Sunday, September 8, 2019

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of 
Smoke and Bone

By: Laini Taylor



Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Romance
Length: 422 pages
Synopsis From Goodreads:

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?



My Review:

Rating:


***Caution May Contain Spoilers***


Daughter of Smoke and Bone has been sitting on my shelf for years now. I purchased the complete trilogy from Book Outlet and just couldn't wait to read them. However, like most of the books I have read lately, these sadly got pushed to the bottom of my TBR list. 

With all the hype surrounding these books I was bit nervous to read them. So many loved and were captivated by these stories and I couldn't help thinking, "what if I end up hating them." Yet I am glad to report that while it was a slow start at the beginning by the end I was completely enthralled and wondering at every turn. 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone follows a young girl, Karou has she discovers the many secrets hidden from her throughout her life. Karou is an art student in Prague and her drawings of Brimstone and his band of misfits have captivated her audience in class. But little do they know those unusual creatures are real and they are the only family she has ever known. 

Then one day while running "errands" for Brimstone she stumbles upon a uniquely beautiful man. A man with vengeance in his eyes and yet she appears to be drawn to him. But why?

Akiva is hell-bent on destroying those hideous monsters that took the love of his life from him. Vengeance is all he knows, until one day in Marrakesh he spots a blue-haired girl that seems to remind him of someone from his past. 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a tale of both love and hate. It is the iconic tale of two races; the seraphim and the chimaera, set in a battle for centuries. (Much like we see in the real world.) A war against a race that on the outside appears different from those that despise them. The seraph see the chimaera as hideous, vile monsters that must be destroyed. Two rulers determined to bring an end to one another's race. And yet in the midst of war two unlikely individuals fall in love; an "Angel" and a "Demon."

Now while I struggled a bit at the beginning, I have to say I found this story quite intriguing. After a couple of chapters I had so many questions such as, "what are the teeth for" and who is Karou, where did she come from?" I was surprisingly lucky to avoid spoilers with this series, so I was just as lost and wondering as any first time reader. 

I must say Laini Taylor is a phenomenal author. At first I was a bit skeptical, especially after I struggled so much at the beginning. I couldn't help but think, "I don't like this writing style." However, after a few more chapters it grew on me and I found myself enthralled just like many other readers. I loved how the book was sectioned off, almost as if every few chapters was the start of a new book/story. 

I plan on hopping right into the next book, Days of Blood and Starlight. I must know how it all ends. Will Akiva and Karou finally have their happy ending? Will they be able to stop a centuries old war? 



Published by: K

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Review: The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf


The Weight of Silence
By: Heather Gudenkauf



Synopsis From Goodreads:

It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night.

Seven-year-old Calli Clark is sweet, gentle, a dreamer who suffers from selective mutism brought on by tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler.

Calli's mother, Antonia, tried to be the best mother she could within the confines of marriage to a mostly absent, often angry husband. Now, though she denies that her husband could be involved in the possible abductions, she fears her decision to stay in her marriage has cost her more than her daughter's voice.

Petra Gregory is Calli's best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli has been heard from since their disappearance was discovered. Desperate to find his child, Martin Gregory is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professorial demeanor.

Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.


My Review:

Rating:

While perusing the shelves at Walmart one day, waiting on my mom and sister to finish looking at clothes, I found this gem hidden on the bottom shelf. A small pop of color caught my eye and I crouched down to see what it must be. The cover had me drawn in instantly, daring me to pick it up, so over course I did. I read the synopsis and just knew I had to buy this book. 

When I was 3 years old my parents packed us up and moved us to my Dad's small hometown in Iowa, 30 minutes outside of Cedar Rapids. A town where everyone knew one another and there where fields of corn as far as the eye could see. Being as this book was set in a small Iowa town I just had to read it. 

The Weight of Silence depicts the story of two small town families, both with dark secrets that they work hard to hide from the outside world. 

The first family are the Clarks. Little Calli Clark is a seven year old girl with an already gloomy past. A once chatty toddler turns mute in the blink of an eye. Her mother, Toni struggles with this development for years, hating that she can't help her little girl. The Clarks have many secrets, some so dark that poor Calli goes quiet. Then one day she is missing all together. 

Then we have the Gregory's. Fielda and Martin are quite the unlikely pair but their love is true, even though they have had many ups and downs. But Petra's disappearance is going to test their marriage like never before. There daughter saved them once, will they be able to do the same for her? Could their marriage survive the loss of their daughter?

Petra and Calli are the best of friends, knowing exactly what the other needs without a word. Literally. One day these two young girls find themselves lost in the woods behind their house and unable to find their way home. Danger lurks in ever corner and they are all alone in these eerie woods. Will they be able to save one another?

