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The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepard

The Madman's Daughter - Megan Shepherd

Source: Library
Publisher: Baltzer + Brey
Series: The Madman’s Daughter #1
Edition: Hardcover, 432 pages
Genre: Young Adult Horror
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

 

The Madman’s Daughter offered me something I don’t quite see often in YA lit and that’s a gothic style. Having never read The Island of Dr. Moreau, though now I definitely want to, I eagerly jumped into this one hoping to find something new.

 

I really enjoyed Megan Shepard’s writing style. It’s dark, gritty, and moody; you can tell this is a gothic style novel within the first page and really loved the over dark and dank nature of the tale. I also loved the details and descriptions which Shepard beautiful carves with each word. It does have a bit of slow start and build up towards the beginning but once on the island it becomes really addictive. I’ve heard several people say that it’s not that different from the original and perhaps they are right, if so I’m glad I got to this one first. There were times when the cloudy creepy nature of this book amped up that I almost didn’t want to know the answers.

 

Juliet is an interesting MC because while there is plenty of opportunity for her to be a typical Mary-Sue caught in the middle of something terrible she isn’t. She reacts to it, she fights back, she enjoys it and she hates it. Gothic novels tend to play with the fringes of sanity and this is no different, causing most of the characters to question if they’ve stepped over the blurry line. There is a sort of love triangle…which to be more specific it’s a love isosceles. Two sides of this triangle are very much the same but there is that one off feeling option that never quite settles right. I don’t know if the romances were quite successful but they were necessary in terms of plot.

 

No character is perfect in this, as event the best of the island dwellers keeps terrible secrets. Juliet’s father was incredibly horrible. He could barely manage to act the part of a father and the things he was guilty of when he was away from her are just horrific.

I’d definitely say that The Madman’s Daughter is a promising start for a gothic series. Despite the slow beginning and the kind of frustrating final page, I’m really looking forward to continuing this series.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season  - Samantha Shannon

Source: Library
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Series: The Bone Season #1
Edition: Hardcover, 466 pages
Genre: Fantasy Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 5/5

 

The Bone Season is a book that has taken me by surprise. I knew going into it that it had extensive world building and that I was probably going to enjoy it, but I hadn’t expected to enjoy it so much that I flew through all 466 pages in a single afternoon and still wish I had more to read. It’s unique, detailed, and utterly addicting.

 

I don’t think I’ve ever used the words fantasy and dystopian in the same sentence, or at least not that i can remember. It’s usually the sci-fi genre that has it, but this is a different cup of tea. We have an alternate history as well as a future look of our own world where voyants exist. Claravoyants, are exactly what you think and more. They connect to the aether in some form and interact with spirits…and for this they are feared and persecuted. However everything isn’t as it seems and Paige is smack-dab in the middle of it. Now she must deal with a race called Rephaim, who treat them as slaves, and horrible creatures that have a taste for flesh. This book offers so much in terms of information, and the world building is some of the best I’ve read this year. The world is so detailed we get a flow chart for the different types of Voyants…and trust me there are a lot. We get new creatures to learn about and a new history, our own cities turned into something new. The Bone Season is rife with details and I just couldn’t get enough.

 

Shannon takes just as much care with her characters as she does with her world. Paige is a girl with a tough past and a tough personality. She’s definitely someone who can take care of herself but in many cases is forced to ally with people to gain what she needs. I really loved her, even though her outer toughness and her need to remain stubborn could get frustrating. I love that because she’s so different from other Voyants she’s had to protect herself, but because of that difference she’s also had to distance herself and remain closed off. Then there is Warden, the Rephaim now in charge of Paige. I’ll admit that it barely took a few pages before I was ready to claim him for the ever growing book boyfriend harem…even though Paige wasn’t falling for him, I definitely was. He’s hardened to  most things and they exist on different levels, which is quite interesting. I enjoyed seeing them interact with each other and the different layers of their relationship. Then there are the other Rephiam which I wasn’t so fond of, especially Nashira who is as cold and selfish as it gets. Even the characters we only get a few chapters of are worth noting, like Jaxon, Nick, Liss, and Julian.

