The Winner’s Crime

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Publication date: March 12th 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ)

Number of pages: 368

Series: The Winner’s Trilogy (2#)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Lady Kestrel’s engagement to Valoria’s crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust …

While Arin fights to keep his country’s freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner’s trilogy.

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Review:

There may be spoilers for the previous book…

Clever, dazzling and intricately woven, Marie Rutkoski stuns again with The Winner’s Crime. Now, Kestrel has to tread more carefully than ever.

The first and foremost thing I love about these books is Kestrel. She’s witty, brave and generally quite awesome. I love the way that she doesn’t have to be a supreme physical fighter to kick butt, but rather she wields her skill with strategising and her intelligence. It’s pretty great that she can still be such a strong heroine while not being a Katniss (The Hunger Games) or Tris (Divergent) in the way that there is less emphasis on physical fighting. Not that emphasis on physical fighting is a bad thing, I’m just saying that I like that it’s something a little different for me.

I’m guessing that if you read the above paragraph you won’t be very surprised that I preferred the parts of the text that were centered around Kestel (or Kestrel and Arin) rather than just Arin. Even in the last book I wasn’t a major supporter of Team Arin. He just falls kind of flat for me and I don’t a) find him particularly interesting, or b) like him that much. I find that he can be a little bit too moody and he just doesn’t really jump out at me.

I love the game that the characters are playing. The book so wonderfully shows the consequences of the actions of the characters and it’s all so carefully and cleverly plotted. It’s just so unpredictable that you really don’t know what move the characters are going to play next and what’s going to happen. And yet I feel like I know the characters so well.

…And I’m about to contradict myself. I did see the ending coming. But I didn’t mind so much because I was unsure and it did still hit pretty hard. One scene in particular towards the end between Kestrel and another character was really painful.

But enough about the sad scenes – because PUPPY! If there is a cute puppy in any book then I can just about promise you that I will love the book. Dogs are the best thing ever (sorry cat lovers) and they are the most cutest, loyalist creatures. AND PUPPIES ARE ADORABLE.

These books have made me really interested in playing the game Kestrel plays in the book: Bite & Sting. It sounds so cool and I’d love to know what it’s based off. So if you know…please do share.

I did feel very sorry for Verex though. To be honest I wouldn’t even have minded if Kestrel’s love switched to Verex rather than Arin. And I could not stand Jess in this book. I don’t really sympathise with her whatsoever.

All in all, I thought that this was a stunning sequel that actually surpassed The Winner’s Curse in my opinion. If you loved the first book, you will love this one.

4.5/5 comets
KABOOM! That only leaves one continent (one little flaw). 

Add The Winner’s Crime to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Marie RutkoskiMarie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children’s fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner’s Curse, which is scheduled to be published in March 2014.

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. Marie is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and fiction writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/marier…

Review: The Ring and the Crown

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

The Ring and the Crown (The Ring and the Crown, #1)

Publication date: April 1st 2014

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Number of pages: 384

Series: The Ring and the Crown (1#)

Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Source: Borrowed. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world’s only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

But even with the aid of Emrys’ magic, Eleanor’s extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen’s Guard.

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie’s face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she’s always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she’s always dreamed of–the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor’s court: trust no one.

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Review:

A world of magic, politics and love where passions run high.

I’m not going to lie. I really didn’t have high expectations for this book. At all. The reviews I’d seen hadn’t been brilliant and I wasn’t a fan of the author’s ‘Blue Bloods’ series. Thankfully, I did like this one more than I thought. Otherwise that beautiful cover would completely have gone to waste.

I’d describe this book as following 4 main female characters (Marie-Victoria, Aelwyn, Isabella and Ronan) and one male, a man named Wolf. It was told in third person but narrated various scenes of the lives of the 5 characters listed above. I surprised myself to actually liking all the characters listed above (usually I’m pretty biased and find one point of view that I like most/least). But I was very interested in all their stories and really felt for them.

