December 08, 2016

Review: The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom

The Cruelty
by Scott Bergstrom
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: February 7th 2017
by Feiwel & Friends

When her diplomat father is kidnapped and the U.S. Government is unable to help, 17 year-old Gwendolyn Bloom sets off across the sordid underbelly of Europe to rescue him. Following the only lead she has—the name of a Palestinian informer living in France—she plunges into a brutal world of arms smuggling and human trafficking. As she journeys from the slums of Paris, to the nightclubs of Berlin, to the heart of the most feared crime family in Prague, Gwendolyn discovers that to survive in this new world she must become every bit as cruel as the men she’s hunting.

I had high hopes for this book but in the end it just didn’t work for me. The concept of this book was very intriguing; a YA version of the movie Taken but this time the daughter was in search of the father. How cool, right?! Well, sadly, it wasn’t very YA and it didn’t keep the cool factor from start to finish.

The beginning was a bit slow for me; I didn’t feel as though I was connecting to any particular character, though other than our main character Gwendolyn, everyone else was basically side characters floating in & out of scenes when needed. There never seemed to be a growth in Gwendolyn and her “relationship” with “the boy back home” left me scratching my head. The ending did not feel like an ending at all. It was as though the author simply decided to stop writing mid scene…it truly made no sense to me how it ended, especially after everything the character had been through. I’m not certain if there is to be another book but there were so many questions unanswered at the end.

My main problems was Gwendolyn herself, the rate at which the story progressed and the truly lack-luster ending. I had not heard of the controversy with the author prior to reading this so that did not factor into my review of this book. Though this book is geared as YA, I find the content to be quite heavy and would not recommend anyone younger than 17-18 read this as it entails physical/verbal abuse & the reality of human sex trafficking.

Though I am rating this book 3 stars, there were a few quotes that stuck out to me. Here are a few of those quotes:

“Strange to break into a building and find your memories living inside.”

“That’s what war means. Bullets and mistakes you have to live with forever.”

“It’s a new kind of beauty on this stranger: beauty through strength, beauty through fury. It’s frightening and wonderful, and for the first time ever in my life, what I see in the mirror pleases me.”

“But something compels me to stay: If you have the courage for the act, you have the courage to watch the outcome.”

3 Stars!

Pre-order today!

December 01, 2016

#12DaysofBooks Reading Challenge!

Welcome to day one of the #12DaysofBooks Challenge!

Starting today till December 31st, the goal is to read 12 MUST READ books!

We are always adding books to our TBR pile, but never actually getting to read them. This month I plan on reading 12 books that I am dying to read. December is going to be the month that I get completely lost in fantasy. 

I invite you all to join us! It's simple!

Pick 12 books you will read this month. They can be books in any genre that are upcoming releases, books previously released, ARCs, etc. As long as it's on your TBR. 

Each time you start and finish a book on your list share a status on whatever social media platform you are a member of (or blog post) using the hashtag #12DaysofBooks. This way we can all follow along and maybe discover a bunch of new books. 

If you'd like, you can share a blog post about the challenge and share your link below. I would love to check out your list of books! 

Here is my list of books (in no particular order) for the month of December:

1. Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis
2. Endless Knight by Kresley Cole
3. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
4. The Valiant by Lesley Livingston 
5. Empress of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
6. Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray
7. Entice by Jessica Shirvington
8. The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine
9. Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes
10. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
11. Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder 
12. Wings of Arian by Devri Wells

There you have it! 

I am currently reading GIVEN TO THE SEA by Mindy McGinnis now. It took me a bit to really get into it, but now I am hooked and cannot wait to finish reading it! 

If you have any questions at all feel free to e-mail me

I will have a couple of giveaways going on all month long, so make sure to check back! :)

Happy Holidays! 

November 30, 2016

W.O.W: Starfall by Melissa Landers

by Melissa Landers
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: February 7th 2017
by Disney-Hyperion

When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend...with occasional benefits.

Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn't exactly in need of heroics—she's claimed her birthright as Eturia's queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn't a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia—and is certain she returns his feelings—but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?

When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family's complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.

Available for pre-order:


Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

Review: Defy The Stars by Claudia Gray

by Claudia Gray
Hardcover, 512 pages
Expected publication: April 4th 2017
by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


In her most epic and ambitious work to date, bestselling author Claudia Gray takes readers on an interstellar journey exploring what it means to be human.

Noemi Vidal is a teen soldier from the planet Genesis, once a colony of Earth that's now at war for its independence. The humans of Genesis have fought Earth's robotic "mech" armies for decades with no end in sight.

After a surprise attack, Noemi finds herself stranded in space on an abandoned ship where she meets Abel, the most sophisticated mech prototype ever made. One who should be her enemy. But Abel's programming forces him to obey Noemi as his commander, which means he has to help her save Genesis--even though her plan to win the war will kill him.

Together they embark on a daring voyage through the galaxy. Before long, Noemi begins to realize Abel may be more than a machine, and, for his part, Abel's devotion to Noemi is no longer just a matter of programming.

I have not read anything like DEFY THE STARS and am so glad I was given the chance to read it before release in April 2017. You are going to devour this one! I promise you!
From page one I could tell Noemi was going to be a strong, well-written character. I immediately connected with her. Noemi was on a mission and would see it through no matter the cost. She was fearless!

The story starts with instant action. I was pulled in immediately and knew that everything else was going to be put on hold until I was done reading. From page one I could tell Noemi was going to be a strong, well-written character. I immediately connected with her. Noemi was on a mission and would see it through no matter the cost. She was so brave! 

One thing I think I enjoyed the most was the relationship between Abel and Noemi. From the moment they meet I felt their connection. The more I kept reading it was like they were best friends. There wasn’t much romance until the near end. It’s a slow burn and I loved it! There were times I completely forgot that Abel was a mech. His struggles as a mech, and all the emotions he was experiencing helped me connect with him. I could not wait to finish the story to see how everything turned out for both Noemi and Abel. I was very happy with how everything ended. I can easily picture this story as a TV series on The CW.

DEFY THE STARS is one story I will not forget. I truly hope there is a sequel because I would love to know more about Noemi and Abel. If you are not a sci-fi fan, I still think you should give DEFY THE STARS a shot! It’s fast paced, and very easy to follow. You won’t feel like you’re in a Star Trek episode, I promise.

5 Stars!

Available for pre-order today!

More books by Claudia Gray:

November 29, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Given To The Sea by Mindy McGinnis

by Mindy McGinnis
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: April 11th 2017
by Putnam's Childrens

Add to GoodReads

Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given.

     "You said yourself Merryl cannot be by your side always, and with your mate not chosen you are a target for gossip and worse. Allow me to sleep here, at your feet. If my father believes you have made your choice, it will buy you some time, and a measure of safety."
     Her face is blank, her eyes staring me down with an intensity I can bear only because of a lifetime spent with Dara. 

Page 225 - ARC copy - Not Final Copy
GIVEN TO THE SEA by Mindy McGinnis

Pre-order today!