Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pawn by Aimée Carter Book Review

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

I had read the author's previous series The Goddess Test and I had enjoyed those books fairly well. This one immediately became my favorite however. A thrilling synopsis and an interesting cover, you pick it up and get past the first couple chapters and I'll bet you're hooked! Once Kitty wakes up I could barely put the book down. Kitty is a teenager who has been marked a III and that isn't a life she wants to live. A toss up of events and she has a chance to become a VII which she takes. Only the stakes are much higher than she ever thought as she begins to play a game of fighting for justice for the people and a change in governemnt...all while trying to hold onto her own life.

This was a really exciting book and there is a lot of mysteries going in...and when I finished there were still a lot of things that hadn't been answered yet. There is a lot of blackmailing, secrets, scandal, and backstabbing. Which just makes everything a whole lot more interesting. Without giving away too many secrets...the family that Kitty ends up being surrounded by is very, very interesting and a whole lot of trouble! Haha, there was no end to surprises and doubting who was one whose side. Even by the end you are still not completely sure who Kitty should trust. The ending was absolutely thrilling in both the final battle and the last few sentences. I cannot wait for the next book!

Kitty was a great character and I really liked her. She had some moments where she had to figure out what exactly she was supposed to do and what she should risk to get what she wants. And even while she's deciding that she isn't just thinking about herself. She's thinking about the people who aren't VIIs and who might even be IIs. She wants a better world and she's actually starting to make that happen. Most of the family I didn't care for, Knox and what's his name, Daxton's heir, were the only two that I liked. And I definitely liked Knox, he was pretty witty. Benjy, Kitty's old boyfriend was in a good bit of the book but I never felt like we got to know him extremely well.

Overall, this book was a really exciting sort of dystopian/rebellion/government-y book and I would rate it 5 stars. I really enjoyed it and I liked Kitty as the main character a lot. There were twists and turns that just made the book and I'm pretty excited for the next book. I also think that this book almost matches Royals by Lorde or vise versa...they just go really well together!
Content wise there was a slight bit of language, a kiss or two, some attempts at murder, brief mention of drinking, and Kitty goes to work at a brothel but nothing happens to her.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan Book Review

Free from bonds, but not each other

It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

Augh where to start with this review... The first book left me so mad at the end. I was lucky enough to have not read it until after Untold came out so that when I had finished Unspoken I didn't have to wait for Untold. Not the case now. Sarah Reese Brennan has to be one of the most evil authors ever to leave us with endings like the one in the Lynburn Legacy series so far. I think that the one in Unspoken was worse but that doesn't make this ending any less awful. But let me go back to the beginning.

At the end of Unspoken we have Kami and Jared's bond broken and Jared saying he doesn't want anything to do with her and at the beginning of this book we have them at odds and they're both rather broken and unsure of themselves. It's kind of like a dance, someone will get offended, there is a mistake made and for the whole first half or so I was quite mad at both of them for not seeing sense and getting together. While Kami was a little less broken she still needs Jared and Jared is so his own way and he definitely needs Kami. And it takes them quite a while to get back to where they can both admit that to each other. While all this is happening Kami is trying to find a way to fight against the threat against Sorry-In-The-Vale and dealing with some trouble at home and amongst her friends. It's all a very broken book, everything is falling apart for the characters because after the ending of the last book things couldn't stay the same. Rob Lynburn killed a girl to strengthen his powers and got away after the other Lynburns confronted him. (Highlight those areas to see spoilers ↑↑)

So that all being said the plot is a bit exciting and terrible all at the same time. Of course, it has to be or else the book wouldn't have been so exciting. Moving onto the characters I know that I'll have an easy time with them because I love so many of them. Kami is so hilarious and sarcastic, I love her to death. She always has something planned and it's usually a bit crazy. Jared is almost another Kami in a boy's body although he's a bit more motorcycle inclined. Ash is a sweetie and I really do hope that he is able to be happier in the next book. I want him to be. I feel like he is more a wildcard than Jared is because while Jared will do insane things and blow up and all of that, Ash is more likely to slowly build up to some great explosion. At least that it what I feel like might be happening. When you know someone is going to have bursts of anger and impulsive mistakes it's not so bad. But when someone is slowly edging toward becoming dangerous it's a bit more scary. And on to Angela and Rusty. I love them both because they're just as fun as Jared and Kami and have this lazy attitude to everything at the same time. And Rusty is quite vain...and perfect being that way. So it's almost like he's more attractive because of it. Which is scary because it would mean that he's known all along and is increasing his attractiveness. Well anyway, musings aside I love most of the characters in the book. Rob Lynburn and the sisters not so much but I do like Kami's dad and brothers quite a lot.

