Review: Deviation by Christine Manzari

Review

Title: Deviation

Author: Christine Manzari

Genre: YA/Sci-Fi

Release Date: August 8th, 2013


Synopsis: “Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom. 

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control. 

When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus. 

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?”


My thoughts (1)

After terrorist attacks ravage the United States, a program emerges that enhances humans into Sophisticates: genetically altered humans that are faster, stronger, and smarter than the average human.  Cleo just wants to be average but being in the Sophisticates program she is anything but. Aside from being a Sophisticate, Cleo begins to show that she might be much more. When her rage burns her room and all her belongings to ash, she is sent to the Academy, a military school for special Sophisticates. Thrown into a rigorous training and new lifestyle from what she previously knew, Cleo soon begins to discover that she is not the only Sophisticate with other unique talents.

“You may not be able to control your future, but you can control how you handle it. Don’t let the fear rule you, rule the fear.”

What an excellent dystopian novel! Action-packed with plenty of drama, Deviation has been one of the best dystopian novels I’ve read this year! With super powers, romance, and ROLLER DERBY, once I started I could not put this down. Seriously though, how many books have you read with roller derby in them? I never knew I wanted it until now.

Cleo is a tough chick who was easy to relate to (except for the whole I-will-blow-you-into-smithereens-if-you-make-me-angry thing she had going on.) Although it would be cool to be able to blow things up with just your mind.

I really enjoyed the friendships that Cleo developed while at the Academy.  The romance between Cleo and the resident bad boy, Ozzy, was an insta-love and I am not the biggest fan of those ,however, it was still entertaining to read their back-and-forth banter. There were also a few phrases I noticed that were said somewhat repeatedly although now that I’m trying to think of what they were I’m having a brain fart. The pacing of events unfolding was executed perfectly and I found myself eagerly turning the pages to find out what happens next. There were a few topics that I wanted to know more about ( Cleo’s parents?) but since this is only the first in the series, I am hopeful to learn more in the second. I give this 4 out of 5 stars! I can’t wait to begin the next in this series!

4 out of 5 stars

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Review: The Raging Ones by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Review

Title: The Raging Ones

Author: Krista Ritchie and Becca Ritchie

Genre: YA/ Sci-Fi

Series: Book 1 in The Raging Ones


Synopsis: “In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.
Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.
Until the day she does.
Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.
Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.
With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.”


My thoughts (1)

The Raging Ones was an enthralling sci-fi read! I was immediately drawn into this futuristic world where everyone knows the day of their death and that is that, nothing to do about it.

“Be careful of how you die, my little Franny.” she told me. “You can set your terms but not the day.”

Told from the POV of the 3 main characters, Court, Mykal, and Franny, we are able to view this strange, futuristic world with fresh eyes and fresh perspectives. All 3 have such unique ways of life it made this such a delightful read. Told in 3 different POV’s you’d think it might get confusing but it was portrayed in an excellent manner and easy to follow who was who. Sharing a bond that goes deeper than just the fact they all dodged their deathday, Franny, Court, and Mykal are linked emotionally as well. That’s right, they can feel each others emotions. From the description of the novel you might think, oh great this is gonna be just another love triangle trope but you are wrong my friend, WRONG.

“Is it possible to know the core of someone without understanding the shell?”

With such an intriguing plot and complex characters I was on the edge of my seat the whole time wondering WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT, ARE THEY GOING TO MAKE IT, OHMYGAWWWWD. and also just a fair warning: CRAZY CLIFFHANGER ENDING.

It me now after finishing⬆️

I need the sequel asap please and thank you.

5 out of 5 stars

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”

Review: A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Review

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy/YA

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1


Synopsis: “Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.”


My thoughts (1)

Wowee, wowee, wowee. Okay, once again I’m a bit late to a very popular series and author. A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first novel I’ve read by Sarah J Maas but it is most definitely not going to be the last(thankfully she has tons of books out) I’ve been putting off reading ACOTAR for a very long time and finally caved because I felt like it was just staring me down on my bookshelf. Read me,it begged. So I did. All of the book. In one day. Well, more like in half a day. YOLO

“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.” 

