Friday, July 31, 2015

Justice Buried and Balance Bound

ISBN: 1494833298
Pages: 304
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Publication Date: January 15 2014
The people need Justice, but she's not listening. One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three cities. Now the community of Asphodel is trapped underground, waiting for the prophesied maiden of Justice to return and save them from their Fates. Sixteen-year-old Astrea is supposed to be this savior - too bad for them she isn't a believer. Trea fights against her false destiny: she rebels against her family and friends, then refuses her arranged marriage to the charming but deceitful Lexan. Learning her life is in danger, Trea is forced to trust Lexan - until she discovers a power she never knew she had, and one he already knew he did. As betrayal closes every door, Trea decides she must submit to her stars and accept her fate. Then a handsome stranger offers her an unexpected escape and the chance to create her own destiny. 

ISBN: 9781502448859
Pages: 318
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Publication Date: October 28 2014
Balance Broken is the second in the Starbright series. In the first book, Justice Buried, Astrea fights to remain independent in a world which demands she submit to an ancient prophecy. In Balance Broken, she learns that independence means little when the world is depending on her.
The world cries for Order, but she’s igniting a revolution.
One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three cities. Now, Asphodel no longer lingers underground, and the Starbright Maiden of Justice has returned.
Everyone has faith in Astrea’s ability to save the world - but only she knows the dark truth about her powers.
Astrea teams with Stian, Lexan, and Zarea to enlist the help of Lord Hadeon of Tartarus. They hope Hadeon will aid in attacking Asphodel’s First Leader Keirna, but the Destroyer usually takes lives, not sides.
As Astrea discovers life outside of Asphodel, she begins to wonder whether the remaining world is too broken to save - especially since the price of freedom just might be her own life.

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another review! Little story, I completely forgot about these two books until a couple days ago so I had to speed read the two books and compile this quick little review for you all. Huge thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for allowing me the opportunity to read/review this series!

So since I'm talking about both books at once, I'm going to skip the usual summary and get straight into it. Ever since I read Zodiac by Romina Russel (review coming soon) I've been enamored with societies that are governed by astrological signs. The Starbright series has this tint of dystopian as well since our MC Astrea lives in Asphodel, a city built underground to escape the Sickness above. The writing style is super engaging and gripping. I'm usually not a big sci-fi/dystopian fan but I enjoyed the building of the world and society. I absolutely loved the little excerpts on the top because it gave us readers a little insight into the history.

Astrea as a character got on my nerves quite a bit. What she did was certainly admirable, but she couldn't stop complaining about how she had no choice in life. I felt so bad for Lexan throughout the first book because he's subjected to the same things that she is but he keeps his mouth shut and does his duty. Then we have Stian, our third member of this little triangle. I don't like him. In the first book he was okay but in the second book he just sent so many mixed messages I got really annoyed. And finally we have Zarea. First of all Astrea and Zarea...those names are so similar sounding (in their ending). Second, once I got over her "jealous" act, she turned out to be a pretty cool character. #Zalexan anyone? :)

Like the mentioned before, I loved the world that this story took place in. I really enjoyed discovering the history of Asphodel and the cities above ground - the events that took place and the different ways of governing the cities. Lord Hadeon of Tartarus creeped me out so much and I'm currently stuck on who scares me more...him or Kierna. Imagine a video game battle with the two of them facing off. I would like to see that!

Overall, I found myself enjoying the series more than I expected. I still need to read the novellas which I'm kind of reluctant to do so...especially for Stian's but I'm excited for the next book for sure!

3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,


Hi everyone! I've got a quick little impromptu post but this is for all you authors out there! The Kraken PR is giving away 10 hours of free publicity to one lucky author and all you have to do is fill out this rafflecopter:

So go on and fill it out before it's too late! 

Foreverly Obsessed,

Thursday, July 30, 2015

VIDEO: BookTubeAThon TBR

Hello everyone! Welcome to a very special post! So before I dive into what this post actually is about, let me just give you some background. Back in March, Claudia and I decided to start a podcast which we called the Little Black Bookmark and we've been doing it for a couple months now. Starting from July, we decided to give YouTubing a shot and one month later here we are! 

