Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

The May Queen MurdersThe May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.
My thoughts:
The May Queen Murders was a little bit backwoods, a little bit superstition, and a whole lot of crazy.

Ivy lives with her family in a farming community called Rowan Glen.  This secluded part of town is very old fashioned and heavy on superstition, but it works for the families that live here.  Outsiders think they are weird and cultish, but the families that stay in the Glen just want a simple life.  They tend to their own look out for one another and stay to themselves.  Nothing wrong with that unless you have a crazy murderer on the loose.

The characters Ivy, Rook and Heather were an okay trio.  I will admit I was a little irritated with Heather and Ivy in the beginning.  I'm over the whole best friend being a horrible friend and Heather was not one of the worst I have ever read, but she's not wonderful by any means.  She was very mean at one point and I just couldn't figure out why Ivy chose to stick with her.  I get being shy I was that girl in school, but after awhile you just have to have enough strength within yourself to say I don't deserve to be treated that way. In the end I understand a bit more about Heather, but I would have liked to have seen a few scenes where Heather and Ivy actually got along.  I think that would have helped me forgive Heather for her behavior.  I needed to see more than just hate on her part instead of just reading about their fun past.

I thought I would love this story, but I'm on the fence about it. I liked the premise, but everything kind of fell apart at the end.  I think the author tried to throw too much into the big reveal and during those last three chapters I just couldn't keep up with what was going on.  I had suspicions early on and while I did guess some of them I didn't guess them all because the author chose to have several crazy endings.  It all unraveled really quickly and I feel kinda let down.  I wish the author would have stuck with one ending and picked only one direction for the big climax.  As it is I am left wondering why she chose to throw so much at her readers.  Okay I'm trying to explain this without spoilers...if you really don't want to know things about the book stop here!  If you are okay knowing a few things then keep reading =)
I think I can safely tell you there were three different endings that took place. I honestly think each ending was strong enough to have held the book up on it's own.  I of course preferred one, but I would have been okay even if that one wasn't the one picked. I just wish there had just been one.  After I finished reading the small town looking out for each other felt like a sham because there was so much corruption with all three stories!  I was so confused for awhile I had to put the book down just to reorganize my brain. It was all just too much.

This story was dark I will say that and that part I liked.  I honestly think I liked this until the ending.  It was a bit slow, but the build up was great.  Adding in the farming town was a nice touch and added something spooky.  I really think I would have given this one 4-5 stars of that ending hadn't of happened.  I keep going back to this in my head and I can't let it go.  There was one part in the end that I LOVED.  It was twisted and dark and I really wish the author would have stayed in that direction.  It felt very unresolved and I'm unhappy about it.  I wanted more from that part of the story because in that instance it felt like a true thriller.

I'm going with 3.5 stars because I did like the darkness that hung over this story.  It was unique and different and I loved the glimpse of thriller I got at the end.

3.5 snowflakes


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Blog Tour: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Today on WinterHaven Books I am participating in the blog tour for Roshani Chokshi! Her book The Star-Touched Queen just released and believe me you won't want to miss it!!  On my stop I am sharing with you an fun Q&A with the author!  Questions were provided by the publisher.
Roshani Chokshi
1. What/Who were your biggest inspirations for the characters in The Star-Touched Queen? Which character in The Star-Touched Queen did you personally relate to the most and why? 
For Maya and Amar, they were inspired by the Hades/Persephone. But I imagined those two mythological characters a little more differently. In Maya’s case, I knew that ambition was her defining trait, but I wasn’t sure whether that would manifest as seeking emotional or material fulfillment. Turns out, it was a bit of both. Kamala was inspired by my love of fiendish side characters like Mogget from Garth Nix’s SABRIEL and is probably the character I relate to the most. Her sense of humor can be a little abrasive. But she’s fiercely loyal to her friends. Other people in TSTQ were inspired by a collection of people whom I met/knew/heard of growing up.

2. Have you always been drawn to Mythology and what are some of your favorite mythological tales? What myth specifically inspired Star-Touched? 
Always! I was raised on mythology. It was one of the most important outlets for me to connect to my Filipino/Indian heritage. My favorite Indian myths are Shakuntula, Nala and Damayanti, and Savitri. My favorite Filipino story is the Igorot tale of the Sky Maiden. My favorite Western myth is Hades and Persephone. TSTQ was specifically inspired by Hades & Persephone.

3. Let's talk inspiration. What Indian folklore inspired The Star-Touched Queen and where could someone who might be interested in reading and learning more about it and other Indian stories (cough, me, cough) learn more? 
The main Indian folktales/myths that inspired TSTQ or particular scenes were: Shakuntula (plays on the idea of memory and forgotten loves), Savitri & Satyavan (bargaining with Lord of Death, wily females!) and Narasimha (the fourth avatar of Lord Vishnu who defeated the demon king Hirayankashipu). Honestly, most of these were stories I heard growing up with my family. But my favorite thing to read when I was younger were the Amar Chitra Katha comics! They’re these illustrated tales from Indian mythology and I love them so so so much.

4.What scene in THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN was your favorite to write? 
Definitely the scene where Amar and Maya are working together in the constellation room. I think it’s an important scene about interpretation, which, to me, is a major theme in TSTQ.

5. Did you listen to any music while writing this book? If yes, what would you say was your MOST played artist or song? 
Sometimes I listen to music when I write. It just depends on whether the song is distracting me or fueling some weird atmospheric part of the scene. Sometimes it’s just one song on repeat. I listen to a lot of hip hop. And when I pretty much rewrote TSTQ in February 2015, I felt furious. Not with anyone. But just with the story. Like it was itching to be told right and I was failing it. I think the songs I listened to the most with TSTQ was either Kid Ink’s “Show Me” or Kendrick Lamar’s “Poetic Justice.”