Overall, this was a great book and I would rate it 5 stars. It was the perfect sequel that made me die at the ending. And I thank the author for the kind note at the end of her acknowledgements. Really, I do! NOT! Anyway, the ending was awful and good at the same time but mostly awful. The plot was good, the characters were great and the writing is lovely and captivating. I feel like I can see Sorry-In-The-Vale and the sarcastic dialogue is something I adore. If you enjoy a sarcastic book with witty characters or a witty book with sarcastic characters pick this book up and enjoy a magical adventure. Maybe with tears. Who knows what the next book holds?
Although I didn't mind this, I'd also like to note that there was a gay character discussed a bit, some language, making out, and a bit of violence with the use of magic.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth Book Review

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Where to start with this review...It's hard to tell. I've wanted to change the way I review a tiny bit, so bear with me. Divergent has been one of my favorite books ever since I read it. I'm so grateful that my librarian bugged me about it so much, it's a great book. Insurgent was a great book as well. This book was almost a part of another series with the same characters. The world outside the fence and the factions is something unexplored and is far more different than I what imagined and I'm sure what Tris imagined. So I almost feel like I shouldn't review with the rest of the series present in my mind. But then at the same time the past two books have to be remembered when you look at how far the characters have come and such. So in as many words as that...this book is good in the way that it makes you want to scream and cry (which I did) and it makes you want to stop everything, slap characters, and rewrite it. But then at the end you wouldn't have it any other way. Except for one thing. But moving on...

So the outside world is a lot different than I had expected, especially after the ending of the second book. I expected a lot more fighting and stuff like that. But really it's more science than anything. There is some fighting. But it's a lot calmer than I expected. Just Veronica Roth messing with us, we expected something totally different than what she ends up giving us. And the same thing with the characters. We lose some and others it's hard to say without giving it away but they change and can become unfocused "outside". Not the writing, but the characters themselves can become unfocused. It's a much bigger world and they don't understand all of it. This book is just so different. Augh and my words aren't coming together quite right. It's exciting, it's terrifying, and it's different. The characters are in a new setting that is very strange to them and they change and try to adapt to it. Sometimes in the wrong way or better than others. And it gives you a better picture of what kind of people they are. There is the matter of Caleb and Tris's relationship brought up and that was...interesting because you want to know what Tris will do. Then there's some family secrets discovered as well. The book is sort of like the characters going out, learning a lot about their world and the outside world and discovering some things that aren't so very pleasant. Then they use the knowledge they've gained and decide what to do with the threat against their home in Chicago. 

And that, in a badly described nutshell, is what I thought of the book and it's pretty much spoiler free and I doubt will make much sense without having read the first two books. Overall though, I liked it a lot and would give it 4 stars. I thought that the first two were better but it did justice to the series and had a heartbreaking ending. I cried. And at the same time it was a broken sort of perfect.And we got to hear Tobias's POV. That alone is wonderful. I'm quite sorry for the series to end and although it wasn't at all what I would have expected, I enjoyed Allegiant's story and it was very exciting and traumatic for me as a reader ;)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Some To Be Read Thursday:Some of my favorite Christian Romance authors.

Lilly secures a job as lady's maid in a grand manor in Austin, Texas. But even far from home, her past lurks around every corner.

When Lilly Donnelly arrives at the Cutlers' famed Butterfly Mansion in 1899, the massive house and unfamiliar duties threaten to overwhelm her. Victorian Austin is lavish, highly political, and intimidating, but with the help of the other servants, Lilly resolves to prove herself to her new employers.

