ARC Review: Night Fox by Tia Giacalone

NF AmazonNight Fox by Tia Giacalone

Expected publication: December 31st 2015

Beckett Fox lives his life on the edge between danger and responsibility, and that’s all he’s ever known… until he meets Avery. Now, time at home is more appealing than the do-or-die future he’d always pictured for himself.

Fox has everything he’s ever wanted. But he knows better than anyone that life can change direction faster than the wind.

When an accident threatens to destroy his entire world, Fox will have to choose between fighting for what he loves or letting his past dictate his future.

How much strength does it take to move forward when history seems determined to knock you down? And how do you find the path to redemption when you don’t even recognize your own life?

I read Hey Sunshine earlier this year and I absolutely loved it. I was so excited for Night Fox but I had no idea what to expect for the plot. I knew I would love it no matter what but I had no idea what was going to happen, especially with the ending of Hey Sunshine. This book ended up blowing me away and my heart is still trying to recover.
Night Fox is from the perspective of Fox, which I wasn’t really expecting but I really loved it. I felt like I got to know Fox so much more.
Of course, I loved the characters so much. They were believable and flawed and so wonderful.
Avery continues to be amazing. She was one of the best written NA characters I’ve ever read about. I loved how she spoke her mind and would tell it like it is. She was so honest and open with Fox.
I could go on and on about Fox. He was so good but he also wasn’t over the top perfect. He was so well written and I think other authors (especially New Adult authors) should take note from Tia on how to write male characters and relationships. Fox and Avery have such a great relationship. If they had a fight, they would talk it out. Both of them are open and honest with each other. Avery isn’t a jealous idiot and Fox isn’t a controlling asshole. They represent a healthy relationship that sets a good and realistic example to readers.
Overall, I could go on and on about this book. It’s so amazing and I loved it so much. I was so emotionally invested in the story and the characters. I’m so in love with this series and I can’t recommend it enough.

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Review: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti

24885636Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti

Published September 29th 2015

Don’t call them heroes.

But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t—like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader.” After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals. And at the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.

Filled with high-stakes action and drama, Zeroes unites three powerhouse authors for the opening installment of a thrilling new series.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book but when I read the publisher’s description, I got really pumped. “Filled with high-stakes action and drama” really caught my attention. I shouldn’t have got my hopes high but I did. And I was left disappointed.
I really like the concept of this book and the writing was pretty good but what really got me was all the different perspectives and how long it took to set up each character. It jumped from character to character and nothing really set them apart so at times I forgot who’s perspective I was reading from. I felt like at least 200 pages of this book was introducing the characters. I personally think that the character’s perspectives should have been introduced like The Lunar Chronicles, a new perspective each book.
I was really overwhelmed with the info dumping for the first 200-ish pages as well. And because of that, I got a little bored.
Overall, this was a fun book and I did like it but it wasn’t one of my favorites. If you’re looking for a book with superheroes, I think this would a good one.

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Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

22544764Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Published May 19th 2015

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

This is on of the most interesting fantasy books that I’ve read in a long time. I wasn’t really sure what it was about when I started it and I was so blown away by the plot.
The writing was really beautiful and this whole book had a fairy tale vibe about it, which I really liked.
I’ve never read a book like Uprooted before and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it even thought I finished it two days ago.
I did think it was a little slow at first. I wasn’t bored per-se but I wasn’t really engaged with the story. It did pick up and I really liked the last half but I never did become emotionally invested.
I was not a fan of Agnieszka and Sarkan’s relationship. It was confused and I thought it could have been better written. I won’t say much more so I don’t give away spoilers but I just wasn’t a fan of those two.
Overall, I loved the writing and the concept so much! And even though I didn’t like the relationship and I wasn’t really emotionally invested, I still really enjoyed this book and I would highly recommend it.

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Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

22557272The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Published January 13th 2015

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

I’d seen so much hype around this book and I was a little unsure about reading it because I didn’t want to hype to get my hopes up really high. But I finally bought it and started it later the same day.
And I’m still unsure about how I feel about this book.
It’s a really quick read, I read it in pretty much one sitting.
I wasn’t a fan of characters. They were all really messed up people and I couldn’t relate to any of them at all. I can see how some people might liked the three women of this book but I found them all to be kind of awful people and Rachel was really annoying to me. And honestly, one of the women didn’t even add anything to the story so her perspective was pointless.
I wasn’t really impressed until the last quarter of the book. I was fairly bored for the rest of the book but I did really enjoy the last 75 pages.
I didn’t really find this book to be the thriller that I kept being told that it was. It was a mystery, sure, but it wasn’t extremely fast paced so it was a little slow to be a thriller.
My mind wasn’t completely blown was the plot twist at the end. I didn’t predict it but it wasn’t a big surprise either.
Overall, do I think this is worth all the hype? I personally don’t think so. But I did enjoy read The Girl on the Train for the most part so it was worth my time. I can see myself rereading this book in a couple of years and maybe enjoying it more. If you’re a really critical reader like me, this might not live up to the hype. But if you’re not a critical reader, I think you’ll really like this book.

