Ensnared Review!

ensnared

Ensnared, a futuristic new adult novel, by Rita Stradling is a unique take on the classic story Beauty and the Beast. Alainn Murphey is 24 years old and kind of an outcast among her family. Her brother and father are both extremely intelligent while Alainn works a mediocre job to keep their family afloat. In the beginning we learn that Alainn’s father has a gambling addiction and is facing a jail sentence unless he delivers Rose, a robot, to the mysterious Lorccan who lives in a secluded tower nearby. All of this could have been avoided of course if Alainn’s father wasn’t consistently gambling away all of their money.

Rose, the robot, devises a plan in which Alainn (an exact replica of Rose) goes to Lorccans tower in her place so that Rose and Alainn’s father can finish up a new Rosette model robot. The plan is that Alainn would spend a few days maximum posing as a robot in Rose’s place and they would then replace her with the new Rosette model and succeed in an escape plan for Alainn. But once Alainn arrives she realizes that things aren’t really what they seem. Maybe Lorccan isn’t the beast she thought he was, and here our romance begins to bud.

What I liked the best about this book was the futuristic setting. There’s something that draws me in and keeps me hooked when the setting is strong and intriguing. Ensnared really did this for me. I loved getting to see the tower, the robots (lets be real, Blue was the best part of this book, awww) and how the world would work if it was ran by robots in the place of humans for necessary jobs such as police work. I also absolutely loved the characters. Alainn was a strong women but also had a tender heart and would do ANYTHING for the people she loved. As for Lorccan, I love a good bounce back story. One of my very favorite characters in a book is the anti-villain and he was a perfect one. At first I was skeptical about Shelly as a character but grew to love her immensely because the author did not shy away from any aspect of living with crippling anxiety. A huge round of applause for accurate representation of a mental illness in this novel. I think the plot was very gripping, it had me at the edge of my seat for the better last half of the book. Overall I gave this book a solid 4 star rating on Goodreads and thought it was spectacular.

Some things I didn’t like about the book was that I wished we had gotten a little more from the original Beauty and the Beast story. Believe me, there were elements from the classic in there such as the rose theme reappearing but I just wanted a little more from it. Maybe I’m a little bias being that Beauty and the Beast is easily one of my favorite Disney movies of all time. I also felt like if some of the steamier scenes in this book were chopped, it would make a fantastic YA novel. I’m used to reading YA so when scenes like this pop up it brings me back to those bitter 50 Shades of Grey days and I’m just not into it. I don’t know why it makes me feel so uncomfortable, I’m a grown adult with two children I should be okay with things like that, but I just thought this book should have been marketed and written as a YA book rather than New Adult. The ending was also a little sloppy for me. It wrapped up rapidly and sometimes I caught myself saying “why did this happen” or “how did this come to be”.

Overall I LOVED this book and will wholeheartedly be back for anything else Rita decides to write.  For lovers of the Lunar Chronicles who don’t mind shying away from the YA genre, this is PERFECT for you.

Also a big thank you to netgalley for sending me this book for review. It was a hell of a roller coaster ride and I enjoyed every second of it.

The Song of the Stork Review !

Fifteen-year-old Yael is on the run. The Jewish girl seeks shelter from the Germans on the farm of the village outcast. Aleksei is mute and solitary, but as the brutal winter advances, he reluctantly takes her in and a delicate relationship develops.

As her feelings towards Aleksei change, the war intrudes and Yael is forced to join a Jewish partisan group fighting in the woods.

 

I was sent this ebook ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This is a historical fiction novel set in a very heartbreaking time in history, WW2. Our main character Yael is a young Jewish girl on the run from the Germans and completely alone as our story begins. Yael eventually (forces) her way into being sheltered by a man named Aleksei, who is a mute. While their relationship began rocky because Aleksei didn’t seen very keen on harboring a Jew, it eventually bloomed into a romance and our story takes off from there.

I had a hard time with this story for a variety of reasons. The writing just didn’t flow for me from the beginning. The first half of this book was agonizingly slow and I felt that the conclusion didn’t give the book any justice either. I felt that the book wrapped up very abruptly with huge cliffhangers on where some of (my personal favorite) characters ended up. I appreciate any novel written about such a tough subject but this one was just not my favorite. I had a hard time connecting with some of the characters. There was one small plot twist that I definitely appreciated but the rest was very cut and dry. I loved seeing Yael grow from a young girl into womanhood and seeing the hardships that she had to endure. It was a brutal position to be in during that time and I can respect the way Yael blossomed into a warrior. I am constantly rooting for a strong female lead and I loved Yael for becoming that person for me.  I think my biggest gripe with this book was that Aleksei was continuously referred to as “the mute” rather than his own name. I think it would have been sufficient to explain briefly one or two times that he was unable to speak. I don’t know why this irritated me so badly but I almost felt offended that his proper name wasn’t used frequently. I don’t think a persons handicap defines them, nor should they be solely labeled as one.