Feyre is tasked with the care of her family; her father and her two sisters. While out hunting one evening, Feyre happens upon a deer. But she is not the only one hunting. A giant wolf is also out prowling for dinner and she decides to not only shoot the deer but also the wolf. But killing comes with a price and Feyre must pay. Thus, sets forth a series of events that lead to Feyre being swept away to Prythian, the Faerie realm. Upon arriving in Prythian, Feyre comes to the realization that there is more going on in this magical realm than the humans are aware of. A curse, magic going berserk, and creatures far more evil than the Faeries.

“I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.” 

I got some very serious Beauty and the Beast vibes from this and I loved it❤️️. Feyre is a total badass and only annoyed me a couple of times(lol), specifically in the beginning. I loved Tamlin and Lucien and all the other side characters(except Nesta) BUT. but, I am not the biggest fan of insta-love🤷 It wasn’t necessarily instant but just seemed to happen a bit quickly considering all that was going on. There is a lot going on in this besides love though! Magic! Evil, scary monsters! Fighting! CURSES! Just all around awesome! I am so excited to move onto A Court of Mist and Fury now😍

5 out of 5 stars

Review: Head Case by Niki Cluff

Review

Title: Head Case

Author: Niki Cluff

Genre: Teen/YA, Sci-Fi

Release Date: September 14th, 2018


Synopsis: “Allyson has been in a coma for the last nine months. What’s worse, she can hear everything the doctors say. She knows they’re keeping her in a coma and that she’s at the mercy of the hospital’s First-in-Human trial—a VR system implanted in her brain for a second chance at life.
Attached to the VR, Ally discovers worlds unlike home. She can do whatever she wants, but she misses her parents. With help from Harrison, a rabbit-eared boy, they work together to free themselves from Aishwarya, the mad queen of the world. But when Harrison wakes up and doesn’t come for Ally, she’ll split her soul to the brink of death to save herself.”

When Allyson is being forcefully kept in a coma for the benefit of the hospital, all she can do is lie there and listen to what is going on around her. Unable to tell her worried parents what is really happening, Ally is helpless as she overhears them agree to a decision that will place her in a new virtual reality program that’s for coma patients to participate in  which allows them to live a life, albeit a fake one. With no way of telling anyone what is really going on, Allyson is whisked away and undergoes a surgery to have a chip implanted in her.

“Welcome to your simulated world. Would you like to play the tutorial?”

Upon her arrival in the new virtual world, Ally is introduced to many other players. Among them are Chester, a cat-like mischievous boy and a rabbit-eared Harrison who Ally can’t help but feel like she knows. When the self-proclaimed red queen of this new world meets Ally, Ally discovers this world is not the safe haven it appears to be and that although the world is fake in many aspects, some consequences can be very real.

This was a really fun book to read! I was not expecting it to be a spin on the classic Alice in Wonderland but was pleasantly surprised. Ally is a great protagonist, real and likable and the side characters were great also. I wish the character development could have gone a bit more into depth, specifically, Ally’s hacking skills. I feel it would’ve really added to the story. The pacing was a bit all over with it being slow, then quick, then just right. However, the setting of the virtual world was described very realistically and Niki’s writing is vivid and thorough. I loved the ending and with that cliffhanger I am hoping for a sequel!

*I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Thank you Niki for the opportunity to read this!

4 out of 5 stars

where2buy

Click here to buy on Amazon

ARC Review: The Dark Descent Of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

Review

Title: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

Author: Kiersten White

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Science-Fiction/

Release Date: September 25th, 2018


Synopsis: Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

My thoughts

This novel follows the point of view of Elizabeth, an orphan adopted into the Frankenstein household as a caretaker and friend for the young Victor Frankenstein. Afraid of being cast back out of the fortunate luck she came into, Elizabeth molds herself into the person she believes she is needed to be. Tasked with the mission of keeping young Victor out of trouble, Elizabeth learns all the necessary actions needed to soothe and keep Victor calm and out of trouble. When Victor goes away to school, Elizabeth is worried her place in the Frankenstein household will no longer be needed. Desperate to get her Victor back, Elizabeth sets out on a journey that sets forth a series of events that will change the life of Elizabeth and all she knows.

I really enjoyed this retelling of Frankenstein! Elizabeth was such an amazingly complex protagonist. Manipulative, clever, adaptable, and sure that to have a place in the world and not be forgotten, she must have someone who needs her.

“If I could have worn nothing but my slips, I would have. But clothes were part of the role I played, And I never stepped out of character where they could see me.”

