Book Review – A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)

Author: V.E. Schwab

Publication: February 21st, 2017

Publisher: Tor Books

Format: Hardcover, 624 pages

Genre: Adult, Paranormal, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Read: May 2017

V.E. SchwabGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.
THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…

The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.
WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?
WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.
WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
This should be a surprised to no one, I loved this book! The plot was action packed and intense. It had its slow moments but it didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment. It had death, violence and sacrifice. There was mystery and we learned more about the history of some of the characters. There was love, magic, family and friendship. IT WAS SO GOOD!

Writing Style – 5 out of 5 stars
Schwab is one of my favorite authors of all time so I absolutely adore her writing style. It’s fast paced with multiple and complex points of views throughout. It’s emotional and intense. It explores the past as well as shows the present using descriptive and detailed scenes. It can be slow sometimes but it’s so addicting!

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
MY BABIES! I can’t believe that this is my last book with my babies, that is so heartbreaking. Every single character that has crossed the pages of this series made me feel something and that’s priceless for me.
Kell is a little cinnamon roll to me! He’s grown so much and yet he is still the same. He’s determined to save everyone he loves but he also knows the stakes they’re up against and he’s torn and worried. I love how he managed his fears and the need to be brave, it was really inspiring to me. He was also super kind and I love him.
Lila is one of my favorite female characters of all time. She’s brave to the point of being reckless. But I love her passion and her tenacity. She charges head on into any obstacle, no matter what and while it freaks me out because I want her alive, I kind of look up to that kind of fearlessness.
I was really excited and happy to see that we got Rhy and Alucard’s points of views in this book. We got so much more background on Alucard and how he got into the situation when we first met him. It was also very important to see how Rhy was handling all the changes he was going through and everything that was happening to his capital and it all squeezed my heart to its smallest size (in a good way haha).

Emotionally

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Book Review – Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder

Dawn Study (Soulfinders #3, Study #6, The Chronicles of Ixia #9)

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Publication: January 31st, 2017

Publisher: Mira Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 478 pages

Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: February 2017

Maria V. SnyderGoodreads

 

Synopsis
New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder brings her Poison Study series to its exhilarating conclusion.
Despite the odds, Yelena and Valek have forged an irrevocable bond and a family that transcends borders. Now, when their two homelands stand on the brink of war, they must fight with magic and cunning to thwart an Ixian plot to invade Sitia.
Yelena seeks to break the hold of the insidious Theobroma that destroys a person’s resistance to magical persuasion. But the Cartel is determined to keep influential citizens and Sitian diplomats in thrall and Yelena at bay. With every bounty hunter after her, Yelena is forced to make a dangerous deal.
With might and magic, Valek peels back the layers of betrayal surrounding the Commander. At its rotten core lies a powerful magician and his latest discovery. The fate of all rests upon two unlikely weapons. One may turn the tide. The other could spell the end of everything.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I am running out of things to say about these books because you all know that I absolutely love this entire series. This book is just as action packed and full of suspense and drama and mystery. All the pieces that have been floating around since the beginning finally begin to fit together and spread. There’s danger and intrigue. The climax itself was kind of disappointing but the ending was really sweet and it gave me all the feels.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, not really sure what more to say. The writing style for these books is always really engaging and addicting, it’s very easy and fast to read through. There are several points of views throughout the book and they all feel very distinct and unique to each person. The story is fast paced, intricate and full of description and detailed.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I love and adore every single freaking character that is in this single book. This is the ninth book in the general series and this book has almost every character that has ever been on page with dialogue in the rest of the series in this book and it was amazing to be able to have them all together.
Yelena is one of my favorite characters of all time and it was great to have a whole new adventure with her. She’s smart and determined. She’s really protective and I love her devotion to the safety of her loved ones. She’s in a very special state throughout this whole book and it was quite terrifying because it was dangerous for her, more than it’s ever been. But I also love getting to see more of these characters and their lives and how they’ve grown as people. They feel real because I’ve seen them since their very humble beginnings.
Valek is one of my favorites of this particular series. I’ve always loved him but as a partner to Yelena and in this series and in this book as well, I got to see more of his personality. He’s much more emotional and accepting. His personal growth was astounding. Janco is great because he’s the most lighthearted of all the points of views and I really liked seeing his perspective on the things that were going on. Leif’s narrative tends to be focused on his wife and family and his feelings on protectiveness of them. There’s a new small point of view in this book and that’s Heli, who was an important side character in the Glass trilogy. She’s really smart, kind and sweet and I liked seeing the little bit of her perspective that we got.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Night Study by Maria V. Snyder

