Sunday, November 15, 2015

Changeless by Gail Carrier Review

Alexia Maccon, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears; leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. So even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

CHANGLESS is the second book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

Published April 2010. Second in the Parasol Protectorate series.
4 stars.

I have read several books in a YA series that this author writes, I love the steampunk setting that was accompanied by supernatural creatures and spunky female leads. I recently picked up one of her newer books, something that would fall between NA or Adult fiction and I enjoyed it a lot. After I finished it, I picked of the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series and loved it as well. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the first book to be. While it had the same lovable characters, fun settings, and was full of supernatural creatures, there was just something missing. I think it was perhaps because the pace was a little different from the first book. In the first book the action starts off in the very first chapter and there's lots of interesting things going on. In Changeless things do happen in the first chapter, but it seems to calm down for a few chapters, then surge again, then calm down, ooh then something has happened! It wasn't as consistent, I felt. It's not something that makes this book awful, just not as captivating as the first one, I think. I in fact took over a month to get through this book, but that was purely because I was busy and never found the time. It sat in my room with a bookmark in it that clearly showed me how little I had left to read (about an hour's worth of reading), but it took me ages to get back to it. 

Character wise...well the main character, Alexia, still made me laugh and smile and root for her, but it was also fun to see how she had changed, just slightly, as she is now a married woman. It wasn't much, but just the way things were handled slightly. And it wasn't a bad change either. Really, the whole book was enjoyable and even if it didn't get quite as quick of a start as the first book, I still read through it quickly when I had managed to pick it up. Alexia's husband is funny, protective and I really liked his character. I think he was a bit more contrary in the first book, but then they both were. I felt like the marriage has calmed that part down a little. We're introduced to Lord Maccon's old pack, which was fun for me. It featured a character from one of the other series that I've read and it was quite fun to see her in a different setting and a bit older! There are other characters that are full of life and hilarity of course, Miss Hisslepenny, Alexia's best friend, is a favorite. Another would be Lord Akeldama who is very fashionable and also very dead (vampire, don't you know). 

I love the world-building and voice that the author uses, it's so easy to picture the settings and world that the characters are in. This is probably either my favorite or one of my very top favorite steampunk series. I love how the machines and science bits of steampunk are accompanied by vampires, ghosts, and werewolves. It's honestly a great book and a great series. The plot is good, but I sort of thought something was being hinted and then it ended up being true. It's a tiny bit slow here and there, I kept waiting for something big to happen, bigger than what did happen. But I will say, the ending was torturous. She leaves it at a horrible cliffhanger. ;-; Overall, it's a good book that will most certainly improve your vocabulary and bring you some laughter. While, yes it didn't quite reach the first book's level, it was still very enjoyable. The writing is very much fitting of the period (so much so that I'm impressed every time I read it) and the characters are so unique they seem to own themselves rather than having been written into existence. If you are looking for a good steampunk series, I highly recommend this one!

Rating: PG/14
It's not exactly full of anything in particular, but there's married couple life described in so many words and the occasional mention of nudity or (maybe) a cuss word or two (I seem to remember it being mentioned that someone had swore, but I can't remember if any where actually written).

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Joker: Death of the Family Review

After having his face sliced off one year ago, The Joker makes his horrifying return in this new epic that features Batman's entire network of partners in crimefighting, including Batgirl, Catwoman, Nightwing, Robin, the Teen Titans and more. While The Joker threatens the very existence of Gotham City, these heroes --and villains--must find a way to survive.

Collects Detective Comics #16-17, Catwoman #13-14, Batgirl #14-16, Red Hood and the Outlaws #15-16, Teen Titans #15, Nightwing #15-16, Batman and Robin #15-17, Batman #13 & #17. Also collects the portions of the following issues: Detective Comics #15, Suicide Squad #14-15, Batgirl #13, Red Hood and the Outlaws #13-14, Teen Titans #14, #16, Nightwing #14 and Batman #13-14.

