I first saw Bendy and the Ink machine at Target. It was a Bendy doll and I had no iRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Actual rating: 4.5 stars
I first saw Bendy and the Ink machine at Target. It was a Bendy doll and I had no idea what it was, but I had a hunch that he was from a video game. I googled it and ended up watching a full playthrough on YouTube, which is my preferred method of (not) gaming. I love seeing the story and gameplay, but I suck at playing the games myself. Bendy quickly became one of my favorites of all time so I couldn't wait to read this book!
Dreams Come to Life is a prequel to the game and revolves around Buddy. Buddy hates his job as a delivery boy but desperately needs the money, so when he's given the opportunity to work for Joey Drew Studios for double the salary he jumps at the chance. It doesn't take long before things start to seem a little off and continue to spiral from there.
I really enjoyed Buddy's character and experiencing the studio through his eyes before its demise. I also loved his relationship with Dot and found her to be a fun original character. Joey Drew was also a lot like how I imagined him from the video game, although a bit less sinister than I expected. Honestly, everyone in the studio made me feel just the right amount of uneasy, sometimes for no reason I could put my finger on.
Obviously, the best part of this book was seeing the studio from a different angle before it was covered in ink. I loved following Buddy around as he found each location from the game and figured out what was really happening. Dreams Come to Life definitely maintains the same creepy atmosphere you'd expect from Bendy and the Ink Machine.
Although this is a media tie in I do think it could be enjoyed by someone who's never played (or watched) the game. This is a super creepy mystery set in an animation studio that's reminiscent of Walt Disney Studios and anyone who is into horror or mystery would be able to enjoy it for those elements. It could also be a really fun introduction to the world for someone who might decide to delve deeper later. I'm not sure if more books are planned in this series but I really hope there are!...more
My first foray into the world of Jennifer L. Armentrout did not go well. I honestly hated The first book inRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
My first foray into the world of Jennifer L. Armentrout did not go well. I honestly hated The first book in the Lux series and never thought I'd read another one by her. Then I was lucky enough to receive a copy of The Darkest Star at ALA, followed by several people telling me how amazing it was! Eventually I gave in and was happy to be proven wrong.
Evie is the MC of this story and immediately finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time when it begins. Luc is a Luxen (or is he?) and the most gorgeous guy Evie has ever seen. She realizes there's more than meets the eye about him and the club they met in and very quickly finds herself thrown into the world of the Luxen by Luc's side.
The first thing I noticed about Evie and Luc as opposed to Damon's story was significantly less angst. I'm not sure if that has to do with the years in which both were written, but this was much more my speed. Evie does have her fair share of angst, don't get me wrong, but it's manageable. Their romance was sweet and I found myself rooting for them despite some of Luc's less flattering moments. If hate to love romance is your trope, you'll probably enjoy this story.
I get the feeling there's definitely a lot more I would have picked up on in this book had I read all the other books in this universe, but I don't feel like I missed out on too much. Armentrout does a pretty good job of making sure the reader is up to speed, although I was really interested to find about about the war that apparently happened between the other book I read and this one!
This book isn't just romance and angst though! There were twists and turns that I definitely didn't see coming and that always makes books more enjoyable. I had an idea that something was going on, but I never pinned it down until the reveal. I also really liked the way the author touched on current issues within the world of the Luxen.
I am very pleased to say I did enjoy this book! I don't read many paranormal romance books, so The Darkest Star was a real change of pace. I'll never go back and read the ones before it, that's for sure, but I will be continuing Evie's story. If you loved this author's previous books, you'll probably love this one! If, like me, you're coming into this not knowing the history, you can definitely enjoy it anyway. I can't wait to see what happens next!...more
I find it amusing that I had never read a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses prior to this year andRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
I find it amusing that I had never read a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses prior to this year and now I have read two. Thankfully, both were very different and A Dance of Silver and Shadow was wholly unique and I enjoyed it so much!
