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These Broken Stars
These Broken Stars
by Meagan Spooner
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.45
84 used & new from $1.42

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for fans of Across the Universe by Beth Revis!, November 30, 2014
This review is from: These Broken Stars (Paperback)
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner was such a wild ride. The authors painted an incredible scene on board the Icarus (aptly named) and a vivid, terrifying new planet that seems uninhabited. The level of description the authors used to convey emotions, scenery, action [chaos], and terror was astounding. I was hooked by the first chapter, absorbed by the second, and enraptured throughout the rest of the book.

The main characters could not be more different in their background, upbringing, social class, and personalities. I loved getting to know Lilac and Tarver. The way their relationship develops is tumultuous and wonderful to watch.

The suspense and roller-coaster moments in this story was almost non-stop. Many times throughout the story, I had to remind myself that I was reading sci-fi and not a ghost story! The storyline is haunting and wonderfully creepy…and the ending is totally worth the wild ride! Who is the “bad guy” here? Do Tarver and Lilac end up being able to get along and survive? Do they ever get home? Why was this planet created, but never colonized? So many questions were running through my head while I was reading.

I highly recommend this story to anyone who loved Beth Revis’s Across the Universe. (Not to mention it made me want to go watch Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century…Don’t judge!)


Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles)
Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles)
by Lauren DeStefano
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.70
100 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the next book!, November 30, 2014
Perfect Ruin wasn’t what I was expecting and I definitely wasn’t sure about starting a new utopian/dystopian on audiobook. Sometimes I have a problem with staying tuned-in to an audiobook, especially when it is a new series in a new world. Details get missed, world-building gets lost in trying to focus on the characters and storyline.

With that said, Lauren DeStefano did an incredible job with her beautiful writing, dialogue, and lovely characters. The narrator was an added bonus. Having a soft-spoken Morgan and strong, but gentle Basil really made this audiobook a treat for me.

I think my favorite part of this story was how I was constantly trying to guess what would happen next and was surprised in the best ways. I won’t go on and on about this book because I truly think it can speak for itself, but I would say if you’re looking for a new series to get sucked into…one that is fantastical, full of twists, and has truly endearing characters…this is the book to grab next. DeStefano never disappoints with her gorgeous imagery and innovative premises! I can’t wait for Burning Kingdoms!!!


Silver Shadows: A Bloodlines Novel
Silver Shadows: A Bloodlines Novel
by Richelle Mead
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.01
95 used & new from $0.95

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This should have been a novella…Bloodlines #4.5. Not Bloodlines #5., September 12, 2014
First, let me tell you that I have loved Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy and Bloodlines books and that this book felt like a total cop out and waste of reading time. I pre-ordered this book and it was shipped to my house in Tennessee after we moved to Texas…and I begged the buyer of our old house to send it to me in Texas. I was so anxious to read it! I went through a lot of trouble to get this book into my hands and I swear…I have never been more disappointed in an author whose work I truly adore.

BEWARE: SPOILERS FOR SILVER SHADOWS

I’M WARNING YOU…

Here goes:

1) Sydney has been captured and is in re-education. Torture ensues.
2) Adrian is drunk and incredibly depressed because of spirit. Tries to get in touch with Sydney via dream walking but can’t because he’s either trashed or she’s gassed to sleep in the Alchemist facility.
3) Marcus helps Adrian form a plan. He finally reaches Sydney in dream. Sydney makes alliances at re-education center.
4) Marcus & Adrian break Sydney & other Alchemists out.
5) Sydney and Adrian decide to take off on their own. Get married in Vegas so that Adrian can get sanctuary for Sydney at Court from Lissa.
6) None of this really goes according to plan. Lissa eventually grants her asylum. Sydney’s family is still crazy.
7) Jailbait goes missing! OH MY GOODNESS. NO PROOF OF LIVING DRAGOMIR HEIR. *insert everyone freaking out*

To be continued in the next book…I can only assume.

Seriously, that’s all you need to know. It was a circus of a book and I am obviously very frustrated with such LONG portions of this book including drunk Adrian and Sydney doing the same thing in re-education. *Sigh*

Bottom Line: This should have been a novella…Bloodlines #4.5. Not Bloodlines #5.


Great
Great
by Sara Benincasa
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.77
48 used & new from $8.22

4.0 out of 5 stars Fans of The Great Gatsby should pick this one up!, August 27, 2014
This review is from: Great (Hardcover)
While a little over the top with brand names of various shoes, clothes, and bags – I thought Great by Sara Benincasa was a good, modern, and faithful retelling of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Maybe this book resonated with me because I started reading it on my way back from a vacation in the Hamptons. The descriptions and images really clicked with me since I had just been there myself and I could really immerse myself into the story. But even for readers who weren’t just coming back from the actual setting or who have never even been to the Hamptons, I think the story will come alive. There is minimal use of dialogue in the book, which gave more room for descriptions. And it gave the main character more time to talk about the other characters.

