Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Review: Slumber

ISBN: 978-0692393819
Pages: 234
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Publication Date: March 23, 2015
Initial Reaction:
Not all princesses get their happily ever after...
They tell me I killed my boyfriend Phillip in cold blood. I stabbed him twenty one times. I’m only seventeen years old, and I am serving life in Spindle Ridge Asylum for the Criminally Insane.
I don’t remember killing him, so it’s really hard to believe I’m capable of murder. In fact I don’t remember anything before I came to Spindle Ridge, not even my boyfriend.
I can only grasp onto my realistic dreams while the madness of the asylum threatens to pull me under. I dream I’m a beautiful princess and there is an evil faerie named Maleficent who is bent on my destruction. The dreams are the closest thing I have to memories of my life, except they aren’t real.
I’m crazy. I’m not a princess. 
They’re the mad illusions of an irrational teenage girl, right?
They’ve assigned me a new doctor, and she says I can trust her, and that she’ll help me see the truth of who I really am. 
When she arrived she brought a new patient, Sawyer, who is everything Spindle Ridge isn’t: exciting, mysterious and beautiful. He promises he’s here to rescue me. Trusting either of them frightens me.
Could it be possible that my dreams are more than just the imaginings of a delusional girl? Could they be truth?
 Hello everyone! Today I've got my review for Slumber by Christy Sloat. This is a really interesting take on the classical story of Sleeping Beauty.

Rory lives in at the Spindle Ridge Asylum for the Criminally Insane after she stabbed her boyfriend Phillip twenty one times in cold blood. However, she has no recollection of killing him, in fact, she has no recollection of anyone named Phillip. She lives her life in fear of Dr. M who rules the Aslyum with an iron fist and Raven, a sadistically cruel aid who carries out Dr. M's orders. 

Right from the start, this novel takes the traditional Sleeping Beauty story and twists it to make a completely different story. I was immediately sucked in by the unique components of the story and the different way the author wove the Sleeping Beauty plot into the story of Rory at the Asylum.

Rory as a character is the complete opposite of the Aurora from Disney's rendition, which is the only personality that comes to my mind. She's not exactly a strong character, but she's got enough of a backbone to realize that something isn't right and takes measures to change her life. I enjoyed seeing her recover her memories and taking the chances to right all the wrongs that were done to her.

Her relationship with Sawyer is...unexpected. The princess falling in love with someone other than Phillip? Why that is simply scandalous, but it happened. Sawyer was a great balance to Rory's character and played an extremely important role in the recovery of her memories. Honestly, his arrival and the sheer amount of spies that within the Asylum really brings to question just how "powerful" Dr. M. Speaking of Dr. M, she's everything Maleficent should be: brutal and unyielding, but with just a tiny sliver of redemption that makes you want her to succeed. Raven on the other hand is completely psycho and I'm scared of how she's going to develop in the following book.

Slumber is a really fun and unique take on Sleeping Beauty and it confirms for me that asylums are probably never what they claim to say...

 3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

8 Favorite/Most Disappointing Reads of 2016 (so far)

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to share some of my favorite and most disappointing books that I have read so far this year! The original Top Ten topic was to list 10 books that you rated 5 stars but this was one of the other options so I went with it. As always, I don't know if I'm going to make it to 10 so we'll leave the title of this post numberless. 
A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon - When I first read this book, I wasn't completely sold on it, but the more I think about it, the more I find myself loving everything that happened. (Review)
Slammed by Colleen Hoover - I avoided Slammed for the longest time because it was THE Colleen Hoover book. I read a couple of her newer releases first and finally decided that it was time to pick it up and I absolutely adored it. (Review)
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - The internet and its mother has not stopped raving about this book and after I saw that trailer I knew I had to pick it up. Obviously, it did not disappoint and is definitely making it to one of my favorites of the entire year! (Review)
Eleanor by Jason Gurley - I have not stopped freaking out about this book since I read it. It's the perfect combination of beautiful writing, fantastic plot, and heartbreaking characters. (Review)

The Syndicate by Sophie Davis - I have enjoyed every single Sophie Davis book that I have read so far and this one is no exception. I was luck enough to get my hands on an ARC and I cannot wait for the next book! (Review)
Uprotted by Naomi Novik - I just finished this book today and already my mind cannot stop thinking about it. It is the perfect combination of high fantasy, beautiful writing, and dark magic and the whole entire story is unforgettable. (Review to come)

Evanescent by Gabriella Lepore - I feel kinda bad about putting this one on the list but I have to be 100% honest, I was expecting more. Everyone sings praises about Gabriella Lepore's books so I was expecting to be blown away. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but it didn't live up to my expectations. (Review)
The Hunter's Moon by Beth Trissel - This book was a case of interesting synopsis and flat delivery. I enjoyed the different cultures that the story wove together but it just seemed to be overflowing with cliches and my eyes got a serious workout from all the rolling. (Review)

So that's my list! Let me know in the comments what made it onto your list! 

