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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

Friday, 30 January 2015

Mini-Review: Divergent Novella: Free Four: Tobias Tells the Story by Veronica Roth

Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene (Divergent, #1.5)
Rating: Photobucket

I feel like short e-novellas should have their own rating system, because sure they aren't the complete story but they bring something to the table. This story for example brought a LOT to the table when it comes to hundreds of beating hearts who lovingly wait for any mention of Four in Divergent. Free Four is a short re telling of Divergent through Four's eyes, and not just on any part but the knife throwing scene!! Let's just say it's incredibly nice to be inside Four's head at a time when you didn't know what the hell was going on through those parts. The e-novella is less than 15 pages, sad to say, but it will be a nice fix for those who have just finished Insurgent, or even Divergent, and need a bit more.

I give this E-novella a 5/5! Getting to look at some things through Four's eyes is amazing, in fact the only thing I am disappointed about is that we don't get the whole NOVEL through Four's eyes. What do you say guys? Let Veronica Roth take a step into the unthinkable and write Divergent again through Four's eyes?! YES?! Oh please do so, I would so buy that book.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

YA Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)

Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle
Book #: 2
Pages: 416
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 4.26
Published: Sept. 17th, 2013
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

Taschima's POV:

Dream Thieves, the continuation to The Raven Boys, is captivating, weird, and magical. It is essentially the story of four boys, and a 5th wheel girl, in their quest to find a centuries dead Welch king--Glendower. In the last installment Adam had gone off on his own and sacrificed a part of himself in order to get them all closer to finding Glendower's grave by waking the ley line (a powerful river of energy that surrounds us all). They also all found out Noah's and Ronnan's big secrets; Noah is a ghost and Ronnan can take tangible things out of his dreams.

Dream Thieves focuses more on Ronnan, taking Blue out of the spotlight. What I enjoy about these books however is that no matter who is telling the story the rest of the characters still have things going on. Gansey is still looking for the Welch king and trying hard to be the voice of reason among his friends, Blue is still struggling with her "curse", Adam is being tormented by apparitions, and Noah is literally not even there for more than 50% of the book because something, or someone, is fucking with the ley line (which is essentially what is keeping him "alive"--or at least in this dimension).

Ronan is a very complicated character. He doesn't really want to watch the world burn, he is just really on edge. He has fears and dark baggage he carries along on his shoulders concerning his family; his father was an asshole who died way too soon, his mother is comatose, his older brother is the devil and his younger brother is the angel he could never be. Plus he has this really cool ability he isn't able to control, more like it controls him. All this builds up inside him making him a very unpredictable ticking time bomb.

The rest of the characters are dealing with their own baggage as well. Blue is still worried she might kill Gansey is she kisses him (which seems so trivial in comparison with everything else that is happening in the novel; I wish Blue had more of a role in the search for Glendower), though she is also trying to make a connection come out of thin air with Adam (which is putting Adam on edge because she is sending him all kinds of signals; I kind of feel for the guy). She shouldn't be leading Adam on, specially when she clearly knows that it is never going to work. On the other hand her relationship with Gansey is true and the romance is simmering. I think in the entire 400+ pages they had maybe two romantically tense moments and they were very well worth it. The romance is intense and Maggie Stiefvater knows how to give you just enough to keep you hooked. Though it also bothers me that Blue's contribution to the story is mainly the romance; she herself can't do much except be there for the boys and offer her family's services. Her family on the other hand is a very colorful bunch of ladies who could very well deserve a novella each. I would read the heck out of that.

We get to also meet some new characters, as well as learn more about some old characters that might have seen trivial before but aren't anymore. The Gray Man, new character, was a fantastic antagonist. For the better part of the novel I didn't know if I should hate him or not, and that is kind of the point. Mr. Gray is complicated, he is a hit man (something he doesn't much hide) but he is also a scholar. He is hunting for the Greywaren, beating people up and killing people but you also get the sense that he isn't all bad (which makes us insane because if this man existed in real life he would clearly belong in a prison cell). He is redeemable in that he has an honor code he goes by, and you get the sense he is a lost man who is in bad need of a stable home environment. I cannot wait to read more of him in the next installment. His relationship with the Sargeant family is special and comforting, and even though he is a hit man I can't help but want this exceptionally disturbed man to have a HEA.