And she does give her thoughts on the other characters – a lot. But that’s just it, isn’t it? Her thoughts and opinions on these other people, who are complicated. I kept trying to look at them from outside of Naomi’s perspective – but it was hard! There were characters like I liked, characters that I disliked, and characters that I just felt bad for. And I really enjoyed seeing how all these different threads were connected to Naomi’s life – just a reminder that you never know how much someone has going on in his/her life.


The Last Best Kiss
The Last Best Kiss
by Claire LaZebnik
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.99
58 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Fans of Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series should pick up this book, for sure!, August 20, 2014
This review is from: The Last Best Kiss (Paperback)
This book surprised me with its level of – readability. I went into this thinking that it would be just an “okay” read, but was pleasantly surprised when I found myself reading page after page with no intention of stopping anytime soon. Also, it’s really tough to do retelling but to do a good retelling and of a Jane Austen novel, no less – hats off to Claire LaZebnik.

Though some parts of the book were almost unrealistic (who has parents that let them go to a Coachella-type concert in high school, and ovenight!) and some parts were just plain annoying – it was more some (one) of the characters that annoyed me more than the others. Despite that, and even despite the drug use, I found that I enjoyed reading The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZenik.

Fans of Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series should pick up this book, for sure!


Dissonance
Dissonance
by Erica O'Rourke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.77
112 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars I doubt I’ll be reading the next installment in this series., August 7, 2014
This review is from: Dissonance (Hardcover)
I really wanted to like Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke…I swear it. The concept was unique and interesting for someone who likes science (especially theoretical physics). My husband and I actually stayed up super late discussing string theory and string harmonics when I first started reading it.

However, my issues with this book are the characters: whiny, needy, and clingy…with almost zero character development over the course of the book, the unnecessary length and dragging on of the storyline, and my utter confusion at the ending (Del’s anger at a certain character is just…weird & not very well explained, especially since they should technically be on the same side). The romantic aspect of this story was so off-putting that I just couldn’t wait to get to the end. Del was incredibly weird and clingy with her crush that quickly turned into self-sacrificing love…say what?? Yeah, that happened…she was basically a creepy stalker to me.

This book was a major disappointment and had a lot of potential. I doubt I’ll be reading the next installment in this series.


Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks)
Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks)
by Miranda Kenneally
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.56
93 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Miranda Kenneally’s writing keeps me so engaged and connected as a reader., August 1, 2014
I can’t believe I waited so long to read Racing Savannah!

I really enjoyed Catching Jordan and though I had my issues with Stealing Parker (pervy teacher!), I still enjoyed it. I did pass over the third book in the Hundred Oaks series, but found that not reading Things I Can’t Forget didn’t impact my ability to read (and enjoy!) Racing Savannah. I think some very vague things were mentioned, but nothing that was a spoiler so if I want to go back and read the third book, I can! Warning though: there are definite spoilers for the first two books so just beware if you’re going to start the series here!

The thing that I really enjoy about this book series is how much I find that I can relate to the main characters! I know, right? Like, how could I possible relate to a female horse jockey?! But, I mean it in the, I relate to you as a person – I used to be a teenage girl myself!

Miranda Kenneally’s writing keeps me so engaged and connected as a reader. The Hundred Oaks books aren’t cookie cutter books with stereotype characters – they’re realistic fiction – nothing is a perfect happy ending.

I love love love this series and can’t wait for more! Breathe, Annie, Breathe (the 5th in this series!) is already out so I definitely plan to read it soon!


Exile (Exile Series)
Exile (Exile Series)
by Kevin Emerson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.94
66 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Exile by Kevin Emerson is such a fun read and I stayed up late to finish it!, July 31, 2014
This review is from: Exile (Exile Series) (Hardcover)
Okay, let’s get this out in the open: I am not musically inclined at all.

I’m extremely tone-deaf (just ask my mom, who has perfect pitch), I can’t read music, and the only claim to fame on my musical resume is that I played violin in 5th grade. And yet, I still love music – I love to listen to music and sing along – tap my feet. And I think that’s why I enjoyed Exile so much. It was written in a way that even those tone-deaf off-key people like myself could enjoy and appreciate the music. And I could tell that it was written by someone who loves music in a way that I will never understand but can still appreciate and THAT is cool. (Example: there is a scene where the band is riding in the car and yelling out notes with the lyrics of the song. It was such a fun scene to put myself into even though I know that I have no idea what E-sharp sounds like.)

