Category Archives: Book Reviews

Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros

I did want to quickly preface this review by saying that I did receive this book for review; however, this in no way affected my review of this book. Also, this post is part of the blog tour for Project Pandora, hosted by Chapter by Chapter, so you should go check them out, along with the other wonderful blogs as a part of the tour. There will by other reviews and promotions up on other blogs that I’m sure you’ll all enjoy.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Tyler Bennett trusts no one. Just another foster kid bounced from home to home, he’s learned that lesson the hard way. Cue world’s tiniest violin. But when strange things start happening—waking up with bloody knuckles and no memory of the night before or the burner phone he can’t let out of his sight— Tyler starts to wonder if he can even trust himself.

Even stranger, the girl he’s falling for has a burner phone just like his. Finding out what’s really happening only leads to more questions…questions that could get them both killed. It’s not like someone’s kidnapping teens lost in the system and brainwashing them to be assassins or anything, right? And what happens to rogue assets who defy control?

In a race against the clock, they’ll have to uncover the truth behind Project Pandora and take it down—before they’re reactivated. Good thing the program spent millions training them to kick ass…

Authors: Aden Polydoros

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Number of Pages: 300

Genre: Mystery (???)

Where I acquired this book: Net Galley

When I read this book: July 8-16, 20117

Ratings on a Scale of 1-10

Quality of writing: 6

Pace: 7

Plot Development: 7

Characters: 6

Enjoyability: 8

Ease of Reading: 8

Although my ratings may seem a little low, I did actually enjoy this book. It was exactly what I needed to read, since it was a quick read that I didn’t have to focus to much on, which was great, since I was mostly reading in the car while we were going to my college orientation. The action started immediately, so there were no introductions to characters or anything, and it had been a while since I had received the book before I read it, so I went in knowing basically nothing about this book. In my opinion, that is the best way to read it, since the characters don’t know much in the beginning either, so it’s easiest to just catch on with them. One of my biggest complaints about this book, though has to be the character development. Most of the characters felt two-dimensional to me, and by the end I realized that I didn’t even ship half of the canon ships. There was so much jumping around between POVs and changing personas that I didn’t get a good idea for who the characters are. I will acknowledge that most of the characters don’t know who they are, themselves, but I felt no connection to a majority of them. On the flip-side, I did enjoy reading about Hades character, and I wish we saw more of him (and hope he continues to play a major role in the coming books). My liking to him may have come from the fact that he was the only character who was always himself, which proves my early assertion as to why the others didn’t really click. By the end, Hades had me questioning things not only about the story, but about my own life and going deeper into things than I’m sure the author intended. I almost wish Hades was the only POV, but then we would’ve missed out on a lot of the rest of the story. For the most part, I flew through this book in the car, but I will say there are a few slower spots, where I had to power through. The ending, for me, could’ve been better, but I can see the potential for coming books.

I would recommend this book to someone who is looking for a quick YA read, to maybe fill the time between releases, since you don’t have to make a huge commitment to the characters to truly enjoy it.

 

OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 3 stars

This book just came out on August 1st, let me know below if you’ve read it. Who was your favorite character? If “Zeus” renamed you, which god/goddess would you be named after?

RAWR!!

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Synopsis from Goodreads:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Publisher: Knopf

Number of Pages: 608

Genre: Mixed Media/Sci Fi

Where I acquired this book: Anderson’s Bookshop

When I read this book: March 2 2016

Ratings on a Scale of 1-10

Quality of writing: 10

Pace: 10

Plot Development: 10

Characters: 9

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 10

 

Just seeing the cover of this book, immediately intrigued me. It is just absolutely gorgeous and so is every single page within. Having never read a mixed-media novel before, I had no idea what to expect, nor what I would think of it. I actually went into it with little knowledge about it at all, including the plot, which may not have been the best approach, but it worked out for me. It was a little hard in the beginning to catch on, since you’re basically thrown right into the middle of the action and expected to just pick it up as the story progresses, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I personally love books where everything finally clicks into place at the end when you get that last kernel of information, so the plot of this book was totally up my alley. I was a little nervous about the way the story is told, since it isn’t a linear story line, but I honestly didn’t have trouble keeping up once I got the hang of things. In fact, jumping around so much enhance the plot line for me. I adored how sassy Kady and Ezra were! And AIDAN may be one of my all time favorite characters now!!

I definitely recommend this book to any hard core sci-fi lovers out there. I’m not a huge sci-fi person myself, but it is probably an acquired taste. If you’re looking for something new and exciting, I would give Illuminae a shot. Even if you don’t like it, it’ll look gorgeous on your bookshelves. XD

OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 5 stars

If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought below! Also, if you have any mixed-media novel recommendations, I would love to hear them, since I have yet to find another book like this one.

RAWR!!

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Synopsis from Goodreads:

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Publisher: Harper Teen

Number of Pages: 444

Genre: High Fantasy

Where I acquired this book: Amazon

When I read this book: February 9 – March 2 2016

Ratings on a Scale of 1-10

Quality of writing: 8

Pace: 8

Plot Development: 8

Characters: 9

Enjoyability: 9

Ease of Reading: 10

 

I absolutely hate to say this, but I was thoroughly disappointed in this book. After reading Red Queen and absolutely loving it, I expected nothing less from its sequel. One of the things I loved about the first book was how all of the characters had a purpose and were well-developed, and maybe it’s because it’d been a year now since I’ve read it, but when my friend was reading King’s Cage, I had no idea who she was talking about half of the time. The new characters in this book held no interest with me like the previous characters did. Even the older characters didn’t have the same intrigue they did in the first book. Cal was broody in the beginning, and while I semi-understand why it made sense for him, he took too long to come out of it, so it just became annoying. I was never a fan of Kilorn, since he seemed to be there as a reminder of Mare’s old life, and now he was just there to make her feel guilty or drive her stupid decisions. Don’t even get me started on Mare. Watching her discover her abilities and come into her new status in Red Queen was enthralling, but this book ruined all of that for me. She was whiny and useless throughout the majority of the book, and only returned to her kick-ass self towards the end, when it was conveniently too late in the story.

We did learn some new aspects of the world that saved the novel in my eyes. I hope the next book tries to focus more on their universe, because it is still interesting to me, since it is so unique, but the characters just aren’t doing it for me.

I have not yet been able to make myself pick up a copy of King’s Cage, and I’m not sure if I ever will.

OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 3 stars

Let me know your opinion on this book if you’ve read it! Also tell me below if you think I should give King’s Cage a shot!

RAWR!!

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Author: Susan Dennard

Publisher: Tor Teen

Number of Pages: 416

Genre: High Fantasy

Where I acquired this book: Amazon

When I read this book: January 5-25 2016

Ratings on a Scale of 1-10

Quality of writing: 9

Pace: 8

Plot Development: 9

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 9

Ease of Reading: 9

I was a huge fan of Susan’s first trilogy, Something Strange and Deadly (Here is my review of the finale Strange and Ever After), so I was ridiculously excited to read this new series. Picking it up I was a little skeptical, since it is still a huge jump (in my opinion) to go from historical fantasy to high fantasy, but after hearing her talk more about it at her signing, I was confident in her abilities. I was not disappointed at all. This book was refreshingly unique with a magic system that I have never seen before and a focus on the importance of friendship over romance. When I went to her signing in my hometown with Alexandra Bracken, a topic that was brought up several times in the discussion of their books was the Bechdel test, which if you’ve never heard of it before, is about whether a book has a conversation between two female characters that has nothing to do with the other male characters. At first I thought that it was a little ridiculous, because how many books really don’t pass this test? But after hearing this and rereading some of my favorite books, I was shocked at how common it really is to fail the Bechdel test. It was something I didn’t realize I missed until someone pointed it out to me and now I’m craving more books about strong female relationships. Safi and Isuelt work so well together, and no one can come between them. Romantic interests are introduced for the two characters, but it never overshadows the plot or their relationship with each other. Also, those two “love interests”, Merrick and Aeduan, have their own interests and plot points. It didn’t feel like there was a single character in this book who was put in just to drive a main character. Everyone and everything served its own purpose in the world outside of our characters, which gave the world as a whole a sense of realness, that I always appreciate in high fantasies and have found lacking in some other series.

I highly recommend this series to someone looking for a YA high fantasy with a well-developed world, strong female characters, and a kick-ass plot line.

OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 5 stars

Let me know if you’ve read it and what you thought! Also comment any fantasy or sci-fi books that pass the Bechdel test for me to read soon!

RAWR!!

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Synopsis from Goodreads: The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Author: Sarah J Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Number of Pages: 648

Genre: High Fantasy

Where I acquired this book: Amazon

When I read this book: September ?-5

Ratings on a Scale of 1-10

Quality of writing: 10

Pace: 10

Plot Development: 10

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 10

THIS BOOK!!!! I was crying from page one! It was beautifully written and plot was fantastic! I can’t even formulate clear thoughts on this book other than that it was probably the best one yet! I adore Sarah J Maas and every single one of her books. If you haven’t read any of them yet, then you need to get your butt of the computer and read them now, because they will freaking change your life! The characters are so amazing and realistic and well developed that you will feel everything they feel and more! We find out so many things in this book about characters we never knew before and things start clicking into place. By the end of it everything you thought will be turned upside down.

OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 1000000000000000000 stars

Please talk to me if you have read it! If not, then get your butt on it!

RAWR!!

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Synopsis from Goodreads: After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Author: Rick Yancey

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books

Number of Pages: 457

Genre: Apocalyptic/ Science Fiction

Where I acquired this book: Sam’s Club

When I read this book: October ?-18

Ratings on a Scale of 1-10

Quality of writing: 9

Pace: 5

Plot Development: 7

Characters: 6

Enjoyability: 5

Ease of Reading: 10

I hate to say this, because I know many people enjoyed this book, and maybe this is because it was so hyped up, but I didn’t like this one. I thought that it dragged for a lot of it, and the main character was annoying. Also, whenever I started to like where it was headed, it switched the point of view. Half of the point of view characters I didn’t even like, so it was hard for me to get into. I think the only reason I finished it is because I kept hoping it would get better, but it sadly did not. I have heard so many people raving about this book, so if you wanted to read it, don’t let me stop you, but it just didn’t do it for me.

OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 3 stars

Let me know what you thought below. Are you excited for the movie? Did you enjoy it?

RAWR!!

The White Rose by Amy Ewing

Synopsis from Goodreads: Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude.

But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised—a mysterious house in the Farm.

But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?

The White Rose is a raw, captivating sequel to The Jewel that fans won’t be able to put down until the final shocking moments.

Author: Amy Ewing

Publisher: Harper Teen

Number of Pages: 320

Genre: Fantasy

Where I acquired this book: Amazon

When I read this book: October ?-21

Ratings on a Scale of 1-10

Quality of writing: 10

Pace: 7

Plot Development: 8

Characters: 8

Enjoyability: 8

Ease of Reading: 10

After that massive cliff hanger from The Jewel, I was eager to finally get my hands on the sequel; however, I felt like she skimmed over the beginning a little too much and made everything they had to do in that part seem too easy. This doesn’t mean I didn’t like the book, because I loved it, but I do think that a lot of things they did were too easy to be realistic, even for a fantasy novel. But one thing I did enjoy was that we found a little more about the history of the island they are on and why things are the way they are there. There are many secrets revealed in this book that give an insight into some of the characters and the world around them. I don’t think this one was as good as the first one, but it is still amazing. Also, WARNING!!! ANOTHER BIG CLIFF HANGER AT THE END!! REFRAIN FROM READING UNTIL THE NEXT ONE IS OUT! Or not and you can suffer right along with me. 😉

OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 4 stars

Let me know what you thought about this one or the first one below. What would you do if you were a surrogate who had to face the auction?

RAWR!!