Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

7th Nov 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Review: Timekeeper by Tara SimTimekeeper by Tara Sim
Series: Timekeeper #1
Published by Sky Pony Press
Pub Date: November 8th 2016
Pages: 368
Format: ARC | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, LGBT, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Two o’clock was missing. 

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

Let’s start off with a disclaimer: Tara’s agent is one of my very good friends and she was nice enough to lend me an ARC for review, but that in no way affected the honesty of my review or my enjoyment of the book. In some ways, it added a lot of pressure!! Luckily, I needn’t have worried- I loved everything about this book and was pulled in from the very first page.

 

The writing is superb and I love the alternate London with its steampunk elements. It wasn’t too different, just different enough. I loved the historical details.  And I love the mythology behind the clocks and clock spirits! The short interludes with mythology were wonderful and it showed another layer of Sims’ writing and imagination.

Most of all, I loved the characters, especially Danny. They felt so alive and richly drawn. Poor Danny, with the weight of the world crushing his shoulders. His home life is a bit of a shambles, but he loves his apprenticeship, even if most people dislike how fast he’s climbed the ranks- he can’t help that he’s so talented and unique. The fact that he could repair time was such a great addition. He’s stubborn and determined, and has a bit of a Potter streak to him when it comes to solving mysteries and sticking his nose where it might not belong. But he’s endearing and I love his friendship with Cassie. And Colton is quite the cinnamon roll! He’s such a bittersweet character, this spirit pulsing with energy and warmth who loves his clock tower but who wants to experience life (and love) outside his tower.

 

And the rooooomance!! Ahh! Colton and Danny’s relationship was so great, very Casper in some ways, and very sweet despite the myriad of obstacles (with lots of kissing!).  In fact, Danny kisses and flirts more than I expected in this book, and it is excellent. There aren’t any triangles but sometimes you kiss the wrong person before you get to kiss the right one, especially when said person is a spirit. I liked that Danny’s sexuality was part of his story but not the crux of his story.

 

The action really ramps up in the second half and it’s all very exciting and tragic. I couldn’t imagine how the book was so long and part of a series, but now I already want more! The pacing was excellent and it felt magical and charming. There’s so much to this world and these characters. I’ve only read The Archived but I can see fans of Victoria Schwab loving this, along with fans of historical fiction mixed with a bit of fantasy, adventure, friendship, and swoony lovely ships :D

 

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Memory of After by Lenore Appelhans

21st Dec 2015 Rubi @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Rubi

Review: The Memory of After by Lenore AppelhansThe Memory of After by Lenore Appelhans
Series: The Memory Chronicles #1
Published by Simon & Schuster BFYR
Pub Date: September 3rd 2013
Pages: 281
Format: Paperback | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2 Stars

Ever since she was killed in a car accident just before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in the afterlife. She spends the endless hours uploading and re-watching memories from her time on Earth, missing the people she left behind - especially her boyfriend, Neil.

That all changes when Julian, a dangerously charming acquaintance from Felicia's life, appears in her memory chamber. He offers her a chance to escape: If Felicia joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angels in charge of Level 2, she'll be free to move on. Wary of trusting Julian, Felicia only agrees when he promises her the chance to be with Neil again. But there's more to this battle than anyone, even Julian, knows, and Felicia finds herself at the center of an eternal struggle between good and evil.

I’ll start off by saying that The Memory of After is a lot more religious & fantasy than I originally thought it would be. The story is told from Felicia’s point of view and takes place in what is referred to as Phase 2.

Phase 2 is the equivalent to a Catholic’s Purgatory. It’s a sort of “limbo” where souls go after they pass, and they remain here until they have come to terms with their deaths. The setup for this Phase 2 world is described as a beehive-like structure, and the copy I read from even had a map, but it just didn’t match at all with the descriptions in the book which only made the world harder to visualize.

In this Phase 2, souls spend their time in pods where they play back memories from when they were alive. The whole memories concept works like YouTube. Basically, you can share your memories with others and collect credits every time someone watches your memories. You could tag your memories with key phrases that you think will attract an audience and the more your videos are played, the more credits you would earn. Since Felicia, our main character, did a lot of traveling when she was alive, she has racked up plenty of credits which she can then use to watch other’s memories.

