Posted in Young Adult

Vassa in the Night Book Review

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porterimg_1572

Published: September 20th 2017 by Tor Teen

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling away again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair…

I got this in one of my Uppercase subscription boxes a few months ago, and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to finally read it! Although it did take me a few chapters to really get into the book, but once I did I enjoyed it immensely.

You don’t have to be human to be a person. I mean you don’t have to be human to be somebody. I don’t know you that well, but you seem like way more of a somebody than lots of humans I know! Really 

This story is based upon the Russian folklore Vassilissa the Beautiful, and after reading a few chapters I just had to go and brush up on what the folklore was all about. Once I did, I could see a few aspects lining up, and then I just tried to guess what would happen next and I was wrong on every account. This book is strange, and you think it’ll go one way but then the author will take you on a totally different path.

This book had talking wooden dolls (who was very sassy), dancing stores, moving hands, and strange dreams. It is also very dark at moments, sometimes gory, and just the right amount of snark. Sometimes I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Vassa and her situation, and other times I just couldn’t believe she did that to herself.

The book is centered around Vassa going to the convenience store to get light bulbs, only to be framed for stealing by one of the hands. Now she has to survive three nights in the shop to prove her innocence. While there she begins to solve the mystery of why night time seems to last so long, all while trying to keep her head attached to her body. The tasks that Babs puts her through are very ridiculous and for Vassa they all were very overwhelming. She makes friends along the way and they help her through each situation and to come to terms with certain truths she rather keep in the dark about herself.

If you enjoy retellings and weird, whimsical books, then I definitely suggest you check out this book!

Posted in Young Adult

Waiting on Wednesday (4/19/2017)

It’s that time of the week again, another WoW!!! I know I’ve been a little MIA lately, and I keep saying that I’ll do better but honestly I probably won’t be consistent again until after I finish writing my thesis this summer….[insert nervous looking emoji here]

With that being said on to WoW….

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…


Legion

Title:  Legion (Talon #4)

Author: Julie Kagawa

Expected Publication:  April 25th 2017

Publisher:  MIRA Ink

Goodreads Summary:

The legions are about to be unleashed, and no human, rogue dragon or former dragon slayer can stand against the coming horde. Book 4 of 5 in The Talon Saga from New York Times bestselling author Julie Kagawa.

Dragon hatchling Ember Hill was never prepared to find love at all–dragons do not suffer human emotions–let alone the love of a human and a former dragonslayer, at that. With ex-soldier Garret dying at her feet after sacrificing his freedom and his life to expose the deepest of betrayals, Ember knows only that nothing she was taught by dragon organization Talon is true. About humans, about rogue dragons, about herself and what she’s capable of doing and feeling.

In the face of great loss, Ember vows to stand with rogue dragon Riley against the dragon-slaying Order of St. George and her own twin brother Dante–the heir apparent to all of Talon, and the boy who will soon unleash the greatest threat and terror dragonkind has ever known.

Talon is poised to take over the world, and the abominations they have created will soon take to the skies, darkening the world with the promise of blood and death to those who refuse to yield.

I haven’t read the third book yet, but after finding out that there will be 5, I will probably wait until they are all out and binge read the whole series. I really enjoyed the first two books and I can’t imagine not liking the last 3. Although, when did trilogies stop being a thing? Why does series these days have to be 4+ books? Depending on the series it’s okay with me, but some series should have stopped at just one! Which series would you recommend and which would you not?

 

 

Posted in Young Adult

Crystal Kingdom Book Review

Crystal Kingdom (Kanin Chronicles #3) by Amana Hockingcrystalkingdom

Published: August 4th 2015 by St. Martin’s Press

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

The kingdom she loves has turned against her. Can she save it before it’s too late?

Bryn Aven—unjustly charged with murder and treason—is on the run. The one person who can help is her greatest enemy, the gorgeous and enigmatic Konstantin Black. Konstantin is her only ally against those who have taken over her kingdom and threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. But can she trust him?

As Bryn fights to clear her name, the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets are coming to light…and now the entire troll world is on the brink of war. Will it tear Bryn from Ridley Dresden, the only guy she’s ever loved? And can she join forces with Finn Holms and the Trylle kingdom? Nothing is as it seems, but one thing is certain: an epic battle is under way—and when it’s over, nothing will ever be the same…

Crystal Kingdom (Kanin Chronicles, #3)

I have to say I enjoyed this book immensely more than the second book. This one for one actually had a plot that advanced very quickly and there was hardly any grammatical errors. The plot itself while not spectacular was just alright, but 8 times better than the second book.