 

I’m definitely glad I decided to grab this one from the library and I’m glad I took the chance to read it before it was due back. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, which apparently will have 7 books total. I need to know what is going ot happen with Nashira, Warden, and Paige. There is just so much I need to know.

Colder by Paul Tobin

Colder - Juan Ferreyra, Paul Tobin, Scott Allie, Daniel Chabon

Source: Dark Horse Comics/Netgalley – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Series: -
Edition: eArc, 110 Pages
Genre: Horror
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

 

Colder is one of those books I grabbed based purely on the fact that the cover was one that I couldn’t take my eyes off of. Granted this one is more of ‘oh god that’s terrible’ kind of fixation but nevertheless I was drawn in and if you think the cover is bad you’re in for a treat.

 

The story revolves around Declan Thomas and his nurse Reece who has been taking care of him while he was basically in an aware state of comatose. When he suddenly gets ups and starts talking she is both intrigued and reluctant to be brought along in his tale which delves right into insanity and put her in danger.

I love the fact that this is a book about insanity, it’s caught up in it and pulls you in till your at the point where you don’t really want to look away no matter how much you cringe. I love the overall story and how oddly twisted it is and at times it’s even cute. There is some humor which offset the amount of horrible stuff that happens. Jack Nimble is quite the bad guy, he reminds me of Joker only he has much more power to harass people to the point of breaking. The one complaint I have is that wish the explanation had come a bit sooner because I was really lost on the how and why for a bit.

 

I’m really glad I decided to read this one and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what happens with this concept in the future.

 

4 stars

 

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Hoover

Tiger's Curse (Book 1) - Colleen Houck

Source: Library
Publisher: Splinter
Series: Tiger’s Saga #1
Edition: Hardcover, 406 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Purchase:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 2/5

 

Tiger’s Curse was one of those books I had my eye on for years but never picked up or for whatever reason decided against purchasing. I’d been dying to crack it open and find out what hid behind the really pretty cover. So I’m kind of sad that the book left me so cold towards it.

 

The overall story is interesting enough and combined with the rather simple writing it was easy to get through in about six hours. However it kind of lacked the drive and depth when it came to evoking my emotions. Instead of screaming at Kelsi or Ren or cheering them on I found myself merely commenting on how interesting something was because I was so detached from it. The story also seems to cover very little ground in 400 pages and while it wasn’t boring, I wish there were more to it. We do get to see India in it’s rich beauty and history , along with some interesting myths. The writing was very formal and felt stilted even during conversations. I felt like some of the explanations were more of travel book entries than actual description, it felt kind of generic. The conversations were really tough though.  I could understand Mr. Kadam or Kishan speaking in a formal way because English is not their first language however Kelsi did it more than they did and I found it very hard to believe that an 18 year old would always be so formal and the few times she did break the habit felt weird.

 

Kelsi definitely seems like a main character I could like if she had been given more dimension. She was down-to-earth and really sweet, but she has her flaws when it comes to self-confidence…and her sarcasm was kind of unneeded most of the time. Ren was quite interesting though he lost more points than he gained once he actually started talking at length. He started out as a really sweet person who was extremely grateful and had a playful side, but the more he got to talk toward the end of the book the less I liked him. He became kind of insufferable at times. Kishan doesn’t get a lot of time in this one but he seems to be the obvious opposite to Ren, he’s automatically suave and charming…and incredibly good at goading Ren. But other than that I don’t feel like I know him.

 

I’m really upset I didn’t enjoy this one more than I did and I’m not sure if I’ll continue. I want to but I’m scared that it won’t improve.

 

2 stars

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

Source: Library
Publisher: Doubleday
Series: -
Edition: Hardcover, 387 pages
Genre: Literary Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 5/5

 

When you first see The Night Circus you can immediately see the beauty of it, how it’s entirely unique when sitting on a shelf. It’s easy to see the cover appeal which moves into the book with gorgeous stripped pages and pages with nothing but starry skies, but what is truly beautiful and unique is the story itself.  It centers around the mysterious and charming Night Circus as well as two young magicians who have put their life into it though it is not truly ‘theirs’.

