Book Review: Power Is A Dangerous Game…

RedQueenI’ve heard several views of Red Queen, so I wanted to read the book for myself. The reviews I read before I got into the book told me that people either really loved the book or really hated the book. It sparked my interest immediately, so I picked it up! (From my local library, of course). The characters of the story and what they deal with definitely remind me of Red Rising and Falling KingdomsThe story reminds me of Red Rising because the characters have to go through a rough life because of who they are. Instead of it being the color of their skin, it’s the color of their blood that makes them different and cause strife. I am reminded of Falling Kingdoms too because the last person who would become royalty does become royalty and that person is hidden from others.

The story begins with a girl named Mare Barrow who lives with her family in the land of Reds and Silvers where the color of your blood determines your status in life. If that isn’t hard enough to fathom, when a person turns a certain age they have to be conscripted, meaning drafted, to the army and it’s usually when they turn 17 (If I remember correctly). Barrow isn’t the best upstanding citizen. She does many things that aren’t lawful, which she sees as a way to get buy and survive because she’s treated unequally as a Red and she feels she lives in the shadow of her perfect younger sister. One day while out on the run from her actions in a recent event she couldn’t stand to face, she stumbles upon a young man named Cal who will eventually change her life forever.

I think there’s realism in the story. I think the characters act and think in ways that we would in our every day lives if we were in their situation. Was the story predictable? A little, not much. Like I said before, it did remind me of two other books, but other than that I found the story to be a pleasant read. This book is labeled as young adult, but it’s a very mature read that older adults would enjoy as well. The mysterious nature of the story is what kept me reading until the end. I was trying to figure out who was betraying who! I had questions like, “How can anyone not notice this is happening? This is too easy to get by with!” And behold, in the end all of my questions were answered. It’s really well written as far as having the reader second guess what they thought before. I loved that expect of it.

I recommend this book. There is a second book in the works and a third. I’m excited to see how events will unfold in the next installment.

A Lady Never Starts A Fight, But She’ll Finish it…

rebel belleA lady never starts a fight, but she’ll complain after

I wanted to read this book because I am a southern belle! Born and raised in Louisiana, so I was interested. This story really gave us southern girls a bad name. The story is mainly about an overachieving, judgmental, and well off teen named Harper who is part of every organization there is in high school to decorate her transcript for college. With that said, she is also very annoying. I can’t see how her friends and boyfriend put up with her on a daily basis! She’s so consumed with her own life and what she has to do with little care for others. Us southern girls are not that way. I am sure what’s in the book is the general view of how society sees southern belles, but it can’t be farther from the truth! However, I did like how Harper’s character was made to be one of the potential valedictorians of her high school, so it wasn’t all bad.

I think it’s comical that a young girly girl has a date with destiny and becomes a sword wielding, karate chopping Paladin to one of the boys she’s hated since grade school. Her life gets interrupted before she is crowned Homecoming Queen, then she was given the powers from a dying man to become a Paladin, but that didn’t take away her extreme lady habits (I wish it did).

I am 81% done with this book and I’m not sure if I will finish it. It’s taken me longer to read than others because it isn’t a gripping tale to me. The story is really light and fluffy. It doesn’t go into much detail to not be able to put it down. It’s more comical than anything. I’m used to reading well written fantasy novels, but this is fantasy with a super girly twist. This book is great for teen girls who like kickass lead characters and not into the traditional fantasy novels. I was going to buy this book and I’m glad I didn’t. It will be heading back to the library soon. Like I said, this story is great for teens and even preteens; not entertaining to a 29 year old! If you enjoyed or interested in reading Rebel Belle, the next book in the trilogy or duology is Miss Mayhem that has already been released.

Happy reading!

