Sunday, March 26, 2017

Book Review: Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton


Title: Shiny Broken Pieces
Author: Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Series/Standalone: Tiny Broken Pieces (Book #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 384
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year Published: 2016
Format: Physical Copy- Hardcover
First Line: "Sometimes you want something so badly you're willing to do whatever it takes to get it."

"May the best dancer win.
June, Bette and Gigi have given their all to dance at Manhattan's most elite ballet school. Now they are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose... and no one is playing nice.

Ever since June landed the starring role in last year's performance, she can finally see herself as a prima ballerina. Being the best means making sacrifices, though, and getting what she wants might cost June everything- including the only boy she's ever loved.

Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. But even if she returns, will she ever regain the spotlight she craves? or has she tarnished the treasured family name forever?

Gigi endured a year of torment from Bette and other dancers who envied her success. It nearly ended her ballet career- and her life- and Gigi is not going to let them go unpunished. But as revenge consumes her. Gig may be the one who pays the price.

After years of grueling auditions, torn ribbons, and broken hearts, it all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever?"

My Rating: 3.5/5

So I read the first book in the duology a while ago and I really enjoyed it. I thought that the drama and mystery were perfect and couldn't wait to get my hands on the next book. Such a guilty pleasure read. This second book had a lot to live up to and for me, it just didn't hit the mark. I understood why the characters had to change, but I just felt like I reading about a completely different cast of characters. I didn't find myself surprised by many of the twists and turns. I think that the lack of mystery really made this book difficult to get through. I would have liked to see more mysterious drama rather than so much solving. Overall I enjoyed this book. The world of ballet was still very interesting to me, and the final dance off was interesting to read about but I likely won't be rereading this duology. 

Thanks for reading,

Spoiler: Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

So I freaking loved the first book in this duology which gave me such high hopes for the second book. I'm more than slightly disappointed I won't lie to you. It's just sad to see the character change so quickly to a point where I felt like I didn't even know who was talking each chapter if I didn't read the name on top of each chapter. I was just disappointed in the drama and the twists and turns. It was all just ok while the first book blew me away, this book just threw random things at me and I just wasn't into it. 

Bette: She changed a lot since the first book and after being kicked out of school for being a massive ass hole. It's no wonder everyone thought that she pushed Gigi, look at what she did in the past to bother her. She went to far all the time. I was surprised to find out that she hadn't done all I thought she had.

June: I thought it was interesting to see how her eating disorder changed and continued throughout the year. It was important to show that a boy couldn't just "fix" her eating habits. She had to admit that she needed help and want to get it. She needed to want to live and to be healthy. I'm sure there would be more setbacks in real life, but I'm curious if people who have experienced an eating disorder could relate with this character. 

Gigi: I hated her. She wasn't the person I cheered for to get better. She completely changed which made sense but it got a little crazy. I think that her character was written about hastily in this book. Although I am very glad that she ended up with the apprenticeship in the end. Although her and Bette competing more scares me more than a little.

Cassie: She is taking revenge way to far. I would have been interested to see things from her perspective more regularly throughout this book as she was a key player in so much of the drama. 

Alec: I feel like he is so indecisive about Bette and Gigi. Chose one or the other or just get the hell out. Also, who doesn't talk to a significant other for months on end? Even just to fight more. It was too weird for me.

Sen-Jin: Crazy to see her change as well. Too much change for me to be honest.

Henri: He's an interesting character and I wonder how much he had to do with everything overall. Did he also influence Eleanor and others around him to mess with Gigi?

Eleanor: I was sorry to see what happened to her, but it's an interesting perspective to see a person in power with a student. I find this more and more in TV and books and it makes you wonder how accurate it is to the situation in real life. It's more than a little crazy to think about.

Moments to Remember:
Final Line: "'I"m sure it is, Bette, I"m sure it is.'"

 Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Book Review: King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard


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,

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!

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.'"

"'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,

Sunday, March 5, 2017

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


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,

Book Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing


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,

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.

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,

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Book Review: The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket

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,