6. What is your dream movie cast for STAR-TOUCHED? 
LOVE this question. I’ve always envisioned Lakshmi Menon (the Sri Lankan model) as Maya-esque. Amar has some definite Arjun Rampal undertones (swoons forever). Gupta is kinda cheeky and nerdy, and reminds me of Imran Khan (actor not Pakistani cricket player). Gauri is cheeky, but fierce, so definitely Preity Zinta or Deepika Padukone. Nritti: Aishwarya Rai. And Mother Dhina: Rekha.

7. What is the most exciting part about publishing your first novel? 
Interacting with readers. Talking to the YA community gives me so much life.

8. How did you build your world and keep everything straight for STAR-TOUCHED? 
Flashcards, charts, webs, etc. I know everyone has their own tricks! Flashcards, backs of receipts, corners of napkins. Which is to say, I did not keep things straight at all. This is why you have beta readers. To throw virtual tomatoes at you and point out that given the rules of your world, you cannot do the thing you just did.

9. What is your next project? Is it in the same world as STAR-TOUCHED? 
I just finished the companion novel to TSTQ! So, I’m hoping to get started on edits soon. I can’t wait for y’all to read it. I love it so much.

10. What is the one thing you want readers to walk away from STAR-TOUCHED with? 
I hope readers see a little of how fairytales and folklore celebrate our shared experiences across cultural spectrums. And I hope their dreams are a little star-touched and that they close the book thinking they’ve tasted fairy fruit and walked through more than one life.

 Find Roshani

The Star-Touched QueenThe Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...

But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched QueenThe Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release date: April 26th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...

But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.

My thoughts:
I've been sitting on my thoughts for this book all day and the strangest thing happened.  I started out thinking this book kinda wasn't for me, but then the more I thought about it and the more I contemplated what I was going to say in my review I grew to not only like this story, but I actually kinda loved it.  This has never happened to me so bare with my while I try and get all my thoughts together for this review.

The Star-Touched Queen was nothing at all what I thought it was going to be and I think that's one of the reasons I had a hard time connecting to it in the beginning.  I would read a chapter and then put it down because it wasn't the gripping Game of Throneish plot I thought I was getting, but in it's defense I don't think it ever claimed to be this.  I have no idea where I got that idea, but I did and it stuck so right off the bat I was left with a meh feeling unfortunately. What kept me going in the beginning was the amazingly beautiful writing.  I think this book has to be one of the more eloquently written books I have read this year and I loved every minute of it.  If it weren't for the writing I don't think I would have finished this and I would have seriously missed out on something amazing.

The story is a complicated one because it changed about halfway through.  At the turning point is when I truly fell into the story.  I thought the whole concept was really unique and interesting and I really wish the beginning had included this new world that was introduced.  It was dark and well everything that I like in this type of book.  It kinda felt like a cross between Melissa Marr and A.G. Howard and if you know me then you know I love these two authors above all else so this was a very good thing for me.   So to say I was hooked was an understatement and at this point I couldn't put the book down.  I read 70% of the book in one sitting.

I really enjoyed the characters in this story as well.  Maya was determined and fierce and I liked her devotion to her people.  I also really liked that she didn't back down from what she thought was right.  She had very tough decisions throughout this book and it was nice seeing her make thoughtful choices.  I also have to give a huge shout to Kamala. This horse was AMAZING!  If I didn't like anything about this book I would have still loved Kamala.  You will have to read to see why this horse is so amazing, but I will tell you she is my favorite character of the whole book!

My reasons for walking away thinking not for me are quite simple. 
1) I really needed a glossary.  There are a lot of words thrown at you and if you aren't familiar with this Indian culture and mythology then you will be lost just as I was.  In the beginning I looked everything up, but that got to be too much because it felt like every other page I had to stop and look something up so I stopped.  Which of course means I missed key things and that saddened me.  Footnotes would have been an amazing addition that would have helped the authors readers immensely.
2) As much as I loved the world in the second half it was not built very well.  I wish the author would have spent a bit more time building her world because I felt lost and disconnected so much of the story.  At times I couldn't grasp what was going on and it felt very fantasical if that makes any sense.  Kinda of like trying to read a Tim Burton film.  I know this author has the ability to build a world so I feel let down that I didn't get to read it.
3) And lastly I would have loved a few chapters in Amar's POV.  I understand why so many things were hidden regarding him, but in the beginning I would have loved to have heard his thoughts regarding Maya.  I think I needed that to buy his love for her in the beginning.  He was a complete mystery and yes I did like that, but I still wanted to be let in on a few of his secrets.

See these things are quite simple. but all added up I'm left walking away feeling meh not for me.  Like I said though the more I thought about the story the more things made sense I really fell in love with Maya and her story.  I thought it was a very whimsical yet dark story and I after thinking on it I think it was rather brilliant.  The author has created something that is definitely unique and not something I will soon forget.  I'm glad this turned out to not be what I expected and I am very thankful that the authors writing kept me going.  I will even say this is in my top 10 books of this year which is so strange!  It's just really that good! 

4 snowflakes

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Blog Tour: Invision (Chronicles of Nick #7) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Today on WinterHaven Books I have am participating in the blog tour for Invision by Sherrilyn Kenyon!  For my stop I have a fun excerpt to share as well as information about a fun scavenger hunt!

Invision (Chronicles of Nick, #7)Invision (Chronicles of Nick #7) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Publisher: St.Martins Griffin
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
Think there’s a lot of pressure on your shoulders? Nick Gautier was born to bring about the end of the world . . . it’s not easy being the heir of a demon overlord.

But Nick is determined to thwart his destiny and get into a good college. To be more than his genetics and prophecy foretell. No one is ever going to tell this stubborn Cajun who and what he really is. Or how to live his life.