Night Study (Soulfinders #2, Study #5, The Chronicles of Ixia #8)

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Publication: January 26th, 2016

Publisher: Mira Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 400 pages

Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: February 2017

Maria V. SnyderGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.
Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek… secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realize it’s far more sinister that they could have ever imagined.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This series always manages to be action packed and full of drama. There’s a lot of mystery and suspense in this one as the characters don’t really know what they’re up against. There’s danger and intrigue and you’re never really sure if things are going to be okay in the end. In this book, there’s several plot lines that are coming together in an explosive way that foretells an amazing finale to come.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is fast paced and engaging. It’s addicting and intricate and each of the characters has a distinct voice. It’s detailed and descriptive though it shares a lot of different plot lines and complications. There’s a lot going on and you fly though the book so it might be hard to grasp some of the smaller details.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how much I love the entire cast of characters that is a part of this series and the cast just keeps growing and growing. There are several new characters that shake up things a bit for a main character and I just loved seeing that.
Yelena is in a precarious situation. Again haha. She’s out of magic and has a lot of problems that are plaguing both Ixia and Sitia and as liaison between the two countries, she feels like she has to save the day. I love how fierce and determined she is. She’s always looking for a way to keep people safe, not only those she loves, but to help keep the peace between the countries that she’s a part of because she comes from both. She’s practical and cunning. She’s very protective and loving and I just really enjoy reading from her point of view. I’m gonna miss her after the next book.
Valek, surprisingly, has a lot of emotional growth in this book and I wasn’t really expecting that. We learn a lot about his past and see some flashbacks about his life before being with the Commander and how he became the assassin he is. I loved seeing him more emotional and vulnerable. It was a different side to him. Janco is a great point of view to have in this particular trilogy. I love his humor but we also get to see how smart he is. He takes risks and sometimes they pat off haha. Then we also have Leif’s point of view which was an addition in this book. He’s really worried but determined to keep the peace and to have his loved ones safe.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Shadow Study (Soulfinders #1, Study #4, The Chronicles of Ixia #7)

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Publication: February 24th, 2015

Publisher: Mira Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: January 2017

Maria V. SnyderGoodreads

 

Synopsis
New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she’s back with a new tale of intrigue.
Once, only her own life hung in the balance…
Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she’d survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek’s job and his life are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret—or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is—while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.
Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous…

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s no surprise how much I love this series so obviously, I have an amazing time when reading. These books tend to be filled with non-stop action and drama and this book is no exception. There’s suspense and mystery and intrigue. This book is filled with dangerous situations and the characters are bombarded with problems the entire time I have to say that while this series is marketed as YA, the grand majority of the characters are adults which definitely affects the themes explored here.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Unlike the previous trilogies I’ve read from this author, this book has a lot more POV’s. It was really awesome to see inside the minds of some of my favorite side characters and I love how distinct each voice felt. The writing is really fast paced, engaging and addicting. It’s detailed and descriptive and super easy to read through. The magic system is complicated and tends to have continuous holes but it’s also so freaking entertaining that I can’t complain haha.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
All of these characters are basically my babies and I don’t think I could think critically about them even if I tried. So forgive me while the rest of this review is basically me gushing about these guys with a few exceptions.
Yelena is my favorite character of all time and I am so incredibly happy to be back in her head in this book! She’s much more vulnerable and scared than I’ve ever seen her before, this book definitely takes her out of her comfort zone and makes her confront the way she’s lived for so long. She’s worried, protective but definitely just as reckless as she’s always been which yes, is still as frustrating as it’s always been haha. I’m looking forward to seeing how she grows throughout the rest of the series because she’s in a completely new situation now and it’s going to be challenging for her.
There’s various side characters that are becoming more prominent in this book, from hearing from their points of views for the first time or to being introduced to them for the first time. Valek is my favorite, I honestly can’t quite grasp how old he is in this book, it’s insanity. But I loved seeing inside his head and his growth though! I don’t think I’ve ever seen his explore his emotions as much before, it was great. Janco is one of my favorites in this series because he’s just so hilarious with a side of annoying. He’s that character that brings comic relief and he does it well. Finally, I’ll mention Onora who’s a brand new character who throws a wrench in the entire dynamic of the team and that was really interesting. She’s defensive and guarded so I hope to learn more about her in the next few books.

