Book Chick's Reads

Reviews of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Dystopian YA and Adult novels.

Did I read a different book?

The Winner's Curse (Winner's Trilogy, #1) - Marie Rutkoski

Base on some of ther reviews on Goodreads I am beginning to think I read a different book.  I was fooled into believing I was in store for a YA fantasy with intrigure, politics, action, advenutre, you know all the good stuff in fantasies.  Well that is not what I got.  I got nothing more than a love story...with very little action.  It wasn't JUST that is was a love story it was one where people stared at each other and swooned from afar.  It just wasn't interesting.

 

What kept me reading?  The writing.  The writing is fantastic.  The writing is what kept me going and what prompted three stars.  Because in the end it isn't that the book is bad, the author did a fabulous job telling the story with beautiful prose, it just wasn't very exciting.  Well it eventually got exciting but 3/4 of the book was over by then and it was just too late.

 

If you are looking solely for a  YA romance this is for you.  If you wanted something with action, this is not for you.

 

A beautiful book but not for me. 

Read this!

The Star Thief - Jamie Grey

Just a quick post to tell everyone to read this book!  I am not normally (or at all) a fan of books categorized at "New Adult" however this is one expection!  I admit I am really into space operas right now and can't get my hands on enough of them so when I found out about this book I was giddy.  Giddy I tell you. 

 

Space...check; sexy romance...check; kick butt main characters...double check.

 

In short Renna is a mercenary caught in the act by a secret governement agency that needs her help.  She agrees and intergalatic goodness ensues.  This was a fabulous book that has both sexy times and an actual plot that keeps you reading.  The best part is the sequel comes out this summer so not a long wait to see what happens next!

 

I highly recommend!!!

What an Amazing Book!

VIcious - Victoria Schwab, V. E. Schwab

I have had this book in my TBR pile since it came out but something always made me pick up something else instead.  Once I started it though I was kicking myself for waiting so long.  Seriously this was such a unique and interesting story.

 

The book is about two college friends, Eli and Victor, who, through scientific experiments, become EOs, ExtraOrdinaries.  The story unravels what happened in college and then what happens ten years later.  The story flips not only between "now" and "then" but also different POVs from all our characters.

 

I loved the book for a variety of reasons.  First the writing is extraordinary.  I was captivated and enthralled by the voice of the characters.  Ms. Schwab did a nice job of unraveling the story and telling it in a way that drew me in and kept me entertained.  It was very addictive.

 

I also loved the characters.  First you need to know this is NOT a book about superheroes but rather anti-heroes.  Each character has a part of good in them but unfortunately they also have a rather large bad part in them too.  I loved the flawed characters.  This book is not about bad vs. good.  It is about bad vs. worse.  I loved every character.  The good, the bad and the ugly of each one of them!

 

This was such a unique and captivating book.  I highly suggest this book to anyone despite what genre you normally read.  Throughout the whole book all I could think about was, "wow this is a great book."  Pick it up today!

Sneak Peak....

The Unbound - Victoria Schwab

I read the first 8 chapters via a sneak peak from Netgalley and I cannot wait for the release of this book!  I was a big fan of The Archived by Victoria Schwab and so far so good with The Unbound.

 

I was worried I wouldn't remember a lot of what happened in the previous book but Ms. Schwab did an excellent job of weaving in reminders of what happened.  

 

I love this world and the unique premise of the books.  I can't wait until the book releases on 1/28/14.

 

If you have not picked up The Archived, book 1 of this series, I highly suggest you do so NOW as you have a little over a week to read it in preparation for the release of book 2.

A Somewhat Lackluster Finish

The Offering  - Kimberly Derting

I really loved the first book of this series.  I really liked the second book of this series.  I really struggled with the final book of this series.  I want to say the problem was me and that if you have read the first two books you will be delighted with the final installment.  I just wasn't.  

 

My problem was one that I find in a lot of YA reads.  The MC has a problem and comes up with a really stupid plan and doesn't tell a soul.  Why?  Why not tell the people closest to you that you need help?  Because guess what Charlie, your inability to open up to those around you because you think that your big plan you came up with will defy the odds and save the world caused a big stinkin mess.  I don't get it.  At least this was better than other books that I have had to DNF because of this issue.  The good thing is that I enjoyed the series enough to press through and continue reading (but got a headache rolling my eyes so much).  

