Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead | Review

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead | ReviewThe Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1) by Richelle Mead
Series: The Glittering Court #1
Published by Razorbill on April 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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5 Stars

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

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Richelle Mead made me fall in love with her writing years ago when I read Vampire Academy.  I never expected to find something of hers that I loved more than that series (c’mon, Rose and Dimitri?  Can it get any better than that?) but I was wrong.  The Glittering Court is Richelle Mead’s best book so far, in my opinion.

Pros:

  • The romance: Richelle Mead’s books never lack in the romance department and that’s the same with The Glittering Court.  While the attraction between Adelaide and Cedric is immediate, the romance is not.  In fact, I was really hoping something would start up between them way before it actually did.  They built up a wonderful relationship as friends (kind of) before they ever became romantically involved and it just made it that much sweeter when they did get together.  They had some serious chemistry and some wonderful banter.
  • The story: The Glittering Court is classified as fantasy but it’s almost like an alternate history.  Adelaide and the other girls in The Glittering Court travel to a new land where they will no longer be bound by their original stations in life, whether it be a maid or servant like most of the girls or a noblewoman such as Adelaide.  While they do have to marry once they reach the new land, they get to choose their husband and can even buy their own way out of their contracts if they can come up with the money.  This new land offers religious freedom for some of them as well as a chance at wealth.  The Glittering Court almost reads like historical fiction which I loved.
  • The suspense: I never knew what was coming next and I’m still reeling over some of the things that happened.  Let me just say, if you want a neat and tidy ending with all your questions answered, this is not the book for you.  The Glittering Court is very much the first book in a series and it sets readers up with quite a few questions and only some of the answers.  Richelle Mead definitely knows how to keep her readers guessing and coming back for more.
  • The friendships: I think this is one of the big reasons The Glittering Court will appeal to Richelle Mead’s previous fans.  If you’ve read Vampire Academy, you know that Richelle Mead writes about strong bonds between friends (Lissa and Rose) and that those bonds are always amazing. That’s the same with Adelaide, Mira, and Tamsin.  They couldn’t be more different but they become fast friends during their time at the Glittering Court.  They have their fights and they keep their secrets sometimes but they always come back to each other and each girl has something unique and important to offer to the friendship.

Overall, there are no cons with The Glittering Court.  It’s perfection in book form.  Fans of Richelle Mead will find many things to love about it that will remind them of their favorite book from her.  New readers of Richelle Mead will seek out more of her work after reading this one.  You can’t go wrong with The Glittering Court.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Soundless by Richelle Mead | Giveaway

Soundless by Richelle Mead | GiveawaySoundless by Richelle Mead
Published by Razorbill on November 10th 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 272
Format: ARC
Goodreads

From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore.

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.
But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...

 

I was lucky enough to get two copies of Richelle Mead’s upcoming novel, Soundless.  Since I really don’t need two copies, I decided I’d share one of them with you guys.  Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win an ARC! Open internationally!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard | Review

Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard | ReviewDangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard
Published by Razorbill on September 4, 2012
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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3 Stars

A modern-day retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydewith a chilling twist

Harper has never been worried about falling in love, something she is skeptical even exists. But everything changes when Logan moves to town, and to Harper's shock, the two tumble into an intense romance. It's everything she never thought she wanted.

Then she meets Logan's twin brother, Caleb, who was expelled from his last school. True, he's a bad boy, but Harper can't shake the feeling that there's something deeply sinister about him--something dangerous. When Logan starts pulling away, Harper is convinced that Caleb's shadowy past is the wedge being driven between them. But by the time she uncovers the truth, it may be too late.

The author of Prada & Prejudice, You Wish, and Ripple delivers a modern-day retelling of a famously gothic tale, full of suspense, lies, and romance.

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Dangerous Boy captured my attention with the prologue and I decided to pick it up solely based on that.  While it was not what I expected I found myself flying through the pages.  It’s nowhere close to being a favorite of mine but it entertained me and kept me guessing until the end.

First off, apparently this is a retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I didn’t know that until the end of the book but it would not have made any difference to me since I’ve never read that book.  Fair warning though, if you’ve read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde the twists in Dangerous Boy might not be so shocking.

The story is dark and twisted though not horror movie scary.  Strange things are happening in Harper’s town; bones being left in mailboxes, birds dying in large groups, and bloody hand prints showing up places.  Things get even creepier when Harper meets her boyfriends identical twin brother, Daemon.  He’s creepy and bit stalker-like.  He’s obsessed with the murders that happened at their home and he uses the house’s history to terrify Harper.  He’s definitely not quite right.

Harper really did nothing for me and neither did her boyfriend, Logan.  They were a bit too cutesy for me.  Also, Harper was not the smartest.  She gets stalker-like messages and doesn’t tell anyone.  She’s terrified of some of the weirdest things and yet Logan can easily talk her into overcoming these fears.  It all seemed a bit too easy.

