Posted in Young Adult

Waiting on Wednesday (6/28/2017)

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…


luckyinlove

Title:  Lucky in Love

Author: Kasie West

Expected Publication:  July 25th 2017

Publisher:  Scholastic

Goodreads Summary:

In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

Lucky in Love

I am now a huge fan of Kasie West and her books! I am really excited for a new book by her. Although it seems as if she is publishing a new book every few months! I still have By Your Side on my TBR shelf and that was published in January!

What book are you waiting for this week?

Posted in Young Adult

Goodreads Monday (6/19/2017)

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:

byyourside

Title: By Your Side

Author: Kasie West

Published: January 31st 2017 by Harper Teen

Goodreads Summary:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

By Your Side

Kasie West has slowly become one of my new favorite contemporary romance authors, but just behind Sarah Dessen (who shall always remain #1 for me). This is my second West book, and I’ve had it on my shelves since February. I actually forgot I had it until about last week when I opened my Uppercase box again, and it was sitting inside. I have a list of books I need to finish first, but as soon as they are done this is going straight to the top of the pile!

What is on your TBR shelf this week?

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 Subscription Box, Young Adult

February Uppercase Box Review

I know it’s a little past February…okay more than a little try about 4 months past, but I realized this morning that I never posted a review of my box. So better late than never right? =)


I received a new box from Uppercase by Lisa Parkin on my front doorstep back in February, I believe in time for Valentine’s Day as well!

IMG_0024.JPGEvery month you receive:

  • a brand new hardcover book, the book is either signed or you receive a signed bookplate,
  • 1-2 high quality bookish items,
  • Uppercase reading experience with exclusive content,
  • and a special note!

You can choose from two different plans:

Expert plan: comes with everything above for only $23/month plus $6 shipping and handling;

Book exclusive plan: comes with everything above except the 1-2 bookish items for only $17/month plus s/h.

You can check out my other Uppercase reviews here, and my other book subscription reviews here!


As always Lisa includes a letter that has what is included in the box and a personalized note from her as well.

letter

I always love when subscription boxes do this, especially if I really like an item and I want to check out other items that that particular seller has.

Also an item that is always included in the box is a reading experience bookmark.

bookmark

By using the code you can find questions, polls and videos that correspond to that moment in the book. As much as I really like this idea, I never use it. Honestly, I rarely even use this as a bookmark because I have so many.

For this month, the book that was included was By Your Side by Kasie West. Which is also an Uppercase hardcover edition.

byyourside

Goodreads Summary:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

This book normally retails for $9.99 in print, and on Amazon you can get the Kindle version for $9.99 or in paperback for $5.92. It looks as if the hardcover version was only for Uppercase subscribers, because even on Barnes and Noble they only have the paperback or Nook version for $9.99. I kind of like that as a subscriber, I received an item that isn’t sold anywhere else.

autograph

As typical for an Uppercase book, the author signed it as well. I really love that Uppercase does this with every book they send out! Personally, this increases the value of the book. My first Kasie West book was from Uppercase as well, and I really enjoyed it. So, I am hoping that I’ll enjoy this book just as much as the first one!

Since this is a Valentine box, Uppercase included a Valentine Card from EpicReads

idshare

I don’t think this card has any real value.

They also included a I ❤ YA laptop sticker.

iheartya

I really like the sticker, but I don’t put anything on my laptop except the hard outer shell for protection. This will probably end up on my bookshelf somewhere.

teaandbookmark

Pride & Peppermint Tea from NovelTeaTins. I don’t know the size that was received in relation to the packet that they have online. But you can purchase this particular blend for either $14.00 or a tin for $29.00. Since our package is most likely smaller, I will give it an estimated value of $7.00.

This tea is a sweet peppermint tea blend, that is organic and naturally caffeine free. The ingredients are rooibos (I had to look it up, it’s an African plant), peppermint, and chamomile. I honestly, don’t like when subscription boxes send tea samples. I am more of a coffee drinker, and they never send any samples of those. Someone needs to create a bibliophile coffee shop, so that subscription boxes can send them out! Just saying. 😉 I would if I was creative enough, or knew more details about coffee blends.

necklace

The last item in the box was this Sherlock Holmes 221B Key Necklace. Value maybe $12?