Then, while serving at an elegant dinner party, Lilly recognizes one distinguished guest as Andrew, the love of her life, who abandoned her without a word back home. He seems to have assumed a new identity and refuses to acknowledge her, leaving her confused and reeling.

Before Lilly can absorb this unwelcome news, she's attacked. Could it be the sinister Servant Girl Killer who has been terrorizing Austin? Or is it someone after something more personal--someone from her past?

Does she dare trust Andrew to help or is he part of the danger threatening to draw Lilly into its vortex?

 This is the third book in a sort of series (the first two being Tidewater Inn and Rosemary Cottage) and it will be released in late January 2014. I love Colleen Coble's books and I'm looking forward to this one!

Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.
Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul--and hidden sorrows of her own. 
Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master--a man her mother would never approve of--but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village...and to her mother's tattered heart? 
Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a "good match" in Regency England.
This looks to be another wonderful book from Julie Klassen. It releases in early January 2014 and I cannot wait to pick it up!
When Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston from an eastern finishing school, she's stunned to find her father in ill health. Though she loves him, he's only ever focused on what she's "not." Not male. Not married. Not able to run their family business, Renard Shipping.

Vowing to secure a suitable marriage partner, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure: a dagger personally gifted to Nicole's father by the pirate Jean Lafitte. Many believe the legend that the dagger is the source of all Renard Shipping's good fortune, though Nicole is sure her father's work ethic and honorable business practices are the keys to their success. Before she can board the steamer to New Orleans, Nicole finds her father's rivals—the Jenkins brothers—on either side of the gangplank, ready to grab her and steal the dagger. Quickly, she decides to instead travel north, to Liberty, Texas, where she can decide what to do next.

Darius Thornton needs a secretary—someone to help him get his notes in order. Ever since the boiler explosion aboard the "Louisiana," Darius has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. The pretty young socialite who applies for the job baffles him with her knowledge of mathematics and steamships. He decides to take a risk and hire her, but he's determined her attractive face and fancy clothes won't distract him from his important research.

The job offer comes at exactly the right time for Nicole. With what Darius is paying her, she'll be able to afford passage to New Orleans in mere weeks. But Mr. Thornton is so reclusive, so distant, so unusual. He can create complex scientific equations but can't remember to comb his hair. And his experiments are growing more and more dangerous. Still, there are undeniable sparks of attraction between them. But Nicole is leaving soon, and if she marries, it must be to a man who can manage a shipping empire. Darius certainly doesn't fit that description. And the Jenkins brothers have not given up on kidnapping Nicole and seizing the Lafitte dagger for themselves.
Although I haven't gotten to Karen Witemeyer's latest quite yet I'm sure it will be wonderful. I've read 3 of her other books and enjoyed them a lot!  This book releases in early June 2014.
Award-Winning Author Delivers High Romance and Historical Drama
In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston holds a respectable position as a government statistician when she encounters a rival from her past, the insufferable Trevor McDonough. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and she's bewildered at the way he suddenly seeks her out. Surprising even herself, Kate agrees to Trevor's entirely unexpected and risky proposal to work side-by-side with him in his quest to rid the world of tuberculosis, a contagious and deadly disease. 

As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, she realizes there is much more to him than she could have imagined. His hidden depths may fascinate her, but his most closely guarded secrets and a shadowy enemy lurking in the background carry a serious threat to their future.
When the truth of the past comes out, threatening to destroy everything they hold dear, how will Trevor and Kate ever overcome all that stands in their way? 
Another author I love, Elizabeth Camden has had some lovely books.  And her covers are so very gorgeous! I was so excited to hear that she has another one releasing sort of soon. In early August 2014.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love Book Review

The war is over, but at Fairhaven Plantation, Charlotte's struggle has just begun.
Following her father’s death, Charlotte Fraser returns to Fairhaven, her family’s rice plantation in the South Carolina Lowcountry. With no one else to rely upon, smart, independent Charlotte is determined to resume cultivating the superior strain of rice called Carolina Gold. But the war has left the plantation in ruins, her father’s former bondsmen are free, and workers and equipment are in short supply.
To make ends meet, Charlotte reluctantly agrees to tutor the two young daughters of her widowed neighbor and heir to Willowood Plantation, Nicholas Betancourt. Just as her friendship with Nick deepens, he embarks upon a quest to prove his claim to Willowood and sends Charlotte on a dangerous journey that uncovers a long-held family secret, and threatens everything she holds dear.
Inspired by the life of a 19th-century woman rice farmer, Carolina Gold pays tribute to the hauntingly beautiful Lowcountry and weaves together mystery, romance, and historical detail, bringing to life the story of one young woman’s struggle to restore her ruined world.