I've been posting a little bit but I haven't found a schedule yet which hopefully I will soon, but getting on the actual post...The BookTubeAThon is HERE! I'm super excited because I've been wanting to participating for a couple times now, but I never had a channel to do so until now. I want to try the video challenges but I don't know how good I will be at filming and editing in a short span of time. My goal is at least one video challenge so fingers crossed. Anyway, I did make my TBR based off of the 7 reading challenges which include:

1)Read a book with blue on the cover

2) Read a book by an author who shares the same first letter of your last name 

3) Read someone else's favourite book

4) Read the last book you acquired 

5) Finish a book without letting go of it

6) Read a book you really want to read

7) Read seven books
I'm leaving this one open for options! :)

So that's my list! I'm so excited I can't even wait for Monday to come! Let me know if you're participating in the BookTubeAThon and we can cheer each other on! For more information you can click HERE for the BookTubeAThon channel or HERE for their Twitter. Good luck to everyone! :)

Foreverly Obsessed,

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Raven Boys

ISBN: 0545424925
Pages: 416
Source: Library
Publication Date: September 18 2012

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
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.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Hello everyone! So first of all I'm terribly sorry for how inactive I have been this month despite it being summer. The only excuse I have is that if I'm not watching YouTube videos, I'm reading which I guess is good but at the same time it means I have so many books I need to review now...Anyway The Raven Boys has been one of my most highly anticipated reads ever since BookTube exploded with the Raven Cycle so I'm super pumped that I finally got around to reading it!

The story follows Blue Sargent who's been told since she was little that one day she's going to meet a guy, fall in love, but if she kisses him he's going to die. So of course, she's spent her entire life avoiding any form of relationship until she meets Gansey on the spirit road on St. Mark's Eve. Since Blue doesn't share the same psychic abilities that the rest of her family, she normally can't see spirits but then she learns something else. Gansey is actually still alive and he conveniently makes an appointment to see her mom for a reading. Soon Blue finds herself swept up in this crazy journey to discover if legends are really true and makes friends with the very people she never thought she'd like.

Oh my goodness this book is amazing! I was so scared going into this book because I remember watching BookTube videos and almost everyone saying how they hated the Shiver trilogy (which I personally thought wasn't all that bad). My brain immediately jumped to the worse case scenario being that if I didn't hate the Shiver trilogy and everyone else did then if everyone loves this series that must mean I will hate it. Thank the heavens that isn't the case because this book is absolutely so much fun to read and it's spectacular! The writing style is so intricate and thought out to the point where you can tell that Maggie Stiefvater has thought through every aspect of the story and knows what is going to happen next.

The feel of the story is really unique and I believe Jenny from Jellyfy on BookTube called it magical realism which fits the book pretty perfectly. The air surrounding the book is just so mysterious and haunting while being heart pounding and intense. I swear once I hit a certain point I could not stop flipping the pages because I needed to know what happened next.

The characters were the best part of it. Each and every one is so incredibly unique and complex and I can't help but love them all. Blue is such an amazing character and I loved how she was surrounded by her family which is composed of her mother, aunts, and cousins and that sort of surrounding allowed her to be really strong and independent. I really loved how she didn't shy away from any big thing that happened or relied on the guys, she had enough of a girly personality but managed to stand on her own at the same time.

I'm dedicating an entire paragraph to the Raven Boys whom I loved so so much! Gansey was just a perfect leader with his unending enthusiasm and charm. It was so interesting to see him switch between his Mr. Politician persona and his "Let's go explore the world" excited child attitude. Ronan was so mysterious and complex. At first I thought I would hate him but those snippets which revealed more about him as a person were just mindblowing to read. Adam I loved since the beginning and even though he made some bad choices, I loved how he slowly grew a backbone and stood up for himself. And last but not least, Noah. My heart literally breaks for him but I still love his character so much with all those weird quirks.

The romance in the story was so subtle which you don't anticipate since the summary hints at Blue's true love curse. I liked the subplot the romance took and it actually doesn't even matter in the first book but I can already see if building up to something bigger in the later books which I'm surprisingly really excited about.

