I liked this one but the PoV switch led to several problems for me. The switch was the main reason it took me so dang long to read and get into this one. It also just made it feel so different from Maas’ other books. I mean all of the books in Assassin’s Blade feel so off and different but this one especially. It was told mostly in a new character, Yrene’s, point of view. Celaena does have some PoV but it’s few and far between and even that feels so off from what it usually sounds like. So we were stuck with a random character’s PoV for 96% of the novel and that wasn’t working all that well for me.
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Page Count: 400 pages
*I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and this has in no way affected my review.*
I was approached to participate in this blog tour because I got an ARC of another of Amanda’s books through NetGalley a while back. I was kinda freaking out because a major publisher had emailed me and asked me to participate in a blog tour so I signed up for this tour for that and also because I thought why not broaden my horizons of the books I read?
The beginning of this one was really rough because it starts with a sort of road trip montage. Mara is part of a traveling circus of gifted performers along with her mother and her mom’s boyfriend. The book starts out with an ominous prologue with a monster chasing someone, setting up the overall problem in the book. This overall problem though isn’t even dealt with ‘til after the 10% mark and a bunch of travelling circus day-to-day actions. Up to the 10% mark, it’s road trip and party with strangers time. The party was where I actually started to get into the book and not glance and skip around the book.
However, once you get to about the 10% mark, it’s back to circus stuff and that really didn’t interest me and I just couldn’t connect or get a real good sense of the characters in these parts.
That’s what I think problem #1 was for me. Problem #2 was the genre. Supernatural type books are a hit-or-miss genre for me. Sometimes they are super amazing and I love them (Clockwork Angel series, etc.) or they are like this one and just don’t reel me in. After 10%, there’s a lot of talk about those who work in the circus, what they do, and their lives. I just never really got into any of the characters so these parts were extremely rough for me. Problem #3 was the pacing. For me it just felt really slow and the scenes with actions just didn’t seem all that great.
But don’t let that deter you. This is a different book that feels like Scream Queens season 2 meets a traveling circus, I know some people love supernatural books and I think if you are really into that genre, this might be for you.
My rating: 0 of 5 stars
*I graciously received an audiobook copy from the author and a paperback from the publisher. This has in no way affected my review.*
**I have chosen not to star this review due to conflict on how to do so.
A while back, I received an email from a publicity company I had previously worked with asking me if I was interested in receiving a copy of this book. It was marketed for fans of Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia and it didn’t sound all that bad. So I accepted and began a journey with this book.
The summary of this one makes it sound like a super exciting adventure to save Earth and actually kind of draws me in. But reading this book was less exciting. I started the audiobook in the midst of me writing a bunch of school papers and had it playing it the background while I worked. The first little while was fine and although I wasn’t too interested, I kept going because I wanted to give it a chance. It begins with just kind of an everyday thing revolving around four brothers who lost their mom and their scientist dad. Around 12%, I kind of gave up because it totally changed. Right around this point it begins a strong “save the environment” vibe. The Queen/mom starts talking about how people went from fires to furnaces, etc. and how it’s harming Earth. Now, I do care about the Earth and understand that we need to clean up our act to help preserve it but this was a little too much for me.
From the beginning, I never really had a strong connection or cared for any of the characters. I think that’s another thing that contributed to my “meh” feeling about this book. I think part of it is that the characters are much younger than I am and compared to what I normally read in the YA/NA genre. It’s hard to get into the character’s shoes when they are way smaller than yours. Being 7 (I think that’s how old they are in this book, I never really got a clear understanding) feels like such a long time ago and it’s hard to relate to characters when you can hardly remember what it feels like to be that age. The book also tends to focus more overall on the “saving the Earth” thing than anything else like character development and building up a reader/character connection. The connection provided for the reader to the world is much more strong but I just wasn’t into the world so it didn’t really connect for me.
I think it all boiled down to my lost connection to the Middle Grade genre. My disconnect left me unable to connect to the characters or get involved in the plot/world. I haven’t read MG in a while and I guess that that’s probably why: I just don’t connect to it anymore.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I like this one and finished it surprisingly quick.
I think this was my favorite novella out of the two. I’ve always been interested in Corianne and Cal more than the king and Maven so I think that was a big part of it. It was also just more interesting than Steel Scars. We get to see Corianne grow up (I wasn’t too huge a fan of these parts or her aunt/grandma in them but they didn’t really affect my enjoyment all that much.) for a large part of this one and then we get to see her first meeting with Tiberias Calore, future king of Norta. This was the part I really enjoyed. I loved seeing the beginning and further events of their relationship and shipped them really early on. The king was definitely a different person than he was in RQ and I was sad that I knew that changed later on. For this one, I really wish it had gone into Cal more and expanded more on Corianne’s life in the palace rather than just cutting it short and rushing to (view spoiler)
This was definitely my least favorite of the two. I just don’t like Farley all that much for some reason. I didn’t think this one boring or anything, and I read it all without any issues (although maybe in part because there were those transcriptions that took up entire pages with jargon and code names and a few lines of text). It does give a bit of background to the Scarlet Guard and Farley as a character but it just isn’t as interesting as learning about Corianne and was just kinda bleh.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”
Wow. Just wow. This was such a powerful and emotional book for me!