 I was excited to see Dorothy Love's newest release come up for review because I had enjoyed several of the books in her Hickory Ridge Romance series. I was interested in seeing where she would take this, I assume, single book (no series plans). When it arrived I was excited to learn that the setting was in South Carolina, I live around the area and have lots of  family there/here too. So being familiar with Charleston and the general feel I was excited to start. Let me just go ahead and start with the good thing. The great thing was that she really got the feel of the setting right. Perhaps it was because I already knew some of the SC feel, I'm not sure, but it was written really well I thought. And there is a good bit of the book spent on an island a little ways out from the Lowcountry and it was just so beautifully described that I definitely want to find an island to vacation on. I was also happy with Charlotte as the main character. I liked her and I thought that the way she had changed over the war (although we hadn't "known" her before) was a good insight. And it really wouldn't have worked for the story to have had a girly-girly main character at all, she fit the bill of teacher/rice planter very well. Speaking of her teaching, I was really happy that she and her two pupils got to spend quite a bit of time together. I just found it really sweet reading the scenes with them together because it just was perfect. The lived with her for a summer and got quite attached. If you were planning to get romantic with their dad it's always best to get the kids on your side right? I liked how they got to get to know Charlotte before anything romantic really happened. And the two girls were so sweet, I loved their characters. Speaking of characters Charlotte and her two pupils were my favorites. There were some other sweet ones, mainly Daniel, but I didn't care much for Mr.Betancourt that much sadly.
Now the less fun part. I didn't think that the romance was quite up to par. Alright so he's handsome and you're watching his daughters then you worry about him for a while and then you start getting feels. Okay, all of that made sense it's just when she came back (I'm not telling here!) and another character kept saying she was in love and that she could tell too. That made me a little annoyed. The romance was good and thank goodness the ending ended like it did, the last chapters anyway. There were a couple parts that seemed a little blown out of proportion at the end, too much drama from Josie maybe? I'm really sure, it just seemed that leading up to the ending there were some parts that didn't sit quite right. And then lastly, there was a lot of talk at the beginning of not having much money and Charlotte having to take out a loan. But once you get about halfway in her money problems seem to be gone. There are a few little comments here or there about something being expensive but she goes and pays it still. She lost her writing job for the newpaper, which most have cost her something even if she took two teaching jobs. The money was never quite explained and it got under my skin a little.
Overall, I would give this book 3 stars. I enjoyed the setting and the story a lot, but some parts of the ending and the romance came across wrong to me. It's a good book and quite a bit educational about the time the rice planters had in the south after the war. I also liked how Charlotte's teaching ideas were a lot like a homeschoolers ;) I would recommend this book if you like historical fiction or are from the south and enjoy reading books about the south. 
Content would consist of one kiss, some death (it was after a war and there was a yellow fever outbreak in New Orleans), and one character is drunk or partially so in one scene.
I review for BookSneeze®
I was given a copy to review by the publisher and the views I've expressed are my own.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl Blog Tour: Review, Giveaway & More

