Archive | January 2018

Review: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

Title: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

Authors: Stefan Bachmann, Leigh Bardugo, Kendare Blake, A. G. Howard, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu, Jonathan Maberry, Danielle Paige, Carrie Ryan, Megan Shepherd, Nova Ren Suma, McCormick Templeman, April Genevieve Tucholke, Cat Winters

Date of Publication: August 18th, 2015

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Goodreads Summary:

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

My Review:

This book of short horrorish stories wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be, especially with all the awesome authors that are in this one! But, it wasn’t bad either, just okay overall. There were some really good ones, though.

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The Birds of Azalea Street by: Nova Ren Suma I didn’t really get this one. It’s inspired by the Birds but in no way does it compare to that at all!

In the Forest Dark and Deep by: Carrie Ryan – This was a very cool and creepy Alice in Wonderland inspired story with a giant March Hare!

Emmeline by: Cat Winters – Very good! I loved the setting and the writing! Emmeline was a very interesting character!

Verse Chorus Verse by: Leigh Bardugo – This one was weird but not in an amazing way. I was surprised that I didn’t like this more because I generally love Leigh Bardugo!

Hide-And-Seek by: Megan Shepherd – Ah—yes. This one was really great! The main character was also one smart cookie! Plus the whole trying to avoid death thing was awesome!

The Dark, Scary Parts and All by: Danielle Paige – This one was all kinds of fun! The story was engaging, and Damien was an interesting character!

The Flicker, The Fingers, The Beat, The Sigh by: April Genevieve Tucholke – I really liked the two inspirations for this one. The story was good, but I hate the main character Theo. He was such an ass and got pretty much what he deserved.

Fat Girl with a Knife by: Jonathan Maberry – This one was all kinds of fun! Also Dahlia was a freaking awesome character!

Sleepless by: Jay Kristoff – There was one twist that I did not see coming, but the other one I did. I actually really liked this one at first, but then it faded to just being okay.

M by: Stefan Bachmann – I couldn’t get into this one!

The Girl Without a Face by: Marie Lu – Marie’s writing is always good, but this one was just okay for me.

A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by: McCormick Templeman – The writing was good in this one, but I wasn’t completely captivated.

Stitches by: A.G. Howard – I thought this one was pretty awesome, and Howard’s writings and descriptions are always so entrancing.

On the I-5 by: Kendare Blake – I liked the ending on this one!

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Do you like horror stories?

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Review: Everless

Title: Everless

Author: Sara Holland

Date of Publication: January 2nd, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

My review:

The first thing I thought when I read the summary for this book was that terrible movie In Time with Justin Timberlake. Come to find out it was a lot like that but a fantasy version.

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I found there was some creative aspects, but more than anything there was a whole lot of nonsense and soap opera feels. Is it possible soap opera fantasy can be a thing? Because that’s what this is! It was also a mixture of several other fantasies I have read.

My main pet peeve was this girl was so in love with this guy, Roan, yet she hadn’t seen him in ten years since the age of seven???? How can you even remember most of that? How can you even claim love at age seven?? I can understand if the last time she saw him was like around age thirteen, but come on!!! Also, Roan felt underdeveloped as did his brother Liam. It was always Jules remembering she hated Liam when she was seven, so he must be evil, right?

It was pretty predictable, but I will say the author wrote well. I just really wasn’t a big fan of Jules and her thoughts. Plus, most of the story made no sense. I normally love stuff that doesn’t make sense so not sure what the heck happened here. Again, the whole book was her thinking back to age seven… I’ll most likely still check out the next book at the library just to see how it ends.

 

How does this book sound to you?

Review: Sky in the Deep

Title: Sky in the Deep

Author: Adrienne Young

Date of Publication: April 24th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she’s been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble. And after the village is raided by a ruthless clan many believe to be a myth, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who has tried more than once to kill her. Together, they must end the blood feud between their clans or watch their people be slaughtered.

A lush, Viking-age inspired fantasy about loyalty, forgiveness, and the definition of family.

My Review:

So, is this really a stand alone? I mean, really? Because I’m tired of every single fantasy book having more and more books. The ending was awesome! But if the author wants to do a spin off, I would be okay with that.

Anyway, this book had lots of vikings, and lots of awesome hair. I want viking hair. There was brutal fighting mixed with family bonds, friendship, and romance—which filled my cup of tea completely up.

