Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh Review

Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Format: E-book
Page Count: 416 pages
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1


Synopsis:

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.


Review:

Shahrzad is out for revenge, but boy oh boy, it’s flipped upside down. This book was inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, but personally, I feel it’s more than a simple retelling.

The boy-king, Khalid, marries every night and kills them the next morning. The main character, Shahrzad, volunteers to be the King’s next bride after her best friend, and many other girls were murdered. So essentially, she marries him and vows to take revenge by killing him. To insure her survival, she first convinces 

Khalid to let her live until she finishes telling her stories (A Thousand and One Nights).
This is what happens at the very start, but after a few chapters, you start to realize that this book is way more complex.  

This story is in third person, so we get to see characters other than Shazi like, Khlaid, her father, and her childhood lover, Tariq. So it’s not just Shazi’s story but many other subplots and hopefully it will be issued in the next book.

The thing I loved the most about this book was how well the two main characters were developed. Not once was I annoyed or want to skim over the pages.

I loved how much Shazi’s and Khlaid’s relationship has grown and developed. I will say in the beginning, it seemed a little cringe worthy when she starts to grow some interest to him but overall it was really good and I now have some sort of understanding of Khlaid.

Okay, that ending. All I have to say is, I need the sequel like ASAP!  I very much enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it!

Rating:

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff Review

Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers/
Listening Libary
Format: Hardcover/Audiobook
Page Count: 599 pages/
11 hrs and 41 mins 
Series: The Illuminae Files #1

Synopsis:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.


Review: 

You guys have no idea how much I recommend listening to the audiobook while reading the physical book.

This book is told through hacked documents like interviews, instant messages, emails, etc., and listening it makes this ride so much better. This book itself is really complex and to be honest, I don’t think I could get a hang of the format if I didn’t have the audiobook with me.

This audiobook SLAYS all other audiobooks. This is a fucking production. Not once did this feel like an audiobook. With 20 narrators, many sound effects, space action scenes, and this Ghost ID character voice, IT’S PRACTICLY A SPACE OPERA MOVIE … or like those scripted radio show programs.

I won’t say much because it is hard to break this book down but my favorite character has to be Ezra and the side characters James and well, he’s not really a character per se, but the accented guy who does the surveillance footage summaries. These three characters for me were hilarious because the actors who voiced them really emphasized on some stuff and it really made me laugh out loud.

I will say how this book ended really surprised me. Like I was too invested with the story that I didn’t see the bigger picture so now this makes me want the next book even more and I have way to many questions about what the actual heck just happened.

The only complaint I have about Illuminae is that so much happens in this book. The amount of action this has overwhelmed me. There’s action after action after action. It’s like I couldn’t get a breather and for the people who binge read this, I applaud you. So much was happening and I had to take short breaks in the middle of it to be able to continue. Personally, I’m fine with a bit of action but a lot, not really my cup of tea. So, for y’all out there who loves plenty of action, this book is for you.

Not much to say because this book is very complex but other than for the people who have not read this yet, READ IT WITH AN AUDIOBOOK and for the people who has read it, GET THE AUDIOBOOK WITH THE BOOK WHEN THE SEQUEL IS RELEASED!

Rating:

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas Review

Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 648 pages
Series: Throne of Glass #4

Synopsis:


The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Review (Non Spoilers & Spoilers):

When I say this book is everything, this book is EVERYTHING! For the people who still haven't read this yet, what are you doing?!

At the very end of Heir of Fire, Celaena comes to terms with being Aelin, who is the heir of Terrasen and also a “fire-breathing bitch-queen”.

When comparing this book to the first two, it’s like as if it’s not even the same plot. It seems like it’s a whole different story and makes the first two like what was the whole point of it. Don’t get me wrong, the first two are very important because it’s the growth of Celaena, but to see it grow to something that I could never predicted is just mind-blowing.

This book did have some controversies because of the character development. I won’t go through that much detail about it in this section but I will in the spoilers section. The character development in this was way off to one character specifically and for me, it didn’t bother me as much as it did for other people. I could look past it and it’s undeniable, even with the minor issue, that this book is amazing.

While reading this book, I did get confused with some of the storylines because I have not read the prequel. Even after reading it, I still regret it so before going into this, I HIGHLY recommend reading The Assassin’s Blade before Queen of Shadows. It’s not necessary but I feel it would’ve enhance the experience.

This book overall satisfied me so much. There’s two books left in the series and I don’t even know what to imagine next. Literally, the plot could go anywhere and I have so many theories but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to guess it right.

HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend reading this series and book!



