Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Rating: B-
Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude.

But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised—a mysterious house in the Farm.

But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?

The White Rose is a raw, captivating sequel to The Jewel that fans won’t be able to put down until the final shocking moments.

My thoughts on the book:
I really enjoyed The Jewel, so I was looking forward to its sequel. While The White Rose didn't necessarily disappoint me, it didn't really live up to my expectations, either. The relationship between Violet and Ash is already falling flat, and Raven is annoying, too. The plot itself is okay, but some of the stuff is just not 100% believable, even for a work of fiction. The pacing is a bit slow in spots, and the ending isn't exactly memorable. I'm still looking forward to the next installment, but I'm not as excited about it as I was before reading The White Rose.

Violet is a decent character, even though she's a bit self-absorbed at times. I still enjoy reading from her perspective, and she is growing throughout the course of the novel. Some of her decisions are strange, but overall, she's a pretty solid lead. Ash is getting to be annoying. He's like a child who wants to help his mommy in the kitchen, but only makes a mess. I'm just not a huge fan of his anymore. The same goes for Raven. She's obnoxious and needy, and I kind of just want her to go away. The rest of the characters aren't that memorable. Lucien is becoming pretty interesting, though.

The plot itself is a bit boring in places, though it does take detours through Ash's past. At the end of the day, though, Ash just seems bitter, angsty, and whiny. I would much prefer a different love interest. Anyway, on top of that, the world-building and growth is extremely well-done, The writing itself is lovely and engaging. And aside from some clunky parts, the story flows nicely. The ending isn't exactly memorable, but it isn't awful, either. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed The Jewel. It's definitely a decent follow-up. 

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Sunday, October 4, 2015


Rating: F
Release Date: 10/6/15
Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

My thoughts on the book:
This book has an amazing premise, and I was so excited to read it. However, it really fell flat for me. The writing is awful. The author doesn't use contractions. at. all. I almost pulled my hair out by the end of the book. The story is a bit convoluted. The characters are all the same, and have the same voice, so when conversations were had, I couldn't even tell who was talking. The ending is meh. The pacing is slow. This was just a dud. I say check it out from the library first. Some people really loved it, but I really hated it. 

The two sisters are just really boring. I can't even remember their names, or if they had names. I dozed off reading this book several times. Also, they were exactly alike. They talked the same and acted similarly. It was so dull. I didn't like either of them. Lo-Melkhiin is also boring. This villain was supposed to be terrifying, but he was a total snoozefest. I really didn't care if he killed everyone and everything. Maybe the world could start over with more interesting characters then. 

The writing was horrendous. In a lot of parts it was unclear, the narrative just didn't fit with the story it was supposed to be re-telling, and the lack of contractions made me want to die. I was hoping Lo-Melkhiin would come for me by the 50% mark, just so I could be put out of my misery. The pacing was so slow that I thought the book would never end. The world-building was unclear at best and non-existent at worst. 

Overall, I'd recommend skipping this book, but since some people did like it, I say check it out from the library. If you enjoy it, that's great. If you're like me and lack of contractions, awful writing, and vapid characters make you want to die, then pass on this one.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

WINTER PEOPLE by Rebekah Purdy Release Day Blitz!

The Summer Marked (The Winter People #2)
Release Date: 09/22/15
Entangled Teen
305 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Salome left humankind behind to be with her boyfriend, Gareth, in the Kingdom of Summer. But now forces of darkness are rising. Her happily-ever-after is coming apart, and the Kingdom is on the brink of war. 

Newly- single Kadie Byers is on her way home for Thanksgiving, imagining a visit filled with hot chocolate, a hot guy for a little rebound action, and some girl time with her bestie, Salome. Except she receives a message from Salome with two important words: PLEASE HURRY.

When Kadie rushes to help Salome, she’s ripped from the human world and pulled into the kingdoms of Faerie, where she's shocked to learn that Salome's monsters are real, and that she's now at the mercy of one extremely vengeful Winter Queen... 

Now both Salome and Kadie must find a way to survive the deadly chaos...or lose themselves to Winter's deadly, icy grasp.

Buy Links:

Book One:
(cover linked to Goodreads)

About the Author
Rebekah Purdy grew up in Michigan, where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. When not hiding at her computer and getting lost in her stories, she enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games and hanging out with her kids. She loves the unexplainable like Bigfoot, the Dogman, and the Loch Ness Monster (lots of good story material)! She admits to still having all the books she bought throughout her childhood and teen years, and she may or may not have an obsession with anything chocolate…

Author Links:
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Monday, September 21, 2015

ILLUMINATE by Tracy Clark Release Day Blitz!

Release Date: 09/21/15
Entangled Teen
320 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Can one girl be the light in a world spiraling toward darkness?

Haunted by the loss of her loved ones, Cora Sandoval, one of the remaining few of an extraordinary race known as Scintilla, holds the key to disentangling the biggest conspiracy in human history...and its link to the fate of the human race. As Cora follows a trail of centuries-old clues and secrets, she collides with a truth not only shocking, but dangerous.

With enemies both known and unknown hot on her trail, Cora must locate each of the ancient clues hidden in the art, religions, and mythologies of humankind. And through it all, she must keep her heart from being torn apart by the two boys she loves most. One is Scintilla, one is Arazzi.

Save herself. Save the Scintilla. Save the world.

Or die trying…

Buy Links:

Books in this series:
(covers linked to Goodreads)

Buy Links for Scintillate:

Buy Links for Deviate:

About the Author
Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through, they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self.
She grew up a “Valley Girl” in Southern California but now lives in her home state of Nevada, in a small town at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Her two children teach her the art of distraction and are a continuous source of great dialogue. She’s an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat.
Tracy was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant. A two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program where she was lucky enough to be mentored by bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins, who taught her so much about the art of writing and cured her of her ellipsis addiction.
Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.

