Bruja Born-ARC review

bruja

 

352 pages
Expected publication: June 5th 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire
Dare I say that I liked this book better than the first? I dare to say.
Labyrinth Lost was one of my favorite books of 2017 and with the way it ended I thought for sure it would continue with Alex as the protagonist. Much to my surprise, Bruja Born isn’t told by Alex, but another one of the Mortiz sisters. Lula. It takes place eight months after the events of Labyrinth Lost and Lula is still reeling with the shock of what had happened. This leads up to a sudden break up with her boyfriend, Maks, on their way to a soccer game. Not one to let him go, Lula uses her power to change his mind, but what quickly follows is tragedy and heartbreak.
The bus carrying them and dozens of others is in a fatal crash. Lula finds herself one of the only survivors. Maks is in a coma and isn’t looking too hot. She and her sisters decided to try and heal him, only for their spell to go bad.
This books was nonstop tension. The family dynamic is great-the Mortiz sisters have nothing on you. Our understanding of their world is also expanded as they gain help from other creatures of myth including a vampire and a pretty hot hunter not unlike the boys from Supernatural. We also see some past favorites with Nova, from book one.
Zoriada, if you are reading this, please write your next book from the POV of Rose. I would die for it. But only half-dead, of course. (inside joke. If you’ve read the book, you’ll get it).

The Defiant: review

defiant

 

336 pages
Published January 23rd 2018 by Razorbill
How long I have waited for the sequel to The Valiant? Not long, but it feels like FOREVER.
So, Valiant was one of my favorite books of 2017 so naturally I picked up the sequel on the release date. If you liked the first one, you are going to love this one.
We are once again reunited with Fallon, the once slave now gladiatrix. If you remember the first once, she witnessed some weird cult-ish stuff toward the end of the book which has an impact on this one, as well as some old enemies. The ludus comes under attack and she and her fellow gladiatrices flee. Fallon struggles with trust as well as being a leader to her “sisters”. There is no shortage of action in this book, that’s for sure.
What I really love about these books is that the romance is very low key. Some people complain about this, but I think it would have jarred the story-line has their been more. We see Fallon and Cai and we know they have both been through a lot and I desperately found myself like, “LET THEM HAVE PEACE AND KISS AND STUFF,” but life seems to get in the way of that, but at the same time, it doesn’t break their bond. I really hope they get their peace in the last book. In closing, if you’re looking for romance, this isn’t the book for you.
In closing, I absolutely loved this book. The women are strong and resilient and Livingston’s writing has me in awe. The setting is to die for since I love books in ancient Rome. The ending closed up real nice, just as the first one did, so what she will do with Fallon next, we’ll just have to wait with abated breath.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for these books, Lesley. They break up the monotony of YA quite nicely.

 

When My Heart Joins the Thousand review

heartjoins

 

352 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by HarperTeen
This book…I don’t even know where to start. It was everything you should read. I’m going to go ahead and say it is up there with my favorite books of the year so far.
This book follows Alvie, a seventeen-year-old girl with Asperger syndrome living on her own awaiting the day when she can legally be called an adult. Going outside of her comfort zone, she strikes up a friendship with a boy who suffers from a condition called osteogenesis imperfecta. In simple terms, he has fragile bones that break easily. Such an disease can also cause hearing loss among other permanent conditions. Both are trying to live normal lives the best they can and deal with the fact that both are not perfect and will never be normal socially. Also, Alvie’s favorite book is Watership Down. Did I mention how awesome that it?
All I  have learned about Asperger’s I have learned from television shows and movies. This opened my eyes a lot to what people go through. The panic attacks, the depression, and not to mention the suffering of people around those who have Aspberger’s. Alvie lost her mother at a young ago and blames herself. It’s something that will dig into your chest and rip out your heart.
This book is one that may not get a lot of attention and I hope to change that at least a little. I have never met a character so in love with the same book (Watership Down) as I am and always will be and I connected right away to her. The chills I got when reading my favorite line from the book, “My heart has joined the Thousand for my friend stopped running today.”
Full on sobbing tears.
So, read this book if you can and also, while we’re at it, read Watership Down because you will not find a more raw and beautiful book if you tried. Well, by my opinion of course.
“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”

Under Different Stars review

differentstars

 

