Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 3 out of 5 Controllers, give or take 1/2 a Controller Review Source: Publisher Reviewer: Me
Even thoug...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 3 out of 5 Controllers, give or take 1/2 a Controller Review Source: Publisher Reviewer: Me
Even though I devoured it (literally I could not put it down!), The Vault of Dreamers sucker punched me with beautiful promise, a somewhat likable narrator, and more questions than answers. As one of my most anticipated reads of 2014, Caragh M. O’Brien delivered a far-fetched tale of Big Brother with high school students, while only (almost) managing to persuade me that I liked the novel. Yes, The Vault of Dreamers had a fantastic cover, an eye-catching blurb, and really kept you guessing until the end. However, that did not stop it from falling a bit short in the sci-fi department for me. Or keep me from questioning if I will continue the series.
Rosie Sinclair, a poor student with big dreams, is miraculously accepted into the prestigious Forge School where she will compete against other students on the Forge Show for Top 50 ratings that will lead to (what are essentially) endorsements, all the while earning a top-notch education. Seems legit right? Maybe. Immediately I became mesmerized by the endless possibilities of this futuristic world. Most of the time though I felt like I was waiting for something big and epic to happen and frankly, it never did. With little backstory and no real motivation (that I could see other than getting rich) for students to compete on this show, I found myself longing for more.
To me the Forge Show seemed like the perfect environment for chaos. You have numerous students all trying to earn a spot in the school, hundreds of cameras following them around every day, and some kind of brainwashing thing that happened at night when you take your “pills”. REALLY??? No one other than Rosie thought this was odd?!?!? I find that difficult to believe. No parent ever questioned sending their kid to the school or what kind of treatment they would receive? No student questioned taking the pill? No teacher thought that putting this much pressure on children would lead to suicides or mental instability? Yeah right.
So why did I keep reading?
By the time I realized The Vault of Dreamers was leading to a massive disappointment, I was already hooked. I HAD TO KNOW what was going on! And the novel was long, almost 450 pages. Gurrr…with no answers until the last two or three chapters, and most of them I guessed a hundred pages earlier! *Sighs* And the characters, boy I had a hard time connecting with any of them. I wasn’t swooning over the romance. I thought Rosie was just okay when she wasn’t annoying me. The evil guy wasn’t all THAT evil. It was all very meh. However, I STILL wanted to know what was going on! I just wanted more: MORE background on the school, MORE evil Big Brother, MORE character development, MORE chaos. Ugh…
Overall, The Vault of Dreamers is a novel with slow buildup, not enough mind-bending reveals, and even less world building, paced with just enough questions to keep you attentively reading. Oh, and if you loath cliffhangers, then fasten your seat belts because The Vault of Dreamers has probably one of the most WTF cliffhangers you will ever read. (less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Blog Tour Reviewer: Me
Exo is the fourth novel set in the Jumper...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Blog Tour Reviewer: Me
Exo is the fourth novel set in the Jumper universe, and lucky for me, can be read as a standalone novel. However, to get the full effect of the history and relationships I would suggest starting at the beginning of it all. With that being said, I did highly enjoy Exo, Cent was a wonderful character, and the sheer imagination of Gould left me wanting to live in this world a lot longer than the 400+ pages I was given!
The Jumper world is freaking amazing! As a huge fan of science fiction, I instantly fell in love with the ease in which Gould conveyed his story. The idea of someone “jumping” or teleporting can seem a bit far-fetched; however, in Exo it all seemed to fit. Yes, there were times when it read a bit technical but it did not pull away from the story, in fact, I thought most of it was believable and it made me wish I had Cent’s abilities. The world building left me longing for more space and crazy and science. I truly wish I had read the previous books so I could get the overall feel of the world and how it all tied together, and where we might be going next (maybe, possibly?).
As far as Cent’s story goes, as a teenager with abilities and very high goals (Low Earth Orbit to be exact), she was an entertaining narrator. Also, for those of you who enjoy reading from multiple perspectives, there are other heads you get to dive into such as Davy and Millie. SN: Gould even had a character named Seeana, and my daughter’s name is Seanna…I thought that was neat, at least for me! Despite some of the teenage angst, these characters were a barrel of fun. I could truly hang with them all day.
Overall, if you enjoy science fiction that’s easy to read and world building that’s crazy amazing, then I highly recommend Exo. I had no qualms about reading it as a standalone but I am eager to go back to the beginning and see what I missed! (less)
Well, I don’t even know if I should review The Lonely. Frank...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: DNF Review Source: NetGalley Reviewer: me
Well, I don’t even know if I should review The Lonely. Frankly, I don’t know WTF was going on in The Lonely. I’m naturally a HUGE fan of novels that play mind games and make you think outside of the box. However, The Lonely did not make me think, it made me feel crazy. And maybe that was intentional. The main character felt severely disturbed (a morbid liar who showed almost no remorse), the writing style though easy to read left me wanting more than it gave, and overall I didn’t connect with any of the characters. For a long time I just wanted to pull my hair out and by the 70% mark (yes, I read 70% and didn’t finish it@@!@!!) I couldn’t take it anymore. Really, what was the point of it all?
