Thursday, January 18, 2018

Book Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer


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Title: Fairest
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series/Standalone: The Lunar Chronicles (Book #3.5)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Pages: 220
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Year Published: 2015
Format: Physical Copy (Own It)
First Line: "She was lying on a burning pyre, hot coals beneath her back."

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who is the Fairest of them all?
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her 'glamour' to gain power. but long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet and Cress, Levana lived a very different story- a story that has never been told... until now."

My Rating: 2.5/5

I'd heard alot of mixed reviews about this installment in the Lunar Chronicles and unfortunately I just didn't love it. I know that this story is written to further explore why Levana is the way she is, but I just didn't like it. I think that this story explores a different side of Levana but I felt strongly that it was trying to justify Levana's choices, which I just wasn't ok with. That being said, it did open the door to Princess Winter for the Fourth book. I'm looking forward to finishing the series and exploring Winter's p.o.v from Luna.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Unfortunately this is my least favorite book of the series so far. I understand the purpose of the story and why it's important to further understand Levana as a villain, but this story seemed to be trying to justify her actions towards those around her. And it just didn't seem to make sense to me. Yes she'd lived a tough life and had been assualted by her sister, but that didn't mean she had the right to manipulate everyone around her. If anything it just showed that her mental health probably wasn't in the best place as she was able to justify everything she "had" to do. 

Characters:
Levana: I think that she just wasn't able to trust those around her and believe that anyone would love her for who she really was which is just a shame. I also think that the fact that she was able to justify her horrible actions just shows how much of villain she really is.

Winter: I think that she is going to be a huge part of the next story and I wonder about her sanity as well just based on the way we've seen her throughout the series.

Selene: To be punished just for being a child of someone who was cruel is ridiculous.

Evret: To be forced into a marriage and into sharing a bed with someone is horrible. Especially after trying to be supportive in the kindest way. I don't know how he was able to live his life with her knowing that she was using his dead wifes face. It's horrifying to think about.

Channary: She was undoubtedly cruel, and I wonder what her reasoning for her actions toward Levana were. Why would you put your younger sister in a fire. That's madness. I can't say that I'm sorry she met her death. 

Sol: I loved her and she was a sweet woman, and at least she didn't die at Levana's hand.


Moments to Remember:
Final Line: "Here is what I think of love."

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Book Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

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Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series/Standalone: Under the Never Sky Series (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Pages: 374
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year Published: 2012
Format: Audiobook

"Since she'd been outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered.

This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving the outer wasteland-- known as The Death Shop-- are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild-- a savage-- and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile-- everything he would expect from a Dweller. but he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliances forge a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky."

My Rating: 4/5

I had heard that this was an awesome dystopian series and this was a promising start to what looks like a fun trilogy. I really enjoyed the writing style and the world that was explored throughout this first book, but the audiobook narrator was not my favourite. I also found that some aspects of the book were cliche, while others were just unique enough to catch my interest. I'm excited to continue listening to the next book (I haven't been able to find these at my local library, so audiobook it is), and see where our characters take us. 

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

This may be the year of highly hyped books or books I heard about on the internet. After the big dystopian craze (brought on by the Hunger Games...) this series became rather popular on the internet book community and I waited until now to see if it was really worth the hype or if it was just built up due to the trend of the time. I must say that this book stood the test. I really enjoyed the premise and the unique aspects of the storyline (having mutated powers based on being in the aether, the aether itself, podlife, etc). This book at some points gave me Illuminae vibes (without the space aspect). The characters were interesting but not as diverse as I would have hoped but who knows who we will meet in the next instalment.

Characters:
Perry: I think that he was an interesting love interest. Someone who is so opposite to his partner in most ways but finds themselves unable to resist them in spite of it. I also loved his loyalty to his nephew and the way he saw life on the Outside. The idea of being able to scent how someone felt and thought was interesting to me, I also thought that it was interesting to his two gifts combined both in everyday life and battle. 

Aria: Nothing quite like being called Mole. I enjoyed that part a little too much. I also enjoyed the fact that she was part Outsider and that she gained an ability after being in her "natural" habitat for an extended period of time. I do wonder how she'll carry out the deal that she made at the end of the story and how that will affect her relationship with Perry. 

Roar: A fun side character, reminded me a bit of Lucien in the first ACOTAR book and how his companionship helped Aria through tough times. I also enjoyed that the had similar skills.

Cinder: I wonder where he came from and what his original tribe thought of his gift. Is it possible there is a tribe who can just "use" the Aether?

Talon: While being in a pod seems to be helping his health, I wonder how long after the deal Aria made with the Counsellor. Will that affect his treatment?

Vale: Do we eventually get a backstory about how he felt toward Perry throughout his life, cause it's not like we can just learn about that now. Unless we learn that through Talon or others surrounding Vale. Also to sell out the children of your tribe in order to feed them? What a difficult decision to make, but to hire a hit man for your brother, that's a little overboard. 

Marron: Another character I'm curious to learn about in the next book. One I hope to see alot more in the next book.


Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

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Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series/Standalone: A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book #3)
Pages: 699
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year Published: 2017
Format: Physical Copy (Own It)
First Line: "The buzzing of flies and screaming survivors had long since replaced the beating war-drum."

"Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening the bring Prythian to its knees. but to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit- and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords- and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all."

My Rating: 4/5

I know I'm about half a year behind everyone, but here it finally is my review on ACOWAR. I think that this book wasn't a bad wrap up for Feyre's point of view. But I also didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the first two books. I think that Sarah J. Maas did a great job with the action parts of this story along with the romance, that being said it was hard to get through at some points and seemed drawn out for some periods of time. That also being said I wonder what A Court of Frost and Starlight.  Overall I enjoyed it and was happy to finish the series and see our favorite characters again. It was also nice to explore the world more along with the other courts.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler; A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

This book has been a long time coming for me to read. I preordered this book after binge reading ACOTAR and ACOMAF two books that I loved so much in 2016, but then kept putting it off (first to reread the first 2 and then just based on the opinions of others that it was a let down). Don't get me wrong this was my least favorite of the series so far, but I still enjoyed it. At some points I just found that the story was unneccesarily long which isn't really a good feeling to have in the last book from a certain p.o.v. All of these taken into consideration I really enjoyed catching up with favorite characters, the drama, the action and the further exploration of the world and am excited to continue reading stories in this setting in the future. I am certainly curious about who the next 3 books will be following. 

Characters:
Feyre: I enjoyed seeing her grow so much and become so confident in who she is. I also appreciated her relationship with Rhy in comparison to her relationship with Tamlin in the start of the series. I think that it was important that she got closure from her family as well as her former lover, but at the same time I don't know how she didn't rip him apart for what he did to her family and the land. I also loved how she held her own in this book against all odds.

Rhys: He is probably one of the most loved fictional characters in the booktube and blogger universe at the moment and I'm still aboard the train. The way he makes sure that Feyre is able to make her own decisions while still keeping her "safe" is really important to me. I respected that he was willing to do whatever it takes to protect those he loves and what he believes in. But I didn't appreciate the way that his bringing around was a repeat to Feyre's although in an aspect it made the story come full circle. 

Tamlin: While reading the first book I didn't understand how everyone could come to hate him so much, and yet here I am hating him so much. He's an overprotective, abusive asshole. I hated him throughout this story. Especially when he went to the meeting just to throw insults at Feyre and Rhys. What a dick.

Lucien: I do think that he regretted not helping Feyre when he had the chance but overall it did lead him to finding his mate. I do wonder how that will play out for him and Elain after she was so heartbroken by the mortal guy.

Nesta: I think that hell hath no fury quite like Nesta. She is all fire and ice. I loved her attitude even when it was a little much because of who she was. I do wonder about her and Cassian's future especially after the war and all they had seen. 

Elain: Will she still be seeing prophecies even though the Cauldron has been sent somewhere safe. I also wonder how she will cope with being High Fae in this new world.

Azriel: My heart breaks for him especially knowing that Mor can't love him in return. Will he think those years a waste and be angry with himself and her. Or will he be willing to find someone else? I strongly hope for the second.

Mor: Throwing in Mor's sexuality kind of seemed like a last ditch effort to make this book more diverse and I don't think it really accomplished that. We didn't see a good example of a female-female romance, we saw someone who wasn't ready to come out (which may be accurate for a lot of people), but I think that it could have been done so much better.

Cassien: He's brutish and finally being able to hear about his fighting skills took my breathe away. I think that he was too willing to risk it all, even though he might have had an idea about the way he felt towards Nesta. I hope that they do have a mating bond and it clicks in soon (although at the start of the series they were made to sound rare and here we are with so many people getting paired up). 

Beron: I hate him with a fiery passion just because you suspect that someone is not your child gives you no right to hurt them the way he hurt Lucien.