297 pages
Published December 19th 2013 by Amy A. Bartol
LOL
That is how I’m starting this review. L.O.L
This is the story of Kricket (and yes, apparently that is a very strong name) who finds herself in the company of three very hot aliens who tell her she’s a special snowflake that needs to be bought back to her home planet. That’s it.
So, it started out strong despite the info dumping by way of dialogue. Here we find out that seventeen-year old Kricket looks like a super model with lavender eyes that nobody ever questioned. She works under the table, hiding out from Child Services and even tends a bar…again, she’s seventeen. She almost get abducted by some weirdos on a train only to get fully abducted by some weirdos at a bar. One of those weirdos, Trey, is the love interest is burly and sexy and alien…ish and everything you want in a man. Kricket goes along with this like she’d been expecting some dudes to nearly drown her (by way of portal to their home planet duh), oh but not before knocking her out with chloroform. They’re so sweet, aren’t they? No wonder why she falls for Trey.
At that point i’m hoping for some cool ass alien planet, but all I get are these aliens and this blonde chick running through some wastelands and talking about thongs. Sigh. So, then, Kricket finds herself being sought after by two warring factions and getting pulled every which way while faking sex in a shower to fool some fools and I’m just so entertained by that point that I skip my afternoon coffee.
All of these things will make you say, so, you didn’t like it, right? You’re being sarcastic.
Wrong. It was so bad that it was so good and I want the sequels now.
LOL

 

Wild Blue Wonder-Review

wildbluewonder

 

368 pages
Expected publication: June 26th 2018 by HarperTeen
Thank you to Edelweiss for the ARC.
What I love most about books is that you can dive right into one without knowing anything about it. There are no movie trailers, FB articles that pop up before you can unsee them etc. I can open it right up and start an unexpected adventure.
That is exactly what I did with this book, but even if I did know the premise, I would have been blown away regardless. This book is told in first person and jumps from the past to the present and so forth so you get tidbits of what happened to Quinn one tragic summer and how it affects her and her siblings in the present time. The writing was perfection. I was thrown off by the past and present style at first, but once I got reading further, it didn’t bother me, so be prepared to be get a little jarred.
What you get with this book is a wonderful setting in Winship, Maine, a girl coping with loss who’s also obsessed with science, a summer camp backdrop, a family dynamic strong and yet fragile, strong female bonds and a British boy who loves to cook and draw. There you have it. The perfect YA contemporary novel.
The plot is tragic and bittersweet. The writing is spot on. The characters were all enjoyable. Every one of them. Especially Quinn’s Nana. That lady was rad.
Warning, this book with rip at your heartstrings. I teared up around 84%. My heart isn’t as cold and dead as previously rumored.
I advocate that you buy it for that pretty cover and read it for it’s resonance.

My Lady Jane review

ladyjane

 

491 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by HarperTeen
Friend: “Hey, can you recommend a book? I’m in a reading rut.
Me: *rubs hands together manically* “Are you ready to get mind blown? Because this book will shatter your brain.”
This review is about a queen, a horse, and a frying pan.
I’m not kidding. it really is.
Okay, so this is loosely (and I mean LOOSELY( based on the nine day reign of Jane Grey after the death of her cousin, Edward. The narrators make it known that they are apologetic to England for what they’re about to do to their history. Before you start reading, make sure you
1. Have a sense of humor and make sure it’s intact.
2. Make sure nobody else is around unless you want them to think you’re insane because of your constant snickering at the story.
3. Keep your horse close by and feed him lots of apples. He loves you. And apples. He also may be a man in disguise.
So, here it is:
People can turn into animals called Eðians. Yes, you heard me right. ANIMALS. Thus the quarrel of the story. Edward had no male heirs so he leaves the crown to his cousin. Not only that, he marries her off to Gifford Dudley, who just so happens to shift into a horse. Every day. At the same time without fail. He thinks he’s cursed because he can’t control his shifting. Jane, is indifferent. Jane likes books better than she likes people thus Jane is my hero. Heroine? No matter.
We get three different POV’s in this story. Edward, Jane and Gifford (call him G!). The minute I started the book I was thrown off by the Eðians and the idea of tossing such magic into history, but then I realized what I was reading. I was also intimidated by the size of the book, but it went really fast. Mostly because I couldn’t put it down. Like, I really couldn’t. My hand cramped and I was afraid.
All in all, this book was a trip. Like a, WTF AM I READING, type of trip. I have the sequel ready and waiting, and I cannot wait to see what they come up with next.

