Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

61yvi5h2bsl-_sx329_bo1204203200_Title: Obsidio
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files
Previous Books in the Series:
1. Illuminae
2. Gemina
Date Started: July 16
Date Finished: July 19
Format: Hardcover from local library

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion? Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

I will keep saying this with this series; the book design for this series is phenomenal. There is so much thought put into how these pages are displayed that I’m kind of in awe of it. I really loved the additions of the drawings too (by Marie Lu! Another author who has exceptional drawing skills) so it was almost like a comic book while also being a dossier of things that happened on the Mao and back on Kerenza IV. And while we’re on the subject, unlike the previous two novels Obsidio covers the characters from both Illuminae and Gemina, but we’re also introduced to two new characters who are back on Kerenza IV – Asha Grant (Kady’s cousin) and Rhys Lindstrom (Asha’s ex). And while I get that things were ‘happening’ in real time in the dossier, I would have preferred if what was going on with Kerenza IV’s characters happened first, and then they crossed over into what was going on on the Mao.

It got too confusing trying to figure out what each report was going through. And what was with all the vid cam summaries? I really would have liked more chat room scenarios.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. With all the characters combining, it got a little bit confusing – especially with the introduction of the new set of characters – but this story was still good. I liked that we came back to Kerenza IV and got to see what happened to the world after it got blasted to hell and back by BeiTech. It was also fun to figure out which swear word is this black box of text supposed to be? The conclusion was somewhat satisfying, but I kind of want to know what’s going on with AIDEN? I thought he blew himself up?

Bookshelf worthy? If only I had the room!

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Legendary by Stephanie Garber

91hscdscgilTitle: Legendary
Author: Stephanie Garber
Sequel to: Caraval
Date Started: July 12
Date Finished: July 16
Format: Hardcover from local library

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name. The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Oh, how I wish that Legendary had been the first book of this series, things might have gone a little smoother! Those who read my review of Caraval know what I’m talking about. I wasn’t all that impressed with that novel. I felt that it had been a fanfiction published too soon. While Legendary on the other hand…I really liked Tella better than her sister Scarlett. She was more interesting and not so one dimensional as her sister. Tella is also looking for a family member, their mother and she is willing to do anything to find her. Even teaming up with a mystery man – who turns out to be someone called the Prince of Hearts – and bargaining for his help.

That bargain lands her in all kinds of trouble, but the trouble is so fun to read! Seriously. The world in Legendary is a little bit more mapped out than it was in Caraval. You still have a little bit of mystery glossing over everything, but it isn’t as obtuse as it was. Character descriptions are a little bit more thought out, but I was more caught up in the mystery of who Legend is that I didn’t even care. I also liked this new aspect of the Fates – beings that had great magical powers and who have been locked up for years – and how they played into the whole Caraval world.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Crazy how a sequel to a book that got a 2.5 star rating from me gets a higher one, isn’t it? But this novel was better done than its predecessor. Tella is a more intriguing character and I really hope Finale follows her instead of her sister. The mystery of Legend and the Fates has me really intrigued and I can’t believe it, but I’m actually looking forward to the final book next year.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

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A Prom to Remember by Sandy Hall

prom_to_remember_finalTitle: A Prom to Remember
Author: Sandy Hall
Date Started: July 12
Date Finished: July 16
Format: ebook from the digital library

Cora: Dating Perfect Boyfriend Jamie. Has NO IDEA how to break up with him… Paisley: Anti-prom. Somehow nominated her anxiety-ridden best friend for prom king… Henry: Hates social situations. Invited to prom by the most popular girl in school. SEND HELP! Otis: Half of one of the cutest couples in his class. Not quite ready for a post-prom hotel room… Lizzie: Shy. Excited to go to prom. With a boy. Whose name she doesn’t know. Cameron: Loner. Over high school. Just wants to meet the mysterious girl who’s been leaving him notes… Jacinta: Unnamed Nerd Girl #3. Determined to become the star of her own life, starting with prom…

I’m feeling all nostalgic about senior year of high school and I kind of blame this book for it. I don’t know why, but along with disaster/tragedy books, I have an obsession with reading books that take place in the senior year of high school. Now, this could (completely) have to deal with the fact that I mostly read YA and it is a huge event that authors like to continue to explore, but I love every second of it. Especially because it brings up memories of my prom – which I’ve probably said on this blog before, I never went to and instead spent watching the horror movie Prom Night.