Plus it was really cool to see things from the “industry” side; it is a business afterall. That, combined with a main character that I really felt akin to, made this book so much fun to read. I enjoyed how the plot combined the band’s progress, with the relationship of Caleb and Summer, and this really cool mystery that I won’t spoil here.

Side note: I love when male authors write a girl main character. It’s something that definitely takes guts and I’m guessing lots of research into the female psyche (eep!).

Exile by Kevin Emerson is such a fun read and I stayed up late to finish it!


Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky Trilogy)
Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky Trilogy)
by Veronica Rossi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.59
61 used & new from $2.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is unique and incredibly well thought out, July 24, 2014
Veronica Rossi’s final book in the Under the Never Sky trilogy really hit the mark.

Spoilers ahead!

Into the Still Blue picks up right where the second book left off. Aria has taken off with Roar to go to the Horns’ tribe/township to get Liv back (Perry’s sister that was promised to the Horns’ ruthless Blood King, Sable). Things don’t go as planned and Perry is pretty upset with Aria when they return for taking off without telling him.

Roar and Perry are on the rocks for most of the book…mainly because of what happens at Sable’s and for letting Aria go with him on the mission to get Liv. The relationships between the various characters change a lot during the book, but with the amount of character development that Rossi nurtures, it feels organic. Soren, Roar, Aria, Perry, Cinder, and even Brooke, grew up and matured because they were needed by those around them. I really loved how Aria and Perry’s relationship bloomed. It was heartwarming and comforting when there were tense and stressful moments.

The pacing of the storyline was really well done, I can freely admit. Each of the books got the characters to a certain stage in their quest for the Still Blue and this final book’s pace was well executed. There are plenty of twists and turns that will keep you on your toes and your heart racing…especially since Sable is always a few steps ahead, cold and calculating.

I actually really enjoyed the ending of the book/trilogy, even though some parts were sad and others triumphant. Everything was wrapped up nicely, but there is still plenty on which to ponder. I would love to see short stories about how the settlement in the Still Blue progresses or how big the Still Blue really is. Are there more survivors that made it there? If it is a viable landscape, are there others they might run into?

I have always said that I love the overall concept for the entire series. It is unique and incredibly well thought out.

One final note: I love Roar!:)


Midnight Thief, Book 1 Midnight Thief
Midnight Thief, Book 1 Midnight Thief
by Livia Blackburne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.76
62 used & new from $2.09

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend this well-written novel to high fantasy YA lovers who are looking for a great story with a touch of romance, July 23, 2014
Livia Blackburn’s debut novel, Midnight Thief, had me hooked from the first few sentences. I have played the video game Fable II & III and all I could picture was that was how Forge (the city where the story is set) looked.

I am so thrilled to find a fantasy whose author did such a good job with world-building, character development, storyline, and pacing. The plot was exciting and unexpected with pacing done so well that I didn’t feel myself thinking, “Okay, c’mon…move along”…I wasn’t skipping paragraphs to get to the next exciting part. That is actually really rare for me to find in a book.

Blackburn’s premise of the story was something I wasn’t expecting. I purposely did not read the synopsis for the book because I wanted to make the author work for my reaction throughout. I wasn’t expecting a second POV and was thrilled to see that it took several chapters to introduce them. Kyra, one of our main characters, is the POV we are privy to for the first part of the book…then suddenly, once we’ve been given enough information about her, we are presented with a secondary MC! The two come from two very different worlds and meet quite unexpectedly.

Assassins, thieves, Demon hunters, demon cats, & knights, oh my! The many characters are all so very different from each other, and multi-faceted to boot. Kyra’s background story is shrouded in mystery. And as the book progresses, we are given a glimpse but not the whole story of how she came to be in Forge. The reader and Kyra are both kept in the dark about her origin which makes for many interesting surprises.

Ah, romance. Livia Blackburn has done a fantastic job of avoiding a love triangle and giving us just the possibility of romance. The romance in this book is not forced or rushed, which is a sweet relief from many YA novels I have read in the past. The budding romance between Kyra and another character is done sweetly and without haste, which makes the anticipation of the next installment in this series even better.

In Midnight Thief, readers can expect to find interesting characters, betrayal, redemption, and character development that keep the storyline sprinkled with attention grabbing moments and action-filled scenes. Some of the aspects of this story that I was most pleased with include:

Character descriptions are not overly done, so as to allow our imagination to do the rest

Imagery and emotions are palpable and beautifully done

The story isn’t tied up in a pretty bow at the end…there are still so many unanswered questions

There is just enough romance without making it an overbearing part of a much more interesting story

I highly recommend this well-written novel to high fantasy YA lovers who are looking for a great story with a touch of romance.


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