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Let’s just say I am all about axes now. Eelyn was a strong character, even though she questioned herself, questioned her people, questioned the Riki—it all made her human and the perfect MC. Fiske was quiet and stoic, but when he loved people such as his family, he protected them fiercely.

Overall, this book was a whole lot of fun, and I loved the author’s writing. I will definitely be reading whatever she puts out next!

How does this book sound to you?

 

 

Allerleirauh: Review + Excerpt

Title: Allerleirauh

Author: Chantal Gadoury

Publisher: Parliament House Press

ISBN: 978-1537868608

 

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Once Upon a Time… In the kingdom of Tranen, a king makes a promise to his dying wife that he’ll only remarry a woman who possesses her golden hair. In time, the king’s eyes are turned by his daughter. Realizing her father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick him by requesting impossible gifts: dresses created by the sun, moon and stars, and a coat made of a thousand furs. But when he is successful, Aurelia sacrifices her privileged life and flees her kingdom, disguised by the cloak and a new name, Allerleirauh.

She enters the safe haven of Saarland der Licht, where the handsome and gentle Prince Klaus takes her under his care. Hoping not to be discovered by her father’s courtiers, Allerleirauh tries to remain hidden under her new identity when she finds unexpected love with Prince Klaus, even though his arranged marriage to the princess of a neighboring kingdom approaches. Risking everything, Allerleirauh must face her troubled past and her fears of the future along her journey to self-acceptance in this triumphant retelling of the classic Grimm Fairy Tale.

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Excerpt from “Allerleirauh”

“If you ever decide to remarry, you must marry someone who has my golden hair.”

The words echoed in my ears as my mother murmured them to my father. The entire court had gathered there with us in that darkened room with stone walls covered in old tapestries of red and golden threads, watchful eyes of men and women looming over us from the walls.

My mother, the Königin, the queen of Tränen, was dying.

Servants had lit candles across the room, creating a gloomy, death-like ambiance. The only source of light came from the flames, curling out like a snake’s tongue from the fireplace. Many of my father’s councilmen stood murmuring while they waited for the queen’s end to come. They waited for death’s dark cloak to wrap around her like the cape of the goddess, Nótt.

Mother lay in her bed, her form still as her breaths became shallower; her lungs becoming less full of air. Her hair, like spools of golden thread, clung to her pale skin. My father’s hand brushed over her forehead, pushing the strands away. She lifted her hand, touching his, seeking an answer from him.

The contrast of her skin against his was shocking. She was pale—corpse-like, the tips of her fingers already turning a frosty shade of blue. My father kneeled, dressed in a white tunic and tan hunting trousers. His light brown beard seemed thicker than usual. His tired blue eyes, the same eyes that others often commented reflected my own, gazed upon my mother.

He was a handsome man for other women to admire.

He carefully grazed his lips over her knuckles. I could hear his soft murmuring.

“My wife. My poor, lovely Frau.” There had been talk that he had been by her bedside for majority of the night and all through the morning, while I had been kept in my chamber. I was to wait until the end was nearly at an impasse before I was to bid my mother farewell. He had waited upon her on bended knee. It was an unexpected display of affection. My father had never been the affectionate sort, and especially never with me in all my nineteen years.

His gaze drifted toward the line of young maids surrounding the queen’s bedside, all waiting for an order or request. He lifted a hand and beckoned one of them closer. With reddened cheeks, one of the maids took a step toward the bed, offering a warm, wet rag for my mother’s forehead.

My father’s eyes seemed to taunt the maid to come closer as they glittered in the candlelight, a small, amused smirk on his lips as he held out his hand. He knew his effect on women, as did my mother. My father seemed to have always found a strange delight in tantalizing the young women of the court right under my mother’s nose–especially the young maids of the castle. His wandering hands had been an unacknowledged topic between them, and yet had most haunted my mother in her own private chambers.

As I was guided away from my tutoring lessons earlier in the afternoon, I found many of my father’s councilmen murmuring in the hallways. Their conversation had rattled me as they spoke of the queen’s declining health, proclaiming quite loudly their uncertainty of the future of the Königreich, the kingdom. With no male heir, there would be no one with my father’s bloodline to carry the crown. If he were to die, the succession would be uncertain, leaving the kingdom without a König, and I would be left with nothing. There were a few young girls my father had bedded over the many years of his rule, all of whom had come to his knees, begging for acknowledgement, money, or a future for their child. Many of the children were male, all of which my father craved to take under his wing. But as the string of his lovers began to unravel before my mother, she’d quickly banished them and their children from our courts.

“Any male that is not born from me will never be König,” she insisted. My mother feared of finding herself replaced by a younger, more beautiful woman, who would give the king something she could not . . .

A son.

I had been told my mother looked to my father with apologetic grey eyes on the day of my birth. The wet nurse had lifted me, the accursed girlish bundle into the arms of my father as my mother promised, “A son I will give you next time.”

As I grew older, I could see the desperation in her eyes as my father drifted from maiden to maiden, leaving a trail of bastard children in his wake. All while she remained infertile.

As a girl, I was no use to my father. Without a son, the marriage with my mother would always be a failure in the eyes of his court. Because I had not been born a boy, I rarely saw my father. I was only granted permission on special occasions.

My mother hardly paid attention to me either; I was a constant reminder of her failure, her misery, her curse. I had only been permitted to receive an education in writing and reading, and brief history lessons about the kingdom and surrounding countries. I excelled in learning and did what I could to avoid all the other womanly lessons I was expected to learn. I hated the mundane tasks that were deemed appropriate for the fairer sex. My mother did everything she could to keep me tucked away in the castle, out of sight. I was never permitted to join the court for festivities. My mother preferred me to stay in my room or the library, like the castle’s ghost. She wished to pretend I didn’t exist. As my youth began to pass before me, I wondered if I would spend the remainder of my years hidden away behind the stony walls of my father’s castle. I wondered whether, if my mother finally had a son for the king, somehow his birth would release me from the prison which cradled me in my own home.

“Promise me,” my mother hissed at my father presently, as she grabbed his hand. She pushed herself up in the bed with a grunt, to look at him more closely.

I watched them as I clung to the red velvet bed drapes. I could feel myself grow light-headed from the warmth in the room and the array of eyes and voices behind me as they murmured their fears and prayers.

“Promise me,” she begged, her voice cracking as he tucked another golden curl behind her ear. “She must have golden hair, like mine.”

As I watched her glossy strands circled around his fingers, I touched my own loosened curl. My hair was tied back with a black ribbon to match the black gown that Myriah, my nursemaid, dressed me in—a symbol of mourning. And yet, I felt nothing like how a daughter should feel while watching her own mother die.

Perhaps my mother thought her eager demand would bring her peace in the grave. I understood. If she could not be a proper wife, who’d brought him honor with a prince, perhaps her golden-haired replacement could be. Fear surged cold through my hollow ribs as her last breath slipped between her lips, her hand slowly falling from my father’s firm grasp.

A cold shiver ran up my spine as I heard my father’s reply.

“I promise.”

His gaze lifted to me in the quiet moments after. I was my mother’s reflection and her only true legacy. And I knew the king’s promise would become my curse.

My Review:

I absolutely adore the beautiful cover on this, and is what drew me in first. Then I saw that it was based on a Brother’s Grimm fairy tale. Then I read the blurb and was like, “oh yes!”

First, what I liked best about this story was that the girl wasn’t some overly badass who was some magical fighter that seems unreal in most of these fantasy books. Not that I don’t love fantasies with a girl that can kick butt, but sometimes you just want a story where the girl is strong in another way. Aurelia was just that girl. What happened with her father was beyond horrible, and as sad as it is instances like that happen in real life. And I liked how her progression with what occurred wasn’t a magical overnight healing, but the process of time. Yes, there is a beautiful romance, but it started out as a friendship that bloomed into something more. She also didn’t heal because of a guy, but instead he helped support her in the process.

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The journey I had with Aurelia is one I will hold dear. And it was nice to find a fairy tale that felt more for upper YA and adults without being all angsty. Plus I liked that the guy was sweet! There needs to be more books like this!

Find Out About Other Books by Chantal Gadoury at https://www.chantalgadoury.com/

 

About the Author

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Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published “The Songs in Our Hearts” with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh” with Parliament House Press, with future titles to follow. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-‘brother’ (aka, puppy) Taran.

 

Contact Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chantalgadouryfans/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cgadoury16

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chantalgadouryauthor/

Website: https://www.chantalgadoury.com/

 

Purchase Links:

Allerleirauh

Amazon

Parliament House Press

The Songs in Our Hearts

Amazon

Goodreads

Between the Sea and Stars

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The Songs We Remember

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Winter Dream

Goodreads

Blinding Night

Goodreads

 

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How does this book sound to you?

