Posted in Young Adult

Waiting for Wednesday #4 (8/31/16)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by  Jill from Breaking The Spine that shows the upcoming books that many of us are anticipating! This week, I’m waiting for…


elite

Title: Elite (book 2 in the Hunter series)

Author: Mercedes Lackey

Expected Publication: September 6th 2016

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Goodreads Summary:

Joy wants nothing more than to live and Hunt in Apex City without a target on her back. But a dangerous new mission assigned by her uncle, the city’s Prefect, may make that impossible.

In addition to her new duties as one of the Elite, Joy is covertly running patrols in the abandoned tunnels and storm sewers under Apex Central. With her large pack of magical hounds, she can fight the monsters breaking through the barriers with the strength of three hunters. Her new assignment takes a dark turn when she finds a body in the sewers: a Psimon with no apparent injury or cause of death.

Reporting the incident makes Joy the uncomfortable object of PsiCorp’s scrutiny—the organization appears more interested in keeping her quiet than investigating. With her old enemy Ace still active in Hunts and the appearance of a Folk Mage who seems to have a particular interest in her, Joy realizes that the Apex conspiracy she uncovered before her Elite trials is anything but gone.

As the body count rises, she has no choice but to seek answers. Joy dives into the mysterious bowels of the city, uncovering secrets with far-reaching consequences for PsiCorp… and all of Apex City.

I enjoyed the first book, and can’t wait to see what happens to Joy next!

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Posted in Young Adult

The Crown’s Game Review

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skyeimg_1086

Published: May 17th 2016 by Balzer + Bray

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

“As for whether the magic in The Crown’s Game is real, well . . . that depends. Do you believe in what you cannot see?”

This was on my TBR shelf for a few months, and when I received it in one of my subscription boxes it was time it came off the shelf. This book sadly took me awhile to get into. I couldn’t connect with the characters for the longest time and the plot took awhile to pick up pace.

“Imagine, and it shall be.
There are no limits.⁠⁠⁠⁠”

First, I’ll just say that this book was heavy on romance. There was the cliche of a love triangle, as well as another girl in love with one of our triangle boys. Pasha and Nikolai both are in love with Vika, and Vika thankfully is in “love” with only one of them. As I said the book was heavy in romance, but there wasn’t an actual couple per se. The game kind of came in the middle so they (Vika and Nicolai) didn’t know until basically the very end if their feelings were real towards each other. Also, there didn’t even need to be a love triangle. Pasha didn’t contribute any angst or tension between Vika and Nikolai, it just seemed as if they had this instant connection and only the game stood in their way. Yes, you guessed it instalove, but drawn out instalove. Poor Pasha never stood a chance.

“He smiled sadly. “I was lost from the moment I saw you on Ovchinin Island. It took a long while for me to realize it, but it’s true. I’ve spent my entire life scrambling to fit in and to change myself, Vika, but where I’ve belonged, and who I needed to be, has been right here the whole time. I love you.”

One would think that a book based upon a game to the death that magic would be overflowing and it would be action packed. Alas, that is not the case in this book. Yes, Vika and Nikolai are both enchanters, but they don’t use their magic that much. Or at least not in a way that you expect it. In the game, they each take turns to try to impress the tsar and at first they tried to kill each other. But you know, feelings kind of got in the way of that. So instead they just tried to one up each other and spared their life because they had a magical moment at the masquarade ball. (Que Cinderella moment here).

“She was a diamond in a quarry full of quartz.”

There was one moment in the book that I thought would redeem everything! Without giving anything away, this character could have been a great villain for our two enchanters. But instead the character had a minor role, maybe in the next book they will be utilized more.  Only time will tell.

“And then she let go. For even she knew there was only so much one could do to protect a winter moth drawn to an icy flame.”

 Overall, it was an okay book. I thought it could have been better with maybe another edit or two. It definitely needed more action packed scenes and magic duels! So if light fantasy and romance is your genre of choice, then you’ll definitely enjoy this book!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Posted in Young Adult

Goodreads Monday #4 (8/29/16)

Goodreads Monday is a meme hosted by Page Turner,  and the idea is to post a book that’s on your TBR pile and show it off. This is a great way to show off books I have not yet managed to read!

