The Winner’s Curse – Book Review

Title: The Winner’s Curse

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Pages: 355 (hardcover)

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Published: March 14, 2014

Summary:

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Review:

I absolutely loved this book. I’ve read it twice in the last three months, because I just couldn’t get the story out of my head. I think that The Winner’s Curse is set in such a unique world, and has many important messages about the world that we live in, veiled by a great story with interesting characters.

This book is just so swoony. The entire time I was reading it, I couldn’t help but wish that Kestrel and Arin would realize their feelings for one another, despite the many obstacles that they faced. Though I really wanted them together as soon as possible, because their tension was so obvious, I was happy that it took as long as it did for them to see their feelings, because it made it believable. I can’t stand when two characters have insta-love, even though that’s totally what I was hoping for with Kestrel and Arin.

Kestrel skyrocketed to the top of my list of favorite female characters. She isn’t like the heroines of all of the other major YA books out there. She isn’t a skilled fighter or hunter. But Kestrel is smart, and strategic, and she embraces it to it’s fullest. Kestrel is independent, and despite her society’s rules regarding women, she manages to do what she wants.

I love the world that this book takes place in. It is so well thought out, and I could picture it in my head so clearly while I read the book. There’s a mix of fantasy and history, and it is definitely a world that I would like to visit. I can’t say as though I’d want to live there, because women can’t travel without an escort, but I would definitely be down to go to a few of the balls and parties that happen.

I’ve already read the entire trilogy, but am planning on rereading the other two books as well, and I’ll likely be doing reviews for Crime and Kiss as well. I give The Winner’s Curse 5/5 stars, but I would give it about a million more stars if I could.

Little Women—Blog Tour and Audiobook Review

Summary:

Following the lives of four sisters on a journey out of adolescence, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women explores the difficulties associated with gender roles in a Post-Civil War America.

Author: Louisa May Alcott

Narrator: Andrea Emmes

Length: 17h 36m

Buy: Amazon

 

Review:

This was actually my first experience with Little Women, be it reading or listening, so I was pleased to be introduced to this beloved book. There were times when the narration really had to work to keep my attention, but then again I am usually doing something else while listening to an audiobook, and can easily have my attention pulled from what I’m listening to. I think this is because so many years of listening to music in the background just to have some noise.

This book really pulls the reader into a different time, and Andrea Emmes narration helps to really transport the reader to the world of Little Women. I give this audiobook 4/5 stars.

Click below to read about the narrator and see what other blogs are featuring Little Women on this tour.

Continue reading Little Women—Blog Tour and Audiobook Review

At First Blush – Book Review

Summary:

Who would have thought that a teenager could have a successful career creating makeup tutorial videos on YouTube? For Lacey Robbins, this dream has been her reality. An up-and-coming YouTuber, she has thousands of fans and can’t wait for the day when her subscriber count reaches the one million mark. And when she is offered a high school internship at On Trend Magazine, she figures that this could be the make it or break it moment.

But sometimes your dream job isn’t all that it seems. Her editor is only interested in promoting junk products, and her boss in the Hair and Makeup department introduces her to the larger world of makeup artistry, making her wonder if making tutorials online is all she is meant to do. To top it all off, when the magazine’s feature subject, musician Tyler Lance, turns his broodingly handsome smile her way, falling for him could mean losing her fans, forcing her to make a decision: her YouTube life or her real life?

Review:

I loved this book so much! Spring has sprung, and I am fully in the mood for all of the contemporary books. This book definitely didn’t disappoint me!

LaceyBlushes gets the chance of a lifetime when she’s selected for an internship at a magazine, where she’ll vlog all the behind-the-scenes deeds about the magazine’s guest editor, but the experience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Lacey finds that while things are going great for her YouTube channel, she is losing her passion for making videos. And to top it all off, she’s falling for someone that she never expected to.

I think that this book really did a great job of portraying that sometimes our dreams aren’t all they’re made out to be, and that sometimes we may think that we know what we want in life, when in reality we don’t. I think that that is something that scares a lot of people, myself included. With my college graduation nearing in a couple months, I’m absolutely terrified that once I actually get into the field, I’m not going to love my profession. Only time will tell.

One thing that bothered me about this book was Lacey’s obliviousness to things that were blatantly obvious to everyone else. Over time, this changes though, and Lacey realizes what an idiot she’s been about many things, and things start looking up for her.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars. At First Blush goes on sale April 4.

Girl In Pieces – Book Review

Summary:

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

A deeply moving portrait of a teenage girl on the verge of losing herself and the journey she must take to survive in her own skin, Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

Review:

This book was my favorite read of 2016. The subject matter is heavy, and dark, but so important and done so well. Going into this book, I didn’t really know just how dark it was going to get. Charlie’s character has been through so much, and so have the people that she knows. This book made my heart heavy with sorrow for those who go through life feeling like they are alone and that things will never get better.

The writing in Girl In Pieces is absolutely beautiful. It is written in a diary-like style. In the beginning of the novel, the entries are short; Charlie doesn’t trust whoever it is that she’s writing to (herself, her therapist, just a diary?) with the truth of what happened to her. She is a selective mute, traumatized by her experiences. Over time, Charlie opens up, both to people in her life and to the reader. The writing manages to get so much emotion across without much effort.

I think the most important thing about this book is that it reminded me you never really know what people are going through, underneath whatever face they put on for the public to view. It reminded me to be kind to others, because you never know what might tip someone over the edge. Everyone should read this book.

I gave Girl In Pieces 5/5 stars. For me, it’s a definite must read.

College Life 101: Freshman Orientation—Blog Tour and Book Review

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Click on the tour banner above to see the list of the other great blogs that have featured College Life 101: Freshman Orientation on this tour!

Summary:

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Leaving home for the first time to attend college is stressful enough. But when the roommate lottery of Paradise Valley University strikes, it produces couples who have absolutely nothing in common; causing personality clashes which takes the stress to a whole new level. Dismay hits Sidra Howard, the prim and proper princess, when she contemplates spending an entire semester with Chasity Parker, the troubled beauty with a sharp tongue and even sharper claws. Malajia Simmons, a boy crazed, attention seeking diva, is no happier. Not only does she get stuck with the upper bunk bed, she has to share a triple room with Alexandra Chisolm, a nosey and overbearing, self proclaimed “know-it-all”. But even the meddling Alexandra isn’t as bad as Emily Harris, the shy, mommy’s girl with a non-existent backbone.

Coming to college to escape her home life, Chasity hopes to get through the semester without any problems. Her hopes are tainted once she begins to have to resist the advances of a determined football star, on top of dealing with family drama which seems to have followed her. Alexandra’s need to fix everyone’s problems not only rubs her roommates the wrong way, it also causes her to fall blind to the problems brewing with the boyfriend that she left behind. Eventually she’ll be forced to face the issues head on. Emily’s refusal to come out of her shell is too much to handle for party girl Malajia, whose main purpose is to have fun and be seen. The same doesn’t apply to Sidra, who’s more concerned with trying to keep her over-the-top stress level under control.

These five young women try to handle family drama, pressure, and conflicts; all while trying to maintain their grades. They quickly learn that college life isn’t what they expected and must adapt to their new environment if they ever hope to make it through their first semester.

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Review:

This book reminded me that throughout my four years of college, I was relatively lucky with who I got assigned to for roommates, with the exception of one year. As I read through and imagined having some of these girls as my roommates, I simply couldn’t picture having someone so absolutely terrible to live with. As it is, the one roommate who I haven’t liked throughout college isn’t nearly as bad as some of these characters, and I already dislike her. I can’t fathom how miserable it would be to have these girls as roommates.

College Life really made me appreciate the great time that I did have in college because I was so blessed with roommates. At times, while reading, I thought that some of the parts were a bit far fetched or exaggerated, but I’m sure that there have been instances similar to those, and I’ve simply never experienced them. I think that this book was okay, but had the potential to be much better. There are two other books in the series and I would be interested to see the character development that occurs between the books.

I give College Life 101: Freshman Orientation 3/5 stars. You can purchase it from any of the following retailers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Continue reading College Life 101: Freshman Orientation—Blog Tour and Book Review

Dragonkyn—Blog Tour and Book Review

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Dragonkyn - Blog Tour and Book Review

Summary:

Marc used to think he was pretty ordinary, but he also used to think ice cream trucks didn’t sell ice cream and dragons were just fairy tales. Now he knows better. With skin that can’t be burned and strange powers he can’t explain, Marc soon discovers the truth: he is part dragon. And as he joins his fellow dragonkyn, his closest friends could quickly become his greatest enemies.

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Review:

 

This book was a fun and unique read. I found myself laughing throughout the book, and I rather enjoyed the dynamic between the characters. One of the best parts about the book was the witty chapter titles, which kept me in suspense of what was going to unfold throughout the pages. Some chapter titles include: “Ditching Death is Difficult” and “How to Embarrass Your Spanish Teacher”. The short chapters made this book an absolute breeze to blow through/

I give Dragonkyn 3/5 stars.

 

 

Apocalypse All the Time – Blog Tour and Book Review

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Click on the banner above to see the other amazing blogs featuring Apocalypse All the Time on this tour!

Summary:

Doesn’t it seem as if someone issues a new apocalypse prediction every week? Y2K? The Mayan apocalypse? The Rapture? Doesn’t it seem endless? As opposed to the traditional trend of post-apocalyptic literature, Apocalypse All the Time is post-post-apocalypticism.

Marshall is sick of the apocalypse happening on a weekly (if not daily) basis. Life is constantly in peril, continually disrupted, but nothing significant ever happens. The emergency is always handled. Always. Marshall wants out; he wants it all to stop . . . one way or another. Even if he has to end the world himself.

Apocalypse All the Time explores humanity’s fascination with the end times and what impact such a fascination has on the way we live our lives.

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Continue reading to see my review of Apocalypse All the Time

Continue reading Apocalypse All the Time – Blog Tour and Book Review

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