This book basically starts off right where the second book ended. Konstantin shows up where Bryn is hiding and he offers her friendship. They go off to try to get support for their cause and to try to clear Bryn’s name. For the most part, I don’t see why Konstantin is always trying to help out Bryn when she doesn’t even appreciate everything he did and just questioned every single motive.

Byrn still annoyed me in this book, but I am very happy that Konstantin is there to basically slap some sense into her. Every time she demanded something “for the good of the people”, he was there to remind her that this was a war and one person can’t come before the good of the many. It also annoyed me that she was ok if the war was happening anywhere except Doldastam, but as soon as it was suggested to bring it to them everyone there was an innocent bystander and shouldn’t be brought into the war. I think she is seriously missing what the idea of a war is.

The addition of Konstantin helped a lot in the book. He just added something that was missing from the first two books. It also seems as if he is the most flushed out character for one that just became one of the cast. One aspect I did not like was the addition of a love triangle between him, Bryn, and Ridley. Thankfully though the love triangle was a little more one sided until the end (but I won’t spoil it for you).

If you could just read the first book and this one, I think for the most part you will enjoy the series. If of course you can ignore all the parts where the author says that a character does something because they are a troll and it’s the troll thing to do. Overall, I give this trilogy a 3 out of 5 stars (the second book really dragged it down for me).

Posted in Young Adult

Waiting on Wednesday (3/29/2017)

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…


missing

Title:  Missing

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Expected Publication:  April 18th 2017

Publisher:  Crown Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary:

The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve’s End is that soon she’ll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they’re all missing?

Missing

I am a huge Kelley Armstrong fan, and I cannot wait for this book to come out!!! This seems a little bit different from what she normally writes, and it has a creepy mystery factor going on. Are you excited for this book as well? What are you waiting for this week?

Posted in Young Adult

Ice Kissed Book Review

Ice Kissed (Kanin Chronicles #1) by Amanda Hockingicekissed

Published: May 5th 2015 by St. Martin’s Press

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

In the majestic halls of a crystal palace lies a secret that could destroy an entire kingdom…

Bryn Aven refuses to give up on her dream of serving the kingdom she loves. It’s a dream that brings her to a whole new realm…and the glittering palace of the Skojare.

The Skojare people need protection from the same brutal enemy that’s been threatening the Kanin, and Bryn is there to help. Being half Skojare herself, it’s also a chance for her to learn more about her lost heritage. Her boss, Ridley Dresden, is overseeing her mission, but as their undeniable attraction heats up, their relationship is about to reach a whole new level—one neither of them is prepared for.

As they delve deeper into the Skojare world, they begin to unravel a long-hidden secret. The dark truth about her own beloved Kanin kingdom is about to come to light, and it will change her place in it forever…and threaten everyone she loves.

Ice Kissed (Kanin Chronicles, #2)

Reading this book, I realized that I should have reread the first book before diving in. I remembered some aspects of the first book, but I forgot a lot of it. It might have helped me enjoy this book more, but realistically I don’t think it would have helped.

I really wish the blurb matches the actual book. There is an impression that there is some deep long-hidden secret/mystery, but in reality that isn’t the case until about the last chapter of the whole book! This book it seemed really suffered from the middle book syndrome. The plot didn’t move that much, and the tension didn’t rise until the end. The ending is what really helped the book get another star rating than what I would have given it.

Byrn didn’t grow at all as a character in this book. She took everything as someone else’s fault (if she didn’t blame herself for something that wasn’t even her fault), and it was either her way or the high way. I really don’t know why so many people listened to her when her partner was of higher rank. (Also, I would like to note that the blurb says Ridley was in charge of the mission, but he wasn’t even in Skojare. So no heating up of anything).

One aspect that bothered me throughout the book was the lack of editing. There was typos everywhere!!! Normally, one or two don’t bother me, but this one had a bunch. Words were missing, words were duplicated, or there was missing punctuation. Which this isn’t the authors fault, but her editor should have caught almost all of these before print.

I could go on and on about the negatives of this book, but I think I’ll just stop here. Thankfully the book wasn’t that long or I would have probably DNFed it, but I wanted to read the third book so I pushed my way through.