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Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

23437156Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Published September 29th 2015

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

I absolutely love this book! It’s such an amazing fantasy and it’s by far one of the best books I’ve read this year.
The world building is so beautiful and awesome. It’s descriptive without being slow and dragging.
The characters are my favorite thing about this book. They’re so amazing and well written. It’s hard to pick a favorite character! (But I really do love Kaz)
I’m still reeling over how amazing this book is. I’m trying to think of anything better to say than it’s amazing but there’s really nothing else to say. I loved everything about this book and I’m dying for the sequel.

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Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

10964Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Published July 26th 2005

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

I’d seen this book around a lot but I was never really in a hurry to read it. Until one day I randomly started the TV show and it pretty much changed my life. The only other times I felt this way about a book was Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. Seriously, that’s how much I love Outlander.
I love the concept of this series and the writing is amazing. And the characters. Oh my gosh, the characters! Claire is so awesome and she’s so tough. I could go on and on about how much I love Claire.
Jamie is… there are no words for Jamie. He’s everything amazing.
This whole book is just a wild ride. Even though it’s massive (like 900 pages), it didn’t feel like it took me forever to read it. I was so glued to the pages the entire time.
Overall, my love for Outlander and it’s characters are beyond words. I can’t even begin to express my feelings. I love everything about this book and I can’t wait to start the next book.

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Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer

13206900Winter by Marissa Meyer

Published November 10th 2015

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

I’M NOT READY TO SAY GOODBYE TO THIS SERIES.

I love this series so much. It’s so well written and imaginative. I love how each book brings in a new main character and show cases a different female character. Cinder’s squad grows with each book and the character development is amazing with every character.
There was a ton of things going on in this book and at times I felt a little overwhelmed with all the perspectives and settings. If I had to rank all the books in this series, Winter would probably be last just because I felt like this book was distinctively different from the others. Maybe because it was so long, maybe it was a lot more serious than the others. It’s definitely not the worst in the series, but it’s not my personal favorite.
I did love how everything ended. I didn’t think there was any holes or loose ends.

Overall, I loved this book so much and I’m so sad to see the end of this amazing series. I loved every second that I spent reading this series and I can’t wait to reread all the books soon.

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Review: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

5107The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Published 1951

Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with “cynical adolescent.” Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he’s been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation.

 

I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked this book up. I didn’t read the synopsis so I had no idea what it was about. And this book actually surprised me.

The first person narrative was really surprising to me. I wasn’t expecting that at all.
I found the main character a little annoying and I didn’t really like how the male characters referred to women. I didn’t like how they talked to women. It was a little degrading. But the book was first published 1951 so it’s not that surprising. Disappointing but not surprising.
I felt like noting really happened in this book. It was a story not a tale. There was no real plot, no climax.

Overall, I can see why some people love this book. I can also see why some people hate it.
For me, it was way better than I thought it was going to be but it’s not one of my favorites. If it hadn’t been mildly degrading to women, I would have liked it a lot more. But it was and it really impacted how I felt about the book. However, I can definitely see myself rereading this book in a couple of years.

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Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

 Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins 

Published September 29th 2011

Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

 

I read Anna and the French Kiss last year and while it was good, I didn’t really get into it. I didn’t get the hype and I didn’t fawn over St. Claire like everyone else did.
I’d already bought Lola before I even read Anna but I was a little hesitant to start Lola.
But I’m so glad that I did! Right from the start I liked this book so much more then Anna and the French Kiss.
I couldn’t put Lola down. I loved the characters and the plot and everything about it.
One thing that I wish I could change a bit was how the story was about Lola and the boys. I wished it could have been more about Lola. I wanted it to be about her, not Max and Cricket.

Overall, I really loved this book! Definitely one of my favorite contemporaries.

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Review: Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young

24465518Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young

Published November 3rd 2015

When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.

Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn’t have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.

The more Audrey learns about the new people she’s met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems…

I was very curious about this book because the synopsis sounded exactly like Hotel California by the Eagles.
And it pretty much is just like the song. However, I ended up wishing I could just read a book about Hotel California instead of Hotel Ruby.
I wasn’t into the characters. More often than not, I was annoyed with Audrey. She could have been a lot nicer and more supportive for Daniel and Daniel was just a messy character so at the end of the day, I didn’t really care how Audrey treated him. I wanted to be blown away by the characters, I really did. But they weren’t different from dozens of other YA characters. I wasn’t expecting them to be great but I really hoped.
I wasn’t into the romance. If you could call it that. It was just teenage puppy love, which I’m personally not a fan of.
I didn’t find this book to be creepy or scary. I didn’t think it was a thriller or horror. I can see why this book is put into those genres but if you want to call Hotel Ruby a horror novel, it’s the weakest horror book I’ve ever read. It was kinda spooky but not really.
It was predictable in every way possible. I personally found it dull and only somewhat entertaining. Maybe because I’ve heard Hotel California so many times and I’ve become immune to what actually would make Hotel Ruby interesting. When a book follows a song so closely, the book loses its power.
Overall, I thought this book was okay. I didn’t like it a whole lot but I didn’t hate it. I think a lot
of it could have been better written and maybe if it had been a little bit more to be dark and full of horror, I would have liked it. I guess I was just wanting more from this book. I didn’t have really high expectations but I still expected a little bit more. However, I think if you’re not a very critical
reader, I think this book would be really great.

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