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The Tattooed Duchess by Victor Gischler

19 Oct

The Tattooed Duchess

Book Two in the Fire Beneath the Skin Kindle Series

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

These books are bomb diggity. I can’t bear to read them as a Kindle Series so I must wait until the whole thing comes out in one book. I assure you, it’s so worth the sweet sweet torture of waiting.

I like this series. Like really really like this series. It’s intricate and exciting and wonderfully fast-paced. Gischler plays quite a bit with mystery in this book and it adds much to the story. If you read a lot of YA, well actually, read ANYTHING a lot, eventually you figure out what to look for and what all the foreshadowing will lead to. I personally do this without trying and then I spend pages and pages waiting for the author to finally tell me what I already know. It’s quite depressing… but lo! Here come’s Mr. Victor and he does a nice job of not giving up too much too soon. This is no Gone Girl mystery, I assure you, but the plot doesn’t show it’s hand before it places it’s bet.

The thing that really shocked me, and still surprises me, is that a male writes this series. For some reason I cannot wrap my head around it. Perhaps it’s because our main protag is a female and he writes her impossibly well. I see and feel her as only a female written by a female. And that, my friends, makes him such a stellar writer. He’s not the first male author to write from a girl’s perspective (John Green, dear thing, is a master) but I find it so rare to genuinely embrace a character written by the opposite sex. It’s of course, a mark of a great author, and so I give my props to Victor Gischler.

My last comment on this book is simple. There’s some controversy about the vulgarity in this book; the foul language, the sex, sometimes the brutality of the fights. But I loved it. It would not be the same book without it. The Duchess would not be as likable if she didn’t chain smoke and and drop the F bomb once in awhile. So back off people and embrace the bad side a little.

Cinder by Melissa Meyer

19 Aug

Cinder

Book One in the Lunar Chronicles

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

Why oh why ooooh whyyyy did I not read this sooner?!?!

slap

I am slightly angry at myself for not reading this sooner. I was terrified that this book would never ever ever live up to the hype and so bought it and then shelved it FOR YEARS!! YEARS!!!! And I just glanced over it, passed it by, pushed it aside like some mediocre story. I even MET MELISSA MEYER in person and STILL did not pick up the book. How awful right? Like, that’s just a slap in the face.

And now, oh Melissa, I am ashamed and disgusted in my behavior. This book is brilliant. Clever, beautiful, ingenious and stunning. You’ve opened up my scared little heart and nestled Cinder snugly into a corner. Please forgive me for doubting you as now swear my undying allegiance to this fantastic series for life. Now come back here so I fangirl all over you!

Letmeloveyou

A Roses for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith

25 Apr

21062

(not really a series but kind of a series…. just go read all of them.)

Book One

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

This book. THIS BOOK. THIS FREAKING BOOK!


Anne Easter Smith, please accept my undying devotion to your authorhood. I commit to read and love all the books that you have placed in this world and shall forever be committed to praising your holy writing with reviews. I hearby swear my love for your words. Amen. 


OMG. I cannot get over how amazing this book is. After the awful YA I’ve been reading lately, this beauty was an amazing breath of fresh air. It is so magically majestic in every way. From the characters, to the pace, to the historical research, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about Smith. She should be every author’s fantasy when it comes to storytelling. 

I write this review is reverent silence because I am literally awestruck by this book. While I don’t always use gifs in reviews, I do tend to use them to lighten up a post because they make them more interesting. I cannot use a gif in this one. It would distract and demean and takeaway the pure perfection of this story. Because the main character in this book is my sister, my soulmate, and my sweet best friend. Kate, my lovely, modest, smart beautiful Kate. You are in my heart forever. Anne Easter Smith created such a perfectly simple yet complex character in Kate it breaks my heart knowing that I won’t see her again tonight when I open my book. She’s so lovingly rendered and so fully complete it’s hard for me to accept she’s fictional and not in the next room spinning some wool. I fell in love with Kate the instant I met her. And being able to follow her on her life’s journey that Smith created was the most heart-wrenching, achingly beautiful, soul-full filling, delicious mind feast I’ve had in a long, long time. 

I still smile slightly when thinking about Kate meeting Richard, giggle a little when thinking about their blissfulness, cringe when I think about all the awful things she faced. Anne Easter Smith has created a fictional character that has wormed her way into my book-loving heart and I welcome her with open arms. 

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

10 Mar

marie

 

Rating: Two out of Five Stars

This book was nice. Cute. It’s definitely a cross between Heist Society by Ally Carter and Tarnish/Gilt by Katherine Longshore. The voice is like an amateur version of Ally Carter with the same easy, girlish tone, but sadly, not the same level of storytelling. I would recommend this for a beachy summer read. It can easily be read in a sitting which is good when you aren’t reading any thing uber magnificent and don’t want to spend days trudging through BS for a lame ass story. So, it’s good for a fluff read.