Can I describe the plot…hum…
A girl has a “sister” she left in the woods. One day she goes out to the woods, the “sister” pushes a bolder on top of her, and now the girl, Easter, is trapped under the rock and reminiscing about her life and “The Lonely”. Maybe I just wanted “The Lonely” condition to be some big horrible evil nasty thing and I was disappointed because it was taking excessively long to get to the reveal about “The Lonely”, why it was bad, why Easter had it, and what she was going to do about it. And Easter, well, she was morbid. Not even the good kind but more like the kind that just makes you go…”What did you just say?” I wanted to like her, I wanted to feel sorry for her, and I wanted to be her friend. However, none of those feelings came. I just kept thinking to myself, “This girl needs help ASAP”. And given the fact that I was in the mood to read something different and creepy because I wanted a break from my normal fantasy, The Lonely left me feeling some type of way. Ugh…gosh how much I wanted to like you!
Overall, I did not finish it. I just didn’t care enough about the characters to bring myself to keep picking up my iPad. If you like creepy, morbid, weird, delusional characters with twisted sense of humors then The Lonely might be for you.(less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Publisher Reviewer: Me
I came to the wonderful writing of Fros...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Publisher Reviewer: Me
I came to the wonderful writing of Frost late in the game (after the first 6 Night Huntress books were already written *gasp*). However, I immediately fell in love with Frost’s world building and imagination. Her voice is truly unique. And when I heard she had a New Adult Urban Fantasy coming out I HAD to read it! Expectations aside, I was pleasantly happy while reading Ivy’s story and enjoyed all the places the novel transported me in each chapter.
All her life Ivy’s suffered from horrifying hallucinations and has kept them secret for fear of more doctors and needles, pokes and prodding. She’s managed to keep them hidden by keeping everyone at a distance except for her sister Jasmine who she adored. With her parents now dead from a recent accident and her sister missing, Ivy sets out on a one-woman-mission to find the one person she cannot live without. Our story begins with an immediate bang as we are introduced to Ivy and her “ability” which almost gets her knocked unconscious at a Bed and Breakfast. Thankfully though she somehow manages to escape, but little does she know danger lurks in her hotel room, danger that will lead Ivy into a world she never thought existed.
Plot and character wise the story was decent. Ivy was definitely fun to read with her snarky comments and random thoughts. However, after a while she did begin to annoy me with repeating the same thoughts over and over and over and over and over again. We get it, you LOVE your sister and yet you still want to be with Adrian. I understand how it could be conflicting for her given the circumstances and Adrian’s constant deception/keeping secrets, still, I just wanted Ivy to do what she needed to do and stop dwelling on it. As for Adrian, I liked him well enough and the romance/sparks between he and Ivy were sizzling. However, all the secret keeping was a bit much, especially when most of the secrets could have either helped Ivy or prevented them from entering into certain situations. Zach is another character I loved (wait until you find out what he is!). His nonchalant attitude keep me laughing, because really, he didn’t have time for anything or anyone and I found it quite humorous how he interacted with other people.
But what really sold me was the world building in The Beautiful Ashes. If there is always one thing I count on from Frost it’s her ability to make me fall in love with the strangest places. The highlight for me was traveling to different words/realms, states, and locations and having them mixed with locations associated with myths and legends (YAY for a trip to Boone, North Carolina). The characters were constantly moving and always coming in contact with new people, places, and creatures. Although, sometimes it did bother me how they could be in one state, then travel to another, the drive to another, then drive to another essentially looking for “doors”. So, the characters spend a lot of time getting from point A to point B trying to find a hidden object that will save the day. I’m the type of person that likes to keep up with how much time has passed in a book and with all the traveling they were doing and then time being different in the realms than in the real world, it all got kind of jumbled and I had to just let it go until a character mentioned how long they’d been somewhere. This probably won’t have an effect on most people though.
Overall, The Beautiful Ashes is a very quick read with a beautiful world and characters you grow to love. For those of you expecting Cat and Bones type of characters, they are not. And if you can put your love for those novels aside, I’m sure you can find a new place in your heart for Ivy, Adrian, and the rest of the supernatural cast.(less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Tour Reviewer: Me
Lighthearted, cute, funny, and simply delightf...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Tour Reviewer: Me
Lighthearted, cute, funny, and simply delightful, Teaching Roman is a naughty New Adult romance that’s sure to make you smile.
To begin, I’m a HUGE Albin fan. Her Crewel Series (imagine epic science fiction with a delectable romance) has me doing somersaults and a tad bit curious to check out her other works. Not to mention she’s a sweet, sweet lady and funny too. When I realized she had a NA series I had to have it! With all that being said, my expectations were high (probably too high) but I was thrilled Albin did not let me down.
Though I missed the first novel in the series, Catching Liam *sad face*, I had no problems jumping into the second story head first. It worked well as a standalone and I didn’t feel that I was missing anything from the previous book. Teaching Roman is the story of prefect, good girl, list making Jessica Stone who tries to make several big decisions about her life and future while navigating the realm of love. I immediately fell in love with Jessica and her two best friends. With their quirky friendship and ability to keep it real with each other I couldn’t help but reminisce about my times in college and all the mischief my friends and I would get into.
Some of my favorite lines came from Cassie! For example:
Cassie: “Give me five adjectives describing him.” Jess: “Nice.” I searched for more, glaring her down. “Dependable. Friendly. Responsible. Ambitious.” Cassie: “Congratulations,” she said, “you just described the assistant manager of every retail store in America. That’s not a boyfriend. That’s a good customer service experience.”
And the romance… Relationships between students and teachers tend to be touch to pull off. Luckily, since both Jessica and Roman were in their 20’s and pretty close in age, there was no eww factor for me. I found the two of them to be hot. I’m talking scorching. What started off as a fling quickly escalated into something more. Some might say it was insta-lovey but being the true romantic that I am, I found it believable. I’ve always felt that when you meet the mythical “one” you will just know. For Jessica and Roman they each felt it and both had to deal with their emotions and learn how to be together despite all the obstacles. And Roman, my dear sweet Roman, you are book boyfriend material.
