The ABC Book Challenge: Total chaos!!!

Welcome back to the ABC Book Challenge! It’s time to talk about books starting with the Letter “T” and if you think I’m filling this post up with the’s it’s not happening. That’s far too simple.

On to the Books!

Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “T”:

Talon

I love Julie Kagawa and I will forever read anything she writes. Admittedly Talon while awesome, isn’t my favorite of the books she written, but I do feel that it sets up the series really well. Either way, it’s 100% worth the Read!

Tricks

This book is intense. I will never forget the feeling I got while reading it. It’s really good however, like with many of Ellen’s books I wouldn’t read this in a bad mental state. It deals with some dark stuff.

Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “T”:

Tarot

“Anna was never supposed to exist. Born of a forbidden union between the Queen and the tyrannical King’s archnemesis, Anna is forced to live out her days isolated in the Tower, with only her mentors and friends the Hermit, the Fool, and the Magician to keep her company. To pass the time, Anna imagines unique worlds populated by creatives and dreamers—the exact opposite of the King’s land of fixed fates and rigid rules—and weaves them into four glorious tapestries.

But on the eve of her sixteenth birthday and her promised release from the Tower, Anna discovers her true lineage: She’s the daughter of Marco, a powerful magician, and the King is worried that his magical gifts are starting to surface in Anna. Fearing for her life, Anna flees the Tower and finds herself in Cups, a lush, tropical land full of all the adventure, free-spiritedness, and creativity she imagined while weaving.

Anna thinks she’s found paradise in this world of beachside parties, endless food and drink, and exhilarating romance. But when the fabric of Cups begins to unravel, Anna discovers that her tapestries are more than just decoration. They’re the foundation for a new world that she is destined to create—as long as the terrors from the old world don’t catch up with her first.”

I’ve been learning about Tarot a lot recently. It has a lot of fascinating elements to it. A fantasy based off of the Tarot is really unique to me and I’d love to pick it up.

Tin Heart

“Bestselling author of All the Bright Places Jennifer Niven calls emerging talent Shivaun Plozza’s charming and romantic second YA novel, Tin Heart, “from cover to cover swoon-worthy, moving, deep, and funny”!

When Marlowe gets a heart transplant and a second chance at life, all she wants to do is to thank her donor’s family. Maybe then she can move on. Maybe then she’ll discover who she is if she’s no longer The Dying Girl.

But with a little brother who dresses like every day is Halloween, a vegan warrior for a mother, and an all-out war with the hot butcher’s apprentice next door, Marlowe’s life is already pretty complicated. And her second chance is about to take an unexpected turn…”

This book sounds incredible! I’d love the chance to read it. I hope I can one day pick this book up!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

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-Till next time!

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The ABC Book Challenge: check out the Ratings!

And so the saga continues…. it is ever closer to the end and this challenge is literally over a year in the making.. I will finally feel free once this is all over, but for now, it’s time to celebrate books with the Letter “R”.

On to the books!

Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “R”:

Ramona Blue

I adore this book! It’s so well written. It has great characters and a great plot. It’s fast paced and it talks about some really important subjects. I highly recommend this contemporary.

Rogue

I love Julie Kagawa! Her works are incredible and I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read from her. Rogue is no exception and I can’t wait to read the rest of this series!

Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “R”:

Replica

“Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.

While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Using hotlinks in this electronic edition, readers can decide how they would like to read the book, as with the print version. They can read the story of Gemma or Lyra straight through first, followed by the other girl’s story, or they can move between chapters in Lyra’s and Gemma’s sections. No matter how it is read, Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.”

I own this book and still haven’t gotten to it. Trust me, I’m going to be reading this very soon. I’ve always loved the idea of the format and with two more in the series I know I’m going to devour it!

Reign of the Fallen

“Without the dead, she’d be no one.

Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their soul from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised: the Dead must remain shrouded. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, a grotesque transformation begins, turning the Dead into terrifying, bloodthirsty Shades.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears around the kingdom. Soon, a crushing loss of one of her closest companions leaves Odessa shattered, and reveals a disturbing conspiracy in Karthia: Someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is forced to contemplate a terrifying question: What if her magic is the weapon that brings the kingdom to its knees?