4 stars

I think whether or not you will enjoy this graphic novel is dependent on how much gore you can handle. There are some gruesome panels and disturbing descriptions or comments. I'm not really sure how to review this, it's hard to put it up against the same questions I usually think about when reviewing a book. Was there character development? Certainly, you can't go through what Batman and his "family" went through and not be changed. Even Joker, surely learned something from the ordeal. Did I enjoy the comic? I did, but it wasn't so much of a love for the story. It was more of an interest, the sort of thing that you can't peel your eyes away from because it's a bit shocking. Did I like the characters? Obviously. This is a compilation of several stories from several different comic lines. So we have a story featuring Nightwing, one featuring Catwoman, one with Damien, one with Batgirl, and so on and so on. As a big Batman fan it was a big book full of "chapters" about different characters that have been born from his world that I love. So yes, I did like the characters. Was the plot well developed and complex? YES. There were times where I wasn't completely sure what Joker was working towards, to what exactly he hoped to accomplish. I still understood most of it, but he always seemed to have a trick up his sleeve. There was a good deal of mystery and suspense. Was it exciting? I found it very exciting. 
Overall, it's a dark, twisted story featuring many characters from the Batman comic line. It's definitely something that I enjoyed reading as a Batman fan but found a little disturbing at the same time. It's very interesting, never a dull moment, but also full of heinous plots that Joker has concocted to either mess with the heroes' heads or bring them pain. The fact that it has so many different characters changes things up, each "chapter" is a little different in terms of the approach to the story, the writing, and illustrations. And there are some great twists and, so long as you can stomach the violence, it's a great comic/graphic novel all around. 

Rating: MA, wouldn't recommend for younger readers.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Boy Most Likely To

Surprises abound and sparks ignite in the highly anticipated, utterly romantic companion to My Life Next Door

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To:
- find the liquor cabinet blindfolded
- need a liver transplant
- drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To:
- well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard. 

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle. 

Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this return to the world of My Life Next Door is a story about failing first, trying again, and having to decide whether to risk it all once more.

Published August 2015. Sort of the sequel to My Life Next Door.
4 stars.

I've honestly been so bad this year about writing reviews or waiting too long and then not remembering all of the thoughts I had about the book I'm attempting to review. That would be the case here, I know that the writing was good and that I enjoyed this book. While My Life Next Door is still my favorite, The Boy Most Likely To was a nice follow-up to it and I enjoyed it better than What I Thought Was True which I'm not sure is exactly tied to My Life Next Door. In any case, it's a good story that you easily get addicted to. I liked the characters and although they weren't perfect, I thought it made them realistic. The romance was decent and swoon-worthy at times. The Garrets are just as amazing in this book as they were in the first. They're honestly my favorite part of the story. I also felt like I could really relate to Alice, who made sacrifices because she felt she must and put her family before everything else. She did it and was grumpy about it sometimes (I'm probably not explaining this very well) but still did what she felt she had to. I could really relate to that. The situations that Tim is put into are interesting and thought provoking, I thought about the future and everything he was put through a lot while reading this book. 
Overall, I thought the characters and this book as a whole were great. I can't remember disliking anything specifically...I think that something Alice did annoyed me here or there, or something she or Tim said that ended up hurting the other, etc. etc. but for the most part I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it if you're a fan of contemporary romances.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Heart's Betrayal by Colleen Coble Review

Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.
When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband's home, she discovered a terrible truth. A woman she's never met reveals that she and Emmie shared the same husband and that the bigamist had never divorced his first wife. The home and farm are not Emmie's property after all.
Suddenly displaced and powerless, Emmie realizes she can't stay in Wabash, Indiana, any longer. She makes for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, where her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning await her. But when she arrives, she discovers she's carrying a child, conceived before her husband's death. Was the new start she'd hoped for only a mirage?
At Fort Laramie, a soldier named Isaac Liddle begins to court Emmie, prompting her to wonder whether she could ever really be his-and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man's baby.
Published June 2015. Fourth book in the A Journey of the Heart series.
3.5 stars.
Likes: I was pleasantly surprised by how the story shifted from Sarah to Emmie. It hadn't clicked in my head that the original series had been two books, so it would make sense that there would be different main characters starting with this book. While the first chapter or so is different, the story quickly picks up pretty close to where it was left off from the first book. The fact that I had read A Heart's Danger at least two months ago didn't matter because there wasn't anything that was important wasn't mentioned again as a reminder. I feel like Emmie's story picked up quicker than Sarah's did, leaving us running from Indian attacks and discovering surprises like her pregnancy right after each other. It's a sweet story and I feel like this could be an even better story arc than the first, for one thing the romance is starting off a bit slower. We get to see Emmie fall in love with Isaac, whereas with Sarah's story, she had already fallen in love with Rand. The descriptions of the scenery are gorgeous and the descriptions of the forts seem to take you right back to the 18760s! I also enjoyed the roles that Sarah and Rand play as b-characters in this book. It's nice to not have them completely forgotten, but still present in the story.
Dislikes: I honestly can't think of anything. The things that hold me back from giving this book a higher rating have nothing to do with the writing or content of the book, it's just simply that I'm used to and prefer books that are longer and have more time to develop things. It's simply a personal preferences. I truly liked all of the characters and the plot.
Overall, I was a bit surprised by this book, but not in a bad way. I didn't expect the shift in POV (from Sarah to Emmie) but I think I might like Emma's story even better than I did Sarah's. I feel like I can relate to Emmie a little better and I enjoy the character development she's had so far. I can't wait to see what will happen to her in the next book. While all of my ratings for this series so far have been the same (all three stars), they do vary in my mind. While this isn't necessarily my favorite series from Colleen Coble, I do enjoy it. I would also recommend if you like a shorter read, romance, or the untamed west. 
I review for BookLook Bloggers
I received a copy of this book to review and the views I've expressed are my own.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry Review

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Published May 2015. First book in the Thunder Road series.
4 stars

I don't remember exactly when I first heard of Katie McGarry, but it was when she only had a book or two out. I read Pushing The Limits and loved it. Since then I've been reading all of her published books and wishing I could get my hands on some of the exclusive ebooks she's published. She's a great author, one of my favorites I'd say and one I really look up to for her writing style and characters. But let's get down to what I thought of the book, now that I've established that I love this author...

Likes: The family vibe between the wives and daughters of the Reign of Terror members and those who rode and were members. There's a great familial connection that I felt was very evident. I loved and adored Emily's grandmother. She was easily my favorite character, she brought the whole family together and everyone loved her, she has to be one of the coolest grandmother's out there! I was there 100% with the build-up of the mystery (what possibly could have happened in Eli's past?!), right there, alongside Emily. It wasn't exactly what I expected, I was thinking there would be more action and motorcycle chases, I guess? It's not really like that, there really isn't a whole lot of action, but that doesn't mean that it isn't exciting. Emily's grandmother sends her on a treasure hunt around the family's property looking for hints and clues in solving the mystery of Eli's past. Of course, there's also the tension and attraction between Emily and Oz that they keep hidden from each other at first and then, later, hidden from Emily's father. So it's not as if I got bored ;) 

Dislikes: The big reveal about Eli's past was almost a little disappointing. I think the way that she wrote it, (highlight to see spoiler)  how she had Emily's step-dad assuring her that the enemies of the ROT were imaginary and didn't pose a threat, mixed with the secrets that Emily seemed always on the brink of discovering, and the little hints that we got from reading things in Oz's perspective of his talks with Eli  fit the way things were revealed, in the end. So while the ending didn't sit great with me, I can see how it fit with the rest of the book. I admit that there are times when both Emily and Oz are a little cliche or annoying, but I kind of ignored it for the most part or it didn't bother me that much. The only thing that I can think to mention is there was a particular phrase, something about (from Oz's perspective) wanting to lick Emily's super flat stomach paraphrasing here. I thought that wasn't very positive for a woman's self-esteem and body image and was disappointed that it was in the book. There are some other practices that the ROT seems to take part in that I didn't really like, but it was that one comment that really stuck with me the most. 

Overall, this wasn't my favorite book from Katie McGarry, but I still enjoyed it. I was very happy with this first introduction to the Reign of Terror and their wives, sons, and daughters. I look forward to Razor's story that's to come next despite the things I disliked about this book. I have high hopes that this series will improve with each book. And it's not like it was awful, I think the setting and connections between the members and their families were very well done, especially. I'd recommend to fans of her other books or someone looking for a slightly more edgy, steamy romance.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Heart's Danger by Colleen Coble Review

On the brink of war with the Sioux, a young woman risks everything to expose the betrayal threatening the man she loves.