Emotionally

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Series Review – Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson

Book Review - Fire and Thorns Trilogy

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Rae Carson

Publication: September 20th 2011, September 18th 2012 and August 27th 2013

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Format: Kindle Edition 448 pages, Kindle Edition 416 pages and Kindle Edition 449 pages

Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: October 2016 and February 2017

Rae CarsonGoodreads

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Synopsis
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king–a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior, and he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot is medium paced but it doesn’t really seem like it. There’s a lot of adventure and travel. This book sets up the world which is Catholic/Hispanic and Latinx inspired which is amazing and it also sets up the conflict for the future books. It’s all about magic, religion and so much mystery. I loved getting swept up in this story since it hadn’t happened in a long time. There’s also very little romance which was refreshing for the first book in a YA fantasy series.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
This author’s writing style is really simple, but also descriptive and detailed. However, it’s also really intense and powerful. It’s emotionally heavy but the narrator has kind of a dry narrative. In this book, she’s very unsure about everything that’s happening with her but it’s still entertaining and engaging to read.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I feel like this group of characters is going to take over my heart very quickly. There’s so much for me to connect to, not only with the main characters but with the culture and the world in this book. I’m slowly drowning in the depths of these dynamics.
Elisa is a very shy and quiet main character. Usually, main characters in fantasy are tough and ready to take on the world and it was a nice change of pace to see someone much more unsure and lost. She’s been kept in the dark about things pertaining to her and she spends a lot of time trying to get on the same playing field as everyone else which was a very interesting point of view to see. But we learn that she’s really smart and a great strategist. I love how she becomes more confident, honest and strong throughout the book.
There are quite a big number of side characters in this series which tends to happen in high fantasy. Each one is complex and interesting on their own and kept me guessing and wondering how they were going to shift the plot. I’m a shipper so I like to mention the romance but it’s very unclear in this first book. I know there is one because of what I’ve heard people talk about from this series but there’s practically nothing in this book.

The Crown of Embers

Synopsis
She does not know what awaits her at the enemy’s gate.
Elisa is a hero.
She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn’t.
Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.
To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.
If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I am falling in love with this series, really and truly. This book is full of adventure and travel (again). There’s much more information on the world and the background of it, like how it was created and what led to the setting we see here. It deals with magic, religion, action, drama, politics, war and death. And just to sweeten things up a bit, we have a bit more romance in this one haha.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is descriptive and detailed. It’s simple but at the same time, really powerful and intense. There’s a lot of emotion that pours out of the page through the writing style. It’s medium paced but intricate and entertaining, I could’ve read this book in one sitting honestly. There’s some drama in here but it’s such an enjoyable read.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I’m so obsessed guys! I am officially in love with every single character in this series. They all have a place in my heart, they are my babies and I will protect them with my life!
Elisa astounds me. I loved her character development in the first book, but I’m also super glad that it wasn’t that she had an “easy fix” to the personality she had. She was still unsure and worried about the things happening around her but she’s determined to be the best Queen she can possibly be to this kingdom she now has control of. She’s defiant and selfless. She’s a really strong, smart and honest leader and I think she’s a total badass to be quite honest.
The side characters also continue to grow and astound me. They’re each complex and intricate individuals and the relationships they create between them are just as real and powerful. They feel like real people while reading. The romance also makes a more obvious appearance and I loved it! I’m a huge shipper and this romance gave me the most wondrous feels!