Fighting alongside her fellow mages–and a powerful girl as enthralling as she is infuriating–Odessa must untangle the gruesome plot to destroy Karthia before the Shades take everything she loves.

Perfect for fans of Three Dark Crowns and Red Queen, Reign of the Fallen is a gutsy, unpredictable read with a surprising and breathtaking LGBT romance at its core.”

I also own this book and I’m mad at how long it’s taken me to pick it up.. I’m going to read this very soon! It’s really high up on my tbr.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

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-Till next time!

The Beholder: A Review

The Beholder by Anna Bright

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

 

Cover Rating: 9/10: This cover is absolutely gorgeous! The boat is stunning and it gives the story it’s fantasy/romantic vibes in one beautiful piece of imagery. I love the copper and grey wash coloring of it. It’s beautifully done.

 

Publisher: HarperTeen

 

Publish Date: June 4th, 2019

 

Number of Pages: 435

 

Received: Random book mail from the publisher!!

 

Purchase: Amazon

 

Synopsis:

“Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic to visit a series of potential suitors—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From the gardens of England to the fjords of Norge, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.

Lush landscapes, dazzling romance, and captivating intrigue await in this stunning alternate historical YA debut—perfect for fans of The Selection or Caraval.”

 

Opening Sentence: Once upon a time always began on nights like tonight.”

 

A Note Before my Review: I just want to say, the authors note before the start of this book is the sweetest thing ever. Anna Bright talks about why she became an author and what brought her to write “The Beholder” and it made me fall in love with her in an instant. I will read anything she writes because of it. (Also, because I loved “The Beholder” so much). One day I hope to meet this author in person because I just feel like she’s one of those authors that would be a genuine delight to meet.

 

Musings:

“The Beholder” completely surprised me. I expected it to go a certain way and it went in an entirely new direction and for that, I am so happy to have read this book. It was well written, engaging, and romantic. I need to know what’s up next in Selah’s world, but I know that will have to wait till Anna continues her story. I’m excited about it all the same!

What I Loved:

Selah is totally herself. This is a character who is herself at all times and doesn’t change for no one. She’s comfortable doing hard work and gardening. She’s bookish and values her time alone. She knows herself well and she stands up for her beliefs. She’s tough, but not in a physical way. I loved reading through her point of view.

Showcasing How fast falling in love can be. Her first love Peter was a slow burn (one we don’t see, but the had been friends for years). Nothing ever happened between them and he rejects her when she finally opens up and tells him how she feels. However, bachelor number 2 and 3 establish with her some real chemistry and things move quick with both. Sometimes you meet someone and even though time is short between you they change your life forever. There’s no rules to falling in love or what love should look like and as much as I love a slow burn, personally I have fallen in love with someone, at one point in my life, very quickly and it’s nice to have that feeling validated.

How all my expectations were subverted. I’m not going to talk about what happened with Bachelor #2 or #3 because discussing that ruins the book completely, but things went so much deeper then I expected. There was political stuff that surprised me. People had some ulterior motives that made my eyebrows raise. The ending was nothing like what I expected it to be. I have to know what happens next.. it’s too juicy.

Everything I want to talk about now is a spoiler. I just want to dive in and dish the details, but I’m not ruining this novel for no one. This book is barely fresh off the press and I’m dying to talk to someone about what happens, but I can’t.. this is going to be another instance of me having a bunch of strong opinions on little things (like I do with the splintered series) and I just want to talk about it left and right, but I won’t because I’m exercising some very minute self-control.

All in all:

This book is fantastic. It’s not what it seems. There’s some juicy drama. Great family dynamics. Interesting and unique ways of being in different places. This book is lush detailed and worth the read!

About the Author:

“I believe in woods, mountains, highways, cobblestones, roller coasters, dancing, concerts, cherry Pop Tarts, books, and magic.
When I’m not reading or writing on my couch, I’m dragging my husband off on an adventure, communing with Salem (my kitten/spiritual familiar), or causing trouble at One More Page Books, where I work.”