 

Morgenstern takes a story and weaves it together slowly and deliberately until we see the full and final picture, with her unconventional style and beautiful details. The story switches between two timelines in a sort of ‘then’ and ‘now’ set up until the two finally converge near the end, it’s not at all confusing since the dates are printed at the top of each chapter. There are also little sections where it is written as if you were there, watching the shows and smelling the caramel tinged air. I think this combined with the detailed style in the normal narrative really works wonders in terms of immersion and when I closed the book for good I found myself missing it. I felt like I had seen the black and white striped tents filled with sights normally on found in dreams.

 

Celia and Marco are two magicians who are bound together in a competition set before them by their teachers, and despite the lack of information find themselves with a rather unusual venue, The Night Circus. Celia is a incredibly smart and charming young woman who struggles with control and a painful past. I truly loved Celia. She’s incredibly friendly and she put so much of herself into everything she helps with, and given that her teacher is an incredible jerk I loved her all the more for it. Marco is also a charming individual who prefers to write and plan meticulously until his fingers are ink stained. I really loved their stories and how they slowly overtime come together as they work to win a competition they care nothing about. Then there are the wonderful side characters who are actually main characters in their own right. They are surrounded in their own appeal and their own stories, some of which Morgenstern tells us while others she leaves to mystery.

 

This is one book I wish I had purchased instead of borrowing from the library. It’s gorgeous to look at and amazing to read. I can definitely see this as a book I’d enjoy revisiting in the future.

5 stars

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me - Kat Zhang

Source: Purchased
Publisher: Harper Teen
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #1
Edition: Paperback, 343 pages
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

 

What’s Left of Me is a book that capitalizes on the incredibly cool idea of having two people inhabiting one body. It revolves around Eva and Addie, two sister-souls that share the same body in a dystopian United States where after a certain age there should only be one. It’s a story about their struggle to maintain their ‘normalcy’, their relationship, and their right to live.

 

The writing for What’s Left of Me is really solid and I think Zhang really handles the whole idea with great precision. The world we’re introduced to is one where Hybrids exist in great numbers and are common in every country except the United States where they prefer the dominant soul to take over and the recessive soul to disappear entirely. I had some reservations about the possibility of us gaining extra souls in the future, but Kat actually explained that she considers this story to be a sort of alternate universe. So while things feel modern and true to our society outside it’s been changed and tweaked to form a new society similar but wholly different.

 

Addie/Eva are fantastic main characters. Addie is a bit more impulsive and brash while Eva is the only that thinks things through and can handle tough situations with logic and quick thinking. Addie is the dominant soul and thus she is in control while Eva resides in the recesses of their mind. I really love how their relationship is presented. How they still have fights and ignore each other like real siblings and how it’s a lot harder and more hurtful to put that distance between them. It’s an extremely close and extremely vulnerable relationship. I also really liked Hally/Lissa and Devon/Ryan, brothers and sisters who are also hiding their dual nature and become lifelines for Addie/Eva.

 

I really loved that this book wasn’t just about some messed up world with laws causing people pain but instead about two sisters trying their hardest to survive and take control of their lives. It’s about the closeness they share and the fact that someone wants to rip that away from them without so much as a second thought. I’m really excited to get to the second book, Once We Were, because I’m really hoping that it sheds some light on the rest of the world as well as who these supposed hybrid rebels are. If you’re looking for a dystopian with a twist and centers around personal relationship with some added action then I definitely recommend checking this one out.

Season of the Witch by Mariah Fredericks

Season of the Witch - Mariah Fredericks

Source: Random House Kids – – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation
Publisher: Random House Kids
Series: -
Edition: Hardcover, 256 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Purchase:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 3.5/5

 

Season of the Witch is a really quick read that fits perfectly into the fall season. It’s a book with an interesting premise: A girl who is so fed up with being bullied turns to another girl for help and her answer is witchcraft. It becomes the foundation of their friendship and Toni finds herself wondering if the witchcraft is real.