Enter Victor Frankenstein. Beyond intelligent, curious, and often times terrifying, Elizabeth is the only one who understands him. She is his and He is hers. Even when Victor is doing truly horrific acts, Elizabeth turns the other cheek so afraid of losing the one who needs her and in turn, losing her place in the world.

“I had accused Victor of creating a monster, but I had done the same.”

The scenes are painted so vividly it felt as if I were there in the 18th century England alongside Elizabeth. This was a creepy, twisted, DARK tale that I did not want to end! What an excellent way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein!

5 out of 5 stars

Interested in pre-ordering? This is set to be released in September!

Click here to pre-order on Amazon!

Click here to pre-order on Barnes & Noble!

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”

Review:Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Review

“And there’s nothing wrong with being a lizard either. Unless you were born to be a hawk.” 


Title: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Dark Fantasy/YA

Series: Book 1 in The Grisha Trilogy


Synopsis:  “Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.”

My thoughts

Okay, this is the first book by Leigh Bardugo that I’ve read and holy cow why have I put this off for so long??!! I’ve heard such rave reviews of Leigh’s Six of Crows duology as well as the Grisha trilogy so when I saw this book was only 4 dollars on amazon it was too good of a deal to pass up! I always get nervous reading books that are so hyped up because I don’t want to be let down if I end up not liking them, but thankfully this book is well worth the hype!

This was a truly excellent read and I couldn’t put it down. This novel has everything: well-developed characters, an impeccably built world, perfect pace, and an exceptional plot twist that shooketh me-shooketh to my very core😨 Alina is so relatable as our main character. She is witty, a bit naive, and flawed and just wants to find a place where she truly belongs. Mal (aw, Mal) is sweet, resilient, and a typically oblivious boy at times. And the Darkling, oh lordy, is well-dark😝 and you love to hate him. Ooh there’s just something about a bad boy 🤷

I ordered book #2 almost as soon as I started reading this because I knew I was going to love it. I very much recommend this! Yay for Leigh Bardugo! I can’t wait to read the Six of Crows duology next( yes I know I can’t believe I haven’t read that yet either🙈)

5 out of 5 stars

where2buy

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Review: Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney

Review

Title: Black Dawn

Author: Mallory McCartney

Genre: Fantasy/YA

Series: Black Dawn Book #1


Synopsis: “The end of an Empire, The rise of a Queen.

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.”


My thoughts

I enjoyed the premise of this book and the cover of it is so pretty! I just wish it could have been a bit longer to better explain certain aspects. This is a very intricate world that I feel requires a touch more explaining. It is the first in the series so perhaps the next book will have more information. We are immediately dropped into this world and there are a lot of POV shifts that at times make it a tad bit difficult to follow and connect to what’s happening.  There is plenty of action, some romance, and fun fantasy that make it fairly enjoyable read despite the confusion I felt at times. Overall, I liked the book and will be looking out for the next in the series.

3 stasr

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*


where2buy

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Review: The Traitors Kiss by Erin Beaty

Review

“We each play several roles in life – that doesn’t make them all lies.”


Title: The Traitor’s Kiss

Author: Erin Beaty

Genre: Fantasy/ YA/ Romance

Series: Book 1 in The Traitor’s Circle


Synopsis:  Strong-willed Sage Fowler does not want to be married to someone she doesn’t love and has other plans about the way her life will go. When her uncle sets up an interview with the matchmaker in hopes of marrying her off to a wealthy family, it goes horrendously wrong and Sage is deemed unfit to marry, which is quite alright with her. Deciding to take Sage under her wing and make her an apprentice, the matchmaker, Mistress Rodelle, tasks Sage with the responsibility of setting up other young ladies into marriages for political alliances.

Alexander Quinn is a newly promoted Captain and after a failed scouting mission, Quinn’s father, the General, sees the perfect opportunity in teaching Alexander patience by tasking him with escorting a handful of ladies to the politically important matchmaking summit of the year. When Alexander learns of his new mission, he feels it is not a good use of his time but takes his new mission seriously in hopes of pleasing his father.  Intent on learning all he can about who he is traveling with, Captain Quinn sends Ash Carter to spy on the girls whilst pretending to be a carriage driver so as to remain under the radar. Sage is also being used by Mistress Rodelle to spy on the ladies and to spy on the soldiers accompanying them in hopes of learning any pertinent information for future matchmaking.