 

I also found myself skimming a bit.  There was a lot of internal dialogue and description that I just didn't care about.  Or maybe I would have cared more had I not been annoyed with the MC so much.

 

Despite these issues I did want to know what happened and wanted to finish the book.  I'm glad I read it and more importantly, I'm glad it was a short book I could finish quickly.

Satisfying Ending

Into the Still Blue - Veronica Rossi

I have become very wary of YA trilogies these days.  I fear the third book.  Into The Still Blue is not a final installment to be afraid of.  It wrapped up the series nicely.  I am very satisfied with the ending.

 

Into the Still Blue begins shortly after the ending of Through the Ever Night.  If you need a recap, the bloggers over at Recaptains have recaps available for both books in the series. (http://recaptains.blogspot.com/search/label/Veronica%20Rossi%3A%20Under%20the%20Never%20Sky)  What I liked most about this story is that is has both action scenes and slower character scenes.  I like books with a lot of action however there was one book I started last year that I had to stop reading and not finish because every time our characters finished one obstacle another one started.  There was nothing but action.  I need my character to grow, develop and not constantly be fighting for their lives.  Veronica Rossi accomplish this for me in the final book of this series.  

 

Another great thing about this book is we get to learn more about some of the other characters in the book.  Soren is one that stuck out for me the most.  His character development from book 1 to book 3 is remarkable.  

 

I'm not going to give a lot of plot details because it is a third book and I feel like you should get to discover it on your own.  I do recommend you reading it as I think it ties up nicely in the end.  The ending (like the very last page or two) were a little lack luster for me but i thought it was a nice ending overall.

Amazing Debut!

Defy - Sara B. Larson

WOW!  What an amazing debut from Sara Larson.  This is exactly the kind of book this chick loves!

 

Here's the quick rundown of the book.  The story is set in a jungle country called Antion. King Hector of this country has declared war against the desert country of Blevon.  The King of Antion blames Blevon and its sorcerers for the murder of his Queen.  The story is told by Alex a/k/a Alexa.  A young girl masquerading as a boy in the Prince's personal guard.  I won't go into too many details because I want you to discovery all the elements of the story on your own.  I just want say how much I enjoyed this book.  Again.  While I will admit some of the aspects of the story were predicable, I still enjoyed it immensely.  

 

The story mainly takes place in the jungle country, which for a fantasy novel is a nice change, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the story.  While a portion of the story took place in the desert country, we were not given too many details of that country.  I do wish we had even more of the jungle in the story but that is just because I don't see a jungle setting used in too many fantasy books and would love to have see it used more.

 

Our characters are all very likable.  Prince Damain and Rylan are the two other main characters.  While we see more of what makes Prince Damian tick and therefore feel more connected to him, Rylan is a great character and I hope to learn more about him in future books.  Their are a ton of other great characters and I found them all very well written.  Ms. Larson did an amazing job of connecting the characters and the readers emotionally.  Our cast of characters have not had easy lives and we are drawn into their struggles and feel for them as they try to muddle their way through their dilemmas.

 

This story has it all.  Action, intrigue, romance, good vs. evil, twists and no cliffhanger.  I did not realize this was a series until I started writing this review.  I am very excited to see the next installment.

 

The only warning I have for you is that there is a love triangle.  Despite my hatred of love triangles this one didn't annoy me as much.  I loved this story so much that I wasn't that bothered by this aspect of the story. At first I found it unnerving that in the middle of her country at war Alexa starting focusing on kissing boys.  But then I remembered she is only 17 and that is probably what most 17 year old girls think about when facing swoony boys.  Luckily she snapped out of that phase.

 

This is a great read and a fabulous debut from Sara Larson.  I can't wait to read more from her.

 

A solid second installment

The Seers - Julianna Scott

The Seers by Julianna Scott is the second book in the Holders series.  The book is what I would classify as a modern day fantasy.  The series follows a group of individuals with unusual gifts called Holders.  This second installments follows Becca as she travels to an estate to to track down Cirian who was implicated in the plot against her from book 1.  At the estate she is also introduced into the Holder society which is comprised of the Holder elite.