Dream Thieves is truly worth the read. Maggie Stiefvater is a terrific author;  her writing is dreamy and occasionally humorous.  She creates characters that are interesting, three dimensional, heart breaking and heart warming. I love her words and her world and I wish to visit it once more in her next installment Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

Monday, 26 January 2015

NA Review: As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2) by Ann Aguirre

As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2)

Title: As Long as You Love Me
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: 2B Trilogy
Book #: 2
Pages: 352
Reading Level: NA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.71
Published: Sept. 30th, 2014
Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons: missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there's the reason Lauren can't admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He's the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever... until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.

Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.
Taschima's POV:

As Long as You Love Me is full of wish fulfillment, one that while entertaining at times might have done better as just a novella. I both liked and disliked As Long as You Love Me, which is why I gave it 3 stars. I liked the writing, the characters (sometimes... mostly Rob and Avery), the conflict (sometimes), and the drama (sometimes). Overall it wasn't as good as [book:I Want It That Way|20945757], and I felt like we should have probably stayed in the 2B apartment instead of moving the story out of its focused zone.

Lauren Barrett is a less than inspiring girl. She dropped out of college because she didn't like being around huge crowds of people and having to study something she did not love nor enjoy. So she moves back home where she conveniently finds that her best friend's brother, a man she has had a crush for most of her teenage and young adult life, is still living at home as well. His name is Rob and he is in desperate need of a friend. No one quite understands Rob, they just think of him as being the dumb jock (with KILLER superstar looks) who peaked in school. Everybody believes this of course, even Rob's current girlfriend, everybody except Lauren. Can you guess what comes next?

"But the smallness of the town meant everybody knew you, and there was some comfort in the familiarity and gossip."

Lauren is a small town girl for sure. Big crowds overwhelm her to the point where she thinks she needs to change her entire personality in order to just COPE. Although Lauren was the main character I had no pity for her situation. Yes, she is extremely uncomfortable around crowds, but the way she managed her problems... I just can't. Nadia is a woman to admire, Lauren is the one you pity.

"Nobody knew this--and I'd never admit it--but the reason I flunked out was because I stopped trying. People always seemed to think I must be dumb, possibly because I'm blond and curvy. And that pissed me off."

Lauren, saying that something pisses you off does not make you a bad ass heroine, or someone even worth respecting. Flunking out of college because you just stopped trying? That is a pretty fucking stupid thing to do (blonde or not). Finish your semester with decent grades in case you want to go back to school, and then drop out like a decent student. I know this is a work of fiction, but as a reader you are supposed to connect with your main character and like them to some extent, and Lauren was just not a girl to admire. She sure was nice to the guy she liked, Rob, and helped him with his self esteem issues, but at the same time she was incredibly self-centered.

"In some cases, time was unkind to high school athletes. They lost their hair and muscle tone. But the opposite was true of Rob. He worked construction alongside his dad, and at twenty=five, his shoulders were so broad that I wanted to climb him.Not with the giggly uncertainty of junior high, either. He was all solid muscle, great guns, ripped abs and incredibly defined deltoids. When you added chiseled features, strong jaw, blue-gray eyes and dark hair, it was hard not to drool."

