Review: Graceling (Graceling #1) by Kristin Cashore

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Goodreads Summary:

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.


My Review

I have been looking forward to reading Graceling for well over a year now! I had heard mixed reviews but I was hopeful. Unfortunately, I think after having read most all of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, I couldn’t help but feel like this was a poor imitation in many ways. Which is even more unfortunate, because Graceling came out before Throne of Glass.

Graceling centers around the life of Katsa, a girl who is gifted or “graced” with the ability to kill. Many children across the kingdoms are born with different graces that allow them to have special abilities, some as mundane as being adept at swimming, while others are as intimidating as mind reading. All of her life Katsa’s grace has been manipulated by her devious uncle, that is until the day she decides to truly take matters into her own hands. Little does she know how drastically her life will be changed the day she decides to leave her home.

Katsa’s abilities allow her to be the perfect assassin, feared by all the land, and trained to kill even the most fearsome of creatures with only her bare hands. Seems badass it’s true, but unfortunately, the hype of events seemed to be understated when the author decided to make things move so quickly, I couldn’t even take the time to enjoy them. This was a common pattern with this story. Every time developments would begin, they were over just before they got good. I felt like the author stayed at the surface of everything. All of a sudden, boom, Katsa is leaving her uncle, boom, she’s in love, boom the conflict is resolved. Nothing was explained or drawn out just a little. And what was drawn out, was unnecessary to draw out. I just could not get involved in this book. I wish that’s wasn’t the case. The concept was most definitely intriguing, but the surrounding content just didn’t do it for me.

Many people feel differently than I do, so if you’d like to give it a try, don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Buy it on Amazon now.

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Review: Lifeblood (Everlife #2) by Gena Showalter

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Goodreads Summary:

My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning.

With her last living breath, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?

But Ten’s competition is Killian, the boy she can’t forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she’s never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.


My Review

Reading book two of the Everlife series was so long overdue! I had to reread Firstlife to make sure I had all my facts straight, and I’m most definitely glad that I did! Lifeblood was a good addition to the series, not fantastic by any means, but definitely enjoyable.

Lifeblood continues the events of Firstlife as if book one had never ended. Now that Ten has died and made her decision to join Troika, she must learn to quickly adapt to her new way of life. Unfortunately, there is quite the learning curve to be conquered, as she meets more allies yet encounters even more potential foes. Throughout it all, her love for Killian remains steadfast, but neither of them can deny the impending clash between Troika and Myriad. Killian will soon have to make the choice between his love for Ten and his loyalty to Myriad.

I most definitely appreciated the way in which Troika was constructed. The entire concept is still so exceptional to read about and experience. I love the idea of there being these places you go before your “second death.” Furthermore, my fondness for Killian grew much greater in this second installment. I must admit, I was kind of on the fence with him after reading book one, but no more. I love his relationship with Ten, its sweet and selfless beyond compare.

My only qualm with Lifeblood involves the redundancy of plot events. It felt like a lot of developments were on repeat with a few details changed here and there. Essentially, Ten gets a new mission, things go unexpectedly, and a battle breaks lose between Troika and Myriad again. I can’t tell you how many times that happened. It just sort of lost its excitement over time. I still enjoyed the book don’t get me wrong, but it was far from amazing. Nevertheless, I love this world that Showalter has created, and all that comes with it. I will most certainly be reading book three soon.

Read Lifeblood now. 

Review: Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi

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Goodreads Summary:

The thrilling second installment in New York Times bestselling author Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series.

It should have taken Juliette a single touch to kill Warner. But his mysterious immunity to her deadly power has left her shaken, wondering why her ultimate defense mechanism failed against the person she most needs protection from.

She and Adam were able to escape Warner’s clutches and join up with a group of rebels, many of whom have powers of their own. Juliette will finally be able to actively fight against The Reestablishment and try to fix her broken world. And perhaps these new allies can help her shed light on the secret behind Adam’s—and Warner’s—immunity to her killer skin.

Juliette’s world is packed with high-stakes action and tantalizing romance, perfect for fans of the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard and the Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken.


