Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 YA Contemporary Challenge: Results!!

Here are the 20 contemporary books I read in 2014. Some of them weren't on my original list but I'm just glad I managed to read 20 books, this wasn't the best year for me reading wise. But the challenge definitely helped me to get a lot read. Link to list on Goodreads
  1. Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens.
  2. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick.
  3. Going Rogue by Robin Benway.
  4. The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer.
  5. Take Me On by Katie McGarry.
  6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
  7. The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle. 

Mini Reviews

The Last Battle by C.S. LewisThis was maybe the third time that I've read this book. It's of course a classic and a great book. But it does carry a slightly different vibe than the first 6 books. I think it rather fits though, it shows you how things have changed since the beginning of the series and ties everything up very nicely. It's also probably the book, along with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, that has the most ties to Christianity. It's an interesting story as always and one of the things that I like most is that it brings back most of the original characters towards the end, which is lovely.

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth EulbergFrom the cover I was expecting something a little different. So it was surprising to have an Asian lead female character ;) But still a enjoyable, lovely book. I liked the style and pace of the chapters. The writing was lighthearted and it drew me in easily. I also really liked how defensive Macallan got about her uncle, it was really sweet. As for romance, I thought it was a good relationship, it's always best to start off as friends and I think you could really how they created a strong bond. I got a bit annoyed with some of the twists though. But the ending was good. Previously I had only read one other book by this author and now I definitely want to read another :) 

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare: As I'm rereading this series I'm not only refreshing my memory but I'm enjoying these books as well. Cassandra Clare is a very talented author and I'm loving it. I've heard that the latest book (the one I'm trying to work up to) was possibly a bit too long, but for now I'm loving the size of her books. I love a large book, provided it keeps me interested and her books definitely do. I love the characters, Jace and Simon are so sarcastic, Clary being her lovely self, Luke being adorable...and so on and so on. The plot is exciting even if I do remember most of it, it's definitely nice to remember the details of what transpired. I've been thinking while I'm rereading these first couple, which one is my favorite of the four I've read? I'd choose this one. It has a happy ending and Clary and Jace both find out a lot about themselves. Clary develops her powers and Simon adjusts to his immortality (among other things)'s a lot of growth happening. 

Basically, it's a very good book, even rereading it I still really enjoy it a lot and finished it very quickly. The plot was pretty fast paced and even if there wasn't exactly a lot happening in terms of battles and stuff, the characters were still learning a lot in the time between battles and plot twists. And I love the characters :)

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare: I feel like this book, while still good and exciting, isn't quite as good as the first three. Maybe it's just because the cliffhanger ending is absolutely painful, but it seems a bit darker and not quite as exciting. The plot moves a bit slower than in the previous books, possibly because it's a bit of a new direction, a new enemy and a slow build up to revealing who it was. But I got a tiny bit bored here and there. There were some things that I did really like, how connected Jace and Simon get, there are some new characters added, and I felt like Simon's gotten more important and he notices it too. So the characters were great, and there were loads of parts I enjoyed but this book was a bit slower compared to the previous and the ending was pretty dark. Also not the kind of ending a reader likes to find, especially when they've gotten attached to characters, haha. 

Basically I had a few books that I had read but hadn't really written long reviews for, so here they are! :) 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins Review

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last? 
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. 
Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Published August 2014. Third in a sort of series. Check it out on Goodreads!
5 stars. 

What I liked: This book starts off like a fairy tale. The romance is amazing and I loved it. Josh and Isla are so adorable and as you read you get to know them better and fall so in love with them as individuals and as a whole. And then you get towards the middle of the book and the "thing" happens. The thing that makes the characters grow and change and it's the like catalyst or something that changes things. It happens and their happy bubble pops. And then the pieces are trampled on further just when you were hoping it would get better. After that there is the period where the characters have to try and get over their pain and move on with life, choosing whichever way they think is best to survive. Then, comes the ending. Which I don't want to talk about really, I'm afraid I'll give it away. But it was amazing. And then, as the reader, you have the book hangover where you wish it wasn't over and you just have to close your eyes and try to recover.