Overall, Teaching Roman was a laugh-out-loud muy caliente romance that melted my heart. By the end, I couldn’t stop smiling; heck I even had a few tears (see tweet below). If you love steamy and wild romps, crazy BFF’s, and adorable grandmothers then I highly recommend giving this novel a try.
Edible Quotes: (Gotta love Aba!)
“Women shouldn’t take care of a man’s every need,” Aba told me, her accent thick on her tongue. “They go soft.”
As luck would have it, I’d just taken a sip of wine and choked on it, trying not to laugh.
“Only in the home,” Aba continued, a sly smile creeping over her lips. “A Spanish man does not ever go soft there.”
I open my mouth, trying to think of something to say, but she’d literally stolen my ability to speak.
“Poor American girls. I forgot sex is not to speak of in your country.”(less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 Controllers, Crown Rating/Royalty Award Review Source: Audiobook Purchase Reviewer: Me
This Review C...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 Controllers, Crown Rating/Royalty Award Review Source: Audiobook Purchase Reviewer: Me
This Review Contains Slight Spoilers…
FML…I tried, really I did, to hold off on reading Rebel Spring until Gathering Darkness was available. Never has a series left me in such distress, with major anxiety, and a severe book hangover. Like Shatter Me and Throne of Glass, the Falling Kingdoms Series is utterly addictive. Morgan Rhodes writing is lyrically seductive. I could bathe in her words, fall asleep in her world. *sigh* Now that I have to wait for Gathering Darkness my body is going through withdrawal. Someone should have warned me about this series! Since no one did, I’m warning you dear reader…only proceed if you can handle an extraordinary epic fantasy. Because if you’re anything like me waiting for the next book in the series will be agonizing. The horror…
For fans of Game of Thrones who like political scandals, lots of betrayal, pandemonium, death, and different forms of love (even in places you least expect it), the Falling Kingdoms series is for you. Picking up where Falling Kingdoms left off Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia are in chaos and dealing with the aftermath of King Gaius, the Blood King’s, takeover. Gaius manipulated his way to the throne and now has control over all the kingdoms and has even combined them into one, Mytica. But not all is peaches and roses for the king, there are forces greater than he could even imagine waiting to take him down.
Cleo, heir to the Auranos throne and last surviving member of the Bellos family, is at the mercy of King Gaius and forced to marry his son, a coldhearted prince Mangus. To them, this is a match made in hell. Both carry torches for someone else and cannot stand to be around each other for more than a solid minute. I loved watching their story develop. As a reader I knew if they could just move past their difference they would be an unstoppable force. So many times I wanted to go through my headphones and shake some sense into them. Even though I knew how I wanted their story to unfold, Rhodes spun it into a totally different direction and made me crave something else! I love an author who can make me root for one thing and then turn around and make me root for the total opposite! Never have I been so confused…
There are several other characters of note in this series: Jonas, Lucia, The Watches, Nic, Aron, and a few other minor characters. Lucia, the *spoiler* adopted sister of prince Magnus, remains comatose after using the fire magic at the end of Falling Kingdoms that essentially gave her father the victory of Auranos. After she wakes, I enjoyed watching her interact with Cleo. Both girls have sharp tongues and aren’t afraid to match insult for insult while keeping themselves as poise and princess like as possible. Cleo is by far my favorite character. Her bold cleverness never ceases to amaze me. Just check out how she answers the infamous King of Blood…
King Gaius - “I’m watching you princess.” Cleo - “As I am watching you.”
LOL who says that to someone who just murdered your family and forced you into marriage? Cleo rocks so hard. She’s fierce and doesn’t hide who she is or what she believes. Unlike Lucia who seems more fragile and easily influenced Cleo knows when to speak, when to be illusive, and when to assert her authority. Love her to pieces I tell ya…little bitty bits and pieces!
Overall, I could rant and rave over Rebel Spring all day and still not convey how awesome the novel is and worthy of a spot on every book nerds bookshelf. If you haven’t, you must read Falling Kingdoms first (it’s da bomb folks) and then immediately pick up this one. I highly recommend the series to anyone looking for a vast world with a legion of characters and stellar mythology that will leave you gasping, aching, out of breath, sometimes without the ability to speak, and so in love with a story your heart may break a thousand times over.(less)
This book left me feeling some type of way...absolutely LOVED IT! Review to come!
Full Review: Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4.5 o...moreThis book left me feeling some type of way...absolutely LOVED IT! Review to come!
Full Review: Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Edelweiss Reviewer: Me
The Half Life of Molly Pierce is remarkable. I’d pimp this novel to the moon and back if I could. I’m not sure what I expected going in, but I read the synopsis, and knew I HAD to have it. This was a book I must read. Though what I didn’t anticipate were the feels – intense, emotionally-griping life-altering feels. The kind that make you desperate, angry, cry or rage quit (there’s a little gamer lingo for ya) life. Yes, I kind of suspected what was happening with Molly early on, however I didn’t realize to what extent and how much I would invest myself in her finding out the truth. I was so emotionally strung out after finishing The Half Life of Molly Pierce I sat down and read it a second time…it was THAT good people.
Molly has a secret she can’t share. Sometimes she can’t remember: simple things, big things, even in some cases long periods of time. Her ‘blackouts” have made her more aware of where she goes, what she does, who she interacts with and who she can confide in – which is mostly no one. The whole ordeal has left her feeling vulnerable in all aspects of her life. She doesn’t know if she’s coming or going or where she’s even been. Molly as a character is intriguing, mysterious, cautious, sympathetic, and utterly fascinating. As far as psychological thrillers go, The Half Life of Molly Pierce did its job and as a reader I felt the suspense on every page and in every word.