This book is so fast paced I was flipping through pages so quick, eager to see what was to happen next. The Weight of Silence is writing in several points-of-view,  each chapter depicting a different characters events throughout this torturous moment in their lives. Having that experience made the book all the better in my opinion. Seeing these moments from multiple points-of-views made the experience more captivating, keeping you hooked onto every word. 

The fact that this book was set in the state I spent most of my childhood wasn't bad either. Every word transported me back to those days growing up in a small town, where everyone knew your story no matter how hard you tried to keep it secret. And every one was ready to pitch in at any sign of trouble. Living in a town where nothing ever happens makes it hard to believe anything bad could happen in your neck of the woods. For the Clarks and Gregorys, there is a monster in their woods and they never would have known until the day their daughters go missing. 

I loved every second of this book and highly recommend it. The Weight of Silence will keep you on the edge of your seat, constantly guessing and then second guessing what is around the corner for these characters. 


Published by: K



Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Review: Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige


Stealing Snow
By: Danielle Paige


Series: Stealing Snow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Retelling
Length: 375 pages
Synopsis From Goodreads:

First kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.

Mine broke Bale.


Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.


My Review:

Rating:


***Caution May Contain Spoilers***


This book blew me away...this was my very first Danielle Paige book and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. At first I was hesitant, expecting it to be just like every other fairytale retelling, but I found myself hooked from the very first chapter. After reading Stealing Snow I definitely plan to add more of her novels to my TBR list. I love her writing style, she has this way of writing that captivates the reader right off the hook. With every turn of the page I felt transported to this whole new world, Algid. 

Stealing Snow is a captivating and twisty retelling of an old classic, The Snow Queen. It follows a young girl, Snow as she escapes the asylum she calls home to this new world of Kings and Queens, Witches and Magick and finds herself on a mission to find someone she has lost. 

Snow must find Bale, the boy she loves. He was swept away through a looking glass to Algid and in order for her to save her love she must turn to strangers and thieves she encounters in the new world. But are they really willing to help her or are they out for themselves?

Along the way Snow discovers that not all is what it seems in Algid. That maybe she is not as crazy as she once thought. She has a destiny to face off against a tyrannical King hell bent on ruling Algid forever, but Snow does not wish to be Algid's savior her only wish is to find Bale and return home. 

As Snow navigates through Algid she discovers an architect, Kai and his sister, Gerde. As well as a handsome thief, Jagger and his rag tag team of Robbers. Both Kai and Jagger test Snows love for Bale in their own ways. Throughout the book she finds a place for all in her heart, but who will win her heart in the end? 

This book is so beautifully written I had a hard time putting it down...it kept me wanting more. This is one book I highly recommend, it is definitely worth reading! I can't wait to see what is in store for Snow in book two. 


Published by: K

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Review: Dead Girls Don't Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf


Dead Girls Don't Lie

By: Jennifer Shaw Wolf


Synopsis From Goodreads:

Rachel died at two a.m . . . Three hours after Skyler kissed me for the first time. Forty-five minutes after she sent me her last text. 

Jaycee and Rachel were best friends. But that was before. . .before that terrible night at the old house. Before Rachel shut Jaycee out. Before Jaycee chose Skyler over Rachel. Then Rachel is found dead. The police blame a growing gang problem in their small town, but Jaycee is sure it has to do with that night at the old house. Rachel’s text is the first clue—starting Jaycee on a search that leads to a shocking secret. Rachel’s death was no random crime, and Jaycee must figure out who to trust before she can expose the truth. 

In the follow-up to her powerful debut, Jennifer Shaw Wolf keeps readers on their toes in another dark, romantic story of murder and secrets.


My Review:

Rating:

This book has been sitting on my TBR pile for years, my sister and I picked it up at a book fair back when she was in middle school. The cover drew me in but the book summary is what sealed the deal. 

Dead Girls Don't Lie follows a young girl, Jaycee as she tries to uncover the truth behind her best friend's death. 

Jaycee and Rachel were the best of friends up until 6 months ago when everything changed. A boy got in the middle of their friendship and Rachel went from good girl to troubled in the blink of an eye. What made her change so drastically?

As Jaycee begins to unlock clues left by Rachel, she finds that her best friend had a big connection to the boy murdered in the "old house" that summer. How are Manny and Rachel connected? And who wanted Rachel dead? Could it be a gang member like the cops say or are the cops traveling down the wrong path?

As Jaycee is leading her own investigation along side Eduardo, Rachel's dear friend, she falls in love with one of the Cross boys. Skyler Cross. He seems nice enough but those Cross boys are strange and they seem intent on keeping Jaycee from the truth. What are they hiding? How deep does this conspiracy go? 