The Other Side of Lost review

otherside

 

 

 

320 pages
Expected publication: August 7th 2018 by HarperTeen
Mari is an a social media queen. She makes with deals with companies and shows off their clothing in yoga videos and posed photos in bikini’s. She even takes photos of her food with inspirational hashtags. She thrives on likes and comments. Sounds cool, right? It does, if it all wasn’t so fake.
On her eighteenth birthday, Mari breaks down after thoughts of her late cousin and realizes how incredibly fake her life is compared to the one Bri had lived. So, she takes up Bri’s plan of hiking 211 miles on the John Muir Trail in an effort to find herself again.
Filled with loads of doubt but equal loads of determination she sets out with zero experience, meeting friends along the way.
To touch upon what other have said, the social media aspect disappears because that was the way Mari wanted it. She didn’t want to exist online any longer. That was the entire point of the book that I think people missed. This is a story about a girl going out into the world for, maybe, the first time ever and finding who she truly is. I think some of us need to do the same once in a while.
I stayed up until 2 am last night finishing this book. Mari’s character arc was the stuff of perfection. I pictured myself on that trail and thinking, I could  never do that and then reading how she did and regretting I even thought that to begin with. I thought, crap, that is the premise of the book. Doing something you think is impossible despite your fears.
So she did.
I am so happy I got to read this book thanks to Edelweiss and I am so sorry the rest of you have to wait until August for it. I pre-ordered it regardless. I hope you like it as much as I did.

 

Winterfolk review

winterfolk

What can I say about a book that is set in Seattle and told from the perspective of a homeless girl?

First, that is was completely unlike anything I have ever read. I mean, we get this point of view of someone who has never known anything but a tent in the forest. She has only her father as family and the other residents of “The Jungle” who call themselves Winterfolk. Rain is fifteen-years-old. She knows how to read, but not write and keeps a rock garden outside of her tent. Her fiend and protector, King, takes her into Seattle one day for her birthday, the day before their home is to be demolished by the city and sets into motion events that turn into a day of firsts. It will sadden you, make you laugh,and maybe even open your eyes a little.

The supporting characters were colorful and fit well into the story. Basically, I couldn’t put this book down, it was that good. Rain’s narrative that was both magical and innocent drove the story. She has never been exposed to the real world so she incorporates what’s she read into what is around her in order to cope. Again, it’s sad.

I would absolutely love to see what else Janel Kolby does and I will scoop it up so fast I may even accidentally buy two books at once. If you’re reading this, please write more books. We need them. I need them.

Thank you to Edelweiss for the ARC

Every day review

everyday

 

322 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Okay, so, the concept isn’t new to me. Boy (or girl) wakes up in a new body and doesn’t know what in damnation is going on. I am coming off of watching YOUR NAME, an anime with a similar plot-line. Or so I thought.
Every day sets itself a part because the protagonist, “A” wakes up in a NEW body every day, not the same one, not even his own body on the same day like Before I Fall. He has to access the new person’s memories and go about his day in his new body. The thought gave me anxiety.
The writing style was great to read. It was almost effortless. The book goes into such detail as “A” ends up in so many different types of bodies. Different as in different races, sexuality, religion, and even into one dealing heavily with mental illness.
Funny time: It sure put the real is magical realism.
Laugh with me.
Okay, plot wise it was great. “A” falls for a girl while in her boyfriend’s body. Basically he spends the book trying to be with her via these bodies and it’s not working out quite as well as he hoped. Not only that, the last boy’s body he was in, decides that while “A” was in it, he was possessed by the devil threatening to expose “A” affliction. So, he’s delaing with a person he can never truly be with and making more trouble than he needs to while in other people’s lives. It’s heartbreaking and strange at times, but I give “A” credit. His (or her??) effort is top notch.
I found myself excited for every new chapter. Who is he going to be next? The question had me glued to my Kindle. Bravo, Mr. Leviathan, I missed lunch because of you!!!
Closing thoughts, I loved this book. It had it’s little issues with the whole love at first sight thing, but otherwise it had me hooked from page one.
This is my first time reading a book by David Leviathan, but it’s not going to my last.

These Rebel Waves review

rebelwaves

 

by Sara Raasch

320 pages
Expected publication: August 7th 2018 by Balzer + Bray
So, ignore all comments about gay pirates or pirates in general because there’s next to no pirating and there’s no waves. Basically, this isn’t what i expected.
Unpopular review time!
There was a ton of political stuff, which is fine to an extent, but if this is not your bag you’re going to dislike it, I was a tad confused at first by what country was which and why they were at war. The plot twists were, ehhhhh, nothing that excited me maybe because I didn’t care enough about the characters to be like, OOOMMMMGGGGG I DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING!!!
Indifference. That’s the word.
I can’t believe this book was only 320 pages. It felt like it took me a week to read it. And what is with endings nowadays? There used to be a time when publishers wanted books to end as if they were a stand alone but now they are just outright blatant cliffhangers that are sure to piss off a lot of readers. I feel like a lot of the action if going to be in the second book. Maybe we’ll actually get some ships on the ocean or sea or some body of water and maybe some actual pirating. Maybe I’m just old and bitter and need coffee.
Sarah’s writing is on point, there was nothing wrong with that. The characters were fleshed out and I even laughed at one point. I don’t think this was the book for me at all.
Thank you to Edelweiss for the ARC.