Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review-Crown of Midnight

Sometimes when I read a book, and then I get a chance to read the sequel I hesitate because there's this fear that it will fall short.  I've heard from almost every author that the second book in a series is the hardest to write, and I think in a way it's also the hardest to read.  Although the first book hooks you on a series the second book makes or breaks the reading of book three (or beyond).  The other thing I've found about second books in series is that they like to break your heart, and unfortunately this one is no exception.  Despite the fact it broke my heart I also think that this book was ever better than the first one. Maas dives deeper into her beautifully created world, with twists and turns that were surprising.  I found myself wide-eyed several times, and although there were moments when I wanted to go "really, it's not THAT hard to understand" there were also moments when I was like "wait, what WOAH!", and seeing as there were more of the latter I call that pretty well done.  The wit of all three main characters thrilled me, and despite having two men who love her Celaena manages to maintain her strong, independent vibe, which probably thrilled me more than anything.  High fantasy can be a very hard thing to write because you have to set up an entirely new world without exhausting the reader with endless description and back story, which Maas manages to do quite nicely.  She also mixes in mystery which pleases me to no end.  I can't wait to read the next book in the series and if the other books in the series haven't been picked up I hope they will be, because I'm not sure what will happen if I don't get to see who it all ends.  Fans of Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone) and Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms) are sure to love this high stakes sequel full of romance and action.

Out August 27, 2013

5/5 dust spirits

*Thanks to Bloomsbury for providing me with an eARC in return for an honest review.

Review-Just Like Fate

Somehow I made it quite some time without knowing about this book, but once I found out about there was no question in my mind that I would find a way to get it early.  The idea of the book is something that's pretty simple, that one decision, one SMALL decision, could change the course of your life.  Earlier in the year I read a book with a similar concept titled Pivot Point and I just really loved it, so I was interested to see how these two authors wove their story.  This was an entirely contemporary novel, and I think when it comes to something like this, an idea this simple, it comes down to how the story is executed, and in this case Cat and Suzanne did an amazing job.  I've found that in every novel that Suzanne writes there is so much raw emotion I can't help but be affected by it, and this is no exception.  That being said I couldn't tell which author wrote which part, so Cat also gets the compliment.  I'm really close to my grandmother, so reading this book, at times, it made me so sad because it's hard for me to think about my grandmother dying.  There were times when I was frustrated with the main character because she was being petty or being naive, but it wasn't the kind that made the character annoying, it was the kind that made the character real.  I loved reading the back and forth, going from one path to the other, although I'm sure some people might find it a little confusing.  The lovely ladies managed to write one heck of a hot guy, really, I want him.  Like, it's not even funny how much I want him.  Cat, Suzanne, I call dibs.  Although the ending left me feeling a little...wiggly at first, it didn't take long for me to realize that it was just RIGHT.  I'm being vague here because I don't want to give anything away, and I hope that in the end you'll see what I see, but I'm sure some of you will be frustrated by it, which I can totally understand, but if you do I just want you to think about it for a few minutes once you read the last page.  This book really spoke to me in a way that I'm not totally able to explain, and in the end I'm just so happy with the book.  I would love to see Cat and Suzanne team up to write another book, but if that's not in the cards I'm just glad that they will keep writing books on their own.  Fans of contemporary novels will eat this up, and I can't wait to discuss this book with all of you because I'm almost positive that it will be a huge hit.

Out August 27, 2013

4.5/5 dust spirits

*Thanks to Secret Garden Books for providing me with an ARC to read

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review-Throne of Glass

Before this book came out I bought all four novellas and started reading the first one, but then I got distracted and they got pushed aside.  I decided to pick them back up because book two is coming out shortly (I thought I had an e-ARC of it but I was wrong, hopefully I'll get it shortly though), and I was pleasantly surprised.  Although you don't HAVE to read the four novellas beforehand I would highly suggest it, because it gives you a nice look into what lead up to the events in this book.  High fantasy seems to be making a comeback, what with Game of Thrones in the spotlight, and the fact that it's coming to the YA world makes me happy.  I enjoy high fantasy every once and a while, although the story has to be good, as well as the characters, and this book manages to do both.  It also does something that made me particularly happy, and that was that it mentioned every day things.  Now, I don't mean eating or waking up, I mean going to the bathroom and (men, avert your eyes now) periods.  These things happen, and when authors just brush over them, although it doesn't make a book bad, it makes it slightly less realistic in my mind, because these things are REAL.  That being said I loved the fact that this book was basically The Hunger Games only instead of dystopian it's a high fantasy novel, well, and the main character is supposedly the world's greatest assassin.  Maas writes great action scenes, she has some pretty cute boys thrown into the mix, and she talks about real problems.  Okay, well, I don't really have to worry about being killed by someone who has been paid to do so, nor am I ruled by a man who is evil, but she doesn't pull punches when she talks about slavery and death.  I'm sure that sometimes authors pull back because they think that if they write things too grisly or too real they will get called on it, and it's true, but just because people have a problem with what's real doesn't mean that it doesn't happen.  I think this book would make a super cool tv-show, although I think that about a lot of books, and I can't wait to see what happens in the sequel and beyond.  Hopefully more of the mystery will be revealed in book too, although I'm glad that there will be 6 books in this series, because honestly 3 seems just to plain for an epic fantasy series (am I right?).  Although should more novellas come in the future I hope she only makes them one between each book, because hers are super long. 

