Posted in Young Adult

Rook Book Review

Before I begin my book review of Rook, I just wanted to say Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there in the blogging world! Also, to all the dads who supported us when we were young and just beginning our reading addiction! Without my dad I probably wouldn’t have a love of reading like I do today. So I appreciate him very much!


Rook by Sharon Cameronrook

Published: April 28th 2015 by Scholastic Press

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. The mysterious Red Rook is a savior of the innocent, and a criminal in the eyes of the government.

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow ever higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.

Daring intrigue, delicious romance, and spine-tingling suspense fill the pages of this extraordinary tale from award-winning author Sharon Cameron.

I just discovered Sharon Cameron last year when I read her book The Forgetting. I really enjoyed it, so I thought I would check out some of her other books. I finally got my hands on this copy at my local library, and I started reading it as soon as I walked through my front door.

He thought she was someone who could break the pattern of history. And he was offering to break it with her

Rook starts off with the Red Rook breaking a family out of prison in the Sunken City (aka Paris). So even from the start, I was hooked in wondering why the Red Rook was breaking people out, and if they would survive another day.

After such a dramatic and action packed beginning, I thought that this was going to be a great fast paced book that I’ll be able to finish in a day or two. Boy, was I wrong. I really enjoyed the plot of the book, but in reality this story could have been told in probably half the amount of pages. The middle for me just dragged and dragged and then continued to drag some more. If it was shorter, or if the plot moved a lot more then I definitely would have enjoyed it more.

I thought Sophia was a great main character (although I might be a little biased, because this is the first book I read that had a Sophia after we decided to name our baby girl that that’s due in September). She had some flaws which helped make her more relatable, but she was also very independent and strong willed.

Although, for someone who was very smart it seemed as if Sophia couldn’t or didn’t want to see things that was right in front of her face. Especially at the end, when the author was revealing all of the hidden conspiracies and betrayals to the Bellamy family. It wasn’t Sophia who revealed it all, but rather Rene. Which had me thinking how did he figure everything out? But, it also seemed a little too convenient in order to wrap up everything at the end.

“I think you are very beautiful,” René said, “especially when you are admiring mischief.”

“You must think that every time I look at you, then.”

Overall, this wasn’t a bad  book. It definitely wasn’t something new and original, but it does have it’s own little twists that help it stand out a little bit. Between this book and The Forgetting, I definitely enjoyed The Forgetting a lot more.

Posted in Young Adult

Goodreads Monday (6/12/2017)

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:

rook

Title: Rook

Author: Sharon Cameron

Published: April 28th 2015 by Scholastic Press

Goodreads Summary:

History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. The mysterious Red Rook is a savior of the innocent, and a criminal in the eyes of the government.

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow ever higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.

Daring intrigue, delicious romance, and spine-tingling suspense fill the pages of this extraordinary tale from award-winning author Sharon Cameron.

Rook

I discovered Sharon Cameron last year when I received The Forgetting in one of my YA book subscription boxes. I really enjoyed that book and decided to check out some of Cameron’s other books. Rook has been on my TBR shelf for a while now, and I finally checked it out at the library, when a friend and I decided to go there on a whim. I’m hoping to start reading this today or tomorrow since I have an actual deadline of when I need to return the book. This book has a lot of mix reviews, so I am hoping that I enjoy is as much as I did The Forgetting!

What is on your TBR shelf this week?

Posted in Young Adult

The Forgetting Book Review

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The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Published: September 13th 2016 by Scholastic Press

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes.

Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

I am made of my memories.

This was in my September Uppercase box (you can read my reviews of them here). I can’t believe I waited so long to read this! Where it isn’t one of my favorite books, it was still very enjoyable.

The gist is that every 12 years everyone in Canaan forgets everything, everyone except Nadia that is. She isolates herself because she is afraid, and then Gray starts inserting himself into her life. Nadia finally starts to open up and that is when they start to work together to figure out why everyone forgets every 12 years.

Knowing the truth makes me alone. I wrote that once, but I think I was wrong. Fear of pain is what has made me alone. But today I realized that pain and love have a balance. I can feel so much of one only because I feel so much of the other.

With that being said you can imagine how slow paced this book is. For at least the first half of the book Nadia tried to avoid everyone and suspicion of her secret travels over the wall. In the beginning she over hears a conversation and instead of investigating it (like anyone else would), she doesn’t even think about it until later when it is convenient to her current situation.

The romance between Gray and Nadia was cute sometimes, and a little bit annoying at others, especially in the beginning. I understand that it is hard for her to trust people because she knows they will just forget her at the next forgetting, but man she moves one step forward and then one small little hitch and she moves two steps back.

But who can find the truth in Canaan? Janis doesn’t tell it, the Learning Room doesn’t teach it. My father has twisted it, Mother half forgotten it, and the Forgetting is the thief that steals it.

