Tag Archive | review

Review: By a Charm and a Curse

Title: By a Charm and a Curse

Author: Jaime Questell

Date of Publication: February 6th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

My Review:

I am extremely picky with Entangled Teen books. I think I have only liked Obsidian (Lux Series), The Book of Ivy, and Violet Grenade—I always seem to get let down. But I was like okay, this is about a carnival? I’ll have to try it.

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The book starts with Emma getting duped into taking over a boy’s curse. She ends up sort of wooden and having to work inside a box to find some other poor sap to switch her spots, so she can have her life back. I loved this whole aspect. I felt most of the book was original and really cool. I even liked both of the main characters Emma and Benjamin, because usually in these types of books someone gets on my nerves. But they were cute together.

Now, the part of the romance I hated was “love talking” way too soon. That is my biggest pet peeve in books. You can have attraction from the get go because that is pretty much real life, but come on with the loveeeeeeeeee. I think it would have been better with more build up, more interactions, and more conversations between the two—then it would have been more believable. This however was minor for me because the story really was good.

I have to let it be known that my favorite character here was Sidney. Yes, he put Emma in the box to begin with, but he felt like the most developed character in the whole book. And I loved him!!!!!!!! You’ll have to read and see why. So, I’ll definitely be pre-ordering a copy of this book!

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How does this book sound to you?

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Review: How to Hang a Witch

Title: How to Hang a Witch

Author: Adriana Mather

Date of Publication: July 26th, 2016

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Goodreads Summary:

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.

My Review:

I have always been fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials, and how such a crazy amount of people were accused and taken into custody and murdered! I have wanted to go to Salem for a long time to check out the history, so I was pretty intrigued when I saw this book.

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I thought it was a whole lot of fun. First, though, the whole mean girls thing who were known as the Descendants, kept reminding me of that terrible Disney movie my daughter watches. Second off, let me go with my couple of pet peeves… I let out a breath I didn’t know I had been holding… come on that’s not possible! Then there was the dreaded love triangle. It was obvious who Sam liked better butttttttt she still kissed them both and “liked” them both. It would have been a whole lot better if Jaxon would have only been a friend from the start, or Elijah (the ghost)—she would have only had to help, not crush on.

Other than that, the book was really fun. I thought a lot of the ghosty events were pretty cool. The rash scene was so freaking good. I did guess who the villain was, but that’s fine. Now, the book ended with a perfect ending that I loved, so I’m not so sure about a second book, but I’m going to start it now, so we shall see.

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How does this book sound to you?

 

 

Review: Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over

Title: Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over

Author: Shani Petroff

Date of Publication: May 15th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

A bad storm, two canceled flights, stuck in an airport with a hot stranger and the guy who broke her heart… what could go wrong?

After Sari caught her boyfriend Zev cheating on her, their romantic Florida vacation was ruined. She can’t get back to NYC soon enough. Unfortunately, mother nature may have different plans. A huge storm is brewing in the Northeast, and flights all over the country are getting canceled—including Sari’s. She winds up stuck at the airport for hours. With Zev!

When another stranded passenger (a hot NYU guy) suggests a connecting flight to Boston, Sari jumps at the chance. But when her mom freaks out about her traveling alone, she has no choice—she has to include Zev, and somehow survive being trapped with the guy who broke her heart!

My Review:

So, far this is my third book by Shani Petroff. And she is quickly becoming one of my favorite YA contemporary authors. She knows how to write the perfect humor mixed with a great story.

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What I loved best about this book was the setting! I love stories and movies involving airports. Sari has an upcoming trip all planned out, and her boyfriend Zev is going to be there with her. What happens before they are supposed to leave? She catches another girl’s lips planted on Zev’s.

My favorite character was hands down Zev, he was sweet and cute and thoughtful! I wish he would have shook Sari’s shoulders really hard! Sari, Sari, Sari… I love saying her name because it’s such an awesome name, but I wanted to smack some sense into her. What I liked best about her, though, was she felt like a real teen in that situation—and teens tend to overreact and do things without thinking! I know I did!

I had fun with this book, and even after I finished the last page, I kept thinking about the story. It just gave me all sorts of feels, and I was with Sari every step of the way. I can’t wait to see what Petroff has next!

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When’s the last time you were at the airport?

 

Review: Signal to Noise

Title: Signal to Noise

Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Date of Publication: February 10th, 2015

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Goodreads Summary:

A literary fantasy about love, music and sorcery, set against the background of Mexico City.

Mexico City, 1988: Long before iTunes or MP3s, you said “I love you” with a mixtape. Meche, awkward and fifteen, has two equally unhip friends — Sebastian and Daniela — and a whole lot of vinyl records to keep her company. When she discovers how to cast spells using music, the future looks brighter for the trio. With help from this newfound magic, the three friends will piece together their broken families, change their status as non-entities, and maybe even find love…

Mexico City, 2009: Two decades after abandoning the metropolis, Meche returns for her estranged father’s funeral. It’s hard enough to cope with her family, but then she runs into Sebastian, and it revives memories from her childhood she thought she buried a long time ago. What really happened back then? What precipitated the bitter falling out with her father? And, is there any magic left?

