Weekly Wrap Up + What We Read 2/7/16

Happy Sunday everyone! This week Michaela and I are back with not only an impressive set of posts, but also an impressive reading list! Okay, well, Michaela’s is always impressive but I’m trying to make up for all the reading I didn’t do LAST week. I got to three books. College is hard, guys. Anyways, here we go!

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Worth It Wednesday: The Bandia series by Talia Vance

Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!

SilverTitles: Silver & Gold

Author: Talia Vance

Goodreads Description (Silver): “As I step into the room, a silver flash blurs my vision. Before I can take a breath, the world falls away.”

Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can’t resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party where Brianna’s charm bracelet slips off and time stands still. In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her she’s been hiding even from herself.

Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable.

But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both. Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find themselves at the heart of an ancient feud that threatens to destroy their lives and their love.

Why it’s worth it: So here’s the thing about Silver. It sounds very … generic? Like, the kind of story that you’ve read before. While it most certainly is NOT when you finally read it, it’s also why I couldn’t JUST say Silver for this post. My favorite is actually Gold, because this romance does NOT go where you think it’s going to. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First things first: if you love Celtic mythology, stop reading right now and just find a copy. The mythos of this novel is done so well, and so thoroughly researched, that I loved that aspect in both books. I thought I knew a bunch, but I learned a lot more.

Silver, to be honest, does go in most of the ways that you would expected. Blake and Brie are from two separate worlds, but they love each other despite of it, their love makes them stronger … etc. One of the great pluses was that when Brie falls into insta-love with Blake, Blake steps back and is like WHAT and that jump to insta-love is actually PART of the plot instead of something we’re supposed to believe is true and everlasting love. That, honestly, should have been my clue that these books were not going to immediately fall into every trope I thought was coming. As you might guess from my original 4 1/2 star review, it totally did not. I was very pleased.

But then it gets even better with Gold, wherein Vance takes any expectations you had left and smashes them. I was absolutely blown away how Vance’s already strong writing and great storytelling ability didn’t stop there, but then ALSO tackled some of the more realistic aspects of the “two different worlds” trope along with the romance in general. I find it hilarious now that I rated Gold 4 stars where I rated Silver 4 1/2, because I can’t remember the last time I re-read Silver but I re-read Gold all the time. I think, especially in a world where I’m just getting more and more disgusted with tropes, the second book keeps standing out more and more to me.

Honest to goodness, after Silver I was prepared for Gold to continue on the story of another pseudo Romeo and Juliet that had a love triangle involved–but I loved the characters and story so much that I didn’t care. In the end, Vance rewarded me with something SO MUCH BETTER and something VERY worth reading!

Read it if you’re looking for: Celtic mythology, anti-insta-love, not another love triangle, swoon worthy romance, realistic romance, strong female characters, books set in Ireland, books that make you laugh out loud, books that tug at your heart strings

Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

Gretchen here, filling in for Marina this week while she tackles Latin homework and midterms. This week was a hard one, only because there were so many options that I could have picked. Although I may have cheated a little, but only if you’re definition of “sequel” is book two in a series. If not, then we’re good. 😉 These are in no particular order.

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ARC Review: “Gold” by Talia Vance

GoldGold (Bandia #2) by Talia Vance

Goodreads | Amazon

Descended from an Irish demigod, Brianna has fled to Ireland to escape destruction at the hands of her sworn enemies, the Sons of Killian. Taking refuge at the estate of her former nemesis, Austin Montgomery, Brianna discovers a rift in time that opens to an era before the feud began.

Wrestling with her newfound feelings for the more innocent Austin, Brianna begins to wonder if she can alter the past. But when Brianna and Austin learn that the Sons are raising an army of mythical beasts, the pair will need to use their magical strength in the present to avoid a tragic end.

Four stars

Thanks to Flux and NetGalley for this eARC! This title will be released September 8th.

WARNING: This review WILL contain spoilers for book #1. Please see my review of Silver for more!

