Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Review: November 9

ISBN: 1501110349
Pages: 310
Source: Library
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Initial Reaction:
Tangled - Official Stickers:
Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.
Today I have another review that is long overdue and I'm finally getting to it because college starts tomorrow and I don't want to think about my impending death. With that being said, everyone and their mother who loves contemporaries, loves Colleen Hoover. It's pretty much a given statement so when this book came out, I was on board and excited. Took me about a year but I eventually got around to it. 

Going into this book, I heard a lot of mixed reviews. There were many who loved this book, but there were also a good number of people who hated it. To being, I'm not a fan of instalove and this book started with it so talk about being turned off at the first page. However, the story managed to unfold itself into something so intriguing and emotional that I forgot all about the instalove (kinda).

Fallon and Ben remind me a lot of Owen and Amber from Confess where their relationship redefines angst because there's so much of it. Some moments were good but others were so full of cringe that I had to skim them because if I actually read the words I might have stopped reading altogether. On the good side of things, Colleen Hoover still works her magic and delivers some heart wrenching moments that made me catch my breath.

I love the concept of the story and it's definitely the reason why I picked up the book in the first place. Meeting once a year to reflect and write a love story that spawns from that? EmojiEmoji I also loved that Colleen Hoover included excerpts from Ben's story because it added that extra touch which made the book special just like the paintings in Confess.

The excerpts revealed so much about the story and it was like the final punch in the stomach. The characters literally put themselves through such an emotional roller coaster and while I didn't love all the moments, this book really highlights young adults and their emotional progress through relationships.

4 out of 5 stars

Monday, August 15, 2016

Review: The Raven King

17378527The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
ISBN: 0545424984
Pages: 439
Source: Library

Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Initial Reaction:

Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.
For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.
Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path. 
This review is so long overdue I don't even know what to say. I read this breathtaking conclusion to one of my favorite series back in MAY and it's already August and I haven't written a review yet. It wasn't because I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't get a review up, I had my notes written down, but I just never got around to typing it out. Anyway, I'm sure the whole world knows that The Raven King is the conclusion to the fantastic Raven Cycle and after everything that has been happening, everyone who waited for its release knew that some big things were going to go down.

I think I've mentioned this before but the Raven Cycle is hands down one of my favorite series ever. It's full of fantastic characters, a gripping plotline, and just masterful writing. With each revelation in this novel, I felt like some part of me already knew but was just blocking out the obvious. I wanted what the characters wanted even know I had suspicions of other things. 

If you've read any of my previous reviews for the series you'll know that I absolutely love all of these characters so much, more than I've ever loved any bookish character which means I have to talk about the newest addition to the group. Henry Cheng was unexpected to say the least and while I liked his character, I felt like he arrived too late in the story and I was just too invested with the other Raven Boys to even bother really getting to know him. 

Also, Piper is one heck of a crazy lady and she drove me absolutely insane. I won't say what specifically cause spoilers but I made quite a list in my notes. Let's just say I was really happy with how things wrapped up for her (is that too mean...?)

There's also Noah, who was the first Raven Boy to capture my heart and I was a tad bit disappointed with how little page time he got. The final scenes of the book just made ever sadder because he was barely a presence in the story but he plays such an important role. It was also confusing but in a very beautiful and mystical way. 

This review is already getting too long but I still have so much to say. Everyone knew that Gansey was going to die in this book and we all knew it would be by Blue's kiss but when it happens, oh man, my heart literally stopped. I might have even cried but with the concluding chapters of the story, all I can say is that Maggie Stiefvater is a magically gifted writer because the way she crafts the story is just unbelievable. I want to say more but I'm afraid to spoil some major details so I'll leave it that.

