Book Review: The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts

People say when you take Heam, your body momentarily dies and you catch a glimpse of heaven. Faye was only eleven when dealers forced Heam on her and her best friend, Christian. But Faye didn’t glimpse heaven—she saw hell. And Christian died.
 
Now Faye spends her days hiding her secret from the kids at school, and her nights training to take revenge on the men who destroyed her life and murdered her best friend. But life never goes the way we think it will. When a mysterious young man named Chael appears, Faye’s plan suddenly gets a lot more complicated. Chael seems to know everything about her, including her past. But too many secrets start tearing her world apart: trouble at school, with the police, and with the people she thought might be her friends. Even Gazer, her guardian, fears she’s become too obsessed with vengeance. Love and death. Will Faye overcome her desires, or will her quest for revenge consume her?

Initially I totally expected this novel to be about serial killers based on the cover design and the title.  I was a little disappointed by that, but I quickly got over that when I realized that the story was much more interesting and complex.

The Bodies We Wear is set in a time period where there is the ultimate drug problem with Heam.  It is something that is stronger than any drug that we would know, as it is a fictional drug, but that is also able to kill you on your first dose or make you so addicted that the users typically die within weeks of having their first hit.  Of course there is a small population that is somewhat immune to the drug, but there isn’t really an explanation for this and it is skimmed over in the novel.

The main character, Faye, was a victim of a crime that involved her becoming addicted to Heam, her heart stopping, and her best friend dying.  She was saved, but her body was marked by vicious scars that radiate from her heart and reach up to her neck and down to her naval.  This is the ultimate prejudice in the world of The Bodies We Wear.  These addicts are cast out of their families and their homes, etc.  Not going to lie, this totally tugged at my heartstrings.  I think that Roberts did a really good job of depicting the familial relationships that weren’t necessarily between actual family members, but between the family we choose—friends.

I think the book could have been just as powerful without the romance being added into the story, and I didn’t particularly enjoy the ambiguity of the factors surrounding Chael’s existence.  I won’t go into too much detail on that due to the spoilery conditions that it could cause.  I do think that Faye and Chael’s relationship was a very dependent on one another’s existence. And I found that to be a little bit eye-roll worthy.

Overall, I still really enjoyed it despite the flaws.

3.5 Bards

3.5bards

Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

 3636Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

So I guess I am one of the few people that did not have to read this in high school, so I thought better late than never.  I have to say the cover is less than appealing to look at, it doesn’t really make me want to read the book.  Anyway I read it and really enjoyed the book.  It was short but good.  I do not understand how they made a full length movie from it but I guess I will have to go see it.

I can see why you read it in high school.  It makes you think about memories and feelings and while you would love to get rid of the hurt and sadness, you would also have to get rid of the pleasure, and happiness, and the feeling of being content.  It would be a very boring life.

I wish the ending had a bit more, but there are 3 other books (they have been added to my to read pile).  I thought the writing was excellent.  I loved Jonas and The Giver’s relationship, there was something special there.  I cant wait to read the other books.  Also if you have not read this book or it has been a long time I encourage you to pick it up.  It was a great short read.

4.5 Bards

four.fivebards

Book Review: Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

13644055Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can’t believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.

 

Well its the bitter sweet moment with this book, its the last one.  I am both happy to have read this book and the story has found a ending but sad it is over.  I have enjoyed reading the Lux series so much!  They have been a pleasure to read.

As for this book the violence, and sex was defiantly more prevalent than the previous books.  Not that I minded I just mention that as a warning to the younger readers out there.  This book.  Wow,  It packs a punch.  There are a lot of twists and turns, a lot of reoccurring characters, some you never thought you would see again.  Friends became foes, and foes became friends.  It was a jumbled mess that comes together for a perfect book.

I don’t want to write too much about this book.  If you are reading the others in the series there is a good chance you already love the books, and know the character.  So I will just say this, if you have not started reading this series, start.  None of the books disappoint.  They are all fantastic.