Not even the Fates of the Universe. But now that he and his team of ancient gods and demons have claimed the Eye of Ananke and he sees the missteps of the future, he has to battle the demons within that are far deadlier and more treacherous than any he’s battled before. All the while his arch nemesis is back and determined to reclaim his place as the harbinger for Armageddon. Even if it means killing Nick and barbecuing everyone he loves to do so.

Hanging his head, he pushed his chair back to face her. “What do you want me to say, Kode? You saw what I did. It’s hopeless. I’m going to end this world. Whether it’s tomorrow or a thousand years from now. I’m going to lose it all. Break bad and tear humanity apart. . . . Don’t matter what we do. Whatever we try. We just delay the inevitable outcome. So I’m going to sit here with my eats. And just . . .” he let his voice trail off as the full horror of his future played through his mind for the five millionth time.
He was the end of everything.
All he loved.
The entire world would one day fall to Nick’s army of demons.
Yeah, there was something to put on his college applications. That ought to have schools lining up to accept him. Who wouldn’t want that as their alumnus? We have graduated senators, presidents, movers-and- shakers, and the Malachai demon who ate the world whole…
It was the one reality Nick wanted to deny and couldn’t. Everything eventually came back to that one inescapable fact he wanted to runaway from and couldn’t.
I’m only sixteen. Too young to deal with this crap.
He was supposed to be worried about his grades. About keeping his girl happy. Staying out of trouble. His mom finding his friend’s porn magazines stashed in his room. Getting to work on time. Making curfew.
Not hellgates and demons coming for the throats of his family and friends. Definitely not about the fact that his birthright was to bring on the destruction of all humanity.

 Book Trailer

Scavenger Hunt!
Be sure to click the image at the very top of my post!  This will take you Griffin Teen which will then take you where you need to go to enter to win a signed backlist set of The Chronicles of Nick!

 About the Author:
New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon is a regular in the #1 spot. This extraordinary bestseller continues to top every genre in which she writes. With more than 40 million copies of her books in print in more than one hundred countries, her current series include The Dark-Hunters, The League, and Chronicles of Nick. Her Chronicles of Nick and Dark-Hunter series are soon to be major motion pictures.

Other books in the Chronicles of Nick series
Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1) Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2) Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, #3)
Inferno (Chronicles of Nick, #4) Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5) Instinct (Chronicles of Nick, #6)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Release Date - May 3rd, 2016
Pre-order - Amazon / B&N
Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing - if everything's planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

My Thoughts: 

I really love Morgan Matson - have loved since I read Amy & Roger's Epic Detour a couple of years ago. Because of that, I was obviously very excited after first hearing about The Unexpected Everything. As you might have figured out from my previous reviews, I am mostly a contemporary YA reader, and Morgan Matson's books always tend to fill all of the boxes for what I look from contemporary YA - friendships, romance, family relationships and self-discovery. The Unexpected Everything was an absolutely treat, much like all of the previous novels by Matson, and though it did not become my favorite from her novels, it was still a solid five star read without a doubt.

Andie is the daughter of a widowed father. Due to her father's job as a politician, Andie is used to being under constant scrutiny - she has been told what to wear, how to use social media, how to act in parties, and so on. The fact that her father has been spending so much time in D.C. means that Andie has been able to control her own life and make her own schedules. She is hard-working good student with goals, but she also loves spending time with her friends. When her father is pulled into a political scandal and forced to temporarily step down from his position, things change very quickly. Due to his father's new reputation, Andie has to rethink her plans for the summer and try to come to terms with the fact that her father is suddenly home and actually interested in spending time with her.

When Andie's first plan for the summer fails, she starts to look for a job and finds a position as a dog walker. It is during her job that she also meets Clark, a guy who is shy, attractive and.... wait for it... A WRITER (*swoon*). As Andie starts to spend more time with Clark, she starts to realize that sometimes things might get better when they don't go according to a plan. Andie's summer definitely didn't turn how she had planned it, but maybe that is a good thing...

The Unexpected Everything focuses mainly on three different relationships Andie has: her relationship with her father, her relationships with her friends, as well as her relationship with Clark. As the novel processes, these relationships obviously get tangled up and they all play different kind of roles in Andie's life. Though I love the bits with Andie and Clark, I must say that I am always a sucker for father-daughter story lines, probably because my "story line" with my father only lasted for 12 years. I loved reading about the way Andie and her father get used to each other again after spending so much time apart, and how the trust between them slowly builds. The friendship story lines are also interesting and love Andie's little gang of friends consisting of Palmer (and her boyfriend Tom), Toby and Bri. 

The Unexpected Everything is fairly long for a contemporary book (almost 500 pages), but I think Matson uses the length to her advantage and really takes time to develop the relationships and the characters. Andie is a likable character and easy to identify with. She fights for what she wants, but also hesitates at moments when things might get too serious, which is something I definitely was able to identify with. She really has chemistry with Clark and I loved the dialogue between the two and how something small between them develops into something much larger as the novel proceeds. 

Second Chance Summer still remains as my favorite Morgan Matson novel, mostly because I am not sure whether a novel has really broken my heart quite in a way that it did. But The Unexpected Everything is a nice new addition to the row of five stars reviews I have given for Morgan Matson. It is a must read for contemporary lovers and a book that will definitely make you look forward to summer! It also features a collection of dogs, which I think always makes things better.

5 Snowflakes

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Blog Tour: Character Playlist from Meghan Rogers!

 Okay so if you saw my review yesterday you already know I am a HUGE fan of Crossing the Line!  It is a book like no other and one I can guarantee I will not forget!  It's so good that I know when the second book releases I won't even need a refresher because there's no way I am forgetting the awesomeness that was between those pages!  Yes I am fangirling HARD my friends!  Well today I get to fangirl more because I am taking part in the blog tour for the writing God Meghan Rogers!  For my stop I am sharing a character playlist for my one of my favorite characters Travie Elton!!! 