Leno created a cast of characters who meshed well with each other. You could sense the family’s frustration, empathize with them, and understand their agony while they watched and tried to fathom what was happening to Molly. Once the layers of Molly’s life started to unravel and she began to piece the intricate puzzle together you felt for her and the family. So many answers were kept secret for so long you have to wonder why. What was the point? What was the purpose of it all? How will they ever move on?
Overall, I adored The Half Life of Molly Pierce. It’s definitely one of my top mystery reads so far this year. I loved Molly’s voice and wish I had more of it to read. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great psychological mind jack.
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Blog Tour Reviewer: Me
The Savages is uniquely fun and morbidly...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Blog Tour Reviewer: Me
The Savages is uniquely fun and morbidly hilarious novel about a family with several hidden secrets. Whether they are keeping secrets from the outside world or each other, this family is one you don’t want to miss! The characters are zany complex people who light up the page no matter which point of view you’re reading. Often witty and sometimes insane, I guarantee you’ll fall in love with each member of this outlandish and crazy cast.
With its grotesque humor, The Savages is probably one of my All-time favorite books! I fell in love with its charismatic flavor as soon as I read the first page. Did I know what to expect? Heck no! Did I have any expectations? Not really. Did I LOVE LOVE LOVE this books? YES YES YES! I could not put the savages down and often times found myself laughing out loud (sometimes too loudly) while I was reading. Anytime a novel can bring a smile to your face on every page you know it’s a masterpiece.
The father is up to no good and the mother has major issues. Their son, Ivan, is a psychopath, literally. While their daughter Sasha just wants to be normal – whatever that is – and maybe just maybe live a life without consuming humans for food. Oh grandfather, how I adore you with your tainted wisdom. And Mr. Detective guy, you’ve got your work cut out for you. The Savages are a strange bunch, full of charm and class and other disturbing attributes, really disturbing. The moment you think you have one of them figured out, you better believe you’ve got it wrong. And despite the fact that human flesh is a delicacy you can’t help but relate to each of them in some way.
If you read nothing else, crave something out of the ordinary that might just make you question your own eating habits, then you MUST pick up a copy of The Savages! Gah! I can’t even describe how much a person, any person, needs to read this book. The characters will keep you entertained and Matt Whyman’s flawless writing will keep you glued to the pages. It’s a story about family, acceptance and finding your own way. You really shouldn’t like these people. But trust me, it’s inevitable. Cannibals or not, The Savages will win your heart! It’s a clever little book. *wink wink*(less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controller Review Source: NetGalley, Blog Tour, ARC Reviewer: Me
When I first began reading...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controller Review Source: NetGalley, Blog Tour, ARC Reviewer: Me
When I first began reading Dark Metropolis my initial reaction went something along the lines of, “what in tarnation am I reading and why do I love it”?!! The beginning of the novel has a certain dark and ominous feel that left me a little memorized and under its spell. You knew something bad was going to happen, you gritted your teeth and expected it with the turn of each page. For me, the novel kept this “doom and gloom” slow build up. It would drop a little piece here and a little piece there; each page grinding a new sense of paranoia for our main character Thea, who was every bit as paranoid as I was. I loved it. Couldn’t get enough of it. It made the story, unique. Exciting. And most of all interesting.
Perhaps it’s because most of the time I had no clue what was going on in the beginning that I read Dark Metropolis in one sitting. And perhaps it’s because I was drawn into the mystery of it all. In any case, whether it was explained well or not, I enjoyed watching this “zombie/re-animation-ish” story unfold in this alternate 1930’s universe. Our main character Thea is a sixteen year-old girl working in a club where she gets to entertain glamorous and wealthy patrons. On the outside she seems to have it all together, witty, charming, a great hostess to the guests. But underneath it all Thea harbors secrets: a mother who’s losing her mind, a father who’s missing (presumed dead), and a rather peculiar ability. When her mother is taken to be “cured” and her best friend goes missing, Thea decides to uncover what is really going on in the world around her.
I can’t say too much about the plot without dishing out spoilers, but I can say that this was a delightful read. The 1920-1930 alternate world Dolamore created was fabulous to be in. The characters, the language, the scenery, were all painted well. The fact that magic is so controversial was also intriguing. You have the “old” concepts and spells versus what’s considered modern. My only concerns center around some of the concepts in this world not being explained well. We are given a full glimpse of why things are the way they are and how magic relates to some people. However despite this, I found myself just suspending disbelief and reading into the wee hours of the night. I also enjoyed that it’s told from multiple perspectives. Freddy to me was the most enjoyable, and when it was revealed what Gerick wanted him to do, it made you pause and wonder…how are they going to do “that”? And this part alone is enough to keep anyone reading.
Overall, Dark Metropolis is a great historical, fantasy, mystery with lots of dark elements and great characters. Though some of it might be predictable, it’s still a great world and one I recommend jumping into head first.(less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 3 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Publisher ARC Reviewer: Me
I finished Sleep No More about a mont...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 3 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Publisher ARC Reviewer: Me
I finished Sleep No More about a month ago and honestly it took me that long to write this review. On the one hand, I adored the mystery aspect of the story. Learning about Oracles, their lore and history, and how they interact with the world was quite entertaining and is the main reason I continued to plow through this novel. But on the opposite end of this spectrum I felt nothing for our main character Charlotte other than pity. To begin with Sleep No More is compared to Inception – I didn’t relate this novel to Inception, at all. Unless you are talking about the Oracles going into this dreamlike state and altering things they’ve seen…but that’s still making this comparison a stretch (a wide stretch) at best.
