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,

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,

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genrea: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable. 

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Review: My Plain Jane

Series: My Lady Janies #2
Publication Date: June 26th, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genera: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

My Rating
5/5 stars

My Review
Is it a Retelling? Is it fantasy? Is it a comedy? My Plain Jane is all of those combined. It is the perfect combination of an old story, mixed with humour and a bit of paranormal activity to make it into a wonderful story, perfect for all readers.

Jane Eyre can see ghosts, in fact her best friend is a ghost. When Jane runs into Mr. Alexander Blackwood, a member of the Society for the Relocation of Wayward Spirits, Blackwood can tell that Jane can see ghosts, and will do whatever it takes to recruit Jane. Jane wants nothing more than leave her school, but her love for ghosts and her friendship with them prevents her from joining the society, so when an opportunity presents itself for Jane to be a governess at Thornfield Hall, Jane jumps at the opportunity and leaves. But the ghostly world is stirring, and members of the society have been disappearing, Jane Eyre might just be the only hope for the relocation of spirits.

Just like the first book, I absolutely loved this book from beginning to end. The comedic writing, the retelling of a classic story, and making it even more entertaining by adding the supernatural. There was honestly nothing I didn't like about the story.

By far, my favourite character was Miss Charlotte Bronte, a young aspiring writer who jumps at the opportunity for adventure. I loved reading from her point of view just because she was so smart and caring, and her character development was absolutely fantastic throughout the novel. I loved watching her grow and develop feelings for Mr. Blackwood, as well as continue working on her novel and reach her achievements. 

Jane was also a fantastic character, although I didn't enjoy her point of view as much as I did Charlotte's. Jane is a very kind and reserved woman, and while I loved reading about how she steps out of her comfort zone and grows into a strong woman, there were also some parts of her story that were a lot slower than the stories of other characters. Her character development was really good at the end, but it took her a long time to get there.

I absolutely loved the setting and the plot of the story. I'm a huge fan of victorian era London, plus all the descriptions the authors provided created a beautiful scene that I absolutely adored. The plot and pace of the story were perfect as well. The story had just enough action to keep the reader interested, but not too much action as to provide enough character development. Everything built up very nicely for the ending, and the few chapters after the climax of the story explained all my questions regarding what happens to the beloved characters.

Even though this is the second book in a series, you do not have to read My Lady Jane before you read this book, they are two separate books. You also don't have to read Jane Eyre before reading this story, as the authors explain everything to you very clearly. 

Overall, I adore this series and this book was just as good as the first one in the series. I loved everything about it. I cannot wait to continue this series in the future.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Review: You May Now Kill the Bride by R. L. Stine

Series: Return to Fear Street #1
Publication Date: July 24th 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genera: YA, Horror, Thriller
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: NEW Fear Street stories with a retro look, perfect for fans of Stranger Things!

Two sisters, divided by time. Each with a terrible resentment she can barely contain.

Two Fear family weddings, decades apart... Each bride will find that the ancient curse that haunts the Fears LIVES ON. It feeds off the evil that courses through their blood. It takes its toll in unexpected ways, and allows dark history to repeat itself.

In this all-new Fear Street story, family ties bind sisters together—till DEATH do they part.

My Rating
4/5 stars

My Review
There is nothing better to read during a thunderstorm than a R. L. Stine novel, filled with horror, drama, and a family tragedy. I absolutely adored You May Now Kill the Bride, and cannot wait to read more from this series.

The worst thing a sister can do to another, is steal her boyfriend. Set in 1923, Rebecca steal's her little sisters boyfriend Peter, Ruth-Ann can't help but engage her time in the dark arts and begin practicing magic. Ruth-Ann swore that her sister will never get married to Peter, but on their wedding day a tragedy strikes that brings a new curse on the Fear family and the place the wedding takes place. Fast forward to current time, Marissa Fear is getting married in the exact same place the tragic wedding of 1923 took place. Harmony Fear, Marissa's younger sister wants nothing more than to play a few pranks using her magic to ease the tension of the wedding, but doing a little magic in a cursed place can have repercussions, and when Marissa goes missing on her wedding day, Harmony must find her and stop the curse from taking another life.

