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: The Dark Calling (Arcana Chronicles #5) by Kresley Cole

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Goodreads Summary:

New intrigues, adventures, and stunning revelations fill the penultimate installment of #1 New York Times best-selling author Kresley Cole’s electrifying Arcana Chronicles.

In a world teetering on the edge . . .
When Evie receives life-changing—and possibly game-changing—news, she has trouble believing it. Why doesn’t she feel any different? Is it possible someone she trusts might be lying?

With enemies at every turn . . .
Tensions seethe inside the castle of lost time as Evie starts to doubt her own sanity. Answers can be found outside their stronghold, but will Death help her find them—or prevent her from learning the truth about her future and Jack’s possible survival?

Darkness beckons.
A mysterious, sinister power begins to affect the Arcana in its path. Forced out into the wasteland alone, Evie must depend on unexpected allies. But as a battle with Richter looms, can her new alliance defeat the Dark Calling before hell reigns on earth?


My Review

After well over a year and a great deal of anticipation, I couldn’t wait to finally get my hands on book five of The Arcana Chronicles. Little did I know how disappointed I would be after finishing it.

The Dark Calling picks up right where book four left off, with Evie discovering (to her dismay) that she is pregnant with Death’s child, after having just found out that Jack is indeed alive. With so much information and betrayal in their midst, she finds her very foundation crumbling around her as she fights for her life against the very person she trusted the most.

I had such high hopes for this book. I figured that extending the wait for book five would mean that it would really pack a punch. Unfortunately, it struck out. The Dark Calling was fast paced, don’t get me wrong, but as I came to its conclusion, I realized that absolutely nothing essential toward the plot of the series happened. This book made me feel like I was in limbo. The events that occurred did not warrant an entire novel. They could have been added to a larger story that would have contributed a lot more to the series as a whole. I was expecting so much to happen, I wanted earth shattering information, and kick ass action left in right as more arcana get taken off the board. Very little of these things came to fruition, and I found myself sorely disappointed.

Now we all know that The Arcana Chronicles has a killer love triangle. However, it is slowly starting to destroy itself and it’s breaking my heart. I am still 100% team Jack, but I’m beginning to just want Evie to make a damn choice already so we can all move on with our lives. Both men are just so fricken genuine and perfect that it almost bothers me. It just doesn’t happen like that. My heart breaks for both men, who really seem to be taking the most fallout throughout the books. At this point Cole is messing with the readers’ emotions big time. It’s just not fair.

I wish I could say that The Dark Calling was worth the wait, but it just wasn’t. It barely scratched the itch I was having to read this series again! And now I’m even more bitter that that was all I got after all that time passed. I can only hope that the next book will make up for it! At the rate the story is going, I’m thinking the next book will be the last. At least I hope it will be. Not sure how much longer I can be strung along. I still love this series, so I’m definitely giving up!

Pick up The Dark Calling now! 

Release Day Launch & Excerpt: Everlife (Everlife #3) by Gena Showalter

New from Gena Showalter, author of the New York Times bestselling The White Rabbit Chronicles, comes a series finale that will keep you on the edge of your seat rooting for the characters until the very last page. Don’t miss the EPIC CONCLUSION to the Everlife novels, a series fans calls “vividly unique,” “unforgettable” and “exhilarating.” Grab your copy today!

EVERLIFE Synopsis:

STAND TOGETHER OR FALL ALONE.

THE FATE OF THE EVERLIFE HANGS IN THE BALANCE.

At seventeen years old, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood needed to make the ultimate choice—where to live after she died. Loyalty to her selected realm has not wavered…until now. The numbers-obsessed Conduit is out of time. Sacrifices must be made, and a terrible price must be paid. But is she too late?

As the Everlife descends into darkness, a single truth becomes clear: Troika and Myriad must unite in the end—or perish. As a way to bring sworn enemies together, Ten must enter forbidden territory…and destroy the powerful Prince of Ravens. But there’s only one way inside—bonding with Killian Flynn, a deadly rival Laborer who sets her blood aflame.

When nothing goes as planned and betrayal results in the edge of utter defeat, Ten and Killian must rebuild agree with from the ashes in their hearts. Victory seems not possible; the odds stacked against them. In spite of everything, how far will they be willing to go for the sake in their realms and the Everlife?

Get your copy of EVERLIFE here!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | B-A-M | Kobo | iBooks | Book Depository

“Utterly unique and absolutely riveting—I couldn’t put it down! What a marvelously cool world.” —Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author, on Firstlife

EXCERPT:

The identity of our intruders clicks. Two Troikan Generals: Shamus Campbell and Luciana Rossi. Behind them, four La­borers I’ve never met. A total of six invaders.

6: symbolizes beauty and high ideals. The sixth sense: ESP. The sixth astrological sign in the Zodiac: Virgo.

Focus! A soft pitter-patter of footfalls echoes outside the cave. More TLs?

Killian isn’t safe.

Panic claws its way up the ridges of my spine, and my blood f lash-freezes. I strain with all my might, desperate to move, but my body refuses to cooperate. Every attempt to raise my arms threatens to pop my shoulders out of joint. I don’t care. Nothing will halt my efforts.

