Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi | ARC Review

Posted August 29, 2016 by Samantha in arc august, booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi | ARC ReviewFurthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers on August 30th 2016
Genres: MG Fantasy
Pages: 416
Goodreads

The bestselling author of the Shatter Me series takes readers beyond the limits of their imagination in this captivating new middle grade adventure where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.
There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn't miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it's been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she's about to embark on one to find the other.
But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she'll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit--and with a liar by her side in a land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice's wits (and every limb she's got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself--and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

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The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson | Review

Posted August 22, 2016 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson | ReviewThe Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3) by Mary E. Pearson
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on August 2nd 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 679
Goodreads

Lia and Rafe have escaped Venda and the path before them is winding and dangerous - what will happen now? This third and final book in The Remnant Chronicles is not to be missed.
Bestselling author Mary E. Pearson's combination of intrigue, suspense, romance and action make this a riveting page turner for teens.

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The Magician King by Lev Grossman | Review

Posted August 15, 2016 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Magician King by Lev Grossman | ReviewThe Magician King (The Magicians #2) by Lev Grossman
Published by Viking on August 9th 2011
Genres: Adult Fantasy
Pages: 400
Goodreads

Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to the New York Times bestseller and literary phenomenon, The MagiciansQuentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory—a fictional utopia—was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring.Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off—only to somehow wind up back in the real world and not in Fillory, as they'd hoped. As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia's illicitly-learned sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth.

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Bone Gap by Laura Ruby | Review

Posted August 8, 2016 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby | ReviewBone Gap by Laura Ruby
Published by Balzer + Bray on March 3rd 2015
Genres: YA, YA Contemporary, YA Magical Realism
Pages: 368
Goodreads

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?
Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.
As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

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ARC August TBR | 2016

Posted July 31, 2016 by Samantha in arc august, booktube, tbr / 0 Comments

ARC August is a reading challenge hosted by Shelly and Octavia of Read.Sleep.Repeat, and the only goal is to read ARCs in August. I participated last year and it was very motivating for me. I ended up reading 6 ARCs last year, and I hope to double that this year (although I’ve been averaging about 5 books a month the last few months….so…..)

Check out my overly ambitious TBR:

I also want to add that since I made this TBR, I’ve also added Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir and Nevernight by Jay Kristoff to the list. I know I know…. Overly ambitious.

Let me know if you’re participating in ARC August!

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers | Review

Posted July 25, 2016 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers | ReviewThe Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1) by Becky Chambers
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on August 13th 2015
Genres: Adult Science Fiction
Pages: 404
Goodreads

Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.
But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.
Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.

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The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson | Review

Posted July 25, 2016 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson | ReviewThe Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3) by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Gollancz on February 11th 2010
Genres: Adult Fantasy
Pages: 724
Goodreads

Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world.This adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy to a dramatic and surprising climax as Sanderson's saga offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility.

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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson | REVIEW

Posted July 15, 2016 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson | REVIEWNimona by Noelle Stevenson
Published by HarperTeen on May 12th 2015
Genres: Graphic Novel
Pages: 266
Goodreads
three-stars

The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it "a deadpan epic."
Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.
But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

I originally didn’t plan on reading Nimona. I did not know about its history as a webcomic before sitting down to read it, and didn’t know what to expect beyond the hype. But when I got it in a subscription box, I thought I’d give it a go. Ultimately, as per usual, the hype did the story a disservice.

I was actually surprised by how “meh” I felt about this story. First of all, I don’t care for Noelle Stevenson’s art style. Although I don’t judge a graphic novel completely on its art style, it does have a slight impact on my enjoyment. Secondly, I found the characters to be mostly flat. Judging from the title, I thought this story was going to be about Nimona first and foremost, so I expected to feel some level of attachment to her. This story ended up focusing more on Ballister Blackheart, which in and of itself was my preference. I enjoy him as a character the most. But that also left Nimona to feel very one note. Also, I found the plot to be fairly predictable in a lot of ways.

Lastly, I found myself annoyed with how Blackheart and Goldenloin weren’t depicted in a way that blatantly showed they were gay. While, yes, it is obvious to most people, I have seen plenty of people say they are just “best friends.” Fans of the webcomic may not have picked up on this, as I know that Noelle has since come out and said she is regretful for not making it blatant and does frequently show fanart or even her own art of them looking couple-y on her blog. Their romance (and friendship) was the heart of the story, and I felt it didn’t quite achieve what it could because it held back.

Overall, I found Nimona to be a cute story, but it did not live up to the overwhelming amount of hype and I’ve found it to be forgettable since I’ve read it. I’m more likely to recommend other graphic novels, even to new graphic novel readers.

three-stars

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Winter by Marissa Meyer | REVIEW

Posted July 15, 2016 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Winter by Marissa Meyer | REVIEWWinter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel and Friends on November 10th 2015
Genres: YA Science Fiction
Pages: 824
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Winter was a finale I was very excited about. The tension had been building up for 3 books and was about to finally burst with the 4th and final installment. But even before this finale came out, I was questioning my excitement. I was starting to realize that The Lunar Chronicles books were ones that didn’t stick with me for long after reading them. I genuinely enjoyed the characters, and all of the twists and turns, but wasn’t left with much of an impact after putting them down. I had hoped the finale would change all of that.

Sadly, I found Winter to be a bit of a letdown. Even though it was a huge book, I felt it was very rushed at times. Winter struggled with having so many characters in it that I didn’t feel satisfied with the amount of time we got with each of them. It introduced the new characters of Winter and Jacin, who I was very fond of, but wished I had more time with. Then there were all of the existing characters who I knew and loved, and their stories felt rushed as well.

Aside from the characters themselves, I felt that everything was tied up TOO neatly with this book. This is a finale involving a rebellion. I expect there to be loss. I didn’t feel that with this book. And while I understand these are fairy tale retellings, and fairy tales are known for Happily Ever Afters, I didn’t think it was realistic for everyone to get one.

I can’t say much more than this without going into spoiler territory, so I did a discussion on my channel that goes into my in depth thoughts:

I ended up enjoying this book, much like all of the others in the series, but it still left me wanting more, and not in a good way. I’ve been very disillusioned with this series, and have no interest in reading any of the novellas or continuations to the story. This finale could have really packed a punch, and instead it held back.

three-half-stars

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Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler | ARC REVIEW

Posted July 15, 2016 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler | ARC REVIEWJust Visiting by Dahlia Adler
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on November 17th 2015
Genres: YA Contemporary
Pages: 407
Goodreads

Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.
Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn’t go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won’t stand out for being Mexican.
One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective…only to learn she’s set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants…only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they’ve sworn to leave.
As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don’t know about each other’s pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they’ll have to decide whether their friendship has a future.

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