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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

"I will be with her again, or I will die.
There aren't any other options."
-Ash, The Iron Knight

"If I let myself love you I won't throw myself in front of her.
I'll throw myself in front of you."
-Dimitri Belikov, Vampire Academy

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

YA Reviews: The Young Elites by Marie Lu (The Origin Story of a BAD-ASS)

The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

Title: Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites
Book #: 1
Pages: 368
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 4.00
Published: October 7th, 2014
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

Taschima's POV:

The Young Elites introduces us into a world that is part Victorian part Dystopian and ALL Fantasy.. The Dystopian part is kind of reminiscent of the Legend world; same gritty atmosphere. It has the rules that categorize the Victorian area (like girl's not being able to govern themselves and instead they are sold/traded for money, status, power, etc.) but in a world where a strange decease attacked humanity and either killed its recipients or left them scarred for life. Adelina is one of those scarred people, and because she is one of the Malfetto her father is planning to give her away to make his life easier. Adelina manages to escape the grasp of her father, but at a high price. She is saved by the Young Elites, a group of special malfettos who survived the fever with special powers. The Young Elites however do not save Adelina from the kindess of their hearts; they know she has power and they want to use it. Adelina soon is stuck between two impossible decisions, should she betray the Young Elites and save those she loves or should she join them and forsake those who have left her behind?
“Violetta was afraid of thunder.
When we were very little, she would sneak into my bedchamber whenever a storm rolled through. She’d climb into my bed, wake me, an curl her little body against mine, and I’d wrap an arm around her and hum out mother’s lullaby as the storm raged outside. I’m not ptoud to admit it, but I’ve always liked her helplessness. It made me feel powerful. In those small moments, I was the better one”
 Adelina is an extremely fucked up character. She is not what we have come to expect from our YA heroines; Fragile, a pure soul that will make everything better. Instead I am a little scared she might make everything WORSE... and not because she is dumb, but because she has a darkness inside her that is wanting to consume her whole. She craves acceptance, having been marked a malfetto, and power. She was abused by her father while growing up, simply because she was one of the unlucky few who got hit with the Fever and survived (minus an eye). Her sister was also hit with the fever but while she came out the same on the other side Adelina was forever marred.
"I know who you really are.Who will ever want you, Adelina?
My fury heightens. Everyone. They will cower at my feet, and I will make them bleed."
 As her father continuously repeated to her no one in their right mind would want her, marry her, or accept her. She was garbage and anything fate decided to throw her way she should be happy to get. Verbal abuse wasn’t the only kind the father liked to impart however; he also broke one of her fingers when she was very young. So Adelina is justifiably screwed up. You can clearly see this in the way she feels about her sister, both love and resentment, stemming from the fact that her father idolized her little sister while he beat Adelina to a pulp. This also shows on the way she distrusts those around her. Kindness is not something that is given to her without something being taken in return.
"They all want to use you, use you until they get what they want, and then they will toss you aside."
The relationship between Adelina and her sister, Violetta, is sick and twisted. Then again, the whole book kind of is. It doesn’t follow what we’ve come to expect from YA novels, the “YA Rules” if you will. The heroine is not much of a role model, it has plenty of violence and it doesn’t shy away from bloody details… It really is the origin of a villain's tale. Marie Lu gets brownie points for originality alone.

Something that is truly fascinating about The Young Elites is that in the book there is no absolutely clear good guy. The Young Elites kill to get what they want and need; they want to de-throne the current false King and put a Malfetto one in his place. They will use any and all tools at their disposal, even if this tool happens to be human. If the tool is faulty, doesn't work, or doesn't reach its potential then guess what?  They dispose of it. So Adelina is facing danger from all sides, from the Inquisitors that want to get rid of all Elites and normal Malfettos and from the Young Elites who might get rid of her anyways if she doesn't work out. She has no one she can really trust.

Except maybe Enzo Valenciano, the potential love interest. Enzo is distant and slightly cold, which makes it really ironic that his power is to wield fire. I loved how Marie Lu wrote him in a way that seemed real though. He is no prince charming, he has a goal like everybody else. Adelina is not the first girl who has crossed his path, he may have loved and lost. Is she his perfect fit? Is he hers? That is a question which is still left unanswered. The book is not huge on the romance; it is a small part of it.

The ending! It was completely unexpected to say the least. I really didn't think Marie Lu was going to go there and kill the prince/love interest! Enzo just flat out dies! I thought it was very awesome because it drives Adelina that much closer to the darkness but at the same time WHAT THE HELL!? but she totally did and with no remorse. It definitely left me craving for the sequel...