By the end I was incredible happy, still recovering from the catalyst and emotionally confused and tired. It's an amazing book. It tugs at your heartstrings and it's very relatable. I feel like some people may have issues with something that Isla does that pushes Josh away. I personally understand her reasons for doing it and especially at the time that she did it too. For someone who is a bit socially awkward and comes out of a trying social event with a crash into some depression it makes perfect sense. But in any case the characters are amazing and so many of the previous characters stories get tied up some too. It's great to have characters we briefly met in Anna and the French Kiss come back for their own story and then we get some other characters from the previous two books who make cameos too! I love the settings, (Paris, New York, and Barcelona) as usual. It's a great conclusion and it was lovely. I loved it.

What I didn't like: There really wasn't much that I didn't like. Yes, there is pain that the characters go through. Yes there are roadblocks and yes mistakes happen. But it all comes out alright in the end. I think that Stephanie does a great job of making the book sad and painful for the characters, yet you're still tearing through the book. You're still 100% in there with them.

In conclusion...BEAUTIFUL. I was very happy with this book, it was everything I hoped for and more. I wish I could just describe how wonderful the writing was, how alive she makes the characters feel and how beautiful some of the scenes were. But I guess you'll just have to discover it yourself ;) I highly recommend this book!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.

Check it out on goodreads! 4.5 stars

Midnight by Rainbow Rowell- This story was super cute gave me butterflies in my stomach. Loved the characters and the whole story. Her writing style is lovely :)

The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link- I was rather reminded of a Scottish fairy tale I read a while ago. It was interesting enough. Christmassy. Fey-like.

Angels in The Snow by Matt de la Peña- Cute and Christmassy. I liked the spanish influences.

Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han- This one was cute and unique. I liked that it was set in the North Pole, it was the only one that Santa and his Elves appeared in it. 

It's A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins- Oh wow, so cute and definitely lived up to my expectation of it being written by Stephanie. :)

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan- Cute. Dunno if I got the meaning of it. But cute and I really liked the characters and writing. 

Krampuslauf by Holly Black- Quite interesting. I really liked the folklore bit and it was original. If a bit violent or vengeful, it's still a unique twist.
What the hell have you done Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman- Cute, I liked the writing and I liked the style or vibe. 

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire- Really cute and wasn't what I had been expected. Really enjoyed it and the characters and setting. 

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White- I really liked it was cute and American feeling. I enjoyed the ending so much and the Spanish and the characters. Had some really funny parts too :)

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter- Cute and a very interesting twist!! It was also quite funny.

The girl who woke the dreamer by Laini Taylor- Interesting and quite unique feel. Pretty good I guess. It was a bit darker.

So overall, it was a very cute collection. I'm pretty sure that this was my first anthology that wasn't fantasy, horror, supernatural, or dystopian and I enjoyed it. Probably much more than I have the others. It was much lighter for one and it definitely put me into the holiday spirit! I think that I enjoyed every story, even the ones that were slightly darker. There wasn't one that wasn't unique or well written either, there were loads of amazing authors! If you're looking for a holiday book to read, I would highly recommend this one as I thoroughly enjoyed it :) And it was cute! (sorry for my repetitive use of that word but it's the most adequate I think)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill Review

Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.
Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.
When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.

Published January 2014. Stand alone. Check it out on Goodreads.
3 stars.

What I liked: I liked reading about the figure skating and the hockey parts, I love watching figure skating and hockey isn't too bad either. It was interesting to switch from one sport to the other and to see how each Sloane handled things that different from their original sport. Also it was interesting to see how they adapted to the persona that can be stereotyped for both sports and handled the people around them. I liked it and there were some nice b characters and love interests. The plot was relatively simple with reasonable flares, Figure Skating Sloane had trouble dealing with intimidating hockey girls and Hockey Sloane was surprised by the intense figure skating schedule and diet etc. But there were a few surprises that I thought were nice :) 

What I didn't like so much: There was a bit of fear at the beginning that made me a little reluctant to continue, it's that "oh no, this plan won't work out well at all!" I get like that sometimes. I thought it might be annoying, the troubles they would go through. But I read on anyway and it turned out that there wasn't much difficulty at all actually. Yay. There were also a few characters that I wasn't to fond of but really there wasn't much that I disliked. 

