When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, website like this she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Continue reading “Book Review: Starfall by Melissa Landers”
Long time, more about no talk, order no write, no see. I apologize for being pretty MIA lately. 2016 was a crazy year for me, in so many ways. I lost some friends, gained some more, reconnected with my estranged best friend and wrote not one, but two books. It didn’t leave a lot of time for blogging or reading. Continue reading “My 2017 Goals: Reading, Blogging and Writing”
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, website like this the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Continue reading “Book Review: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven”
Young Adult, medical Contemporary, Paranormal
Part of a Series?:
It is in a way. She’s going to write similar novels with other historical moments like the Salem Witch Trials.
July 26th, 2016
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Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?
If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
I love history novels. I love historical fiction. Probably because I’m a huge nerd and have an obsession with history, especially American history. Before I left school to focus on my writing, my major in college was history, with an emphasis on the American Revolution and Reconstruction. I love history. History is INSANE, and the Salem Witch Trials is just a tiny bit of what is incredible about US history. I did a panel with Adriana Mather (and the lovely Julie Buxbaum and Charlotte Huang) about a month or so ago, and I immediately fell in love with her as a person. She’s GREAT, and I love her background with this book.
Adriana is the descendent of Cotton Mather, the Puritan minister who had a pretty heavy hand in the Salem Witch Trials, and I love that she took that and ran with it in her novel. You can feel the familiarity of the world she builds in what she has experienced herself. The descriptions of the houses, the town, everything, felt like I was right there with her. I think its a mark of a good writer and a reader to be able to picture everything so easily without having to actually see it and I was with Adriana throughout the entire story. She paints the story with ease (though, as a writer, I know that this is SO not the case).
Samantha Mather, the main character, jumps off the pages and everything about it feels incredibly real. The history mixed with the paranormal…its just incredible. This book scared the crap out of me and kept me clutching the pages until the end. I loved every small discovery and the mix of witches and ghosts and magic and history felt like it was made exactly for me.
I think that’s what makes this book so damn good. It’s history. It’s magic. It’s scary. It’s full of action. It’s full of mystery. It takes so many different genres and mixes them together and you get this incredible story. Every character leaps off the page and I was eager to find out what happened at the end, and I was itching to learn more and more about the Salem Witch Trials that I perhaps didn’t know about before. It’s been quite a long time since I read a book that blended contemporary and paranormal so well and I loved this one. I loved Jaxon and Elijah and I loved the Descendents and I loved the intrigue of the whole novel.
When I did the panel with Adriana, she mentioned that she was going to be writing a story along the same lines about the Titanic and I’m OBSESSED with the history and story of the Titanic. I consumed books and articles and stalked websites and watched documentaries and I know more about the Titanic than I really should…so I’m dying to get my hands on this book. I was already excited about it but now I’m even more so after reading this book. Adriana is great at balancing fantastic characters with a compelling and addicting story and that’s a hard thing to do. I can’t wait for more.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Young Adult, information pills Fairy Tale Retelling
Part of a Series?:
November 8th, 2016
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Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.
Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
From the very first moment that I started this novel, I knew immediately that I was going to love it. First off, I just adore Marissa Meyer and I think she has an incredible way with fairy tale retellings. She did an entire space epic with Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White and it was amazing. I had high hopes for Heartless and they were not let down in the slightest. From the moment that the book started, with fun and silly banter between Catherine and the Cheshire Cat, I knew I was a in love.
Marissa gives a unique twist to the Queen of Hearts story. We only know so little of her from Alice’s adventures and this book opens her up, makes her human, makes you root for her. She’s so real and I love every bit of it. I hate that she feels so forced to marry the King, and be on his arm. I hate that she has so many expectations on her and she doesn’t feel like she can live up to them all. All I wanted for her was to be in love with Jest and open her bakery shop. Knowing how her story eventually turns out…you cling to the pages, hoping and wishing that something will change the story, that it will work out the way you want it to.