Meet Rob:

Scott McGillivray from Income Properties, HGTV
He is basically this guy only WAY HOTTER IF YOU CAN EVEN BELIEVE IT. Even though he looks like this, he is still SUPER INSECURE. He was a high school jock turned constructor. The insecurity I could see it, because everybody underestimates Rob. Everybody thinks he is super dumb and that he wont amount to anything, even his family, everybody except Lauren of course. Rob is actually incredibly sweet, if a little gullible. Rob is the kind of guy that is all in when in a relationship, all you have to do is support him emotionally and be there for him and he is IN. Lauren helps him with his self esteem issues and with her Rob learns he is more valuable than he ever knew. Usually at the end of the novel, Ann Aguirre likes to write a small passage in the guy's POV, and if I had one complaint when it came to Rob is that his passage wasn't long enough.

"He smiled as he joined me, apparently not grasping that things were about to fall apart."

The 2b Trilogy has a script it follows. They meet, they fall in lurve, they split for some incredibly moronic reason... Well, that last part was just introduced in this installment (in I Want it That Way the reason for the unavoidable break up was actually pretty serious and valid). But seriously, the reason introduced in this novel for the couple to break up was so lame. It made me just plain hate Lauren, because she is actually pretty dumb. She treats potential enemies better than she treats her closest of friends, and her boyfriend. She is just so dramatic and self centered... I couldn't.

[spoiler]Lauren is an incredible hypocrite. She LOVES being the ONLY one who can tell how awesome Rob is, but once Rob finds something he is good at, something he could excel at without her, she gets all panicky and "OH MY GOD OUR LIFE IS OVER". How DARE anyone else see the merits of Rob? Only SHE has that gift. Now that the show, and Rob's attention, is not solely focused on her is that the world is incredibly wrong. UGH.[spoiler]

I feel like the 2B trilogy doesn't have a focus, a center. It seems to just be love stories tied together, which is not bad at all but I still would like to have something that neatly ties them together. Being as the series is named after the apartment the roommates are supposed to be living in I would have thought the series would kind of revolve around the apartment zone. Every other series I've read with different characters telling the tale there is always something solid that connects them, but I feel that the 2B Trilogy lacks in this area. It doesn't feel to me like the connection is strong enough.

Would I recommend this read? Maybe. I loved Rob, so maybe I'd recommend it if only so you could meet Rob and Avery (Rob's ex girlfriend turned enemy turned friend... she is complicated and I would totally read a novel from her POV). Lauren is a pain but she isn't as bad as other characters; she is a pretty good friend when you are in her immediate area and she does try (in her own special, and at times stupid, way) to help Rob. She was just not someone I could admire or respect. She is not of the kick ass chick variety. I would definitely have you start with I Want it That Way and then go from there.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Friday Feature: EGMONT USA Closing Shop; Top Egmont Titles to Read #BuyAnEgmontBook

"Egmont Publishing, which put its U.S. division up for sale in October, has announced plans to close the unit. The move, the Danish publisher said in a release, comes after the division failed to establish a "market leading position" in the States, and attempts to sell the unit failed."

Egmont USA is throwing in the towel. For real. They are fleeing the states because it seems they aren't doing good enough to justify staying. They aren't a big enough name in the states so they say fuck it. If they are not making enough money to justify staying I understand but... This sucks, majorly, for all the employees currently working for Egmont but specially for the authors who had titles being released under Egmont. Now everybody is going to be hunting for a new job... and a new publisher.

So I've compiled below a list of Egmont's top hits, misses, and the titles I really want to get before they close up shop. Every title is linked to either a review or its Goodreads page. I seriously encourage every reader out there to go on an Egmont shopping spree because they had some really good titles that shouldn't be missed.

