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Review: Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters

Title: Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters

Author: Emily Roberson

Date of Publication: October 20th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Ariadne’s whole life is curated and shared with the world. Her royal family’s entertainment empire is beloved by the tabloids, all over social media, and the hottest thing on television. The biggest moneymaker? The Labyrinth Contest, a TV extravaganza in which Ariadne leads fourteen teens into a maze to kill a monster. To win means endless glory; to lose means death. In ten seasons, no one has ever won.

When the gorgeous, mysterious Theseus arrives at the competition and asks Ariadne to help him to victory, she doesn’t expect to fall for him. He might be acting interested in her just to boost ratings. Their chemistry is undeniable, though, and she can help him survive. If he wins, the contest would end for good. But if she helps him, she doesn’t just endanger her family’s empire―the monster would have to die. And for Ariadne, his life might be the only one worth saving.

Ariadne’s every move is watched by the public and predestined by the gods, so how can she find a way to forge her own destiny and save the people she loves?

My Review:

This was a pretty awesome story! And I actually didn’t know this particular Greek mythology tale so it was nice to be able to read something new on that!

The whole social media thing, along with the Greek stuff, was pretty interesting! It just goes to show how bad social media can be. I do use social media a lot, but I actually prefer the world without it.

I absolutely loved Theseus and Ariadne! They had wonderful chemistry and worked great together as a team. My one con is that in the beginning it was super insta-love. I just wish there would have been a little build to that.

Overall, this was a fun book with cool world building, and I would actually love to see a sequel on this because I want more!

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Who is your favorite Greek god or goddess?

Review: Seven Endless Forests

Title: Seven Endless Forests

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Date of Publication: March 31st, 2020

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Goodreads Summary:

On the heels of a devastating plague, Torvi’s sister, Morgunn, is stolen from the family farm by Uther, a flame-loving Fremish wolf-priest who leads a pack of ragged, starving girls. Torvi leaves the only home she’s ever known, and joins a shaven-skulled druid and a band of roaming Elsh artists known as the Butcher Bards. They set out on a quest to rescue Torvi’s sister, and find a mythical sword.

On their travels, Torvi and her companions will encounter magical night wilds and mystical Drakes who trade in young men. They will sing rowdy Elshland ballads in a tree-town tavern, and find a mysterious black tower in an Endless Forest. They will fight alongside famous Vorseland archers and barter with Fremish wizards. They will feast with rogue Jade Fell children in a Skal Mountain cave, and seek the help of a Pig Witch. They will face wild, dangerous magic that leads to love, joy, tragedy, and death.

Torvi set out to rescue a sister, but she may find it’s merely the first step toward a life that is grander and more glorious than anything she could have imagined.

My Review:

When I saw there was going to be a companion to The Boneless Mercies, I knew I needed it! And this cover alone is golden!

Torvi was the perfect MC with an emotional backstory. On her journey, she doesn’t forget about what had happened to her in her past, but instead, let it make her new path stronger. Madoc was probably my favorite side character, but I loved them all, especially the Pig Witch, too!

I always love Tucholke’s writing so much! This book was beautiful and strong and I never wanted it to end! I loved the characters, the world building, the myth. Perfection!

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What’s your favorite book involving a journey?

Review: Looking Glass

Title: Looking Glass

Author: Christina Henry

Date of Publication: April 21st, 2020

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Goodreads Summary:

In four new novellas, Christina Henry returns to the universe she created for Alice and Red Queen, where magic runs more freely than anyone suspects, but so do secrets and blood.

Lovely Creature
In the New City lives a girl called Elizabeth, a girl who has a secret: she can do magic. But someone knows Elizabeth’s secret–someone who has a secret of his own. That secret is a butterfly that lives in a jar, a butterfly made by a girl called Alice.

Girl in Amber
Alice and Hatcher are just looking for a place to rest. Alice has been dreaming of a cottage by a lake and a field of wildflowers, but while walking blind in a snowstorm they stumble into a castle that seems empty and abandoned…at least until nightfall.

When I First Came to Town
Hatcher wasn’t always Hatcher. Once, he was a boy called Nicholas, and Nicholas fancied himself the best fighter in the Old City. No matter who fought him he always won. Then his boss tells him he’s going to battle the fearsome Grinder, a man who never leaves his opponents alive.

The Mercy Seat
Alice has a secret–a secret that not even Hatcher knows yet, but pretty soon she won’t be able to keep it from him.

My Review:

I absolutely adored The Chronicle of Alice duology, so I just knew I had to get my hands on this collection of shorts!

I’ll have to say that my two favorites were, When I First Came to Town and The Mercy Seat. I think because I love Hatcher so much! So I loved seeing his life before Alice and then after Alice!

Girl in Amber was just okay—I think because Hatcher was missing for most of it, and I wish he would have been there more. But I get why it was done that way. And as for Lovely Creature, it was interesting, but again, I was still wanting more of Alice in that one!

Overall, this is a wonderful collection who wanted a bit more after reading the original Alice duology! Also, Henry has the best writing!

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What’s your favorite retelling?

