Monday, November 20, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #89: Top Ten Books I'm Thankful For




Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I'm Thankful For (Happy Thanksgiving week in the USA!)




Tina's Picks
I'm thankful for the brave headstrong female protagonists in YA series. I love when awesome characters are brilliant yet innocent, manipulatively devilish yet gentle and sincere, and all around great examples of the complexity that is female.


Warcross by Marie Lu - female hacker uncovers the dark workings (terrorists?) of the virtual world.



Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol - second child citizens are raised as lowborns and treated as mindless soldiers of this dystopian society.

 
 
The Winter King by C.L. Wilson - Khamsin isn't about to sit back and let the men dictate her life. She leads her armies into the tumultuous battle of humans vs. ice demons.

 
Paladin by Sally Slater - Sam wants more than live a sheltered boring privileged life, she wants to become a warrior.


The Final Empire (Mistborn) by Brandon Sanderson - Vin didn't even know she holds Allomantic powers. As she was invited to join a complex thieving crew, she embraced her powers and grew to become a force to be reckon with.
 

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli - female dragon hunter who is more feared than her father's commander of the army. 
 

Roar by Cora Carmack - Aurora takes control of her destiny.


Prism by Nina Walker - wanted by her alchemy abilities, Jessa decides to become a player and change the game.

 

Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid - a creation to serve mankind turns more human than her creators and seeks to change the outcome of the Empire.
 
 
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Monday Reviews: Prism by Nina Walker



Prism by Nina Walker
Published August 17th 2017 by Addison & Gray Press
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-Fic, Romance, Dystopia
Page: 388
Rating: 4
of 5 stars
Review by: Tina



Synopsis

What if color held the secrets to powerful magic?

Forced to move into the palace, Jessa begins training as a Color Alchemist under the direction of the kingdom's most eligible bachelor, Prince Lucas. As an alchemist, Jessa must capture and harness the color of living things. Every color has a unique purpose, except red. Red is the untapped magic no one can access—until Jessa.

Prince Lucas is running out of time. His mother is deathly ill and healing magic hasn’t worked. When Lucas suspects someone is using alchemy to control her, he sets out to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

PRISM is the first installment of a unique young adult romantic fantasy series where a dystopian world with a Victorian flair meets the dynamic magic of color! 



Review

Thank you to Addison & Gray Press/Book Review 22 for sharing a copy of the first book in The Color Alchemist series.

The story begins in a nuclear middle-class family set in a dystopian society of normals and color alchemists. The Royal Officers are questioning the children over the discovery of a recent bloodwork done for an accident that occurred six months ago. Unable to find proof that the family are harboring color alchemists, the Royal Officers left. That night, during a Royal Ballet performance, Jessa accidentally triggers the separation of purple, the color in her ballet outfit, into blue and red. This startles the Royals and she is immediately captured.

Color alchemy doesn't manifest immediately until an event triggers the power, usually found in young children. In this case, Jessa's first reaction occurs at age sixteen. Colors from everyday life can be taken and used in intricate ways. Green, for example, is the power of healing. Blue is used to enhance listening. Orange allows the alchemist to move heavy objects. Color alchemists can access purple, blue, green, yellow, and orange, while black, red, and white are a mystery.


Thoughts

The story is cleverly written and the idea of using colors as a power source is very creative.

What I find fascinating is that no one is particularly innocent. Each person Jessa meets has an ulterior motive. What I find distracting is the romance blossoming between Jessa and Prince Lucas. They are each fighting for their idealism but they are unable to work symbiotically. Lucas withholding necessary information to appease Jessa's fears annoy me. And Jessa's antagonistic feelings over his protection of her also bothers me. Their interactions are frustrating to read, it seems their emotions are getting in the way of the story.

I really like the short inside look into the Resistance. Not much is revealed and they are a mystery player. It will be fascinating to see what role they play in the next book.




Monday, November 13, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #88: Top Ten Books I Want My Future Children to Read



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I Want My Future Children to Read (Or nieces and nephews, Godchildren, etc.)


Tina's Picks:

I can already envision bed time stories of Harry Potter :)

Of course the incredible Dr. Seuss series


 

How can we forget the magical The NeverEnding Story? Ah the good old '80s classics









Elmo & Friends










Ramona Quimby series











A Wrinkle in Time













The Secret Garden











The Wind in the Willows









The Arabian Nights













Little Women












What are your top ten childhood favorites?