If you read my review of book one, then you know that I died in all the right ways during Silver. I had so much fun with the action and the sexiness (both books have a PG-13 rating for sure), and I was completely depressed when it ended. When Gold popped up on NetGalley, I hit the request button so hard I thought my mouse would break. Whatever I expected out of Gold, though, was not what I got–but in a (mostly) good way.

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Weekly Wrap-Up + Stacking the Shelves #13

wrapup

I don’t know if this is for myself or you guys, but I’m going to start doing weekly wrap up posts along with my Stacking the Shelves videos. So if you want to watch the video…go! If you don’t, here’s a summary of what’s happening:

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ARC Review: “Silver” by Talia Vance

Silver by Talia Vance (Click for Goodreads)

4 1/2 stars

Beauty is pointless when no one’s looking.
Brianna Paxton has been invisible to guys since the eighth grade. She’s pretty enough, it’s just that no one bothers to look. There’s almost nothing that can’t be explained with science, and Brianna has a theory: she’s missing the pheromone that attracts people to one another. Brianna’s theory is shot to hell in one frozen, silver moment, when time stops and Blake Williams not only sees her, he recognizes something inside her that she’s been hiding from even herself.
Before Brianna fully understands who and what she is, she accidentally binds her soul to Blake. Forced to find a way to reconcile forbidden love and her bloody heritage, Brianna discovers that there’s nothing pointless about her, and Blake may be in the most danger of all.

This review is based on an ARC received from NetGalley. You can get a copy for yourself September 8, 2012

I don’t even know where to start with this book. I went into it a little apprehensively, because the blurb made it sound like Brie might be another one of those girls who goes on and on about how she’s not pretty and then whoops there would be this insta-love thing and I would be left knocking my head against my desk.

That didn’t happen.

First off, Brie is totally relatable. She’s geeky, but not in the overpowering, stereotype way. She doesn’t think she’s pretty, she thinks she’s invisible BUT she doesn’t spend hours whining about it. She accepts it, she’s chill about it and she let’s that make her stronger. Especially after dealing with the character of America in The Selection, that was fantastic to read. Add in some snappy dialogue and I was hooked.

The book started off with a rocky beginning, and that was when I realized this book was going to go severely either way with me. The reason for the half star dock is that there were a few logical inconsistencies that made me flip back a few pages and say WHAT JUST HAPPENED HERE? or HOW DOES THAT WORK? and I got no explanation. For me, though, they were small (okay, one was not so small and that’s the biggest reason for the docked 1/2 star but I can’t tell you what it is without spoiling!) and I forgot them in the fast pace of the novel. I just enjoyed the ride.

And it is a fantastic ride. There are few books that make me actually laugh out loud, and this is one of them. I was not a fan of Blake at first, but then all the sudden Brie is being all stupidly into insta-love and Blake takes a step back and goes INSTA-LOVE? EW! We became good friends after that point.

The mythology–as you might have seen hinted at and that’s probably the reason why you thought this book was cool–doesn’t disappoint. Vance doesn’t spend an inordinate amount of time explaining it either, which is nice. We know what we need to know as we need to know it. Then, of course, there is all the supernatural powers being flung around. In my book, that is always awesome. Despite not knowing anything about these Irish myths, I was instantly at home in the world and the legend, which isn’t always easy to do.

A big thing with me is always a book’s pacing, and there Silver didn’t disappoint either. There was certainly time set about for “normal” life and romance, but there was plenty of action too–at almost the perfect intervals, actually. Nothing was squashed together or rushed, for the most part. The book kept moving and I was unable to find many places to stop and catch my breath. I know I’m into a book when I have to force myself to literally get up and take a breather for a second.

Overall, Silver is one of my new favorites of 2012. It makes me genuinely sad you guys can’t share this with me until September 8. The characters were relatable and cute, the dialogue was snappy and the mythology was excellent. All the action and romance didn’t help either. 😛 If you’re in for a refreshing read with a great storyline, fast action and sexy romance, definitely give this one a try!

Goodreads tells me that Vance will be writing a second Bandia novel, tentatively titled Gold, to be published 2013. However, it also informs me the title isn’t even final. But add it to your TBR with Silver anyways. 😛