Friday, October 19, 2018

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Publication Date: October 16th 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genera: YA, Contemporary
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.
 

My Rating
5/5 stars

My Review

A Very Large Expanse of Sea is a breathtaking story about the post-9/11 life of a Muslim Hijabi teen.

Shirin wants nothing more than to be invisible and just get through high school as fast as possible. After the 9/11 attacks, Shirin has had a hard time opening up to her classmates. There is nothing that makes her feel more uncomfortable than the piercing stares and rude questions from her classmates, but what finally did the trick is when two boys attacked her after school and tried to strangle her with her hijab. Now Shirin tries to fade into the background and has put up massive walls around herself, because its better to keep everyone out than to go through that pain again. But when her biology lab partner is determined to learn more about her and actually takes a interest, Shirin can't help but open up a little, and once those walls come down, it is much harder to build them back up.

This story is so precious, I admire the author so much for writing this book because you can definitely tell it hit home for her, and you can see just how much of her soul she poured into this novel. Everything about this story seems so real, from the emotion, to the character development, and even the ending.

Shirin is a wonderful main character. In the beginning of the novel you can tell how hurt she was from her past experiences, but she still had so much strength and determination to be the person that she wanted to be. I loved her from the beginning because she didn't try to be the typical high school girl that dressed and acted like everyone else to try and be friends with everyone, Shirin decided to take her own path and didn't lose out on who she really was. As the story progresses, Shirin goes through tons of character changes, both emotional and physical. As she gets closer to Ocean, she opens up more and more, and even though her brain is telling her not to keep opening up to him, her heart is telling her that its time to let someone in and actually feel love once more. Any girl that has been hurt in the past can definitely relate to Shirin's feelings and how hard it is for her to open up to Ocean. At the same time, Shirin joins the breakdancing team with her brother and her brother's friends to take her mind away from the constant pain of high school and actually do what she loves. Throughout the story, we also get to watch her grow as a dancer, as she masters more moves and becomes more confident with dancing, and her physical appearance.

The pace of the story is absolutely perfect. The book is short enough to read in one or two sittings depending on how much time you have, but trust me when I say that you will not want to put the book down after starting it. I've been going through a bit of a reading slump, and was pleasantly surprised that I couldn't put this book down and ended up finishing it in a day, its just one of those books that's captivating and brings you joy when reading it, so it leaves you wanting more.

I just wanted to talk about the ending quickly. While I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone, I will say that its not your typical happily ever after ending, but this made me like the ending even more. The ending is incredibly realistic, as was the rest of the story, and it fits so perfectly that the character got a happy ending, but not a happily ever after ending, because those are so rare in life and I think books just use them way too much.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book from beginning to end. I loved the characters, the pace and the setting. Tahereh did such an amazing job with the writing, you can really feel the emotion and hard work she put into this novel. I will definitely be forcing my friends to read this novel. I finished it in one go because I could not put it down.

Happy Reading,
Aneta
 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Review: Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Series: Rule #1
Publication Date: September 11th, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genera: YA, Fantasy
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.

The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.

Or rather, three unexpected options.

Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she's already gone.

Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.

Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady's maid and scheming her way out of the servants' chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she's done.

When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny... to rule.

Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in this sensational and striking fantasy debut.

My Rating
4/5 stars

My Review
Rule is an absolute wonder! I fell in love with this book right from the beginning. Its perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Three Dark Crowns.

Three girls that have never met, and have nothing in common are brought before the King. The rest of the kingdom doesn't know this yet, but the King is slowly dying and since his son was murdered, he must call on his bastard daughters and train them so that one of them could be his successor. Zofi, Ren and Akeylah are complete opposites, not only in their looks but also in their background and personalities. But when all three girls start receiving threats, and are told to leave the kingdom unless they want their darkest secrets revealed, the sisters decide to stick together and track down the person that wants to get rid of them for good.

This book had such amazing and diverse characters. I absolutely loved them all. The sisters were all is different, yet I truly loved all of them equally. Zofi is definitely the badass warrior, that has a hidden softer side. Akeylah is a shy and kind girl, but throughout the novel she definitely opens up and explores her more passionate side. Ren is a great leader, she's cunning and is able to make amazing connections with people. All three sisters have their strengths and weaknesses, but it honestly made them even more likeable. I absolutely loved the part of the story when all three of them started working together.

