"That's the sort of person Chance is. He gets under your skin, and even when he's gone, you still feel him there like a dull ache. A warm memory you c...more"That's the sort of person Chance is. He gets under your skin, and even when he's gone, you still feel him there like a dull ache. A warm memory you can never quite reclaim."
Made of Stars is a book that is part mystery, part coming of age romance. The first half of the story read like any good coming of age tale where boy meets girl, girl falls helplessly for boy, boy could care less etc....and in that regard I loved the story. It was fluffy and romantic and I loved the playfulness of it all. Then comes the second half and the story takes on a much darker tone. It was suspenseful, it was filled with raw emotion and my heart broke for the characters I had come to love and know in the first half. Alone both parts were good but together it was just so tragic.
One of my favorite things about Made of Stars was the dual narration. Instead of just seeing Hunter or Ashlin's perspective we get to know both siblings quite well. While I liked them both equally they do not compare to my love for Chance. He's such a complex and delightfully written character, he's like an onion whose layers are just waiting to be uncovered and explored. I loved his relationship with Hunter and Ashlin but most of all I just loved him. He was beautiful and broken all wrapped up in one. I wanted to protect him and I wanted him to receive his moment after all the sh*t he suffers through. Sadly, this was not to be and for that I feel gutted and broken.
Another thing I loved was the writing. It flowed off the page and kept me engaged from beginning to end. With just a sigh or a glance I knew how the characters were feeling because I felt it as well.
Lastly, I really like the romance. It's always refreshing to see an Author not afraid to bend the rules when it comes to young adult pairings. Hunter's "awakening" is gradual but done tastefully. I think the Author realistically portrayed how it might be for someone in Hunter's situation (all American Jock with a smokin hot girlfriend) to realize that they might actually love someone whose the same sex as themselves.
Now while I really did like Made Of Stars it did have a few flaws that kept me from really falling in love with the story. First off I don't really like how disjointed the first and second half felt. It almost felt like I was reading two separate books mashed together instead of one cohesive story. My second gripe is the ending. I felt the book had more story to tell and then it just sort of cuts off. Of course it only does this after leaving all the characters heartbroken and dealing with the events that transpired during the last part of the story. It was a downer and I didn't like that one bit.
Final Thoughts Made of Stars is a beautifully written book that had me in near tears come the end. While the cohesiveness of the story didn't always work for me, I did really like it as a whole. I would suggest reading the story if only to meet Chance. He's really one of my favorite characters of late and I would love to see him again at some point. He deserves his HEA damnit. I want to leave this review with a lyric from Adele's Make You Feel My Love. I believe it perfectly sums up how I feel about Made of Stars and these characters.
When the evening shadows And the stars appear And there is no - one there To dry your tears I could hold you For a million years To make you feel my love
With that being said, I will be rating Made of Stars by Kelley York ★★★★.
Sick was one of my most anticipated October must reads. To say I was excited to finally start this book would be an understatement. So I sat reading S...moreSick was one of my most anticipated October must reads. To say I was excited to finally start this book would be an understatement. So I sat reading Sick and when I finished my heart sank. While I did enjoy the book my expectations fell quite short and here's why:
The Characters- Here we have this group of guys who are supposed to be these misfits, troublemakers etc... their the type who while maybe not popular aren't the type you'd want to mess with either. While I definitely got that vibe from Chad, I didn't from Brian. This wouldn't be a problem if Brian wasn't the main character. As a sidekick, OK sure I could overlook his faults but as the main protagonist I just didn't really care for him. First off, He was all about himself. I need to find my sister, I need to find my girlfriend. He didn't really care that he was locked with 25 other kids who might have had brother, sisters, lovers, best friends scared and hiding hoping for someone to rescue them. It was all about him and his needs first. Secondly, I didn't really like his fixation with finding Laura. Oh I get it, Brian has guilt ditching his disabled girlfriend but was she worth all the lives lost just to find her? Probably not. Lastly, we have this John character who is mentioned quite heavily in the beginning. John could've been a great antagonist for the group but is dropped almost entirely midway through. The only redeeming character out of everyone was Chad. I really enjoyed him.
The Zombies- They sparkle....nuff said. No seriously though they do. I swear we already did this with Twilight and THAT was enough for a lifetime thank you very much. Sparkling aside, I really felt they were underused not just on the gory kills front but in being the villains of the story. Yep I get it they are "Sick" and your former classmates but that doesn't change the fact that they still will rip your throat out and kill you without hesitation. The whole cripple not kill idea had me rolling my eyes hard. Also we hardly ever saw them and when we did it just wasn't all that scary. I also would've liked to know more about the infected. Brian's mom mentions slowing the disease down but sadly we never get to see that put into practice and yes I'm bitter over that.
The Ending- While the moments leading up to it were exciting once they find themselves regrouped in relative safety the story quickly loses steam and tries to rush what little is happening. Honestly, I'm still not sure if Brian is just in shock or if what he's feeling signifies something greater or worse. I really hope Sick is a series and not a stand alone because I have so many unanswered questions.
Now while it might seem that I didn't particularly care for Sick I did actually enjoy the book.I liked the writing, the story (minus the ending) had great pacing and the world building while not exceptional was decent considering the length of the book. I also as mentioned above liked Chad. It really is a shame he wasn't the main character instead of Brian because I think he could've carried the story a bit better and certainly been more interesting to read about as well.
Final Thoughts While Sick isn't the Zombie blockbuster I hoped it would be it wasn't a bad little book. If you like snarky one liners and untraditional Zombies then I definitely recommend picking this one up and giving it a go. If your looking for Horror, gore and lots of Zombie action then you might want to pass this one by or borrow from a library instead. With that being said, I'll be rating Sick by Tom Leveen an underwhelming ★★★.
All Our Yesterdays was one of my most anticipated Summer releases. When I finally sat down to start it I was completely sucked into the story. All Our...moreAll Our Yesterdays was one of my most anticipated Summer releases. When I finally sat down to start it I was completely sucked into the story. All Our Yesterdays is unique in the fact that the time travel aspect isn't just in the background. No, the entire story is based around the time travel itself and how easily it can be misused in the wrong hands. We learn early on that Em and Finn have traveled 14 times already and each time have failed in preventing the machine from being built. The beginning of the book hands down has one of the strongest openings that I've read this year.
One of my favorite things about All Our Yesterdays were the characters. I cared for Em from the very first scene. The Author painted the scenes perfectly to show how hopeless her situation is. It must be awful to bear witness to so much horror and know someone you love is behind it all. Now if Em is supposed to be the serious one then Finn is definitely the comic relief. I loved his sense of humor and felt it helped balance the somewhat downer that the rest of the story is. Without Finn this book might not of worked for me. Lastly, I loved Nate. He was the perfect older brother and a genuinely good guy. It was horrible seeing him put through the wringer time and again.
Another thing All Our Yesterdays did really well was the world building. In the past you have Marina's life which is all glitz and glam. She lives a charmed life and knows it. Then you have her future self and it's all doom and gloom and hey is that China invading?? I loved how the Author really fleshed out Em's future and former self. I was afraid whenever we flashed back it wouldn't be obvious that the character was one in the same but the way its done is brilliant and I really enjoyed it
Lastly, I loved how gripping the story was. All Our Yesterdays reads like an action film. It's pacing is perfect and just when you think the story might be slacking something happens where your pulled right back in. I would love to see this book as a movie. I have no doubt if done right it could be blockbuster huge. If you like romance, action, thrills and chills then this book is definitely for you!
Now I will say that while I really did enjoy this story I did have a few small gripes. I really wish the story went a few more chapters with each character before flashing back or forward. Just when we get into something with the past it's time to go back to the future or vice versa. While this might work for some readers it just didn't for me. I also really wish it hadn't been so obvious who the Doctor was. Maybe it was supposed to be but I really would of liked to play the guessing game a little bit longer.