I love the way that Arthurian legends have highlighted so heavily in the story. There are mentions of characters like Merlin and Vivian and I really wish that there were more books that kind of showcased these legends. Being from a background rich in British and Celtic history, these legends have featured a lot in tales my parents used to tell me. Plus who couldn’t love BBC’s television adaption of Merlin. That actually has to be one of my favourite shows ever. Ever, ever, ever.

I also adored Melissa de la Cruz’s writing. Even though she was writing in third person, I never felt detached from the story. Her writing just kind of flows perfectly and is very easy to read. I got through this book very quickly and could easily have kept going.

While for my enjoyment level of the story I would rate the book 4/5 stars (or something like that) for most of the book, I feel like the ending and the story fell a bit flat over all. I feel like I was waiting for some big climax or some complication of sorts to happen. I don’t really feel as though much happened over the entire course of the novel. The story seemed to be more about who was falling in love with who.

Which left me feeling totally disappointed towards the end. I can’t really say much more without spoiling it but I decided to drop my rating because I felt a little cheated. Like everything that did happen in the story happened for nothing and it was pointless.

Although, I did appreciate the twists. Even if some of them made me a little bit frustrated.

And I loved the way it was kind of written as an alternative as to how history could have gone. I would love to read more books like that in YA.

The other thing is, we didn’t get to see much of the friendship particularly between Marie-Victoria and Aelwyn. I don’t feel like I really saw much closeness between them, only relied on what the author had shared about their past, which to be honest wasn’t that much.

I thought this review would be more positive but apparently now that I’m reflecting on it, things have changed. I probably won’t continue on with the trilogy. However, I actually did enjoy what I read, believe it or not. It was a nice, light read.

3/5 comets
The Earth shook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before…

Add The Ring and the Crown to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Melissa de la CruzMelissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.

She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.

Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

Review: Thunderstone

Thunderstone by Barbara Pietron

Thunderstone

Publication date: October 30th 2013

Publisher: Scribe Publishing

Number of pages: 262

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Mythology

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Sneaking out at night, driving without a license, and falling for a guy weren’t things fifteen-year-old Jeni expected to do while visiting Lake Itasca, Minnesota with her family. The guy, Ice, turns out to be the local medicine man’s apprentice, and when he tells Jeni she’s connected to the spirit world, her first instinct is to run. But after Ice’s stories of a mythical underwater monster—that Jeni allegedly released—prove true, she realizes it’s up to her to contain the beast. Jeni must first convince herself that she’s able, and then save the locals, Ice, and ultimately herself.

“…well-written and entertaining…Jeni makes for a likeable protagonist that readers will identify with,” – Publishers Weekly

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Review:

This is one of those little hidden book gems (or should I say thunderstone – sorry, I had to) that you never would have given a second look should it have not been for some strange reason.

What initially attracted me to Thunderstone was the notion of reading about Native American gods. I had never read a book (or even heard of one) centred around Native American gods. Roman gods, yes, Greek gods, yes, Christian angels, yes, Egyptian gods, yes, but never Native American gods.

And with Native American gods, of course you are going to get Native American people. And here is why this is an extra good thing: there is a huge call out for diverse books at the moment. I don’t know of a single reader who isn’t getting into the We Need Diverse Books campaign and with no super prominent Native American YA books that I have heard of around, I think that this is major bonus points for Thunderstone.

But enough commending of the Native Americanness. I have to talk about other things of course.

I really took to the main character. She was smart, modest and very likeable. Although I can’t say she really…stood out? I immediately liked her relationship with Ice. They were really cute.

But perhaps my favourite character was Tyler. I thought his character was funny and I loved his relationship with his cousin (the main character). Yet another thing that is fairly rare for me to find in YA books – blood cousin relationships. I think it’s more common to find characters who are treated like cousins but aren’t actually related in YA books.

The actual story was alright. It could have been better but it was interesting enough and made up for it in how the other elements of the story set it apart from others.

All in all, I will probably recommend this to anyone looking for a book like this. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected and hope to see more people reading it.

