Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: Contemporary
Published: 2016

This book came highly recommended and I ended up reading it with my book club - The  Readers Guild. Though I enjoyed the characters I felt that there were parts of the story that were unnecessary. Like the author was just fulfilling a page count.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Andie had it all planned out. 

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. 

And where’s the fun in that?

My Review:

Our main character is Andie. She has everything planned down to the last minute. She kind of reminded me of me and my tendencies to worry about things four years in the future. I liked Andie. I liked her character development, the way she forgives her dad without holding a grudge, the way she loves her friends. I liked her. I didn't like her type A personality (sorry to all type A people out there). It ruined a lot of things for her that I felt were obvious mistakes. I struggled connecting with that part of her character. 

Okay so Clark. First off THE NAME!! I don't know about you but my future child will be named Clark. Also HE WRITES FANTASY BOOKS!! I mean come on that has got to be the greatest things about this book. We see a writer with  a main character that doesn't read with a boyfriend on the bestseller list. Andie's reactions to Clark's nerdy shirts, references, and movies. Her walking into a book signing. I thought it was hilarious because I 'm sure half the time that's how people see me. Clark was nerdy and sweet and definitely my favorite character in the story.

I loved the character development throughout the story. How Andie started to mellow out and you got to see her discover a new part of herself. And Clark with his writers block and seeing him share that part of him with Andie. I love Tom, Bri, Toby, and Palmer. Their friendship throughout the story was awesome and made me slightly jealous. This book had a lot to give with it's characters and I really liked that. 

Why I took away two stars - As I said I loved the characters, but the story line not so much. This book started slow for me. It took me a good fifty pages (if not more) to get into Andie's story. It felt like there were parts of the story that were just fill ins like Morgan Matson had a beginning and an end planned and just winged it for the middle. 

I also didn't like the six chapters before the last two. I know that's confusing but I did like how it ended  I just didn't like how we got there. I felt like you could see exactly how this was going to go before it got there. I didn't like seeing Andie grow so much  through the book and then having a freak out right before the end. It just didn't seem to fit and I felt like it was just to make the story longer.

This was my first Morgan Matson book and contemporary is my least favorite genre but I'd definitely read more of her books. If you enjoy contemporary than I recommend you try this one. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab

My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2015

In the year and a half I've been on Instagram I've heard so many things about Victoria Schwab's writing. I never really thought to pick up the book or check out the synopsis. I just thought 'that's a nice cover'. I got an ARC of the second book last fall and it had been sitting on my shelf since. This summer I wanted to kill some of the books on my TBR shelf so I picked up the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic. My life will never be the same.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Kell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.

Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to take her with him for her proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped.

My Review:

First off the setting. I love London. I've never been but in every story I've ever read with London it has been perfect. In this story there are not one BUT three (technically four) London's. Grey, Red, White, (and black) London. I loved all of them. I loved how each London had it's own feel. It's own set of rules. You would think having Four London's in a story would be confusing but it worked so well. Each place was cutthroat and amazing in it's own way. Except grey London. It was just cutthroat. 

The magic. This story has got such a unique take on magic. In this book magic is not something that is in everyone. It's a living thing. There is no language for magic it is a give and take relationship. It's like a person and it must be commanded or you will be consumed by it. In red London magic is like breathing. In Grey it simply doesn't exist. In White the people fight it. In Black the magic has consumed everything. Now there's magic and then there's Antari. Kell is one of the last two Antari's to exist. Antari's can perform all the forms of magic including blood magic which allows you to travel between worlds. 

Let me just take a moment to fangirl over my new favorite female character. OH MY GOSH! LILA WAS AMAZING! She was so tough and didn't need anyone but at the same time she could be vulnerable. Her character development throughout the story was perfect. She went from someone who felt nothing for anyone to someone who would fight for her friends. So in some stories your female dresses in pants and acts all weird and strong and it just feels so unnatural. Not this story. Lila may not wear a dress and she may be able  to handle a knife like no one else but she's also got style. She's sleek and graceful, smart and quick on her feet. She knows when to give in and when it's time to push back. She's now one of my top five female characters. Victoria Schwab did an amazing job writing her. 

