Review: Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley

25721439Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley

Published September 27th 2016

Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet.

Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint makes her extremely valuable, and upon graduation, Blanca and those like her are sold to the highest bidders.

Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeals are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable.

By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.

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This book was such an odd read. The concept is really cool and interesting but I had such a hard time relating to the main character.
I really loved Blanca’s character development. I thought was nearly spot on and I’m curious to see what development she has in the next book. However, she was so… dramatic. She came across as brain washed and plain and boring. I felt bad for hating her because she was brain washed but I couldn’t help disliking her. I couldn’t relate to her at all and because of that, I couldn’t become invested in the story. Tabula Rasa School is very cult like and I don’t remember it being addressed how awful it is. I don’t remember the whole auctioning-people-off-like-property thing being addressed either. Hopefully all that will be addressed in the second book.
The writing style was okay. I feel like it could have been cleaner and edited better.
Overall, Genesis Girl has a really cool concept but troublesome issues weren’t addressed and I wasn’t a fan of the main character. I’m very curious to see what the next book brings to the table.

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Review : The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

17901125The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
Published : January 27, 2015

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London…

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.
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I cannot begin to express how I feel about this series. It devours me and engulfs me in a whole different world and I’m absolutely in love with it.  I can’t explain how amazing this series is but I’m going to try.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a series that’s so different and so enthralling and so just overall amazing. Every word has purpose, every punctuation has meaning. This book is so well thought out, in every way. The plot, the characters, the settings, every single movement, every single word. There aren’t enough words for the praise I would give this book, let alone this series.

Paige Mahoney, is the epitome of a strong female lead. A woman who fights for everything that is right in the world. The cast of characters in this book are amazing, there’s the ones you love, the one’s you hate (effin’ Nashira), but honestly, they’re all insanely perfect.

Every twist and turn in this book, literally keeps me on the edge of my seat and I cannot recommend that you pick it up. A lot of people get worried about sequels and getting a lull and or just having a “filler book” but these books are anything but that. They’re literally so well thought out that nothing is filler, everything has purpose and meaning. It’s all just so perfect.  And I know I’m rambling but I don’t want to give anything away, and I want everyone to experience this series, it’s freaking amazing

I cannot thank Samantha Shannon enough for this series. And I’ve been blessed to be given the next installment in this series, and I’m trying to take my time with it, but I know I can’t contain myself, and got myself through half of the book in one sitting. And I can only hope that I get the chance to read these books as ARCs because I’m beyond obsessed.

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Review: The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie

33609175The Edge of the Abyss (The Abyss Surrounds Us #2)
by Emily Skrutskie

Expected publication: April 18th 2017

Three weeks have passed since Cassandra Leung pledged her allegiance to ruthless pirate-queen Santa Elena and set free Bao, the sea monster Reckoner she’d been forced to train. The days as a pirate trainee are long and grueling, but it’s not the physical pain that Cas dreads most. It’s being forced to work with Swift, the pirate girl who broke her heart. But Cas has even bigger problems when she discovers Boa is not the only a monster swimming free. Other Reckoners illegally sold to pirates have escaped their captors and are taking the NeoPacific by storm, attacking ships at random and ruining the ocean ecosystem. As a Reckoner trainer, Cas might be the only one who can stop them. But how can she take up arms against the creatures she used to care for and protect? Will Cas embrace the murky morals that life as a pirate brings or perish in the dark waters of the NeoPacific?

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As much as I enjoyed this book, I didn’t know until I was 40% into it that it was a sequel. Totally my fault but I’m surprised how much I liked this book considering I haven’t read the first book.

I loved the concept of this book so much. The concept of this book is without a doubt one of the best I’ve ever read. I love pirates so this book was right up my alley and I loved the fantastical creatures in this book as well. This reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean, which is one of my favorite film franchises, and if you enjoy PotC, I’d highly recommend this The Edge of the Abyss (but don’t be like me, you should read the first book before reading book two).
I was actually pretty invested in Cas and Swift’s relationship and I think their relationship is one of the best written that I’ve ever read about.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I’m excited to go read the first book. I loved the concept so, so much. If you’re looking for a really exciting and fun LBGTQ fantasy series, I’d definitely recommend The Abyss Surrounds Us series.

