Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
I read this book a few months ago, and I really enjoyed it. I am currently reading the second book that was released March 10, and I decided that before I do a review on that book I should probably let you know how I liked this one.

I love DeStefano's writing and it sort of reminded me of Marie Rutkoski's. They are both almost poetic and really flow smoothly.

Probably my favorite aspect of this story is the characters. I love how trusting and healthy all their relationships are and how all the characters are 3D. While some parts of the book were a little boring or confusing, the interesting characters made up for that and allowed me to still have a good reading experience.

The only character I did not like was actually the main character, Morgan. She seemed too much like a Mary Sue at times, but I liked how she knew who to trust and who not to.

This book was sad at times, and at the end it got downright weird, unbelievable and confusing. The main plot of this book revolves around trying to escape Internment, the floating island they live on, and at the end she finds her parents were helping build a "bird" to fly down to Earth. This was weird and a little too convenient for me to believe and it made my overall appreciation for the book less.
I would really recommend reading this book, but I'm not sure about the second book yet, since I'm not very far into it.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Red Dragon by A.B. Wolverton

For me, this book was not nearly as good as the first one. I really do not like the characters, the insti-love drove me crazy, and everything seemed too made up and unrealistic.

I'll start out with the characters. They got to be too demanding and sort of bratty. I didn't really like how they all seemed to find a "soulmate", and all of them just accepted that. I got really confused when Freda and Henri were apart and Henri started to think that they had been with each other in a past life. That was a little to corny for me, and honestly I don't understand what that had to do with anything in the story. Also I think that the couples knew each other for such a short time that they couldn't know for a fact that they love each other.

Another thing that I found super annoying is what the characters called each other- "my friend", "little witch", "girl"... the list goes on and on. Every time I read one of those I just cringed. It just really annoys me in books where they don't call each other by their names or nicknames.

I didn't like how Freda was so easily forgiving and trusting. If I were a witch that a lot of people want to kill, I wouldn't be talking to strangers on planes and telling them my life story, even if they were my "guardians". I would be a little scared about if they have other motives or are spies.

The battle scenes were also unrealistic, but those are hard to write and describe. I didn't like how in the end all the characters found their way to the circle even though they never communicated with each other about meeting there.

I will be reading the next book when it's released, and I hope it's more like the first book.
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Reluctant Witch by A.B. Wolverton
I received this book for free through Goodreads firstreads. This did not influence my review or rating in any way. First of all, I want to thank the author and Goodreads firstreads for giving me the awesome opportunity to read this book. Honestly, I'm not sure if I would have found out about this series if I wouldn't have seen in on the firstreads page, and I probably wouldn't have gone out to buy it either, just because at first I didn't know what to expect from it since I'm not that familiar with self-published books. Now I can honestly say that I will be more open-minded with books that aren't as over-hyped as others.

If I'm completely honest, I did have quite a few problems with this book. The characters seemed too young and immature, but they were very fleshed out and I feel like I actually knew them. I feel like the best aspect of the writing was how much the author described the qualities of all the characters and actually helped me better imagine them. The character that I liked the least was probably the main character just because she seemed too whiny to me, and too much like a Bella Swan from Twilight. She seemed to need help with everything, but at the same time seemed like she accepted that she was a witch way to fast. I also didn't like how fast all her friends accepted she was a witch and how they found out about it at basically the same time as her.

Another problem I had was that it seemed too unrealistic (I know that this is fantasy but still)that the animals could talk to her and tell her basically everything, never really wondering how she could understand them, or find it weird or different in any way. I feel that if it was the other way around and an animal talked to me, I would be pretty freaked out and might call a psychiatric hospital... That just seemed a little too fake and corny to me.

This is the last problem I had. How was she a witch and her brother wasn't? This didn't make sense to me... I'm hoping this will be explained more in the next book, and maybe it will explain how it took her so long to get her gifts instead of just being born with them. I will definitely be reading the next book and I ordered it from B+N. Unfortunately, it was ordered with a pre-order and it won't be shipped until March 24th... That's too long!!

Now for stuff I liked. I really liked the love interest. Henri was very likeable and probably the best character in the whole book. His feelings for Freda were realistic and I really felt that they were real and healthy. This brings me to another thing I didn't like though! I really did not like Freda's name. I don't know, it's just one of those names that sort of annoys me... Maybe it's because that's one of the characters in the movie Dumb and Dumber 2, but I'm not sure.

Overall, this was a pretty good book but it had too many spelling and grammatical errors for me to give it more than three stars. I understand it was self-published and really respect the author for being able to do that, I just feel like some of the mistakes were very easily caught and fixed if they had just had some people read it before it was published and alert the author to problems.