5/5 dust sprits

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I was browsing the shelves of ARCs at a local indie store and came across this book, and I decided that I would give it a shot. Having never read any of her other books, especially her other magical series, I was not sure what I was getting into when I started this book.  What I found was a very complicated story, and while I'm in awe at all of the little details she managed to connect and the strings she brought together I'm...confused.  It was a wholly original story, and for that I applaud her, the plot was so intricate that I think my brain would have broken trying to come up with it, because lord knows it almost broke trying to keep up with it.  It took about 250 pages (out of 340 ish) to finally know what specific creature the book was about (ie vampires, werewolves, fairies, ect), and for most of those pages I was thinking "the only thing I can think of is fairies.  Cause she did a series about fairies, right?  And the cover looks kinda fairy-ish" but no, it's not about fairies.  There was also this whole Stone Mason conspiracy theory going on, which I enjoy as much as the next person, don't get me wrong (did anyone else want to go steal the Declaration of Independence to see if there was a code on the back?), and the conspiracy was VERY thorough, it just, it was a lot to take in.  Sometimes an author takes on so much in a book and they pull it off, and sometimes they don't.  While Pike definitely didn't fail at pulling everything off in this book she didn't, in my opinion, hit the bulls-eye.  Despite these things it was an interesting story and I was curious to see how it all played out in the end.  I'll probably pick up the sequel when it comes out, but it's not on the top of my to read list.  If you like Pike's previous series I would think you enjoy this one, and fans of rich story with unexpected twists would do well to give it a shot.  I also hope to pick up Pike's other books in the near future, although I can't promise anything with the crazy number of books I need to read first.

Out July 30, 2013

4/5 dust spirits

*Thanks to Secret Garden Books for providing me with an ARC to read

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Five years ago this book came out, and some time after that my best friends found and read it.  They then told me that I just had to read it, and I tried, I did, I just didn't find it grabbing so I put it down.  Now, x number of years later I decided to give it another chance.  This is one of those books that's just, it's everywhere.  And if it's not this one, it's one of the six books in the series.  Did I want to love this book so much I rushed out and bought the next one?  Yes.  Did I love it enough to do so? Unfortunately no.  That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the book, I did but there were some things I had slight problems with.  The first thing that jumped out at me was "I would be gone too".  If, supposed, this book was happening RIGHT NOW I would not be in the FAYZ, I would have poofed along with the rest of the kids over the age of 15.  Back when it was first released I would have still been there, and maybe that would have made it more...enticing, but all I could think of now was "I can't see myself in it because I wouldn't be in it".  Now, Grant is a facebook friend, or I like him on facebook, or something, and he seems like he has opinions that he's not afraid to share, and he's not afraid to be blunt with sex, violence, and harsh language (which is totally okay) .  All of that being said, this book has a 14-year-old main character, and in my mind that equals 14-year-old audience.  I have a brother about that age but some of the stuff in this book, it was pretty sick.  Like, "how does a 14-year-old even come up with that" sick.  All of this being said I did enjoy the book, and I'm curious as to what caused everything, how things played out, and who lives and dies.  I'd like to say that I will read book two and three and all the way up to six, but it probably won't happen.  Mostly likely I'll end up asking my friends what happened and how it all went down, and maybe reading the other books years later after re-reading book one, but because of my crazy TBR pile at this moment books two through six will probably wait a long time. Teenage boys will probably eat this book up, although maybe wait until they're at least 14 to read them, but that's just my opinion, I'm not saying you have to.  The story is fascinating and well thought out, the characters were, for the most part, enjoyable (the ones who were supposed to be at least), and I can tell that Grant put a lot of time and effort into this series.  I'll be checking out his other series as well, BZRK, and if time and money permits, looking into Hunger.