The Bitter Kingdom

Synopsis
The epic conclusion to Rae Carson’s Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.
Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she’s never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion – a champion to those who have hated her most.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
IT’S SO GOOD, GUYS! This was the epic finale to end all the finales for me. It was action packed, full of even more adventure and more travel. We see even more of the world and it continues to astound me how big this creation is. There’s politics, magic, religion and so much more romance that just made me ecstatic! There’s a war going on but it’s almost Cold, it deals with stealth and strategies first which was super interesting.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is powerful and intense, it packs an emotional punch and took me through the wrenches haha. It’s detailed, descriptive yet simple. There’s drama, there’s entertainment and everything is intricately woven together. Though it has a medium pace, the writing flies by and the book can be easily finished in one sitting.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! These characters give me life and happiness more than the majority of the characters that I’ve encountered lately. They are all so amazing and beautiful and just so awesome!
Elisa is my Queen! I absolutely adore her. She’s confident and determined. She’s facing upheaval and mutiny within her advisors and she’s going into extreme enemy territory as well. She’s smart and strong and has such a resilient spirit. I liked being able to see much more of her compassionate side in this book. I consider her such a badass that even though that has a “tough only” connotation, it just reminds me of how complex she is as a character. She’s a defiant individual but also in tune with her emotions and her faith. She’s grown so much throughout the series that it’s kind of mind blowing. It makes me so proud of her which sounds kind of weird but that’s the kind of feeling she brings up in me.
Just like the side characters who are complex and intricate individuals. One of my favorite things about this series is the slow build of relationships. From friendships to romances to alliances, every thing is done with care and each one grows exponentially as the stories continue.

 Emotionally

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Series Review – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

book-review-the-lunar-chronicles

Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #1, #2, #3 and #4)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication: January 3rd 2012, February 5th 2013, February 4th 2014 and November 10th 2015

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Format: Kindle Edition 400 pages, Kindle Edition 464 pages, Kindle Edition 560 pages and Kindle Edition 833 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Retellings

Read: December 2015, October and December 2016

Marissa MeyerGoodreads

Cinder Cover

Cinder

3.5-stars2

Synopsis
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This book is really interesting and entertaining but oh my goodness, it was so predictable. I’m pretty sure I figured out everything that was going to happen in this book in the first quarter of it. That was disappointing because I expected so much more considering how much hype this book has. However, I liked the mystery involved (even if I figured it out) and how the author incorporated the original story line with her world.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I liked Meyer’s writing style. It’s really simple and straight to the point. There’s a lot of detail and description and it was engaging enough to keep me interested in the story although I knew where it was going. It was captivating enough but there wasn’t much distinction between character perspectives.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Characters are what make books for me. If I’m not feeling the characters, its a sure fire way to make me lose interest in a book which was what happened here. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the characters, but they didn’t really captivate me much. They were all just… there.Cinder is cool. She’s really jaded and kind of has a rude/sassy attitude. Some of her lines were kind of funny and I like how she tried not to take shit from other people around her. She’s really strong, specially after the life she’s had. I liked her determination and how independent she was. While she’s kind of a closed off person, she’s also really kind. I think all the things she had to deal with in her family and as a cyborg really made her conscious of how she should treat people and thinking beyond herself, even when that wasn’t reciprocated to her. However, there wasn’t anything about her that stood out to me and made me her fan or to want to root for her as I read.
There are also quite a few side characters. Kai, the prince in this story, was okay. He’s really young and inexperienced and the poor guy has the whole world on his shoulders. However, he’s determined to do the best job he can to keep his people safe and I admired that. I want to also mention that I love Iko, she’s amazing haha. There’s a lot of great changes with the characters and what they represent but they are still close to the original.