My Review

Unravel Me picked up right where Shatter Me left off, with Juliet living among her people and still struggling to control her abilities. Meanwhile, her relationship with Adam becomes more tumultuous as she must come to terms with the reality of her situation should she continue to pursue a romantic relationship with him. Of course matters couldn’t get much worse when she finds herself being more drawn to Warner despite his past transgressions.

I wasn’t wholly sold on Shatter Me after finishing the first book, but I saw the potential and figured it was worth giving book two a shot. Unfortunately, I continued to be disappointed. I chose to read Unravel Me via audiobook this time. That might have been a mistake. I don’t know if the content just wasn’t good enough for me to stay fully engaged, or that I was just too distracted by life to stay on top of the events occurring, but I just could not for the life of me give my full attention to this book. I started out involved in the story, and from the get-go I noticed Mafi going waaay over the top with her descriptions once again. It was like pages of details had passed, but nothing had actually happened. I get it, she really loves kissing/being with Adam, but should it really take 3-5 minutes worth of audiobook time to explain that? It made me stop caring fast.

I really wanted to get in to this book, more than that, I wanted to get hooked by the love triangle. I think this is one of the rare moments in book history, in which I just didn’t seem to care which guy she chooses, neither really did it for me. I felt like her love with Warner is kind of unfounded, he loved her out of the blue from the beginning. There was no true building of a relationship with them. Thus, I find it strange that she is so drawn and attracted to him when they never were given any kind of foundation.

I wish I could say that I enjoyed book two enough to read book three, but as of now, I don’t intend to continue any time soon. Sorry folks. I’m one of the minorities in this series it would seem. I’m bummed to say the least.

Be my guest if you wish to read book two. Buy it here. 

Release Day Launch & Excerpt: Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas

 

From the beloved and bestselling author of the Ransom Canyon and Harmony, Texas series comes a powerful, heartwarming story about generations of family and the ironclad bonds they forge. MORNINGS ON MAIN is now available! Grab your copy today!

 

When Jillian James lands in the small town Texas community of Laurel Springs, she’s definitely not planning to stay—except to find a few clues about the father who abandoned her and destroyed her faith in family.

Connor Larady is a single dad, and the only one caring for his grandmother, Eugenia, who has Alzheimer’s. And now he has to close Eugenia’s quilt shop. When Connor meets down-on-her-luck Jillian, he’s out of options. Can he trust the newcomer to do right by his grandmother’s legacy?

Jillian is done with relationships. But as she grows closer to Connor and Eugenia, she must consider giving up her nomadic life for a future with those who need her.

An inspiring family saga that asks us to consider what love and chosen family really mean.

 

Grab you copy of MORNINGS ON MAIN here!

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EXCERPT:

He held the truck door for her, then circled around and climbed in. “Where to?”

“Somewhere quiet. I’ve been surrounded by people all day.”

“I agree. The house has been full of friends since I got Gram home. I managed to run most of them off early last night so she could sleep and again this afternoon to let Gram rest a few hours before the quilters swarmed in.”

He drove through the Hamburger Hut, picked up malts and burgers, then crossed the bridge to the old part of town. The boards over the water were uneven, rattling her from side to side like a cheap, twirling carnival ride.

Jillian raised her eyebrows but didn’t say a word. Where they were going didn’t matter. She was with the one she wanted to be with. She needed to stop worrying about lin­gering memories and just relax.

He parked by a three-story building and climbed out.

She waited, not sure what to do. The malts and burgers were still on the seat beside her. Surely they weren’t stopping here. This place was scary even in daylight. She didn’t plan on staying around to see how it looked in less than an hour.

When he opened her door, he raised his arms to catch her. “Come with me.” He encouraged as if offering far more than a lift down from the high seat.

Her legs were plenty long enough to take the step out, but she slid into his embrace. He lowered her to the ground. For moment they were so close they touched as they breathed. She thought he might lean in slightly and kiss her, but he simply brushed his cheek against her hair. “Trust me, Jillian, you’re going to like this restaurant.”

He grabbed his raincoat from behind the seat, handed her the drinks and picked up their meal.

Following him into the building, she was surprised to see how sound the old factory seemed to be. The ceiling was tall, over twenty feet. Decaying ropes still hung from pulleys, and worktables stood dusty, silently waiting for craftsmen to ar­rive. The windows were high, ribboning the building with natural light.

Staying close, she whispered as though she might disturb ghosts, “What did they used to make in here?”

“I’m not sure. I think parts of oil rigs were shipped in and assembled here. I don’t know much about it, but there’s an old Christmas tree over there in the corner.” He pointed to a six-foot structure that was formed from a mixture of valves, spools and fittings welded together.

“They’re used at oil or gas well sites. I see them in the oil fields around. I’m not really sure why they call them Christmas trees. A roughneck would have to be drunk to mistake this jumble of metal for a tree.”

She turned in a complete circle. “Nice restaurant.”

“Oh, we’re not there yet.” He pointed to a staircase along one wall. “We’ve got rooftop seating.”

Suddenly excited, she climbed ahead of him, her shoes tap­ping a rhythm in double time. At the top, she waited impa­tiently with a malt in each hand.

He juggled the bag of burgers as he shoved the heavy door open. They stepped onto the rooftop with no one else around. She could see for miles in every direction. The trees, the fields. Oil rigs, scattered homes and barns, schools and churches.

“It’s beautiful!” The sun’s low glow gave everything a golden light.

He set the bag down and spread his raincoat out like a ta­blecloth on an air vent cover. “It’s not yet, but it will be.” He pulled up two empty five-gallon buckets to use as stools.

She sat the malts down. “You’ve been to this restaurant before.”

“Guilty. But I’ve never brought anyone here. Only you.”

While he unwrapped his burger, she looked around, point­ing out everything as if he was also seeing it for the first time. “Look how winding the creek is.”

“I had no idea there were so many trees.”

“Oh, look at those horses running.” She loved the way the evening clouds moved over the land, darkening the hues of the earth in shadow as they drifted.

“It’s winter now, not near as pretty as it’ll be come spring.” He set his hamburger beside hers and came to join her near the roof’s edge. “I lease that flat land out to a farmer who plants cotton every spring. That brown dirt will look like a green carpet in a few months.”

“I won’t be here in spring.” She let the wind catch her words as she turned away from him and the view. The black tar roof beneath her feet was all she saw now, but she stared hard, willing not one tear to fall.

This time. This place she would miss. When she left, Jillian knew memories would be packed in her heart. A year from now, a decade, a lifetime, she’d still remember the beauty of this view in winter and wonder how it looked in spring.

 

“Compelling and beautifully written.” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author on Ransom Canyon

 

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

 

 

 

About Jodi Thomas:

New York Times and USA Today’s bestselling author Jodi Thomas has published over 30 books in both the historical romance and contemporary genres, the majority of which are set in her home state of Texas. Publishers Weekly calls her novels “Distinctive…Memorable,” and that in her stories “[tension] rides high, mixed with humor and kisses more passionate than most full-on love scenes.” In 2006, Romance Writers of America (RITA) inducted Thomas into the RWA Hall of Fame for winning her third RITA for THE TEXAN’S REWARD. She also received the National Readers’ Choice Award in 2009 for TWISTED CREEK (2008) and TALL, DARK, AND TEXAN (2008). While continuing to work as a novelist, Thomas also functions as Writer in Residence at the West Texas A&M University campus, where she inspires students and alumni in their own writing pursuits.

 

 

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Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by

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Goodreads Summary:

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.


My Review

Shatter Me has been all over my news feeds for quite some time. I have to admit, I’ve been very conflicted over picking up this book. There are just so many conflicting reviews and feelings on it. And I’m beginning to see why.

Shatter Me focuses on the life of a girl who, for whatever reason, was born with a deadly gift. Everyone she touches for just long enough, dies, and if they let go fast enough, still suffer excruciating pain. She has never known the comfort of touch or the love of another, but has always been regarded as a monster. That is, until she is given a new cellmate at the mental asylum she’s imprisoned in, one who provides a new opportunity she could never dream of.

This book had an interesting concept from the get-go. The setting is dystopian, the girl has an unexplained ability, and of course there’s a romance. All things I love. However, I didn’t necessarily love Shatter Me. I didn’t dislike it either. Mafi’s writing style is unique to say the least. Unfortunately, it’s also a little scattered. One minute, I’m falling in love with her poetic imagery and analogies, and the next, I’m utterly confused and befuddled by how it has a place in the story. She just threw similes and metaphors around willy-nilly, without thought as to how it really fits into the narration. It was just a little too over the top, and didn’t quite work with the content. It also made certain descriptions way too long winded.

Despite the bizarre/sometimes annoying way of writing, I flew through this book. It was fast paced through out, and generally an easy book to get through. The ending events definitely intrigued me enough to continue. Shatter Me also came with plenty of unanswered questions. These characters are most certainly not who they appear to be; and I look forward to discovering the truth.

Buy Shatter Me on Amazon now.

Review: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sara J. Maas

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Goodreads Summary:

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.


My Review

Queen of Shadows packed a punch, of that there is no doubt! This fourth book was riveting from page one. I never wanted to put it down.

This fourth installment picks up shortly after the events of book three end. Aelin returns to Rifthold to confront Arobynn, her old master and take back the third wrdkey. Now that she has fully accepted her birthright, there is no stopping her as she takes calculated steps to at last gaining justice for her family.

Queen of Shadow had so many mind blowing moments! My brain could literally not keep up with all of the insane twists and turns. Aelin pulls out all the stops in this book. She will do everything in her power to ensure her success. I was thoroughly impressed by her actions. These characters have really gotten under my skin at this point, and I am all in. There were moments when my heart shattered, and moments when the pieces were quickly falling back into place because of how wonderful the events were. This fourth book was definitely an emotionally strenuous experience.

The only thing that frustrated me was Aelin and Chaol’s relationship after reuniting. Gotta say, I wasn’t fan. Thankfully, there was hope for them by the end of the book. I also am standing firm with my irritation toward how quickly Aelin and Rowan’s relationship developed into a romantic one. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really loving Rowan as a character. I just didn’t think his feelings for Aelin were given a solid foundation. But that’s my only little hiccup.

Regardless, Queen of Shadows was utterly fantastic, breathtaking, mesmerizing, need I go on? Read it now. Do it. Believe me.

Buy it on Amazon here!

Waiting on Wednesdays: Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas

From the beloved and bestselling author of the Ransom Canyon and Harmony, Texas series comes a powerful, heartwarming story about generations of family and the ironclad bonds they forge. Jodi Thomas’s MORNINGS ON MAIN releases on April 10, 2018. Pre-order your copy today!

 

When Jillian James lands in the small town Texas community of Laurel Springs, she’s definitely not planning to stay—except to find a few clues about the father who abandoned her and destroyed her faith in family.

Connor Larady is a single dad, and the only one caring for his grandmother, Eugenia, who has Alzheimer’s. And now he has to close Eugenia’s quilt shop. When Connor meets down-on-her-luck Jillian, he’s out of options. Can he trust the newcomer to do right by his grandmother’s legacy?

Jillian is done with relationships. But as she grows closer to Connor and Eugenia, she must consider giving up her nomadic life for a future with those who need her.

An inspiring family saga that asks us to consider what love and chosen family really mean.

Pre-order MORNINGS ON MAIN here!

Amazon | Kindle | B&N | B-A-M | IndieBound 

Google Play | iBooks | Kobo | Book Depository

 

 

“Compelling and beautifully written.” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author on Ransom Canyon

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

About Jodi Thomas:

New York Times and USA Today’s bestselling author Jodi Thomas has published over 30 books in both the historical romance and contemporary genres, the majority of which are set in her home state of Texas. Publishers Weekly calls her novels “Distinctive…Memorable,” and that in her stories “[tension] rides high, mixed with humor and kisses more passionate than most full-on love scenes.” In 2006, Romance Writers of America (RITA) inducted Thomas into the RWA Hall of Fame for winning her third RITA for THE TEXAN’S REWARD. She also received the National Readers’ Choice Award in 2009 for TWISTED CREEK (2008) and TALL, DARK, AND TEXAN (2008). While continuing to work as a novelist, Thomas also functions as Writer in Residence at the West Texas A&M University campus, where she inspires students and alumni in their own writing pursuits.

 

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