When the Captain finds out about Sage’s role with the ladies and her uncanny ability at deciphering truths, he decides to use her role among the women as an opportunity to gain information.  With a political unrest growing, Sage finds herself right in the middle of a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

My thoughts

What a great book! (And what a great cover!) I loved Sage and her feisty, witty, temperamental character and the slow-build relationship between her and Ash. And Oh. My. God. That plot twist got me good! I was sitting there thinking “wow why do I feel like I keep missing something important here?” and then BOOM! Plot twist slapped me right in the face and I felt pretty dumb for not catching it sooner. I love a good plot twist🤷 All the characters and the world they live in are built up so intricately it feels like you personally know each and every one and are right there with them. There is a great villain who you can’t help but truly hate (especially at the end, grrrrr ☹) I am eagerly awaiting the second book to get here so I can find out what happens next in our heroine’s journey!

5 out of 5 stars


where2buy

 Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Monthly New Releases, Uncategorized

Hello fellow book lovers! I know we’re already halfway through July(um, wait what??!) but I just wanted to create a quick list of some books I’m excited for that are set to be released later this month!

First book that I am excited for is Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart. I just pre-ordered it the other day and I can’t wait till it gets here! This book looks soooo good and I keep seeing it pop up on my bookstagram! The author has an awesome pre-order incentive going on right now as well! Pre-order before the release date ( July 31st) and you’ll be sent an enamel pin, a postcard with hand-lettered quote, book map poster, and a signed bookplate! But hurry, quantites are limited! Click here for more details!

The next two books I’m looking forward to are both written by Jane Washington! First, Strength ( which is the 4th book in The Curse of the Gods series and is co-written by the awesome Jaymin Eve) which is set to be released on July 20th. I loved this series! If you’ve never heard of it before check it out, all the books have high ratings, and for good reasons! Willa, the main character, is frikkin hilarious I love her. I’ve been not-so-patiently awaiting this release since inhaling the first 3 books and yay, it’s finally almost here! Jane’s next novel, I Am Grey is set to be released July 31st(so far only available to purchase as an e-book) and is a standalone and I want to read it soley because I love Jane (I mean that in the non-creepiest of ways).

Thirdly, any fans of Charlie Holmberg rejoice! Her new novel, Veins of Gold, is releasing July 17th (2 days away wooh!) I loved the Paper Magician series and this sounds like it’s going to be another great read! Historical fantasy and magic, oh my!

Fourthly, Sea Witch coming July 31st which is described as “Wicked meets The Little Mermaid in the captivating origin story of the sea’s most iconic villainess, perfect for fans of Heartless and Dorothy Must Die” and they had me at Wicked meets the Little Mermaid. I love a good origin story.

and Fifthly (are these even words??), Heart of Thorns! I have been seeing this one pop up on the good old bookstagram as well and if the cover doesn’t make you want it then the description will. Another July 31st release date, so far yet so close. *sigh*

What are some books you’re excited for?

Let me know in the comments I love hearing about new books!

Hope you’re having a great Sunday!

xo,xoJessica

Review: Blind The Eyes

Review

Blind the Eyes by K.A. Wiggins is a YA/Fantasy novel and the first in the Thread of Dreams series.

Synopsis: In a world where hope kills and dreams are deadly, obedience is the only way to survive. But when one girl learns her society’s absolute control and guarantee of safety are both illusions, she risks her hard-won status, her home and her life to rebel and expose its lies.

When haunted teen Cole discovers the state’s guarantee of safety from the nightmarish Mara in exchange for obedience is a fraud, she realizes hers isn’t the only life at stake. Cole needs allies to help her escape execution by nightmare and expose the lies. Now, with a ghost at her back, enforcers in pursuit, and a charismatic rebel leader gaslighting her, Cole must figure out who to trust to bring down the state and stop the dying before the nightmares eat her alive.

A YA dark fantasy about identity, trauma & taking back your choices. Ghosts and world-monsters in post-eco-disaster Vancouver.

My thoughts

I really wanted to like this book! I thought the cover was awesome and the plot summary seemed very intriguing-however, I just could not get into this book. I found myself getting confused as to what was happening more often than not and had to go back and re-read portions to try and figure out what was going on. Along with the very complicated story line, I also had a strong disliking towards the main character, Cole.  The authors writing style is very visual and different, I loved that she created such a unique world. I feel I would’ve enjoyed this more if it wasn’t so confusing so with that I’ve rated this 3 out of 5 stars.

3 stasr

*I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*