With that being said, this book is shallow and cliche. *shocker* With her bitch-pretty rich girl frenenmy and oh-so-sweet chubbier bffl, Colette (love the name btws) goes on a Parisian adventures. They go to parties (tres cool!) and meet boys (Je t’aime!) all while poor little Colettie is seeing scary ghosties (mas no!). And of course, she just has to solve the mystery because, omg! SUCH a coincident, the murders have to do with her! *gasp*

Ok, so besides the pretty lame plot, I actually enjoyed the read. It’s easy and it flows and I got suckered in for a little bit. But then the ending happened and well…. well… um… it was… stupid. There, I said it. The climax was such garbage. It was poorly written, way to cliche, and stupid as hell. I mean, why did she just have to get dressed up in a fancy time period gown with hair and makeup and go to a castle? Yeah, no point. I don’t even remembered WTF happened.. something about a key.. and a bookcase falling.. oh and of course the ghostie. All I know is that it ended and *SPOILER* everything magically worked itself out. *shocker again*

herm

Congratulations to you. Wootie woot woot.

But besides the dumb ass climax (you were just trying too hard, sweetie) the book is cute and quirky and fluffy.

Tarnish by J.D. Brink

27 Feb

Tarnish

 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

So I was lucky enough to actually a signed copy of this from the author. CHEA! So thank you thank you Mr. Brink for the fantastical read.

dance

Different than my normal read purely because it has a male pro-tag but VERY good. I would say this is more of a crossover YA-Adult book based on the storyline, characters, and tempo.

The longer I am away from this book, the more I like it. What’s amazing about this book is that it is its own story. It’s well written, although it got a little choppy (more on that in a minute) and the characters are their own beings. It’s not some spin off, take off, bullshit twisting of the same young adult themes. And honestly, I think that’s mostly because for ONCE we get a very real male pro-tag.

Billy/Will, our main homeboy, is adorable. This is my Will:

will

 

Smexy, and buff and clean faced. He’s exactly what I would think a medieval teen-aged adventure junkie would be. And I think it’s completely cute how smitten he is with the illusion of Will vs Billy. And love how he has to wrestle with the age old “who am I?” question and how Brink makes it very entertaining. He has all these ups and down and highs and lows and by the end, he’s really gotten booted off this pedestal he put himself on. But I couldn’t help but giggle at the last name he comes up for himself, Thunderstrike. Call me dirty minded but heyyyy…

wink

 

Personally, I am A HUGE fan of switching narrators. I love being able to feel and see the story through different eyes and voices. It adds depth and dynamics to a book. And while a did enjoy all our narrators, I only wish we got to spend a little more time with each of them. I felt like sometimes we would meet someone and he’d be gone before we got a chance to know him.

who are you

 

And OMG, I love love love that you get all these stories within stories because there’s all these storytellers in the story. It’s like, bookception.

you're awesome

Fallen by Lauren Kate

24 Feb

Fallen

 

Book One in the Fallen Series

Rating: Two out of Five Stars

Thank god that’s finally over with…

Let me sum up this book with a few short gifs:
Luce:

Teenagedgirl

 

Daniel:

flawless

 

Cam:

unicorn

 

And for the plot…

Take some

rihan

 

and some

brooding

 

with a dash of

sad

And there ya go. The end.

Which by the end, I mean a super weird, awkward, WTF just happened ending…

And BTWS, I audio booked this book. Don’t do it. The narrator is annoying with her voices. I dreaded every second that Gabby or Daniel talked. Ugh.

 

Best of 2013

24 Jan

I am waaaaay late on this post… whoops! But I present to thee

*drum roll*

The Best of 2013!

Applause

Remember! Click on the covers to add these books to you Goodreads account!

 

Best Cover

perfectruinuk

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (UK Version)

Best New Series

the5wave

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Best Sequel

the bitter kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Best World Building

fallingkingdoms

Falling Kingdom by Morgan Rhodes

Best Romance

the bitter kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Hector and Elisa *swoon*

Best Come to Jesus Moment

theelite

The Elite by Kiera Cas

America’s reaction to Maxon’s reaction

Favorite Female Character

the bitter kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Elisa – I love her

Favorite Male

worldafter

World After by Susan Ee

Raffe

Most Badass Character

crown of midnight

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Cealena Sardothien – duh.