Christmas is coming, and the air at Fort Laramie has turned cold . . . but relations with the Sioux have turned colder. As tensions between soldiers and natives approach a tipping point, Ben Croftner and Jessica DuBois prepare a trap for Rand Campbell.

Bitter from rejection and backfired plans, Croftner has enlisted the help of Rand's new fiancee to keep Rand from ever returning to Sarah Montgomery . . . for whom his heart clearly still yearns.

Sarah is simply trying to move on with her life at Fort Laramie, but doing so under the watchful eyes of both Campbell--the man whose love she craves--and Croftner--the man whose lies have cost her everything. Will Rand fall victim to the conspiracy and go through with his wedding? Or will he declare his love for Sarah and make good on the promises that brought her into the rugged western territories?

Published May 2015. Third book in the A Journey of the Heart series.
3 stars

Wow this one was pretty action packed wasn't it? This is the third addition to a six book series that Colleen Coble is publishing. It's a series that she wrote a while back that is only now being published, it's a series inspired by her brother's death. While they're a bit shorter than the length of books I normally read, they're still interesting and almost like a bite-sized read, great for an afternoon or cozy night in bed.

In this book a lot of things happened, it's quite actioned packed and a lot of things were resolved. It almost makes me wonder what is left to happen. Two men want Sarah and one nearly tricked her into marrying him in the first book. He has a dastardly plan that comes to light and put into action in A Heart's Danger. I think I flew through this book the quickest because there was so many things occurring.  

I thought that the plot was good, there's something happening nearly every chapter so you certainly don't get bored. The world-building is very authentic. I believe the author said in a forward that she went out and visited where her brother had lived and it shows in the writing. The world described in the writing is easy to imagine and your taken back in time to the wild west. 

Overall, the romance was sweet, the plot was fast-paced, and the writing takes you back in time to just after the civil war. If you like Colleen Coble or are looking for a Janette Oke sort of book, I'd recommend it! The only issue I think you'd find is that things seem to move very quickly because it's a rather short book (only 100 pages or so)...but other than that it's a nice a read :) 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Why October is going to be a good month

Now I might be a bit biased about October, seeing how it's my birth month and autumn is my favorite season. I'm also biased because an annual festival is held the first weekend of that month, one that is full of delicious food and my family has been going there since I was like 8. Some recent perks to October have been the return of some of the TV shows I The Flash and The Arrow (I'm sure there are plenty of other great shows returning around that time too). So needless to say, I'm a little excited about October this year. Now let me convince you ;)

The Sword of Summer  Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . . (October 6th)

Do I really need to explain this one? I mean it's Rick Riordan... with the highly anticipated first book of not only a new series but one about Norse mythology AND Anabeth's brother. How could this not make everyone's fall reading lists? Unless you're not into Rick Riordan books, in which case no problem. But if you're a Percy Jackson fan surely you're excited for this book! 

Carry On Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller Fangirl.

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.(October 6th)

Okay, not only do I really enjoy Rainbow Rowell's writing, but I adored Fangirl. To me as a writer and and a fangirl, it was an inspiration. It's definitely my favorite new adult book and I keep meaning to buy a copy, I really enjoyed it. So this book being based on the characters that the main character from Fangirl was so obsessed about makes me very excited and very giddy! I can't wait for this book's release.

Iron Warrior The Iron Prince—my nephew—betrayed us all. 

He killed me. 

Then, I woke up. 

Waking after a month on the brink of death, Ethan Chase is stunned to learn that the Veil that conceals the fey from human sight was temporarily torn away. Although humankind's glimpse of the world of Faery lasted just a brief moment, the human world has been cast into chaos, and the emotion and glamour produced by fear and wonder has renewed the tremendous power of the Forgotten Queen. Now, she is at the forefront of an uprising against the courts of Summer and Winter—a reckoning that will have cataclysmic effects on the Nevernever. 