Travis Elton, codename Scorpion, is the top agent at the International Defense Agency (IDA). Or at least he was until his enemy, Jocelyn Steely, arrived. She claims she’s a double agent now, spying for the IDA, but Travis isn’t buying it. Here are some songs that best describe Travis, and Travis and Jocelyn’s dynamic.

1. “We Will Rock You” Queen
When Travis goes on a mission, he is confident in his ability to execute. He doesn’t lose often, but when he does it’s almost always to Jocelyn.

2. “Pumped Up Kicks” Foster the People
The only way Travis gets beaten is by someone who is faster than him—someone who can, essentially, outrun his gun. It’s exactly why Jocelyn has had so much success against him in the past.

3. “Enemies” Shinedown
This is very much how Travis feels about Jocelyn when she first arrives at the IDA. He’s not happy she’s there and he’s not at all sympathetic to her situation.

4. “Here It Goes” Jimmy Eat World
Travis thrives on being in control of a situation. Jocelyn’s presence threatens that control.

5. “Hall of Fame” The Script featuring
Before Jocelyn showed up, Travis worked really hard to be the best agent in the IDA. If the IDA had a hall of fame, he’d be in it.

6. “Come with Me Now” KONGOS
Travis is insistent that Jocelyn stick with him when she first arrives at the IDA. He doesn’t trust her to be out of his sight.

7. “Warriors” Imagine Dragons
This song is a lot about pride, and having pride in the work you’ve done. Travis has a lot of pride in his job and in what he’s done for the IDA.

8. “Alibi” The Downtown Fiction
Travis badly wants to know why Jocelyn is at the IDA and he’s sure she’s there to do damage.

9. “Citizen Soldier” 3 Doors Down
Travis takes great pride in protecting those that need it and in the work the IDA does.

10. “Hey Brother” Avicii
Travis is very loyal and he looks out for his people.

11. “I’ll Be Good” Jaymes Young
Travis is one of the IDA’s best agents, but when he makes a mistake, he takes it pretty hard. He feels like he has to work to be better.

12. “The Deepest Well” Yellowcard
This song is a little bit like Jocelyn and Travis’s dynamic, but in reverse. Jocelyn dragged Travis down for years and now they’re working together.

13. “Let’s Kill Tonight” Panic! At the Disco
Travis knows better than anyone that there’s nothing ordinary about Jocelyn.

14. “Gonzo” The All-American Rejects
By looking forward and understanding the Jocelyn that’s sitting in front of him, Travis starts to see past events with more clarity. He’s also big on talking responsibility for his actions.

15. “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been” Relient K
Travis has a high moral code. When he realizes he’s misunderstood a situation and treated someone badly for it, he really hates a part of himself.

Spotify Playlist:

 I won't lie I just downloaded each and every song on this list and I plan to reread the entire book with them playing in the background!  I LOVE this playlist and I can totally see where each song fits!!  
Meghan thank you so much for sharing this with us and our readers!  You are a rockstar!!

Crossing the Line (The Raven Files, #1)Crossing the Line (The Raven Files #1) by Meghan Rogers
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
If Jason Bourne were a teenaged girl…

Jocelyn Steely was kidnapped as a child and raised in North Korea as a spy. When her agency sends her to the U.S. to infiltrate the very group her parents once worked for, Jocelyn jumps at the chance to turn double agent and finish off her kidnappers once and for all. She convinces the head of the American spy agency to trust her, but it’s not quite as simple as that: Jocelyn has to fight the withdrawal symptoms from the drug that the North Koreans used to keep her in line, and her new fellow spies refuse to trust their former adversary. Worst of all, there might be some new information to uncover about her parents - if she even wants to find out.

This action-packed spy thriller is part Gallagher Girls, part Alex Rider, and part Bourne Identity.
 About Meghan
Meghan Rogers
Meghan Rogers has been telling stories since she could talk and writing creatively since she was first introduced to the concept in third grade. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. She lives in Morton, PA.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Review: Crossing the Line (The Raven Files #1) by Meghan Rogers

Crossing the Line (The Raven Files, #1) Crossing the Line (The Raven Files #1) by Meghan Rogers
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
If Jason Bourne were a teenaged girl…

Jocelyn Steely was kidnapped as a child and raised in North Korea as a spy. When her agency sends her to the U.S. to infiltrate the very group her parents once worked for, Jocelyn jumps at the chance to turn double agent and finish off her kidnappers once and for all. She convinces the head of the American spy agency to trust her, but it’s not quite as simple as that: Jocelyn has to fight the withdrawal symptoms from the drug that the North Koreans used to keep her in line, and her new fellow spies refuse to trust their former adversary. Worst of all, there might be some new information to uncover about her parents - if she even wants to find out.

This action-packed spy thriller is part Gallagher Girls, part Alex Rider, and part Bourne Identity.
My thoughts:
Thank you Meghan Rogers for not only writing a badass heroine (and I mean badass with a capital B) but for letting her stay that way throughout the entire book!  I LOVED this beyond any words I can even think of, I might need an alien language to express my love for this book actually because they might have words we don't in the English have to look into that...

Anyway this book!!  OMG this book.  Be prepared for flails of all kinds because that's all I've been doing since I started this!!  First the story starts off with a bang!  We are thrown right into the action and my heart started pounding and never slowed down!  I will say when I read the first interaction between Scorpion and Viper I did do an eyeroll because I just knew where that whole story line was going.  Well I wasn't wrong on the basics but Meghan Rogers totally flipped the whole relationship between them upside down and this is where I truly started falling in love with Ms. Rogers.

