Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review Wednesday: Kepler One - The Choosing by T.P. Keane


Indication of continuation of the series

Goodreads Blurb:
"The radiation on Earth is killing everyone Zoe Ruthland cares about. After winning the Lottery, she is the only tier five citizen given a chance to start over on a new planet. Seen as unworthy, a criminal, many want her to fail. Zoe must survive training, and the other cadets, to secure her place on the Kepler One spacecraft. But something sinister lurks behind the Government’s plans to save humankind and Zoe has no idea that she is an integral part of it; that she is chosen for another reason."


Review:
Thank you to the author, T.P. Keane, and their publicist for gifting me with a copy of Kepler One - The Choosing in exchange for an honest review!

I really enjoyed this book!  I read in all in one sitting in just 3.5 hours which speaks for itself.  It wasn't completely flawless but enjoyable nonetheless.

1.  The characters.  This is the only complicated element for me.  On one hand, the author has taken steps to develop each character.  Their background, their personality, their actions, everything.  For the most part, this effort was entirely successful.  The characters jumped off the page which is a wonderful testament to the author's skill and their dedication to editing.  On the other hand, there are several prominent instances where this failed.  The main character, Zoe, had more lapses than the other characters (and they are more prominently displayed as the only POV is her perspective).  Especially near the end, she acted out of character in a spectacular fashion on several occasions.  She would randomly get angry and barge in places without thinking and would act incredibly irrationally.  This did not line up with her background of growing up in the toughest sector (the world is separated into five sectors, the fifth being the most dangerous, and Zoe grows up in the fifth).  You'd think growing up with that type of environment, you'd learn to temper yourself just a bit or at least have a more critical mind to pick apart situations and assess but Zoe doesn't seem to have any of these traits.  I did enjoy her character, nonetheless, and she provided some interesting discussion on leadership (more on that later).

2.  The plot.  As I mentioned above, I read this all in one go and was entirely engrossed.  This is 75% due to the plot and 25% due to the characters and my interest in their development.  While the characters are fascinating, the plot truly shines in this novel.  Taking a cue from all other successful novels, the author made sure to include an overarching plot line (the goal of getting to a more habitable planet) as well as secondary ones (Zoe and Nathan's exploits, Zoe's journey, and the little tests along the way).  Think a combination of The Hunger Games, Throne of Glass, and Passengers (the movie, not the book).  There is a selection process to determine who will be among the 15 people to go on the ship and travel to the selected planet that is hundreds of light-years away.  This selection process isn't exactly friendly but isn't to the level of The Hunger Games.  This provides tension which drives everything allow that much more smoothly.

3.  The romance.  Yes, there is a romance and yes, there is a love-triangle.  I'm pleased to report, however, that the romance doesn't overtake the plot in any way and the love-triangle itself isn't made too apparent until a couple of occurrences near the end.  Nothing to fret about.  I do hope that the author will keep in mind that romance is a secondary plot line in the next book as well.  The romance doesn't develop all that much because of Zoe's character which I loved as it stays very true to her personality and thought process.  All in all, I think the author is very good about sticking to the limitations of his characters in this instance.

4.  The writing.  I truly enjoyed this author's writing style.  They included some lyrical language but were also careful about making sure everything flowed well.  I can appreciate metaphorical language but there's definitely a time and a place for it and I think the author took the proper steps to ensure this was the case.

5.  The concept/idea.  This is also something I enjoyed immensely.  I loved how the author took the time to go through some of the science (I am by no means an expert in space travel and the bending of space-time in the creation and exploitation of worm-holes by the way) to make everything seem that much more believable.  The author also took the time to really flesh out the pressures of the mission (basically the survival of humanity).  I haven't read too many books related to space travel that I've enjoyed (basically The Martian) so this was a lovely read for me.

The Final Verdict:
All in all, a truly enjoyable novel.  While there were several distinct instances where characters acted extremely strangely for themselves, they were developed well and the plot shone.
4 stars

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Review Sunday: Poisoned Iris by Cindy Mezni


The Red Era #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"Athens was once the cradle of civilization. Now it's slowly but surely becoming the tomb of humanity.

