Tag: YA

The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes | Review

Posted January 15, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes | ReviewThe Darkest Magic (Spirits and Thieves, #2) by Morgan Rhodes
Published by Razorbill on June 28th 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 426
Goodreads

In the second installment of New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes's highly acclaimed Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, danger looms and the mystery deepens as two warring evils vie for possession of one elusive, powerful book.
Modern-day Toronto: Sisters Crystal and Becca Hatcher are reunited after reclaiming the Bronze Codex and narrowly escaping death. They have no one to trust but each other, and the only thing keeping them safe is the book that sent Becca's spirit to Ancient Mytica--the same book that their enemies would kill them for.
Ancient Mytica: Maddox grapples to keep his newly discovered powers under control, while the ruthless goddess Valoria hunts him down.
Modern-day Toronto: Farrell embraces his dark side as he unwittingly falls further under the spell of Markus, the mastermind leader of the nefarious Hawkspear Society, who will stop at nothing to find Crys and Becca--and the remarkable book in their possession.
New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes takes readers into exhilarating new high-fantasy territory with volume two of the Book of Spirits and Thieves series, an epic contemporary saga perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.

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Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta | Review

Posted January 15, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta | ReviewFinnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1) by Melina Marchetta
Published by Viking Australia on September 29th 2008
Pages: 416
Goodreads

Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.
Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.
But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin's faith in her . . . but in himself.

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The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

Posted January 13, 2017 by Samantha in reviews / 0 Comments

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewThe Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic Press on September 17th 2013
Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448
Goodreads
five-stars

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

I had every intention of doing a video review for The Dream Thieves after I read it but then got nervous, since it was so close to the release of The Raven King, that I would get spoiled for later books in the series. Whether blatant spoiling or simply from people dropping subtle hints about later developments I’d be speculating about in my review… So I put it off.

I’ve already done a video review on The Raven Cycle here, and a lot of my thoughts remain the same for The Dream Thieves. The world feels magical and dark, and that atmosphere carries into everything about the reading experience. I actually liked this book far more than the first one, one of the main reasons most likely being that it was less scary for me. I walk a fine line with these books and they can creep me out at times, so I feel I have to be on guard and can’t fully connect with the story. Since The Dream Thieves takes a bit of a break from the main plot, it allowed me to connect a bit more. That may either be a plus or a minus for some people, as I know some reviewers hated that it strayed from the main plot too much. I personally liked a lot of the back story we got on various characters, and delving more into dream magic and it’s ramifications. I also found the villain enigmatic yet tragic, and the entire tone of this installment is something I wish we’d be getting more of. But sadly, for me, we will be returning to the main plot in the next book. And I’ll return to being on edge.

This second book stays true to the tone of the overall story, and the deep focus on this band of characters and their relationships. Fans of the series will enjoy this book, even if it meanders a bit more than some may like.

five-stars

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The Wrath and the Dawn & The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh | Review

Posted January 13, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Wrath and the Dawn & The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh | ReviewThe Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1) by Renee Ahdieh
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 12th 2015
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 388
Goodreads

One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

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Am Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir | Review

Posted January 12, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Am Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir | ReviewAn Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1) by Sabaa Tahir
Published by Razorbill on April 28th 2015
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 446
Goodreads

Laia is a slave. 
Elias is a soldier. 
Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

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Summer Days & Summer Nights: 12 Love Stories | ARC Review

Posted January 12, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Summer Days & Summer Nights: 12 Love Stories | ARC ReviewSummer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins, Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, Jennifer E. Smith
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on May 17th 2016
Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Magical Realism
Pages: 384
Goodreads

Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz | Review

Posted January 12, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz | ReviewAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on February 21st 2012
Genres: YA Contemporary
Pages: 359
Goodreads

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

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Everbound by Brodi Ashton | Review

Posted January 11, 2017 by Samantha in reviews / 0 Comments

Everbound by Brodi Ashton | ReviewEverbound (Everneath, #2) by Brodi Ashton
Published by Balzer + Bray on December 23rd 2013
Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Fantasy
Pages: 384
Goodreads
two-stars

Two months ago, the Tunnels of the underworld came for Nikki Beckett. That night, Nikki's boyfriend, Jack, made the ultimate sacrifice. All Nikki wants is to save Jack before it's too late. All Cole wants is to find his queen - and he thinks Nikki is the one. Both determined, both desperate, Nikki and Cole form a tense alliance, leading them on a dangerous journey to The Heart of The Everneath.

Everbound is the second book in the Everneath trilogy, which was marketed as a Hades and Persephone retelling. I already have a review here of the first book, Everneath, stating how that was not the case.

Everbound continues in the same vein as the first book. The reader gets a tad more information about the world, but not much. The writing is still very simple, and easy to read. I enjoyed this one slightly more, as the characters get to visit the Everneath, and trips to the underworld are always a good time in my opinion. But the plague of the fake love triangle continues, and it continues to be useless. As I said in my review of the first book, this isn’t a real love triangle as it’s not as if both love interests have an equal chance. The protagonist has made it very clear from the beginning who she wants to be with. So dangling the other love interest in front of readers as if there is a possibility she is going to choose him…..is a joke. And a waste of a subplot.

Like I said in the first review, I will finish out this series as it is marketed as a Hades and Persephone retelling and one of my goals is to read and review all of the well known titles that are supposed to be Hades and Persephone retellings, but this is not necessarily something I would recommend.

two-stars

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The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead | ARC Review

Posted January 11, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead | ARC ReviewThe Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1) by Richelle Mead
Published by Razorbill on April 5th 2016
Genres: YA Alternate History
Pages: 400
Goodreads

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.
Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.
When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.
But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

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The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski | Review

Posted January 10, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski | ReviewThe Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3) by Marie Rutkoski
on March 29th 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 484
Goodreads

Some kisses come at a price.
War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.
At least, that’s what he thinks.
In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.
But no one gets what they want just by wishing.
As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

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