 

I had reservations about this installment initially because I feared it would have your atypical YA plot line.  Outsider girl meets Holder Royalty who is full of angst.  Girl breaks his shell and falls for him.  Love triangle ensues.  I am please to inform you this is not what happened!  We are introduced to said Holder angsty boy but he is a welcomed addition to our cast of characters and I cannot emphasize this enough...not a romantic interest.  That is a bit spoliery but if like me you loathe love triangles I am spoiling for the greater good. And to be honest it is not really spoilery at all.

 

This is a fun book.  This whole series is a fun read.  Yes this is a YA book and you should definitely expect to see some of the regular themes present in YA story lines. However I enjoy the characters and setting most of all.  The characters are very real with very real emotions and draw readers in with all kinds of emotions.  

 

The story is unique one with a unique and interesting world.  

 

I recommend this series and the second installment.  This is a great read if you are stuck in a rut and cannot find anything that appeals to you.  

 

 

 

As the Fantasy World Turns

Rebel Spring - Morgan Rhodes

I mean honestly. This is straight up a daytime soap opera. I just...I can't. This is a YA romance with a little light fantasy thrown in there. It’s not bad just completely predicable and a little disappointing. The saddest embarassing part is that I was totally sucked in! Why? How?  I don’t know. Probably the same reason I am still watching Grey's Anatomy after all these years. I hate myself just a tad for wanting to read them next one.

Lady Thief - A.C. Gaughen

Teaser trailer!

Better than expected

Bitter Sweet Love - Jennifer L. Armentrout

I’ll admit I wasn’t really pumped about reading this.  I’ve read most of Jennifer Armentrout’s series and I usual love them in the beginning and by then end of the series I’m more like, “meh”.  To be honest the description did not excite me.  I mean a sentence like, “Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again...” in the description makes my eyes roll so much I get a headache.  I was afraid I was in for a whine fest about the woes of teenage love.  While that was a larger part of the story I enjoyed the characters and the plot of the series that was trying hard to not be smothered by an adolescent love story.  Yes I will admit the love story was sweet.  The novella is a good start to the series.  JLA fans will be pleased.  I will probably read the full series.  I might not be counting the days until White Hot Kiss publishes but I will definitely add it to be TBR pile and read it eventually.  I hope to see more action and substantive plot in the coming novels over teenage love angst.  Don’t get me wrong, I love some swoony boys and sweet romance but needs more than just that in a book. 

Did not want this one to end!

These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

Wow! I was not expecting this book to be as good as it was. Add this book to your TBR pile ASAP!

 

I have heard this book described many times as “Titanic but in space.” That is a very poor comparison. Yes both have pretty dresses and "ship" crashes but the similarities end there. This book was a book of survival. Not just survival of the crash but so many other things as well.

 

The quick and dirty of the plot is that there is this really big super elite spaceship flying along in space and all of a sudden it crashes. The story follows two survivors as they make their way across the planet trying to get rescued. I will be honest the synopsis of the book given here and other sites didn't do anything for me however once I started reading I was quickly swept up by the amazing writing and suspense of the book.

 

The two main characters, Lilac and Tarver, were very well written. The authors fleshed out their personalities in a well-rounded manner. They were at times annoying, lovable, strong, scared, happy, sad, etc. They experienced it all. Lilac had the biggest growth in the book. She was a completely different person at the beginning of the book than she was in the end. I mean a devastating spaceship crash will do that to a girl. Tarver had to overcome some serious hang-ups about his feelings about certain things while trying to survive on the planet.

 

The planet itself was a main character. I LOVED the whats and whys of the planet. Slowing revealing little of itself to our castaways. I think I love the planet just as much as our survivors.

 

While the book makes it obvious that Tarver at least was found on the planet (each chapter has a snippet of his debrief interview), I did not find it lessened the suspense of the story.  The story is about more than just if they get rescued.  The planet and what the survivors find and experience provides more suspense than their rescue.

 

I have seen this billed as both YA and NA. I would say it hovers nicely somewhere in-between.

 

I feel like my review has not done this book justice. Seriously it is wonderful. PICK IT UP!

 

Oh and....NO LOVE TRIANGLE!  Romance yes.  Tolerable, normal romance.