Overall, All Our Yesterdays is a phenomenal debut and I can't wait to see what this Author brings to the table in the future. I highly recommend picking this one up if you haven't already. I promise this one is worth the price. With that being said, I'll be rating All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill ★★★★.(less)
Mortality follows teenagers Zarah and Savannah as they try and survive the Zombie apocalypse. With alternating viewpoints were given brief glimpses i...more Mortality follows teenagers Zarah and Savannah as they try and survive the Zombie apocalypse. With alternating viewpoints were given brief glimpses into each girls world as they struggle to survive.
While I certainly like Mortality it did not live up to expectations. End Dayz which is this series prequel was great and really made me excited for this book. However, upon completion I don't think Mortality pulled off the story nearly as well. Sure Zombies were a threat but they never felt scary. In fact the majority of the time they came off more as nuisances more than anything else.
Secondly, I definitely had issues with the character Savannah. She is just not a likable character. Half the time Savannah flip flops between being this highly courageous girl to one whom behaves more like a spoiled brat who didn't get her way. I also felt she was way to trusting and more than a bit reckless.
Lastly, one of my biggest issues with Mortality was the pacing. I felt like I was on a roller coaster rather than a gentle rocking boat. The story never just seemed to find its flow. Thankfully the book was fairly quick so I managed to power through despite its obvious pacing problem.
Now while I did have some issues with Mortality. I did find some things highly enjoyable.
I loved Zaharah! She was everything Savannah should have been and then some. I also really loved the twist her character takes. It was great seeing the inner monologue of someone trapped in her own body and also quite heartbreaking as well. Although that ending.....why?? So much potential wasted.
I also really liked Liam. He truly had Zarah's best interest at heart unlike Cole who never seemed genuine. I Although after that ending I'm really, really hoping the Author doesn't make him, Cole and Savannah into some sort of love triangle.
One of the best parts about Mortality is the differences between the Zombies and Infected. While Zombies are your typical George Romero type, Infected act and behave more like those in the film series 28 Days Later. It's unique having both types in the same book but it definitely adds dimension to the story.
Overall, I did enjoy Mortality but I'm definitely left disappointed after the awesome set up from the prequel End Dayz. Would I recommend Mortality? Yes, In fact I'll still no doubt continue on with the series despite the first books flaws. With that being said, I'll be rating Mortality by Kellie Sheridan ★★★. (less)
This was my reaction when I completed Children Of No One. I'm not even exaggerating here the Novella is truly that disturbing.
Guys, I love horror its my genre but this novella really pushed me to my limits. I came away from reading Children Of No One feeling dirty, like I just witnessed something so deplorable that it should of never been put to paper in the first place. Thing is this isn't an over the top gore-fest, with crazed mutated psychos running through the wood with chainsaws. No, what makes this book so creepy is the psychological warfare it plays on the mind. This above all is what really got under my skin. I'm going to need to snuggle a bunny after this one for sure.
After I snapped out of the disbelief that I had just essentially read a novella about child torture for the sake of art like somehow that's a worthwhile excuse pfft, My reaction changed to something akin to this.:
Truth be told, as much as I want to rip this novella apart for its content, I do actually see the small bit of brilliance in the Authors writing. The above mentioned is why I kept reading even being as appalled as I was by the adult characters.
Thomas Krieg is the artist who conceptualized the labyrinth. The labyrinth exists underground,away from the prying eyes of the public. It is kept perpetually dark with the exception being when the food drops happen. In his brilliance madness as an artist Thomas Krieg has trained the kids to believe that he is an angel, the food drops manna and that all of it comes from heaven. What really makes the children's existence in this place tragic is knowing all the children were sold to this guy to be tortured (knowingly or not) by their very own parents all because they were poor, their greed to much. It makes the situation the kids find themselves in that much worse.
Since this is a novella, I won't get into much more than that but the details the "artist" put into his masterpiece were enough to make even this die hard horror fan recoil in disgust. I feel that speaks volumes in itself.
Overall I found this Novella interesting but uncomfortable to read the majority of the time. I'm certainly glad this wasn't a full length novel, I don't think I could stomach much more of it. I guess this begs the question, Would I recommend Children Of No One? At this time, I'm going to leave my answer blank. Yes, this was certainly disturbing and creepy with flawless writing but I just don't know if I can recommend it in the end. So for now my answer is blank. That being said, I will be rating Children Of No One ★★★★. (less)
Viral Nation is one of those books I expected to be one way and it turned out being another. The story star...moreOriginally published @Blood,Sweat and Books
Viral Nation is one of those books I expected to be one way and it turned out being another. The story started out so strong and I was instantly sucked in. It was everything a proper pandemic set up should be and then some. However, the moment it flashed forward 16 years the story just started to lose me. Rather then telling us about The reorganization of the country and seeing the characters struggle living in a depopulated planet were just pushed 16 years ahead to when they are a convenient age to put the plot in motion. Just a few pages showing West and Clover growing up could of added so much depth to not only the characters but the rest of the story as well.
As for the characters I really liked West. He was a great big brother and he gave up everything to provide for his sister. Since the Father conveniently goes missing from the story it has been up to West to ensure Clover grew up happy and healthy. While he breaks his back doing farm work and trying to win extra supplies at the Marketplace Bazaar, Clover is able to spend her days jogging or absorbed in books at the Library. Speaking of Clover, I know I'm supposed to like her but I didn't. Yes, she is Autistic and that explains away a lot of her behavior but at the root of the character I just didn't like her. She seemed ungrateful to West and also a bit judgmental. She was a walking contradiction and I absolutely feel the Autism instead of enhancing her character merely was used as another convenient plot device to explain why she was "Special". As for the rest of the characters there development simply sucked when compared to West and Clover. It's like they were purposefully kept indistinguishable so Clover could shine.
The plot development in Viral Nation was weak as well. The story had a million great ideas yet rather pick and expand on just one the story was all over the place. Clover becoming a Time Mariner just felt odd considering how many times she stated that you needed to go through the Academy to become one. Oh but she's "special" so of course we can forget that fact. Then you have this big corrupt Government sub plot that never really goes anywhere until it's time to wrap the story up. Much to late if you ask me. Another thing I found to be out of sorts was Foster City. Apparently rather than taking care of the next generation and ensuring the continued survival of the species the Government just let's all these kids be abused and tortured by their Fosters and doesn't give a rats ass about it. That felt at odds with the whole we only have enough people to work in small walled in cities and every person counts aspect of the story.
Now I know it sounds like I didn't like much about Viral Nation but that isn't the case. I found some things really creative such as the Time Mariners and being convicted of crimes based on what you "might" do in the future. That was creepy considering how one could easily fabricate you doing this horrific crime in the future just to ensure your death in the past. I sense a lot of corruption goes on where that is concerned. I also liked the beginning of the book with the virus. I would of loved seeing more death and destruction with that before starting the main story as the beginning was the best part of the entire book in my opinion.
Overall, I really wanted to love Viral Nation but I just couldn't ever get into the story. The characters were walking cliches, the romance felt unnecessary and the fact the plot repeatedly reminding me of The Matrix or The Minority Report didn't help things either. However, even though I know the story could've been better that ending leaves me wanting to know more. So while I didn't exactly love Viral Nation I still will be reading the next book to see how things wrap up. With that being said, I will be rating Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes ★★★.(less)
Allison Sekemoto has survived months all alone after being cast out of Eden. That is until the day her creator Kanin calls out to her. Sarren i...more Review:
Allison Sekemoto has survived months all alone after being cast out of Eden. That is until the day her creator Kanin calls out to her. Sarren is back with a vengeance and has kidnapped her sire Kanin. Now Allison must team up with an unlikely Ally and trust a Vampire Prince who once tried to kill her in order to find Kanin and bring Sarren to justice. Unfortunately for Allison, what she finds waiting for her in New Covington might be the biggest threat of all. With borrowed time and the threat spreading, Will Allison succeed where so many have failed? Or will Allison succumb to the madness around her?