4/5 dust spirits

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review-Prep school Confidential

I heard about this book quite some time ago, and I decided that I would read it because it sounded good.  When I requested the e-galley on netgalley I wasn't sure I would actually get approved, and I decided that either way it wasn't something that I was dying to read so it wouldn't be a huge deal.  I've always been a big fan of murder mysteries, I watch pretty much any TV show I can that deals with them, and for some reason I just love murder mysteries that happen at prep-schools (I could see myself writing a book about one).  Having just finished this novel I can say that I am one hundred percent pleased with this novel as a murder mystery, as a prep-school novel, and as a debut.  Kara writes some really great characters.  The main character, Anne, was just, I loved her so much.  She's one of those characters that I would hope would be me in this type of situation, but to be honest she's probably just the person I wish I could be.  The thing I loved the most about her had to be her snark, although her determination and the fact that she did what was right despite the fact she could have been killed really made me like her.  I would like to think that I would get along very will with Anne, although that could just be my imagination.  There were also some super cute guys that I wouldn't mind doing some snooping with.  The plot was well done, and the mystery itself was really impressive.  Generally when it comes to books like this I can see who it is and what happened quite some time before the main character, but Kara wrote this book in such a way that I was kept guessing up until a little before Anne knew what happened, and even then I didn't know for sure until she did.  Her writing was a lot of fun, as were her characters, and with the cliff-hanger that wasn't exactly a cliff-hanger I can't wait to read the next book in the series.  Hopefully there will be more than two books in the series, although that depends on several things.  Fans of murder mysteries will just eat this book up, and the best thing about it is that it comes out in paperback right away!  Even if there are only two books in this series I'll be checking out anything else that Kara writes because I think she is an author to watch.

Out July 30, 2013

5/5 dust spirits

*Thanks to St. Martin's Griffin for providing me with an e-ARC in return for an honest review

Review-A Darkness Strange and Lovely

Last year I read Susan's debut novel Something Strange and Deadly and I really enjoyed it.  I've always been a fan of zombies and the book used necromancy, something I wasn't terribly familiar with, to create said zombies.  This book picks up shortly after where the first one left off, and it doesn't take long for things to really heat up.  I read this book in three days, just blasting through the 400 pages ruthlessly.  When it comes to sequels that come out about a year after the first I have the problem of not being able to remember everything that happened in the previous book, but this book flawlessly helped me remember without being too repetitive and including new information.  I love the fact that we were introduced to some new characters, and the fact that we got to see almost all of the characters from book one (that weren't dead).  The fact that Susan doesn't pull punches when it comes to sacrificing her character's body parts makes me happy, because, let's face it, when fighting a whole bunch of dead things that have come back to life what's the chance that you're gonna come out without a scratch?  Not very big.  There were a few things that bugged me, one was that the main villain from the first one really disappeared in this book, which I found a little odd.  The second was the fact that Eleanor made some poor choices.  I know, I know, everyone makes poor choices, and poor choices make a book more interesting, but it's those moments when the main character tries and fails to justify poor choices but keeps doing them anyways that really bugs me.  Despite those two things I really enjoyed the book.  The setting was amazing, the story really came together and made a lot of sense, we got to see more of characters from book one and new characters that I hope to see again.  I can't wait to see how Susan wraps everything up in the third book, and maybe I'll finally get around to reading the novella she wrote that takes place before the events in book one happened.  Susan is an author to watch, and if for some reason you aren't a fan of this series I would highly recommend you read whatever else she writes in the near future, and if you haven't tried her books I'm not sure what you're waiting for.

Out July 25, 2013

4.5/5 dust spirits

*Thanks to Harper Teen for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review

Thursday, July 4, 2013

This is W.A.R. Blog Tour-Review and Giveaway

Today I have the amazing privilege of being part of the This is W.A.R. blog tour for the Roecker sister's (Lisa and Laura) third published novel (although the third book in their Liar Society series comes out this December).  I've met both Lisa and Laura and they are both super awesome (and funny and kind of dorky, but what more do you really want?) so I'm thrilled that I get to be a part of this tour!!!

First "what the heck is This is W.A.R. about, cause I'm not sure I want to read a book about war, that's super depressing!"

The blurb;

This is not a story of forgiveness...
 The mystery of their best friend's murder drives four girls to destroy the Gregory family.
 Everyone at Hawthorne Lake Country Club saw Willa Ames-Rowan climb into a boat with James Gregory, the Club’s heir apparent.
 And everyone at Hawthorne Lake Country Club watched him return. Alone.
 They all know he killed her. But none of them will say a word. The Gregory family is very, very good at making problems go away.
 Enter the W.A.R.—the war to avenge Willa Ames-Rowan. Four girls. Four very different motives for justice and revenge, and only one rule: destroy the Gregory family at any cost.

