Review | Red Queen

Red Queen

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Published by HarperTeen Image via Goodreads

four starsAnyone can betray anyone. Sometimes even the author can betray the reader. (Cough, Victoria Aveyard, Cough) 

Mare Barrow bleeds red therefore her life was made for service not for privilege like the Silver. Once she turns eighteen she will be forced to conscript into the King’s army to fight a never ending war with outer provinces, just like her three older brothers did before her. Her life is less precious than the Silver.

The Silvers were destined to rule through their steel colored blood which hold abilities that enable their reign. Some move metal, others heal, while few are able to enter the conscious gripping control over the mind. But what if everything wasn’t so Black and White…er…I mean Red and Silver. What if there was a middle ground that could spark a revolution?

I highly enjoyed Red Queen. I could have read it in one sitting, but it’s one of those books that you like to pace yourself because you know it’s just book one and book two won’t come out for another year. (BAH!)

I hated Aveyard’s characters, but for this read it’s a good thing. It isn’t a satisfying read, but you appreciate the twists and turns her story weaves. Red Queen is very “young-adulty”, but it does take a few different approaches than the typical YA story-line. If you are looking for romance, you get a glimpse, but not much. So don’t buy this thinking you get a twilight love story. The story-line mainly surrounds Mare’s understanding of the world; that the grass isn’t always so green on the other side, but maybe with a little work (AKA a lot of betrayal and killing) you can try to make your side a little bit greener. It is a revolution story through and through and it have you in it’s grip until the end.

For those who love Suzanne Collins’  The Hunger Games and Kiera Cass’ The Selection Series, don’t wait to pick this one up. It’s a royal goody.

For full synopsis or to purchase click here.


All opinions are my own and are not endorsed or affiliated with any company or organization. 

Review | The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

via: Goodreads

****/5

Folklore, fairies, beautiful boys with horns, and knights. The Darkest Part of the Forest already had me at synopsis and after reading did not let me down. Holly Black goes back to her roots with this one and boy does she know how to write an enchanting tale out of the forest.

Most folklore has a dark edge to it but Holly Black keeps it pretty light, with a few spots of darkness here and there. Her pacing is spot on and if I didn’t work I would have read through the entire night. (Yes, 4 AM is “technically” not through the night). I could kiss Black for her character development. It’s predictable to a point but gender roles are switched, which deserves a firm high five in my book.

The book does have a bit more of a juvenile undertone, even for a YA book, but that may just be the folklore talking.

Overall, The Darkest Part of the Forest is a quick, fantastic, and entertaining read. I heavily recommend for anyone who is looking for quick read with a little enchantment and a touch of mystery.

For more information about this book click here.


All opinions are my own and are not endorsed or affiliated with any company or organization. 

2015 | February New Release

Hello my dear bibliophiles!

We are officially in the second month of 2015! How was your first? I hope it was full of adventures, new discoveries, and of course epic reads.

Well this past month, I finally knuckled down and read Michelle Hodkin’s Mara Dyer trilogy. I’m not sure what took me so long. It’s a phenomenally edgy and twisted series and I highly recommend it to any of you who like a lot of creepy mixed in with your teenage romance. (Twilighters, I’m talking to you!) I also picked up Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train. Not to beat a dead horse, but another fantastic read. Also, another creepy read. (I guess I was in a thriller/psychological/suspense mood this month.) In short, it will definitely be one of the best books released this year.

Speaking of good books… let’s talk about a few  who are making their debut this February!

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
February 10th by Orion

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Red Queen has been on my watch list for awhile and it hasn’t been hard to keep up to date. This book has been posted everywhere, which only heightens my anticipation for it’s release.

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

2. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
February 10th by Harper Collins/Balzer + Bray

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Hey all of you The Fault in Our Stars fans, a little bird whispered this one is a must read. 

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

3. The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
February 10th by Tor Teen

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I haven’t seen this one floating around much, but the premise is so intriguing that I had to add it on to my list!

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.

4. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
February 10th by Harper Teen

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I know this one will most likely make me cry rivers, but usually those are the best kinds of stories. Plus, the cover is gorgeous! 

There’s death all around us.
We just don’t pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn’t look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she’s just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that’s all she’ll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there’s a secret she hasn’t told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex’s brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn’t have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.

5. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
February 24th by Harper Teen

22535481I am a sucker for anything fairy tale, so when I heard about this spin on Sleeping Beauty I was ecstatic. Who doesn’t like princes, sword fights, and damsels in distress?

Rhiannon Thomas’s dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining ofSleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her “true love” is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

6. No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss
February 24th by Greenwillow Books

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I. Can’t. Wait. For. This. Not only is the cover compelling, but the synopsis grabbed my full attention. I have a feeling this is going to be one witty and gripping story. 