Also, nothing against the book but I kept thinking of The Vampire Diaries while reading.  Two brothers, one named Daemon, move to town with their uncle, one brother good, the other bad.  And I won’t spoil anything but those aren’t the only comparisons.

Overall, Dangerous Boy is an okay book if you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller.

What others are saying about Dangerous Boy:

Bookish’s review: “It started out so good. And turned around just as quickly.”

Itching for Books’ review: “Dangerous Boy is a creepy, mysterious, fast-paced story.”

Sarah’s Random Musings’ review: “I would recommend this book to anyone that wants an intense read with great atmosphere.”

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Merciless by Danielle Vega | Review

The Merciless by Danielle Vega | ReviewThe Merciless by Danielle Vega
Published by Razorbill on June 12, 2014
Genres: Horror
Pages: 279
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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3 Stars

Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.
 
Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.
 
Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .

picadillyblueThe Merciless by Danielle Vega is seriously one of the creepiest books I’ve read, especially for YA.  I knew it was horror when I started reading it but I really didn’t expect much from it since horror is usually toned down for YA.  While I felt that was the case a little bit with The Merciless, I felt it definitely lived up to the genre in creepiness.

Sofia is new to town, new to school, new to everything really.  She’s  used to being the new girl.  What she’s not used to is having friends.  When Riley, Grace, and Alexis befriend her, she jumps at the chance to be part of the popular clique.  However, things start to spiral quickly.  Riley believes that a fellow student, Brooklyn, is possessed and that it’s their job to get the demon out of her.  What does that entail?  Kidnapping, torture, and a whole lot of scary stuff.  Let the fun begin.

Riley, Grace, and Alexis might be certifiably insane.  The stuff they do to Brooklyn (and force Sofia to do with them) that is just plain crazy.  These teenage girls are ruthless, let me tell you that.  Riley is definitely the ringleader and the mastermind behind everything but Grace and Alexis are more than willing to help her kidnap and torture Brooklyn.  Heck, they’re even willing to possibly kill her.  These girls will go to crazy extremes to please Riley and the only thing that will please Riley is the end of Brooklyn.  She may say at the beginning that she wants to help Brooklyn but it’s pretty clear what she really wants to get out of the exorcism.

Sofia is kind of hard to like.  Sure, she’s forced to go along with the exorcism and I don’t hold that against her but there was always something off about her.  Sofia has always been alone and so she doesn’t quite know how to act with friends or even a boyfriend.  She’s kind of awkward and tries a little too hard to please people.  Also, it turns out she’s hiding a pretty big secret that helps explain why she’s so hard to connect with.

Speaking of the boyfriend, he was pointless.  Sure Charlie seemed like a really nice guy but that was about it.  Charlie and Sofia had absolutely no chemistry and I couldn’t understand why they got together.  It was really abrupt and out of nowhere.  Charlie wasn’t developed enough as a character for me to really like him or want him to get with Sofia.  Their relationship and their interactions just seemed like a waste.

I have to give Danielle Vega props for that ending.  It’s not something you will ever see coming and it’s completely crazy.  Be prepared to have your jaw drop.

Overall, The Merciless is great for the horror aspect but not so much on the character front.  However, if you’re just looking for a creepy book to read, I would recommend this one.  Just don’t expect too much character development.

What others are saying about The Merciless:

BookYAReview’s review: “The Merciless is a mind-twisting, fully engrossing story that had me on the edge of my seat from page one and never let me go.”

The YA Kitten’s review: “ If you’re looking for some good YA horror that makes you wonder if there are really supernatural things going on, you’ll probably want this.”

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff | Review

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff | ReviewThe Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
Published by Razorbill on November 14, 2011
Genres: Horror
Pages: 363
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

I hate myself right now. I’ve had Brenna’s books on my shelf for quite some time and I only just recently picked one up and read it. Now I’m definitely going to make time to read her others because The Space Between was completely mind-blowingly fabulous!

From the very start of the book I was intrigued. Daphne is the demon daughter of Lucifer and Lilith who sets off into the mortal world in search of her half brother who is the son of Adam and Lilith. Along the way she meets some very interesting characters, including Truman who I will talk more about later. The prologue grabs reader’s attention immediately and while my attention did wane a little bit in the first few chapters I was quickly hooked again once I got about 60 pages into the book. And while the first few chapters are a little dull, Brenna’s gorgeous writing makes up for it.

The characters were interesting, to say the least. Daphne has grown up in Pandemonium (Hell) and she has had pretty much no interaction with humans. What she knows about humans comes from TV shows and things her brother brings back for her from the mortal world. Needless to say when she gets to the mortal world she is a little overwhelmed. She doesn’t know how to interact with humans, how to act like a human, and she’s a little closed off but that’s why she has Truman! Truman is one of the most messed up characters I have ever read about and all I wanted to do through the whole book was help him. He was super sweet and funny in a totally twisted way. His life was even more messed up than Daphne’s but he was willing to help her. And along the way they are joined by the completely fabulous Raymie but I won’t tell you any more about her. Just expect a surprise.