3/5 comets
The Earth shook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before…

Add Thunderstone to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Barbara PietronA lifetime love of books and the written word convinced Barbara to choose writing as a second career. She began by writing non-fiction for magazines and achieved both regional and national publication. This success was all she needed to encourage her to complete a novel. Her first manuscript was a beneficial learning experience along with critiques, books, contests, and blogs. Barbara sees Thunderstone as only the beginning; she has two other novels in the works and has started a Thunderstone sequel. When not reading or writing, she likes to walk, garden, and sew. She works in a library and lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband, daughter, and their cat—who often acts like a dog. – See more at: http://scribe-publishing.com/barbara-…
Follow Barbara on Facebook: www.facebook.com/barbara.pietron.19

The Winner’s Crime inspired outfit!

Please forgive the picture, I’m working on another one 🙂

I just can’t believe how long it’s been since I last did a Trendy Thursdays post…

The Rules:

  • You can make an outfit that can be worn in real life inspired by an character in a book you have recently read and reviewed. If not, you can just make an outift for any book.
  • Design an outfit you think they would wear.
  • Leave a comment down below with the link to your blog.
  • Post the Trendy Thursdays sticker on your blog (or make your own) with a link to my blog (Bookcomet).
  • Try to post something for each catergory.
  • Have fun!

This week’s book is…

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)

I would have done the Aussie cover but I much prefer the US edition…

Goodreads synopsis:

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

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The dress:Appliques Navy Blue Ball Gown Taffeta Quinceanera Gown (source)

Hairstyle:  (source)

Makeup: permanent makeup, clean, pure, pretty make up (source)

Nails: Dark blue glitter nails (source)

Shoes: dark blue high-heeled shoes with brilliant stones (source)

Review: Scorched

Scorched by Mari Mancusi

Scorched (Scorched, #1)

Publication date: September 3rd 2013

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Number of pages: 352

Series: Scorched (1#)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Borrowed. This is my honest opinion.

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 Goodreads synopsis:

Trinity
Don’t leave me here… It starts with a whisper. At first Trinity thinks she’s going crazy. It wouldn’t be a big surprise—her grandpa firmly believes there’s a genuine dragon egg in their dusty little West Texas town. But this voice is real, and it’s begging for her protection. Even if no one else can hear it…

Connor
He’s come from a future scorched by dragonfire. His mission: Find the girl. Destroy the egg. Save the world.

Caleb
He’s everything his twin brother Connor hates: cocky, undisciplined, and obsessed with saving dragons.

Trinity has no idea which brother to believe. All she has to go by is the voice in her head—a dragon that won’t be tamed.

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 Review:

If you mention the title of this book to me, I can not stop fangirling over the design. Oh my goodness it’s just plain book loveliness. Gorgeouso. Yeah, gorgeouso is a new word I am using for the purpose of describing Scorched’s beauty. I haven’t seen a paperback version, but the hardcover, the hardcover. I mean the design on the dust jacket is brilliant, especially in person, but the underneath is simply stunning. Really, there is so much attention to detail, from burning barcodes to SCALES on the dragon under the dust jacket. I actually like the design under the dust jacket best. Both spines are gorgeouso too, the dust jacket spine is eyecatching and done in that same pretty coolour as the cover, but underneath is once again fantastic. And the inside bits of the actual hardcover is pretty too.

Ok, enough with the physical attributes of the book. I feel absolutely terrible saying this, but I think that I rate the book’s design over the book’s content.

I loved the descriptions in this story. Especially the bits concerning dragons, like the dragon eggs and dragons themselves. Perfection. Beautiful.

I also really loved the relationship between Trinity and her grandfather. I have always had a soft spot when it comes to happy families. It’s just so nice. Come to think of it, it’s not an entirely happy family but it’s still great. There were some warm fuzzy moments concerning the family that I loved.

The bond between Emmy (the dragon) and Trin (Trinity) was so cute. I loved the way that they protected and looked out for eachother. Aw.

I have to say, I have to pick a side in what is most definitely probably a love triangle, I’m going with Connor. He’s a good guy. I hope. Everyone else can squabble over Caleb. Connor’s mine. Although I wish that he wasn’t so negative towards dragons. How could any one want to harm even a single scale on Emmy?

