Thursday, May 10, 2018

Son (The Giver #4)


They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

My Review

This series is so beautiful. I'm sad I never delved beyond the first book until last year.

Son unites all the previous books together: so if you haven't read this book there will be spoilers.

Claire, a young woman turned ancient, comes to the town where Jonas and Gabe have been living since their escape. But it's not quite that easy. She has to go through hell and back again to get there. She meets a monster who follows her to her son...but she's so old there's no way her precious Gabe would believe she was his mother...

The world beyond where Jonas grew up is incredible. Jonas's ability as The Giver is so much more than we ever thought. He is fascinating. As is Gabe.

Who knew the little baby Gabe was so much more powerful than we thought. A defiant teenager, sure, but strong--the way Jonas raised him.

And Jonas's wife... Lois Lowry knows how to connect seemingly unconnected books beautifully.

Son brings our characters together in a whirlwind story where we learn vanity is not worth the price of our children.

Lowry knows how to write books that bring wonder into the reader's lives and teaches us life long lessons we should all uphold.

What I love most, is how she teaches us to be brave and to be kind.

This is a series I will definitely read again.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Shack: A Review (Standalone)


Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his "Great Sadness," Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone 
you know to read this book!

My Review:

I bought this book because the trailer for the movie caught my attention.

Man, was this purchase worth it.

Mac is a father of three, who's youngest daughter had been taken and murdered by the Little Lady Killer--a serial killer who actually existed. This book is in fact, based on true events. Although Young admits Mac's coming to God weekend may have not been physically real, it certainly was as real to Mac as anything else.

This book was beautiful. It taught what it meant to forgive. To love unconditionally. My heart swelled with the story.

Forgiveness is hard. So very hard. And Papa (aka God) asked Mac to forgive the Little Lady Killer, it was the only way he would be able to find his baby girl's body. Watching him go through this grueling process of understanding what it really means to judge others, to condemn them.

Mac and his relationship with his family was so heart touching. Not only was Mac going through a hard time, but so was his family. The way they all came together in the end, how they forgave each other and makes me wish we all knew the joys of forgiveness.

It was one of the best Christian books I've read about God in a long time. The emotion was so powerful, so touching. Incredible.

The movie was just as powerful. They did a wonderful job following everything Young described.

4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Fine Gentleman: A Review (The Jonquil Brothers #4)


London barrister Jason Jonquil has spent his entire life working to establish his identity as a gentleman, a man of refinement like his father and brothers. But when fiery Spanish beauty Mariposa Thornton walks into his office, he finds himself losing his grasp on his dignified character. The woman is infuriating, pushing him to the limit of his legendary patience. However, her case seems simple enough—a small matter of inheritance. Or so he believes.

Once a well-born lady, Mariposa fought to survive the brutalities of Napoleon’s war on Spain. She braved horrific perils and undertook dangerous missions on behalf of those fighting against the invading French army. But her greatest battle still lies ahead: after being separated from her family, Mariposa sets in motion a plan to reunite with her loved ones in England. To avoid drawing the attention of the French, Mariposa dons a carefully crafted persona to conceal her true purpose. As Jason and Mariposa are drawn together by the case, they come to know the people beneath the masks they both wear.

When the truth of Mariposa’s quest is revealed, the couple is pulled into a mystery that will test the limits of their courage—and expose the true desire of their hearts.
My Review:

Yay! Another amazing book from Sarah M. Eden. Seriously, I love her books more than anything. Despite all her books being in the same time period, she manages to create vastly diverse and lovable characters. I admire how she does it. There's a reason why I only read Regency Romance, not write it.

Jason Jonquil is just as fine a gentleman as his brothers, but he hides behind a thick mask. A mask where he's all business, and has no emotion. (The reason behind this hurts my heart, but makes me love Jason all the more).

Mariposa Thornton is a victim of the Napoleonic war. She has survived horrible conditions, and has been separated from her family.

In the most oddest of ways, Mariposa and Jason become closely acquainted on the search for her family. They tease and joke with each other, although they sometimes cross the line. They are an interesting couple, and have a unique way of communicating with each other.

I love how in the end, they stayed with each other, even if they originally thought it wasn't the best idea. They resolved most of their differences and found a way to get along.

This was such a cute story. One where we not only enjoyed a love story, but were reminded of the horrors of Napoleon's reign.

4 out of 5!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin: A Review (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)


A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to 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.

  My Review:

Sarah J. Maas is such a talented author. Despite how dark things were getting, Maas kept us reading and hoping for the best.

Feyra and Rhys are faced with the hardest battle they will ever face. And that's saying something about a fey who's lived millennia and seen countless wars.

I love how the relationship between Feyra and her friends grow. How despite all the hard choices they have to make, they remain together and fight. They protect each other, always. How I would love to be a part of a group like them.

The ending was beautiful. It wasn't tied up in bows, but it was perfect for the situation.

Again, I love Maas writing. I just wish she would stop being so descriptive in the sex scenes. It's completely unnecessary and just, gag. Ya, we know Feyra and Rhys love each other, and yes, your writing skills are freaking amazing, but I promise your story will remain just as powerful without those nasty scenes. And the foul language, doesn't really fit the culture of the fey.