 

I blazed through this one and really enjoyed how everything played out. It’s a very contemporary novel with a really creepy feel. Toni is a high school junior with whole lot of snark and a huge problem, she’s managed to get on the bad side of Chloe and now she has to deal with bullying. Which takes a nasty turn and I think it shows a bit more realistic way that teens handle it, instead of seeking help with those who have power to stop it they struggle to deal with it or find ways to retaliate when talking doesn’t solve the problem. In this case Toni turns to her best friend’s cousin Cassandra who promises solutions. Cassandra was one creepy chick…she was oddly detached and cold, which might have been an act at times but it’s really obvious she has some deep seeded issues. To be honest I wasn’t entirely sure why Toni kept seeking her out, other than desperation and maybe that really was on the only reason. However I don’t think I would have stuck around as long even with the supposed victories they were having. Then there is Ella who is bubbly and loves gossip, but doesn’t really have a mean bone in her body. I really liked her even though she talked way too much about other people, but I felt like it was more of shield for her because of her low self-confidence.

 

I really loved that this was more about the emotional toll that other people can cause on others, and not the witchcraft. Though that was certainly a focal point. It deals with real emotions and just how much one person can affect another, and I think it really succeeded in that. It also deals with real issues and that each was handled in a realistic and respectful way.

 

The spooky factor really added a lay of creep to everything as well and while it wasn’t the most unique or out there read it was really easy to fall into the story an get caught up in all that was going on.

Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

Life After Theft - Aprilynne Pike

Life After Theft took me by surprise. I knew coming in that it was a standalone and that i dealt with a ghost with a former stealing problem, so I expected it to be middle of the road. I know it’s unfair to place standalones in that category but that’s usually the way it is for me. However Life After Theft turned out to be a quick, fun and light read that I really found myself enjoying.

 

The plot isn’t complicated though it might seem that way. Jeff finds himself in the odd position of being able to see a ghost no one else can….and she desperately wants his help finishing her earthly business so sh can move one. The only problem is her unfinished business has a lot to do with her kleptomania. This would be the perfect light movie; it’s fun, it has sweet moments, moments of pure tension, and those few moments where it touches on emotional all the while keeping it fresh and interesting.

Jeff is probably the nicest main character I’ve read about in a while. He’s not completely perfect but this kid is pretty flawless when it comes to personalities, though he is a bit quirky and socially inept. He believes in doing what’s right and he genuinely tries to be a goo person.  I really loved the budding relationship with Sera even though the rocky moments and the tension, it’s a really cute relationship and their chemistry works.

 

Kimberlee however is a difficult character. She’s not easy to like because she spends a good deal of the book being stuck up and rude, but that’s kind of the point. The whole idea is redemption and second chances, everyone is entitled to a second chance and this book focuses on that. Jeff, Sera and Kimberlee experience second chances and all three of them walk away with something new.

 

While Life After Theft is not the most mind-blowing or emotionally riveting book I’ve read I really enjoyed it. It was a comfortable book that really broke up the heavy and detailed pace I was setting.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood  - Kendare Blake

Source: SYNC
Publisher: AudioGo and Tor
Series: Anna #1
Edition: Audiobook
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Horror
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4.5/5

 

Anna Dressed in Blood is like a young adult version of Supernatural, which is a show I absolutely adore. For those who watch the show think of this as being similar to the first season of Supernatural, where it was all about the creepy hauntings and just getting the job done.

 

Cas Lowood is a, for lack of better term, smart-ass with a unique job. He kills ghosts and his been on the move with his mom since his father was killed. He doesn’t shy away from the messy parts and he’s not the kind of person you would be proud to take home to mom, he’s a bit rough around the edges but he’s a good guy. He finds that he’s met his match in Anna,  a particularity difficult and dangerous ghost haunting Thunder Bay. She’s brutal. I loved her character and I loved finding out about her life, which was an incredibly sad and tough story.  Thomas is definitely the info guy in this situation. He isn’t quite cut out for the actual work but I loved that he was willing to help Cas out as much as he could even when it put him in danger.