Overall, I thought this was a cute book and while I didn't love it, I did enjoy it. I liked the skating and hockey aspects of it, I thought the Sloane's were pretty interesting and I liked them. It was great seeing them grow in different environments and the ending was really sweet :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Finisher by David Baldacci Review

Why would Quentin Herms flee into the Quag? There was nothing in the Quag except certain death.

Vega Jane has never left the village of Wormwood. But this isn't unusual -- nobody has ever left the village of Wormwood. At least not until Quentin Herms vanishes into the unknown.

Vega knows Quentin didn't just leave -- he was chased. And he's left behind a very dangerous trail of clues that only she can decode.

The Quag is a dark forest filled with terrifying beasts and bloodthirsty Outliers. But just as deadly are the threats that exist within the walls of Wormwood. It is a place built on lies, where influential people are willing to kill to keep their secrets. Vega is determined to uncover the truth -- but the closer she gets, the more she risks her life.

Published March 2014. First in The Finisher series. Check it out on Goodreads!

What I liked: I liked the world that the author created. It was very detailed and well developed. He even had a different way of measuring time too. So that was cool. The characters were interesting and he had a wide range of them in the village that you become familiar with. I especially liked Vega's dog, Harry Two, and her friend Delph. The plot was pretty drawn out, it was an interesting one with a lot of layers. However the plot twists were brought on slowly and I felt like there was really only one big surprise . You can tell that it's a well written book and I think that the world-building and the characters were lovely. The plot was maybe a bit too slow for me, but it was still well thought out and developed nicely. I liked the way Vega transformed from the beginning of the book to the end and I also liked how the book had a sort of open ending. So you could guess what would happen next.

What I didn't like so much: I feel like this book needed a glossary for all of the creatures and terminology that was in this book. It was pretty confusing for a while and some things are just named and never really explained. I'd also say that the sheer size of the book, while it's a good book and it's interesting it is pretty thick, around 500 pages. I feel like it should have been a bit shorter maybe, because it sucked some of the energy out of the book. There were some scenes that weren't very clear to me, when Vega went into the upstairs of the Stacks and went into the past and wasn't really explained what happened up there.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and it was a very original fantasy story with some interesting characters and a nice plot. However sometimes I got a little tired or bored, I think it was maybe a bit too long and some things were too drawn out. I also got confused with some of the terms the author created for his world. I liked it and I would recommend it if you enjoy fantasy and the synopsis interests you. :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

On The Fence by Kasie West Review

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.
To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Published July 2014. Stand alone. Check it out on goodreads!
4 stars

I've enjoyed a lot of Kasie West's other books and this one was no different. It was a unique story, even if the baseline of the plot sounds familiar. I really liked Charlie. I liked her personality and I even identified with some of her doubts and insecurities. I liked her relationship with her dad and brothers and with Braden too, even if it changes throughout the book. Charlie's character goes through a lot of changes through the book and it's interesting how she deals with them, funny in some cases, more serious in others. In fact, the book had a deeper twist towards the end than I had expected.

This was a fun, sweet book and digs through all of the emotions that can come of being the only girl among a house full of boys. Is it all right to wear makeup? Would boys ever think of you as more than just a "pal"? These are all things that she has to go through as she begins to have girls as friends and expand her horizons a little. The romance was cute and tentative and I enjoyed it.

Overall, I thought this was a lovely book and it was one I enjoyed reading. Although I'm very different from Charlie a lot of what she was going through I was able to relate with, every girl has her insecurities, and I liked the way the author handled things. The writing was good, the plot was surprising (even if for the most part it was a calm plot) and it was a great book :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner Review

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series comes The Rule of Thoughts, the exciting sequel to The Eye of Minds. Fans of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth and The Hunger Games will love the new Mortality Doctrine series. 
Michael completed the Path. What he found at the end turned everything he’d ever known about his life—and the world—completely upside down.
He barely survived. But it was the only way VirtNet Security knew to find the cyber-terrorist Kaine—and to make the Sleep safe for gamers once again. And, the truth Michael discovered about Kaine is more complex than they anticipated, and more terrifying than even the worst of their fears.
Kaine is a tangent, a computer program that has become sentient. And Michael’s completing the Path was the first stage in turning Kaine’s master plan, the Mortality Doctrine, into a reality.
The Mortality Doctrine will populate Earth entirely with human bodies harboring tangent minds. Any gamer who sinks into the VirtNet risks coming out with a tangent intelligence in control of their body. 
And the takeover has already begun.

