Review : Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson

 Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson
Published : October 10, 2017

Leah Westfall, her fiancé Jefferson, and her friends have become rich in the California Territory, thanks to Lee’s magical ability to sense precious gold. But their fortune has made them a target, and when a dangerous billionaire sets out to destroy them, Lee and her friends decide they’ve had enough—they will fight back with all their power and talents. Lee’s magic is continuing to strengthen and grow, but someone is on to her—someone who might have a bit of magic herself. The stakes are higher than ever as Lee and her friends hatch a daring scheme that could alter the California landscape forever. With a distinctive young heroine and a unique interpretation of American history, Into the Bright Unknown strikes a rich vein of romance, magic, and adventure, bringing the Gold Seer Trilogy to its epic conclusion. Includes a map and an author’s note.


OH MY GOODNESS. This was such an entertaining and captivating read. I don’t know how I got sucked into the series because it’s not really in my wheelhouse, but I’m so glad I took a chance on it. This last book was AH.MAZE.ING. This book was like a western Ocean’s Eleven. It was so awesome and kept me so engaged and so invested in the story.

There were so many twists and turns and the end conclusion to all of it was just so satisfactory it was so great. I don’t think I’ve read a book by Rae Carson that I didn’t enjoy.  I think this might be my favorite series by her. She closed everything up SO NICELY and in such an entertaining way. I also love the use of another person with abilities, although I was hoping the series would continue so we could see the possibilities and origin of how people get their abilities etc. But it’s all good, I still got three really great books from this series.

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: Keepers by Sacha de Black

33297377Keepers by Sacha de Black

Published November 2017 

Eden’s life is balanced…
…until her soul is bound to her enemy.

When her parents are murdered, the realm of Trutinor is threatened. Then a mysterious human arrives and changes everything.

As Eden’s world spirals out of control, she doesn’t need a charismatic Siren from her past returning to complicate life.

Now, saving Trutinor is the last thing on Eden’s mind.


Three boys.
Two murdered parents.
One deadly choice.
 

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I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

This book is everything I want from a YA fantasy. It has awesome characters, great world building, a well thought out plot, and lots of action.
The world of Trutinor is so creative and such a refreshing change from the majority of YA fantasies I’ve been reading lately. Sacha built such an amazing world and she did it in a way that was easy to understand and I was able to picture everything clearly.
I absolutely loved the main character, Eden. She was so well written and complex.
There is a love triangle but I, hater of all love triangles, didn’t mind it at all. There’s just something about how Sacha wrote it that was so well done.
Overall, I really loved Keepers. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve read this year and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. If you’re looking for an action packed YA fantasy, I definitely recommend Keepers by Sacha da Black.

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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: Haven by Mary Lindsey

Expected publication: November 7th 2017

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for. 

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I was sent an unsolicited copy of this book from the publisher.

I wasn’t expecting much from this book so I was pleasantly surprised by Haven in a few ways.
I really like that this was a fairly unique take on Beauty and the Beast where the guy isn’t the “beast”. I’ve never seen anyone else do that so major props to Mary Linsey.
However, this book was slow for the first quarter or so. The first few chapters were a struggle to get through and I didn’t start to like the book until much later on.
I couldn’t really connect to the characters and they seemed a little lack luster to me.
The writing was pretty good though. I thought the style was nice and very clear.

Overall, Haven was good read but not quite my cup of tea. Even though I really liked the original spin on a very over done concept, my inability to fall in love with the characters was the downfall of this book. I think if you’re a less critical reader, you’ll enjoy Haven a lot more than I did, especially if you like retellings.

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Review: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

35606560The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Published October 3rd 2017

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

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I don’t know a lot about poetry and I don’t have a lot of experience reading poetry either so I don’t know how much stock can be put into my review. But I really enjoyed The Sun and Her Flowers, maybe even more than Milk and Honey. Even though I really liked Milk and Honey and could relate to many of the poems in that book, I felt like The Sun and Her Flowers was more my cup of tea. I was really inspired by a lot of the poems in this book and many resonated very deeply with me.
I do think The Sun and Her Flowers is worth reading, even if you’re not super into poetry.

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Review: Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent

19099368Unravelling Oliver  by Liz Nugent

Published March 6th 2014

“I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”

So begins Liz Nugent’s astonishing debut novel—a chilling, elegantly crafted, and psychologically astute exploration of the nature of evil.

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.

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

This book wasn’t for me and in my opinion, it was a complete mess. From a horribly sexist main character with no redeemable characteristics to random racist characters that are completely pointless to the story to an overall messy writing style, this book was truly terrible. I always strive for positivity in my reviews even if I personally didn’t like it but I can’t think of one good thing about this book.
I know the main character was written to be unlikable but I was left infuriated by every character in this book and I actually threw the book away from me at some points because it made me so angry.
This book was a waste of my time and I wish I had just put the book aside after the first few chapters and not finished it.

 

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Blog Tour: Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle + Giveaway

31456593Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Published August 8th 2017

If you’re not careful, you can spend your whole life looking for what you’ve lost.

One stormy summer in a small Irish town, things begin to disappear. It starts with trivial stuff—hair clips, house keys, socks—but soon it escalates to bigger things: a memory, a heart, a classmate.

Olive can tell that her best friend, Rose, is different all of a sudden. Rose isn’t talking, and Olive starts to worry she’s losing her. Then diary pages written by someone named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing development. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tightly to painful secrets.

When a tattered handwritten spellbook falls into the lives of these six teenagers, it changes everything. The spellbook is full of charms to conjure back that which has been lost, and it lists a part for each of them to play in the calling. It might be their best chance to set everything back to rights, but only if they’re willing to pay the price.

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Review

I really enjoyed The Accident Season so I was super hyped for Spellbook of the Lost and Found.
I love Moïra’s writing style so much. It’s so unique, creative, and almost poetic in some ways. I fell in love with her writing even more with SotLaF. The plot is so entertaining, there’s diverse characters, and the magic is bomb.
The only thing I wasn’t really into was how many perspectives there was. I’m not a big fan of multiple perspectives to begin with so that part of this book kind of drove me nuts at times.
But overall, Spellbook of the Lost and Found is full of creativity, beautiful writing, and magic. It really stands out to me in the sea of YA books and I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something distinctive and interesting.

 

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle. (ARV: $17.99 each).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on August 7, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 28, 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 August 30, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
 

About the author

 

Moïra Fowley-DoyleMoïra Fowley-Doyle is half-French, half-Irish and lives in Dublin with her husband, their young daughters, and their old cat. Moïra’s French half likes red wine and dark books in which everybody dies. Her Irish half likes tea and happy endings. Moïra started a PhD on vampires in young adult fiction before concentrating on writing young adult fiction with no vampires in it whatsoever. She wrote her first novel at the age of eight, when she was told that if she wrote a story about spiders she wouldn’t be afraid of them anymore. Moïra is still afraid of spiders, but has never stopped writing stories. She is the author of The Accident Season and Spellbook of the Lost and Found.

 

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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: Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by Ameriie

31450752Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

Published July 11th 2017

Leave it to the heroes to save the world–villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from . . .

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).

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I really love the idea of this book. To pair up people in the book community with bestselling authors is such a cool idea. I really appreciated the recognition of vloggers/reviewers as important contributors in the book world. I’ve seen some people have issues with the Booktubers being involved in the book but I personally have no hard feelings towards them. I think it’s really cool for them and it’s too bad that others are holding negative feelings towards them just because they’re successful in an unconventional way.

The stories themselves are pretty hit and miss with me. There was a few that I really loved but others I didn’t like and skimmed over them. My favorite stories were Beautiful Venomby Cindy Pon and Benjamin Alderson and Death Knell by Victoria Schwab and Jesse George.  I think this book is worth reading just for those two stories, especially Cindy and Ben’s story.

Overall, this book was pretty much what I was expecting. I feel like a lot of short story collections are hit and miss with most people so it didn’t surprise me that Because You Love to Hate Me was no exception to that for me. If you’re really excited about this book and love the authors and Booktubers, I think this is worth buying. If you’re a very casual fan, like myself, you might want to go to your local library or borrow it from a friend before spending your money.

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