Leading the Lady's Forgotten Army is Keirran himself: Ethan's nephew, and the traitor son of the Iron Queen, Meghan Chase.To stop Keirran, Ethan must disobey his sister once again as he and his girlfriend, Kenzie, search for answers long forgotten. In the face of unprecedented evil and unfathomable power, Ethan's enemies must become his allies, and the world of the fey will be changed forevermore. (October 27th)

Julie Kagawa has been one of my favorite authors for a long time. Ever since I discovered her Iron Fey series I've had a slight obsession with her books. I've read almost all of the books she's written (still working on reading Rogue if I'm honest) and I've enjoyed all of them a lot. This book is the second book in the sequel series of the Iron Fey series. To say I'm excited is a bit of an understatement. I'll gobble up anything that adds on to the world she's built from the Iron Fey series!

Immortal Heights In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort....

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

With The Immortal Heights, Sherry Thomas brings the acclaimed Elemental Trilogy to its breathtaking conclusion. (October 13th)

I read the previous two books and absolutely loved both of them (the first slightly less so, but it was still amazing!). There's something of a Harry Potter feel, if he had lived in a fantasy world instead of the modern world. I'm very excited for this to be released because it will mean the story is continuing and I'll be able to revisit the first two books and enjoy them all over again. This series is a great fantasy series, easily one of my favorites.

Ice Like Fire It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.
 (October 13th)

I keep meaning to get around to the first book, Snow Like Ashes, because this looks so good! And I mean the covers are absolutely gorgeous. Hopefully with the sequel's release I will be spurred to pick up the first book and finally read it!

The Rose Society From New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu comes the second book in the exhilarating Young Elites series

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers that murdered her love, the Crown Prince Enzo Valenciano.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness? (October 13th)

I can remember picking up Young Elites in Barnes & Noble as I was waiting for my dad to finish looking at some computer books, it was conveniently on the end of the isle. While waiting I read through the first chapters or so and then knew that I had to read this book. I loved the world the author created and even though there were a few darker parts, I really loved it. I can't wait to find out what will happen next!

The Tournament at Gorlan From John Flanagan, author of the worldwide bestselling Ranger's Apprentice—the first in a new prequel series featuring one of our favorite Rangers, Halt!
When Halt and Crowley discover that the ambitious Morgarath has been infiltrating the Rangers in order to corrupt the Corps, the young Rangers travel north to find Prince Duncan, seeking a royal warrant to stop Morgarath before it is too late. By weakening the Rangers, the most powerful force in support of the King, Morgarath plans to steal the throne. 

Yet when Halt and Crowley arrive in Gorlan, they discover just how close Morgarath’s scheme is to success. Morgarath has a plan to discredit the Prince and alienate him from his father. At the same time, the Baron of Gorlan has been conspiring to win the trust and admiration of the Council of Barons to further his plan. If the young Rangers are to prevent the coup from succeeding, they will have to tread a dangerous path, which leads them to a thrilling climax at the annual tournament at Gorlan, where a series of bitter duels must be fought and won.

This origin story brings readers to a time before Will was an apprentice, and lays the groundwork for the epic battles that will culminate with The Ruins of Gorlan and The Burning Bridge—Books 1 and 2 of the Ranger’s Apprentice series. (October 6th)

I absolutely love the Rangers Apprentice series and I'm glad to get my hands on anything new from that world. So I'm glad for this sort of prequel book. Halt it one of my favorite characters and I can't wait to read more about his adventures!!

Truly Madly Famously In this romantic sequel to Famous in Love, new Hollywood "It Girl" Paige must navigate love with her co-stars, both on and off screen and all in the public eye.

Lights, camera, love!

After being plucked from obscurity, Hollywood's newest starlet, Paige Townsen, has a hit film to her name and Rainer Devon on her arm. But being half of the world's most famous couple comes with a price, and soon Paige finds herself dodging photographers; hiding her feelings for her other costar, Jordan Wilder; and navigating tabloid scandals that threaten to tear her and Rainer apart-and end her career as quickly as it began.

Rebecca Serle's sequel to Famous in Love is filled with the kind of celebrity drama and swoon-worthy romance fit for the silver screen. (October 13th)

I thought that the first book (Famous In Love) put an interesting perspective on actors, one's who suddenly make it big and was a pretty interesting book for those who like or are familiar with the book-to-movie scene. As someone who has watched several of such adaption it gave me a picture of what it might be like on the set of one. I'm excited to see what the sequel has to offer!

