Book Review

Graphic Novel Book Review: Gone Rogue (Wires and Nerve #2) by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy/Sci-fi Graphic Novel
Length: 324 pages
Author: Marissa Meyer [Illustrators: Stephen Gilpin and Douglas Holgate]
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Release Date: January 30th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Iko – an audacious android and best friend to the Lunar Queen Cinder – has been tasked with hunting down Alpha Lysander Steele, the leader of a rogue band of bioengineered wolf-soldiers who threaten to undo the tenuous peace agreement between Earth and Luna. Unless Cinder can reverse the mutations that were forced on them years before, Steele and his soldiers plan to satisfy their monstrous appetites with a massacre of the innocent people of Earth.

And to show he’s serious, Steele is taking hostages.

Cinder and Kai, Scarlet and Wolf, Cress and Thorne, and Winter and Jacin all feature in this epic new battle. But it is Iko who must face her deepest fears when she uncovers the truth about her own unusual programming.

LOVED THIS.

This was such a great conclusion y’all. I loved the artwork, the story, the characters. Ah, it was nice spending a bit of time back in this world.

I adored the addition of the new characters and getting to understand Iko’s humanity. I love her personality and sass. And just how incredibly great of a person she really is. Kinney and Iko definitely have that spark between them and it was precious seeing their friendship grow.

Smitten with all my fav characters all over again. BUT HELLO, where was my Cinder and Kai wedding? Honestly, only thing missing [Scarlet and Wolf were pretty dang cute though]. These are a must read if you love the original books. These are engaging and action-packed and I feel actually add to the original story. There’s a chance to see an in-depth look at what Luna and Earth are like post Levana.

Short and sweet (just the way graphic novels are). The plot is dynamite, Iko is the perfect main character for this volume and you get to see all of your old friends again, what’s not to love?

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy sci-fi graphic novel
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: swords, physical (not depicted in an overly gory/bloody way)

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Book Review

Book Review: Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Young adult urban fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magic,where dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.

VERY ATMOSPHERIC.

Well, I’m a bit disappointed in this because I think I hyped it up too much. I had heard how great it was and while I did like some parts it mostly fell flat for me.

I loved the atmosphere of Ernshaw’s novels. I feel the cold air, snow, witches, and everything else. She builds a well constructed small world that you can let yourself into. I liked getting the history of Nora’s family throughout the book and the mystery it left in solving what Nora’s gift would be.

Overall though, I found myself skimming portions. I thought it got really repetitive over the story line. Yes, there was a boy missing and a boy dead. And this fact was said over and over and over again. I wanted the characters to do something about it, not mention it one more time. When the action started to pick up in the last third of the book is when I was most invested in the mystery of the woods.

I did not see one of the twists coming because i had planned on a whole different scenario. I really enjoyed this and thought it fit right into the plot. A little bit creepy, a little bit sad, but the ending was great. I liked how it was written and gave the happy ending I’m always searching for.

Oh yes, the romance. I always struggle in one-book fantasy romances. I always think more should be added. In this case, I appreciated that the romantic aspects didn’t play a HUGE part, but were subtly woven in. They had a dark and charming aspect together that added to the whole vibe of the book.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult urban fantasy
  • Language: some strong language throughout
  • Romance: kisses, a make-out in bed
  • Violence: murder by drowning, physical, forest fire, hypothermia

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Truel1f3 (Lifel1k3 #3) by Jay Kristoff

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Sci-fi / Dystopia
Length: 480 pages
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 30th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Best friends have become enemies. Lovers have become strangers. And deciding whose side you’re on could be the difference between life and death. For Eve and Lemon, discovering the truth about themselves–and each other–was too much for their friendship to take. But with the country on the brink of a new world war–this time between the BioMaas swarm at CityHive and Daedalus’s army at Megopolis, loyalties will be pushed to the brink, unlikely alliances will form and with them, betrayals. But the threat doesn’t stop there, because the lifelikes are determined to access the program that will set every robot free, a task requiring both Eve and Ana, the girl she was created to replace. In the end, violent clashes and heartbreaking choices reveal the true heroes . . . and they may not be who you think they are. 

Thank you to the publisher for an eARC. All opinions are my own!

GREAT BOOK.

I’m so excited I received an eARC of this book because I have been anxiously awaiting the finale. It was stellar.

So much happened in this book y’all. Sooooo much. I was amazed at how much was fit into a book less than 500 pages. A ton of action, changes in point-of-view and locations, drama, it’s all there. At times I thought there was no way that everything could be wrapped up properly. I was happily surprised that everything did! I don’t remember having any major plot holes that weren’t filled or questions answered. I got the ending I was after, which is always a good sign.

I love that this series really transferred to being about Lemon Fresh. I loved her as a heroine. Sassy and fiery with incredible amounts of bravery and resilience. It was fantastic and fit into the young adult category well. I enjoyed getting to know many new characters and getting a lot of POVs. I like seeing all sides to the story and this really helped create that scenario.

Even characters I had a hard time loving [Eve and Preacher] to name a few had some redeeming moments throughout. I was impressed with the writing and would expect nothing less from Kristoff. I continue to return to his books because of all the emotional entanglements I find myself in and the way I can’t help but cheer for the characters.

There’s quite a bit of philosophical questions that come up while reading and I love the discussions that could arise from reading this series. I appreciated the way the story was able to open my mind to new thoughts and concerns.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult sci-fi / dystopia
  • Language: a moderate amount
  • Romance: kisses; a closed door scene that is hardly mentioned
  • Violence: guns, explosions, poison, physical
  • Trigger warning: a brief suicide scene with method

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Book Review

Book Review: The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: February 25th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

ANOTHER FAVORITE.

Mmmmm. One of those finish in a day books here. I am smitten by Levenseller’s writing and I will continue to read every book she publishes because DANG. I loved this character driven writing with broken and flawed humans.

This is a romance. While her previous books were more one plot line with a sub-plot romance, The Shadows Between Us is alllll romance. AND I AM ALLLLL HERE FOR IT.

Our unlikable heroine Alessandra really got down with her bad side. While at first I wasn’t so sure about her, I loved her character by the end. She somehow stuck to her ideals, but became more open and trusting at the same time. It was a great combination. Alessandra learned how to have a friendship, a relationship, and how to take down some bad guys trying to ruin all the fun.

Kallias. Oooooo yes. I love him too. He is the sultry YA hero that we all love. A bit distant, strong, amiable, and honestly just trying to do right by his kingdom. I got so excited every time Kallias and Alessandra had some page time together because the sparks were flying. I really felt the chemistry between them and thought the development was good for the length of the book. There were plenty of quiet moments, swoon moments, ooo la la moments that all mashed together to give me a quick darker romance that I adored.

Yes, it’s only 336 pages and that is it’s only downfall. While to me, it didn’t phase me much (I still gave it 5 stars), I can see the dilemma. A lot of the sub-plot lines weren’t as long as I thought they would be. Things kept getting wrapped up in neat bows without some angsty drag out. If the book would have been longer and given more depth to all of these characters and stories I think it would have only made it better.

I did love the side characters. I loved Alessandra’s friends. They would make me smile and I appreciated the way they approached difficult subjects and accepted and loved each other for their differences. Girl power goes a long way for me in a book, so this was a nice touch.

What I can’t believe is how I didn’t figure out the final twist. I gathered most of the intel as the story went on. Yet, all of a sudden Alessandra’s storming the palace to save the King and I’m like oh it’s them, OH WAIT, IT’S THEM! Beautiful blindside. Great conclusion. Smitten with fluffy endings. Love it all.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy romance
  • Language: very little light
  • Romance: kisses; multiple discussions of sleeping partners and nights together; one little detailed fade to black scene
  • Violence: pit fights, physical, swords, thieving, poison, guns

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