Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review: Murder of Crows (The Others #2) By: Anne Bishop

Book Description:
After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside's shape-shifting leader—wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.
My Thoughts:
I loved the first book regardless of the HUGE amounts of F words. The story I couldn't put down and loved it.

This book however, I was disappointed. There were only 2 or 3 at most, F words. But the overall feeling while reading it I was disappointed.

I just felt it dragged, it focused so much on simon and his confusion along with the process of a blood prophet and what they experience when they cut that it creeped me out and I didn't enjoy that. I understand that, that is how the author decided things would be but I felt there was so much focus on it and not an actual story. This book had "middle book syndrome" or "second book syndrome" which is when a book is a "filler" or a repeat of things that happened in book 1 with not much progress of the story. Now, to be fair this book did give you small things here in there but overall I was bored until the end where they left you with a nice wrap up but you know the conflict isn't over so you need to wait for book 3 to resolve everything. BLAH. this is becoming a very serious problem with trilogies :/

We do meet new characters and new groups with this very slow progressing story of a woman who just wants to be free to choose for herself and not be a means to an end. The overall idea of the story is fascinating and awesome. The execution was great in book 1 and I was super excited about book 2...anyways... we see new problems that were hinted to in book 1 and we see more of what causes the problem, why and what could happen next.

Overal this book was a bit of a drag for me and I didn't like the focus on the feels and emotions of what the blood prophets experiences when she makes a cut.

Sexual Content: heavy (due to the "orgasmic" experience a blood prophet experiences when she makes a cut and speaks the prophecy, tension between 2 characters, some innuendos)
Language: heavy (2-3 F words heavy among the other usual swear words)
Violence: heavy (paranormal animals being murdered {not graphic}, some fighting which understanding that it was a slaughter, understand of people dying in a horrific way)
Drugs/Alcohol: moderate (a made up drug used to cause chaos and problems)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Review: Expiration Day by William Campbell Powell

Book Description:
What happens when you turn eighteen and there are no more tomorrows?
It is the year 2049, and humanity is on the brink of extinction….

Tania Deeley has always been told that she’s a rarity: a human child in a world where most children are sophisticated androids manufactured by Oxted Corporation. When a decline in global fertility ensued, it was the creation of these near-perfect human copies called teknoids that helped to prevent the utter collapse of society.

Though she has always been aware of the existence of teknoids, it is not until her first day at The Lady Maud High School for Girls that Tania realizes that her best friend, Siân, may be one. Returning home from the summer holiday, she is shocked by how much Siân has changed. Is it possible that these changes were engineered by Oxted? And if Siân could be a teknoid, how many others in Tania’s life are not real?

Driven by the need to understand what sets teknoids apart from their human counterparts, Tania begins to seek answers. But time is running out. For everyone knows that on their eighteenth “birthdays,” teknoids must be returned to Oxted—never to be heard from again.
My Thoughts:
I will say this, this book was NOT AT ALL what I was expecting, I was expecting some sci-fi, action, with some romance, maybe set in a dystopian world..... it is...but, it isn't.

This book is not at all what you think. This book is all about feelings, and what it means to be human and who the real enemy is. This is about love, loss, family, love, emotion, passion, life and everything in between.

This whole book is a girls journal and the story starts off with an 11 year old girl who knows she's human in a world where humans have lost most of the ability to get pregnant and have human children. Due to this need to have children and a family the world went into chaos until robots were invented and could be leased out to families who want children and would get these very real human-like robot children who don't know they are robots. When these children reach the age of 18 they are returned to the "factory" and then "deactivated."

Through the story you learn that these children who are human think they are "special" because they are real humans. Well this story of Tania is about a girl who finds out she is really a robot and not human and have her world and understand come crashing down just to find out she is in fact human just not in the literal genetic sense.

This was beautifully written and I enjoyed MANY aspects of it. Most of all the fact that Tania doesn't know why she is writing a journal but decides to write it for (not her grandchildren) some unknown future alien species that happens upon her journal. And throughout this book, in between journal entries we catch a glimpse of thoughts of the "alien" actually reading this story and it was brilliant!

My concern though for this book is, it's in fact rather slow (well it was for me anyway) and I worry that people won't give this a chance because the author does in fact take time to create Tania's life and story and go through what we all go through, growth, puberty, crushes, loves, passions for learning new things and developing talents, going through struggles and emotions that are typical and normal for any human person.

Overal this book as depth to it and was very well written and well done. I was happy with how the author ended the book and found it very interesting.

Sexual Content: moderate (typical teenage hormones of realizing when a girl is maturing physically, understanding that certain characters have had sex, kissing)
Violence: mild
Language: moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: mild

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: White Hot Kiss By: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Book Description:
One kiss could be the last. 

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses. 

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever. 

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul. 