 

I'm a little nervous about this one

These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

I keep getting disappointed by hyped books but this is next on my list so here it goes...

I wanted this to be so much better than it was!

Pawn  - Aimee Carter

I really don't know where to start with this review. I definitely see potential with this series. I feel like the book could have been so much more but failed to deliver what I expected from the glowing reviews out there already.

 

Plot. The premise is that at the age of 17 you take a test to get your level in society. IV and up is what you aim for. III and lower, is bottom of the barrel. The society is basically the Haves and the Have Nots. Kitty Doe, our frustrating main character, becomes a III. However she is given the chance to become a VII, the highest level, if she agrees to go with the Prime Minister. She is cloned to be his niece, Lila Hart. She is then put in the middle of a family squabble between the rulers and the revolutionaries.

 

While the above plot summary sounds intense and action packed the actual story was anything but. The two biggest problems I had with the book were the main character herself and the twisty turning plot. Don't get me wrong, I love a book with good twist. I want to say, "Oh My Gosh" really loudly and be super surprised. This book didn't really do that. There were a couple of OMG reveals but most of the twist and turns and big reveals were things the reader figured out from page 5. Plus there really is a thing called, too many secrets. At one point I really just wanted to scream. The book also suffered from continual lifesaving miracles. Kill a character and keep them dead.  Please. 

 

Speaking of characters, I really didn’t like any of them.  

 

Let’s talk about our MC Kitty. Kitty needs to seriously get her act together for the next book. One moment he is super tough and standing up to evil doers and then the next moment she is weak and scared and afraid to do anything. Also, she has absolutely no sense of self preservation. She could have been done with the whole bad experience many times. She owed these people zilch! It wasn’t even like these were good people.  They sucked!  Yet she kept coming back time and time again.  I think she might suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.

 

The book itself was a very quick read. I started it on a Sunday afternoon and by that evening I was shocked to realize I have halfway done. The last half is where I got lost. The very ending (like the last few pages) were good but the majority of the last half was rough for me to get through.

 

Will I read the next one? Not sure yet.

Was it worth the wait....

World After  - Susan Ee

Why yes, yes it was. It was soooooo worth the wait. I was nervous beforehand thinking that there was no way the second book could live up to Angefall, book 1 in the series. However I am happily mistaken! It was fan-freakin-tastic!

 

World After takes place immediately following the events of Anglefall. Since like a lot of readers, I read Angefall a while back so I did read a recap however I don't think it was necessary. (I highly recommend the blog recaptains.blogspot.com for all your recapping needs) The first book resonated so well with me that I remembered almost everything and what I didn't the author reminded me.

 

I will admit while reading I was afraid I would have to dock my rating a star because there was very little Raffe interaction in a good portion of the book. His presence is there but there is almost no direct contact for a good portion of the book. However I was rewarded handsomely for my patience.

 

One thing that I loved (even though I'm not sure what it says about me) was the creep factor of the book. Between the mom, Paige and what the Doc had going on, the book takes on a very creeptastic attitude.

 

Penyrn ups the anti in her race for best MC. While tough and bad to the bone she is vulnerable and has real emotions and fears. She doesn't try to be a tough chick 24/7. She gets scared, frustrated, etc. She is normal but yet a hero at the same time. She is one of my favorite MC.

 

If you have not read this series by Susan Ee I highly, highly recommend it. Do not put it off because you are afraid of the length between books. She rewards you with AWESOME books!

 

THIS is how a series should end.

Champion: A Legend Novel - Marie Lu

I am so gun shy of final books these days that through the entire book I kept waiting to be disappointed or pissed off. But I wasn't. This was a really great book. Full of action and lots of character depth. It was a great way to end a series. These books have matured with each installment.  While Legend was a good dystopian story with this last installment to me the series blossomed into something grand that few dystopian stories have accomplished lately. 

 

The last book takes place several months after Prodigy. I won't give away plot details but basically Champion is the final battle for the Republic of America. Everything is fleshed out in this story.

 

I loved the Epilogue. It reminded me of another ending to a series but I can't say which one because I don't want to give anything away.

 

This book had a lot of emotions in it. Very action packed but heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. Again, this is was such a great ending to the series. I was prepared for disappointment but was at the end I was content and happy with the conclusion.

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