Foreverly Obsessed,

Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: Wanting More

ISBN: 1682811352
Pages: 300
Publication Date: March 28, 2016
Source: Entangled Publishing
Initial Reaction:
I can’t stop wanting her…
Bri Welch likes to play it safe. I don’t. She’s wound tight, and I’m all about a good party. But there’s something about her that makes me want to pull those uptight layers away one-by-delicious-one. But the worst thing is she makes me want more…

Hello everyone! Welcome to the release day for Wanting More by Jessica Ruddick! This is a super cute and fun contemporary novel so if you want to pick up your own copy, just click the cover above!

Wanting More follows two college students who couldn't be more different. One is a frat boy who is almost failing out of his classes and the other is an overachieving graduate student who becomes his academic adviser. Bri is pretty much the definition of uptight. Being a bit of an overachiever, she likes having everything neatly planned out and her life at the moment is perfect. Then Josh walks in and completely disrupts her orderly lifestyle and she is honestly at a loss for words.

The relationship between Bri and Josh is all sorts of cute that gives you all sorts of fuzzy feelings inside. I absolutely adored how they complemented each other throughout the novel as Josh made Bri loosen up and Bri helped Josh get his life under control. Both characters are dealing with different types of stress outside of their relationship and they manage to work things out pretty well.

I should have drafted my review for this book right after I finish because I'm having a bit of trouble remember specific moments that stood out to me. I remember the scene where Josh's guitar pick got thrown up to the roof of the frat house and he decides to climb onto the room to retrieve it while drunk. It's the scenes like this that make me scared to go to college in a couple of months...

Quickly, I want to mention the side characters because they each brought so much personality and fun to the story. Each character from the frat brothers and sorority sisters to Bri and her graduate friends display the wide range of people that make up the college population and shows how different people can form these unique and intricate relationships. 

Overall, I enjoyed the novel a lot. It was fun and had a couple of heart twisting moments that allowed a rush of emotions to overwhelm me. 

  3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: The Obelisk Gate

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

ISBN: 978-0316229265
Pages: 512
Publication Date: August 16, 2016 (Orbit)
The second novel in a new fantasy trilogy by Hugo, Nebula & World Fantasy Award nominated author N.K. Jemisin.THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS... FOR THE LAST TIME.
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.
It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.

I haven't gotten the chance to read the Fifth Season (Book 1) yet because I plan on reading the Dreamblood duology before I start but either way this cover is to die for and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Foreverly Obsessed,

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

7 Spring Releases I'm Excited For

Happy Spring everyone! The first day of spring was March 20 and on the East Coast, we were greeted with a lovely flurry of snowflakes. Anyway, I missed the Top 10 topic last week but I wanted to make a list anyway since I've been trying to be on top of releases this year. I decided to cut it down to five because a lot of the releases are sequels to series I haven't started yet so I don't feel qualified to say much.

1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater - Of course I have this book on my list! I've been waiting for this ever since I first started this amazing series. I'm going to be super sad to see it go but at the same time I want everything to end well for Blue and the boys. (April 26)
2. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead - I haven't had a lot of success with Richelle Mead's books in the past, but The Glittering Court just sounds so interesting. Either way, I'm hoping to get my hands on this book and see if this is the one to get me into her writing. (April 5)
3. Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima - I have never read any of her books before but Reagan from PeruseProject on BookTube has raved about her Seven Realms series and Flamecaster takes place in the same world. I definitely plan on reading the Seven Realms series this year and hopefully jumping into Flamecaster when I'm done. (April 5)
4. Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke -This book actually releases today so I'm definitely going to be checking out what everyone says. I was pretty disappointed by her other duology but the premise of this book sounds so interesting I'm willing to give it another shot. (March 22)
5. The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Choski - I have head so many amazing things about this book and the synopsis alone is enough to make me want to read this book. Plus, it's steeped in Indian folklore which we don't get a lot of. (April 26)
6. The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye - High fantasy in Imperical Russia. That's all that needs to be said. (May 17)
7. The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L Armentrout - I just want to read a new Jennifer L Armentrout book. Have I mentioned how much I adored the Dark Elements trilogy? (May 17)

So that's my list! There are so many amazing books but these are just the first seven that came to mind. Let me know in the comment below what books you're excited for!

Foreverly Obsessed,

Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: The Vampire's Daughter

ASIN: To be determined
Pages: To be determined
Source: Author
Publication Date: March 21, 2016
Initial Reaction: 
When Ethan discovers that the love of his life, Victoria, is actually the child of a monstrous beast and must marry another man to save her family, he retreats to a monastery to live out the rest of his days alone.
But the Church has other ideas.
Ethan’s mentor asks him to lead famous vampire hunter Dom Calmet back to his home village to rid the town of the vampires that plague it. Ethan must then take a journey, emotionally and literally, back to the town of his youth and choose between love and faith when he once again meets The Vampire’s Daughter.
Containing many tropes of a classic Gothic novel combined with the sensuality of a passionate romance, The Vampire’s Daughter will leave you gasping for more.
Hello everyone! Today is the release of The Vampire's Daughter so I thought I'd get my review up for you guys as well!