As I stated in one of my updates as I was reading, if this is wrong then I don't want to be right. I applaud Marie Lu for creating an engaging world with it's own rules and traditions. She again did not disappoint. The Young Elites stands on its own.
"I am tired of losing. I am tired of being used, hurt, and tossed aside.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
My turn."

Monday, 6 October 2014

Blog Tour: Atlantia by Ally Condie | Fan-Casting + Giveaway #TeamBelow


 In 25 days Atlantia will hit the shelves and the world will go WILD. It has great world building, sirens, sisterly love, mystery and corruption. Plus, look at that cover! It looks simple yet alluring. Overall one of the better siren stories out there. So in order to celebrate Allie Condie's new release Penguin, very graciously, put together an AWESOME BLOG TOUR! Complete with giveaways and spoilers I meant the works.

I am part of...

AKA, the best team ever.

Today is my day to get you all to buy promote Atlantia in a good healthy way...

By FAN-CASTING.

Ugh, I thought that might have sounded more evil... Oh well.

RIO

 

-Candice Accola-

BAY

 


-Anna Popplewell-
"We stand side by side and hand in hand, our brown hair threaded with blue ribbons and braided in intricate plaits. We both have blue eyes, We are both tall and carry ourselves the same way. But we're fraternal twins, not identical, and no one has ever had any trouble telling us apart."
NOW, hear me out. I KNOW Candice is a blonde, I know this. I know she is better known for being in Vampire Diaries, I know she may not seem as an ideal fit. But just, hear me out. She has the edge, the toughness that I saw in Rio. Hair can always be dyed, but attitude and gut feeling cannot.

"--she was the gentler sister, quicker to laugh, certainly better suited to follow in my mother's footsteps. I never resented it when people said that, because I knew it was true."

Bay is Anna Popplewell. Bay is soft, she loves helping people, she is giving, she is selfless, and she is strong. When I think of Bay I think Anna Popplewell.

TRUE

"...in spite of myself I look at True. When I do, my first thought is brown and blue. Brown hair, brown eyes, blue shirt, blue shadows under his eyes. I've seen him before."




"He is handsome, the type of boy who looks as though he might once have had sun on his skin, though that's impossible this far down. He has intelligent eyes and the kind of strength that isn't bulky and belligerent but streamlined and swift instead."
True is Rio's romantic interest, and he is a mystery of himself. He is both open and secretive. True is Fern's best friend, and Fern is the boy who goes above alongside Bay.

FERN



"Another boy goes up for his turn. I know him by sight-Fern Cardiff, handsome and charismatic, with blond hair and dangerous, laughing eyes. There's an irreverent, ironic note in his voice even as he speaks the sacred words. "I choose sacrifice in the Above."

MAIRE


Olivia Wilde
"Maire is back--standing in front of me in her black robes, with her disheveled hair. Her face is at once too sharp to be anything like my mother's and yet too intelligent to be dissimilar. I have never seen her so close before."
Maire is the most powerful siren of her generation. Some have horrible stories about her, calling her a sea witch. Her and her sister, Oceana, grew apart because they were raised in different households. Oceana is revered, Maire is feared. She is also speculated of killing her own sister.

BONUS: Rio and Bay's mother, Oceana.

 


Maybe a bit weird that I choose her, but she just kept popping in my head whenever Oceana was referred to. Weird? Maybe, but hey it is my fan casting.

So there you go, Atlantia's Fan Cast! What actors would YOU have chosen?

Now for the GIVEAWAY!
-US Only-


Want to follow along the #TeamBelow blog tour? 
Check out the schedule!

September 28 – Katie (Mundie Moms) – Long Q&A
September 30 – Jen (I Read Banned Books) – Guest post
October 2 – Katie (Katie’s Book Blog) – Short Q&A
October 4 – Lea (YA Book Queen) - Review
October 6 – Taschima (Bloody Bookaholic) - Fancasting
October 8 – Jeremy (Novel Thoughts Blog) – Guest post
October 10 – Erin/ Flo (Fangirlish) - Review
October 12 – Nancy (Ravenous Reader) – Review
October 14 – Sara (Novel Novice) - Playlist
October 16 – Jess (Gone with the Words) – Short Q&A
October 18 – Rachel (Paper Cuts) – Guest post
October 20 – Georgia (Eve’s Fan Garden) - Playlist
October 22 – Gabby (Queen Ella Bee Reads) – Long Q&A
October 24 – Andrea (Reading Lark) - Review
October 26 – Tirzah (The Compulsive Reader) - Playlist


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

YA Reviews: Stray by Elissa Sossman (FairyTale-ISH book!)

