Review: Protector (Night War Saga #1) by Leia Stone and S.T. Bende

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Goodreads Summary:

Love. Honor. Protect.

As an Environmental Studies major, Allie knows the planet is in trouble – a series of natural disasters recently rocked the northern hemisphere, and species across the globe are going extinct. What Allie doesn’t know is that her world’s decline is a casualty of an ancient battle called the Night War – the Norse goddess Nott’s crusade to control the weakest of the light realms. And Allie most definitely doesn’t know that her existence is the only thing stopping Nott from dragging the earth into total darkness.

When four gorgeous guys show up claiming to be Allie’s Asgardian protectors, she thinks they’re delusional. And when they order her to hunt down the pieces of an immortal weapon, she’s convinced they’re insane. But when Allie’s attacked, the guys’ crazy stories of demigods and dark elves begin coming together. And Allie’s not sure what scares her more – losing her life to the Goddess of Night . . . or losing her heart to one of her protectors.

Let the hunt begin.

My Review

S.T. Bende strikes again! I love this girl’s books and Leia Stone added an awesome touch! It’s always nice to delve back into the world of Norse Mythology and I love learning about a new god and goddess each time I open one of Bende’s books!

Protector follows the story of Allie, a freshman in college whose world becomes rocked when she finds a weird necklace that won’t come off of her neck and meets a strange guy claiming to know about her gift of seeing peoples’ energies. Before she knows it, Allie gets thrown into a brand new universe in which the gods from her Norse Mythology class are far from myth. Allie is a part of a prophecy that could mean the end or the saving of earth as she knows it. She is far from alone in her journey though. She has four smoking hot protectors on her side in her quest to save the planet from the destruction.  One of which, Tore, is bound to steal her heart along the way. Not a bad deal, am I right?!

Protector was a lovely start to what is sure to be a wonderful series! The movement was constant and the universe that these two ladies created was epic to say the least. That was probably one of the best parts about the book. The travel between planets and the different settings provided a fantastic backdrop to the events.

The romantic tension was a constant throughout the story, which of course led to romantic frustration, but the ending made it all worth it. I look forward to seeing where things go between Tore and Allie, cause I’m sure it’s bound to be hot! This book was definitely an introduction, I can tell that the best is to come.

If you are looking for an action packed Norse Mythology young adult book, then Protector is the book for you! Buy it on Amazon here!

Review: The Program (Program #1) by Suzanne Young

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Goodreads Summary:

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

My Review

The Program has been sitting on my Audible app for a year now. I honestly had completely forgotten about it until about a month ago. The concept of this book is just so surreal and intriguing! Don’t get me wrong, it’s also a beautifully vulnerable premise that had me feeling kind of down while listening to parts of it, but overall, Suzanne Young did a fantastic job!

The Program takes place in a dystopian type world that isn’t quite end of the world status but kind of is at the same time, at least for all young people. Teenage suicide has skyrocketed to such alarming rates, that the US government implements The Program, a “therapy” system that takes depressed teens and wipes their memories to prevent them from killing themselves and then proceeds to send them back out into society! Wow, right?

The story focuses on the couple: Sloane and James, two lovers who find strength in one another in the middle of extremely desolate times. However, just when you think there’s no way these two can crack, things go south fast. This book was entirely different from anything I’ve ever read! The dramatic irony in The Program was through the roof!! I commend Young for taking a character’s narration to a whole new level as the main character evolves in completely mind blowing ways. I sat there listening to this book in the car thinking, how the hell is she [Suzanne Young] gonna swing this?! I started to get angry and mad at the plot, but the way it played out just worked. I felt for the characters and for the human need to feel sad, and how completely OK that is!

By the time I reached the ending, I was left wanting closure for what had happened to these poor characters and could not wait to dip into the second and last book! It’s only a duology folks! Although there are multiple novellas. I am currently listening to book two and really liking it so far! Review to come.

I would most definitely recommend reading The Program if you are looking for a new scifi dystopian read! Buy it on Amazon here! 

