Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: The Glass Arrow

The Glass Arrow
Author: Kristen Simmons
Pages: 336
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: February 10th 2015
 
Synopsis via Goodreads:
The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.
 
 
REVIEW:
I was a little worried going into The Glass Arrow because back in December I read The Jewel which has a similar plot about woman being auctioned to others to breed that I did not like at all. Thankfully I found no resemble to The Jewel in this book. This plot is handled completely different in The Glass Arrow and is actually not the main focus.
I found this book some what empowering for girls because the main focus and theme I saw present was that girls are their own person. Woman should not be owned or controlled by others. The main character spends the whole book fighting for these rights for woman. I thought this was a fantastic theme that Simmons conveys in this world.
The protagonist Aya was the stand out part of the book for me. Like I said above about woman empowerment, Aya embodies all of that perfectly. She is a fighter and an individual. Family is important to her and she will always fight for them and even sacrifice herself for the ones she loves.I also love seeing girls who are able to fight, take care of themselves, and are not afraid to get dirty. Aya is from the wilderness and because of this she is trained to fight in case of an attack, she knows all about plants and what they can do for your body, she can hunt and knows hot to survive. I loved seeing a strong girl surviving in the wilderness.
About half of the book takes place in the city where Aya is held while captured and the other half takes place out in the woods. The parts of the book where Aya was in captivity I found somewhat uneventful and slow. I was waiting for something to happen and was kind of just dragged along. But I am glad that I dragged along because once the story transitions into the wild it was a great atmosphere. This is where the action and the adventure starts and I found it very enjoyable.
Overall I found The Glass Arrow a entertaining start to a new adventurous series with a stand out character that will inspire young girls.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review: No Place to Fall

No Place to Fall
Author: Jaye Robin Brown
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 368
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: December 9th 2014
 
Synopsis Via Goodreads:
Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.
 
REVIEW:
I had been anticipating this book for a while before it officially came out. First, I fell for the cover and then when I read the synopsis I got super excited for this uplifting and inspirational story. In the end the book turned out to not be what I thought it was going to be.
 
Like I said above from the synopsis I was expecting this motivational and feel good story. I did not find that in this book. I thought a lot of the book actually dwelled on bad things happening in the characters lives. The main character Amber does not seem happy for almost the whole book. I was thrown back by this because I was so in the mood for this go getter book (as the synopsis sounded hinted at) and that was far from the truth. I thought there might at least be some big "look what you have accomplished" ending but that is not how the book ends at all.
 
My one main problem with this book which really made me not enjoy the story was the characters. I found all of the characters very boring and I did not like a lot of them. I did not find them to be engaging characters. This led me to not being invested in the characters and as result did not really care how the story ended. This also made me feel very disconnected from the story the whole time.
 
I feel like No Place to Fall could have been a good book. Sadly, I found it to be deceivingly a downer of a book, slightly boring, and full of bleak characters.
 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Heart of Betrayal

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, where we get to showcase upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.
This week I am waiting on...
The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 470
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
 
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.
 
COMING JULY 7th 2015
 
I absolutely loved The Kiss of Deception! I fell in love with the setting, characters, and plot. This book completely blew my mind and I am beyond excited to see what happens to these beloved characters next!
 
 
 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2015 TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.
This weeks topic is the top ten books on our Spring to be read list.
 
I am very excited for this seasons releases. I have some debuts coming out that I am super excited for as well as eagerly anticipated sequels and the latest books from some of my favorite authors.
 
#10
The Start of Me and You
Emery Lord
Young Adult Contemporary
Bloomsbury
March 31st 2015
 
#9
The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)
Melissa Grey
Young Adult Fantasy
Delacorte Press
April 28th 2015
 
#8
The Fill-In Boyfriend
Kasie West
Young Adult Contemporary
HarperTeen
May 5th 2015
 
#7
Liars, Inc.
Paula Stokes
Young Adult Mystery
HarperTeen
March 24th 2015
 
#6
The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)
Renee Ahdieh
Young Adult Fantasy
Putnam Juvenile
May 12th 2015
 
#5
The Wrong Side of Right
Jenn Marie Thorne
Young Adult Contemporary
Dial Books
March 17th 2015
 
#4
Everything That Makes You
Moriah McStay
Young Adult Contemporary
Katherine Tegen Books
March 17th 2015
 
#3
Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #2)
Anne Blankman
Young Adult Historical Fiction
Balzer + Bray
April 21st 2015
 
#2
Saint Anything
Sarah Dessen
Young Adult Contemporary
Viking Juvenile
May 5th 2015
 
#1
The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)
Marie Rutkoski
Young Adult Fantasy
Farrar Straus Giroux
March 3rd 2015
 
 
Honorable Mentions
Extraordinary MeansEmpire of Night (Age of Legends, #2)Love Fortunes and Other DisastersCity Love
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: After Hours

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine ,where we get to showcase upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating!
This week I am waiting on...
After Hours
Title: After Hours
Author: Claire Kennedy
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Simon Pulse
 
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside Cafe isn't just about waiting tables. It's about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties and, most of all, it's about Tips.

