Wednesday, May 31, 2017

June 2017 TBR

So as I said in my May wrap-up I always have really high expectations for myself then I fall short almost every month. So I'm going to just put this out into the universe & try to do the best I can but LOVE every book I do get to read/listen too regardless of my own expectations. Summer reading is also starting June 3rd so I will be hopefully reading a lot this summer so I can win our staff competition!

Here is what I want to read/hope to finish etc. during the month of June...

Once & For All by Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is on my "I order very single book this author publishes list" so I preordered this one last year & it is finally coming out. I don't usually read contemporary but Dessen is one of the authors I enjoy in that genre every time, she never disappoints.

Hunted by Meagan Spooner
This book has been recommended to me by Goodreads like 500 times so I had it ordered for the library since fairytale retelling are really popular right now & I plan on reading it for my book challenge list.

Dragon's Teeth by Michael Crichton
I LOVE DINOSAURS! I am obsessed with everything about dinosaurs & I love the Jurassic Park movies. I have all of the books I just have yet to read them which I am slightly ashamed of but some day...Apparently this book was found amongst the authors things & is now being publish despite his death several years ago. We will be getting it for the library.

Found by S.A. Bodeen
This is the conclusion to a great JUV series that I started reading a few years ago when it came out. S.A. Bodeen is another author that I have read all of her books & plan on continuing to do so. 

Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead
I read The Glittering Court last year & really loved it. So I'm excited to be reading this sequel & I believe next year there will be a conclusion as well. I have read many of Richelle Mead's books in the past like her Vampire Academy series & Soundless. 

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
I picked this book up on audio & I'm about half way into it. As usual with this author it is HILARIOUS!

The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler
I also picked this one up on audio from another library & I plan on listening to it after the Sophie Kinsella.

May 2017 Wrap-Up

Each month is really hit or miss for me lately! I always have really high hopes for what I'm going to read then I usually only read 1 or 2 books. I'm working on it! It's hard as a book lover to really stick to a TBR list because the next thing you know BAM! a great new book has come out & you can't resist. 

So out of the 5 books I planned to read in May I only read 1 of them, but I have reasons for not reading the others as well. If you need a reminder here is my May TBR. I did read ACOWAR of course, as soon as it came out I inhaled it because SJM & that series are just amazing! I started reading Twenties Girl & it was ok but I just couldn't get into it right after ACOWAR. The Fairest of Them All I did start & really liked it but it was an ILL so I had to send it back unfortunately, but I do plan on reading it some day. Wither was the same thing, I'm really interested in it but I ran out of time & had to send it back to another library. And finally A Handmaid's Tale I was planning on reading because I love to show, but now that the show is so far in I want to wait until it ends, at least this first season, I don't know if there will be more seasons to come.

So here are the 2 books that I read/listened to during the month of May...

A Court of Wings & Ruin
Click here to read MY review (WARNING: It does contain spoilers!)

Click here to read MY review

Stay tuned for my June TBR...

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Atlantia by Ally Condie


Author: Ally Condie
Reader (Audio): Rebecca Soler
Time (Audio): 8 Discs/9 hrs. & 8 mins.
Publisher (Audio): Penguin Random House Audio
Publisher (Book): Dutton Books for Young Readers
Year: 2014
Genre: Dystopian/Fantasy
Age: YA 13+

I picked this book up on a whim for a recent trip I took & I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It also ended up being useful as my #17 on my 2017 Reading Challenge for a book with a rabbi, priest, or minister. Overall the book wasn't bad, the story is original & the characters are likable. But it moved a little bit slow at first & I wasn't hanging on the edge of my seat throughout the story.
The story begins with two sisters named Rio & Bay Conwy. Their mother who was the cities minister has recently died & they are trying to do the best them can to cope. They live in the city of Atlantia which is found in the Below. Many, many years ago the air in our world became polluted, so to help with this problem the Divide happened. Some people were sent or chose to go Below to underwater cities like Atlantia & some people had to or chose to remain Above on islands. Each year on the anniversary of the Divide there is a ceremony where the people of Atlantia get to chose to stay in the Below or go Above to find a new life. If you are the only person in your family you must stay Below, you don't get a choice. But if you are like Rio & Bay you can chose where to go, the oldest must chose first. Rio has always dreamed of going to the Above but now that it's just her & her sister she knows that she must stay Below with Bay. In a shocking turn of events the ceremony doesn't go as planned & as a result Rio is left alone in Atlantia.

From that moment on all Rio can think about is getting back to Bay in the Above. She hatches a plan to earn some money with the help of a new friend named True & his clever inventions. With the money she wants to buy an air tank & swim to the Above. This plan is very dangerous because all that have tried this in the past have never made it. One of the main resources in Atlantia is metal that is harvested by drones in mines that surround the city. These mines & the equipment have a tendency to explode or collapse at random times which makes it almost impossible to reach the surface unharmed. But Rio is very determined to get to the Above like she has always wanted or die trying.

Along the way Rio runs into a few problems that are much more dangerous than getting to the Above. Rio has a secret that only her family knows about & she could get in very big trouble for lying about it her whole life if anyone finds out. Not only is Rio suffering from the struggle of losing her mother & sister but soon all of Atlantia might be lost. When Atlantia was formed after the Divide there was supposed to be three miracles that happened. The first  miracle was the existence of the Sirens. The Sirens are just as you would expect, they are women & men who can use their magical voices to influence others. The exist only in the Below & the people Above think they are evil creatures. The second miracle was the bats. There are hundreds of blue winged bats that live in Atlantia, no one knows how they got underwater or where they come from, but they live in the temple & are treated as special beings. The third miracle has yet to come & everyone is hoping that it will help save Atlantia. The Above has threatened to cut the Below off from resources like food & building materials that cannot be produced in Atlantia.

Eventually with the help of her aunt Mare, her late mother's sister, Rio is able to discover who she really is & Mare is hatching a plan to help Rio get Above & save Atlantia. However Atlantia is slowing starting a fall apart with flooding, loss of air pressure, & people that want Atlantia to be lost to the ocean forever. Rio & Mare must get to the Above & try to convince the people there to keep Atlantia alive, but will it be too late?

Likes: The story of Atlantia is very complex its a combination of a mermaid fairytale, mythological stories of the sirens, & the legend of Atlantis. This combo makes for a story that you think you know with a new twist.

The scenery described in the book is beautiful! Atlantia exists in giant bubbles under the ocean but it is not primitive & there is almost no water. The houses in the main area of the city are painted in bright colors & there is a mix of metal, concrete, & other materials since wood from the Above is scarce. There are outdoor markets like the Deep Market & even a pool where racing happens & people can bet on the swimmers. The center of the city is the temple where people can go to ease their fears & lighten their minds to the priests & minister.

Rio's secret is something we find out about early on in the book but as a reader I didn't see why it was so important or where it would eventually go. But in the end the whole story comes together & you can see how the Above & the Below are actually one big world.

There was a little bit of a love story in the book between Rio & True but it wasn't the main focus which is a nice change from other young adult books.

Dislikes:  This isn't necessarily a bad thing & I didn't not like the story because of this but I think it would have made it move faster. Rio is the main character & since here sister is gone we don't see much of the Above until very late in the book. I think the book would have been a little bit more interesting if it had been told from split view points. ***But that would also change the story & take away from the ending making it move in a different direction.***


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Court of Wings & Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings & Ruin

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2017
Genre: Fantasy/New Adult
Age: YA 15+

***This review will contain some major spoilers so if you haven't read this book or the previous books, &/or you have but do not want to read spoilers then go back now! You have been sufficiently warned***

This series is one of my all time favorites for many reasons, some of those include the beautiful love story between Rhys & Feyre, the amazing scenery of the different courts, & the wonderful world that has been created for us by the talented SJM. 

This book is the conclusion of the story of Feyre Archeron and her amazing journey. But the good news is that there will be at least three more books in the land of Prythian. Before I get into the summary let me just say one thing...I was not ok after reading this book...
In this third & final book of the story of Feyre "Cursebreaker" we finally see the threat of the ever looming war with the King of Hybern come to pass. Feyre beings her journey back in the Spring Court with Tamlin & Lucien. She was taken there at the end of ACOMAF when Tamlin made a deal with the King of Hybern to get her back from the Night Court. However trouble is brewing in the realm of eternal spring with the arrival of Jurian & the Hybern twins. Jurian was imprisioned by Amarantha after the War & was resurrected using the Cauldron by the King of Hybern in ACOMAF. Jurian & his new companions are in the Spring Court to inspect the wall between the mortal lands & Prythian for weaknesses that can be used to the advantage of King Hybern in the new war. Feyre is doing some research of her own, using Tamlin's alliance with Hybern, to bring back to her people in the Night Court.

It isn't long before Feyre's welcome in the Spring Court wears off & she escapes with Lucien in tow. The pair head north back to the Night Court & Feyre's new family. Along their journey they run into Lucien's brothers who are looking to cause trouble. Luckily Cassian & Azriel come to the rescue just in time & before they know it Feyre & Lucien are safely in Velaris, the city of starlight.
Once home the real work begins. The group that includes Amren, Mor, Cassian, Azriel, Elain, & Nesta are working with Rhys & Feyre to build an alliance with the other courts. Elain & Nesta are still getting used to their new fae bodies & the power that comes with them. Elain has still not given up on her human life, while Nesta has "taken" something from the Cauldron & is trying to harness that power with Amren's help. The meeting for the alliance is held by Thesan of the Dawn Court at his beautiful home. Of course it wouldn't be a party with out a pooper & Tamlin shows up to steal the show & he is furious at Feyre for betraying him. 

After the alliance meeting things happen quickly. The King of Hybern uses the Cauldron to break down the wall in one foul swoop & at once the new war has begun. Through a series of deals Feyre is able to secure the help of three unexpected allies, The Bone Carver from the Prison, the Weaver named Stryga who we find out is the Bone Carver's sister, & finally Bryaxis who is the monster in the library. The battle is also joined by some new faces that we should recognize; Miryam, Drakon, & the girl's father help get to victory. The story culminates in one final battle to the death with a surprise ending that will take your breath away (It's so bad I can't even!). And of course...they lived happily ever after.

To the stars that listen...and the dreams that are answered
Likes: There are almost no words to describe this book...the ending...was just so...OMG!

One of the best things about this book was we got to meet all of the other high lords & travel to a few of the courts. The alliance meeting is held in the Dawn Court & it was BEAUTIFUL!!! We have previously traveled to the Summer Court that is also spectacular & we go back there as the war progresses with the Summer Court being so close to where Hybern has set up with Tamlin they become a target.

Once again SJM has hooked the readers in with the breathtaking love story between Rhys & Feyre. Their story developed quickly over the last two books & we get to see in depth how they are with each other in this book after Feyre returns to Velaris. They would do anything for each other & the playful banter we get to read through the bond they share is hilarious & really adds some fun to this tale of war. Every time I read one of these books it just makes my heart full. I long for a love like this pair have & it makes me very happy to escape to their world.

We also get to see the development of more of the characters then we have before. Elain & Nesta, Feyre's sisters, that have recently become fae are struggling to get settled in this new world & their new bodies. Elain, who was supposed to be married to a mortal man, is in a comatose state for most of the book unfortunately. But she does have a shining moment at the end, much like Neville in the Harry Potter books. Nesta is much more powerful as a fae than she was as a human. She says that when she went into the Cauldron during her transformation she "took something from it" since it was taking her life essentially. Amren is able to help Nesta figure out her new powers & put them to good use. Nesta & Elain are also connected to the Cauldron directly through the bond of being Made which comes in handy near the end of the story.

Amren has been a bit of a mystery to us since ACOMAF. She was once in the Prison with the Bone Carver and any other powerful beings so we know she is dark & dangerous. But throughout this story we learn that she had to bind herself to a fae body in order to escape from there & she is dying to get out & back to her normal self. We learn in the final battle what she truly is...but I will leave the mystery up to you to find out.

Finally we see more of Lucien since he has tagged along & given up his home in the Spring Court. We learned in the previous books that he left his home in the Autumn Court after his brothers killed his former lover & he had a disagreement with his father. Beron. Through the alliance meeting we get to meet Helion, High Lord of the Day Court, & we learn that Helion was Lucien's mother's lover & that Lucien is actually Helion's son (both parties not knowing this).

After the battle Feyre who is now sort of the leader of this new world that has been formed decides to hold a meeting & get a new treaty started between the mortals & the fae. I think is a great idea since the old treaty & the wall that has now been broken were so restricting to both the mortals & fae.

The closure of the story is as to be expected. Feyre & Rhys live happily ever after in Velaris with all of their friends & family minus one loss that was sad after everything that has happened. I wasn't surprised with the ending, it is a fairytale after all so I knew there would be a happy ending. I was SHOCKED with the events leading up to the end however. I feel at peace with the way it ended but I also am wanting more..I could read about Feyre & Rhys forever!

I'm not going to give away the big ending but just know it will absolutely take your breath away & it is VERY similar to the ending of ACOTAR which I really liked!

There are three more books planned for this series just not featuring Feyre. There have been rumors of a novella book or a book about Lucien so we'll see what happens. The next book is scheduled to come out in 2018.

Dislikes: Chapter 74 & Chapter 76 NOT OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull


Author: Brandon Mull
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Year: 2017
Genre: Fantasy
Age: JUV Chapter Book 13+

We return to the beloved and magic preserve of Fablehaven in this new sequel series to the popular five part fantasy tale.

Once again the story is told through the eyes of our young brother and sister duo of kendra & Seth Sorensen. After defeating the demons with the help of some magical friends, the pair are off on a new adventure. They are asked to become the caretakers of the dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost. There has been civil unrest among the dragons since the Battle of Zzyzx. Using their special abilities of being fairykind & a shadow charmer together Kendra & Seth make a great dragon tamer. They can use this new ability to stand up to the King of Dragons, Celebrant.

Once they reach Wyrmroost with the help of their grandparents to advise them, the kids must stop celebrant from breaking the defenses of Blackwell keep and overthrowing the sanctuary, releasing all the dragons, then subsequently taking over the world.

They will need the help of the beautiful & neutral Fair Folk, a trustworthy new alcetaur friend, a bigger than normal nipsie, and a hidden scepter to keep Wyrmroost and their friends alive!

But will it be enough to save the world from entering a new Age of Dragons?

Likes: We are once again in Fablehaven as if only a short time has passed...not the 7 years since the last book of the Fablehaven series was published!

The pictures that accompany the story are really cool & exciting.

The same characters join us, although the story mainly focuses on Kendra & Seth. The Knights of the Dawn are off saving the supernatural world but we also see some new faces like Kendra & Seth's cousins.

One of the most exciting books of the Fablehaven series (in my opinion) was book #4 Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary. is really great to have an entire book that takes place at Wyrmroost. We get t learn more about it & the creatures that live there as well as some new secrets.

The story continues to amaze us with the magical world & creatures. It's great to escape from reality every once in a while.

Seth is as obnoxious & funny as ever although he is learning to stay out of trouble (a little bit)!

I feel a little bit bad for Kendra in this book. She is separated from her kinda of love interest Bracken the unicorn, son of the Fairy Queen in this book which puts pressure on both of them. But she also meets a potential new love interest...all in all I am hoping to see a kiss in the near future!

I am very excited to see more Fablehaven books in the coming years!

Dislikes: -