February 28, 2015

Review: Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

Even In Paradise by Chelsey Philpot 
Release Date: October 14, 2014 
Genres: Contemporary, YA 
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.


But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden... until now



I really enjoyed this book. I assumed it would be a contemporary on the lighter side, but I was very wrong. What drew me in at first was the cover, it gave off a summery feel. 

Even in Paradise gave off a bit of a Great Gatsby vibe, and also reminded me a tad bit of We Were Liars. Loving both of those things definitely helped me enjoy this too. I felt myself falling in love with the Buchanan's right along with Charlie. 

The romance in this book, between Charlie and Julia's brother Sebastian, was done really well. It wasn't overbearing. It was more of a side plot that was balanced really well with the rest of the story. 

Another thing I really enjoyed was the incorporation of French. I love other languages, especially French and Latin, as they really intrigue me, so having them in this book was really interesting to read.

Finally, there were some amazing lines that I wanted to have printed out and hung up all over my walls. Here are some: 

“Even knowing, as I do now, that grace, power, and, yes, love can hide the darkest elements of the human heart, I would do it all again.” 

“This is not something anyone can teach you. Heartbreak you must learn on your own.” 

“Before that night, I didn't grasp that the shadows that sometimes crossed her face weren't momentary clouds passing in front of the sun. Her deep silences were more than daydreams. And her habit of standing with her arms wrapped around her ribs was a way of holding herself together.

I didn't get there must be balance.
She couldn't hold so much life, light and joy without also containing their opposites.” 




February 27, 2015

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing


Title: 
The Jewel (The Lone City #1)
Author: Amy Ewing
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.
 
The Jewel by Amy Ewing was okay, but there were so many things that I didn’t like that made it hard for me to fully enjoy. 

I was quite confused with the Auguries, I feel like they were never fully explained. For instance, how were they acquired? Why did only surrogates have them? 

The world was very intriguing and dark. The royal families are unable to have their own children so poor girls are taken from their homes with no choice to facilities where they remain until they are auctioned off. I found this to be inhumane and disgusting, these dystopian worlds seem to be getting worse and worse and I’m not sure if I like it. 

The plot twists were all very predictable for me, other than the final one, which I really was not fond of. I didn’t see it as a plot twist, more of an unnecessary cliffhanger to push readers into buying the next book. 

Now, my main problem with this book was the relationship between Ash and Violet. It was so, SO instalovey. She meets him, has one conversation with him and a while later when ignored by Ash we get this: 
"The pain of this is a sharp, physical thing, almost like the aftermath of an Augury except that it's not my head that feels like needles are being shoved into it.

CRINGE! I felt that their relationship was awful, I was shrinking back from the book each time there was a scene between them. Any time a relationship progresses as fast as theirs did it really turns me off toward the whole book, especially when her only concern was Ash after she had only known him for a month or so. 

I didn't particularly enjoy Violet or any of the characters, except Garnet, for that matter. They were all very stereotypical and flat. Violet underwent absolutely no character development, and she especially annoyed me with her instant love for Ash, who was nothing special. The relationship between Violet and her family felt very forced, and I didn’t see a bond between them at all.

I found myself so bored with the plot that I was skipping passages for lack of interest. Overall, I don’t think I hated it but there was just too much wrong for me to really enjoy it. 

Sidenote: I really liked the cover! 

February 26, 2015

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 416
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Source: Purchased


“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before
Let me start by saying the summary for this book is very misleading. The Raven Boys is not about romance, although it is present, it’s extremely subtle. Speaking of, I really enjoyed how the romance aspect didn’t overwhelm or take over the story. The book starts out a bit sluggish and confusing at times, but don’t let it deter you. As I pushed through I found myself growing more and more attached to the characters. Plus, Maggie’s writing is really poetic but slow, which helps enhance the story. I enjoyed all of the characters, especially Ronan (brutally honest and fearless) and Gansey (the polo wearing rich boy). I also really liked Blue. Her crazy family was extremely entertaining, and provided most of the wit in the book. Finally, the myology incorporated was extremely unique. It includes ley lines, kings, Latin, and more. 
Filled with intrigue,  suspense, and Welsh mythology The Raven Boys is a great read for anyone looking for fiction with a hint of supernatural.

February 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Release Date: September 1st 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who's literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she's ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I'm allergic to the world. I don't leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He's tall, lean and wearing all black--black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It's almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Whats your "waiting on" this week?!

Review: Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Title: Never Never 
Authors: Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher 
Pages: 140
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen. Complete strangers since this morning. He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget. 