Thanks for reading!
Soul Crossed by Lisa Gail Green
I received this book from Story Cartel for reviewing purposes. This did not influence my review or rating in any way.

I am really surprised right now. When I first saw this book, I thought it would be something like Fallen by Lauren Kate- centered around the romance in a boring way, and with no substance. This book actually was good. I liked the writing and it was a nice change from all the errors I've been seeing in books lately.

Even though the story was focused on the romance, it was in a good way and wasn't too sappy, and the main character was very independent.

The book was about Grace, an angel in training, falling in love with Josh, devil in training. They don't realize what each other are at first and fall in love with each other. They both need to try and make a boy go over to their side, and they're doomed if they don't.

In some ways this book reminded me of Christina Lauren's Sublime, but in other ways it was completely different. I now realize that when I picked up Sublime I thought it would be like this book, and I was let down by it. When I picked up this book I was hoping it would be what I wanted in Sublime and it definitely was. I'm really glad I read this book!

I would really like to thank Story Cartel for supplying me with this book, and also the author. If you're thinking you might read this, go and pick it up ASAP!

Thanks for reading!
The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Even though I really did not enjoy The Runaway King, if possible this book was even worse. The main characters started to grate on me and other aspects did too. Like I've said before, if you really want to read this story, only read the first book- it has a good enough ending.

Like I said before, the main characters got just plain annoying. Although they were 3D, they didn't seem to have many feelings that differed from Jaron's and followed him into anything, never questioning. Jaron started to annoy me too, what with all of the times he went directly into danger, never seeming to care about his or anyone else's safety and always got out fine with all of his friends uninjured and only worrying about him.

Another thing I really did not like was the lack of death in this book. I hate it when characters die, but in reality if you go to war and many people die, one of your friends is probably going to too. I know that it would be sad killing one of the characters you created, but it's something that every author needs to go through and it will just make their books better and more realistic.

I also really did not like Jaron's character in this book. I feel like the author didn't explain some stuff that he was doing, and in the end when I found out I felt like the author cheated me or was too lazy to add those things to the book. Jaron seemed way too smart and ALWAYS knew what to do. Also all of his crazy war strategies and plans never went wrong, no matter how unrealistic they were.

The only thing I liked about this book was the happily ever after (sarcasm). I actually really found that unrealistic and not fitting for this series at all.

I feel like this series has just gone downhill. The first book was good and held promise for the next two. Unfortunately, they just couldn't live up to it and ended up as big flops.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
This is the sequel to The False Prince. While that book had lots of plot twists, and it was very fast-paced, this book really lacked those two things. It really seemed to drag on and the main character, Jaron, really started getting on my nerves, what with all the times he put himself directly in the way of danger and always seemed to get out fine all the while managing to save his friends. This seemed way too unrealistic for me.

I really feel annoyed with the characters in this book. While in the first book, I thought they were smart, witty and brave, in this book they seemed like they were just there for Jaron to boss them around, and he ALWAYS did the right thing while doing so.

The writing in these books is just average, but the first book  wasn't so bad since it was so fast paced. Like I said before, this one was so slow paced, I found myself finding things to do to get out of reading! That literally never happens to me, even books that I really hate and am just trying to get done with, like If I Stay. Ugghh, I really hated that book, and the sequel was even worse if that's even possible.

I have read the last book, and I will say that it doesn't get much better, but it also gives you a lot of closure and I enjoyed that. If this series really looks good to you, I would recommend just reading the first book, it gives enough of an ending that it could be read as a stand-alone.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Moonstone: Shades of Blue by M.F. Page

I received a copy of this book from Story Cartel. This did not influence my review or rating in any way.
I would first like to thank Story Cartel. I really appreciate them generously letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book felt like an exact copy of Twilight. The main character is completely dependent on the love interest, the vampires can read minds, there is a vampire who can see the future, they move from house to house without any notice, there are vampire father/mother figures, all the vampires are perfect... the list can go on and on.

I feel the part of the story that I enjoyed the most is the soul-mate aspect. That is something new to the more recent YA books, and I feel like it hasn't been overused like love-triangles, insti-love, and Mary Sue main characters (don't worry, the only thing that this book had out of those is insti-love and it only ventured a little into Mary Sue-dom).

The love interest, Hartley. I actually had mixed feelings with him. On one side, he was too protective, but then I think about how he just wants to keep Georgiana safe. I'm hoping that that's why he seemed so controlling...

