Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Shade of Blood: A Review (A Shade of Vampire #2)

Goodreads Description:

In A Shade Of Blood, Bella Forrest transports you deeper into a unique, enthralling and beautifully sensitive story. Prepare to be lost in its pages…

When Sofia Claremont was kidnapped to a sunless island, uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet, she believed she’d forever be a captive of its dark ruler, Derek Novak.

Now, after months of surviving an endless night, the morning sun may soon rise again for Sofia. Something has possessed Derek’s heart and he offers her a gift no human slave has ever been given in the history of his cursed island: escape.

High school, prom and a chance to move on with her life now await her.

But will she be able to forget the horrors that steal her sleep away at night? … and the feelings that haunt her for that tormented prince of darkness?

My Review:

So I reviewed the first book of this series, and well, I loved the first book, but couldn't really handle this one. I just...too many cliches and whatnot. Yes, that's how the first book was, but yeesh. 

I sort of already fell out of love with this series during this book. Plus, it didn't get interesting until the very end. It dragged a bit, and I don't like dragging plot lines. I like when things happen and when things are happening. 

Sofia is still pretty air headed and Derrick is finally loosening up, but I still don't like him very much. And I don't like anyone else in the series except for maybe Vivian.

I think I will give this a series a rest. Granted, I don't hate this story and have access to the next few books on audiobook. Maybe, just maybe, if I don't have another audiobook to listen to, I'll pick up the next book. Not anytime soon though.

I give this a 2 out of 5.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Stars Above: A Review (Lunar Chronicles #4.5)

Goodreads Description:

The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.
Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….
The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.
The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess
The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.
Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century...

My Review:

Stars Above is a wonderful collection of Lunar Chronicle stories. I fell in love with it the moment I started reading it. Marissa Meyer actually came to Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ, so my family drove out to go see her and get our books signed (yes the picture shows Cinder and not Stars Above, because we wanted the book shown that made us fall in love with the series). Meyer is a wonderful person and you can just see her love for reading and writing glowing in her face. She actually told us the original Little Mermaid story, and man, she's a fantastic story teller! I definitely think story telling is an art, and she excels.

Me, Mom (aka Paij Slater here), Marissa Meyer

Anyways, this collection of stories was so much fun. It was great to see the lives of some minor characters that we didn't get to see very much. We also got to see what they were thinking, which answered some curious questions I've had throughout reading the series.

Most of the stories were about what happened before the series started, and the last story is an epilogue of the series. Oh, it was so much fun! I was given everything I have wanted since the beginning of the series. If you love this series, I highly suggest you read it. And definitely read it after you have the entire series, or there will be major spoilers.

Meyer is by far one of my favorite authors and she is just as wonderful in person. I am so glad I got to meet her and read this great series.

I give all these little stories a 5 out of 5!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Breakaway: A Review (The Breakaway #1)

Goodreads Description:

When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she's missing. Escape isn't high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she's part of a family-even if it is a family of criminals. But she's still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she's falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn't sure she wants to take it

My Review:

As you can see, this is another book about a kidnapping, and it's a kidnapping that includes Stockholm Syndrome. Which in and of itself is pretty scary and incredibly mind tripping. I had actually first heard this series when my mom, sister, and cousin were listening to it on audiobook on a fun road trip we took years back (I was reading my own book, but my interest had been peaked). Only now, however, have I actually read it.

So, our main character is Naomi Jensen. She is perhaps the biggest idiot I've ever read about. I kept thinking she would be smarter, but no. She failed, just about every time. Still, I was enraptured about the dynamics of her relationship with her captors. That's what kept me reading.

Naomi doesn't know how to have a functional relationship. She had an abusive boy friend before, who I very much hated, and parents who didn't know how to be parents. Essentially, Naomi was never taught what love really was or how to find someone who actually loved her, and didn't use her for her body or for her parents' connections. Which, I think just made her so incredibly naive that when she got kidnapped, she didn't have the capability to think like a normal human being.

Because I would have tried to escape so many times.

She only tried once.