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

In Another Life: A Review

In Another Life by C.C. Hunter

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Cover Rating: 3/10 stars, I’m not really feeling this cover. I think the only thing that would attract me to it is the color. It doesn’t feel like it’s truly connected with the story in any real way other then to say things get a bit fractured in the novel. I wish they had gone in a different direction.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publish Date: March 26th, 2019

Number of Pages: 352

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“What would you do if your whole life was a lie and learning the truth could cost you your life?

From New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her.

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they’re kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth.

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?”

Opening Sentence: ““What are you doing?” I ask when Dad pulls over at a convenience store only a mile from where Mom and I are now living.”

Musings:

Reading this book brought up a lot of emotions in me. It was a story way more intense then my own, but I was taken by the similarities in feeling. Chole was happy with her situation for most of her life. Living with the family that loved her and gave her all that she could have ever wanted, but her parents divorce changed everything. Then, Cash comes into her life and her world is flipped inside out and upside down. When he presents the idea that she was the kidnapped child of his foster parents and slowly reveals to her his own checkered past she is thrown into a state where she doesn’t know what to believe.

What I Enjoyed:

The action. It’s slow building to this point, but it has many tense thriller moments. I really enjoyed the way the events added up and built suspense as the story went on.

How suspicious Cash always was. Cash had constant suspicions to the 10th degree. Sometimes, I had no idea where they were coming from. But, I enjoyed how he began to trust Chole slowly as time went on.

Watching the two come together. I liked the relationship between them. It was complicated yes. It brought up a lot of baggage in them both, but what mattered was the love that was there and they decided to be there for each other and accept each other as they were.

That Chole had a good relationship with her parents. Yes at times due to divorce that the relationships were strained. However, at the end of the day the love was there. It was nice to read an adoption story where the parents weren’t abusive.

All and All:

In Another Life is a unique read with curious situations and some really great writing. You’ll keep guessing what the real truth is till the very end.

About the Author:

C. C. Hunter is the American author of the Shadow Falls young adult novels. C.C. Hunter is a pen name. Under her real name, Christie Craig, she also writes romantic suspense novels. Born in Alabama, she now lives in Texas.

Thanks for reading! I meant to write and post this review ages ago. I procrastinated on this one a ton and I no longer remember why, but better late then never! As always, let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

You Asked for Perfect: A Review

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 9/10 it may not be in a style I typically find to be incredibly beautiful I think this cover is perfect for this book. This story is very School centric and this cover fits that vibe very well for me.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Publish Date: March 1st 2019

Number of Pages: 288

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“For fans of Adam Silvera and Nina LaCour comes a timely novel about a teen’s struggle when academic success and happiness pull him in opposite directions. 

Senior Ariel Stone has spent his life cultivating the perfect college résumé: first chair violinist, dedicated volunteer, active synagogue congregant, and expected valedictorian. He barely has time to think about a social life, let alone a relationship…until a failed calculus quiz puts his future on the line, forcing Ariel to enlist his classmate, Amir, as a tutor. 
As the two spend more time together, Ariel discovers he may not like calculus, but he does like Amir. When he’s with Amir, the crushing academic pressure fades away, and a fuller and brighter world comes into focus. But college deadlines are still looming. And adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push Ariel past his limit. 
Full of empathy, honesty, and heart, You Asked for Perfect is a story for anyone who has ever questioned the price of perfection.”

Opening Sentence: “My feet pound the ground.”

Musings:

You Asked for Perfect is a fantastic novel. It perfectly encapsulates the anxiety of trying to be at the top academically in school. The pressure school provides on students to be perfect in order to get the best possible future for themselves they can and how that can reck all sorts of havoc on students mentally.

What I Loved:

Honestly everything. Personally this book managed to get me to miss school, but that’s just me. I loved the juggling act of trying to be there for your friends while at the same time juggling school and extra curricular activities. I loved the romantic elements of this novel. I loved how music played a part in this novel. I also loved that Ariel is Jewish and those elements. So pretty much everything about this novel was fantastic.

The portrayal of anxiety. I remember being in school and really struggling in AP Calc and having to drop it because it was too much for me along with my other honors and AP classes. Ariel scholar that he is pretty much aces everything and studies like a maniac. (I admit I was never one that study nearly as much as this character). But, the constant being on your phone. Testing yourself on mathway or quizlet. Reading material or listening to a audiobook while trying to accomplish some other homework assignment. Asking for extra credit (even if you don’t necessarily need it). Pushing yourself and then being super critical when you get a c or even a b. Feeling like a total and complete failure if you dare get an F. (I admit to crying on the occasion I got an F). Thinking each and every moment your in school you are working towards creating the best possible future for yourself. Essentially, this book showcases how in school aiming for perfection can at times bring you to a breaking point.

Ariel and Amir together. Ariel is bisexual and it was super cute to see him fall in love with Amir. Amir has this gentleness about him and this understanding that lets him have the ability to chill out Ariel. He is the one that calms Ariel’s storms and helps him to see that it’s ok to settle down the work load for a while. To have fun at times and to remember that your relationships with other people are just as important as preparing for your future.

The weaving of Jewish Traditions. I love it when books include some sort of religion in it. Especially if I don’t know too much about it. So, what intrigued me about this was the various foods and the times for prayer and the Shabbat dinner mostly. The family practice and unity aspects were very beautiful to me and I felt like I was learning about a different aspect of the religion I didn’t know before.

Remembering that everything is about perspective. Ariel puts in front of himself the need to be valedictorian in order to make it to an Ivy League college and make something of himself. But, he finds that all the expectations have been created by himself and himself alone. He perceives others to expect a certain level from him and perceives his parents to expect perfection from him, but in reality it’s all a response to what he said he himself wanted from himself. In other words his own mind created a cycle of needing perfection and creating that to be his identity and when he isn’t perfect he feels he doesn’t have anything else to show as his identity. This was a really deep and introspective part of this novel that was so interesting to read and think on.

His friendship. Ariel is best-friends with a girl and I love that they have their own little rituals and things they do together. I also love that she was fully fledged as a character and had her own goals and unique background and story. The author did an amazing job of making each character their own and having them come off as 3D full fledged characters.

Final Thoughts:

I highly recommend ‘You Asked for Perfect’. It’s really well written. It has a great story and a great message.

(Side note to those still in school)

I feel it necessary to say that this book really encapsulates what school was like for me. However, having been out of school for a while and having the opportunity to go to college has been taken away from me till I turn 25, I want to say this: you do not know what the future holds for you. So please enjoy the time you have now. Have fun and make friends and enjoy time with them now. Do your best, but don’t get stuck in feeling bad when your not perfect because you will have so many more opportunities in the future. Yes school is important, but it isn’t everything. Live your life to the fullest now and enjoy the opportunities you have now in the present moments. Take care of yourself and have fun. You’ll thank yourself later for it.

About the Author:

“Hello! I’m a writer and freelance editor. I currently split my time between Atlanta, Georgia and Brooklyn, New York. Thankfully both cities have good bagels.

My first novel, GIRL OUT OF WATER, is a coming-of-age story about a California surfer girl sent to landlocked Nebraska for the summer to care for her younger cousins. My second novel, YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT, explores the effects of intense academic pressure through the eyes of a teenage Valedictorian-to-be as he juggles school, friendships, and family. You can order both books from most retailers or request them from your local library.”

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

The Warrior Maiden: A Review

The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

My Rating: 3/5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 6/10 it is a beautiful cover. I like the balance of it. It fits what the story is as a Mulan retelling.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Publish Date: February 5th, 2019

Number of Pages: 320 pages

Received: the publisher provided a arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a fresh reimagining of the classic Mulan tale.

“When it comes to happily-ever-afters, Melanie Dickerson is the undisputed queen of fairy-tale romance, and all I can say is—long live the queen!” —Julie Lessman, award-winning author

She knows women are expected to marry, cook, and have children, not go to war. Can she manage to stay alive, save her mother, and keep the handsome son of a duke from discovering her secret?

When Mulan takes her father’s place in battle against the besieging Teutonic Knights, she realizes she has been preparing for this journey her whole life—and that her life, and her mother’s, depends on her success. As the adopted daughter of poor parents, Mulan has little power in the world. If she can’t prove herself on the battlefield, she could face death—or, perhaps worse, marriage to the village butcher.

Disguised as a young man, Mulan meets the German duke’s son, Wolfgang, who is determined to save his people even if it means fighting against his own brother. Wolfgang is exasperated by the new soldier who seems to be one step away from disaster at all times—or showing him up in embarrassing ways.

From rivals to reluctant friends, Mulan and Wolfgang begin to share secrets. But war is an uncertain time and dreams can die as quickly as they are born. When Mulan receives word of danger back home, she must make the ultimate choice. Can she be the son her bitter father never had? Or will she become the strong young woman she was created to be?

This fresh reimagining of the classic tale takes us to fifteenth-century Lithuania where both love and war challenge the strongest of hearts.”

Opening Sentence: “Galloping her horse past the big oak tree, Mulan pulled the bow string taut.”

Musings:

I always have and always will have a soft spot in my heart for retellings. The Warrior Maiden is no exception. Something about being in the world of the familiar in a brand new way is awesome to me and I was happy to read this version of Mulan’s familiar tale.

What I Loved:

Mulan’s resourcefulness. I love a character that thinks outside of the box and sees opportunities where others would see blocks. She takes charge and works as hard as any of the men she fights alongside and it shows.

An interesting brotherly dynamic. Wolfgang and his brother are at an opposition. Wolfgang May be younger, but his elder brother is the black sheep of the family. Their shared guilt over a past event affects them both. One far more then the other and it leads the brother down a darker path.

The spirituality. There is a lot of mention of religion in this book and it’s nice to see. It explores sort of how Christianity was in the past and it was unique to think of how it’s changed and remained the same to this day.

What I Wished were different:

The closeness to the original. I felt like this story was a bit too similar to the original Mulan. It was different technically in the setting, but it essentially felt like the same story. It didn’t have enough of a twist to it for me.

Mulan’s and Wolfgang’s back and forth was slightly frustrating. I just wanted them to sit down and communicate clearly to each other how clearly it was they loved each other and they were both so stuck in their own heads that nothing happened most of the time. I think it’s just a personal pet peeve of mine when two people want nothing more then to love and support each other let weird thoughts and fears get in the way. I hate how something small can turn much larger and it prevents action from being taken. It is realistic, but it is frustrating.

No Mushu. This isn’t actually a concern. Having Mushu or some sort of other animal companion is something that makes me happy in general.

All in all:

I enjoyed the story. It had some action, a bit of romance, some lives being saved. It’s a sweet little adventure retelling and it was a very entertaining read.

About the Author:

“Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time Christy Award finalist, two-time Maggie Award winner, Carol Award winner, two-time winner of the Christian Retailing’s Best award, and her book, The Healer’s Apprentice, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Melanie earned a bachelors degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher in Georgia, Tennessee, and Ukraine. She lives with her husband and two children in Huntsville, Alabama.”

Thanks to everyone for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Ransacker: A Review

Ransacker (Berserker Book #2) by Emmy Laybourne

My Rating: 4/5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 I love this cover. It’s so painterly and beautiful. I love how you can clearly tell the emotions on each of the characters faces. It also clearly mixes the Norse mythology and western roots the story has. All in all, it is beautifully and artistically done.

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Publish Date: January 29th, 2019

Number of Pages: 448 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“The gripping, heart-wrenching companion novel to Emmy Laybourne’s much acclaimed historical fantasy Berserker.

Rare powers. Precious metals. A final showdown.

1886. The Hemstads possess supernatural powers bestowed upon their family by the ancient Norse gods. Now Sissel, the youngest at 16, discovers her gift: she is a Ransacker. She can find gold and other precious metals and pull them to her. Hers is an awesome and dangerous gift.

Sissel and her siblings have been living peacefully in a small town in Montana, trying to blend-in and escape the violent events that haunt them, but they’ve all been tricked―the handsome young man courting Sissel is secretly a Pinkerton spy, reporting to the man who wants to control them, the Baron Fjelstad.

Sissel’s beau is not the only one interested in her new talents. She’s also caught the attention of a local mine owner who’s convinced Sissel has a lucky touch when it comes to finding gold. With betrayal lurking around every corner, Sissel must tread carefully. Harnessing her powers could bring great fortune . . . or cause the powerful Baron to come hunting her and her siblings down for once and for all.”

Opening Sentence: “My dearest Stieg, I cannot tell you how glad I was to find your letter of June 10 waiting for me at the address of our contact in Årstad.

Musings:

Ransacker is the empowering sequel to one of my favorite reads of 2018 Berserker. The horror was dialed back in Ransacker to make way for a whole different sort of story. The story of Sissel. The sister who was known for being Nyette free and weak. But the sister who would not be set back by her perceived weaknesses any longer.

What I Loved:

Sissel’s strength. This is 100% Sissel’s story. She grows in this story. She finds her worth. She finds her strength. She decides for herself to take the path that she desires. Sissel shines in Ransacker and I’m all here for it.

The western feel. I am usually completely uninterested in western novels, but this one uses the western setting in a great way to tell a totally unique story and I’m all for it.

The Norse Mythology. I love a good fantasy with magic, but this sort of magic in particular is really intriguing to me. Using your powers eventually leading to some sort of physical punishment like the possibility of hearing loss is intriguing. Especially when the call to use these powers is always very strong.

Love beyond the flaws. McKray the mine owner is a swindler. He is fundamentally a flawed human being. He lied to increase his own wealth and yet Sissel saw more in him. Saw him in his totality and loved him for him completely. Though they did have their struggles love won out. That’s the kind of love that I’d like to share.

The other Beau. I may not hold any love for James, but I do love how Sissel grew from her courtship with him. Sissel knew that she didn’t want this boy. They had a friendship and James always acted like he wanted more (for not the best of reasons) and Sissel eventually chose for herself what she wanted and she did so with great respect for herself and I greatly admire that.

The continuation of Hanne’s story. I like that Hanne had her own little storyline within Sissel’s story. I loved seeing her and Owen together and seeing their relationship evolve more deeply. I always loved them together and seeing them live and grow together was a beautiful addition to the novel.

The imagery that the powers of a Ransacker creates. The way that Sissel connected with metals was so cool. They were characterized with different personalities and gold being of the most brilliance. It created this really beautiful and totally unique layer of description that I adored.

All in all:

Ransacker was brilliant and empowering and beautifully written. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to read it. It’s a worthy sequel to Ransacker with its own very unique vibe. I enjoyed every moment of reading it.

About the Author:

EMMY LAYBOURNE is a Young Adult novelist best known for her Monument 14 series, an internationally best-selling trilogy that has been translated into 9 languages. Her standalone book Sweet won a Junior Library Guild Award, was a YALSA Quick Pick and got a Perfect Ten rating from VOYA. Her latest books, Berserker, and Ransacker tell the story of a family of Norwegian teens with ancient Viking powers and are currently being adapted for television.

Emmy is a former character actress, and is occasionally recognized from her role as Mary Katherine Gallagher’s best friend in the movie “Superstar.” She lives outside New York with her husband, two kids, faithful dog and a flock of seven nifty chickens. Visit her online at www.EmmyLaybourne.com.

Thanks for reading! It’s been ages since I have written a review. I am so glad that the first I write in a while is for such an awesome novel. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

My Goodreads Year In Books: 2018

I started off the year really strongly with all the books I’d been reading. Then as time went on life threw a bunch of changes at me and my reading suffered for it. In the new year, I hope to get back into reading again. In 2018, I did get to read some incredible books. As far as that goes it was a great year. I’m excited to share them with all of you.

I look forward to the new year and what books will be coming my way. It feels good to look back and remember how wonderful it was to read all these books when I got to read them.

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-Till next time!

Books of Christmas Future 2018

The future is an enigma. No one can know truly what is to come or what will be. One can only let the universe know their hopes and see if the universe grants what they wish to be.

Maybe the future will grant me a story of lives past

Or maybe the future will be where it’s at

A continuation of a story I started in the past

Or something totally new to keep the imagination something that lasts

Maybe a story to spark love in my heart

Or something where demons live supreme

Maybe something with a bit of tongue in cheek

Or something written a bit uniquely

Maybe something to spark some fear

But you can’t be without a bit of tears

What ever Christmas future brings

I know I’m going to love the adventure they bring

Thanks for reading! Let’s all hope for some great stories in our Christmas futures! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

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Looking for Alaska: A Review

Looking for Alaska by John Green

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 6/10 I really like this cover. I like the simplicity of it, but I feel like something different could have been done. It does fit with the story, but I feel like there are elements that could have been played with a lot more.

