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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards



Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Are they labels or a warning? The answer could cost Sera everything.

Murder, justice, and revenge were so not a part of the plan when Sera set out on her senior camping trip. After all, hiking through the woods is supposed to be safe and uneventful.

Then one morning the group wakes up groggy, confused, and with words scrawled on their wrists: Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Their supplies? Destroyed. Half their group? Gone. Their chaperone? Unconscious. Worst of all, they find four dolls acting out a murder—dolls dressed just like them.

Suddenly it's clear; they're being hunted. And with the only positive word on her wrist, Sera falls under suspicion…
  

My review:
First, thank you NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I love this book! It's the closest thing to horror I've ever read. It was more mystery thriller but I could totally see this being a horror movie.
The main character is really well developed. Sera has a lot of struggles from her past that effect her throughout the book. She's scared of becoming like her mother.
Then there's Lucas. Everyone thinks he's dangerous because of an accident that happened before. And Sera is trying to stay away... pretty unsuccessfully.
Emily is an amazing character. She has emotional baggage as well and throughout the book we get to see her come out of her little shell.
Jude is a stuck up rich kid. He's private and... deceptive. But he also undergoes a change during the book that leaves him less of a jerk.

I love how this book has many underlying themes. It's not just about a creepy stalker. It's about finding yourself and about judging people based on appearances.

The book is written in First Present Tense it feels like you're there with Sera; experiencing everything with her. It was a brilliant choice for this type of book.

My favorite part has to be the romantic tension between Lucas and Sera. I wont give to much away but there's defiantly a past between the two. It makes for some pretty great encounters and for some much needed sass in the book. And knowing me I LOVE MY SASS! Percy Jackson, Leo Valdez, Daniel Wing... I live for sassy characters.

Overall I loved this book and will defiantly keep my eye out for this author in the future. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Red Sun and Kalifus Rising by Alane Adams


The Red Sun (Legends of Orkney #1)Kalifus Rising (Legends of Orkney, #2)


Sam Baron just freed Orkney from the ravages of the Red Sun—but now, imprisoned by Catriona, leader of the Volgrim Witches, Sam finds the darker side of his half-god, half-witch heritage released, and he fears he might destroy what he saved. Unable to resist the witches' enchantments, Sam has become their most potent weapon, and is leading an army of monstrous men against Skara Brae.

Sam’s only hope for salvation lies with his three best friends and a mystical artifact known as the Moon Pearl. Keely travels north in search of the pearl, while Howie prepares for the gathering onslaught. Leo seeks a powerful artifact in the underworld, and faces an ancient evil that could be an even greater threat than Catriona and her cronies.

As Sam's friends rush to save him, other forces are at work in Orkney's shadows—forces that could help free Sam, or condemn him to the darkness forever.
 


Rating: 4 out of 5
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an ACR of Kalifus Rising.
I love this book. I'm a huge sucker for mythology, it's why I love Percy Jackson so much. This is the only book I've read based on Norse mythology and I have to say I'm hooked.

I should probably start with The Red Sun. I loved the idea behind it but this book didn't really enthrall me. This one is more of a 3 out of 5. I'm a big sucker for romance. It's one of the top things that I love about a book, but there wasn't any romance at all in this book!

I love the characters though. You have the main protagonist, Sam Baron. He stands up to the bullies and is friends with the outcasts. He's basically you're average protagonist and even though it's typical I love it. He does have one thing going for him though. He has a humongous temper, he gets blackout angry.

Then you have Howie, the kid that gets picked on. Howie is super sweet and has a huge heart. He's Sam's best friend and they always stick up for one another.

Then there's Keely. I love Keely. She's a book work and super smart. not only does she help Sam through the whole son of Odin thing but she has her own demons from her past haunting her. She's not just a sideline character, she has her own story as well, and it's something I love about her.

And last but not least, Leo. The Umatilla warrior. He's brave and loyal and defends his friends no matter the danger.

I felt like this book was a lot like Percy Jackson but wasn't exactly the same and I really enjoyed that.

Now Kalifus Rising... was fantastic! We meet new people like Theo and yes the author added Loki to the mix.

The characters really branched out from the first book. They all got there own quests and they all go there separate directions. Now the books aren't just about Sam, the other three are just as important, they have all been elevated to the same status as Sam.

Leo, Howie and Keely are all brought back to Orkney where they are deemed Odin's chosen one's.

Howie is Protector of Orkney. Everyone finds this hilarious and unbelievable because he's the scrawny kid who couldn't hurt a fly if he tried. Howie does grow up in the book though. You get to see him gain new skills and maturity without loosing his sense of humor, which I love.

Keely is The Seeker. Her quest is to find a moon pearl... in dangerous, harsh wintery weather. She's forced to deal with the demons of her past, and her new hair is amazing I might add. Did I mention she has magic now... Moving on!