I won't give too much away, but needless to say, I obviously don't understand how Stockholm Syndrome works very much. I can't comprehend how you can come to love someone who is keeping you locked in a house, away from everything that you have known and loved. Which I believe is another reason why I kept reading. I just had to know how this was all going to work out.

One of her kidnappers, Jesse, is made out to be such a great guy, but how can you be a great guy when you could have saved a girl a year earlier, and only did so now because it benefited you? Just...crazy stuff that actually happens that I can't even imagine (and am incredibly grateful that it hasn't happened to me).

The ending was happy for me, but not so much for Naomi, which once again, weirded me out. There's a second book, of which I am excited for. Yes, Naomi is pretty stupid, but I can't stop reading the effects of her capture. It's such a train wreck, but it's fabulous and terrifying.

Argyle is a beautiful writer, and I enjoyed her writing style. It's another reason why I kept reading. She dives so well into Naomi's naive-ness and her strange way of thinking, that I'm completely drawn in. Sure, I can't connect with Naomi's airheaded-ness, but her story is interesting and Argyle keeps on surprising me.

I give this a 4 out of 5!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Clockwork Three: A Review (Standalone)

Goodreads (Description)

Three ordinary children are brought together by extraordinary events. . . .

Giuseppe is an orphaned street musician who sees no way to escape from his ruthless master, until the day he finds an enchanted violin.

Frederick is an apprentice clockmaker with a past he cannot remember, who secretly works to build the most magnificent clockwork man the world has ever seen.

Hannah is a maid in a grand hotel, whose life is one of endless drudgery, until she encounters a mystifying new guest and learns of a hidden treasure.

As mysterious circumstances bring them together, the lives of these three children soon interlock, and they realize that each one holds the key to the others’ puzzles. Together, the three discover they have phenomenal power when they team up as friends, and that they can overcome even the darkest of fears.

My Review:

This was a beautiful book about three kids who are trying to discover who they are.

Giuseppie is an Italian boy who was taken from his home and forced to play music on American streets to supply Stephano with money. His life has been horrible, and it got even worse after he discovered the green violin.

Frederick is a clock-maker determined to become a journeyman no matter what the cost, even if that means seeking help from the one who has taken him in.

Hannah is only trying to keep her dearest father alive and healthy. She works hard each and every day to put food in her family's bellies and afford healthcare for her father.

These three kids, through incredible circumstances are brought together to help each other in their quests. Nothing goes the way they want, and things always got worse before they started getting better. They nearly lose everything, only to discover that together they are stronger and can overcome anything that's thrown their way. I love the friendship that is created between the three. They lived in a time where young children were sent to work and could nearly be slave labor. And yet, by their example, someone very unlikely helps them.

This was a great book about kids learning how to fight for what they want. Each of the three had to learn hard lessons, and they made pretty bad mistakes, but they grew. They learned and moved on, climbing the ladder to success. If there were to be a book about these three in the future, I know they would be teaching their own children about the trials they faced and how to do the right thing, even when doing the wrong thing is easier.

I give this book a 4.5 out of 5!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: A Review (Harry Potter #8)

Description (Goodreads):
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

My Review:

I love Harry Potter.

I will say though, that it was so odd to see Harry as a father. It was so interesting to see the trio in their adult lives and the kind of parents and adults they are. Needless to say, I'm not surprised about what some of them are doing as professions.

One thing I wish I had was more of the world around. I feel that since this was a play, I missed out on so much else that was going on. Still, it was a wonderful book.

Can I say that Scorpius Malfoy was my favorite in this series. By far. He was so good and so kind and so unlike his father. I LOVED HIM. Albus kind of annoyed me at times. It was surprising to me that I liked a Malfoy more than a Potter. Haha. Albus was a good friend after he realized how selfish he was being. Scorpius was only good and kind to him and Albus was kind of a jerk a lot of the time.

But, Albus and Scorpius had the chance to grow so much in this short little story. I loved it.

There were many things that made me want to cry, but it was a beautiful story and I hope to one day see the actual play.

4.5 out of 5!