 

I listened the audiobook and I really think some of the story benefited from having it read to me. The horror aspects probably wouldn’t have been as vivid to me if I had read it on my own, but having a guy read it to me in a creepy voice really made the difference. In fact it was perfect timing that a family of squirrels moved into my attic the day I finished this….so I was terrified to sleep because I had no clue what was moving around above me. I also think the relationship between Cas and Ann benefited from the reading. I wasn’t a fan of the direction it went in and I have a feeling that if I read it myself I would have gotten irritated with it, however listening to it didn’t really allow me to harp on it.

 

I’m really curious to see what Girl of Nightmares offers and how Cas deals with his new and deadly mission to find Anna again.

 

 

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang

Level Up - Gene Luen Yang, Thien Pham

Source: Library
Publisher: First Second
Series: -
Edition: Hardcover, 160 Pages
Genre: Coming of Age
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

 

Level Up is a quirky, fun, and emotional graphic novel by one of my favorite graphic novel authors. This is a coming of age story focused around Dennis, a college student dealing with his father’s death and his video game addiction.

 

I really liked the set up and style of this one. It’s kind of laid back and really delves into the problems a lot of college students have…distractions. In college everything can be a distraction; gaming, friends, family, stress. So in that aspect the book is very easy to relate to. It also has a surprising touch of emotion as Dennis slowly comes to terms with the death of his father as well as the path his father wanted him to pursue. Of course he doesn’t go through all of this without help and there enters the four greeting card angels and their good intentions…that turn into bossy suffocation.

 

I love watching Dennis learn and grow as a person and as a student, and I love that not everything with his father was a cut and dry as he thought it was. It a touching coming of age story that can really be enjoyed by everyone especially those in college or about to enter it.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda - Tom Angleberger

Source: Purchased
Publisher: Amulet Books
Series: Origami Yoda #1
Edition: Hardcover, 145 Pages
Genre: Middle Grade Humor
Purchase:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

 

In my quest to  add more middle grade review the blog I immediately settled on this series and didn’t hesitate to grab this one I had the chance. I love Star Wars and I love it even more when it’s marketed towards kids, geeks shall inherit the earth, so it was a no-brainer that at some point I’d grab this.

 

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is book filled with ‘case files’ about a group of sixth graders’ exprience with the Origami Yoda (and Dwight) and how it either helped them or harmed them. It’s a goofy tale that is incredibly fun to read but also has some great lessons about friendship and acceptance in it, and it even includes several problems I remember having in middle school.

 

Each incident is told by the person it happened to and is accompanied by doodles, some of which I adored. I loved the whole idea and just how caught up the kids are in Origami Yoda, it’s cute but it also bares some resemblance to the crazy stuff my classmates subscribed to. One of the best things about this one is that there is character growth for each character involved, despite it being such a short novel. The kids really gain some confidence and learn more about each other and themselves.

 

I recommend this to children and adults alike! It’s a short fun read, and it really seems like a great book to share with the family. Also it teaches you how to make a simple origami Yoda at the end! Who wouldn’t want to learn that?

Vortex by S.J. Kincaid

Vortex - S.J. Kincaid

Source: Won from EpicReads
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Insignia #2
Edition: Hardcover, 390 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4.5/5

 

Insignia was one of my favorite reads for the year so I was super excited to read Vortex when I won it…of course life and review books happen so it kept getting pushed back. Until I recommend Insignia to my boyfriend and he blazed through it and forced begged me to read Vortex with him. I want to touch on the fact that my boyfriend doesn’t like reading…in fact if he reads 1 book in a year it’s something worth noting, so the fact that he’s read both of these books back to back says something about it. It’s just that good.

