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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Storm Siren by Mary Weber [Book Review]

Title: Storm Siren
Author: Mary Weber
Series: Storm Siren #1
Released: August 19, 2014
Source: Received from Publisher for honest review.

“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”
In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.
As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.
Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.
Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.
But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?
Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

I thought this book sounded very interesting based on the synopsis, but when beginning it I did not realize I would become so indebted to Nym's world and her story! I read it relatively quickly, finding myself flipping through pages wanting to see what happened next and I think the beginning really makes that an emotion which many will feel.

From the very first page you are transported to this other world and the story is fascinating.

If I were to compare this book to other fantasies that are out there, I would say it is as if Poison Study, and Graceling had a baby and you added water.  There is a lot of story with this one, and I felt as if there was always more going on.

Nym has been suffering for years with the guilt that she feels as an elemental without control. She has lost control with devastating repercussions and the novel begins with her feeling separated and very much alone. The path that she takes and the progress she makes with herself was what really had me indebted to this novel.  I enjoyed Nym, and I wanted to know about HER story. Elementals in her world are killed at birth, so her very existence puts her in danger. These aspects of the novel really helped push it forward and lead to a well rounded story where the plot made sense.

The villain-ess felt a bit stoic and was not well rounded. I like villains who have depth, and this one just didn't really have it. I'm hoping that in the next installment the villain's are fleshed out a bit more and more about each side can be included.

Also, the romance threw me off quite a bit as I felt like it was a bit forced for the sake of including a romance. I didn't think it was completely out of left field, but I do wish there had been more build up. It did not occur particularly early in the novel so it was not an insta-love situation, but it did in ways appear when I did not expect it.

THAT ENDING THOUGH.

The ending will leave you in distress for a need to know more. I can't really express too much, but any doubts I had about finishing the series went away with that final page. I need to read the next one, and I need to know what happens.

Ultimately, if you're a fan of fantasy and you're looking for a different concept this book should be checked out. I am interested to see where the next installments take Nym!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

I feel completely out of the loop this week, guys. My summer classes are finally winding down and I just feel very... drained? I have a review coming up tomorrow though, so you can see what I've been reading! 

I'm very excited for this book because it seems to have a dash of everything... what do you guys think? 

Release Date: November 3, 2015



Stay Tonight. Stay Forever.
When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.
Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn't have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.
The more Audrey learns about the new people she's met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems…
Welcome to the Ruby.
What are you waiting on this week? 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Follow Friday!



This week's question: 

What is your favorite movie?

I separate my movies by genres so that question is super hard! I'm not sure that I have a favorite overall movie. Lord of the Rings is pretty close, but then again Breakfast at Tiffany's understands me... Then there's the BBC Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, oh, and Gone With the Wind, and Indiana Jones! 

Picking a favorite movie doesn't work for me, how about you guys? Can you guys commit to a favorite movie? 

If you stop by from the hop, be sure to leave a comment so I can come check out your page! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

This one looks SO AMAZING. You may not have heard it here first, but lets all squeal with joy together shall we? 

Release Date: February 23, 2016


Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.
In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.
But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Stacking the Shelves!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

I am slowly making my way through all the books on my list and I think I am on a roll! I have been pleasantly pleased with the past few books I have read and I am hopeful that these new additions will be no different. 

For Review: 

Stay Tonight. Stay Forever.
When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.
Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn't have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.
The more Audrey learns about the new people she's met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems…

Bought: 



Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive -- alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth. 
The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.






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.

Weekly Recap:  

Sunday: The Weekly Write- Where I discuss writing life and my struggle attempting to write through doubt. 
Monday: Top Ten Tuesday! - The last ten books I received. 


What books did you guys grab this week? 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Map to the Stars by Jen Malone [Book Review]

Title: Map to the Stars
Author: Jen Malone
Format:Ebook
Source: From Publisher for honest review
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Link: Buy it here. ($1.99!)


Can one down-to-earth girl plus a very famous boy and a whole lot of paparazzi ever add up to a perfect Hollywood ending?Seventeen-year-old Annie Shelton isn't sure why her mom thinks moving to Hollywood will allow them to escape the drama of their small-time life in Georgia, but she's along for the ride. When Annie's mom snags a gig as makeup artist to a teen movie idol and finagles a spot for Annie to accompany her on his European promotional tour, Annie's pretty sure she'll be fangirling over architectural sights rather than teen heartthrob Graham Cabot.
But then of course she actually meets him. As Graham and Annie fall for each other in the most romantic cities in the world, Annie realizes that this turn of events may not be quite as glamorous as she thought. Instead of red carpets and celebrity couple names, they are navigating a minefield of keeping secrets from Graham's fans, overprotective assistant, stage "momager," and beefy bodyguard. And when the paparazzi make an appearance, Annie has to decide whether their love is worth the harsh glare of the flashbulb.