Penryn and The End of Days (Book Two and Book Three) Review

world afterSince I read book two and book three so closely together, I decided to put the reviews of both books in one post. I thought it would be easier that way. I haven’t read a trilogy back to back and so quickly before this one. I practically ate them! World After is a continuation of Angelfall. It was action backed and I was able to read more about Raffe and other angels and why the world was the way it was.  It wasn’t what sparked the war between humans and angels. I’m assuming the war began because Archangel Gabriel was killed, but I’m not sure by who (humans or angels). The story didn’t quite clear that up. Part of the story is about who will replace Archangel Gabriel as the Messenger and of course there are swords, demons, and monsters in the mix. There isn’t much I can say about World After without giving the whole trilogy away just in case you all would like to read it.

end of days Again, I can’t say much without giving the story away. End of Days was what I expected and not what I expected at all. I feel there was a lot left to be read and known. I feel the events happened too quickly. The first two books built a fun and exciting story. The last book didn’t quite hold up to it. In some chapters I thought Ms. Ee was just writing to fill up space. There was a ton of information that didn’t contribute anything substantial to the story. It was like “seat filling.”

What I loved about this trilogy is that no matter what ailment you have or how you look, you can always find a way to contribute to society. There’s an array of unique, colorlful characters filling the pages of this trilogy that I believe we can all learn from. Yes, this is a telling of the end days featuring archangels and their threat to humanity, but it also reveals how terrible humans can be to other humans just by their appearance or the environment they live in where they have to fight over food just to survive. Ms. Ee incorporated several social issues in this book that makes reading this book more than just entertainment. I highly recommend this trilogy!

Weekly Update

Hello!

I didn’t have a lot of time to read this week, but I did pick up Awaken by Natasha Preston and soon put it back down. I’ve read The Cellar and had mixed thoughts about it. However, her new book that is set to be released in August I found to be for the younger crowd of the YA spectrum. If you enjoy reading YA books that are a bit on the immature side, then Awaken may be perfect for you.
Glass-ArrowI picked up The Glass Arrow again and read a few pages. Every chapter since the first chapter she’s been in the same place and I am wanting things to change. I really want to get to where she starts kicking butt! I really want to finish this book, but I don’t know! It may take me longer than usual. I am still very interested in the main character and how she will develop throughout the story, but it’s taking forever! This book is probably going to take me longer than usual to read. I want to keep reading because I’m curious as to where the story is going.

world after

As promised, (I mentioned it in a previous post) I will be continuing Penryn and The End of Days trilogy by Susan Ee. World After is the second book. The first book ended with Penryn reuniting with her family and going back to her life with the humans. Penryn’s and Raffe’s fate as friends was left undetermined at the end of book one. I bought the ebook through my Kindle on yesterday. Not only is this trilogy well written, it’s also very affordable. Books 1-3 are $4.99; EVEN the third book released this year. I love when amazing books are not overpriced. Although, I think this trilogy should be priced a little higher because it’s that good!

sabriel

I also started reading Sabriel by Garth Nix. I’ve heard a lot about this book from fellow bibliophiles. I read about two chapters and intrigued! The story is set in a world where everyone has magical powers and are able to be taught how to use them in school. Sabriel, who’s father is a necromancer (she is also able to communicate with the dead and/or bring them back to life), soon graduates from school and thinks about whether to attend college or not. Before she’s able to decide, she gets word from a supernatural creature that something has happened to her father. Sabriel packs up her things and leaves the boarding school to begin a journey to find her father. I can’t wait to fully focus on reading this book, but I really want to finishing reading Penyrn and The End of Days trilogy first!

I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy books lately and I must say I don’t mind at all! If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to know what you think about them!

Book Reviews: The Young Elites and Half Wild

young elitesThe books featured in this post I started reading before I took a reading break for a few months. I managed to finish them this week. I’m glad to be getting back to reading books and blogging on a regular basis.

One of the books I finished this week is The Young Elites by Marie Lu. Let me first say that she is one of my favorite authors. She hasn’t let me down yet. The Legend Trilogy is amazing! The story is mainly about a young girl named Adelina who learns she has powers that no one else has because of a plague she contracted. These superpowers are seen as evil in her society. One day she’s captured, then redeemed by the Daggers, a group of young people who share powerful effects from the illness. She befriends Enzo, the leader of the elite group and finds a friend in Raffaele. Adelina’s peace and freedom doesn’t last as long as she thought it would. She meets the same man who imprisoned her, Teren, the head of the Inquisitors for the first time since she was saved by the Daggers. Soon she learns her sister Violetta was imprisoned and she sets out to save her only to find a secret her sister’s been keeping for years.

