Series Review – Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

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

book-review-a-list-of-cages

a-list-of-cages-cover

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

book-review-bad-blood

bad-blood-cover

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

book-review-firebird-trilogy

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

book-review-all-in

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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Book Review – Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

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Blood For Blood Cover

Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2)

Author: Ryan Graudin

Publication: November 1st, 2016

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Format: Kindle Edition, 496 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction

Read: November 2016

Ryan GraudinGoodreads

 

5 Stars

Synopsis
There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it.
For the resistance in the Third Reich, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun. Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against Hitler’s army, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.
But in the midst of the chaos, Yael’s past and future collide when she comes face to face with a ghost from her past, and a spark with a fellow rider begins to grow into something more. Dark secrets reveal dark truths and one question hangs over them all—how far can you go for the ones you love?

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I was totally and completed pulled into this book from the minute I started it, no joke. The plot is powerful, emotional and full of suspense. It was slow at first which threw me off a bit since the first book was so action packed. However, it was filled with twists and turns and dealt with death, violence, lots of blood, power and hope. I do have to say that every time I stopped reading, I was reluctantly to pick up the book again because I knew that it was gonna hurt and it fucking did. Not sorry for that curse word.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve come to really like Graudin’s writing style. It’s poetic in the way that she weaves sentences which sounds weird but it’s actually really cool while still keeping up the intensity, power and emotional within the characters’ voices and narratives. There’s several POVs and they all read very distinct to me. It’s simple, detailed, descriptive and very engaging.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
Goodness, this cast of characters. They definitely make this series for me, they are amazing and complex and interesting and I just love them so much. Yael is the baddest badass lady to hit the book world. Honestly, I don’t know this series isn’t more popular because she’s freaking amazing. She’s angry and yet kind and open to people. She’s really smart and savvy about the world she’s a part of. She’s determined and strong and stubborn. I absolutely love her development, specially in this second book. There’s so much that happens around her and to her and it changes the way she is in such a deep way but makes her so much better as a character. I just think she’s amazing and it’s astounding to me how she could push forward in life so much to get to the point where she is at the end of this book. There’s a lot of side characters in this book, specially ones where we get their POVs. I loved most of them, I can say that there’s one in particular that I do not like at all in this book. My opinion of them quickly went downhill and I am very, very mad about how their specific story line came out. However, there are a few other side characters that I love with every fiber of my being. I keep them in a safe little place inside my heart where all my little cinnamon rolls live happily ever after. Yes, I’m a weirdo.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

book-review-killer-instinct

Killer Instinct Cover

Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2)

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publication: November 7th, 2013

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Kindle Edition, 321 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Espionage

Read: October 2016

Jennifer Lynn BarnesGoodreads

 

 

5 Stars

Synopsis
Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.
But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?
With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
I am absolutely obsessed with these books. The plot is fast paced and entertaining. It’s intense, powerful and sometimes really freaking creepy! It deals with violence, death and grief. This one is a lot more personal than the first. We get to learn more about one of the other members of the program and it really tore my heart up! And this book in particular also has more romance, which made me happy.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style works incredibly well for the story it’s telling. It’s super easy to read and really fast paced. The sentences are short and to the point which makes them easy to devour, because that’s basically what I do when I read this book. It’s really intense, powerful and creepy because it’s really descriptive. I’m gonna be honest, sometimes it gives me goosebumps. BUT THAT MAKES IT SO GOOD!

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This cast of characters are slowly but surely becoming my babies. They’re still really weird but like, I’m getting to know them so much more now that I want to snuggle them and love them! Cassie had a rough time of it in the first book so she’s haunted in this book, plagued by nightmares and memories. She’s gotten a bit obsessed with her ability and is also a bit confused on some things going on. But she’s really smart and quiet and hopeful. She’s slowly sliding right at home with this group of crazy kinds and it’s super awesome. This book also takes a closer look at Dean. This book takes him through ups and downs and lots of emotions. He’s scared, angry and haunted by his childhood. I just wanted to wrap him in my arms and protect him honestly. I feel like I definitely connected more with the side characters in this book, Dean first and foremost. Because the plot hits so close to home, the author makes it a point to build their friendships a lot more and to develop the side characters more which I really appreciated. It starts to feel like they are all part of the same team now and it’s pretty great.

