Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21518344-unhooked
Unhooked
by Lisa Maxwell
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Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 342
ISBN: 9781481432047
Genre: Young Adult | Retelling | Fantasy
Source: Edelweiss

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For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?
(Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I know I've mentioned this before, but I absolutely love fairytale retellings!! I've read quite a few of them lately and I have loved each of them, and Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell is no exception!! This Peter Pan retelling had me hooked, and I loved every minute of it!

The main character in the story is Gwen. Gwen has never had much of a stable life. Her mom has moved her from place to place in attempt to avoid the 'monsters' that always seem to be chasing after them. After being kidnapped on the first night in her newest home, Gwen awakes to find herself in on a ship, right in the middle of Neverland. But this is not the Neverland that she knows from the stories. It's vicious and dangerous and nothing at all what it seems.

The characters in the book are great! A few we know from the original Peter Pan tale, but they are completely different than what you'd expect. The characters that I thought would be evil, weren't. And the ones that I thought would be the good guys, weren't. It was a total role reversal, and I loved it! (And I am completely in love with one of these characters now as well. I'm not saying who, just read the book and you'll know who!!) Gwen was a really great main character as well. I love that she was such a strong character, despite everything that she'd been through.

The storyline for the book felt familiar, but so very unique as well. I loved this, as it made me feel nostalgic in a way that only a few retellings have made me feel so far. This book is action packed and very fast paced. I was totally consumed once I started flying through the pages. I totally didn't want this book to end, but unfortunately it did, and that made me very sad. But I still loved it anyway!

Overall; If you're a fan of fairytale retellings, especially those about Peter Pan, you're definitely going to want to check out Unhooked!! I really enjoyed this book so much more than I expected to, and I really hope Lisa Maxwell decides to write more retellings in the future. Add the book to your TBR, and read it as soon as possible. I know you'll love it!


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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25577715-reign-of-shadows
Reign of Shadows
(Reign of Shadows #1)
by Sophie Jordan
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Publication Date: February 9th 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780062377647
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Edelweiss

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Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I never pass up the chance to read something new by one of my favorite authors, and I couldn't wait to finally read Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan!! I've really enjoyed all the books I've read by her so far, and I couldn't wait to see what she had come up with next. I wasn't disappointed!!

Luna has been hidden away, living in a tower every since the night an eclipse shrouded her kingdom in never-ending darkness seventeen years ago. Her family murdered by an evil chancellor, her world terrorized by  dwellers who live in the darkness; her only chance of survival is to stay inside the tower at all times. Then she meets Fowler, a mysterious young man who came out of nowhere, and her world is changed forever.

The main character in the story, Luna, was pretty awesome. Despite being raised in a tower and never seeing anyone other than her caretakers, she's more than capable of taking care of herself, which she proves over and over again as she descends on a journey with the mysterious Fowler. She's such a strong character, and she has such a big heart. I loved her instantly, and I'm curious to see what is going to happen next for her and Fowler on their journey.

The storyline for the book was definitely fascinating! I idea that these people had been  in utter darkness for the past seventeen years was definitely intriguing. There were lots of twists and turns throughout the story, so many that kept me on the edge of my seat, and one near the end that really caught me by surprise.  The book ends with a pretty massive cliffhanger, so I'll be pining away until I can get my hands on its sequel.

Overall; Reign of Shadows was definitely a unique read, and I can't wait for news on the sequel, which will be a must read for me. I'm super curious to see how this is all going to end for Luna and mysterious Fowler.


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Waiting on Wednesday #232 - Nemesis by Anna Banks

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27414431-nemesis
Nemesis
by Anna Banks
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Publication Date: October 4th 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 9781250070173

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27414431-nemesis

Available for Pre-Order:
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The princess didn't expect to fall in love--with her nemesis.

Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king's servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora's gift could save Tarik's kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?

A thrilling futuristic fantasy in which the fate of the world's energy source is in the hands of a prince and princess who are rivals, by the New York Times-bestselling author of the Syrena Legacy. (Goodreads)

First, can I comment on how gorgeous this cover is??
SO GORGEOUS!!
Second, it's Anna Banks, y'all... So you know it's going to be good.
SO GOOD!!
Also, the story sounds awesome. Like REALLY awesome.
I CAN'T WAIT TO CHECK IT OUT!!
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review: Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh

Burning Midnight
by Will McIntosh
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Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780553534108
Genre: Young Adult | Sci-Fi | Fantasy
Source: For Review

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Seventeen-year-old David Sullivan’s life is about to change—all because of one tiny, priceless item found in the murky bottom of a Brooklyn water tower.

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make rent.

No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the more expensive—and the greater the improvement.

When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.

There’s no question the Gold is worth millions, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.
(Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

When I was first approached to review Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh, I was curious. I had no idea what the book was about, but the storyline sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a read.