Anther concept I really enjoyed was that of the Morati and how they came to be. They are the angels that watch over everyone in Phase 2. The idea of them holding a grudge against their creator and doing things to retaliate was brilliant! This book is like nothing I’ve read before. With that being said, I was disappointed that this idea wasn’t fully thought out. A lot of the explanations made little to no sense to me and I felt confused more than once.

My biggest problem with The Memory of After was the character building. I just couldn’t connect to any of the characters. Not one. I thought our main character, Felicia, was very immature and a horrible friend. Also, I couldn’t understand her obsession with Neil who she knew/dated when she was still alive for a little more than 12 minutes. The whole thing just seemed odd to me. Julian’s character was okay, but he could’ve been killed off and I wouldn’t have been bothered.

Overall, I thought it was a super cool idea for a book and bonus points for being different from anything I’ve read before, but I couldn’t connect with any of the characters & the world building was really poor. I checked out Chasing Before from my public library, so I might still read book 2 just to see this story’s conclusion

Rubi @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

30th Nov 2015 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: Chasing River by K.A. TuckerChasing River by K.A. Tucker
Series: Burying Water #3
Published by Atria Books
Pub Date: July 7th 2015
Pages: 322
Format: Paperback | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Armed with two years' worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn't let her die, but he also couldn't risk being identified at the scene—so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move.

Maybe it's because he saved her life, or maybe it's because he's completely different from everything she's left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone.

And River isn't the kind of guy she'd want to catch.

Amber Welles has spent years saving up for a trip around the world. Amber is a nurse and the twin sister of Jesse Welles, who was a main character in Burying Water. She is finally taking the trip of a lifetime to see the world, and now she’s in Ireland. While she’s there she gets into a dangerous situation and is saved by a mysterious stranger, a stranger she just can’t seem to forget.

K.A. Tucker is one of my favorite New Adult authors. I just love her stories and can’t get enough of this series. I love getting to explore the new characters as well as getting little glimpses as to how the other characters are doing after their stories have ended. Amber was introduced in Burying Water and it’s nice to see more of her. Amber has always been the good girl, the sheriff’s daughter, and no one actually believed she would take this trip on her own and leave her small town. She ends up proving them all wrong.

River is the mysterious stranger that saves Amber’s life. I really enjoyed his character and the way there was so much history incorporated in his story. I actually learned a lot about Irish history and the IRA from reading this book. Especially considering the only thing I knew about the IRA is what I saw on Sons of Anarchy.

I liked the way the romance developed between Amber and River. They are an unlikely couple, but are perfect for each other at the same time. I mean, who wouldn’t fall for a guy that saves your life? River has a lot of secrets and family drama going on and Amber has to decide whether or not she’s okay with it all. There’s really good suspense and drama in this story and sometimes it really had you at the edge of your seat and worried about the fates of the different characters.

Chasing River is another K.A. Tucker hit for me. She just can’t seem to do any wrong in my eyes. I really loved the romance and each of the main characters. This is a great installment of the series. A fresh, new story that had me entertained and engaged from start to finish.

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

22nd Apr 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Bitsy Words, FlightsofFantasy2015, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Bitsy Words: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

Bitsy Words: The Orphan Queen by Jodi MeadowsThe Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Pub Date: March 10th 2015
Pages: 400
Format: ARC | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

Top 5 Things I Loved About The Orphan Queen!

 

Unputdownable Status

It started out a tad slowly for me but I hit a point near the middle where The Orphan Queen became unputdownable. TRUST. I couldn’t read it fast enough.

 

Masked Hot Guy Vigilante Alert!!

How do I know he’s hot if he’s masked, you ask? Because there’s only the hot guy kind when it comes to masked vigilantes, okay?! BATMAN, heeelllloooo! It wasn’t too difficult for me to figure out who was behind the mask, but I enjoyed every second of it. And the big reveal was SO GOOD. It was subtle, but oh so good.

 

Undercover Hijinks

Ok, so maybe not so hilarious, but funtimes were had! Our Orphan Queen, Wil, infiltrates the castle and doesn’t totally hate it. There’s dancing and spying and handsome guys. What’s not to love? Oh! Yeah. That royal family murdered her parents in front of her. No big.

 

Forbidden Magic


The use of magic has been outlawed but Wil is not afraid to use it in times of need. Still, it’s a secret she’s kept very close and no one knows about it… for a while anyway. There’s a lot more going on with this toward the end of the book, and I can’t wait to see how it changes things.

 

CLIFFHANGER ENDING MUCH?!

