Review: Shatter Me

264 days. That’s how long Juliette has been in isolation. No one knows what to do with her or even what she is capable of. After accidentally killing a little boy, just by trying to help him to his feet, she’s been locked away until someone can figure out what to do with her. That is, until the day she wakes up to find Adam Kent in her cell with her. Then things begin to get interesting.

IMG_0901In Shatter Me, society has fallen. What’s left of civilization has been broken up into sectors. Food is scarce and families are broken apart. A young man named Warner has taken a special interest in Juliette and her power. She is taken to his home and introduced to the world that she’s been away from for so long. It’s nothing like what she remembered. And it’s made even worse by the fact that Warner now wants to use her as a weapon for his own personal gain.

Shatter Me was a pleasure to read! I loved every minute of it. I’ve been on a dystopian/post-apocalyptic kick lately and this fit right in with my mood. Mafi creates characters that make you want to read and her prose is beautiful. I can’t tell you how many times I had to pause in my reading just to admire the wordsmithing. Beautiful! Uniquely written and kept on the edge of my seat, this book was a page-turner that I couldn’t put down. While I felt that the romantic relationship seemed to move a little quickly in Shatter Me, I still appreciated the connections made between characters.

Overall, an excellent read and I can’t wait to pick up the second book in the series!

What’s a Soulmate?

We’re not necessarily “snowed in” this weekend but I’m definitely enjoying staying cozied up with some good books while it’s cold outside. Seriously, this is my kind of reading weather. I love to stay snuggled up in the blankets with a book and a cup of coffee (or cocoa in this case).

What’s a Soulmate? has been on my TBR list for quite some time. It fell to the wayside as I got caught up with other books. But I finally got to read it!

51ucjvlvw-lMeet Libby Carmichael, a seventeen-year-old girl whose only focus is making clothes, getting prepared for college, and listening to whatever drama her best friend Beth has going on. Her world is filled with blacks and whites. There is no color. Until one day, she meets her Soulmate and her entire universe explodes in vibrancy.

Andrew McCormack has had a bad day. Being detained for assaulting a police officer tends to do that to a person. But then he sees Libby, and the drab juvenile detention center becomes the most colorful part of his world. But how do you have a relationship with your Soulmate when there is perpetually a barrier between you?

I was thoroughly excited to read this story. The concept is phenomenal and not something I’d seen or heard of before. To live in a world devoid of color until you meet your Soulmate is an interesting theory. Lindsey Ouimet does a wonderful job of fleshing out that theory and making a reader crave the relationship between our two main characters. There is intrigue, mystery, and of course romance in every page. However, I found myself getting rather bored with the story and wanting to just skim through to the next interesting part. I felt like bits of it dragged and I lost interest more than once.

Overall, I believe What’s a Soulmate? is a great read for any teen and something you won’t see on every shelf in every bookstore.

Brave Enough

I’m still not a fan of ebooks (yeah, yeah, I know). But I will admit that I’ve been burning through them pretty quickly the past few days. So yay!

916pvurak0lBrave Enough is the tale of two teenagers from totally different worlds, connected through one major disease: cancer. Cason Martin has grown up in the world of ballet. Her mother has pushed her from day one to be the best and has been more like a coach than a mother. Until one day, Cason collapses during an important audition and her perfect dance world comes crashing down around her.

Davis Channing is a survivor. He made it through his lymphoma only to try and destroy everything the doctors and nurses worked to save with drugs. Davis battles with his addiction throughout this novel while finding himself falling in love with Cason. But in the end will their love survive all the obstacles?

Brave Enough follows your typical formula for any other teenage drama. And while this book seemed bland to begin with, I found myself getting invested in the characters. I even may have shed a tear or two. Both inspirational and simple, it’s a nice easy read for anyone looking for a bit of drama in their life. Kati Gardner touches on a ton of different social issues throughout the entire book while managing not to delve too deeply into most of them. I appreciate Gardner’s attempt to look at the many dimensions of teenage life but I felt she tried to pack too much into one book. That being said, it was a stellar read and worth picking up!

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.**

Kingdom Cold

43203291._uy2400_ss2400_Kingdom Cold takes place in the realm of Besmium. Princess Charlotte is betrothed to a man she has never met in a political move for her father’s kingdom. But just as she’s getting to know her intended, a war breaks out with a neighboring kingdom. Will the kingdom of Besmium survive? And will Charlotte see her wedding day come?

I have to admit, I couldn’t put down Kingdom Cold. In fact, I finished it in one day (which may not be saying much as I’m a bookaholic). I enjoyed the fact that the story was told from multiple characters’ views. The plot twists almost gave me whiplash, but I loved it! I couldn’t tell where the story would end or how which kept me very intrigued.

However, I don’t feel like the characters were well developed and it felt as if the ending was a bit lackluster, albeit unexpected. Brittni Chenelle does a wonderful job of drawing the reader in and keeping them on their toes. I just felt that this book could have been fleshed out more and perhaps even made into two books. There was very little detail and I found myself without a connection to the character, but still very invested in the storyline. It was a strange position to be in.

**I received a copy of this book for an honest review.**

Serafina & The Twisted Staff

It’s been a long time, book lovers! Life has gotten pretty crazy lately what with family, job, and all the goings on of summer vacation. I’ve been lax in my reading schedule (sorry about that) and this blog has suffered for it. But I am trying! And just this week I finished Serafina & The Twisted Staff.

51z482Xyp0L._SX338_BO1,204,203,200_Not too long ago, I wrote about the first book in this series. I wasn’t blown away by it but it was still an intriguing read. Beatty’s second installment is no different. It was very well written and I was excited to read about Serafina’s next adventure but some of the plot was quite predictable and it didn’t hold the same magic for me as the first one did. Still, it’s worth the read.

In Serafina & The Twisted Staff, we pick back up with Serafina and Braeden after they’ve defeated the man with the black cloak. But now there’s a new danger at Biltmore and it’s affecting the animals. Serafina and Braeden work together to solve the mystery of what could be harming the animals of the forest as well as those on Biltmore’s estate. But in the process, Serafina is torn from Braeden’s side and begins to question where she belongs and who is her true friend. Robert Beatty is a brilliant writer who has created a fantasy that every reader will enjoy. While the second book is not quite as powerful as the first, I was still sucked into the story and curious to find out how it would end. I’m very much looking forward to picking up the next book in this series.

Moxie

These days, when you see the word “feminist” thrown around, it puts a bad taste in your mouth. I won’t get into a debate about the connotations surrounding that word, but it’s hard to deny that women are taking a stand these days.

IMG-2310Moxie was the perfect novel to read. It took my a while as I hit a reading lull in the middle of it but that didn’t keep me from loving this young adult novel. Moxie follows Vivian, a teenage girl living in Texas where the football team rules the school, the city, even the county. And I mean literally. The boys are untouchable. Again and again, they are sexist and harassing the girls of the school. But Vivian’s had enough. So Moxie is born.

This thrilling tale of a one girl revolution that eventually becomes an all girl revolution is breath-taking. To see one teenager take it upon herself to do something about the problems in her school without recognition or assistance. Vivian puts herself out there in a way she never has before. Not only hoping to change things for the rest of her time at the school but for all the girls after her as well. If you’re looking for a book about strong women coming together to stand up for one another, this is definitely the book for you.

#FictionFriday: Harry Potter (Yes, all of them)

Hey guys! I feel a little guilty this week as I haven’t read in any of the books I’m supposed to. I just haven’t had the motivation this week. Let’s be honest, if I’d forced myself to read, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. So I took this week off and worked on some personal things. But this weekend I plan on reading as much as I can. Anyone else have an open weekend? What do you plan on spending your time doing?

I’m fairly certain most (if not all) of you have read the Harry Potter series. But I have to mention it. Magic, mystery, romance, dragons. What’s not to love about this series? I’ve been trying to get my husband to read them for ages now and he still hasn’t! But he does enjoy the movies. (I know, I know. The books are better. But I’ll take what I can get with him.)

HarryPotter

I started reading these books when I was 11 years old. I literally grew up with them and I appreciate them so much. When I was 11, I moved away from my best friend and I was heartbroken. These books helped me get through some tough times and the friends I’ve made because of these books are that much more special.

It’s a series that I go back and read at least every year. And every single time, I feel the magic from them hitting me. They’re an amazing story that deserves to be read.

Carry On

I love books that dabble with magic. Seriously, you wanna be my friend? Suggest a good fantasy novel to read (bonus points if it’s a series). So obviously, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. Ask my husband. I made him watch the movies and he kept asking questions. All I could tell him is he needs to read the books. (He still hasn’t read them.) So I was excited to pick up Carry On. I’d only read one other Rainbow Rowell book and was in love with her writing style.

IMG-2291Simon Snow has been raised in the Normal world most of his life, hopping from orphanage to foster home, never really knowing where he belongs. Until The Mage comes for him and opens his eyes to the World of Mages and the magic within. But most of the time Simon can’t get a spell out correctly and the rest of the time he’s sitting something on fire. Now it’s his final year at Watford, the wizarding school, and he must face a multitude of troubles, including a magic-eating monster that is terrorizing this place he has come to call “home”.

Sounds very similar to a certain other magic-wielding orphan, right? That’s what I thought too when I started Carry On. It put a bad taste in my mouth because it seemed like Rowell was trying to rewrite the Harry Potter story. While there are some strong similarities between the two, Carry On definitely stands apart. With some intricacies not shown in Harry Potter and an ending that left me unsettled, I was sucked in. Rainbow Rowell is a phenomenal author. Once again I was blown away by her story-weaving abilities. In the end, I absolutely loved reading Simon Snow’s story. If I had to complain about anything, it’s that I wish she had turned it into a series if only so I could stay in that world a little longer.

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Do you ever have those books that you put off reading because they’ve been hyped so much? How could a book be that good, right? I have a few of those and Serafina and the Black Cloak is one of them. I put off reading it and put off reading it but it’s been staring at me lately so I finally decided to pick it up.

51Cpf+z1U+L._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_Serafina is a unique little girl living in the basement of Biltmore Estate as the C.R.C. (Chief Rat Catcher). Her pa helps keep the electricity running as their handyman. Together they’ve made a quiet, private life together. Until children on the estate start disappearing. Risking everything, Serafina allies herself with the young nephew of Biltmore’s owners. They race to uncover who the Man in the Black Cloak is before all the children disappear. In doing so, Serafina also delves into the mystery of her past and who she is.

 

Every person was a hero in his own mind, fighting for what he thought was right, or just fighting to survive another day, but no one thought they were evil.

Robert Beatty has created an enchanting tale filled with suspense and beauty with every page. I found myself wanting to finish this one quickly. Not because I wanted to be over and done with it but because I couldn’t wait to see how he ended the story. Serafina and the Black Cloak is dripping with magic and mystery. Definitely a book everyone can enjoy. I can’t wait to pick up the sequel!

S.T.A.G.S.

IMG-1694“I am not a murderer.”

Welcome to St. Aiden the Great School, better known as S.T.A.G.S. and run by a group of prefects known as the Medievals. A cruel group that doesn’t believe in the latest technology and is filled with old money. Greer MacDonald is privy to their punishments until one day she receives an invitation to spend a weekend with them at Longcross, Henry de Warlencourt’s palatial home. As she falls head over heels for the stunningly handsome Henry, she must also find her way out of a deadly game that is centuries old.

Filled with intrigue and mystery, S.T.A.G.S.  took me by surprise. I did not expect such a well thought out story. Bennett had me staying up late just to see what happens next. I love a book that can keep me on my toes and S.T.A.G.S.  did just that. I never knew what would come next for our protagonist or the two friends she finds along the way. And the ending left me wanting more in the best way possible. I hope M. A. Bennett gives us more from this world!