This was a very cute, short, light and fun read. Annie Shelton has just moved from Georgia to L.A. and is experiencing the culture shock to end all culture shocks. Suddenly she has been taken from her comfortable home life to this new world where celebrities exist... and they normally get what they want.

Annie has never been the type to get caught up in Pop Culture drama, but she finds herself right in the center and unsure what to do next. Ultimately, this book was cute - I'm not really sure what else needs to be said about it and no other word really sums up the book's premise quite like that one.

It is not overly simple, but there are also no real complex events that occur or plot points which take you by surprise... it's just a very cute book about a girl living out most girl's fantasies.

The fantasy was my favorite part and Graham was at times adorable, and at times a snob that I just wanted to punch in the face. He tended to flip flop, leaning usually towards the better of the two options and ultimately I liked him as a main character and did care about their ending.

There was a wee bit of "insta-love" which occurred, mainly due to the whole celebrity thing. The idea that Graham's attractiveness is off the chart is mentioned multiple times, and ultimately his looks paired with his dorky/adorable personality win Annie over very quickly. Perhaps too quickly.

There was a back story which was revealed slowly during the novel involving why Annie and her mother left Georgia for L.A. and it was an interesting story that wasn't what I expected.

Wynn, the best friend, is another good side character which adds some of the crazy celeb fan that one would expect when reading this type of novel.

The ending was cute, and I thought all the plot points were summed up nicely and topped with a fine little bow. I enjoyed this novel because it was rather simplistic, and it did read like a fantasy turned book reality which is great for anyone who dreamed of falling in love with their favorite celebrity!

Overall: This book is cute. It is perfect for a quick summer read or a day at the beach. It is definitely worth the $1.99 price tag. Be sure to check it out!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Release Date: October 6th


A bright, popular, and overweight seventeen-year-old is offered the chance to have weight-loss surgery. She doesn’t want the procedure, but when it comes with the promise of tuition to the college of her dreams, she is forced to reconsider it—and everything she previously believed about herself.

50 pounds for a trip to Disneyland. 75 pounds for a shopping trip in Paris. 80 pounds for a new car.

Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother—a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness. 

Ashley is content with her body as it is. But she falters when Grandmother offers the one thing she’s always wanted: tuition to Harvard University, in exchange for undergoing weight-loss surgery. What’s a girl to do when the reflection in her mirror seems to bother everyone...but her?

The frank discussion of body image, and the author’s first-hand experience living through weight-loss surgery, make for a liberating read—a tale of one girl, who knows that weight is just a number, and that no one is completely perfect.
 

Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books I Received...

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Let's look at the terror which is part of my TBR pile, shall we?

I am really excited for all of these books, so there is no lack of wonderful to be found here! 


Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix
The White Rose by Amy Ewing

Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
A Map to the Stars by Jen Malone
Velvet Undercover by Terri Brown

 

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines
Letters to Zell by Camille Griep
Da Vinci's Tiger by Laura Malone Elliot


Siren's Fury by Mary Weber
Storm Siren by Mary Weber


What are the last ten books you guys have gotten recently? 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Weekly Write: I Need YOU! [1]


The Weekly Write is a feature where I discuss all of my writing hopes, dreams, and fails. Feel free to join me! I love to hear what everyone is doing! 

I have attempted to do The Weekly Write once before but life got in the way. 
I say, no more. 
I need your help, guys. 

I need you to keep me inspired and keep me motivated to finish all of the projects instead of thinking about them constantly and feeling like a failure. 

I often feel conflicted when discussing my writing life. For years when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I "grew up" I would always say anything but "a writer." 

The word itself sounds scary. It feels scary. And most people don't understand. 

The truth is that my entire life I do not remember a time when "a writer" wasn't what I wanted to be. I would sit for hours and write words over and over agin, or copy chapters of Harry Potter because I just liked it and I didn't think anything I said or wrote would ever top it. (Let's be legit, THAT is still true). 

Looking back on it I was constantly heading towards one goal, and I would like other to join me as I try to make "it" happen. 

Let's talk about writing! Let's talk about reading writing! 
Let's encourage each other and try to make "it" happen for all us - whatever your "it" may be. 

Here are my weekly stats: 
Total word count: 40,082
Hours spent: 5
Words added: 4,322
Dream goal for next week: 50,000 (HA!) 
Realistic goal for next week: 46,000

So, all in all - not the best week. I also did get Scrivener which has been a large help with formatting and just separating my thoughts into tangible things. 

The truth is, this book may really suck - but I'm finishing it for me. 

This is The Weekly Write, and if you would like to join in, just leave a comment with your post or we can just talk about it there. I will be on Twitter as well where I will be hash-tagging my writing woes. 

We can get through this together. 

And I really want some company doing it. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's reviews! 

This week I received some great looking books that I am super excited for! 
 All of these are out NOW so you can have them too! 



