Review: Breakable by Aimee L. Salter

Publisher:  Aimee L. Salter

Genre: YA Realistic Fiction, bullying

Series: None

Pages: 340 (eBook)

Release Date: November 4, 2013

Rating: 071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png

Summary from Goodreads:

When seventeen-year-old Stacy looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her future self. “Older Me” has been Stacy’s secret support through the ongoing battle with their neurotic mother, relentless bullying at school, and dealing with her hopeless love for her best friend, Mark. 

Then Stacy discovers Older Me is a liar.

Still reeling from that betrayal, Stacy is targeted again by her most persistent tormentor. Only this time, he’s used her own artwork to humiliate her – and threaten her last chance with Mark.

She’s reached breaking point.

Literally.

__________________________________

coffee to goCoffee To Go: Well, it kept me up until 4:30am the night before an 8am test. It was that intriguing. Stacy makes you want to fight for her. She’s not a pushover. Salter is great at believable plot twists; the story never got boring for me. The most accurate description? Raw. On every level.

Characters—

Stacy: I wouldn’t say I necessarily liked her. I always support fighters who are direct in their approach and Stacy wasn’t that. But I definitely empathized with her; my heart went out to her and her conflicts within herself and with other characters are very realistic.

Older Me: At some times, very enigmatic. I liked it. At others, it seemed like I could see right through her. I think Salter did a great job making Older Me a character full of intrigue, uncertainty, and foreshadowing.

Mark: Oh, so clueless, boyish, and…realistic! As the reader, I didn’t see Mark the way Stacy sees him. Instead, I saw the way Stacy saw him and I saw the way the rest of the world would see him. (That’s a lot of “saws”). Anyway, I really respected Salter for making Mark a round character whom one might actually meet in a high school. He’s not some formulaic love interest full of mystery and unrequited love and brooding, yet he still cares deeply for Stacy. In short, I adore the mistakes he makes!

Finn: Can we not discuss him? Like, is he worthy to be deemed human? Finn, Stacy’s most enthusiastic tormentor, needs an attitude check and a life. He’s awful—almost too awful to be believable. I can’t decide whether that’s a flaw or a strength.

The Themes—

I didn’t feel like Salter communicated any strong themes in Breakable, but I did get a sense of some definite ideas. I think this book is a good lesson to people about what really goes on in the mind of someone who is bullied. It also reminds us of the importance of showing compassion to those teenagers. Honestly, I was beyond angry at everyone in the book who blames Stacy for being bullied. …Then, very guiltily, I realized that I would probably have a similar mindset. Wow. Reality check.

Final Thoughts—

I usually don’t review for self-published authors, but I’m really glad I reviewed for Aimee. She’s a brilliant writer—especially when it comes to plots—and has a lot of potential. Something tells me this will be the first of several novels with which readers will identify. I highly recommend that you read Breakable. You can buy it here for only a couple bucks. It’s definitely worth it.

**The author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way.

Cover Reveal! Seconds Before Sunrise

Author Shannon Thompson brings us back into Eric and Jessica’s enchanting world with her sequel to Minutes Before Sunset! I have one word: FINALLY. Since finishing Minutes Before Sunset, I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Seconds Before Sunrise, which is why I am thrilled that Shannon has allowed me to be a part of her cover reveal for SBS.

Quick note for ya: Seconds Before Sunrise releases on March 22, 2014. Mark your calendars, folks! I know it will be on my blog’s Book Release calendar, which can be found on the right sidebar. Below is a quick synopsis of SBS.

Two nightmares. One memory.
 
“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”
 
Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.
Here is your fact for Shannon’s scavenger hunt–and just below that is what I know you’ve all been waiting for: the gorgeous cover for Seconds Before Sunrise! Helloooo Eric. What a cutie. The cover is, according to Shannon, strategically designed to represent humanity, which will be the book’s overarching theme. Yes, please! Okay, enough of my musings. Fact time and cover time!

Fact #29 Eric’s last name “Welborn” is purposeful irony—“well born.”