Posted in Young Adult

Goodreads Monday (3/27/2017)

Goodreads Monday is a meme hosted by Lauren @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:

acomaf

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Published: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Goodreads Summary:

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

It’s sad to say that I have not read this book yet, even though I have had it on my shelf since it first came out. I think at this point I will have to reread the first book before picking this one up. I guess it can all be in preparation for the third book that is coming out this May! I loved the first one, so I have high expectations for this one. Especially with all of the rave reviews that have been going around since it came out!

What is on your Goodreads TBR shelf this week?

Posted in Young Adult

Waiting on Wednesday (3/8/17)

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…


 

theendofoz

Title:  The End of Oz (Dorothy Must Die Series #4)

Author: Danielle Paige

Expected Publication:  March 14th 2017

Publisher:  HarperCollins

Goodreads Summary:

In this high-octane fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to save Kansas and make Oz a free land once more.

At the end of Yellow Brick War, Amy had finally defeated Dorothy. Just when she and the rest of the surviving members of the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked thought it was safe to start rebuilding the damaged land of Oz, they realized they’ve been betrayed -by one of their own. And Dorothy might not have been so easily defeated after all.

In the fourth installment of the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, the magical Road of Yellow Brick has come to the rescue, and whisked Amy away -but to where? Does the Road itself know where she needs to go to find the help that she needs?

Welcome to the other side of the rainbow. Here there’s danger around every corner, and magic shoes won’t be able to save you.

Hello, my fellow bloggers! I realize that I have been seriously slacking lately in my blog posts and haven’t posted in about 2 weeks!!! Oops. I promise that this month will be a better month for me as hopefully I’ll be gaining more energy after passing the first trimester. Man growing a baby is so exhausting. Do any mommy bloggers have any tips?

I have only read the first two books, and I have enjoyed them immensely. I did the mistake of reading the first novella and it kind of turned me away from this series. I do own the third book, so hopefully it will redeem the series for me. I also hope that this is the last book in the DMD series.

Side note: who wrote this synopsis? Does it really need “4th installment of the NYT bestselling Dorothy Must Die series…” twice?!

What are you waiting for this week?

Posted in Young Adult

Caraval Book Review

Caraval by Stephanie Garber caraval

Published: January 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Caraval (Caraval, #1)

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Wow, just wow. I received my book the day that it came out and I finished it in one sitting! This book had me hooked from the very first page! It is actually taking me longer to write this review, than it took me to read the book!

No one is truly honest. Even if we don’t lie to others, we often lie to ourselves. And the word good means different things to different people.

Garber wrote basically almost everything you would want in a book! It had a mystery, magic, a slight romance (thankfully no love triangle (for the most part)), and murder. This starts off with Scarlett and her sister living on a tiny island with their abusive father, they escape and go to Caraval to experience everything before Scarlet gets married. Once arriving on Legend’s island, everything is not what they seem and Scarlet spends her time trying to find Tella after she has been kidnapped. She must then follow the rules of the game and try to find her sister before any of the other players do in order to win a wish from Legend.

Not quite sure how far she’d already fallen, she imagined loving him would feel like falling in love with darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars came out.

Without giving things away, I just want to say that when you think you have figured everything out. Garber throws in a twist that has you rethinking everything that you have read so far. For instance, with their father you wonder for most of the book why he is so abusive and controlling of the girls. But, then at the end things get explained and you can’t help but think oh. It still doesn’t condone what he did, but you get a better understanding of where he was coming from.

But Scarlett had already been broken. For years her father tore her down. Over and over, she had let him. She’d allowed him to make her feel worthless and powerless. But she was neither of those things. She was done allowing her fear to make her weaker, to eat away at the meat on her bones until she could do nothing but whimper and watch.

Overall, I really loved this book. I don’t think my review has done it justice. But there is only so much I can say without giving anything away! It probably could have been more detailed if I wrote it soon after I read it, but life gets in the way sometimes. For those of you that like magical fantasy mysteries, then I definitely suggest you check out this book!

Posted in Young Adult

Waiting on Wednesday (2/22/2017)

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…


acrownofwishes

A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)

Title: A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2)

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Expected Publication:  March 28th 2017

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin

Goodreads Summary:

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

I haven’t actually read the first book yet, but I am looking forward to this book coming out! I do have it on my shelf, but I think I might wait for this one to come out so that I can read them back to back. On a side note, how pretty is this cover?! My favorite colors are green and purple, and I think this cover is just perfect!