 

I have no clue where to even start with Vortex, because it’s one those books where I just want to squeal and thrust the book at your face until you decide to read it…just to shut me up. Vortex is just as much fun as Insignia was, in fact it may be more fun. We get to see more of the Spire and more of the awesome technology everyone has access to, and we get to see more simulated battles…which I think might be my favorite techy aspect. Just the thought of being able to pop into a simulated situation and ‘live’ it like it’s truly real makes me want to tell scientists they need to hurry up. Of course there are downsides to technology and while we got to see some of it in Insignia we really get to see it in Vortex. We also get to see more of the Camolet Company combatants at work and we are introduced to a whole new host of people.

 

Tom is just as stubborn, reckless, and hilarious as before but I’m happy to say he experiences a lot of growth in this one. Tom is the kind of character that gives you a headache because you get hitting your forehead over the stupid stuff he says and does. I can’t even remember how many times I yelled, “Tom just shut up!” Needless to say he ‘kind of’ learned to shut up before I gave myself a concussion. Vik, Wyatt, and Yuri are also back! These four go through some tough situations together and I really love the strength of their friendships, even with all the name calling and crazy problems. Then there is Medusa. God I love this girl! She’s such a tough character with a vulnerablity that she tries to hid underneath all of that cool badassery. We do get to learn a bit more about her and even with her flaws displayed she never becomes a puddle of goo.

 

There is just so much I want to tell you guys about, but there would be so many spoilers that the review would be pointless. Needless to say I’ll be buying the third book when it comes out, even though we have quite the wait. If you haven’t read Insignia and you enjoy sci-fi books with awesome tech then I really recommend it!

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy

The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey

Source: Purchased on Amazon
Publisher: Blue Moon Creative
Series: The 5th Wave #1
Edition: Hardcover, 457 pages
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi, Post Apocolyptic
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 5/5

 

The 5th Wave turned out to be one of those rare reads where I was so absorbed and so in love with that I wanted to remember everything. By the time I finished the book I had a ton of quotes written down and I kept flipping back through re-reading sections.

 

This is a book that follows Cassie, Evan and a few others, whom I will not mention, on their way to find safety, family, and revenge. I was a bit a surprised to see that this had multiple points of view and even though I wasn’t initially sure I was going to enjoy that aspect it turned out to be something I really loved. I would finish one section dying to know more and then move on to the next section with the same feelings. If I had to use one word to describe my overall reaction to everything it would be paranoia. I can’t even remember the amount of times I marked someone down as evil and then changed it to good…only to go back to thinking they were evil. Cassie doesn’t know, the other characters give you some insight on a few things but even with that you’re not entirely sure until the fact is given to you. That was something that added to the experience, I felt the tension and the distrust. This takes the whole black and white morality and paints everything grey.

 

Cassie was definitely my favorite narrator. She’s got the right amount of snark and toughness to make her a realistic survivor for all that’s occurred on Earth. She’s not some ultimate survival machine, she cries and panics…and at times her mental strength just collapses but she keeps going because of a promise she’s made.  Cassie is a character you want to win. Not to mention she has a brain and actually uses it. I love the way the povs weave around each other making connections and adding to that feeling of tension.

 

This is a book I think I could easily recommend to Young Adult and Adult readers alike. It definitely seems to have the best of both of those genres and I can see plenty of people being able to sit down and fall into this story without any issue.

The New Avengers Vol 1: Breakout

The New Avengers, Vol. 1: Breakout - Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch, Danny Miki

thesaturdayissue

 

Source: Purchased
Publisher: Marvel
Series: The New Avengers #1
Edition: Paperback, 160 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel
Purchase: Amazon*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

 

So with the conclusion of Avengers Disassembled (Review here) and House of M (Review here), I was really curious to see how things picked up for the motley team.

 

It starts out with a mass riot/breakout at the Raft,  a supervillian prison, caused by Electro. Our heroes are once again forced together as they all respond to the danger. I think overall it’s a pretty interesting team set up: Spiderman, Ironman, Captain America, Luke Cage, Spiderwoman, and…Wolverine. Who I think will probably be grumpy and not actually be ‘on the team’ just with the team.