When Charlotte was younger she used her Oracle powers to save the life of someone she loved only to lose another person in their place. Because of this, she lives a very sheltered life. Hiding her abilities and forcing away the vision as her aunt taught her to do. Her only friend is a super-hot guy who, seems to only care for her because she seems fragile – oh and she takes his mind off his dead girlfriend (WTH???). However, I tried to work with it but for the most part I didn’t enjoy the romance aspects of this book. I wasn’t swooning or falling in love with old whatever-his-name-is-I-don’t-care-enough-to-remember.
Let’s move on to what I did like. The murder mystery, which is the catalyst for Charlotte doing something and actually learning more about her abilities than what her aunt allowed her to know, was pretty decent. I enjoyed watching Charlotte manipulate ‘the future” and learn to control her powers. I also liked the “whodunit” aspect of it. My only grip with this bit of Sleep No More is the creepy man Charlotte meets. Our MC seemed to trust him a tad too bit for someone she just met. Wondering off from civilization with this man while a serial killer on the loose didn’t seem like good judgment on her part. I can understand her desperation to learn more about others like herself, however because of the age difference and how he approached her it just seemed…weird (for a lack of a better word than eww).
Overall, I feel somewhat indifferent about Sleep No More. This book was on my radar for a while and I was thrilled when I got a copy for review. But my expectations seemed to be too high. There were parts I enjoyed, parts I skimmed, and parts I just rolled my eyes at. In any case, if you are looking for a book with mystery, killers, mythology, and paranormal aspects, I encourage you to give it a try.(less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Blog Tour Reviewer: Me
Even though I had an extremely difficult...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Blog Tour Reviewer: Me
Even though I had an extremely difficult time enjoying Monstrous Beauty, the delicious Plus One automatically trapped my heart.
Plus One opened with a dark and demented world, grabbed my undivided attention, and never let me go. There was amazing beauty in this broken world and a dramatic sense of urgency that I feel is missing from so many books I’ve read over the last several months. Greeted with obstacles every second and with every precious step, our main character Soleil Le Coeur, glistened across the pages. She was bold, a tad bit too courageous, and trembling with flaws. My heart sang after Sol overcame her obstacles and fears, it even fluttered when she was met with heartache, and Plus One is full of twists.
Everyone knows why the world fell apart. After the flu pandemic of 1918 swept through the nation destroying almost everything, the population divided into two distinct groups: Night and Day. While Day people had all the privileges, those that lived during the night adhered to strict curfews, rules and regulations. Even after the pandemic was over the segregation remained and most accepted that Day and Night was just a simple way of life. Sol, a Night girl, lived with her grandfather Poppu and brother Ciel after the tragic death of her parents. Despite what happened, the three of them lived a normal life filled with love, affection, and strength for one another. However, their happy little family began to deteriorate with Poppu’s diagnosis of cancer and Ciel’s reassignment to Day. Life pretty much sucker punched the normalcy from Sol’s world and further fueled her hatred for Days. With her grandfather only weeks, days, hours, breaths away from death, she soon decides to give him one final happy memory.
Ah Plus One how amazballs you are! I was on the edge of my seat drinking you in. I yelled, rooted, gasped aloud and breathed so many desperate sighs of relief. Though your end game wasn’t quite clear, I enjoyed discovering how you’d get there. Sol was a delightful character to read. Spunky and fun. When it was time for the romance, I felt myself screaming for it. I knew the two would come together I just wanted to know when, when ,WHEN!?! D’Arcy and Sol are two dynamic characters. Both were so complicated I wasn’t sure they would ever find their way into each other’s hearts. But, it happened and I SWOONED SO HARD. Yay!
Overall, Plus One is a story about acceptance, love, fighting for your beliefs and finding that small sliver of light in the darkest of hours. The plot twists are abundant and worth reading – and screaming – about. This crazy messed up world is truly unique, sometimes crazy and unbelievable, but easy to fall in love with. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a razor sharp dystopian with great science fiction elements and fast paced romance.(less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: NetGalley Reviewer: Me
Unwrapped Sky is an ambitions fantasy nov...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: NetGalley Reviewer: Me
Unwrapped Sky is an ambitions fantasy novel with a breathtakingly vast world tangled in a web of deceit, betrayal, and revolution. Set in a unique semi-steampunk fantasy universe, the ancient city of Caeli-Amur is under attack by the threats of war and change. Ruled by three separate Houses, the citizens who battle harsh working conditions, life on the streets, technology gone awry and residual effects of thaumaturgy, are finding ways to deal with everyday life and better themselves. For readers, in the span of minutes the world of Caeli-Amur opens into a strange and twisted realm assembled by rights and wrongs, political intrigue and dangerously high stakes for all those involved.
The story is told from three perspectives. First is Kata, a philosopher-assassin (cool right?!) tasked with killing two minotaurs to repay her debts. As a child who grew up on the streets, Kata’s main concern is self-preservation, despite the blasphemy she will commit by killing such sacred creatures. Second, Boris, subofficiate of House Technis who’s addicted to hot-wine and has an estranged relationship with his daughter. Boris continues to struggle with the death of his wife and keeping the peace between factory workers and the evil misshapen beings in charge. Third is Maximilian, a seditionist who is very interested in thaumaturgy and seeks to use it for the uprising. Each character despite their faults and hasty decisions that sometimes turn out to be severe mistakes with dire consequences, were a pleasure to read and sometimes even great to loathe.