I don't know what bothers me more my disappointment with The Eternity Cure or the fact that I have to now right a review expressing my disappointment with this book. Perhaps, it is a mixture of both. I was so sure that I would love this book but I knew just 50 pages in this was not to be. I couldn't keep myself glued to the page like I had with The Immortal Rules. In fact, I had to read this book in 10 page bursts just to make it to the halfway mark. In total it took me almost a month to read through The Eternity Cure. Compare that to the 2 days for The Immortal Rules and well you can see at least partly why I'm disappointed.
My biggest complaint with The Eternity Cure was the pacing. The beginning of the book dragged on. I felt Allison was just sort of moping around in the out lands without purpose until of course she met up with her "brother". The strong, confident Allison I had come to love replaced with one in a permanent pity party. Even once Jackal was involved it still took quite a few more pages until I really felt the action pick up. Once Jackal and Allison made it to old D.C. I felt that pull to the story I had with the first book. Some of the best action scenes in The Eternity Cure took place during those few pages. Sadly,this didn't last long and the pacing slowed yet again. If words were water they'd be ebbing and flowing at every flick of the page.
My next biggest issue with The Eternity Cure falls on Allison. Don't get me wrong, I love Allison she is one badass vampire chick BUT, she definitely felt more needy this go round. I believe this is to show how lost she was without Zeke by her side but in some ways it felt like she needed him to validate her existence instead. While I like Zeke, the vampire/human relationship against all odds felt tired. Been there, done that. I expected to see Zeke in the story, I even expected him to play a pivotal role. However, I thought his appearance would happen in a completely different way than it did.
Now I know this review sounds less than stellar but The Eternity Cure did have some really great moments. The biggest being Jackal!! Oh my goodness what an amazing character he is!! I loved his role being expanded in the sequel. Jackal brought humor, sexiness and a take no prisoners attitude to the story. Jackal reminds me so much of Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer right down to the duster. I don't mind though because he was just so enjoyable every single time he was in a scene. This girl is definitely Team Jackal all the way.
I also really loved the world building. In The Eternity Cure we really get to learn more about the before as well as insight into character backgrounds. I loved seeing what happened with some characters from The Immortal Rules. It was nice that they weren't forgotten. I also really enjoyed learning more about the relationship between Jackal & Kanin as well as Kanin & the Prince of New Convington. Speaking of New Convington, I really wish the characters had arrived in the city sooner. The chapters that took place in ,outside and under New Covington were the strongest out of the whole book.
Overall, I definitely think The Eternity Cure receives an A+ for effort and a C in execution. Had the book been a bit shorter and the pacing not so choppy maybe I would of enjoyed this more but sadly it just didn't live up to the first book in my opinion. Now with that being said, I still really love the Blood Of Eden series. I can confidently state that I will definitely be waiting on the next book, the character Jackal and the OMG I can't believe that happened ending ensured that. Therefore, In the end I will be rating The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa ★★★. Good, not great but I'm still a fan!(less)
We've all been guilty of letting our emotions get the best of us at times. Some of us swoon over someone we know we shouldn't, other times we g...moreReview:
We've all been guilty of letting our emotions get the best of us at times. Some of us swoon over someone we know we shouldn't, other times we get into petty arguments just to prove were right and someone else is wrong. But, What if every action you made had a consequence? Would you live life more cautiously? If Julie had she wouldn't be in this mess. Broke, hungry, tired and alone Julie accepts help from the first kind face she sees. However, the decision costs Julie more than she expected. Now stuck in a world with a hot guy named Evan who annoyingly only speaks in riddles and running from creatures only he can see, Julie must decide to face her fears or be ruled by them. With the fate of the entire world hanging on her shoulders, only she can decide her destiny. Will she choose correctly however remains unseen.
Damn Death by Chocolate was good. I was sucked in from the first page and read the entire book in one sitting. Now maybe I've read way to many Stephen King books but if I was Julie and an old gypsy woman came up to me, I would of turned tail and ran. Nothing good can come of this type of meeting. Julie clearly doesn't read much King or she would of known this!
Speaking of Julie, I know I shouldn't like her character, every fiber in my being knows that. Julie encompasses all the traits I usually hate in female protagonists. Julie is whiny, pessimistic, rude, stubborn, and her inner monologue drove me batty yet.... I rather enjoyed watching her. Julie was a train wreck waiting to happen and when it did I shockingly felt no satisfaction zip zilch. In fact, I felt sorry for her. Karma can be quite a bitch and Julie tasted its wrath with full vengeance. While her comeuppance is completely justified it left me feeling hollow. Instead of anger at her actions, I felt pity. I never expected to sympathize with someone who ruffled my feathers so much, yet I did. Guess that is what good writing does to you.
As for the other character Evan, I completely liked him. Sure, he talked in riddles and his back story was left a mystery but I didn't care. He pushed Julie, without him she wouldn't of achieved her destiny even if that destiny sucked. I am hoping to learn more about him in the future.
Death by Chocolate can be described as a cautionary tale. Thinking before speaking or acting could of stopped Julie from experiencing the world of hurt that she did. Course, then this review would be boring since the book would of been dreadfully short. I didn't want this book to end, it was just so darn good. Which of course brings me to the one flaw this book had, the ending itself. If you could see my glare through the screen it would have you quivering in fear (no lie). I hate it so much when a book just ends with no warning. Cliffhangers I am fine with especially when I can see them coming. The ending to Death by Chocolate however just stops. I mean Wth?!? That ending wasn't satisfying at all it was just last line and then acknowledgements. I really, let me stress really, hope this isn't a standalone novel. Cities will riot, walls will come tumbling down and puppies will lose their cuteness if this book is not given a sequel. OK that might be a lie but still this book demands further exploration. Was Julie dreaming, did the events even happen, why were the chocolates so important? All of these and more were questions I had at the end. Just three more pages could of taken this book from good to great territory, I honestly mean that.
In the end, Am I happy that I read Death by Chocolate? A resounding yes! This book was different and while it might of been frustrating at times it was still a fun read. Plus any book I can read in one sitting denying myself even bathroom breaks must be good. Overall, even with the unsatisfying ending I'm calling Death by Chocolate a reading win! That is why I will be rating Death by Chocolate by Johanna K. Pitcairn ★★★★.
*I received a copy of this book to review through the publisher. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them.(less)
In the Shadow of Blackbirds tells the tale of a girl named Mary Shelley Black who is trying her be...moreReview originally posted over @Blood,Sweat and Books
In the Shadow of Blackbirds tells the tale of a girl named Mary Shelley Black who is trying her best to live and thrive in a male dominated society all while trying to avoid catching the deadly Spanish Influenza. If you've never read about the Spanish Influenza here's a brief kind of history about it. The Spanish Influenza spread through shipping and trade routes infecting not only the US but Asia, Europe and the South Pacific as well. The Spanish Influenza infected over 500 million people worldwide and succeeded in killing off between 50 and 100 million of them. Oh and to put that into perspective the Spanish Influenza actually killed more people than World War I did earning it the title of worst Pandemic in recorded history. Yes, even worse than the Black Death and we all know how bad that one was.
Fun fact: The Spanish Influenza actually originated in Kansas but it was called the Spanish Influenza due to its coverage in Spain. Caught up? OK, good. Let's get back to the review shall we.
In the Shadow of Blackbirds combines Historical Fiction with Paranormal elements brilliantly and I can't fault the book for that one bit. The way Cat Winters weaved WWI, Women's rights and Spirit Photography/mysticism while laying the backdrop of the worst Pandemic in History is no small feat and she must be commended for that as well as the obvious research she did recreating the beginning of the 20th century. However, while I loved the world,Mary and her Aunt Eva, I didn't particularly like Stephen who is a pretty big part of the overall story. I can't even really say why I didn't like him he just didn't sit right with me. I suppose at least some of my non fuzzy feelings for him are partly due to never really believing the romance between him and Mary. In fact sometimes I even doubted they were anything more than just childhood friends and maybe not even good ones at that. At times to me it almost felt as if Mary made up the relationship in her head (which let's face it some girls do) by projecting those unsaid feelings into creating the relationship she would have had if events beyond her control didn't happen. Personally, the Author easily could of removed all romance from the story and it still would of worked for me. I know others probably will feel the opposite but I didn't particularly care for it.