The Murder of an Angel In the dramatic conclusion of the bestselling Confessions series, Tandy Angel's next murder case could be her own!

Tandy Angel is losing her mind—or so she thinks. Even as she's forced to fight for the family company, she's imagining new dangers in every shadow. And as her detective prowess is called into question and her paranoia builds, she has to face the very real possibility that the stalker she's convinced will take her life could be all in her head—or the very real danger that finally brings her down. (October 26th)

I've read the previous three books in this series, and while the third book was a little disappointing, I really enjoyed the first two books. So I'm willing to give the fourth book a chance. I'm hoping that it's better than the last book in the Confessions series and follows the excitement and mystery of the first book! :D

So there are some of my anticipated October releases! I should also mention that there are a couple  "internet books" coming out in October too. Including but not limited to: Amazing Book is Not on Fire (Dan & Phil, the kings of trash), Binge by Tyler Oakley, and Girl Online On Tour by Zoe Sugg (cannot wait to read more about Penny!).
Are there any that I missed? Are any of you excited for any of the same books? What's your favorite month? I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen Review

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

Published May 2015. Stand alone.
5 stars

Can I just say that I just enjoyed everything? I feel like Sarah Dessen did an amazing job with this book. I had read several of her other books and with this one still fresh in my mind (having read the others a while ago), I'd say Saint Anything is my favorite book of her's. It's realistic with really great characters, which I'll get back to in a minute. The plot is interesting and there's a tension that keeps you turning pages. But then at the same time it's not heavy and even though there are things happening to the main character it didn't make me feel depressed or very sad, which I liked because I feel like it's you know...more relaxing. I felt like it's balanced really well. The writing is really good, I can remember thinking to myself that I'd forgotten how talented Sarah Dessen is. 

Now, my favorite part has to be the characters. Sydney, the main character was easy to relate to and she was fine for a main character and it was fun to see her grow as she has new experiences and tries to come to terms with her brother being in jail. It was the friends she makes at the new school she's transferred to that I felt were the real stars. Or at least they were the ones who continually were the scene-stealers, for me. Enter Layla and Mac Chatham, they take Sydney into their group of friends and accept her how she is, family troubles and all. Mac is the love interest and honestly he and Sydney were quite cute. He's a sweetie and while you wouldn't immediately put them together, they do make a good match. But Layla is just very interesting and a free spirit. While  She has french fry rituals and is practically a guru about where to find the best fries.

I thought the topics were handled really well and in a way that makes you think. The Chathams' mother has MC and then of course there is the fifteen year old boy who Sydney's brother hit and she feels very guilty about. Then there's the way that she and the rest of her family respond to her brother being imprisoned and how they all deal with it. The one thing that might drive you insane is how blind and annoying that Sydney's parents are. They don't pick up on how uncomfortable or hurt Sydney is at times and blame her for her brother's mistakes indirectly, putting a lot of restrictions on her. While they have gone through a lot, it's still pretty unfair.

Overall, I thought this was a great book. It was light enough to be fun and one that I could escape into, but it still dealt with a lot of interesting issues. The town and the characters felt real, I could practically see the pizzeria that the Chathmas run. I enjoyed Saint Anything and I read it in a day or two, which by my reading pace nowadays, is pretty quick. So yeah, it's pretty good and if you like a contemporary that's kind of in between a realistic fiction sort of story and swoony contemporary romance, then I'd definitely recommend this :)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Heart's Obsession by Colleen Coble Review

Can a woman held captive by her family make it back to the one man she knows she can
When Sarah Montgomery's father succumbs to his long illness, Sarah is faced with a life-altering choice: submit to her brother's will and marry the deceptive Ben Croftner . . . or escape through the dangerous American West to reclaim the heart of her beloved Rand Campbell at Fort Laramie, Wyoming.
From captivity in her family's home, Sarah makes her decision-and begins the perilous journey to Wyoming by train.
But even in the company of Rand's brother, Sarah does not receive the reception she had hoped for. The necessity of a military wife has preempted her, and Rand is already engaged to Jessica DuBois, the seductive daughter of the post commander.
With her heart broken and her life in ruins, Sarah has no choice but to remain at Fort Laramie and try to win Rand back. But things will get tougher before they get easier . . . the obsessive Ben Croftner has just shown up in Wyoming.

