Archive | September, 2013

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

26 Sep

the bitter kingdom

Book Three in the Fire and Thorns Series

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

I was legitimately upset when I finished this book. It’s heartbreaking knowing my journey with Hector and Elisa are over. I adore them in every way possible and I will miss them like they are my friends IRL.

Hector and Elisa will always have a little corner of my heart. Their romance and their steadfast love for each other is what everyone dreams of having.I am jealously happy for this fictional couple and wish more than anything that there were five more books to be written about them. About little Prince Rosario and fiery fierce Red, about Conde Tristan, Storm and Alodia, Cosme, Mara and Belen. There is so much Carson could do with this world and these people because she’s developed these characters so thoroughly and so wonderfully I can create futures in my head for all of them. There are living breathing people to me and I am going to miss their stories.

The Bitter Kingdom is dazzling. It’s drips with beauty, from the world to the words to way her characters live, Carson has captured every bit of imagination. This series is one of the greatest I’ve ever read. Carson solidifies herself in rank with fantasy authors like JK Rowling, Kristin Cashore and Cinda Williams Chima.

I can’t write anymore. Anything I write won’t live up to how breathtaking this story is. Won’t ever truly make you understand how ardently I adore this series. Instead, I am going to write Rae Carson a letter begging and pleading her to write another series about the characters. Look for it on my blog soon.

Because Rae? “I love this series like a dying man loves air, and I would hate to have it just once.”

 

Tarnish by Katherin Longshore

19 Sep

tarnish

Book Two in the (sorta) Tudor Series

Rating: Two out of Five Stars

I adore the Tudor era and the opulence of books that are written based off of it. But this book, blech. Might as well be discussing the grass growing.

I guess I shouldn’t have set the bar so high for Tarnish considering Gilt was such a let down for me. But I just WANTED so much from this story, it has so much potential and was an utter failure. The richness, the drama, the romance, lies and hate and passion and everything that exemplifies the Tudor court was gone. Not only that, but Anne was meek and annoying and trivial. The Anne Boleyn that brought down kings is absent in this story. True, this book is based on her before-Queen time, but that fiery personality isn’t even relevant to this plot. Its rather ridiculous that someone could make Anne Boleyn, the woman who changed the English culture, the girl who changed the face of politics throughout the ENTIRE world, who spawned a BRAND NEW RELIGION, make her BORING! Completely inconsequential.

I do give mad props to Longshore for attempting to show a different side of the Boleyn story, but to end the book right before the juiciest part even begins?!? AGH! I want to tear my hair out. I could have suffered through this book if there was a second one coming that would validate this bland, boring, book as set up. I could survive if this was a first installment of decadent, passionate, sexy series that brought Henry, Anne, George, Jane, Thomas to a singeing peak of a climax that saw Catholicism in England diminish. Where we could experience the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. I mean, at least Gilt lead us through Kat’s execution and finished the whole damn story. This book leaves you on the precipice of a cliff so tall you want to jump, no matter the landing, because you had to struggle through hundreds of pages of nonsense to reach nothing.

And the cover redesigns? Awful. Boring as hell. Why would someone think that the new cover for Gilt and Tarnish are better?

Needless to say, I wanted more. It was a disappointment. And now I am sad. And for some reason, I know I will read Brazen because I like to torture myself.

 

5 International Covers that are Better than US Covers

11 Sep

It’s not a fact that I am proud of, but it is definitely a fact:

index

I honestly can’t help it. I mean, I have a shelf on my Goodreads account called “Cover Porn” because I am obsessed with shiny sparkly pretty bold colored things. So I get kind of snarky when a book I REALLY like comes out with a not-so-great cover *cough* through the ever night *cough*. And it makes me even more upset when the US covers are decent but the international covers are GORGEOUS and I can’t have them because they aren’t sold in the US. And it’s terribly hard to find non-US published books (even on the internet) while you are in the US.

give it to me now

And even  more depressing is when that gorgeous cover is in a different language and even if you DID buy it you wouldn’t understand a thing! So frustrating. So below are my top five favorite international covers that I wish I could have on my US books.