When I first heard about this one, it was through Goodreads and all of the hype it was getting. For the first few months, all I saw for this one was 5 star reviews. Everywhere I looked on this one there was a five star review and enthusiastic reviews. I think by this point I had read Never, Never and I was just kind of like well there’s a lot of hype/5 star reviews and I liked her other books so why not? I think I tried reading it soon after I bought it and after I got to 8%, I just couldn’t go on so I put it down. 3 months later I finally decided I would try this on again and hopefully it would get me out of my slump. The first few days were a struggle for me. Like I usually do in slumps, I spent them rereading unnecessary passages many times and getting distracted. But after those first few days, I was still using my finger to keep track of where I was but I slowly went out of doing that and back to regular reading.
Unfortunately, through reviews on GR I got spoilers as to the overall book and I immediately hated the character involved in it and screamed for the MC to not get into a relationship with him. The beginning was a little rough to me because I felt that while I liked the content of them and Atlas, it was harder for me to switch between the letters to Lily’s POV but I think I ended up getting over this and really liking them because I loved Atlas as a character. Because of the spoilers, I think I was kind of biased towards Atlas but I really loved how sweet he was and their relationship (except for the scene on the couch!).
After I got through the rough patch and my slump, I really started to enjoy this book and start to fly through it. I even stayed up until 2 A.M. to finish this one and read over 40% in the same day! Besides the sexy scenes, this one was an amazing ride. I found it really easy to get invested in Lily’s story.
The story begins on a rooftop with Ryle and Lily’s first meeting. Then, about a year later, they meet again when (view spoiler) Alyssa comes into Lily’s shop asking for a job. Side note: I love Alyssa as a character. She was such a good friend and I’m so glad she and her husband moved past their struggle! They then begin to see each other more often and Ryle even comes to her shop and apartment begging her because he can’t get her out of his mind. They eventually begin a relationship (view spoiler)
This one was a really emotional ride for me and such a profound and compelling novel. (view spoiler) I really felt for the characters and got so involved in the novel. I was gonna knock off a star for the sexy scenes but the end made me push it back to 5. There really is no other way to rate this one for me.
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This book was absolutely terrible. I chose listen on audiobook (a wise choice, I might add) because I’m wary that I will enjoy/pay attention to any book I have to read for school. Although this was a smart choice, in some ways it wasn’t. I’m pretty sure I zoned out for most of the book because it was full of info I didn’t give a crap about like prices of building materials and how to measure a lake. The problem with this book is that’s practically all that this book is. Thoreau’s chapters start with a boring concept to base them off of and then he over-elaborates on that topic for 40-50+ pages.
Just a plain awful book. 0 stars.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
SO MANY STARS YESSSSSSS
This book gave me life and reminded me why I love reading so much and deserves every freakin’ star possible. Visually, this thing is also a masterpiece. The cover? GORGEOUS! The pages and different styles of telling the story? AMAZING! This book is absolutely stunning in every way.
I had tried to read this one as a hardback several times before because I saw all the hype and just couldn’t do it for whatever reason. I think it was through BookBub that I found out that this one was $1.99 on Kindle and I figured I would give it a try on there. I think I also tried on Kindle before the last time and again, to no avail. But this last time, something changed. Once I got through some of the rougher parts, I was racing through the book and even finished it in record personal time. One thing that I did not enjoy about the Kindle version was that it hindered my enjoyment and visuals of the more visual things in this book. I didn’t figure out how to zoom until the last 30% of the book and before them, had to squint and guess as to what they said or find a copy in a store and check them out.
Anyways, back to my thoughts on the actual book. Like I previously said, the beginning to this one is a little rough. I wasn’t too into the interviews and was unused to the style. But, I quickly eased into it and I think I most enjoyed the chats and pages that involved text woven within an image. The other styles I did not enjoy as much but they really do add the story and serve to give the reader multiple perspectives as to what is happening. And these perspectives really work and again, add to the story.
I do like fantasy and science fiction YA but have found it hard to find ones not ruined by cheesy romance or in a style that I love (Some perspectives just bug me and I can’t get into them.) but I’ve never read one like Illuminae before. Not just because of the style but also in terms of the content. I don’t generally read into space books as it’s hard to find them or to find good ones. This one was a step out of my reader comfort zone that I am so glad I took. I raced through it, devouring every cute romance bit of Kady & Ezra’s story, every whacked AIDAN moment, and every twisty turn of the Beitech v. Alexander & Hypatia crew battle. The authors really excelled at writing all of those aspects and drawing me in using them.