Abigail’s parents have made mistake after mistake, and now they’ve lost everything. She’s left to decide: Does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.

Abigail doesn’t know how her dad found Brother John. Maybe it was the billboards. Or the radio. What she does know is that he never should have made that first donation. Or the next, or the next. Her parents shouldn’t have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there with Brother John for the “end of the world.” Because of course the end didn’t come. And now they’re living in their van. And Aaron’s disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right. But maybe it’s too big a task for one teenage girl. Bryan Bliss’s thoughtful, literary debut novel is about losing everything—and about what you will do for the people you love.

What books are you looking forward to this February?! 

Photos & synopses via Goodreads


All opinions are my own and are not endorsed or affiliated with any company or organization. 

Review | All the Bright Places

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*****

5/5

Friday I couldn’t take it anymore. As I sat on my sofa and read review after review of how All the Bright Places may be the biggest YA book of the year, I knew I had to get this book. Now. I had just made the decision to skip the gym, because it was -10 degrees outside (and anyone willingly going out in this weather was nuts-o).  But sometimes books are more paramount to your heath and mental stability-so naturally I quickly turned myself into an Eskimo and ventured to the closest Barnes & Noble. It was so worth my frost-bitten fingers.

It’s taken me awhile to write this review. It’s really hard to put all your emotions in to words and I really don’t want to screw this up, but I still may.

When an author and a character share the same scars it is evident in the writing. The author seems to just ‘get it’. They are able to craft the deepest emotions into fluid sentences that strike a harmonious chord. A chord that reverberates to the reader bringing clarity to issues that the reader may or may not have experience in. Jennifer Niven does this very well throughout the entirety of All the Bright Places. You feel each emotion as if it were your own and while you may not necessarily understand the thinking of Finch and Violet you appreciate who they are.

When the reader shares similar marks with the author and the character that is what I like to call magic and more importantly… healing.

Nine years ago a friend of mine took his own life. To step inside a character’s shoes and face your own reality is a powerful thing. It is a healing thing, because somehow Niven was able create this character that understands. She grasps your hurt, your anger, your confusion, your loss–allowing you to feel a little less lonely and a lot more understood.

So, thank you Jennifer Niven for breaking barriers, calling out stigmas, and for stirring conversation in relation to mental illness. It’s an important one that needs to be continued among all regardless of gender, race, age, and sex.

Please be sure to pick up this book. It’s not only well written but it may just change your life or at least your perspective. 

For more information about All the Bright Places or to read the synopsis: Click here


 

All opinions are my own and are not endorsed or affiliated with any company or organization.

Review | No Place to Fall

**
2/5

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Synopsis: Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities


Hello southern sweet tea, country songs, and Appalachian Trail. Oh how I am so thrilled to finally have reached for a novel that is familiar with your southern charms and small town gossip trap. 

The entire time I was reading No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown, I couldn’t help but envision the ABC show, Nashville. All around it just screamed Nashville, but with a heavier small town vibe and North Carolina feel.

Drugs, sex, rock and roll mixed with love, family dysfunction, and deceit. That is pretty much the book rolled into one poorly structured sentence. It wasn’t sappy, but it wasn’t bright. I never shed a tear, yet I was moved. You pick up this bright colored novel and think, “this looks like a heart warming and witty story”  but you are utterly wrong. Instead you receive a realistic portrayal of a family who is far from perfect who falls and may or may not work on picking themselves back up.

If I am 100% truthful this was a hit & a miss novel for me. It met me right in the middle. It wasn’t boring enough for me to put down, but it wasn’t interesting enough for me to keep wanting to come back to it…yet I did.  Some of the characters felt like they had no purpose and there seemed to be many loose ends.

I did enjoy the honesty of Brown’s writing. The story felt very real, almost too real.  You could easily relate to the characters and empathize with their short-comings, hardships, and successes. However the story heavily lacked dynamic. The summary of the book suggested that when Amber and Will became involved Amber would go from good girl to bad. The book started out with her making out with a bunch of random strangers and eating pot brownies? I don’t know about your definition but this is not the actions of a typical “good girl”.  If anything I think Will made her better. I kept waiting for this pivotal moment to happen in the book where Amber would do something really bad – like  a “no going back ever can’t believe I even thought of this” bad. But when I reached that pivotal moment I was really let down. The moment was weak and although it set up the ending, it wasn’t shocking enough to make up for the slow pace of the story.

So all in all, it’s a good one if you like some southern charm, enjoy country folk tunes, or watch Nashville. It’s a not so good one if you don’t.

Image: via


All opinions are my own and are not endorsed or affiliated with any company or organization.