Hi All! Today is my stop on the Extraordinary October Blog Tour hosted by Xpresso Reads. The minute I saw this beautiful cover and read the synopsis for the story, I knew I had to have this book. A huge shout out goes to Giselle from Xpresso Reads allowing me to be a part of this tour. And thanks to Diana Wagman for sharing the protagonist, October Fetterhoff, with the world. I think you will enjoy her as much as I did.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion of it. The views expressed here are entirely my own.
Title: Extraordinary October Author: Diana Wagman Publisher: Ig Publishing Date of Publication: Oct. 11, 2016 Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
October is an ordinary girl. From her plain looks to her average grades, there seems to be nothing special about her. Then, three days before her eighteenth birthday, she develops a strange itch that won’t go away, and her life is turned upside down. Suddenly, she can hear dogs talk, make crows fly, and two new and very handsome boys at school are vying for her affections. After she starts “transplanting” herself through solid rock, October learns that she is not ordinary at all, but the daughter of a troll princess and a fairy prince, and a pawn in a deadly war between the trolls and the fairies. Now October will have to use all of her growing powers to save her family, and stop a mysterious evil that threatens to destroy the fairy world. In the fantastical vein of authors such as Julie Kagawa and Holly Black, Extraordinary October takes us on a magical journey from the streets of Los Angeles to the beautiful and mythical underground fairy kingdom.
My Thoughts: Extraordinary October is an interesting book that's about a young girl about to turn 18, who gets a terrible itch and her whole world she knows gets flipped on its head! She slowly starts to realize elves, fairies, trolls, and magic is real. And she, October, finds herself embroiled in all of it. First off, the protagonist's name is pretty cool and unique : October. It's hip, fun, and festive! The one thing that I really admired about our main character, October, is that she isn't perfect. She is immature, hormones going 100 miles an hour, and she makes mistakes. Sometimes a lot. There are times that she can learn from her mistakes; other times she doesn't. I think this trait makes her more relatable to most teenagers than any other characters.
Speaking of other characters, the supporting ones are very entertaining. There were times I enjoyed them more than our main one. Especially, Luisa and Chris or Green. They were honest and kind. I also enjoyed seeing the magical world through October as she slowly accepted what she was seeing. The little scenes that played out while she was out and about: the man talking to little buzzing creatures, the woman with the elf on her shoulder, and of course hearing animals talk. Who wouldn't want that little power?!!?
Extraordinary October seems to be a character driven plot solely relying on our characters to get the story moving along. Therefore at times I found it to be exciting but others it moved a tad bit slower than usual.
There were times I thought the "Ha, ha, ha" after every joke got old. I would have liked less of those and more credit giving to the reader to reach the inference to the joke without the explanations pointed out each time.
I also wasn't too happy with the obvious love triangle that was put out there from withing the first few chapters. There was also a huge insta-love concept that could have been toned down a good amount and we could have still developed the blossoming relationship found there.
Other than these techniques, I found Extraordinary October to be a fun read, with a surprising twist about the villain and even her own parents. The ending, I felt, was overall an enjoyable one with no noticeable cliffhanger. It was well rounded and could be a stand alone or even the first book in a series.
I would have to give this book a 3 heart rating! ...more
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinions.
I didn't really know what to expect when it came to Prisoner. I thought maybe I could read booI received this book in exchange for my honest opinions.
I didn't really know what to expect when it came to Prisoner. I thought maybe I could read book 2, even though I hadn't picked up book 1, Obsession. That is a no no! You must read book 1 before you read book 2!!! Which is probably a big fat "duh" for most people but I am weird. So I did read book 1 and it pushed my emotions to the wall. There are some things in it that just screamed at me "NOOOOO!" But there were other parts of it that I really liked. Of course, you have to understand that Russian Tattoos isn't your typical romance. I think the author was intending it to be more of a dark romance/BDSM type deal. Without the leather whips and playtoys. It is also not marketed towards Young Adult (hell no) and has some definite erotic scenes in the storyline. So when you look at those factors, then it is a little bit easier to get past the rough treatment of Carter. But not completely. Honestly, I didn't know if I was going to love it or hate it until I realized that is what really great writing is. The ability to push me to such extremes and wreck my emotions so harshly. I was crying with both books. I may not agree with everything that happens to Carter because of Vladimir and his goons but I don't think the author does either. Or at least, everything isn't going to be sunshine and roses when you are dealing with the Russian Mafia. I believe that is what the author is trying to convey to us, as well as the fact that love is blind. Love doesn't see the dangers, just what the heart wants. And for Carter, she wants Vladimir even when she knows he may not be the knight in shining armor she expected. The plot was amazing and I loved the details Shehata went to to make it feel like we were a part of the Russian mafia scene. It is gritty and she doesn't romanticize it as much as you would expect in a romance book. She shows us the dirty behind the scenes side of it, and through this, we also get to see the lesser of the two evils.