Review: The Vanishing Deep

Title: The Vanishing Deep

Author: Astrid Scholte

Date of Publication: March 3rd, 2020

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Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Tempe was born into a world of water. When the Great Waves destroyed her planet, its people had to learn to survive living on the water, but the ruins of the cities below still called. Tempe dives daily, scavenging the ruins of a bygone era, searching for anything of value to trade for Notes. It isn’t food or clothing that she wants to buy, but her dead sister’s life. For a price, the research facility on the island of Palindromena will revive the dearly departed for twenty-four hours before returning them to death. It isn’t a heartfelt reunion that Tempe is after; she wants answers. Elysea died keeping a terrible secret, one that has ignited an unquenchable fury in Tempe: Her beloved sister was responsible for the death of their parents. Tempe wants to know why.

But once revived, Elysea has other plans. She doesn’t want to spend her last day in a cold room accounting for a crime she insists she didn’t commit. Elysea wants her freedom and one final glimpse at the life that was stolen from her. She persuades Tempe to break her out of the facility, and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents’ death and mend their broken bond. But they’re pursued every step of the way by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea’s time is up–and before the secret behind the revival process and the true cost of restored life is revealed.

My Review:

What a unique and interesting world! I loved the whole world drowned by water concept! It had a tinge of Waterworld but a hundred times better!

These characters! I especially loved Lor. He had so much guilt going on and he just needed some love! Elysea was seriously a wonderful side character! She was sweet, genuine, and unselfish! Tempe, you couldn’t help but feel for her, especially after being alone for the past two years and struggling to survive!

I swear, Scholte has the coolest worlds, best twists, and excellent writing! I can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve next!

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What do you imagine your ideal world to look like?

Review: Sisters Red

Title: Sisters Red

Author: Jackson Pearce

Date of Publication: June 7th, 2010

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Goodreads Summary:

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris — the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls’ bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett’s only friend — but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they’ve worked for?

My Review:

Oh boy! So Little Red Riding Hood is one of my favorite fairy tales ever, so I was pretty excited for this one. And I will say this retelling was a lot of fun!

But here’s my issue. First, I think Scarlett should have been the love interest of Silas! But if it couldn’t have been Scarlett, I would have been fine with Rosie. But what I’m not fine with is that Silas is 21 and Rosie is 16. Would it have been that hard to have bumped Rosie’s age up or Silas’s age down? And then there were several situations where there were old Fenris (wolves) that lusted for Rosie as well so that made me feel weird too!

Other than that, the retelling aspect felt original with good dialogue and a super interesting concept! Plus anything with werewolves can draw me in!

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What’s your favorite fairy tale?

Review: Between the Spark and the Burn

Title: Between the Spark and the Burn

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Date of Publication: August 14th, 2014

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Goodreads Summary:

Freddie once told me that the Devil created all the fear in the world.
But then, the Devil once told me that it’s easier to forgive someone for scaring you than for making you cry.
The problem with River West Redding was that he’d done both to me.

The crooked-smiling liar River West Redding, who drove into Violet’s life one summer day and shook her world to pieces, is gone. Violet and Neely, River’s other brother, are left to worry–until they catch a two a.m. radio program about strange events in a distant mountain town. They take off in search of River but are always a step behind, finding instead frenzied towns, witch hunts, and a wind-whipped island with the thrum of something strange and dangerous just under the surface. It isn’t long before Violet begins to wonder if Neely, the one Redding brother she thought trustworthy, has been hiding a secret of his own . . .

My Review:

After loving book one so much, I was wondering what I was going to get with the sequel. And fear not, it was just as good as book one with weirdness, awesomeness, and coolness!

I liked that Violet felt like a real teen. She was indecisive, questions her actions, protective, and loving! And Neely was seriously the best!

Each of the side characters have their own quirks and we get to meet some new ones as well as reminisce with the old ones!

April just has a way of writing that is addictive and beautiful and perfect! This duology is just what I needed!

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Have you read this series?

Review: Cadaver & Queen

Title: Cadaver & Queen

Author: Alisa Kwitney

Date of Publication: February 27th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

When Lizzie Lavenza enrolled at Ingold as its first female medical student, she knew she wouldn’t have an easy time. From class demands to being an outsider among her male cohorts, she’ll have to go above and beyond to prove herself. So when she stumbles across what appears to be a faulty Bio-mechanical–one of the mechanized cadavers created to service the school–she jumps at the chance to fix it and get ahead in the program.

Only this Bio-mechanical isn’t like the others. Where they are usually empty-minded and perfectly obedient, this one seems to have thoughts, feelings… and self-awareness.

Soon Lizzie realizes that it is Victor Frankenstein–a former student who died under mysterious circumstances. Victor, it seems, still has a spark of human intelligence inside him, along with memories of things he discovered before his untimely death.. .and a suspicion that he was murdered to keep that information from getting out. Suddenly Lizzie finds herself intertwined in dark secrets and sabotage that put her life, and the lives of Victor and their friends, in danger. But Lizzie’s determined to succeed–even if that means fighting an enemy who threatens the entire British Empire.

My Review:

I love anything having to do with Frankenstein, but am super picky when it comes to retelling stuff and usually am like NOPE! But this time, I was like YEP!

First, I was drawn into that cover, and then that title, and then the blurb! I really loved the twist on this especially since Victor was the monster. It brought something completely new to the table!

I also really liked Lizzie too! She was relatable, smart, and caring. Also, I loved the romance here so much. I want to give this two characters a big hug!

The world was unique and I seriously was all about the writing in this one, too! Very fun spin on things and I can’t wait to read the companion!

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Are you a Frankenstein fan?