In Maas first books, she was more reserved, and I admired her fully for the ability to write amazing stories that were clean. Now, she still writes amazing stories, but I'm disappointed that she's resulted to so many sex scenes. Yeah, sex sells, but she has enough skills to not include those scenes.

I have to decrease my rating because of how many she's included along with the increased foul language.

3.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Void of Muirwood: A Review (Covenant of Muirwood #3)


When banished Princess Maia is captured by her father and threatened with execution, it appears that all is lost…until the people rise in rebellion against their king. Suddenly, the cast-aside royal finds herself crowned the first Queen of Comoros. But enemies appear on all sides as her father’s conniving supporters assemble a new army against the fledgling ruler. While Maia struggles to keep the peace within her own walls, she rushes to form historical alliances with her neighboring kingdoms against an impending invasion of the ruthless Naestors—led by the cruel Corriveaux—who will destroy anyone Maia loves in order to ruin her kingdom and prevent the mastons from regaining power.

Realizing that Muirwood Abbey is once again her only hope for survival, Maia gathers her people there for protection. When she discovers an adversary greater than she’s ever known, she must use all the magic, strength, and wisdom gained from her life’s trials to prevent the Void that would bring destruction to herself, her true love, and the entire kingdom.My Review:

Maia has gained back her crown, she is now Queen. Only, despite having over thrown her father, she is now faced with the bursting tension of the Naesters. They are done staying behind the scenes, and they want what they think is rightfully theirs.

Maia is forced back to the safety of Muirwood Abby. Here she leads her people and tries desperately to keep them safe. She juggles her allies, the relationships with all very tenuous. Exhaustion begins to over take her, and she questions whether she is the right person to lead her people.

Honestly, Maia is a wonderful, strong female lead. When the battles begin, she stays strong, prepared to fulfill the covenant of Muirwood.

Through all of this, Maia continues to be kind. To be aware of what other's need and find ways to help them. She forgives those who have wronged her, and treats them with kindness; making her my idol.

The ending was beautiful. One of the best endings to a series I've read in a long time. It touched my heart and I wish to read it over and over again.

Jeff Wheeler and his awesome writing skills have captured my heart and I hope he one day comes back to the world of Muirwood.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cruel Beauty: A Review (Cruel Beauty Universe #1)


Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

  My Review:

This was a very interesting take on Beauty and the Beast. It was set in the real world, on an island that had been cut off from the real world. It was fascinating to have Greek Mythology tagged to the story, along with their rituals.

I'm not sure I liked this book as much as the hype did. Nyx was selfish and cruel, as was the beast. Two awful people meant for each other.

It does make sense, as to why the book is called Cruel Beauty, but... Nyx was so mixed on her emotions, where at one point she was nice, and then she was awful. She was an unreliable narrator, and it drove me crazy at points. I liked the beast more than I liked her, because at least he stayed true to his character, whereas Nyx was just a mess.

Her whole goal was to save the millions of people who had been trapped, but she started whining and complaining about how it was too hard, and why did it have to be me? Blah, blah, blah. Like, obviously your life sucks. Get over it. Are you really going to let your petty teenager wants destroy the rest everything you know? Gosh. Ignifex was a far better person than Nyx will ever be.

The story had great potential, but I felt it could have been executed better. I only finished it because my friends insisted it was a FANTASTIC book...

I mean, the cover is beautiful. I will give her next book a try, but I don't have high hopes.

2 out of 5!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Ciphers of Muirwood: A Review (Covenant of Muirwood #2)


From the moment she was banished by her father, the king, Princess Maia journeyed to seek sanctuary at Muirwood Abbey, the epicenter of magic and good in the land. Now safe for the first time since her cruel abandonment, Maia must foster uneasy friendships with other girls training to be Ciphers: women who learn to read and engrave tomes of ancient power, despite the laws forbidding them to do so.

As Maia tries to judge whom to trust, she makes a shocking discovery: her destiny is to open the Apse Veil and release trapped spirits from her world. Then she learns that her father is coming to Muirwood Abbey to celebrate the Whitsunday festival—and Maia’s estranged husband, whom she was forced to abandon, will join him. Torn between deadly political machinations and unstoppable spiritual forces, Maia must channel unknown powers within herself to save her friends, the abbey, and the entire kingdom of Muirwood.

My Review:

Maia is one of the best female leads I have read about in a long time. She has been through the absolute worst. Having been forced to marry, then abandon her husband, and travel a dangerous path to Muirwood Abby.

The Abby isn't the same as it once was in the original series. It is still being built (against the law) from the destruction that occurred so many years before. Yet, the power is still there. The Medium is strong, and the Aldermaston is just as strong as our original Aldermaston friend.

Maia has made some great friends, and continues to do so among the Ciphers, despite some of them being stupid mean girls. She is kind, she is compassionate, even though hardly anyone has treated her similarly.

The danger increases when Maia learns her father is to come to Muirwood. Her father, who is now threatening to name her a bastard and cut her off from her title as Princess. How will she face the father she still loves, yet hates her so much? To the point of wanting her dead.

This was another wonderful addition to the Muirwood series. I loved the original series, but following Maia has brought this incredible world back to life in ways the first series couldn't accomplish. I could revisit these books and never grow tired of the world.

4.5 out of 5!