Scarlet Cover

Scarlet

4-stars1

Synopsis
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
Plot wise this book definitely stepped it up in the series. The various story lines as well as the original stories are starting to intertwine which makes it much better for me because this one didn’t feel as predictable as the first. It was interesting and entertaining. It was action packed, fast paced and much more gruesome than I expected. I definitely enjoyed this particular story much more.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, the writing style is really simple and straight forward. I think the author does a great job with connecting the existing stories together as well as with the original ones. It’s detailed, descriptive and engaging. I think the distinction between POVs was much better than the first book, I felt like I was reading about and from different people.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the characters from the first book, there was nothing that really captivated me about them. However, this book got so much better! Not only did I feel like they were more distinct in their voices and personalities, but I think the fast paced plot helped make me care more about what was happening to the characters.Scarlet became an instant favorite. She’s just so fierce! She’s determined and stubborn. I love how caring she is and how she doesn’t back down. She listens to her gut and follows it no matter what, that’s so inspiring to me. She’s loving to the people she cares about and takes awhile to warm up to others. I think she’s badass and I want to read more from her point of view.
There are also many more side characters introduced in this book. Wolf is one of them and he’s pretty great in my opinion. He has such a powerful presence and he’s fierce and apologetic. But you still get the sense there’s more to him than meets the eye. However, there was one character that was introduced in this book that blew everyone else out of the water and that is Thorne. I absolutely loved him, he stole the show for me. He’s hilarious, a bit self-centered and just a great character overall. I’m a big fan of him.

Cress Cover

Cress

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I’m really glad to say that these books keep getting better and better as the series continues. This one was entertaining, action packed and intense. It was definitely much more unique than I was expecting since the ones before were predictable in some ways. This one deviates from the original story a whole lot more and I loved it! This original science fiction, revolution story is taking over the series and it’s pretty great. The plot of this book was also so much more emotional. It’s getting down to the wire and you can definitely feel it as you read.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve come to really enjoy Meyer’s writing style. It’s simple and engaging, it’s easy to slip back into the world and the story because of that. It’s very detailed and descriptive, specially this book because there is so much traveling. These books are very fast paced and the author has gotten much better at creating distinction between all the POVs she’s working with which I really appreciate.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This part of the books just keeps on improving which each one. When I read the first book, I wasn’t really feeling most of the characters, but now that there’s more of a crew and the cast has gotten larger, I’ve warmed up to and am rooting for them much more. I was really interested in meeting Cress since I heard about this series, I really wanted to know how the author was going to work with the Rapunzel story and I really enjoyed her. She has such a sweet disposition despite all that she’s gone through. I found her naivety to be really endearing and cute. She’s so amazed by everything around her and even when she’s terrified of something, she does the best she can and is determined to push through no matter what.
I already knew I loved Thorne and that feeling just grew tenfold in this book. He’s charming, funny, smart and strong. I also like that he has character development in this book, he goes beyond just comic relief.
A lot of the side characters make appearances together as a group and I’m really loving their dynamic now. Shit got complicated but they did their best to stick together and to make it work with each other. I still love Iko and Wolf and Scarlet. I liked how Kai and Cinder were reunited in this book, it definitely got me to like them a bit more individually and together than I had in the past.

Winter Cover

Winter

5-stars1

Synopsis
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This is my favorite book in the series by far. I don’t know if its just because its the finale and the culmination of everything the gang has been trying to do for so long but I loved it. It was action packed, intense and powerful. There was a lot more blood shed and violence than the previous books but it was just as exciting and emotional as I wanted. The books have shifted so much from the original stories but there are so many correlations and intricate connections. However, this book was really, really long.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, the writing style really works with making the story shine. It’s simple yet engaging and easy to read. It’s really descriptive and detailed. I love how there’s so much more distinction between the different POVs now and I can tell who’s telling the story just by the first few lines. It was intense and action packed and really fast paced, though this book was definitely a bit too long for me.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve definitely become a fan of this cast of characters as the series went on. The group as a whole has a really great dynamic and they bring out the best in each other. I loved seeing how they all worked together and how they watched each other’s back through this crazy finale.
I really, really wanted to meet Winter. She sounded like such an interesting character but I was not prepared to being inside of her head. She’s really sweet and kind, an all around good person. However, she has delusions which affect how she sees the world which makes her very vulnerable. I just wanted to put her in a little bubble and protect her but at the same time, I wanted her to leave her comfort zone and kick butt haha.
Jacin is a character that annoyed me since coming onto the page, I couldn’t really understand him and his motivation… until I read this book. His relationship with Winter is so pure and open and just ride or die (I don’t know how else to say it haha). His personality, however, gets on my nerves. He has such a singular focus that his protective nature and his determination can rub me the wrong way. But I can’t fault him for being so dedicated.
SO MUCH HAPPENED TO THE CREW. I can’t even wrap my mind around everything the characters went through. I can say though that I really liked seeing them all together as a team and getting shit done together. Their fierce protectiveness of each other is just amazing.