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.
My Thoughts:
I have attempted other books by this author before and one series I read 1 book and did not finish the series due to it being so close to another series by a different author. Then I attempted the first 2 books of another of this author's series and couldn't finish because the 2nd book was all about "I-love-you-but-I-can't-have-you-but-I-want-you-oh-baby-oh-baby" and I just lost interest in it and it was 85% eye rolling. So, I kept hearing about this book and people telling me "Bekah, you need to read this! you need to read this! give this one a chance" well I did and regardless of the cover of the book it was better than I anticipated.

The overall plot was interesting and new. I hadn't ever come across a story about gargoyles and so this was awesome in that aspect. Plus a "good vs. evil" the overall idea was new and I loved it.

Now the main character Layla is half demon, yet half gargoyle which makes her enemy to both sides and yet NOT enemy either which creates a nice conflict and the fact that she is raised in a house of gargoyles who taught her all her life that demons were bad-which they are-but not entirely which was super fun to read about it and see what was really "bad" and what wasn't. However Layla isn't what she seems there is a lot of questions about her and her past in regards to her paternity and what not then she comes across a sexy hot demon named Roth who is and isn't what he appears to be. As they as characters progress you end up really liking Roth as a character and a person.

There is a love triangle...sort of but not really there is always this undertone of forbidden love on all 3 sides and it's crazy so if you like steamy scenes (NO SEX) and love triangles this is it.

I really enjoyed the overall story and what new things Jennifer L. Armentrout brings in this new series. I look forward to book 2 and hope its not an eye rolling disappointment.

Sexual Content: moderate (PG-13 with lots of sensual scenes and steamy close encounters with making out)
Language: moderate
Violence: moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: moderate

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars By: John Green

Book Description:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
My Thoughts:
This is a VERY popular book and I finally got around to reading it because I kept hearing things about it. It took some young women from my church to get me to finally sit down and read it! First things first. Did I cry...nope. Everyone I've talked to told me they sobbed and cried like a baby when reading this story. I got a LITTLE misty eyed but I didn't cry. I can totally see what people cried though. it's a very heart warming story and you become attached to characters almost from page 1.

The story is about a girl named Hazel who is is in remission from problems with her lungs that have left her lungs weak and so she will always need the aid of an oxygen tank wherever she goes. She as a character (to me) seemed very bitter with life and what has happened to her, I felt like she secluded herself due to her illness and withdrew herself from life and people other than her parents and even then I felt like she kept them at a distance because she knew that death would always be lurking for her.

Hazel hates going to support group, that is until a guy-a very cute guy-won't stop staring at her, name Augustus or Gus.

Gus is also in remission from bone cancer that took part of one leg. He is the most uplifting and happy guy there who regardless of what life has thrown him gives and takes from life at its fullest and as a reader you just fall in love with him. He is pure awesomeness.

As Gus and Hazel interact the character development on Hazel's side was subtle and well written you could see her grow and change because a boy saw her differently instead of seeing her "handicap" or "illness."

It truly is a wonderful story and I can see why people gravitate to it. It's a coming of age, and a coming to terms, and a live-life-to-it's-fullest story that draw people in.

However I do warn people (or young adults) that there is some content that may be inappropriate. just be aware.

Sexual Content: moderate (PG-13,with the understanding that 2 characters sleep together-once, some innuendoes from a hormonal side character)
Language: moderate (PG-13)
Violence: mild
Drugs/Alcohol: mild (there is a character who is a drunk)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Book Review: The Winner's Curse By: Marie Rutkoski

Book Description:
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

My Thoughts:
LOVED THIS BOOK! LOVE LOVE LOVE! LOTS OF LOVE FOR THIS BOOK! I will own a hard copy of this book. All I can do is gush on how much I LOVE this book!

As I was reading this book I kept getting the feel like it was a new version of Captain Blood (By: Rafael Sabatini) for YA and I LOVE that story. It starts out kind of the same which is why I was automatically hooked. A girl buying a male slave?! AWESOME! And the male character hates her for it! and things evolve and then events happen that cause them become more involved with each other which leads to certain things like....LOVE then the whole world is literally turned upside down and things/places are switched. HA! I know you are soooooo interested now.

I would freaking highly recommend this to anyone because it's so fun and sweet and clean and has everything you could want in a book. I think what did it for me was the fact that in the beginning of the book it reminded me of Captain Blood. If only someone would do a remake for Young Adult. *SIGH* some day....

ANYWAY the book. I don't know what more to say other than that without giving too much of the book away. I loved it. I truly loved it and bought it in hardback so I could have it forever. only bad thing, IT'S A BLASTED SERIES! GAH! now I have to wait for book 2...a whole year. great. just dandy... BOO!

Sexual Content: moderate (PG)
Language: mild (that I remember)
Violence: moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: mild

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review: Unraveled By Julie Daines + GIVEAWAY!

Book Description:
When sickness swept through Bronwen’s family, it took the life of her father, brother, and sister, and left her permanently crippled. On the stormy eve of her sixteenth birthday, a faerie-witch gifts her a pair of enchanted shoes. Bronwen slips them on and is healed--but only when the shoes are on her feet. Her grace and beauty catches the eye of the king’s son--Urien, a handsome young man who prides himself on having everything perfect.

When Rhys, an old acquaintance and Captain of the Guard, recognizes Bronwen, he threatens to tell Urien her secret. Desperate to keep her deformity hidden and not to lose the love of handsome Urien, Bronwen quickly finds herself tangled in a web of lies and deceit. After all, she can't wear the shoes forever.
My Thoughts:
*sigh* such a sweet, good, wholesome, loveable book! where to begin!

This story is about finding what's right and good about oneself and not having to rely on perfect to make you right for someone. This beautifully written tale about a girl who lost to use of her legs due to a sickness that kills her family except herself and mother but leaves her scarred. She is left without the use of her legs, she gets around with a crutch but because of that she finds herself undesirable. Until one day a fairy leaves some ugly shoes that when worn makes her able to walk.

When Bronwen finds out that she can walk, her mother finds it appropriate to take her to court and be presented in order to find a suitable husband. Instead Bronwen finds herself catching the eye of the prince.

There are SOOOOOO many aspects I absolutely LOVED about this book. I LOVED the fact that Rhys and Bronwen clash heads all the time yet it's he who saves her all the time. I loved how gentle the prince is towards Bronwen and how well the author turned events to make your heart be ripped out of your chest. I loved the ending.

I just wish there was MORE STORY! this was SOOO GOOD I didn't want it to end! I wasn't ready I wanted MORE, more story, more character development, more everything! I loved it all! It was just too quick of a read!

However my ONE critique is Bronwen although I get it, I felt didn't deserve the guy she got. nope, and when you read it you'll understand. Do I understand that this book is about find what perfection really means? yes, do I understand we need a character with this flaw to get the message across? yes, but I became so attached to certain characters I found myself defending them in the end! I really liked certain characters, really. That's how good this book is!

HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this book! I love this book so much you'll have to buy your own cause I am NOT giving mine away! :)

Sexual Content: mild (some kissing)
Language: mild/none
Violence: mild (some sword fighting)
Drugs/Alcohol: mild/none
Meet the Author:

Julie Daines was born in Boston, Massachusetts, raised in Utah, and educated around the world. As a high school student, she spent her summers hiking the deserts of southern Utah, drawing inspiration from the various plants and animals to write children’s stories and legends. 

She studied Zoology and Secondary Education at Brigham Young University, paying her way through college by performing live reptile demonstrations at the university’s life science museum.

She spent eighteen months living in London where she studied and fell in love with English Literature, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and the fellow who ran the kebab store around the corner. 
After editing for other authors, she decided to take up writing again--this time in the young adult genre. She feels qualified to write for teens because, as a young adult, she mastered the art of drama. Oh, and she has some skulking around the house.
Julie is a member of SCBWI, the League of Utah Writers, and Utah Children’s Writers. She frequently attends conferences where she has won a few awards for her writing, and is part of a superb writer’s group.
You can connect with Julie by:
Twitter: @Juliedaines


Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review: Moth and Spark By: Anne Leonard

Book Description:
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.

Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.

Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.

My Thoughts:
This was NOT what I was expecting. The story-Great! The romance-eye rolling... I knew there was going to be romance I didn't exactly know or understand that this was a ROMANCE novel.

This novel is written from duel perspectives, mostly Corin's and I did like that. The world building can be a little slow at first and a bit dragging but the author did a great job of making sure you understood everything about her world and what is going on. She made sure you understood each character and their part in the plot and their back story.

The romance was a bit ridiculous in my opinion, and too fast it was disappointing. Corin and Tam are all over each other within 24 hours of meeting and after LITERATLLY five days they are in love and eternally committed to each other by taking vows and making promises which made it all too fast and really disappointing, and I gagged a few times and did a TON of eye rolling. So much for character development in that arena. And what's with all the sex and innuendos! totally took away from what could have been an EPIC romance, in my opinion.

The story starts off with an amazing bang as revelation of a prophecy involving freeing the dragons from the emperor comes about which complicates everything in Corin's life, his quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country. Prince Corin has been chosen to release the dragons from the Empire and free them from bondage, but even though they've given him some of their power, they didn't give Corin much or any of their knowledge. Which complicates things. Yet, what was interesting was no one, not the dragons or their riders seem to know what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control. huh. weird.

Tam started out sooo interesting, she was smart, strong, stubborn, beautiful, curious, and we later learn that she is a Seer-COOL! However, I felt she lost all sense of herself when it came to her romance with Corin.

So Tam and Corin try to work together in order to save their kingdom of Caithen from oncoming war.

Overall the fantasy side of the story was GREAT and well written! It had everything, prophecy, power, mystery, war, political intrigue. it was awesome! The romance killed it for me.

Sexual Content: heavy (lots of sex initiated from the female character)
Language: moderate (PG)
Violence: moderate (PG)
Drugs/Alcohol: moderate (PG)

*Thank you to Viking publishers for mailing me a copy of this book to read for an honest review.