Monday, September 12, 2016

Book Review- Nemesis


I just finished reading Nemesis by Anna Banks for an Around the World ARC

Tour.





From Goodreads:
The princess didn't expect to fall in love--with her nemesis.
Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king's servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.
Sepora's gift could save Tarik's kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?

This book had it all--great characters. an interesting and unique plot, a love story, and some action.

I loved all of the characters in this book.  Sepora was feisty yet kind, loyal but peaceful, smart but humble.  And Tarik--he made a great king.  He had heart and wasn't cold or calculating. Heck, even Sethos grew on me.  And I want my own Serpen!!

The idea of Forging and what spectorium is was really neat.  To have all of that power in your hands would be amazing.  Yet Sepora only used it for good. 

The world of Theoria was so unique yet the author described the culture so well that I could easily see it in my head. 

Nemesis really kept me engaged.  It was easy to read and kept me interested the whole time.  I'll definitely be picking up the second one in this series.

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

Nemesis will be released on October 4, 2016.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Book Review- The Flame Never Dies

I finished reading The Flame Never Dies ( The Stars Never Rise #2) by Rachel Vincent last night for an Around the World ARC Tour

From Goodreads:

Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against demons is far from over—seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen…even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.  

Rachel Vincent is one of my favorite authors, and I really liked the previous book in this series, so I was excited to read this one.  And it didn't disappoint.

The author writes in a way that just flows to me.  It's not too detail-y, but it's not scant in descriptions either.  The characters seem real (or as real as a character in a paranormal book can be) and speak in ways that sound right in my head.  And the plots always keep me engaged.  Just enough action and character development.

There were some places in the book that I found myself confused.  I'm not sure if it was because I stink at remembering exactly what happened in past books or what.  But I quickly caught on and plowed through the book. 

There were some definite surprises that I didn't see coming.  Maybe I should have, but I didn't.  And oh, one of them was really good!

I look forward to reading what's going to happen next in the series!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Book Review- Caraval

I finished reading Caraval by Stephanie Garber for an Around the World ARC Tour.

 From Goodreads:

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .Scarlett has never
left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.


Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.


 Ok, first of all, am I the only person who kept reading the word "Caraval" as "Carnival"?  I kept having to correct myself.


 Anyways, the idea of Caraval was interesting, but it was not at all what I expected.  It was all dark.  I thought there might be some lightness and fun to it but there wasn't.  A lot of it was confusing to me.  I mean, I guess that was the point of the game but I felt that there were twists and turns.  And then twists on those twists.  A lot of it left me thinking "huh?" 


 I'm not sure I really liked any of the characters.  Scarlett just didn't seem very exciting to me.  I didn't care about her. And Tella seemed too airhead and flouncy.  If I had to pick a favorite, it was Julian.
 
 The writing kind of bugged me too.  There were too many descriptions of things using colors.  All her feelings were colors and there were sensory words everywhere.  Sensory overload.


 I don't know.  I've read such great reviews about the book.  Maybe it just wasn't the right time for me to read it.


 I gave this book a rating of 3/5.


 Caraval will be released on January 31, 2017.


 *FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Review- The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily

I just finished reading The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan are back with a life-affirming Christmas romance starring Dash and Lily.
 
Dash and Lily have had a tough year since readers first watched the couple fall in love. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition. 
 
With only twelve days left until Christmas—Lily’s favorite time of the year—Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the holiday magic of New York City in December. 
 
Told in alternating chapters, The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily
reunites two beloved characters and is bound to be a Christmas favorite, season after season.


Who doesn't love a good Christmas book in August?? (I know I read an ARC so it won't be released until closer to the holiday season).  I love the holidays so I'm up for a holiday themed-book any time of the year!


This book kept me entertained.  It wasn't necessarily deep but it wasn't completely light either.  It was perfectly somewhere in the middle.


I liked Lily more this go round.  I thought she was more real and more depth.  And Dash got on my nerves this time.  He didn't seem as invested as Lily and there were several things he did that made me question if he really was as into the relationship as she was.  


But all ends as it should and kept this reader quite happy.


I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.


The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily will be released on October 18, 2016.


*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Book Review- Stealing Snow

I finished reading Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she's not crazy and doesn't belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.

Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn't what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid--her true home--with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she's sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she's destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything...including Snow's return to the world she once knew.

This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.


I've said it many times before and I'm sure I'll say it many times again...I love fairy tales.  And if there's a retelling of one, I'm going to want to read it.  Unfortunately, this retelling of the Snow Queen story just didn't do it for me.

I can't pin it exactly.  But something about the flow of the story or the plot didn't work for me.  Snow jumped from here to there and guy to guy.  And things were too convenient.  They weren't believeable at all, even in the realm of fairy tale.