I honestly think this book was really well written. The part set in 1923 had a great use of old language and the setting felt absolutely perfect. R. L. Stine really made me feel like I was back in the 1920's with the clothes, cars and the choice of slang and behaviour from the characters. I also think it was a great addition to the story, rather than just having someone explain what happened in the past to one of the main characters, we actually got to read through it ourselves.

The present story was also good. I enjoyed this Fear family a little bit more, mostly because we got to see a lot more from the parents, and Harmony actually got along very well with her brother so it wasn't just her against her family like Ruth-Ann was. All of the characters in this book were very different but enjoyable at the same time. Although I will admit that the second part of the book did drag on a little too long for my taste.

Overall, I loved the characters, I loved the change in the timeline and I love the horror and thriller side to the novel. You May Now Kill the Bride is a fairly quick read, but it definitely has enough action to capture your attention. I definitely recommend this novel to all R. L. Stine fans and/or fans of mystery/thriller novels.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Mid-Year Audiobook Challenge Check-in

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my blog. 
One of the challenges I've signed up for this year, was the Audiobook Challenge. This challenge is hosted by the lovely Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Hot Listens. The objective of this challenge is to listen to as many audiobooks as you can throughout the year of 2018.

I believe this is my second or third year doing this challenge, as I've started listening to a lot more audiobooks recently (gotta love that commute to university), so to keep my on track, I've pledged to listen to 15-20 audiobooks, which enters me in the Socially Awkward (Don't talk to me) level.

Here is what I've listened to so far:
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
The Gauntlet by Megan Shepherd
Currently listening to: Sightwitch by Susan Dennard 

Not too bad. I'm 9.5/15 so I'm a little past the half-way point. Which is perfect for me because these long summer nights make me want to spend more time outside.

Thanks for checking this post out, and wish me luck with the second half of the challenge.

Waiting on Wednesday: Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
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.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Review: Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga

Publication Date: July 3rd, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genera: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that.

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.

My Rating
4/5 stars

My Review

Kiss of the Royal did not turn out at all like I expected it too. I ended up loving the book and everything about it at the end. I am so glad I picked this one up.

After the death of her last partner, Princess Ivy needs a new one. Her Kiss is the only one that is strong enough to win the war against the Evil Queen once and for all. But the only way is to pair up with Prince Zach, a prince who would rather fight on his own, than be Kissed by Ivy in order to increase his powers and make him strong enough to win the war.

When I first started this book, I wasn't at all into it. I almost gave up reading around 10% in because I wasn't a huge fan of the whole "kiss" gives power idea, and I also thought that Ivy wasn't a well rounded character, but I decided to read a little bit more and I am so glad I did, because by the end I absolutely loved the book. 

At first, I thought that Ivy was a little bit over confident and arrogant. She didn't seem like a character I would like at all, but after a few chapters you find out why she acts the way she acts, and we go deeper into her character and I actually started liking her. Throughout the story, she has a huge character development, and she truly turns into an amazing character that I just couldn't get enough of. She was finally being herself and while she was still the strong and confident woman, she wasn't as cocky and arrogant anymore. Ivy is just a great character overall.

I had a little bit of an issue with the story at first as well. The royals don't believe in love, their sole purpose is to fight in the war, the girls using kisses to give strength to the boys so they can go out and kill the monsters. And when they reach an older age or can't find another parter, their only purpose is to produce more heirs to keep the bloodline going. Clearly, I'm not a huge fan of that type of story, but eventually Ivy and Zach go off on an adventure and Ivy ends up learning a lot from Zach and does change her view point. So even though the story seems bad and sexist at first, it really takes on a new direction once Ivy and Zach go on their quest. So if you're like me and this is the reason why you stopped reading, then I'd recommend you keep reading a little bit more until you hit the part I'm talking about, because the book does get tremendously better.

I think Lindsey Duga did an amazing job with the plot and the world building of the story. The world that she created was very creative and entertaining, but it also felt very realistic. There were many different settings that the characters got to explore and I absolutely loved exploring them as well, the descriptions were perfect. The pace of the story was also great, there was enough action to keep the story interesting, but not too much where it got boring. This story had the perfect balance of everything, so overall the writing was amazing.

I definitely recommend this book to all the YA and Fantasy fans. If you don't like the beginning, please keep reading because this book does get a lot better. I definitely can't wait to see what Lindsey Duga comes up with next.

Happy Reading,
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