The world that Ellen created is absolutely fantastic. The world is really creative and there are so many details that Ellen put into the story about the setting and each part of the kingdom, I am truly amazed at how well this world came together. Having said that, I was slightly confused about the layout of the land, so I think if a map of the world was included in the beginning of the novel then it would have just made the experience even better.

The plot was also very well written. There is action right from the beginning as the sisters are taken in to the palace, and it continues throughout the whole novel. The climax was also very well written and very engaging. The only comment I would make is that this story was slightly predictable, you could tell right away that the three sisters will most likely end up working together, and the person they suspect to be blackmailing them isn't who they think it is, and a bunch of other little things like that. There was only one part of the story that really took me by surprised, and that was right at the end so I wont be telling you guys what it was.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and all the characters in it. I think that if there were some minor changes in this book, it could have been absolutely perfect. I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out, because I can't wait to read what happens next. Ellen Goodlett is definitely going on my automatic read authors list.

Happy Reading,
Aneta

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Tour: Confessions of a Teenage Leper by Ashely Little


Publication Date: September 15th, 2018
Publisher: PenguinTeen
Genera: YA, Contemporary 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: Abby Furlowe has plans. Big plans. She's hot, she's popular, she's a cheerleader and she's going to break out of her small Texas town and make it big. Fame and fortune, adoration and accolades. It'll all be hers. 

But then she notices some spots on her skin. She writes them off as a rash, but things only get worse. She's tired all the time, her hands and feet are numb and her face starts to look like day-old pizza. By the time her seventeenth birthday rolls around, she's tried every cream and medication the doctors have thrown at her, but nothing works. When she falls doing a routine cheerleading stunt and slips into a coma, her mystery illness goes into overdrive and finally gets diagnosed: Hansen's Disease, aka leprosy. 

Abby is sent to a facility to recover and deal with this new reality. Her many misdiagnoses mean that some permanent damage has been done, and all of her plans suddenly come tumbling down. If she can't even wear high heels anymore, what is the point of living? Cheerleading is out the window, and she might not even make it to prom. PROM!

But it's during this recovery that Abby has to learn to live with something even more difficult than Hansen's Disease. She's becoming aware of who she really was before and what her behavior was doing to others; now she's on the other side of the fence looking in, and she doesn't like what she sees. . .

My Rating
4/5 stars

My Review
Confessions of a Teenage Leper is a fantastic high school novel with a wonderful message. I would recommend this to all teenagers.

Abby's life in high school was perfect, she's popular, a cheerleader, and everyone wants to be her. But when Abby contracts leprosy after a long period of misdiagnosis, her whole life gets flipped upside down, and now she could never cheer again, and her so called friends won't even talk to her. 

I won't lie, I was really afraid in the beginning of the book that I would not like Abby at all, but I was pleasantly surprised that I did not hate her. Yes she was a bit annoying in the beginning of the book, but her overall character development and her story really made her into an amazing character, and by the end of the novel I absolutely loved her. The way the author wrote about Abby was perfect, she felt like a teenage girl, but still one that I could relate to.

Also, another huge reason why I loved this book was because you could tell how much work Ashley Little put into researching Hansen's Disease. As someone in the medical field, it is so common for people to just wikipedia something and assume its correct, but most of the time its wrong and it ends up bothering me the whole book. Fortunately, this book had lots of correct information that also teaches the reader a bit about the disease. Although I may be biased in my opinion on this one.

This novel is very fast pace. If you're an avid reader and have a bit of time, you can easily finish this book in a couple hours or so. While it was nice because it told the story and got to the point, while keeping the reader entertained, I do think there could have been a bit more editing and just a bit more world-building and more juice to the story. It ended just a bit too fast for me.

Overall, I absolutely love this book and the message that it sends. This is my first book by Ashely Little, but I will definitely be on the lookout for her future books. I highly recommend this one to students, or anyone interested in learning more about Leprosy. And a huge thank you to Penguin Random House for providing me with a copy for an honest review.

Happy Reading,
Aneta 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Review: Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

Series: Seafire #1
Publication Date: August 28th, 2018
Publisher: Razorbill
Genera: YA, Fantasy 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one misson: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all...or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

My Rating 
4/5 stars

My Review
Seafire is empowering and completely captivating. This book was so hard to put down once you start. If you love pirate tales and strong female characters, this is the book for you.

Caledonia's only mission is to make the Bullets and their warlord pay for killing her family and her crew. Now Caledonia is the captain of her own, female run ship, and they will stop at nothing until Aric is dead. But when Caledonia's second in command, Pi, gets taken hostage, a rouge Bullet risks his own life to save Pi. In return for saving one of her crew, Caledonia lets the Bullet stay on their ship until he can be dropped off on shore. What Caledonia wasn't expecting was for the Bullet to tell her that her brother is still alive, and was taken by Aric. Caledonia must decide if the Bullet is trustworthy enough for her to believe his story, and if she's willing to risk her crew and ship in order to get her brother back.

There is nothing better than a strong and sassy female character, with a heart of gold for those she loves. Caledonia is such an amazing character! She is so hardworking and determined. She is constantly thinking of everyone on her ship rather than herself, and cares so deeply about everyone on the ship as if they were her own family. What makes her even better, is that she's constantly fighting an internal battle with her past demons, and feels responsible for any death that occurred under her command. This makes her a truly amazing, realistic and a very relatable character.

Every character on the Mors Navis is so unique. There are characters of different ages, backgrounds and talents. While there is a lot of people on the ship, the story focuses mainly on about 10 of them or so, the rest aren't mentioned too often, which makes it a bit easier on the character to help remember names and who each character is.

The setting of this story was perfect. Even though most of the story takes place on the water and on the Mors Navis or other ships, we still get tons of scenery and description. The amount of detail that went into this book and each description was truly amazing, I felt like I could see and even feel the boat, it was the perfect amount of description to make it feel realistic. You could tell just how much time Natalie Parker spent researching everything, her efforts could be seen and it made the book so much better because of it.

The pace of the story was fantastic. There is action from beginning to end, there is lots of character development and basically everything you could wish for in a pirate novel. While there wasn't any huge curveballs, the book still managed to surprise me here and there, and I was glad that none of my predictions came true for what was going to happen. It was a pleasant surprise.

Overall, I really enjoyed Seafire and I can't wait to read more from this series and this author. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves pirate movies/novels or is just looking for an action packed YA with strong female characters. 

Happy Reading,
Aneta 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. With this amazing meme, you can check out which books I've gotten.

From Hachette
Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco
In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. . 

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?


Rule by Ellen Goodlett
Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.

The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.

Or rather, three unexpected options.

Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she's already gone.

Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.

Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady's maid and scheming her way out of the servants' chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she's done.

When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny... to rule.

Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in this sensational and striking fantasy debut.
 


The Beast's Heart by Life Shallcross
A sumptuously magical, brand new take on a tale as old as time—read the Beast's side of the story at long last.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

The day I was cursed to this wretched existence was the day I was saved—although it did not feel so at the time.

My redemption sprung from contemptible roots; I am not proud of what I did the day her father happened upon my crumbling, isolated chateau. But if loneliness breeds desperation then I was desperate indeed, and I did what I felt I must. My shameful behaviour was unjustly rewarded.

My Isabeau. She opened my eyes, my mind and my heart; she taught me how to be human again.

And now I might lose her forever.

Lose yourself in this gorgeously rich and magical retelling of The Beauty and the Beast that finally lays bare the beast's heart.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honor they could hope for...and the most cruel.

But this year, there's a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.


In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it's Lei they're after--the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king's consort. But Lei isn't content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable--she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.

TW: violence and sexual abuse.

The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black
You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Review: Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Series: Untitled #1
Publication Date: July 31st, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genera: YA, Fantasy
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace - someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir's eye, it's Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.
 

My Rating
5/5 stars

My Review
Grace and Fury is an epic story of family, feminism and survival. Once I started reading the book, I could not put it down. I highly recommend this one.

Serina and Nomi couldn't be more different. Serina is the dutiful sister, told from an early age that she was a beauty and would be raised to one day become a Grace so she has a chance of being one of the many Graces the King and his heir have. Serina will stop at nothing to become the best Grace, in order to give herself a better life, and provide more income for her family. Nomi believes this is all a trap, raised to be her sister's handmaiden, Nomi does everything to make Serina's job easier, the only problem is that she doesn't want Serina to become a Grace and would rather live at home with her twin brother and continue with every day life. But when Serina goes to the palace and the heir chooses Nomi to be one of his Graces, their roles switch, and before the two can figure out how to their new roles, Serina is caught taking the blame for a crime Nomi commits, a crime that sends her to an all woman prison located on a remote island. Now Nomi must navigate throughout the palace, and entertain the prince without doing anything to sabotage her position, while Serina must find a way to stay alive in prison in hopes of returning to her sister once again.

When I first started this book, I was a bit worried I would prefer one main character over the other. After getting about 4-5 chapters into the story, I fell in love with not only the story line, but both of the characters as well. Nomi and Serina are both very different to begin with, but throughout the story they see each other's point of view and why their sister acts the way she does. Their character development is astonishing, its probably the best character development I've read about in a couple years. Serina goes from being the soft and reserved girl to a strong woman thats not afraid to speak her mind and do what feels right to her heart, and Nomi went from being rebellious and not really caring about consequences, to finally learning how to slow down, think over her plans and do things for other people rather than just for herself. I loved both characters equally and can't wait to see what they will do next.

I thought the pacing and the plot of the story were very well written as well. The story picks up only a few chapters in, and the twists are so good that they keep the reader interested. So I'm giving you a warning now, once you get a few chapters in, you won't want to put the book down, so read at your own risk.

Besides the characters, the thing I loved most about this book was the world building. The two settings of the characters are so vastly different. You have the palace where everything is so lavish and intricate. Then you have the volcano island where the prison is located, and you get a natural setting with wilderness. While the two settings were so different, the author did an amazing job and making the image so vivd that I could picture it clearly in my head.

Overall, this book was incredible. I loved the message that it sends, as well as the characters and the world. I highly recommend this to all fans of fantasy, feminism and strong female characters. I can't wait to read more from this series, and I can't wait to read more from this author. 

Happy Reading,
Aneta

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: Black Wings Beating by Alex London


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Series: Skybound #1
Publication Date: September 25th, 2018
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Genera: YA, Fantasy
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists.

Brysen strives to be a great falconer--while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She's nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.

Together the twins must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer. Brysen goes for the boy he loves and the glory he's long craved, and Kylee to atone for her past and to protect her brother's future. But both are hunted by those who seek one thing: power.
 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Publication Date: September 25th, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genera: YA, Historical Fiction
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Review: Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

Series: Sanctuary #1
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genera: YA, Science Fiction
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

My Rating
5/5 stars

My Review
Sanctuary was everything I expected and more. It is the perfect space adventure with a splash horror.

Fifty years ago, alien probes arrived on Earth. At first nothing happened, but the next generation started receiving superpowers. Those that used their newfound powers for illegal activities ended up in Sanctuary, an extra secure prison out in space. When a distress signal is sent to Sanctuary, guards go to explore, but before they can figure out what is going on, prisoners from level 5 form an escape, and use Kenzie, a junior guard as a hostage. But when things don't go according to plan, and aliens start taking over the ship, Kenzie must join forces with the prisoners as they fight for survival.

I don't know what it is about space novels, but I've been really enjoying them recently. Although I do have to put Sanctuary as my top choice as of right now. The book truly captivated me, and I honestly could not put the book down. It's been a long time since I've stayed up way past my bedtime because of a book, but Sanctuary was definitely the one.

I absolutely loved all the characters in this novel. Kenzie was a fantastic main character. She's strong and very intelligent right from the beginning, but she does have her flaws, especially as she's dealing with her parents divorce, and being the youngest guard on the station. As her story progresses, Kenzie truly grows into an amazing person, her development throughout the story is absolutely fantastic. There wasn't a single thing I didn't like about Kenzie.
As for the other characters in the story, I was really impressed with how many diverse characters this book had and how many different personalities there were. Some characters I loved right from the beginning, and others ended up growing on me throughout the story. Its very rare when I actually enjoy all the characters in a novel, but I truly don't have a character in Sanctuary that I didn't end up enjoying at the end.

The world-building is one of the main reasons why I gave this book 5 stars. You would think that since the story takes place in a small space station that the settings would get boring, but you are wrong. Not only is Sanctuary very well explained, but we also get tons of backstories from both Kenzie and the other prisoners about how life is back on Earth, and what has happened to the world since the alien probes landed. I felt like I knew everything that was going on in the world, and how different countries on our planet have reacted to these events.

The pace of the story was also fantastic. There was lots of action to keep the reader entertained, but there was also a lot of dialogue and character development where there was the perfect balance between action and getting to know the characters. 

Overall, I highly recommend Sanctuary to all YA fans, especially if you love action and horror stories, with a hint of romance and strong female characters. I cannot wait to find out what happens next, and will definitely be picking up more books from this author.

Happy Reading,
Aneta 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. With this amazing meme, you can check out which books I've gotten.

From Raincoast
Black Wings Beating by Alex London
"Epic thrills, heart-punching romance, and a marvel of a hero" --Adam Silvera, New York Times-bestselling author of They Both Die at the End
The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists. 
Brysen strives to be a great falconer—while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She’s nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.
Together the twins must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer. Brysen goes for the boy he loves and the glory he's long craved, and Kylee to atone for her past and to protect her brother's future. But both are hunted by those who seek one thing: power.

In this first young-adult fantasy novel in a trilogy, Alex London launches a soaring saga about the memories that haunt us, the histories that hunt us, and the bonds of blood between us.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Review: Campfire by Shawn Sarles

Publication Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Genera: YA, Horror, Mystery
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: Be careful what stories you tell around the campfire... they just might come true. Fans of Scream and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will devour this chilling horror debut.

While camping in a remote location, Maddie Davenport gathers around the fire with her friends and family to tell scary stories. Caleb, the handsome young guide, shares the local legend of the ferocious Mountain Men who hunt unsuspecting campers and leave their mark by carving grisly antlers into their victims' foreheads.

The next day, the story comes true.

Now Maddie and her family are lost in the deep woods--with no way out--being stalked by their worst nightmares. Because there were other, more horrifying stories told that night--and Maddie's about to find out just how they end...
 

My Rating
4/5 stars

My Review

Campfire is the perfect summer read, especially if you're in the mood for scary stories.

The summer before Maddie's older brother goes away to college, Maddie and her group of tight relatives and friends embarks on a camping trip into the woods. The best part of the trip is that not only Maddie's best friend is coming, but their guide up the mountain is very handsome. When the group decides to tell harmless scary stories around a campfire, they never expected any of them to start coming true. But when a murder occurs at the campsite, the group knows they need to get out. But who is the murderer? Is it the mountain men from one of the stories, or could it be one of them?

This book was definitely a great read if you love the outdoors, are going out into the woods soon, or if you just love scary stories. Campfire is a fairly quick read, especially since there is tons of action and the story itself has scary stories in it as well, so there is definitely a lot going on in this book that keeps the reader interested.

Maddie is a fantastic main character. She is strong, compassionate and very brave, but the best part is that even she has her flaws, which I actually enjoyed because the choices she makes in the book definitely fit her age and make her feel like a real person rather than the "perfect character."

The setting and world-building of this story were fantastic as well. As someone who loves to be outdoors and go hiking a lot, the author managed to capture the feeling extremely well, and it actually made me want to go hiking as I was reading the book. The imagery of the flora and fauna in the story was perfect.

Overall, while I really liked the story and couldn't find anything I didn't really like about it, it just didn't give me that feeling of "wow this book was amazing," which is why I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5. I will definitely be picking up future novels from this author, and handing this book out to all my friends, especially those that have cabins and go camping a lot.

Happy Reading,
Aneta
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