Eris: Either he will be a far better leader than his father or he will be far worse, only time will tell. 

Ianthe: I'm glad she met her end in such a horrible way. She certainly deserved it. After all the assualts she's launched in her time she deserved everything she got.

The King: I wonder what waited for him after his attempt to use the cauldron. He deserves a painful death and I wonder about his subjects (whoever is left) and how they will take the defeat.

Jurian: I wonder what will happen to him now, maybe that's where our story will continue or maybe w'll meet up with him in another time. But I suppose we will have to wait and see.

Amren: I will miss her fiery attitude and her power, but she deserves to live.



Moments to Remember:
Pg. 234
"'This could be... a very bad idea,' I admitted, my grip tightening on his hand.
'Oh, it must certainly is,' Cassian said with a faint smile as we continued down and down into the heavy black thrumming silence. 'But this is war. We don't have the luxury of good ideas- only picking between the bad ones.'"

Pg. 436
"Beron threw her a glare that had Kallias tensing. 'Wives were invited as a courtesy, not as consultants.'
Viviane's sapphire eyes flared as if struck by lightning. 'If this war goes poorly, we'll be bleeding out right alongside you, so I think we damn well get a say in things.'"

Final Line:
"All of it."

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Book Review: Ruined by Amy Tintera

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Title: Ruined
Author: Amy Tintera
Series/Standalone: Ruined Series (Book #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 355
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Year Published:2016
Format: Physical Copy (Own It)
First Line: "The wheels of the carriage creaked as they rolled across the dirt."

"A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents' brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge Em sets of on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera's borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. but in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera's throne. if anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir's true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it's the only way to salvage Em's kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em's rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life- and her family- on the line, love could be Em's deadliest mistake."

My Rating: 4.5/5

I went into this book tentatively because it was being compared to my favorite series, Red Queen and while I see where that was pulled from I didn't enjoy them for the same reason. In this story, I really enjoyed the main character and her motives, but more so I enjoyed the world and learning about the magic in this world. I also really enjoyed the romance for the first half of this novel, but by the second half, I found myself getting frustrated with the characters.  I also enjoyed the pacing of this book it was a fun fast read, and I plan to continue on with the story.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: Ruined by Amy Tintera

So this book was a leap for me, it was compared to Red Queen as some of you may know that that's my favourite series. And I have to say I did really enjoy this book but for different reasons then why I enjoy the Red Queen series. I really liked the romance aspect in the first half o this book, but by the second part of the book, I was little over it. I liked the twists and turns and the changing perspectives, but at times it made the story a little repetitive.  Overall I really enjoyed this book and the world. I also found that it reminded me of The Selection Series with its addictive quality and romantic interest. I look forward to continuing with this series and would recommend as a first fantasy foray for young readers.

Characters:
Em: She's so willing to risk it all for her country even though they mark her as "useless". I did appreciate that she was willing to fight and that she was a bad ass. Also, anyone else enjoys a female main character who can handle a weapon and doesn't have to be trained by a man. I think that she definitely was cunning but let her feelings get in the way of her major plan. 

Olivia: I'm really interested in how she will affect the storyline in the coming books. She is ruthless and willing to kill anyone for the Ruined. She seems more like the villain than the people of Lera did in the long run. 

Cas: I liked him. Although he definitely was too trusting of those around him. Even if he had married the real Mary, I think she would have taken advantage of his kindness. He just seems like he's too sympathetic to everyone's cause which could be good, or gets him killed.

The Queen: LIttle did we know that she was the real obstacle all along. I wonder if she would be willing to kill her son to let her niece ascend the throne. I could sadly see it happening. 

Aren: I loved him. He was willing to fight for those he loved even though he'd lost so much. I am curious about his backstory and how he lived before the start of the war.

Damian: We didn't really get to know him, but he seemed to genuinely care for Em and her cause. It was surprising to see him die so early on. 

Iria: I wonder what her king has in mind for the ruined and why they were so quick to fight against Aren and Em. I hope that Em's speech inspired them, but I doubt it. Especially since they retreated. 

Galo: I loved him and his representation. He was the only one who was completely honest with Cas regardless of what Cas would think. I hope that he makes a good Captain of the Guard but who knows what will happen in the next book.

Jovita: There is something about her,  I wonder who her parents were and what she was taught before she came to live with the King and Queen. Is she willing to fight to ascend to the throne, or will she wait for natural consequences? Guess we'll find out.