Published August 2014. The second book in The Mortality Doctrine. Check it out on Goodreads!
4 stars

James Dashner is an author I've been reading for several years, I enjoyed the Maze Runner series and I was excited for his newest series. I enjoyed the first book, The Eye of Minds and thought it was a great world he was beginning to build. That world is continued in this book, picking up from the cliffhanger that the first book left us with.

What I liked: I feel like, in some ways, this series is better than the Maze Runner series. So far it's been much more consistent, I felt like both books were on about the same level and as a sequel this one book was great and didn't disappoint me. The world-building is basically the same, still brilliant, although it is extended to the real world in this book, which is a change from the first book. There's the VirtNet and everything inside the VirtNet, all the games and places you can go, the programming you can learn. It's great. The characters are the same, there aren't really any new additions, and Michael and his friends, Sarah and Bryson, are lovely. They're incredibly talented and intelligent, they make great main characters. And it wasn't that they were superhumanly smart and etc. they had moments of weakness and through that they remained brave and continued to press on. I also found the plot to be quite gripping, it took a chapter or two and from then on my interest held and my reading pace picked up, especially at the end of the book. I also liked the writing style for this series at least I'm pretty sure that it wasn't in the Maze Runner series to where there would be several section in the chapter? I don't know how to explain it, he would have like mini-chapters within the chapters. I liked it. 

What I didn't like so much: There were a few scenes that were slightly confusing, but the basic idea of what happened was explained in the next chapter or scene. Other than that I can't really think of anything.

Overall, I thought this was a great sequel and I loved the adventure and world-building. The plot was fast paced and interesting, it was a fantastical book with a lot of programming and technical terms brought together to form a great adventure testing the characters. I would recommend this book if you enjoy fantasy books and science fiction. Though it didn't have a completely science fiction feel, not the space-vibe anyway.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Split Second by Kasie West Review

Life can change in a split second.
Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.
When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.
Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.
As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

Published February 2014. Second book in the Pivot Point series. Check it out Goodreads! 
4 stars

I really enjoy Kasie West's contemporary books and was definitely interested in the first book in this series because it's a bit fiction or fantasy themed. The first book was quite good, and this one was no different! I really enjoyed the plot and it kept me very interested. I was working on something, some spanish tests I think and I stopped to take a little break, to just read one chapter. Before I knew it I was getting to the last chapters, it really drew me in! I think that the author has done a great job creating this Para vs. Norm world where the Norms are well, normal, and the Paras have interesting generally mind-themed powers. It's very fun and she has created a great Para world that's hiding from the rest of us.

This book was a little different then the first, the first was done in one of Addie's searches. When she reaches a decision, where she has two choices she can look into the future to see where the two paths will lead. It made for a great writing style (going from one path in one chapter to the other in the next) in the first book and I really liked it. In this book however the POV is split between Addie and her friend, Laila. I admit, there were a few times when they were together that was difficult to tell whose POV it was, otherwise it was very nice but not quite as fun and unique then the first book. The romance was pretty sweet, I definitely preferred Addie and Trevor's as it continues (sort of) from the first book. There were some great twists that involved him too.

Overall, I thought the world building was great, the plot was fun and exciting and definitely kept me wanting to keep reading, I liked the characters (although there were times Laila got on my nerves a little), and this was a great sequel! It kept up a lot of the things I liked from the first book and while it did disappoint in a few areas, I was very happy with it overall. I can't wait for the next book!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Slanted Worlds by Catherine Fisher Review

Part Dr. Who, part Blade Runner, and part A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this genre-busting fantasy from the author of Incarceron asks: If you had the chance to change the past, would you do it?