Seconds Before Sunrise

Did you like the cover? Comment your thoughts! If you did like it, check out more info at Goodreads or at Shannon Thompson’s website!
-coffeeshopreader

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Children’s 

Genre: YA High Fantasy

Series: Throne of Glass

Pages: 420, Hardcover

Release Date: August 27th, 2013

Rating: 071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png 

Summary from Goodreads:

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

__________________________________

coffee to goCoffee To Go: CoM most definitely does not fall into the second book slump. The world gets much more mysterious and the stakes get higher. Maas’ writing is beautiful and captures her characters’ emotions perfectly. I feel like I love this book so much that all of its perfect aspects blend together. If you liked Throne of Glass, you will most definitely be hooked on Crown of Midnight.

 Characters—

Celaena: She goes through some serious trials in CoM and grows quite a bit. I got to see much more depth in her. I liked her in Throne of Glass, but she seemed very similar to other fantasy female protagonists. In CoM, she veers off onto her own path. You’ll get to see so many different sides of her, some good, some…not so good. If Celaena was real, I know that I would want to be her friend!

Chaol: Torn between his feelings for Celaena and his duty to the King, this guy has a lot on his hands. He makes some mistakes in CoM, but those mistakes only make me love him even more because they make him human. Basically, all I can say about Chaol is… *sigh*

Dorian: At the beginning of CoM, he was kind of just…there. I wondered why Maas continued to keep him as a main character, but she has her reasons, and let me tell you: they are good! He’s still kind of a pansy, but I admire his growth and budding bravery.

Nehemia: So pretty much she’s awesome. Her web of secrets gets bigger and bigger and, well, you shall have to find out the rest by reading! No spoilers!

The World—

Maas continues to unveil new surprises and plot twists that relate to the mysterious events of Throne of Glass. Maas describes the narrator’s actions so capably that the reader gets a clear mental image of the narrator’s surroundings. I loved getting to finally see more of Rifthold too! Maas is just really talented at world-building. In high fantasy, worlds have to be fantastical (of course), but also believable. If a world is completely ridiculous, people aren’t going to care about it or its people. Maas accomplishes both crazy fantasy elements and highly believable elements.

Final Thoughts—

If I could get you to read ONE sentence from my review, it’s this: Maas’ prose is absolutely beautiful. The depth of emotion she creates with words astounds me. Without spoiling anything, I will say that you will get your heart broken if you care about these characters. I experienced moments of swooning and moments of eye-rolling and moments of clutching the book to my chest. Get lost in this beautiful and deadly world! Oh, and don’t forget about the triple POVs. Maas uses third person and switches primarily between Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian. It definitely adds to the story.

Memorable Quotes—

“She did not have a beautiful voice. And many of the words sounded like half-sobs, the vowels stretched by the pangs of sorrow, the consonants hardened by anger. She beat her breast in time, so full of savage grace, so at odds with the black gown and veil she wore….the lament poured from her mouth, unearthly and foreign, a song of grief so old…”

“’Why are you crying?’ ‘Because,’ she whispered, her voice shaking, “you remind me of what the world ought to be. What the world can be.’”

***A HUGE thank you to Literary Lushes for allowing me to be a part of their ARC tour! Go check them out! :)***

Review: Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publisher: Entangled TEEN

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Series:  Lux #4

Pages: 400

Release Date: August 27th, 2013

Rating: 071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png

Summary from Goodreads:

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

__________________________________

coffee to goCoffee To Go: Love, love, loved it! Readers can expect more depth in relationships and higher stakes. Aliens just got real in this riveting novel—if you want more Daemon, here he is! I devoured Origin.

ENSUE GUSHING:

So…I can gladly say that Jennifer blew my very high expectations out of the water. First of all, we get Daemon’s snarky, funny, and tender viewpoint for about half of the book. We can check alternating Daemon/Katy POVs off of the “awesomeness” list. And those plot twists! I was shocked by almost all of them. This book is nearly impossible to put down. The depth of Daemon and Katy’s relationship is beautiful. I mean, their kisses were kind of perfect too…*swoon*

I really like how Jennifer touches on some deeper topics, such as the definition of humanity and humane treatment, etc. without making the book feel too heavy. Origin brought forth a wealth of emotions from me: I laughed out loud, I rolled my eyes, and I cried—there was a point in the book (I will not say where) that I knelt on my knees so upset that I could not breathe normally.