Woo, chills right!?  Also, not actually about war, with the guns and the blood and what not, so if you're squeamish IT'S OKAY, you can still read this book!  YAY!!!

The authors;

Lisa and Laura Roecker are sisters-turned-writing partners with a passion for good books, pop culture, and Bravo programming. Not necessarily in that order. A prepubescent obsession with Lois Duncan and their mother's insistence that they read Men Are Just Desserts inspired This is WAR. The sisters live in Cleveland, Ohio, in separate residences. Their husbands wouldn't agree to a duplex. Cyberstalking is always encouraged at lisa-laura.blogspot.com and @landlroecker on Twitter.

Look at them, aren't they pretty!?  And sisters too, HOW COOL IS THAT!?  I know I couldn't write a book with my sibling, we'd kill each other before it even got finished!

My review;

Although I've met both Lisa and Laura when they came to town I hadn't cracked either of their books, which is really a HUGE point of embarrassment for me because it was blurbed by Kimberly Derting AND the dead girl has my name.  (Maybe that's not so great a thing? I don't know, I thought it was kinda cool.)  I decided that I would finally read their new book and get the word out BEFORE it came out, so here I am.  Having read a few collaborations before I was curious to see how Lisa and Laura would handle the situation, and I found that I was really pleased.  I'm not sure HOW they did it exactly, although whatever they did it worked really well.  The book followed five girls in total, although one was the dead girl and appeared just at the beginning and the end, the other four took turns narrating five different sections of the book with acronym titles (like W.A.R. which stands for Willa Ames-Rowan, the name of the dead girl).  Personally I love a good mystery, and although things seem straightforward to begin with they slowly start to turn murky as bits and pieces of the night Willa died come to light.  Lisa and Laura wrote a book that has a cast of multi-ethnic characters and twisted secrets that weave together into helping create a cover-up of epic proportions.  There were so many parts in this book that were lyrical and spoke to me, several parts that gave me little chills, and parts that had me going "WOAH, so THAT just happened".  Although I've never read Pretty Little Liars I watched some of the TV show with my cousins and this book reminded me of a cross between that and any and all CSI episodes that deal with rich people as suspects.  In the end I loved it and thanks to this book I will hopefully be reading their first two novels over the summer.

4.5/5 dust spirits

The giveaway;

Soho Teen has graciously provided a finished copy of This is W.A.R. for me to give away (they will send it to you so that means US addresses only, sorry) and they ALSO have a giveaway for any of you who pre-ordered the book.  If you send them proof of your pre-order here OR if you live near one of these indie bookstores/libraries you will get a key, kind of like the one all of the girls in the book wear (although numbers are limited so act fast!).  Now on with the giveaway.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Thanks to Soho Teen for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review

Monday, July 1, 2013


I had heard about this book before, mostly good things about it, and so when I came across it at the grocery story while I was shopping with my grandma I skimmed the first few pages and decided that I needed to read it.  The book takes place in Japan, and if you didn't know already I've taken Japanese for 6 years, and I TAed for another after I finished my AP class, although by no means dose this mean that I'm fluent at ALL.  The book just pulled me in, because I was like "I understand what the heck is being talked about!" which can be really exciting.  This being said if you don't speak Japanese there is a glossary in the back of the book to help you out.  I really loved the fact that the book was set in Japan (modern day) and that the over three fourths of the main characters were Japanese, because in YA white is most often the dominate race (but then again if you're IN Japan you would expect to see lots of Japanese people and not so many non-Japanese people).  The characters felt real to teenagers in Japan, and the description in the novel was beautiful, I could really see/imagine what Katie saw (and I've never actually been to Japan, so you can't say it's because I've actually seen it).  The story was really fresh, to my knowledge it has NEVER been done before anywhere, and the fact that Amanda brought Japanese culture and lore into the book made me really happy.  PERSONALLY being a student of the Japanese language little more than a year ago I found a few things about the book a little odd but those were just small things that I saw and unless you studied the language and culture you would probably pass right over them.  The other thing was that I'm not one hundred percent sure what was happening all the time, mainly when the ink came into play, not because of the language but it just seemed that maybe I didn't fully grasp what was happening, which totally could have been me.  All in all I really enjoyed the book and I'll be sure to pick up the sequel when it comes out...some time next year I would assume.  Fans of Japanese anime and manga will probably eat the book up, and if you're interested in Japan or Japanese culture or language I would recommend it to you highly.  It would also be great for fans of novels rooted in myth/history, Japanese or otherwise.

4/5 dust spirits