Book Review: Passenger (ARC) by Alexandra Bracken

Genre: 

Young Adult, page Fantasy

Pages: 

464 pages

Part of a Series?:

First in a planned trilogy

Release Date: 

January 5th, adiposity 2016

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

passage, diagnosis n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

My Review:

I am actually kind of sad that this is the first novel that I have ever read by Alexandra Bracken. I have owned The Darkest Minds for quite awhile and haven’t read it because honestly I just haven’t gotten to it. I was lucky enough to get this ARC of Passengers (which came in the coolest ARC box – see picture below) and I dove right in. I mean, look at that book cover. That book cover is absolutely gorgeous and that book grabs you as soon as you open the cover.

This book is absolutely incredible. I think its such a great blend of fantasy and history and mythology. I love that there is a time travel aspect and I love that it just flows seamlessly, that it just works. It gives that sort of fantasy to it but Alexandra writes it so well that it just is so easy to accept. I love time travel and I love this approach to it. Its beautiful. Its a beautiful example of world building and I give Alex massive props for creating it. I love it all.

I also love the history aspect of it. Seriously. A lot of research had to go into it. This book jumps from 2015 to the 1800s and the 1600s and World War 2 and all over the place and I love every single moment of it. I am a former history major and I love history. I love historical novels so the various time and places that Etta and Nicholas visit are just beautiful. I seriously hope there is more of that in the sequel, I imagine so, because that was easily my favorite part of the book. I love the time travel and the history and the myths and the way it sort of flowed together. It was part fantasy and part science fiction and 100% amazing.

I also really loved the dynamic of Etta and Nicholas. There is obviously a romance there but the difficulties between them are so real. Two different time eras, and the way they think and the way they were raised, the things they want in life. And then there’s this complication of them running through time, on an endless scavenger hunt for a hidden object. And Nicholas is, I believe, half-black, which makes him traveling through time, difficult, to say the least. There are so many aspects to this novel, obstacles and such and they’re blended so wonderfully. I loved it.

I loved every bit of this novel. I am seriously so impressed with this novel and I can’t wait to get the finished copy in my hands. I’m so lucky that I got to read it early because seriously it was so good.

The only problem with it though is now I have to wait MUCH longer for the sequel.

I’m so bad at waiting.

 

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: The Fifteenth Minute (ARC) by Sarina Bowen

Genre: 

New Adult, find Contemporary, website Romance

Pages: 

294

Part of a Series?:

5th in the Ivy Years Series

Release Date: 

October 13th, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Freshman Lianne Challice is known to millions of fans as Princess Vindi. But sometimes a silver screen sorceress just wants to hang up her wand, tell her manager to shove it, and become a normal college student. Too bad that’s harder than it looks.

She’s never lived a normal life. She hasn’t been to school since kindergarten. And getting close to anyone is just too risky — the last boy she kissed sold the story to a British tabloid.

But she can’t resist trying to get close to Daniel “DJ” Trevi, the hot, broody guy who spins tunes for hockey games in the arena. There’s something haunting his dark eyes and she needs to know more.

DJ’s genius is for expressing the mood of the crowd with a ten second song snippet. With just a click and a fade, he can spread hope, pathos or elation among six thousand screaming fans.

Too bad his college career is about to experience the same quick fade-out as one of his songs. He can’t get close to Lianne, and he can’t tell her why. And the fact that she seems to like him at all? Incredible.

My Review:

Dear Sarina Bowen,

I have always had a soft spot for hockey. I have. I used to live next to this big empty lot when I was a little kid…that eventually became the Arrowhead Pond, now called the Honda Center…which houses the Anaheim Ducks. I love hockey. I had a friend in grade school who had season tickets. I got to meet some seriously awesome players back then. I love hockey. I haven’t been as attached to it over the past couple years because my first love is baseball. This is true.

Because of your writing, your stories, and your characters…I am now massively in love with hockey. Your stories freakin ROCK. Every single story is so different and the characters so unique, but you make them all lovable and you make it so we want to keep reading about them, book after book after book. Seriously. This fictional world you’ve created at Harkness College feels so incredibly real to me and I love every moment of it.

Which brings me to DJ and Lianne. I ADORE every moment of Lianne. I love that she’s this super famous actress in this super cheesy film series, and that she just wants to go to school and be normal but even without the whole famous-actress-super-rich-thing, she’s just SO awkward as hell and it just makes the whole book to me. You’re trying to figure out how to handle that she’s this famous person, but you’re too busy laughing at how insanely normal and silly and awkward and awesome she is. Seriously. I’m jealous of Bella for being her sort of roommate because I want Lianne to be my best friend. I love that behind this facade of supposed perfection is this girl who is literally just trying to figure out who she is, and where she stands. She’s insecure with boys and she is embarrassed at Bella and Rafe’s sexy times next door. She’s so refreshingly normal and I fall in love with her at every page.