Publisher: Speak

Publish Date: December 28th, 2006

Number of Pages: 221

Received: from a friend

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Before. Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words—and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for Culver Creek boarding school to seek what the dying poet François Rabelais called “The Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including clever, beguiling, and self-destructive Alaska Young, who will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

After. Nothing will ever be the same. 

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A modern classic, this stunning debut marked #1 bestselling author John Green’s arrival as a groundbreaking new voice in contemporary fiction.

Opening Sentence: “The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party.”

*Spoiler review*

Musings:

This book feels like an odd one to review, because I loved it yes, but also it became something I could related to on a level that was deeper then most books I have read, but not in a way that makes it one of my all time favorites. More in a way that makes it a book that will always be remembered and a part of my life’s journey.

Some of you know that I’ve just gone through a breakup. When I first started reading this book it reminded me a lot of the person I was with. It was lighter in the beginning, funny, and sometimes serious too.. but that just kinda felt like who we were as a couple. Then, Alaska died and it broke my heart and as I was reading this quite slowly, my boyfriend broke up with me without a word and became as much a ghost as Alaska. It felt so raw to read this story where two guys look for answers for why she died while I looked for answers I would never find for why he left me. Finishing this book felt like saying goodbye to a guy I was convinced I loved and who loved me for good. In a way it’s helped the healing.

What I Loved:

The Humor. The humor in this book was amazing. It had some of the best one-liners I’ve read and some of the situations that arise with all the pranks make for some grade-A comedy. Except where the prank where a lot of Alaska’s books were destroyed.. that was no joking matter….

The important stuff. Even though this book was funny it also talked about heavy topics, Suicide, depression, grief, religion, and philosophical questions. Looking for Alaska is a hard hitter emotionally, but the humor bits break it all up nicely.

Alaska was a raging feminist. Alaska was a storm. That’s for sure. She was beautiful to Miles. She was the mastermind behind the best pranks and some days you’d talk to her and she’d say something cool and sometimes you’d talk to her and she’d make you feel like you’ve entered the loony bin (at least that’s how I felt like reading her conversations).

Takumi Rap GOD. I know that this is a book and it could have been written and rewritten to make it sound amazing, but I like to think that Takumi’s raps just come from a divine being. He’s just blessed to have the words come easy to him. Also in general I really loved this character. He was so cool to read about.

Everyone had their own thing. Each character had their own gift of sorts. Miles with the last words. Takumi with his rap skills. Alaska with her pranks. And so on. It was really cool to read and see everyone had their own thing that made them unique and in turn it made them memorable and they all had their own spotlight in the story.

Looking for Alaska destroyed me. I thought going into the book that it would end a certain way. I was very wrong. But in a way I was angry that Miles fell for Alaska in the first place. She was dating someone else. That should have been enough for him to stay away, but he didn’t and in so many ways Alaska led him on and because of all this her death destroyed Miles and me along with him. This is where the strongest connection with the pain of my break up lies. The looking back. Trying to hold on to beautiful memories. Realizing that it doesn’t matter why, I have no choice, but to let go. I felt all the emotions Miles felt acutely. But I didn’t have the luxury of knowing if all these emotions were just for what I’d lost or partially because of another even more difficult thing with my dad having had a stroke. Either way, this book will always be in my memories as being part of a journey of once beautiful happiness that led up to a lot of hurt.

Final thoughts:

Looking for Alaska is an amazing read that I highly recommend. This review became really personal, but it really couldn’t be helped with how it was read. This wasn’t the story I thought it would be, but I enjoyed it all the more for it.

About the Author

John Green is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, and Turtles All the Way Down. He is also the coauthor, with David Levithan, of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He was the 2006 recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, a 2009 Edgar Award winner, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Green’s books have been published in more than 55 languages and over 24 million copies are in print. John is also an active Twitter user with more than 5.4 million followers.

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-Till next time!