Review Rendezvous: 5/19/18


Strings: A Love Story by Megan Edwards
Book stats:
Genre(s): Romance, fiction
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 210
Publish date: September 12th, 2017
Purchase:¬†Amazon¬†–¬†Book Depository¬†–¬†Barnes & Noble

SThe Merino Rose. Ted Spencer has a hard enough time believing the celebrated violin really exists. To find it sitting on his coffee table is nothing short of incredible. The stuff of legend, the exquisite Guarnerius has been missing for centuries. 

But even though the renowned instrument is a violin lover’s dream come true, it holds only heartache for Ted. The value of the Merino Rose may be beyond measure, but he has acquired it at too high a cost.¬†

Ted found his soul mate when he met Olivia de la Vega his senior year in high school. In the school’s production of Camelot, Ted was cast as Lancelot, Olivia as Guenevere. They should have spent their lives together but strings got in the way–family ties, career objectives, and the tangled web of fate.¬†

Will the Merino Rose bring the two star-crossed lovers together at last, or will their love always remain the melancholy sound of distant violins?

More beautiful covers! I can’t get over the simplicity and yet how amazing it looks!

Alright, momentary graphic design fawning over. Back to the actual content.

In this particular book, we follow the two characters Ted and Olivia through quite some time, watching their relationship progress. While present day is down the line, we see a lot of flashbacks showing what life was like for them in younger years. What is interesting is that the main character is actually Ted, something you don’t usually find in romance fiction.

As you may have guessed, music is also a large draw for this story. Ted is very passionate about it, and then you have the idea of this mysterious violin. I do wish there was more background or involvement with the violin, but it was still a nice plot line.

This book definitely falls into the “more feely, less plot-driven” type of book. I mean, I have read others with a similar plot line, but this was still different enough to be intriguing. If you’re looking for a shorter (but not too short) piece to read curled up on the couch and to give you fuzzies, you’ve found a good option in this book. Definitely pick it up if that’s your cup of tea!

I was provided this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 5/12/18


A Grey Sun by S. J. Sherwood
Book stats:
Genre(s): Science fiction, dystopian, young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 432
Publish date: November 16th, 2017
Purchase:¬†Amazon¬†‚ÄstBook Depository¬†‚ÄstBarnes & Noble

TDA convicted Denounced, sentenced to death.

When sixteen-year-old Ned is wrongly convicted and kidnapped to a secret location, he meets ninety ‚ÄėDenounced‚Äô, and a terrifying truth begins to unfold ‚Äď one that will change the world forever.¬†

Forced to lead a Pod of five, Ned begins to realise thousands of lives could depend upon him. A survivor by nature, he now has to face his past, confront his destiny, and fight a System that has never lost.

A Grey Sun is the first in a three-part series following six Denounced teenagers as they struggle to live in a world where a simple mistake will cost you your life…

I don’t think I will ever be able to get enough dystopians ever. This particular genre is easily my most read, and it is likely because I was getting fully immersed in the reading world just as series like¬†Hunger Games¬†and¬†Divergent were making huge waves, which brought many more authors to that genre. Today I’m reviewing¬†A Grey Sun, the first in a new dystopian series. I will admit, upon first glance I feel like the cover could have been better, but that could also be just me. It kinda works as a more minimalistic cover however, so to each their own.

Getting into this book, there is really no easing in. You are dumped into the action from the very first page, where the main character Ned is rescued (?) from certain death. But then he goes on to a training camp, and you begin to wonder if this rescue was really better than dying. Especially when there’s still a chance he could die anyways.

There’s quite a cast of characters, bringing to mind a series like¬†The Maze Runner. But, despite all of the similarities to other dystopians, this new series has a good chance to stand on its own. We learn just enough about the world to be drawn in, but there is plenty of space to learn more in later books, which is very important if an author wants to sustain a series.

I honestly found the “mother figure” a bit creepy and strange, something just felt off about her. But I suppose that’s the point, as you go the entire book wondering if she really has the best interests at heart for these kids.

I’m definitely interested in reading another of these books, I want to know how the story ends!

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

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 5/5/18


Speed of Life by Carol Weston
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, romance, contemporary
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 320
Publish date: April 1st, 2017
Purchase: Amazon РBarnes & Noble

SoLSofia wonders if 14 might be the worst possible age to lose your mom. Talking with her dad about puberty and s-e-x is super-awkward (even though he is a gynecologist). And when she wants to talk about her mom, her friends don’t know what to say and her dad gets sad.

When Sofia discovers Dear Kate, an advice columnist from Fifteen magazine, she‚Äôs grateful to have someone to confide in about everything from crushes to mourning‚ÄĒsomeone who is completely, wonderfully anonymous. It feels ideal‚ÄĒuntil Sofia‚Äôs dad introduces her to his new girlfriend, Katherine Baird, a.k.a., Dear Kate‚Ķ

Even though this book deals with harsh topics, there is still a sense of childish-ness and young discovery. I ended up loving Sofia’s character, despise the occasional flaws like a bit of naivety. These moments only serve to make her character that much more developed, and I loved her for it. She doesn’t instantly get over her family’s tragedy, and the journey to healing is very well represented, coming from someone who went through a similar situation.

You’ve gotta admit, Sofia’s situation is a bit of a pickle. The person who was once an anonymous comfort is now a real life person she can interact with, and it can be difficult to deal with that, no matter who you are. There are so many topics that a girl her age needs help with, and without her mom to guide her, Sofia is at a bit of a loss.

I loved reading in this writing style, Weston has a beautiful voice in her prose. There is such a broad range of characters the simply bring her story to vivid life, matching the equally brilliant (and lovely!) cover. I was hanging on every word, and even though I am several years past this age, I still loved it and found myself enthralled.

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

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 4/28/18


Two Halves Whole by Melissa Abigail
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 254
Publish date: November 20th, 2017
Purchase: Amazon

THWSeventeen-year-old Ryu Debiru thought he had everything under control, thought he knew exactly where his life was headed after graduation (assuming he makes it to graduation).

That was until the girl he hated became the girl he could no longer ignore. 

Perhaps his secret life is no longer something he can keep secret. 

Or maybe it is.

Although, it seems like the¬†entire city¬†is harbouring secrets.¬†What‚Äôs one more?¬†Sure it might hurt a few people, even Ryu himself.¬†Hey, he’ll survive. He‚Äôs survived worse.¬†

Except sometimes… the truth comes out in ways one doesn’t expect. Then what? What happens when just surviving is no longer enough? What happens when even the truth is fatal?

I definitely enjoyed reading the second installment in this series. I tend to get somewhat frustrated with slower works, such as the first piece, but this book managed to bring a lot more in depth and intrigue. In the last book, we left off right as Ryu and Haruna were making amends, but things never stay perfect for long. Ryu’s path as a young gangster is certain to mess things up sometime.

There’s something to be said about how the book manages to address racism. In the past, young adult literature has been hesitant to say much about it, so it’s refreshing to see it addressed for once. Haruna is not afraid to say something when things are wrong, which is admirable.

While the book does fall prey to the occasional cliche, it is still a very well-written piece of work. The Japanese tones for a book set in Canada make for an interesting setting, but it is not so distracting as to take from the main focus of the book. This one is well worth a read, so go take a look!

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

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 4/21/18


The Rushing of the Brook by Kansas Bradbury
Book stats:
Genre(s): Thriller, mystery
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 276
Publish date: July 5th, 2017
Purchase:¬†Amazon¬†– Barnes & Noble –¬†Book Depository

TRotBIt‚Äôs 1987, and a dark shadow is about to fall upon the city of Sifton and its residents. Hayward Barry and his best friends‚ÄĒJoe, Davey, and Pete‚ÄĒare typical fifth- and sixth-grade boys, hanging out after school and getting into trouble. However, powerful urges and deep feelings have begun to grow in the boys as they approach young adulthood; for Hayward, this is his affection for Beth, a girl in his class who he fears will be swept away by another boy named Daniel. For Pete, it is a volatile temper and the desire to always get his way. When Davey is given something that Pete wants, it sets off a disastrous chain of events that strips them all of their childhood, drowning their innocence to the sound of a rushing brook‚ÄĒa sound none of them will forget.

As misery and happenstance would have it, the day tragedy strikes Hayward and his friends, a murderous monster awakes from hibernation in a town miles away. Getting into a stolen vehicle with bloody clothes and an unspeakable lust for violence, the nameless man drives towards Sifton, wreaking destruction and horror along the way. While his story won‚Äôt collide with the boys‚Äô lives until seventeen years later‚ÄĒwhen they have all grown up‚ÄĒthis man will reopen old wounds and awaken the trauma that has never healed. Hayward, now a failed artist and reluctant police officer, is left to pick up the pieces of a shattered community and solve the mystery of the event that has come to dominate his life.

One of the first things that interested me in this book was the split setting. One half is when the boys are young, and then we move into the future (17 years later, to be specific) to see how this has affected them later in life. I will admit, it is a bit of a shorter book, or maybe that’s just because of the different settings that it seems shorter.

If you’re a fan of suspense and murder and all that jazz, you’ll definitely want to pick this one up. Bradbury does a good job of fleshing out the characters and showing real change from their kid lives to their adult personas. He also contrasts the horror and suspense with family and friends and other relationships, which give the tale a grounding that some other stories in the same genre miss. It’s because we have the ability to connect to the characters in those moments that we can then go on to let ourselves believe in the other, more extreme circumstances.

I will admit, this isn’t usually the type of book I go after, but I was pleasantly surprised. I have read a few good mystery/horror types, and this one deserves a place beside them. It was slightly hard for me to get into the heads of the characters as they are quite different from myself, but Bradbury writes them in a way to still be relatable. Also, there is a bit of language, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking about letting younger readers take a crack at it.

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

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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