ARC Review | Timekeeper by Tara Sim

I received this book for free from Sky Pony Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

25760792Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Release date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Sky Pony Press

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Two o’clock was missing. 

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

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I want to give this book all of the stars. Yes, seriously. ALL OF THEM! Like catch them all in a giant net and throw them at it. That’s how much I loved this book!

As soon as I saw this book I knew I had to read it. Everything about it was so unique and interesting. A world controlled by a series of clocktowers, the timekeepers who repair them and a forbidden romance with a clock spirit? YES! It exceeded all of my expectations and then some. I’ve had the eARC for months now and can’t believe I didn’t start it until now. What was I thinking? *shakes head at self*

The story is part alternate world, part fantasy and full on steampunk. I’m not really a fan of steampunk but Tara Sim completely changed my mind. I loved the world building! It’s set in industrial age London with hints of modern technology such as cars, but heavily dominated by Greek myth and legend. The blend was surprising but it worked perfectly when woven together.

Sim obviously put a lot of time into planning out this book and its world. From the small details to the backstory, everything is believable and makes you want to read on. I loved how parts were revealed slowly. It built up this mystery and tension that I couldn’t get enough of. I read 60% of the book in one sitting, which is totally unheard of for me. The only reason I put it down was because I had to go to work the next day.

What really drew me in was the story. The book focuses on Danny, a lonely timekeeper or clock mechanic who is suffering from PTSD after a terrible accident. Danny is sent to Enfield to repair a neglected clock, but instead ends up meeting its spirit. Relationships between clock spirits and humans are forbidden, but Danny can’t help how he feels. The story is so human, so beautiful. Danny isn’t a perfect character and I adored him for it. His relationship with Colton, the clock spirit, was adorable and extremely well written. These two stole my heart and I’m totally fine if I never get it back. They were PERFECT! *sighs*

I highly (remember all of those stars?) recommend the Timekeeper! I actually hugged my Kindle when I finished. It was that good. And more amazing news….the sequels are now listed on Goodreads. This makes me so unbelievably happy!! 🙂

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Mini Review | Before Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

32055471Before Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn
Release date: October 31st, 2016
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

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In a world where all seventeen-year-olds receive a memory from their future selves, Logan Russell’s vision is exactly as he expects—and exactly not. He sees himself achieving his greatest wish of becoming a gold-star swimmer, but strangely enough, the vision also shows him locking eyes with a girl from his past, Callie Stone, and experiencing an overwhelming sense of love and belonging.

Logan’s not sure what the memory means, but soon enough, he learns that his old friend Callie is in trouble. She’s received an atypical memory, one where she commits a crime in the future. According to the law, she must be imprisoned, even though she’s done nothing wrong. Now, Logan must decide if he’ll give up his future as a gold-star swimmer and rescue the literal girl of his dreams. All he’ll have to do is defy Fate.

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I am beyond happy that I received an advanced copy of Before Tomorrow! I absolutely loved the two full-length novels in the series, Forget Tomorrow and Remember Yesterday, and this novella was the perfect companion.

Before Tomorrow is a prequel/alternate narration of Forget Tomorrow and focuses on one of my favourite characters, Logan. It’s hard not to fall head over heels for Logan in the series and in this story I just fell in love with him even more. I didn’t think that was even possible! It tells us about the day he received his own future memory and the events that led to him reuniting with Callie, his love interest and the main protagonist of Forget Tomorrow. It was interesting to step inside his head and it also provided the reader with more insight into why he was willing to drop everything to help Callie reach safety.

The only thing I can complain about is the length. I wanted more! It was far too short, but then again that’s the problem I have without most novellas. You just get into the action and boom! It’s all over.

It’s really difficult to write about this story without giving too much of the series away. So, without spoiling anything, I just want to say that it was an enjoyable read and a wonderful addition to the Forget Tomorrow series.

If you haven’t read the series yet, check out my reviews for Forget Tomorrow and Remember Yesterday

 

Review | Forget Me Always by Sara Wolf

I received this book for free from NetGalley/Entangled: Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

26114440Forget Me Always by Sara Wolf
Release date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

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Goodreads | Amazon

All warfare is deception. Even in high school.

It’s been nineteen days since Isis Blake forgot about him. The boy she can’t quite remember. She’s stuck in the hospital with a turban-size bandage on her head, more Jell-o than a human being should ever face, and a tiny bit of localized amnesia. Her only goal? To get out of this place before she becomes a complete nutjob herself.

