Category Archives: talking books

Series Spotlight: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Thursday I’m going to be putting the spotlight on a book series and talking about it. It might be one I’ve read, one I’m reading, or one I haven’t gotten to yet, depending on what I feel like talking about that week. This week’s series is one that started off strong, almost lost me in the middle, but ended back on a strong note.

red queenglass swordkings-cageWar Storm

The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard

Review status: 3/4, Red Queen, Glass Sword, King’s Cage

All books are released, own in hardcover.

This series started off so well, I was so hooked into the first book. It really dragged in the second and, though the third picked up a bit, it still lacked what made the first one special. The last book ended the series strong but the only reason I finished is because I try not to give up on series.

Favourite character: Maven and Killorn. I like my characters dark and twisted with some underlying issues. And I like the supportive best friend who because a great character in their own right.

Favourite book: Red Queen. It’s the one that got me hooked and started it all.

Status: Finished.

Author status: Buy if intrigued. Only one series so it’s hard to be auto-buy just yet.

Next up from Victoria Aveyard: Nothing I could find listed but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was taking some time to herself after a 4-book series. Plus probably still touring to promote it.

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Weekly Reading Recap

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I bought a VR headset and a PS4. Wonder how this will cut into my reading time. This was also supposed to be out yesterday with Series Spotlight today but do to VR, it’s a day late. Ooops.

Currently reading: 350364

Finished reading: Hidden PiecesheartlessGrace and Fury36076501

Reviewed: Losing the FieldThese Rebel Waves

What I’m hoping to get to next week: 18065780Truth Lies Here to read

Grace and Fury to review

Books read it 2018: 94

Debut YA/MG authors read for 2018: 31

Contemporary: 50

Fantasy: 26

Sci-Fi: 4

Dystopian: 4

Historical: 3

Misc: 1

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Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish, and has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week is Top Ten bookish travel related so I did top ten real places/things books have made me want to see/do.

10. A cruise. Never been on one.

9. Road trip. So much more epic in books.

8. Summer camp. It seems so much more fun in books.

7. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Every time a character does it, I’m reminded that I keep saying I want to do that.

6. Karaoke. I cannot sing and I’m not a bar/party person so I never have.

5. New York. So many books are set here.

4. San Francisco. It sounded like fun.

3. Scotland. Can I have a Jamie Fraser too?

2. Paris. Thanks, Anna and Isla.

1. London. Harry Potter stuff!

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Book Review: These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

These Rebel Waves

These Rebel Waves

Release date: August 7th 2018

4 stars

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.
Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.
Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.
As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.

Sara Raasch has done it again. I loved the Snow Like Ashes trilogy, completely flew through each book and didn’t want to put it down. This was more of the same. Great characters, plenty of world-building within political fighting happening, plenty of twists. It was the type of book that makes me feel like it will be a long read because there’s so much detail, the plot can move slowly at times, and there are plenty of supporting characters to keep track of, but with Sara Raasch’s books I never seem to have a problem with that. I could keep all the characters in order, I understood the political fighting that was happening, and the plot didn’t seem slow to me because I was so absorbed into the book.

There were three main POV’s. We had Lu, a child soldier trying to put that life behind her as her parents were now important leaders on the island of Grace Loray; Dex, a feared pirate(or Stream Raiders as they were called) who smuggled the magical plants of Grace Loray into Argrid; and Ben, the prince or Argrid who was fascinated by the forbidden magic of Grace Loray. All three of their lives are tangled together before they even knew it and it was interesting to see how it all came together. There were some twists I didn’t see coming, and I love looking for clues. They all had interesting relationships with the people by their sides and I enjoyed seeing how those relationships changed over the course of the book.

The plot was pretty politically heavy. There weren’t many fight scenes or chase scenes but instead it focused on scheming and outsmarting opponents. Ben’s storyline centered on how magic was forbidden in Argrid and people could be put to death for working with it, but he must work with it as his father, the king, ordered. Lu and Dex’s were more focused on Grace Loray, the island that Argrid had failed to conquer but was attempting peace talks when a representative of Argrid went missing. To prevent war, and the Stream Raiders being blamed, they had to find out who was behind the kidnapping.

The last quarter or so really picked up the pace with so much happening. It didn’t feel like too much to keep up with, just a lot of action and a lot of twists. And the ending…well I need the next book right away!