Let me explain a tad.  Usually in these instances there are forbidden looks, sweaty palms between the two love birds to be, and the guy is always the resident hottie who has a bad ex girlfriend lurking in the wings.  I am not a fan of the overly hot guy who every girl wants, but he only has eyes for the new baddie so imagine my surprise when in this book we get none of that!  Yes Scorpion is first in his class, but I never read one line not a single line that made him sound uber hot.  I want to hug this author because she managed to give these characters an actual relationship that was hard built and not just founded on mutual attraction.  She let these two incredible people hate each other for various reasons and then let them grow to an understanding.  Will there eventually be a romance, I think so and I am totally okay with that.  I love Scorpion and Viper like none other and if they do just remain friends I am okay with that too  because the story is about so much more than just romance and I will take their relationship any way I can get it.

Okay now the story. I again loved every bit of it.  It was complicated and all kinds of spy stuff craziness and it was glorious.  I also want to say that I loved how the author took her readers right up to the brink of total meltdown but then eased up enough to let us breath a sigh of relief.  I like that she knew how far to push and I feel confident enough to read the next book without looking at the ending to see if things blow up.  They might still but Rogers has my total devotion to fix whatever blows up.

Viper was such a great character.  She was impulsive, but totally knew her stuff and could back up whatever she threw down.  I loved that she wasn't TSTL though and could listen to directions when she needed to.  She didn't put herself in anything she couldn't get out of and I felt comfortable letting her take on dangerous actions.  I enjoyed watching her grow and understand what it means to have a partner and I enjoyed watching her totally kick ass!!  From the get go she proved how tough she was and she never faltered.  Not even when she was at her weakest point.

I am curious who the mole is and I am quite sure there is one.  I have my eye on a few people and I am hoping I am wrong because I love these selected characters so much. If she does pick one I have picked then I think it will be brilliant even if I will be mad and want to kick the author.

I think this whole story was exciting, exhilarating, and one that I can't see anybody being able to put down once they get started.  I am so upset I have to wait for a year for the next installment!  This one doesn't exactly end on cliff hanger, but it does end with a WHOA moment that makes me want the next one even more!!

If you love spy type books this is definitely for you and even if you don't love spy books this is still for you!!  GO pick this up now!!!  Meghan Rogers you are a writing GOD!!!  Thank you for Viper and all her badassness, awesomeness, snarkiness, and amazingness!!

This is a definite blizzard read for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Review: Even If the Sky Falls by Mia Garcia

Even If the Sky Falls by Mia Garcia
Publisher - Katherine Tegen Books
Released - May 10th 2016
Pre-order - Amazon / B&N
All she needs is one night to be anyone she wants.

Julie is desperate for a change. So she heads to New Orleans with her youth group to rebuild houses and pretend her life isn’t a total mess. But between her super-clingy team leader and her way-too-chipper companions, Julie feels more trapped than ever.

In a moment of daring, she ditches her work clothes for DIY fairy wings and heads straight into the heart of Mid-Summer Mardi Gras, where she locks eyes with Miles, an utterly irresistible guy with a complicated story of his own. And for once, Julie isn’t looking back. She jumps at the chance to see the real New Orleans, and in one surreal night, they dance under the stars, share their most shameful secrets, and fall in love.

But their adventure takes an unexpected turn when an oncoming hurricane changes course. As the storm gains power and Julie is pulled back into chaos she finds pretending everything is fine is no longer an option.

My Thoughts: 

I am feeling so much book-love towards Mia Garcia's debut Even If the Sky Falls! I am mainly a contemporary reader, and once I finished with this one, I felt like I was satisfied on all fronts - there's family narrative, a coming-of-age type of finding yourself pondering, friendships, romance, an interesting setting and so much more. In addition to all of that, the writing is so exchanging and descriptive and pretty much flows out of the pages and brings the characters and the setting alive.

After living too long in the middle of all the mess going on at her home, Julie signs in for a volunteering position in New Orleans in order to escape. Her brother, home from service, is battling with PTSD and seems to be losing; her parents fail to see what is going on; and in addition to that, she has severed her relationship with her best friends. New Orleans seemed like the perfect solution, but when Tavis, a clingy team leader fighting for Julie's attention gets a bit too annoying, Jules escapes again, this time to Mid-summer Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

I've been interested about visiting New Orleans for AGES now, so when I heard about this book, I was instantly more excited about it because of the setting. I loved how Mia Garcia brings New Orleans alive in this book - it is not only a flat setting the events happen in, but a living and breathing thing, a character in its own right. New Orleans, as we all know, has been the victim of natural disasters, which is an undercurrent that runs throughout the novel as he characters have to deal with the threat of a Category Two hurricane coming their way and potentially destroying their one night of fun and getting to know each other.

I really liked Jules as a character and the way the author reveals more information about her as the novel processes through narration. Even if the Sky Falls is essentially Julie's story and though the principal events take place during single night, the reader is introduced to events from the past through Julie pondering the past events etc. The pacing of the novel is extremely well done, and these "revelations" about Julie's past are organized well - little hints into what has happened to Julie kept me reading, constantly guessing what could have led Julie to where she is now.

Miles is such a swoon worthy character I was able to fall in love despite the fact that he isn't as extensively developed character as Julie is. As I said, this is essentially Julie's story, and much of what we learn of Miles is from Julie's point of view. Though I am normally a fan of more established love interests, the fact that this novel takes place during one single night, it is completely understandable that Miles does not share his WHOLE life story with Jules. I really enjoyed the connection between Julie's and Miles and I definitely wouldn't mind reading more about them.

In addition to Julie's and Miles, the book is filled with interesting supporting characters, like the people the two meet during the Mardi Gras, as well as Julie's brother, Julie's friends and as mentioned before, the city of New Orleans itself. Every supporting character has some sort of purpose in the novel, but they never take away from the story of Julie and Miles, which I appreciated. In general, Even if the Sky Falls is a book with amazing characters supported by brilliant writing. What more could you ask for?

5 Snowflakes

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Review: The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth

The Killing Jar The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: January 12, 2016
Purchase: Amazon 
“I try not to think about it, what I did to that boy.”

