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’s one more? Sure it might hurt a few people, even Ryu himself. Hey, he’ll survive. He’s 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: 4/4/18


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


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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


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Blog Tour: The Midnight Dance


Today I’m taking a bit of a detour from my usual every-Saturday book review to bring you a review on this lovely piece of literature! It just dropped yesterday, so pop on over to one of the retailers listed below and snap it up! You can also enter a giveaway for a free print copy of the book here!

The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 320
Publish date: October 17th, 2017
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository – Barnes & NobleiBooksKobo

Midnight DanceSeventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.

But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.

Dancing, private schools, unreliable narrators, I love it all! Plus that cover is gor-ge-ous! We open on the normal school day for Penny, but then a sense of unease and discomfort slowly sets it. In all honesty, I did get sidetracked from the book because my life experience a crazy two weeks, but if I had hunkered down I would’ve read this cover-to-cover in about 2.5 seconds. As it were I was almost late to work because I needed to finish it ;).

There’s something not quite right about this school, and I loved how the piece slowly unraveled rather than all at once. And Penny grows from a submissive schoolgirl into someone with her own thoughts and voice, which is a very important step for her. We also get flashbacks that set up how the school came to be and give us information on the mysterious “Master”.

I highly enjoyed this one, and would certainly recommend that you read it. There’s a ton going on in the book but it never gets too bad or overwhelming. It’s also interesting because there’s the juxtaposition of a historical setting and newer technology and science. Although to be honest, you don’t get too much historical detail, and the only reason that I really noticed it as past was the constant reminder of what year it was at the beginning of the chapters. Of course, this was to denote flashback and current day, so it’s not all that bad.

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

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


If you liked this book, check these ones out:

Vicarious

When her sister is found murdered, Rose must uncover the truth of that night, even if the truth is not exactly what it seems

VA

Private school + supernatural = lots of crazy stunts, death threats, and maybe even some romance

Six Months Later

One day she’s an average high schooler. The next she’s on track to be valedictorian. But something is missing…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Review Rendezvous: 9/30/17


Prism by Nina Walker
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, dystopia, romance
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 315
Publish date: August 17th, 2017
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository – Barnes & Noble

PrismWhat if color held the secrets to powerful magic? 

Forced to move into the palace, Jessa begins training as a Color Alchemist under the direction of the kingdom’s most eligible bachelor, Prince Lucas. As an alchemist, Jessa must capture and harness the color of living things. Every color has a unique purpose, except red. Red is the untapped magic no one can access—until Jessa.

Prince Lucas is running out of time. His mother is deathly ill and healing magic hasn’t worked. When Lucas suspects someone is using alchemy to control her, he sets out to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

I have had quite a few ARCs and review copies recently, so it’s taken me a bit to get to this book. But boy, am I sad that I waited this long! There are so many good things about this book, I can’t help but love it!

First of all, the entire premise of magic is new to me. There is probably other books out there that have a similar magic system, but I haven’t yet found one. In order to access magic, people must be born with the skill to take it from objects with physical color. They can only take it from organic objects, at least, until Jessa accesses it in the middle of her ballet solo in one of the most prestigious shows in the area. Seeing as untrained magic is highly dangerous and illegal, she’s immediately taken to the palace for training.

I will admit, the first thing that stuck out to me was the romance. It’s a bit insta-lovey and sometime I was wondering why they were focusing on that instead of, I don’t know, surviving? But, Jessa is only sixteen, so it kinda makes sense, especially since she’s been in a normal life up until this point.

There is so many secrets and plans in this palace, I don’t know where to start. I think every dystopian monarchy is bound to have a resistance pop up, it’s practically inevitable. However, one of the people on the inside of the palace may surprise you.

There’s also the character of Lucas. Not entirely sure why he’s ready to protect Jessa so quickly in the book, but at least it’s not his main focus. He’s trying to save his mother, and will do anything to accomplish that.

I really want to read the next book in the series so soon! Jessa and Lucas are both in a prime position for more character development and higher stakes, so I can’t wait to see where this story takes them!

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

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


If you liked this book, check these ones out:

Crowns

A young girl is kicked out of her home only to realize she has the potential to learn great magic.


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