Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword
Red Queen #2

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Publication Date: February 9, 2016

Publisher: Harper Teen

Genre: YA/Dystopia



If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

My Thoughts: First, I want to say that I love this series.  Neither of the books went where I expected them to and this one certainly lived up to the high expectations that the first one set!

We pick up Glass Sword where Red Queen  left off.  Mare and Cal are tired and shattered from the events at the end of Red Queen and are just trying to survive at this point.  Both seem to be looking for a purpose and neither one want to stop and take a breather, or rest.

Mare, I feel, really steps it up in this book.  She really is stuck between a rock and a hard place for most of the tough decisions she has to make.  Unlike Cal, she was never trained to be thrust into a leadership position and this is where she unexpectedly finds herself.  All of her moves, all of her decisions and non-decisions are questioned and scrutinized and I feel that in the middle of the book she just kind of loses herself.  I honestly don't blame her.

Cal feels like a lost floater sometimes.  He always had a clear path of who he was, what he was, what was expected of him and where he was headed.  Now that all of that has been ripped away from him and he is on the run with people he formerly saw as the enemy seems to have caught him up.  Luckily, he doesn't stay that way completely.

I have to say, there is a lot less romance and a lot more action in this book than the previous, which is to be expected.  In the first book, it was all about political intrigue and palace life.  How best to save people and still work within the confines of the castle.  Now, to put it blunt, all hell has broken loose.  Cal and Mare are constantly looking over their shoulders while at the same time trying to save people like Mare, regular Reds and even Silvers.

This book was fast paced and awesome.  The cliffhanger ending (much like the first book) was awe-dropping and not at all what I would have expected.  I am eagerly waiting at the edge of my seat for the next book - it can't come quick enough!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (81)

Waiting on Wednesday is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly awaiting.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
(Harry Potter #8)

Author: J.K. Rowling

Expected Publication Date: July 31, 2016



Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

My Thoughts: If this is not on every single Waiting on Wednesday at least once, I would be surprised!  I can't even begin to express my anticipation to get my hands on this book.  I was incredibly sad thinking that this would only live in play form in London, where I wouldn't be able to see it.  BUT I AM SO EXCITED!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Alice in Zombieland
White Rabbit Chronicles #1

Author: Gena Showalter

Publication Date: September 12, 2012

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: Young Adult/Horror



She won't rest until she's sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

If anyone had told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that's all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn't careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.

My Thoughts: I actually liked this book a lot more than I thought I would.  Normally, I hate anything to do with zombies.  I feel like they are overdone and, quite frankly, disturbing.  So, I was pleasantly surprised when I found this new take on zombie-kind.

Now, be forewarned, this is no where near a clear adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, if that is what you are looking for.  There are definitely throw-backs to the books and Easter-Eggs if you know the original series, but this is definitely it's own story with it's own plot.

Regardless, I really enjoyed this book.  Ali (or Alice) really surprised me a lot with her fortitude.  She was very reminiscent in a way of the Alice from Alice in Wonderland in that she sucked it up and didn't let people intimidate her or push her around.

I feel like the climax in this book may have been rushed a little and could have maybe been drawn out a bit more.  However, considering the fact that it is a multi-book series I am not surprised by the way it all went down.  I feel it has most likely set up for a more dramatic climax in other novels when we deal with the big bads of the series again.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  It was one of the ones that once I picked up I could hardly put down for anything.  I am typing this review up with the second book sitting next to me, begging me to crack it open and devour it.  I would totally recommend this one to any YA reader, especially the paranormal-loving ones - even if you hate zombies!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (80)

Waiting on Wednesday is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly awaiting.

The Beauty of Darkness
(The Remnant Chronicles #3)

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Expected Publication Date: August 2, 2016



My Thoughts: I am in love with this series!  I read the first two books in two days and now I am eagerly awaiting the third one.  This series has everything I could want in a book series.  Runaways, hidden identity, massive fighting scenes and awesome romance!  Auhust 2 can't come soon enough!!

Don't believe me?  Read my review of the second book here

Friday, March 11, 2016

Review: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

The Royal We

Author: Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance



"I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they'll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next."

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book a lot more than I initially thought I would.  Some have toted it as a glorified fan-fiction of Kate and Will, but I honestly don't care.  There were a lot of similarities between Bex and Nick and Prince William and Duchess Catherine's stories - that's for sure.  However, I thoroughly enjoyed the book regardless.

Rebecca Porter, or Bex, was just a regular American college student on a study abroad term to Oxford.  She only wanted to go and enjoy the art, to take in the architecture and have fun in the UK.  She wasn't looking for romance, and she certainly wasn't aiming to find love with the second in line to the throne.

I love that we get to follow their eight-year romance to the alter.  We get to see the highs and the lows and friends come and go.  Sometimes, I found myself stopping and remembering how their romance started and drawing lines on how the young 20 year olds with a brand new love story became 26 or 27 with all of these new responsibilities and stresses.  In that way, I was glad we got to see the whole span, which we very rarely get in books.

Neither of the main characters is anywhere near perfect (nor the side characters) and I think that is what I loved the most about this book.  We get to see them both do very well and mess up spectacularly throughout their relationship.  This book broke my heart in more than one spot and had me almost yelling at both or either Bex and Nick on more than one occasion.

The ending did leave me wanting a little more.  I felt it ended a little abrupt and would have liked to see a nice epilogue from two years later, even if it was just a quick snapshot of their life.  But that certainly did not dissuade me from rating this 5 stars/owls.

So, whether you feel this is some sort of fan-fiction on Wills and Kate or not, this book was an excellent read for me.  I hated when I had to put the book down for something.  If you are fascinated by all things royal or you just love a good love story I would definitely recommend this one.