Who can Jaycee truly trust? At every turn she runs into secrets and lies from those she believes to be the good guys. 

I must say for a middle grade/teen novel this book was excellent! I was hooked from page one as the suspense is perfectly written to keep you on the edge of your seat. Jennifer Shaw Wolf is an amazing author, she spins together a story so engrossing you don't want to set it down, even to the very last page. This is one novel I would highly recommend, it is definitely worth the read.


Published by: K


Sunday, August 4, 2019

Review: The Prophecy by Jennifer L. Armentrout



The Prophecy
By: Jennifer L. Armentrout



Series: The Titans Series
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
Length: 341 pages
Synopsis From Goodreads:

History is on repeat…

Seth never thought he’d have a future. But now he’s on the brink of having it all with Josie: A tomorrow. A family. A forever. And all that's standing between him and that forever is the Titans. If he helps Josie entomb them -- without killing them, a nearly impossible task for him -- everything he could ever want will be in reach. But he soon realizes that as a god, every little choice he makes can reshape the world for the better… or worse. And in meddling with the Titans, Seth may have just set into motion catastrophic consequences that will force the Olympians to enter the mortal realm and reshape the delicate balance of power that keeps the world from total collapse.

A price must be paid…

Entombing the Titans is Josie’s top priority. After all, it was what she was born to do. But the plans her father put into play to help her are no longer an option, and the odds she and Seth face in forging their own path are grim. The escalating violence between halfs and pures only increases the danger closing in on them and their friends. Josie knows their chances of succeeding in their task are slim at best -- and if they fail, they might lose everything. But she also knows she's not fighting just for herself -- she's fighting for the man she loves, for their future, for the world. Together with the Army of Awesome, Josie and Seth will face the unthinkable. And to win this war, the ultimate sacrifice must be made.

For the end is here and the Prophecy will be fulfilled….



***Caution Spoilers Ahead***


My Review:
Rating:

“What I feel for you increases every waking moment and sometimes that scares the hell out of me but I love you. Yesterday. Today. A thousand tomorrows from now, I will be in love with you.” 

Sadly this is my last review for The Titan series and it is a bittersweet moment...while I am sad to be saying goodbye to these characters and their stories, I can say without a doubt that JLA did them justice. 

I started out by re-reading the previous 3 books in order to prepare for this final installment in this remarkable series. Before this series I had never read a JLA book...The Return was my first and is what got me hooked. When I discovered it was a spinoff to her Covenant series. I went straight to Amazon in order to purchase the series so I could understand Seth's background. To see what was so important about Seth's past. 

This series has to be one of my favorites out of all her series; sliding right up next to The Lux series. I don't think I could ever pick between the two. I was hooked on this series from the very first page and with re-reading the series I discovered new reasons to love it even more. (One being Seth and I share a birthday...lol!!) 

This book picks up with Josie and Seth struggling to juggle their lives as deities and the impending future of parenthood. Even with all the bad surrounding them the book starts out light, with them both happy and looking forward to forever together. However, just like the prior books it takes a turn for the worst...not only are the Titans destroying Chicago, there is a battle being waged among the Pures and the Halfs at the University. How can they take on these two battles? 

Not only are they faced with trouble at the University, Apollo drops a bombshell that has everyone grasping at straws in order to stop the Titans. However, there is only one path to take and it means saying goodbye to one of our most beloved characters. 

There are so many developments throughout this last chapter that leaves your head spinning. One must say goodbye in order to save those they loved and one is not who they seem, tricking us all. 


This book was a bittersweet ending and a grand farewell to some of the most beloved characters ever! While I am sad to being saying goodbye to Seth and Josie and Alex and Aiden, I couldn't have been more happy with the way this series ended. It was heart-wrenching a times, bringing tears to my eyes; while at other times I just couldn't contain my smile. 

I look forward to seeing what JLA has in store for us in the future, she never disappoints when it comes to her characters or writing. She doesn't hold back and you can tell she loves what she does! :)


Published by: K

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Review: Elegy by Amanda Hocking


Elegy
By: Amanda Hocking


Series: The Watersong Series
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Mythology
Length: 542 pages
Synopsis From Goodreads:

An ancient curse robbed Gemma Fisher of everything that matters most—her friends, her family and the guy she loves. But now that she found the scroll that binds the curse, she finally has a chance to get her old life back. She just needs to destroy the scroll—but it's not as easy as she hoped. Protected by ancient magic, it seems utterly indestructible. Making matters worse, Penn has grown even more obsessed with stealing Daniel for her own…and she's about to succeed.