And then there’s DJ. I adore DJ and I think its because we’re able to keep this connection to the hockey theme of the whole series but in a totally different new way. I love that he used to play but that being in the booth, playing music, playing with the reactions of the crowd, and using the music to interact with the players. I love music, a lot, but I have no connection to it other than loving it and listening to it. DJ makes it seem like so much, and connects it with something I do love: sports. I never thought of the music other than something they play through the speakers but it can have an effect on the crowd and the players and I LOVE it.

Plus, okay, besides all of that…you just write amazing books. I laugh a lot, and the sexy times are ALWAYS so good, and it makes me want to become a better NA sports romance writer, and you are a huge influence.

Keep writing these. I’ll keep reading. For sure.

Also, can I, like, HAVE Rafe? I know he belongs to Bella and all that, but I’d like him to kind of belong to me too? Is that okay? Is that a real thing…

Let me know.

Love, Sara

Rating: 

5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Flamecaster (ARC) by Cinda Williams Chima

This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through Edelweiss. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.

Genre: 

Young Adult, adiposity Fantasy

Pages: 

544 pages

Part of a Series?:

1st of the Shattered Realms Series. This is a spin off series of the Seven Realms series

Release Date: 

April 19th, shop 2016

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Adrian sul’Han, treat known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

My Review:

I can’t even begin to explain how much I absolutely loved this book. When I saw that I was able to get my hands on an eARC…I nearly cried. This series is a spin off of my FAVORITE series by Cinda, the Seven Realms…and I knew that I was just going to love it. And sure enough I did. I don’t know why more people don’t read her because honestly, I think she has such an incredible handle on fantasy. And not just YA fantasy, but fantasy period. The world building skills that she shows in here just blow my mind. Its hard enough to build a world and make it last for four incredible books, like she does in the Seven Realms but to take that world and expand it and make it just as good, if not better, is just a skill that I could only dream of. Both Ash and Jenna are fabulous characters, one that I adore so much, and I can’t wait to read more of their stories. I like that they both are so different from Raisa and Han but they are just as compelling, just as interesting, just as addicting. They have their own paths to travel and that is what makes Cinda so good at what she does.

I think the biggest thing that I like about this book is that it has that beautiful familiarity to the world I already totally fell in love with in the previous series but it stands alone as well. It brings in new characters and new ideas, even new magic. There’s so much that is different about it and I just love it from bottom to top, beginning to end. Its a complete, beautiful story in just one book but you know that the series is only going to get more amazing as more books come out.

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Forever with You (ARC) by J Lynn

Genre: 

New Adult, viagra Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 

384 pages

Part of a Series?:

Book #5 in the Wait for You Series

Release Date: 

September 29th, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Some things you just believe in, even if you’ve never experienced them. For Stephanie, that list includes love. It’s out there. Somewhere. Eventually. Meanwhile she’s got her job at the mixed martial arts training center and hot flings with gorgeous, temporary guys like Nick. Then a secret brings them closer, opening Steph’s eyes to a future she never knew she wanted—until tragedy rips it away.

Nick’s self-assured surface shields a past no one needs to know about. His mind-blowing connection with Steph changes all that. As fast as he’s knocking down the walls that have kept him commitment-free, she’s building them up again, determined to keep the hurt—and Nick—out. But he can’t walk away. Not when she’s the only one who’s ever made him wish for forever . . .

My Review:

I read this book incredibly fast. Maybe in a few hours. There are two reasons for this. One of the reasons is this: we went to an event in Las Vegas where J Lynn was signing and she had 30 copies of this book to give out. I got the very last copy. Being the fabulous friend I am (I’m so modest haha), I wanted to share it with my friends. I knew that I was the fastest reader and I had to finish it so I could pass it around.

I also read through this book because I think this may have become my favorite of the series. Okay, not really because I still say Be With Me is my favorite BUT this one is a seriously close second. Like by a minimal percentage between the two.

I was excited to read Stephanie’s story. Stephanie is someone we barely know through other people but I was hooked on her right away. Yeah, she’s hooked up with a few dudes, but once she is there for Tessa when Tessa comes home to find her dead roommate, I knew that she was going to be important and that I would just love her.

A few pages in and I was already so totally sure. There’s a quote from her in the beginning that immediately made me love her.

