ARC Review: Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

I am mad about 3 things. Very, very mad. I also give this book 4.5 stars. How does this figure, you ask? Guess you’re going to have to watch the review to find out!

Thesis Thursdays: Review – “Graceling” by Kristin Cashore

Thesis Thursdays is a weekly(ish) feature where I rant, love and talk about young adult books I’m reading because I’m conning my college into thinking this is all for academia! Find out more here!

GracelingGraceling (Graceling Realm #1) by Kristin Cashore

Published October 1, 2008, by Harcourt

Goodreads | Amazon

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight – she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace – or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away…

Four and a half stars

I was about to call this review a re-review and then I realized I never actually reviewed this on my blog. I have no recollection of a time before my blog but … whatever. Anyways.

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ARC Review: “Once We Were” by Kat Zhang

Once We WereOnce We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles #2) by Kat Zhang

Goodreads | Amazon

“I’m lucky just to be alive”

Eva was never supposed to have survived this long. As the recessive soul, she should have faded away years ago. Instead, she lingers in the body she shares with her sister soul, Addie. When the government discovered the truth, they tried to “cure” the girls, but Eva and Addie escaped before the doctors could strip Eva’s soul away.

Now fugitives, Eva and Addie find shelter with a group of hybrids who run an underground resistance. Surrounded by others like them, the girls learn how to temporarily disappear to give each soul some much-needed privacy. Eva is thrilled at the chance to be alone with Ryan, the boy she’s falling for, but troubled by the growing chasm between her and Addie. Despite clashes over their shared body, both girls are eager to join the rebellion.

Yet as they are drawn deeper into the escalating violence, they start to wonder: How far are they willing to go to fight for hybrid freedom? Faced with uncertainty and incredible danger, their answers may tear them apart forever.

Four and a half stars

Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for this eARC! This title will be released September 17th, 2013.

WARNING: This review WILL include spoilers for the first book, What’s Left of Me. Read my review for more!

Getting a hold of an ARC of this book became an absolute necessity after reading the first book. When Edelweiss declined my first request, I requested again – basically until they let me have it. I was like a dog with a bone for this book, and with good reason. What’s Left of Me blew me out of the water and then some. Of course, after that, it was impossible to like the second one as much as the first, but the book gave me a good go, anyways!

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ARC REVIEW: “THE DREAM THIEVES” BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER

The Dream ThievesThe Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

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Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Four and a half stars

Thanks to Scholastics and NetGalley for this eARC! This title will be released September 17th, 2013.

Warning: this review will contain spoilers for The Raven Boys. See my review of the first book HERE.

Given my last review, it will come as no surprise to anybody that I love this book. If the writing was only good instead of awesome and the plot was only so-so, I would adore it for the characters alone. But the writing is amazing—maybe the best yet. I had to resist the urge to quote random sentences at literally everybody.

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ARC Review: “The Bitter Kingdom” by Rae Carson

The Bitter KingdomThe Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson

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The epic conclusion to Rae Carson’s Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.

Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she’s never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most.

Four and a half stars

Thanks to Edelweiss and Greenwillow Books for this eARC! This title will be released on August 27th, 2013.

WARNING: This review WILL have spoilers for The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Crown of Embers. Read my review of #1 HERE and my review of #2 HERE.

The one question you want answered is: is this a satisfying conclusion to an amazing series? Right off the bat, I’m pleased to tell you that yes, yes it does. On more levels than I may be capable of describing.

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ARC Review: “Indelible” by Dawn Metcalf

IndelibleIndelible (The Twixt #1) by Dawn Metcalf

Goodreads | Amazon

Some things are permanent.

Indelible.

And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies…

THE TWIXT

Four and a half stars

Thanks to NetGalley and HarlequinTeen for this eARC! This title will be released on July 30th.

At about the same time, I requested and received Ink by Amanda Sun and Indelible. Both of them had similar tones, and I was excited about each for different ways. I read Ink first, because I was more excited about that one at the time. The experience went very badly, as you know if you saw my post. Needless to say, I was terrified of starting Indelible because I didn’t think it would go well either. Boy, was I surprised.

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ARC Review: “Belladonna” by Fiona Paul

BelladonnaBelladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #2) by Fiona Paul

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In the second in the stunning Secrets of the Eternal Rose series, Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancé, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he’s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose—the only evidence that will prove he’s innocent.

So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of vampirism, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who is working for the Order’s eerily stunning leader, the Belladonna herself.

Can Cass trust her heart to lead her to the truth this time?
Nothing is as it seems in this seductive thriller, where the truth may be the deadliest poison of all.

Four and a half stars

Thanks to NetGalley and Philomel for this eARC! This title will be released July 16th.

WARNING: This review WILL contain spoilers for the first book, Venom. Read my review of that one HERE!

I don’t know what I was expecting when I started this book, but lemme give it to you straight: I was NOT expecting THAT.

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ARC Review: “Reboot” by Amy Tintera

RebootReboot (Reboot #1) by Amy Tintera

Goodreads | Amazon

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

4 stars

Thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for this eARC! This title is now available.

Actually, I’m not sure if I should give this one four stars or four and a half stars. 4.25 stars isn’t in my rating system, per se, but if it was that’s what I’d rate this book. Here’s why:

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ARC Review: “The Boyfriend App” by Katie Sise

The Boyfriend AppThe Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

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In The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise, super-smart, somewhat geeky Audrey McCarthy can’t wait to get out of high school. Her father’s death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.

But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler—and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she’s the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around. But can the Boyfriend App bring Audrey true love?

4 1/2 stars

Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins Children for this eARC! This book is now available.

