Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fire by Kristin Cashore

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.


No words I write will do this book enough justice. Cashore has a way of creating stories that suck you in and leave you breathless at times... Epic fantasies that bring suspense, intrigue, and swoon worthy romance. I didn't think it was possible to love a book more than Graceling, but this one topped it! The feels were gut wrenching and heart warming. It was a world full of vivid color and subtle darkness.

Fire is a monster in the most beautiful way. All eyes are drawn to her and while that may flatter many, Fire deflects attention at all cause. She refuses to use her powers unless it's self defense and will cover her monster appearance whenever out in public. The monsters are drawn to her and danger surrounds her. She never expects to be summoned by the King, but when she is, her world is turned upside down. She starts to become comfortable in her own skin and learns that she can use her power as not only a weapon, but also a helpful tool. It is there at King's City that she finds what she didn't know she was looking for... Love.

This book was unlike anything I've ever read. It was creative and unique, with a storyline that swept me off my feet. When the book was open, reality was dimmed. It was truly all consuming. I found myself unable to put it down. I was wrapped up in the love triangle (quadrangle?) and couldn't wait to see what would happen in the end.

Now with all that gushing out of the way I will say this... Some of the material is sensitive. There are hints of rape and scenes of physical abuse. This is all needed though to create the book's world so please give it a chance. I know you won't be able to stop once you start. It's fantastic! A MUST READ!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

Celebrate the tenth anniversary of Twilight! This special double-feature book includes the classic novel, Twilight, and a bold and surprising reimagining, Life and Death, by Stephenie Meyer.
Packaged as an oversize, jacketed hardcover “flip book,” this edition features nearly 400 pages of new content as well as exquisite new back cover art. Readers will relish experiencing the deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful love story of Bella and Edward through fresh eyes.
Twilight has enraptured millions of readers since its first publication in 2005 and has become a modern classic, redefining genres within young adult literature and inspiring a phenomenon that has had readers yearning for more. The novel was a #1 New York Times bestseller, a #1 USA Today bestseller, a Time magazine Best Young Adult Book of All Time, an NPR Best-Ever Teen Novel, and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. The Twilight Saga, which also includes New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella, and The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide, has sold nearly 155 million copies worldwide.

4.5/5 Stars
I was one of the many curious people that picked this one up based solely on my Twilight love. I wasn't sure what to think of a gender swap, but I went in with an open heart and came out with it full of love. I was afraid this story would taint my obsession with the series, but surprisingly it just enhanced it. I fell in love with the new personalities and loved the alternate ending.

I'm not sure why this book is getting such hateful remarks. The Author was up front about what to expect and while it was the same plot, there were small tweaks that brought a new feel to the story. There was also a complete different ending. It was emotional for me... I didn't see it coming and my heart broke a little bit.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and I applaud the Author for following her heart. She wanted to write about Beau and Edythe and I thank her for doing it. I loved the new take on Twilight and definitely recommend it to all readers!

*Advice* Go in with the idea that this is a new story. Don't try to match old characters to new ones. The Cullens were a huge pain to match up so about halfway I said forget it and just treated them as new characters. It helped reduce confusion and made the book even more enjoyable!

Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

No one does romantic suspense better than Jayne Ann Krentz. Now, the New York Times bestselling author of Trust No One and River Road delivers a novel that twists and turns into a read that will leave you breathless.

Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.

They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother's hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn't be bothering them anymore...ever. Still their lives would never be the same.

Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother's mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.

Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts...and wants.

Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack's brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth....

MY REVIEW:4/5 Stars
When I saw the cover and read the synopsis I knew I needed to get my hands on this one. Thank you Penguin for making that happen with an ARC! 
The book starts with a glimpse of the dark night that changed everything. The night that lies were buried 6 feet under and bonds were built off secrets. Madeline thinks the nightmares are all she has to deal with now, but a call from the past pulls her right back to that night. Her life is turned upside down when her grandma is murdered and she's left to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Luckily she has Jack... the security agent, AKA hero and Daphne her long lost secret sister.
When the characters go back to the island where it all started they are confronted by a rich island family that are a bunch of crazies. Each one poses as something they aren't, but as Madeline and Jack dig deep they find out what lies behind each golden face. The two brothers are against one another and the parents hate each other. They put on pretty political faces to get into the white house, but their secrets can only stay hidden for so long.
It was an intense wild ride reading about each character and how they fit together. I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what in the heck was going on and who was behind it all. I could have guessed that someone was involved, but the others... I had no clue. It was horrifying at times and I loved when I had to look around my dark bedroom checking every corner to make sure the characters weren't jumping off the pages and into my dark space. The eerie feeling of reliving that night and running through the dank hotel were enough to pull me into the story and leave me staying up way past my bed time.
I really enjoyed the Secret Sisters and overall was impressed with the Author's writing. She was able to capture the essence of tragedy and intertwine thrilling suspense, edge of your seat mystery, and passionate romance. My mind was manipulated and while I did like the twists and turns, I couldn't help but crave a darker reveal. I secretly wanted someone closer to Madeline to be involved... Someone that would come in and rock our world with their involvement. With all that being said it was great book that I recommend to all readers. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

In this riveting sequel to the national bestseller The Queen of the Tearling, the evil kingdom of Mortmesne invades the Tearling, with dire consequences for Kelsea and her realm.
With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of
Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.
But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.
In this dazzling sequel, Erika Johansen brings back favorite characters, including the Mace and the Red Queen, and introduces unforgettable new players, adding exciting layers to her multidimensional tale of magic, mystery, and a fierce young heroine. 
 4.5/5 Stars
I am in the midst of a serious book hangover. How is it possible that I loved this book, but have no clue what in the heck just happened. Talk about a wild ride with an epic mind mess ending.

I'm going to be up front and honest... If you're expecting the same feel as book one, you won't get it. This book was about the same characters and followed a similar plot, but the Author added a twist... A dark pre-crossing story that will leave you white knuckling the pages. It was brutal, with graphic scenes (not suitable for the light hearted). Lily was physically abused and sexually assaulted. She grasped for her life and in the end rebelled because she believed in the "Better World".

I loved Lily so hard and for me that was the problem... Nearing halfway I found myself more interested in her story than in Kelsea's. I sympathized with her where I couldn't for the Queen. I was really hoping for a merge or a clear connecting piece that brought the two together, but still after the last page, I am left baffled and confused. I kind of, sort of get it, but then again I don't. For me the two stories were missing that linking piece... The information that makes your jaw drop and think OMG now I understand.

With all of that being said it was still an amazing book. I liked the individual stories and found myself loving Aisa. I look forward to reading more about her in book 3. Also, I need more of the Fetch too because he was clearly missing in this story. In case you missed that... I need more FETCH to move forward. Yeah, Pen was okay, but Kelsea wants the Fetch. Please give him to her... Thanks in advance ;)