Sadly, I didn't care for Snow at all.  Or any of the other characters for that matter. I mean, I didn't dislike her.  But I just didn't care about her.  And I want to care about the main character.  Or hate them.  Or feel something for them.  But nope.

Ehh...I think this is supposed to be a series, but I'm struggling with whether I'll continue on with it.

I gave this book a rating of 2.5/5.

Stealing Snow will be released on September 20, 2016.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Book Review- One Plus One

I finished reading One Plus One by Jojo Moyes last night.

From Goodreads:

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being
bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages... maybe ever.

I really liked the book Me Before You by this author so I decided to give this one a try.  Unfortunately, it fell a little flat for me.

I loved the idea of the poor single mom working hard make ends meet for her two unique kids--a math genius and a teenage son that's a little different.  But I never connected with any of them.  If I had to pick one I liked the best, it would be the male lead, Ed.  I felt like the portrayal of Jess was maybe too extreme or something.  I wanted her to be more likeable.

Also, I think what made Me Before You so great was the heavy topics and it drew you in.  This book didn't really have anything like that to keep me hooked.  I didn't find myself looking forward to reading more--I just did it because it was there.

I do have the sequel to Me Before You to read too, so we'll see how that goes.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I bought this book.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Book Review- The Sun is Also a Star

I finished reading The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon today for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:


Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?


This book had promise.  The idea how small, insignificant decision or action can change your whole future intrigued me.  And two strangers meeting and falling in love did too.  Unfortunately, I just didn't get invested in the story.


Maybe it was because the narration changed hands so many times.  And most of the chapters were extremely short--a page or two, or sometimes only a paragraph or two.  And so I never really connected with Natasha or Daniel.


And talk about a quick love--too immediate for my tasting.  It was more of a falling in lust.  They didn't truly know each other in the short twelve hours so I don't believe it could be love.  I did like the ending, before the epilogue.  It gave this idealistic story a nice dash of reality.  


I gave this book a rating of 3/5.


The Sun is Also a Star will be released on November 1, 2016.


*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Book Review- What Light

 reading What Light by Jay Asher last night for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. 

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

What Light is a love story that's moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.


I read one of the authors more famous books a few years ago and wasn't a fan of it like everyone else was.  So I was skeptical going into this one.  I have to say, I enjoyed this one more.

A plot of living in two cities during the year because of your family business was an interesting one.  I can't imagine having two lives each year.  Sierra and Caleb were a cute couple but Caleb had a secret from his past. I'm all about second chances, but his mistake was pretty serious.  I'm not so sure most parents would be understanding.

The story ended sweetly, but I could easily see room for a sequel.  And I'd gladly pick it up to read.

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

What Light will be released on October 18, 2016.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Book Review- Me Before You

I finished Me Before You by Jojo Moyes last week.

From Goodreads:

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?



We were leaving for a cruise and I wanted a good chick-lit book to take with me to read while lounging in the sun.  I really had no idea what I was in the mood for, but once in the store I saw this book and knew immediately that it was the one I wanted to read.

Yes, this book definitely has some chick-lit qualities but it has a  much more serious undertone.  And without giving anything away, it's a highly debated topic and one that I side with Will completely--I can't say that I wouldn't choose it if I were in his shoes.

Anyways, I loved Lou.  She danced to the beat of her own drum, especially fashion-wise and accepted it.  She was totally relatable and someone I could easily see being friends with.  And Will--yeah, he's the type I would have crushed on.  I liked watching their relationship grow and it made me sad to read the climax of it.

I'm really looking forward to the movie.  I hope it lives up to my expectations.  And I'm hoping to get my hands on the sequel soon!

I gave this book a rating of 4/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I bought this book.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Book Review- The Lovely Reckless

I just finished reading The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia for an Around the World ARC Tour.

From Goodreads:

I’ve become an expert at avoiding things that could hurt me—which means I will figure out how to stay away from Marco Leone.

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?


This book reminded me a lot of the books by Katie McGarry. I love those books and loved this one just as much!

I think I must love stories that have rich girls crossing over to the other side of the tracks.  Kinda like a backwards Cinderella story, if that makes sense.  The perfect girl with the perfect life that falls in love or becomes friends with people who don't have it so easy.

I really liked Frankie.  For the most part, I thought that she was so real and I felt bad for her.  I do think the romance between her and Marco was way too quick, especially since it had only been a few months since she watched her boyfriend being killed and still had PTSD about it.  But it is what it is.

I liked all the secondary characters too--Lex, Cruz, Abel, even the positive adults in the story.  They all had depth to them and I liked that.  

I do have to say that there is mystery in Frankie's boyfriend's murder.  And I did not see it coming.  

I really flew through this one.  Read most of it in one sitting and only put it down because I had to!

I gave this book a rating of 4.5/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.