Review Rendezvous: 6/30/18


Top Choice by Sophie McAloon
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young Adult, dystopian, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 330
Publish date: April 16th, 2018
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository

TCAs a future leader of the female-led regime her grandmother fought hard to establish, Alice Kearns is no stranger to pressure. Being the best in a society where women are expected to be high-achieving is the only option her powerful mother has ever accepted for her, and now that Ali’s a senior in high school, the pressure to succeed is greater than ever. But fortunately, as of her eighteenth birthday, Ali has a place to blow off steam: she’s finally allowed into the Choice Clubs.

Filled with an enticing mix of music, drinks and gorgeous guys, the Choice Clubs were founded to ensure that smart girls wouldn’t get distracted in their real lives by anything as trivial as a shallow crush or a pretty face. Choice guys are fun, flirty, and the perfect eye candy, but Ali would never dream of actually falling for one—until she meets Tag.

Tag McPhail is Top Choice. With his mischievous grin and chiseled abs, he is exactly the kind of boy that Ali’s mother believes needs to be kept contained. But after he kisses Ali at the Choice Club, she suddenly sees him everywhere—and she’s surprised to learn that there’s more to him than his perfect looks. Tag is sweeter, smarter, and funnier than Ali ever expected… and, she soon discovers, he’s also dangerous. Because Tag leads a double life: when he’s not working at the clubs, he’s leading a rebel group trying to overturn the girl power society that the women in Ali’s family have worked so hard to put in place.

Getting closer to Tag upends everything Ali thought she knew. But will she betray everything she was raised to protect for a guy she’s not even sure she can trust?

In the current setting of politics and shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, this book was quite the interesting shift in perspective. Too often we see dystopians where female characters are put down and treated improperly, but what if it was the other way around? There is plenty of objectifying of not just women but men as well, so what if it was all combined in a future society?

That premise alone is what drew me to this book. The writing style was well done and easy to follow. I enjoyed the descriptions of setting and character, and McAloon seems to be able to get into her character’s heads well. She did well with fitting her character’s attitudes and personalities to the society they’ve grown up in, instead of taking characters that existed in today’s society and tried to fit them with a future government.

There were plenty of surprises to keep me on my toes which I highly enjoyed. There’s always a rebel group going against power in futuristic settings, and this one is no different. But the fact that the main love interest has a double life just brings depth to his character instead of him being the typical ‘cute boy’ stereotype that the others like him seem to fall into.

Overall, great work. Would definitely read this one again.

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

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


I am a Book Depository affiliate. Click here to purchase books through my link and get free shipping worldwide.

Skillshare is an online community full of amazing classes and brilliant teachers. Try out two free months with my code here!

Advertisements

Review Rendezvous: 4/4/18


Today I have the chance to review Antipodes by Michele Bacon for her blog tour! Check out the giveaway down below.

Antipodes by Michele Bacon
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young Adult, contemporary
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 288
Publish date: April 3rd, 2018
Purchase: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Book Depository

AntipodesWhen Erin Cerise steps off her plane in Christchurch, New Zealand, she is focused intently on her mission: do something unique that will erase the mess she made of her life on her 17th birthday. She’s already lost her swim team captainship, her boyfriend Ben, and her reputation. Her mother is certain studying abroad will regain Erin’s chances of a good future. Once Erin sees her uninspiring host family and city, though, she’s not so sure.

Before Christchurch, Erin wasn’t always intense and focused. Years ago, a mission sounded like a fun adventure, and the only ivy she cared about was the stuff growing around her grandparents’ back porch at their peaceful Upper Peninsula home. When had her priorities gone upside down?

Now Erin balks at NZ’s itchy school uniforms, cold houses, and her hosts’ utter inability to pronounce her name correctly. Christchurch does boast amazing rock climbing, gorgeous scenery, and at least one guy who could make her forget Ben if she lets him. With months ahead of her, Erin slowly begins to draw on the years behind her, one step back into her memories at a time. As she rebuilds her life from the other side of the world, she finds that when life turns your world upside down and you’re far from home, every way you move takes you closer to where you came from.

The first thing that intrigued me about this book was the setting. If you’ve ever heard of a tiny little film series by the name of the Lord of the Rings, you have seen what it looks like. So of course I had to take a peek at a book set in such a beautiful place. And the fact that the author spent time there herself also means that she has the first person experience to weave into the book.

I will admit, the character comes off a bit snotty and entitled in the beginning. She’s focused on everything she’s lost, which is quite a bit to be fair. She’s also angling for the Ivy League acceptance, which can take a lot of work. Slowly she manages to turn things around though, and realizes life may not be all about what she’d gotten wrapped up in.

The writing style is quite lovely as well, I enjoyed the voice that Bacon uses. The contrast between current time and flashback chapters also allows for an interesting point of view. She also does very well in showing the growth of several characters, and they quickly endear themselves to you.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart

About Michele:

MicheleI was born in Trumbull County, the only square county in Ohio, where books were my favorite means of escaping an unhappy childhood. Writing was my transparent attempt to create the things I craved: big happy families, international adventures and unconditional friendship. From a young age, I was drawn to people’s stories, and I still want to know how you met your best friend or fell in love with your partner.

In high school, I embraced my inner geek and wrote my first novel. In college, there were short stories and still more novels. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in English, with concentrations in critical theory and creative writing.

Full-time work sapped my creative brain for several years, but my professional life was one of reinvention. In state government, business management consulting, and nonprofit fundraising, I adapted easily and absorbed the languages of different professions. My last paying job was as an independent fundraising consultant for nonprofit organizations. That was seven years ago.

Since then, I have been writing and traveling (and, let’s be honest, chasing down small people who don’t like to wear clothes). I’ve traveled to all 50 states and dozens of other countries, always collecting pieces of characters and ideas for stories. I recently spent a year on sabbatical in Christchurch, New Zealand, where I may have left my heart at Ilam School. Now that we’ve settled back in the States, I’m writing for adults and young adults, exploring the Pacific Northwest, and baking like a fiend. (You’d thinking baking would be the same everywhere, but it’s not. Something is different about kiwi butter.)

When an idea strikes, I scrawl sweeping plot outlines, character idiosyncrasies, and ideas for scenes on the nearest blank spot of paper. My current manuscript was born of those torn slips of paper, used envelopes, lollipop wrappers, fuel receipts and–once–that little paper bit that keeps a nursing pad sticky until it’s time to use it. My manuscripts are better than the quality of papers where they began. Promise.

Outside of writing, I am a tabletop game enthusiast, passionate skier, and lover of prime numbers. I also am a mentor at the Moving Words Writing Clinic, and a freelance copyeditor.

I live in Seattle with my husband and three growing children.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy ANTIPODES, US Only. Enter here.

ANTIPODES


I am a Book Depository affiliate. Click here to purchase books through my link and get free shipping worldwide.

Skillshare is an online community full of amazing classes and brilliant teachers. Try out two free months with my code here!

Review Rendezvous: 2/3/18


The Oathing Stone by J.Z.N. McCauley
Book stats:
Genre(s): Fantasy, romance, young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 184
Publish date: March 13th, 2018
Purchase: AmazonBook DepositoryBarnes & Noble

OS

After a year blissfully hidden together in a small village on Ireland’s lush green, Catherine and Bowen are ready to tie the knot. The joining of an ancient druid doctor and a woman blessed with druid magic from the sacred oak tree calls for nothing less than a traditional Celtic ceremony. For this, to connect them to their ancestors and the sacred place where they marry, a key item must be chosen for the ritual, the oathing stone.

Their need for discretion allows for only a gathering of Catherine’s closest friends and family. But after the couple’s first night together, strange and sudden events unfold. Blood mingles with fire, and Catherine’s magic becomes unstable.

Meanwhile, the mysterious Faerie Kings send a Fae spy to witness Catherine’s magic which disrupts not only her life but her best friend Bella’s when she becomes his sudden obsession. Just after Bella goes missing, it is up to Catherine to get her back, but it is only the beginning of their problems as she finds they’re embroiled in the middle of a Faerie civil war.

Before I begin, this review has the need for a spoiler warning as I am about to review the second book in this series! If you haven’t read the first book, Oak and Mistletoe, go read that and then come back here! See ya later!

Now that I’ve successfully warned about potential spoilers, let’s get on with the review!

My first impression about this book is that it was amazing, simply because of the setting. I honestly can’t recall a book that actually had a setting in Ireland, and I adore the country so I was stoked to read a book set there!

There is so much going on here – Catherine and Bowen’s wedding, her magic, Bella’s abduction! I could not put the book down for a second because I needed to know what happened. Plus, the drama with the fae made it even more intriguing. I’m all for fun, cutesy little fairies, but it’s also perfect when author’s depict them as the mischievous and untrustworthy sort that they actually are in myth.

Catherine has so much on her plate to handle in this novel, I couldn’t even imagine doing it myself. She might potentially lose her love and her best friend, and the only way to help them is to deal with the fair folk who really don’t want to deal with humans at all.

Then there is the ending. I feel like it’s just cruel, leaving us to wait to more like that! I seriously cannot even handle the time between now and the next release date!

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

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


I am a Book Depository affiliate, click here to purchase books through my link.

Skillshare is an online community full of amazing classes and brilliant teachers. Try out two free months with my code here!