5 Bards

fivebards

Waiting on Wednesday

waiting on wednesday

 

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

Release Date: February 10, 2015

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

Book Review: Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Origin (Lux, #4)Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

 

Now are you not supper happy for listening to me and getting the Lux Consequences book???  So this is the book where stuff starts to get real.  It gets darker and the mood changes from Oh cool an Alien, to Oh man, people are getting hurt.  The POV changes from mostly Katy to mostly Daemon which is nice.  It adds something to the books.  More depth I guess?  Anyway it was a nice change to hear what Daemon was thinking.

I really like Archer, and the whole story about the Origins.  They are super cool, and I was glad Luc had more of a presence in the is book.  Although those children are super creepy!   Its good when you are introduced to new characters in a series so things don’t get dull.  And this series is anything but dull.  This book is a thrill a minute and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

So I won’t give away spoilers but that part towards the end with Daemon and Katy, OMG, so hot then so sweet!  *Fanning my self*  And that ending, lets just say, go ahead and buy the last book right away.  The only thing I didn’t really care for was the stuff that happened in Vegas.  I get why it happened I just am a peaceful person and wasn’t a fan of all the fighting.  It was still good don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t for me.

Love, love, love

5 Bards

fivebards

 

Book Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

Not going to lie, when I picked up a copy of this book at BEA I knew that it was going to be a book I’d have to read as a reviewer and as a Children’s Lit person, but I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did.

First things first, I had a wonderful Twitter conversation with Ewing where we bonded over our mutual obsession of cheese and what kind of wine goes with certain books.  (My answer is always a good Cabernet or Zinfindel) Anyway, so when I did decide to read this novel, I had a big glass with me.  It wasn’t long until I eventually neglected my wine because I was too engrossed in the narrative.

thejewelEither way, the basic structure of the story is that there is a section of upper-class royalty, if you will, that can no longer produce children or heirs due to the ridiculous amount of incest and intermarrying that happened at the top in order to keep the royalty pure.  Which is ironic considering the minefield that evidently became of their genome.  Now, there have been other books that use this trope, like the Eve trilogy by Anna Carey and the Bumped books by Megan McCafferty, but The Jewel was much more.

Ewing’s crowning jewel (see what I did there?) of the novel is the inclusion of the ultimate question concerning children: nature vs nurture.  Now there is a tad bit of paranormal activity here in this part of the novel, which I thought was extremely original considering I haven’t read any type of dystopian YA fiction that uses that idea.

Also, kudos to Ewing for using the Dystopian genre for the commentary on society and the vast difference between the upper and lower classes, even if it is something that is examined widely in the genre.  I can appreciate this argument, as a Marxist, and think it would be a lot of fun to do a rebellion and alienation argument on this series if it continues to be as good as this first installment.

Overall, I have to tell you that there are some character reveals that you don’t expect and some very sad parts of the story that really tugged at my heartstrings. This book was a joy to read and while I still have to wait for the second installment of The Lone City series, there is a novella coming out in November, so at least I’ll get a fix.

5 Bards for you, Amy Ewing. You go, Amy Ewing. (P.S. Can I pick your brain about Marxist theory and your narrative?)

 

fivebards

 

Waiting on Wednesday

waiting on wednesday

 

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

Release Date: December 9, 2014

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?

 

Book Review: Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

13362536 After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

 

WHY ARE MORE PEOPLE NOT READING THIS  SERIES?  I really would like to discuss this book with people but for some reason people are not picking it up.  Trust me read the books, its worth it.  And when you are done comment or tweet me @missmisD to discuss please!  Oh and just a helpful hint, buy the Lux Consequences version so you can read Opal and immediately read Origin, trust me you will thank me for that.  I still can’t find the books in the major book chain stores so you might have to get them from Amazon.

First off, poor Dawson, I really felt for him.  I liked that this book was the all about Dawson book, it really focused on his stuff.  It gave me a little break from the Katy and Daemon drama.  Don’t get me wrong they are still the main characters but the book was more about Dawson.  And bless him he is a world full of crazy.

