Review: Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

32991569Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Published September 19th 2017

If you could change your story, would you?

Jane has lived a mostly ordinary life, raised by her recently deceased aunt Magnolia, whom she counted on to turn life into an adventure. Without Aunt Magnolia, Jane is directionless. Then an old acquaintance, the glamorous and capricious Kiran Thrash, blows back into Jane’s life and invites her to a gala at the Thrashes’ extravagant island mansion called Tu Reviens. Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.”

What Jane doesn’t know is that at Tu Reviens her story will change; the house will offer her five choices that could ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But every choice comes with a price. She might fall in love, she might lose her life, she might come face-to-face with herself. At Tu Reviens, anything is possible.

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Unsolicited ARC of this book was sent to me by the publisher

I wanted to like this book so much. I tried and tried to get into this book but it’s just not happening.
I’ve spent months trying to get through this book but the writing style is so odd, it threw me off. I don’t want to say it’s bad writing but… it’s not for me at all. I spent a lot of this book confused, especially the first few chapters, and I actually double checked to make sure this wasn’t a sequel because I felt like I started in the middle of a series.
I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and I struggled to even like any of the characters.
I know some people who really enjoyed this book but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how they managed to get through this book. Jane, Unlimited wasn’t for me at all but maybe you’ll like it more than I did.

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Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

28421168Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Expected publication: November 7th 2017

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both. 

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An unsolicited ARC of this book was sent to me by the publisher. 

Marissa Meyer is a master at writing a bomb YA book. Each new masterpiece she puts out is so creative and actually adds to the Young Adult genre. I was fully expecting to love Renegades and Marissa did not disappoint.
I loved the concept for this book so much. It was really creative and I don’t see a lot of books in the same vein as Renegades in YA.
I also really enjoyed the characters, especially the main character, Nova. She was a lot of fun to read about and such a well written female character.
There was a lot of action through out the whole book and I didn’t think it was slow at all. The plot definitely kept my attention and I absolutely loved how the plot didn’t focus on romance. I’m pretty sure the next book in the series will have more romance in it but for being the first book in a YA series, Renegades was impressively bare of any unnecessary romance.

Overall, I would definitely recommend grabbing a copy of Renegades. It’s one of the best YA books I’ve read in a long time and I think it’s well worth your time.

 

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Review: Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

29960675Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Expected publication: September 5th 2017

Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

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The synopsis for Mask of Shadows says “perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo”. I think whoever wrote that set this book up to fail in comparison to those two writer’s books. Comparing a book to the likes of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo is a very bold claim and I feel like because of that claim and the epic sounding synopsis, I was let down by this book.

The plot is kind of boring and unoriginal. It felt a lot like The Hunger Games and by a lot, I mean almost an exact copy. I’m not really into reading books that are very similar so the plot really wasn’t for me.
I liked the writing. It wasn’t Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo level but I liked it. It felt like the writing of a debut novel but I think there’s a lot of potential for the author.
The diversity in the main character is what held this book together for me. I’d never read about a gender fluid character before and to be honest, I don’t know a lot about gender fluidity. I was very interested to learn about Sal and see a new perspective. If the main character wasn’t diverse, this would be a two star book for me.

Overall, Mask of Shadows was okay. I liked it for the most part but whenever I think about this book being compared to Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, I roll my eyes. That line is clearly a marketing ploy and shouldn’t be taken seriously. If you don’t mind books having similar plots, you might really like this book. Or if you’re on the hunt for a gender fluid character, Mask of Shadows would be a good one to pick up. But, if you’re looking for amazing writing and an original plot, you’ll want to skip this book.

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Review: Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker

31208654Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker

Published June 27th 2017

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

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I am shooketh.
I was NOT expecting to love this book like I do. I’ve never read anything by K.A. Tucker before and even though I’m a hardcore sports fan, I’ve always hated New Adult books with athletes in them. The athletes are always written to be massive d-bags that sleep around and never put any work into their sport. I’ve never found that to a be realistic portrayal for a majority of professional athletes and it has always been frustrating to me. But K.A. Tucker has renewed my faith in NA writers.
Not only is Brett Madden not a massive d-bag, he’s actually written like a normal human. And he’s totally amazing but that’s not my point right now.
The main character, Catherine, is a bad ass single mom who is so well written and a joy to read about. She’s complex, hard working, and definitely a great example of what a women should be in New Adult books.
I could go on and on about how perfect I found this book. I loved everything about it and I highly recommended it. Until It Fades has become one of the best books I’ve ever read and I can’t wait to read more of K.A. Tucker’s books.
If you’re looking for a NA contemporary along the lines of Colleen Hoover, J. Lynn, Tia Giacalone, and J.A. Redmerski, you need to pick up Until It Fades.