Seventeen-year-old Kenna Marsden has a secret.

She’s haunted by a violent tragedy she can’t explain. Kenna’s past has kept people—even her own mother—at a distance for years. Just when she finds a friend who loves her and life begins to improve, she’s plunged into a new nightmare. Her mom and twin sister are attacked, and the dark powers Kenna has struggled to suppress awaken with a vengeance.

On the heels of the assault, Kenna is exiled to a nearby commune, known as Eclipse, to live with a relative she never knew she had. There, she discovers an extraordinary new way of life as she learns who she really is, and the wonders she’s capable of. For the first time, she starts to feel like she belongs somewhere. That her terrible secret makes her beautiful and strong, not dangerous. But the longer she stays at Eclipse, the more she senses there is something malignant lurking underneath it all. And she begins to suspect that her new family has sinister plans for her…
My thoughts:
I have so much to say in this review and I am not sure where to start.  I liked The Killing Jar, but I had so many problems with it that I just don't know where to start with my thoughts.  Okay let me start off with the brilliance that is Jennifer Bosworth.

BIG SPOILERS!  You have been warned!!!!!!!!!

Ms. Bosworth is completely brilliant.  She managed to make me think she was crazy while all along she was right there with me and showed her truth at the very end.  Throughout the story, I kept thinking this is a CULT and these people are CRAZY!  I kept wondering why the author chose to write Eclipse in such a horrible way.  It sounded like Kenna's salvation, but it was creepy and wrong and I just couldn't behind this being her home.  Well in the end I discovered that the author had always intended to go a certain route she just chose to go about it quietly and distract the reader with all the crazy.  For this I think she is brilliant.  I never would have thought the story would have gone in the direction that it did and I am so thankful Bosworth pulled a fast one!

The basics of this story is that we have Kenna who can suck the life out of people.  She does this one time as a child and discovers that the life she drains goes straight into her and puts her on a high.  Well like any drug there are withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it and Kenna goes through her own withdrawal.  Vowing to never hurt another human being she decides to go without human contact for the rest of her life.  When tragedy hits however she does the unthinkable and the withdrawal is ten times worse.  Her mom decides to take her to the only place she knows that can help her and her is where the true story takes off.

The whole Eclipse village was strange from the get go and screamed cult to me.  I was completely fascinated by it all and I kept wanting to know more about this strange place.  Everything about it felt wrong and I won't lie I got extremely frustrated with Kenna because she didn't push hard enough to get her answers.  Yes these people were like her, but how did they all become this way?  How did Rebekah figure all this stuff out?  I had loads of my own questions, but I just wanted Kenna to get hers answered. She does eventually get a few answered, but it a little too late for her and by the time they are answered I was completely frazzled.

This is where I'll talk about what I wanted throughout this book.
1) A glossary with pronunciation.  There aren't a ton of words that were created for this world, but the ones that were thrown in I found myself stumbling over them. For some I am sure they were easy, but for me I had a hard time and it would have been nice to have an explanation.
2) The love triangleish thing could really have been put aside.  I'm not a fan of romance these days, but I liked the one between Kenna and Blake. It was extremely believable and sweet so I hated when another guy came into the picture.  It was unnecessary and I wish that extra page time would have been spent answering questions.
3) I would have loved more backstory.  The Eclipse village really intrigued me and I would have loved to have read more about the origins.  I think the author could have thrown so much more in and readers (ME) would have ate it up!! It would have also helped to fill in a lot of plot holes that I know weren't meant to be actual plot holes.
4) This relates to the whole backstory thing too actually.  I am so confused as to how Kenna received this gift, but her twin sister did not.  And also did her mom know it would be passed down to her??  If so why in the world would she do that to her own daughter??  See so many loose ends that could have been tied up with just a few simple pages. I have a full page of questions like these and it's driving me crazy.
5) The whole drug thing was weird and I am mean WEIRD!  I totally get where the author was trying to go, but once again I just needed more information.  Will Kenna always feel high when she takes anima?  My understanding is when that high runs out she instantly craves it so how is she supposed to live while addicted to anima?  I know I know more questions.

I think that's the important things so I'll stop there.  I don't want to get ranty because I really did enjoy this story.  Kenna needed to be stronger and she did bother me, but the story itself is what kept me invested even when I wanted to kick Kenna.  So I'm definitely going with 4 stars even though this review does sound a bit ranty. I just want more and in this circumstance it's not a bad thing.  I am hoping that one day we will get a novella with all my questions answered.  I can guarantee that I will not ever forget this book so even if its 10 years from now I will still want it.

4 snowflakes

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One True LovesOne True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Release Date: June 7th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick and a "Best Book of the Summer" by Glamour and USA TODAY—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

My Thoughts:
Rating clarification: 10 perfect stars

I think that perhaps everyone has a moment that splits their life in two. When you look back on your own timeline, there’s a sharp spike somewhere along the way, some event that changed you, changed your life, more than others. A moment that creates a “before” and an “after.”

Oh my… let me tell you the feels of this story was epic! I’ve been a fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid since the first book I came across, but One True Loves has cemented my feelings about Reid being a gifted author. What an amazing story! I know it’s still early in the year, but I’m pretty confident One True Loves will be my favorite book of 2016. Without a doubt!

In this story, we meet Emma Blair at a time in her life when she’s finally found a way to move on from the death of her husband Jesse Lerner, who disappeared in a tragic helicopter accident in the Alaska. Having mourned Jesse’s lose for several years, Emma took a chance at love again and reconnected with her high school friend Sam Kemper. They have begun to build a life for themselves and Emma’s evolved into a whole new person… one that’s decided to return and stay in her hometown Boston and take over the family business. As Sam and Emma begin to plan their wedding, she receives a call that will throw her life into a tailspin.