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

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Book Review: Losing the Field by Abbi Glines

Losing the Field

Losing the Field

Release date: August 21 2018

3.5 stars

Losing his dream, his ultimate plan, and his future- Nash Lee never expected to be facing a life without football. One wrong move and it had all changed. Going back to school for his senior year no longer appealed to him. He’d rather not leave his house. Walking back into Lawton High School, seeing pity in everyone’s eyes was just another reality in his nightmare. Revenge wasn’t a pretty thing. Tallulah Liddell had found it was rather controlling. The way you looked at life changed completely when you clung to the ugly notion. But she’d done it anyway. From the last day of her junior year when Ryker Lee had made a fat joke about her and Nash laughed with him, she’d been driven by pain. It wasn’t like no one had made fun of her weight before. She was used to that. What had hurt so deeply was Nash’s laughter. He’d always been the one person to notice her, include her, not treat her differently. But that one moment had changed it all. From the time she walked out of the school building to the moment she returned for her senior year Tallulah had been determined to lose weight and finally be the size her peers considered acceptable. What she wasn’t expecting on her return was to find a broken Nash Lee who no longer smiled, rarely spoke, and didn’t care about anything or anyone around him. He was just existing. But the pain in his eyes she understood all too well. He was alone. He no longer fit into the perfect package.

I’ve been enjoying the Field Party series so I was excited for a new one. It tackled a lot, from Nash dealing with his injury and dreams of football being over, to Tallulah going from an outcast to popular, to a new football coach who I didn’t trust right away. I did miss the characters from the first three books who have graduated but Nash and his crew seem very able to carry on the football team and the series.

The book had the typical Abbi Glines feel to it. Quick to read, perfect to grab and head outside or to the beach. It had a dual POV, misunderstandings between the two main characters that kept them apart, small issues that seemed huge to them, larger issues that were a theme through the whole book. I liked what she did with Nash’s story, focusing on him having to come to terms with what his injury meant for his future and how hard it was to see all his friends still playing the sport he loved. I thought I would be less invested in Tallulah’s story since I’m not usually a fan of someone coming back “hot” to get revenge, and her plan seemed a little naive.

I did like Nash and Tallulah together. He was overprotective and she was naive and innocent, both were stubborn and it led to a lot of fights and misunderstandings that could have been avoided if they just talked to each other. Of the supporting characters, Nash’s cousin Ryker played the biggest role with their friend Asa also hanging around quite a bit. Either of them would be my guess for the next book. Hopefully there is one.

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

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Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked

So many book to movie trailers are so close to releasing! I can’t keep up!

Currently reading: 36076501

Finished reading: 22296822LegendaryThese Rebel WavesLosing the Field

Reviewed: 33914010

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Grace and Furyheartless to read

Losing the FieldThese Rebel Waves to review

Books read it 2018: 90

Debut YA/MG authors read for 2018: 31

Contemporary: 48

Fantasy: 24

Sci-Fi: 4

Dystopian: 4

Historical: 3

Misc: 1

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Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish, and has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week is Top Ten books I DNF’d too quickly. I don’t DNF books so I did a twist on this one. Top Ten books I almost didn’t pick up.

10. They Both Die At the End They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera. Even thought I love Adam Silvera, I was very unsure about going into this one because of the title. I don’t think I’m over it yet.

9. throne of glass Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas. It felt like everyone was talking about it and it couldn’t be as good as everyone was saying right? Wrong.

8. Nightwalker Batman: Nightwalker – Marie Lu. You’d think after so many movies Batman’s origins would feel overdone but Marie Lu put a great spin on things.

7. prisoner big Prisoner of Night and Fog – Anne Blankman. I didn’t think I would like historical fiction. I was very wrong.

6. until friday night Until Friday Night – Abbi Glines. I have read a lot of Abbi Glines books but I did almost avoid this new series, thinking it would be more of the same as the Seabreeze and I wanted something different. Going back to high school, centering around the Football team, and tackling some very now issues had me hooked.

5. goodbye The Last Time We Say Goodbye – Cynthia Hand. I have siblings so a sibling’s suicide was something I had to think hard about before I picked it up.

4. vampire academy big Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead. I’ve mentioned before that I was very over vampires by the time was debating even starting this series but it definitely rekindled my love for them.

3. all the bright places All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven. I was warned this was a hard read so I didn’t read it right away. It was definitely a hard read but very worth it.

2. hunger games big The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins. Wasn’t too sure about being entertained by the concept of kids being forced to kill kids. But there’s so much more to this series.

