Thursday, July 28, 2016

Feature and Follow Friday: A Conversation on DNFs

Featured Blog: Corazones Literarios 

What is your take on DNF books. Do you review them? Choose not to review them?

I know some people can't stand to DNF books. I am not one of those people. If I am not enjoying a book I find it very painful to continue! Whether I review a DNF depends on many different circumstances...

1) How far along was I in the book? If I read all of it but *skimmed* a bit I would still review the book! I would just put a disclaimer

2) Why did I DNF the book? If something really offended me I normally write a half-review or explanation of why I could not finish the book. I'd warn others of my feelings.

3) Did I only read a chapter? Then, I would NOT review the book. I have no real basis to write a review on!

In conclusion:
I think DNFs are good. Sometimes escaping the boring not-for-you books can lead you to find better, more exciting reads! Reviewing them can be tricky though, and highly depends on situation and circumstance! 

Book Blogger Vocab
A book that you didn't finish reading... A controversial topic (not really) 

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Review: Menagerie

Menagerie was dark, original, and brutal

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent comes a richly imagined, provocative new series set in the dark mythology of the Menagerie… 

When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger's Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus big-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she's forced to "perform" in town after town. 

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other "attractions"—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she'll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed. 

Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

Menagerie was amazing. It was brutal to read in parts, but I couldn't look away. Vincent delves into the atrocities humans commit when they are scared of something or some one. She shows how humans lock up cryptids, strip them of their rights, and don't bat an eyelash when they suffer. 

Delilah, our main character, is a strong heroine who is locked up as a cryptid after years believing she was human. She sees the abuse of cryptids and the monster within her comes out. Then, her life becomes a nightmare. In a menagerie, forced into a cage like property, she is supposed to perform like a circus animal. 

However, Delilah's inner sense of justice and strength make her almost unbreakable. She doesn't go down without a fight. She makes allies on her journey and the reader is rooting for her throughout the entire novel. 

My only two complaints were...

1) I wasn't very fond of all the multiple view points. I liked each in varying degrees. I think I would have preferred to see just from Delilah's POV.

2) The ending felt a bit rushed, but it was still very crazy, intense, and exciting! ... I am very ready for the next book though!

I'm excited for Spectacle... but I can't wait until 2017! I read a sneak peek and now I need more *cries* Maybe I'll go pick up some of Vincent's other books- I've heard great things!

In conclusion: Menagerie had me on the edge of my seat. Vincent wove a horrifying, captivating tale that explored injustice, monstrosities, and humanity. 

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #41

This week I am IMPATIENTLY waiting on...

Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given.

I love Mindy McGinnis books and this one is a FANTASY with such an original premise! And look at that beautiful cover. Check it out on Goodreads

2017 is so far away! *cries*

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Review: Starflight

A must-read with shenanigans in space!

Starflight by Melissa Landers 
Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

Ooooh! This was such a fun read; I could not put Starflight down! If you love fun space adventures and a super cute romance pick this series up immediately. 
You won't regret it. 

Okay, so first order of business in the wonderfulness that is Solara and Doran. They start off hating each other- Doran is basically a terrible person- but then shenanigans ensue and all of the sudden they are amazing as a couple. Doran starts off rich, bratty, and insufferable. Cassia is orphaned and very smart, but after commiting a crime and being branded, she needs to find a way to the outer realm. Solara ends up indenturing herself to Doran to get there, but that arrangement doesn't last long. They end up having more of a codependent relationship and then the hate slowly goes away... It's very sweet!

Basically, after a lot of schemes, both Dorian and Solara end up on The Banshee, an old ship with character, and a lot less luxurious then their original "space liner" ship. The fun begins, though, when they become friends with the rest of the eccentric and lovable crew. *squee* I am so excited to read more about the crew in the next book! 

In the end, after many fun space episodes, it all ties together with a showdown. Very early in the novel, we learn Doran is accused of some serious crimes. The ending brings to light why he was framed and who masterminded the whole ordeal. 

Overall, Starflight was a read-it-all-in-one-sitting kind of book. It's not a new favorite but I still really loved the ride! I enjoyed it a lot more than Alienated (also by Melissa Landers). I am super excited for the next book, it focuses on two supporting characters from this book: Cassia and Kane! Their backstory was intense and I'm excited for it to all go down in book 2. 

(Also, if you loved Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach, I have a feeling you'll also adore Starflight. Just sayin'. )

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Review: The Long Game

I loved this book so much.... GO READ IT!

The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Kendricks help make the problems of the Washington elite disappear…but some secrets won’t stay buried.

For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington, D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate’s campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.

Meanwhile, Tess’s guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can—and cannot—be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she's about to discover firsthand that power always comes with a price.

I just finished this wonderful, soul gutting book... and I am a mess. I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW! Everybody has to start this series. If you like smart, thrilling reads definitely pick up The Fixer books. The Long Game was an amazing sequel; Barnes developed and built on her amazing characters and intensified the plot to perfection. 

Tess, our main character, is smart, determined, meddlesome, and amazing. She gets herself into many wild schemes and plots that had me on the edge of my seat. Our other characters, Ivy, Henry, Asher, Vivvie, Emilia, Bodie, and Adam, are all interesting, unique, and lovable in their own way (sometimes). The relationship between Ivy and Tess is so wonderful and tough and emotionally hard to read about. 

I was enjoying the ride (A LOT) for the first half of the novel. BUT then the ending came and it killed me. I'm dead. So many twists... So many political games and intense scenes. My heart couldn't handle it all. 

The Long Game is dark, sometimes funny, smart as a whip, twisty, and overall brilliant.. Read this book. Also, I really really really want book #3. So tell all your friends about this series! PLEASE for my sake and well being.

5/5 Stars

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Waiting on Wednesday #40


Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.

But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit—and with a liar by her side in land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice's wits (and every limb she's got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

I LOVE the Shatter Me series. Juliet's character development is A+ and the writing is soooooo beautiful! Now I am excited for Mafi's newest work and have high expectations (eeeeep!) The cover is very busy but I think I like it, plus I am excited to see how Mafi handles middle grade. 

-Emily Anne 

(While you are here go check out my review for The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Yeah? Maybe? No? Okay.)