This book was absolutely fantastic to read and I adored every single moment. Stay tuned for tomorrow because I've got some pretty exciting news regarding the blog and the Raven Boys is going to be part of it! :)
4 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Broken Kingdoms

ISBN: 0316043966
Pages: 381
Source: Library
Publication Date: November 3, 2010

In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a homeless man who glows like a living sun to her strange sight. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city. 
Oree's peculiar guest is at the heart of it, his presence putting her in mortal danger -- but is it him the killers want, or Oree? And is the earthly power of the Arameri king their ultimate goal, or have they set their sights on the Lord of Night himself?

 Hello everyone! So this review is long overdue - I've been falling behind on review lately so I apologize for that. With the summer around you'd think I would have more time, but I've just been this lazy ball of fluff...alright on that great note, let's get into this review!

Oree Shoth is a blind artist living in the city of Shadow. Her life consists of selling her pieces to the locals and avoiding the godlings who she can faintly see due to their magical abilities. Then she stumbles across a man beaten up in a dump and decides to take him in without knowing anything about him. After doing so, a chain of events start occurring that could possibly link her guest with the deaths of godlings around the city and the new rising religious cult.

The first thing I want to mention is that the awesome dialogue like storytelling from Book 1 continues! I have grown to associate this method of storytelling with NK Jemisin because it makes the novel seem so conversational. There's a lot of political intrigue as always but this book definitely leans more on the religious side as Oree and Shiny (her guest) figure out how to deal with the cult. There were times in the story however that felt a bit slow which made reading the book really difficult. Even though I read the first book over the course of a month, I enjoyed it despite not reading it in one sitting. However with this book, I found that I had to force myself to pick the book up and read it.

I also had a bit more trouble connecting with these new narrators as Oree kind of bugged me a lot. She could not make a decision even if her life depended on it and believe me it did depend on it a couple of times. Her indecisiveness lead to some tragic events (like deaths) that I'm still really miffed about. As for Shiny, it actually took me a while before I figured out who he was in relation to the first book. I kind of feel bad for me for what he's been through and how the others treat him, but at the same time...he sort of earned it? Two other characters that I want to talk about are old friends from Book 1. Okay Yeine changed SO MUCH! It was kind of weird seeing her as this wise distant goddess. Also, I thought Nahadoth was creepy in this book but I didn't think he was mean and man...he's really good at holding a grudge...

The cool thing about this book was being able to see more of the religion. The first book focused so much on building the political world so it was nice to see the religion fleshed out in this book. There's also Oree's magical ability which I thought was really cool, but was a bit disappointed by the execution of it. There were a lot of things that I wanted to know but it wasn't explained thoroughly.

All right, let's wrap things up with the end. It wasn't as big and epic as the first one, but it was definitely more heartbreaking. I'm going to repeat it: Nahadoth is mean and a big bully. Why can't they all be friends again?

Overall, I was a bit disappointed by this book but I'm still excited to continue. The next and final book in the trilogy is told from Sieh's POV which I am super pumped about since he's one of my favorite godlings! Oh and since I referenced the first book a lot - check out my review for Book 1 right HERE!
3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Monday, July 13, 2015


ISBN: 1500222909 
Pages: 241
Source: WordSlinger/Author
Publication Date: July 1 2014

To what lengths will a man go for the woman he loves?
Reed Dartmouth will learn the answer to those questions time and time again throughout his relationship with Jade Montgomery.
When he first meets her as a young, gentle boy the heartache from losing his mother only a year before is still fresh and painful. Jade is different from anyone else he’s ever met; tough, sassy, and even a bit cruel. But she’s also the same as he is: she knows what it’s like to lose a parent.
Their friendship begins and a bond like no other is formed. Time passes and Reed learns that not only are Jade’s parents dead, they were murdered and she’s made an oath to one day bring them justice. No matter the price.
As they grow older their love evolves but for Jade, old habits die hard and she can’t stop hurting those she loves the most. Even in the midst of searching for her parents’ killers, passion ignites and jealousy burns as Jade tests Reed’s devotion for her. Will she push him too far?

Hello everyone! Before I get started let me thank WordSlinger Publicity for just being awesome and sending me this copy to review along with a bajillion other books. If you're a blogger looking to connect with some new authors I highly recommend you go check them out! Anyway, despite them being so awesome, this review is 100% my own opinion so let's get started~

Reed Dartmouth has loved Jade Montgomery from the moment they became friends. Jade is something completely out of this world with her fierceness and determination to find those who killed her parents. Their relationship was never meant for smooth sailing and through the years Reed has stood by to watch Jade from a distance while holding true to his promise to never love another girl. As time passes, Reed's grown into a pretty successful businessman and he's never stopped loving Jade. But enough has to be enough - the only question lies in if he's actually serious and ready to put his foot down.

Okay this book made me mad. That's not a great way to start a review but I was so angry at Jade when I was reading this book it drove me nuts. She's such a mean and heartless person with the way she plays Reed and ties their relationship in a bunch on knots. Honestly he could have done better - he was so close to doing better, but she had to come into the picture and make Reed forget about the other girl. I'm sorry for that little rant, but as far as ships go - my heart was definitely NOT in this one. 

Reed on other hand is such a sweetheart which brings me back to the point that Jade doesn't deserve him and he can do so much better. He's so loyal to her that it ends up blinding and hurting him a lot. Agh, all those moments when she just completely ripped him apart with her words and actions killed me. While I will back down a tiny bit and say that Jade's determination to bring justice to her parents is admirable - I draw the line when it consumes her. 

So to say the least the characters and I had some misunderstandings for sure, but the story itself is still engaging. You're hooked with wanting to know what happens next and hoping (at least in my case) that Reed will see some sense. I won't lie and say that I was happy with the ending but I am at least content because Reed finally took his stand and made it clear that he was done with her games. His relationship with Jade is nothing but rocky so for the time being I'm glad they've reached a moment of agreement and peace.

The final question is do I recommend? I think yes because while Jade frustrated me to no end, the author did a really great representation of a not so smooth love story. Everything in the relationship is raw and real which is definitely a contrast from the cutesy love stories out there. However I wouldn't consider this story full of angst because the characters know what they want - it just takes them a while to get there.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Mini Review: Love Arrives in Pieces

ISBN: 0310338476
Pages: 320
Source: BookLooks
Publication Date: June 9 2015

For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.
Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn't trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to her brokenness so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but always falls short. So she keeps her passion for her secret art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn't get another job soon, she ll be stuck living with her parents.
Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancee in a car crash. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he ll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town s old theater, and is shocked to learn former flame Stella is the designer for the project.
Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and their pasts as they struggle to compromise and come together on a vision for the theater. Chase doesn't understand why Stella is such a subdued version of herself, while Stella doesn't get Chase s constant need for productivity and speed. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness and their unresolved feelings for each other until Chase breaks through Stella s walls and convinces her to enter her mosaic tile art in a contest.
A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force both Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from the broken. 

Hello everyone! Today I've got a little review for you guys of Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant. I was sent a copy to review from BookLooks so thank you so much! Alright, let's get into the review~

Stella Varland is the former beauty pageant queen and she's had it with that title. Her beauty got her nowhere in her disastrous marriage that left her broken hearted and alone. When her mother presents an opportunity for her to revamp the town's old theater - she jumps at the chance to make her stand as an interior designer. Then she finds out who she's working with - former boyfriend (question mark) Chase Taylor. What starts off as a job to make herself a new reputation turns into a job to heal her broken heart.

I don't know why it is so difficult for me to review this book...I've been staring at this blank page for a pretty long time and all I've got is that summary paragraph. Anyway - this book delivered pretty much everything I was expecting from a Christian romance novel. It had a cute romance story paired with a deeper message of inspiration and hope. However there were a couple things that I found lacking.

The first was the pace of the book - Stella and Chase spent a majority of the book with Stella running away from everything that the development of their relationship seemed really dragged out to the point where no progress seemed to be made. I get that she's "healing" and all but it seemed like one page she was still deciding if she hated him or not and the next she knew she loved him with all her heart. There's also the animosity between Stella and Chase that stems from Chase dating her older sister and "cheating" with her. One thing I do know is that the Varlands hold grudges harder than anyone I've ever seen or read about. 

I will admit that above is the biggest thing that bothered me, but other than that this story was quite enjoyable. I enjoyed seeing Stella grow as a character and the author really craftily weaves in subtle hints about how she can heal through bizarre ways that interconnect in the end. I definitely won't be looking at umbrellas and rain the same way~

3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,