This week I have chosen:

Eon

Title: Eon

Author: Alison Goodman

Published: August 31st 2010 by Firebird (first published August 1st 2008)

Goodreads Summary:

She has a powerful secret… with deadly consequences.

For years, Eon’s life has been focused on magical study and sword-work, with one goal: that he be chosen as a Dragoneye, an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a twelve-year-old boy. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.

When Eon’s secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic… and her life.

This was a recommendation from a friend about two years ago, and I finally put it on my TBR shelf about two months ago.

Have you read Eon yet? What did you think?

Posted in Subscription Box, Young Adult

Lit-Cube August “I’d Rather Be A Mermaid” Review

Lit-Cube is a monthly subscription box that sends you a book, a wearable, and other little bookish goodies.

The cost: $29.99/month + $4.99 s/h to U.S. and $14.99 s/h to Canada

<–This is what it looks like on the inside, after you first open it! The anticipation is exciting. This months theme was “I’d Rather Be A Mermaid.” I love all things mermaid, so waiting all month for this box was torture!

Check out my other Lit-Cube reviews and book box subscription reviews !

After the theme card, comes the description card of all of the items included in this months box.

Would you rather be a mermaid A witch? A faerie? Or a werewolf? Choose your favorite paranormal story and download samples from The Cotton Candy Quintet! I thought this was a cute way to promote Erin Hayes’ books from The Cotton Candy Quintet.

Another promotional item in the box, is this Updrift coaster. Updrift is the first book in The Mer Chronicles by Erinn Stevens. The coaster is really cute, and after looking it up I found out it is also the cover of the book, so I will definitely have to check it out!

The book this month is Mer-Charmer by Amy Bearce. This is book two in the World of Aluvia series, but it can be read as a standalone, which is great because I haven’t read the first one yet!

Published: May 9th 2016 by Curiosity Quills Press

Goodreads Summary:

Fourteen-year-old Phoebe Quinn is surrounded by magic, but she can’t muster any of her own. Her sister is a fairy keeper. Her best friends are merfolk. And all she does is dishes and housework.

When Phoebe finds out a terrible sea creature is awakening that preys upon the peace-loving merfolk, she becomes determined to help them, even though it means going with Tristan and Mina to their home deep in the sea.

Beneath the waves, Phoebe learns she’s more like her sister than she realized. The merfolk are drawn to her, and she can sense the magic of the sea all around her. Magic is finally at her fingertips, but that’s precisely why the stirring dark power under the waters decides it wants her most of all.

Now she must not only help the peaceful merfolk escape this ancient enemy, she must master her out-of-control powers. If she fails, she will die and darkness will rise and enslave the merfolk once more. But embracing her full power could cost her the very people she loves the most.

The retail value of this book is $16.99, but you can find it on Amazon for $16.14 (at least you get a 5% discount!).

This book has an interesting premise. I have read some really good mermaid books and some that are not so great. I really hope this falls in the first category!

If you haven’t read the first book (Fairy Keeper), like me, Lit-Cube included a free ebook download! If you have Kindle Unlimited you can read it for free, but if you are like me and don’t you can purchase it from Amazon for $4.99. For an ebook that is not a bad price.

This month, we not only received a paperback book and a free ebook, but we also got another paperback book! My TBR list is growing quickly!

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Published: October 1st 2013 by Square Fish (first published September 4th 2012).

Goodreads Summary:

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

This book has some great reviews on Goodreads, and I can’t wait to dive into it! (See what I did there? ;)).

This book has a retail value of $9.99, or you can get the Kindle version for only $7.09 on Amazon.

IMG_0080

Another goody this month, is this Lit-Cube Exclusive Mermaid Travel Cup! It is super adorable, and I love that it is in purple! This travel cup has a retail value of $9.99.

Inside the travel cup was all of these goodies! There was some promotional items for more mermaid books, a signed bookplate from Amy Bearce, a couple of drink packets, and a lip balm.

If you join Poppy Lawless’s newsletter, she will give you a free copy of The Glass Mermaid (book one in The Chancellor Fairy Tales series). All my life is as fragile as glass. What would you sacrifice to save the one you love?

Amy Bearce’s signed bookplate is super adorable. “Everytime you write a review, a mermaid is born!”