Stray

Title: Stray
Author: Elissa Sossman
Series: Four Sisters
Book #: 1
Pages: 384
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.75
Published: October 7th, 2014
"I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.”
Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?

Taschima's POV:
"I will accept the Path I am taking. I will not stray. I will not yearn for what I cannot have. I will heed the words of my advisers and guard my loving heart against cursed magic. Ever after."
description

Stray has a new fresh twist on the fairy tale cannon. It has princesses, fairy god mothers, kings, queens, etc. but they all have a slight different purpose. It feels like a Victorian-esque Fantasy novel which just happens to have fairy tale aspects. I found myself enjoying Aislynn's story because she ends up being a likable character. On the other hand I still don't quite know what exactly is going on with the plot (sometimes it seems like too much; other times it seems like too little) and the world building itself needs some work.

Aislynn is a top tear princess. You see, there are classifications even for princesses. Aislynn is in the second best classification, behind a monarch. Only maybe not for long. You see princesses are expected to be complacent and to hide/guard their nefarious magical abilities and Aislynn isn't too good at either requirement. She TRIES to be complacent and to control her magic better, but she is not very successful at it. Plus, nobody seems to like her because she has so many... magical accidents.

description

After one magical accident too many Aislynn is demoted and sent to Fairy Godmother school where she will "learn" to be the perfect fairy godmother to another princess. That is, if she first doesn't decide to say "the heck with you all" and strays.

I liked Stray because it has potential. Aislynn tries very hard to be something that she is not, and only when she is freed of all pretention is that you truly start to see what a wonderful young woman she really is. She doesn't like to be in the spot light, in fact she does worse when the spot light is on her. She is your every day girl trapped in a life full of expectations.

description

On the other hand the world building is only so-so. This world has princesses who can get demoted into the role of Fairy Godmothers with just a suggestion from ONE man. And most of the time the parents can't do or say anything about it. In Stray men have all the power, as it is made painfully obvious. It just made little sense because Aislynn's parents had no other heirs, and a fairy godmother couldn't be an heir, so what were they to do? Fairy Godmothers are little more than ladies in waiting for the princesses. They cannot offer advise, they can only get them prepared in the morning, and make their lives easier. They can barely use magic because you see, magic is wrong.
"When a proper young lady had an occurrence, she might change the color of her hair ribbon or slam a door that she wasn't touching. When Aislynn had an occurrence, she made girls spit toads or worse. She could still picture her first time, when she had lit a pile of books on fire."
For that alone I would have disowned her. But let's be serious, what kind of magic can these girls DO? Well, just about anything really if they have the juice.  We don't get an in depth look at what these powers are, no limitations either. They aren't trained, their magic is supposed to be hidden away like an ugly birth defect. We don't get a historical reason why this is, it just is. Women can wield magic and men can't so they made the rule in order to "protect them". And not only princesses can do magic, about all women can that have the gift. So, why haven't these women like said screw you men I can do what I want? Aislynn deals with her magic by releasing it into her own body, so she has have scars on her legs and eventually her arms as well. She hurts herself so that people are more comfortable to be around her; no magical occurrences means she is "good". Stray deals with real issues like this and also the inequalities between men are women which are painfully obvious.
"Yet they were not equal. The Path said that an adviser carried his knowledge like a lantern, one that illuminated the way to ever after. While he led the way, the fairy godmother remained a step behind. If a young maiden stumbled or doubted her journey, she need only to look back to see what she would become if she did not follow the Path. Adviser Lennard was a guide for the monarch princess; Aislynn was a warning."
While reading Stray you have to suspend your disbelief a tad. The structure of the world seems illogical, and not much is covered in what is happening with the outside world at the moment. You get told that there is an evil queen who is stealing maidens to build an army, but not much else is explored. Your world is limited to what happens in the castle at that certain point in time. Nevertheless I enjoyed the story and I believe that the second book will be much stronger in terms of plot because by the end of Stray it seems like we have some sort of goal in mind (though again, who is the bad guy and why?).

A lot of questions were left unanswered, though I am seriously hoping this was just so there would be some kindle to the every growing fire for the sequel. The series is titles Four Sisters but I thought that as far as the Four Sisters were concerned they seemed more of a cautionary tale than anything else since they were seriously only talked about a handful of times and not even that in depth. I need more answers when it comes to the sequel, more Ayslinn being a bad ass, a bit more romance, and a more clear goal/purpose. I believe Elissa Sussman will deliver.



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