Tuesday, February 20, 2018

[Review] Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

Trigger warning: Rape, miscarriage.

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

Rating: 2 stars
Format: ARC 
Release Date: February 27th 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:
In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.
Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it's a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl--a subspecies of dragon--who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.

I just felt so many internal frustrations with Tess of the Road because on one hand, Tess's development on her adventure/quest for personal healing was actually really good (if you dig deeply into it the adventure, it's very symbolic with all the obstacles she has to overcome to find herself again), but on the other... There's just so much going on. And it's such a bulky, huge book (500+ pages), that it takes time to accomplish where it wants to go and how it wants to do it!

Monday, February 12, 2018

[Review] Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Rating: 4.5 stars

Version: HC
Released: October 16th 2016

Goodreads Synopsis:
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.
But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.
Another epic space adventure by Kaufman and Kristoff. The villain wasn't as haunting as AIDAN was in Illuminae, but it was still an awesome ride.

Gemina follows Hanna, Nik, and Nik's cousin Ella as they try to save their home, the jump station Heimdall, from annihilation by BeiTech, all while dealing with an alien force that has found its way on board. It's a lot of sneaking around and spy moves here on in.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Ace of Shades book tag (Irons version)

Hey everyone! As part of Amanda Foody's #Shadowgang, specifically on the #Irons Team, I'm really excited to promote her upcoming book Ace of Shades. This Ace of Shades book tag, Irons version, came from Amber at The Literary Phoenix. Without further ado, here are my answers.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

[Review] The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Series: The Belles #1
Rating: 4.5 stars

Release Date: February 6th 2018
Format: ARC 

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

THIS BOOK.

I was already excited to read this book, and then I found out from my Professor for my YA Creative Writing course that it is actually going to be on the required reading list, and the author will most likely visit in May, I HAD TO GET ON THIS BOOK ASAP.

Of course this book is coming out today and that is also why I'm reviewing here today, but still, I'm glad I got on this sooner and not later.

The Belles was a really unique concept and I just can't get over that. We've got a lot of magical worlds, princesses fighting to be the last one standing, Romeo and Juliet-esque loves, that sort of thing, but this really took the cake on a book that took a very widespread and familiar issue in society, did a total 180 degree flip and made a completely unfamiliar yet totally plausible world with it. Dhonielle Clayton does an excellent job of crafting the world of Orleans and executing the story so that not only are we astounded by the glitz and glamour of this world, we can draw back to the real world and find the connections she makes between Orleans and societal problems.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

[Review] Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Rating: 5 stars

Format: HC
Release Date: April 7th 2015

Goodreads Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.