Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Angelfall: A Review (Penryn & the End of Days #1)

Description (Goodreads):

It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

My Review:

I fell in love with this book quite quickly.

Penryn is one of the coolest female protagonists I have ever read about. She knows her way around a fight and the post apocalyptic world. Which happened to have been caused by none other than ANGELS!

Angels! Already I loved the idea.

And then I started reading and fell in love with the story.

The story starts out with Penryn's younger sister (Paige) gets kidnapped by angels. Her younger sister can't walk and is literally taken out of her wheelchair by the angels. Tears were already running down my face. Not to mention that Penryn's mother is a crazy person. Like, legit crazy. So now Penryn had to figure out how to not only survive, but find her lost sister.

Oh, and get an angel, who had just been de-winged, to help her.

*Dreamy Eyes* Of Raffe. The fallen angel of whom I loved from the minute he came into play. Thankfully, there wasn't an insta-love (they didn't even really get together at all in this book, but it will must!). Anyways, Raffe is all masculinity and muscle. Yet, despite his hard exterior, there's something akin to a heart underneath. Despite his being "captured" by Penryn (because he was totally being held hostage *shaking head*), he helped her along the way.

Street gangs and angels and little factions of people staying together start to get in Penryn's and Raffe's way, until they find a camp that may or may not just help them more than they think.

Man... This was a really good book. I highly recommend it. I also appreciated how clean it was, especially since it was a post-apocalyptic book.

I give it a 5 out of 5!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Gifts of Imperfection: A Review

Descriptions (Goodreads):

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, PhD, a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she's learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living--a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.

In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.
My Review:

I am not usually one to read self-help books, but this one was recommended to me and I rather liked it. This book teaches us how we need to let go of the person we think we are supposed to be, and become the person we are actually meant to be.

There are steps through out the book that teach how to let go of the small things and understand that through connection and letting go we can become happier. She talks about embracing ourselves as we are and to stop berating ourselves for being imperfect. Brown uses a lot of her own stories and experiences, which made me connect with her and want to read further.

Honestly, it was a really good book and Brown has great guideposts to how to live a happier life--they've certainly helped me look at things with a different perspective. I originally watched her Ted Talks and then found out she had written some books through a friend. I'm currently reading her book, Rising Strong, and I also rather enjoy it.

I give this a 5 out of 5.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Pieces: A Review (The Breakaway #2)

Description (Goodreads):

Two years after watching her kidnappers go to prison, Naomi Jensen is still in love with one of them. Jesse will be released in a few years, and Naomi knows college is the perfect distraction while she waits. But when her new friend Finn makes her question what is right and what is wrong, she begins to wonder if Jesse is the one for her...until she discovers he's out on parole. Naomi must sort through her confusion to figure out where love and freedom truly lie-in Finn, who has no connections to her past, or Jesse, who has just asked her to run away with him.

Pieces is a companion to The Breakaway and can be read independently, if desired.

My Review:

So, I did review the first book of this, The Breakaway, and I don't have much more to say about it than what I have already said.

Naomi is a FREAKING IDIOT. She is so incredibly weak-minded and frankly just dumb. Like, why would you ever move to Italy with a man who kidnapped you! Who obviously is still involved with sketchy stuffs. Insert eye roll here.

Jesse is also an idiot. He could have had a clean slate but he was impatient and stupid.

My friends can attest to my yelling out loud at these stupid characters. And yet, just like with the first one, I was so drawn in by their stupidity! That, and Michelle D. Argyle is a wonderful writer. Her ability to draw me in was great. Despite these characters being dumb...well, it's just who they are and why the situation happened in the first place.

So, even though I kind of hated Naomi and Jesse, I did like the secondary characters. They were pretty good.

The only redeeming quality about Naomi is that she smartens up at the end and does the right thing. About freaking time, right? Yeah, I thought so too.

I honestly did enjoy reading these books. It was a train wreck about a stupid, weak-minded girl, but it was a great read.

I give this a 3.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Flamecaster: A Review (Shattered Realms #1)

Description (Goodreads):

A burning vengeance.

Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. The son of the queen of the Fells, Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

A blood-based curse.

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Destiny’s fiery hand.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

My Review:

Can I just say, Cinda Williams Chima is a FANTASTIC author! This is a continuation of her Demon King Series--which, can I just say is another one of my top favorite series.

In this series, it is about Han's son, Ash. And I have to say, I rather like Ash. He is a good mix of his father and his mother. He is motivated and kind. Despite his dark background, he cares about other people and will do anything to save his family--anything, but hurting innocent people. (Which was a part of a great character development).

Jenna is pretty cool. I don't mind her, as far as female protagonists go. She can stand her ground and there is still something mysterious about her that we don't understand and I just need to know NOW! But, unfortunately, we don't find it out. She is smart and clever, which I appreciate.

Lila is freaking awesome. She has a secret side to her that I so did not see coming. She is the only reason things have been working out for Ash. She is the reason anything is working out really. Man, this girl is awesome.

And despite his not really being the good guy, I rather like Destin too. He's in a tough place, but I believe he has the ability to be a really good person. And if I don't say so myself, Destin and the three above would make a super awesome combat, special ops-like team. Maybe my dreams will come true.

The plot was a driving one, with twists and turns. It was of course  a great adventure like always. Seeing this world after Han and Raisa's version of this world is incredibly interesting. This is one of my favorite fantasy worlds and there's so much more to learn. It's going to be great.

The one thing I didn't like about this book, and really it was only this one thing. Was Ash and Jenna had this kind of weird insta-love. Gag me. They barely knew each other and suddenly they're in love. Yeah, no thanks. Other than that, it was great!

I give it a 4.5 out of 5.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: A Review (Harry Potter #5)

Description (Goodreads):
Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected...

Suspense, secrets and thrilling action from the pen of J.K. Rowling ensure an electrifying adventure that is impossible to put down.

My Review:

Once again, it was wonderful to visit the world of Harry Potter. As I re-listen to this series again, I learn more about the characters and the magical world of witches and wizards. I don't think I will ever grow old of Harry Potter and his many friends.

I really love this book because of how the Dumbledore's Army is started. It was such a wonderful way for the students to unite together...and not only that, but they were able to help students who weren't as advanced in Defense Against the Dark Arts become better.

It's just super unfortunate that Dumbledore's Army was started because of stupid Umbridge. I can't stand that women. She just needs to not be a witch anymore...

And, can I say I'm glad Harry got over Cho. The movies don't show how annoying she actually is. All she does is cry. Granted, yes, she lost the love of her life, but she should not have played with Harry's heart. Gah. I'm glad Harry saw how awesome Ginny is, and dropped the crying Cho.

This book was very powerful as we learn that Voldemort can get into Harry's head. The emotional trauma Harry goes through as he deals with the murder of his parents in his head, but... Harry sees this as an advantage and uses his connection with Voldemort despite everyone telling him to stop. Sure, it was dangerous and incredibly risky, but! I think I would have done the same thing if I was Harry.

Harry Potter is one of my favorite series ever. It is definitely worth reading, especially if you love magic... (And who doesn't love magic?)

I give this a 5 out of 5!