Tips--the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember.

Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out.

Xavi will do anything for the money...absolutely anything.

Peter, Xavi's stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings.

Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy...even if those tips come with some conditions.

From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win.

The sophisticated Waterside Cafe is anything but classy behind the scenes...and things are about to get dirty.
 
COMING JUNE 16th 2015
 
 
A behind the scenes game of dare at a local cafĂ© sounds like a lot of fun and may lead to some awesome shenanigans! This one is high on my TBR list for summer!
 
What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes

My Heart and Other Black Holes
Author: Jasmine Warga
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: February 10th 2015
 
Synopsis via Goodreads:
A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There's only one problem: she's not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel's convinced she's found her solution--Roman, a teenage boy who's haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other's broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.
 
REVIEW:
My Heart and Other Black Holes is a heart wrenching and beautifully written book.
 
This book had me writing down quotes like crazy. It seemed on every other page Aysel would say/think something that just made me stop and think or admire the writing. There are tons of stunning quotes about kinetic energy, music, emotions and more. The girls over at Epic Reads actually told me they are planning on doing a post on the best quotes of the book, so stay on the look out for that! Beautifulness aside, the book was in general well written, easy, and fast to read.
 
I did have one struggle that held me back at the beginning though. At first I had a hard time seeing the chemistry between Aysel and Roman. When they start out as suicide partners that's really all they are, maybe leaning towards a friendship and I had a hard time seeing how this was going to progress to a romantic relationship. They just didn't seem to work together for me. But as the book goes on romantic hints are dropped, they get to know each other better and so do you. While they open up to each other you start to see the romance build and start to realize they are good for each other. This happened about halfway through the book for me.
 
When you go into this book do not expect a romance with grand gestures or steamy make out scenes. Aysel and Roman do fall in love but the fact is these are two sad and very depressed individuals. I was  glad to see that Warga portrayed the romance this way because it was realistic. There are small genuine scenes where you get to see them make each other smile. I liked these subtle scenes because it gives you a tingle of hope that they can save each other. There is one "bigger" kiss scene and Roman does win Aysel a stuffed animal at a carnival but those are the biggest physical romantic gestures you see. Roman is determined to go through with the suicide pact so in his mind Aysel and him won't go on past these couple weeks. There is a romance and it really is beautiful it just is not as intense and steamy as in other young adult novels today.
 
I absolutely loved seeing Aysel's mind slowly change. It was so hopeful for a teenager to read and see things get better for her. This book also makes you think about the wonderful people you are thankful for in your life. Spending time with Roman and the happiness she feels with him helps her see a future for herself and she tries to do the same for him.
 
My Heart and Other Black Holes is a magnificently written book about the power of love and that shows teens that things get better.
 
 
P.S. Have you looked at the cover yet? It is just as gorgeous as the writing!
 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Most Anticipated March 2015 Young Adult Releases

Image result for march
If you know me, you know I LOVE March. It is that first glimpse that spring is right around the corner! St. Patrick's day is also my favorite holiday! March 2015 is even better because the sequel to one of my all time favorite books comes out. There are 8 young adult books in total this month that are coming out that I am eagerly anticipating. If you click on the titles below they will send you over to the Goodreads page.
 
#8

We All Looked Up
Tommy Wallach
Simon and Schuster
Young Adult Contemporary
March 24th 2015
 
#7
Charisma
Jeanne Ryan
Dial Books
Young Adult Science Fiction/Mystery
March 3rd 2015
 
#6
Bone Gap
Laura Ruby
Balzer + Bray
Young Adult Mystery/Magical Realism
March 3rd 2015
 
#5
The Start of Me and You
Emery Lord
Bloomsbury
Young Adult Contemporary
March 31st 2015
 
#4
The Wrong Side of Right
Jenn Marie Thorne
Dial Books
Young Adult Contemporary
March 17th 2015
 
#3
Everything That Makes You
Moriah McStay
Katherine Tegen Books
Young Adult Contemporary
March 17th 2015
 
#2
Liars, Inc.
Paula Stokes
HarperTeen
Young Adult Mystery
March 24th 2015
 
#1
The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)
Marie Rutkoski
Farrar Straus Giroux
Young Adult Fantasy
March 3rd 2015
 
 
 
What books are you all excited to get your hands on this month?
Tell me in the comments below!