Gemma's frantic search leads her to someone who might be able to help—the mysterious immortal who cursed Penn and her sisters thousands of years ago. As Gemma and her friends unravel the tragic history of the curse, they plunge deeper into a world of shocking secrets and twisted vendettas—and it'll take all their courage, love and the power of their friendship just to survive. Gemma has so much to fight for and she's never wanted anything more, but will it be enough to stop her enemies?



My Review:

Rating:

People always say to "never judge a book by it's cover," however with covers this gorgeous how can you not expect to fall in love with the series. If you have followed my previous posts you know that I have never been a huge fan of mermaid tales, however when I saw these beautiful covers I thought why not give this series a shot. Between the covers and recommendation from a good friend I jumped all in expecting to love this series. However, from the very beginning I was a bit disappointed. 

Between the writing and the characters themselves I found it hard to remain interested in the story. Gemma while she appeared to be strong-willed and determined to fight her battles, when it came to the sirens she appeared weak and defenseless at every turn. Sure she snapped out some snarky comments here and there but they never really portrayed her as a strong character until the very end when she battles Penn. But even then the battle seem short and lacking in detail. 

Then we have Harper, who from the very beginning annoyed me with her overprotective behavior and constant need to fix Gemma's problems. Being a sister I can understand the need to protect ones sister, however Harper seemed to take it to the next level. On top of that her character felt underdeveloped and lacking in personality. Even when she was with Daniel she was constantly worrying and determined to fix the problem by herself. 

The dialogue between each character seemed awkward and forced. Their comments at times didn't  feel real, like no real life person would say those things; especially to someone they claim to love or be their best friend. The dialogue made it hard to truly find a connection with the characters. 

While I can say this isn't my favorite series, I am glad I read the series. It has given me a new perspective on books about mermaids and I would like to read more of them in the future to see if I can find one that truly pulls me under. 

Published by: K

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Review: Tidal by Amanda Hocking


Tidal
By: Amanda Hocking


Series: Watersong Series
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Mythology
Length: 342 pages
Synopsis From Goodreads:

The magical world of Watersong is about to change forever. The answers Gemma and her friends have been searching for are finally revealed - but evil is closing in and time is running out....
Gemma and Harper Fisher are facing the fight of their lives. Gemma has been cursed with extraordinary powers that have a terrifying dark side, but she's finally found what she needs - a way to break the curse and become human again. However, finding the means to do it will be her greatest challenge yet. And now Penn, Lexi, and Thea - the gorgeous but deadly creatures who cursed her - are determined to kill her before she has a chance. Making matters worse, Penn has her sights set on Daniel - the guy Harper loves - and Penn always gets what she wants.
As Gemma and Harper race to break the curse before it's too late, they're thrust deeper into a mythical world of immortal secrets. They must look into their enemies' past to find the answers they need, even if it means being drawn deeper into their savagely beautiful world. But one of the girls is not what she seems...and Gemma finds an unlikely ally as she struggles to save herself. Will it be enough to break an ancient curse that no one has ever escaped from alive?

My Review:
Rating:



As you may know if you read my earlier reviews; mermaid tales are not exactly my cup of tea. However, the Watersong series drew me in with their captivating covers and magically written synopsis's. I figured why not give the series a shot, especially when I found the entire series at the flea market. Who wouldn't pass up a deal like that!

Amanda Hocking is a phenomenal author, she has a way of bringing life to the tiny town of Capri, where mermaids have come to linger. I had high hopes for this series as my best friend from college always seemed to rave about these books. However, I have been slightly disappointed. 

At times I feel as though the dialogue between characters is forced. leaving you guessing as to their true feelings. Such as Daniel and Harper, their dialogue appears awkward more times than not; leaving you skeptical of their love. Is it real?

Then there is Harper herself, I find her character highly annoying and way too overbearing. I can understand her love and desire to protect her sister and those she loves but at times I find her to be way too over-protective. Constantly meddling in Gemma's business and needing to know where Gemma is at all times. 

Tidal picks up only days after Gemma's confrontation with Penn and the other sirens during the Fourth of July celebration. Harper and Gemma are on a mission to find the siren scroll in order to end the curse. But on their secret endeavor they run into numerous setbacks, leaving Gemma to question her decisions. 

While the girls are dealing with finding the scroll, Daniel is attempting to appeal to Penn's "humanity." Or more like entertaining her to keep her out of the Fisher sisters way. But his plan backfires and soon Penn wants him and will stop at nothing to have him. Will he betray Harper in order to protect her? 

While I struggled to finish this book I do plan to stick it out and finish the series. One book to go and I kinda want to know what happens in the end. Who survives the final battle? Can Thea get a happy ending of her own?


Published by: K