5 International Covers that are Better than their US Covers

1.) Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano

US Cover vs UK Cover

Perfect Ruinperfectruinuk

Umm… is this really even a competition?!?!?! I want to be besties with that redhead. That cover is basically just aching for the book to be read. I went so far as to Tweet Lauren DeStefano and the UK publishing company to ask them how I could get my greedy little hands on a UK version because it’s so damn gorgeous *drool*

2.) The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson

US Cover vs French Cover

10816908La Couronne de Flammes - Rae Carson

Uh, once again. No challenge. As much as I adore The Crown of Embers book (Fire and Thorns is one of my favorite series EVER), the US cover is boring and blase and nothing to write home about. The French cover however,  what a beaut! I mean its a rainbow of colors and a serious head nod to Elisa’s badassry in the book. While I do agree with a few other bloggers that she’s a bit too skinny to be a realistic Elisa, I still think her expression entices me to read this waaaay more than the US cover does.

3.) Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1) by Kiersten White

US Cover vs Italian Cover

paranormalparaital

As much as I am anti-this book series because it’s a blast back to my middle-school teeny bopper language time, I don’t hate the US cover. It’s very pretty. Not interesting, but pretty. Bland pretty, like the color pale yellow. But the Italian cover? *sighs wistfully* Now that is an interesting and pretty cover. We’ve still got our pretty little blonde on it with the wind blown hair, but the colors, the body language, and the facial expression completely change the feel of the book. And the lighting on that girl’s face, hot damn.

4.) Fire (Graceling #2) by Kristin Cashore

US Cover vs UK Cover

fireusfireuk

Once again, I lurve this series and everything Kristin Cashore related. The US Cover is not ugly by any means but you don’t really grasp the concept of the book with it. It’s just a bow and arrow and for all you know could be about a damn forest fire. But the UK cover gives you much more insight into the story. She obvi has red hair (very important) and with the shading and gorgi girl it makes you think she’s a fierce badass (which she is). It’s just… a lot better. As are ALL the UK covers for the Graceling series. That are all bomb-diggidy and I want them to be blown up into posters, signed, and hung in my room.

5.) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

US Cover vs UK Cover

Nightcircusus nightcircusuk

Yes, yes I know, these cover are very similar. But they are also very different and the differences between them are obvious once you read the book. You’ll understand why I am enamored with the UK Cover. First of all, I don’t really understand the hand in the US Cover. I mean it kind of makes sense if you stretch it, but it’s way too much symbolism for a cover. Second of all, the red is so much more RED in the UK and makes the cover much more tastey. And finally, it shows that there will be a romance in the book. In the UK cover, with the two figures and the stars on the I’s, everything is just much more complex. It’s much more dynamic and visually pleasing.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

10 Sep

5thwave

Book One in The 5th Wave series

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

This book is one of a kind. Its creepy as hell but incredibly funny and hits you right in the gut. This book defines the word “gripping”. Its like a current in the ocean; you can feel it slowly taking hold of you and then woooosh… You are sucked under and can’t come up for breath until it releases you. Which isn’t until the last sentence of the book.

I think I have an author crush on Rick Yancey. Anyone who can make me love to read a YA novel through the POV of a five year old is gently and lovingly placed on a pedestal in Sydneyland. (Don’t worry, it’s not ALL in Sams POV, you get to see Cassie’s and Zombie’s too.)

He’s got a knack for creating a world that is real, tangible and freaky. (Not gunna lie I had to turn on Honey Boo Boo for an episode because I live by myself and started getting creeped out in the middle of the night reading this…) And then, not only does he add the creep factor into the messed up alien-invaded humanity deprived world, he layers on a delicious frosting of subtle humor that makes this book rocket up into stardom. Let me be clear, this not a comedy, but it is hilarious. I’ve never seen a YA author write humor with such deft hand. The jokes aren’t in your face, but it’s so teen-angsty, shock-induced quips that make me love every single narrator in this book.

Now I am not one for quoting books, but The 5th Wave has some incredibly deep insights that I think everyone should read:

“Cruelty isn’t a personality trait. Cruelty is a habit.”

“When the moment comes to stop running from your past, to turn around and face the thing you thought you could not face–the moment when your life teeters between giving up and getting up–when that moment comes, and it always comes, if you can’t get up and you can’t give up either, here’s what you do: Crawl.”

“God doesn’t call the equipped, son. God equips the called. And you have been called.”

“How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the human of their humanity”

And my favorite one of all from Miss Cassiopea herself:

“I don’t move. I wait behind my log, terrified. Over the past ten minutes, it’s become such a dear friend, I consider naming it: Howard, my pet log.”