My main problem with this story is the plot. Or lack of a plot, I should say. The book seemed all over the place and the reader is just sort of forced to go along with it.

I'm not sure if I would recommend this book. It would depend on whether the person enjoyed Twilight, and if they would be willing to read a book really similar to it... I will be continuing with this series, even though the next books haven't been released yet, but I have read the summaries for the next two books (they're on the author's website) and I must say that I am heartbroken about something (I'm not going to say what) happening to Hartley. I like books with happy endings, with the main character getting married and having lots of kids... I don't know how that's going to happen now!

Thanks for reading!

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
On Goodreads, I am part of an awesome book group called Young Adult Book Club. (Here's a link to see their page: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/3551-young-adult-book-club )
For the month of March they decided to read this book. If you aren't familiar, you basically just read the book and then talk about it when you get to a specific page. There are discussion topics and everything. I would really recommend being in one of these since it helped me get into the book more, and plus it was really fun! I loved how it also made me pick up a book that I probably wouldn't have otherwise, and I ended up liking it!

I loved Sage as a character. He seemed snarky and arrogant, but once you get into the book you realize that that is just how he copes with everything and you really can't blame him for what he is. I also liked how brave of a character he was, but I just wish that more GIRL characters in YA could be like that. I did like seeing a male POV for once though.

I really liked the minor characters too, and how Sage never knew who to trust. In the next books you can see that the friendships he makes will stay with him forever. The author did a pretty good job making all the characters 3D and helping the reader really relate to them.

The book was about trying to get a fake prince on the throne so that Conner can rule behind him. Sage is picked to be one of the boys trained to be the false prince and if he doesn't get picked he will face certain death. He ends up having mixed relationships with the other boys, not really getting along, but at times tolerating each other.

I'll just tell you that the ending WAS surprising, but I feel that I saw the big surprise/reveal coming in the beginning. I have also read the other books in this series, and will have those reviews on here really soon.
Thanks so much for reading!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sudden Secrets by C. Lee McKenzie

I received this book free for reviewing purposes from Net Galley. This did not influence my review or rating in anyway.

When I picked this book up, I expected a typical YA mystery, complete with ghosts wanting revenge and someone out to kill or harm the main character for no reason whatsoever. I thought this would be a light, quick read that I would be able to review on here fast, and get to reading my next book. Well I thought wrong. This book has all of the things you think of when you hear about YA contemporary, only with lots of things you will never see coming.

The book is centered around Cleo moving to a completely new town and home with her mother, grandfather, pet boa, dog and cat. Her father left to find artifacts in Afghanistan and is basically gone as long as he wants to be, so basically months, if not years. Her whole life was torn apart years ago, when her little sister died. Every member in her family seems to blame themselves on it so they all sort of tear apart from each other. Her mother feels that moving will give them all some closure from that stage in their lifes.

The other thing the book is centered around is the creepy, mysterious house next door. No one appears to be living there, but after watching it during the night, Cleo determines there is someone, or something, there.

So before I said this book does not have any ghosts, and that is true. I will tell you as sort of a spoiler that there is a lady living there, but why no one knows about her you will have to read and find out yourself!

Naturally curious, Cleo and some of her friends try to investigate the house, but after one of them tries to go in the house, Cleo realizes the person must want their privacy and doesn't press further. Towards the end of the book she finally talks to her, but about what, you'll again have to find out yourself.

I loved the main character, Cleo. I could really see her growing as a person throughout the story, and I can tell by the end she was a better person. I wish the ending talked about what happened to the characters more, but I am glad for the epilogue.

This book is already released, and I got it on Net Galley. I feel that everyone should go out and buy this book! It isn't very well known and those books need all the support they can get!

3.5/5 stars
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Escape in Time by Ronit Lowenstein-Malz
I received this book for free on Net Galley. This did not influence my review or rating in any way.

I really enjoyed this book. A couple of years ago, I was pretty much obsessed with historical fiction. I would go into a bookstore and instantly buy anything that was about the Holocaust, WWII or the Civil War. I remember reading about a hundred books that year about the Holocaust alone. I was sort of obsessed... Shortly after that, I picked up Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series, got obsessed with YA, and that was that. When I saw this book on Net Galley I knew that I HAD to try to get approved for it. Thank goodness I did!

This story is from the point of view of a survivor of the Holocaust. The whole story is about her granddaughter reading about what happened to her. I liked how the book lets you read what happened to her grandmother, and then you got to see the granddaughter's  reaction and go into her mind to see what's she's thinking or comparing the experiences to.

