Wednesday, August 24, 2016

In The After Light: A Review (The Darkest Minds #3)

Goodreads (Description):

Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

My Review:
(Once again, if you haven't read the previous books, there will be spoilers)

I will say, this is definitely the darkest out of all three books.

It's all down to the nitty gritty now. Ruby now must confide in others beyond Liam to get what she wants. She must learn to really fight and really control and manipulate others with her mind. She must push herself to her limits, no matter how bad it gets. She must walk with purpose and determination, even if all her energy is gone.

She must discover how and why kids gained these special powers.

And she accomplishes this. Liam and his older brother Cole, help Ruby grow into the strong leader she needs to be as she sacrifices herself for the greater good. As she makes painful decisions that will help all others around her.

Ruby truly shows her bravery and love in this book. She shows her selflessness and sacrifice as she gives her everything for the freedom and bettering of kids lives.

Her relationship with Liam was rough in this book, but I love how they survived the worst together. I love how Liam stayed true to what he believed, even if it didn't necessarily go along with what Ruby did. So despite their arguments, they both did the right thing, in different ways.

Cole was interesting to meet. Needless to say, it was nice to see Liam's older brother and learn a bit about their family life.

I will say, this series had a beautiful, realistic ending.

Once again, there was loads of language.

I give this a 4 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Never Fade: A Review (The Darkest Minds #2)

Goodreads (Description):

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

My Review:

(If you haven't read the first book, there will be spoilers here)

Well, if you thought this series couldn't get any darker, you were wrong.

Here, Ruby had become the Leader in a special ops team within the Children's League. She has become a darker version of herself as she tries to fight for kids just like her. She is forced to once again face horrors no kid should have to face and learn how to hone her ability so that she doesn’t unintentionally mess with other's minds.

Yet, once again fate brings her back to Liam and the crew. Although Liam doesn't remember her, he has a vague familiarity with her that he just can't place. He also has the key to how all these mutations came about the kids.

As Liam, Ruby and the gang try to discover what caused their abilities, they are forced to battle with adults and find refuge over and over again as they try to discover what happened those fateful years ago.

I honestly like Ruby. I wouldn't say she's the strongest female lead I've read about, but she's up there. She lives in a crappy world where what's right and what's wrong can be very hard to distinguish, but I believe she does well.

Liam too. I love how headstrong he is about doing things in ways that lead to less death. He really is a great leader.

Once again, there's a lot of language in this book. Otherwise, it is clean.

I give this a 4 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Darkest Minds: A Review (The Darkest Minds #1)

Goodreads (Description):

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

My Review:

This was certainly an interesting book.

The concept of colors related to kids with special abilities, who were sent to containment camps. Yeah, this definitely isn't a light read. The trials Ruby had to endure were pretty horrific.

Ruby has concealed her identity by tricking everyone to believing she is a Green, which means she can do far less than what she actually can. When an opportunity for escape comes, she takes it. Yet, this freedom isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Ruby goes on an adventure with Liam, Zu, and Chubs. Liam is a strong leader and does his best to keep things as clean as possible, which I appreciate. Zu, bless her, is adorable and is the glue that keeps them all together. And Chubs, is the loyal incredibly intelligent friend.

These four join together to find help among other kids, seeking for ways to help their cause, even though it all seems hopeless sometimes.

Ruby had to make some very difficult choices, but in the end, I believe she did well, even if I didn't particularly liked what she did.

There is a bit of language in this book, but other than that it is clean.

I give this a 4 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: A Review (Harry Potter #4)

Goodreads (Description):

The summer holidays are dragging on and Harry Potter can't wait for the start of the school year. It is his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and there are spells to be learnt and (unluckily) Potions and Divination lessons to be attended. But Harry can't know that the atmosphere is darkening around him, and his worst enemy is preparing a fate that it seems will be inescapable ...With characteristic wit, fast-paced humour and marvellous emotional depth, J.K. Rowling has proved herself yet again to be a master story-teller

My Review:

As always, Harry Potter was a fantastic story to revisit. Jim Dale is one of the best narrators I have ever listened to, which is another reason why I love listening to Harry Potter.

In this book, it was interesting to remember the intricacies of the Triwizard Tournament that we don't get to see in the movie. Bagman was completely left out, and the whole blackmailing the Weasly twins did to him. We also didn't see Barty Croutch as much in the book as we do in the movie. Still, I love to see what I have forgotten from the book.

We also got to see a bit more of Cedric Diggory in the book. I believe they portrayed him well in the movies, but he really was on Harry's side the whole time! Even in the third book when he beat Harry in the Quidditch match, he admitted that it was only by fault because Harry had fainted; and then in this book, he never ever got angry at Harry for being apart of the Tournament. Which, I thought was incredible, ESPECIALLY because nearly everyone else did. Cedric had the right to be angry and instead he remained Harry's friend. Cedric really was a great character. If he had lived, I’m quite sure that he would have joined Dumbledore's Army and Harry, Hermione, and Ron on their quest to defeat Volemort.

Another thing I loved about this book was how Hermione worked to get Rita Skeeter to stop writing such horrible things about everyone. Hermione really is clever and knows how to keep Harry and Ron in line.
Speaking of Harry and Ron. I never liked the fight they went through in this book, but I do believe it was a defining moment in their friendship when they finally made up. They both realized they had different roles to play and that didn't make one better or worse than the other. I love how Ron finally came to see that he wasn't really living in Harry's shadow, but rather being a part of something greater than both he and Harry.

I love this series. Honestly, nothing will ever make me change my mind. Growing up with this series has been wonderful.

I give this a 5 out of 5!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Heir To Edenbrooke: A Review (Edenbrooke #0.5)

Goodreads (Description):

Philip Wyndham has never envied his older brother for being the heir to Edenbrooke. He would much rather carve out his own destiny than live under the constraints of that position. But when his older brother dies unexpectedly, Philip's life is turned upside down as duty requires him to give up the life he planned. Philip takes on his new role as the most sought-after bachelor in London with alternating reluctance, boredom, and resentment. But all that changes the night fate leads him to an inn, where he meets the incomparable Marianne Daventry.

My Review:

Ahhh. This but a sweet novella of dearest Philip Wyndham, a character I fell in love with years ago and came to love all over again.

Heir to Edenbrooke is a nice novella in Philip’s point of view before and until just after he meets Marianne Daventry.

It is interesting to see how he takes his brother’s death and his sudden inheritance. It definitely wasn't considered a blessing to him, and now we finally know why.

This is a sweet addition to Edenbrooke that gives us the history of this beautiful place, which didn't always have such a beautiful past.

I give this a 5 out of 5!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Tournament at Gorlan: A Review (Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years #1)

Goodreads (Description):

When Halt and Crowley discover that the ambitious Morgarath has been infiltrating the Rangers in order to corrupt the Corps, the young Rangers travel north to find Prince Duncan, seeking a royal warrant to stop Morgarath before it is too late. By weakening the Rangers, the most powerful force in support of the King, Morgarath plans to steal the throne.

Yet when Halt and Crowley arrive in Gorlan, they discover just how close Morgarath’s scheme is to success. Morgarath has a plan to discredit the Prince and alienate him from his father. At the same time, the Baron of Gorlan has been conspiring to win the trust and admiration of the Council of Barons to further his plan. If the young Rangers are to prevent the coup from succeeding, they will have to tread a dangerous path, which leads them to a thrilling climax at the annual tournament at Gorlan, where a series of bitter duels must be fought and won.

This origin story brings readers to a time before Will was an apprentice, and lays the groundwork for the epic battles that will culminate with The Ruins of Gorlan and The Burning Bridge—Books 1 and 2 of the Ranger’s Apprentice series.

My Review:

Can I just say how stupid excited I was when I saw this book laying on one of Barnes and Noble’s display tables?! Dang John Flanagan! Back at it again with the Rangers!!! I had to get it. And so I did. And read it immediately I did.

Ranger’s Apprentice has been a series I have held so very close to my heart for years now. I was also very sad to say goodbye to the series when the 12th book came out. Now, however, I have the early years and the adventures of Halt and Crowley to look forward to!! Just the fact that I don't really have to say goodbye to this world makes me so incredibly happy.

Oh, it was so great to see young Halt and Crowley band together the exiled Rangers together and plot against the evil Morgarath. Their humor and friendship among the Rangers warmed my heart and made them such real, tangible characters. Ah! The jokes they have even when times get hard, they know how to lift each other up and plan how to infiltrate a castle and kidnap someone. It's great.

It was also really cool to see Prince Duncan before his King days. We don't see him all that much in the original series, so it was cool to see how he started to become the great King he will be.

Plus, having read the original series and knowing the impact Morgarath had on the country, I'm very interested to see what happened during Halt’s golden days. We only saw a small part of Morgarath’s destruction in Will’s story, now we’ll finally see the giant underwater mountain of the glacier we've seen.

I give this book a 5 out of 5. Honestly, John Flanagan never lets me down!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Black Ice: A Review

Goodreads (Description):

Danger is hard to resist in this sexy thriller from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Britt Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there…and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

“Rife with psychological twists exploring themes of revenge, misogyny, and familial duty” (Publishers Weekly), Black Ice is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

My Review:

Honestly, I don't really know what to make of this book.

It obviously is about a kidnapping, which in an of itself tells you right away that I'm going to talk about the bad guys themselves. I will admit right off (and this is NOT a spoiler) but I had no idea who truly was the bad guy all along. It's a question throughout the whole book, is one guy not as bad as we thought or is he worse? It's so mind tripping. In hindsight, I probably should have known, but I liked that I ended up being surprised.

Regardless, I liked how the main girl, Britt, wasn't helpless. Had she been helpless I probably wouldn't have liked this book as much, but she knew how to handle herself and her friend. (I do give her bonus points on being witty and clever during a very terrifying time. If I were in her place, I hope I could think that fast on my feet). Despite being stuck in the Tetons during a blizzard, Britt navigates herself around Mason, Shaun, and Calvin as she fights her way to freedom.

There was a nice mystery along with the kidnapping. It made for a nice round story that wasn't incredibly focused on how Britt handled her kidnapping, but rather how she managed to do that and discover who was the killer of so many teenage girls.

I will have to say though, I don't know how I feel about the ending. And since I don't won't to spoil it, I can't say more. It was a great read however, a nice quick standalone.

I give it a 3.5 out of 5!