Never Never was one of my most anticipated releases of 2015, and I was not let down by it. The most defining aspect of this book was the cliffhanger at the end. It left me frustrated and anxious, but proved to be a true Colleen Hoover book, as they always have some kind of heartbreaking twist at the end. I am now wanting answers and waiting impatiently for the the sequel. 



First, you should go into Never Never knowing almost nothing. The synopsis doesn’t reveal much, and it works very well that way. You want to go in blind so you are experiencing everything as one with the characters. The only thing I knew beforehand was that there was a huge cliffhanger, which did not affect my perception of the plot. Colleen and Tarryn put out very strong characters in the form of Charlie Wynwood and Silas Nash, and just in case you’re as confused as I was, Charlie is the girl and Silas is the boy. They were very, very messed up. I don’t want to reveal too much, but on their own they had a ton of issues and within their relationship there were even more problems. Silas was adorable, funny and loving while Charlie had a snarky type of humor that I really enjoyed.


I am familiar with Colleen Hoovers writing, as she is one of my favorite authors. Hoover has a way with words that will leave you grinning one sentence and sobbing the next. I felt she stayed true to her normal writing style, although I was hoping that she would have gone a little out of the box, I can say I was satisfied with what was presented. I felt the paranormal aspect was played with very well in the small amount of time. For those looking for a quick paced, but intriguing, paranormal romance this is for you.

February 24, 2015

2015 DISCUSSION CHALLENGE #1: How do you organize your bookshelves?

 I'm taking part in the 2015 Discussion Challenge hosted by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight and Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction 

For my first post I will be answering this question: How do you organize your bookshelves? 

I like to organize my bookshelves in a multitude of ways. Currently, I have way too many books so my shelves look like a mess. Therefore, I won't be adding any pictures. First, I like to keep my hardcovers on the same shelves and my paperbacks together on different shelves. Once I have my hardcovers together I organize them by height, which is pretty easy because lots of hardcovers tend to  be the same height. If a hardcover is an abnormal size, I have a different shelf where I keep all my hardcovers and paperbacks that didn't fit with the rest. I organize my paperbacks the same way, by height. I like to keep series together, but if part of the series is hardcover but the other is paperback I separate the hardcover and paperback. My TBR shelf, the shelf will all my "to-be-read's" (obviously) is a shelf with hardcovers and paperbacks. 
Alright, I decided to add some pictures after all. My shelves are honestly a wreck right now, so don't judge me too hard.


This one is truly horrific. I'm sorry! 


One of my all hardcover shelves. As you can see,
I ran out of room and started stacking them on top. 


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books, Movie and TV #1

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week bloggers post a top ten list which correlates to a specific theme. This week's theme is Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books, Movie and TV

1. Melinda May from Marvels Agents of Shield 

2. Ruby Daly from The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken



3. Juliette from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

4. Peggy Carter from Agent Carter
5. Black Widow from Captain America, Iron Man, and the Avengers

6. Cassie Sullivan from The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey 

7. Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

8.  Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 
9. Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

10. Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan



Thats it! Who's your all time favorite heroine? 

February 23, 2015

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can  lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

My Thoughts:

Lets start with the cover. This is by far one of my favorite covers ever, its so simple yet so beautiful. The second it was shown on Epic Reads Teatime I added it to my Goodreads shelf. I had extremely high expectations and I was not disappointed. 

Now, it's time to talk about my favorite high fantasy novel ever. 

Betrayal. Lust. Rebellion. (and a whole bunch of other badass awesome stuff) 
"Anyone can betray anyone." 


Red Queen was SO epic. I cannot explain how well everything in this book was executed — from the characters, to the plot, to the world building. The world was very unique, although I felt during the beginning things were moving a bit slowly. 

I was so in love with all of the characters, although I kept getting Julian and Lucas confused. Each character contributed to the plot enormously, and there were many brutal, heart breaking, earth shattering, deaths. 

I found myself theorizing throughout the book & all my theories turned out to be wrong! That just serves as a testament to how truly unpredictable the plot twists were.

Red Queen has a lot of hype surrounding it & it is well deserved. I was not disappointed by this book & if you read it I don't think you will be either. 

2015 Discussion Challenge

 I'm taking part in the 2015 Discussion Challenge hosted by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight and Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction 


I have never posted a discussion on my blog before, but I typically take part in them on Goodreads so I'm excited to try and do my own for once. I think it will help me become more active on my blog and   interact more with others in the book community. 





February 22, 2015

Hi!


Hello! I'm Sam, and this is my second attempt at this blog. I deleted all my posts and have revised my reviews. I'm going to attempt to be an active book blogger and take part in the community. Thanks to everyone who follows my blog.