Review: The Last Girl on Earth

Title: The Last Girl on Earth

Author: Alexandra Blogier

Date of Publication: January 23rd, 2018

Goodreads Summary:

Li has a father and a sister who love her. A best friend, Mirabae, to share things with. She goes to school and hangs out at the beach and carefully follows the rules. She has to. Everyone she knows–her family, her teachers, her friends–is an alien. And she is the only human left on Earth.

A secret that could end her life.

The Abdoloreans hijacked the planet sixteen years ago, destroying all human life. Li’s human-sympathizer father took her in as a baby and has trained her to pass as one of them. The Abdoloreans appear human. But they don’t think with human minds or feel with human hearts. And they have special abilities no human could ever have.

Fit in or die.

When Li meets Ryn, she’s swept up in a relationship that could have disastrous consequences. How far will Li go to stay alive? Will she save herself–and in turn, the human race–or will she be the final witness to humanity’s destruction?

My Review:

What I liked best about this book was that it was a quick read! Every book I read lately seems to be like 500 pages or more. It also had my least favorite line “I released a breath I didn’t know I had been holding.” Come on! That sentence never makes any freaking sentence!

Ahead of time, this book definitely felt more like a contemporary than anything. There is this alien race now on Earth and Li is the only human. Since the setting is on Earth, not much seems different besides, they train hard and are super smart. Now, I didn’t mind that it felt more contemporary because the romance is sweet. But, I know how crazy some people get when books are more focused on the romance than sci-fi.

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Li and Ryn were both super likable. The romance is definitely inst-attraction which I don’t mine at all, but the romance built slower so that was nice. I’m also not super sure if this is a stand alone or not. The ending is left where there could be another one, but I think it should stay open ended.

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How does this book sound to you?

 

 

 

 

Review: Rebel

Title: Rebel

Author: Amy Tintera

Date of Publication: May 13th, 2014

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Goodreads Summary:

Wren Connolly thought she’d left her human side behind when she dies five years ago and came back 178 minutes later as a Reboot. With her new abilities of strength, speed, and healing—along with a lack of emotions—Wren 178 became the perfect soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Then Callum 22 came along and changed everything.

Now that they’ve both escaped, they’re ready to start a new life in peace on the Reboot reservation. But Micah 163, the Reboot running the reservation, has darker plans in mind: to wipe out the humans. All of them. Micah has been building a Reboot army for years and is now ready to launch his attack on the cities. Callum wants to stick around and protect the humans. Wren wants nothing more than to leave all the fighting behind them.

With Micah on one side, HARC on the other, and Wren and Callum at odds in the middle, there’s only one option left…

It’s time for Reboots to become rebels.

My Review:

This was an excellent ending to this fun series. There is a certain character named Riley who Wren meets up with, who was the one who originally trained her. He was awesome! Also, what I love is no love triangle!

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Wren and Callum were both so awesome! What I appreciate from Tintera is how she writes her characters. I tend to get annoyed with main characters easily, and I never felt that way with either of these two. Plus, Tintera knows how to write in humor well, even in books that have dark aspects. It rocks!

Besides the romance being swoony, the book was action packed! There was some interesting things we find out when Wren and Callum hit up the Reboot camp. I don’t want to give anything away! All I want to say is this series was great! I also can’t wait to read the conclusion to her other series (Ruined) later this year!

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Have you read this series?

Review: The Cruel Prince

Title: The Cruel Prince

Author: Holly Black

Date of Publication: January 2nd, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

My Review:

This is my first Holly Black book ever. However, my daughter has read the Spiderwick Chronicles and is a fan of those. I don’t know what I was expecting from this book. Maybe a little bit of darkness? Especially from the title. I’m not sure I got that exactly.

The opening Prologue was really good, but then things got pretty mundane for a while. The main character Jude, I really liked. She really wants to help the kingdom, even though she may have to betray some people in the process. I predicted a whole lot of things early on, and mainly because a certain character felt underdeveloped. I don’t want to give too much away, though.

Jude’s sister Vivi was my second favorite character, and Oak was so cute! Now as for Cardan, since the book is named the Cruel Prince after all, I was actually slightly disappointed in his character. I feel he was underdeveloped, too, but I’m hoping in book two he’s expanded upon. I think maybe because the book is from only one POV which I normally love, but here it would have been great to have been a few other character’s heads.

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As I said earlier, not much happened for a while until around maybe 66% (which is a long while). But when things finally started happening, I couldn’t put the book down. It definitely felt like an opening book of what’s to come. So, I didn’t love-love it, but I did really like it.

 

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How does this book sound to you?