Mini Reviews: Seize Today & The Hazel Wood

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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.

32453735Seize Today by Pintip Dunn

Release date: October 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young adult, science fiction
Format: eBook

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Seventeen-year-old precognitive Olivia Dresden is an optimist. Since different versions of people’s futures flicker before her eyes, she doesn’t have to believe in human decency. She can literally see the path to goodness in each person—if only he or she would make the right decision. No one is more conflicted than her mother, Chairwoman Dresden, and Olivia is fiercely loyal to the woman her mother could be.

But when the Chairwoman captures Ryder Russell, a boy from the rebel Underground, Olivia is forced to reevaluate her notions of love and faith. With Ryder’s help, Olivia must come to terms with who her mother is in the present—and stop her before she destroys the world.

I can’t think of a better way to end a fantastic series! Seize Today was so much fun to read…it was fast-paced, full of adventure and all about the characters. What I absolutely loved about it was how it wrapped up all of the major storylines but also featured a new a fresh plot that kept me interested from start to finish.

This book focused on Olivia, which provides us with a different look at the world. The previous two books were told from the perspectives of Callie and her sister Jessa, but here things are not so straightforward. Callie and Jessa were all about saving each other, fighting the system, etc. Olivia is complicated and unsure. She’s been through so much emotional trauma that she’s not really sure who to trust. I loved getting to know more about her.

This book is shorter than its predecessors but it didn’t hurt the way that the story unfolded. The pacing was quick and there never was a dull moment. Absolutely no filler here! Ahh….it’s so difficult to write about a third book in a series because I don’t want to give anything about the plot away. But trust me when I say that this book was good, really good!

Now that the complete series is out, I really hope more people decide to pick it up. It should get a lot more love than it has been given so far! I’m so sad to see it end but can’t wait to see what Pintip Dunn has planned next!


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.

34275232The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Release date: January 30th, 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

The Hazel Wood was creepy, mysterious and unfortunately very flawed. I was very excited to read it but ended up being disappointed. Perhaps I built it up too much in my mind before reading it? Like just look at that beautiful cover! And then there were the other reviews…other bloggers were just gushing with love for this book. I don’t know but it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I just hate when this happens.

The story is about Alice, a young woman who appears to be plagued by bad luck. When her mother is kidnapped, Alice goes off on a journey to save her and discover more about her family background. I wanted to like Alice but she came off as too aggressive, too blunt…too everything that turns me off of a character. And characters are extremely important to a story. If I don’t like the MC how am I going to care and become invested in their journey? So it’s best to say that I spent most of the book not really caring about what was happening. I skimmed over some sections and put it down quite often. Actually, I finished two other books and took a reading break before I finally finished this.

The writing style also didn’t do it for me. I usually like the lyrical writing style but here it felt like it was trying too hard. The pacing was also uneven with certain parts feeling unnecessarily long or slow. And the ending? Well, that’s what really let me down. The last 100 pages or so should have been the most important part of the book but ended up being a rushed and muddled mess.

So, while I like the idea of The Hazel Wood it never lived up to what I thought it would be. The characters and the writing let me down. I need characters that I can get behind. I need to care about the plot, feel caught up in it and never want the story to end. Sadly, I couldn’t wait to turn the final page and stop reading.

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Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic this week is: Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018. I could have easily made this list with twenty or more books but these are the ones I am beyond excited to read next year!

Which books are you looking forward to in 2018?

Mini Reviews: The Tiger’s Daughter & The Hollow Girl

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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.

29760778The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

Release date: October 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Even gods can be slain….

The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.

Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.

This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

I was beyond excited to pick this book up, even if the reviews I read on Goodreads hadn’t been very positive. It’s a f/f fantasy epic (the book is 500+ pages long) about warrior princesses. Everything about this book sounded perfect when I requested it on NetGalley…the cover, the story, the fact that it was a f/f romance (we need more of these), etc. and it didn’t let me down. I loved it!

One thing I think readers need to keep in mind when they pick this book up is that it’s a slow burn. There are a lot of pages and the story takes time to build. Yes, some sections were a bit too slow for my liking, but the author took her time building up the world and characters. Everything felt fully formed…as if I could reach out and touch it, which to me is the hallmark of a beautifully written fantasy world.

What I really enjoyed about this book was how the relationship between the two main characters, Shefali and Shizuka, took center stage. Their adventures, challenges and love for each other took hold of my heart. I just wish that I would have gotten to see both sides of the relationship as it is mostly told through letters from one POV. Besides my love for the main characters, the supporting cast was also superbly written. Ren, a little used but intriguing transgender character, really stood out. I hope that she has a larger role in future books.

Overall, I was quite pleased with this book and look forward to picking up the sequel. The author has created a gorgeous character-driven world that completely hooked me from the very start. So, while it may have been a little too long with some slow sections, it’s well worth it! This really is a book that you need to read.


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.

28936314The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan 

Release date: October 10th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young adult, horror, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Five boys attacked her.
Now they must repay her with their blood and flesh.

Bethan is the apprentice to a green healer named Drina in a clan of Welsh Romanies. Her life is happy and ordered and modest, as required by Roma custom, except for one thing: Silas, the son of the chieftain, has been secretly harassing her.

One night, Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.

She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn.

This book….it…wow. I don’t even know where to start with it. I knew I would like it based on the description alone but didn’t expect to be so blown away. It was a dark (very, very dark) story about a Romani girl who becomes a victim of rape and embarks on a journey of revenge.

Now, with such an important and sensitive topic, the author could have totally messed it up, but Hillary Monahan handled everything with great care. The writing style plunges the reader into the inner thoughts, emotion and complete turmoil felt by the main character, Bethan. Here rape is not just treated as a physical assault, but an emotional one as well. To be completely honest, some parts were very difficult to read. Breaks were necessary, as the book can be very graphic and violent. The entire rape isn’t described in the book, but enough of it is. So, it can be very difficult for some people to read. I also appreciated how the author discussed the issues and gave warnings about it the author’s note section.

As much as I loved this book, it felt uneven in some sections, like the pacing was off. Some parts were just too slow and broke my emotional connection with what was happening in the story. Some chapters could have easily been cut in half.

This is a book that you need to check out! It’s dark, violent and emotional. Of course, it isn’t for everyone and I would tread with caution if you are triggered by violence and sexual assault. However, I applaud the author for handling difficult situations in a very sensitive manner. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic this week is: Top Ten Book I Hope to Receive This Holiday Season. My family celebrates a mixture of Christmas and Chanukah, so I get the best of both worlds with lots of presents and food! 🙂 I usually don’t get books as gifts but if I did these are some of the books that I would love to receive…

Which books are you hoping to receive this holiday season?

Spotlight: The History Maker by Eamonn Hickson

THE HISTORY MAKER
The History Maker - Eamonn Hickson.jpgThe History Maker by Eamonn Hickson
Release date: December 4th, 2017
Formats: Paperback, eBook

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Memories are our greatest link to the past. They are what we create in the present, and they can guide us in the future. Memories can define us.

Adam Fletcher has none.

A crippling car accident has pressed reset on Adam’s life, leaving the young man broken and lost. Britney, the woman who claims to be his best friend, tries to bring him back to society, while hiding the truth about her involvement in the crash.

Starting from scratch, Adam tries to make new memories. But, what use are memories if they are constructed from lies?


About the Author:

EamonnEamonn Hickson is an Irish author.

He released his first novel, The History Maker, in December 2012. He has undertaken a number of creative writing, and writing for print courses recently. His second novel, Angel of Death, was released in December 2013. A third novel, Terror, followed in 2017.

He currently works as a news journalist in County Kerry, Ireland.

Twitter | Goodreads


Giveaway:

Click here to enter a rafflecopter giveaway. You could win a finished copy of The History Maker. The giveaway is international. Good luck!


Tour Schedule:

12/18/2017- Am Kinda Busy Reading – Review

12/18/2017- Rattle the Stars – Spotlight

12/19/2017- Abooktropolis – Review

12/19/2017- Rainy Day Reviews – Guest Post

12/20/2017- Le Petit Photograph – Review

12/20/2017- A Gingerly Review – Excerpt

12/21/2017- The Book Recluse Review – Spotlight

12/21/2017- La libreria di Beppe – Guest Post

12/22/2017- Pooled Ink – Spotlight

12/22/2017- BookHounds – Excerpt

The Bookish Naughty List Book Tag

Book Blitz_Time to confess all of my bookish sins! I saw this tag on Lila’s blog Lost In A Story and thought it looked fun. It was originally created by A Page of Jenniely. Let’s go…


Questions:

1. Received an ARC and not reviewed it: Yup, guilt as charged! I have a few ARCs that have been sitting on my shelf for a year that I haven’t picked up and honestly probably won’t. In my defence, I never requested them. They just randomly arrived and they just aren’t for me. Maybe I should host a giveaway? Hmmm….

2. Have less than 60% feedback rating on NetGalley: Nope! I’m pretty good with staying above 80% on NetGalley.

3. Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did): My issue is usually remembering to cross-post reviews to Goodreads.

4. Folded down the page of a book: Yes *hangs head* I do it quite often if I’m out and about and can’t find something to act as a bookmark.

5. Accidentally spilled on a book: Not in a long, long time. I’m usually pretty good about keeping my books away from liquids while reading.

6. DNF a book this year: I’ve DNFed a few books this year. Why struggle through something when you could be reading something else that you know you’ll like? There’s just not enough time in the day.

7. Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it: No because I honestly don’t have money to spare on purchasing books I know I’ll never read.

8. Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework): All of the time! Why grade essays when I can read a book?

9. Skim read a book: This usually happens with books I am about to DNF or those that I should have given up on.

10. Completely missed your Goodreads goal: This year will be the first time that I won’t make my goal. It’s amazing how not reading for around 3 months can put you so far behind. I’m sad about it but there’s always next year!

11. Borrowed a book and not returned it: No, never. I get upset when I don’t get back books I’ve lent out and never want to be that person.

12. Broke a book buying ban: I’ve tried bans but they just never work. Sales on Amazon are always my downfall. A book for $1.99? Oh, yes please!

13. Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about: It’s scary to see how many half written reviews I have sitting in my drafts folder. I start one, get stuck, move onto another and repeat.

14. Wrote in a book you were reading: Only when I’m studying Spanish. I highlight words I don’t know and then write the definition in the columns.

15. Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads: No, I’m pretty good for adding books that I’ve read. I like keeping track of the books I read, especially since it helps a lot with the blog.


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Cover Reveal: Society of Wishes!

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Elise Kova (❤❤❤) has a new book coming out and I’m super excited to spread the word! She’s become one of my favourite authors over the past year and can’t wait to get my hands on this book next month!

Society-of-Wishes-Cover-FINAL-v1-small-1Society of Wishes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh
Release date: January 29th, 2018
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Genre: New adult, urban fantasy, romance

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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

Josephina Espinosa makes her living as a hacker-for-hire in the Lone Star Republic, a remnant of the fractured U.S.A. That is, until the day she and her best friend are gunned down in a government raid.

With her dying breath, Jo uses magical lore passed down from her grandmother to summon a wish-granter. Her wish? To save her friend’s life. Except wishes have costs, and for Jo, the price is the erasure of her entire mortal existence.

Now, as the most recent addition to the mysterious Society of Wishes, Jo must form a new “life” alongside the seven other members, one of which being her savior himself. Living as an occupant of the Society’s lavish mansion should be quite the perk, but while it is furnished with everything its inhabitants could possibly need, it lacks one thing—freedom.

Her otherworldly identity crisis takes a backseat, however, when Jo learns that the friend she sacrificed everything for is headed down the same path to ruin. Jumping in head-first, Jo uses her newfound magical abilities to protect him, only to realize that the ripples of her actions have far-reaching consequences. When the Society’s aloof leader Snow decides to give her a taste of his own ancient magic, Jo discovers that there are threads woven into the tapestry of her new reality that reach far beyond the wishes she is now required to grant. Ones that, if tugged on, could mean the unraveling of her existence itself.


Authors Q&A:

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E = Elise’s Answer
L = Lynn’s Answer

 

1) What made you want to start writing?
L: Is saying fan fiction too lame? Because it was definitely fan fiction.
2) What was your favorite part about working on this project?
L: Honestly, just being able to work with original characters and concepts was so exciting for me. And having someone so talented to collaborate with just made the whole experience that much more fun.
E: The collaboration was definitely an exciting and new element. Lynn really helped bring a fresh perspective to my writing and a new voice to draw from—especially regarding her personal heritage that really gave the character Jo so much more depth.
3) What part of the process did you find the hardest?
L: Everything was so new for me, but I probably had the hardest time keeping on myself to make sure I didn’t fall behind. I wasn’t used to working on a schedule, but I think I handled it well enough!
E: I really wanted to make sure that the work was divided evenly and it was our story. I’m so happy with the final product though. I really think it’s the perfect merger of both of our abilities.
4) Who is the character you relate to most and why?
L: Probably… Wayne? Because I’m charming and debonair and possibly, despite my heart of gold, most likely an annoyance to all. I also occasionally call people doll face.
E: Likely Nico. I was a studio art minor in college and was that girl who always had paint staining her fingers. Plus, even if I don’t always succeed, I really like making people smile.
5) Why the switch to new-adult, and urban fantasy?
E: I always want my work to be growing, changing, and evolving. I don’t want to be an author where people always know the story they’re going to get before they even pick up the book. Plus, it was really fun to write some super steamy romantic tension!

Giveaway:

Click to enter a giveaway. You could win a signed paperback copy of Society of Wishes. Good luck!