Sunday, October 25, 2015

Review: Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

2/5 Stars
288 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
ISBN:  9781250064431

A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.

Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.

Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on the right track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can't shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.

When Summer's behavior manage to alienate everyone, even Moony, she's forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that'll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.

I have so many mixed feelings with Summer. On one hand, I loved how flawed she was and how she didn't quite know her way in life. She reminded me of how so many teenagers these days are facing the same problems and, much like her, don't know how to cope or find their ways out of the problems. On the other hand she sometimes sort of annoyed me how she refused to somehow get help with her depression and drinking problem and seemed to push everyone away. I mostly felt sorry for Moony but I loved how he stuck with her and loved her through it all.

My definite least favorite character was Kurt. He was such an idiot and I hated how he encouraged Summer to keep doing the bad things she was doing. I was extremely confused at the ending, that seems to be happening to me a lot lately, but I truly have no idea what happened with that.

My favorite part of this book was how it dealt with tough themes like suicide and alcohol problems and how realistic it was. I know a lot of people can connect with these issues and I liked how the author portrayed them in this book. I think it was good that in the end of the book she added that they aren't normal responses to stress though and that getting help is a sign of strength. The resources at the end really seemed to add more to the book and it kind of helped me see how real this story was and just how many people deal with this kind of stuff. 

The reason why I didn't give this book a higher rating was because for most of the book nothing much really happened. The ending also made me not enjoy the book as much as I could have. I guess part of the reason I didn't give it a higher rating is because the cover is a little bit misleading. It kind of makes the book look happy and carefree when in reality it is a dark, sad story with little bits of hope. I might recommend this based on if you're okay with the things I've talked about but if you're looking for a happy story I would definitely tell you to go find something else.

***I received a review copy in exchange for my honest review. I have given this in my review above.***


Friday, October 16, 2015

Review: Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

3.5/5 Stars
231 Pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
ISBN:  9780373211586

 When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner's family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly Ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.

When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn't right on the prairie. She's heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.

This one was definitely creepy. Demons, blood, gore... what's not to like? It definitely surprised me with how good it was and I can only hope that horror may be the new genre in young adult.

Amanda was definitely a flawed character. When she finds herself pregnant, she honestly doesn't know what to do. She can't tell her parents or else they'll basically disown her, and when she tells the father of the baby he just kind of ditches her. To make matters worse, she thinks she may be going crazy, ever since the winter before when her and her whole family were trapped in a cabin for weeks she has been seeing weird things that may just be demonic. What makes everything worse is that her little sister was born blind and deaf from the fever her mother had at the time of her birth and something about her just doesn't sit right with Amanda. I really liked Amanda as a character though and I feel like she was very realistic and maybe a little bit modern for her time, if anything. She more reminded me of a girl today than in the 1800's but I guess that not all the girls back then were what they are always portrayed as anyway.

Henry was definitely a static character. I really didn't like him but I know that there are a lot of guys out there that only think of themselves. I thought it was really sad that he didn't even seem to care what happened with Amanda or the fact she was pregnant. He was just basically in the book to add conflict and even then he was only in the beginning.

I really didn't understand the whole thing with the doctor and his son at the end and it kind of confused me. I'm not giving away any spoilers, but if someone knows something I don't about it or maybe understood it better than me please comment below!

The book moved by really fast for me. I finished in two days, which is a pretty big accomplishment, only because I barely have time to read or blog nowadays with school. I'm learning to manage my time better though so hopefully I can get on a semi-normal routine sometime soon! Thanks for understanding and being patient though.

I would definitely recommend this to any horror fans out there! I can't wait to see what this author writes in the future and if they are by any chance horror I will picking them up!

***I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This did not impact my review in any way.***

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Sword of Summer

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

Even though this one was released yesterday I still haven't gotten my copy and I need it so bad!!! I loved the Percy Jackson series and I have a feeling that this one is going to be just as good, if not better. What book are you waiting for this week?