Jesse is alive and headed back home…

Just when I thought love triangles had become cliché, Taylor Jenkins Reid puts a whole new spin on having two true loves. I’ve never been a fan of the “love triangle” technique used as the main plot device for a story, BUT let me tell you… TJR has redefined what love triangles should be and how they should be used. I was amazed with her story telling talent!! Reid created a tragic mess where I was torn apart wondering how in the hell she was going to fix the debacle she created. In the end, I just put my trust in her that she would bring me safely back to sanity.

I loved Emma Blair as the main character in this story. She narrated her journey with a voice filled with the perfect mix of confidence, fear, uncertainty, confusion and ultimately growth. It was clear how much Emma evolved from the beginning to the end of this story. Loved her!

I was as much conflicted between Jesse and Sam as Emma was! I’d like to consider myself a patient reader, but I could not even tell you how many times I was tempted to sneak a peek at the end to see how this would end! I loved them both.. in different ways.

I adored Jesse for driving Emma to be the wanderer she longed to be in her youth. With him, Emma traveled and explored exciting places around the world. Life with him was exciting!

At the same time, I fell head over heels for Sam. He reconnected with Emma at a time in her life when she needed security, a solid foundation and the sense of what home and family means to someone. He was a solid rock that promised a fulfilling future.

I don’t think true love means your only love. I thing true love means loving truly.

Both amazing characters that created the best told love triangle novel an author can ever imagine crafting for a reader like me that becomes vested in the characters and story like I do. Emotional!!

So yes... I will mark this down right now as my favorite book for 2016. I’m that confident another author will not move me as much as Taylor Jenkins Reid did with this epic experience!!!!

People aren’t stagnant. We evolve in reaction to our pleasure and our pains.

 5 snowflakes

Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman

Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman
Publisher - Balzer + Bray
Released - May 3rd 2016
Pre-order - Amazon / B&N
Six years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects.

Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Although she does not dare object, she suspects that he’s training her for a mission whose purpose she cannot fathom.

Until one night the reason becomes clear: the king’s man arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford, accompanied by her father’s mysterious young houseguest, Antonio Vivani, a darkly handsome Italian scientist who surprises her at every turn. Funny, brilliant, and passionate, Antonio seems just as determined to protect her father as she is—but can she trust him with her heart?

When the two discover that Milton has planted an explosive secret in the half-finished Paradise Lost—a secret the king and his aristocratic supporters are desperate to conceal—Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father…and tear apart the very fabric of society.

My Thoughts:

Anne Blankman's third novel Traitor Angels proved to me that sometimes, going into a book blind without knowing anything about it can be VERY VERY good thing. I usually do a lot of research about books before I pick them up, which is not only time consuming (and takes time away from reading), but also means that I often decide not to read books that could end up being really awesome! I know that if I would have read the synopsis for Traitor Angels I probably would have passed it, just because I am not a huge historical YA reader, but now that I have devoured the novel, I am thinking I should leave synopsis unread more often.

To begin with, I think it would be good to mention that I haven't read Milton's Paradise Lost. I am one of those people who keeps saying that I should read it, but I don't actually know when or if that will actually happen. Blankman's novel definitely gave me a nudge to finally pick it up, but we'll see... Also, it probably would be good to mention that I have never really been interested in English history, except in Jane Austen and the society and customs her novels deal with. Because of that disinterest, I haven't picked historical novels set in England to read very often, but after reading Traitor Angels I feel I maybe should give that setting a chance a bit too often.

Elizabeth Milton is one of the four daughters of John Milton, once a famous political writer, now pretty much a prisoner in his home, shunned by the monarchy and the society in general. Blind and frail, John Milton spends his days reciting Paradise Lost to his daughter Elizabeth to whom he has taught languages and much more. As a result of her father's education of her, Elizabeth is much more learned that other young women around her, as a result of which her dreams about her future are very different to those her sisters have - rather than dreaming of marriage and comfort, Elizabeth dreams of being an astronomer, of doing research, of getting a position only men are seen to hold in the scientific community.

When the Kings men arrive in Elizabeth's home and take her father away, Elizabeth quickly realizes that all the education she has gone through has actually been her father training her for something. She also begins to quickly understand that Paradise Lost might be more than just a poem and starts to look for clues from within the text. With the help of Antonio Vivani, a mysterious house guest who shows up just before the kings men do, Elizabeth travels to Oxford, and from there to London determined to free her father before he is hanged.

The chemistry between Elizabeth and Antonio is TANGIBLE and SLOW BURNING and HOT and so damn SWOON WORTHY. Antonio is perfectly cheeky and charming and never expects Elizabeth to act like other women of her time. He understands her dreams for her future and in many ways helps Elizabeth realize what she really wants - and with whom. Antonio is funny, intelligent, protective and passionate, so pretty much a kind of guy you will have a very hard time resisting.

If you love strong, independent, intelligent female characters, look no further, because Elizabeth is all that. I absolutely adored her determination to do what she does and the way she conducts herself in order to gain what she wants and needs. She does not instantly love with Antonio - she does not even trust him at first. She questions the motivations of those willing to help her, because in the end, why would they want to help an old blind man without gaining something out of it themselves? In addition to being well-taught, she is trained in sword-fighting, which just adds to her level of awesomeness.

As mentioned, I am not familiar with Paradise Lost, but luckily that didn't take anything away from the novel. I love how Blankman has been able to make Milton's classic available for a wider pool of readers through this novel, and I have a feeling a lot of people who read this will be picking up Paradise Lost afterwards. Though there are actual historical figures in this novel, like Milton himself, Traitor Angels is a work of fiction. I am floored by the way Blankman has used her imagination to weave in different events from the history with Paradise Lost and these wonderful characters she has created.