“Kill, kill.” Between each command—desire?—Killian snarls like a wounded animal. “Kill!”

Shamus, a big, barrel-chested redhead with pale skin and countless freckles, slams a fist against his armor-clad chest to gain my attention. His dark eyes are narrowed, a muscle jumping in his jaw. “What did you do, Miss Lockwood? And do no’ tell me nothin’.” His accent is similar to Killian’s.

Luciana, a slender brunette with lovely brown skin and startling gray irises, backs away from me, horror contorting her expression. “I’ll tell you what she did. She doomed us all.”

Doomed…

Is she right? She can’t be. She just can’t.

I look down at Killian. My new husband is pulling at hanks of his hair.

Hopes, falling from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.

“Out,” Shamus snarls at the TLs. “Now.”

All four soldiers rush from the cave without protest.

I stiffen. The General has evened the odds. Two against two. A foolish move for a war-seasoned veteran. Unless he got rid of any witnesses…

Willing to use my body as a shield, I push through the pain—snap. My shoulder does pop out of joint. Or maybe back into joint. Air wheezes from my lungs. Worth it! Finally, I can move. I crawl toward Killian, every inch I gain only adding fuel to an already blazing fire of agony.

Can’t stop. No, won’t stop. Determination drives me. I only wish it gave me wings.

“Kill. Must kill.” Killian is lost in a world of his own.

“You won’t be killing anyone, you son of a Myriad troll.” With a hand curled around the hilt of a sword, Shamus stalks toward him.

“Stop! He doesn’t know what he’s saying right now.” My voice is barely audible, my gaze locked on my love. So close, yet so far away. Desperation slams a spike straight through my heart.

Any other day, I would have used the comm built into the forearm of spirit and Shell. With the press of a few buttons, it could transport me to Killian’s side and, as long as some part of me is touching some part of him, whisk us both somewhere else. Somewhere safe. Like a fool, I disabled the device to hide from fellow Troikans while meeting with Killian.

I should have known they’d find me one way or another.

“Stop,” I repeat, even as I gain another inch. “That’s an order.” As a Conduit, I outrank the Generals. As a newbie to the Everlife, however, my exalted rank doesn’t really mean squat.

“We can’t hurt him,” Luciana grates. She extends her arm, stopping Shamus in his tracks. “You’ve effectively tied our hands, Miss Lockwood.”

Though the shadows are no longer slithering through my mind, I’m not exactly thinking straight. I struggle to make sense of her words, finally throw in the towel. “I don’t understand.”

“You bonded to him, did you not?” She spits the words, as if they taste foul in her mouth. “That bond forces us to spare Myriad’s favorite butcher and watch as you, one of only two Conduits, slowly descends into madness.”

And don’t miss the first two titles in this stunning series, FIRSTLIFE and LIFEBLOOD! Grab your copies today!

 

GET YOUR COPY OF FIRSTLIFE HERE!
GET YOUR COPY OF LIFEBLOOD HERE!

ORDER EVERLIFE AND GET A FIRSTLIFE POSTER!

Order* a digital or print edition of EVERLIFE by Gena Showalter and get a FIRSTLIFE poster in .pdf format from Gena! Each entry* will also be entered for the chance to win a Grand Prize! Grand Prize consists of a signed copy of FIRSTLIFE and LIFEBLOOD, Betsey Johnson purse, Rebecca Monroe Bear cap, and Sparkling Zebra necklace!

EVERLIFE is now available in print and eBook!

Just CLICK HERE, scroll down, and then enter your name, age, email address, and the order number from your digital or print edition order receipt to receive your FIRSTLIFE poster in .pdf format! All entrants will receive the FIRSTLIFE poster in .pdf format on March 4, 2018 through email using the email given when the entrant filled out THIS FORM.

iBooks entries should be screenshot and uploaded or the entrant will have to wait until they receive their confirmation email to fill out the form.

**This opportunity will stay available for readers to enter through 11:59pm EST on March 3, 2018 in order to allow everyone a chance to enter. See Official Rules for details.**

*Alternate method of entry available. No purchase necessary to enter to win. See Official Rules for details.

About Gena Showalter:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series.  In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours!  Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfans

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Review: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads Summary:

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Timesbest-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.


My Review

So, I seem to be a part of the minority group in that I wasn’t 100% in love with Heir of Fire. Don’t get me wrong, it still earned a 4 star rating on Goodreads, but there were just a few aspects that really irked me! Some of these are sort of spoilers, so if you don’t want to risk it, stop reading now.

Heir of Fire picked up right where Crown of Midnight left off. Celaena is on her way to Wendlyn to fulfill a crazy mission she was set up for by Chaol in an effort to save her from the king. Chaol is expected to return to his father’s kingdom and Dorian is still terrified about his new found magical abilities.

I must say that Heir of Fire was 100% not what I was expecting it to be. This was mostly due to the fact that so many new characters get introduced. Some of these characters I was totally excited to read about. Others, made the story drag on waaaaaay too much!! One character (a witch) had some really awesome scenes to offer, but also got in the way of the other really awesome characters. So it was really hard to care about the content of the characters who had less relevance at the time.

