Skyward – Brandon Sanderson

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
Published November 6, 2018

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul. 

 


I’ve read a few Brandon Sanderson books, I do believe this is my 5th one, and my goodness. He always blows me away. When I first came back to reading about four years ago, I randomly picked up Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, and  I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on such good books like the one I had just read. Between the Reckoners trilogy, the first Mistborn book, and Skyward…this man can do no wrong. Seriously. I felt like I was in the middle of watching an epic Star Wars dogfight about 85% of this book, and all the other times, I was just so engaged and into the perseverance and uniqueness of Spensa that I couldn’t put it down.  His writing is so entrancing and it pulls you in like a siren’s song. I kick myself sometimes for devouring his work so quickly, but I just can’t put it down! 

Let’s start with Spensa, our main character. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy with a main character than I had with Spensa. She’s determined, strong, her tenacity and personality overall is just *chef’s kiss*. I felt like reading a book with a character like Spensa, makes me feel like I’m capable of doing anything. Which, as an almost thirty year old woman, I know I can do anything if I put my mind to it but Spensa for some reason makes it feel like that phrase is more attainable for whatever reason. She’s a wonderful main character and would recommend if anyone is looking for a strong female MC to pick this up because she makes this book worth it alone. 

Now, during this book, Spensa finds a ship wrecked in a cavern. This lovely being is M-BOT. He’s a ship with high tech and artificial intelligence which Spensa is NOT familiar with. And I ADORE this ship. And no spoilers but the end, I couldn’t handle it. He had such great character growth even for a silly little ship A.I. it was impeccable. I loved it. I love love love how much time and thought Sanderson puts into each and every one of his characters in his books.

The story is so great, wonderful pacing, a lot of just chipping away at the main plot but also keeping a good bit of mystery along the way. I think that was my favorite thing about it really. You had some really big moments, suspenseful ones like all the dogfighting etc, and then you had flight school, and M-BOT etc. which was still great paced but help keep you engaged the whole time. I loved how Brandon Sanderson revealed all the big reveals. It was great, and he left just enough to make you want to continue reading more into the series. 

This is going to be a 4 book series (so far) and I feel like this first book is just such a great foundation to be able to expand and continue with some great stuff so just like with From Blood and Ash, the sequel is my immediate next read 

On to “Starsight”!  

5/5 Stars

 

The Bromance Book Club – Lyssa Kay Adams

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Published November 5, 2019

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.


I had such high hopes coming into this book, it didn’t sound like any other romance I’d ever read before, so I was really excited to read this. I was hoping that it would be well written, have good pacing, and just keep me hooked. And to be quite honest, it 1,000% delivered.

I was really excited to start reading a book about a married couple. I don’t think there’s enough romance or at least romance that intrigues me enough to pick up that starts with married couples. I’m married with a kid so I feel like I really connected with this book. Especially with some of the struggles that Gavin and Thea went through.  I also absolutely adored the way that Gavin’s teammates and other friends showed up for him especially since he seemed like the wallflower or quiet one of the group, being that myself, I know I don’t open up to many people so it’s hard for friends to notice when something is wrong or how to help in a difficult situation.

Bringing in the book club as a “manual” to help Gavin win back Thea I thought was SUCH a brilliant idea. And I loved the little excerpts of “Courting the Countess” I thought it was a really good way to set up new stages of the book. And I was always looking forward to seeing how Gavin took the book in terms of bringing it to life and how it translated to working back towards a solid relationship with Thea.

I feel like being connected to this book in terms of being a married woman and having the fear of hitting a real hard spot at some point in our relationship (mind you, my husband and I have been married happily for 3 almost 4 wonderful years) just made me connect so hard with what was going on. And made me want to read more and more just to make sure Gavin and Thea ended up working out. I was truly rooting for them.

In the end The Bromance Book Club was pretty addicting, had some really sweet moments, and things that were so real that I feel like I ended up appreciating it more than I would other romances. It was a pretty quick read for me due to just being sucked in. But I have to say, this was probably a top 10 for 2020.

5/5 Stars

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published June 13, 2017

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means–and what it costs–to face the truth.


I waited for MONTHS, MONTHS for this book to be auto checked-out to me from my library. The anticipation for this book was absolutely insane. I literally yipped when I got the e-mail that it had been auto-checked out for me. I started it right away and it was so great. It wasn’t what I expected at all in the best way possible.

This book was…entrancing, that’s the best way to put it. Taylor Jenkins Reid wrote with such finesse, and managed to write this amazing masterpiece. A piece with these vivid and descriptive flashbacks, I could imagine everything as though I were a fly on the wall in all of Evelyn’s life moments. Not a single second of this book was I confused, or bored, it was all filled with just continuous granules of story crumbs that I just had to devour, I was like a starved animal for more and more as I kept reading.

The exploration of Evelyn and how she brought her self to the top in a white man’s world I feel is something very relevant to today’s world. The way she worked herself into the top, and was so unapologetic for using people and the tactics she used to get to her next steps, it was unlike any character I ever read about. It was actually pretty refreshing to see a woman so ok with being as cutthroat as she was to get what she wanted. And the exploration of her bisexuality, was purely amazing. The relationships she had between both men and women, and how she loved each one of them so differently was something I found to be extremely special. Although it’s hard to not have your favorites be Harry and Celia.

Please pick up this book if you haven’t yet. It’s such a great read, and I’m thrilled that the books I’ve been choosing this year has yet to disappoint.

5/5 Stars

The Light We Lost – Jill Santopolo

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
Published May 9, 2017

He was the first person to inspire her, to move her, to truly understand her. Was he meant to be the last?

Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story—their story—at the very beginning.

Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts.

 


Well, I knew this heart was going to break my heart into a million pieces and it did. I’ve been reading a lot of romance books this year. Not sure why, but this genre really just swept me up and I find romance books to be my favorite type of read right now. And this book, it wasn’t like anything I’ve read before. The way it was written from Lucy’s POV and how back and for their relationship was in terms of being in and out of love with each other.

I couldn’t get over this book. The rollercoaster of Lucy and Gabe just had so many ups and downs that I just couldn’t stop reading their story. I really suggest this for anyone who loves a great love story and wants something that really evokes strong emotion. I feel like only a very small few books ever made me emote so strongly.

5/5 Stars

The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Published : October 18, 2016

The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie. 

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager. 


I’m not much of a non-fiction reader, but I have a habit tracker that has you join guilds and I joined a reader’s guild and one of the challenges was to read a non-fiction book. So I thought, why not? This seems like a great book, and one of my friends had just wrapped up reading it and said it was super entertaining.  So I downloaded the auidobook for this (Non-Fic books read by the writers seem to keep me entertained more than most other formats).

And my god, this book did not disappoint. Carrie did a wonderful job with narration, her great personality and emotion, bringing you into the emotions of all those years past. This book tended to focus more on her relationship/affair with Harrison Ford. Which I didn’t hate, but I wish I got a bit more insight into what it was like on the set/being a star for a movie franchise that no one thought would make it.

It was a relatively quick read as well, which was great. If you’re a fan of Star Wars and want some witty, and some good Star Wars fun, getting to know the true PLO, pick this one up.

5/5 Stars

Scythe – Neal Shusterman

Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Published : November 22nd 2016

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.


DEAR GOD THIS BOOK. TRULY EPIC.

Ok. I have to admit, this book had me just like…in awe. SUCH a great book! The setting, was great, the characters, their voice, their personalities, and just the overall plot. A true epic adventure. And it was so unique and thought provoking even. The way Shusterman brings up overall thoughts/ideas/talk of mortality and what is just and right, I guess moral would be the word to use. But DEAR GOD.

I also really enjoyed the amount of suspense, action and just overall speed of the book. Every single piece of information had purpose. Nothing was left untied and everything EVERYTHING had meaning.

The setting is UNREAL. Like a true utopia where death is conquered, sickness no longer exists and the only way to control population is through Gleaning (a task of killing people, that Scythes are tasked with). And the omnipresent being that is the Thunderhead which is basically the Internet and literally KNOWS ALL.

The characters were beyond amazing. Rowan being super complex, Citra being just overall badass and I think I enjoyed her the best. and DONT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE SCYTHES. Faraday and Curie were AMAZEBALLS. I loved Curie so much. I thought her and Faraday’s relationship and how they worked. And honestly all the the relationship dynamics were SO WELL THOUGHT OUT.

Overall this book was something I couldn’t put down. Literally had me clutching it until the very last word, it made me feel so many things and was such an great adventure, I think I would read it over and over and over again for all time.

If you’re looking for a gripping, fast paced, adventure. Please PLEASE do yourself the favor and pick up Scythe.

5/5 Stars

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: 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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Blog Tour: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor + Giveaway

32968540Akata Witch (Akata Witch #1) by Nnedi Okorafor

Published July 11th 2017 

Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.

Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But just as she’s finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too. Will their training be enough to help them against a threat whose powers greatly outnumber theirs?

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Review

I’ve been wanting to read Akata Witch ever since I seen it on Tumblr a few months ago. The cover is so beautiful and the synopsis sounded amazing. I heard that Akata Witch is “The Nigerian Harry Potter” and that definitely sold me.
My favorite thing about this book is the writing. It’s rare for me to come across a book with such timeless and articulate writing. Nnedi Okorafor is so talented and I’ll be reading any book she writes.
The characters were all well written and complex. I really loved Sunny from the first chapter and as the book went on, the more I loved her.
I also loved the world building and concept so much. It was so imaginative and unique.

I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this book. Akata Witch is a fantastic fantasy with beautiful world building and rich with culture. I definitely recommend picking up this book.

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) sets that include the paperback of AKATA WITCH and a galley of AKATA WARRIOR (ARV: $10.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on July 17th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 7, 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 5, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

 

 

18746776Akata Warrior (Akata Witch #2) by Nnedi Okorafor

Expected publication: October 3rd 2017 

A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book. 

Eventually, Sunny knows she must confront her destiny. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.

Much-honored Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, merges today’s Nigeria with a unique world she creates. Akata Warrior blends mythology, fantasy, history and magic into a compelling tale that will keep readers spellbound.

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About the Author

 

Nnedi OkoraforNnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a PhD in English and is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. She has been the winner of many awards for her short stories and young adult books, and won a World Fantasy Award for Who Fears Death. Nnedi’s books are inspired by her Nigerian heritage and her many trips to Africa. She lives in Chicago with her daughter Anyaugo and family. She can be contacted via her website, www.nnedi.com.

 

 

 

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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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