Another little fun tidbit for those of you who have read Obsession, I definitely squealed when Hunter made an appearance. I was all like, “I know him! OMG Daemon, he’s a good guy!” and basically had a fangirl freakout. I do have an issue with one thing: Jennifer writes too slowly. The cliffhanger she leaves you with is absolutely torturous. Why Opposition isn’t out until almost a year, I do not know. I need it. Like, now.

If you even moderately liked any of the other Lux books, you will love this one. I think that this is her best one yet—it takes the readers higher and lower and farther than any of Katy and Daemon’s previous adventures. Do yourself a favor and start reading it already. If you need to start the entire series, go get Obsidian and get on this train!

Memorable Quotes—

“I don’t expect a normal life. I just expect a life with you.” –Kat

“I’ll burn down the world to save her.” –Daemon

“Sometimes words were cheap. They could be powerful, but in those rare occasions like now, words meant nothing.”

Review: Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

Publisher: Walker Childrens

Genre: Children/YA Fiction, Paranormal

Series:  No

Pages: 368 (Hardcover)

Release Date: September 3rd, 2013

Rating: 071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png

Summary from Goodreads:

Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she’s in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

__________________________________

coffee to goCoffee To Go: Trippy, full of the “How did I not see that coming?!” plot twists, a sweet romance, and a very real, interesting and complex villain, Conjured kept my attention until the end. My biggest problem: I didn’t have a problem putting it down. I wasn’t at all bored throughout the book, but I also didn’t fall in love with the characters. I’ll be honest; I probably won’t purchase it for my personal bookshelf. However, I think this book NEEDS to be in middle and high school libraries. It’s fun fiction with a powerful message.

Thoughts—

I tried and tried to use my normal review format and, well, it just wasn’t working for Conjured. This book is much too trippy for that. Before I get into my actual review, let me say that I debated giving this book 3 cups based on my review policy, but the book’s overall message is what pushed it to the 3.5 cup mark. I loved the ending.

Where do I begin? Eve is a very unique protagonist, to say the least. I haven’t read many books in which the narrator struggles with huge amounts of memory loss, but Durst portrays Eve in a way that you really understand her frustration. The problem? Nobody will tell her why she can’t remember anything. As a reader, I got a glimpse into how terrible amnesia truly is. Imagine having to rely on everyone around you—including those in which you have zero trust—to tell you what has happened in your own life because you can’t remember weeks at a time. Yeah. It sucks. On another note, most of you probably know that I LOVE character growth, especially in the protagonist. Eve grows tremendously. The worst part? I can’t even tell you the true depth of her growth right now because I’d be giving away the biggest secret. Ugh. Let’s just say that Eve learns what humanity is made of.

Pretend that you’re part of a witness protection program and a chunk of your teenage years have been either lost in a memory-black-hole or spent inside of a hideous government building. Boom, you’re Eve. You know what you miss out on? BOYS. Until you get a job working at the local library and you meet a quirky, adorable boy that tells you that he wants to kiss you five minutes after you’ve met him. Enter Zach! You will fall in love with him. He’s easily one of my favorite parts of Conjured. He stands for normalcy and innocence. He’s silly and adores Eve and will put a smile on your face. Eve’s dreams act as foreshadowing devices and give the reader creepy circus imagery. If you like circus imagery, you will probably like Conjured. Durst’s use of dreams in the novel really complements her use of memory loss. Eve’s dreams give the reader (and herself) just enough glimpses into her past to stir intrigue.

Let’s talk about the villain(s). When I met them, I was flabbergasted. Yes, I used that word. Many villains have an identity throughout most of the story and appear strongly and briefly in the story’s climax, but these villains stay shrouded in mystery until late in the plot. When the villains appear, the reader gets to know them rather intimately. The ending pages of the novel were high on emotion and character self-discovery.

Oh, and the cover didn’t make sense until after I read it. I think it was more of an “Oh, duh” moment for me though.

Memorable Quotes—

“She thought about teasing him, saying the car was blushing in embarrassment at the gouge in its paint—that seemed like something he’d like her to say. But maybe she’d already made that joke.”

“’You said you’re enjoying kissing one of them?’ ‘Is that unusual?’ Eve asked. ‘I thought that was the point of kissing.’” (Such matter-of-factness!)

“His innocent fearlessness was beautiful, and she wanted suddenly to feel that fearlessness too.”

 ***This book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: