Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)

Goodreads Summary 
A princess must find her place in a reborn world. She flees on her wedding day. She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection. She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father. She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

My Thoughts
First let's all take a moment to stare at the cover because it is just gorgeous. I think it's really fitting for the book too. 

I loved the world in this book so much. There's just something about a non-modern world that I find so fascinating.  News is spread through word of mouth or through letters, people ride horses (or sometimes donkeys), and men are chivalrous. Imagine that. 

I really enjoyed all the characters too. Lia is a princess, but when she leaves her castle behind she doesn't act like a spoiled child. She bravely faces a world that is completely different than the one she is used to. In my opinion she was a little too trusting, but you can't completely fault a girl for wanting to see the best in people. Berdie, the inn owner, was a sweet older woman with a kind heart. I loved that she took Princess Lia in knowing that it could be dangerous for her. Gwyneth was a waitress friend at the inn and a mysterious one at that. I hope we learn more about her in book #2 because her backstory would probably be really interesting. Lia's brother Walther was a nice surprise. It was surprising he found her and their bond was really cute. I wish we got to see more of her other brothers because they seemed to be the people who influenced her the most.

Meanwhile there were these two guys who had their own journeys to track down the princess. There's the prince who is upset that Lia ran away and an assassin sent to kill her. Kaden and Rafe are mysterious throughout the whole book. Mary E. Pearson does a good job of convincing you who is who and then switching it up. I had an idea from the beginning (highlight this section to reveal a BIG spoiler that I had to discuss. Safe only if you've read the book!) , but changed my mind because I thought it would be too obvious for her to fall for the prince.  Silly me. Rafe was super adorable though. Tough ending for him!

I cannot believe we have to wait until 2015 to find out what happens next! 
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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3)

Goodreads Summary
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

What Did I Think?
I wish I had time to read Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door before picking up Isla (just as a refresher), but alas I lent them out. However the more I read, the more I remembered about the previous two books. The more I remembered, the more I loved the connections with Isla and the Happily Ever After. I cannot wait to read them back to back.

This book did not disappoint. It was a beautifully written love story. I must admit that I didn't really remember too much about Josh from Anna and the French Kiss. It has been years since I read it, he didn't play a big role (right?) in the book, and I don't feel too bad about not remembering him. If I did then maybe I'd be hung up on him and Rashmi and wouldn't love him with Isla. I really loved him with Isla. From the moment they "met" at the café in New York I was hooked. They were adorable together.

More than any other character I have read about in awhile, Isla reminds me of myself. We both crush from afar. We both are insecure about ourselves. We both have no idea what we want to do with the rest of our lives. The only difference is that she is eight years younger than I am and so much stronger. I could see myself reacting the exact same way to the events that took place in the book. I didn't question her at all and that made me question myself. I love when a book does that!

I know that this isn't considered a series, but I really do feel that these books should be read in order.  Characters from the past come back and you won't feel connected to them if you haven't read the previous two. So if you haven't read Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door yet than you should really do that now.

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I must note that there were a few transitions that didn't seem entirely natural, but that didn't affect my love for the book.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Anna (The Starseed Series #1)

*I was sent this book by the author to read and review*

 Goodreads Summary 
To the outside world, Anna appears to be an ordinary high school senior...

Anna has a lot of questions. Should she pursue her desire to leave home for college and live out her dream of becoming a physicist? Or should she stay home and help care for her family, which has struggled ever since her father died in Afghanistan? Is her crush, Steve, really interested in her, or is he only using the highly intelligent Anna to try and boost his grades in school?

These questions, plus the ordinary trials and tribulations of high school, distract Anna from noticing some very... strange things that are beginning to happen to her.

For as long as Anna can remember, she has had a haphazard smattering of freckles on her arm. But these freckles are starting to change, and cause a series of unnerving hallucinations and odd side effects that only Anna seems to notice. When a strange shadow man starts to haunt her nights, she decides to go on a hunt for the truth to discover, once and for all, what is happening to her. The hallucinations continue growing stronger, however, and each new visit by the shadow man appears to become more and more threatening. Eventually, Anna realizes that she can no longer hide from her friends and family what is happening to her.