Author Links:
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Sunday, September 20, 2015


Rating: C
In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

My thoughts on the book:
This Monstrous Thing is an intriguing retelling of the classic novel, Frankenstein. One of my favorite things about this novel is that Mary Shelley was actually in the book. Also, the characters were so real and flawed. It felt like I was reading history instead of fiction. That being said, since the mystery wasn't really that mysterious for the reader, the big reveal(s) didn't stand out to me. I was invested in this story because of the lovely writing and wonderful characters, but the plot was lacking. 

Alasdair was an intriguing and trustworthy narrator. I really enjoyed reading from his perspective, though he was a bit emotional for a male narrator, in my opinion. That's not to say that men don't have emotions, I'm just saying that the way he relayed his emotions seemed a bit feminine at times. Also, he was extremely selfish, and that annoyed me at times, but that also made him seem real. Mary was a horrendous character, and I really didn't like her, but I loved the author's take on her in this novel, if that makes sense. Oliver was interesting, and I wish we had gotten to see more of him. I really felt bad for him. Clemence was intriguing as well, and I really liked her. 

The plot itself wasn't very exciting because the big mysteries were already pretty obvious and/or well known, depending on which mystery you're thinking about. What really happened the night Oliver died was glaringly obvious, and it was clear that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. That being said, the events that occurred were gripping, and I flew through this book. The writing itself was gorgeous, and Lee is excellent at describing the scenery and world around the characters. The ending was well-done, too. 

Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone who loves steampunk and classics. This was an interesting novel, and I look forward to reading more by Mackenzi Lee. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

ASH & BRAMBLE by Sarah Prineas

Rating: F
A prince.

A ball.

A glass slipper left behind at the stroke of midnight.

The tale is told and retold, twisted and tweaked, snipped and stretched, as it leads to happily ever after.

But it is not the true Story.

A dark fortress.

A past forgotten.

A life of servitude.

No one has ever broken free of the Godmother’s terrible stone prison until a girl named Pin attempts a breathless, daring escape. But she discovers that what seems to be freedom is a prison of another kind, one that entangles her in a story that leads to a prince, a kiss, and a clock striking midnight. To unravel herself from this new life, Pin must choose between a prince and another—the one who helped her before and who would give his life for her. Torn, the only thing for her to do is trade in the glass slipper for a sword and find her own destiny.

My thoughts on the book:
Ash & Bramble had a lot of potential, but it fell flat for me in many areas. A lot of good ideas and theories went into the creation of this novel, but none of them was explored deep enough to really make an impact. The characters were confused and under-developed, and so was the story itself. I feel like if the author had picked one theme and explored it in depth, then the novel would have turned out much better. Instead this book was a mishmash of ideas with vapid characters and strange pacing. 

Pin, or Pen - unless they're from the Midwest, I'm not even sure how they could tell the difference in who was saying which - was extremely boring and a bit dumb. I know that the Godmother was controlling everything, and her memory had been erased and altered, so I get that she didn't know a ton of her past, but she was just such a sheep. Shoe was also really obnoxious and ridiculously stupid. I feel like if he and Pin had had more personality, then I would have enjoyed the book more. Apparently the Godmother stole personalities along with memories, though, because no character in this book had anything interesting to offer.

The plot was extremely convoluted, and the author touched on a lot of themes, but didn't stick to a single one. The idea of free will was prevalent throughout the novel, but it was never really explored. The idea of true love was also addressed vaguely, as well as the idea of self. However, nothing was discussed or explored deep enough to have any meaning. The writing switched between first and third person and was ridiculously simple. It almost felt as if I were reading a Middle Grade novel instead of a YA book. I didn't like the switching of perspectives, either. When I finished the book, and it had a strange ending, mind you, all I could think was why was this written and why did I waste so much time reading it? I was left with nothing. No feelings, no ideas, nothing. 

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this novel to anyone. I kept reading thinking that maybe the author would decide what she wanted to say and stick with it, but I was sorely disappointed. Chances are you will be, too. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

STOLEN SONGBIRD by Danielle Jensen

Rating: A
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…

But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for…

My thoughts on the book:
I have been wanting to read this book for a long time, and it did not disappoint. If you guys haven't noticed, I've been in a fantasy mood lately, and this novel was unique and fit the bill perfectly. The characters were interesting. The plot was intriguing, and the world-building was spectacular. The writing was also beautifully done. I can't wait to read the next book in this series.

Cécile was a fantastic leading lady, and I really enjoyed reading from her perspective. I also adored Tristan, and reading from his perspective randomly helped me understand him, and trolls in general, more. Both characters were multi-faceted and beautifully flawed. Cécile really made the best of her situation and refused to lay down and die, even when her life was less than ideal. She showed tremendous inner strength. The other troll characters were also intriguing and well-developed. I especially enjoyed the twins' antics. I became really attached to these characters, and I can't wait to see what happens to them in the next installment.

The plot was pretty fast-paced and full of adventures. I loved learning about Trollus, and Jensen painted wonderful pictures of the underground city. The writing was also top notch, serious with a touch of humor. I really enjoyed Jensen's voice. The ending tied up things in this book nicely and paved the way for the next in the series, which I already have on my Kindle. I can't wait to dig into it. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to people who are looking for something a bit different in YA fantasy. These trolls are different than you'd expect, and Jensen is a talented author. 

Order Stolen Songbird