Monday Reviews: When It's Real by Erin Watt





When It's Real by Erin Watt
Published May 30th 2017 by Harlequin Teen
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult, New Adult
Page: 413
Rating:
5
of 5 stars
Review by: Tina



Synopsis

Teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits. Oakley's team decides it's time for an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he's settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-recently orphaned, part-time waitress, the definition of "normal." Under normal circumstances she'd never consider this gig, but with her family in desperate need, she doesn't have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley's team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley's a shallow, self-centered jerk? It's not like they're going to fall for each other in real life…right?


Thoughts

I'm surprised to admit after reading Paper Princess, I didn't think Erin Watt would write another innovative truly addictive story. I was sorely wrong, not only is her 2017 release invigorating and refreshing but it has a strong narrative with a sweet and positive note. I can't express how much I gushed reading this story. It felt like a breath of fresh air.

I truly love this type of romance. I want to read more romance with music as the main focus. I think I've found my new love.







Monday, November 6, 2017

Monday Reviews - Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge




Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen
Published July 10th 2018 by Candlewick Press
Genres: Fairy Tales, Retellings, Fantasy, Young Adult
Page: 352
Rating:
5
of 5 stars
Review by: Tina


Synopsis

They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Henri Christian LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. The chevalier's cruelty is soon revealed, however, and Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside.

But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was.
 
 

Review


Thank you to Candlewick Press for sharing an early release of this title.

I am always looking for a good retelling and this tale surpassed my expectation. I was expecting splendor and grace, all the glam known from the Disney classic. I wasn't prepared for the cruelty that comes with the abuse of power and wealth. It felt like reading a dark twisted tale straight from the works of Brothers Grimm.

It is a wonder how stories are told of "the prince as the hero and the Beast as the spell" when in truth the Beast is more deserving of love and beauty. We are often disillusioned by a handsome face instead of recognizing a kind heart, a gentle soul.


I'm in awe and humbled by this clever tale told through the eyes of a lowly chambermaid. Beast is completely captivating, beautifully written, and powerful in truth.



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"Waiting On" Wednesday / Can't-Wait Wednesday #55:

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking The Spine.



Title:Renegades
Author: Marissa Meyer
Expected publication: November 7th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.


What are you waiting for this Wednesday?  Let us know in the comment section below.

-Shon

Monday, October 30, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #87: Halloween Freebie!



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Halloween Freebie! (Happy Halloween! Let your creativity run wild with a themed post to celebrate!)


Shon's Halloween TBR

1. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco 

2. Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke 

3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

4. How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

5. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness 

6. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

7. Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst 

8. The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

9. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

10. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco 

Disclaimer: I'm not the type of person who reads so-called spooky and scary books. I prefer reading more suspense, mystery books.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"Waiting On" Wednesday / Can't-Wait Wednesday #54:

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking The Spine.


Title: Darker (Fifty Shades #5)
Author: E.L. James
Expected publication: November 28, 2017
Genres: New Adult


E L James revisits the world of Fifty Shades with a deeper and darker take on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the globe.

Their scorching, sensual affair ended in heartbreak and recrimination, but Christian Grey cannot get Anastasia Steele out of his mind, or his blood. Determined to win her back, he tries to suppress his darkest desires and his need for complete control, and to love Ana on her own terms.

But the horrors of his childhood still haunt him, and Ana’s scheming boss, Jack Hyde, clearly wants her for himself. Can Christian’s confidant and therapist, Dr. Flynn, help him face down his demons? Or will the possessiveness of Elena, his seducer, and the deranged devotion of Leila, his former submissive, drag Christian down into the past?

And if Christian does win Ana back, can a man so dark and damaged ever hope to keep her?


What are you waiting for this Wednesday?  Let us know in the comment section below.

-Shon


 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #86: Top Ten Unique Book Titles




Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This is our Top Ten List of The Most Unique Book Titles we've ever heard: 
 
Shon's Picks
Graceling by Kristin Cashore  
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green



Tina's Picks
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton 
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović
  
 

 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Waiting On" Wednesday / Can't-Wait Wednesday #53: Harry Potter - A History of Magic: The Book of the Exhibition

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking The Spine.



