Review: Shadow Study

16130758

Title: Shadow Study [Study #4] [Soulfinders #1]
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Once, only her own life hung in the balance.

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she’d survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek’s job – and his life – are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret – or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is – while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous.

*Spoilers from the first three books will be present, ratings are at the bottom if you just want to know what I thought of it overall*

I have mixed feelings about this book. I fell in love with the Study series back in 2010 or 2011, and when I found out that there would be a new adventure for Yelena, Valek, Ari, and Janco, I fangirled for a good few weeks (and then I noticed the release date and cried, but that’s besides the point). I loved Poison Study, but the next two books disappointed me [Magic Study] [Fire Study]. Not that they weren’t interesting, but the characters kind of let me down. This book, unfortunately followed that pattern.

I loved that this book finally gave a peak into Valek’s past. This was probably the most captivating part of the novel. Valek’s past has always been hidden in the shadows, more so than him, and his story was probably what kept me constantly reading the book. Every time his part popped up, I’d sit up straighter and give the book my full attention, because oh my goodness, it was amazing. Gah, reading about him training and his life in general is the best thing ever. And how he met the Commander! AH. It was awesome. I’d actually recommend the book for old and new fans, JUST for Valek’s story. You have to admit, you’re curious too.

Then there was Yelena. I love her. Don’t get me wrong. But I hate that since she got her magic she’s become a very dependent character. It’s like all of her kickass training and stuff got tossed out the window the minute she found out that she has magical powers. I hate it. And I hated it especially in this book. As stated in the synopsis, her magic is blocked, and she becomes this weak girl. She’s mopey, and sad, and “vulnerable”. Yet, in the first book she was kickass and amazing. She doesn’t even try now. No more warm-ups and training for her. It’s annoying. that’s what it is. Reading about her worrying over her powers drive me insane. I know that she’s worried about some things, like fire world stuff, and getting like barraged with magic mojo, but when it comes to a physical fight, she just can’t and that bothers me beyond reason. She was probably the let down for me in this book, and that sucks.

Janco and Ari are awesome as always, and I really love the new badass touch the new characters add to the story. At least someone can hold their own in a fight. They’re story provides another hint of mystery and intrigue to the story, as well as general confusion and fascination. I love the final twist within their story. It really makes you question loyalties and who’s trustworthy and it’s perfect.

As per usual, her world building was wonderful. While I would’ve liked a little more of it, just to refresh my memory after all these years, it was a perfect amount if you were to read the series consecutively, without pause. I’ve missed the lands of Ixia and Sitia, and I know I’ll miss them just as much as I wait for the next book to come out…

All and all, not my favourite of the series, but not a bad start to the new segment of it. Valek’s story honestly makes the book, and if you don’t want to read it for any other reason, read it for Valek, and you won’t regret it.

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5
World Building: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.23/5

eARC obtained via Mira via Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Leo

17825503Title: Leo [Sign of Life #1]
Author: Mia Sheridan
Publication Date: March 11 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Evie and Leo met in foster care as children and formed a bond of friendship. As they grew, their bond turned to love, and they vowed to make a life together when they turned 18 and were no longer a part of the system.

When Leo unexpectedly gets adopted as a teen and he moves to another city, he promises Evie that he will contact her as soon as he gets there and come back for her in a few short years. She never hears from him again.

Now eight years later, in spite of the odds, Evie has made a life for herself. She has a job. She has friends. She’s content. Then a man shows up out of the blue, claiming that her long lost love, Leo, sent him to check up on her. The attraction between them is undeniable. But, should she trust this sexy stranger? Or is he keeping a secret about what his connection to Leo is really all about and why Leo disappeared all those years ago?

THIS IS A STAND-ALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY LEO. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Honestly, I was kind of disappointed with this book. Hear me out.

I loved Mia Sheridan’s novel Archer’s Voice. It was a beautiful and heartbreaking story. And this one could have been.