The writing wasn't the best, but that could be because this book was translated from another language, but I'm not sure which one. I love how this book took place originally in Czechoslovakia since you don't see many books about Hitler's reign in that country. It was also kind of interesting to me since some of my ancestors are from there and it made me think about what they might have been doing at that time. I'm not really sure if this is a true story, but it reads like one and I wouldn't be surprised if it was. I found it really interesting and recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the Holocaust or WWII. This book is going to be released April 21st 2015, and I for one am going to go buy it as soon as it comes out!
3/5 stars!
Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Winner's Crime  by Marie Rutkoski

Like with the first book, the writing is beautiful. It flows amazingly and seems to be almost poetic. I love all the descriptions and how obviously smart and talented the author would have to be to be able to write like this. Like with the first book, it's clear the author works very hard to make the books the best they can be and puts all of herself into them. I love when you can see in a book just how much the author loves doing their job and is actually good at it. I cannot stress how much I love this series and just how much I recommend it! I also feel the author would be awesome to meet and she seems like a really amazing person.

The characterization is flawless. All of the characters are 3-D and very fleshed out. I found myself actually knowing why characters did things and I felt like I could see into the minds of even the most minor characters. You can just tell by their actions what kind of a person they may be, but you don't really know if they're the "good" or "bad" guys. I loved just how much stronger Kestrel got in this book and how you could tell she's not the selfish girl she was when she first bought Arin as a slave. She has obviously formed her own opinions about things and follows through with what she views is right. I could really tell that she has grown into her own person and learned to follow her heart.

Although it is obvious that her and Arin love each other, this book doesn't have as much kissing. We can see into both characters minds though, so you can really tell that there is something between them that they both feel, but they can't do anything about it to keep the peace between their two kingdoms. I also like how this didn't turn into some kind of a love-triangle like many other good books have. More times than not, books with love-triangles eventually get boring and dragged out. I'm glad that isn't going to happen to this series. Even though Kestrel is engaged to the prince, they really feel nothing more than friendship towards each other, and even that is very forced. He knows that Kestrel is marrying him for some other reason, and may be just trying to get the throne, but he sort of just goes with it, in fear of what his father might do if he doesn't. One thing I loved is how every time both Arin or Kestrel started to think about someone else, they would automatically think of the other, even if they really didn't want to. I feel this shows that their love for each other is very true and real. I love their relationship to say the least! I really hope in the next book they somehow end up with each other, but with that cliffhanger I can't say for sure! I hate waiting for books...

This may be one of my favorite series so far, and I give this book 4.5/5 stars. This series is at 4.75 stars right now, and I hope the last book brings that average up!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

For my first review I decided I will review one of my favorite books of all time, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. You can also read my Goodreads review right here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1164963006

This review is going to be a little bit different from that, not having the summary, and I'll go into more detail about what I loved and what I didn't like that much. To start out, I loved the main character, Kestrel. She is one of the most strong-willed, smart characters I have ever read about! No "Mary Sue" here! She could play games against grown-up men and win easily, and she could figure out things by herself before most people even start to think about it. Another thing I loved about this book is the love interest, Arin. He is one of the few people in the world who could beat Kestrel at the gambling games. They evened each other out, and I felt they brought out the best qualities in each other. Their relationship seemed real and heartfelt, and also very sad since they could never really be with each other since he is a slave that Kestrel bought at a slave market. Secretly, he used to be one of the main, prominent families of the Herran before the Valorians took over and made them slaves. I could really see his and Kestrel's relationship growing and how they slowly started to trust and love each other. The revelation towards the end of the book that he was one of the rebels trying to take back what is rightfully theirs should have ruined his and Kestrel's relationship, but if anything it showed how real it was and just assured the reader that it was heartfelt and how much it was worth it to the main characters,  especially when Arin lets Kestrel run free from Herrani and alert the Valorians of the slaves rebelling and killing many people. I felt that Kestrel agreeing to marry the Valorian prince so that the Herrani could have back their land also really shows her love for Arin since if she hadn't done that, him and the rest of the Herrani would have been killed right away. Even though he thinks she actually wants to marry the prince, it is still effective and will only help everyone in the long run.
This book was beautifully written. All of the sentences were very well thought out and you could tell the author put a LOT of effort into making her book the best it could be. I loved how every sentence made you think and also stayed interesting and entertaining. I would say the age group for this book is 12 and up. This book has a major, torturous cliffhanger, but the next book's ending is even worse! I'll probably be doing a review on that one next, so stay tuned for that!
5/5 Stars!!
Thanks for reading!