TOP Hits:

Hourglass (Hourglass, #1) The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine, #1) Siren (Siren, #1)

The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark, #1) White Space (Dark Passages, #1)
HOURGLASS! It is one of my favorite Egmont reads, as well as Shadow Prince (the SEQUEL!! Can't wait) and White Space (I am still thinking about how weird this title was months after reading it --in a good way-- horror-licious). The Dark Divine has lots of supporters (werewolves, religion!) and Siren is a really good mermaid read (better than many many others I have read).
The so so's:


Pretty good read, if not a bit forgettable.
The Flops:

Of All the Stupid Things  Tris & Izzie

The Titles I Will Buy Soon before they go out of print (maybe? Better not take chances...):

Burn Out (Burn Out, #1) Every Other Day Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves, #1) 

Kill Me Softly (Beau Rivage, #1) Shadows (Ashes Trilogy, #2) The Mephisto Covenant: The Redemption of Ajax (The Mephisto Covenant, #1)

Spring 2015 Releases:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18135513-the-dickens-mirror?ac=1 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21520203-tear-you-apart?ac=1 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18053984-the-eternity-key?ac=1 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22608499-strange-skies?ac=1

**These are the titles I will be purchasing and it doesn't reflect their entire catalog.

Every other title that had a release date for after spring has been (reportedly) scratched. I really hope that every author under Egmont USA finds a new home in a different publishing company. I wish them the best of luck (seriously, I need to read their sequels).

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

NA Review: The Shape of My Heart (2B Trilogy #3) by Ann Aguirre

The Shape of My Heart  (2B Trilogy #3)

Title: The Shape of My Heart
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: 2B Trilogy
Book #: 3
Pages: 352
Reading Level: NA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.72
Published: Nov. 25th, 2014
Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney's social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she's made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore. 

Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain he's been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it's time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney's the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves.

It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that's ever been broken, there's another that can make it complete.
Taschima's POV:

The Shape of My Heart was both a combination of "I liked it" and "It was okay"; all around i'd give it 2 1/2 stars. This story centers on Courtney, the new comer to apartment 2B who is attracted to Max, the guy the story is kind of about but not told through (even though it should have been cause he is an original member of the 2B apartment cast), but who thinks that because she is a "Butter" face Max will never be attracted to her. Max, of course, is god's gift to women everywhere. He is sexy, sculpted, a bad boy with issues. Courtney is Max's best friend, and so when max gets devastating news from his family about the death of his grandfather he asks Courtney to go with him to the funeral. Courtney agrees to accompany her friend, not knowing that it takes only ONE trip to turn friends into something more...

Things that bothered me while reading The Shape of my Heart:

1. Much too cheesy dialogue.
"True north is a fixed point, the constant that never changes. And no matter how fucked up everything else is, as long as you're here, I can always deal."
It just goes on and on and on...
"I can't lose my true north, Courtney. So I will always come and find you. No matter how long it takes."

"What other people saw as Max being a player, flirting with everyone, was more like him paying compliments to offer some good to balance the bad in the world"
SERIOUSLY? Does this mean he can still flirt/give compliments to every girl in the world? Even when he is with you? That is a lame/stupid excuse for his slightly slutty behavior.

2. Predictability.

I pretty much know how these novels are set up, I know how it is going to go, so much so that it flirts with the line of becoming boring.

3. Promotion in all the wrong places.
 "He clicked a music player into the dock, starting a song I didn't recognize. The hook caught me right away. "Who's this?" "Electric President. If you like this, you'd probably enjoy Radical Face, too."

Good point Max! I am going to go google that right now instead of walking into your bedroom to have a serious conversation with you! Or in my case I am just going to put this book down (because let's be honest that sentence just broke me off the "reading flow" I had going on), go and research this random band, and then not pick up the book again for a couple of days. Hey, how about a list at the end of the title that showcases the bands that inspired the characters? That sounds good.

4. Weirdly possessive boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.
"He's weirdly possessive about you. I mean, he knows I won't try anything so..." "Her time is mine," Max said flatly.

The first sentence came from a GAY best friend. I mean seriously Max, cool it man. And then...
"I've memorized your class schedule like a good boyfriend. I'm here to pick you up."

Okay... we might need to set some ground rules...