The writing was by far the best part of The Space Between. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the characters and I loved the story but the writing was beyond amazing. It was lyrical and captivating and reason enough for me to read every other book Brenna Yovanoff ever writes. It’s a very different story but I have to say that with the writing style I was reminded of Laini Taylor’s books and that is high praise coming from me.

Overall, The Space Between is worth checking out. It’s a creepy, lovely, awesome book that I definitely plan to read again sometime in the future!

What others are saying about The Space Between:

Rex Robot Reviews’ review: “Ultimately, I found The Space Between to be haunting, beautiful and frightening.”

Bookalicio.us’ review: “I loved every second of reading time.”

Dazzling Reads’ review: “Good and Evil, Heaven and Hell and the Space Between, Brenna Yovanoff created a beautiful and wicked story where stereotyped characters cross all boundaries to become something unique that defies the nature of evil itself.”

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Across The Universe (Across The Universe #1) by Beth Revis | Review

Across The Universe (Across The Universe #1) by Beth Revis | ReviewAcross the Universe by Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #1
Published by Razorbill on January 11, 2011
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 398
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

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Beth Revis’ debut novel is definitely a unique story but one that I had trouble getting into.  After about the first 100 pages I was hooked but it took me a while to get there.  Hopefully the next book in this series picks up faster!

Amy does not want to be cryogenically frozen for 301 years but she doesn’t really have a choice.  She loses even more of her freedom when she is woken up 50 years ahead of schedule.  Life aboard Godspeed is not what she imagined.  The leader is a dictator, the next leader, Elder, appeals to Amy way too much, and someone is killing the rest of the cryogenically frozen people.  Amy and Elder must figure out who it is and how to stop them before it is too late.

Amy and Elder didn’t really do it for me.  I didn’t understand Elder or his motives.  He said he wasn’t like Eldest, that he didn’t think like him but a lot of the time he did.  Amy was more of a free thinker but I never sympathized with her or really cared about what happened to her.  I wish they had both been more developed.  Same with Doc and Eldest.  I did like Harley though!

The plot was great once I got into it.  It seemed like nothing really happened for the first 100 pages and I was really bored with the story then.  Once the murders started though things got a lot better.  Although I did guess who the murderer was from the very beginning.

Overall, Across The Universe is a pretty good start to this trilogy and I will be checking out the next book, A Million Suns.  Maybe get this one from your library though before buying it.

What others are saying about Across the Universe:

Miss Page-Turner’s City of Books’ review: “The actual story of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is set in future and has many opportunities and inventions to offer, medical-wise for example.”

Ranting Dragon’s review: “While in no way would I really compare Across the Universeto a Golden Age classic, it has enough merits to stand its ground with ease in the modern market.”

Oh, The Book Feels’ review: “To be honest, it gave me the same emotions and fears that the Hunger Games series did — the whole not being in control of your existence and dictatorship and what not.”

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Naughty List (The Naughty List #1) by Suzanne Young | Review

The Naughty List (The Naughty List #1) by Suzanne Young | ReviewThe Naughty List by Suzanne Young
Series: The Naughty List
Published by Razorbill on February 4, 2010
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 272
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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5 Stars

As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn?t enough responsibility! Tessa Crimson's the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad turned spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn't be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty! When Tessa's own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa's sneaky ways end in catastrophe?

The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?

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The Naughty List is one of the best chick-lit books I have ever read. It was the perfect mix of romance, spying, and cheerleading. Once I started it, I could not put it down. It was just too cute.

Tessa Crimson is not just the head cheerleader of the Smitten Kittens. She is the leader of the SOS (society of Smitten Kittens). She and her fellow cheerleaders investigate suspected cheaters for the girls of their school. The sad thing is, every boy they have investigated has been found guilty. Are there any boys left who don’t cheat? And what happens when Tessa’s perfect boyfriend, Aiden, shows up on the naughty list?

So basically the whole book is about cheating. At first, that seemed a little depressing to me but Suzanne Young made it perfect. It was just the right mix of serious and funny. Each case was a bit different and each method for catching the cheater was pretty comical. Tessa and the SOS really knew what they were doing but they still got themselves into some crazy situations.

Also, each character was unique. I loved them all, even Christian who wasn’t the best person. Okay wait, I didn’t like Chloe but the rest I did. I couldn’t even find one good thing about her. Tessa was a great leader and a great heroine. She was super easy to relate to and she had flaws, like every other person in the world. Also, I loved Aiden! He was so cute and sweet. I want one! I do have to say, though, that Kira was my favorite. She made the book so much more funny than if she hadn’t been in it. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the things she said and did.

Overall, The Naughty List is a book to buy and Suzanne Young is an author to look out for. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. I was to read more about Tessa, Aiden, Kira, and the rest. And I want to read it NOW!!!