Princess Lily and her twin have sailed to Marin in hopes of forging alliances with other kingdoms and just happen to arrive on the day that a magical tournament is set to begin - a tournament that will end with the winner being married to a prince of a cursed kingdom. There's no way around competing, but they do have an advantage over the other girls. While no talking is allowed during their tasks, Lily and her sister Sophie are able to communicate telepathically. They make it their mission to protect the other girls from the horrors of the tournament as well as the prize.
I loved the bond between Lily and Sophie and the way they were both so determined to protect the other. Aside from the sisters, there was also a lot of emphasis put on the relationships between all the other girls. Obviously they didn't all get along wonderfully, but I always enjoy women empowering and looking out for each other and this book definitely had that.
Of course, this wouldn't be a proper fairy tale without romance and the romance in this book is adorable. While the tournament is going on, Lily continually fights her growing feelings for the prince of Marin. I loved their relationship! It was so cute and, in a shocking twist, I even liked the drama brought on by their miscommunications.
But the real MVP of this story is the setting and the twist on the tournament. The challenges take place in a magical underground world that was absolutely breathtaking. I adore underground settings and this one was both beautiful and chilling. I enjoyed the entire book, but I was living for any scene in which the girls would go back to the magical world under the castle. The tasks the girls had to complete were also fascinating and definitely not what I expected.
A Dance of Silver and Shadow is a very unique take on this classic tale with a lot going for it! I loved the relationships between the girls as well as the romance, and the world the author created was incredible! Keep in mind, this is a new series but set in a universe established in a previous series. I didn't read that one and don't feel like I missed out on much, but you may want to start with The Four Kingdoms series. Either way, if you're a lover of retellings, you can't go wrong with this book!
I'm not sure what I was expecting from The Kingdom when I first picked it up, but tRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Actual rating: 4.5 stars
I'm not sure what I was expecting from The Kingdom when I first picked it up, but this book turned out to be a hell of a ride! I am a huge Disney World fanatic - I basically moved to Florida to be able to go more often. I also love dystopian fiction and books written in transcripts so this one was definitely for me!
Ana is a Fantasist, a princess in a park that is remarkably similar to what I'd expect a future Disney World to be. She has lived her life in the park being told of the horrors outside the gates. Ana and her sisters have been told about the terrible world people live in and believe they exist as a reprieve from reality. When Ana meets Owen and begins noticing strange things happening in the park and with her sisters, she begins to question the only reality she has ever known and I love her for it!
While she is understandably naive, Ana is also a remarkable character. It was exciting to follow Ana's journey as she began to evolve and wake up to the world around her. I loved the relationships with her sisters, especially with Nia. It was unsettling to see these women attempting to communicate with each other under the watchful eye of their makers. Speaking of which, "Daddy." Big cringe. On the other hand, Ana and Owen together were such a sweet couple. I loved how much they trusted and helped each other and I also appreciated that their romance didn't overshadow the bigger story at all.
My absolute favorite thing about The Kingdom was the world created by Jess Rothenberg! I could absolutely see this park existing in the future and the different lands were all incredible. I would love to see this as a movie! Has it been optioned yet? Can we make that happen? I already felt like I could see the park.
This story was so much darker than I expected when I first saw the cover floating around. I'll admit, I wasn't in any hurry to read it until a friend kept insisting I'd love it. The rainbows and butterflies are definitely surface level and the real mystery hiding underneath is truly terrifying. The Kingdom is told in flashbacks interspersed with transcripts from the trial and interviews. It made the story seem much more urgent and fast paced.
I loved how unexpected the ending of this book was and I'm seriously hoping for a book two! It definitely seems very open and like there's much more story to be told. If you're looking for a dark dystopia that's more than what it seems, you should definitely give this a try! Especially if you're a Disney fan. ...more
What. A. Ride. I requested a copy of There Will Come a Darkness without knowing much about it, but I had aRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
What. A. Ride. I requested a copy of There Will Come a Darkness without knowing much about it, but I had a gut feeling that I was going to love it. It actually took me a couple tries to get into this book, but once I did, I was all in!