I can see how this might not make you run out and get this book, BUT YOU’RE WRONG. You DO want to read this now! Even if Jodi Meadows is playing with our emotions…

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

29th Oct 2014 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2014, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: Magnolia by Kristi CookMagnolia by Kristi Cook
Published by Simon & Schuster
Pub Date: August 5th 2014
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

 

Magnolia was a great surprise. I’ve seen this book described as a Romeo and Juliet story in reverse and that is exactly what it is. Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden come from two families that have been friends for generations. The Caffertys and Marsdens have been tied together by friendship for generations but never by marriage. Finally Jemma and Ryder are born and their parents start planning their future. Instead of trying to keep them apart their families have been pushing them together since they were babies. Their mothers have their whole lives planned for them, but Jemma and Ryder have no intentions of going with that plan. First of all they hate each other and secondly both of them have their own dreams that are nothing like the ones their parents have set out for them.

The story is told from Jemma’s point of view. Right away we see her frustration with her family and the path they’ve set out for her. She hates Ryder not only because of the pressure from their families but because of events that happened years ago. Ryder seems just as annoyed with her and tries to avoid her as much as he can.

The parents in this book drove me crazy! It’s mostly the mothers who go overboard. It’s one thing to be involved in your chlid’s life, but it’s another to plan out their lives for them. Jemma and Ryder’s parents have been pushing them together since birth and no matter what either of them say they just keep on pushing. It’s a little crazy at some points. I definitely understood why Jemma was so against giving into their plans, no one ever asks Jemma or Ryder what they want and no matter how much they protest their mothers just won’t stop.

This book isn’t just about a love story. There’s a big hurricane that passes through their town that causes a lot of chaos and draws Jemma and Ryder closer together. During the hurricane Jemma’s family is away dealing with her older sister Nan, so of course the families decide it’s best if Ryder goes over to stay with Jemma during the storm. While the storm wrecks havoc on Magnolia, Jemma and Ryder are stuck and have no choice but to talk to each other and end up dealing with some of their issues.

If you want a fun, contemporary read this book is definitely for you. This story had my attention from beginning to end. It’s a sweet romance that isn’t too sappy or unrealistic.

 

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

28th Feb 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Opal by Jennifer L. ArmentroutOpal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #3
Published by Entangled Teen
Pub Date: December 11th 2012
Pages: 382
Format: Paperback | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

Opal was another crazy ride. This time you felt a something-bad-is-going-to-happen-isn’t-it vibe throughout the whole book! I was just waiting for it!

So in Opal there are some characters that are back. Some we’re happy about, others not so much. There’s a lot of working-with-the-enemy schemes going on, which doesn’t help the awful foreboding feeling that we get. I did like that there were a lot of scenes with everyone together. Even if we don’t like everyone, it’s still a cool, fun dynamic.

I again didn’t hate Daemon in this one. Even Katie didn’t frustrate me all that much! And I certainly loved seeing them alone together. I can’t deny they have lots of sparks. There’s even an intimate moment between the two that left me saying “WOWZERS!” I was glad I was reading this book along with Ginger so I could straight up ask her “Did Daemon just…?” Sometimes a girl needs to make sure she’s not making stuff up in her head. Haha.

The ending though. OH MY GAAAWD, that ending! All I could say was NOOOOOOO!! And then my heart broke when Daemon utters what we’ve all been waiting to hear. TEARS!! With that said, I’ll be very anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.

What Some Friends Had to Say About It…

Ginger @ GReads! – “Armentrout blends sci-fi/paranormal elements with contemporary romanitcal tension that has always been a favorite aspect for me to read in her books.”

Princess Ash @ Paranormal Indulgence – “Armentrout, WHAT THE CRAP do you expect me to do with my sad, irritable self until you decide we’re allowed to have the rest of the story?!”

Jessica @ a GREAT read – “There’s no question now that this series is my favorite JLA one!”

 

About Jennifer L. Armentrout

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford

21st Feb 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie StandifordHow to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
Published by Scholastic
Pub Date: October 1st 2009
Pages: 276
Format: Paperback | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

From bestselling author Natalie Standiford, an amazing, touching story of two friends navigating the dark waters of their senior year.

New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn't made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea, and soon they form an unexpected friendship. It's not romance, exactly - but it's definitely love. Still, Bea can't quite dispel Jonah's gloom and doom - and as she finds out his family history, she understands why. Can Bea help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?

