Tag Archives: book review

What Light – Book Review

What Light - Book Review

Summary:

Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

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Review:

What Light is the perfect winter read for the holiday season. It is the ultimate mix of romance, friendship and self-discovery, through the lens of the Christmas season.

Sierra is very picky when it comes to the boys she dates. She sees no reason in being with someone if she can’t see a future with them. She isn’t looking for Mr. Right Now, but Mr. Right. So when she starts to fall for Caleb, the dashing boy who loves Christmas just as much as she does, her friends know that this could be something serious. But there’s something dark about Caleb that everyone else seems to know about that Sierra must discover.

Sierra is a really open-minded and level-headed character. She doesn’t let others’ opinions cloud her judgment and seeks the truth for herself. Even when others question her decisions, she stands up for what she believes in and for those that she loves, even when the odds are against her. She is resilient, determined, and loyal. Sierra tries to make others see things how she does without losing her head.

Caleb is such a strong character. He always looks to the bright side even when things are tough and working against him. He is an outcast, but he tries not to let others’ thoughts and opinions get to him. He is caring and generous and kind, despite what has happened to him in life, and he always strives to give to others.

@This was such a fun, quick Christmassy read, and I loved every second of it. If it weren’t for so much homework, I could have easily finished this book in a day, it was that good. I love a cute story, and this is just that. I give What Light 5/5 stars and a 100000% must read.

Glitter – Book Review

Glitter - Book Review

Summary:

Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.

When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.

But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

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Review:

When I saw that Glitter was described as Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette, I was immediately intrigued and had to read it, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. I love all things French, and especially the historic ways of royalty, so I had pretty high expectations when I started reading this book.

The premise of this book was very unique: in order to escape from her planned marriage to the king, Danica turns to selling drugs in order to have enough money to pay for her black market identity change. Along the way, a lot happens and changes in Danica’s life. She falls in love, people she loves get hurt, and she must raise the money in less time than she had originally anticipated, raising the stakes.

Danica is a very selfish character, there’s no denying that. She doesn’t ever think of how her actions will affect others, often leaving her shocked and stunned when something happens that she didn’t expect. Even though Danica knows what withdrawals from Glitter look like, she still chooses to sell the drug to the people of Versailles. But given the circumstances, it makes sense why Danica is so selfish. She is afraid that she will end up married to a king who murdered a girl, and that she will meet the same fate.

At the end of this book, there is a plot twist that I did NOT SEE COMING and holy cow, was it a good one. It left me hanging and in anticipation of the sequel. I need to know what happens, and I need to know ASAP. Overall, Glitter was a very quick read for me and I would highly recommend it. I give Glitter 5/5 stars because I LOVED it!

*I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Legacy – Blog Tour and Book Review

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Summary:

How do you want to feel today?

In 2041, the choice is yours.

San Francisco is deserted, the Bay Bridge bombed, and the BART subway trains grounded. The Guardians, members of an elite and mysterious government-appointed military police force, are maintaining order at all costs—thanks to emotion-altering drugs like Emovere that suppress fear and anxiety. Lex Knightley, daughter of a prominent forensic psychiatrist, risks entering the devastated city to partner with the Resistance, a group of rebels intent upon exposing the dangers of Emovere. Lex discovers an ally in Quin McAllister, a magnetic Guardian Force recruit with a haunting past that binds them together. As she uncovers the secrets of the Guardian Force and confronts the truth about her family, Lex begins to realize that even those closest to her are not quite who they seem.

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Review:

I love dystopian novels so much. There’s something about the world as we know it being gone that is simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. I would love to see the world change in some ways; who wouldn’t? But what if those changes set in motion something that was irreparable? I get the chills just thinking about it.

This book was such a fast read for me. I just couldn’t put it down! Everything from the setting to the plot to the characters had me hooked from the first page. As someone who lives in San Francisco, reading books that are set in my city always excite me. It’s interesting to see what SF looks like in someone else’s eyes.

