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

I’m back!

21 Jan

Hello hello to all my long lost readers out there!

I can’t say how sorry I am for being away for so terribly long. It really makes me sad.

jA4rPWE

But, I do have a few excuses! So hear me out k?

1.) I moved to a new state

2.) I moved in with the BF

3.) I got a new job (which required me to work weekends, over the holidays, my birthday.. wah)

4.) I got a puppy

5.) The holidays happened.

So those are my excuses and I am stickin’ to them. But I promise promise that I am back and will try to get caught up on all the bookies I  have read. Also, I need to get my Best of 2013 blog out… *sighs*

But, life is a settled (as settled as it can be) and now I am back and ready to roll!

danceparty

 

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

October 2013 Releases

1 Oct

So I get a little faint just thinking about all the books that are coming out this month.  Seriously, every time I look at my printed out list of books this is me:

5cfp4

And not just October, but November releases too. There is just much awesomeness jam packed into these next few months I can’t handle it.

problem

So let’s just look at the glory that will be our next two months shall we?

 

How to Love Katie Cotugno 10/1/2013
Killer of Enemies Joseph Bruchac 10/1/2013
Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2) Kresley Cole 10/1/2013
BZRK Reloaded (BZRK, #2) Michael  Grant 10/8/2013
Bang (Visions, #2) Lisa McMann 10/8/2013
Resist (Breathe, #2) Sarah Crossan 10/8/2013
Blythewood Carol Goodman 10/8/2013
These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1) Amie Kaufman 10/10/2013
Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #2) Diana Peterfreund 10/15/2013
The Fall of Hotel Dumort (The Bane Chronicles, #7) Cassandra Clare 10/15/2013
UnSouled (Unwind, #3) Neal Shusterman 10/15/2013
The Enchanter Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #4) Cinda Williams Chima 10/22/2013
Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles, #1) Lauren DeStefano 10/22/2013
Allegiant (Divergent, #3) Veronica Roth 10/22/2013
Arbitrate (Daynight, #2) Megan Thomason 10/29/2013
Altered (Crewel World, #2) Gennifer Albin 10/29/2013
Horde (Razorland, #3) Ann Aguirre 10/29/2013
Champion (Legend, #3) Marie Lu 11/5/2013
Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2) Gail Carriger 11/5/2013
The Course of True Love (The Bane Chronicles, #8) Cassandra Clare 11/19/2013
World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2) Susan Ee 11/19/2013
Brooke (Under The Never Sky #2.5) Veronica Rossi 11/26/2013

ML5hhl1

rage

Endless Knight Releases today!

1 Oct

endless

Book Two in the Arcana Chronicles.

This is Kresley Cole:

Pope Barbie

 

This is me:

everafter

 

GOD I AM SO EXCITED

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. ❤

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