How To Say Goodbye In Robot is one of those books whose writing is really incredible and different and engaging…but the characters drive you nuts!

Bea is a girl who may not know how special she is and ends up dating a guy who is not good for her. Teen me can totally relate to this. I know all about dating the wrong guy. So many times I yelled at Bea to just let Jonah go. Don’t get me wrong he cared about her, but not enough to try and work past his many problems. Jonah had a lot of issues and I did not particularly like him very much.

Bea’s family life was less than ideal. Her parents also had a lot of issues. We couldn’t really tell the extent of these issues until further in the book, but right off the bat you could tell something was off.

As for Bea herself, I liked her. I thought she was a great person with a huge heart and had a lot going for her. And even though she spends most of the book frustrating me, by the end she does wake up. In the end I felt I could imagine her happy, in college, with great friends.

There are several other characters in this book that kind of lighten up the novel. They are from this call-in radio program Bea and Jonah listen to. Sometimes they were totally off the wall, but like I said, it lightened it up.

Like I mentioned, the writing is really engaging and quirky, so you can be sure this book will have you turning page after page. But don’t be surprised if you find yourself upset for most of the book, even when you’re done. That’s how I felt, which is why my rating is in the middle. I say give it a go though. Maybe see if your library has it.

What Some Friends Had to Say About It…

Estelle @ Rather Be Reading – “In no way is this your typical high school YA and I think that’s why I loved it so much.

Rachel @ Hello, Chelly – “It’s a very well-written original novel from start to finish.

Liz @ Elizziebooks – “I really liked how Bea was written, her character, how it just progressed throughout the novel.

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

11th Feb 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-MillsBeautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
Published by Flux
Pub Date: October 8th 2012
Pages: 262
Format: Paperback | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

"This is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, on community radio 90.3, KZUK. I'm Gabe. Welcome to my show."

My birth name is Elizabeth, but I'm a guy. Gabe. My parents think I've gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know I'm right. I've been a boy my whole life.

When you think about it, I'm like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B side--not heard as often, but just as good.

It's time to let my B side play.

I loved that I knew who Gabe was without a doubt. He never once made me feel confused about the identity of the character I was reading. His voice was rang so true. Even with his certainty though, he’s very shy about it. This book is more about Gabe dealing with acceptance and about being more open and out.

His public radio program, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, is a huge help in getting Gabe out of his shell. He gets to put himself out there without having to actually be out there before he’s ready. And with his gaining popularity on the program, he starts getting attention from girls, but there’s always also going to be some closed-minded idiots that bring trouble. There’s just a lot to deal with, and it’s never easy, but the point is he’s trying and staying true to himself.

Music plays a HUGE role in this book. It’s almost like another character in the story. Lots of Elvis. And lots of other artists and bands you’re sure to know. I loved that Gabe had a mentor in John, his next door neighbor who used to be a radio DJ. Their relationship was so amazing, half the time I would forget that John was an old man. I guess coolness doesn’t go away with age. :)

Paige, Gabe’s best friend since forever, was exactly what a best friend should be like. Even when things started getting complicated for these two, I didn’t doubt her loyalty once. Gabe’s family took a little more warming up to than the rest of the characters. But Gabe’s revelation hit them hardest. At first I didn’t think that they’d ever come around, which made me really sad for him.

This is a story that will touch your heart. It’s unique and so well told. Don’t miss out.

What Some Friends Had to Say About It…

Estelle @ Rather Be Reading – “BMFUG is one of those books I wish could’ve gone on forever.”

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

28th Jan 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Prodigy by Marie LuProdigy by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #2
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Pub Date: January 29th 2013
Pages: 371
Format: ARC | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

I really wasn’t sure what direction Marie Lu would take in Prodigy, but it’s safe to say I wasn’t expecting to be punched in the gut at the end.

I really didn’t want to start by talking about the ending of this book, but it will not leave me! I had a feeling there had to be something HUGE coming when I was nearing the end, otherwise we probably could’ve wrapped up the series here. Not that everything is resolved, but there is some semblance of progress. I have a very bad feeling that there is no salvation for this particular turn of events. In fact, I’m resigning myself to the realization that my worst fear for this will come to pass. Am I going to hold out for a miracle? Well, of course! I WANT IT BADLY! But I can’t give my heart over to it, because it might kill me. WHY!?!? And that last page!!! I must confess, I cried in the end. That last page was so heart-wrenchingly beautiful.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system… *shakes it off*

Prodigy moved at a pretty steady pace. Not once did I feel a lull in this book. It’s intense, edge-of-your-seat action and nail-biting suspense. It felt like everything was in their hands from the moment I cracked the book open.