"It was kind of my deal to be out there, unshockable, edgy and outrageous"
Courtney is special... Perhaps too special. She is the "cool" chick who doesn't judge anybody by their physical appearance...
"People always say this, but I swear it's true--I don't really have one [a type]. Physical traits are ephemeral anyway, while the core of the person won't change over the years."
"...I'd totally flirt with her. Though she looked nothing like Amy, they shared the leggy build that rang my bell."
...she is into music (her dream is to open up an indie label and promote bands no one else listens to -unless you are like her and you actually do listen to these bands), she is bisexual, she is ubber rich, she is in a BAND! In fact, the only other character in fiction that I have seen be as "perfectly described" as her would be the Mother in How I Met Your Mother. She is the rich kid who is so rich she/he doesn't understand how the world really works when you have no money to throw around. But I loved how she cared about Max, I loved her past history and I would totally read a novella about her time with Eli (her dead boyfriend she sometimes has conversations with in her head).

Max is a cool guy too. His upbringing was the worst, and he has had to support himself throughout his life. Bu he makes it work, so much so that he got into college with only himself to thank. He is a very independent guy, who can get very attached to his significant other. I wasn't too invested in their relationship to be quite honest, their relationship seemed very normal. Friends who became something more with little to no obstacles. It was easy, maybe too easy.

The good thing about these novels is that they always have a section where the main heroine takes time for herself, learns from her mistakes, and improves upon herself somewhat. The bad news is that it has become predictable when this is to happen, how, and by the page count how long they have to do so. Sometimes I just like to be surprised. I like my twists and turns, but The Shape of My Heart was so "by the books" that I felt like I was just riding along for shits and giggles. By far my favorite one of the series is I Want it That Way because it was smart and sexy and it dealt with real relationship issues so well I couldn't put it down. Plus the sex scenes were tremendous.

That is something Ann Aguirre KNOWS how to write very well. Her sex scenes are so juicy you can't look away. They feel real. Though the sweet talk between the couple has deteriorated if you ask me. Max and Courtney were often very open to each other about everything in their hearts (and minds) that I just felt like it went overboard. They complimented each other so much and so often that it just made me want to roll my eyes. Yes, I get it, you love her for this and that reason and no you don't care how she looks it or whatever. I get it, now can we please move along?

You could read these books as stand alones if you liked, but I would definitely start off with I Want it That Way and go from there. Is The Shape of my Heart the last of the series? Perhaps, but the author introduced a lot of new characters in this novel to make the continuation of the series a possibility. Even giving us a tid bit in the epilogue about Max's brother getting it on with one of their roommates and how that was a good story for a later time. Truth be told The Shape of my Heart wasn't a favorite, but I am glad I read it if only because I am a sucker for finishing series and the writing is fresh enough so I finished the book pretty quickly.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

YA Review: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)

Title: Etiquette & Espionage
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Finishing School
Book #: 1
Pages: 307
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.77
Published: February 5th, 2013, 2014
It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners--and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage--in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education. 
Taschima's POV:
"It came as a relief to pack her youngest daughter and associated compatriots back to what she could only surmise was a respectable finishing school that would hopefully rid Sophronia of her many manifest flaws.
Little did she know."
Etiquette and Espionage is a very cute read. It carries Gail Carriger's Victorian signature and humor, if not the sexy parts of her adult series Soulless (which really I wasn't missing because I was having too much fun). Sophronia is a must meet character, fourteen years old she is a little nosy child with a little too much intelligence for a lady of her breed which turns out great if you are aspiring to be an intelligencer (a.k.a. a victorian spy).

Sophronia is an all around very superior type of leading lady. She is pretty much a prodigy at spying- she is daring, imaginative, she likes to strategize, she asks all the right questions, she is perceptive, and she is very good at manipulating people. Pretty much she is good at everything she does without even trying, which can be a little too good to be true. I would like to see some flaws because she is human after all (or is she? This IS a victorian/steampunk/supernatural series after all). I am pretty sure she is human anyways. But while Sophnoria being the golden star spy can get on your nerves she is also a good friend. I don't know if I would call her extremely caring, but she does help what she considers her friends. You don't want to make an enemy of her however, she will slowly but surely destroy you.
"The thing about a finishing school that trains intelligencers, thought Sophronia, is that everyone knows your business, sometimes before you do. And occasionally they'll make it up simply for entertainment."
The side characters were enjoyable if not a little forgettable. There are so many of them, and only but a few really stand out. Dimity is the legacy who wishes not to be a spy but a lady of worth (she is after fashion and gossip, but not to use it for ill intent). She is a lively character and a good counter part to Sophnoria's more quiet but deadly way to be. There is also Agatha, who is a mossy little thing with little to no advantages), Sidheag (a lady who was literally raised by wolves), Vieve (mechanical genius--because every heroine needs one of these), and Soap (Sophronia's guy friend who works in the boiler room of the academy shoveling coal). Soap while trying to be one of the most distinct characters sadly also falls short of Sophronia's wit and presence. He is a nice guy, who is quite handy when trying to break into a room, who Sophronia might like a bit too much (though she is still fourteen and hasn't been given permission to be courted).

I still have some questions, like for example who is sponsoring this finishing school? The vampires, the werewolves, the government, or another party? Why are they training these ladies? What is their purpose? Who are they supposed to be spying on? Who is Monique's accomplice? I guess I just want more history regarding the foundation of the school, how it came to be, etc. These are questions that I hope to find an answer to by reading the next books in the series (so far there are 4). The main drive behind the story is figuring out the puzzle, and watching Sophronia kick ass, but I am ready to see how this finishing school relates to the "real world".

A fun, quick, and engaging read. I recommend it to fans of The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett, and of course fans of Gail Carriger's adult series Soulless.

Friday, 16 January 2015

YA Review: Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce brown

Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy, #2)

Title: Golden Son
Author: Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising
Book #: 2
Pages: 464
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 4.65
Published: January 6th, 2014
With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. 
Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.
Taschima's POV:

I am not going to lie, I am kind of devastated.


Reading the Golden Son was the wildest ride of my young life. It has constant action, intrigue, drama, strategies, romance, friendship, WAR, BLOOD, SWEAT, and definitely tears. I tried to read it in bits because I wanted it to last, but that didn't happen. It was perhaps the most epic read of the year (I know it is only January, but come on unless JK Rowling decides to write the next Harry Potter within the next 365 -and publish it- I am pretty sure no book shall surpass the awesomeness that is Golden Son).

Everything lived up to my expectations and more. The Golden Son is definitely as good as the first installment in all areas, writing, character development, plot, etc etc. It is full of twists, betrayals, reveals, intrigue... Can I just have the third installment ALREADY!?

Though after that ending...


I don't even know if I want it. The ending was just so devastating, it makes me both dread the sequel and want it like no other book.

 I was at the edge of my seat throughout the entire read. I am writing this review and I am still pumped!  I keep thinking of Darrow and his quest, Mustang and the decisions she will have to make, and Sevro (Oh Sevro, always my favorite). The theme of friendship is still going strong, trusting people over slaving them, pretty much The Golden Son is Red Rising only on a very LARGE scale. Pierce Brown is done easing us into this world.

You get to meet new characters (new awesome characters) and re visit old pals. Friends become enemies, as enemies become friends. There is a lot of death throughout the novel, some of them really hurting but all necessary. Darrow is still struggling with his choices and how many people have to die in order for his people to be freed. And then the other question is posed, what happens when they free the Reds? When they bring down the system? Chaos? Someone has to figure it out, and it isn't going to be Darrow. Darrow kicks ass throughout the novel and he also gets his ass kicked several times. I love how he can think on his feet, and how he is still that Red inside that has doubts. He is constantly struggling with his fate, hating what he has to do while understanding it is a necessary evil.