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Review: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

32895291The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

 Publication: July 25th 2017 

From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel.

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).

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ARC of this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is my favorite book from Ruth Ware so far. I loved The Lying Game so much more than The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark, Dark Wood.
I loved the plot, the writing, and the pace of The Lying Game so much.
I thought the plot was the most original of Ruth’s books and it really stood out to me. The writing in The Lying Game is fantastic. The pace is a slow burn (if you’re into fast paced thrillers, this one probably isn’t for you) but I was very entertained and it kept me reading on to find out what was going to happen.
Even though I didn’t love the characters, I liked them so much more than the characters in Ruth’s other books. I thought they were more relatable and complex.
I was expecting a bigger end to this book. I was hoping it would really pick up the pace and have a big boom for an ending but it didn’t.
The Lying Game was kind of predictable but for me, it was more about reading how everything would unfold.
Overall, this is my favorite book from Ruth Ware and if you’re wanting a fun mystery/thriller, The Lying Game is a book you’ll want to check out.

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Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

15797848There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Expected publication: September 26th 2017

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

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ARC was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Review is from advance partial reading copy

I was very curious to read There’s Someone Inside Your House. I’ve read a couple of Stephanie Perkins’ other books and this sounded nothing like her normal fluffy, cute romances and I’m 100% down for authors trying new, unexpected genres.

There’s Someone Inside Your House starts off with bang. The first chapter has the first murder and it’s fairly fast paced. My advance partial reading copy was 151 pages and if I remember correctly, it took place in a week’s time or close to a week.
The murders are very gory and horrific but of the ones I read about, they weren’t overly detailed. They are described bluntly but not with a ton of graphic details. It would also be easy to skip over the gore if you really didn’t want to read that.
I liked the main character, Makani. I thought it was very cool that she was a PoC and there was diversity in this book. She talks about being African American/ Native Hawaiian several times through out the book and addresses a few of her experiences as a PoC.

I’m not easily scared when it comes to reading horror books but a couple of the murders had me a little paranoid at night. I was surprised how scary this book actually was.
I loved the setting of this book. It’s set in a small town in Nebraska and as someone from a nowhere town that’s 20 minutes from Nebraska, I could relate to a lot of the things going on in this book.

This has nothing to do with the book or the author but I’m really annoyed that the publisher sent out advance partial reading copies. I was sent There’s Someone Inside Your House in an elaborate PR box along with four other ARCs of their biggest fall releases and I was very disappointed to see that only 151 pages of the book was included. None of the other reviews I’ve read mention that their review is from a partial ARC so either they decided not to mention it or they all had complete copies. It doesn’t make sense to me to have both complete ARCs and partial ARCs and it’s unfair that some reviewers would have an advantage with complete copies. As it is, I can’t give a real review because I only have 151 pages. Granted, I did really enjoy those 151 pages but I can’t fully review a book I can’t finish.

I do have a theory of who the killer is. There was a pretty big hint with one of the murders. Honestly, it was such a big hint towards a character that it took away a lot of the mystery. I can also see that its a fake hint. It points to a character so directly that it could be there just to try to throw off the reader.

I’ll update my review and give a rating when I buy a finished copy on release day. From the 151 pages, I’d give There’s Someone Inside Your House four stars.

 

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Review: A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

29359948A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

Expected publication: August 15th 2017

We sat at the edge of the ocean—my sister Henri and I—inches apart but not touching at all. We’d been so sure someone would find us by now.

Emma had always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two had always been best friends. Until something happened that wrecked them.

I’d trusted Henri more than I’d trusted myself. Wherever she told me to go, I’d follow.

Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in this gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart.

For the first time, I was afraid we’d die on this shore.

To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this—or anything. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?