Anyway, I digress. Usually I don’t really like books told from multiple perspectives because it gets too confusing trying to remember each character. Yet, when authors precede the switch in POVs with the name of who we’re switching to it makes things a lot easier. So following along with A Prom to Remember was really easy and believe it or not there wasn’t one character in this bunch that I didn’t like. I mean, seriously. Cora – who is basically your Rory Gilmore of the group – was actually pretty cool. She isn’t sure if she really wants to go to Boston University anymore and she really wants to break up with her boyfriend that she’s been dating since seventh grade. I wish there had been more paragraphs on her throughout the book. Even Henry, who has high anxiety levels about everything was a wonderful character.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I kind of wish there had been more interaction between all of the characters throughout the book instead of just at the end, but I kind of get why that was. Anyway, a really good read that will send you back to high school and the craziness of the prom season.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

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The Prophecy by Jennifer L. Armentrout

31193698Title: The Prophecy
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Titan
Previous Books in the Series:
1. The Return
2. The Power
3. The Struggle
Date Started: July 11
Date Finished: July 12
Format: Kindle book from my collection

History is on repeat…Seth never thought he’d have a future. But now he’s on the brink of having it all with Josie: A tomorrow. A family. A forever. And all that’s standing between him and that forever is the Titans. If he helps Josie entomb them — without killing them, a nearly impossible task for him — everything he could ever want will be in reach. But he soon realizes that as a god, every little choice he makes can reshape the world for the better… or worse. And in meddling with the Titans, Seth may have just set into motion catastrophic consequences that will force the Olympians to enter the mortal realm and reshape the delicate balance of power that keeps the world from total collapse.

A price must be paid…Entombing the Titans is Josie’s top priority. After all, it was what she was born to do. But the plans her father put into play to help her are no longer an option, and the odds she and Seth face in forging their own path are grim. The escalating violence between halfs and pures only increases the danger closing in on them and their friends. Josie knows their chances of succeeding in their task are slim at best — and if they fail, they might lose everything. But she also knows she’s not fighting just for herself — she’s fighting for the man she loves, for their future, for the world. Together with the Army of Awesome, Josie and Seth will face the unthinkable. And to win this war, the ultimate sacrifice must be made. For the end is here and the Prophecy will be fulfilled….

What the hell was that? No, really, I want to know. It’s not cool playing with people’s emotions Jennifer L. Armentrout! Not cool at all! Seriously, guys this series has taken me through a whirlwind of an adventure. Between falling for another fictional guy – I really need to stop doing that – and becoming even more obsessed with another book series. I just…yikes. I can’t believe this is the ending. I really can’t. Anyway, so much happened in between the fun sex scenes and the cutesy scenes between Seth and Josie, but at the same time…so much happened between Seth and Josie. I mean, honestly.

If even half that stuff happened to a normal person there’s no way that the baby would have survived. Whoops. That was an unintentional spoiler alert. Anyway. Between the Titans taking over the world, the Gods sitting on their asses and not doing a damn thing about it, to several freaking prophecies that you kept waiting to see when they would happen there was a lot going on in this book. And I’m seriously glad that it ended how it did because I wasn’t sure if my emotions could take much more.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I am deducting a star, and if you read this book you will probably guess the reason why. I won’t say the reason since it is rather spoilerly, but Armentrout seriously has a problem with main characters in final books. That’s all I’m going to say.

Bookshelf worthy? This is definitely a series that I’ll be coming back to again.