Behind every great man there has got to be a great woman, and Mustang is that woman. Mustang, she is the smartest girl in the galaxy. She will sacrifice herself if needed to avoid war, but she always has plans b, c, and d, to make sure that does not have to happen. She is no damsel in distress, in fact none of the women in this series are which is so kick ass! At one point the men in the story (the old farts) where coming down on Mustang, calling her a whore and what not, and she just shuts their mouth from a position of power. She reminds them that the women are not inferior to the men in any capacity. I love this woman, she is a fantastic role model for women anywhere. Darrow feels guilty, hiding his real self from Mustang, which is why he keeps her at arms length but Mustang isn't petty about it. I love how Darrow also starts to let go of in this novel and move on from his previous love, Eo, while always keeping her in his heart and mind.

[spoiler] The Golden Son actually reminded me of Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince in how the author just killed every grown up that could lend Darrow a hand. He is to lead this rebellion now whether he likes it or not. Poor Ares, poor Sevro!! I really, really hope he doesn't kill Sevro (NOT HIM). Hey if Mustang must die then I can live with that, just not Darrow's conscious.[/spoiler]

I cannot wait for the sequel, though at the same time I am dreading it. The final chapter of The Golden Son was intense, and absolutely nothing is certain for the next title. I am nervous and yet excited. Overall a great start to the new year. But next year...


Previous Title:
Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

YA Review: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Princess of Thorns

Title: Princess of Thorns
Author: Stacey Jay
Series: n/a
Book #: 1
Pages: 400
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.88
Published: Dec. 9th, 2014
Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

Taschima's POV:

A combination of Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales? Not very likely, but that doesn't mean it wasn't enjoyable. Princess of Thorns is not as dark as either of these tales, though it has its moments. It is a fantasy/adventure/romance that could be very well turned into a Disney movie by its own right (and while Disney movies can be dark they aren't incredibly so). Princess of Thorns tries really hard to break boundaries and convey a positive message for both girls and boys, which I am all for, though in doing so it creates its own little perfect piece of the world in which girls can just flaunt how awesome they are without being secretive about it and males will just go with it. It is a nice thought but not very realistic for the time it is set on. It is by all rights a modern Disney fairytale retelling.

I highly enjoyed the relationship between Aurora and Niklaas. Aurora is nothing like her mother, the Sleeping Beauty. Aurora is plain were the Sleeping Beauty was the fairest of them all. Aurora is fairy-blessed with strength, agility, and basically kick ass warrior capabilities. Aurora simply kicks ass, though she also has faults. Like for example she cannot kiss a boy without having him loose his will (I sort of cringe at this because isn't it cheesy? Like, couldn't her curse be something un-romantic like?). That kind of sucks, but if you are to be queen you kind of need the other abilities more. Anywhoo, Aurora spends most of the novel posing as her brother in order to her Niklass to help her save her "friend" from the grasp of the evil ogre queen. So they develop this relationship as friends that is fresh and endearing. They spend most of the novel taking jabs at each other and one-upping each other. Which is why it is hilarious the moment Niklaas realizes she is a girl and not the little scrawny guy he considered a little brother.

Niklaas is this kind of single-minded fellow at first. He wants to marry Aurora to save his ass from his evil curse and he kind of doesn't care if she likes him or not. Well, he figures she will because he is irresistible for women (aren't all princes'? *barfs*). But this highly into himself guy proves to be one of the good ones. He may not be completely evolved in the way he thinks about women (though you find out he will certainly have his world turned upside down) but he is honorable and good and funny. He treats women as they are "supposed" to be treated, but like I said this is a modern Disney retelling so soon enough he will learn that women deserve the same sort of respect as his fellow brothers in arms. He grows, painfully so (the boy is very confused) but at least he recognizes the error of his ways.