My Review:

The Beautiful Ones is still my favorite book so far by Silvia, but this one was pretty darn awesome. Also the cover on this one is redesigned, which the book is nothing like Stranger Things besides have a 1980’s setting. I’m all about the 80’s so the setting rocked my socks!

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As for characters, this was a very character driven novel. Meche was freaking cool and could also be utterly cruel, too—which I liked! Sebastian was so sweet and Daniela was adorable, especially with her Easy Bake Oven. So, Meche could basically do magic when records are playing, and she enlists these two friends to help her.

Meche’s dad is a real piece of work. We get some glimpses from his POV, and he constantly feels sorry for himself instead of working hard for his family. And he pissed me off with the things he did!

The book rotates back and forth between 1988 and 2009, and I liked in the later chapters that you got to see the characters grow, including Meche who needed it the most. The ending was great, and this was a fun book to get a magical nostalgia feel!

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Review: Ash Princess

Title: Ash Princess

Author: Laura Sebastian

Date of Publication: April 24th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she’s not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can’t keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser’s warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn’t expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who’s been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart’s sister, Cress.

Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she’s willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she’s willing to sacrifice to become queen.

My Review:

I’m just going to open up and say this book is just a jumbo of every other fantasy book thrown together, especially Ruined by Amy Tintera, which is a much better book in my opinion. There were Red Queen vibes as well. I think if this would have been my first YA fantasy book, I would have probably liked it a lot more. Also, throw in my most hated trope, sort of a weird love triangle, and you already have me annoyed. Another thing is I hate when an author tries to make a character seem more badass than they really are—Miss I am the almighty queen and take myself way too seriously.

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The problem I had with Theo/Thora is that she was bland, fickle over saying her friend Cress is her bff to no she isn’t, Soren I want you—Soren I want you dead, kiss me Blaise—Kiss. Me. Just. Because. We. Could. Have. Been. Then she was cocky, and all like I’m going to bring my almighty kingdom back. Enough! I wanted to shake this book and knock the stupidity out of it! Then Theo has this deep connection with the people from the rebellion from memories when she was like 7 and younger. How does she remember all this stuff from when she is like five, when I can barely remember yesterday!

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Anyway, the writing was really good in this, and it’s obvious the author has talent, but come on! If you take away the tropes (like girl wants to betray/kill guy, yet falls for him), this could have been so much better! Theo could have been amazing!

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Review: Language of Thorns

Title: Language of Thorns

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Date of Publication: September 26th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

My Review:

So freaking good!!!!

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Ayama and the Thorn Wood: I loved that the hero of the story isn’t a beautiful girl and that the outcome while expected isn’t expected. Bardugo’s writing was fabulous in this one! It also involved a beast which monsters can pull me in at any time!

The Too-Clever Fox: This story was excellent as well. I loved the fox, and sometimes event though you are clever, you may not be clever enough and still need some help. Great ending!

The Witch of Duva: This one was awesome! It had a Hansel & Gretel type vibe but was very different! Another great ending! So good!

Little Knife: This one had a great lesson, lovely writing, and characters that needed to take a look at their actions.

The Soldier Prince: This tale was a different version of the Nutcracker, and oh man it made me feel for that little toy soldier. I could feel his struggle, and the ending was well done.

When Water Sang Fire: What a sad and beautiful story! I love the Little Mermaid, and this put a whole new spin on things! I think Bardugo needs to write a whole novel after that ending!

 

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Do you like short stories?

Review: Daughters of the Storm

Title: Daughters of the Storm

Author: Kim Wilkins

Date of Publication: March 6th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Lying in a magic-induced coma, the King of Thyrsland is on the brink of death: if his enemies knew, chaos would reign. In fear for his life and his kingdom, his five daughters set out on a perilous journey to try to save him, their only hope an aunt they have yet to meet, a shadowy practitioner of undermagic who lives on the wild northern borders.

No-one can stand before the fierce tattooed soldier and eldest daughter Bluebell, an army commander who is rumoured to be unkillable, but her sisters, the loyal and mystical Ash, beautiful but unhappily married Rose, pious Willow and uncertain Ivy all have their own secrets to keep from her — the kind of secrets that if revealed could bring disaster down upon not only them, but the entire kingdom.

Waiting in the wings is stepbrother Wylm whose dealings with Bluebell’s greatest enemy, Hakon the Raven King, would end Bluebell’s dreams of revenge on his mother and propel his own desperate grasp for power.

My Review:

Okay, so this book had some pretty nice betrayal, which was my favorite part. There are a lot of POV’s, especially because there are five sisters, and each one has their own stuff going on in the book. I liked that I could tell them apart—the warrior, the romantic, the seer, the flirt, and the crazy. Bluebell reminded of Xena, because she was the ultimate fighter. There were times when I wanted to disagree with her, for example the stuff with Rose, but I could always see from her POV that she makes the best decisions for her kingdom.

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Now even though there were five different sisters, I couldn’t really connect with most of them. I didn’t expect to either, but I did like Rose and her daughter Rowan. I actually preferred the “villain” Wylm the most. Also sweet Eni! I felt so bad for Eni, and you have to read the book to see why. Also Willow was just a big freak of nature!

The story itself was good, and I was glad to see the F bomb dropped instead of made up curse words. I just wanted to love the characters more, which I hope will happen in the second book. But regardless, the book was very much entertaining!

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