Everything is going according to story for CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty)—until the day that Zell (Rapunzel) decides to leave Grimmland and pursue her life. Now, Zell’s best friends are left to wonder whether their own passions are worth risking their predetermined “happily ever afters,” regardless of the consequences. CeCi wonders whether she should become a professional chef, sharp-tongued and quick-witted Bianca wants to escape an engagement to her platonic friend, and Rory will do anything to make her boorish husband love her. But as Bianca’s wedding approaches, can they escape their fates—and is there enough wine in all of the Realm to help them?
In this hilarious modern interpretation of the fairy-tale stories we all know and love, Letters to Zell explores what happens when women abandon the stories they didn’t write for themselves and go completely off script to follow their dreams.
We all know that I'm a sucker for fairy tale retellings, so Letters to Zell sounded like something I needed to check out.  


“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”
In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.
As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.
Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.
Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.
But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?
Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.
I was very interested to hear about this series which somehow escaped my notice. It has a dark feel to it which interests me, and I can't wait to check it out. 

"I thrust my hand toward the sky as my voice begs the Elemental inside me to waken and rise. But it's no use. The curse I've spent my entire life abhorring—the thing I trained so hard to control—no longer exists."
Nym has saved Faelen only to discover that Draewulf stole everything she valued. Now he’s destroyed her Elemental storm-summoning ability as well.
When Nym sneaks off with a host of delegates to Bron, Lord Myles offers her the chance for a new kind of power and the whispered hope that it may do more than simply defeat the monster she loathes. But the secrets the Bron people have kept concealed, along with the horrors Draewulf has developed, may require more than simply harnessing a darker ability.
They may require who she is.
Set against the stark metallic backdrop of the Bron kingdom, Nym is faced with the chance to change the future.
Or was that Draewulf’s plan for her all along?

Thanks so much HarperCollins, Wunderkind, and Amazon!  

What did you guys get this week? 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Here are some of the books that I am ashamed to say I have never read. Here we find how horrible I am at finishing series... 


This book has been so hyped recently that I'm almost afraid to read it. It looks great though, so I should... right? 


I know, I know... I read the first one long before the movies came out, and just never got around to continuing. Perhaps I will... one day. 


I really liked Divergent, but again I just didn't feel the need to continue when I finished it. 


I think this book looks incredible! I'm almost glad that I haven't read them yet because there is no more waiting required to finish them all! I need to get to work on these for sure. 


I bought this book the day it came out... and then it just sat. It just looks and feels intimidating. It is still on my to read list - along with all of my piles of review books. Maybe one day...



Yeah, I felt pretty in the middle about City of Bones. I thought it was weird. Faeries aren't my thing and the whole monster thing was just odd. I like paranormal, but I didn't feel like the world that was created here was realistic on an emotional level, so I didn't finish. I liked it more after my first read than I do now looking back. I picked it up again and it was just clear I should just leave it be. 


I really loved Vampire Academy so I was really excited about this one. I've heard from so many people that it is very good but I think I am semi afraid to get invested in this one. The ending to Vampire Academy made me sad, the book was great but I missed Dimitri and Rose when it was over and I am afraid that will be a repeat. 

What hyped books have you been avoiding?



Thursday, July 2, 2015

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway [Book Review]

Title: Robin & Oliver
Author: Robin Benway
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Received from Publisher for honest review. 
Release Date: June 23, 2015


Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?
Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.
She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.
Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.
He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.
Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?
Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story. 

This was one book that I was very excited for. I have read Robin Benway before and I know that she has talent, but this was incredible. I am so upset that I didn't think of this plot. It is THAT good.

Oliver was taken from his home at a young age and kidnapped by his father. His mother and the people of the town have spent the past decade searching for him and then one day he is there. Emmy has lived her life as the neighbor of the boy who disappeared, and as a result her family had to see first hand the struggle his mother went through.

Emmy spends her time as a victim to an event which she had no control of, because of Oliver's disappearance her freedom was restricted... which though understandable, leads to secrets she is forced to keep from her family.

These two coming together creates a beautiful, beautiful story full of recovery for those who left and those who stayed.

Oliver was a fantastic character, and he had a lot of depth that kept me glued to his story. He is pulled between the father who raised him and the mother he barely knows. His story is heartbreaking because as a young boy his emotions are so torn and his confusion is evident.

Emmy was wonderful, resilient, and strong. She grew up having to see her best friend disappear. His memory and the person he has become is a constant reminder to her and they had moments in this book which made me feel the tears and all of the emotions they shared.

I loved the way it ended, and I would have loved to spend more time with Emmy & Oliver. The friend's depicted in this novel were a nice addition and I loved the relationship that they all shared together as a unit coming back together.

Overall: In short, this book is a great novel about friendship and its resilience, as well as love and learning to trust again. If you're a contemporary fan, don't miss this one.


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