The bad guys of the tale, Ogres, had a good backstory. They were here long before the human race and so they have evolved in order to blend and put the little humans at ease (the better to eat your flesh if you think they are tame and just). Now they have learned how to hide their diets (they used to eat humans, now they just eat human souls). Although at the same time they aren't completely evil, nor are they all the same. Their race is as complicated as the human race can be. I liked that about them because it shows they aren't one-dimensional. The ogre queen in particular had a lot of doubts and fears. She questioned her path, and what she was doing because of her brother's prophesy. The ogres are incredibly religious, and they do things blindly based on hope that the mother of their race may rise once again. It is twisted. While the ogre queen's dialogue is annoying (she spends a lot of time talking as a "we"; like they are various people inside her) learning her side of the story only increased my enjoyment of the novel.

There is magic, evil ogres, curses, quests... pretty much everything you need for a good fantasy adventure. The romance got too mushy for me at times, specially by the very end. I love how these characters bickered a lot, but by the end I was just tired of all the "But I love you!"/"No you don't, how could you?" that went on. Give me more ass kicking I say. Also the ending kind of was too easy if you can believe it. Events transpired that made a key player change their minds regarding their actions and then the world was saved.

Princess of Thorns was a light quick read which has the airs of being a Disney fairytale but it isn't technically about the Sleeping Beauty. It tries, it succeeds, and then you move on. I liked its overall positive message and girl power but I can honestly say I wont think much about it after this review is over. It is a book for the moment.

Monday, 12 January 2015

TBR (To Be Released): Week of Jan. 13th-19th

Get ready for a visit to your closest book store because here is a list of books that shall be published this upcoming Tuesday:

"To fight her destiny as the missing heir to a powerful and dangerous secret society, sixteen-year-old Avery West must solve an ancient puzzle in a deadly race across Europe. Forbidden love and code-breaking, masked balls and explosions, destiny and dark secrets collide in this romantic thriller, in the vein of a YA DaVinci Code."
Deadly races, puzzles, powerful families and powerful foes. It seems like the entire novel is going to be a non stop race to solve the puzzle!

The hardcover price is the same on both retailers right now, so it all just depends if you want it delivered to your door, or if you want it right now.

Amazon price for Hardcover: $15.22
Barnes and Noble: $15.22

  The Darkest Part of the Forest
"Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for."
This was SUCH a good book. You all have to read it. There are faeries, the bad kind, a girl who kicks ass with a sword (aspires to be a freaking KNIGHT) and breaks stereotypes. Also, two very cute romance stories.
Amazon price for Hardcover: $9.00
Barnes and Noble: $10.22

Not much of a difference, and then you have to consider shipping and handling (if you are not a Prime member).
Unmade (Entangled, #2)

 Unmade is the sequel to Entangled. I did not read Entangled, though it seems I should since it has pretty good reviews and it is a sci fi.
Amazon price for Hardcover: $14.39
Barnes and Noble: $14.39
 I encourage you guys to also look to your local bookstores and see if they have them on stock (keep the locals afloat guys!). As for the e-reader prices you can also find those through the links. I personally prefer actual paper copies but I understand the necessity of the e-readers.
If I had to pick one of the three I would buy The Darkest Part of the Forest because I can honest to god recommend it. It is a great read, and by none other than Holly Black! Close second would be The Conspiracy of Us (which I shall be buying tomorrow) and then Unmade (only because it is a sequel and I haven't read the first book).
Now get shopping,
PS; If you know of any other releases (YA, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal genres) that are releasing this week feel free to comment and I will add to the list!
Firefight (Reckoners, #2)Never Never (Never Never, #1)Rogue Wave (Waterfire Saga, #2) by Jennifer Donnelly • January 6th, 2015 • Click on Image for Summary!Save Me
Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles, #1)City 1 (Revolution 19, #3)InfectedIgnite (Defy, #2)
Fire Fall (Dark Star, #3)Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy, #2) by Pierce Brown • January 13th, 2015 • Click on Image for Summary!Emeralds & Ashes (At Somerton, #3) by Leila Rasheed • January 6th, 2015 • Click on Image for Summary!All the Bright Places
Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles, #3)
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