coming.  The best part of this was quite possibly the fact that all of this was wonderfully paced from start to finish.  Yes, there are times that the action is amped and you fly through the pages a little quicker, but honestly the entire book was page turning.  Merge this with the fact that the characters basically all rose to their full potential, and you have a stunning final read.

  Ingrid has grown leaps and bounds since the starting of this trilogy.  She may still be a society woman but she is also so much more than that, and knows that she no longer fits where she once did in England.  Paris has pushed her to her limit and has made her stronger for it.  Though there were times that I wanted her to step past the romance she worried about so often with Luc, I also grew to understand the love that she had developed.  There were times that I think that love made her a little bit stronger, if not for the simple reason that it gave her a deeper understanding of the world she had by plunged into.  In her final battle there were so many times she could have given in, given up, but she pushed through.  With this there was victory but there was also loss, and my heart went to her for both.  From start to finish Ingrid proved not to be perfect, but she was the type of heroine that I thoroughly enjoy. 

  Though Ingrid is undoubtedly the star of the books, I have to point out that both Gabby and Greyson shine in their own way.  Admittedly I completely adore Gabby and love reading her.  She is the quirky and strong character that is almost always underestimated, and even that is an understatement with her.  Gabby has basically gotten the shortest end of the stick at every turn, and yet there was no point in which she backed down.  This is a character that I would adore a spin off with her at the centre of it, because I believe that she has so much more to offer.  With Gabby's secondary voice, there was also Greyson's point of view and this was something that I greatly enjoyed as he had not been as prominent in the previous novels.  I enjoyed him because I liked that he was not painted as the strong and heroic brother.  Though he did love and care for his sisters, he was not as confident in his blood and his ability to accept what he truly was.  Although this may not seem like the type of person you would be riveted by, I enjoyed it every single time he graced the pages.

  Teeming with action, romance and character growth, The Wondrous and The Wicked was a wonderfully though out conclusion to this trilogy.  I enjoyed how everything ended, even if at the same time my heart bled a little.  Morgan is an author that I will be keeping my eye on, and I hope to read more from her in the future.  I highly recommend that the previous two books be read before this one, and if you already have those two started or read this is not a book to put off.  Recommend for people that enjoy paranormal reads, or are looking for a trilogy that will keep her captivated from start to finish.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Review)

YA, Paranormal
Publication Date:September 18, 2012
Published By:  Scholastic Press
SeriesThe Raven Boys #1

Review copy:Purchased/Hard Cover
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Chapters

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

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

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

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

 "There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve, Blue.  Either you're his true love," Neeve said, "or you killed him."
  Ronan and Declan were undeniably brothers, with the same dark brown hair and sharp nose, but Declan was solid where Ronan was brittle.  Declan's wide jaw and smile said, Vote for me while Ronan's buzzed head and thin mouth warned that this species was poisonous.
  Blue had two rules: Stay away from boys, because they're trouble, and stay away from raven boys, because they were bastards.
  Ronan was right.  Things felt bigger.  He may not have found the line, or the heart of the line, but something was happening, something was starting.
He had to confess to himself that until now he probably had never really believed Gansey's supernatural explanation for the ley line, not in a way that he'd really internalized.  Now, it was real.  Magic existed, and Adam didn't know how much that changed the world.

  Holy macaroni and cheese Batman!! This book was basically everything that I could have wanted.  I know that I held off and to many my excitement will be old news, but knowing my love for this author and having issues waiting for the next book to release, I feel I made the right decision.  My love for this series has begun, and yet I know it is going to get so much more complicated before all is said and done.

  What I love about Stiefvater's writing is that I can expect solid awesome.  I know that is a primitive way of saying it, but it is completely true.  When you pick up one of her books it's a given that the writing is going to be fluid, with a solid plot, gripping pacing and complex characters.  This is not something that I really need to go into much detail with, if you have ever picked up one of Maggie's books.  If not, well basically you have no problem becoming a part of the book, and with the pacing you never want to stop and step back into reality.  This book becomes your reality as you read it.  You see the characters, feel so much of what they do and become a part of something that you never thought possible.

  Blue:  Let's talk about Blue.  She has grown up with the paranormal as a normal... Got that?  Basically, her world is filled with different variations of psychics.  Though she doesn't have any "power" herself to see someone's future, her uncanny ability to enhance the power of those around her is really something else.  I really enjoyed the depth of Blue's character, and the fact that she was able to be on the outside of everything and yet somehow not.  Explaining why I loved blue isn't really a simple thing.  It's basically her originality, her snark, her honesty and the fact that she was typical and yet not typical in every way possible.  I hate that her future holds something for her that makes her have to hold back, but at the same time I hope that it gives her something to fight and prove wrong.  Blue, as a character, gives me nothing to complain about and only more to look forward to in future reads.