I think that I would probably class Scorched as a middle grade book. The writing just kind of had that feel to it and while there was romance there, it wasn’t totally in your face. I’m not a huge middle grade fan, so I think that that’s one of the things that could have affected my enjoyment of this book.

Referring to the above, I would recommend Scorched to middle grade readers. At this moment in time I would probably read a sequel and I’m glad I’ve read it. I only wish it was more well-known.

 3/5 comets
The Earth shook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before…

Add to Goodreads

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 Goodreads author bio:

Mari MancusiMari Mancusi used to wish she could become a vampire back in high school. But she ended up in another blood sucking profession –journalism — instead. Today she works as a freelance TV producer and author of books for teens and adults.

When not writing about creatures of the night, Mari enjoys traveling, cooking, goth clubbing, watching cheesy horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure–videogames. A graduate of Boston University and a two time Emmy Award winner, she lives in Austin , Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon and their dog Mesquite. You can find Mari online at www.marimancusi.com or www.bloodcovenvampires.com.

Review: Don’t Even Think About It

Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Don't Even Think About It

Publication date: May 1st 2014 (first published March 11th 2014)

Publisher: Orchard Books

Number of pages: 304

Series: Don’t Even Think About It (1#)

Genre: YA Something (I don’t know how to classify this!)

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

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 Goodreads synopsis:

This is the story of how we became freaks. It’s how a group of I’s became a we.

When Class 10B got their flu shots, they expected some side effects. Maybe a sore arm. Maybe a headache. They definitely didn’t expect to get telepathy. But suddenly they could hear what everyone was thinking. Their friends. Their teachers. Their parents. Now they all know that Tess has a crush on her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper. Some of them will thrive. Some of them will break. None of them will ever be the same.

A smart and funny story about friendship, first love and surviving high school from the bestselling author of Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done.

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 Review:

If YOU could read my mind right now, you’d know that I was truly surprised by this book.

Surprised, you ask? Yes, reader, I am.

The thing was that I didn’t have that much confidence in this book because most of the blogs I follow didn’t give it the most “rave” of reviews but I’m glad that I still kept an open mind because I really enjoyed it.

These days it takes me a lot to say that a book is unique. Can you really blame me? A lot of dystopian books are the same and there are so many faerie and paranormal books with only slight differences that it gets pretty hard to find something fresh. And I’m telling you now, this book is fresh.

I think the man factor that made this stand out for me, was the perspective the book was told from. This is the only book that I have ever read that is told from a collective group at the same time. In this case, it was the school homeroom, 10B2.

I think one of my favourite things about Don’t Even Think About It, was the character Olivia. I mean, come on. We have the same name. Then I got slightly concerned. She was extrememly (no exaggeration) like me and I was wondering how I got into the story. It brings a whole new meaning to the term “relatable characters” really.

The story was weirdly cool. There were so many personalities and stories all mixed into one. Yet not once did I get confused about which character was which or who was with who. Each character was very well constructed and all the tiny details were there, which made them seem quite real.

Forget the vaccination having side effects. This book has side effects. Ever since I started reading this book I have been worrying that people could hear my thoughts. In fact, it’s been a day since finishing now, and I’m still thinking about it.

The reason why I am not giving Don’t Even Think About It five stars/comets is because while it was weirdly cool, it was still a bit too weird for me in parts.

4/5 comets
A meteor shower. A great show!

Add to Goodreads

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 Goodreads author bio:

Sarah MlynowskiSarah is the author of BRAS & BROOMSTICKS, FROGS & FRENCH KISSES, SPELLS & SLEEPING BAGS and PARTIES & POTIONS—all in the YA ‘Magic in Manhattan’ series, as well as GIMME A CALL and the upcoming TEN THINGS WE DID (AND PROBABLY SHOULDN’T HAVE). Along with Lauren Myracle and E. Lockhart, she also wrote HOW TO BE BAD.