Evie grew up in a foster home, with foster parents that weren’t all that attentive. As pointed out repeatedly throughout the book, she overcame all these difficulties and has managed to make a life for herself. That is, until she meets Jake, who sends her life spinning out of control, as old questions, worries, and heartbreak resurfaces.

I honestly felt very little connection to Evie, Leo, and Jake. They were surface characters to me, and that sucks, especially since I know that Sheridan is capable of wringing every tear and emotion from me with her words. I didn’t really get to feel Evie’s pain, it was mostly shown. She felt bad, this or that was hard for her to say, but she didn’t dig and she couldn’t make me feel for her.

Admittedly, the end of the book was a nice punch in a gut, something I feel like I should have felt for a fair amount of the book, but I was so disappointed that the emotional rebuilding was rushed and abruptly cut off by the end of the book. The length of the book was fine, but could have been filled with more emotion than I was given.

Next, Jake. Jake, Jake, Jake. If you’ve stuck around long enough, you know how I feel about super possessive relationships, and this was a tad much. It wasn’t one of those crazy psycho-esque novels, with the ‘loving’ boyfriend bashing in walls and killing people for their beloved, but it bothered me nonetheless. The book starts off with Jake stalking her, and then a few days into their half relationship he starts getting possessive (i.e. you’re mine, stay over at my place, you are everything to me). Like woah buddy, calm yourself, you guys have barely breathed the same air for ten minutes. Chill. I understand that it happens, people can just know that the other is ‘the one’, but that’s pushing at relationship a bit too much.

Lastly, the overall narrative. Everything was very robotic, very instructional almost.

Back in my kitchen, I put my own dinner on a tray and take it back into the only other small room. I sit on the floor and lean against my loveseat as I eat. A studio apartment doesn’t allow for a lot of furniture, but that’s okay because it’s not like I entertain. I put The Shawshank Redemption, one of my favorite movies, into the DVD player and push play. I don’t spend the extra money on cable so I reply on the DVDs I’ve picked up at garage sales. I’d usually rather read anyway, so it’s fine by me.

After I clean up my dishes, I end up falling asleep in front of the movie and when I finally drag myself into bed, it’s after midnight.

There’s too much telling, not enough showing, and it makes for a very rough and stilted narrative. Granted, I didn’t notice this right away, but after so long, it’s hard to get past.

Overall, I liked the idea of the novel, I liked the ending of the novel, but I would also love to cut out most of the beginning and middle of the novel just because it dragged on forever and didn’t really add much to the story. Not bad, but if you were to pick up a book by Sheridan, I’d go with Archer’s Voice.

Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
World Building: 3/5
Writing: 2.5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall: 3/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.13/5

Review: Since You’ve Been Gone

21509074

Title: Since You’ve Been Gone
Author: Mary Jennifer Payne
Publication Date: February 17, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Mystery Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Is it possible to outrun your past? Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser and her mother, Sydney, have been trying to do just that for five years. Now, things have gone from bad to worse. Not only has Edie had to move to another new school she’s in a different country.

Sydney promises her that this is their chance at a fresh start, and Edie does her best to adjust to life in London, England, despite being targeted by the school bully. But when Sydney goes out to work the night shift and doesn’t come home, Edie is terrified that the past has finally caught up with them.

Alone in a strange country, Edie is afraid to call the police for fear that she’ll be sent back to her abusive father. Determined to find her mother, but with no idea where to start, she must now face the most difficult decision of her life.

I wanted to like this book. Truly. It sounded so interesting the premise – a sort of mystery/thriller. But it wasn’t. It was more of a panic attack, mixed with filler story, with a touch of forced romance.

Edie sucks as a main character. I couldn’t like her. There was nothing attractive or nice or remotely relatable about her. She starts off judging a girl because she’s small, quiet, friendly, and dresses in a fair amount of black, basically kicking her to the curb because she looks different. Then she has the audacity to say that she doesn’t like bullying, but proceeds to make fun of her in her head and get annoyed that this girl is being friendly to her. Like really??

Then her mom disappears and she’s like THIS IS MY SECRET, but wait, I want to tell this person, and this person. But I think I will actually tell all my secrets to this guy who doesn’t like me at all and might just turn me in to save his own butt.

Is that really the best idea?

There’s such an inconsistency between her thoughts and actions. This makes it extremely hard to relate to her or care about what she’s thinking, if what she does is going to be the opposite.

Further, her character sucks. She’s not a frugal spender, and she uses money she steals on ‘dates’ and to pig out on meals that I don’t even provide myself when it’s my own money being used. She generally just had a bad personality and I couldn’t find it in me to like her.

Then there’s the romance. The romance was so forced and didn’t fit at all in the book. She’s supposed to be distressed and anxious, and she is, but it’s hot and cold as the romance takes over the storyline. And it’s so random. They’ve known (and hated) each other for like 20 minutes before they start making gooey eyes at each other and it bothered me so much. She has time to do all these things with him and yet she also states that finding her mother is number one priority (that inconsistency thing again).

The last thing I have to comment on is the writing style. It was a lot of fact fact fact, thing that is actually happening, and then fact fact fact again. I couldn’t get immersed in this world, despite my best efforts. On top of that, there were a lot of metaphors and similes that were fairly unnecessary or irrelevant that just cluttered the narrative.

I wanted to this like this, but there was basically no connection between me, the characters, and their world. I couldn’t bring myself to like them, or feel happy or sad for them. There just wasn’t anything in this book that did it for me.

Plot: 2/5
Characters: 1/5
World Building: 4/5
Writing: 2/5
Cover: 3/5
Overall: 2/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.14/5

eARC obtained via Dundurn via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tour + Review: Mean Streak

MeanStreakTourBanner1

Welcome to the Mean Streak Blog Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours !~

MeanStreakTitle: Mean Streak
Author: Sandra Brown
Publication Date: August 19, 2014
Publisher: Grand Central
Genre: Adult Romance Suspense
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.

As her husband’s deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer.

Buy Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo

Review:

This is the first book that I’ve read, in a long time, that actually had me captivated from beginning to end. Also, it was my first Sandra Brown book ever. And I loved it! It was intense, it was interesting, and I actually didn’t expect that end.

I think my favourite part of this book is that I didn’t expect the end at all. Like maybe one part here and there, but I just… it was really well organized and everything just falls into place at the end and it’s wonderful.

I love every character in this book, well except for that cheeseball, but that’s ’cause he’s supposed to be annoying. ANYWAYS. I loved Emory. She’s a pure hearted character, but she doesn’t come off as the cookie-cutter type. She enjoys helping people for the sake of helping people, and doesn’t care for riches, fortune, or popularity, and I love that Brown made her characters in a way that seemed normal and realistic.

The others characters popped out of the page for me as well, and I loved that, throughout the novel, each one rolled down a road I never expected them to take. The number of random twists and loops kept me guessing and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the ride.

I think my two favourite characters were Knight and Grange, the two police men on Emory’s case. They were the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the novel, as some of their lines just sent me off grinning like a fool in the middle of my Shakespeare lecture (yes, we were learning about Hamlet).

The plot itself had a couple of holes and unanswered questions, but overall it was a very well pieced together novel. It did kind of strike me the wrong way as to how various characters kind of let their unanswered questions slide. Sometimes, they would question something, and then the other character would give them a vague answer that wouldn’t sit well with them or the audience, and a number of times, we never got that answer. This still bothers me as I ask the question “Why?” for a few actions and reactions throughout the book. I understand that some were meant to lead readers towards a different conclusions, but I feel like it could have flowed better, or have been a bit more cohesive within the storyline.

Overall, I loved this book. I love mystery/thriller type novels and this was the perfect book to get me back into reading!

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
World Building: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.01/5

Buy Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo

About the Author:Sandra

Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE(2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006), CHILL FACTOR (2005), WHITE HOT (2004), & HELLO, DARKNESS (2003).

Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.

A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weathercasting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program “PM Magazine.”

In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write, Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.

Brown recently was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Author Links:

Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Tour-Wide Giveaway (USA/CAN):

  • 5 winners will each get a signed personalized copy of MEAN STREAK in Trade PB and swag (image attached) + a dozen buttercream cookies from Cheryl’s

GiveawayMS

ENTER HERE !~

Tour + Author Interview: Of Sea and Stone

OfSeaAndStoneTourBanner1

Welcome to the Of Sea and Stone Book Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

OfSeaAndStoneTitle: Of Sea and Stone [Secrets of Itlantis #1]
Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Publication Date: February 2, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
GoodReads

Synopsis:

All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…

Buyer Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Interview:

I am extremely excited to introduce all of you to Kate Avery Ellison. Kate is here today to talk about the first novel of her new series Secrets of Itlantis, called Of Sea and Stone! Hey, Kate! Welcome to Between Printed Pages, we’re so happy to have you here today.

Thanks! I’m happy to be here.

Before we start, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I live in Atlanta with my husband and our two cats. I write full-time and I love it. My husband and I are huge geeks. I love to watch sci fi and fantasy TV shows, play strategy board games, and read lots and lots of books.

What was the inspiration for Secrets of Itlantis and what gave you the jump start to begin writing Aemi’s story?

I had the idea about 10 years ago, actually, so I’m not sure exactly what was the inspiration. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of underwater cities, though, and I’ve always wanted to write something set in a world like that. My previous series, The Frost Chronicles, was set in a frozen wilderness filled with mysterious monsters, and I wanted to work on a series that was pretty different than that for my next series, and underwater/tropical locations felt pretty different!

I understand that you’re into digital art (which looks amazing by the way). How did you start up this hobby? What are your favourite digital design programs and how did you train them to work with you?

I started the hobby when I was a kid—I wanted to photoshop myself into photos with actors, that kind of thing. It was very silly. I also liked making web banners for stuff I was fangirling over. When I was older, I taught myself Photoshop (my preferred design program) using Youtube tutorials and other websites, and now I do all kinds of photomanipulation. I also design my own covers. You can see some of my stuff here: http://werekat12.deviantart.com/

What was the most enjoyable scene in the book to write?

Well, I don’t necessarily want to give anything away by describing it, but basically all of Chapter 29. I could see everything unfolding in my head, and it was epic and made my heart pound to envision (especially since I have a fear of dark, deep water). And there’s a kiss, as well as lots of action. It was actually the first scene I ever imagined from the book before I started writing it, so it’s iconic to me in that sense as well.

If you could choose three songs that describe this book, what would they be and why?

Yellow Light by Of Monsters and Men – this song has a really wistful, dreamy quality to that I think fits some of the settings, particularly the garden spheres in the underwater city of Celestrus, as well as the melancholy Aemi feels as she seeks to escape.

Never Let Me Go by Florence + the Machine – this song pairs well with parts of the scene that was my favorite to write. It has a desperate melancholy coupled with a sweetness that just works for me. It’s a good song for both Nol and Aemi in that scene and in that moment.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Lorde – it’s kind of a fitting way to end the book and it has a lot of resonance with me for the entire series and the various factions and enemies that all have different plans for Aemi.

Last, but not least, what is your favourite word?

Oooh, good question. I have several favorite words. One is “scuttle.” I think it sounds so crab-like.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Kate Avery Ellison! Congratulations on the release of this series! We can’t wait to read it!

Thank you! Hope you enjoy it.

Buyer Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

About the Author:Kate

I’ve been making up stories since I was five years old, and now I’m thrilled to be able to do it as a full-time job. I have an obsession with dark fantasy, dystopian futures, and Pride and Prejudice-style love stories full of witty banter and sizzling, unspoken feelings. When I’m not writing, I’m creating digital art, reading funny blogs, or watching my favorite shows (which include TVD and BSG). I live with my geeky husband and our two bad cats in Atlanta, GA.