What are you waiting for this week?

Posted in Young Adult

Emergence Book Review

Emergence (The Infernal Guard #1) by S.G.D Singhemergence

Published: January 30th 2016 by Glory Press

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Emergence (The Infernal Guard Book 1)

Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen year-old Asha’s days are spent training in martial arts, attending homeschool classes, and helping in the kitchens of a luxurious Miami resort which she seldom leaves. Until the night her grandfather arrives home mysteriously injured, accompanied by a terrifying stranger. Asha begins to suspect that nothing is what it seems when she is abruptly sent to Punjab, India to live with relatives she never knew she had.

Joined by her best friend, Lexi, and her newfound cousin, Nidhan, Asha is soon drawn to an unusual place where the three of them learn that our World is much more than it appears. And there is a good reason people are afraid of the dark.

Meet The Infernal Guard: Shape-shifting Jodha warriors, Seers of various psychic Talents, Healers, Illusionists, and weapons-creating Tvastars. They are the gifted few who fight to protect our realm from demonic Underworlders escaping the seven lower dimensions of Hindu Mythology’s Fourteen Worlds.

As the next generation of heroes from around the globe gathers to begin training, Asha discovers true love and a family in her friends and instructors. But something in the darkness knows that she alone possesses the rarest Talent of all. Now Asha must find the courage and strength to risk everything she has gained before a devouring evil like no other The Infernal Guard has ever faced destroys our realm’s very existence.

First, I would like to thank the Lunar Chronicles Facebook group for hosting a Q&A with the author, where I was able to win a free copy of this book. This in no way impacted my opinions and review of the book.

This story follows 17 year-old Asha, who is sent off to Punjab without any explanation from her grandfather. This book starts off with quickly with Asha’s grandfather being injured and then the next thing you know we’re on a plane to India. There she quickly learns that she is part of the next class of the Infernal Guard, and she starts her training. All throughout the book, Asha and her friends are attacked by demons from Hindu mythology at various locations and she has to figure out why.

Since this story is mainly set in India, the author inserted a lot of cultural terms that I did not know. At first it was a little overwhelming, just because I didn’t know what it was referencing. After awhile though, I finally figured it out and it didn’t bother me as much. I did enjoy being immersed in a new culture that I had hardly any previous knowledge about. Singh’s writing style is very beautiful and very descriptive. She included basically almost every nationality and had them interacting with each other all the time.

With that being said, there was probably way too many characters to remember. They each had their own separate personality, so it wasn’t that difficult to remember who was who. I can’t say the same for the adults in this story. They still had their own personality, but it was just so many that I couldn’t remember who was who and what their role was in the Guard.

Asha as a main character was basically our “chosen” one. There was a mention of a prophecy and everyone seems to think that she is the one that will lead everyone. This was especially evident when she started to develop multiple talents, that hasn’t been seen in hundreds of years. Personally, I thought that she wasn’t very smart. She would jump into situations without thinking everything through and when bad things happen she would blame herself. If she only waited for more people to accompany her or something, then a lot of situations could have been avoided.

At first I didn’t like Asha’s romantic plot with Aquila, mainly because I thought it happened way too fast and all of a sudden they were in love with each other. After awhile though, they grew on me and I ended up liking them as a couple. They obviously had eyes only for each other, so when another trainee all of a sudden liked her it didn’t make much sense. At least though it was a small portion of the book, and wasn’t one of the main dominating theme throughout.

Lexi (Asha’s best friend from Miami) was probably my least favorite character in the whole book. She is your stereotypical blonde teenager whose father travels a lot and has so much money she doesn’t know what to do with it. So what does Lexi do? Buys anything and everything she wants and gives things away to people even if they don’t want it. It made her seem very superficial, especially when she didn’t want people to compare her to Barbie or Britney Spears. It also bothered me that it seemed she would get jealous of Asha every time she discovered a new talent. Since Asha is a seer, you would think Lexi would just agree with her and follow instead of arguing every step of the way.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The world building and diversity was probably my favorite parts of the book. As well as the originality of the story. I can’t wait to pick up the second book to see how Asha’s story continue, maybe she’ll pick up another talent or two on the way.