Overall I really did enjoy In the Shadow of Blackbirds. Sure it was a bit wordy at times and the story did suffer some lulls in pacing but the characters combined with beautiful narration and a fantastically set world had me hooked til the very end. Speaking of the end, did not see that coming and I'm usually really good at solving mysteries. Therefore in the end, I will be rating In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters ★★★★.
I love fairy tale retellings, I never get tired reading stories I love being reworked and remastered by Authors today. Sometimes the stories ar...moreReview:
I love fairy tale retellings, I never get tired reading stories I love being reworked and remastered by Authors today. Sometimes the stories are hit, sometimes they are miss. That being said, I was a bit underwhelmed with Two and Twenty Dark Tales.
This anthology has 20 stories included in it, many of them told by well known Authors. Still I felt many of the stories fell flat. I also believe since a couple were lesser known tales that could of led to some of the disappointment as the stories in original form weren't that interesting to begin with and reworked were barely better.
Now, I'm not going to review each individual story involved. I will share my favorites though. I believe that will help you understand my position in regards to the book.
Little Miss Muffet by Georgina McBride- This story was a total win. I loved how Georgina McBride retold the story of Little Miss Muffet. Plus, those spiders *shudder* I don't think I'll look at one normally for a long time.
Life in a Shoe by Heidi R. Kling- This was one of my favorites in the whole collection. Had a great beginning, middle, end. If expanded into Novella or even full book length I would gobble it up.
Tick Tock by Gretchen McNeil- If you have ever babysat before this short story will unnerve you. The poor,poor girl..... Really, well told.
The Well by K.M. Walton- I will never read Jack and Jill the same way again. Such a masterful retelling of the story. It has completely ruined the original for me. So good.
Wee Willie Winkie by Leigh Fallon- This one was super creepy. I'm a big horror reader/watcher and even this one got under my skin. Let's just say I watched a couple episodes of Spongebob before falling asleep that night just to make sure I went to bed not dreaming about this short.
The Lion and the Unicorn by Nancy Holder- I loved this short and was completely sucked into the world within the downside, only part 1 was in the e-Arc and that was a huge disappointment. It sorta angers me that they kept it out. I would rather half the completed tales be left out then only give me one half of a story to see.
The above mentioned were my favorites and the ones I still remember. While some of the other stories were good, they weren't memorable. Only a few did I downright dislike and those were:
Pieces of Eight by Shannon Delaney with Max Scialdone- I don't know if it is because two authors collaborated for this story or what but I didn't like this one. I just was left confused and annoyed by the end.
Sea of Dew by C. Lee McKenzie- Beautiful, haunting, a lovely story overall. Why I disliked this one though was it felt out of place in the overall anthology. As a novella I would probably praise this story and give it 5 stars. In this collection however it just completely left me emotionally drained and brought down the creep factor I had been feeling up until this short. Good story, wrong book for it to be in.
The Wish by Suzanne Young- This story just sorta plodded along for me. It was written well but it was also just a bit to predictable and dare I say it, yawn inducing.
One for Sorrow by Karen Mahoney- Like The Wish this one was written well but I found myself bored partway through. It didn't have the creep factor I was craving like some of the other short stories did.
Overall this Anthology was very hit or miss for me. I expected some really scary retellings and yet a good chunk of the stories were more sombre if anything. Certainly not what I expected based on the title and cover. Would I recommend Two and Twenty Dark Tales? Yes, I'd recommend it for those who love retellings and are looking for a nice collection to read through in one or two sittings. But I am going to stress, if you do think this book is worth a go, I highly suggest checking it out from a library or borrowing from a friend first before purchasing. That being said I will be rating Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes ★★★. (less)
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the complete 180 this series took...more**spoiler alert** Original Review can be found @Blood,Sweat, and Books Review:
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the complete 180 this series took. Swipe the first book in the series left such an awful taste in my mouth but this book, this was Dystopian fiction at its best. Perfectly paced, plenty of Action and a gripping plot has skyrocketed Sneak to my Favorite read of the new year. It was just that good.
In Sneak Logan Langly has accepted his status as Markless. His drive to save his sister remains and when he finds her let's just say the reunion was definitely bittersweet. I also liked learning more about the nanoflu which was first introduced in Swipe. In Sneak we learn more about the sinister machinations behind it and the potential implications this will have on the populace should it reach critical levels.
As for the characters, I loved Logan in this book, he was really fleshed out and became someone I could rally behind. Logan also matured quite a bit and I definitely feel that benefited him greatly. The other characters (The Dust, Hailey, Dane) were great as well, even Erin who I flat out hated in Swipe redeemed herself. The addition of Logan's Grandmother was nice. Her and Hailey's mother had me laughing midway through and I'd like to see more of them in the next book.
While Swipe I felt was geared much more Middle Grade, Sneak falls firmly in Young Adult territory. While this is still a clean series (no foul language, violence,sexual situations etc) I didn't feel deprived in any way since the writing was just so darn good this time around.
Sneak was good, but how good was a shocker. It is really rare for a series to go from 2-5 stars but somehow this book has pulled it off. I am really looking forward to Storm which is the third book in the series. If Storm is even half as good as Sneak, I'll be happy.
Overall, I am highly recommending you pick Sneak up and give it a go. The book does get a bit "preachy" near the end but it's not overbearing and like I mentioned above this is a clean Dystopian so if you like yours with a bit more oomph you might (though I doubt it) be disappointed. That being said I will be rating Sneak by Evan Angler ★★★★★.
*I received this book to review from Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them.(less)
Mini Review Last Days is a book I stumbled across on Netgalley many months ago and figured I'd give it a...moreReview originally posted @Blood,Sweat and Books
Mini Review Last Days is a book I stumbled across on Netgalley many months ago and figured I'd give it a shot. The book is billed as a Blair Witch style novel and that definitely caught my attention. Not because I liked that movie but because I was hoping it could pull off what Blair Witch hadn't, the ability to scare me. So how did this book fair? Decent. While I really liked the atmosphere and the characters the story was just a bit to slow for me.
One of my biggest issues with Last Days was that the story had to much tell and not enough show. A good horror story in my opinion needs both in order to keep the reader glued in and yet wanting more. While I certainly liked Last Days if it wasn't for the ending (which was awesome btw) I would've definitely lumped this book as more Paranormal than horror. Now I will say that this book might be scary for you if you don't read much Horror. I think since I do that is part of the reason why I had issues with the story. If you don't then this book very well might succeed in scaring the daylights out of you.
Overall, while I liked this story it was definitely a bit of a letdown for me when it came to the horror elements. Would I recommend it? Yes, if you like films like Blair Witch or Paranormal Activity then this book would probably be right up your alley. With that being said, I'll be rating Last Days by Adam Nevil ★★★. (less)
I've had this book to review awhile now and was so excited to finally sit down and read it. While I did end up finishing Chasers it left me fee...moreReview:
I've had this book to review awhile now and was so excited to finally sit down and read it. While I did end up finishing Chasers it left me feeling deflated and confused. How could such a great idea turn into such a bunch of nothingness? While Chasers was certainly an OK book it wasn't nearly what I expected it would be and here is why:
The Characters: Anna, Dave, Min and Jesse were the sole focus in the book. Jesse was the Main Protagonist but I found him to be boring and I was left scratching my head concerning many choices he made. Dave on the other hand seemed to grip the situation a lot better so I connected to him more even if he never really did much throughout the book. The two females provided little bits of comic relief but were never really utilized to the extent one would expect in this scenario. Anna was downright unlikable but I think the Author intended to write her that way so I can forgive that. Min could of been put to better use but at least she was likable and I really wish Jesse and her had hooked up instead of him pining away for Anna.
The Pacing: This book was slooow. I kept waiting for the Action to kick in but it never did. For a book that clearly favored the male sex I expected way more running and gunning but instead was treated to the group in 30 Rock playing house and wasting the generator fuel on unnecessary stuff. What little Action did take place seemed to be kept very PG. If the Chasers had to constantly drink you'd expect them to be in a frenzy ripping into a person to get at the precious liquid inside but instead it's like the Author censored himself to not shock and horrify the reader to much. This book needed an injection of shock and awe, pulse pounding action might of made things more enjoyable to read knowing that a real threat was waiting outside.
The Infected: These "zombies" reminded me of of The Crazies but mixed with Vampires. We have no clue what caused them or even why some behave one way and others another. They also seemed to have to drink constantly but again no clue why. You would think in a place like New York City the group would be under constant threat but yet they only ever see pockets of infected aka Chasers. I never felt the Chasers were a threat and was left underwhelmed by any interaction that actually happened with them. Except the one boy that Jesse finds, I wish the Author had expanded on him more as that actually was interesting and could of really changed how I viewed the book.
The Dialogue: By far the worst part of this book. I had a hard time following which character was speaking and don't even get me started on lack of punctuation marks. I don't know if this was done because of sloppy editing or intentionally by the Author but either way it made the book incredibly hard to read and that alone knocked off two stars. I also felt that the Author kept throwing out stereotypes based on character nationality vs. having meaningful conversation. Jesse is constantly acting like he doesn't want to know more but I'd think in that scenario you would want to find out anything and everything about your companions.
By the end Chasers left me feeling indifferent. I neither liked nor hated the book it was just a solid OK for me. By all means give Chaser a shot and form an opinion for yourself. I would actually be curious to see What you thought. While I don't think I will be continuing this series, I might not swear off the Author entirely. I could see little blips of potential in the writing. So I guess that says something. If you like Post-Apocalyptic themes with a mix of Zombies and Vampires then I suggest picking this up at your local library and giving it a try. I will be rating Chasers by Jame Phelan ★★★.
*Reviewed through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for providing them.(less)
Insomnia, we've all experienced it at some point in our lives. You lay down, your body succumbing to e...moreReviewed originally over @Blood, Sweat and Books
Insomnia, we've all experienced it at some point in our lives. You lay down, your body succumbing to exhaustion and yet try as you might your mind won't shut off. Desperate for precious sleep you try everything imaginable and yet the sleep you crave never comes. Parker Chipp hasn't slept in 4 years. Instead Parker spends his nights trapped in other peoples dreams. When Parker meets Mia he experiences the closest thing to a peaceful nights rest that he has had in years. Now he wants more and he'll stop at nothing to obtain it.
Insomnia is a book that I had been really looking forward to reading. The premise was so unique and I loved that the main character was a guy. The first few pages started out strongly. I found Parker's plight pitiable and wondered what could of caused his situation. However, the book starts to fall apart quite quickly. Parker is for lack of a better word a dick. I understand he hasn't slept in 4 years so naturally that would make him cranky but c'mon it's not like you really are trying to better your situation. If I hadn't slept that long I'd be begging my GP to put me in a medically induced coma so I could get some sleep. Ugh and then there is the way Parker treats others (especially his mom). Parker acts like he's the most unique, Ah-mazing person on the planet ever. To say he has a huge ego would be an understatement. Honestly, Parker might have been the worst main character I have ever read (even worse than Bella Swan and that is saying something). Nothing about him was pleasing to me and I just found myself more annoyed with the character as the book went on.
On the other hand you have characters Addie and Finn. I liked Addie (until her justification of Parkers actions near the end) but I really found Finn to be the best character of them all. He was a good guy and I really liked how he wasn't afraid to put Parker in his place yet still remained loyal. Oh and I loved his funky T-Shirts. They were a nice touch to the character as well. I want some of them for my own.
Characters aside I think the worst part of Insomnia was that it couldn't decide if it wanted to be a Mystery, Paranormal or some other style book entirely. The story had no real direction and the ending was anti-climactic to say the least. I had guessed correctly who Mia's stalker was and even the death that happens is predictable.
Overall, I really had high hopes for Insomnia and had it even lived partially up to expectations I might still have called it a win read. However, I just didn't really like any aspect of the book. Parker was unlikable, the story almost glamorized stalking someone and the simple fact the book will have a sequel is almost nausea inducing. How this plot line can even handle another book is beyond me. It should have been left a stand alone. Maybe then with some real purpose and direction it could have been good. Though with Parker being the d-bag he is I don't think it would of ever been great.
Final Verdict: Insomnia had a unique premise with great secondary characters. The writing was smooth and I found the world building OK. However, due to the highly unlikable MC and the lack of direction for the storyline I definitely recommend borrowing first before buying. With that being said, I will be rating Insomnia by J.R. Johansson ★★.(less)
Unfortunately this book expired before I could finish it. I was 15 pages from the end when it happened. So without knowing the end here are my brief t...moreUnfortunately this book expired before I could finish it. I was 15 pages from the end when it happened. So without knowing the end here are my brief thoughts. This book was great but it did suffer a bit from being a bit to short. Another 20 pages would of made events feel not so rushed. I liked the writing and the main character was great. I also felt that the Sci-fi elements were creative and unique. I especially loved the tattoos those were really such a clever idea. Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would. This book is one I would like to own and will probably purchase sometime in the future. (less)
As heartbreaking as it is uplifting Crossing The Rubicon is a book everyone should read at least once. This book was narrated beautifully. I fe...more Review:
As heartbreaking as it is uplifting Crossing The Rubicon is a book everyone should read at least once. This book was narrated beautifully. I felt as if I was granted a rare glimpse into a diary that was never meant to be shared. I laughed, I cried and at times I even became angry yet.....I couldn't put this book down. I devoured the pages and hung onto them as if teetering on a thin wire hanging over some dark chasm that threatened to swallow me whole if I didn't proceed. Yes, the book was just that dang good.
I loved how the Author put such a unique spin on time travel. The journey the group goes on is very "real" and the places they visit for the most part do exist. I also appreciated that the Author kept the characters humble. They didn't walk around like they knew everything or were better than the people they encountered. No, these characters behaved exactly as I imagine any of us would thrust into a time and place we knew nothing(or very little) about.
In the end the story isn't perfect but in some ways its flaws are part of the charm. With that being said I will be rating Crossing The Rubicon by R.C. Richter ★★★★.
*Originally obtained for review through Netgalley but purchased on Kindle after completion.(less)
“Not every story has a happy ending, but that doesn't mean it's not worth telling."- The Culling
That quote sums up perfectly how I feel about T...moreReview:
“Not every story has a happy ending, but that doesn't mean it's not worth telling."- The Culling
That quote sums up perfectly how I feel about The Culling. Sometimes a book comes along that changes your life. Not physically of course but emotionally. The characters in the story holding our emotions hostage even after the story ends. Whether guided by fear or love they make us want to be them or hate them with every turn of the page and actions that they make. Some characters we cheer on hoping they live to see another day and the others... well... what we'd like to see happen to them is probably to kind for what they actually deserve.
The Culling isn't just the title of the book its also the name of the tournament that is the major focal point of the story as well. Five teenagers aged 17 are chosen to participate. If you win you get a job as part of The Establishments Imposer Task force. On the other hand, If you lose..... well lets just say it doesn't pay to be the loser.
When 17 year old Lucian Spark is chosen as a recruit his 4 year old brother and kindly neighbor Mrs. Bledsoe are put up as his incentives. What are incentives you ask? If you come in last during The Culling or fail to complete a task The Establishment makes you kill one of your incentives as punishment. Each recruit has two and only one will make it through with both intact. To make matters worse, they don't discriminate on age or gender. You might have to kill your mother, father, husband, lover or in Lucian's case his little brother. Everyone is fair game when it comes to The Culling.