I definitely like the necklace better than the Sherlock key chain they sent a few months back.

febuppercase

Overall, I would say that this box has an estimated value of $29.00. Which is the same price of the subscription box. I really liked that EpicReads teamed up with Uppercase for this box, but it just seems as if what they included was filler and not really anything that contributes much to the box.

What do you think of this month’s (February) box?

 

 

Posted in Arc, Young Adult

Letters to the Lost Review

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmererletterstothelost

Published: April 4th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

eArc received by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

Letters to the Lost

I read this book about a month ago, and I am finally finding the time to write the review. Hopefully, I do it some justice!

You know you found a really good book when you can read it all in one sitting! I started it one night when I had a little bit of insomnia (thank you pregnancy), and I just couldn’t put it down until I realized the book was over. This book did remind me a lot of P.S. I Like You by Kasie West, mainly because the two main characters were also leaving each other anonymous letters and started a pen pal “romance” I guess you would call it that. What I enjoyed about Letters to the Lost  was that it was very original (in it’s own way) and it took you through so many emotions (maybe I am just a little extra emotional lately).

This book takes you through one family’s (mainly Juliet’s) journey of grief after her mom died, and how she was able to live afterwards. What helped her a lot was writing letters to her mom, and one day someone wrote their own message on her letter. What started off as an angry response back, became her lifeline for the months that followed. Of course it seems as if no book is immune to cliches, and there were a few in here that were very cringe worthy.

Juliet was a very believable main character. You can tell that her grief was genuine, and her feeling as if she is stuck in the anger stage just made her more relatable as a person. Sometimes she was a little mean to Declan that didn’t seem called for, but when she would write to her pen pal she would always feel bad about it.

Declan was pretty much your bad boy “love/hate” interest for the entire book. Although Juliet definitely leaned more towards the hostile part for some apparent reason. You couldn’t help feel sorry for him and his back story. He has a mom who seems to be hardly there, a stepfather who is a jerk, and a chip on his shoulder. I really enjoyed how his story and Juliets started to weave together and ultimately they help each other during a hard time in their life.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I liked that it’s a standalone. Normally, I read a lot of fantasy series but it’s nice to just read a contemporary now and then.

Posted in Young Adult

Waiting on Wednesday (5/17/2017)

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…


onceandforall

Title:  Once and for All

Author: Sarah Dessen

Expected Publication:  June 6th 2017

Publisher:  Viking Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary:

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

Sarah Dessen is probably one of my guilty pleasures. Normally, I read a lot of fantasy and probably a little sci-fi, but sometimes I like to pick up a good fiction book. I have read probably about 90% of Dessen’s books and I loved every single one of them. I also like how she brings previous characters into the books through cameos. Sort of like Stan Lee in all the Marvel movies. Needless to say, I am super excited for this book to come out and I will most definitely be reading it as soon as it hits shelves next month!

What are you waiting for this week?

Posted in Young Adult

The Love That Split the World Review

The Love That Split the World by Emily Henrythelovethatsplittheworld

Published: January 26th 2016 by Razorbill

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

“Love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give.”

I don’t know if I can write a review of this book and do it any justice. I liked it, but then there was elements that I just didn’t like at all. I thought based upon the title that it was going to be a contemporary novel with maybe a little bit of fantasy woven in. For the most part I was correct, only there was a lot more sci-fi  and a whole lot of romance involved.

“No matter how hard it feels, you don’t need to be afraid to move on, and you don’t need to be afraid to stay either. There’s always more to see and feel.”

I’ll start first with the elements I did not like about this book. First, there was a lot of info dumping. The characters would go on very long tirades about a concept and then you’re left feeling “what did I just read?” At some points it was a struggle to continue reading, I would have to put it down and pick it up later after some motivation.

Second, there was insta-love. Cringe. I liked Natalie and Beau together, but I just wish that they had at least some sort of build up into a relationship. For the contemporary romance side, this was a huge let down. Especially since this made up of at least 85% of the book.