First all, we all need to admit something. Some times it is just SO FANTASTIC to have a book that is utter mind candy in our hands. I really needed one of those, and this book jumped right up to fill that gap SO perfectly. If you require that your books be completely believable…you may want to step away. If you think this is a contemporary romance that won’t have scifi elements jumping up and screaming GOTCHA, then you are wrong. Now you have been warned.

The Boyfriend App opens up in a pretty cliche place. Proud geek Audrey is hanging with her geeky friends, staring longingly at the popular table where her ex-best friend Blake sits with Xander, the handsome lacrosse player that Audrey is convinced that Blake only dates because she knows that Audrey liked him. Audrey is also completely immune to the obvious wanting of friend and fellow geek Aiden, who is almost pretty enough to make her forget Xander. Almost. Blake makes a scene and Audrey ends up having to go to the counselor, in whose office she hears about an app contest worth her college scholarship. Since her dad died, she and her mother have very little money, and this could be the ticket to her dream school: Notre Dame. Audrey comes up with the best idea: Why not create an app that finds your perfect boyfriend?

I will be the first person to admit that I found this premise completely cheesy and ridiculous. I honestly don’t even remember why I requested it. But as I read on, I fell in love with Sise’s quirky characters and storytelling ability. The pace was fast, the dialogue was funny, and the characters had enough quirks to stay mostly out of the realm of cliche. There was actually a lot of serious tech speak in this book that I wasn’t expecting, but it both flowed naturally into the story while also convincing me that Sise really knew what she was talking about. The amount of tech speak that happened could have drowned this cute and fluffy story, but it didn’t, and I’m impressed by that.

So there I am, zooming through the pages, and suddenly in the middle of the book it seems like everything’s going to pot. The App isn’t working correctly, her friends are getting hurt. This is usually the point where the real boy she’s supposed to be with swoops in and tells her that winning isn’t everything and friendship is the real prize and blah blah blah. But it’s the MIDDLE of the BOOK. Is this book going to drag out the emotional touchy feely stuff? Am I going to have to learn moral stories for 50% of this thing? The answer is no. What’s really happening is:

THE STORY IS GOING CRAZY.

All of the sudden, Audrey breaks her phone and realizes what’s so special about the technology in her phone. (I can’t tell you or it’d be spoilers, so run with the vagueness for a second.) She hacks in, steals the technology, and uses it to create a new and improved Boyfriend App. I am not kidding about the crazy part. Her new app causes legit worldwide riots of love. The cute and the quirky are suddenly put on acid and start freewheeling across the pages.

I’ll be honest. If you want to look at it critically, then the second half of this story are pretty unbelievable. The logical part of your brain will without a doubt be standing and shouting SHENANIGANS! But the great thing is, I was having so much fun I wasn’t listening. (Plus, even the love triangle gets almost sidelined because there are RIOTS OF LOVE HAPPENING, PEOPLE!) It’s completely crazy and ridiculous, but the entire charm of the book is just that.

Like I said before, if you want a contemporary romance of completely believability, I’d suggest you look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a crazy, cute ride that’s more scifi then it appears, then GIVE THIS A GO. This is a super fast and fun read that might be the perfect option if you’re looking for a little mind candy to amuse you for a while.

Review: “Asunder” by Jodi Meadows

AsunderAsunder (New Soul #2) by Jodi Meadows

Goodreads | Amazon

DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

SHADOWS
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

LOVE
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

4 1/2 stars

There was no way I could love this book as much as I loved Incarnate. I just had to accept that fact before I cracked the spine. The second books in series’ have a hard time measuring up as a rule. There was also no way that anything could replicate the absolute gush of emotions that Incarnate stirred up in me. With that in mind, I was ready to accept Asunder as it came. Honestly, it came pretty darn close to Incarnate.

The shining light in these books is Ana, and that stayed true for the entirety of Asunder. In a world of books where I can tell the main character is the imagination of the author, I always feel like she is a real person. She isn’t perfect, and she is always growing. I am constantly amazed that Meadows can show just how young she is compared to all the other souls in Heart, yet it never seems like a bad thing. Every other time authors have tried to make young adult characters act young, they tend to end up whiny and annoying. Ana’s inexperience and ignorance keeps her real, and can sometimes be a strength. Her relationship with Sam sometimes verges on being clichéd true love, but every time Meadows reins it in and reminds us of the age gap or another obstacle that they have to work through.

Sam, on the other hand, I’m a little bit frustrated with, though I can’t tell if that’s the reaction I’m supposed to have or not. I say that because he’s obviously frustrated with himself, and what he wants from his and Ana’s relationship and what the societal conventions are telling him. Hopefully, his choice at the end of the book is going to clear this up. What choice you ask? Don’t be ridiculous, that’s a spoiler.

The plot of this book was overall really amazing. I didn’t get the same amount of wow factors as I did in Incarnate until the end of the book, but that also may because I was more familiar with the book. Some very interesting characters were introduced, which kept subtly playing with the themes of love and relationships that I gushed over in the first book—and were also just awesome. I will say that I saw almost every plot twist coming, or at least figured it out early enough into the device that it felt that way. I’m still really conflicted about how the book ended as well, but I can’t talk about that because SPOILERS. If you felt the same, give me a shout out on social media or something and we can chat about it!

All in all, Meadows continues to delight me with every page, and this series is definitely one of my new favorites. I never usually have a huge connection to main characters, but I so wish Ana was real so we could be best friends—she certainly feels real! I respect every decision Meadows has made with Ana, Ana and Sam’s relationship and the general themes about love that run throughout the book. In multiple reviews I have asked authors to write a believable teen character and a real romance that doesn’t need a love triangle to thrive, and Meadows has gone over and above my wildest dreams. My heart may be rent asunder when I get to the end of the final book.