  When it comes to the boys, I'm not sure we really have enough time to get down to the nitty gritty of each.  They really are all completely different.  I would like to say opposites but with the four of them, that's even harder to explain.  Gansey is basically the glue that holds them together, being the one that sought each out knowing that they would just fit.  It was different reading about each or from different points of view, when it came to the guys.  However, Gansey is also currently the main man.  He is the reason everyone's paths cross, even if he doesn't know that it is him tying everyone's fates up together in a horribly messy knot.  I think in him, I really enjoyed that despite the fact that he is meant to be perfect, he is honestly worried about not belittling anyone or offending them by accident.  Each boy really has his own charm (kind of), but they built a seriously original cast when stuffed together.

  When you hold off reading a book because you know waiting for each book might just rip your soul out, it's hard.  Building the anticipation isn't always a good thing, but in this case, it couldn't have worked out any better.  If you have ever picked up a novel but this spectacular author, you know that it isn't hard to drive right through any of her books.  For those out there that have yet to fall in love... Well, it is not a question of if, so much as when.  Lovers of paranormal/fantasy, brace yourself for this one if you have yet to read it.  There is not a doubt in my mind that this series will blow everyone away, book by book.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Roses by G.R. Mannering (Review)

YA, Retelling, Fantasy
Publication Date:November 6, 2013
Published By: Sky Pony Press
SeriesThe Tales Trilogy #1
Review copy:e-ARC from publisher 
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Chapters

A dark rendition of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast!

She bears no name. Her silvery appearance is freakish to the numerous inhabitants of Sago, the cosmopolitan capital of Pevorocco in a fantasy realm. With her mother vanishing at the instance of her birth, she is sent to live with the cruel, rich Ma Dane, where she is punished daily for something, though she knows not what. Tauntingly named Beauty, she flees Sago in a violent uprising that sets out to massacre all Magics and journeys to the furthest point of the country.

But Beauty cannot hide in the grassy Hillands forever. Before long, the State officials find her and threaten to take her back to war-torn Sago where death surely awaits. In a midnight blizzard she escapes them, running into a deep, enchanted forest to a great and terrible beast who will bargain for her life.

But can Beauty accept Beast? Eternity is a long time.

The name stuck.  The child became Beauty, though for a long time she did not realize that it was said in cruel jest.
"Well, maybe I teaches yur to ride and yur can be a stable hand like me?"
She blinked at him.  She had never considered her future.
"I do not know what will become of me," she whispered.
Owaine said nothing for he did not know what would become of her, either.
They galloped on and on for half an hour before stopping again.  Beauty looked over her shoulder and groaned to see the castle just as near as before.  It was all an illusion   they were running and going nowhere.  She reached down and patted Champ's neck. 
"At least we shall never be lost," she muttered, but she did not feel particularly grateful.

   OMG how did I not know about this book before now?!  Seriously, I love retellings and this book has existed in the world for over two years without me knowing!  G.R. Manning created a beautiful and magical story, that weaves many elements together seamlessly.  I was intrigued right from the start and tore through the book with ease.  This felt to me like Cinderella meets Beauty and the Beast, with some unique magical elements mixed in.  It was the type of book that I devoured in one sitting with zero regret.

  Roses is everything you want in a book.  It has strong and complex characters, an intriguing plot and twists that keep you guessing.  I think the twists are mostly because there is so much uncertainty when it comes to Beauty.  There is so much that you really don't know about her.  This isn't because Mannering doesn't take the time to develop her, but because she is uniquely a mystery among everyone.  With the book circling around all of the unknown, and in a world where being magical or different is dangerous, there is much to consider.  The beauty of this read was that there was such vivid and remarkable details when it came to the settings.  I loved how easy it was to envision and slip into this curious world and it's changing landscapes.  Beyond that with everything changing, there was never really a time where I felt the pacing dipped out.  I would have to say Mannering had no problems keeping my attention.

  Beauty was something else.  You don't really get a handle on who she is for the first while.  It is made clear by those around her that she is "different," and you learn quickly she is curious but she is also quite young.  This book passes times in seasons (which might have tripped me up to start), so you kind of get a small feel of who Beauty is as she grows.  Defiant as a child due to the cruelty she was shown, I was pleased by how her spirit never seemed to break.  She may not have spoke much and taken more than she should have, but she never let anyone break her.  There was so much more to her and so much more to figure out with the coming books, I can't help but wonder how many more challenges this girl can face.

