October 31, 2014

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Title: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)
Author: Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: October 14th 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC

Rating: 4/5

Buy onAmazon | B&N | BookDepository
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Sara Raasch’s debut fantasy is a lightning-fast tale of loyalty, love, and finding one’s destiny.

This book had been on my list of most anticipated books, I couldn´t wait to read it, primarily because the synopsis sounds great and because it is a epic fantasy book.
The world Primoria has 8 kingdoms, four known as the seasons or Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring these kingdoms retain the station according to their name all the time, ie. the Kingdom of Winter is always winter and snowy; and so according to their name/season, the other four kingdoms have different seasons and they pass or switch throw stations/season as is suppose to be. The world in which the story unfolds is complex and because I read it on my kindle, I struggled to locate or remember the other realms that are not seasons, so I recommend you read in physical book, if you want to be checking the map that comes at the beginning.

Sixteen years before the story begins the Kingdom of Spring declared war to the Kingdom of Winter and won; so only 25 winterians escaped, living as exiles/refugees and trying to regain the magic amulet that was taken from their Queen when she was murdered, among the refugees is the main character Meira, a 16 year old girl, that has been on the run since she was a baby and doesn´t know her country. From the once 25 refugees now only survive a few of them along with her, her best friend Mather, he´s the prince of Winter, an she has a crush on him but for the reason that he´s the future king, they had been told that they can not be more than friends.

Meira wishes to be an active member and help in the pursuit of the amulet (even though their leader does not want to involve her in such missions, because he doesn´t believe that she´s ready for the task) and the rescue of Winter prisoners living in the kingdom of Spring as slaves; something that I love about her character is that her weapon is a chakram, something I didn´t know about before I read the book but after some research I found out that is the object that appears on the cover.

Something I always dread in a book is the love triangle (because most of the time I end up rooting for the other one) and Snow Like Ashes it has a love triangle. On one hand we have Mather, the Winter prince and Meira´s best friend and her crush since forever, even though she knows she can not get anywhere because he´s royalty and she's just an orphan, so they could never end up been a couple. And there is Theron, another prince, he´s very cute, a nice person (totally swoon worthy), that wants to be something more or different that he already is (like Meira), he has artistic aspirations and is a god fighter. I liked both Theron and Mather, so I just have to wait to see what will happen in the following books.

Overall, I really liked this book, the world building is very interesting, very well written, with likable characters, with enough action, with a very interesting twist and a good ending. I´ll definitely read the subsequent books.

October 30, 2014

Review: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Title: Falling into Place
Author: Amy Zhang
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release date: September 9th 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC

Rating: 2.5/5

Buy onAmazon | B&N | BookDepository
On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

Falling into Place is one of my most anticipated books to read this year, because it was advertised for fans of Gayle Forman and I love the If I Stay duology, is one of my favorites and I feel that perhaps my expectations were so high due to this and this story fell short for me, it wasn´t what I was expecting (maybe that has a lot to do with my disappointment with this book).

This time I'm with the minority, but I could not really click with the story, I didn´t like the characters (especially Liz), and it felt disjointed the narrative due of so much jumping back and forth on the timeline (it didn´t work for me this time so much jump in the timeline and different POVs), I feel that that made ​​it difficult to delve into the story of Liz Emerson and even the question of whom was the mysterious narrator didn´t kept my attention on the plot.

Liz is a young woman that decides she no longer wants to live, so she plans her suicide to look like an accident, she lives with her mother that´s always absent, Liz suffers from depression, she has bulimia and alcohol problems, but on her exterior she´s the most popular girl at school, has great friends, the "perfect" boyfriend and life, she´s the typical mean girl, she likes to make fun of the less popular, makes pranks, crushes those that bother her and persuades her friends Kennie and Julia to do what she wants, so it also ends up affecting their lives.

The story jumps between the present and the past from several points of view, which skips between moments of Liz and those around her; and what were the motives led her to commit suicide, taking as its starting point her car "accident".

I hoped it was a very emotional read, but it was not the case (at least for me) and even some touching moments, felt disjointed because I didn´t connect with the story, or with Liz and I could not enjoy it.
Definitely this book was not for me.

October 29, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (145): The Fill-In Boyfriend

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The book I´m waiting this week is

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Release date: May 5th 2015
When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Why I'm Waiting?
I´ve read and loved On the Fence and Pivot Point by this author and I would like to read more of her books (I already own but I haven´t read The Distance Between Us).

What book are you waiting this week?

Leave your WOW links

Don´t forget to enter my current giveaway:
October New Release Giveaway Hop (INTL) - HERE

October 28, 2014

Review: Blackbird by Anna Carey

Title: Blackbird (Blackbird Duology #1)
Author: Anna Carey 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: September 16th 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC

Rating: 3/5

Buy onAmazon | B&N | BookDepository
This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.

Blackbird is a book that was waiting to read since I read the synopsis, because I am intrigued by stories dealing with memory loss and the mystery around it trying to out whom she really is.

The story starts when a girl wakes up in the subway tracks and the train car approaching her and she has to make a quick decision and somehow she survives and is rescued, when questioned, she realizes that she has no memory, doesn´t remember anything about herself and when searching through the backpack beside her, she finds some instructions to follow, so without knowing she ends up being chased by both the police and from unknown people trying to kill her ... but she has not the slightest idea of ​​what is going on, she finds help with a boy that she meets that first day, meanwhile  she tries to figure out what's going on with her and who she really is.

Sunny (is the name she adopts) is a girl who knows nothing about her past, but she's smart, knows how to blend, is observant and is slowly discovering new things about her. Her situation reminded me a bit of Jason Bourne (first movie, I haven´t read the books).

The story is told in second person (using "You"), something that annoyed me most of the time and it wasn´t easy to get used to this form of narration,

Blackbird is the first book of this duology, is a story about a girl with amnesia that is wanted by the police and pursued by people who want her dead, so it has enough action, chases, mystery, intrigue, suspense and a rather unexpected turn (I didn´t see it coming), has a good ending that leaves you hooked for the next book. My only "but" is the narrative in second person, but I sort of enjoyed it.

October 22, 2014

Review: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Title: In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink #2)
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: September 23rd 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC

Rating: 3/5

Buy onAmazon | B&N | BookDepository

You can read my review of Not a Drop to Drink - here
The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.

In a Handful of Dust begins about ten years after the events of the first book, and we see a sixteen years old Lucy and twenty-six years old Lynn facing a new threat to their peaceful life, as their community gets a disease which they weren´t prepared and for some event, Lynn and Lucy are forced to leave their home and family for the first time in their life, with the intention of going to California in search of a town where there is supposedly a desalinization plant and the town has clean water.

So this book is mostly about the journey they undertake from Ohio with the intention of going to California and all obstacles that they get on the way, the people they meet, the places they know and what they need to do to survive in the world in which they lived and the Lucy´s dreams of something different, of something more.

This book is told from the point of view of Lucy, now a teenager, she has been sheltered and to some extent have had an easy life since she came to live with Lynn ten years ago, she´s kind and has no malice and she doesn´t know how the world is outside of her community, which is a dangerous and bigger than she thought it would. She´s totally dependent of Lynn, she need her protection, need her to feed her and to get her water for most of the trip. Lynn meanwhile is a hard, strong, intelligent woman, she distrusts everyone, is willing to do anything to gets her "daughter" Lucy to California healthy and in one piece.

What I liked about the story is that we get to see Lynn (she was the main character of the first book) and how her life has been in the last ten years and despite living a quiet life so far, she remains tough, showing only her good side to her people and isn´t afraid to use violence when the situation needs it ... she still a good heroine (with her flaws, but very good).

What I didn´t like was that in parts of the trip felt monotonous and like nothing was happening. Besides there is a part in the story that I could not believe the way Lucy react toward Lynn, I felt it a bit excessive.

And what can I say about the ending ... like the previous book is not a completely happy ending, but full of hope for a better future. Overall I enjoyed In a Handful of Dust but I didn´t love it.

Waiting On Wednesday (144): Crimson Bound

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The book I´m waiting this week is

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Release date: May 5th 2015
When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

(This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe).

Why I'm Waiting?
Because I enjoyed Cruel Beauty, like retellings and the story sounds interesting.

What book are you waiting this week?

Leave your WOW links

Don´t forget to enter my current giveaway:
October New Release Giveaway Hop (INTL) - HERE

October 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (50): New Series I Want To Start

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created bThe Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten New Series I Want To Start
(New..let's say within the last year or two)
(in no particular order)
The Grisha trilogy by  Leigh Bardugo
I already own the first two books of this trilogy, so I might read it soon-ish.

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey 
I own the first book, but I haven´t read it yet.

The Lynburn Legacy trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan 
I´ve read some great reviews of this trilogy, but I don´t own any of them.

The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
I´ve read some reviews of this book and I just order the first one.

 The Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins
I just found out that this trilogy is going to have at least one more book - Sweet Temptation.

The Dispossessed by Page Morgan
I recently bought the first book but I haven´t received it yet.

Penryn & the End of Days series by Susan Ee 
I own both books but I haven´t read it yet.

Cainsville series by Kelley Armstrong
I own the first book in the series but I haven´t read it yet.

 Jessica McClain series by Amanda Carlson
I need to read Full Blooded soon, it had been on my TBR for a while.

The Others series by Anne Bishop 
I recently discovered this series, it has great reviews on goodreads and the story sounds really really good.

Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima 
I own the four books, so I just need time to read this series.

Have you read some of these series? Which one do you recommend me?
What new series you want to start soon-ish?

Leave me your link in the comments.

Don´t forget to enter my current giveaway:
October New Release Giveaway Hop (INTL) - HERE

October 20, 2014

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey.
Each week we spotlight the books we are reading, planning on reading or just finished reading.

Click on the image to look description in Goodreads.

Finished reading

Currently reading

What I´m going to read next?

What are you reading today? 
Leave me your links!

Have a great week!

Don´t forget to enter my current giveaway:
October New Release Giveaway Hop (INTL) - HERE

October 16, 2014

Review: Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

Title: Love and Other Unknown Variables
Author: Shannon Lee Alexander
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Release date: October 7th 2014
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC

Rating: 3.5/5

Buy onAmazon | B&N | BookDepository
Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck.

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy at the donut shop—until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. But, in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy.

By the time he learns she's ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second squared).

Although Love and Other Unknown Variables wasn´t what I expected, I enjoyed it and what I liked the most was the main character - Charlie mainly because he reminded me of Sheldon Cooper mixed a bit with Leonard (The Big Bang Theory - TV series).

Charlie is a senior at Brighton school math and science, which is a school for very smart kids and he´s is among the top in his class. He´s very intelligent and his specialty is mathematics, so when he´s bored he spends doing mental exercises or counting things, he´s very literal, direct and not very good with sarcasm and lack of social skills except for his best friend Greta and her boyfriend James with whom he spends most of the time. He has his whole future planned, that is until he meets Charlotte.

Charlotte meanwhile is Charlie´s sister best friend, new in town and attends another high school and becomes very interested in Charlie when she discovers that he attends the same school where her sister teaches English, a class not very popular in Brighton and where students usually make pranks to the teacher, that´s why she ask for Charlies help because she wants her big sister - Ms Finch distracted and not always aware of everything she does, Charlie decides help her and do the pranks, just to help her but this gets him in some trouble.

The story is told from the point of view of Charlie, so we're always inside of his head and see the attraction he feels towards Charlotte, but I never felt the attraction of her to him, I felt more like acquaintances-friends, than a romance.

When its revealed that Charlotte is ill, I felt bad for her, but I didn´t connect with her. What I enjoyed most of the story, it was Charlie's friendship with Greta and James, their interactions at school and some of the jokes/pranks and I liked the character of James and it amused me to be in Charlie's head.

October 15, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (143): An Ember in the Ashes

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The book I´m waiting this week is

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir 
Release date: April 28th 2015
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier— and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Vow your blood and body to the empire.
Keep your heart for yourself.

What book are you waiting this week?
Leave your WOW links

Don´t forget to enter my current giveaway:
October New Release Giveaway Hop (INTL) - HERE