The Red Plague, a violent virus which had run rampant decades ago, left its imprint on the planet and the flesh of men. All that remains of the modern world is an endless wasteland of ruins—Erebos—and two cities—Elysion, the obscure island of the Non-Infecteds about which no one knows a thing, and, Tartaros, the crumbling town of the Infecteds where despair, hatred, violence and poverty are the operative words.

And at the heart of this universe lives Irisya, a sixteen-year-old Non-Infected girl, staying recluse in her home to be safe and relying on her brother, Memphis, for everything.

But then, one day, he disappears without a trace.

Irisya has no choice. To save him, to survive, she will have to brave all the dangers of the outside world."

Friday, May 19, 2017

50/50 Friday (33): Character Whose Life You'd Want/Not Want to Live

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Goodness.  For all my fellow Blogger users, do you ever have those times where the formatting simply REFUSES to work??  That has been me for the past 3 days.  You may have been wondering where this post has been hiding and it's all the HTML's fault!  I would fix the code and then when I would preview it, it would revert back to whatever hinky formatting it had before.  Links refused to be links, blue text felt like being red, the world ceased to make any kind of sense!  I had posts scheduled before hand (all my reviews), thank goodness, but not this post and look where that got me.  In any case, I've given up and there are no links in this post because why not.  I'll put them in later when the world isn't so against me.

Today's Topic: Character Whose Life You'd Want/Not Want to Live

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Author Post Thursday: Fred Holmes (ft. adventures in the Congo and other cool places)


Today I have something special for y'all!  I recently reviewed The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes and he graciously agreed to do an author post!  Fred Holmes has had the experience of adapting a screenplay into a book and has many years of experience in the film field.  We in the bookish community often talk about the struggles of adapting a book into a film but rarely is it ever brought up about the opposite!  Fred has had the unique experience of going through the process and has shared his process and what he learned below.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review Wednesday: Come Home by Lisa Scottoline


Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter's lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her---though it is stressful---and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.

But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own."


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Review Sunday: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas


A Court of Thorns and Roses #3

Goodreads Blurb:
"Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all."

Saturday, May 13, 2017

50/50 Friday (32): Character You'd Want/Not Want to Meet


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Character You'd Want/Not Want to Meet

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review Wednesday: The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen


The Queen of the Tearling #3

Goodreads Blurb:
"In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader.

And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies - chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them.

To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable - naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne.

So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea - and the Tearling itself - will be revealed...

With The Fate of the Tearling, Erika Johansen draws her unforgettable story full of magic and adventure to a thrilling close."

Sunday, May 7, 2017

ARC Review Sunday: It Started With Goodbye by Christina June


Release Date: May 9th, 2017
Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way."


Friday, May 5, 2017

50/50 Friday (31): Best/Worst Book Read in April


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Best/Worst Book Read in April

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

April Wrap-Up


This year is moving way too fast.  Seriously.  I'm ridiculously behind on reading because of finals and exams and essays and a thousand other things I need to be doing.  I'm not ready for it to be May yet!  There was so much to be done in April that didn't get done!  Nevertheless, we have arrive on the doorstep of May and the revolution of the Earth will not slow.  So we beat on.  (if you caught the reference, we can be best friends until the end of time)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Music Monday (6)

Music Monday is a weekly event hosted by Lauren over at Always Me.  Every Monday, you share one or two of your favorite songs you've been enjoying that week to help other people discover new music!  Here are my picks for this week:

Sunday, April 30, 2017

R&R Review Sunday: Dragonkyn by Nathan Smith Jones


Standalone to date (slight indication of a sequel)

Goodreads Blurb:
"Marc Mondragon is your average teenager: always getting into trouble, crushing on the pretty girl in school. But when strange things begin happening to his body, Marc is thrust into a new world where dragons are no longer just fairytales. Now knowing he’s part dragon, Marc joins a group of Dragonkyn who call themselves Sorceron. As Marc discovers new powers within himself, he starts to wonder how much he can really trust his fellow Dragonkyn. After the leader of Sorceron orders the rest of the group to kill Marc, he flees. But when he discovers that people are going to attack the Sorceron, Marc is faced with a dilemma. Will he try to help the Dragonkyn who tried to kill him?"

Friday, April 28, 2017

50/50 Friday (30): World You'd Like/Not Like to Live In


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: World You'd Like/Not Like to Live In

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

R&R Review Wednesday: The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes


The Ugly Teapot #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world.