Moments to Remember: 
Pg. 160
"'Do you ever wonder,' he said to the ground, 'if maybe we're the dangerous ones, not the Ruined?'
Galo paused before answering. 'All the time.'"

Pg. 263
"'Point that thing at me again and I'll crack every one of your ribs in half and pull them out through your belly button.'"

Final Line: "'They will fear us soon enough.'"

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Monday, January 8, 2018

Book Review: Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult


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Title: Sing You Home
Author: Jodi Picoult
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Adult Fiction, Chicklit, LGBT
Pages: 466
Publisher: Atria Books
Year Published: 2011
Format: Physical Copy
First Line: "One sunny, crisp Saturday in September when I was seven years old, I watched my father drop dead."

"Every life has a soundtrack. All you have to do is listen.

In the aftermath of a series of personal tragedies, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist. When an unexpected friendship slowly blossoms into love, she makes plans for a new life, but to her shock and inevitable rage, some people- even those she loves and trusts most- don't want that to happen.

Sing You Home explores the delicate boundaries of identity, love, marriage, and parenthood. What happens when the outside world brutally calls into question the very thing closest to our hearts: family? Once again, Jodi Picoult gracefully brings the hidden tension of life sharply into focus in this poignantly honest novel."

My Rating: 4/5

I know that Jodi Picoult is a very popular author for chicklit and adult fiction, but this is the first novel of hers that I have read. And I really enjoyed it. I came to realize though  that Jodi Picoult is to chicklit, what Nicholas Sparks is to romance. A standard if that makes sense. Not to say that I didn't enjoy this story. I think that this book does an interesting job of questioning values and relationships, especially the idea of families in the modern day. 
I also think that Jodi Picoult does a great job of hitting hard right from the start, which makes me interested in reading more of her works.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

I have come to terms with the fact that I might be trash for the drama in Jodi Picoult's books. I'm really looking into the idea of looking into more of her books (kind of hoping that some of her books come up in the bookclub I thought). I really think that Jodi Picoult tackled important subjects in this story. Homophobia, the idea of the modern family, mental health, etc. These were all important themes throughout the story line. I can understand how this is alittle much for some people, but to me these were important subjects to think about.

Characters:
Zoe: I think that this concept may be difficult for people to understand, but this story is an interesting account about sexuality and how sexuality is fluid. I liked the way that Zoe described how she was attracted to Vanessa. She very much describes that she is attracted to people rather than the gender.  I also enjoyed her perspective as a music therapist it made me happy to see someone taking their love of music to help those around them. 

Vanessa: I liked Vanessa. She was willing to fight for Zoe and give it her all. She also didn't force her into anything she wasn't comfortable with. She is straightforward with her sexuality and doesn't hide it from Zoe which I think is an important aspect to consider.

Max: I really liked him at the beginning of the stoyr, but as i watched the story unfold I found myself getting extremely frustrated with him. I understand that people change with their experiences, but Max totally flipped into another person after joining the church (not that I think this happens to all people who join a religious group).

Reid: He might be my least favorite character in this whole story. He thinks that he can buy the embreos near the end of the story he wants to have kids but doesn't care about the cost that it would put anyone else under. He also is very suspicious. I can't explain it all, because I don't want any biased that I might have towards certain religions to come front and centre, so let's just say I hated him.

Liddy: I do wonder more about her childhood and how she gained such a personal relationship with God and the idea of religion. I understand that she was a pastor's daughter, but it's also made clear that he engaged in drinking and possibly other "sins". I'm curious about her back story but happy to see her happy with Max at the end.

Pastor Clive: I honestly think that he thinks he is doing the right thing, but I enjoyed in the court room when his beliefs were brought into perspective. You can't only take things you need as direct quotes, when there are so many others that are not appropriate to this day and age. 

Wade: He's a smooth talking son of a gun, but that didn't win him any favors by the end of the story line. I truly hope that his career went downhill from here.

Angela: I loved her. She was sassy, full of passion for her job and just honest with those around her. Although she herself doesn't identify as gay, she is able to defend gay rights and rights of those that often go unheard. 

Lucy: I wonder more and more about her life. About what happened to her by the end of the book and if she was able to survive in Pastor Clive's house until she was 18. I can't say that I was surprised by the fact that she was his step daughter, in fact I started to wonder about it about half way through the book, then brushed that idea aside. I hope that she got the help she needed before it was too late.


Moments to Remember:
Final Line: "That, really, she is the luckiest girl in the world."


Thanks for reading,
Sidny