The whole “take a pill and change your emotions” thing was very intriguing to me. At first, it seems like a great idea. Goodbye PTSD, just take a pill and it’s gone. Bye bye depression, another pill and you’re gone too. Who wouldn’t want such a simple fix to their problems? But then once the dark truth about these pills is discovered, some people don’t feel as positive about the pills as they once did.

In the ever-growing collection of dystopian books, I felt that this book was original and unique, which I loved. I am definitely looking forward to getting my hands onto the next book in the series.

I give Legacy 4/5 stars. You can purchase it from Amazon by clicking on the book’s cover image below:

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The Cave – Blog Tour and Book Review

The Cave Book Tour

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The Cave - Blog Tour and Book Review

Plot:

When a nuclear war devastates the U.S., a four-day excursion quickly turns into a fight for survival in The Cave. Six Stanford students journey into one of the deepest and longest caves in North America. A day into their journey, a nuclear war begins from within the U.S. Unable to return to the surface, and unsure what they will find when they do, the Cave will test the strength and survival of each person differently – transforming six individuals into a team, and ultimately…a family.

Review:

The suspense in this book had me hooked from the beginning, and kept me reading all the way through the end. Not only did I find myself wanting to know what was going to happen to the characters, but I needed to know. I couldn’t stop reading until I knew how the book ended.

A group of six college students plans an expedition into the Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. They come from all different backgrounds and each have unique majors in college that don’t necessarily have anything to do with their desires to go on this trip. The trip is only set to last for four days, but after a nuclear war breaks out above ground after the first day of their trip, the group forced to stay underground to avoid exposure to nuclear radiation.

The group then has to figure out a way to survive for a month with very limited supplies, and have to constantly hike throughout the caves to find supply boxes and natural streams to survive off of while they wait out their time. And with more hiking comes a lot of accidents and injuries that only slow the group down more and more. By the time that they need to head to the surface, they are in need of some help from outside help, if there is any.

The only thing that bothered me with this book was the way that it ended in a sort of cliffhanger, and only because I wanted to keep on reading about the fate of the students once they reach the surface. That being said, I am most definitely going to have to get my hands on the next book because I must know how this story goes.

To purchase The Cave, either click on the book’s cover image above or click HERE.

There is also a giveaway going on with this book tour for a $25 Amazon gift card. to enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

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The Lords of Valdeon – Blog Tour and Book Review

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The Lords of Valdeon - Blog Tour and Book Review

Plot:

A new series from award winning author, C.R. Richards: The epic tale of two men begins. The first – a man of honor trying desperately to turn his country from civil war. The other – a boy struggling to discover his destiny before agents of evil find him first.

Coveted by two ancient enemies of a long forgotten age, the continent of Andara holds the key to victory in an endless struggle for dominance. Eight hundred years have passed since the god-like Jalora struck a bargain with the first King of Valdeon. The Lion Ring, symbol of the covenant and conduit of power, gives its bearer incredible abilities. The ring’s borrowed magic protects the people of Andara from covetous evil, but there is a price. As with most predators, the Lion Ring must feed. Only the blood of the D’Antoiné family line will satisfy its hunger.

A rival for Andara’s treasures, the Sarcion has waited impatiently for its time upon the land. Whispers of treason in the right ear aid its treachery. The King of Valdeon mysteriously disappears, leaving his lands in danger of a civil war by the hand of a murderous usurper. His Lion Ring is lost and the covenant is broken. The Jalora’s power begins to seep away from the land. Evil’s foothold grows stronger. Can the Lords of Valdeon, Sacred Guard of the covenant, stop the tides of war? Or will Andara fall into chaos? The future rests in the blood of a boy…

Review:

For me, this book started out a little slow and it took me a bit to get hooked and interested in the storyline. But to be fair, for me that happens with most fantasy books. It just takes me a while to become familiar with the world and all of the different aspects of it. With that being said, the world that this book takes place in is very well thought out and written. It’s almost as if it actually exists in this world, and not just made up out of someone’s head.

Because this was the first book in the series, there was a lot of background which probably didn’t help with why this book seemed to drag on in the beginning. But after I got to the meat of the book, I was hooked! There is something about these characters that just made me need to know what happens to them all.

The war between good and evil is a tough battle. Is good great enough to hold out, or will the evil side gain a strong enough foothold to push out the good? This is the struggle that takes place throughout the entire book. I enjoyed the way that the stories of both sides were shown throughout the story.

I give this book 3.5/5 stars. You can order The Lords of Valdeon by clicking on the book’s cover above.

This Is Where It Ends – Book Review

This Is Where It Ends - Book Review

Plot:

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival

Review:

With the mass shootings that seem to be constantly in the news these days, this book is shockingly relevant. Overall, I enjoyed the book, though I feel as though it could have done a much better job at showing the reader what really drove the shooter to commit mass murder.

As far as the multiple points of view, I thought that they were very well written and it was easy to distinguish from one point of view to the next. It didn’t feel like the book was lacking a steady source of narration, which can sometimes happen when there are multiple POVs.

The biggest problem that I have with this book is that it doesn’t really make me feel anything for the characters. Yes, they are going through something tragic and horrific, which is very sad, but beyond that I feel no connection with any of the characters that I feel is kind of necessary.

I think that this book could have done a better job at portraying a school shooting and the events that can drive someone to commit such a crime. I didn’t dislike the book, but I am definitely not in love with it either.

I give This Is Where It Ends 4/5 stars. It comes out tomorrow, January 5, 2016. You can order it by clicking on the book’s cover image above.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Body Institute – Book Review

The Body Institute - Book Review

Plot:

Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body-leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti-Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…

Review:

From the second I got the email about the opportunity to review this book, I knew I had to read it. The description just hooked me and this book didn’t disappoint me in the slightest.

For Morgan, working out is something that she enjoys doing. In society, people are rewarded for being in “good shape”, and they are penalized and fined for being overweight. This is supposed to encourage people to stay in shape so as to relieve stress on the health care system.

From this emerges the Body Institute, where people who are struggling with their weight can go to have someone else’s consciousness implanted into their body to lose the weight, and then after the weight loss is complete, the original person’s consciousness is then restored into the body. Seems like the perfect way to lose weight for all of the lazy people who can afford to do so.

For most people, the idea of the Body Institute is something that just is—it’s not too outlandish to imagine that it is necessary. Some people are concerned by the technology that the system uses, especially those of older generations who aren’t too tech-savvy. But there are a group of protestors who will do anything to see the Body Institute taken down.

Throughout the progression of this book, we see Morgan go from being completely trusting of the technology used to perform the transfers, to a little skeptical, and then questioning everything about the program. Turns out that the program isn’t exactly what she thought it was, and she makes it her personal mission to let everyone know what’s really going on.

The way this society is so obsessed with weight and image is only a slight exaggeration of what our current society looks like. Is it really so hard to imagine that people are so obsessed with weight loss and looking thin that the government would step in and do something to aid the obsession? Not really.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What Happens in Paris – Book Review

What Happens in Paris - Book Review

Plot:

Four countries.
Three girls.
Three loves.
One adventure abroad they’ll never forget.

Camie can’t figure out what she wants, from college or life . . . until she meets Hunter. But will the magic of a romantic night in Paris last till the morning?

Review:

What Happens in Paris is a perfect book to take along to the beach to read on a nice summer day. It’s a novella, so it can definitely be tacked in one day. Altogether there are four novellas in this series, with Paris being the second one. The others are What Happens in London, What Happens in Berlin, and What Happens Abroad.

I found that I could really relate to the main character of the novella, Camie. She’s had a tough year in college, in part due to falling in and out of love with a boy in one of her classes. In order to help put this out of her mind, she decides to go backpacking all across Europe, starting in Paris, where upon landing she meets someone. Initially the two don’t get along, but it seems as though fate is pushing them together, with the two running into each other all over Paris. One thing leads to another, and eventually Camie decides to give him a shot. Along the way, Camie meets two girls staying in her hostel, who also appear in the other novellas in the series.

I enjoyed this book for what it was: a quick summer read. I would definitely be interested in reading the other three books in the series. Overall, I give this book 3/5 stars, simply because I prefer longer books.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Material Girls – Book Review

Material Girls - Book Review

Plot:

In Marla Klein and Ivy Wilde’s world, teens are the gatekeepers of culture. A top fashion label employs sixteen-year-old Marla to dictate hot new clothing trends, while Ivy, a teen pop star, popularizes the garments that Marla approves. Both girls are pawns in a calculated but seductive system of corporate control, and both begin to question their world’s aggressive levels of consumption. Will their new “eco-chic” trend subversively resist and overturn the industry that controls every part of their lives?

Review:

Material Girls is an enjoyable book that subtly questions the way that our society behaves in regards to things that don’t necessarily matter all that much.

From the time they are born, people work towards getting “tapped” in one of the creative industries—things like the fashion, film, singing and video game industries. Every child creates a Tap page to showcase their creative talents, and then on a specific day when the children are 12-13 years old, they are either “tapped” for a creative industry, or left to work in one of the “Adequate” industries like math or science. Those who aren’t tapped receive lower pay and have a harder time caring for their families. Even those who get tapped can still struggle, depending on their position in the industry they were chosen for.

For those who work in the creative industries, if you aren’t wearing the absolute latest trends, you’re considered an “obsoloser” and are pretty much doomed to fall off of society’s radar. And with the rate that trends change, it is a job in itself just keeping up with what is still “in”.

Once Marla, one of the two main characters, gets demoted from her job at one of the top five fashion houses, she begins to see that perhaps working in a tapped industry isn’t all that it is portrayed to be. Along with some new friends, Marla sets out to reform the way that the fashion industry—and perhaps all creative industries—work.

One thing that I absolutely loved about this book was that the ending wasn’t the predictable, typically happy ending that seems to be everywhere these days. While the book definitely isn’t disappointing in the way it ends, it didn’t end in the way that it is set up for readers to hope that it does.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

Material Girls goes on sale May 5. You can purchase it here.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Decaying Empire – Book Review

The Decaying Empire - Book Review

Plot:

When eighteen-year-old teleporter Ember Pierce wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, she remembers only the basics: she’s been trained by the government as a spy, she’s sent on dangerous missions, and her last assignment—the one that landed her in the hospital—was a setup.

Caden Hawthorne has spent the past ten months of his life grieving Ember’s death. So when she shows up in his room like an apparition, he can’t believe his eyes. But this Ember is different. Her hair is longer, her skin is paler, her gaze is haunted. She tells him what he’s already begun to suspect: someone he trusted betrayed her.

Now, uncertain who is friend and who is foe, Ember and Caden face the toughest mission of their lives—to stay together and survive, as they run from danger toward an unknown future.

Review:

The Decaying Empire is the sequel to The Vanishing Girl (you can read my review of that here), and it was everything that I was hoping it would be after I loved the first book so much.

After being set up and seriously injured at the end of the first book, Ember Pierce thought she was a dead woman. Teleporters can’t just poof back to their original location unharmed after being injured on a mission—teleporting with a bad wound usually leads to a teleporter being spliced, or torn apart, while trying to get back. Most can’t survive being spliced, but amazingly Ember does. When she wakes up 10 months after her accident, she is keen on seeking revenge against the program that has taken her life and decided to put it in danger.

Ember, along with her pair Caden, wants to escape the facility that has them “imprisoned”, and along with the help of some outsiders, expose the program that has taken their lives and put them in death’s way on a daily basis. But once the program gets wind of this, they ship Ember and Caden off to their other facility—where they send teleporter couples that want to start a family.

The duo decide to go through with their plans to escape and expose the program, but not without many complications along the way, which tests the strength of their relationship.

This book is written in a way that flows well and at a fast pace, which really allowed me to speed through it as I was reading. I love reading books that don’t feel like a chore to get through, and The Decaying Empire definitely qualifies.

Overall, I give this book 5/5 stars.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.