Sunday, September 24, 2017

[Review] SST Review - Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan

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Hey guys! I'll be reviewing this book as part of Nori's SST. So, I received this book in exchange for an honest review, which doesn't impact my review in any way.

Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan
Rating: 3.5 stars
Version: eARC
Published: September 5th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Cinderella, Necromancer is Chime meets Anna Dressed in Blood and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany.
Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He's happy and doesn't quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters. When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father's mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom. Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters' every whim and fancy.
Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother's grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival. But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?
As Ellison's power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.

Monday, August 21, 2017

[Review] Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers

Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers
Rating: 3 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: September 1st 2015

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He's curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening-- and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister-- and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.
Truest is a stunning, addictive debut. Romantic, fun, tender, and satisfying, it asks as many questions as it answers.
6th read for #ARCAugust

I have a lot of thoughts here, so bare with me.

I enjoyed how Truest touched down on a disorder that isn't really well-known, depersonalization disorder, or the feeling of living in a dream. It's part of the dissociative disorders in the DSM-5 (abnormal psychology was one of my favorite classes so recalling this is fun). This brought something different to the whole summer romance table.

Friday, August 18, 2017

[Review] All the Ways the World Can End by Abby Sher

All the Ways the World Can End by Abby Sher
Rating: 2.5 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: July 11th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Lenny (short for Eleanor) feels like the world is about to end. Her best friend is moving to New York City to attend Julliard and her dad has terminal cancer. To cope with her stress Lenny is making a list of all the ways the world can end—designer pathogens, blood moon prophecies, alien invasion—and stockpiling supplies in a bunker in the backyard. Then she starts to develop feelings for her dad's very nice young doctor—and she thinks he may have feelings for her too. Spoiler alert: he doesn't. But a more age-appropriate love interest might. In a time of complete uncertainty, one thing's for sure: Lenny's about to see how everything is ending and beginning. All at the same time.

5th read for #ARCAugust

I'm a bit conflicted on the rating of this book, to be honest.

I understood it well enough. Eleanor, who is better known as Lenny, and her family are trying to cope with her dad's metastatic rectal cancer that he's slowly dying from. Her mom, who is nicknamed Sergeant Nutbags, tries her hardest to find a cure, and that often comes in the form of some insane diet or health video. Her older sister is away at college and seem to escape the stressors that come from her family to enjoy her college party life. Lenny is the frustrated one, and her method of venting is through anger. She also has a crush on her father's stand-in resident doctor, Dr. Ganesh.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

[Review] Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Series: Code Name Verity #2
Rating: 4 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: September 10th 2013

Goodreads Synopsis: 
While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that's in store for her?
Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

4th read for #ARCAugust

Another moving and evocative fictional account of the horrors of World War II by Elizabeth Wein. It's one of those books you just feel sad after because it's a really sad book.

I'm being monosyllabic instead of descriptive, so time for me to break down Rose Under Fire.

This isn't really a sequel to Code Name Verity - it's more like a spinoff. We have Maddie in the beginning and the end getting married to Julie's cousin. Julie is mentioned in passing. Anna Engel (and her name sounded so familiar even though it's been years since reading CNV) has a more prominent role. Different setting, different cast of characters, same emotions captured.

Rose Justice is an American pilot who is part of the British ATA - essentially a air taxicab service. Just as progress is being made in the war, Rose lands herself and her plane on enemy lines, and is forced to spend time in Ravensbruck, a concentration camp. There she meets and befriends the Rabbits, women who were operated on inhumanly to test on various war injuries and diseases.

She recounts her days in the camp following her escape back into Allied territory, and you can tell how broken she is by the way she writes.

And I have been able to sleep a little longer each night. I don't jerk awake at four a.m. expecting the Screamer anymore. But I still have the dream about the cold wind in the empty bunks. Funny how my Ravensbruck nightmare is about the bunks being empty, because by the end they were never empty. The whole Camp was so overcrowded we had to sleep in shifts, even during the day.
I have to keep writing. I can't talk about it at all, not to Mother or Aunt Edie over the telephone, not to Fernande in broken French. It would break her heart, I think, if I told her about it. I keep wishing I could talk to Nick, but how could I explain any of it to Nick? How could I possibly make Nick understand?  

It's just so sad.

Rose is so different from Julie, but in a good way. I related to Rose a lot - in the end, she starts medical school! And she loves to write.  She specifically writes poetry to keep the moral of Block 32 high.

Her relationships with her fellow prisoners were strong and so heartbreaking at times. Roza, who laughed when she was afraid. Irina, her Russian pilot-in-crime. Anna, the angel of death. No matter where they came from, they were all victims of the war.

And suddenly it became like so many decisions I'd made during the war; I didn't have a choice. I had to do it whether or not I wanted to. Not just for Karolina, who was dead, but also for Anna, who was still alive and had no one to defend her.
You only fly straight and level in balance.
Anna and Roza are the opposing forces that perfectly balance each other to keep me in the air. 

And I find out that there's a prequel to Code Name Verity? Ugh, Elizabeth Wein, you can take all my money. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

[Review] Breaking by Danielle Rollins

Breaking by Danielle Rollins
Series: Burning companion novel
Rating: 3 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: June 6th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
Monsters lurk where you least expect…
Charlotte has always felt ordinary compared to her two best friends at the prestigious Weston Preparatory Institute. Not enigmatic and daring like Ariel or beautiful and brilliant like Devon, Charlotte has never quite met the standards of the school—or those of her demanding mother. But with Ariel and Devon by her side, none of that mattered. They became the family she never had.
Until the unthinkable happens—Ariel commits suicide. And less than a month later, so does Devon.
Everyone accepts the suicides as tragic coincidences, but Charlotte refuses to believe that. And when she finds mysterious clues left behind by Ariel, Charlotte is thrust down a path that leads to a dangerous secret about Weston Prep. There’s a reason Weston students are so exceptional, and the people responsible are willing to kill to protect the truth… 

Third #ARCAugust read.

I keep on reading suspenseful books.

Breaking was alright. Its supposed to be a companion novel to Burning, but you don't really need to read the first one to read this one. Except I think the ending of this book would make a whole lot more sense with it.