Posted in Book Reviews, Erotica, Fantasy, Greek Mythology, Jennifer L. Armentrout, New Adult Fiction, Romance, Titan series | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

51xhz1hcall-_sx331_bo1204203200_Title: The Belles
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Date Started: July 10
Date Finished: July 12
Format: Hardcover from local library

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

Wow. Just. Wow. That is seriously my first thought after just finishing this book. My second? I’m really really glad that one of my friends on Goodreads (and tumblr and Twitter) read this book first and started posting updates about it. Or else The Belles might have slipped through the cracks for me. From the cover alone this novel doesn’t look like something up my alley. A girl in a poofy dress, and the title The Belles, sounds like something along the lines of a beauty contest. And in some ways it is. But deeper into the story is a world that is really beyond. The details put into this novel are just mind blowing. The fact that Clayton creates these girls that have the powers – arcana – to manipulate another person’s looks, temperament, etc. is just a wonder to behold.

The story itself is also full of intrigue that made me turn pages. And if it wasn’t for the fact that I kept getting distracted by the pesky thing called work, I probably would have finished this book faster than I did. Camilla is such an interesting character. She is one of the Belles and she has always wanted to be the Belle – the favorite of the palace and the queen like her mother before her. But, Camilla doesn’t like to follow the rules and her rule breaking is quite something. Not to mention the list of supporting characters that follow her on this crazy journey. Especially the Princess Sophie, who let’s face it, is everything the character of Sophie from The School of Good and Evil series wishes to be.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This book is unique. A story unlike one that I’ve read before. The deceit and mystery in these pages is really something else and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel!

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

Posted in Book Reviews, Dystopian, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Young Adult Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

513hgsybygl-_sx337_bo1204203200_Title: A Wrinkle in Time
Author: Madeleine L’Engle
Date Started: July 10
Date Finished: July 11
Format: ebook from the digital library

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. “Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

The summer before fifth grade my mom’s friend from work sent me a birthday present. The present was a copy of this book. She said that now that I was getting older I would probably appreciate this book more. What she doesn’t know is that I never read A Wrinkle in Time despite the fact that it was a present. Don’t get me wrong. I tried many, many times. From fifth grade to eighth grade I must have tried to read A Wrinkle in Time at least once every summer, usually right before the next Harry Potter book came out, but I could never seem to get into this book. I don’t know why, and even now after finally finishing this book almost seventeen years later, I still don’t understand why I couldn’t finish it.

The concept of this book doesn’t really go over my head despite the whole tesseract and tessering angle. Even the concept of IT and the Dark Thing I can easily understand. My problem with this book at age 26 seems to be with Meg herself. Her impatience is definitely a fault, because every time she started to get impatient with whatever was going on in this novel, I wanted to reach in and hand her a Snickers bar, because she was just so annoying. And to be honest things happened to quickly in this book. I don’t really understand why everyone likes it so much.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. I mean, it was okay? I think I’m more proud about finally finishing this book, then anything if I’m being completely honest.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

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Puddin’ by Julie Murphy

28269171Title: Puddin’
Author: Julie Murphy
Companion to: Dumplin’
Date Started: July 6
Date Finished: July 10
Format: ebook from the digital library

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

I’m probably going to be in the minority here, but I actually liked this book better than Dumplin’. I can’t really explain why, just that even though I adored Willowdean and how confidant she was, I adored Millie more. She was organized, focused, and her reaction to how the ‘popular’ people treated her was actually really wonderful. That whole scene with Patrick in the hallway was just downright ‘You go, girl!’ But on top of her, I also really liked the friendship that blossomed between Millie and Callie. Callie is one of the popular girls who makes fun of Millie and her friends, but after one night gone wrong, the two are forced together and they actually start getting a long.

I don’t know what’s with me lately, but books that focus on friendships are really getting to me. They’re more cute than the fluffy contemporary romances that I’ve been known to pick up. And you know what? I’m okay with that, because friendship are just as important (if not more) as relationships. Although, I do have to admit Millie’s relationship with Malik is really adorable. Same goes for Callie and Mitch. I’m glad he gets his happy ending after what happened in Dumplin’.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. This book was a little slow to start, but once you get passed the incident at the gym things really start picking up. Callie took a bit to get used to too with her always angry or bitter persona. But someone has to be the glass is half empty person, don’t they?

Bookshelf worthy? Support  your local library!

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