I thought June had impressed me in Legend…but that was nothing compared to how much I love that girl after reading Prodigy. While she was still her kick-ass self, in this book she was also so vulnerable. She still can’t express her feelings to Day, but you can see her trying. And maybe that’s why she’s so much better at sniffing out the BS than he is though. She lives by logic and intelligence, where Day is all passion and impulsivity. The question of whether they match very well comes up a few times. Are they perfect for one another? Probably not. But we can’t do much about it once our heart is set on someone.

That was actually one of my biggest frustrations with this story. Day. I love you, Day, but I wanted to slap some sense into you a few times during this book. His uncertainty was killing me!! There were moments with June where he really let me down. And don’t EVEN get me started about Tess. WTF?! Maybe I saw it coming from her…but, again, the uncertainty from Day?! DUDE! No. I was not cool about it. And this is actually funny to me because the synopsis makes it seem as if June might make a misstep. It doesn’t always have to be the girl who messes up, you know. Most of the time, it isn’t. Just sayin’! :P

I was really surprised by some of secondary characters in this book. I’ve already talked a little about how I wasn’t a huge fan of Tess in this book, but there’s one I LOATHED from Legend whose confession surprised me. I won’t give that one away. Then there’s Anden. I really liked him. I liked his personality and his ideals. I like that he’s a ruler who is strong but fair. He just needs a little help with the leading… Surprised by this? Yeah, I KNOW! So was I!

I don’t know how to wrap this up properly, but just know that this series is by far one of the best dystopians out there. And this sequel only elevated the series. No sophomore slump for Marie Lu. Nope!! You guys must read it. Meanwhile, I’ll just wait here with bated breathe until the release of the third book.

What Some Friends Had to Say About It…

Asheley @ Into the Hall of Books – “Prodigy by Marie Lu is solid. It’s a solid second-part in the series that pretty much everyone seems to love, and I completely stand behind the reasons for this.”

Elena @ Novel Sounds – “Dear Day and June, Have you heard communication is the key to success in any relationship?”

Giselle @ Xpresso Reads – “Prodigy lives up to its predecessor, maybe even surpassing it with the incredible progress in the world development–which was something I was a tad disappointed by in Legend.”

 

 

About Marie Lu

I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. I like food, fighter jets, afternoon tea, happy people, electronics, the interwebz, cupcakes, pianos, bright colors, rain, Christmas lights, sketches, animation, dogs, farmers’ markets, video games, and of course, books. I suck at working out. I also get lost very easily, but am a halfway decent driver. At least, I like to think so. :)

I left Beijing for the States in 1989 and went off to college at the University of Southern California. California weather sweet-talked me into sticking around, so I’m currently in Pasadena with my boyfriend, two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and a chihuahua mix. In my past life, I was an art director in the video game industry, but now I write full-time.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

17th Jan 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Onyx by Jennifer L. ArmentroutOnyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #2
Published by Entangled Teen
Pub Date: August 14th 2012
Pages: 366
Format: Paperback | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon.

Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

I will confess that I was NOT a fan of Daemon after Obsidian. I know, I know…I’m pretty much one of the very few who could not get past his meanness toward Katy. But…he was REALLY mean, you guys!! He made me cry for her in that cafeteria scene! Anyway, my point is that I went into Onyx reluctantly. And only on the assurance from friends that he got better…

Hi. My name is Jess, and I am now a fan of Daemon.

I know! How did this happen?! Well, mostly it was his obvious regret for the way he treated Katy in the previous book. Second, it was how much he obviously cared about her and wanted to be with her. Third, he showed us his nice, caring side A LOT more. He redeemed himself in my eyes!!! And in Katy’s, for that matter, but Katy is one stubborn girl.

Katy was terrified to trust him, to even be close to him, because of the way he had treated her. She was trying to be careful and not fall for him. So she spends a lot of the time pushing him away or keeping him at arm’s length (which isn’t always easy for her). But let me tell you…those moments where she gives in are explosive and steamy and totally awesome. And Daemon isn’t the only one who changes. In fact, Katy goes through crazy changes in this book. All of which were fascinating.