The main character in the story, Sully, is a dealer of spheres. He once found a rare sphere, one that was worth millions, but he was cheated from his prize by ruthless businessman. Now he sells spheres at a local flea market just to help his mom pay the rent. When he meets Hunter, a girl who has a special ability to find spheres, they come to an agreement to work together, and find a sphere so rare, it will change the world forever.

I thought this book was really unique; I can't really say that I've read much like it before. The idea of there being spheres that could give you abilities and make any changes you'd possibly want is intriguing, although, to be honest, I was suspicious of them to begin with, and for a good reason! I was curious enough to keep turning the pages, but  while it was interesting, it was also a little slow paced. The first half of the book is a lot of information to take in, while the last three-fourths of the book is where the action kicks in, and then it's super intense. The book ends in a good way as well, I was very satisfied with that.

The book has some interesting characters in the story, including the main character, although I never really formed a connection with any of them. Sully did work well with his group of friends for the most part, when they weren't arguing, which seemed to happen a lot, but when they did work together, they made a good team. That's always something.

Overall; Burning Midnight to be an intriguing read. The characters were interesting, and the storyline felt unique. While I didn't love the book, it was a refreshing read, and I'd consider reading more by this author in the future.


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Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21421609-assassin-s-heart
Assassin's Heart
by Sarah Ahiers
Website | Twitter

Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780062363787
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Edelweiss

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In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.
(Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

When I first discovered Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers, I was immediately interested. The book was described as a mix between The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, so I have to admit, I was super curious. While the book was not at all what I expected, I did find it to be an interesting read.

The main character in the story, Lea Saldana, is a clipper, a legal assassin who can kill people for a price. She is a member of one of the nine rival families of assassin's that worship the goddess of death. When she wakes one night to find her family dead and her house engulfed in flames, she immediately knows who is responsible, and she will do anything that she can to get revenge.

Lea was an interesting character. Despite all that she had been through, she was still did what she had to do. Although, she did make quite a few questionable decisions throughout the story that ultimately lead to her getting into trouble, she always found a way out, especially with the help of a new friend she met along the way. I really appreciated her fierceness throughout the story.

There were also some really interesting secondary characters in the story as well. I'm not going to name any names, as I'd rather you read the book and meet them yourself!

The storyline for the book was very interesting, although a bit slow in some parts of the book. There are some parts that are filled with action that will keep you on the edge of your seat as well. The book ended in a way that left me satisfied, but also in a way to where there could totally be a sequel in the future. I'm curious to see if there will be one.

Overall; I thought Assassin's Heart was a very interesting read. It was definitely unique, and I'm curious to see if there will be more to Lea's story in the future.


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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den by Aimee Carter

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22929613-simon-thorn-and-the-wolf-s-den
Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den
(Simon Thorn #1)
by Aimee Carter
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Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781619637047
Genre: Middle Grade | Fantasy
Source: For Review

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A thrilling debut in the tradition of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull about a boy who discovers a secret race of animal shape shifters.

Twelve-year-old Simon Thorn’s life has never been easy or normal, but things like being bullied at school and living in a cramped Manhattan apartment with his Uncle Darrell are nothing compared to his biggest secret: He can talk to animals.

But when his mom is suddenly kidnapped by a herd of rats, Simon finds out that he, his mom, and his uncle are all Animalgams—people born with the ability to change into an animal at will.

In search of his mom, Simon discovers the Animalgam Academy based at the Central Park Zoo. There he learns about the fractured five kingdoms that make up this secret world . . . and realizes he may be the only one who can save it.

This action-packed page-turner is perfect for fans of the Spirit Animals and The School of Good and Evil series.
(Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I am a huge fan of Aimee Carter's, and when I discovered Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den was coming out this year, I knew I would have to check it out. I was a big fan of her Goddess Test & Blackcoat Rebellion series, and I was curious to see what she could do with a middle grade novel. This book was a really fun read!

Simon Thorn was an interesting main character. I envied him for his almost fearlessness at times, wanting to save everyone, even when it drove me a little crazy that he was sometimes rushing into danger, putting himself and everyone around him at risk as well. Typical teenage boy! It was hard not to sympathize with him for all that he had been through in his short life, especially when the people he loved the most kept such huge secrets from him all his life. But he was an interesting character, and I'm looking forward to watching him grow more throughout the series.

The storyline for the book was creative and very fast paced. There was really never a dull moment in this book. Something was always happening with Simon, or he was always getting into something, and I was speeding through the pages to find out what was going to happen next. I liked that the book sent out a message about bullying, and I think a lot of kids will be able to relate to Simon because of this. I also loved that he could talk to animals. There's not enough books in the world with talk/shape-shifting animals!

Overall; Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den was a fun, action packed read that touched my heart in a lot of places. I'm really looking forward to continuing the series as it goes along, and I definitely plan to share the books with my son, who I think will really enjoy them as well.



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