Best Science Fiction

reboot

Reboot by Amy Tintera

Best Fantasy

the bitter kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Best Dystopian

champion.indd

Champion by Marie Lu

Best Short Story/Online Series/Bridge Book

The starkillerscycle

The Starkillers Cycle by Sarah J Maas and Susan Dennard

Favorite Author of 2013

maas

Best Book of 2013

crown of midnight

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

“Life takes us to unexpected places sometimes. The future is never set in stone, remember that.”
―     Erin Morgenstern,     The Night Circus

Perfect Lies by Keirsten White

17 Oct

mindgames

Book Two in the Mind Games Series

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

**PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE SOME SLIGHT SPOILERS**

To preface before I launch into my review: If you’ve read Mind Games you MUST read Perfect Lies. (just try to brief yourself with all the deets of book one before launching into book two.)

I’m a little bored with my reviews lately so I am going to spice it up by using my helpful friend from Hercules:

Lordofthedead

So with Hades as my lovely assistant, let’s get to the dirty shall we?

In general, I liked this book. It was a little more disjointed than Mind Games but that’s to be expected with Fia’s spiraling mental state. White does a great job of exemplifying her struggles, her mental trauma and mental health. That part, I really enjoyed. Besides, the fact that Fia is just an effing badass (Katna from Graceling style) makes her legit.

twothumbs

My issues lie with Annie. She drove me nuts. She’s boring, slightly selfish, and annoying.

First of all, I don’t want to sound crude. I can appreciate that Annie has a disability, but the way White writes her, I feel like she’s using her blindness as a crutch. It’s not empowering like I feel it should be in a YA novel.

Second of all, and here is my REAL problem, is her damn obsessions with this vision she has of her true love. Gag me. All we hear is “is he the one?” “Is that him?”

hadeseyeroll hesaguy

FOR REALS, HADES!

SO the plot progresses and Fia is getting more awesome and Annie is getting more annoying and shit is getting crazy and confusing. And things are like bam bam bam and your neck is getting whip-lashed with all the twists and then…. “is this the guy?” and “is this my love?”
facesmash

I did enjoy the ending but that flip flop narrating plus the alternating time flash backs had me confused until I finally got the hang of it. Talk about throwing some time-space continuum shit at me. I would have to constantly flip back and forth between chapters to understand what the hell was going on. And then a chapter with Annie would pop up and it was “OMG are his hands, like, HIS HANDS???”

angryimfine
But the ending is perfect. It definitely had the suspense and the drama and the dun dun DUN! The conclusion was anything BUT predictable. I seriously don’t think White could have made the ending any better.

Blowfinger

Thanks for joining me today, Hades. You’ve been extremely helpful.

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

7 Oct

endless

Book Two in the Arcana Chronicles

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

So I am done with Endless Knight, sequel to Poison Princess. What do I think of it?

nph

I don’t know what happened. Poison Princess was amazing. Absolutely awesome in every single way. Incredible to the point where I actually compared Kresely Cole to the Pope on my blog (https://rattlethestars.com/2013/10/01/endless-knight-releases-today/). And for a homegrown Irish Catholic girl, that’s a big deal yo. So this book’s epic fail is just a knife twisting deeper and deeper into my soul.

The thing that is also extremely frustrating about this book, is that I can actually and acutely describe exactly what was wrong with this book and why it was such a failure compared to PP.

1.) Where’s the sass, Evie? You were this smart mouthed, no-shit taking girl that popped off quips that made me bust out laughing. The book had none of the snarky humor that Poison did. Sure, there were some brief comical lines, but nothing like the constant barrage of hilarious lines Cole popped out of her character’s mouths constantly in PP. That’s one thing I enjoyed most about reading book one. I wanted so, so, so much more from book two.

2.) Where the HELL is the action? Sure sure every once in awhile we get the badass fights and ONCE we got a steamy scene, but besides a glimmer of wam bams here and there, this book was incredibly boring. PP wasn’t brimming with constant action, it did have some conversation parts, but those were filled with the smexy Jackson and the delicious build up between Evie and him. When nothing is happening in this book, literally NOTHING is happening. Evie, with the loss of her quick witted quotes, is not a strong enough character to tell a story. And those she ends up talking to and stuck with, are not interesting or developed enough to take the lame about of the non-action scenes. *wipes tear away*

3.) God effing dammit Cole. A love triangle? Are you serious? Touche with the twisty twists you threw in there to make it a tich more understandable, but *sigh*

different
You just haaaad to bring the YA cliche into your book huh? And not only did you ignite the three pointed romance of annoying fire, you topped it off with dragging out BOTH romances, giving them both obvious failures, making us practically HATE them both for different reasons. So not cool, sister. And with that threesome, you didn’t even top it off with any real, sexy, god I need some time to myself scenes.

This is another typical YA second book fail. I hope and pray that Cole can really create a better plot in the next book. But unfortunately, this series has now been bumped from my “need to read to breath” shelf to “I’ll put it on my list I guess” level.
disappointed

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.”

 

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