There Will Come a Darkness is told from five points of view. Hassan is a prince living in another city after his is taken hostage. Ephyra is the Pale Hand, a healer who has the power to take lives. Beru is Ephyra's sister, sick and in constant need of healing. Anton has the gift of sight and is on the run from his past. Jude is the leader of a faithful army that hasn't been seen in a hundred years. They're all affected in some way by the Witnesses, a radicalized group looking to wipe the Graced off the planet.
I'm usually not one for multiple POV stories, but this one was a perfect balance. I'm not quite sure how Katy Rose Pool won me over, honestly, but she made me care deeply about each of these characters and their stories. I loved that this wasn't one of those books where every single thread comes together into a perfect little bow. Each character wasn't important to the story, but as individuals also. I did really enjoy that no romantic plot overshadowed the story, although there was a little romance sprinkled throughout.
In addition to five incredible characters, the world is also wonderfully crafted. There are several distinct cultures and each one is clearly defined. There seem to be inspirations from multiple real cultures although I can't put my finger on them and I don't want to try in case I end up saying something dumb. The mythology of the Prophets was really interesting and the magical system of the Graced was definitely unique.
As I mentioned, this book took a little bit to get up to speed, but once it did I was fully invested. The story isn't non-stop action, but switching between POVs made it feel like there was always something important happening and I never felt bored. The ending was certainly a bit of cliffhanger, but it was wrapped up nicely enough that it didn't absolutely kill me.
If you are a fan of interesting magical systems, well built worlds, and dark fantasy, you're definitely going to want to pick this up! I'm not sure how I'm going to wait a whole year because I'm already dying to see what happens in book two!...more
Although I loved True Blood, I missed the bulk of the vampire craze of the 2000s. The Coldest Girl in ColdtRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Although I loved True Blood, I missed the bulk of the vampire craze of the 2000s. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown wasn't even on my radar until after I read The Cruel Prince. So many people have told me how amazing this book is, but I was wary of picking this up since it really didn't seem like my thing. After a recent poll, I decided to finally give it a chance and I'm so glad I did!
This is NOT your average YA vampire paranormal romance. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is dark and bloody and reminds me more of Anne Rice than L.J. Smith. Tana is the main character who finds herself in a Coldtown after possible infection with the vampire virus. She's joined by a cast of other characters including a vampire who is more than what he seems.
I found Tana to be a believable heroine, brave only when she had to be, although I didn't necessarily love her. I did, however, love Gavriel the vampire who Tana saved! We're told he's insane and I liked that I could actually kind of see it. He's the kind of tortured love interest I love. He also had such an interesting backstory. I'd love to read a book about Gavriel's life before he met Tana. THAT would be an amazing read! I did like that, while there was romance between the two, it didn't overshadow the story.
The best part of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is the world building, hands down. I love the explanations this book makes for vampires in a realistic America. The Coldtowns are equal parts terrifying and fascinating. I'd love to be able to explore a place like this, but I'd definitely be too chicken to set foot in one without being infected. Coldtown society was interesting and realistic. I would seriously love to read more about this world.
I guess Holly Black is mostly known for her faerie stories, but she should definitely write more vampire books because this one was incredible! I definitely enjoyed it more than The Darkest Part of the Forest. If you're a fan of vampire books and haven't read this yet, I highly recommend picking it up! I'll just be sitting here hoping that Holly Black decides to return to this world in the future.
Ash Princess caught me off guard early this year by being completely amazing! I immediately got a copy of LRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Ash Princess caught me off guard early this year by being completely amazing! I immediately got a copy of Lady Smoke to see what happened next and now I'm kind of regretting it since I have to wait until next year for book three.
Lady Smoke picks up shortly after Ash Princess leaves off. Theo has taken Soren captive and is using him as leverage against the Kaiser, but things don't go exactly as she planned. In this part of her story she must team up with Dragonsbane and a foreign king in order to secure her throne. In this book Theo has fully accepted her role and has determined that she'll make whatever sacrifices are necessary for Astrea. I loved her. It was easy to become frustrated just because I wanted her to be HAPPY! But I loved her character growth and her resolve and loyalty.
All the other familiar characters are also here for book two and they were all, again, amazing. Of course, I'm still firmly on Team Soren, but I also like Blaise. I know that some people are tired of the love triangle, but I totally get it. It makes sense to me that Theo would be torn between her childhood friend and a new contender. I don't hate it, but I'll be happy when she finally settles on the right choice. :)
I also really enjoyed the female relationships, both good and bad. I can't wait to see more of Theo and Art together! And then there's Cress, Theo's friend turned enemy and this is a GOOD use of this trope! I feel like this isn't something you see very often without romance involved (or maybe I just haven't seen it much?), but I am here for it! Cress is a force to be reckoned with and I'm so intrigued by her.
One of my favorite things about Lady Smoke was getting to see the wider world that Theo lives in. The politics could easily get boring, especially with the addition of so much strategy along with other kings and a potential marriage alliance, but it kept my attention! I also enjoyed getting more information about the mines and the magical system of the world.
Although I didn't necessarily find that this book dragged, I do with that it had focused less on the marriage alliance and more on, well, everything else. I liked that there were scenes of Theo getting to know her people and I would have liked to see more of that and more action. I know that the possible alliance had a purpose, but it seemed like that particular plot point could have wrapped up quite a bit sooner. Still, once things took off in the second act, it was non stop!
Lady Smoke wasn't quite as strong for me as Ash Princess, but I still really, really enjoyed it! I can't wait to see what happens in book three, especially between Theo and Cress. Something tells me the next one is going to be a wild ride. ...more
Ash Princess has been on my radar since it was published, but for some reason I never got around to readingRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Ash Princess has been on my radar since it was published, but for some reason I never got around to reading it until now. I was surprised upon finally reading it to find that it was not a Cinderella retelling! I don't really know why I assumed it was other than the title, but I definitely enjoyed this original YA fantasy!
Theo has been a prisoner in her own home for ten years, forced to bend to the will of the Kaiser to stay alive after he killed her mother. She has grown complacent, even making friends with the daughter of one of her enemies, but she starts to consider things differently after an old friend reappears in her life unexpectedly.
Theo was such an incredible character! She is definitely one of my new favorites. It's very easy to understand how she chose to follow the rules of her enemies instead of fighting every second of the last ten years, but I loved watching her realize her strength. I loved how blurred the lines were between good and evil. Morally gray characters are my absolute favorite and I adore when an author can make a case either way.
Speaking of other characters, there is absolutely a hint of romance and, yes, a love triangle. While this isn't a trope I always enjoy, I felt that it worked really well here. While one of the love interests made sense as someone Theo had always known, I also really liked her chemistry with Soren and I am wholeheartedly on that ship.
While I am getting a bit sick of elemental magic in general, I liked the way that it worked in this book. The magic system is familiar, but still manages to be unique. I also enjoyed the politics and the world, although I would have liked seeing a bit more of it. Based on the way Ash Princess ended, I assume there will be much more of the world in book two and I can't wait to see all of it! The author definitely took her time crafting what we did see of world and its different cultures.
This book was everything I could have hoped for, although I went in with no expectations at all. There was magic and romance, twists and mystery! And the ending was BRUTAL! I am just so glad that I already have book two available to read immediately....more
I am a huge fan of The Merciless series! I read them as they were released and really enjoyed every one. IRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
I am a huge fan of The Merciless series! I read them as they were released and really enjoyed every one. I was constantly impressed with Vega's ability to write truly scary horror novels for a YA audience and was excited to pick up The Haunted. I was able to trade for a copy with a friend and was eager to dive into this new, hopefully terrifying story.
This book revolves around Hendricks and her family after a move to a small town where they buy an old house with a bad reputation. The house the family chooses to renovate has a history of murder and suicide and is rumored to be haunted, so of course strange things start happening almost immediately after the family moves in. Unfortunately, that's almost the extent of the horror in this "horror" novel.
While Hendricks is okay as a character, I just got way more information about her than I ever would have needed. I don't need tons of character development, romance, or backstory in my horror novels, but this one was primarily about a girl's experience as a student at a new high school than it was about a haunted house. This book had a love triangle, high school clique drama, a crazy ex boyfriend, and a handful of creepy scenes. As much as I hate YA contemporary romance, that's really what I got with this new Vega book and I am disappointed.
The horror aspects of the book were pretty well done, but they were way too few and far between. I loved The Merciless for genuinely creeping me out, and there were a couple of creepy scenes in The Haunted, but not nearly enough to warrant the title. I did really enjoy the mystery of the house and why it was haunted, though. The ghosts had interesting stories and the resolution was satisfying.
If you're like me, looking for a super scary horror book, this isn't going to be it. If, however, you're new to YA or prefer more tame spookiness in a book that mainly focuses on the YA contemporary romance aspects of the story, you'll probably love this! It was an okay story, but ultimately wasn't what I was hoping for. I recently picked up Survive the Night by the same author and I'm really hoping that's more my speed!
I feel like I've said this quite a bit lately, but I rarely read contemporary fiction, especially YA contemRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
I feel like I've said this quite a bit lately, but I rarely read contemporary fiction, especially YA contemporary. I mainly picked this up because A) everyone I've ever met in my life has told me to read it, and B) I knew that fake Harry Potter fanfic was a supposed huge part of it.
The first thing that's worth pointing out is that, while this is labeled as YA, Cath is actually in college. I know that's in the synopsis, but I somehow completely missed it. Even though I'm way past college, I felt like I was able to relate to Cath a lot more than when I read contemporary fiction about high school students. I really liked Cath because she was such an introvert. I've seen people say that they didn't like how she was written because introverts don't completely avoid social situations, but I'm an introvert and that's basically me, so... I liked her.
In addition to Cath, her twin sister Wren, roommate Reagan, and her not-boyfriend Levi. While I did really enjoy them all, I think I loved Levi the best (maybe not surprisingly). I found Reagan to be a bit one dimensional, but I did like that she helped pull Cath out of her comfort zone. The romance was cute and, while there was a tiny hint of a love triangle, I'm happy to say it didn't last very long.
I'm shocked to say that one of my biggest issues with Fangirl was, well, the fangirl herself. I loved Cath, but I was honestly annoyed by the whole fanfiction plot. I went into this book expecting to love Simon Snow and hate the college bits, but it was the exact opposite. There wasn't enough of Simon Snow for me to care about him so he seemed to be wasting pages when he did show up. I was also really confused by the inclusion of Harry Potter in this world. How do these two nearly identical stories exist together?
Something else that surprised me about this book was that there wasn't much of a plot. There was no real issue for Cath to solve other than exist at college for a semester. She went to classes, went to parties, hung out with guys, ate lunch, called her dad... I mean, I've basically done all of this too. I'm used to my books presenting some kind of unusual situation, or at least one I've never found myself in, so it was weird to read a book about a college student meandering through a semester of school.
Fangirl really wasn't what I expected it to be at all and I ended up disliking the part I expected to love, but I still really enjoyed it. I really doubt I'll read any of Rainbow Rowell's other books, though. I still am not a fan of contemporary fiction, but this wasn't a bad one to take a detour with. ...more
You may be wondering how I ended up reading a YA contemporary romance novel since we all know this isn't myRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
You may be wondering how I ended up reading a YA contemporary romance novel since we all know this isn't my normal kind of read. Last month I went to my first ever book club meeting. The first month we read a YA fantasy, which is right up my alley. This month the club selected Letters to the Lost and here we are.
Letters to the Lost is about Juliet, a teenager whose mom died tragically in a car accident on her way home from a work trip. Juliet has always blamed herself for begging her mom to return early and continues to cope by writing letters and leaving them at her mom's grave. One day there's a response to one of her letters and, after a brief period of anger over her privacy being intruded upon, Juliet begins to write to the mysterious person known only as The Dark.
