Book Review: Stray by Elissa Sussman

stray

Stray

3.5 stars

Aislynn is a princess awaiting her introduction ball. She’s been preparing for a long time to be introduced to the suitors chosen specifically for her, to fall in love, to have her happily ever after. She will follow the Path, she will not stray. But on the night of the ball, Aislynn finds her life going in a direction she never expected, never prepare for, and the magic burning in her is threatening her Path. She must not stray.

I really liked the concept of this book. It was an original fairy tale with a main character that I found myself having a lot of empathy for and ended up really liking. There were some parts that were predictable but still enjoyable.

At first I was a little worried I wouldn’t like Aislynn. Her blind devotion to the Path, obeying every word of her adviser and headmistress, the chants to help them stay focused, it all felt a little cult-like. But I did like her and the more she developed and grew as a character, the more I found myself liking her. I could understand her desperation to achieve a goal that had been set for her since pretty much birth(in this case her introduction ball), her frustrations at being bad at containing her magic, her desire to be good at a new goal given to her so she could prove herself.

Two other characters I really loved were Thackery, a gardener at the academy Aislynn is at, and Brigid, a maid at the same academy. Both were nice and had their own stories but also served as a way to help Aislynn see beyond her own little world. Another character, Ford, was also great and I kind of wish we’d gotten to see him a little more. Linnea, the princess Aislynn is supposed to become a fairy godmother for, was an interesting character. I’m still not quite sure how I felt about her. At times I really felt for her but other times I wanted to scream.

The world building was very intricate and it left me feeling like there was so much more that had yet to be told. We only saw one small part of this world that was created. From the series title and description, I’m guessing we’re getting more parts of the world in upcoming stories, which I’m definitely excited about.

The plot was a little slow in the beginning but I didn’t mind too much. It felt necessary to make us aware of the stakes and just how devastating the turn of events were for Aislynn. Once she arrived at her new academy and started interacting with the characters mentioned above, and some of the twists and discoveries began, it really picked up. There was a lot of action in the last part of the book.

I’m hoping(and guessing) that Aislynn’s story will tie into the other books in the series. It’s just going to be a long wait.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

cost of things

The Cost of Things

Goodreads: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars in this thought-provoking, brilliantly written, and totally original realistic contemporary debut about three teens who must deal with the consequences of spells cast on them in the wake of their classmate’s sudden death.

Why I’m excited: The description is short and vague but it definitely intrigues me. It leaves so many questions that I want answered. Who died? What are these spells? Why were they cast? Were those three involved with the death? It screams ‘this book has twists and turns’

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WWW Wednesday

www_wednesdays4

This was started by ShouldBeReading and every Wednesday posters answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently: althea and oliver

Finished: young elitesforbiddenLasher

Next: I’m not sure yet. Depends on how emotional Althea and Oliver is and if I need fluffy afterward or not.

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Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week is top ten series I want to start. I’m pretty good at starting series, just not finishing them in a timely fashion.

10. forsaken The Forsaken – Lisa M Stasse. This one has the US, Canada, and Mexico all becoming one country that exiles anyone who tests positive for a high capacity for violence. It’s one of the few dystopians I’ve seen that mentions the world outside the US.

9. winner's curse The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski. I keep hearing great things about this book and the cover is so pretty.

8. kiss of deception Kiss of Deception – Mary E Pearson. This one I’ve heard mixed things on but it sounds interesting.

trial by fire Trial by Fire – Josephine Angelini. I loved Starcrossed and parallel worlds so this one sounds like one I’ll like.

6. vault of dreamers Vault of Dreamers – Caragh M O’Brien. This one just sounds creepy.

5. thousand pieces of you A Thousand Pieces of You – Claudia Gray. More parallel worlds. Maybe this will be the next big thing.

4. Talon Talon – Julie Kagawa. One that’s been on my need-to-buy list for a while. It finally comes out really soon.

3. red queen Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard. Not out for a while but I have an ARC. Just waiting until closer to the release date.

2. orphan queen The Orphan Queen – Jodi Meadows. This one sounds amazing, but again not out for a while.

1. Alienated big Alienated – Melissa Landers. Keep meaning to read this one.

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Booking Sunday Favourites: Booknerd Character

A type of character close to my heart. It’s like an instant bond when a character loves books.

obsidian

Katy from the Lux series. She’s a book blogger and lots books a lot through the series. She even gets ARCs and when she talks about characters she loves or books without mentioning titles, it’s fun to try to guess what ones she’s talking about(if the books are real).

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TV Post Time

We’re pretty close to being a month into fall TV but it still feels like there’s so many shows I have plans to watch but haven’t gotten around to it yet(good books, I blame you!).

Scorpion: Really loving this one. There’s action and humour and family feels. I love seeing problems getting solved with their unique skills and really love the interactions between the team.

The Walking Dead: Re-watched season 4 in a marathon right before the beginning of season 5. With how much I love this show now, I have to wonder why it took me so long to get into it. I remember watching the pilot and stopping after that for some reason, but now, it’s a must watch live.

The Flash/Gotham/Arrow: Pretty much all the superhero shows except Agents of SHIELD are need to catch up on/start. I keep hearing they’re awesome so maybe when all the other shows are on hiatus or if I get sick or something, there’ll be a marathon.

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Book Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

exquisite captive

Exquisite Captive

4.5 stars

Nalia is the only survivor after the massacre of her clan. She’s a powerful jinni, one of the most powerful, but that doesn’t save her from the dark caravan, who bring jinnis from Arjinna to earth and sell them. Nalia finds herself bought and owned by a human master, Malek, and forced to do his bidding. She would give anything to be free of her bindings to him but has little hope. Until she meets Raif, the leader of Arjinna’s revolution. He promises Nalia he can free her but his help comes with a high cost. With enemies closing in, and someone out to kill her, Nalia might have little choice but to agree.

I fell in love with this book almost immediately. The characters, the setting, the world-building, all of it worked for me and I found myself not wanting to finish because it was going to be a long wait for the next book.

Nalia was a character I really enjoyed. She was strong and massively stubborn. She also had a great sense of humour and could be very feisty, especially in regards to the men who always seemed to want someone from her. She harboured a lot of guilt for being the only survivor of her people and put so much pressure on herself to save her little brother. She seemed very lonely and the few times we saw her getting to positively interact with people who wanted nothing from her, I wanted to cry for her. They were so rare.

The two main men in her life, Malek and Raif, were such complete opposites. Malek could be cruel, though in his twisted way cared for Nalia. I liked the way his back story came into play but with how cruel he was, I could never root for him to end up with Nalia. The relationship between Raif and Nalia started off with a lot of tension and distrust, their castes hate each other, but they need each other. They sparked something in each other and the angry tension turned into something a lot steamier.

The descriptions of everything were amazing. The clothes, the club, Arjinna, the paintings Nalia’s friend Leilan did of Arjinna. It sounded like such a beautiful place that I wanted to visit. The world-building was in-depth and learning about Arjinna felt natural in the plot instead of forced in. The whole plot just flowed really well. Even when there was less action happening, there were other developments that kept my attention, we would get character development or some back story or we’d see through the eyes of the guy sent to murder Nalia.

I think the main thing I loved about the book was the nothing, not the characters or their relationships or the plot or the world, were simple. There were so many sides to everything and it gave the feeling that were will be even more to come.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

crimon bound

Crimson Bound

Release date: May 5th 2015

Goodreads: When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.
Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?
Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption
.

Why I’m excited: I really enjoyed the author’s first book, Cruel Beauty, and the spin she put on Beauty and the Beast. I haven’t seen many Little Red Riding Hood re-tellings and this Rachelle sounds like she could be a character I could really like.

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WWW Wednesday

www_wednesdays4

This was started by ShouldBeReading and every Wednesday posters answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently: young elites

Finished: the offering bigperfectedasylumblack ice

Next: forbidden

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Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week is top ten places books have made me want to visit, real or fictional.

10. clockwork angel big London in the 1800s, or really any time before the 1950s. But only with a time machine because I would want to be able to come back to my time eventually.

9. lion Narnia. Such a magical place with magical creatures and talking animals.

8. vampire academy big St Vladimir’s Academy. I could learn to either kick ass, do magic, or both.

7. percy Camp Half-Blood. This just seems like it would be a lot of fun.

6. iron king big The Iron Kingdom. Post-series when things have settled down. Or The Summer Kingdom but I’d stay away from The Winter Kingdom.

5. girl of fire and thorns big Joya D’Arena. The descriptions sound amazing and I would want to take a camera.

4. exquisite captive Arjinna. Possibly my new favourite book place. It sounds amazing.

3. between Ellauria. Another place that sounds amazing. I loved seeing it through the eyes of a character that was an artist.

2. avalon big Space. Or more specifically a spaceship. I don’t think I’d have the guts to actually go into space in a suit and only attached to the ship by a rope.

1. harry potter Hogwart’s. Because who doesn’t want to go?

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