1. harry potter Harry Potter – JK Rowling. I was reading James Patterson and John Grisham when Harry Potter first hit shelves so going back to a “kids” series seemed like going backward. I got over that feeling quickly.

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Book Review: Now is Everything by Amy Giles

33914010

Now is Everything

4 stars

The McCauleys look perfect on the outside. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this family is hiding a dark secret.
Hadley McCauley will do anything to keep her sister safe from their father. But when Hadley’s forbidden relationship with Charlie Simmons deepens, the violence at home escalates, culminating in an explosive accident that will leave everyone changed.
When Hadley attempts to take her own life at the hospital post-accident, her friends, doctors, family, and the investigator on the case want to know why. Only Hadley knows what really happened that day, and she’s not talking.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this book but I’m very glad that I decided to pick it up. It used non-linnear storytelling to show Hadley before a tragedy and after, along with police interviews with her friends and teachers as the detectives attempted to figure out what happened that day. I loved the way we slowly got hints in the present to what happened and in the past, we got the lead up and Hadley’s thoughts.

Hadley’s life seemed perfect on the outside and she put up a good front for most everyone. Even her grandmother and closest friends, though they had suspicions, had no idea what went on in that home. The bond between Hadley and her younger sister was strong as Hadley tried to protect her from the worst of their father’s abuse and their mother’s inaction. When Hadley started dating Charlie, a boy she’d had a crush on forever, their relationship was fast and intense, but it also made sense for those two to latch on so strongly to each other. Their relationship had to be a secret from Hadley’s parents and as they became more serious, it got harder to hide.

There were definitely parts of this that were hard to read. Hadley’s father was a bad man and it hurt seeing him manipulate her, beat her, and controlled so much of her life. It hurt to see Hadley try so fiercely to protect Lila, who was feisty and precocious and Hadley knew their father would ruin that if he started in on her. Hadley was prepared to do whatever it took to keep their father away from Lila.

I liked how everything came together at the end as the cause of the plane crash was investigated. And questions about the cause and that day were answered. The wrap up of everything was great, fitting for the tone of the book, and it added to the overall feel that this is a memorable read.

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May Wrap-Up/June TBR

2018 is almost half over. How did that happen?

May Wrap-Up:

Stormwake Storm Wake – Lucy Christopher.

Disappearance of Sloane The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan – Gia Cribbs.

Allied Allied – Amy Tintera.

Bird and the Blade The Bird and the Blade – Megan Bannen.

image Past Tense – Star Spider.

image Monday’s Not Coming – Tiffany D Jackson.

Contagion Contagion – Erin Bowman.

Sanctuary Sanctuary – Caryn Lix.

Geek Girl Geek Girl – Holly Smale.

War Storm War Storm – Victoria Aveyard.

My Plain Jane My Plain Jane – Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton.

36502054 Sea Witch – Sarah Henning.

32051912 The Alice Network – Kate Quinn.

35294262 Aftermath – Kelley Armstrong.

Infamous Infamous – Alyson Noel.

Channel of Peace Channel of Peace – Kevin Tuerff.

33914010 Now is Everything – Amy Giles.

June TBR:

LegendaryHidden PiecesGrace and Fury

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Series Spotlight: Beautiful Idols series by Alyson Noel

Thursday I’m going to be putting the spotlight on a book series and talking about it. It might be one I’ve read, one I’m reading, or one I haven’t gotten to yet, depending on what I feel like talking about that week. This week’s series is one I just recently finished and it was so twisted.

unrivaledBlacklistInfamous

 

The Beautiful Idols series by Alyson Noel

Review status: 1/3, Unrivaled

All books are released, own in hardcover, covers don’t match:(.

I love a series with lots of twists and turns and this one definitely had that. I’m really liking the storytelling device of starting with a band(like a murder or kidnapping) then going back a few months to show the lead up, especially when we’re left wondering which character will die/disappear.

Favourite character: Tommy.  He was just a good guy and even when he was deep into the competition like the others, he still seemed different from the people who were in it for the fame.

Favourite book: Unrivaled. I really liked the competition aspect that went along with the mystery in the first book. The others were more mystery-solving focused but the competition was fun.

Status: Finished.

Author status: Buy if intrigued. She’s been hit or miss. I loved the Beautiful Idols but was just lukewarm over the Immortals series.

Next up from Alyson Noel: Nothing announced that I could find. Infamous just barely came out so it might be a bit before we hear anything.

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