Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Book Review: King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard


30226723

Title: King's Cage
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series/Standalone: Red Queen Series (Book #3)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia
Pages: 528
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year Published: 2017
Format: Hardcover physical copy 
First Line: "I rise to my feet when he lets me."

"In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard's bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a King, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country- and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once- ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire- leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down."

My rating: 5/5

As per usual Victoria Aveyard's writing blows me away. I know that it's not everyone's cup of tea but damn she just gets who I am as a reader and just continues to impress me. I was very impressed with this third book, I wasn't sure where the story would be after the ending of Glass Sword or how the story would continue and that made me nervous for about a year.. that's fine... (no sarcasm here). I also was prepared to try and stretch this book out, but I wasn't able to get away with more than 4 days (because of a snow day). I thought that the characters were really the main focus of the first half of this book and I enjoyed that along with the changing point of views. I think that it's important to learn more about the players in the game that the author has set out and figure out who you're cheering for overall. I mean you might not win, but at least she's giving us options. I also enjoyed the action packed scenes as I always do in this series with the details the author gives the readers making it feel like a cinematic experience. I can not wait for the next book to come out so I can figure out what to do with my heart after that ending, oh and to mourn over this series being over.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard

As always I am total Victoria Aveyard trash. So that's just my life now. I've already called my boyfriend and cried a bit. I'm sort of fine now. Good enough for me.
So this book i wasn't sure what the hell was going to happen. After the ending in Glass Sword I was dying to know which direction the author was going to take this book. And I loved it. I really thought that the characters were far more interesting to learn about the characters. We found out so much more about most of them. Not to mention the changing of perspectives which freaked me the f@ck out, because I thought we were pulling a Veronica Roth her and I wasn't ready for that! I also thought that the plot became very politically intriguing we found out so much more about the surrounding countries: Piedmont, Monfort, The Lakelands, etc. 
I really appreciated the way the author made sure the captivity was long, I was worried it would be a quick rescue and it being to easy but it was a long time. Enjoyed it, sorta.
Also the changes in some of the writing to make this appear more dystopian than fantasy. Adding water bottles, and origins to the silvers was an amazing touch!

Characters:
Mare: She really changed alot as a character, instead of pushing away she pulled in when she got her loved ones back. But it did break my heart to see her sort of open up again to Maven just to realize how truly twisted he was/is. He's a screwed up dude. But she also let Cal in only to get hurt. Which I mean like we'll get to that. My heart completely broke for her in the end of the book, but we all should have known things were going too fast.

Cal: I was on your team Cal when no one else was there. I was there. But then you pull this garbage. I can't believe you would work so hard just to run away. I was really loving your banter and how you were opening up to her and loving her. It was beautiful. I thought you made a choice, ya idiot. 

Maven: My heart broke when he told the story about Elara making him walk and taking away his memory. I thought that he might try and change, but that's just my wishful thinking. Anyone else thinking he dug his own grave though?

Cameron: Seeing her perspective was very valuable. I thought that the way she thought of her brother reminded me so much of Mare in the first book trying to get back to her family. I also thought meeting her brother was interesting, to see his reaction to the propaganda. Jeez 

Evangeline: Another interesting perspective. I mean I didn't know that she preferred female companions and that she wasn't interested in the crown for herself. But looking in to some things that makes sense. I was hoping right there with her when she was hoping that Cal would say no. 

Farley: Not surprised that she was pregnant, but that she chose to fight after giving birth so soon. Badass.

Kilorn: He's calmed down a lot which I can appreciate, but please find love. Please my little fictional baby.

Iris: I wonder about her reaction to losing her father and why she was so calm when she was pretty much given to a mad king losing power.


Moments to Remember:
Pg. 198
"'You think I would lie?'
I can't help but laugh darkly. In the back of my mind, I wish for a knife. I wonder if he could incinerate me before I slit his throat. 'You? Never.'"

Pg.359
"'A schedule,' I snort, stepping into the sunshine. 'You sound like a Silver lady.'
'Well, when you're as good-looking as I am...,' he sighs.


Final Line:
"We're going to let them kill each other."


Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Novella Review and Spoiler: The House of The Stone by Amy Ewing


22752758

Title: The House of The Stone
Author: Amy Ewing
Series/Standalone: The Lone City (Book #1.5)
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult, 
Pages: 82
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year Published: 2015
Format: Ebook
First Line: "I am Raven Stirling."

"In The Jewel, we followed Violet in her servitude under the Duchess of the Lake. Now we'll hear Raven's story and her time as a surrogate for the Countess of the Stone in this digital novella from Amy Ewing.

When Raven is bought at the Auction, she knows immediately that things will not go well. And when she arrives at the Countess's palace, Raven quickly discovers that the Countess is much less interested in having a baby than experimenting with Raven's mind and body. Raven can only hope for an escape... and to see Violet again, all the while reminding herself that she is Raven Stirling, and she does matter.

HarperTeen Impulse is a digital imprint focused on young adult short stories and novellas wth new releases the first Tuesday of every month."

My Rating: 4/5

I want more. That's all I can really think in the moments after finishing this short little novella. I want to know more. I want to hear about her life before the Exetor's Ball and about how she stays so strong in between. Maybe we'll get more from the next book in the Lone City series and I certainly hope so because Raven is such an important character to th main character in the series and she is leading such a different life in comparison to Violet's surogacy. I do wonder about the past in this series, like generations in the past so I hope to read more of the novellas when I get through the series as a whole if I still enjoy it..... here's hoping.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Book Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing


16068780

Title: The Jewel
Author: Amy Ewing
Series/Stand Alone: The Lone City (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year Published: 2014
Format: Audiobook 

"The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, Born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty- because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Dutchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel's glittering facade; the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess's petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for."


My Rating: 4/5

So this is another audiobook that I started a few days ago and flew through. I found that I really wanted to finish this before getting in to deep with King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard because they both have the dystopian vibe and I didn't want to confuse myself about which was which or what happened in each. I really enjoyed this first book and I've been warned that many people did but didn't like the rest of them which is fine. I'll wait and see. The audiobooks are all available through my library so I'm not really losing anything by listening to them in my spare time. I've also heard that the other two are even shorter than this one. I"m interested to see how this all plays out. I thought that this was a really good first instalment the characters were interesting and just the right amount of frustrating. I will admit that I stuck around at first more for the world as I was interested in the idea of surrogacy and why this was the case for the royals. I was also interested in how the main character reacted to the challenges around her after such a shift in her life. I will note that the reason this book didn't get a full 5/5 stars from me is because of the instalove that takes place in this book. I wasn't against it 100% I just didn't think it was necessary. I understand why the author did it but I'm just not a fan of it in this kind of book. But that ending bumped this books overall rating up for me. Damn! Damn!

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

So another audio book to start off the month. I started this audio book 8 days ago and I sped through it. I found myself wanting to listen to this rather than reading, which is kind of a reflection of me as a person. I'm trying to read something quickly, but also I'm currently reading King's Cage and I don't want to speed through it to have to wait for the next one.
So what did I think of this book, I really enjoyed it. I thought that it was an interesting premise. The idea that a group of wealthy people would buy someone to have their child to compete to become royalty was interesting to me. And to have these girls trained in a centre to have magical powers, or to train them how to use powers they already possess is a little evil, to say the least. I enjoyed the main character, but she wasn't anything that stood out that much to me other than her eyes which were mentioned about every 40 minutes in the audiobook. I really liked the characters overall but found myself sticking in it for the world-building. I will say that I wasn't a fan of the instalove in this book. It just didn't seem real enough to me I understand that the two characters would have similarities in life but I"m more interested in Ash's upbringing at this point. How was the school for him, are there more like him... what the hell. But here are more thoughts based on characters.

Characters:
Violet: I thought that this perspective was perfect she was interesting and looked at the end like she was about to get involved in a rebellion, but then she gave that chance to someone else which makes me wonder what will happen. Speaking of which. She and Ash knew that they could have been caught at any minute... maybe be a little bit more careful dumbie. I'm just saying. Be careful. I do wonder what will happen to her now, but especially with who called her at the end. 

Ash: I do wonder about his schooling and his years. I'm sure he's seen horrible things, but it makes me wonder about a spinoff about his early years of life. Is there a novella like that cause I"m interested for sure. I do like that he acts so different with Violet, but they knew each other for what a month and were ready to talk about how sad they are they can't get married... that's a little too rushed, even for me.

Garnett: You are something aren't you. I kinda love it and I have his novella on my list of books to pick up next. Ugh. I just need to know.

The Lady of the Lake: She is certainly something. To treat another person like that is horrible but to know that she will kill her after child birth or that child birth will kill her is perhaps the worst of all. I think that she made a good villain for the first half of the book, and I wonder about her backstory as well.

Raven: She had more than a little bit of a tough go. How did she deal with what she did and what will she do now...? Did she even really get away or was that something that she would forget like she forgot her freaking best friend... ugh.

Julien: Interesting to see him have so much sympathy towards Violet but none for Ash.

The Electress: Evil takes another form in her. Let's just get rid of the girl's brains instead of finding a way to clone ourselves or to have children without the need for humans at all. Genius.... eye rolls are frequent right now... in case you're wondering.



Thanks for reading,
Sdiny

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Book Review: The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket

150037
Title: The Vile Village
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series/Standalone: A Series of Unfortunate Events (Book #7)
Genre: Fiction, Middle Grade, Fantasy
Pages: 272
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year Published: 2001
Format: Hardback Library Copy
First Line: "No matter who you are, no matter where you live, and no matter how many people are chasing you, what you don't read is often as important as what you do read."

"Dear Reader,
You have undoubtedly picked up the book by mistake, so please put it down. Nobody in their right mind would read this particular book about the lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire on purpose, because each dismal moment of their stay in the village of V.F.D has been faithfully and dreadfully recorded in these pages. 
I can think of no single reason why anyone would want to open a book containing such unpleasant matters as migrating crows, an angry mob, a newspaper headline, the arrest of innocent people, the Deluxe Cell, and some very strange hats.
It is my solemn and sacred occupation to research each details of the Baudelaire children's lives and write them all down, but you may prefer to do some other solemn and sacred thing, such as reading another book instead.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket."

My Rating: 3.5/5

I really am enjoying where this series is going. I like how the mystery is really developing and how Lemony Snicket continues a story of his own in the writing. I also enjoy trying to piece together where the story will go and why it will go where it does. I do think that Olaf is a tiresome villain. He is awful without a doubt but I don't find him as horrifying as I once did. Is that horrible? Maybe. But that's just my opinion. Let me know your thoughts down below. 

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Book Review: The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall


17134589

Title: The Conspiracy of Us
Author: Maggie Hall
Series/ Stand Alone: The Conspiracy of Us (Book #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 330
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile 
Year Published: 2015
Format: Audiobook

"A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance- perfect for fans of Ally Carter.

Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.

To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle- beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family-- but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she's falling in love with."

My Rating: 3/5

So I got this book on audio because my boyfriend was home for the week and I knew I wasn't going to have time to read physical books and that I'd be commuting a lot. I started this book feeling like it would be a quick "read" and an interesting one. I did like this book. I think that the plot was interesting, but the writing lacked some oomph. I thought that for the most part, the characters were interesting, but I definitely had a favourite right from the start. This book is definitely one to read if you're looking for a love triangle style adventure book. I will be continuing the series for the character that I do like. 

Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Spoiler: The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Hey guys!
So this reading month. Let's talk about that. It hasn't been the best reading month for me. I knew that I would be doing a lot of travelling and life stuff. Damn being an adult. So let's get started with life changes that are going on or whatever excuses I have. I'm going to be moving from my parent's house (I moved back in after college while looking for an affordable place to rent)  to a basement suite in the upcoming months. I also drove 24 hours between two weekends to pick up and drop off my boyfriend from college for his spring break. We spent some time together so I didn't really want to miss time with him to read, but that's not the point of this post soo.....

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall, damn what a ride. I really enjoyed the idea of this book. A select few families controlling the world is interesting to me though I'm not a huge believer in the New World Order conspiracy theory but it is interesting to think about. I also thought that the pacing was good for this book. That being said the writing was not my favourite style. I thought that aspects were obvious such as what was going to happen to many characters and who was going to get with who... humph damn it Jack. Now let's get into characters. Let's be honest now... I'm here for Stellan that's pretty much it at this point.

Characters (short and sweet I know):
Avery: I thought that she was too naive for being 16. At times I was like girl is 20 she's mature, she's ready. Other times I was like this loser is 13 she's stupid. So needless to say I yelled at the audiobook while driving in a completely safe manner. I think that she should be with Stellan. I love her. I'm excited to see what happens next in her story.

Jack: You're all right. I mean I felt kinda bad when you were going to die and shit, but you don't belong with Avery... so if you could just get going. that would be great.

Stellan: Unfortunate name choice I think based on his name. But he is my favourite character. I loved his accent in the book, his flirtation, his bad boy image, as well as his interior good guy. I can't wait to see the marriage aspect in the next book. 


Thanks for reading,
Sidny

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Book Review: The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket


172327

Title: The Ersatz Elevator
Author: Lemony Snicket
Series/Stand Alone: A Series of Unfortunate Events (Book #6)
Genre: Fiction, Middle Grade
Pages: 259
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year Published: 2001
Format: Hardback Library Copy
First Line: "The book you are holding in your two hands right now- assuming that you are, in fact, holding this book, and that you have only two hands- is one of two books in the world that will show you the difference between the word 'nervous' and the world 'anxious.'"

"Dear Reader,
If you have just picked up this book, then it is not too late to put it back down. Like, the previous books in A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, there is nothing to be found in these pages but misery, despair, and discomfort, and you still have time to choose something else to read.
Within the chapters of this story, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire encounter a darkened staircase, a red herring, some friends in a dire situation, three mysterious initials, a liar with an evil scheme, a secret passageway, and parsley soda.
I have sworn to write down these tales of the Baudelaire orphans so the general public will know each terrible thing that has happened to them, but if you decide to read something else instead, you will save yourself from a heapful of horror and woe.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket."

My Rating: 3.5/5

So I'm making my way through the series slowly and surely. I'm getting there, but I've felt like slowing down the series for a while. I've just found that this one was very childish. Some of the others were getting to be a more middle grade style of writing and while there are older jokes in this one, I did find that it seemed younger than the fifth book. I think that the change of scene and the plot change is awesome, so overall I did enjoy it! I thought that it was interesting to see how the children reacted to a different scenario and seeing things that are different in their lives. I do look forward to seeing where the series goes. I do have the 7th book and am debating whether to try and cram it in this week or start something different... so I guess you'll find out based on the next review or I'll keep you guys posted when I get the chance.

Thanks for reading,
Sidny









Saturday, February 11, 2017

Book Review: The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby


Title: The Stranger Game
Author: Cylin Busby
Series/ Standalone: Stand Alone
Genre: Mystery, Young Adult, Thriller
Pages: 288
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year Published: 2016
Format Read: Audiobook

"The Stranger Game is a dark, suspenseful, and twisty young adult novel- perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver and E. Lockhart- about fifteen-year-old Nico Walker, whose sister returns home after a four-year disappearance.

When Nico Walker's older sister mysteriously disappears, her parents, family and friends are devastated. But Nico can never admit what she herself feels: relief at finally being free of Sarah's daily cruelties.

Then the best and worst thing happens: four years later, after dozens of false leads, Sarah is found.

But this girl is much changed from the one Nico knew. She's thin and drawn, where Sarah had been golden and athletic; timid and unsure, instead of brash and competitive; and strangest of all, sweet and kind, when she had once been mean and abusive. Sarah's retrograde amnesia has caused her to forget almost everything about her life, from small things like the plots of her favorite books and her tennis game to the more critical- where she's been for the last four years, and what happened at the park on the fateful day she vanished. Despite the happy ending, the dark details of that day continue to haunt Nico, and it becomes clear that more than one person knows the true story of what happened to Sarah."


My Rating: 4/5

So after getting a new phone, I finally got around to getting my OverDrive app back and found some awesome newer releases that I'd been hearing some buzz about and wanted to get too. This was one of the first that I took out from the OverDrive library and one that I'd seen given in a book box or too in the last year. And can I say that I was glad to try this one out first. I listened to it more than I read physical books this past week. It's nice to listen to a book while driving or going to the gym. 
And this story was very thrilling. If you are a fan of We Were Liars I think that you would really like this. This story has multiple perspectives that follow both Sarah and Nico throughout the story. I thought that the author did a great job of building suspense and overall I enjoyed this book. That being said, I did dock it one star as some of the twists I was able to almost call and I found that to be frustrating and a bit of a letdown. As for the audiobook itself, I think that reading the story physically might be more enjoyable as it's a short read and I found myself getting frustrated with how slowly the narrator was reading. 

Thanks for reading, 
Sidny