At first, I wasn’t so into Kady+Ezra, but as the book went on, I really enjoyed it and found myself becoming a hardcore shipper in no time. As for AIDAN, it was kind of the same thing. In the beginning, I hated it and what it was doing to the people it was supposed to protect. But towards the end, especially in the scenes with Kady, I actually kind of liked it a bit and almost felt sorry for it. Although, I hated the fact that (view spoiler) I found this one to not be predictable, except for a few minor things, but otherwise it was completely unpredictable and intriguing.
I highly recommend this one and have added it to the high honor of being on my favorite shelf. All the stars in the universe for Illuminae, my friends.
My rating: 0 of 5 stars
I don’t know really how to rate or review this one, but here we go.
I first was introduced to Telgemeier’s work with her book Smile. I had a similar experience and was given the book by a family member. I also like her book Drama because I love the world of behind the scenes. I don’t remember much about her sequel to Smile so I can’t say much on that one.
In this one, Telgemeier moves on to a story about two sisters who have to move to another city in California because the younger is sick. From the very beginning, we are given some storyline about ghosts, which I did not enjoy. She departs from her realistic fiction/non-fiction and all of the sudden goes to ghosts and Dia de los Muertos. Both of those topics are things I have little interest in when it comes to reading them. Although I finished this within hours, I don’t feel like it made an impact on me or that I really even liked it at all. I think I would have prefered she stick to her old genres based on my personal taste because that made the story much less enjoyable.
I was given a list of requirements for a class for books we should read during the year and this one fit three of them and seemed interesting. Granted, I had just finished CoM when I was choosing this one and kind of expected it to have a little more assassin in it.
This one involved a story about Iris? idk what her name was, I didn’t really care and her chapters were really random and vague. After the deaths of her sister and husband, her chapters basically revolved around really boring everyday tasks that she did and honestly I couldn’t have cared less. The other story was about two forbidden lovers and the man would tell the woman some weird sci-fi story when they met up in secret. That was kind of interesting but soon got really boring. I had expected this second story to be more interesting anyway but it soon got old. Plus, unlike Iris’ story, this one had no quotation marks to separate speech and switched from Iris’ first person to some weird third person.
All those things together made this book really terrible and unreadable.
BOOK & AUTHOR INFO:
by Lauren Sabel
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date: May 31st 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Callie Sinclair is literally out of her mind; as the government’s youngest psychic spy, she finds valuable information for top-secret missions. Her work keeps her headaches at bay, but it means she must lie to everyone she loves, including her longtime boyfriend, Charlie.
When a new psychic arrives at the office, Callie can’t help but flirt; Jasper already knows her in a way Charlie never will.
But as her love life gets more complicated, so do her visions. People halfway around the world seem to be in danger…and people in her own backyard, too. If Callie can’t find a way to alter future events, she could lose the people she loves—and her mind. Literally.
Lauren Sabel’s enthralling, romantic novel captures the thrill of exploring a unique power in a dangerous world.
Originally from the Rocky Mountains, Lauren Sabel has returned to the cool mountain air of Boulder, Colorado after living in several wonderful cities that she will always love and continue to visit year after year.
Lauren loves her husband, her kids, her family, her friends, and stories that end happily. She also loves digging into her mind and revealing tiny gems she didn’t know were there.
Lauren learned to mind dig while getting her MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa, a Buddhist college in Boulder, Colorado. Before Naropa, Lauren studied film in Rome, where she developed her love of crypts and other beautiful creepy things. She also worked in the film industry in New York and San Francisco, focusing mainly on film festivals, as she can never pass up a good party. In San Francisco she worked for Chronicle Books, where she was inducted into the fascinating world of book publishing.
For the past eight years, Lauren has been teaching college students the joys of creative writing, whether they like it or not.
In 2008, Lauren was published in Undiscovered Voices, an anthology of the best new writers for children in the U.K., where she was living at the time. Then life got very exciting very quickly. She signed with Jodi Reamer Esq. at The Writer’s House Agency in New York, and they made magic happen, and that magic is named Katherine Tegen. (aka: Katherine Tegen Publishing, Harper Collins).
Lauren’s first book, VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD was published June 3 2014. Lauren’s second book LIES I LIVE BY was released by KT Books on May 31 2016. She’s currently working on her next book, which she can’t wait to tell you about (but has to wait just a little while anyway).
Lauren believes that being a teenager is an act of courage, and is proud of anyone who manages to stick through it, despite the pain. 🙂