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Blog Tour: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza + Giveaway

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empress-coverEmpress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Publication: February 7th 2017 by Razorbill

Empress
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

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Review:

This book was almost everything I wanted it to be and more.
I absolutely fell in love with the word building and the characters were amazing. I’d never read a “space opera”, as this was repeatedly described as, but I loved it. It was so exciting and fun and I couldn’t get enough of it. It was a little confusing at times but I didn’t mind.
I really liked the characters even though I never became emotionally invested in them.
The only reason I gave this book four stars is because the synopsis says Rhee and Aly “are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy” and that never really happens.
But other than that, I loved this book. Empress of a Thousand Skies has diverse characters, an awesome concept, and killer world building.

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Giveaway

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of three (3) signed copies of Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (ARV: $17.99 each).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on February 6, 2017 and 12:00 AM on February 20, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about February 22, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

About Rhoda Belleza

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Rhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing XFiles fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. When she’s not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials, watches kung fu movies, and sews together crooked things that pass for clothes. She’s a children’s editor at a publishing house and writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment stuffed far too many bikes and far too many shoes. Empress of a Thousand Skies is her debut novel.

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Review: Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

20983366Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

Published January 3rd 2017

All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.

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I loved this book so much!
Alexandra Bracken’s writing is absolutely amazing and I’ll definitely buy any and all books written by her. She has such a great way of putting words together that makes her books so easy to read without being generic and boring.
As for the characters, I like Etta but Nicholas is where it’s at for me. He’s so amazing and he is the star of this duology for me. I also really liked how new characters are introduced to keep the story exciting and interesting.
I will say that I was kind of confused for the first 80-90 pages or so. It might be partly because it’s been a year since I read Passenger but I’ve seen a few other people say they were a bit confused as well.
Overall, I loved Wayfarer. The concept, the setting, the characters, the writing, everything about this book is expertly written. With diverse characters, awesome action, beautiful writing, and a killer concept, I highly recommend this duology.

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Review : The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

78411The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
Published:  September 30, 1999

Dear Reader,
I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket


I remember enjoying this book as a kid and I still enjoyed it just as much reading it as an adult. Although I didn’t need the constant explanation of words (I skipped most of them) but I enjoyed knowing that Lemony Snicket made these books in a semi-educational way. I thought the story line was good as well as keeping a good pace for people to follow. I thouroughly enjoyed the nostalgia of reading this. And plan on going through the first four en tandem with the Netflix Series. I’ve continued through book 2 and am now on book three, and I have to say based on the books, Netflix has done a great job!

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Taylor’s January Wrap Up | 2017

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It’s been a long time since I’ve done a wrap up! I lost track of time last year and I couldn’t keep up with them on time but I’m determined to get stay on track this year. I’m not sure if I’ll be posting a TBR each month because I rarely stick with them but I’ll be including the two books I’ll be reading for Bibliophile Academy’s monthly readalongs.

I read a decent amount of books in January. I wish I had read more of the books I planned on reading but like I said, I’m awful at TBRs. I set my GoodReads goal at 200 books for the third year in a row. I hit my goal in 2015 but I was 44 books short in 2016. I’m not sure I’ll be able to read 200 books this year, but hopefully I can stick to 18-19 books a month. I did read 17 books in January, mostly in the last half. I read some really great books last month. Actually, there was only one book I didn’t like. Hopefully I can continue reading 4 and 5 star books for the rest of the year.

January Wrap Up

17 books

Titans by Victoria Scott – 5/5 stars

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts – 4/5 stars

True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan – 4/5 stars

Settle for More by Megyn Kelly – 3/5 stars

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium 
by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, Clayton Cowles – 5/5 stars

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson – 5/5 stars

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard – 3/5 stars

The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land – 3/5 stars

City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson – 5/5 stars

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge – 2/5 stars

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – 4/5 stars

The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer – 3/5 stars

Men in Tights by Danielle Banas – 5/5 stars

Arena by Holly Jennings – 4/5 stars

Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey by Ila Jane Borders – 5/5 stars

10 Things I Can See from Here by Carrie Mac – 3/5 stars

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza – 4/5 stars

Favorites of January

 

 

 

February TBR

Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Quests of the Kings by Robert Evert

Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

The Offering by Jessika Fleck

Caraval by Stephanie Garber (Bibliophile Academy readalong)

By Your Side by Kasie West (Bibliophile Academy readalong)

 

 

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ARC Review: Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey by Ila Jane Borders

31380080Making My Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey by Ila Jane Borders

Expected publication: April 1st 2017

Making My Pitch tells the story of Ila Jane Borders, who despite formidable obstacles became a Little League prodigy, MVP of her otherwise all-male middle school and high school teams, the first woman awarded a baseball scholarship, and the first to pitch and win a complete men’s collegiate game. After Mike Veeck signed Borders in May 1997 to pitch for his St. Paul Saints of the independent Northern League, she accomplished what no woman had done since the Negro Leagues era: play men’s professional baseball. Borders played four professional seasons and in 1998 became the first woman in the modern era to win a professional ball game.