I really thought the trials during The Culling were a neat process even if they made me squirm quite a bit. I don't want to give away what happens but some of the incentive deaths were quite horrible to witness and others well I may never recover emotionally from those scenes.
While the story was great its the characters that made me fall in love with this series. I loved Lucian he was everything I love in a Main Protagonist and then some. I really wanted him to win even though I knew to do so would mean the deaths of many others along the way. I also really liked Cypress she was a bad ass chick and I really felt for her predicament. Really though, each character was extremely well written and I enjoyed reading each scene even if I wasn't particularly happy with the direction those characters went in. I'm looking at you Ophelia.
Now, I'm usually not a fan of the romantic elements in Dystopians as they sometimes overtake the story. That being said, the romance in The Culling is extremely well done. Instead of hindering the story, it enhanced it. First off, while it shouldn't matter some people may be put off from reading the book due to the unconventional main couple. Why is that you ask? Well,the main couple is Gay. Does that matter? Not one bit. I loved both main males and was totally a fan of the pairing. The love story is sweet,simple and reserved never quite coming to fruition due to the situation both were in. By the end my feelings went into overdrive and I found myself grieving for the couple and their plight. I have hope though no matter how small it might be. The other main couple was a bit more reserved but their relationship while sweet was doomed from the start and unfortunately both characters understood that making it even more heartbreaking.
Overall, I loved this book. The writing, world building, storyline and characters were all great, top notch really. I have no complaints at all. To really drive home how much I enjoyed this book, I went straight to Amazon and bought myself a copy. I know this is a book I'll read again in the near future and one I am eagerly anticipating its sequel. Would I recommend The Culling? Yes, yes, YES!! In fact, stop reading my review and go buy yourself a copy right now. I promise you will not be disappointed. In all honesty if I could rate this book 10 stars I would but since I can't, I will be rating The Culling by Steven Dos Santos ★★★★★. Worth your read, worth the time and definitely worth the money spent to purchase it!(less)
*I downloaded this book off Netgalley to review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them.
The best way I...more*I downloaded this book off Netgalley to review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them.
The best way I can describe Alternity is Metropolis meets V for Vendetta which meets something else altogether in a back alley somewhere. Unfortunately the book doesn't quite pull off the mashup of this surreal,technological,Dystopian world well. I want to start with the cons first because I feel that they outweighed the positives.
World Building- The World of Terra seems like it was built with just enough information to satisfy the casual reader but not enough to really envelop the senses of someone familiar with the genre. I felt that the World was lacking richness and depth. It's almost like the Author couldn't make up her mind how she wanted it to be so just gave up trying entirely.
Skye- Where do I start? Skye is just not a likable character she is stubborn, a bit prudish and definitely not the heroine I was expecting her to be. I got angry at Skye insisting she needed to get back to the "real" world but actually never giving any good reason why. I could understand if she was worried her family might be upset with her absence or worrying over her boyfriend but they aren't mentioned as a reason. Hell if she had said she was worried about missing to many classes I'd even be happy. Now not everything about Skye was bad she was enjoyable to read about while interacting with Dawn and her character did come to life at the end but sadly it was to little and late for me to care.
Pacing- I enjoyed the first couple chapters but then the book slowed way down and for no real good reason. It also became way to technical and I definitely feel that was to blame for the pacing problem. It did pick back up at the end and that was this books saving grace so to speak.
The Plot- I liked the concept of Alternity and the bare bones of the story was certainly unique but the execution could of been much, much better.
The Ending- I really enjoyed the "twists" in the story. While I could tell where things were heading I definitely was left satisfied when all was revealed.
Skye's Narration- I felt that while yes Skye was a pretty dull character I liked seeing the story unfold through her eyes. It was almost like watching a movie.
Overall this book had some hits and a bunch of misses but in the end it was a good read. I have however come to the conclusion that I think this Author isn't for me. This is the second book I've read by Mari Mancusi and the second time I've been left feeling less than satisfied. Many of the main problems in Tomorrow Land I felt transferred over to this book as well. Certainly give this book a shot and judge for yourself. It was at least worth a one time read. In the end I will be giving Alternity by Mari Mancusi ★★★. Worth a read, worth your time but definitely not without some major bumps along the way.(less)
When the bees of the world started dying off the Government scrambled to find a solution. They created a super bee of sorts meant to survive th...moreReview:
When the bees of the world started dying off the Government scrambled to find a solution. They created a super bee of sorts meant to survive through the hardest conditions. Unfortunately they didn't realize until it was to late that the bees also were the cause of the super flu sweeping the globe. A vaccine was created and those children lucky enough to receive it were protected, safe, survivors.
Flash forward 5 years... The tattoo on the back of the hand once a source of comfort now is a brand for those who must be feared, avoided and worst of all killed. Alone in the world and on the run Fiona must put her trust in one sworn to hunt her kind before its to late.
I really enjoyed Stung it was different than I was expecting but in a good way. However, it did take the book awhile to find its footing. I felt the pacing was a bit slow and unorganized in the beginning. We get zero back story on what's going on and that felt a bit jarring. I like to think this was intentional as a way to sympathize with Fiona vs just poor writing.
One of my biggest complaints concerning Stung has to be the lack of action during the beginning/middle of the book. I'm not going to lie, I found it a bit lackluster overall. I definitely struggled at times staying entertained during those scenes. Not enough to put the book down mind you but enough to let the mind wander. In my defense, You can only see a person in cuffs sitting around and hiding so much before it gets tiresome. Of course it did help move along the romantic elements of the story so that's a plus. It will be interesting to see in the second book whether things mature even more between Fiona and Bowen. Earth still needs repopulating after all.
Once it becomes obvious what is going on and more back story revealed, I found Stung to be quite an enjoyable read. I was even surprised by some of the twists towards the end concerning Arriss and Fiona's brother Johnah.
Overall, I did like Stung. I liked the world, the writing was decent and I actually really liked the characters in the end. Would I recommend this book? Yep, its definitely worth the read although I will warn that there is a pretty obvious cliffhanger. Let's just say, The series still needs a villain after all. Which is why I will be rating Stung by Bethany Wiggins ★★★★.
*Review copy provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them.(less)
And All the Stars is unlike many Survival books on the market since it actually takes place during, yes DURIN...moreOriginal review can be found here.
And All the Stars is unlike many Survival books on the market since it actually takes place during, yes DURING not after the Apocalyspe happens. Also something else notable was this isn't a Dystopian, the characters were just ordinary citizens living life until the takeover happens.
The pacing of this book really takes off when the spires appear. I don't want to get into to many specific details about the threat because I really feel this is a book that should be read not spoiled. They are however reminiscent of the Pods from War of The Worlds in the fact they spring forth from the ground indicating to me at least that they've been probably planning this for some time. How they differ however is when the takeover starts to happen anyone caught outside was doused with this fine powdery substance. For some people the powder just turned their skin colors but for others it was a race for survival as the powder made them dependent on those who weren't as severely affected. You'll get what I mean when you read it but it was a nice twist so to speak.
As for the characters,the mix of ethnicity combined with diverse social backgrounds was as refreshing as the storyline itself. While Madeleine is the main character I found myself liking the others in her group just as much or maybe even dare I say it more.
Overall And All the Stars was definitely an unputdownable read for me. I really cannot properly express how much I loved this book without breaking into maniacal fits of giggles, so let me just simply say this book surprised the heck out of me and rocked! And All the Stars was everything and more than I could ask for in a Survival/Apocalyptic book. It blended the believable with the extraordinary and left me wanting more. I highly recommend picking this up and giving it a shot. I truly don't think you will regret it. I will be rating And All the Stars ★★★★★.