To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp Hannah found the most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special.

Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do.

She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . .

The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is a timeless tale, filled with magic and adventure. More importantly, it will make you believe in the overwhelming power of love."


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

R&R Review and Release Tuesday: Among the Flames by Shelby K. Morrison


Legend of the Liberator #2

Goodreads Blurb:
"After fleeing her home in Tharien with the Emperor's forces hot on her heels, Aia Wynnald has only one goal: To end the two-thousand-year-old discrimination against Benders—a race of beings like her, with a misunderstood gift. But when the Emperor’s Church of Mighty retaliates with a new threat, her noble plans are put on hold.

With her companion Cole Balain, a former enemy, by her side, Aia must halt the devastation triggered by her well-meaning actions. The only way she can fight the Church is with the help of a disenchanted group of rebel Benders who'd sooner submit to their fate than follow Aia's lead.

Can she inspire them to fight and work together to resolve this new crisis, or will her ingrained submissive nature bring her, and the Benders of Dyel, to their knees?"


Sunday, April 23, 2017

R&R Review and Giveaway Sunday: Fractured Memories by Jo Schneider

Amazon (free for Kindle today!) Goodreads  Barnes and Noble (free for Nook today!)

Jagged Scars #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She’s learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she's the lone survivor.

Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but trust has never been one of Wendy's strengths, and suspicion soon leads to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family.

The decision to get her revenge, and take the settlement down from the inside out is easy. Keeping her distance from those she must befriend in order to make it happen proves to be much more difficult."


Friday, April 21, 2017

50/50 Friday (29): Favorite/Least Favorite Book in the Fantasy Genre


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Favorite/Least Favorite Book in the Fantasy Genre

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bookish Discussions: YA Protagonists and the Eternal Pool of Brave (and 3 Reasons Why I Will Not Be a YA Protagonist)


I recently read and reviewed the book The Awakening by D.J. Torres.  If you haven't read my review and you'd like to, you can find it HERE.  I realized something about YA protagonists that I hadn't before while reading that book.  They all seem to have access to an eternal pool of brave that the rest of the world is seemingly barred from using.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

R&R Review Sunday: Meritorium by Joel Ohman


Meritropolis #2

Goodreads Blurb:
"Charley has escaped from Meritropolis…

but in his quest to take down the System that has taken his brother from him, he must go through Meritorium, a city where gladiatorial games of life or death combat are waged between High Scores and Low Scores, man and beast.

Charley and Sandy must face man-eating plants, religious zealots, slave traders, and the ever present mutant animal combinations that roam a dystopian Coliseum presided over by Emperor Titus, the one man standing between Charley and the answers he seeks. Man is not an animal, but if they are to make it through Meritorium, will they even be able to tell the difference?

The lines between man and beast, friend and foe, will blur in Meritorium, the riveting sequel to the bestselling Meritropolis."

Friday, April 14, 2017

50/50 Friday (28): Lightest/Darkest Book (atmosphere)


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Lightest/Darkest Book (atmosphere)


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Review Wednesday: Caraval by Stephanie Garber


Caraval #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away."

Sunday, April 9, 2017

R&R Review and Interview Sunday: The Awakening by D.J. Torres


The Nature of Gods #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"When gods and goddesses abruptly overthrow Earth, humans are given two choices – worship or die. Desperate to survive, Olivia and her family devote their days to fulfilling the will of the gods. But the wrath of the gods is insatiable and unpredictable. With her hope crushed, Olivia is resigned to her bleak fate . . . until she meets Nature.

Immediately, Olivia knows this charismatic girl with color-changing eyes isn’t normal. Nature looks like a teenager yet she has the power to control the weather and converse with animals. Nature opens Olivia’s eyes to a hidden world that had always existed in harmony with her own. However, know-it-all butterflies and mystical creatures aren’t the only secrets revealed as Olivia discovers the dark plan of the gods.

When Nature decides to confront the gods, Olivia is catapulted to the forefront of humanity’s battle for survival. Olivia must rely on her courage, strength, and newfound gifts as she faces monster-infested pathways and ever-looming traps. But does she have enough courage or skill to battle brutal gods eager to rule the world and dole out punishment to anyone who defies them? Nature and the world depend on it."