My final concluding thought is simple #PYNCH. I did not see this coming at all but I absolutely love it. I have no words to say but I heard through the bookish grapevine (aka Twitter) that Maggie Stiefvater has a Ronan spin off trilogy in the works and I'm so incredibly excited to see how everything plays out. A huge round of applause for Maggie Stiefvater for creating the fantastic world of the Raven Boys and wrapping it up so perfectly in this epic final installment.
5 out of 5 stars

Monday, August 8, 2016

TOUR: Summerlypse

Pages: 318
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Publication Date: June 20, 2016
After his crush rejects him, seventeen-year-old Colton catches a plane to Mexico, hoping to forget all about girls. But a night out at a dance club crowded with long legs in miniskirts doesn't help, especially when he meets the club's beautiful DJ, Alex.
In awe of her mixing skills, Colton finds it hard to believe Alex is deaf. As they bond, she asks him to help her win a DJ contest behind her rich, estranged father's back.
Colton's not a wimp or anything, but millionaires with armed bodyguards are not his ideal vacation buddies. The only problem—if he helps her, he may fly back home in a body bag. 
It feels so long since I've written a review that I feel awkward starting a review but here it goes. I read Summerlypse in a bit of a hurry since I'm in the midst of packing and getting back on a plane to fly back to the US but I managed to still be enraptured by the heartfelt story. Colton heads to Mexico and finds himself swept up in some fast paced crazy when he escapes his broken heart. He meets Alex, a deaf DJ, who asks him to help her win a contest behind her father's back. This leads to some unhappy parents and their bodyguards which makes his little getaway a bit more exciting than he thought.

The plot of this story is so engaging with the fast paced of certain scenes and how personal Colton's language is. The author includes phrases that might not be commonly found in most books but offer a closer perspective of the character and how they talk and think. Additionally, the setting of the story adds a different element. With the guns, the bodyguards, and the Mexican mafia involved, it's impossible not to be completely enraptured by the plot.

The relationship between Colton and Alex had my heart melting. Alex is independent and determined to show her father that and she's determined to win Summerlypse, the name of the DJ contest. Everything about their relationship is adorable from Colton's sweet personality to Alex's fire.

The whole story focuses on Colton as he grows and develops into a young man. From exploring Mexico and making new friends to escaping a crime boss, it has a bit of everything in it that makes Summerlypse super fun and enjoyable.

About the Author
Gerardo Delgadillo lives in the Dallas metropolitan area with his wife and children and dogs and cats and the occasional rabbit. Originally from San Francisco and raised in Mexico, he loves to write about contemporary teens in distress in English and EspaƱol. So no magic, dragons, or unicorns.
Gerardo's fun facts:
- At the tender age of sixteen, when giant lizards ruled the world, Gerardo was a DJ--turntables and all.
- Cloud computing is his area of expertise--just don't ask him what cloud computing means. 
- He loves football, the one played with the feet by footballers, La Liga from Spain being the best.
About his novels: 
- His writing must be emotional, or else… 
- He believes in the Oxford comma, but the Oxford comma doesn't believe in him. 
- Loves first person present tense POV. 
Author Links:
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3.5 out of 5 stars

Monday, August 1, 2016

July Wrap Up

Hello everyone! Wow, July's post archive looks so incredibly sad...I don't really have an excuse other than the fact that I've been so busy. I've been in Taiwan for the past month so I've been spending a lot of time with family and haven't done much blogging or reading. August is going to be hectic but I'm determined to get back into blogging so I'm not posting less than 5 times during the month. Anyway, with that being said, let's get started on my small wrap up!


Summary (Linked to Reviews):
Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White - 4/5
As I Darken by Kiersten White - 4.5/5
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins - 4/5
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins - 4/5
Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins - 4/5

Total Pages: 2739
Reading Progress: 79/100

I actually read a lot more than I thought but the Sweet Trilogy was a binge reread which I absolutely LOVED. I'll have a reread reflection up soon (hopefully) as well as reviews for all the bajillion books I have read in the past couple of months that I promised and failed miserably to do. Hopefully August is a lot more successful! How was your month?