At first I thought that this was just a dystopian novel, but then Cameron adds in a little twist to make this also a sci-fi novel and it was great! Probably one of the few twist aspects of this novel that I really enjoyed. Once this discovery was made, about half way through the book, the plot finally started moving again. The last 10% of the book was where basically all the action happened, and also reveal after reveal was made.

The ending is really what I enjoyed most about this book. I just wish that Cameron had incorporated more of those type of scenes throughout the entire book. We get a little hint of it when Nadia and Gray go exploring and discover some truth about Canaan’s past, but it wasn’t enough for me! Maybe I am too used to heavily action packed dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games or Divergent.

 

Posted in Arc, Young Adult

Red Death Review

Red Death (Book #1) by Jeff Altabef reddeath

Expected Publication: November 28th 2016 by Evolved Publishing

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Format: eArc provided by author

Goodreads Summary:

What happens when everything you believed turns out to be a lie?

Every child of Eden fears the Red Death. All those afflicted with the plague die young, their souls stripped away as punishment for ancient sins long forgotten. For centuries, Guardians have protected Eden from the Red Death by killing outsiders who stray too close.

Seventeen-year-old Aaliss is a highly-trained Guardian, but when her rather odd thirteen-year-old brother, Wilky, discovers a cure to the plague, her world turns upside down. Branded as traitors by the corrupt High Priest, Aaliss and Wilky are forced to seek refuge in the last place Aaliss thought she’d ever go—beyond the boundaries of Eden and into the land of the Soulless. Here they must navigate a medieval world filled with witches, magic, and warrior kingdoms run by Elders only a few years older than her.

Aaliss yearns to return home, but when her heart tugs her deeper into the world of the Soulless, she questions everything she once believed. Has her soul been taken? Will she and Wilky fall victim to the Red Death, or might they die sooner in the center of a battle that threatens to tear apart the Soulless world? Or… might Aaliss finally find, against all odds, what her heart has yearned for all along?

You have a responsibility. What you do with it is up to you, but you cannot pretend it doesn’t exist. If you fail to take it seriously, it will take you , and you will lose all ability to choose your way.

I didn’t really know what I was getting into when I agreed to read this book. Honestly, it sat in my Kindle books for a few months, before I remembered I had to read it before next week. Man, once I started reading it it was so hard to put down until I finished!

This dystopian novel is full of twists and turns that was well written and  I was easily sucked into it. Red Death is told in multiple points of view, which at first I found a bit difficult because I didn’t know how they would all fit in with each other. After the first couple of POV’s, the author quickly started drawing connections to some of them and by the end you knew how everyone was essential to the story.

The plot moved not very quickly, but quick enough for me. Aaliss and her brother Wilky run away from Eden before they are killed and search for the ingredients for the cure. This was definitely a heroes journey, just maybe not in so many steps as in Joseph Campbells Monomyth. For the entirety of the book Aaliss thought she would find the cure and go back to Eden to claim her innocence, but by the end she has to make a choice.

Aaliss is a very strong and independent main character, and she has a strong moral code for a guardian of Eden. Her sole purpose is to keep Wilky safe from the Soulless and to find the cure for him to take so he won’t die from the Red Death, which before Wilky there was no cure and once you contracted it you die. I think out of all of the characters, Aaliss had the most character development. In the beginning it was just her and Wilky, and by the end she started accepting more people into her little group. Which spoke volumes after being taught that the Soulless were not people at all but servants of the Dark One.

Wilky is probably the most interesting character out of the bunch, and the novel seems to quietly revolve around him and his special powers. He can sometimes get visions of the future that are not set in stone, and so he basically sets everything in motion to get everyone prepared for what is to come. He is wanted by the Dark One for some reason, and hopefully in the second book we will get more insight into why.

Overall, this book has a bit of everything for everyone. This had adventure, witches, religious zealots (who may or may not be following a false prophet), blackmail, and a tiny bit of romance. I am ready for book 2 to come out so that I can see what happens to Aaliss and Wilky in the upcoming battle!

This eArc was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

 

Posted in Arc, Young Adult

Configured Review

Configured by Jenetta Pennerconfiguredfinal-cover

Expected Publication: October 20th 2016

Format: eARC

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

In the future love will make you a traitor.

120 years after a virus decimated earth’s population the survivors thrive in safety, away from the death and destruction of the Outerbounds. Divided into three levels of intellect, Citizens focus solely on duty.

Due to her advanced intelligence, seventeen-year-old Avlyn Lark is separated from her twin brother at birth and raised by adoptive parents. She gains privilege, the ideal future. He dies. Avlyn barely knows him yet remains linked to his memory.

But following a string of rebel intrusions on the city, Avlyn receives a cryptic message and begins seeing visions of her dead twin. The mysterious radical who urges Avlyn to join their fight becomes her link to answers. Freedom.