Review:The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner

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Goodreads Summary:

Solving the MazeSolving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off. 

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive. was supposed to be the end. 

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off. 

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.

My Review

I’m so glad I was able to listen to the audiobook of The Scorch Trials so soon after finishing the first book in the Maze Runner series. I definitely enjoyed the sequel but I think I expected a little more out of it than what I was given.

The Scorch Trials picks up right where the first book left off, with Thomas and the rest of the gladers alongside Teresa having escaped the Maze. Though they were rescued by seemingly good people, things go south fast. Things got crazy right off the bat, I couldn’t even process the impossibility of it all. So many questions were thrown at me at once! I couldn’t believe what went down actually happened. And that’s the thing about these books, they constantly make you question the characters’ reality. You never really know if what is happening is real or not or if it’s just a delusion put on by WICKED.

New characters are introduced and plot twist are created that had me all kinds of excited to see how things would turn out. I gotta say, parts of this book made me super angry and frustrated!! I don’t know who to trust now, and I don’t see a happy ending in sight. Thomas essentially has no control of where is life is meant to go. It was heartbreaking to watch him and his friends struggle with each new catastrophe that came their way. If anything, I can’t wait to see how he will get his justice for the way he’s been treated.

Once again, book two concluded with a sense of false hope in the form of a deceivingly positive ending. I don’t believe it for a moment, there is definitely more havoc to come. I look forward to seeing how Dashner can possibly turn things around for these characters. I will most certainly be reading book three or to put it more realistically, listening to book three.

Buy The Scorch Trials on Amazon here! 

Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Goodreads Summary:

Dying sucks
…and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand.

After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things–including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden’s adopted father, a man she’s sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister’s hand again. And hell, she’d also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn’t?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not’ve been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life.

For real this time.

My Review

I have been trying to finish reading Cursed for 6 months now and am so glad I was able to read it at last! I love Armentrout books and when I saw that this was a stand alone I got even more excited. Although, now after finishing it, I’m sad that there aren’t more books.

Cursed is a unique story focusing on the life of Ember, a girl who kills everything she touches. She hasn’t always had this power however. Since the day she got into a car crash and her sister brought her back from the dead, she’s had this deadly touch. She’s lived in the shadows ever since keeping to herself to avoid disaster, that is until she meets Hayden and her world is turned upside down. Soon she’s discovering that there are others with strange powers and the accident that killed her father might not have been an accident at all.

I most definitely enjoyed reading Cursed. I felt for Ember so much, her entire life becomes uprooted in the blink of an eye. She lives in such a miserable state, but seeing her relationship grow with Hayden made the story so worth wild. There were so many questions that got thrown around throughout, I was determined to find out the answers, no matter how predictable some of them were. That was the main flaw in the story in fact, was it’s predictability in the end. If anything, this was proof of how far JLA’s writing has come. I could tell this was one of her early books, though it was still good for sure, she has come so far with her incredible stories.

I would definitely recommend you read Cursed if you’re a JLA fan like me! It’s worth the read! Buy it on Amazon here!

Reread & Review: Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1) by James Dashner

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Goodreads Summary:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

My Review

I read The Maze Runner back when it first came out, and was super into it and wanted to know what happened since it had ended on a cliffhanger! Unfortunately, by the time I realized book two was out, I had forgotten most of what had happened in book one and wanted to reread the first book before proceeding to the sequel. So here I am years later finally rereading the first book in the hopes of actually completely the series now!

I actually listened to The Maze Runner on audiobook this time around! I definitely enjoyed just as much the second time! The story is just so wholly unique! It’s like a bizarre combination of The Hunger Games and The Gone series in one crazy ride! The characters were all so layered and different. Dashner did a wonderful job of creating a world and characters you could feel for and grow with! There were so many questions throughout, some of which were answered, and some of which grew into bigger questions that left me wanting more!

I liked Thomas’ narration, he was fearless, committed and took everything in stride.I cannot wait to see what he does with the next curve ball that gets thrown at him because based on the insane ending, there is sure to be one. I look forward to book two, which I will also listen to on audiobook hopefully very soon and not within multiple years this time!

I would most definitely recommend  you read The Maze Runner if your a scifi young adult fan and looking for your next addiction. Buy it on Amazon here!

 

Reread & Review: Incendiary (Premonition #4) by Amy A. Bartol

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Goodreads Summary:

Cold, fine drops of rain fall softly on my cheeks as I emerge from the darkness of the ship’s interior to the gray, overcast sky of the main deck. Pulling my dark pea coat tighter to my body, the wind lifts red tendrils of my hair. I walk slowly to the railing overlooking the water.

I catch my first sight of the Irish coastline; its craggy landscape makes me shiver in dread. I find it difficult to imagine now how the Gancanagh had made this their home for so long without anyone realizing it. The cold, moss-covered edifices practically scream their presence. As I study the shadows between the falling-down stone, I imagine creeping shapes of undead Faeries grasping the rock, waiting for our ship to draw nearer to their position.

Tipping my face up, I let the rain wash over me. It bathes away the frigid sweat of fear that has broken on my brow. “You don’t know how fiercely beautiful you are, do you?” A quiet voice behind me asks, causing me to stiffen and fix my eyes on the rocks along the shoreline.

My Review

I just realized that it has literally been 4 years since I read this book!! So of course a reread was necessary before I finally complete the series! I remember reading Incendiary the first time and flipping the flip out over what happened!!! I couldn’t stop reading the beautiful content. Now that I’ve read it again, I can’t believe how much I forgot and I remember why I was freaking out so much! This book is a remarkable addition to the series!

Incendiary picks up around where Indebted left off, which is with Evie on the run from Brennus and currently in hiding with her friends. I am not exaggerating when I say that SO MUCH HAPPENS IN THIS BOOK! Honestly it sucked cause it took me over two weeks to read it this time around (it’s a pretty long book in my defense), but wow, I felt as if I read two books in one . The first half was so utterly different then the second. Bartol packs a wallop with Incendiary. Developments are thrown around non-stop; there is most certainly not a single slow moment to be seen.

Quite a few new characters are introduced in book four that literally change the fabric of the story. And characters that you already know evolve in new unforeseen ways. Evie’s  relationship with Reed grows ever stronger and heart wrenchingly painful as events play out. Just when you think they are out of the storm, the clouds come in again. My heart could not take all of the emotion at once. Parts of the plot were just brutal to read but oh so worth seeing through to the end. I absolutely loved Incendiary and I am SO SO excited to finally, FINALLY get to read the last book in this beloved series several years after embarking on this journey.

I would most definitely recommend you get your hands on this series or continue on with it by reading Incendiary! Buy it on Amazon here!

Review: Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James

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Goodreads Summary:

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world. 

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price? 

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution. 

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

***I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest Review****

My Review

I really struggled with this book, and I tried to enjoy it but I just could not get into it whatsoever! And to be honest, I didn’t finish Gilded Cage. I usually don’t write reviews for books I don’t finish, but I did get 62% through so I feel I should at least plead my case.

Gilded Cage starts off by following the lives of the Hadley family as they decide to embark on their “slave days” in which they must commit to a mandatory 1o years of servitude in a specific location. Everyone in this book is subject to performing these 10 years at some point in their lives. In the world of Gilded Cage, regular people have very little rights and are at the mercy of Equals who have something called Skill which basically means they have some kind of significant power that makes them more important than others.

The concept of the story caught my attention immediately, which is why I couldn’t’ wait to start it. I wish I could have enjoyed it more but I just didn’t. The beginning was pretty solid, however as the plot continued they kept throwing in more points of view and it just got messy and hard to follow. I found myself not caring about these other POVs and getting frustrated that there was this much content dedicated to these characters. The story quickly lost it’s appeal. The overall concept was certainly there but I think the foundation of the story got a little too jumbled for  me.

Has anyone else read Gilded Cage yet? Did you dislike it as well? Is it just me?