Traitor Angels is extremely well research, written, paced and characterized. Once I started reading it, I had a very difficult time putting it down. It offers a perfect blend of action, romance, character relationships and history. In addition, it is a standalone novel, which I appreciate, because I have a very hard time keeping up with series. Honestly, there is nothing negative I can say about it, expect maybe that I wish that I would have never ended, because it has been a while since I have been this invested with a story and a set of characters.

5 Snowflakes

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Review: Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Jane SteeleJane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: March 22nd, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
Reader, I murdered him.

A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked - but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London's underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate's true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household's strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him - body, soul and secrets - and what if he discovers her murderous past?
My Thoughts:
This was not my usual read, but the idea behind it really intrigued me so I picked Jane Steele up without any expectations.  This proved to be a good thing, but I ended up really liking this one.

The story is sort of what the description says.  In the story we have Jane Steele who meets some unfortunate individuals and thus takes matters into her own hands more than once.  The first time happened as an accident, but it sparked something inside Jane that changed her forever.  How could murder not change a person?  Jane let it change her in more ways than one and throughout the story we see her be as calculating as a serial killer and as cunning as a thief all the while keeping one step ahead of any danger to herself. 

Her road was not an easy one though. After the death of her mother she finds herself at a horrible school ruled by a madman who punishes students gleefully all the while naming the punishments as an act of God.  I was worried that the story would stall here and that the religious aspect would take center stage, but it did not thankfully.  The story does gain a lot of speed in this section and we see Jane grow into who she will ultimately become in those school walls, but er true adventure starts after her and her best friend flee.

Here's the thing though. I really got into the story up until the last 3/4 or so.  At that point another side story took center stage and I felt myself becoming more and confused by historical facts and names.  I am not a history buff so all this was WAY over my head.  I just kept wishing the story would stay focused on Jane and her life.  As I sit here writing this review I still can't tell you what really happened during the war that was described.  I found it hard keeping up with the details with the writing style.  Which is something else that took me a very long time to get used to.  This wasn't a bad thing just something that slowed me down.  It was very downtown abbyish and very classic like if that makes any sense.  I found I could not skim or read fast because there were so many word puzzles.  By the end I liked this because it did suit the story, but I feel like this will turn a lot of people off.

In the end I did like this like I said. The characters were all interesting and I found myself rooting for Jane and her love interest.  I would have liked a better ending for her and Rebecca though.  I felt like Rebecca kind of got the yucky end of that deal and even though I was mad at her for what she did I don't think she deserved that ending.  I don't like big bows tied around every plot line, but for that one I really wanted one.

I think it that I haven't read Jane Eyre.  Yes I know that's not something I should openly admit, but I haven't.  I have read other reviews stating that this isn't close to the original classic so I am glad I didn't have anything to compare it to.  So if you have read the original just bewarned that this is different from what I have been told.  This story in my opinion will definitely stand on it's own though so you shouldn't be worried about that.

4 snowflakes

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Review: Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr

Seven Black DiamondsSeven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: March 1st, 2016
Purchase: Amazon

Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds—and the people who must thrive there. The combination of ethereal fae powers, tumultuous romance, and a bloodthirsty faery queen will have longtime fans and new readers alike at the edge of their seats.
Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal—she's half human, half fae, and since the time before she was born her very blood has been illegal. A war has been raging between humans and faeries, and the Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of the fae courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir due to the actions of reckless humans.
Lily's father has always shielded her from the truth, but when she's sent to the prestigious St. Columba's school, she's delivered straight into the arms of a fae Sleeper cell—the Black Diamonds. The Diamonds are planted in the human world as the sons and daughters of the most influential families, and tasked with destroying it from within. Against her will, Lilywhite's been chosen to join them . . . and even the romantic attention of the fae rock singer Creed Morrison isn't enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the familiar world she knows.
My thoughts:
I love Melissa Marr. I have been waiting and waiting for her to release another fae book and Seven Black Diamonds was amazing!!!  Marr always manages to amaze me and this book was pure brilliance!

This new fae world is different than her last in my opinion.  It felt more like a kingdom than her previous ones and for me at least it was a whole new spin on her lore.  I really enjoyed it and I thought it brought something new and fresh to her audience.  The story included a whole new cast of characters who I loved fiercely and brought an interesting plot line that kept me on my toes the entire time!

The story centers around Lilywhite.  She is fae-blood and in her world that is punishable by death so she keeps her secret to herself with the only exception being her father who just happens to be a drug lord.  See interesting from the start right?!  This story has so many different lines that I won't lie were a little hard to keep up with, but they all blended well together so even when I didn't totally grasp something I knew later I would get it. 

I think one of my favorite things about this book was the way Marr created her characters.  We don't have the annoying love triangle even though she could have put one in, we also finally get a heroine who has the training and logic to fight.  I hate when the whole damsel in distress pops up and then all of a sudden knows how to fight.  How did she learn??!  Lily from the get go knew how to handle herself and I think adding that her family was basically the mob was brilliant.  It set her up so that when she had to fight we as the readers knew she could.  I loved this!

I also really loved the rest of the characters!  They were fun and deep and I honestly can't wait to see where they go from where the book ended.  I like that they all had there own problems, but they were there for one another when it counted.  I hope this stays true for the rest of the series.

I'm really curious how the next book will play out.  I can't wait to see more from The Hidden Lands and since I love all things dark and twisty I can't wait to see what the Queen of Blood and Rage has up her sleeve.  She was definitely one of the reasons I kept reading.  Her character showed no mercy and she was truly one to be feared. I hope Marr keeps her this way!!

The one and only thing that bothered me was the whole Abernathy Commandments.  Lily repeated these constantly and it got to be a little much. I get that they were showing the reader her calculating side, but after the first ten times I really didn't need them recited.

I really loved this book and after a string of books that failed me and I am so glad I read this one. It showed me that some authors will always deliver and that Marr still holds a spot in my top five favorite authors of all time!

5 snowflakes