From the beginning of the story I felt myself most drawn to Kata’s story and least in love with Boris. I enjoyed watching Kata make mistakes, fall flat on her face, and rise from the ashes to do what was necessary to ensure her survival. Majority of the time she knows what she does it wrong, that she’s often harsh and unfeeling, but at the same time she’s also aware this is the world she lives in and if she wasn’t those things she’d be on the streets or worse, dead. She’s a strong individual and it’s her sheer will to live that keeps her safe. Boris on the other hand is on the opposite end of this spectrum. Through he strongly believes that he is looking out for other people and keeping the peace between workers and those in charge, he has a habit of betraying people and not rising to action when the time calls for it – and in the process creates mayhem for those in his immediate circle.
For a fantasy world of this magnitude one can almost expect there to be a downside. My only complaints with this novel are the long bits of exposition in some places and the lack of a glossary of terms. Unwrapped Sky is an amazing story, compassionate, and written with heart. However, I found myself suffering from bouts of confusion at times when people would refer to certain terms or places. There was always something new to discover (such as Xsanthians, Anlusian New-Men, and disembodied Elo-Talern) and I wish I had something to refer back to for reference. Because of this, my reading pace slowed in some spots but it wasn’t enough to deter my excitement or keep me from wanting to learn what happened next. In terms of the uprising against the houses, where a particular group of people come from, their races, and the principles of thaumaturgy (which to me appeared to be a mix of magic and alchemy), I believed some parts could have used more explanation. But in the same notion, I got the gist of everything without it (I think).
Overall, the world-building spun by Davidson in Unwrapped Sky is outstanding. The characters are deeply flawed almost to the point of no return and the politics are enough to keep you guessing who will survive in such an ugly and death filled world. While parts of the story seemed slow, the majority will keep you on the edge of your seat with eager fascination. And don’t forget, this book has minotaurs…it doesn’t get much better than that. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in an engrossing fantasy that will whisk you off to faraway places.(less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Edelweiss Reviewer: Me
Even though I didn’t write a full review...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Edelweiss Reviewer: Me
Even though I didn’t write a full review for book one, The Program was such an amazing and kick-a$$ novel. Suzanne Young’s world building was outstanding and her imaginative take on something as complex as suicide left me in awe of her genius. I’d say The Program is probably one of my favorite dystopians since my discovery of the Delirium Trilogy. Discovering beautiful stories where writers try to eradicate things we take for granted (or try to pretend don’t exist) every day such as love and suicide are always my favorite. And I had no idea going into this book that it would only be a duology *epic sad face*. Imagine my surprise when I finally reached the ending of The Treatment and the conclusion was wrapped up half messy and half perfectly satisfying. With that being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed every single page of The Treatment, even the slow parts, the cringe worthy almost love triangle (that was unbearable to read at times), and Realm (who’s borderline insane – but with good reason). It was all so very worth it.
The Treatment picks up where The Program left off and James and Sloane are on the run. With no options left for them they decide to trust a group of rebels which, against James’ better judgment, includes Realm a manipulative boy who’s in love with his girlfriend. Sloane and James are also trying to rediscover the love they shared before The Program wiped their memories. Often times this causes frustration because they want to know the truth so badly, but it’s still wonderful to watch them fall in love with each other all over again even with all the challenges they must face. The novel is centered around the actual Treatment to The Program and the characters trying to decide if the little pill which could bring them joy is worth the risk. The Treatment has dangerous side effects, and really, is remembering more important than your life?
My one downside to these novels is the actual suicide epidemic. It’s never really explained, but it seems suicide is just a means to an end for these kids. Almost as if they just wake up one day and say “I’m done” and decide to take their lives. And some seemed to be doing it because hey, that’s what their friends were doing. There’s never an explanation (which I assumed there would be) why. In a dystopian science fiction novel (because I love me some science!), I expected the answers to be something along the lines of an actual disease or some mutated gene. Something tangible and real that caused these sudden outbreaks of suicide other than “just because”. Later in the books, the suicides seemed to stem from the fact that kids wanted to avoid The Program – and this makes sense. Cause and effect. But how did it begin in the first place? What is the cause? Suicide, though terrible, does happen. But I just can’t seem to figure out why it just all of a sudden gets massive in these novels or why the government is so hell bent on stopping it. Or are we supposed to believe adults didn’t know so that’s why they invented the crazy a$$ Program? I think if this was better explained I would have given The Treatment a 5 Controller review.
Overall, if you can suspend disbelief The Program and The Treatment are phenomenal stories. The characters will suck you in and the mystery behind the epidemic will keep you engaged until the very end. There’s love, betrayal, gut-wrenching reveals and lots of cheering and sadness. Every twist and turn will make you wish this duology was actually a trilogy.(less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Edelweiss Reviewer: Me
A hidden alien invasion masked by an inst...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Edelweiss Reviewer: Me
A hidden alien invasion masked by an insta-love romance, The Taking feels similar and yet still somehow also becomes an unpredictable science fiction story. Though the beginning 50% of the novel left me unsettled, I quickly fell in love with The Taking as the story progressed past the 60% mark and we continued to discover what really happened to our main character, Kyra, five years ago.
Kyra is a normal sixteen year-old girl, who is madly in love with her perfect boyfriend Austin, and has big dreams of going off to college with Austin despite being offered several promising softball scholarships to major universities. After a championship game, Kyra’s father who’s also her number one fan, has his reservations about his daughters decision and tries to reason with her. Let her know that she doesn’t have to attend some mediocre college because of some boy, even if the entire family adores said boy. Soon, their simple discussion escalates into a major fight and Kyra demands that her father pull over to the side of the road so she can get away from him – something I still question. However, what happens next, neither of them expected.