Borders had to find ways to fit in with her teammates, reassure their wives and girlfriends, work with the media, and fend off groupies. But these weren’t the toughest challenges. She had a troubled family life, a difficult adolescence as she struggled with her sexual orientation, and an emotionally fraught college experience as a closeted gay athlete at a Christian university.

Making My Pitch shows what it’s like to be the only woman on the team bus, in the clubhouse, and on the field. Raw, open, and funny at times, her story encompasses the loneliness of a groundbreaking pioneer who experienced grave personal loss. Borders ultimately relates how she achieved self-acceptance and created a life as a firefighter and paramedic and as a coach and goodwill ambassador for the game of baseball.

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This book was amazing. As an avid sports fan, especially of baseball, I loved reading about Ila’s experiences. Ila described her games so fantastically, I felt like I was listening to the games on the radio. I was so emotionally invested in her journey and I rooted for her every moment I was reading.
As a female sports fan, I’ve experienced the sexism that is in men dominated sports and I can’t imagine everything Ila has gone through. I’ve never met Ila, and I doubt I ever will, but I’m incredibly proud of her and everything she’s accomplished. She didn’t let the sexism stop her and she’s extremely inspiring.
Making My Pitch is an insightful look into baseball and what it takes to be a pitcher. It showcases how unnecessarily difficult it is for women to break into the sport, even when they have the skill and talent to be one of the best.
I definitely recommend this book to any sports fan, especially young women. Ila tells it like it is and will show you a new perspective on baseball. She’s inspiring and brave and I’ll always remember her story.
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Review: Arena by Holly Jennings

30687917Arena by Holly Jennings

Published April 5th 2016

Every week, Kali Ling fights to the death on national TV. She s died hundreds of times. And it never gets easier…

The RAGE tournaments the Virtual Gaming League s elite competition where the best gamers in the world compete in a fight to the digital death. Every kill is broadcast to millions. Every player leads a life of ultimate fame, responsible only for entertaining the masses.
And though their weapons and armor are digital, the pain is real.
Chosen to be the first female captain in RAGE tournament history, Kali Ling is at the top of the world until one of her teammates overdoses. Now she s stuck trying to work with a hostile new teammate who s far more distracting than he should be.
Between internal tensions and external pressures, Kali is on the brink of breaking. To change her life, she ll need to change the game. And the only way to revolutionize an industry as shadowy as the VGL is to fight from the inside

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I really enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected I would.
I loved the concept and the world building was really interesting. I love the idea of VR becoming such a massive “sport” and the whole book felt futuristic yet obtainable. With VR becoming more readily available, I can definitely see gaming jumping to a whole new level.
I really loved Kali and I though she was a very complex character. I really appreciated how the author included Kali’s struggles with being a women in a man dominated industry. I liked how the sexism towards Kali and her fellow women gamers was shown and not swept under the rug. I also really appreciated how Kali didn’t let it stop her from gaming.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was very different from anything I’ve read before and I loved the concept. If you’re into video games or sci-fi, I think you might want to check this book out.

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Review: Men in Tights by Danielle Banas

Men in Tights by Danielle Banas

Expected publication June 5, 2018 by Swoon Reads

In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats from trees—they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.

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I thought this book sounded amazing but I didn’t expect a lot from it. I definitely didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. This book was so much fun to read and I loved every second it of. I couldn’t put this book down and I never wanted it to end.
I loved the concept of this book. I love superheros and I thought the idea of superheros being a common thing was awesome.
I loved the characters so much and I loved the dialogue between the characters even more. Abby’s banter with Iron Phantom was so cute and had me laughing out loud at 2am. I loved Abby’s relationship with her brother as well. I was really pleasantly surprised by the family themes in this book and I really appreciated the value that Abby had for her relationship with her brother. I also loved how Abby continued to put effort into her friendship with Sarah. I’ve read a lot of YA books where the main character drops their friends when something exciting happens or when they meet a boy. But Abby and Sarah stuck it out the entire book and I loved that.

Overall, I loved this book so much and it has quickly become one of my favorites. I definitely recommend Men in Tights. It’s well worth the read.

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