In book two of the critically acclaimed Obsidian Mirror series, New York Times bestselling author Catherine Fisher, called “the first lady of British fantasy” by the London Times, once again shows us that she is a master of world-building and surprising plot-twists. Jake, Sarah, and Oberon Venn continue their fight for control of the Obsidian Mirror, and whoever wins will either save a life, change the past, or rescue the future.
But the Mirror has plans of its own.

Check it out on Goodreads! 3 stars

I have read a few of Catherine Fisher's books before, including the first book in the Chronoptika series. I also find her books to be interesting. And I always like reading them. It can just take a while to get into them I think...

What I liked: I found Oberon Venn to be very interesting. It may partly be because I don't remember a whole lot of what was in the first book, but I wanted to figure him out. I thought his character was very complex. As was Sarah's, they both have clear missions that are very different and go against one another. Yet they're related and must get along for the time being. They're both desperate and grasping at straws and taking dangerous risks. And then there's Jake and his father...lost in time, time and time again. Which brings me to time traveling...the mirror is a device that let's the owner go back in time...if he has a bracelet to direct his path so he won't get lost in time and understands how to work the mirror. It's a bit confusing, but not as confusing as some time traveling books are. It was pretty well done I think, and there were some really cool spots where he's in the past and he meets someone and yea...there are some cool little time traveling tricks. To add to it, there are also the Shee which are like fey. They're after Venn and who knows what else...they're violent and inhuman. So there are lots of different aspects to this story and it comes together into a fantastical book of adventure and time traveling. And the ending was very very good. The last third was the best and I definitely think it is definitely worth waiting for. (if the first part was a little slow for you like it was for me)

What I didn't like as much: Even if I can start reading an have a chapter done in 5 minutes or less, it didn't mean that I was unable to put the book down. Fisher's writing flows well but it took me until maybe 150 pages in to really start getting into the story. The first part was good, it was just a mix of not remembering much of the first book and the plot not being quite fast enough. I also sometimes felt that things were a little stiff, it might have just been me though.

Overall, the characters are well done and interesting and once I got into the story it got extremely interesting and I didn't want to put the book down. It took a little while to get into the story but even then the writing flowed well and I think that goes to show that Catherine Fisher is a good author. I look forward to the next book :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas Review

It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.

The Burning Sky—the first book in the Elemental Trilogy—is an electrifying and unforgettable novel of intrigue and adventure.

Check it out on goodreads! 4 stars

I got this book from the library because I got an ARC of the sequel.  And you 100% cannot read the sequel before the first book!! I was a little daunted by the size but before I knew it I was already 50 pages in and then a 100 ;) I could tell from the beginning that it was going to be a great fantasy book.

What I liked:I liked a lot of it. Almost all of it really, even if the world that the author built was confusing at first it was still very interesting and that, along with the characters and a plot that takes off right away got me hooked until I was finished reading. And then I wanted the second book xD The writing is really good and it has the fantasy vibe that makes a fantasy book great. There were a lot of details in the plot that I feel like could be under-appreciated. The way the school was done. The way they had their fairy tale book to train in. The way there was a dragon in the story. The mysteriousness of the enemy. Just so many things added up to a great story. The ending was a bit eh for me but I still tore through it. The book was very exciting and very well done. The characters were beautiful done. Just yea.

What I didn't like so much: The beginning wasn't very confusing, it was more how the Domain was a fantastical land and yet there was still our world (in the late 1800s) that they could still visit. So that was a bit confusing, figuring out the whole situation of what the world was like. I'm still not sure where the Domain is xP The end felt a little disappointing for me. It was still really good, but it was a bit disappointing.

Overall, this is a great book and a really good beginning to what I can already tell will be a wonderful fantasy series. The characters were lovely and I got involved in the story within a couple chapters. I really enjoyed the world, once I got it figured out, and the plot was very good. I would definitely recommend it. I was so glad to have the second book on hand, I wanted more! (It was amazing)

Read my review of the sequel, The Perilous Sea, at The Book Belles!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Update on the 2014 YA Contemporary Challenge

  1. Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens. R
  2. Landline by Rainbow Rowell. NR
  3. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick. R
  4. Going Rogue by Robin Benway. R
  5. Wicked Little Secrets by Kara Taylor. NR
  6. The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer. R
  7. Take Me On by Katie McGarry.
  8. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.NR (I have this one and I can't wait to start it)
  9. The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle. R
  10. Solving for Ex by  NR
  11. Royally Lost by  NR
  12.  NR
And the books that I've read/reviewed this month were:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne Review

The stunningly fierce conclusion to Emmy Laybourne's Monument 14trilogy.

