Monday, June 20, 2016

[Review] The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith
Version: ARC PB
Rating: 3 stars

Published: March 22nd 2016

Goodreads Synopsis:
Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.
What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.
Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year.

I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway, and will be reviewing it. My review is not impacted in any way.

Trigger warnings ahead: Rape, violence, abuse, sex, etc.

The Way I Used to Be is not a light YA novel. The book begins with our main character, Eden, trying to process what had just happened minutes prior - she was raped by her brother's best friend, Kevin. As she was threatened with her life, she refuses to tell anyone, and as a result, this changes the "way she used to be", and it affects her for the rest of her high school years. The story is told in parts, starting with Freshman year all the way to Senior year, and in each year, Eden struggles with her identity and her relationships with everyone, going through a downward spiral of depression.

Monday, June 6, 2016

[Review] Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
Version: HC
Rating: 2.5 stars
Published: February 2nd 2016

Goodreads Synopsis:
For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.
But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.
The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.
With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?
 Once Upon a Time spoiled/ruined me for this book. Honestly, OUAT isn't the best show (I haven't watched since Elsa/Anna and the rest of Frozen joined), but it had its good moments. Captain Guyliner, or should I say Captain Hook of OUAT, was the dashing villain-turned-hero. Emma Swan was the butt-kicking Savior of Storybrooke, and Captain Hook is her love interest. It took a few seasons, but there was decent character development on this show. Not that I'm comparing the two Captain Hooks, but one cannot fail to think of this guy when his name is brought up.

Friday, June 3, 2016

[Review] A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic
Version: HC
Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Kell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.
Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to take her with him for her proper adventure.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped.

This book.


Need I say more?

[Review] Water's Wrath (Air Awakens #4) by Elise Kova

Water's Wrath by Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #4
Version: E-book
Rating: 5 stars
Published: April 26th 2016

Goodreads Synopsis:
Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet.
The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla's fate, finally come to light. Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she'll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover.

This book should alternatively be titled: Vhalla is done with everyone's shit. She's gotten so much crap from everyone hating on her for being a Windwalker. They either want to kill her, chain her, arrest her - poor Vhalla. No wonder every time someone opens their mouth against her, she is now just like this:
Gurl is done
"I fought for your Empire, and when the Emperor saw fit to grant me my freedom for my service, others sought to chain me." Vhalla jerked her head in the direction of the Western senator. "Yes!" she screamed. "Yes, I killed those men at the Crossroads because they sought the tainted powers within the Crystal Caverns!"
Water's Wrath was definitely... a tumultuous book. SO MUCH HAPPENED IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME. It was fast paced and this one took me - two days? I was supposed to be studying for a final too. Everyone is finally showing their true colors and not everyone is Vhalla's friend. I'd say Air Awakens and Water's Wrath tie for my favorites of the series, because the people on Vhalla's side end up being so strong and cunning and lovable (weird word to end this, huh?)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

[Review] Earth's End (Air Awakens #3) by Elise Kova

Earth's End by Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #3
Version: Paperback
Rating: 5 stars
Published: February 11th 2016

Goodreads Synopsis:
A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.
Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.

I actually read Earth's End several months ago but couldn't review it because of school. Poo. As per usual, another lovely read.

I'll talk about the things I really liked so I don't go off into rambleville.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

[Review] Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
Version: HC
Rating: 3 stars
Published: February 2nd 2016
Goodreads Synopsis:
The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.
Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.
But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.

I don't know how I feel about this Western-steampunk magic, creature, Native American-esque book. Now try saying that 5 times fast. There was a lot in this book, and I wasn't sure if I liked all of it. Part of it was confusing, part of it was corny, and part of it was too much. Here is why.