Furthermore, a new “love interest” gets introduced. It kind of left me thinking: “Really? How many men can she potentially have fall for her in such a short period of time?” I was super hesitant about this new dude at first. I am still totally team Chaol at this point. However, Maas has a knack for getting me to fall in love with a new male lead. So I have to admit, this new guy is growing on me. Of course this frustrates me that there has to be a new guy in the first place. I also was not overly pleased with the way this new relationship with Celaena and “he who shall not be named’s” relationship evolved. It didn’t seem to have as smooth of a transition as I would have hoped. There were definitely some heart wrenching moments between the two, but it still felt a little too overly simplified as it went from extreme loathing to 100% “I would die for you feelings” in the blink of an eye. Still, I have a soft spot for all that he has endured, and his connection to Celaena that, up until this point, no one else has been able to have.

Ultimately, I very much so enjoyed Heir of Fire. It still contained my beloved characters, and added a few more I’m starting to become attached to. There were just a few aspects that were a little long winded and others that could have been given more attention.  Either way, the ending was absolute INSANITY, and I cannot wait to get started on book 4!

Buy Heir of Fire on Amazon now!

Review: Lucky in Love by Kasie West

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Goodreads Summary:

Can’t buy me love…

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?


My Review

I didn’t have super high expectations for Lucky in Love, but I had hoped that I would at least enjoy it a little more. Unfortunately, it was about as mediocre as a high school romance can possibly get. I was definitely hesitant when I read the description. An 18 year old girl wins the lottery and her whole life changes, but during all of the money madness, she still finds herself falling in love with the cute boy she works with. Cheesy right? Well yup, it sure was.

There was nothing wholly exciting about this book. Everything that happened was just so  completely predictable. I really wanted events to play out differently. I thought, maybe they will make this story ablout more than a teenager winning a bunch of money, getting in over her head, and ruining the relationships around her. But nope, that just about happens. SPOILER ALERT. Not that you weren’t thinking it already right?

I had heard fairly good things about Kasie West’s P.S. I Like You, so I thought I would give this one a try after receiving it as a gift. Unfortunately, this makes me super reluctant to give that book a try now. Any thoughts on this author and her other work? I wish I could recommend Lucky in Love to readers, but all I can really give it, is that it was a quick read. It’s a good in-between book, but otherwise it’s not much to be excited about.

Buy it on Amazon here, if you are so inclined lol.

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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Goodreads Summary:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

 


My Review

We Were Liars was an intriguing story from the get-go. There were just so many questions and things to learn about each character. Each one seemed like they were keeping secrets. I feel like that kind of comes with the territory when dealing with rich families. Nevertheless, I 100% did not see it coming when I learned the truth.

This story follows the life of Cadence Sinclair, the first grandchild of the Sinclair family, blessed beyond belief with the privilege of getting to spend summers on her grandfather’s private island. Cadence only sees her cousins and her surrogate family member: Gat during these summers. Although, her time on the island isn’t without it’s hiccups. And as with every family, comes dysfunction. Events reach a peak when Cadence is found in the night at the shore after suffering from an accident. However, she has no memory of what happened to her.

We Were Liars was told in such an interesting way, the style was captivating and alluring, almost haunting at times. It was like the writing wove a web of mysteries in the reader’s head. It most definitely succeeded in keeping my attention throughout. I had to know what happened to Cadence, and I had to know why? I have no other way of expressing my feelings about the truth other then that I was completely SHOOK. Damn, was I shook!

If you are looking for a dramatic contemporary work of fiction that packs a resounding punch, then you have got to read We Were Liars.

Buy it on Amazon here!

 

Review: Every Day by David Leviathan

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Goodreads Summary:

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.


My Review 

Wow. Just absolutely wow. Every Day is unlike anything you will ever read!! And although the ending is not entirely what I had hoped for, the story was glorious nonetheless! The style in which this book was written was so wholly captivating. It had me immediately hooked! Levithan writes with this poetic melodious rhythm that makes you fly through the pages.

Every Day follows the ever changing life of A, a being who has the unfortunate predicament of waking up in a new body every morning. It has been like this all of his or her life. A doesn’t have a set gender, he takes on the role of whomever “he” is inhabiting, whether it be a girl, boy, transgender, or otherwise. A is used to this life, has adapted to it, and knows how to get by. That is, until the day A meets Rhiannon. Rhiannon makes A want to stay in one body every day for the rest of the days.

This book makes you realize that love doesn’t have to have a gender to be real. It makes you appreciate how different each person’s life is. A literally gets to walk in the shoes of hundreds upon hundreds of people, developing a new understanding of each type of life that could be lived at the age of 16. It was kind of insane to see each life’s unique aspects. I admire Levithan’s ability to weave a story around an entity who didn’t have a real identity.

The ending was heart wrenching on every level. I was definitely saddened by the way events played out, but it didn’t ruin the overall story. What happened was meant to happen and it was just the reality of things. Every Day was an incredibly different and revealing story that touched on all the complexities of daily living and what it’s like to love someone in any and all situations. I would most definitely recommend you pick up this book!!

Buy it on Amazon here!