But its more than just the twist of the fairy tale we know. Marissa manages to create this new world in a world we already knew. She’s so good at taking the characters we’re familiar with and making them new, fitting them to this story. It was incredible, every single moment of the story. She expanded the world and made it her own and I can’t even begin to explain how much I enjoyed it. I have been in one of the worst reading slumps ever this year but this is one book that held my attention from beginning to end. Catherine is an incredible character, one that I immediately took a liking to, and I was hooked in so quickly, addicted to this new world she created for us. It felt like Wonderland had collided with Victorian England and it was a thrill ride.
There are only 34 days until Heartless is out in the world and I’m urging you now to click the links above and preorder your copy now. Fierce Reads is also doing an epic countdown where you can enter to earn prizes, including signed copies of Heartless so definitely check that out as well. This is an amazing fairy tale retelling and I know that I enjoyed every single moment of it. Marissa Meyer only continues to get better and I think she not only does the Queen of Hearts justice, she takes her story and makes it explode. She makes Catherine a real person, a person that you root for, even as you know she’s heading toward heartbreak and rage. I can’t wait to get my hands on a finished copy!
5 out of 5 Stars
Young Adult, web Contemporary
Part of a Series?:
September 13th, 2016
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A girl forced out of her comfort zone finds that being true to herself is the best way to live her life, in this second novel from the author of For the Record.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Skylar Hoffman’s senior year at her preppy East Coast boarding school should have been perfect:
the coolest friends
the most desirable dorm
But it’s far from it. To her dismay, Skylar’s not going to rule senior year because she’s stuck in Abbot House, a tiny dorm known for, well, nothing. Living with a group of strangers everyone thinks is lame is bad enough. Worse is that Skylar wasn’t exactly truthful about how she spent summer break in Los Angeles—and her little white lie is causing her once rock-solid romance to crumble fast. And when it turns out that Skylar’s best friend is the one responsible for having her booted from Lincoln? It’s an all-out war.
Stepping out of her comfort zone never felt so scary—or necessary. But everything is different now. Including, maybe, Skylar herself . . .
Have I ever mentioned how much I seriously love boarding school stories? Seriously. I probably would have totally hated going away to school, because I’m a total homebody and I would hate having a roommate, most likely, but I absolutely 100% love boarding school stories. It opens up so many possibilities. I love that there always seems to be a distinct lack of supervision. I doubt that’s the way it really is but I love that the stories ALWAYS include that and it provides for so much shenanigans. Boarding school life is always sort of romanticized in a way in books and as soon as I find out Skylar was a boarding school kid, I was hooked.
What I loved about this book, and what made me love Charlotte’s first book, is that she excels at capturing the teen voice and the teen spirit. There are times when I’m about ready to strangle Skylar’s neck but I love Skylar. I love her journey for It Girl to Geek Girl to just straight up, I’m Skylar Hoffman and I may not totally know who I am but I’m figuring it out and that’s okay. She makes Skylar so real. She rises and falls and makes mistakes again and again but she comes out at the end a little stronger than she was in the beginning. What I loved was that Skylar doesn’t come out of the story, perfect and all knowing. She’s still stumbling and figuring things out, which I think is pretty normal for any 18 year old girl.
The best part of the book, however, is all the supporting characters. I adore each and every single one of Skylar’s new friends in her new dorm. I love how each and every single one of them is so unique and fun and they all have their own dorky quirks. All I could think of any time one of them came on the page is how much I wish they were real and how much I wish they could be my friends. I really think its a great thing when authors can create incredible secondary characters. Sometimes the supporting characters sort of blend in the background because the author focuses so much on the main character but every character that Charlotte brings on the page is so unique and so well developed and its why each one will stick with you.
This book comes out in less than a week and this blogger will be moderating her launch event with Julie Buxbaum and Adriana Mathers at Chevalier’s Books in Los Angeles and I honestly can’t wait. It’s a wonderful book and I highly recommend it. It’s a quick read, and a fun read and I absolutely adored it. Charlotte is two for two so far with me and I can’t wait to see what else she brings to the table.
4 out of 5 Stars