Author Links:

Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Tour-Wide Giveaway:

  • 2 print copies of A Gift of Poison by Kate Avery Ellison (US/CAN)
  • 25$ Amazon Gift Card (INTL)

ENTER HERE !~

Giveaway Winners: New Years Giveaway

The names are in! Below are the winners of the New Years Giveaway!

First, I’ll let you into my magical way of choosing the winner.

I compiled all the entries into one. Yes, it was a lot of work, but I wanted it to be as fair as possible. What did this involve? I went through the comments, Google Form, and Rafflecopter entries and put them all together based on the time submitted. Them I went to random.org and put in the range and it spat out the winners. Ta-da!

Anyways, for the part you actually care about… the winners!

Michelle
Taking Chances by Molly McAdams
Losing It by Cora Carmack
Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert

Bube
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
West of Want by Laura Kaye

Yun-a
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Thank you to everyone who entered! Stick around for more giveaways in the future (:

-AK

 

Cover Reveal: Amber Smoke

We’re so excited to be a part of the cover reveal for Kristin Cast’s new novel, Amber Smoke!~

Are you ready?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TADA~

 

 

Amber smoke_approved_hi res

 

Title: Amber Smoke [The Escaped #1]
Author: Kristin Cast
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Diversion Books
Genre: New Adult Paranormal
GoodReads

Synopsis:

There is a world that runs parallel to our own, a world in which the souls of the damned are caged, where they are looked over by the Furies, and where they spend eternity in torment, mirroring the devastation and mayhem they created when alive.

Someone has opened the cage.

The worst of terrors has crossed the barrier that separates our world from theirs, and the Furies send a great, albeit untested warrior—their only son, Alek—to try to bring those souls back. He is young and handsome, headstrong and impulsive, and he won’t be able to do it alone.

Eva has grown up, beautiful and beloved, but surrounded by secrets. First, she will be hunted in an ancient feud that will threaten her life. Then, she will become the hunter.

With the police closing in and two worlds on the verge of crumbling around them, Alek and Eva must find each other, discover the limits of their powers, and work together to save everything they hold dear, including one another. Blending elements of mythology with the dazzling storytelling that her fans have devoured through the House of Night series, Kristin Cast weaves a spellbinding and passionate tale that starts a thrilling new series with an explosive charge.

Pre-Order Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBooks

About the Author:Kristin

Kristin Cast is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who teamed with her mother to write the young adult House of Night series. She has stories in several anthologies, as well as editorial credits, and a thriving t-shirt line. The first book in her new adult paranormal romance series releases June 9th, 2015!

Author Links:

Facebook | Twitter | Website | GoodReads

Giveaway:

US only. Enter to win an ARC of the Amber Smoke.

ENTER HERE !~

Review: Frozen

22633620Title: Frozen [Heart of Dread #1]
Author: Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston
Publication Date: October 31, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows. At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she’s heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light. But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

I was not impressed by this book. Why? Let me count the reasons…

1. World Building

Yes, yes the world is covered in snow. It’s cold. There was a flood at some point. Everyone lives in Vegas and gambles even though they don’t have enough money to eat. Okay. Sure. But why? There’s little to no explanation as to how this world came to be. Was it global warming? An atomic war? The moon disappearing or getting to close? LIKE. I need something. Throw me a bone here. We are simply introduced to a world full of trash with these magical people who suddenly popped out of nowhere with powers and indomitable strength. We get no history, and I find myself unable to really fall straight into this world and travel with the characters. There’s also very little description of buildings or environment and when there was, it felt disjointed.