Friday, April 7, 2017

50/50 Friday (27): Best/Worst Conclusion to a Series


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Best/Worst Conclusion to a Series

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

R&R Review Wednesday: The Witch Within Her by Nick Iuppa


Taken By Witches #2

Blurb:
"SEXY, STUNNING, RELENTLESS HORROR
A possessed child is caught in a war between witches!

Spanning centuries of horror and witchcraft, the powerful sequel to Taken By Witches tells how Babcia Czarownica, the greatest of all witches, does battle with far more seductive members of her craft. She must confront a lustful priest, a predatory lover, a vengeful undead beauty, and the unspeakable evil hiding at the top of Rapunzel’s Tower... all to save her beloved grandson and his family from utter annihilation. And she must accomplish all this while sharing the body of an eight-year-old girl."

Monday, April 3, 2017

March Wrap-Up


Guys!  March is over already which means a quarter of the year is done! (and I haven't even posted my goals for this year... *crawls into corner*)  This month hasn't been great for reading but it's also been a pretty intense week at university so there's that.  Let me show you just how pathetic my reading totals are for this month.  Shall we?

Friday, March 31, 2017

50/50 Friday (26): Best/Worst Book Read In March


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Best/Worst Read In March

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

R&R Review Wednesday: Escaping the Rainfield by Eliza Rich


Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"“April 12, 2003. “Beep. Beep. We interrupt your radio station to bring you this important message. The counties of… no. The states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and southern portions of Iowa and Nebraska are in a Flood Warning.””

This was no typical flood warning. With eleven states expecting three to ten inches of rain for an unprecedented number of days, the United States was in a frenzy. Families were evacuating their hometowns in hopes of locating refuge on dry land, but Hannah Davis’ family thought that they could out wait the storm. When their panicked Grandmother reaches out to them, requesting help, they find themselves fighting the weather and time to rescue her. As if that wasn’t enough, shortly after joining forces with two of Hannah’s classmates, Adrian and Ophelia, they come face to face with a gang that wants Adrian dead. As the days go by the family grows increasingly wary whether or not they will reach their Grandmother in time. Will the Davis’ be able to come together to outwit the storm and its surrounding catastrophes? Or will Hannah’s affection for Adrian put her family in more danger than it is worth?"


Friday, March 24, 2017

50/50 Friday (25): Novel Worth/Not Worth the Hype


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Novel Worth/Not Worth the Hype


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

R&R Review Wednesday: Johnny and Jamaal by K.M. Breakey


Stand alone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"Two athletes from different planets are on the verge of greatness. Johnny’s a carefree Canadian making his mark in the NHL. Jamaal’s set to follow LeBron and Kyrie out of the ghetto. When their worlds collide, the catastrophic clash ignites racial conflict not seen since Ferguson. The incident tests the fledgling love of Johnny’s best friend Lucas and his African-American girlfriend Chantal, and sets them on a quest for truth and justice in the perverse racial landscape of 2016.

As chaos escalates across American cities, an MLK-like voice rises from the ashes. Wilbur Rufus Holmes may be salvation for Luke and Chantal, but can he stop society’s relentless descent into racial discord?

Johnny and Jamaal is awash with sports, violence and political taboo, as America’s seething dysfunction is laid bare."

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)


Live Action Remake (1991)

IMDB Blurb:
"An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love."


Friday, March 17, 2017

50/50 Friday (24): Best/Worst Debut Novel


50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Best/Worst Debut Novel

Thursday, March 16, 2017

ARC Review and Release Thursday: Endurance by Amy Daws


Part of the London Lovers universe (but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone)

Release Date: March 16th, 2017 (TODAY!)


Goodreads Blurb:
"Tanner Harris has been busy shagging his way through the ladies of east London, but getting caught by the paparazzi buck-naked with his trouser snake in his hands means he’s sowed his last wild oat.

Dr. Belle Ryan once thought Tanner Harris was the perfect kind of bearded bad boy she needed to relieve a bit of stress after her intense job as a surgical fellow, but an icy cold rejection from London’s sluttiest footballer puts the two at each other’s throats.

Fate and a favour conspire to put Tanner and Belle back in each other’s paths and they’re forced to do a lot more than get along to save face and their careers.

Rage turns to passion and tempers run sizzling hot when they realise they aren’t just falling for each other—they’re jumping head first. And neither have the endurance to keep their hands to themselves."

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