Now for the spoiler filled discussion on what I thought (WARNING SPOILER SECTION):

Okay, sorry Chaolena shippers but I have to say it: the Chaolena ship is TITANIC. IT SANK, IT’S DEAD, IT’S GONE. SORRY. I was a hardcore Team Chaolena in book 1 and 2, but book 3 and 4 happened. From the first reunion of Chaol and Aelin, there was so much hate. Chaol disliked Aelin and Aelin disliked Chaol. Like what happened to being, “I will always pick you.” YOU ALL THOUGHT. I even thought it was true too. But honestly, I already came to terms with Chaolena sinking during Heir of Fire. It’s just Chaol became so bitter in this book and I had enough with it. Like two books worth of character development, gone. But in the end he’s sort of redeemed himself.

Poor Dorian. Every time there was a Dorian POV, there’s nothing but sympathy for him. He is enslaved in his own body and is possessed by a Valg Prince and it’s just very sad but eventually he is saved and is crowned King of Adarian. For Celorian shippers, I mean, it’d not to the point where it’s like Chaolena –dead. I think, especially like near the end with Manon, there could be a hinted romance later on? Manon really needs someone to love her because under all the bitchy qualities that she has, I really feel she could be redeemed.

In the beginning, I was iffy about Lysandra but as the book progressed, I really, really like her and she turned out to be really cool. When Lysandra was about to kill Arobynn, I was about to die. This scene for me, I thought it felt too easy. Like Lysandra is about to kill the king of freaking assassins, like there’s no way she’s coming out alive, BUT SHE DID! Then later, Rowan reveals to everyone that Lysandra is a shapeshifter which made her even more awesome.

I was already on board with Rowaelin from the previous book, but this book, guys, I ship them so hardcore. Every scene with Rowan and Aelin, I kept rereading because I wanted to savior every bit of their relationship. Aelin will forever be my favorite character but ever since Rowan was introduced, he became a close second. There’s no questions on where Aelin’s and Rowan’s relationship stands and hopefully Rowan and Aelin is endgame.

Like I said, I have no idea what will happen in the next book and I am very anxious to see how everything will be played out.

Rating:

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins Review

Expected Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: ARC
Page Count: 416 pages
Series: The Great Hunt #1


Synopsis:

Kill the beast. Win the girl.

A strange beast stirs fear in the kingdom of Lochlanach, terrorizing towns with its brutality and hunger. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom though it pains her to imagine marrying a stranger. It would be foolish to set her sights on any particular man in the great hunt, but when a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention, there’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not keen on marriage. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast and protecting his family—yet Princess Aerity continues to challenge his notions with her unpredictability and charm. But as past secrets collide with present desires, dire choices threaten everything Paxton holds dear.


Review:

I really wanted to love this book, I really do. The synopsis itself was something up my ally, but the story wasn’t what I expected or how I wanted things to turn out.

The Great Hunt is a retelling of The Singing Bone. Personally, I haven't read The Singing Bone or know anything about it so I went in blindly.

It follows multiple characters but the main ones are Aerity and Paxton. Aerity is a princess while Paxton is a hunter. In the kingdom of Lochlanach, there’s this mysterious beast that’s terrorizing the lands. With all the failed attempts to kill the beast, the king issues a proclamation - the winner gets to marry Princess Aerity.

So what do you expect after a proclamation like that? Hundreds of hunters appear to hunt the beast and try to win the hand of Aerity… except for Paxton. Paxton doesn’t care about the marriage. His main focus is to slay the beast and protect his family.

With Paxton’s mysterious persona, Aerity is intrigued from the moment she laid eyes on him. The relationship between these two is quite dull. Paxton attitude towards Aerity from the start was cold and throughout, there wasn’t much romance. A few scenes here and there, but not a lot.

The deal breaker for me was the story itself. The book in general is beautifully crafted with multiple points of views and different story lines to keep the reader entertained. It’s just not what I wanted and the ending wasn't my favorite.

It has a little romance, action, and fantasy, but this book wasn’t my “cup of tea” but I will read the sequel because I’m not fully satisfied yet but I have hope for this series.

ARC provided by Edelweiss and HarperTeen

Rating:

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas Review

Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 562 pages
Series: Throne of Glass #3


Synopsis:

She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth...a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.



Review (Non Spoilers & Spoilers):

This was definitely a step up from Crown of Midnight in my opinion. We get to see new characters, past characters, and so much character development for Celaena.

It still has the multiple POVs of Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian but the major addition I’d say is Manon. Manon is an ironteeth witch and overall I’m iffy about her, like I don’t know what will happen with her character. I certainly don’t like her in this book but we’ll see. Other new character additions are Aedion, Sorscha, Maeve, Rowan, etc.