Leo is The Sacrifice. he also seems to be the only one that doesn't like the role he's been put in. If it was me I would love to be the Sacrifice... just kidding... it sounds terrifying. But who better to face a terrifying task then the brave Umatilla warrior.

What I really love about this book is that Sam gets captured by the Witches and is unable to fend off their magic and his own dark magic pooling inside him. We actually get to have a bad protagonist for once! I love how the author portrayed his struggle to fight the dark and how she made the choice for him to give in. Most of the time they fight the darkness successfully but here we get to witness an author going against the status quo.

I love this book series and highly recommend it! Can't wait for the next book!

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

Rating: 5 out of 5

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves.



My Review: First off, thank you NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC of this book for an honest review.

This book was amazing. From the second I started reading it I was in love with the book. I couldn't put it down. (I know I don't like realistic fiction) But this book is another exemption from my fantasy mind. Unlike a lot of realistic books I've read this one didn't make me cry. Although some parts were emotional, it was mostly a fun upbeat book. Something I've been dearly missing. The book didn't really have a closure ending, not everything was "fixed" at the end, but it was still a happy ending. I love these kinds of realistic fiction because most of the time in real life there is no solution, you just have to deal with it and move on (but it still seems like everything will be okay!

The pacing of the book was excellent. It didn't go to fast, I didn't feel like I was being rushed through the book. And it didn't go to slow, I didn't feel like I was groggily walking through it one word at a time.

The characters are so much fun to read about and they're so well developed, especially Anise. It's clear the struggle she's going through. Then there's Lincoln, who makes you smile whenever you read about him because he can always make the best of the situation. The twins, Parker and Nash, have to be one of my favorite parts of the book. They're always getting into trouble (for Percy Jackson fans- these two remind me of Connor and Travis Stoll.)

My favorite thing about this book is that it talks about a lot of real life issues. Family problems, moving, identity, boy confusion (I can vouch for that one), college, friend drama. Sometimes I feel like realistic fiction could happen but no one can really relate to it. Like Everything, Everything. I love that book, don't get me wrong, but not a whole lot of people can relate to it. In this book there's a little bit for everyone.

I highly recommend this book!



Saturday, January 7, 2017

Top 16 of 2016

This post is so overdue but I'm so busy. Opening night for my show was last night and I was terrified... but it went well!

Lets start at #5- Reawakened and Recreated by Colleen Houck

When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.

And she really can't imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind.

But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.

Reawakened (Reawakened, #1)Recreated (Reawakened, #2)


I absolutly love Colleen Houcks writing. She is absolutly fantastic, although I do like Tigers Curse more then this new series of hers I still love it. There are some slow spots but overall I highly recommend this book. And i can't wait for the third book to come out (and the fifth book or Tigers Curse becauses shes writting another one!)

#4- And I Darken by Kiersten White
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

And I Darken (The Conquerer's Saga, #1)


I got this book from NetGalley and I have to admit the only reason I requested it was because a... friend (at least I think so...) wanted to read it. I love this book, the cover is beautiful and the plot line is so intriguing. I can't wait for the next book to come out!

#3- Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman and The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey
Girl Out of Water
Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word. 

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves

The Homecoming
Forced to return to his estranged family, John discovers how hard it is to truly go home.

It's been a year since John lost his girlfriend, Leah, to suicide. Living with his uncle keeps his mind from the tragedy and his screwed up family-until he gets into trouble and a judge sends him back home. With a neglectful mother and abusive brother, John's homecoming is far from happy.

As he tries to navigate and repair the relationships he abandoned years ago, Emily, the girl next door, is the only bright spot. She's sweet and smart and makes him think his heart may finally be healing. But tragedy isn't far away, and John must soon face an impossible decision: save his family or save himself.

Girl Out of Water

The Homecoming

I actually like The Homecoming more but I have two more books and these two are pretty close. The Homecoming made me cry. It's bitter-sweet. Girl Out of Water is a little more happy.It's not a sad book but it's really fun to read.

#2- Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
 My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.Everything, Everything


This is my favorite realistic fiction that I read this year. I love how the writing style changes and I love the illustrations (you'll never see me say that again.)

#1- The Darkest Mind (1st) Never Fade (2nd) In the Afterlight (3rd)

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.


 
 

I absolutely LOVE these books!! It's my all time favorite series AND Alexandra Bracken is my favorite author! It was recommended to me by a... friend (?)... the same one who recommended And I Darken. I can't wait to read her new book series Passenger.
That's my top 5!
The rest of the 16 books (in descending order):

Replica by Lauren Oliver
The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe
Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton
The Winners Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
Immortal Beloved Trilogy by Cate Tiernan
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher
The Crown by Kiera Cass
The Healers Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson
The Red Sun by Alane Adams
Harry Potter 1-4 by J.K Rowling


Can't wait to see what books are in store for me in 2017!