The Vampire's Daughter is a vampire story unlike anything I've read before. It's dark and haunting with the right amount of stereotypes and creativity to make the read as enjoyable as possible. We follow Victoria whose mother married the vampire lord to save her sister as she tries to live a pious life, oblivious to the her father's true identity. She falls in love with Ethan, the town's star altar boy and the two plan on spending the rest of their lives together. However, Victoria soon finds out that she is just a pawn in her father's power plan and she has no control over her future. 

I started reading this book in class and I honestly could not put it down. The story starts off with a killer hook with Victoria's mother meeting her father in the forest and a bargain that sounds awfully Faustian. Victoria is like every classical female vampire. She's incredibly beautiful, obedient, and oblivious. Sometimes it's hard to believe that she can be that oblivious to her surroundings. I mean, your father never comes out except at night, he's got these gorgeous women hanging around him (that are not your mother), and he never eats. I guess it's the medieval mentality...

Moving on, I was a bit confused by the whole arranged marriage deal between Victoria's father and the other vampire lord. From what I can gather, they are trying to use her as brood mare to create a new breed of vampires to take over the world and if it gets worse I'm not sure my brain can handle it. I haven't read a ton of Gothic novels but this one just seemed to embody the word. From what I remember from class, Gothic writing is characterized by the doom and gloom, but also by its passion and individuality. Those four words pretty much summarize this book in a nutshell.

I enjoyed seeing Victoria grow from a naive little girl to someone who in end, chose what she believed was right. I also enjoyed how the story managed to paint both sides to each opinion in the story. For the humans, there were good people like Ethan and Dom Calmet, but there were also crazy religious fanatics who wanted to burn everything. For the supernatural beings, there were a lot of insane folks but we also had good ones. The wide array of characters allowed for both sides to have more depth which in the end made the story more engaging.

*I received an ARC from the author for review. All opinions are 100% my own.
  3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Review: Eleanor

ISBN: 1101903511
Pages: 384
Source: Blogging for Books
Publication Date: January 12, 2016
Initial Reaction:

Eleanor and Esmerelda are identical twins with a secret language all their own, inseparable until a terrible accident claims Esme’s life. Eleanor’s family is left in tatters: her mother retreats inward, seeking comfort in bottles; her father reluctantly abandons ship. Eleanor is forced to grow up more quickly than a child should, and becomes the target of her mother’s growing rage.
Years pass, and Eleanor’s painful reality begins to unravel in strange ways. The first time it happens, she walks through a school doorway, and finds herself in a cornfield, beneath wide blue skies. When she stumbles back into her own world, time has flown by without her. Again and again, against her will, she falls out of her world and into other, stranger ones, leaving behind empty rooms and worried loved ones. 
One fateful day, Eleanor leaps from a cliff and is torn from her world altogether. She meets a mysterious stranger, Mea, who reveals to Eleanor the weight of her family’s loss. To save her broken parents, and rescue herself, Eleanor must learn how deep the well of her mother’s grief and her father’s heartbreak truly goes. Esmerelda’s death was not the only tragic loss in her family’s fragmented history, and unless Eleanor can master her strange new abilities, it may not be the last.
Hello everyone! Today I've got my review for Eleanor by Jason Gurley. I also have a video review for this book so I you want to see me freak out and wave my hands around like a mad person you can watch it HERE.  
Just a note before I get started, I'm going to use the phrase "I can't even" so many times throughout this novel because it's the primary thing that is flying through my brain right now. First of all, this was so incredibly amazing (1)  and I can't even (1) deal with all the emotions that are flying through my brain. After reading this book, I was left completely and utterly speechless because it was just so amazing (2) . I didn't pinpoint the genre of this book until I went on Goodreads and discovered that it was marked as being Magical Realism and now I just want to go find more books in that genre because I'm honestly hooked.

“Reality is a terrific drug.” 
The story deals with the heavier details of life including the loss of a family member, severe depression, and most importantly grief. All the characters deal with their grief in different ways and each one has been through so much crap in their lives that it's amazing to see them still walking around. I loved the delve into the character's dream world because that was the place where you got to see how they were truly coping with their loss. I absolutely loved the POV of the Keeper and the portrayal of her world and the revelation of her character was just so  amazing (3) that I can't even (2) comprehend how the author came up with that idea.

“Most souls wait for a very long time. In the end, the peace they seek is usually within themselves, not within the confines of the world they left.” 
Each character is so uniquely created and quirky in their own way which makes them so interesting to read. Eleanor has so many layers and her undying desire to care and save her family is honest something that is really amazing (4). As for Mea, I had a guess as to who she was and while I was reading, I was torn between liking her and hating her. As her identity is not revealed until the latter half of the book, I was left half pulling my hair out each time she tried to reach out to Eleanor because her actions turned Eleanor into this doll that Mea could just throw around. I loved her description of her environment as a little fishbowl and the revelation of where she actually is was just so shocking. While I guess to who Mea was, the identity of the greater being outside aka Enah caught me completely by surprise.
This entire book is so difficult to review because so many things to happen and everything I want to say contains some amount of spoilers. Basically, Eleanor is a determined girl who wants to save her family and her family has a long history of having horrible things happen to them. The importance of family and healing is such a powerful message and the story does a great job in presenting that to the readers.
"I can't even" count: 2
"Amazing" count: 4
5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,