And um can we talk about Blake for a minute?  Super creepy right?  Like I would have taken off his manhood had he pulled that stunt he did on Katy on me.  Anyway back to the book.  See I love this series because you loose your self in the story, the real world just floats away and you are right next to Katy and Daemon living the adventure with them.  It is a fast moving but hilarious book and I love that they take the time to do normal teenage things like Prom.  That was cute and a nice break between all the action.  And the ending, this is when you will be glad you bought the Lux Consequences book with Opal and Origin together, talk about a cliff hanger.

Such an awesome book!!!!

5 Bards

fivebards

 

Book Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Sometimes danger is hard to see… until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there… and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

Release Date: October 7, 2014

In all aspects of Fitzpatrick’s wildly popular Hush, Hush series, I just was not happy. I didn’t care much for the story or the characters.  So when I found out she had a new book coming out that wasn’t paranormal or anything, then I got excited.  Because it wasn’t her writing ability, I just didn’t like the story. So, of course I stalked this book at Book Expo America and managed to get my hands on a copy.

When I read the synopsis, I knew that this book would be much more enjoyable for me.  I’m a big fan of thrillers and fast-paced novels that involve crime or suspense.  I will say that at the beginning I immediately was put off by how much the main character dwelled on her ex-boyfriend, but I remember what it is like to have your heart broken, so I guess I understand where she is coming from.  However, I don’t really think it was healthy for her to be as obsessive as she seemed.

Anyway, I really appreciated Britt’s blind determination to do this after months of training.  I’m almost positive that for the most part it was for the benefit of showing herself that she could do something hard on her own.  I can definitely get behind a character who challenges herself like that, no matter how naive she was when it came to actual survival.

The story has a twist, which might sneak up on some other readers, but Fitzpatrick does an excellent job of planting the seeds of doubt throughout the whole narrative.  So if you are like me, you will probably pick up on these, but it still didn’t take away from the reveal.

The whole love story thing was a little off putting in places, just because it did feel so much like Stockholm Syndrome, but the character herself acknowledged that it could be that but she wasn’t sure in her narration.  So overall it made her seem very self aware.

I really enjoyed this book and read it in around 8 hours.

4.5 Bards

four.fivebards

Book Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven’t forgiven?

It’s not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

I went into this novel thinking that I wasn’t going to like it due to the structural nature of the narrative.  I mean, reading a book that exists only in letter form? Eh, it worked for Mary Shelley in Frankenstein, but can it work for a more contemporary author? (Yes, that is right, Frankenstein is told through a series of letters from Robert Walton to his sister M.S–I could also go into the argument that M.S. is Mary Shelley herself, but I’ll save it for another time.)

lovelettersI normally have problems reading novels that are written in a somewhat lyrical style, mostly because I tend to enjoy the more direct writing of a first person POV or even the third person POV that is straight forward with information.  However, Dellaira has made me want to try reading other lyrical novels again, just to see if my perspective has changed.  Yes, you can argue that using letters as the writing style of choice can be a little overpowering, especially since the audience is effectively removed from the tale when not being addressed as an indirect “you.”  But I think that this is the reason that I ended up appreciating Laurel’s story much more.

As a history nut, the specific people that Dellaira used in Laurel’s journey were somewhat perfect in my eyes.  Not only did each embody certain aspects of Laurel, but also parts of May and the other secondary characters in her life.  While it took a while for the narrative to really reach the pennacle of the novel, which was discovering the information behind May’s death, which is still left up to the reader in ambiguity, I think that the journey was the purpose of this novel more than the discovery.

I know that Love Letters to the Dead has had some mixed reviews from what I’ve read, but believe me when I say that you will be better for reading and discovering this novel in either outcome.  No matter if you like it or not, it is still a beautiful story of a girl’s journey to define herself separate from her sister’s existence, and it is wonderfully written.

4.5 Bards

four.fivebards

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