The survivors of the Monument 14 have finally made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Dean and Alex are cautiously starting to hope that a happy ending might be possible.

But for Josie, separated from the group and trapped in a brutal prison camp for exposed Type Os, things have gone from bad to worse. Traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue or safety.

Meanwhile, scared by the government's unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid (with her two protectors, Dean and Jake in tow) joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with his lost love Josie.

Author Emmy Laybourne reaches new heights of tension and romance in this action-packed conclusion to the Monument 14 trilogy.

Check it out on Goodreads! 4 stars.

I was excited when I saw this book and I immediately got it from my library, I didn't know that she was going to write a third book. While I really enjoyed (as much as you can enjoy a book where kids are in danger of dying in an apocalyptic world and fending off crazed adults...) the first book the second was a bit disappointing to me. However this book was really good.

What I liked: I loved how it went back and forth between Dean and Josie's POVs, the story flowed really well and both POVs went great with the vibe of the book. Which was definitely apocalyptic and gritty. The cover was absolutely on point and it was great to dive back into the story. I remembered everything I needed to a chapter or so in and there was a nice recap at the beginning that was very useful. It was kind of sad that only half of the kids were really in this book, there were a few more added but Chloe and the twins only had small parts at the beginning of the book :( The plot was very interesting and kept you reading. I still love the idea of people being affected differently because of their blood type. I don't know why, it's just a great way to do it. You also get to see aftermath. There are still many issues with the world but you get to see them start to recover from the catastrophe that struck the country. The characters are going back into the US (leaving a refugee camp in Canada) and trying to rescue Josie. Although this book was kind of dark I didn't find that it really affected me or that it came off as depressing. Probably because the characters leaned on each other and were able to find help. Others may have pieced together part of the ending, but it, was a complete surprise for me and I thought it was a great way to finish up.

What I didn't like as much: I really can't think of anything. The plot was good and made sense and I enjoyed the book a lot. Sure there was a character or two that I found annoying, but they were supposed to be annoying. So yea.

Overall, this was a very interesting book. It was dark and full of the suffering of the world recovering from the chemicals that were released that turned some people into monsters, others into burning flesh, and so on. The characters are raw and vulnerable but strong, because they have to be. The plot was fast paced and had a few surprises as well. Basically I really enjoyed it and thought it was a great dystopian/apocalyptic read. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Panic by Lauren Oliver Review

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

Check it out on Goodreads! 3 stars

What I liked: I liked the vibe half the time, the rest of the time it was a bit dark. I think that everything matched really well the setting, the characters, the games, and the suspense. There were a lot of really tense parts and some really crazy, like insane challenges that they had to do. Panic was interesting and took a bit to figure out exactly what it was, because when it's first introduced isn't explained a whole, you kinda jump in. Then you started learning more about it and's pretty intense. And scary, very scary.  So it definitely keeps you reading. The characters are all very interesting and there are even tigers mixed in at some point ;)

What I didn't like as much: Like I said, it got a bit dark at times. It went past desperate and gritty into the depressing side. I think that the the genre and writing maybe just wasn't the kind I like. I mean the plot was good and my librarian friend loved this book. Lauren Oliver is a great author and I really enjoyed the Delirium series, so I think this is more of a miss for me and less of a miss for the book, because it was still good.

Overall, I liked this book. I did. There were a lot of interesting aspects to it and to the characters. It had a very gritty vibe to it, desperate sometimes as most of the characters weren't very well off. And this was definitely an exciting book. However I didn't always feel like I connected very well to the characters and it was also a bit dark or depressing in some spots. So I liked it, but I liked the Delirium series better and didn't quite get into the book as much as I had hoped I would.