Friday, July 29, 2016

TOUR: Songs of Everealm Series Book 1 & 2

30321471Song of Sovereign by JD Wright
Pages: 248
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Publication Date: June 20, 2016

Princess Sarita has everything. Loving parents, a castle fit for royalty, fine clothes, loyal friends, and an exciting job as a scholar of magic. At eighteen years of age, one might think that she would be content with her position. But one thing has always been missing from her life... full magic, itself.
When a strange old woman gave Sarita a secret spellbook as a child, her entire life was changed. The book contains spells, songs, and stories. But most of all, it provides a path to gaining full magic, the only thing that Sarita still needs to feel complete. And now, she has finally prepared to leave her home in search of the Stones of the Divine, the final ingredient she needs to gain magic.
Gabrielle has been known as the sister of a knight and best friend of the princess for as long as she can remember. Now an experienced healer's assistant, she is desperate to find her place and purpose in Junacave. An adventurous mission to help Sarita locate a mystical stone may be just the change in her life that she is looking for.
King Cassidy is still alone, but not for a lack of trying. His attempts to convince the Princess of Junacave to marry him over the past ten years have been for naught. And being twenty years old, with no heir, he is running out of time. If he can't win the heart of the princess, he may have to face a future without the love of his life.
Adventure, romance, and magic await as we travel through Everealm with royalty, wizards, fairies, and more, in the fantasy-romance Songs of Everealm, a five book series by J.D. Wright, author of the Everealm Series.

Pages: 237
Publication Date:  June 26, 2016
The journey across Everealm to find the magical stones has not come without its challenges. After being plagued by unwanted guests, disagreements, and accidents, Princess Sarita is beginning to wonder if her dream of gaining magic is a fantasy that can't come true. Along the way, new friends and rekindled sparks between old flames have caused quite a stir within the group. As a new wizard joins the effort and gives the princess a reason to continue, the quest for the next stone ensues...As the sun rises over the ridge, our story continues into the Song of Sparrows!

I'm STILL ALIVE! Before I start, a huge huge sorry for literally disappearing off the face of the internet for the past month. I've been in Taiwan (still am) and I've just been doing a bunch of traveling and haven't had the time to sit down and properly write a post. I also haven't read a ton of books >.< But thankfully there are things called blog tours that force you to do something so here's my review!

The Songs of Everealm is a spinoff from the original the Everealm series which I haven't read. While the description for the first book does say that you don't need to read the original, I think that reading it would definitely improve your experience of reading this one. From what I've gathered from other reviews, Sarita was a character in the original series and many fans of the Everealm series were excited to see her development into an adult. 

With that being said, I didn't know Sarita at all as a character and that made the first book a bit difficult to read. I enjoyed the general world and characters but felt really detached, a fact that I think is due to me not reading the original series. Regardless, by the second book, it was a lot easier to relate and get into the story. The first book provided a glimpse into the world and offered a view at the magical quest Sarita goes on and her development.

Based on a lot of other reviews (I did my research) a lot of people enjoyed watching Sartia's growth from a child in the original series to a young woman now. I wish I could have experienced that same feeling but I was lucky enough to be able to experience some of her character development over these two books. She's incredibly dedicated to magic and is unwilling to compromise her dreams. Her relationship with Cassidy made me laugh and shake my heads at how stubborn they are. They constantly wind each other up but at the same time, there's a lot of respect as well.

Well, I'm glad I actually got to read something this month and these two books definitely made things very interesting. I'm debating on whether I should read the first series or wait a bit since my summer TBR has not shrunk at all...

Click the banner for links to more tour stops!

Writing has always been a hobby of mine, beginning as a young child. It was a way to cope with losing my father at seven years of age. I started with poetry and was featured several times on the amazing poetry blog, Autumn Leaves, by Sondra Ball. My love for poetry soon led to writing songs in middle school and beyond, which I still do occasionally. Music has always been an important part of my existence, so writing songs came naturally to me. In high school, I started my own novel, however, life got in the way and I never finished it.
Fast forward many years later and I find myself married with three children, absorbed in my busy life with commitments to my family, work, school, church, and charities, among other things. One day I came across my old binder, with notes from my first novel, and it was with those notes that I conjured up the elusive Everealm.
I write to please readers such as myself, who have a love for fantasy and romance, but like a little danger and sex in their reading. I wrote the book with a mature audience in mind, who can appreciate a hearty imaginary world with magic and the unknown, but want more than fluffy love stories with wizards in them. They want the romance, magic, and danger, all wrapped into one.
Author Links:
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3.5 out of 5 stars