Published April 2015. Second book in the A Journey of the Heart series. Read my review of the first book here.
3 stars

What I liked: There is good, flowing writing and interesting characters. The plot is pretty good, there are certainly some intense moments that had me wincing and reading quicker to find out what would happen. I liked the setting too, out west where there are still troubles between the Native American tribes there and the settlers coming from the East. It was more interesting than where the first book was set. I also think that it's a great time period. It's just after the civil war, I think it's kind of a turning point for the country. There was a lot of change. And a lot of change still coming. So yes, I enjoyed the setting. As characters go, I related to Sarah the most. I like Rand, but I find it hard to see where he's coming from sometimes haha...but he is honorable and a good guy. :) 

What I didn't like: When compared to her other books it falls a little short. It could also be because they're smaller books and the writing style has to be a bit more fast-paced, but it seems like there is less build-up and details. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I liked the setting and I thought it was more interesting than the first book. But, because sometimes there has to be one, I prefer Coble's longer books because of their complexity and how they're longer, more to enjoy you know? I would still recommend this series to people, because it's good. But I'd not hold back from telling them that I prefer some of her other series more.

I review for BookLook Bloggers
I received a copy of this book to review and the views I've expressed are my own.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Luminary by Krista McGee Review

Thalli thought escaping to the surface would mean freedom. But is she any less of an anomaly aboveground?
After escaping an underground annihilation chamber, Thalli, Berk, Rhen, and John find themselves fleeing across the former United States, aboveground for the first time. As the defectors cross the forgotten landscape, the three youths see things they had only read about on screens: horses, rain, real books—and a colony of unsanctioned survivors living the ancient way in a town called New Hope.
When these survivors reveal the truth of what happened years ago, Thalli is left unsettled and skeptical of everything she’s ever been told. Can she trust anything from the State, including her own feelings for Berk? When she volunteers for a peace mission to New Hope’s violent neighbor, Athens, her confusion mounts when the supposedly ruthless Prince Alex turns out to be kind and charming. Although everyone in New Hope warned her not to, she can’t help but fall for him.
Meanwhile, John’s unwavering faith in the goodness of the Designer begins to make its mark on Thalli’s heart. But can Thalli really come to trust in a generous, protective Designer who rules over all things? Would that not be setting herself up for another betrayal?
The time for her to decide is now . . . because the State is closing in.
Published January 2014. Second book in the Anomaly series. 
3 stars.
What I liked: I really liked the world-building that is done here, it's a world that's rebuilding after a terrible nuclear war. Somewhat like Divergent, there are several different groups of survivors, the State where Thalli and her friends have escaped order and logic was valued and Thalli and nearly all the people she knew were created by the Scientists. Now they've escaped that world to come up to the surface and have found a peaceful group at New Hope. Unfortunately, New Hope has violent neighbors who rule in fear and deceit. So there are lots of differences between them all and I found it really interesting. For me things really got interesting when Thalli went to Athens, the ruling monarch there was terrible, but interesting as were the situations that the characters get into. It was there that I enjoyed this book and the characters most. 
What I didn't like: Sometimes Thalli's character got on my nerves a little, I know that she's supposed to be a bit naïve having been raised only knowing what was allowed and it's shaped the way she thinks but it was still a bit annoying. I also got a bit bored in a few spots, I think that the beginning needed a bit more desperation as it took me well over a year to come back to this book and restart it after not finishing more than a chapter or two last year when I started it. There were a few other things that resulted in my enjoying this book but not loving it. Those would be just little things like something being a bit cliche or some parts of the story or character development not being enticing or something that I particularly liked. 
Overall, I enjoyed this book once I was able to get into it a bit more. The beginning was just a bit slow, it does pick up by the end however and you're left wishing you had the next book on hand to read more. It's a growing plot that draws you further in with each chapter and there were some good parts to this book, don't get me wrong. It certainly wasn't terrible and it wasn't amazingly awesome either. I also think it's great to have this addition to the Christian YA group, most of the books are fantasy or contemporary. It's nice to see some Dystopian as it's a genre I enjoy and I could recommend this to friends knowing it would be completely clean and have Christian values. :) 
I review for BookLook Bloggers
I was given a copy to review by the publisher and the views I've expressed are my own.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios Review