But as Isis’s memories start to return, she realizes there’s something important there at the edges of her mind. Something that may mean the difference between life and death. Something about Sophia, Jack’s girlfriend.

Jack Hunter—the “Ice Prince”—remembers everything. Remembers Isis’s purple hair and her smart-ass mouth. Remembers that for a little while, Isis made him feel human. She made him feel. She burned a hole in the ice…and it’s time to freeze back up. Boys like him don’t deserve girls like her. Because Jack is dangerous. And that danger might be the only thing protecting her from something far more threatening.

Her past.

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* This book was previously published in 2014 as Savage Delight.

Every once in a while it’s good to read outside your comfort zone and Forget Me Always was definitely waaaayyyy outside of mine. I’m more of a fantasy and cute fluffy romance kind of girl and this book most certainly did not fall into either of those categories. I wasn’t sure what to expect before I started reading. I agreed to review this book without realizing it was the second in a trilogy, so I did have to pick up its predecessor Love Me Never before starting. What I ended up with were two books that were quick to read and slightly amusing.

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  • The book was super quick to get through. It’s not long and the author’s writing style is very readable. As silly as some scenes got I couldn’t help but get sucked into all of the drama. And there was A LOT of it! It was totally like a soap opera.
  • Isis, the main character, was so strange but highly entertaining. Yeah, she acts a bit crazy (who wouldn’t if you’ve been through what she has), but she says the most hilarious things! I found myself thinking “what?” so many times. But then again, with the dark subject matter discussed, her funny moments were needed.

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  • Much of the book was unrealistic. The main characters are all teenagers yet they often act like they are much older. I don’t want to give things away, but there were some plot lines that I just couldn’t see actually happening in real life. Sometimes it was hard to look past the ridiculousness of it all.
  • The book was quite predictable. I pretty much from the beginning guessed what was going to happen. I was hoping for a lot more closure but since its the second book in a trilogy, it acts as a bridge to the concluding novels, leaving tons of storylines unresolved. While it makes the reader want to read the next book, it was a bit frustrating.

I have very mixed feelings about this book. It wasn’t terrible by any standards, but not what I would usually choose to read. There was too much unrealistic and unnecessary drama for my liking. I can only take so much backstabbing and girl-on-girl hate before I am completely turned off. The first book was alright, but Forget Me Always, while entertaining at times, was just too much. I’m curious to see what will happen next but probably won’t pick up the third book.

Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

28116719This week I’m looking forward to Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller. I was honesty sold on the mention of pirates. I can’t get enough! Why aren’t pirates more of a thing in YA? The cover is a bit of a let down, but from what I’ve read this book is jam packed with sword fighting, witty dialogue, romance and magic. YES!!! *grabby hands* I want it NOW!

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If you want something done right . . .

When the ruthless pirate king learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows there’s only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the ship, confident in her ability to overcome any obstacle. After all, who’s going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell? Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it’s down to a battle of wits and will . . . . Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan?

Review | The Reader by M.K. Harkins

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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The Reader by M.K. Harkins
Release date: August 17th, 2016
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: Young adult, paranormal, romance
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

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4-5-stars

Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One.

She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos.

As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.

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I personally liked this book very much. I got hooked from the very beginning and the story is great.

So, here’s what I liked:

The main character. Ann is a girl that does not remember anything that happened to her. She does not know where she comes from or if she has a family. All of a sudden she wakes up, half dead/alive on a beach with her memory wiped. 2 boys , Devon and Archer,save her life and take care of her while trying to explain WHO SHE IS.  When they finally get to Samara, Ann finds herself in a totally different place with beautiful people, and pretty faces. Once there, she is being taught and told about her life and how she ended up almost dead that day on the beach.

Ann starts to fit in the group and compound the life in and finally things start to come back, flashbacks and memories about her life. She discovers her real talent and gift. Her new friends have also “powers” and apparently there are more like them.

Caught in the middle of a war between different gifted groups, Ann has to find her true love and her own story.

What I did not like:

I disliked some turn around shifts almost at the end. It seemed like the author was trying to finish the book at all cost. There was also another thing…… the love triangle. love triangles are sometimes boring. I cannot say it was entirely lame , however, I saw it coming.

I am now reading PS I Like you, let’s see how that goes.