About the Book:Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl:Traveling with her parents brings Lydia, daughter of explorer and singer Buddy Davis, plenty of adventure and mystery - from hidden clues in bookstores to cave paintings deep underground. 
About the Author: Whether she’s building life-sized models of dinosaurs with her adopted family, trying her hand at cooking at a private retreat, or living in a barn, author Aidyl Ewoh (aka Lydia Howe) seems to have adventures follow her wherever she goes. Check out her book, Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl and find out more about her at her BlogFacebook, and Twitter.
Review: I was thrilled to get a copy of Aidyl/Lydia's book to read and review. I think she is such a sweet girl and I was so happy when I heard she got a book deal. So I was interested in seeing what this book was about. It's a slim children's book packed with adventure. You have a 12 year old Lydia looking for something hidden in a library mystery and the ongoing story throughout the book of her dad, Buddy Davis going spelunking as you see on the cover. Let me tell you that even though this is a children's book and I couldn't connect as easily since I'm older that it still was a good book! The first or second little chapter bit really got me excited with a sort of cliffhanger until the next part. Ahh! So even though a younger reader would probably enjoy this book a good bit more than I did, it's still a nice book that will have you smiling at the adventure and story. I was also interested to learn a little bit more of Lydia's story as I hadn't really before. I'm assuming that the story in the book is her own and not fictional. Your heart really goes out and starts to grasp what makes her Lydia. It helps you to see things a little differently. I would rate this book 3 stars personally, but I'm sure younger readers would enjoy it much more. I'm actually going to give it as a Christmas present to my younger sister. (stay tuned to the end of the post, you might have the same idea)

Top Five Favorite Books as a Child

I’m the kind of girl who likes behind the scenes, getting-to-know-the-author kind of stuff. And hence this post. 

Originally this post was going to explore several different topics, my five best-loved books as a child, five favorite quotes about writing, five favored words... Etc. Then I started thinking about books I liked as a child and this post kinda took over. 

I was sitting in our living room with my siblings the day after Thanksgiving, asking them about books we liked best as children and this list very quickly appeared. (These are in no particular order.)

The following poem is from The Christian Mother Goose Big Book. My sister, Helena who is right above me in age and I used to say this poem all the time. When we were younger we would time ourselves to see how quickly we could quote it. If I remember correctly, our best time was 10 seconds. 

Betty Botter

Betty Botter did but mutter, 
“But,” she said, “the mutter’s bitter;
If I’m bitter while I mutter, 
It will fill my heart with clutter;
But a bit of better chatter,
That will make my heart feel better.”
So she sought some words to fit her,
Which were kind instead of bitter;
Soon she sang and didn’t mutter,
So kept out that awful clutter; 
So ‘twas better Betty Botter 
Changed from bitter things to better!

Helena decided to try and say it again after not thinking about the poem for about ten years. Y’all, within a few tries she cut her time down to 8.6 seconds! Yikes! I finished off the evening with 9.2 seconds, but believe me, I’m not going to be satisfied with that time. 

What was one of your favorite books as a child?

 To read an excerpt from my book and find out the answer to the True or False question, check out this blog tomorrow
To see the schedule for the Blog Tour and to find out how you could win a CD or DVD by just commenting, click here

Also check out this awesome giveaway! I'm hosting a giveaway for a copy of Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl! Open to US residents only, please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Keep an eye on here...I have an Allegiant review coming up soon, as well as The Iron Traitor and House of Hades! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Hello all, I apologize for being so absent. I really wish that I had more time and desire to blog. I'm getting back into it though, I think. I also think that my reviews will be changing a little bit as well. We'll see. I do know that I'll be having a giveaway coming up soon and hopefully the Allegiant review as I've just started it and getting back into all of the backlog that I have. I'm doing so bad on reviews. Terrible really.

But a few updates. Firstly, the Goodreads awards are up! Yay! The Beautiful Creatures manga got best graphic novel, Allegiant by Veronica Roth got best YA dystopian/fantasy I think. And Elearnor & Park (amazing book!) got best YA. House of Hades (also great) got best childrens book. Or middle grade. So go check out who else won for yourself, it was a great year for books!

Also I have so much of a backlog on ARCs too. I have a book by Chris Fabry who cowrote the Re Rock Mysteries, Left Behind. and Left Behind: The Kids with Jerry B. Jenkins. I have the first book from Dorothy Love since she finished her Hickoy Ridge Romance series. I have Pretenders by Lisi Harrison. Several other YA books. A very special book that I'm not going to tell you about just yet (it has to do with that giveaway). And... ooh Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson. Extremely excited for that one!! So stick around and hopefully my reviewing pace will get picked back up!!