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.
Published February 2015. Stand alone. Check it out on Goodreads!
5 stars

Where to start with this book... well I read a contemporary book Heather wrote last year, I think it was her debut novel and I enjoyed it a lot. So I figured I'd give this one a chance and lemme tell you, I was really glad that I did. This isn't a very happy story, I mean yes, it is. But it's not a fluffy story that's mostly happy all the way through. It's pretty straight forward that some of the things in the characters lives suck. It's one of those that's rather on the line between young adult and new adult. I like these as that's almost where I am myself. It felt real and and raw to me and my mood the days I was reading this book felt like it matched the author's style and what was happening just great. 

So you have Skylar, who just wants to get out of the dead country town that she grew up in that she feels is holding her back. When her somewhat friend, Josh, comes back from being overseas as a marine he doesn't come back the same. He's lost a leg and he seems different. As things go wrong for both of them they begin to lean on each other and find solace in each other's company. I liked both of these characters, even if they were both idiots at times. They were really cute together as well. And if you're thinking, oh small town girl wanting to get out and then getting caught up blah blah, sounds cliche. It's not. I thought that a little at the beginning and it's not like that. Even if the basic idea is similar this book is its own book and it's great. Skylar's friends are great and her struggles are ones anyone could be going through.

There wasn't really much that I didn't like about this book. There were the odd evil/slightly evil characters that you're not meant to like. A few of Josh's chapters were confusing because you were still piecing together everything that had happened with him and weren't really given all the information until the end. But otherwise I don't think I had any problems with this book, I really enjoyed it. Content wise there is some sexual content but nothing extremely graphic. There is a good bit of language and some violence and death in some of Josh's flashbacks. Also a good deal of drinking, including some underage drinking.

Overall, I really loved this book. I loved the characters and the plot was pretty well developed, there were some nice twists but I think the main focus of the book was on the characters and their relationships. I think it's a relatable book and I found the situations of the characters felt real and I love the author's writing style with this book. If you like a good contemporary romance then I'd recommend this book.

Friday, February 13, 2015

All Fall Down by Ally Carter Review

A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter. 
This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.
Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay--in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

Published January 2015. First book in the Embassy Row series.
3 stars

I've read several books by Ally Carter before, some of them have been misses for me and others I've loved. I had some expectations for this book and definitely hoped that I would love it. I didn't really love it, I had some issues with it...but it's still good. Let me paint the scene for you. You have a troubled teen, Grace, who is still suffering from her mother dying right in front of her. After being shipped from country to country with her dad and brother, who are both in the army, she's being sent back to a place she spent a lot of time at a long time ago. Back before her mother was killed. She's back at the Embassy in Adria (a fictional country that makes a very neat setting in the book). There she finds a man she thinks is guilty of her mother's murder...the only problem is that she's the only one who believes her mother's death wasn't an accident. So she begins a campaign, helped by a few friends, to discover what this man is really up to.

This sounds like a great book right? I thought so too, in fact I enjoyed the majority of this book. Maybe two/thirds of the way in however, things take a twist and I really start to doubt Grace and that took away from the whole book for me. Because I had doubts, everything she did seemed very illogical and sometimes even making me cringe. Ahem, but enough about what I didn't like. This is a fun book because it's set on Embassy Row in Adria, where all the ambassadors from different countries live and their children and offices and etc. etc. So that ends up giving you a very unique setting and cast of characters. It was definitely my favorite part of the book. Another cool aspect is that Grace and her friends all have unique skills and are rather like a junior spy team with all the tracking suspects and gathering information. That was definitely fun.

So overall, even though this book disappointed me it still had some things I enjoyed and I probably will read the next book in the series. Who knows, maybe the next book will be better. If this still sounds like a cool book to you, I'd encourage you to at least try it as I know others did end up enjoying more than I did. And there are definitely some cool parts that I would say it's worth reading for.