Emotionally

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Book Review – The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

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The Rose and the Dagger Cover

The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Publication: April 26th, 2016

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Format: Kindle Edition, 420 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Retellings, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Read: September 2016

Renee AhdiehGoodreads

 

5 Stars

Synopsis
The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as “a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance.”
I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.
While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This is an amazing sequel and finale. It’s so intense and full of twists and turns. This one in particular is a lot slower paced and it doesn’t have as much action but it doesn’t away from the excitement and power of the story. There’s a lot of different parts and pieces in place and deals with war, romance,  betrayal and heartbreak. I loved it but it was not what I was expecting to happen.

Writing Style – 5 out of 5 stars
I absolutely love and adore Ahdieh’s writing style. It’s engaging and addictive. It makes the story really easy to read even though it’s poetic and lyrical. It’s beautiful, powerful and emotional. It packs a serious punch and manages to tell the story perfectly, both plot and writing fit well together. The writing is detailed and descriptive and I love reading it, just makes it so much fun to experience the book.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I am utterly and completely in love with these characters. They are so real and so tangible even through the page that I couldn’t help but be enamored with them. Shahrzad is an amazing narrator and protagonist. I love her. She’s determined and so very smart. She’s powerful and self-reliant, though sometimes a little bit too much. She’s very sassy and she stands up for herself even when it’d be much better for her safety if she doesn’t. She knows how to spar verbally to kick some serious ass that way which I loved. She has a really strong temper and I loved her character development, I feel like she learns a lot about herself and her family in this sequel. Khalid breaks my heart, that poor baby. He’s still so broody and apologetic. But he’s also strong, and smart and just tenacious. He’s always ready and steady for any confrontation that comes his way,  big or small. I loved how he did what was best for his country and not what he wanted to do, it shows a lot of integrity. I’m glad that we got to see a lot more from the side characters in this sequel. Not only ones that we came to love in the first book but also ones that were more behind the scenes. They’re all complex, interesting and intriguing. Their motivations and actions cause a lot of disruption and make the story that much more entertaining.

Emotionally

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Book Review – The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

book-review-the-naturals

The Naturals Cover

The Naturals (The Naturals #1)

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publication: November 7th, 2013

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Kindle Edition, 321 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Espionage

Read: September 2016

Jennifer Lynn BarnesGoodreads

 

 

5 Stars

Synopsis
Cassie Hobbes is not like most teenagers. Most teenagers don’t lose their mother in a bloody, unsolved murder. Most teenagers can’t tell who you are, where you’re from and how you’re likely to behave within moments of meeting you. And most teenagers don’t get chosen to join The Naturals. Identified by the FBI as uniquely gifted, Cassie is recruited to an elite school where a small number of teens are trained to hone their exceptional abilites. For Cassie, trying to make friends with the girls, and to figure out the two very different, very hot boys, is challenging enough. But when a new serial killer strikes and Cassie is drawn into a lethal game of cat and mouse, she realises just how dangerous life in The Naturals could be.

Critically

Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
I pretty much devoured this book. The plot is extremely fast paced, intense and really creepy. It’s entertaining but strange all at the same time. It deals with death, violence, criminal profiling and PTSD as well as family and just a teeny tiny bit of romance. It was really freaking good, guys.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style in this book is totally addicting, easy to read and incredibly fast paced. The sentences are short and to the point which really helps the reader feel the intensity and stress from the plot. There are so really creepy parts that kind of made me shudder but that really help bring the whole story together.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
The cast of characters in this series are very… weird. I don’t want to make that sound like a bad thing because it’s definitely not, but the Naturals crew is made up of really quirky personalities who all have very specific and very unique talents. Cassie, our narrator and main character, is very vulnerable. She’s been haunted by a very hard past which makes her feel different from the family she’s surrounded with and why she jumps into the Naturals Program so readily. She’s very quiet and has an intensity to that quietness that’s unexpected. She’s really smart and clever and her Natural gift is pretty cool in my opinion. However, I don’t feel like I don’t know her well enough though not because of how she’s portrayed as a character. There are four other sort of main characters in this series, the rest of the Naturals crew. They all have very different personalities and backgrounds and quirks. I liked some more than others, but I want to know more about them. I feel that because we see the story through Cassie’s eyes we get glimpses of things about the other characters, but not really why they are  there. It’s a really interesting way to get to know a cast.

Emotionally

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