But as she shares her secret with those closest to her, Anna never imagines that her very life, and the lives of those she loves, will be put in jeopardy.

Who, or what, is Anna?

My Thoughts
I have so many thoughts floating around my head right now, but let's start with the cover. I am so glad that this book has such a gorgeous cover. This could've just as easily been some cheesy girl, laying in the grass, looking at the stars...thank goodness it isn't. Props to whoever picked this out. 

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. You can tell that Anna was Meghan Riley's first (published) book. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, but the writing style makes it known. At times it almost seemed like a stream of consciousness. It added an endearing quality to the book that fit quite nicely with the mind of a teenage main character. However, at times I found there to be too many unnecessary adjectives. Everything had a description. You knew every article of clothing the characters were wearing, the architectural aspects of every house Anna went to, and the exact shade of Jared's eyes. Sometimes it got to be too much. 

 Although some would say that the description of the book was a little misleading, I didn't entirely mind. I am not usually into science fiction/paranormal type books so this was a nice introduction for me. I did however feel like sometimes there was just too much fluff. Anna was more about Anna the super smart, high school senior and less about the mysterious freckles on her arm. I did love that I felt connected to her (even if I didn't understand the science she felt so passionate about). I admire Meghan Riley for making Anna a physics nerd. I love that she has aspirations that aren't your typical female aspirations. She wants to be an astrophysicist. When was the last time you read a book about a female character that wanted to be a scientist? Never? Ya, me too.  

As much as I didn't understand the science aspect, I loved the paranormal parts. The shadow man was intriguing. He was creepy, but I always got the feeling that he was there for a reason. I wish that the book had been more about that and less about Anna being a normal high school student. There was a lot of fluffy build up, a climax, and then boom it was done.

 If you usually read contemporary but want to dip your toes into a paranormal book than this could be the book for you. Check it out on!
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Thursday, 14 August 2014

Bout of Books 11

Bout of Books
It's Bout of Books time again! I didn't do the last few, but I thought I'd put in as much time as I could this month.

 Check out the details...
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Time Devoted to Reading 
I'll be reading at every free moment. I'll read in the mornings before work and then in the evenings when I get home. My town is getting a new library on Monday (whoohooo!!) and I'll have to take some time off reading to check it out, but other than that I see no distractions on my days off. 

Due to a drastic reading slump, I'll be happy if I finish two books this week.

Books to Read
*books will be added and removed from this list as I go*
  • Anna (The Starseed Series #1)
  • Outlander (Outlander #1)
  •  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  • Black Ice 
Number of pages I’ve read today: 248
Total number of books I’ve read: 1 (Anna)
Number of pages I’ve read today: 177
Total number of books I’ve read: 1 (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)

Number of pages I’ve read today:362
Total number of books I’ve read: 1 (most of...I've Got Your Number)
Number of pages I’ve read today:70; 339 =409
Total number of books I’ve read: finished I've Got Your Number and Isla and the Happily Ever After
 Friday & Saturday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 392
Total number of books I’ve read: Black Ice

Number of pages I’ve read today: 29 #FAIL
Total number of books I’ve read: 5. Not bad since my goal was 2!
Books read: Anna, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, I've Got Your Number, Isla and the Happily Ever After, Black Ice, and a tiny bit of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
Final Tally: 5 books and 1, 617 pages.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Four (Divergent # 0.1- 0.4)

Goodreads Summary
Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth comes a companion volume to the worldwide bestselling divergent series, told from the per-spective of the immensely popular character Tobias. The four pieces included here—The Transfer, The Initiate, The Son, and The Traitor—plus three additional exclusive scenes, give readers an electrifying glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the Divergent trilogy.

What did I think?
I found Four's perspective to be interesting. Was it as engaging as Tris'? Well no. We get to see his daily struggle as a Dauntless member as he moves up in the ranks, but I oddly didn't feel as connected to him as I did with Tris. This could be because we got to see so little in comaprasion, but I'm not sure. We do gain some insight as to why he treated Tris the way he did, but I wanted more. Mostly, because I am a giant girl, I wanted to experience his first kiss. Yes we did get to see him get his first tattoo, his first day working at Dauntless, and grieving (a little) over Amar, but it just wasn't enough for me. 