Opportunity awaits, but if she says yes will she lose it all?

Configured is the first novel in a trilogy YA dystopian/light romance that poses the question: does humanity need love for survival? Fans of Divergent, Matched, and the Maze Runner will love this world of dark secrets, intrigue and desire for a better tomorrow.

I received this book as an advanced reader copy from the author herself in exchange for an honest review.

“Defiant thoughts roll around in my brain. Why is it that a few people get to decide how we should live?”

I have read a lot of dystopian novels in the past few years, and this one stands out from the masses. I loved almost every aspect of it. The plot moved fairly quickly, and you never knew what direction it was going to go in. The supporting characters were amazing, and the main character herself was decent. I did get a Divergent/The Giver vibe, but only a tad bit. I kept thinking that Affinity will show a bad side to themselves, like in The Hunger Games, but it never happened. Which I was greatful for, there already are plenty of books where the rebel cause is just as bad as the current government.

“No one should die for the right to love. That kind of freedom is worth fighting for.”

As far as world building goes, Penner does a great job of going into detail about her new dystopian world. While I don’t necessarily want a food printer, I wouldn’t mind having an EP. Who wouldn’t like to know when someone you don’t like is about to go around the corner? Elora through Avlyn’s eyes was great. In the beginning, we see how Avlyn struggles to fit in with her fellow citizens and her prejudices for Level Ones. As she transitions to a rebel for Affinity, we see how she struggles with this new idea that she doesn’t have to hide her emotions around them

“If I’m going to die, I’m at least going to try to save my parents.”

I think I enjoyed the supporting characters a little bit more than our MC, Avlyn. I thought Avlyn was a little bit of a weak character, but she was strong when she needed to be. I wanted her to have more of a backbone at least by halfway through the novel, but she didn’t develop it until near the end. It seemed as if every time Avlyn resolved that she had made the right choice in picking the rebel cause, she would grow and become more confident in her decisions. But then, the next time a mission or something comes up, we are back to square one with the indecision. This aspect was the only part of the book that I did not enjoy. I hope in the second book Avlyn will be a stronger character than she was in this one. I also hope that we find out more about Avlyns immersion power(?), she used it all throughout the book but she would only say she doesn’t know why it happens. I was hoping she would discover a little bit more about her ability at some point in the book, but maybe that’ll be in the next installment.

“‘Avlyn, this world is both beautiful and broken.’ She closes her eyes, and her breathing slows. ‘Make more beautiful moments than broken ones.'”

The supporting characters were what made the book, in my opinion! Meyer…what can I say about him that won’t give anything away? He is the stereotypical stoic guy who only treats Avlyn like an assignment, but really has feelings for her deep down. I like that Penner didn’t include a insta-love type of situation here, their feelings grew gradually and wasn’t the main aspect of the book. Sometimes romance takes over a book and the plot gets lost, I am glad to say that it did not happen here. Everyone else you had to wonder if they were a part of Affinity or not, which made it interesting to find out who actually was a rebel.

“Everyone has secrets.”

If you are a fan of dystopian novels, you should definitely check out this book. You also get a nice dose of futuristic technology, that I wish we had today! For a debut novel, Penner did an excellent job of drawing the reader in from the very beginning. I can’t wait to see what is in store next for Avlyn, Meyer and all the other characters!

Posted in Young Adult

Configured (Book Trailer Reveal and Giveaway) by Jenetta Penner

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configuredfinal-cover

 

Configured

Jenetta Penner

(Book #1 in the Configured Trilogy)

Publication date: October 20th 2016

Genres: Sci-Fi/Dystopian, Young Adult

 

In the future, love will make you a traitor.

120 years after a virus decimated earth’s population the survivors thrive in safety, away from the death and destruction of the Outerbounds. But there is a price. Divided into three levels of intellect, Citizens focus solely on duty. Emotions are pointless, even dangerous.

Due to her advanced intelligence, seventeen-year-old computer genius, Avlyn Lark is separated from her twin brother at birth and raised by adoptive parents. She gains privilege, the ideal future. He dies. Avlyn barely knew him yet he remains bound to her memory.

But following a string of rebel intrusions on the city, Avlyn receives a cryptic message. After which, she begins seeing visions of her dead twin, not to mention a strange power she doesn’t understand starts to emerge. The mysterious radical who urges Avlyn to join their fight becomes her link to answers. Freedom. Love.

Opportunity calls, but if she says yes will she lose it all?

Configured is the first novel in a Configured trilogy that poses the question: does humanity need love for survival? Fans of Divergent, Matched, and the Maze Runner will love this world of dark secrets, intrigue and thirst for a better tomorrow.

I am only halfway through the book, so unfortunately I can’t leave a review yet. But, I can tell you what I enjoy so far in the book! Penner’s world building is spectacular! Even though there is an abundant amount of dystopian books out right now, Penner was able to give us something a little bit different that helps her novel stand out among the rest.

A rebellion is brewing and we are just as confused as the main character! Avlyn doesn’t know who to trust, Direction or the rebels? The plot is moves very quickly from situation to situation, and as Avlyn learns more about what is going on in her world so do we.

So far, I am really enjoying this book and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! Hopefully, I’ll finish by the end of the day and I’ll be able to leave a more detailed review. All I can say is that with how the book is going you won’t be disappointed with it! If you are really big into dystopian novels, then you will definitely want to check out this book!

Buy Configured today to read a YA Dystopian/Light Romance that will leave you wanting more!

Buy on Amazon

 

jenetta-18dcropedsquare2small400Author Bio:

I’m Jenetta and a lifetime lover of Sci-Fi (thx Dad). I had a weird LONG stint (declaring HOW long would give away too many age secrets… and eh hem… a girl never tells) where I read almost no books for pleasure (the horror!). Near the end of 2014 I picked up Hunger Games, and I was off like a rocket.

That next year I read about 40 YA books (mostly Sci-Fi/dystopian) and a couple months into it got the idea to write a book (with no prior experience or even desire) about children who were not allowed to be raised by their biological parents. You see, I am an adoptive mama of two lovely daughters from foster care. That story grew into what Configured is today.

It has been a HUGE journey with a lot of ups and downs and it took WAY longer than I anticipated. But it is finally here.

 

Check out this amazing giveaway!

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Posted in NetGalley, Young Adult

Class Zero Review

Class Zero by Y.A. Marks

Expected Publication: May 24, 2016 by Sugarstone Publishing

Goodreads summary:

I’m sixteen. I’m p*ss poor, and I steal to eat. Me? My life is great.

In my brilliance, I “adopted” two hungry orphans. When I’m not with them, I avoid every human being I can, trying to keep the kids safe and protected. It’s pretty easy to do because half the country lives in abject poverty.

A week ago, I treated myself to a cup of coffee, and ran into a mysterious boy with intense gray eyes. After a security drone worth billions blew up above my head, he chased me down to simply tell me that “change was coming.”

“What?”

When I got back to the homeless shelter, where I live, guess what was on TV? Me and the gray-eyed idiot who happened to have half his face covered. Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky.

Oh, but there’s more! The government, which shoots first and asks questions later, not only think that I’m a part of a rebel organization that they’ve been trying to eradicate for the last seven years, they actually believe that I’m the leader.

I could stop there with joy, but unfortunately the government kidnapped the two orphans—my two orphans. That’s when they really started to tick…me…off.

This dystopian novel is set in Atlanta sometime in the future. How convenient that I happened to be in Atlanta visiting family, when I started reading it! So as far as dystopian stories go, this one wasn’t terrible. I was glad that it wasn’t as long as Divergent, but it was still long enough that I understood what was going on.

Alright, so first off let’s talk about the characters. Paeton for the most part is a believable character, she has her quirks, and out of all of the characters is the most flushed out. You can easily see her strengths and weaknesses, and you know what drives her every day.

“Yeah. You’re special, Paeton.”

Why does every lead character have to be the “special” one? Why can’t they just be normal and be thrust into situations out of their control and somehow over come them? Anyway, most of the other characters were a little more one dimensional than Paeton. It was more of what you see is what you get and very little growth from that.

Plot: The plot was very similar to a lot of books that are already out there. The population is split into three different categories; Upper-C, Middle-C, and Lower-C. (I believe you can guess which category our main character is in.) Paeton gets dragged into the rebellion because she is caught on camera with one of the rebels, and she just happened to be the only one without a face mask on. So what does the government do? Label her as the leader of the “terrorist” group. When does a 16-year-old, who has to steal to survive, have time to plan and organize a terrorist group? This is probably one of my main problems with reading YA sometimes, but I can’t seem to stop myself from reading these type of books! It is one of my guilty pleasures in life.

“I looked at the star. All my life the flag meant very little to me, but in that moment I tried to search deeper, to see the hope the American flag once symbolized. I wondered, when did it become popular for Americans to only care about themselves? When did the powerful begin to loath the weak? When did humanity begin to die?”

Romance: I was glad that the romance wasn’t one of those insta-love type of situations, or a love triangle. Rylan, or Gray-Eyed Fox as Paeton refers to him in the beginning, is one of the characters that I wished had more growth. As the love interest in the story, I wish he had more of a voice rather than dropping everything and doing Paeton’s bidding. Other than that, I liked that he taught Paeton how to live like a teenager again instead of the way of life she was used to. I thought they were really cute together, even though it’s totally cliche, I liked that he kept saving her no matter how many times she pushed him away.

“I recognized I just had to live long enough to try for my first kiss again”

This arc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.