The characters are a mixed blessing to me. I like Carter's spunk but couldn't stand her immaturity when it came to her life. I kept having to go back and check to make sure she was in college, instead of high school the way she acted most of the time. Besides her immaturity, I did see some similarities of myself in her. Especially, the low self-esteem. That was a major point with me as I was hoping she would stand up for herself more while I knew I have some of the same issues she deals with too. Vladimir is the "sexy Russian" we all dream about at night. Actually, when I pictured Vladimir, Illya from the movie, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. would pop into my head. Of course, that isn't a bad thing at all. I love that character! Vladimir has a very pronounced dark side to him being the pakhan of his family in the Russian mafia. I liked the bad boy type he played but he became very scary when he drank. And vodka is a major object in his Russia. There is definitely issues there besides the fact he is the leader of his bratva in major crime.
Then there is Boris. Ah, Boris. I have this love/hate relationship with Boris. As I read through with Boris, I kept reminding myself that he was raised in a completely different environment than what anyone in America was used to. Am I condoning him for some of his treatment of Carter? No way. But I am trying to understand from his viewpoint. He is loyal to a T. Family is everything to him. His family, though. I think he admires Carter but thinks she is too naive and immature for her own good. No argument there. And Boris believes in the using the belt. Very much. But again, we need to remember that Russia is a completely different environment than where Carter grew up. Later, we understand how this "iron fist" attitude comes to help everyone in the family and how Boris isn't the only one who relies on it.
In Prisoner, we get meet other characters that are important to the story, but I feel these three characters are the ones you will interact with the most. Although, I do love me some Dimitri, the sisters, and Pasha.
There really isn't a good vs bad guy here. There are just different degrees of bad guys. And the really really bad guy is the "douche bag" who we all want to sucker punch.
I also really appreciate the research that was done into the Russian mafia, the Russian culture, and the language to give us a well-rounded book that seemed to be very in the know of its characters and backgrounds. In fact, I would love to read more about Russia from a historical standpoint because it does have a beautiful side to it too. And I loved the language so much! Da!
All in all, I was torn between loving this book and despising the treatment of Carter. I loved the plot, some of the characters, and the descriptions of the Russian dealings. I enjoyed the banter Carter put out but at the same time, I still think she needs to learn when to let it go. There is also a lot of dark moments in the both books. It makes for some major suspense but at the same time, some may have gone a little too far. It's all in the reader's point of view. I give Russian Tattoos : Prisoner four hearts. I loved it more than the first book and I feel like we really get a more in-depth look into Vladimir and Boris. And Carter finally gets some growing up out of the way. Oh and there is a huge cliffhanger at the end of both books. I am talking "holding on by one finger" type cliffhanger. So if you're not a cliffhanger type person you may want to think hard about reading it....more
I have found the book that if I never read another book as long as I live, I can die happy knowing I found this treasure. Of course, I would very much like to read the next book; but I am beyond fulfilled having this novel in my possession. A Court of Mist and Fury brings together all these chaotic and beautifully surreal characters crashing towards us creating this friction that forms these majestic scenes in our heads, our hearts, and our souls. I am forever changed by this novel and I wouldn't have it any other way. I finished reading it today and I can't find myself in the bed even now. I don't want this "glow" to end just yet. But I honestly don't think I will ever lose any of the happiness Maas has given me.
There are so many emotions rolling around in this story. And I relate to Feyre more than I thought I could with a fictional character. After the turmoil she went through Under the Mountain, Feyre finds herself in mental agony all the time. She is severely depressed, and suffers from panic and anxiety that is enough to break the world apart. I understand the panic and anxiety all too well. I have watched myself go from a fun loving adventurous person to someone who is scared to death to go out in society in case I can't protect the ones I love most. To see someone so strong, so amazing experience some of these same terrors was heartbreaking for me. But it was also a light in the darkness. I may be able to get through my panic just by keeping Feyre in my mind. I wept so long and knew right then that this book was my soulmate.
There was even a time while reading, that I thought to myself: "I may not survive this book. My heart is so ensconced with these characters, I will be completely changed forever." And I was utterly right. I am wholly changed.
I loved A Court of Thorns and Roses but that love is infinitesimal compared to the adoration I have for this second book in the series.
There isn't much I can say that isn't absolute love for ACoMaF; I had no issues at all with the characters, the plot, or the world building. There were certain characters that I wanted to wrench their necks. You don't fall in love with a free spirit and then try to cage it. Never does that turn out well. And then there were other characters that I couldn't steer my thoughts away. The descriptions used to show us the Night court was enchanting. The city there, Velaris, had me picturing Savannah, Ga. I don't know why; I just did. Perhaps, Savannah is my home in my heart, no matter where I am. I don't really want to give anything away in case you haven't read the first book yet. Honestly, I had to get my reactions down before I exploded from the emotions that were taking over. Rage, despair, and utter devotion. But more importantly, hope. So much hope...for Lucien, Feyre's sisters, the Night Court, and yes, even Tamlin.
Please if you have ever loved stories about Fae, about magic, and love - then give this series a try. Do you instead yearn for a strong female character who grows and learns what she needs and loves? Do you need to see characters fight for what they know is right; although they most definitely will stumble along the way? Then you need to read this series too. It is more than just a paranormal romance. It's more than just a book about magic and the different Fae courts. This novel is soul wrenchingly complicated at times; simply perfect at others. Maybe as I start to process everything better I can come up with a better review. I don't know. But I do know that I am eternally grateful to Ms. Sarah J. Maas for creating this masterpiece and sharing it with the world. I feel like she has given me a piece of my heart back that I didn't even realize was missing. ...more