2. Plot Lines

Remember in 2nd grade when you had to do those little mountain drawings for plot lines, where you’d start off with the introduction, then move to a conflict, then the climax, and then the resolution? Yeah, this story was like that, but for every single chapter. It would be calm at the beginning, something would be seen, or something would jump out of nowhere, everyone would freak out and the story would suddenly start speeding along for all of two pages, and then the thing would be dead or they’d realize their mistake, and everything would just fix itself in second, and tada, end of chapter. Due to this, the story had very little fluidity and felt like a jerky car ride.

3. Character Development

There was a little bit of this, but the story never explains the intricacies of all the characters’ stories, they just have snapshots here and there that don’t really explain how the sixteen year old became a general, or how the powerful girl gets a job in a casino, or what one earth brought all the people together, prior to Nat. I also feel like that characters showed little connection to each other and little growth in general. People would often just pop out with new skills, powers, stories, etc. There was no practice, no honing of skills and it just didn’t flow.

4. Lack of Explanation

There was no explanation for a lot of things: the world building, the character’s abilities and origins. It made it hard for me to follow and it really gave little to no connection to characters and the whole dystopian scene. Honestly, it was like the authors thought, let’s make it dystopian -sticks in winter scene with trashbergs- okay, okay, now we’ll give the MC powers -throws the randomest powers to Nat- I don’t know what the difference between any of the powerful people were because there was so little information on any of them. And that last part. My goodness. Just when I thought the book couldn’t get more incredulously idiotic they came up with THAT. THAT is, simply, the most random insertion of something ever in any novel I’ve ever read. I just. NOPE.

Overall, this series just didn’t agree with me. As with most books that aren’t that great, this had some potential, but it fell so short of expectations that I can’t even say I want to read the sequel. Getting through this book was like a chore and I really don’t think reading should ever be this much of a struggle.

Plot: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
World Building: 1/5
Writing:1.5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall: 2/5
GoodReads: 3.61

eBook obtained via Hachette Children’s Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Tour: The Body Electric

BodyElectricTourBanner2

Welcome to The Body Electric Blog Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

BodyElectricTitle: The Body Electric
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Scripturient Books
Publication Date: October 6th 2014
Genre: Young Adult Science-Fiction
GoodReads

Synopsis:

The future world is at peace.

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

Buy Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Review:

I really enjoyed this book. But not for the reasons I usually do. If there is one thing that Beth Revis absolutely excels at, it’s world building. Her creations always manage to pop out of the page and rise up around you, tossing you straight into her dystopian, tech-filled lands (or ships, in the case of Across the Universe). This book especially, everything was meticulously thought out. How the lifts work, where the impoverished live versus the rich, how the government works, what the world’s story is prior to the birth of New Venice, etc. There were so many little things that led to something bigger than originally thought and the graphic images the writing creates captivates you and pulls you. I think my favourite part of New Venice was Central Gardens, where they actually planted people’s ashes and created new life from it in the form of a forest of sorts, instead of using land for tombstones. But then they still had catacombs, for the poor, which really contrasted with the whole futuristic bubble New Venice sat in. Further, the whole cuffLINKs concept, the nanobots, and the reveries were fascinating. It was an interesting, if not terrifying, place to be.

Terrifying? Why terrifying? I think this feeling was mostly elicited from the whole android idea. Robots floating around, robots blowing up, robots acting in places of actual people. I don’t know, the whole concept was eerie. That being said, it was also what kept me glued to the pages. Especially regarding Ella and her parents. There were so many hallucinations and dreamscapes and it was disorienting as much as it was fascinating. For much of the story, it was often hard to decipher between dream and reality, and by the end it was a fantastical mess, and yet absolutely brilliant. There were so many unexpected resolutions. However, in a sense, some of them seemed like quick fixes. There was a lot of foreshadowing in the symbols, but I thought it was pretty put together, overall.

Unfortunately, the only things that I couldn’t be happy about were the characters. I just couldn’t connect to them. There was little investment in the romance, and little invest in the lives of any of the characters. Yes, it was kind of shocking when a few things happened, but I couldn’t mourn for them.

Aside from characters, I thought that the book was great, overall. Yes, there was some distance with the characters, but at the same time, it was hard to notice while reading, as the world of New Venice swept me off my feet. All the twists and turns of the story and the mystery of it all definitely made this book an interesting read.

Plot:4/5
Characters: 3/5
World Building:5/5
Writing:4.5/5
Cover:5/5
Overall:4/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.87/5

Buy Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

About the Author:informal-landscape

Beth Revis is the NY Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe series. The complete trilogy is now available in more than 20 languages. A native of North Carolina, Beth’s most recent book is The Body Electric, which tells the story of what was happening on Earth while the characters of Across the Universe were in space.

Author Links:

Website | GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway:

(US/CAN)
WaterBottle_Giveaway
  • Complete signed trilogy of the Across the Universe series
  • A signed copy of The Body Electric
  • An Across the Universe branded water bottle

ENTER HERE~!

Giveaway: New Year, New Books

It’s a new year and that means new books will be written and new books will be published.

~Contest Closed~

As such, I’m purging my shelves of all the books I meant to give away in, you know, giveaways. I never actually got to host half the giveaways I wanted to host. Walking into the my fifth year as a blog, and opening up a new year, I think it’s time to give back so here we go:


2015-01-02 14.39.23 2015-01-02 14.40.542015-01-02 14.42.092015-01-02 14.40.10

Up for Grabs:

(You) Set Me on Fire by Mariko Tamaki
Incarnate (Newsoul, #1) by Jodi Meadows
Unraveling (Unraveling, #1) by Elizabeth Norris
The Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1) by Lisa M. Stasse
The Innocents (The Innocents, #1) by Lili Peloquin
Once Every Never (Never, #1) by Lesley Livingston
Partials (The Partials Sequence, #1) by Dan Wells
Fallen (Fallen, #1) by Lauren Kate
Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abby McDonald
Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr
The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1) by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Inheritance (Goddess Test, #3) by Aimee Carter
West of Want (Hearts of the Anemoi, #2) by Laura Kaye
Wrong Bed, Right Guy (Come Undone, #1) by Katee Robert
Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1) by Molly McAdams
Losing It (Losing It, #1) by Cora Carmack
Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
Revolution 19 (Revolution 19, #1) by Gregg Rosenblum
Immortal City (Immortal City, #1) by Scott Speer
Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Winners:

There will be three (3) winners.

First Prize – Winner’s Top Three (3) Picks!
Second Prize – Winner’s Top Two (2) Picks!
Third Prize – Winner’s Top (1) Pick!

*Open internationally
*Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen.
*We are not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen mail.
*Prizes for the Second and Third winner is based on prizes given to those preceding them (i.e. If third prize winner’s top pick is won by the first prize winner, the third prize winner will receive the next book on their list and so on).
*Contest ends January 31, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST

Disclaimer: Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive, and use the prize. No purchase is necessary to be eligible to win. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your guardian’s permission. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced on this Rafflecopter as well as emailed. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter, WordPress, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.

How to Enter:

There are three ways to enter:

1. Comment on this post listing the top five books you’d like to receive, with your email so I can reach you (+2)

2. Enter the Rafflcopter on my Facebook page (+4)

3. Fill out the Google Form below (+6)

Happy New Years to everyone! Whether it’s your first time on my page or you’re a long time subscriber, I appreciate every single one of you! Thank you for sticking by me all these years!

  • Flash to the Past

  • Categories

  • Enter your email address to follow my blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,713 other followers

  • Follow on Bloglovin
  • Twitter Twat

  • Goodreads

  • Upcoming Tours

    AvatarQueenTourBanner BodyElectricTourBanner2 (1) MeanStreakTourBanner1 OfSeaAndStoneTourBanner1
  • razOrbill Blog Canada

  • Xpresso Book Tours
  • TheresaMcClinton
  • Extra Links

  • website tonight analytics
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,713 other followers