One character I want to highlight is Rowan. Damn. What can I say about him? Rowan is a fae prince and a warrior. At first, my reaction towards him was dislike because he can be cold-hearted and an asshole but when I continued through the book, he became one of my favorite characters in the series and I come to realize he’s an amazing character.

The relationship between Celaena and Rowan is so great. Rowan challenges Celaena to grow mentally and physically with their trainings and helping her after them. They both have terrible back-stories and it makes them relate to each other which makes their friendship so heartfelt and they both can really connect.

Again, not much to say without any spoilers other than HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING THIS SERIES!



Now for the discussion… (WARNING, SPOILER SECTION):

When I say Celaena’s relationship with Rowan is great, I mean it’s so great. After the first couple hundreds of pages of them fighting and arguing, to me, I start to see how well they work together. After the whole “burning” thing from Celaena and having Rowan taking care of her and having her sleep in his room, it made me love these characters together so much more. Rowaelin is perfect for each other like I mean, come on now. Ice/wind and fire?! THEY WERE BASICALLY MADE FOR EACH OTHER. It made me so happy when they realized they were carranams, which I feel is the equivalent to a parabatai from the Shadowhunting world. Like I feel Sarah J. Maass could not have done it better.

I’m not gonna lie, with Dorian in the first two books, I just though he’s just there like I never really bothered but this book, he’s just a lost and abandoned puppy. Then I felt the most sympathetic was when Sorscha died. Like from there on, I just felt really bad for Dorian. Like his life is really depressing.

Ah, the ending. This to me was like a parallel to Crown of Midnight. In CoM, Chaol and Celaena part and now Celaena and Rowan, BUT I feel from the direction this going, it’s going to be so badass because Celaena comes to terms with being Aelin and it’s just…great. Like not much to say other than endless praises for this series.

Rating:

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas Review

Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 418 pages
Series: Throne of Glass #2


Synopsis:

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.


Review:

I didn’t like Crown of Midnight as much like the first book. When I first picked it up, I was kind of intimidated by it and I did not want to read it but eventually I got through it. Then the second time I read this before Heir of Fire, I enjoyed it more.

I didn’t write that many notes for the non-spoilers people because I just wanted to read it and basically finish it. All I have to say is go read it and continue reading this series.

The story line is progressing and I know this book is headed somewhere epic with all the twists and turns this book reveals.

Rating:

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Forget Me by K.A. Harrington Review

Publication Date: August 7, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Format: E-book
Page Count: 288 pages
Source: Borrowed

Synopsis:


On the three-month anniversary of her boyfriend Flynn’s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to FriendShare to get some closure—but she’s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as "Evan Murphy." She’s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Only this boy is very much alive.

Digging through layers of secrets and lies, Morgan is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her boyfriend, her town, and even her parents' involvement in this massive web of lies.

Review:

To be honest here, I REALLY should've saw that ending coming but I don't know... things happen.

What really made this book intriguing for me was the synopsis. It's been three months since Morgan's boyfriend Flynn died. When she uploads a picture of him it instead pop up Evan Murphy who looks exactly like Flynn except this is not Flynn.

When she meets Evan, everything starts crumbling in down. There's so many secrets and lies Flynn told her and she doesn't even know anything about him anymore. Then the further she digs, somehow her family is involved with something, the town, and to be honest, BASICALLY EVERYONE!

This was such a good read and I'm very surprised at the outcome on how was involved and how much. The thing I loved the most about his was Evan. Evan and Morgan never met before but how fast they became friends and how much Evan keeps helping Morgan made my heart just gush over him. He was really supportive about this.

This was a fast read and very interesting. It was a good YA mystery story.

Rating:

New Year, New ... (Update #12)

Hello, it's me.

Well it's been awhile since I posted. To sum everything up, 2015 was a bust. I barely read anything and I didn't review any books. I've been busy with school work and I couldn't fit reading into my schedule.

Back in November of 2014, I decided to go on a semi-hiatus. I never thought it'd go on for so long, but hopefully now that I've gotten used to the semester, hopefully I have time to read and review books again.

This year, I do plan on reading 50 books and something I'm deciding to change on how I review books is go more into a "book talk" type of thing. Instead of me giving you like an overall feel and 'review' of the book, I will be discussing more in depth about it. Basically, in some books, I'll do a non-spoiler and a spoiler review together in one post. I think this will be easier for me because with normal reviews, it's hard for me to discuss it because what I mostly feel about the book has spoilers and therefore, it's harder for me to write the review. This WON'T  happen in every review, but it will happen in some.

For some reason, I wrote a review on one of the books I read in 2014 and I never posted it?! So that will definitely be up in a few days. Also, what I have in stored is 3 book reviews. I haven't written it yet but there will be FOR SURE 3 book reviews very soon.

I am taking this slow but I will try my best to update this blog.

Jessie x