Third, there was just so many elements to the story and I don’t think Henry was able to incorporate all of them very well. There was your romance, time travel, world jumping, therapy sessions, boy drama, identity crisis, and well you get the picture. With all these elements coming into play, there was no character development. So when it is all said and done, you don’t really feel anything for Natalie and Beau by the end of their story. Oh and Henry tried to make this book a little LGBT friendly by inserting that her research scientist/therapist is a lesbian during one of the many tirades. I am all for different types of relationships, but it should at least be thought out a bit more rather than thrown into a random conversation.

Lastly, this book was a little boring. It started off great, and then it went to snoozeville quite fast.  Halfway through I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue or not, but I was already invested so I had to finish! The last 10% of the book was very quick, Natalie was running out of time , and it felt as if the book was running out of pages to get the information down. I’ve read some reviews that don’t like the ending, but I actually liked the ambiguity of it.

“And because she jumped, our world began”

I know it seems as if I don’t like anything about the book, but I do, I swear!

This book has a very diverse set of characters, and I love it! The main character is Native American, who was adopted into a Caucasian family. Natalie feels that since she doesn’t look like her family, that something is missing in her life. I found this very relatable, since I am from a mix household. I never felt like I didn’t belong, but there was hardly any other half Asians in my little town of one stop light (now they have about 5 and maybe more diversity, who knows).

Natalie is also a feminist, which you don’t see very much in YA novels. Well she was very feminist in the beginning of the novel, but I felt she kind of lost it somewhere around the middle. But I like that Henry made a very strong, independent, and smart main character.

The writing in this novel was fantastic. Henry knows how to use her words and make everything sound wonderful (even if I was a little bored). What I enjoyed most was the Native American myths and legends that were told throughout the whole novel. I am not an expert on Native American stories, but the stories were told very respectfully and seemed as if it was the only aspect that helped advance the plot.

“Why did they have to sacrifice anything?”
“It was a symbol,” Grandmother explains. “Of an innocent dying on behalf of someone else—the greatest act of love. A choice to die so someone else doesn’t have to.”

This book is definitely one of those hit or miss for most people. I feel as if you are either going to really like it or just be totally disappointed in it. I for the most part fall in the middle, it was just eh. Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Posted in Young Adult

Goodreads Monday #6 (9/12/16)

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:

thewrathandthedawn

 

Title: The Wrath & the Dawn

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Published: May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary:

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

This is actually a new addition to my TBR pile, but I figured since I am going to see the author October 1st, I should probably read her book! =)

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

Posted in Young Adult

Evergreen Falls Review

Evergreen Falls by Kimberley FreemanIMG_0021

Published: August 26th 2014 by Hachette Australia

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

1926: Violet Armstrong is one of the few remaining members of staff working at the grand Evergreen Spa Hotel as it closes down over winter. Only a handful of guests are left, including the heir to a rich grazing family, his sister and her suave suitor. When a snowstorm moves in, the hotel is cut off and they are all trapped. No one could have predicted what would unfold. When the storm clears they must all keep the devastating secrets hidden.

2014: After years of putting her sick brother’s needs before her own, Lauren Beck leaves her home and takes a job at a Blue Mountains cafe, the first stage of the Evergreen Spa Hotel’s renovations. There she meets Tomas, the Danish architect who is overseeing the project, and an attraction begins to grow. In a wing of the old hotel, Lauren finds a series of passionate love letters dated back to 1926, alluding to an affair – and a shocking secret.

If she can unravel this long-ago mystery, will it make Lauren brave enough to take a risk and change everything in her own life?

Inspired by elements of her grandmother’s life, a rich and satisfying tale of intrigue, heartbreak and love from the author of the bestselling Lighthouse Bay and Wildflower Hill.

This was my June Lit-Cube subscription book, “Roaring 20’s” themed.

“She loved him, too. Mad as it seemed, she loved him, too, and had sine their eyes met that evening in the dining room.”

For the most part I enjoyed this book, I enjoyed Lauren’s timeline a little bit more than the 1926 one. Lauren’s relationship with her family was very relatable, and I enjoyed seeing her finally stand up for herself and get away from her mother. Out of all of the characters in the book, Lauren grew the most and really became a strong, independent person.

“Love was a thunderbolt, crashing down on her with its brilliant, savage force. It was ancient and eternal and it peeled back the mundane layers of the world and showed her the wet, beating heart of reality beneath.”

 I did not enjoy all of the cliches that kept popping every other chapter. For instance, almost every new relationship in the story was an insta-love. Violet and Sam’s relationship was most likely the most annoying one in the entire book. Sam was a very weak, one-dimensional character and as the love interest for Violet, we didn’t really get a sense of who Sam is. Lauren’s relationship with Tomas while sort of insta-love, it wasn’t as annoying as the Violet and Sam’s. For one, Lauren didn’t lose herself in the relationship and actually grew as a character because of it. Although Tomas is just sort of a filler character that helps Lauren grow, he was a lot more likable than Sam as a love interest.

“But she knew what came next.”

The mystery aspect was very appealing when reading the blurb, and it was one of the main reasons why I decided to read this book. I wish the book spent a little bit more time trying to solve the mystery, than going back to Violet’s timeline and letting us see the mystery unfold that way. The “mystery” was also very easy to figure out early in the book and all of the plot twists could be seen way before it ever happened. Even though it was predictable, I liked how Freeman incorporated the two storylines together at the end. The ending went by a lot quicker than the whole book, and I wished there was more.

“Passionately. Once she had thought the word described something different. Something fast and hot, like lightening. Now, she realizes, passion is a deep well, ancient and fathomless.”

Overall, while the book moved a bit too slowly for my liking, I did enjoy it. I wouldn’t say it was a quick read, as I was flipping constantly to see how many pages I had left, but I would suggest at least giving it a chance. So if you like historical fiction mixed in with modern fiction with a hint of female empowerment, then you’ll enjoy this book.

Posted in Young Adult

Burning Glass Review

BurningGlassBurning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Published: March 1st 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

Series: Burning Glass Book 1 out of 3

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, and she can’t always decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the charming-yet-volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

Let me just say that I really enjoyed about the first 100 pages, and the last couple of chapters. Those sections are really only where the plot happens. Everything else is filled with love triangles and crying.

I was more than wild—I was a walking keg of gunpowder

Sonya is an Auraseer who can feel other peoples emotions, but she is untrained and she can do things other Auraseers cannot. For instance, she can touch anything dead or drops of blood and feel their last emotions. You would think with her being extra special that this would help move the plot along or something, but it is mentioned a lot and barely used.

His face was blurry through my watering eyes.
I didn’t let the tears fall until he grew bored of me.

Sonya for the most part doesn’t know who she likes, the emperor (Valko) or his brother (Anton). When one brother doesn’t show his affection or treat her the way she wants then she goes to the other brother, and it is a constant back and forth for most of the book. Until eventually she does pick a brother and then we have to watch her cry because she doesn’t feel like she is good enough. Which I guess I can understand her self pity, but if she can sense everyones emotions shouldn’t she be able to at least discern his feelings for her a little bit? Even if he knows how to throw up a wall around his feelings, some of them are bound to leak out eventually. You would think finding out peoples feelings would be almost second nature to her.

My task might be monumental, but my gift-my curse-was the only means I had of making a difference in this world.

The plot, where you would think based upon the synopsis would be about Sonya picking a brother and a revolution that puts the brothers on opposite sides. You would be right and wrong. Right in that she has to pick between the two brothers, but hardly because of the revolution. The revolution is mentioned briefly in secret messages once or twice throughout the book, until almost the very end. So that part of the plot was very minuscule in the 500+ page book. On the other hand for about 400 pages of the book, the “love triangle” takes front and center stage. Valko has “feelings” for Sonya, and he is constantly manipulating her and she seems to never be able to say no (unless he is physically abusing her). Anton seems to always push her away, and we find out its because of some gypsy prophesy that his true love will have the same birthmark as him. ::eye roll:: To top it off, he thinks Sonya is only reflecting his feelings for her, so he doesn’t believe that she really loves him.

My feelings for you are here when I am alone, when you are miles form the palace I keep you with me. I choose to. you are the most impossibly stubborn person I have ever met. You are also the most honorable, the most caring. I love every part of you.

Would I recommend this book? Yes and no. If you like plots that deal heavily with romances and little else, then you will enjoy this book. You will root for Sonya and Anton and wish that he realized her true feelings earlier. If you don’t and want more action, then this may not be for you, unless you can deal with the love triangle mess.

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This is me barely hanging on, but I was so close to finishing!