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I was sent an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

I wanted to love this book, I really did, but there was a few things that I just couldn’t overlook.
The first thing I didn’t like was how dependent Emma was on her sister, Henri. It was so unhealthy and concerning. It was also extremely annoying. Emma was obsessed with her sister and couldn’t think for herself. All she ever thought about was her sister.
The second thing I didn’t like was Alex. I personally don’t think he should have been included in the story. He was so unnecessary and was only there for the sake of romance. I think having the story being about just Emma and Henri would have been much better.
The third and final thing that I didn’t like was how Alex was not written diverse. The opportunity was there and he was written as a white character. He was from Puerto Rico and wasn’t Latino and I think that was very poor on the author. Alex could have been a diverse character so easily and he would have given representation to people who don’t have much representation in media as it is.

I did like the concept of the plot and the writing style a lot though.

Overall, I think this book could have been a lot more enjoyable if better choices had been made about the white washing of Alex and the unhealthy relationship between the sisters. As much as I liked the concept, I couldn’t overlook the things that just weren’t okay.

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Review: Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

33413926Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

Expected publication: November 7th 2017

REDEMPTION IS NEVER FREE
When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece’s path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever.

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An ARC of this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Very rarely does my most anticipated books live up to my own hype but Retribution Rails lived up to my hype and more. It was everything I hoped it would be.
This book follows two very different characters. Reece is a well know outlaw and Charlotte is ambitious and trying to provide for her newly widowed mother. The two of them are unwillingly have their paths crossed and adventures follow.
Charlotte and Reece are such well written, complex, and amazing characters. I loved them so much.
Each of them had great qualities and wonderful character development.
The writing style was just as fantastic as it was in Vengeance Road. Erin is such a talented writer and I’ll always read whatever books she puts out.

Retribution Rails’ plot is completely different from Vengeance Road so it wasn’t repetitive at all. Even though RR and VR are companion novels, you can definitely read each on their own (But I totally recommend reading both because they’re so good).

Overall, Retribution Rails was everything I hoped it would be and more. I loved everything about it and I’m undoubtedly going to be rereading it soon. If you’re looking for something fresh, creative, and extremely entertaining, I highly recommend Retribution Rails.

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Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

29385546Warcross by Marie Lu

Expected publication: September 12th 2017

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

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The publisher sent me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

Marie Lu never ceases to amaze me and her books keep getting better and better.

Warcross is such a wild ride. I loved it from page one and I couldn’t put it down. It’s been a very long time since I read an entire book in one sitting but Warcross is so amazing, I needed to know how it ended.
The plot of this book is thrilling, unique, and fast paced. The characters are complex, very well written, and diverse. There was some great plot twists and even though I tried to predict where things were going, I couldn’t.

Warcross was absolutely stunning and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s definitely a top favorite for 2017 and my new favorite from Marie Lu.

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Blog Tour: Once and for All by Sarah Dessen + Giveaway

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Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

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Published June 6th 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

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Review

I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

This was my forth Sarah Dessen book and they’re so addicting and fun. Dessen books have become my new favorite way to get out of reading slumps.

I, for some unknown reason, had absurdly high expectations for Once and for All. I don’t know if it was the cute colors of the cover or the synopsis was calling to me but I went into this book expecting a lot. And it actually delivered for the most part. I’m very impressed that a book that I had high hopes for wasn’t a complete fail.
I thought the plot of this book was extremely fun and I can definitely see myself rereading Once and for All. I loved all the weddings so much. It was really different from other books I’ve read and I appreciated that a lot.
I also really liked the characters. I loved the dynamics between Louna and Ambrose. The dialogue between them was awesome and I really fell in love with both characters.
I loved how realistic Louna and Ambrose’s relationship was. There wasn’t any insta-love, which I’m not a fan of, so that was a big plus for me.
The only thing I’m not really into is how even though Louna and her mom are described as having olive skin tones early on in the book, that doesn’t seem to be reflected on the cover of the book. I wish there had been a more accurate and representative model on the cover.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it’s definitely one of my favorite books from Sarah (tied with Just Listen for my favorite). I loved Louna and Ambrose so much and I’m still laughing over some of the things Ambrose said. If you want a fun YA contemporary, I definitely recommend Once and for All.

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Purchase Once and For All:

PRH Website: http://bit.ly/2rVGWW4

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2rAG1h

B&N: http://bit.ly/2qXPyfG

 

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Once and for All by Sarah Dessen (ARV: $19.99 each).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 29, 2017 and 12:00 AM on June 26, 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 June 30, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law

 

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Once and For All Tour

 

 

About the author

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Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews, and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association. Sarah lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine. Visit her online at sarahdessen.com.

 

 

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