I thought this story began a bit slow, but this isn’t surprising from the author. Lu is one of those authors who just may give us a bit more information than we need. I felt the book could have been shorter. In fact, it would have been shorter if she didn’t include so many flashbacks/back stories of the lead character Adelina. However, it did allow to me to see how Adelina’s inner motivations justify her actions. The world Lu builds is so detailed and makes you feel as if you were there every step of the way. The story isn’t predictable at all. There are twists and turns, suspense, and horror living in the pages of this novel. It isn’t for the light hearted and deeply religious! I’m always a bit turned off by the romance in books that aren’t in the romance genre (If I wanted to read about a romance, I would have picked up a romance novel!), but Lu didn’t overdo it. It was just enough to pull my heart strings.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading stories including people with supernatural abilities who fight against evil while set in a fantasy world. The epilogue definitely intrigued me. I can’t wait for the second book to release.

half wild

I waited anxiously for the second book, Half Wild in the Half Bad Trilogy by Sally Green! Half Bad is so good. Nathan continues his journey to fulfill his destiny and save the girl he loves. It sounds simple and straight to the point, but you know it didn’t go as well as he planned! So, continuing from the first book, this book goes into him learning how to use the gifts his father, Marcus gave to him. I will say that the first book is a lot better than the second one, but the second book isn’t bad either, just not as good! 🙂 I can’t say too many details about the story without completely giving it away. To give you an idea, Nathan is a half blood (black and white), living in the world where white witches and black witches rule separately. White represents good and black represents evil. Nathan often struggles between the two and society judges you by what kind of witch you are. Nathan’s father, Marcus is the most powerful black witch there is and everyone is afraid of him. There are also fains, but they aren’t as popular or deadly as others think half white and half black witches are.

Half Wild took a while to build up to the climax. The characters were stricken and a little confused for most of the story. They spend a couple of days (chapters) in one place just figure out what they need to do next. The romance in this book is interesting and different. I love it. Nathan is pretty much in a love triangle throughout the entire story. The amount of WOWs in this book is abundant. There’s no way you can count them all. It’s VERY unpredictable. Nathan’s odd family structure and romantic relationships along with fighting hunters, magic, and explosions will keep you reading for hours. In the last chapter Nathan sets out on another adventure and this time it involves getting even with someone he never thought he’d lay a hand on. It’s going to get better! I recommend this book.

Run Fast. Trust No One. Always Carry Your Knife.

the walled city730. That’s how many days I’ve been trapped.
18. That’s how many days I have left to find a way out.

What an adventure! This book covers so many things that most of society looks over and it’s so compelling. The story takes place in the Walled City, which was an actual place in Hong Kong that had over 20,000 occupants and notorious for poverty, drug trafficking, prostitution, and a series of other unspeakable crimes. Graudin gives us insight into the lives of street kids and those who have power over them within the confines of these walls from the three perspectives of Dai (A young man who has to fulfill a special run to clear his name), Mei Yee (A woman sold to a brothel), and Jin (Someone who is full of revenge and a mission to accomplish).

If you aren’t a fan of violence (all forms), then this book isn’t for you. You will get a bird’s eye view of what goes on in this city. I love that the author researched before he began to write this book. He changed several things to make it a work of fiction, but I think it did not make the story any less appealing. While reading, events I thought would happen did not. You want to believe two people will fall in love because they spend the most time together. You will think one thing and it will become the opposite. One of the best things about this book is unpredictability.

The characters are well developed. I liked every single on of them. Like I mentioned previously, the story is told from three perspectives. It reminded me of Marie Lu. She is the queen of multiple perspectives. It’s not as good as her artfulness, but close. The tale begins really slow, but it picks up as you read.

I wish there was a second book! It seems like there was much more to know about the characters and the story ended too soon. I feel the story in its entirety was underdeveloped. The story should have been longer or a book two should be in the works. It leaves you wanting more. The author included an epilogue, but it wasn’t enough! It’s a fast paced read. However, the events occurred too fast to be pleasurable.