 

There were some dull moments in this one but I think Spiderman and his humor saved it from bringing the story down too much. It just nice to have a ‘normal’ guy on the team who is more than willing to point out just how ridiculous or confusing something is. The artwork is great though I did get irritated when I saw the same panels used more than once.

 

I’m kind of curious to see how well the team dynamic works out in a more controlled setting and see who butts heads with each other. So far I really like it, but there is definitely the promise of some drama building.

Crash by Lisa McMann

Crash - Lisa McMann

Source: Pulse It
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: Vision #1
Edition: eBook, 233 pages
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 3.5/5

 

Crash is not really the kind of book I seek out, it’s one of those oddly contemporary paranormal that I tend to have trouble with. However I really enjoyed the way Crash played out and it turned out to be a nice read for a weekend.

 

Jules is having visions of a crash. She sees it everywhere and it begins to consume everything. Only she sees the horrible event and the fact that she has to figure it out by herself makes things even more stressful, add that to the fact that the crash happens at a rival restaurant and Jules can barely think about anything else.

 

Jules is a funny and level-headed, and she has real problems. Her family is under a ton of stress with the restaurant and the hidden mental illness that threatens to tear them up. I was surprised to see mental illness portrayed in a very serious way as it’s not something I typically find in YA, though I can say now that I’ve read a few since this one. I really liked that I spent a good bit of time toward the beginning wondering if Jules was going down a similar road as her father or not. One of the best things about this book it reads like a contemporary and only hints at the paranormal. Another fantastic point is that her family is completely present for the story! You heard me right, there are no invisible parents in this book. I love that the story affects her relationships at home and that they affect her. Trey was such an awesome brother, he’s funny and supportive and has such a great dynamic with both of his sisters.

 

I also really enjoyed the relationship between Jules and Sawyer Angotti. Childhood friends split apart because of a very heated family rivalry, it’s sort of very Romeo & Juliet…though it’s definitely not as obsessive, quick, or depressing. It’s clear that Jules cares of Sawyer and that there is a lot going on in both families that is keeping them for being around each other like they use to be. I had a bit of an issue with Sawyer’s depth though, at times he felt a bit flat and though I could tell he was a sweet guy with some darkness in his life I didn’t really know him. We don’t get to spend very much time with him to actually see if there is still a connection between the two, even on a friendship level.

 

I loved the slow build up of the story with the vision and how we get to know more about the families that would be affected by the crash in Jules’ vision. Thought there were times when I was more interested in the families than the vision itself. The second half of the book is set at a faster pace and it really got my heart pumping the closer it got to the day the vision was set to happen. The ending was completely unexpected as well and I was surprised to see a set up for a second novel. I can’t wait to see what happens in book two!

Unspoken by Kerrigan Byrne

Unspoken (Heroes of the Highlands #1) (The MacLauchlans) - Kerrigan Byrne

Minireadreview

Mini-Read Review is a feature created here on In Libris Veritas in order to showcase the reviews for short stories and novellas which so often get over looked. Today I haveUnspoken.

 

Source: Purchased from Amazon
Publisher: Ardent Publishing
Series: Highland Historical #1
Edition: Ebook, 62 pages
Genre: Historical Romance Novella
Purchase: Amazon*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 3.5/5

 

May not be suitable for those under 18 years of age includes: sexual content.

 

Holy smokes I love me a highlander…In Unspoken we follow a English barmaid who has taken refuge in Scotland during a time of clan war. She’s quiet and thanks to her ability to see the future she keeps herself at a distance. That all changes when the silent Berserker named Roderick enters the bar and the war. He becomes her protector and they both find themselves wanting more. There isn’t a ton of depth to this but I loved the unique nature of their relationship and how sweet it is. I’m always a fan of highland themed novels and I particularly liked the berserker aspect because it isn’t something I’ve run into very often. I’m definitely going to be reading the next book in this series which deals with Roderick’s brother, where I hope to learn a bit more about Eve and Roderick as well.