This months snackable are Everly Drink Packets! These drink mixes make drinking water every day more enjoyable. “Their drink mixes are natural, sugar free, zero calorie, and very affordable. Great for a hot summer day while reading a book!” We even got a code to try all of the flavors for free! They have a 3-day challenge to kick the soda and sugar out of your diet for only $10, and a box of 30 packets is only $17.50. Since we received two samples, I would guess that the estimated value is $1.17. We even received a pitcher packet, but I couldn’t find that one on their website. I received Peach Mango, Green Tea Passion Fruit, and Strawberry Lemonade to try!

The wearable in the box is the Mermaid Lip-Balm by LippincottSoapCo on Etsy. Their “Mermaid” lip balm smells just like a rainbow snowcone! This is a creamy, scentless balm that stays on for hours. The ingredients in this balm are beeswax, jojoba oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, phthalate-free flavor oil, castor oil, lanolin, and vitamin E. This has a retail value of $4.00, but if your purchase is $50 or more they have a coupon code for 10% off!

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“I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of the depths, and a great fear of shallow living.” Believe it or not, but this is a beach towel! This is the last Lit-Cube exclusive item in this months box with a retail value of $19.95. I love the quote on the towel, but it doesn’t feel like a towel. It seems as if it is more like a blanket, but still cute.

Overall, this box has a value of $66.23, not bad for a $34 subscription box! I think since I have been subscribing, this has been the most highly anticipated box and it did not disappoint! I loved that this one came with more than one book and all of the bookish items were great!

Next months theme is “Haunted Hearts” and it is being guest curated by AG Howard the author of The Architect of Song (which will be the book next month). Everything in the box will be hand picked by Howard, how exciting!

9.Sept_.Announcement-1024x1024

What do you think of this months box?! Do you love mermaids just as much as me? What do you think of next months theme??

Check out my Facebook page and let me know if you have one as well!

Posted in Young Adult

P.S. I Like You Review

IMG_0070P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Published: July 26th 2016 by Point

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Minor spoiler alert (I think)!

Goodreads Summary:

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds thatsomeone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

“You’re my favorite way to pass the time. But time stands still when you’re on my mind.”

This book came in my August Uppercase subscription, and I am so glad that it did! I have been reading a lot of fantasy lately, and it’s nice to mix it up here and there. This was a very cute story about two “anonymous” pen pals trying to pass their time in chemistry class. This book reminded me a lot of A Cinderella Story with Hillary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. The only difference is they wrote e-mails and in this story it’s old fashioned letters stuffed under the desk.

“I’m with you on measuring this week in letters and the two-day drought we are about to experience. If only there was a way to transport letters faster, through some sort of electronic device that codes messages and sends them through the air. But that’s just crazy talk.”

Lily is described as weird, quirky, and kind of hipstery (is that a word? Well it is now). She is a self-taught guitar player who likes to write lyrics, and wants to submit a song to a competition. All throughout the semester, Lily can’t find the words and makes excuses to not share her lyrics with anyone.

Cade is the exact opposite of Lily. He is “mainstream” and very popular at school who also happens to play baseball. From Lily’s pov, we see Cade as a class A jerk, who is always trying to make Lily miserable. They have a hatred for each other that goes back years. When Lily finally explains why she hates him, I just don’t see how one incident could incite such hatred.

“But then I think: my guitar is just a thing. You know? And my brother is a person. A thing is not more important than a person…”

Plot wise this book moved very quickly. There was a lot of highs and lows and for the most part I followed along the emotional rollercoaster with Lily. I got so caught up in the moment, that I found myself smiling when something cute happened and tearing up when Lily starts crying.

This story is nothing if not a walking cliche. Almost every situation was a cliche of some sort, but for the most part it didn’t bother me too much. Let’s see…boy drama? Check. Friend drama? Check. Mean girl trying to ruin main protagonists happiness? Check. Love triangle? More like a brief square that never really amounted to anything, but check.

 

“We don’t need any cutesy traditions. We’re solid you and me.”

West could have ruined this book by having a love triangle be the main focus. Thankfully, it didn’t last long and two of the boys came in and out of the picture fairly quickly. (Whatever happened to the clarinet guy who kicked the rabbit? Two dates and he just disappears for good?) At least with Lucas we know why he is no longer in the picture. The relationship between Lily and Cade progressed naturally, and I just wished that she got over her prejudices earlier so that they could have been a couple more in the book!

Need a quick contemporary read with a sense of humor? Then I suggest picking up this book! Totally worth it.

Posted in Young Adult

Waiting for Wednesday #3

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by  Jill from Breaking The Spine that shows the upcoming books that many of us are anticipating! This week, I’m waiting for…


Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 6.34.33 PM

TitleEmpire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Expected Publication: September 6th 2016

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Goodreads Summary:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

I discovered this series last year, and I have devoured the first three books! I am waiting for the 4th book to come out in paperback so that I can read it, but I am so looking forward to this book coming out! Maas has become one of my favorite authors, and I wish I had started collecting her books all in hardcover so that I don’t have to wait to buy them!

Posted in Subscription Box, Young Adult

This Savage Song Review

IMG_0031This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Published: July 5th 2016 by Greenwillow Books

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

There’s no such thing as safe.

Kate Harker wants to be as ruthless as her father. After five years and six boarding schools, she’s finally going home to prove that she can be.

August Flynn wants to be human. But he isn’t. He’s a monster, one that can steal souls with a song. He’s one of the three most powerful monsters in a city overrun with them. His own father’s secret weapon.

Their city is divided.

Their city is crumbling.

Kate and August are the only two who see both sides, the only two who could do something.

But how do you decide to be a hero or a villain when it’s hard to tell which is which?

“It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he only felt human after doing something monstrous.”

I received this book in one of my YA book box subscriptions, and I am so glad I did! I most likely wouldn’t have stumbled across this one at least for a little while. I highly enjoyed this book and the author was correct when describing this book “Sin City PLUS Romeo and Juliet MINUS romance PLUS monsters.” You definitely got that Sin City vibe minus everything being in black and white with hints of color.

“Monsters, monsters, big and small,
“They’re gonna come and eat you all.
Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw,
Shadow and bone will eat you raw.
Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly,
Smile and bite and drink you dry.
Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,
Sing you a song and steal your soul.
Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They’re gonna come and eat you all!”

August is a monster who wants to be human. Throughout the entire book, we see him struggling with what being a human means and how to not got dark and loose what humanity he has. Probably out of all of the characters, August grew the most and truly realized his purpose in life. Which, I am honestly glad he embraced his true self, hopefully in the second book we will see a little less emo August.

Kate, on the other hand, was a little bit harder to like or even relate to. She is coming off as this strong and independent person who is trying to prove her worth. But all I see is a girl with way too much privilege. The very first act we see from Kate, is her burning down a little chapel, not because she needed to but because she wanted to. She viewed it as the only way to get kicked out and sent back to V-City. Even the cop who escorted her knew she was a privileged kid and only gets away with things because Daddy pays for it. After she finally gets her way, Kate still just does whatever she wants. Nothing has changed just the location. Even throughout the whole book when she is trying to stay alive with August, I felt like Kate never changed. She was a very one dimensional character.

“Even if surviving wasn’t simple, or easy, or fair.
Even if he could never be human.
He wanted the chance to matter.
He wanted to live.”

The plot was very intriguing. Following along with Kate and August, I thought I had it all figured out on who the bad guy was and was totally thrown for a loop. Although, I should have seen it coming I missed it. The plot did start off slow at first, but after awhile it started to pick up and then I couldn’t put the book down until I finished! The whole thing was well written, and very action packed (of course with monsters thrown into the mix, it would be hard not to be!).

I would definitely suggest picking up this book if you have the chance! If you read it already, what did you think of it?

Posted in Young Adult

Goodreads Monday #3 (8/22/16)

Goodreads Monday is a meme hosted by Page Turner,  and the idea is to post a book that’s on your TBR pile and show it off. This is a great way to show off books I have not yet managed to read!

This week I have chosen:

img_1086

Goodreads Summary:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

This book has been on my TBR shelf for a couple of months, and it was in my Best Damn Book Box for June. So after I finish reading my current book, I think I’ll pick this one up next!

Have you read this book yet? What are your opinions on it?