I recommend this book. Keep reading until the end!

 

 

God Loves Haiti

bookish- haitiA native of Haiti, Dimitry Elias Léger makes his remarkable debut with this story of romance, politics, and religion that traces the fates of three lovers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the challenges they face readjusting to life after an earthquake devastates their city.

Reflecting the chaos of disaster and its aftermath, God Loves Haiti switches between time periods and locations, yet always moves closer to solving the driving mystery at its center: Will the artist Natasha Robert reunite with her one true love, the injured Alain Destiné, and live happily ever after?

This is the first book I read this year that was actually released this year. Also, the first book I completed for this month’s TBR!! I’m getting better! I went into this book without any prior thoughts and reading the synopsis. The story is very popular and heartwarming. When you pick this book up you wouldn’t want to put it down. This love story is told by three point of views. Each character has their own version of events and significant positions in society. We get a look into the minds of the president of Haiti, his wife, a former orphan and well-known Haitian artist, and her lover, a Haitian businessman from an affluent family.

I don’t have any complaints about this book other than the chapters being super long. Even though this is a work of fiction there is a great deal of realism. Meaning, the events that happen in the story can easily happen in reality. Of course, the earthquake in Haiti happened which adds even more realism. The author even introduced the term goudou-goudou to put words to the sounds of shaking and falling buildings during the earthquake. It is great to have a story for this particular natural disaster. If you aren’t a native of Haiti, visited, or don’t know much about the country, you will learn a lot from reading this book.

A love story with rich history (The French language, spiritual/religious) and the coming together of a community to form one common bond is wonderful to read. Reading about the characters and how they saw the world before goudou-goudou and how they see their lives and those around them after goudou-goudou is a unique form of storytelling. People aren’t perfect. People become someone other than themselves when they are faced with tragedy. The ending of such a beautiful story was perfect! I highly recommend this book.

Tales of Redemption and Self-Sacrifice

bookish-book review

 

February just began and I’ve already swayed (sort of) from my TBR list. *sighs* I have reviews of two books I read and finished on Saturday and Sunday. In my defense, I started reading these books on Friday and Saturday. I started reading On The Inside on Friday and finished on Saturday. I started reading the The Jewel on Saturday and finished on yesterday, so it really isn’t THAT bad. It could be worse. At least I finished a book and didn’t start a new book that isn’t on my TBR list on Sunday, so I think I can slide this time! Let’s get to the reviews!

inside

I don’t remember how I came across this book. I bought it on my Kindle and I started reading it the same day. On The Inside is compared to the popular Netflix original show, Orange Is The New Black. I don’t know how the two relate because I haven’t watched the show. I became interested in fiction books that take place in prisons because The Enchanted.

This story follows Kristen, an inmate who has to serve a few years in prison because of committing a white collar crime and points of views of other inmates and those who work inside the prison. Kristen has to deal with losing her family and everything she once knew. Meanwhile, she meets fellow inmates with troubles of their own. One of the officers in the jail has a peculiar obsession with getting a glimpse into the lives of inmates through reading their letters sent from family and friends. This pretty much sets up the story from the beginning and ultimately forms the ending. Parts of the story are also told from the perspectives of the warden and the therapist. It’s an interesting story about prison life, life lessons, and a chance for a new beginning.

The author’s writing style isn’t terrible. What really got under my skin were the constant grammar and punctuation mistakes. Secondly, I found that while having several points of view is a good thing, it can be troublesome if it’s too many. Other than that, I think it was a decent book.

________________________________________

I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about The Jewel, so I decided to read it. I honestly don’t knowjewel how to put my thoughts on this book into words. I’m literally speechless. The story is a bit disturbing to me. How can I possibly review this without giving the story away? Ok.

It’s about a girl named Violet who was born with the surrogate gene. Girls who are tested and carry the surrogate gene are immediately put into isolation until they are ready to be auctioned off to royalty who are incapable of having their own children naturally because of a genetic mutation. Like most of the girls, Violet has to leave her family behind. She will never see her family again, but her mother will get money every year for losing her daughter. Eventually, Violet is sold to one of the most powerful women in the Lone City. The story unfolds from there.