I don't want it to seem like I didn't enjoy the book because I did. I am happy that it can join my Divergent books on my shelf. I just wish there was more to it.

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Friday, 8 August 2014

Ugly Love

Goodreads Summary
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

My Thoughts
No matter how many Colleen Hoover books I read, I am NEVER ready for the emotional roller coaster I always partake in. This book is no exception. You would think that I would have been prepared since the book is called Ugly Love, but nope. It's not even like I went into the book completely blind, I didn't. I knew the main plot of the book and was impatiently waiting for months for it to finally hit the shelves. I was still not prepared. I'll bet that you won't be either.  Love is messy under the best circumstances, but under the worse it can tear you to pieces. 

I love that this book has two perspectives, but not necessarily the perspectives you thought when you first picked up the book. We get to see what Tate is going through. We see her meet Miles, avoid Miles, kiss Miles, sleep with Miles, and fall for him. The other perspective isn't present day Miles, but the past. We get to see little fragments of his life leading up to his darkness. We get to see the light before the dark rushed in. I honestly wasn't a big fan of how Miles' point of view was written. The repetition bothered me a little and forced me to read it a few times to make sure I wasn't missing something. I enjoyed the Miles chapters, but sometimes I felt myself trying to rush through them to get to the Tate chapters.

This brings me to the Tate chapters.  ... I enjoyed these characters. I understood that Miles had something going on that prevented him from opening himself up. I appreciated that Tate cared for him. I adored her relationship with Cap. What I didn't understand was what Tate's problem was. Why was she allowing Miles to treat her like a doormat?  I just don't get it. As I write this I can see myself erasing stars from my final review. Tate makes it seem okay for women to just accept that they should be treated like crap.  Miles repeatedly tells her that he feels nothing and she keeps coming back for more. Why didn't she fight him sooner? Because the sex was good? Seriously? I think the redeeming thing about these scenes was the fact that he sometimes genuinely seemed to care. He was always upfront. He genuinely did not want to hurt her. I just wish she stood up for herself. I wish she didn't just take it. For those reasons I am dropping my rating from a 4.7 to a 3.

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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

On The Fence

Goodreads Summary
For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high. 

My Thoughts
This book was SO cute! If you want to read a quick, contemporary read than pick this book up.

On The Fence is a story about first loves, but it's also a story about self discovery. Charlie has three older brothers. She has grown up being one of the guys. After her mother died tragically in a car accident when Charlie was six, she was left without a maternal figure and at sixteen she feels like she could use one. Charlie's dad is great but can she really talk to him about makeup and boys? She never really questioned any of this until she is forced to get a job at a local boutique. She is introduced to the world of cute clothes and makeup and it makes her uncomfortable. When she meets a guy all glammed up, Charlie assumes that she has to be girly for guys to be interested.

I loved the role of family in this book. Charlie is extremely close to her brothers; they are her best friends. Her honorary brother, Braden, is no different. For a long time that was true, but their nightly talks by the fence have her questioning that.

This is such a sweet story about family and discovering who you are. Check it out!

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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Geography of You and Me

Goodreads Summary 
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

My Thoughts
I bought this book a few months back and I'm sure I read the summary then (unless I bought it online), but I had forgotten all about it. I knew it was on my shelf and it was irritating me that I hadn't picked it up yet, so the other day I did. I have mixed feelings. 

Lucy and Owen meet in an elevator and have a great connection. They quickly become friends and then they both disappear from each other's lives. Lucy is dragged to London with her family and Owen goes on a road trip with his father. Their only way to keep in touch with each other is through  email and postcards. The concept was cute and then they both met other people. Of course they met other people! That's what happens when you leave the country/state, you meet people! I just that I like my love stories to not be filled with the characters dating other people. I'm fussy like that. 

At the end of the day, this story was cute. Cute, but not memorable. 

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