First, let’s begin with what I did enjoy. The second half of the book had me on the edge of my seat, toes curling, and heart fluttering. With each turn of the page, I became more engrossed in the what-the-heck-is-really-going-on part of the story. Mainly the parts of the novel that involved non-stop alien talk and had nothing to do with Kyra’s personal struggle with admitting her feelings for Tyler, Austin’s younger (yet somehow insanely hot) brother. When our main character meets an individual who knows about her “situation” and suddenly finds herself on the run, I was hooked. Flipping pages like a mad woman to get to the good parts. I also enjoyed, Tyler and Kyra’s father. Tyler was sweet in ways that made me swoon oh-so-hard for him, and her dad – despite having his problems – was a great character every time he was in a scene. The ending of The Taking had me screaming. I wanted more, can’t wait to read more. Gosh, there are so many unanswered question that my head is still spinning.
Despite my love for the action, there are several things that bothered me throughout the story. For one, I don’t know a single parent that will allow their child to demand they pull over to the side of the road and let them out the car. I don’t know, maybe there are those types of parents out there where the kids run the household, but from my experience, if a child demands anything or talks disrespectful to their parents, they get some kind of punishment (mostly grounding). I was pissed when her dad pulled that car over. What the hell????? I just did not see that as being “real”. Another aspect of the story I was not fond of was the insta-love. If you remove the prologue and epilogue, the timeline for the novel is seven days. SEVEN days. Now, I have no problems suspending belief when necessary, but for some reason, I felt it highly unbelievable that Kyra fell in love with Tyler in seven days. Granted, they were seven INSANE days and he’d always admired his brother’s girlfriend from a far, but at the same time she just returned. Just found out some devastating information about her boyfriend and parents. And with her constantly comparing him to Austin, I’m not sure that I buy her feelings for him. It seemed like too much in such a short amount of time. If anything, I expected her to be utterly confused. For her, only a day has passed, but for everyone else, it’s been FIVE years. How can she just immediately drop her feelings for Austin? A guy she’s been in love with for most of her life? It just didn’t make a lick of sense to me. Sorry…
Overall, The Taking is a great story. Like any novel there are pros and cons – such as insta-love – however, it’s still a novel I recommend to someone who enjoys science fiction, aliens, messed up families, and swoon worthy romance. I also enjoyed Kimberly Derting’s writing style and can see myself reading more of her work in the near future. Though I would have loved more science fiction and less insta-romance, I still find myself wishing I could get my hands on a copy of book 2.(less)
Review coming...this book was an EPIC WTF....OMG! Loved it!
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Source: Pur...moreReview coming...this book was an EPIC WTF....OMG! Loved it!
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Source: Purchased Reviewer: Me
Mara Dyer…frak yeah (that’s my BSG reference for today)! WHAT THE HECK IS THIS BOOK? AND WHY DO I LOVE IT? The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a long novel and I’m pretty sure nothing happens in half of it. But I could not stop reading! Hodkin would give us just enough to keep readers interested and engaged. I’d be reading, and reading, and reading then suddenly BAM – crazy ish happened that would make you think Mara was either crazy or something else was going on. I loved it! I originally put off reading these books because a) it was HYPED waaaay too much and b) I wanted to read it when the whole trilogy was out. However, you know me, I go shopping I see a good deal, I buy it. End of story. The first two books of the trilogy were cheap and I had a gift card so I bought them. Now usually I sit down to read a first chapter to discover which book I would read next. With Mara Dyer, I read chapter one, then two, then five, then ten. I could not put it down – devoured the entire novel in one day. Had too…it was that good. A total mind W-T-F. I’m still so uncertain about what the novel is truly about and if it really is a paranormal story or if Mara is in fact, crazy. For these reasons, I immediately picked up book 2 and dived right in. I need answers dang it! I highly recommend it to those of you who like paranormal psychological mysteries with slow build up. (less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: ARC from Publisher Reviewer: Me
Charming, delightful, and full o...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 5 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: ARC from Publisher Reviewer: Me
Charming, delightful, and full of unpredictable magic, A Snicker of Magic is perfect for readers of all ages! At only twelve years old, Felicity Pickle’s life has already been full of surprises. Her mother, a spirited drifting soul, never allows her small family to remain in one place for too long. With each new travel destination, the family continues to make memories and tries to make the best of unpleasant situations. However, when Felicity’s mother decides to take the family back to her hometown of Midnight Gulch, little did they know each one would find their own special hint of magic.
Felicity deems herself a “word catcher and collector”. She loves all words, big ones, small ones, flashy ones, and ones that can even make you sad. Words are what keep her afloat when the world seems to spin out of control and she feels as though she will never fit in. Words also help soothe her younger sister when she’s feeling down and lift their spirits every time they started a new school. Upon their arrival to Midnight Gulch, Felicity is filled with wonder at the hope their family might actually find a place to stay permanently. And what better place to call home than a town full of magic?
Every page in A Snicker of Magic left me with so many feels. Natalie Lloyd’s writing was splendid. My eyes filled with tears, my heart ached and fluttered. The way Felicity used words and associated them with her feelings or what she thought others were feeling was genius. For a while I would often forget our main character was only twelve years old. Her approach on life was very insightful and often times made her seem twice her age. I loved everything about Felicity, even her shyness when meeting new people or trying to make friends. I also loved how she would see words shimmering or floating from people. Words too often people were afraid to say aloud. She is an outstanding heroine and I adored every minute of being inside her young mind.