  The Beauty and the Beast part was wonderfully unique, and I loved the story behind Beast.  I think the different takes on both Beauty and Beasts characters are really what gave this read so much originality.  The tale itself is twisted into something that could become an original tale if one did not know about the originals.  Every bit of the Beast and how he came to be was revealed at different times, and I found it that it made it easier to mould him into what he was to be to me.  Even the rose itself was not how it was in the more well know Disney version.  Though this was a smaller portion of the book, there were so many important things packed into it.  Little details that I am sure hold much importance for the books to come.

  I loved, the depth in which the author took to twist the tale more than I could have imagined I would.  Mannering and her beautiful writing crafted this book into nothing short of amazing, making it a classic in its own way.  Though I had not heard of this book or author prior to picking the read up on Edelweiss, I must say that this is an author that I will watch for and ensure that her books make it to my shelves.  I would highly recommend this read if you are a fan of twisted tales, and if you normally aren't but enjoy some seriously amazing fantasy...  Well, lets just say that this book is definitely for you as well.

Friday, November 4, 2016

CIN by Christina Leigh Pritchard (Tour Review & Giveaway)

YA, Sci-Fi
Publication Date:April 13, 2010
Published By: Author
SeriesCIN Series #1
Review copy:Provided for honest review
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Smashwords ~ BAM

Seventeen year old Lisa Brown’s life is falling apart. First, her mother and father divorce, then their house forecloses and now, her mother has decided to commit herself to a psychiatric hospital.If that weren’t enough, she must leave sunny south Florida to attend a boarding school fullofgeniuses in cold, Lynn, Massachusetts. The city where the locals chant “Lynn, Lynn, city of sin; you never come out the way you went in.”And, they aren’t kidding. Lisa must live in a tiny shack with two strange teenagers, a dog named Pig who growls when you look at him and a cat named Rat. “Mind the cat,” everyone says. What the heck is wrong with this place?Lisa thinks she’s landed in her own house of horrors with the anti-social Alex and his facetious sister Ally. But, the real drama begins the day she is struck by lightning...

   This is actually a really hard review for me to write.  I easily powered through this book in less than a day and I enjoyed it.  CIN was an easy read, that carried something unique within the pages.  It's hard to pin point just when I decided I liked this read and honestly that's part of the charm and intrigue I think.

  There's a lot going on in this book.  So many secrets that everyone was keeping and so few answers that anyone was willing to give.  I really enjoyed the guessing game and figuring out if I was right or not.  I think what made it all so unique was not just the characters but the Lynn itself.  You know that there's something with the people but you can also feel this odd vibe from the town.  Every time you found something out or figured it out you could tell there was still something missing.  CIN also got major points for having a steady pace that was easy to remain interested in.  As started above something was always happening, always being figured out but at the same time there was always more.  

  I really liked Lisa.  However, at the same time she often had me going wtf?  She wasn't typical or naive but she held some common traits that irritate me in a MC.  Her shipment to Lynn was due to a mother that had issues caring for her and though she was clearly irritated, she said nothing just holding out hope her mother would come back for her.  This behaviour was the same in several instances.  This being said she also was able to hold her ground when needed.  Lisa was thrown into an odd environment to say the least and despite how cranky everyone got, she still questioned things.

  I'm not sure if I should call the romance in this one a triangle or not.  I'm also not sure how I feel about how everything developed between Alex and Lisa.  Weird I know because I liked Alex for so many odd reasons.  I mean the guy was rude but at the same time wasn't completely distant.  It was his connection and messed up behaviour to Lisa that kind of picked at me, not to mention the fact that you could always tell that he wasn't quite being honest.  There is a point in having secrets but when they come out, why hide the most ridiculous things that you know the other person is going to figure out eventually?  I know I jumped and didn't explain the triangle but it's just to hard to explain how it was a possibility but never was at the same time.
  Finishing CIN you just want the other books.  You want to know what goes on after that last page, and find out the answers to the questions that are left unanswered.  I personally enjoyed what turned out to be a completely random read.  Though I do have things that bothered me and at times irritated me, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up the next book because somehow it's just addicting.  This is the kind of read that you pick up when you want something a little out there, that doesn't always answer the questions right when you want it and will leave you wanting that little bit more.

About the Author

Christina Leigh Pritchard was born and raised in South Florida. Her first stories were written at the age of nine in spiral notebooks and in the various diaries she kept. Since she's upgraded to a computer, she's completed over fifty books, including her ALMOST Series, signed with Limitless Publishing. Christina Leigh Pritchard is still going strong with many more to come! Her genre's include science fiction, dark fantasy, young adult, drama, suspense, historical romance, multicultural, comedy, poetry and many more. 

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