I think this story would be very beneficial to somebody who isn’t familiar with World War 2, or someone who has a particular interest in that period of World history. I gave this book a solid 3 star Goodreads rating and I would recommend it to anyone remotely interested in historical fiction.

I want to leave off with a big thank you to Netgalley, Legend Press, and the author for sending me this for review. 

 

The Raven Boys Review!

I have been hearing about The Raven Cycle for a long time now but haven’t wanted to give it a shot for two reasons. First, the cover of this book is not my cup of tea. If there wasn’t a million good reviews on this series I would have never tried out this book. I know, I know, “don’t judge a book by its cover”. But lets be real, the cover really is awful. Reason number two, I read (some) of Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver series and was extremely unimpressed. With that being said, I am SO glad I pushed myself to read The Raven Boys. It blew my expectations out of the water and did NOT disappoint.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

The first hundred pages of this book were slow and confusing for me. There were a lot of character introductions, strange supernatural occurrences, and little explanation. At first our main character Blue didn’t sit well with me, she seemed like every other whacky wall flower YA girl I’ve ever read about but I came to love her. Gansey, the rich Aglionby boy, and his friends Adam, Ronan, and Noah were equally irritating in the beginning. (Hello, I could smell that ridiculous love triangle within the first couple chapters ugh). As the story went on though I came to love all the characters. Stiefvater brilliantly gave her characters life, even small side characters, and the story line came together perfectly. (Noah was my everything). The setting was eerie, dark, spooky, but lovely. By the last page I was completely enveloped in this world and these characters.  Most of the plot was predictable but there were certainly enough plot twists to have me on the edge of my seat (OR SCREAMING). If you’re looking for a quick supernatural YA book that is character driven and ultimately remarkable, this is the book for you. I cannot wait to continue on with the series and find out where the story takes us. Bring on the strange, creepy, and otherworldly because I’m in this for the long haul. Also, give me Noah or give me death.

http://www.maggiestiefvater.com/

Heartless Review!

DANG MARISSA MEYER, BACK AT IT AGAIN WITH THE DOPE RETELLINGS!

I’m already a huge Alice fan, the queen of hearts being one of my more favorable Disney villains, BUT THIS BOOK Y’ALL- I am queen of hearts obsessed now.

–SLOW CLAP FOR THE VICTORIAN ERA SETTING–

This story began with our main character Catherine being a lovable young girl, ready to pursue her modest dreams of owning a bakery with her best friend. It’s really incredible seeing the transition between Catherine the innocent into the ‘off with their heads’ Queen of Hearts.

Catherine begins as a very enjoyable character with a love of sweets, a big dream, and a mischievous Cheshire cat. When Catherine comes to find out that her parents are giving away her hand in marriage to the King of Hearts, she still doesn’t give up hope of owning her bakery, yet we start to see the temper of the Queen of Hearts shine through. Once Catherine strikes up an untimely romance with Jest, the court Joker, things get really interesting. I’m normally not one who is big on romance in my books but you guys, I SHIP CATHERINE AND JEST SO MUCH. Their relationship was witty, beautiful, adventurous, and ultimately heartbreaking.

Not only does this retelling have one of my favorite forbidden romances of all time, it offers everything you love about Wonderland in a new light. I was completely entranced by the setting, the Edgar Allen Poe references, and the SERIOUSLY CLEVER plot twists.It was also so magical getting a backstory on (lets be real the most important Wonderland character) the Mad Hatter. If I could live inside Marissa Meyer’s brain for the rest of my life I would.

Overall, I gave this book 5/5 stars. My only complaint is that this is a stand alone and I don’t get more Wonderland. Marissa Meyer, you just keep getting better and better. At this point I will purchase ANYTHING you write until the day I die. If the Lunar Chronicles didn’t already have me hooked, I’ve now become your most dedicated subject.

I will link the authors website below in case any of you are interested. Have you read Heartless yet? Are you planning on reading it? Let me know in the comments section!

http://www.marissameyer.com/

Emoji-a-thon TBR

I am taking part in my very first read-a-thon of the year, emoji-a-thon!

Emoji-a-thon is a month long readathon taking place during the entire month of February, and the rules are you only have to read 4 books! Sometimes readathons can be stressful for me, especially if they take place during a busy week. I am really excited to be a part of this leisurely readthon and knock out some books I’ve been looking forward to picking up.

I will list the emoji-a-thon hosts, and twitter down below so you can subscribe and check them out!

Dylanthereader5 – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxpHOP-SCTA0bQ7GZ3fLI0Q

NayaReadsandSmiles – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC52OEyEFO3p-5Qkahcv0REg

Mickey Between the Pages – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFcvOBbyQX05sMxopSFY08w/videos

Twitter – @emojiathon

LIST OF CHALLENGES

Each challenge is represented by a different emoji. You only need to pick four categories to participate.

guys holding hand: read a book about a marginalized group
gift emoji: read a book that was gifted to you
heart emoji: read a romance or contemporary
emoji with heart eyes:read a book you bought because of its cover
embarrassed emoji: read a book that makes you happy thinking about it
shocked face: read a horror or thriller
robot emoji: read a futuristic or sci-fi book
book stack emoji: freebie – any book you want
baby emoji: read a 2016/2017 release
cry emoji: read a cry worthy book
lots of teeth emoji: read an anticipated book
clock emoji: read a book in under 24 hours
eyeball emoji: read a book you’ve been seeing everywhere
dancer emoji: buddy read a book

(I snagged this challenge list from one of my very favorite booktubers, Pages and Pens. Go show her some love!)

MY TBR!

Embarrassed emoji – For this challenge I’m picking Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I’m so excited to get to this book because Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles was my favorite series of 2016.

heartless

Baby emoji – For this challenge I am choosing Rick Riordan’s newest novel in the Magnus Chase series, The Hammer of Thor. I am a huge Riordan fan (um hello, Percy Jackson is my life) and the Magnus Chase series thus far is giving me my Percy Jackson fix.

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Eyeball emoji – One book I have been seeing EVERYWHERE (but especially on Kaylas booktube Booksandlala) is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I’m not exactly sure what to expect from this book because I prefer to go into books blind but the hype is real you guys. I have high hopes for this one!

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Emoji with Heart eyes – A book I bought because of the cover is definitely Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. I love the overall teal blue color on the book and the womans cartoon-ish face on the cover reminds me of Breakfast at Tiffanys. This book sounds like a family drama with a little mystery, which normally isn’t my cup of tea, but I’m going to give it a go!

bernadette

Robot emoji– As I was looking through my bookshelves for something futuristic, The Program by Suzanne Young immediately caught my eye. I’ve been wanting to read this for years now and the synopsis makes it seem right up my alley.

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If you are interested in any of the books on my TBR, I will list their goodreads pages below!

Heartless –  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18584855-heartless?ac=1&from_search=true

Hammer of Thor – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27904311-the-hammer-of-thor?ac=1&from_search=true

The Raven Boys – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17675462-the-raven-boys?ac=1&from_search=true

Where’d you go, Bernadette – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13526165-where-d-you-go-bernadette?ac=1&from_search=true

The Program – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11366397-the-program?ac=1&from_search=true

Are any of you participating in emoji-a-thon this month? I’d love to hear what’s on your TBR, comment down below! 

Ever the Hunted Review!

ever-the-hunted

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.


However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

REVIEW

This book started out very slow for me but started to pick up speed around the 200 page mark. This story follows the classic YA fantasy sequence of events and was similar to a lot of other YA fantasies I’ve read before. The initial problem for me was that there wasn’t much world building or explanations of politics that should have been elaborated on. Our main character Britta unfortunately fell flat for me. We are told she is a capable, brave, and skilled hunter from the beginning but throughout the book she rarely showed those talents. Time and time again Britta failed to live up to the huntress standards that were set up from the first page. Now with this being said, I want to point out that I wasn’t completely dissatisfied with this book. The magic system was extremely intriguing, the setting was lively and beautiful, and oh my goodness I flew through the parts with Enat in them. Enat was an incredible character but also the “teacher” in some ways. I am a sucker for a good magic system in a story and an even bigger sucker for a magical teacher/student “relationship”. As far as plot twists go, I did see some of them coming yet was completely shocked at times. It takes a lot for me to be thrown off from a plot twist so Erin Summerill gets an A+ from me in that category. Overall I gave this book a rating of 3 stars. I absolutely intend on continuing with this series but I hope book number two gives us more political background between the two warring lands, a whole lot more magic, and some more KILLER plot twists.

Thank you for reading! Have you read Ever the Hunted yet? Are you planning to? Lets chat about it!

If you’d like to know more about Ever the Hunted or the author Erin Summerill, her page will be linked below.

http://www.erinsummerill.com/