In Onyx we also get to learn a lot more about the Luxen’s time in DOD custody. Everyone discovers so many things no one knew before. So many secrets are uncovered, to the point where you don’t know who to trust by the end. The whole ride is completely exciting and certainly nail-biting.

The end of this book was such a rollercoaster of emotions! I was devastated, I was elated, I was in disbelief, I was happy. It was a lot! But I wouldn’t change a thing. Well maybe one thing. :’(

I am very much looking forward to reading Opal. I have a feeling is going to be even crazier than Onyx and I can’t wait!

What Some Friends Had to Say About It…

Ginger @ GReads! – “Jennifer Armentrout is a genius.  She will give you just enough to satisfy your taste and then walk away hungry for so much more… STARVING!”

Lisa @ Dizneeee’s World of Books – “I am seriously thinking that Jennifer Armentrout can do no wrong. Each book that I read of hers, I fall more in love with her writing and story-telling.”

Katie @ Mundie Moms – “Fans of Obsidian with love all they encounter in ONYX. This book is full of swoon worthy moments, sweet moments that will take your breathe away, action, danger, and a few surprises.”

 

About Jennifer L. Armentrout

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Various Positions by Martha Schabas

4th Oct 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Various Positions by Martha SchabasVarious Positions by Martha Schabas
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux BfYR
Pub Date: February 14th 2012
Pages: 336
Format: ARC | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

Trapped between the hormone-driven world of her friends and the discontent of her dysfunctional family, fourteen-year-old Georgia is only completely at ease when she's dancing. When she is accepted into Canada's preeminent ballet school, Georgia thinks it is the perfect escape. Artistic Director Roderick Allen singles her out as a star, subjecting her to increasingly intensive training, and Georgia obsesses about becoming the perfect, disciplined student. But as she spends more and more time with Roderick, it's not so clear exactly what their relationship means. Is he her teacher and mentor, or is there something more? These blurred lines will threaten both Roderick's future at the academy and Georgia's ambitions as a ballerina.

Let me start by saying that if you’re looking for a book about ballet, this isn’t it. I think that coming of age stories are vast and all kinds of different. For this particular character, it was a confusing time. She’s at an age where I think most boys and girls are most curious about sex, with their changing bodies and all those new hormones. I also believe her home life and all the questions she has about her parent’s relationship contributed to her thoughts and actions. So, really, her story wasn’t shocking to me. It really wasn’t hard to get through. I got it. I think I probably would have had a problem with it had the ending been different.

With that said, I don’t think this book will appeal to everyone, as you can probably deduce from the very mixed reviews this book has gotten since its release. What’s funny is that Various Positions was released as Adult Fiction in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and YA here in the US. Normally it’s the other way around. There are quite a lot of sexual references and some sexual situations that might make people uncomfortable, and not just because it’s coming from a fourteen year old girl. I do want to point out that nothing illegal happens in this book, so don’t let that scare you away. Are there situations that are questionable? Yes, but it’s part of her journey.

I thought the writing was great though. It’s engrossing and it flows seamlessly. At times I did think Georgia sounded too mature for her age, especially when at other times her insecurities, vulnerability, and innocence were very obvious.

Various Positions might be a truer title on how readers will feel after reading it. From reading several reviews, most everyone has their own unique take. If you feel like taking a chance on something different, something that might take you out of your comfort zone, give it a shot.

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Rift by Andrea Cremer

6th Sep 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Rift by Andrea CremerRift by Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade Prequel #1
Published by Philomel
Pub Date: August 7th 2012
Pages: 430
Format: ARC | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Chronicling the rise of the Keepers, this is the stunning prequel to Andrea Cremer's internationally bestselling Nightshade trilogy!

Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother's life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind.

With action, adventure, magic, and tantalizing sensuality, this book is as fast-paced and breathtaking as the Nightshade novels.

Being a huge fan of Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade series, it was an automatic “Hell yes!!” when it came to reading this book. The unique and magical world and lore she’s created had so much room for backstory. Rift satisfied my very interested mind.

Set in the 1400s, Rift is the story of why and how the wolves in Nightshade came to be. There are scary monsters The Guard protects the world from, including zombies, goblins, and evil sorcerers. There aren’t many women called to serve in The Guard in this time period, but Ember feels it in the depths of her soul. She’s meant to be a warrior. Her spirit burns to be one.

What I loved about Ember was how she fought with herself all the time. She doesn’t want to be girly. She doesn’t want to pout or throw fits like a child, but no one has ever tested everything in her like Barrow has. She admires him, and she wants the same admiration and respect returned. Barrow, Barrow, Barrow. He was a walking contradiction. Fierce warrior, gentle soul. And even though the romance took a little while to kick in, I didn’t find myself minding too much. But once it did…oh, man. Ms. Cremer sure knows how to write’em. I was swooning at Barrow’s feet.

I was really nervous about the ending because we really don’t know Ember’s role quite yet. We know she’s important, and that something major will come in the next book, Rise, which of course, I’m dying to read NOW!

Even though this book is part of the Nightshade world, being that it’s a prequel, I think people will find it refreshing. I think maybe they’ll like it even more than the Nightshade trilogy. I love the Nightshade trilogy, but I think I loved this one more. I think Ember is more likeable than Calla, and that will appeal to some people who were turned off by her. In other words, if you were on the fence, jump off and join me on the Rift love train!

 

About Andrea Cremer

Andrea Cremer is a New York Times and international bestselling author. She spent her childhood daydreaming while roaming the forests and lakeshores of Northern Wisconsin. She now lives in Manhattan, but at heart she will always be a small-town girl.

Andrea has always loved writing and has never stopped writing, but it took a horse and a broken foot to prompt her to finally write the novel she’d always dreamed of writing. Prior to becoming a full-time novelist, Andrea resided in the academic world where she taught early modern history.

When she’s not writing, Andrea tries to master difficult yoga poses, wanders through Central Park, and hunts for new music to provide the soundtracks to her novels.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell

9th Apr 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: The Springsweet by Saundra MitchellThe Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell
Series: The Vespertine #2
Published by Harcourt Children's Books
Pub Date: April 17th 2012
Pages: 275
Format: ARC | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Historical, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

Heartbroken over the tragic death of her fiancé, seventeen-year-old Zora Stewart leaves Baltimore for the frontier town of West Glory, Oklahoma, to help her young widowed aunt keep her homestead going. There she discovers that she possesses the astonishing ability to sense water under the parched earth. When her aunt hires her out as a “springsweet” to advise other settlers where to dig their wells, Zora feels the burden of holding the key to something so essential to survival in this unforgiving land. Even more, she finds herself longing for love the way the prairie thirsts for water. Maybe, in the wildness of the territories, Zora can finally move beyond simply surviving and start living.

The Vespertine was one of my favorite books last year, and with that ending, of course I was dying for a sequel! It completely stole my heart…and trampled it. I was incredibly heartbroken! In The Springsweet, Saundra Mitchell has redeemed my heart by mending our Zora’s.

The most stand-out quality I’ve come to love about Saundra Mitchell’s writing is the vividly realized atmospheres. In The Vespertine, I could see myself sitting around with the girls, getting ready for the ball and talking about the boys they would dance with in Baltimore. In The Springsweet, I could feel the hot winds of Oklahoma blowing on my face!! I could see the sparse, dry countryside for miles on end. I was there, next to Zora, seeing and feeling everything she was, so vividly. I absolutely love that. If any book can transport me like that, it’s a winner in my book.

We first meet Zora in The Vespertine. She is Amelia’s cousin and gets her heart shredded in that book. I mean, absolutely destroyed! Blown to pieces. Her whole world crashes down. So you can imagine how this book in no way starts with the best of tones. It’s rather depressing at first, and many times I wanted to curl up with it and cry because it made me so sad for her. It isn’t until and unfortunate 3rd meeting with the very handsome and rich Mr. Theo de la Croix that things start to turn around. Then she gets sent to Oklahoma…where she meets the rugged, sexy Emerson Birch and things really start to get interesting! Ms. Zora Stewart now has to make a choice between the two, but I think there’s never really a contest.

Zora’s ability was unique and I can see now how all the elements — earth, water, fire, air — come into play in this series. I just can’t imagine how it will all come into play in the final book, Aetherborne, but I’m extremely excited to find out.

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Angel Fire by L.A. Weatherly

29th Mar 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Angel Fire by L.A. WeatherlyAngel Fire by L.A. Weatherly
Series: Angel #2
Published by Candlewick Press
Pub Date: January 24th 2012
Pages: 636
Format: eBook | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

In Book Two of L. A. Weatherly’s wildly romantic, action-packed trilogy, the angels are back with a vengeance . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind.