From first glance, it reminds me of The Elite. I didn’t care for it (I couldn’t finish the first book), so I was resistant to read it. I like The Jewel  because I haven’t read anything like it. I love unique stories. It’s pretty much the same concept as The Elite with girls being ranked and fighting for the top spot to be chosen by a royal family. The writing is okay. I don’t love it. The romance is not lovey dovey to a sickening level and that I can appreciate.

Some parts of the story I wanted to scream because I didn’t know what Violet was thinking (“She can’t be serious.” “Be quiet!” “What?”). She could be so ungrateful in one chapter and completely selfless in another. It isn’t the best story ever written, but the surrogacy element holds my interest. However, the cliffhanger is enormous! If my head could spin like the girl’s head in “The Exorcist,” it would have.  I never would have guessed. I plan to read the second installment.

bookish-thanks for reading

Book Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I was able to finish Red Rising on yesterday and I couldn’t wait to publish a review! The book isRed Rising about a young man named Darrow who is a Red and lives on the planet Mars. You can think of his color Red being a social caste and his group is the lowest of the low. You may also be able to deduce that there are other colors that are higher than his. Events happen to Darrow and his family by means of the governing colors that influences him to change the social status of his people.

I must admit. When I first picked up this book and read a few pages, I wanted to put it down. I kept reading and became hooked to the storyline. The only thing that kind of turned me off about this book is that it is political, so I read it a bit slower than I normally read. This is not a book you would pick up for a quick read. It is dense and you will think while reading it. There’s a great deal of science fiction, romance, military strategy (including alliances and winning), philosophy, mystery, politics, action, and suspense in one book. So, you’re in for a soul depleting read! I don’t suggest reading it in one sitting. Take a break and read another book, then come back to it. It took me a couple of days to read.

The story reminds me of kings, queens, castles, armies, fighting for dominion, and winning the hearts of the people, but without the kings and queens. Picture all of that happening in space…without the aliens. Instead it is about a young man who came from a hard life working on the edge of Mars… a job that he could very well die from and rising to become powerful in his own right…sort of.

I liked how there were plenty of references to popular classic works such as The Odyssey by Homer and names of very popular individuals  in history and their ideology. Since philosophy is my favorite subject, I immediately loved that part about it.

Not to sound sexist, but this book is definitely testosterone infused. I’m not saying women shouldn’t read it but you will find the terminology used here is only popular with one sex. I describe the word usage as  “male locker room” lingo. That is the best way I can explain it! I’m not a huge fan of his writing style and word usage, but I do like the plot quite a bit. There’s also a lot of competitiveness between the male characters and with that comes with even more crude jokes. Just a heads up!

All in all, I gave this book 4 starts on Goodreads. The next book in the trilogy, Golden Son released this month and I do plan on reading it sometime before the year ends.

Book Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

falling kingdomsPrincess Cleo of Mytica confronts violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse. Once a privileged royal, Cleo must now summon the strength to survive in this new world and fight for her rightful place as Queen.

The King of Limeros’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything.

Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day. (Amazon)

I’ve read more fantasy books this month than I read last year (third one read this month). I didn’t know how to put this story into words, so I had to use the summary from Amazon. The story is very, very complex, but it’s a joy to read. 

The characters are well developed. Every character in this book is haunted by something. No one is safe! The whole time I was reading this book I was thinking about who is the most trustworthy character and I couldn’t give an answer. So many secrets. So many motives. Unbelievable!

What turned me off about this book was the story building in the beginning. The author gives you a lot of information on the conflicting kingdoms and what put them in their current position. I felt like I was reading a history book for the first couple of chapters. Once she gives you the background information, the story takes off from there and you’ll love it. However, there was an event that took place at the beginning as well that made me want to continue reading and I’m glad I did.

I recommend this book! I know many people don’t know about this trilogy/series and it’s such a shame. I plan to read the second book very soon.