Book Review: This is Sarah by Ally Malinekno

22360316When Colin Leventhal leaned out his bedroom window on the night of May 12th and said goodbye to his girlfriend, he never expected it would be forever. But when Sarah Evans goes missing that night, Colin’s world unravels as he transforms from the boyfriend next door to the main police suspect. Then one year later, at her memorial service, Colin makes a phone call that changes everything. Is it possible that Sarah is still alive? And if so how can he bring her back?

As Colin struggles with this possibility, across the street, Sarah’s little sister, Claire learns how to navigate the strange new landscape of life without her sister. While her parents fall apart, Claire remains determined to keep going even if it kills her.

 

So just in time for Halloween I read This is Sarah, a philological thriller (its the only kind of thriller I can read) about the lives of those left behind after Sarah’s disappearance.  Let me start by saying Ally Malinenko contacted us to read and review this book, otherwise I would have probably never picked it up on my own.  Like I said before I am not typically into this type of book, prefer more dystopian or romance driven books.  With that said I thought this was a fantastic book.

The one word that comes to mind with this book is Haunting.  Having the story told from Colin and Claire’s POV was genius, they were the two people who had the hardest time with the disappearance.  And Ally Malinenko weaves the tail of their suffering/healing throughout the year with grace and in such detail you feel connected to the characters.  Really the story is beautifully heartbreaking.  The desperation that Colin feels as he tries to hang on to hope that Sarah is alive still is chilling.  And Claire is trying to pick up the pieces of her life, while trying to get her parents to remember that she is still there was so real it makes you want to hug her.  I totally recommend this book to every reader.

5 Bards

 

 

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: January 1, 2015

When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion next door, Sophie Gracewell’s life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nic Falcone, Sophie finds herself falling into an underworld governed by powerful families. When Sophie’s own family skeletons come to life, she must choose between two warring dynasties – the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break …

Book Review: Talented by Sophie Davis

13466202Block it out. Impossible for Talia Lyons. When you’re a Mind Manipulator, it’s hard enough to block the thoughts of others, let alone your own.

Block it out. The pounding, siren-ready world Talia inhabits as she trains with her fellow Hunters, the country’s top-secret covert operatives. The physical demands. The emotional toll.

Block it out. The secrets that Talia’s boyfriend is hiding. Talia’s unbidden feelings of frustration and annoyance toward her teammate, the Casanova of the compound. The wondering why she cares what he thinks.

Block him out. Ian Crane. The man behind the bloodshed marring Talia’s memories of her murdered parents. The man she’s determined to kill.

Block it all out. Focus.

So I received this book at BEA directly from the author Sophie Davis, and we bonded about being from NC.  I was hesitant to read this because if I didn’t like it, and had to give it a bad review I would feel super bad.  Fortunately I really liked the book.  There were a few problems, but overall not enough to turn me off of the book.

I thought the story was really good.  The concept of this dystopian world was realistic and really well explained.  I thought at times her explanations and descriptions were a bit wordy but almost necessary to gain a good picture of this new world.  Also while I’m talking about things I didn’t care for, the cover, Talia is supposed to have unruly curly hair.  The chick on the cover has straight hair… It bugs me more than it should.

Anyway back to the story, I kind of want her talent, it sounds cool.  And Erik, yum, new man crush there.  I am looking forward to the next book, I hope we get some answers and some stuff resolved!  Good job Sophie Davis!

4 Bards

fourbards

 

 

Book Review & GIVEAWAY: Loop by Karen Akins

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

Release Date: October 21, 2014

I really wish that there could be more time travelling stories that are as good as Loop.

Things that worked:  Akins manages to place the reader immediately in the action of the narrative, without leaving the reader behind with such fast pace explanations of time travel.  Not going to lie though, having musket fire on the first few pages really had me wondering what it was I was getting myself into. Basically, in what is “our” present, there are time travelers called Shifters who can move back and forth in time, because their bodies are just built for it through genetics.  There’s a whole education system built around these abilities, and evidently some kind of prejudice against them based out of jealousy.  I kind of wish that had been more explored, rather than leaving everything up to the mystery leading to the turning point.

I really liked that Bree had a very strong voice throughout the novel, and that while her story continued to evolve she kind of faught it tooth and nail.  I know, we are supposed to want a character to grow and become their true self through the course of a novel, but man, it was fun watching her try to resist all of the trouble that life and time kept throwing at her.

Akins’ debut novel manages to handle time travel without being super convoluted, and with specific rules that remind me of Doctor Who.  Granted, some of Bree’s “accidental” encounters can be arguably more Marty McFly-esque than The Doctor.  Although, I’m pretty sure the Doctor (minus all of his interactions with himself in specials) would warn pretty harshly against messing with events in her own timeline, but Bree still manages to do this…and it is a tad confusing.  I understand that it was the point to be confusing, but it also felt really bogged down in some places.  There is a sequel coming, but when we essentially learned what is in Bree’s future in Loop, then something drastic is definitely going to go down.

forevergif

 

 

Also, Bree & Finn: That one comment was very Rose and the Doctor.

 

 

 

 

Fun and fast read, even if I did have to stop and make sure I knew which timeline was happening.

4 Bards.

fourbards

 

 

 

 

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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

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn’t look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she’s just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that’s all she’ll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there’s a secret she hasn’t told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex’s brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn’t have to be real to keep you from moving on.

 

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

 

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