Title: Harry Potter - A History of Magic: The Book of the Exhibition 
Author:  J.K. Rowling
Expected publication: October 20th 2017 
Genres: Fantasy


Harry Potter: A History of Magic is the official book of the exhibition, a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between Bloomsbury, J.K. Rowling and the brilliant curators of the British Library. It promises to take readers on a fascinating journey through the subjects studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – from Alchemy and Potions classes through to Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures

Each chapter showcases a treasure trove of artefacts from the British Library and other collections around the world, beside exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrationsfrom the Harry Potter archive. There’s also a specially commissioned essay for each subject area by an expert, writer or cultural commentator, inspired by the contents of the exhibition – absorbing, insightful and unexpected contributions from Steve Backshall, the Reverend Richard Coles, Owen Davies, Julia Eccleshare, Roger Highfield, SteveKloves, Lucy Mangan, Anna Pavord and Tim Peake – who offer a personal perspective on their magical theme.Readers will be able to pore over ancient spell books, amazing illuminated scrolls that reveal the secret of the elixir of life, vials of dragon’s blood, mandrake roots, paintedcentaurs and a genuine witch’s broomstick, in a book that shows J.K. Rowling’s magical inventions alongside their cultural and historical forebears.This is the ultimate gift for Harry Potter fans, curious minds, big imaginations, bibliophiles and readers around the world who missed out on the chance to see the exhibition in person.


What are you waiting for this Wednesday?  Let us know in the comment section below.

-Shon


 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #85: Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books (Does a character eat something you'd love? Or maybe the book takes place in a bakery/restaurant that makes yummy things? You could also talk about 10 of your favorite cookbooks if you don't read foody books.)




Shon's Picks
OR
Food & Drinks from the Potter Universe
OR
Food & Drink I Get Every Time I Go Universal Studios Hollywood The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  • Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans
  • Chocolate Frogs
  • Pumpkin juice
  • Butterbeer
  • Gillywater
  • Fizzing Whizzbees
  • Fudge Flies
  • Exploding Bonbons
  • Pudding
  • Beef Sunday Roast* 
 *Three Broomsticks at Universal Studios Hollywood

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"Waiting On" Wednesday / Can't-Wait Wednesday #52: Into the Bright Unknown

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking The Spine.



Title: Into the Bright Unknown (The Gold Seer Trilogy #3) 
Author: Rae Carson 
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 
Genres:Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical Fiction


The stunning conclusion to Rae Carson’s New York Times–bestselling Gold Seer trilogy, which Publishers Weekly in a starred review called “Simply terrific.” A historical fantasy brimming with magic, romance, and adventure—perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Sarah Maas, and Westworld.

Leah Westfall, her fiancé Jefferson, and her friends have become rich in the California Territory, thanks to Lee’s magical ability to sense precious gold. But their fortune has made them a target, and when a dangerous billionaire sets out to destroy them, Lee and her friends decide they’ve had enough—they will fight back with all their power and talents. Lee’s magic is continuing to strengthen and grow, but someone is on to her—someone who might have a bit of magic herself. The stakes are higher than ever as Lee and her friends hatch a daring scheme that could alter the California landscape forever. With a distinctive young heroine and a unique interpretation of American history, Into the Bright Unknown strikes a rich vein of romance, magic, and adventure, bringing the Gold Seer Trilogy to its epic conclusion. Includes a map and an author’s note.


What are you waiting for this Wednesday?  Let us know in the comment section below.

-Shon


 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #84: Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes (If the cover screams fall to you, or the books give off a feeling of being Fallish)


Shon's pick


Orange books always give me fallish feels.


The Final Descent by Rick Yancey

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes 

Half Lost by Sally Green

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Shon's Must Read Fall Book Recommendations

5. Harry Potter series 
6. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
7. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
8. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness by Ransom Riggs 
9. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
10. Six of Crows by Leigh Barburgo

Monday Reviews: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen





Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen Published April 1st 2014 by Strange Chemistry
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Paranormal
Page: 469
Rating:
5
of 5 stars
Review by: Tina




Synopsis

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…
But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for...
But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for...


Thoughts

This book came highly recommended by many YA book bloggers and I wasn't sure about a story on "trolls" and to my amazement, this is a delightfully fun read! There wasn't a scene when my heart didn't race in excitement.
 

What I Liked
What I enjoyed most from this book are the characters. They are relatable, warm, and well developed. They make you care about their problems and you ache to help them. My second favorite is the captivating story telling. The writing is action packed and full of drama and intrigue. The plans were well thought out and you just want to root for the prince; you want him to get the girl, see him defeat his father, wish for him to see his plans come to fruition.


What I Did Not Like
I cringed a little at the ending. It felt rushed and lacked creativity. If it could stretch a few more pages... if the plans for the second book is hinted a little more in the last few pages...

Overall

This book made me very happy. Truly elated. This is how a true fantasy should be. It is exciting. Refreshing. Full of possibilities. I'm looking forward to more works from Danielle L. Jensen. Astounding story writer!