Everything in this story just flowed together so well. Kell and Lila's friendship. The way the magic worked as more of a living thing than a spell you cast.  The way the story builds up and leaves you with so much anticipation. Victoria Schwab writes so well. She can drop hints and clues like Marvel: you don't get it till after it happens. There's no holes in this story. No moments of utter confusion as you try to keep up with all the information and different worlds. Everything just works together so perfectly and *cries*

I LOVED this story. I was left with this perfect contentment and a craving for more (as contradictory as that sounds). I'm recommending this story to anyone who loves magic, quirky characters, and lots of sword fights. Now excuse me while I go start the second book. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A GIF Review: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

I've never tried to write a review for The Lunar Chronicles because all it would be is a very long post that was full of: OH MY GOSH THIS BOOK! YOU HAVE TO READ IT! IT'S SO GOOD!!!! But since this is the last book (brush away tears) I thought I'd do a post to say goodbye. So here is a few Gif's for every story in this 369 page goodbye to The Lunar Chronicles.

The Keeper

A story about Michelle Benoit and all she did to save the Lunar princess.


A short story about Cinder as a child

pretty much it was all

The Queen's Army

Little Wolf I'm sorry

Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky 

I mean seriously how could this part not make you feel so happy and proud and slightly sad. Yeah lots of sadness in this book

After Sunshine Passes By

Little Cress with her anxiety and insecurities 


The Princess and The Guard

Winter is so strong and Jacin is always there for her


The Little Android

A little Mermaid retelling?!? Bonus! And the writing was so beautiful 


The Mechanic 

Cinder and Kai's meeting from the Prince's perspective? Yes please


Something Old, Something New

I just... I'm sorry but on a scale of one to even I can't 





And there you have it. 

All my feels over the last book in The Lunar Chronicles. 

I'm just gonna sit here and wait for the graphic novels now.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Book Review: The Dreamer by E. J. Mellow

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: E. J. Mellow
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2015

I have been wanting to read these books for so long. The synopsis is so intriguing, the covers are to die for, and the author seemed like such a nice person (her Instagram is to die for). I was so excited to receive the series and the first book did not disappoint.

Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s night. Always night. Dreams guard against the evil forged by nightmares. Infinite shooting stars illuminate a moonless sky. A city stands alone, surrounded by a darkened field. On its fringes, a man watches one star separate from the masses and fall. What survives the crash will unveil a secret centuries long hidden.

Molly hasn’t slept well since the night of her twenty-fourth birthday. Being struck by lightning might have something to do with it, but then again, her chicken did look a little undercooked at dinner. Whatever the culprit, her life quickly catapults from mundane to insane as, night after night, Molly is transported through her once dreamless sleep to a mysterious land illuminated by shooting stars.

There she meets the captivating but frustrating Dev, and together they discover Molly possesses a power coveted by his people—the ability to conjure almost anything she desires into existence. Seduced by the possibilities of this gift, Molly shifts her attention from waking life toward the man, the magic, and the world found in her dreams.

But Molly must ask herself—does something truly exist if you only see it when you close your eyes?

Faced with the threat of losing everything—her job, best friend, boyfriend, and most importantly, that little thing called her sanity—Molly will learn just how far she’ll go to uncover what is real and what is merely a figment of her imagination.

My Review:

Let me introduce you to our main character, Molly. Now Molly here is definitely not a pushover or a sweet, confused, dainty girl. No Molly is a sarcastic, take-charge type of person who isn't going to take being kept in the dark. In other words I LOVE MOLLY. Sarcasm is my first language and Molly spoke to me in a deep way. She goes through so much in this first book and keeps such an open mind (hahahaha) towards everything. She doesn't freak out or cower she takes it all in and gets the answers she needs. 

We spend a lot of the book in Molly's mind. After an unfortunate accident Molly starts having dreams that seem real. The world E. J. Mellow has created for this book is so original. It's been awhile since I've run into such a fun book world. Every night Molly wakes up under a tree... next to a city... that has hundreds of people dressed in black carrying these black sticks around (I want one). 

Side characters. As I've mentioned in some of my previous post I pay a lot of attention to side characters and the way they work in the story. The ones in this story -- namely Tim, Becca, Rae, Jared, and my personal favorite, Dev -- are AMAZING. Molly is already such a great main character so having all these side characters just brings the story together. The best friend, the boyfriend, the mysterious stranger, and so many others. 

The language  in this story is superb. I loved the way E. J. Mellow is so good at adding conversation, and providing information in a way that doesn't overwhelm you or leave you bored. The Dream world was so well put together and you were never left confused. All you wanted was more. The idea of the dream world, the thought that somewhere out there an entire race of people are watching over your dreams is just fantastic. I loved every minute of Molly's dreams and I really, really want to visit them.

All in all this is a great fantasy series. E.J. Mellow put together a unique, fast-paced first book and I couldn't have loved it more. If you enjoy fantasy, cute guys (there's two three in this one), sleeping, eating take out, and rainstorms this book is for you. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Sort of Book Review : The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: 2016

Yay! Another book down on my summer TBR *insert Party noises*. Earlier this year I met Renee Ahdieh and Roshani was there. I hadn't heard of her book but apparently everyone else had. I was a little disappointed in this story. I was expecting a lot more, but it still had some redeeming qualities.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

My Review:

Lets make this simple. I'll give you three reasons why I didn't enjoy the story and then I'll give you three reasons why it's worth picking up.

Three NO factors:

This book is SLOW. For me the story didn't pick up until halfway through.

The descriptions carried on forever. I'm all about being able to use my five senses for a book but at times this one took it to far. 

I didn't feel the passion between Maya and Amar until the last couple chapters. For most of the story I feel like Maya is avoiding Amar so when all of a sudden she realizes she loves him I was like "Since when?!" 

Three Okay That Works Factors:

This book is slow BUT when it picks up we get going. Everything falls into place and you have these 'Of course, duh' moments. 

The descriptions do carry on BUT Roshani gave us an amazing setting for this story. The culture in this story is awesome. The way they speak, what they wear, where they live. It all came together in this completely amazing setting. 

The passion between Maya and Amar was lacking but in those few moments before the end of the story it kind of made up for it. Amar was so sweet and when Maya did that something (trying not to spoil the story!) I could have killed her. 

I know you guys! Really odd review but this story had me back and forth. Maya was an amazing female lead. Amar was sweet and caring. The setting and the mythology were on point.

If you like mythology, or fantasy I think you should give this story a shot. I think it really depends on the reader. I'll probably reread it at some point and like it better. It's one of those stories. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Book Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Danielle Paige
Genre: YA, Retelling
Published: 2014

I honestly wasn't expecting much from this book. I've never been a big fan of Oz. It always seemed so weird. On my list it was up there with Willy Wanka and Alice in Wonderland. Bonkers. But a friend of mine said I should try it. So I did. And I LOVED it.

Goodreads Synopsis:

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado - taking you with it - you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still a yellow brick road - but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm - and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I've been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

My Review:

Our main character, Amy, was (in one word) tough. She's been through everything you could think of and all of a sudden she lands in Oz. She takes it in stride. I loved her sarcasm, her instinct to survive, the way she wasn't about to back down to anyone. In short shes become my YA female hero.  But even though she's got it all she's still vulnerable. After being bullied for so long she worries about how people see her. She wants to grow better, and even though Oz isn't her home she wants to save it. She wants it to go back to the way it was. And that makes her lovable.

The bluntness of this story shocked me. Not in a bad way. Most YA authors are discreet about everything but Danielle put it all out there. The difference between wicked and good was little to none. Killing was necessary to survive and it wasn't hidden.  Most good guys hate killing people even when it's in self defense. Amy learns quick that it's do or die in this twisted version of Oz.  I've never read the original Oz story but in my experience most fairy tales are dark. Danielle Paige takes us back to that and it creates such a unique story. 

If you're going into this story for romance don't. This story is all abut Amy and her growth from the beginning of the book. We have some side guys (please give me more Nox) but it's kept a very small factor in the story. You probably think tat make this some sort of feminist book where Amy hates guys and can do it all herself, but that's far from the truth. As much as this story is about Amy we get just as much about the people of Oz and their fight against Dorothy. 