“I’ll never really understand it, I realized as I sat there, staring at the red and green flecks of the leftover peppers, why others’ sexual habits bothered people — especially other women — so much. Of all people, you’d think women would be more tolerant of other women’s choices, but sadly, a lot aren’t. In a lot of ways they could be worse than the guys. It wasn’t like I was sitting in judgement over those who waited for marriage or believed sex automatically equaled love. I could care less if someone had two partners or fifty. So why did they have to?”

That’s when I fell in love with Stephanie. She felt really similar to me. She wants to find love. She wants to settle down and have a relationship. But in the meantime, she’s going to have fun. She’s safe and all that but comfortable in her own body and if she sees a guy that she’s attracted to…she goes for it and doesn’t feel one ounce of guilt about it. And I absolutely love it. There should be no guilt for that. Its just perfect as hell.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Nick as well. And I love the story that they have. I love that an unexpected situation brings the two of them together. I love what came for the two of them from that. I love their story. I love Nick. Oh I adore Nick. I love how we have this view of him but when things change for him and Steph…he just steps up and becomes this person and I just fall madly in love with him. I love Nick.

But this book was amazing to me because of Stephanie and her story. I felt connected with her right away. And what she goes through in this book has happened to me. I know the sort of feelings it leaves, I know how it never really goes away and I know the feeling of disappointment in leaves in yourself, like you should have known, you should have done something more. I know that’s vague but spoiler free, remember? Especially since there’s still a TON of time until this book is out and I don’t want to ruin it for everyone. But I loved this book and the characters and I love Stephanie. If there was a character that was so like in J Lynn’s series, I would say Stephanie. I thought Tessa for awhile and I’m definitely still like Tessa but Stephanie…I bonded with her right away.

I’ll just say this too: we get a lot of really awesome news for other couples we’ve fallen in love with over the past few books and we see some super awesome things for them and it was allllll the feels. Such a beautiful book. Sigh. If you’re a fan of this series, definitely pick this up at the end of September!

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Tonight the Streets Are Ours (ARC) by Leila Sales

23310761This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through snail mail at the permission of Fierce Reads, viagra and Macmillan Teen. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.

Genre: 

Young Adult, abortion Contemporary, prostate Romance

Pages: 

342 pages

Part of a Series?:

Standalone Novel

Release Date: 

September 15th, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

My Review:

I am not entirely sure what I expected of this book. I know when I read the description, I needed it in my life because it sounded so good and I made sure to add it to my request list when it came time for me to request my Macmillan titles. It just had a great feel to it and I needed to read it.

That being said, again, it wasn’t what I expected but I liked it. You come to expect something in particular when it comes to a YA novel and this definitely was different than what I am used to, for sure. I loved each and every one of the characters, even the ones that surprise you and end up being different than what you had expected. I think that sometimes you can get in a rut of finding incredibly predictable books and that’s how Leila Sales blew my mind. I didn’t expect this sort of ending, or really this sort of book, at all.

And I think that’s what makes it so good! Life is unexpected and unpredictable and all over the place and so is Arden’s life. It takes place over a short amount of time, but you can see where she goes from having everything perfect, planned out, but only on paper, until she discovers this blog and she wants so much more, and she becomes obsessed with a different life from her own. She goes in search of this blogger and what she finds is just so much different from what she expected and its surprised the hell out of me. But I adore the way the story takes place and the effect it has on Arden and her story.

I’m really excited for this book to be a part of the MacTeen family. Leila Sales wrote a seriously good book here and I think its really going to be a hit with YA readers. Contemporary is SO huge right now and the fact that this one is a little off the beaten path and has surprises all over the place will really make it a favorite, easily!

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars

July Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2015:

150

Am I On Track: 

8 books behind. Not even stressed at all.

Books Read So Far: 

78

Total Books For July: 

10

Dream of You Novella

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Re-Read)

Rome

Nash

Rowdy

Forever With You (ARC)

Asa

Penguins with People Problems

Upside Down

Him

*      *      *      *      *      *

Favorite Book of the Month:

Forever with You by Jennifer L Armentrout

This book just blew my mind. It was a story very close to my heart as well so…yeah, what is ed it just meant a lot. And JLA just gets better with every book.

Least Favorite Book of the Month:

Upside Down by Lia Riley

I definitely didn’t hate this book but I wasn’t massively in love with it either.

Books I Want to Read Next Month:

With This Heart by R.S. Grey

The Rose Society by Marie Lu

The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

Hollywood Witch Hunter by Valerie Tejeda

Just One Song by Stacey Lynn

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Jubilee Manor by Bethany Hagen

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

Full Re-Read of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

*     *     *     *    *