*Book reviewed via Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for providing them.(less)
When I first started reading the 13th Sign I wasn't so sure it was for me. Jalen the main protagonist actually bored me a little in the beginning of t...more When I first started reading the 13th Sign I wasn't so sure it was for me. Jalen the main protagonist actually bored me a little in the beginning of the book and I kept switching her name to Jaden in my head. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I almost put the book down permanently. Since I requested this for review I really wanted to give this an honest shot. I am so glad that I did because to my surprise The 13th Sign turned out to be quite an enjoyable read!
Once the story picked up Jalen (not Jaden) turned out to to be a great character. Jalens journey is quite fantastical and it held my attention right until the very end. I loved how the story had me thinking about the Zodiac calendar in ways I never had before. Jalen's companions however were not really memorable and I struggled to remember individual characteristics about them as they weaved in and out of the story. I did like the Zodiac Gatekeepers they were unique and not your traditional antagonists. I'd even go so far to say that If the Author decided to write Novellas for each of the twelve I'd buy them.
Final Thoughts The 13th Sign isn't the most memorable book that I've read but once the pacing picked up the story was enjoyable and from that point on I blew threw it rather quickly. Would I recommend The 13th Sign? Yes, its story was unique and I find that alone warrants at least reading the book once. On the other side I feel if the Author had chosen to kick the rating up a notch and added a bit more doom and gloom to the story it might have taken the book from just good to great. Now that being said, I wouldn't go so far to say this plot was wasted on a Middle Grade novel but I do see the potential of a really great read had it been bumped up in rating and more adult tones introduced. Some stories just warrant a bit more grit and this is one of those I believe would of benefited from that. In the end I will be rating The 13th Sign ★★★.
*Reviewed through Netgalley all opinions are my own and I was not compensated for providing them.(less)
I admit I am a late fan to this series. I had a hard time reading Dearly,Departed and it took me months to do so but eventually I did and ended...moreReview:
I admit I am a late fan to this series. I had a hard time reading Dearly,Departed and it took me months to do so but eventually I did and ended up liking it. Still I was a bit wary when I saw the announcement for Dearly,Beloved. Would it be hard to get through? Should I even bother? After hearing some awesome things from other bloggers I decided to bite the bullet and request a copy. Let me tell you that I am so glad that I did.
The Characters- Michael, Bram, and Renfield by far were my favorites in this book. They all brought there A-game and just were so fun to read about. On the opposite side I still felt this disconnect with Nora. She to me is almost overbearing in her need to protect her friends. I just wish I enjoyed her more as it's hard not exactly liking the lead character.
The Plot- Action, adventure, mystery,romance in a dystopian setting Yes,Please!! I really enjoyed the story between the characters and the complexity of it was just brilliant writing in my opinion. I did find a small lull in pacing sometimes but I easily overlooked it due to the amazing scenes before and after it.
The Ending- If the Author decided not to make another in the series I think this ending would completely stand on its own. Of course after actually enjoying this one I really hope that there is another. As for what happens, sorry your just going to have to read and find out for yourself. I will say though that it was a nice end.
Final Thoughts The book was a bit confusing at times with so many differing Points of View but it made up for it with incredible storylines for each character. I did still feel a disconnect with Nora but she was way more enjoyable in this book than the first so that is at least something. Overall I really hope that the Author decides to make a 3rd and final to this series. I think that there is certainly story left to tell. If you like unique plot lines, tons of action and the perfect blend of romance than pick this book up. I will be giving Dearly,Beloved by Lia Habel ★★★★.
*I was provided a copy of this book to review through Netgalley. All opinions included in this review are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them.(less)
In a world without trees, one makes beauty however one can. Banyan is a tree builder. His creations made from scrap metal are purchased by the...moreReview:
In a world without trees, one makes beauty however one can. Banyan is a tree builder. His creations made from scrap metal are purchased by the elite to mimic forests of old. When Banyan meets the mysterious Zee while working on his current project he finds out something that will change his life forever.
Rootless, how do I wrap my head around you. I went into this book expecting one story yet what transpired was something completely different. Was it good still? Yes, Oh God yes. I love being surprised by a story and this one kept me on my toes that is for sure.
A world without trees is unfathomable. Yet, somehow the Author paints the landscape with such detail that it almost makes you believe such a world exists. The world of Rootless actually reminded me of Earth in the movie Wall-E, maybe less trash but still that landscape. If a world devoid of any plants isn't awful enough nothing except genetically modified corn grows on the planet. Can you imagine having to eat corn for every meal? I can't, but due to locusts swarms killing off everything else corn is all that is left. Speaking of the locusts, I forgot to mention these are man eating locusts. They will eat you if they catch you. Nasty right??
As for the characters, I loved Banyan. He has a gift for seeing beauty in stuff most of us wouldn't. He also is very practical and wise almost beyond his years. I really can't wait to see how his character evolves in the next book. I also liked Crow the watcher of Zee who really plays the anti-hero so well. It was fun trying to decide if he was good or bad. Ultimately, I decided he is a good guy just trying to survive playing with the hand he was dealt.
In the end Rootless is a debut that will stick out in my mind for being fresh and inventive. The world isn't necessarily unique but the execution is and that is what makes Rootless worthy of reading. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book and give it a try. I will be rating Rootless by Chris Howard ★★★★.
*I received a copying Rootless to review via Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for providing them.(less)
Beautiful,haunting and exquisitely written Code Name Verity is a book that grips you and doesn't let you go until the very end. This book was so unlik...moreBeautiful,haunting and exquisitely written Code Name Verity is a book that grips you and doesn't let you go until the very end. This book was so unlike anything I had ever read in the young adult genre, I honestly felt like I was reading something out of the mind of Tom Clancy or John Grisham just with a feminine twist. Yeah, it was truly that good.
The book is broken up into two parts and is told from two separate points of view. The first half is a bit slow but once you read the second half it all makes sense. Without giving to much away, one of the most heartbreaking scenes takes place outdoors midway through the book. The scene itself isn't really that long but, the moment the two females share is one of those that really strikes you in the gut. The Nazis were brutal when it came to political prisoners male and female alike. I was so glad that the Author didn't shy away from the torture prisoners of war went through. World War II was brutal, bloody, and lots of very bad things happened and it would of been extremely easy to sugar coat those facts in light of the fact that this book is aimed at young adults.
Overall would I recommend Code Name Verity? A resounding yes, yes YES! This book should be added to young adult and adult bookshelves alike. I would even go so far to say that this should be required reading when discussing World War II. I realize it is fiction but the situations the characters were put in were not. I really cannot say enough good things about Code Name Verity but don't take my word for it, go ahead and pick up yourself a copy and find out for yourself. I will be giving Code Name Verity ★★★★.
*I was given the opportunity to read and review this book through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for it. Original review can be viewed: Blood,SweatandBooks(less)
First off lets get the technicalities out of the way. I was provided a copy of this book to review through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I wa...moreFirst off lets get the technicalities out of the way. I was provided a copy of this book to review through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for them.
The mystery surrounding Roanoke Island has always been one that has fascinated me. According to legend 120 colonists one day up and disappeared the only thing different about the town after their absence was discovered was a single word "Croatoan" that had been crudely carved into a tree.
Blackwood takes the story of Roanoke Island and spins it on its head. Roanoke in present day has become a hot vacation spot filled with tourists and seasonal residents. After 114 citizens go missing its up to the locals left behind to figure out what happened and more importantly why.
Blackwood is a great debut and I did enjoy reading it unfortunately at times I was left confused and at others the story just felt rushed.
Blackwood has a great idea but I am sorta bummed this is a stand-alone book.
Blackwood has some really great characters who helped enrich the story rather then feel just secondary to Miranda and they overall mystery.
Phillips was funny,charming and totally swoon-worthy. I just wish that his and Miranda's relationship developed over a longer period of time. It felt way to rushed.
The story builds and builds then at the end it sorta just falls flat. Instead of being full of suspense I was left wondering what the heck just happened and finding myself flipping back and rereading several times.