The magical aspect of the story helped to intertwine Felicity’s word catching and her own fears about the world. In most cases, it was magic that helped everyone in the novel to come to terms with things from their past they often tried to forget. Overall, I LOVED A Snicker of Magic! It’s beautifully written and exceed my expectations by a thousand. I highly recommend it to anyone, young or old, looking for a feel good novel that will leave them full of hope and wanting to embark on their own magical adventure.(less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Blog Tour Reviewer: Me
THREE is the face-paced finale to the Art...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Blog Tour Reviewer: Me
THREE is the face-paced finale to the Article 5 dystopian trilogy. Picking up shortly after the heartbreaking events in Breaking Point, we find out beloved characters making the best out of a dire situation. After regrouping and following a trail they hope will lead them to something they so desperately crave – other people, food, hope – the story dives into a massive train ride of twists, turns, revelations and non-stop action until you reach the end. THREE is a great story of trusting, friendships, love, loss and determination. Simmons crafted a great conclusion to a bitter, realistic world.
We were a girl and a boy exploring a haunted house. A kiss in the woods. A ride on a motorcycle. We were walking to school. Whispering across the space between our houses. Pulling hay from each other’s hair. We were pieces of the same puzzle. (Ember page 360 paperback)
What can I say without giving away spoilers? Not very much aside from reassurance that readers will not be disappointed in THREE or how the trilogy wraps up. There is so much SWOON. So many tiny instances of love shown between Chase and Ember that my heart cracked a little each time they’d get so close to happy, to freedom, and to each other only to have those moments stolen. But in the end, it’s characters like these, a love like this, and a story like the one woven in the Article 5 trilogy that makes reading about heartache worthwhile.
Jesse’s words returned to me from Endurance: “When a government becomes destructive, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.” (Page 367 paperback)
The quality of Simmons story is impressive. I think the one thing that draws me into her world is the realism. Not to get all political in a review, but as the above quote symbolizes, people can make a change. Stand up against a governing body and alter the course of their future. This is what Ember’s story is all about. Making choices good or bad about your life, your freedom, your liberties, and standing up for what you believe in. I can’t express how deeply I enjoyed the last 100 or so pages of THREE. There were a few time I really cringed when people died but then Ember or someone would remind me of why they died, the sacrifice they’d made, and my heart swelled a little with pride.
Overall, THREE is an amazing conclusion. Every page left me feeling more anxious, more hopeful, and more excited for things yet to come for these characters. Yes there is sadness but underneath the sadness is an inspiring resilience and a lot of heart. One that I’m glad I was able to be a part of.(less)
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Edelweiss Reviewer: Me
Perfect Lies is the perfect mesh of cree...moreOriginally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers Review Source: Edelweiss Reviewer: Me
Perfect Lies is the perfect mesh of creepy governments, skittish super powered teenagers, mystery and angst to give this science-fiction junkie a quick fix. I purchased Mind Games in January and my intentions were to read it before diving head first into the sequel. However, because of time constraints, I was unable to read the previous book prior to jumping into Perfect Lies. With a very chipper smile I can honestly say, not reading the first novel amplified my enjoyment for Perfect Lies. I had no clue about the backstory, no clue as to why I should hate the bad guys, or any idea why these sisters were separated. But, as I continued to flip page after page, I was so draw into this twisted world of two sisters who were so different yet each equally amazing I could not put the book down. Sheesh, I was even a little sad when it was over.
Perfect Lies is told from the alternating perspectives of two extraordinary sisters with superhuman abilities. Fia is a perfect confused mess. Her instincts are always right and she lives mostly in her head with crazy thoughts she tries to control from the people who wish to prod her brain of its secrets. Reading her thoughts was a lot like rummaging through Juliette’s head in Shatter Me. I wouldn’t put it on the same intense level, no not even close, but I would say it’s the same general concept. They are all over the place and even Fia can’t remember sometimes which thoughts are the truth and which are lies she’s forced herself to believe. Some people who don’t like this type of character narrative might find it difficult (or annoying) to follow. For me though it was fun. Fia is also a skilled fighter and has no qualms about kicking someone’s arse because her gut tells her to take them down. Sometimes, she doesn’t even feel human because of ability to kill first and ask questions later and I love this about her. The guilt, her inability to be everyone’s savior, is something she has to overcome as the story progresses.
Annie is a little bit different. Because she is blind, she tries to overcome her feelings of helplessness to be of use to her sister and the people that are trying to take down the Keane organization. She also receives visions of the future, which only add to her frustrations of being the weaker sibling. Depending on how she interprets them, her visions can be a godsend or a nightmare, and learning to take control of her own destiny is something Annie struggles with throughout the story. One aspect of this story that did seem peculiar to me was that even though Annie was blind she did not use her other senses as much as I assume a person who cannot see would. I expected every smell, every touch, everything she heard to be magnified or important. But it wasn’t. Maybe she relied a little too much on her visions? Maybe she relied a little too much on other people to come to her rescue? Either way I found it odd but it wasn’t important enough to draw me away from the novel. Both girls with their faults and strengths are great characters and both have major obstacles to overcome in order to survive in a world that wants to use them as weapons.
Overall, I enjoyed Perfect Lies for what it was: a face-paced science fiction mystery that continued to raise the stakes for Fia and Annie until the very end. Learning who each girl could trust was fun to figure out and even though I predicted what would happen long before I got to the end, I still had a wonderful time letting the authors words lead me to the conclusion.(less)