Of course, the mysterious other person is the romantic interest, also known as Declan. Declan has his own issues after his sister died and his father went to jail. Basically, they both have stuff to work through. But Declan has a reputation for being a bad guy at school and that's all Juliet can see him as. As they write to each other anonymously, they being to catch feelings, drama ensues, etc.
Juliet was a great character who was super easy to sympathize with! I could totally understand her actions and how she could blame herself. I can't imagine losing my mom, especially if I felt like it could be my fault in some way. I also understood the difficulty Juliet had with taking up hobbies she'd previously enjoyed. I think the author did a great job of painting a picture of a young girl who was grieving.
Declan was also a sympathetic character, but I did have a hard time with his obvious anger issues and the way that no one seemed to go out of their way to help him work through his issues. I hated the way that he treated people and had no desire to be anything other than what everyone expected. I can understand why he had the anger issues that he did, but I have a difficult time with characters who are so aggressive all the time. I was glad that he was eventually able to let down some walls.
The mystery pen pal storyline was definitely intriguing and I think it's why I was able to enjoy this book when I really am not a fan of contemporary romance. I liked the added level of non-angsty drama and how the anonymous connection allowed two people who would never have been friends get to know each other. I didn't care for how it started to drag out a bit near the end, though.
Although the direction the book ended up going was a bit predictable, I did still enjoy it and I kept listening, wanting to know how things would wrap up. Speaking of which, I really did want there to be a bit more resolution to both these characters' stories. The ending was fine, I guess, but after such a long book, I'd hope for a bit more... something. I did see that there's a second book in the series, but I haven't decided whether to pick it up yet.
Overall, I did enjoy this YA contemporary romance that I never, ever would have read without a book club forcing me to do it. I did find it a bit predictable and drawn out, and I never really fell in love with Declan, although it seems like everyone else swoons over him. Still, if I had to read a contemporary romance, I'm glad it was this one!
Delirium has been on my radar for years, but I never quite felt like it was something I HAD to read. RecentRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Delirium has been on my radar for years, but I never quite felt like it was something I HAD to read. Recently I've been on a bit of a dystopian kick and have not been able to find nearly enough good options. When I came across this book at my library, I decided to finally give it a try and now I'm kicking myself for taking so long!
Lena lives in Portland, a city behind walls where love is a disease and everyone is cured as close to their 18th birthday as possible. Lena has spent her life segregated from uncured males and eagerly counts the days until she can be cured. The people of this world are constantly monitored and going against the status quo is strictly forbidden and something Lena would never dream of doing. At least, until she meets Alex.
I adored Lena so much! She spent her life being indoctrinated into a certain line of thought and fought hard against ideas that went against her beliefs, which is so much more believable than characters who flip flop with no hesitation. I loved her fear and that she had to be dragged kicking and screaming towards the truth. It made it feel so real! But I loved how strong she remained while her world was turned upside down and I loved her relationship with Alex. He was a perfectly swoon-worthy dystopian love interest and I really enjoyed getting to know him and his backstory.
Honestly, all of the characters in this book were incredibly well-written. The "cured" adults were creepy and devoid of all emotion and I loved watching Lena come to that realization. The relationship between Lena and Hana was another favorite. I'm really hoping to learn more about Hana in a future book, but I have no idea if that's the direction the series will go!
Like the adults, the world of Delirium was really disturbing and well fleshed out. I wish that there was a bit more info on how the world decided that love was a disease and why, but Lauren Oliver actually did a pretty good job of explaining the development of the cure. I was also super intrigued by the Wilds and how the people in the cities pretended they didn't even exist. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.
Delirium was my first Lauren Oliver book, but it definitely won't be my last. I've already started Pandemonium and I'm planning to check out the rest of her backlog. If you're a fan of dystopian YA and haven't read this yet, I highly recommend getting yourself a copy. Just make sure you have book two on hand because that ending is brutal!...more