Blackwood as mentioned above felt rushed and I really truly believe either the book should of been longer or split into two.
Overall this was a good book. I liked the Authors theory on Roanoke Island and the mysticism involved. I just was a bit disappointed with the pacing and wonder what could of been had this been longer or split up. I will be giving Blackwood by Gwenda Bond ★★★. (less)
First off lets get the technicalities out of the way. I was provided a copy of this book to review through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I wa...moreFirst off lets get the technicalities out of the way. I was provided a copy of this book to review through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for them.
Freya is your average teenage girl living in 1980's suburbia. Freya is having a hard time adjusting and the strange headaches aren't helping one bit either. On a trip into the city Freya meets a mysterious boy whom she feels connected to and its then that she realizes her world isn't what it seems but how its connected to the mysterious boy is the most mind boggling of all.
Part time-travel romance, part Dystopian Yesterday allows the reader a glimpse into the future and believe me when I say its not all its cracked up to be.
My Thoughts On Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin
The Writing- Wow can this Author write. The characters were beautifully fleshed out and I really just cannot express how much I loved the narrative. That being said I could of used with less Pop culture references they did feel a bit heavy handed at times.
The Twist- I'm usually not a fan of that big AH HA! moment but I really felt in this book it worked. Yes, it could of had a bit slower reveal but it wasn't necessarily flawed nor did it take away from the enjoyment of the book.
Love Story- Usually I'm not a fan of to much romance but in this book the romance worked beautifully, it was an integral part of the story. Plus on the upside we didn't have a Love triangle the romance between Freya and Garren was pretty cut and dry.
Overall this book was a great read. It had a great blend of many of my favorite genres and like I mentioned above Ms. Martin can write. I think the negative for me comes from the pacing. The beginning was a bit confusing and then at the end it felt a bit rushed. I would of enjoyed having a slower reveal. I've definitely become of fan of this Author after reading Yesterday and hope maybe she revisits this book in the future. If your a fan of Dystopians and want one with a unique Time Traveling twist then I highly suggest picking this up. I will be rating Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin ★★★★. (less)
I love pandemic stories. Call it morbid fascination but to me pandemics really are the most likely scenario for global breakdown of society. Th...moreReview:
I love pandemic stories. Call it morbid fascination but to me pandemics really are the most likely scenario for global breakdown of society. The author Alex Adams paints a world slowly being ravaged by a disease called White Horse. This isn't your normal plague, no this one attacks at a genetic level. For those not immune from white horse they are left with two options either die miserably or suffer mutations that range from growing second hearts, scales, or even fins and that's if your lucky. Needless to say White Horse is unique all its own and is a disease I hope to never encounter in this lifetime.
One of the things I really appreciated about White Horse was the incredible world building. Through a series of flashbacks and flashforwards we get to see Zoe's life before, during, and after White Horse takes hold. While I could of done with less time jumping (sometimes it would happen 2-3x per chapter) I definitely appreciate all the details we get to see because of it. Now as much as I loved the world building it would be nothing without the incredible writing. To say this book was beautifully written wouldn't do it justice. Ms. Adams fine tuned the art of playing with emotions. I laughed, I cried, I raged in horror even but to her credit I couldn't stop reading. Like Zoe and the jar, I felt ominous tidings gnawing at the back of my brain demanding I read this in one sitting.
Speaking of the characters I love Zoe!! She is compassionate, smart, brave, and an eternal pillar of hope and goodness in a world that is quickly filled with much cruelty and depravity. Zoe is one of the nicest characters that I've had the pleasure getting to know in a long time and I truly hope this isn't the last we see of her in this series.
On the flipside I hated The Swiss probably as much or if not more than Zoe even did. What an awful human being he was which you know bad for the characters but a great villain for us to hate on. That being said OH MY GOODNESS the twist at the end involving his character took me by complete surprise, like damn I didn't see that one coming at all. Well played Alex Adams, well played indeed.
Overall I have to say that I loved this book. White Horse is one of the best pandemic based apocalyptic books I've read in a very long time. I will definitely be picking up Red Horse when it releases in August that's for damn sure!
I suppose the question that remains is Would I recommend White Horse? Yes, yes, I would. In fact, go buy it now I promise you won't be disappointed. In the end, I will be rating White Horse by Alex Adams ★★★★★. White Horse is definitely worth a read, worth your time, and completely worth the price!
*Copy provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any way.(less)
*I was given this book to review through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for them.
Cora our heroine is getting...more*I was given this book to review through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for them.
Cora our heroine is getting ready to bury her recently deceased father at the beginning of the book. Her twin brother Lucas decides they should bury him under a massive oak situated on the property. Suddenly the Earth gives way and Lucas and Cora are plunged into a massive sinkhole. Cora manages to find her way out and somehow finds herself in the underworld but the kicker is she is still Alive! Cora realizes quickly that the least of her worries is being the only thing alive in an undead land.
Okay so, I'm warning you now this isn't the most professional description but is exactly what came to mind when I was trying to think of a way to describe this book. If The Matrix, and The Book Alice and Wonderland had a baby, then that baby was raised in Ancient Greece and had the ability to write a book this is what would come out. While the story certainly wasn't unique it was entertaining to read. Above all it was Fun! I really liked the lead character Cora. She was strong, brave and best of all smart. I also really enjoyed that though she was smart she was still in essence a teenage girl so that meant she did mess up, yet was smart enough to realize it after the fact. I highly enjoyed how the author blended this technical world into a land of myth. I wouldn't think it would work but oddly it does. My only issue with this book was how abruptly it ended. I knew it would be a cliffhanger since it's the first in a series but it ends so sudden that it felt highly unsatisfying. Maybe this will be changed in the final version, but in my review copy I didn't like it. I need some sort of closure to a book cliffhanger or not and this had none.
Overall would I recommend this book? Yes. I think it is perfect for Middle Grade and up. It was easy to follow for younger readers but certainly complex enough to satisfy older readers as well. I certainly will be looking forward to reading the others in the series. In the end I will be giving this Book 4 Stars.(less)
I was given a chance to review this book through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for them.
Allison Sekem...moreI was given a chance to review this book through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for them.
Allison Sekemoto is barely scraping by in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. With a group of rag tag misfits in her care and food running out Allie must brave the lands outside the wall that keeps them safe from The Rabids. After an encounter with a rabid doe, Allie stumbles upon enough food to keep her group fed for months. Enlisting the help from the others they set off to claim the goods before other scavengers find them. Unfortunately for Allie the Rabids find her first and with just a few feet to spare from the safety of her city Allie is mortally wounded. Luckily for her a mysterious vampire is lurking nearby and offers her an option. Either die permanently or become an Immortal creature of the night. Not wanting to die Allie seals her fate and becomes a vampire, the very creatures she hates.
I Loved this book! Julie Kagawa has restored my faith in the vampire genre. The vampires in this book are cold and cruel and Allison must struggle not to let instinct take over and become like them. Unlike some other popular vampire books of late these vampires actually Kill people. They cannot survive without Human Blood. While they can drink Animal blood it really has no nutritional value. Think of it like the vampire version of corn. Julie Kagawa stuck to the rules of old, while making this story completely her own. No sparkling, day walking, vampires here. Nope these babies will burst into flames if exposed long enough.
I especially enjoyed how likeable Allison was, she accepted her fate being a vampire, but also clung to her humanity. It was important for Allison to remain part of the world, to form human relationships and not just kill because she could. I found no flaws with this character. The writing was spot on, and I could visualize clearly the world which Allison lived. This wasn't a good place, the buildings were worn down and Vampires ruled with an iron fist. Humans in this world are nothing more to them than walking, talking Happy Meals.
Ms. Kagawa has written a unique post apocalyptic world that will leave readers begging for more. If your a fan of Twilight and like your vampires dreamy and romantic then this book isn't for you. For everyone else I highly suggest picking this up and reading it. I can confidently declare this a 5 ★★★★★ must buy read. (less)