Emotionally

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ARC Review – A List of Cages by Robin Roe

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A List of Cages

Author: Robin Roe

Publication: January 10th, 2017

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: e-ARC, 320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health, Realistic Fiction

Read: January 2017

Robin RoeGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from Disney Hyperion via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

5-stars1

Synopsis
When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian–the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.
Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.

Trigger warning for graphic depictions of mental, physical and emotional abuse.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book is absolutely and totally heart wrenching and heart breaking. Don’t go into this expecting a light contemporary because you’ll be shocked. This book is extremely powerful and poignant and might even make you cry if you’re affected by the themes discussed in it. It deals with abuse, family, friendship, trauma, grief and foster care. Both boys have different kinds of neurodiversity: dyslexia for Julian and ADHD for Adam. As I have neither, I can’t say if they are accurate representations but Adam reminded me a lot of my brother who does have ADHD. The only critique that I can really give is that I think the ending was rushed, there wasn’t enough resolutions and there were a few things left up in the air.

Writing Style – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed the writing style a lot. It was very distinct between the two main characters, their voices were very individual and unique to the other. It’s really fast paced and engaging. I managed to read the book much quicker than I thought, the second have I read it in one sitting which made it a very fast read. There’s a lot of graphic descriptions, it’s powerful and intense and totally kept me glued to the pages.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
The cast of characters in this book, specially the main characters, won me over and made me fall in love with them. They are so real and tangible and amazing. I find myself at a loss for words to describe how these characters made me feel. Julian broke my heart into a million pieces. He’s officially one of my cinnamon rolls because I just wanted to gather him into my arms and cuddle him. (Also, how weird is it that I know see 14 year olds as young enough to be cuddled, who am I?). He’s so quiet and lonely. He’s sad and depressed and lonely but doesn’t really know that he is. He feels that that is the way he’s supposed to be. His narrative is powerful in an emotional stand point and almost made me cry a few times. He’s scared but doesn’t really feel like he can talk to anyone because of the environment he’s in and school most definitely does not help because high school sucks and most people judge him. Adam on the other hand is the epitome of good. He’s such a kind and sweet, not only to Julian but to all the people around him. He actually reminded me a lot of myself and how I tend to be/act the way that someone needs me to, but Adam doesn’t have any negative connotations with that, that’s just how he is. He’s open and honest and gets really conflicted about Julian and his situation and what he should do. I really liked him and I liked his hyperactive yet empathetic personality and how close he was with his group of friends. My only problem where the characters are concerned is that I felt that some of the side characters weren’t developed enough. Adam has a very big group of friends but we only see a few closer up and only one I felt that we got to know as an individual. Also, Adam’s Mom, whom I felt should have had a bigger role in some of the later scenes, wasn’t around a lot of the time though it didn’t feel like she was the typical neglectful YA parent, that was a bit disappointing.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Bad Blood (The Naturals #4)

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publication: November 1st, 2016

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Kindle Edition, 384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Espionage

Read: December 2016

Jennifer Lynn BarnesGoodreads

 

5 Stars

Synopsis
When Cassie Hobbes joined the FBI’s Naturals program, she had one goal: uncover the truth about her mother’s murder. But now, everything Cassie thought she knew about what happened that night has been called into question. Her mother is alive, and the people holding her captive are more powerful—and dangerous—than anything the Naturals have faced so far. As Cassie and the team work to uncover the secrets of a group that has been killing in secret for generations, they find themselves racing a ticking clock. New victims. New betrayals. New secrets. When the bodies begin piling up, it soon becomes apparent that this time, the Naturals aren’t just hunting serial killers. They’re being hunted.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
I don’t know how to rave about these series anymore. The plots of these books are so intense, emotional and powerful. This book in particular was completely and totally nerve wracking for me, I was dying while reading! It deals with violence, death, family, friendship and grief. As always, it’s a little creepy but I think the ending, while sad, is also really hopeful.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
One of the best things about this series is how well the writing style works with it. It makes it so easy to fall into the story and get addicted to it. It’s intense and powerful and emotional and it’s really easy to read. The sentences are short and to the point which really drives home the anxiety inducing plot haha. It’s descriptive and creepy, but don’t worry you can handle it!