Sarah’s five novels for adults, MILKRUN, FISHBOWL, AS SEEN ON TV, MONKEY BUSINESS and ME VS. ME, were published by Red Dress Ink. She also co-wrote a guide to writing chick lit (SEE JANE WRITE), co-edited two bestselling charity collections (GIRLS’ NIGHT IN and GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT), and contributed to various anthologies (AMERICAN GIRLS ABOUT TOWN, SIXTEEN: STORIES ABOUT THAT SWEET AND BITTER BIRTHDAY, 21 PROMS, FIRST KISS (THEN TELL), FIREWORKS and VACATIONS FROM HELL).

Sarah’s books have been translated into twenty-one languages. Originally from Montreal, she now lives and writes in New York City.

Best YA Travel Books

So, are you lucky enough to be going on a holiday or trip of sorts sometime soon?

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 (image credits – plane: courtesy of arztsamui, book: courtesy of khunaspix @ Free Digital Photos)

In a few months I am, and yes, I’m already choosing what books I’m going to take.

So what is the ideal plane book? Or at least my ideal plane book?

My criteria is:
– interesting. On a long flight, I want to be entertained.
– about average in length. Nothing crazy long, unless there is a book you really want to finish in the epic size range. But nothing short, or you’ll finish it before the flight is over! Plus if you’re like me and keep track of the page number, you don’t want anything that takes forever to get through because it makes the flight seem longer.
– reasonably well paced.
– If it’s a physical copy, paperback. Hardbacks are heavier.
– something I have been looking forward to.

So based on the above criteria and books I have read on/off planes and trains, here are my YA recommendations for long trips! My top five per genre.

Fluffy reads:

  • Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan MatsonAmy and Roger's Epic Detour

Fantastic for a road trip. And for those of us out there who love a great travel romance story.

  • Geek Girl by Holly SmaleGeek Girl (Geek Girl, #1)

This is my favourite book in this genre ever. That’s not true, I adore the second book even more, actually. I love this. It’s quirky, funny, captures my essence perfectly and you can annoy people sitting next to you with the random facts dotted through out.

  • Flirting in Italian by Lauren HendersonFlirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1)

Does this really need explaining? It’s cute, travel and romance all in one book.

  • Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie FinnBroken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend (Broken Hearts & Revenge, #1)

It’s sooooooo good. Especially if you’re going somewhere sunny. I can NOT wait for the sequel.

For dystopian book lovers:

  • The Selection by Kiera CassThe Selection (The Selection, #1)

This one is great for if your main focus is entertainment. It’s like watching The Bachelor but with a small side of dystopia. It’s not exactly a literary masterpiece, but definitely entertaining and addictive. I will probably bring this one myself.

  • Wither by Lauren DeStefanoWither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

Same deal as with The Selection. Entertaing, but not a literary masterpiece. Seriously, I am so addicted to both of these. They kind of remind me of eachother.

  • The Maze Runner by James DashnerThe Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)

I know that these are all obvious choices, but there’s a reason for that. I actually preferred the Scorch Trials (the second book) but both make for great plane reads because it’s such a unique world and there are so many questions you want to know the answer to. And there are twists.

Contemporary:

  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow RowellEleanor and Park

This is my top contemporary book at the moment. I read it when I was on holiday and loved it. Just use the holiday as an excuse to read it. And for some reason it’s really engrossing.

  • Notable by Marni BatesNotable (Smith High, #3)

Another really addictive book about travel. Plus the main character is a little different from average. The mean girl goes to Cambodia.

Paranormal:

  • The Summoning by Kelley ArmstrongThe Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1)

It really is great. Honest.

  • Nevermore by Kelly CreaghNevermore (Nevermore, #1)

One of the thicker ones on here. And another one I read on holiday. Bonus points if you’re a fan of Edgar Allan Poe.

  • The Goddess Test by Aimee CarterThe Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)

Very addictive. I read this series earlier this year and adored it. It’s especially great if you want a series to fly through (see what I did there?).

Sci-fi:

  • Across the Universe by Beth RevisAcross the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

My favourite ever sci-fi book! There’s mystery, space and a great story set in the future. Definitely recommend.

Fantasy:

  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J MaasThrone of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

This one is for those of us who want a little assassin and adventure set in a kingdom. Don’t be afraid to admit it. I took this on holiday and have the sequel ready for this coming holiday.

  • The False Prince by Jennifer A. NielsenThe False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)

I personally recommend the audiobook. It’s kind of like Throne of Glass in the kingdom sense, but there is the competition for the crown as well. LOVE.

Historical:

  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversGrave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)

You could wear my outfit inspired by this. You would be the best looking person on the plane/train/bus/boat. You could also read the book. Rephrase: you SHOULD also read the book.

  • The Luxe by Anna GodbersenThe Luxe (Luxe, #1)

It’s Gossip Girl in the 1920’s. Each book in the series gets a lot better.

  • The Falconer by Elizabeth MayThe Falconer (The Falconer, #1)

Another assassin/hunter book. But this time in Scotland in the 1800’s with faeries.

Humour:

  • The Hunger Pain by The Harvard LampoonThe Hunger Pains: A Parody

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Anyway, I hope this list helps you when you are picking your next book to take on holiday!

Review: Mine to Spell

Mine to Spell by Janeal Falor

Mine to Spell (Mine, #2)

Publication date: May 5th 2014

Publisher: Chardonian Press

Number of pages: 291

Series: Mine (2#)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

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 Goodreads synopsis:

Cynthia has always hidden from her father’s hexes behind her older sister. When her family gains independence unheard of for women, she’s relieved that her days of harsh punishments are over. But as her seventeenth birthday approaches—the typical age to be sold to a new master—death threats endanger her sisters. She now faces two options: run or meet society’s expectations.

For once, Cynthia isn’t going to let her older sister shield her from the problem. She’s going to prove to herself, her sisters, and society that her family isn’t a threat to their traditions. She willingly chooses to be purchased by a new master. A bold step that takes her somewhere she never thought she would go and to a man she might possibly fall in love with. With his help, she may just find a way to save her sisters while discovering how to stand up for herself. If she lives long enough.

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 Review:

Mine to Spell was a spellbinding read, both in the literal and the literary sense.

The best thing about the books in this series is the way that they capture the reader and are becoming notorious for not letting them escape until the book is over. Mine to Spell is set in a warlock world where women are possessions, their worth depending on the magic in their blood.

I’d say perhaps the main focus in this book, is Cynthia’s struggle as a woman with a lot of magic who wants to change things. She spends a lot of the book trying to change the mindset of both men and women and she does it in a risky and courageous way.

This review may be shorter than they typically are because I was geniunely too absorbed in the story to make the notes that I usually do when reading.

The other thing is, I swear the warlock who buys the girl gets worse and worse each time. Edward was awful and even worse than I thought he would be.

The reason why I am not rating Mine to Spell as high as I rated You Are Mine and Mine to Tarnish, is probably due to the fact that I was not as keen on Cynthia nor her story as much as I was the other characters. This is mostly just a oersonal preference thing, however. I definitely enjoyed the second half less than the first half, but all the same, I still adore this series.

I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a unique, out of the ordinary warlock book. I wish more people would read it because it really is fantastic.

 4/5 comets
A meteor shower. A great show.

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 Goodreads author bio:

Janeal FalorAmazon bestselling author Janeal Falor lives in Utah with her husband and three children. In her non-writing time she teaches her kids to make silly faces, cooks whatever strikes her fancy, and attempts to cultivate a garden even when half the things she plants die. When it’s time for a break she can be found taking a scenic drive with her family or drinking hot chocolate.

 

 

Review: Sisters Red

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1)

Publication date: June 7th 2010

Publisher: Little, Brown Books  for Young Readers

Number of pages: 328

Series: Fairytale Retellings (1#)

Genre: YA Fantasy/Retellings

Source: Borrowed. This is my honest opinion.

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 Goodreads synopsis:

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris–the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls’ bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett’s only friend–but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they’ve worked for?

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 Review:

A much-loved childhood fairytale reimagined…into something better.

Just when you think you know and love the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, there comes Sisters Red. Forget cowering Little Red, when you have Rosie and Scarlett, who take care of their own wolfy problems. No woodsman here…oh wait. There is. Silas only made the story better.

Jackson Pearce seems to be a fantastic author and she doesn’t shy away from the detail, which was great and what the story needed. She knows just how to describe the bloodier scenes and catch the readers in her twisted net of fairytale retellings. And I’m not complaining one little bit. I especially liked all the tie-ins with the fairytale in the beginning.

I thought the whole idea for the story was cool. Pearce took the fairytale and twisted it into an epic fantasy story: two girls after revenge on the wolves after their grandmother was killed, with a little help from the woodsman of course. The Fenris (wolves) were described very well and the girls would lure them in before swiftly taking them out.

I found it very difficult to switch between character POVs because I didn’t think there was that much difference between the way Rosie and Scarlett thought and therefore I had to wait until they said the other one’s name. This happened to me pretty much every time.

It took me a long time to read Sisters Red. Usually I’m finished with a book 2-3 days after starting it but I almost DNF’d twice – I put it down after about thirty pages the first time and then I restarted it again. Technically it only took me three days but one of those days was on the weekend and I initially really wasn’t excited to read. That definitely changed, though. Once I got into it, I couldn’t stop.

I really liked Pearce’s writing, it was quite pretty and really reminded me of that of a fairytale. For example, here’s a quote I liked: “Strange how seeing the light can make a person feel so alone in the darkness.” – pg 165
I thought the epilogue was especially pretty and I was very content with the ending. In that sense, it’s very like a standalone – but then there’s of course the rest of the series.

I will definitely be continuing the rest of the series and think that anyone remotely interested in fairytale retellings should probably check this out! I really enjoyed it and if you’re thinking about DNF’ing it, stick it out.

 5/5 comets
Bye, bye Earth! Out of this world!

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 Goodreads author bio:

JJackson Pearceackson Pearce currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of secondhand furniture. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in Philosophy and currently works for a software company even though she auditioned for the circus (she juggled and twirled fire batons, but they still didn’t want her). Other jobs she’s had include obituaries writer, biker bar waitress, and receptionist.

Jackson began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn’t tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. Her solution was to write the book herself when she was twelve. Her parents thought it was cute at first, but have grown steadily more concerned for her ever since.

Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Publication date: September 3rd 2013

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 419

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Fantasy/Horror

Source: Borrowed

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 Goodreads synopsis:

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

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 Review:

Why did I choose this one as my first Holly Black book? I know for a fact I am going to love her Curseworker’s trilogy, in fact I already have the first two books. I just thought I’d like this one even more because I am one of those people who still read and like vampire books.

My problem was that I was just disappointed. I never got into the story because I thought Tana was totally unrelatable and I hated her character. To me, it was like she had no personality. Maybe it didn’t help that it was told in third person either, because I generally connect a lot more with the main character when the story is told in first person.

What I did like was that it was quite dark (a lot more so than a lot of books I read) and that was a change. Most vampire books I read are paranormal romance, emphasis on the romance. But this one was a lot more twisted and darker. Not gruesome as such but there was a lot of death and focus on the conversion of human or vampire.

To be honest, I think that I liked the idea of the story more than I liked it in actuality. I don’t read many standalones and I didn’t really like this one.

However, there were some quote-worthy lines and I actually wrote one down. I wanted to write another but there was nothing nearby I could use to write it down on or with and no page marker. So, here we are:
“Everybody dies alone,” Jameson said, and kept going. “Not everyone wakes up right after” – pg 203

Maybe you’d like this if you’re into standalones and darker books. It just didn’t grab me.

 2/5 comets
Just scraped past. A couple of Band-Aids would fix it up.

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 Goodreads author bio:

Holly BlackHolly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh) The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White Cat, Red Glove, and Black Heart). She is also the co-editor of three anthologies, Geektastic (with Cecil Castellucci), Zombies vs. Unicorns (with Justine Larbalestier), and Welcome to Bordertown (with Ellen Kushner). Her most recent works are the middle grade novel, Doll Bones, and the dark fantasy stand-alone, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.