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ARC Review | The Infinity of You & Me by J.Q. Coyle

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

28220701The Infinity of You & Me by J.Q. Coyle
Release date: November 8th, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, sci-fi
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

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What if every life-altering choice you made could split your world into infinite worlds?

Almost fifteen, Alicia is smart and funny with a deep connection to the poet Sylvia Plath, but she’s ultimately failing at life. With a laundry list of diagnoses, she hallucinates different worlds—strange, decaying, otherworldly yet undeniably real worlds that are completely unlike her own with her single mom and one true friend. In one particularly vivid hallucination, Alicia is drawn to a boy her own age named Jax who’s trapped in a dying universe. Days later, her long-lost father shows up at her birthday party, telling her that the hallucinations aren’t hallucinations, but real worlds; she and Jax are bound by a strange past and intertwining present. This leads her on a journey to find out who she is while trying to save the people and worlds she loves.

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The Infinity of You was such an interesting and original read. I was addicted to knowing what would happen next and became so involved in following Alicia through her journey. I strongly recommend this book! It’s not one that you don’t want to miss.

The story is about a young teenager named Alicia, who is on all kinds of meds to help manage her vivid hallucinations. These visions take her to other worlds and connect her to her father (who in the real world abandoned her when she was just a baby). Everything changes when Alicia’s father appears at her 15th birthday party and tells her that she isn’t imagining things, that the worlds from her hallucinations are real.

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  • The story kept me guessing the entire time! Not every thing is explained at first, so patience is definitely needed while reading this book. I was always left with tons of questions and wanted to know more and more. It didn’t take away from the story at all. The lack of answers at the beginning makes sense to me. Alicia has no clue what is going on, so the reader is learning at the same time as the main character. Alicia’s sense of confusion was also mine. It made for a thrilling ride. I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN!
  • Everything in this story is connected in some way. I loved this because there were so many lightbulb moments. One of the main themes was how are decisions impact those around us, even if we don’t realize it.
  • The characters reference Sylvia Plath’s poetry A LOT. Her poems personally mean a lot to me and helped me connect with Alicia. She starts the book as a closed off, unemotional person, but as you read on you understand that she isn’t that way at all. It’s all because of her hallucinations, she’s sluggish and confused. But the character growth! I was totally cheering for Alicia the whole way. Goodbye timid and fearful and hello brave and loving heroine.
  • The cover art is just beautiful. I’m a huge fan of simplistic covers. And the colours…wow! Also, while I don’t particularly like people on book covers, I’ll let this one slide.

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  • Alicia’s best friend, Hafeez, just accepted EVERYTHING without question. Alicia says she travels between worlds, that she has seen a different version of him, that she has memories of her father in other places but their own AND HE JUST GOES WITH IT! It’s really hard to believe, no matter how good of a friend someone is. It’s unnatural. The whole lack of disagreement or freakout didn’t sit right with me.

There’s so much I want to say about this book, but every time I try to write about it I give too much away. So all I have to say is read this book for yourself. It’ll have you captivated from beginning to end. I hope there’s a sequel. I want more from Alicia and the other worlds. 🙂

Review | Kalico Jack by Mike Nahorniak

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Kalico Jack by Mike Nahorniak
Release date: October 7th, 2016
Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing
Genre: Children’s Lit
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

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Goodreads | Amazon

Kalico Jack is a little different from the other Jack Rabbits so much so that he is he is constantly ridiculed. As he gets old enough, Kalico Jack decides to embark on a journey to find where he fits in. This adventure takes him across the western part of the United States where he makes many friends and eventually figures out what his special purpose is.

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I was excited to read this book because the lesson that different can be good is always an appropriate topic for me to discuss with my students.  The concept of the story rings familiar as Kalico Jack, the main character, takes off looking to find a place where he fits in.  His journey across the Western US serves as a way to teach important monuments and animals found in that area, however, I found the writing to be lackluster and inconsistent.  The author moved from using traditional English dialect to modern urban slang and while some vocabulary was easy for young readers to understand, much of it would prove difficult.

While I was unimpressed by the writing, the artwork was very commendable.  The images act as a great discussion point and help the book move from drab to somewhat appealing.

If nothing more, this is a great revisit of an age-old lesson of how we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (no pun intended).  I would read it to my students when I wanted to revisit this topic, but it definitely wouldn’t be my first choice.

Happy Reading,

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