In the wake of the Second Wave, the angel menace has exploded, and Alex and Willow are on the lam. Willow’s prophetic dream points them to Mexico City, where they connect with a fledgling group of angel killers led by the exotically beautiful Kara, an Angel Killer from Alex’s past. But the team remains suspicious of Willow, even after the more-experienced Alex takes over as leader, training them hard for a rush attack on the Seraphic Council, or “The Twelve.” This elite group of all-powerful angels is also under the scrutiny of Willow’s angel-father, Raziel, who has his own sinister plan to defeat them.

What Willow hasn’t told Alex is that there was also a mysterious boy in her dream, one she felt overpoweringly attracted to. When brooding, gorgeous Seb shows up in the flesh, he turns out to be another—possibly the world’s only other—half angel. He’s been searching for Willow all his life, and when Alex enlists this rival to help keep Willow safe, he can’t predict what chemistry will pass between them . . . or how far Willow might go to keep Alex safe. Will their love endure or spell doomsday for the human race?

Angel Fire kept me biting my nails throughout the whole thing!

One: the damn evil angels again!

Two: SEB!

To say Seb put some tension in this book would be an understatement. That boy knows what he wants and he wasn’t going to back down. I totally fell in love with him. He was beyond charming and good looking….but I’m Team Alex, now and forever. Sorry, Seb!!

Now, this isn’t to say Alex is perfect in this book. In fact, he goes a little overboard at some points and I was really worried he wouldn’t be able to fix things. Mind you, he’s under unbelievable pressure. Not only does he have to train the newfound group of AKs and figure out a way to take down a bunch of angels, he now has to worry about Seb and Seb’s feelings for Willow. So I forgave all of his wrong turns. I love you, Alex!!

I loved that Willow is less scared in this book. She’s learning to fight back as best as she can. And I was really proud of the way she handled the Alex/Seb situation. She was confused, but not because she wasn’t sure of who she truly loved. She mainly just needed to understand her feelings and their place for each boy. It certainly wasn’t what we normally see in love triangles and I really appreciated it.

Another interesting part of this book is the setting: Mexico. I don’t read many books set in my native country so I was completely excited about it! L.A. Weatherly brings it to life with her descriptive imagery. I felt like I was there.

Some new characters are introduced and while I liked some of them, I hated how they all treated Willow and Seb. I especially disliked Kara. Even if she just wanted what was best for the group and Alex, I found her way to abrasive for me to like.

L.A. Weatherly delivered a very worthy follow-up to Angel Burn in Angel Fire. It had tons of action and even more emotional rollercoasters! I am now eagerly anticipating the last installment in this series, Angel Fever.

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Eve by Anna Carey

26th Nov 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Eve by Anna CareyEve by Anna Carey
Series: Eve #1
Published by HarperCollins
Pub Date: October 4th 2011
Pages: 318
Format: ARC | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Where do you go when nowhere is safe?

Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose—and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust . . . and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying. Readers will revel in Eve’s timeless story of forbidden love and extraordinary adventure.

I had heard mixed things about Eve. It seems people are all over the place about this book, but I really liked it. Its unique setting really surprised me and the characters really touched me. Eve was raised to believe so many falsehoods that she came off as naively cute and funny, but not dumb, which can sometimes happen. She is smart, but is also completely overwhelmed with the feelings she has for Caleb that she sometimes overreacts and makes matters worse. Caleb truly is a knight in shining armor. He takes care with Eve and doesn’t push her boundaries. And he has such a huge heart! It was difficult not to let him in.

I thought the place where Caleb lived was unexpected. I thought all the boys were great, especially the little ones. There’s a moment where they completely shred my heart though. I was seriously in tears. Lief, the “leader” of the group, was such a disappointment. When we first meet him I know he comes off as scary, but I thought I saw potential for a great turn out, then he went off and completely made an a-hole move. Totally lost respect for him.

The parts where Eve is being hunted down are completely nail-biting! It always feels like they’re so close, like this time she won’t get away…I was on the edge of my seat a lot while reading this.

I do wish the ending would’ve been different. I know there’s more books to come, but did it really have to end like that?! It completely broke my heart! And now I must have the next book in this series, because the outcome has to be good. It must! So, if you’re on the fence about this one, jump off and go read it!

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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