I'm recommending this story to readers who love a book with a good bit of magic, an amazing lead, and far  away places. This book has everything so pick it up right now and go read it. Once you start it you won't be able too stop. Seriously I consumed it. 452 pages of awesomeness in twenty-four hours. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Book Review: Dreamology by Lucy Keating

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Lucy Keating
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: 2016

I was hesitant to pick up this book. It seemed like it was going to be a cliche, romance book. It had mixed reviews and a synopsis that didn't really interest me. I'm so glad that against all this I picked it up. If I were to describe this book in one word it would be sweet. I loved the gentleness of this story. I'm a big lover of fantasy and a lot of times they're full of sadness and violence. This book was a breather and definitely does not disappoint.

Goodreads Synopsis:

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. It turns out, though, that Real Max is nothing like Dream Max, and getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

When their dreams start to bleed dangerously into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

My Review:

Alice is a girl with her head in the clouds. She prefers her dreams over reality and this is something I can SO relate to. I love my books more than I love most people (is that to harsh?). I probably loved this character because I an relate to her so much. But thats not all Alice was. She was bubbly and happy, but at the same time strong and ready to take on whatever she faced next. She loved her dreams but she was still able to surface. She loves her dog, Jerry, and her Dad. She had a big heart and a head full of dreams.  

The dreams in this book made you feel crazy colors and odd tastes. Is that weird? Does anyone else get this strange feeling when reading book? Maybe it's just me but with good books where writers describe it so well, I can see, hear, and taste some scenes. Like its all playing out in front of you on the T.V. but better. Lucy Keating did this for me. I fell in love with her writing style in every possible way. 

Side characters. One of my greatest pet peeves in books is having lame side characters. If you are going to take the readers attention away from their main characters you sure as heck better have someone good to take their place. All the extras in this book kept my attention but the four I loved most were Oliver, Sophie, Alice's Dad, and her dog, Jerry. They were all so interesting and added depth to this dreamlike book. And though Alice loves her dreams she has some very deep relationships with these characters that are just so fun to see happen throughout the book.

Now for the moment you've all been waiting on... Max.... and... Alice. The romance in this book is so light and airy. You don't have anything heavy and surprisingly this is not an insta love story. Max and Alice had a relationship long before they met. They had been together in their dreams for so long. They were a part of each others lives that they didn't wan to let go. When they finally meet in real life they're both hesitant. They have their doubts about each other and they take time to get to know one another outside of their dreams. And its something that grows throughout the book and doesn't overwhelm your senses.

I feel like this book is for all dreamers out there. That may seem cheesy but readers are dreamers. I feel like some people dislike reading (or fiction) because they don't have the imagination readers need to enjoy a book. Readers are people with strong imaginations and dreams. Most turn into writers, They just have the ability to construct whole worlds, and people in their heads. So I'm recommending this book to dreamers and readers alike.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Book Review: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Jessica Khoury 
Genre: Retelling, Fantasy
Published: 2016

I like to consider myself the queen of retellings. I really love them and if I see one I have to read it. It doesn't matter what story they're retelling I MUST read it. Funny enough I have never, ever, ever read a retelling (or even run into one) of Aladdin. Why? I'm not sure. Personally I love the disney version (*laughs hysterically cause disney is always so accurate*).  This book was full of romance, magic, and endless twists and turns. I loved how unexpected everything in this story was.

Goodreads Synopsis:

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world... 

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes. 

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

My Review:

Our main character, Zahra, is one of my new favorites. Even though she has spent thousands of years being a slave of the lamp and granting the wishes of everyone who has stumbled upon her, she has a strong personality and a will of her own. She's both kind and determined, and wants nothing more than to earn her freedom. She both quirky and fierce and I loved that she could be both.

I haven't read a book with so much of a love factor in it in awhile. Everything I've read lately either hasn't had any romance or it's been on the back burner. Some YA romance leaves a bad taste in your mouth but this one was perfect. It wasn't forced or overpowering. It left you wanting more. Needless to say I SO ship Aladdin and Zahra. 

Now don't get me wrong this book is not just a romance. It's so much more. With a kick butt group of female warriors, a violent king of the Jin, and more magic and wishes than you know what to do with this book has everything a person could want in a retelling. My biggest thing with retellings is it can't follow the original story to much. That takes away all the surprise in the story. This book surprised me with how many twists it took. I kept thinking I knew what was coming when all of a sudden Jessica Khoury threw a new factor into the story. It was horrible and amazing and I loved it. 

Recommending this book to anyone who like retellings, romance, or magic. It's an amazing spin on Aladdin and it keeps you hooked till the very end.