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
It took four books but I can finally say that I LOVE these characters! Slowly  but surely, they’ve gotten me under their spell and I just adore the way they look out for each other. Cassie in this book finally caught my attention. In general, I haven’t been sold on her as a character. I felt like there was a lot more I could get from her and that I didn’t really know her. But boy oh boy, she really stepped it up in this book! Which might be bad to say because she’s pretty distraught and obsessive in this book which isn’t very healthy but it was just so much easier  to get to know her. I felt like she finally let her walls down, with the rest of the group as well as with the reader. She’s anxious and feels very vulnerable and a bit unstable emotionally but she’s so determined and smart. She keeps moving forward toward her goal and I really loved her tenacity. Besides the regular plot line, each book focuses deeper into the pasts of some of the side characters and this one takes a look at Michael and Lila. It’s pretty safe to say that they’ve been my least favorite members of this series but I’ve grown to like them after awhile. They both have very volatile and sort of dangerous personalities and it was really interesting to see how they became those kind of people.

Emotionally

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Series Review – Firebird Trilogy by Claudia Gray

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A Thousand Pieces of You, Ten Thousand Skies Above You and A Million Worlds with You (Firebird #1, #2 and #3)

Author: Claudia Gray

Publication: November 4th 2014, November 3rd 2015 and November 1st 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Format: Kindle Edition 373 pages, Kindle Edition 424 pages and Kindle Edition 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction and Travel

Read: March, April and November 2016

Claudia GrayGoodreads

A Thousand Pieces of You Cover

A Thousand Pieces of You

4.5 Stars

Synopsis
Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father’s killer through multiple dimensions.
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.
A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

A friend of mine opened my eyes to a problematic scene in the first book. Check out this post for more information.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This story jumps right into the premise. That was kind of disorienting and the beginning of the story was slow in the beginning. It’s filled with mystery, suspense and action. There’s a lot of history and science weaved throughout the story because it deals with dimensional travel which makes it very entertaining.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed the writing style because it’s visually rich and engaging. It’s detailed and descriptive though it can be cheesy at times. I found the writing to be very imaginative and the science aspect wasn’t as hard to understand as I expected it to be.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I really liked meeting the cast of characters in this series and seeing how their relationships with each other develop.Marguerite is our main character and narrator. I liked her in a general sense. She told the story very well and was likeable. However, she’s impulsive and indecisive which had me frustrated with her at times. She’s also determined and smart and full of tenacity which made her a force to be reckoned with when she had her goals in mind. I hope to see more growth in her character.
There are also a few side characters and they are all very different in personalities and ambitions. There are two that have a more in depth look in this book which I found very interesting. Again they both have different personalities but my favorite part was seeing their interactions and how their relationships change and develop, not only with the main character but also with each other. I hope to be able to learn more about them in the upcoming books.

Ten Thousand Skies Above You Cover

Ten Thousand Skies Above You

5 Stars

Synopsis
Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.
Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.
The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Again, the story in this book is slow in the beginning. It includes a lot of catching up with what happened after the events of the first book. It’s action packed and full of conspiracy theories. It deals with death, love and ethics and personal morals. The ending is incredibly heart wrenching but I loved how beautiful and intricate the different dimensions are.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style in this series is great. It’s visually rich with its descriptions and details, it’s so easy to imagine all the different settings. It’s intense, engaging and really emotional. The author has a really big imagination and she’s really creative to come up with all these different scenarios that work scientifically yet work with a normal reader to be easily understandable.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
The relationships between the cast of characters is definitely getting much more intense and much more complicated.
Marguerite is awesome. I’ve really loved seeing her development in these books. She’s determined and headstrong, she has a single minded focus to get things right. In this book in particular, she’s really emotional and vulnerable. So many different things change in this book and she tries her best to deal with them.
The rest of the cast goes through so much as individuals as well as together. This book in particular is really tough on everyone. Each character has so much growth and development and it was enjoyable to read.

A Million Worlds With You Cover

A Million Worlds with You

5 Stars

Synopsis
A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.
The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.
Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.
So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.
In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I am beyond in love with this book. The plot of this one was filled with mystery, action, suspense, adventure, violence and just a lot of freaking twists and turns that I did not see coming. There’s a steady pace throughout the whole book that kept me hooked and reading. The ending was both simple and yet unexpected.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve fallen in love with the way these books are written. It’s so imaginative, intense, powerful and emotional. There’s an intricate way to how the story and the different dimensions are weaved together that is really fun to read. It’s descriptive, detailed, and engaging. I think the author is very creative and imaginative to have come up with such a great series arc.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I am now totally in love with this cast of characters, they’re my little babies and I just want them safe okay?!
Marguerite is a great main character and narrator. I’ve really come to enjoy both her personality and her perspective in this story. In this book, she’s absolutely petrified but pushes forward with her determination to save the people she loves. I love how she’s not cocky or overconfident, she really understands what is at stake and how she fits into all of it. She’s so smart and emotional though hopeful. I loved seeing her growth throughout the series.
The rest of the cast also goes through some extensive character development, from the smallest side characters to the bigger ones. I think it’s a very interesting dynamic considering how the characters encounter their friends’, parents’, enemies’, etc other selves from different dimensions and it’s intriguing to see how that gives them each a separate sort of insight into the people they love.

Emotionally

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Book Review – All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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All In Cover

All In (The Naturals #3)

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publication: November 7th, 2015

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Kindle Edition, 384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Espionage

Read: November 2016

Jennifer Lynn BarnesGoodreads

 

5 Stars

Synopsis
Three casinos. Three bodies. Three days. After a string of brutal murders in Las Vegas, Cassie Hobbes and the Naturals are called in to investigate. But even with the team’s unique profiling talents, these murders seem baffling: unlike many serial killers, this one uses different methods every time. All of the victims were killed in public, yet the killer does not show up on any tape. And each victim has a string of numbers tattooed on their wrist. Hidden in the numbers is a code—and the closer the Naturals come to unraveling the mystery, the more perilous the case becomes. Meanwhile, Cassie is dealing with an equally dangerous and much more painful mystery. For the first time in years, there’s been a break in her mother’s case. As personal issues and tensions between the team mount, Cassie and the Naturals will be faced with impossible odds—and impossible choices.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
This book have got me hooked guys. The plot is entertaining, intense and powerful. It’s full of creepy things and violence and death. Grief, family and friendship are huge themes in this book and I love the way the author worked them in throughout the story. There are a lot of crazy reveals and twists and turns that kept my jaw on the floor and my head spinning, gosh I love these books.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing for these books just really accentuates the story. It’s really easy to read because of its fast pace and addicting narrative. It’s powerful, intense and emotional. The sentences are short and to the point while still being descriptive and detailed. There are some really creepy and weird parts but that honestly makes the story that much more amazing!

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This book in particular made me completely and totally fall in love with every single character of the cast. I know I’ve said they’ve been getting to me, but I feel like this book solidified my love for them and their status as a family. Cassie is our narrator as always and I feel like through all the different experiences in these books, while they affect her, they also make her stronger. She’s smart but quiet. She’s really good at what she does and she’s determined to make a difference. However, in this book, she’s torn, haunted and hurt by a lot of different things. It’s a tough situation and things are revealed that shake her foundation. I loved how she continues to grow throughout the series. In this book, there’s a lot of focus on another of the side characters and I love how this particular plot is also centered around the team and their connection to each other. Honestly, this book definitely hit me a lot harder  than I expected it to. It’s so much more emotional than the rest of the ones before it and I had a LOT of freaking FEELS while reading!

Emotionally

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