I love Cassie. I love that she’s NOT this badass superhuman pro-tag. She’s a normal girl thrust into a crazy situation and trying to deal with it. She’s not Katniss, she’s me and you and any other normal girl. That’s why I love her. And I love that she loves Bear. Their relationship makes me happy. ❤

Cover Reveal – Arbitrate by Megan Thomason

5 Sep

arbitrate-Cover-800

Release Date: October 29, 2013

Remember The Second Chance Institute (SCI). Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. They’ve stepped up their game on Earth and on Thera—infiltrating political parties, preying on the downtrodden, and planning offensive maneuvers. And they’re handing out more “second chances” than ever before. The SCI’s abuse of their charter leads to Arbiter oversight and bitter consequences.

Remember Kira Donovan. Broken, burdened, and evading those who wish her harm, Kira enlists the Arbiters’ help when forced to return to the clutches of the SCI and her angry, estranged love.

Remember Blake Sundry. Exiled, determined, and packing an agenda, Blake seeks assistance on Earth and Thera to use his newfound knowledge to bring down the SCI.

Remember Ethan Darcton. Overworked, emotional, and holding a grudge, Ethan hunts down his stolen property, but finds himself in awkward territory, stuck between the Arbiters and the SCI.

Full of action, competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, arbitrate is Megan Thomason’s third installment in the award-winning daynight series after daynight and clean slate complex (a daynight story).

Bestselling, award-winning author Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn’t typing away on her laptop, she’s reading books on her phone–over 600 in the last year–or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac.

Praise for daynight:

2012 Book of the Year Award Finalist-Young Adult Fiction, ForeWord Reviews

“Sure to win over YA readers looking for a dangerous, dystopian adventure story” —Kirkus Reviews

“Gripping young adult dystopian novel; compelling conflicts; high stakes; powerful narrative; surprises keep coming; strong writing; page-turner; engaging characters; Readers will be hungry for the sequels.”—BlueInk Review (starred review)

“Thomason’s description of Thera’s totalitarianism will make fans of Brave New World shiver… SCI, her fantasy corporation, has disturbing parallels to actual companies and regimes that claim to do good while harming people… The author deftly appeals to both romance-loving teens as well as those intrigued by young adults fighting the establishment.”—ForeWord Clarion Review, 4 stars

 
 
Also check out the new daynight cover!
 
New-daynight-Cover-800

Fragments by Dan Wells

4 Sep

fragments

Books Two in the Partials Series

Rating: Four out of Five Stars

This is a good book. A long book, but a good one nonetheless. The story is intricate and fast paced and just as fascinating as the first installment. Its plot is layered with delicately weaved suspense, action, romance and discovery which flow seamlessly between all characters. Although Kira annoyed me at times, she is still a pretty stellar heroine and has a great set of morals. Even if they are a little too uppity to be realistic.

One of the biggest differences between this book and the first was that Fragments has switching narrators. I loved viewing life through the eyes of Marcus, Ariel, Haru and briefly through Samm’s. It added an element to this installment that the original didn’t have and allowed the pace and plot to roll out magnificently. I always prepare myself for second books to be a little lame, slow paced and basically just fluff. But Wells did a great job of structuring Fragments into a very gripping book. While it was once again a hefty read, the story didn’t get bogged down with unnecessary drama that most second books do. And this lingering romance between Marcus, Samm, and Kira is so down-played it makes me happy. This love triangle is NOT in your face, and could hardly be called a love triangle at all because I think romance is mentioned by each of the three involved… maybe two or three times each? Very refreshing.

As I mentioned before, Kira kind of rubbed me the wrong way a few times but overall was a great pro-tag. The thing that bugs me is her one-purpose mind set. While I understand she wants to save everyone, I feel sometimes Wells didn’t spend enough time on her reasoning and emotions to solidify her status as the Savior of Humans and Partials. SPOILER! And the fact that Wells spent zero time on Kira’s feelings after Afa’s death really irked me. They just glazed over it like it was nbd some DIED. Someone that they drug unwillingly through a chemical wasteland and was mentally handicapped. It was much too blase for my taste. But besides that and Kira’s sometimes overwhelming self-righteousness, her decision at the end makes up for the bs I didn’t like early in the book.

Overall, a decent read.

 

Cuddlebuggery Book Blog

For badass reviews on all the best Young Adult books

Three Chic Geeks

For the nerdy and proud. Warning: spontaneous geekgasms may occur.

BOOK MAVEN'S PICKS

Blogger Relocated to writefulreader.wordpress.com

Mayank's Blog

Teenage Thoughts & Musings

%d bloggers like this: