MARY: The Summoning

17661402Title: MARY: The Summoning

Author: Hillary Monahan
Series: Bloody Mary #1
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Summary

There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY.” A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though–at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary–and Jess–before it’s too late? (Source)


Review
Plot: This book’s plot isn’t anything original. It is about a group of teenage girls who summon Bloody Mary in a ritual. They do it once and it’s a rush of fear and excitement. But then they try again, and everything goes wrong. Mary escapes and starts to hunt them all down. The rest of the book is the girls trying to figure out how to get rid of Mary, while also trying to survive.
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Characters: The girls were probably the worst part of this book. Maybe if I had read this when I was younger, I would have enjoyed it more. But the characters were all really selfish, fearful, whiny teenage girls. They would argue about things like boys and friendship drama while an actual bloodthirsty ghost was chasing them down. Just a little immature for me.
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Cover: The cover is creepy, but not overly so. I, personally, am terrified of Bloody Mary. So I feel like they could’ve made the cover even creepier to look at. This cover didn’t particularly terrify me, but it was fitting.
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Closing Thoughts: After reading Penpal, I decided to try out another creepy book. I have been terrified of Bloody Mary since I was a child, so I thought this book would definitely get me. What was funny was that while the characters were annoying, the plot was actually incredibly scary to me. Basically, Bloody Mary could get you from any reflective surface. This meant water, glass, mirrors, reflections in doorknobs, you name it. It had me checking my surroundings and realizing just how many places she could jump out at me. I found the writing to be very thrilling and suspenseful. Even thought this isn’t the best book I’ve read (pretty low rated if I was going to rate it) I think it did the job that I wanted it to do. I wanted to read a creepy book, and this definitely got me. I don’t think I’ll be reading the second book in the series, but I think this is a fun book to read around Halloween.

Where to find Hillary Monahan:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

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Penpal

14578407Title: Penpal

Author: Dathan Auerbach
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback
Release Date: June 2012
Genres: Horror, Fiction, Thriller

Summary

Penpal began as a series of short and interconnected stories posted on an online horror forum. Before long, it was adapted into illustrations, audio recordings, and short films; and that was before it was revised and expanded into a novel!

How much do you remember about your childhood?

In Penpal, a man investigates the seemingly unrelated bizarre, tragic, and horrific occurrences of his childhood in an attempt to finally understand them. Beginning with only fragments of his earliest years, you’ll follow the narrator as he discovers that these strange and horrible events are actually part of a single terrifying story that has shaped the entirety of his life and the lives of those around him. If you’ve ever stayed in the woods just a little too long after dark, if you’ve ever had the feeling that someone or something was trying to hurt you, if you remember the first friend you ever made and how strong that bond was, then Penpal is a story that you won’t soon forget, despite how you might try. (Source)


Review
Plot: This book is a little different from my usual reviews. My boyfriend recommended this to me because he knows I like creepy pasta (which is scary stories I read on Reddit). Penpal started as a creepy pasta on Reddit that was told in a series of posts. It then got turned into this book by Auerbach. It is about a boy who is being stalked by someone. Is it a ghost? A monster? Or just a regular person? This book keeps you on your toes about what exactly is happening to this boy. The narration jumps around in time throughout his childhood, showing snapshots of his life.
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Characters: There aren’t really characters per say in this novel because of the nature of the writing. However, I will touch on the fact that this story feels very personal to the author. I think the idea is that when he wrote it, he wrote it as if it was a real thing that had happened to him. Throughout reading it, it felt like something that the author really had been in. You can feel the terror, confusion, and trauma in the storytelling.
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Cover: The cover isn’t anything special. But for some reason, it makes it even more creepy to me.
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Closing Thoughts: My main problem with this book is that it is not well written. Probably because it started as social media posts, it isn’t written like a novel. There are a lot of errors and issues with the story that make it confusing and hard to read. I think Auerbach would have benefited going through a few more proofreads and drafts. Maybe even re-writing portions of it. However, I did find this story very creepy and reading it with the mindset of a creepy pasta let me look at it through a different lens. I’m not sure I’d necessarily recommend this book. It’s one I think you could do without reading. But if you are a fan of creepy stories or like creepy pastas, this might be a fun and quick read for you.

Where to find Dathan Auerbach:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

This Savage Song

23299512Title: This Savage Song

Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Summary

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. (Source)


Review
Plot: This book is told in the point of view of two contrasting characters: Kate, a human, and August, a monster. The story follows to somewhat separated plots. Kate is trying to prove to her father that she is tough a ruthless like he is. She doesn’t want to keep getting sent away to different boarding schools, but to help her father rule the city of Verity. She moves back into town and starts going to school and begins to “rule” the school. August, on the other hand, is sent on a mission to watch Kate and see what she is up to. He doesn’t really want any part in his family’s war, he just wants a normal life where he can go to school and make friends. It’s hard to draw out a concrete plot. It didn’t seem to follow a specific story line, more just learning about the characters and the world they live in.
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Characters: Kate is one of those tough-as-nails girls who just doesn’t give a fuck. Her drive comes entirely from wanting to impress/be better than her father. (It kind of reminds me of Zuko’s quest for honor in The Last Airbender). I really just found her kind of annoying and try-hard.
August I liked a lot more. I felt like his character was really deep. He was a monster who didn’t want to hurt others, who just wanted a normal life. I also found the use of music and his violin really beautiful. It made his character so much more gothic and gave it a terrifying beauty. I found myself skimming Kate’s sections, but genuinely enjoying August’s. I wonder if I would have enjoyed the book more if it was only in August’s point of view.
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Cover: I do really love this cover. I actually thought this book had a completely different plot just because I got this cover confused with another book. I bought this book in part because I loved this cover and also because I had heard great things about it.
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Closing Thoughts: I know I am completely in the minority when I say I just am not as hyped about Schwab as the rest of the YA community. I DNF’d A Darker Shade of Magic a few years ago because it just didn’t capture my interest. This book I did enjoy, but it wasn’t anything special. I think I might read the second book, but only to finish the story. I didn’t rush to get the next one and I think I’ll wait a while and read some of the books I own before buying that one. If you’re a fan of Schwab, I’m sure you’ll like this book. If others out there are like me and aren’t huge fans, I would say it’s a quick read, but nothing special.

Where to find Victoria Schwab:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

Renegades

28421168Title: Renegades

Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Renegades #1
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Summary

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both. (Source)


Review
Plot: The book is essentially about the struggle between the Renegades (superheroes) and the Anarchists (villains). What I like about this book is that is is told by the perspective of two characters: Nova (an Anarchist) and Adrian (a Renegade). Throughout the book, you aren’t really rooting for one side or another. You can kind of see where both sides are coming from and they both have their flaws. The basic plot is that Nova decides to go undercover as a Renegade, pretending to be Insomnia, rather than Nightmare. My only problem with this plot is it seems a little ridiculous that no one picks up on the fact that she is Nightmare. Her Renegade power is that she never sleeps, her Anarchist power is that she puts others to sleep. There is just a lot of ignorance going on that seems somewhat farfetched.
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Characters: Nova is a really interesting character, but I wasn’t totally on her side. She hates all Renegades because of something that happened when she was a child. To me, throughout the book, it doesn’t really seem like a good enough reason. She doesn’t seem like she belongs in the Anarchists and I just kept getting frustrated with her goals. Maybe they’ll become more clear in book two.
Adrian is just a great guy. He’s kind of a classic male hero character, but I still love him. I think his power is incredibly unique and I feel like the options are endless with where he could take that power. I am hoping to see his character also get fleshed out a little more in book two, maybe being more than just a cute male hero.
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Cover: I am such a big fan of Meyer’s other covers, that I was a little thrown off by how different this one was. To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of it. I don’t know what about it I don’t like… it just didn’t make me more excited. However, after reading this book, I think it fits perfectly. It’s like that line between comic book and novel and shows the two sides of our main characters.
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Closing Thoughts: As you all may know, Marissa Meyer is one of my favorite authors. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite book series of all times. I even highly enjoyed Heartless, her other standalone novel. This book was a challenge for me. It wasn’t bad, it was just incredibly slow. I enjoyed it, but there was no drive to keep me reading. I think the problem was that Meyer front loaded this story with a ton of backstory, plot, characters, etc. to introduce us to this new world she’s built. And it’s fascinating and so cool! I love superheroes, so when I heard the premise of this novel, I was so incredibly excited! But the pacing was really weird. It wasn’t a page turner, and I didn’t get wrapped in until the last… 1/4 of the book I would say. Maybe more than that, but it was definitely more than halfway through. I loved the characters, I loved the premise, the writing was great… so why was it so hard to get through? I think it has to do with this being such a long and dense book that it wasn’t a book I could speed through. I got this book as a Christmas present and just barely finished it at the beginning of Spring Break. I’ve been reading it pretty consistently, with breaks to read school books. I reccomend it to people looking for something a little bit different or fans of Marissa Meyer. I loved the superhero premise. Even though Marvel is popular right now, I haven’t really seen it in the YA world too much. Where this book ended, I am incredibly interested in the second book and I think it will be much more exciting.

Where to find Victoria Aveyard:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

April Releases

bba18-bookreleases

April 3:

34942737

Constellation #2

An outcast from her home — Shunned after a trip through the galaxy with Abel, the most advanced cybernetic man ever created, Noemi Vidal dreams of traveling through the stars one more time. And when a deadly plague arrives on Genesis, Noemi gets her chance. As the only soldier to have ever left the planet, it will be up to her to save its people…if only she wasn’t flying straight into a trap.

A fugitive from his fate — On the run to avoid his depraved creator’s clutches, Abel believes he’s said good-bye to Noemi for the last time. After all, the entire universe stands between them…or so he thinks. When word reaches him of Noemi’s capture by the very person he’s trying to escape, Abel knows he must go to her, no matter the cost.

But capturing Noemi was only part of Burton Mansfield’s master plan. In a race against time, Abel and Noemi will come together once more to discover a secret that could save the known worlds, or destroy them all.

In this thrilling and romantic sequel to Defy the Stars, bestselling author Claudia Gray asks us all to consider where–and with whom–we truly belong. (Source)

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36206546The Lumberjanes short stories collected for the first time in paperback!

Join April, Jo, Mal, Molly and Ripley as they explore their all-girls camp. From ghost ponies to strange plants, these Lumberjanes are ready to take on anything that comes their way as long as they have each other.

With stories written by Eisner Award-winner Faith Erin Hicks, and New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, these adventures are definitely something you don’t want to miss. Collecting all the Lumberjanes one-shots for the first time, Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks has a star studded cast of talent that is just too good to pass up!

Featuring Faith Erin Hicks (Nameless City, Friends with Boys), Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me), Jen Wang (In Real Life, Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake: Card Wars), Christine Norrie (Hopeless Savages), Kelly Thompson (Jem & The Holograms, Hawkeye), and Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles). (Source)

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April 5:

36985529

Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there’s no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn’t a victim; he was a shooter.

Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don’t heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and also his best friend – Skye.

Jesse and Skye are haunted by the unanswered questions of that terrible day. But the more they hunt for the truth of what really happened, the closer they get to a new killer. (Source)

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April 17:

35883428

Alex & Eliza #2

1780. Albany, New York.

As the war for American Independence carries on, two newlyweds are settling into their new adventure: marriage. But the honeymoon’s over, and Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler are learning firsthand just how tricky wedded life can be. Alex is still General George Washington’s right-hand man and his attention these days is nothing if not divided–much like the colonies’ interests as the end of the Revolution draws near. Alex & Eliza’s relationship is tested further by lingering jealousies and family drama. (Source)

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Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

King’s Cage

30227022Title: King’s Cage

Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #3
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Summary

When the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.  (Source)


Review
Plot: This book starts off completely different than the other books. Mare has turned herself in to Maven in order to save her friends. Maven spins lies about capturing the leader of the Scarlet Guard (which she technically isn’t) and loves to rub Mare’s capture in everyone’s face. However, it is clear that he keeps Mare because there is some part of him that loves/desires her. While in captivity, she is tortured, berated, and hurt for information.
The other half of the book is narrated by a character we met before named Cameron. She is still with the Scarlet Guard as they try to figure out their next moves, how to save Mare, and what is going on with Maven.
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Characters: There are almost too many characters to keep track of in this book. Plus, I’m not usually a fan of multiple narrators (aside from Marissa Meyer’s books). If possible, I like Cameron less than Mare. I dislike Cal, and most of the Scarlet Guard. Weirdly, my favorite character in the series is Maven and he’s a psychopathic prince. I might like him because he’s the most interesting and seems to have the most character development. But overall, the characters didn’t really get better in this book.
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Cover: I’m not sure why, but this is my least favorite cover in this series. It could be that the blue background makes it look less crisp than the others. It could also be that the design of the crown isn’t as nice. Of course, it fits the theme and I do like it. But I feel like with the title “King’s Cage” it should be more severe looking.
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Closing Thoughts: In a single sentence… better, but not amazing. This book is definitely better than the second. I don’t know why, but I really liked the scenes where Mare was trapped in Maven’s cage. It did, perhaps, go on a little too long. Especially since there wasn’t much she could do while she was trapped. She tried to fix this by giving Cameron’s side of the story, but I found that side boring. I kept trying to speed-read to get back to Mare’s point of view. But I loved the character development between her and Maven. I found this one less boring and more interesting than the second. My hope is that Aveyard ends the series with a bang as this last book comes out this year. I’m still planning on reading it, but I have no idea if it will be worth the wait.

Where to find Victoria Aveyard:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

Darkness Rising Trilogy

 

Darkness Rising Trilogy

Title: The Gathering, The Calling, The Rising

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkness Rising
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Paranormal
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Hello everyone! This is the second part to my review of the Summoning trilogy by Kelley Armstrong. This series, Darkness Rising, is a follow up to that trilogy. It takes place in the same universe, but in Canada with a different group of teenagers. Just as I reread the other series, I reread this one as well to see what I thought of it now that I was older.

Summary

Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn’t know much about her background – the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip – but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.

Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town – from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend’s hidden talent for “feeling” out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel…different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya’s biological parents and it’s easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet. (Source)


Then & Now Review
Plot: This books follows a girl named Maya who lives in a small town in Canada. Now, if you haven’t read the other trilogy, you might not think anything of it. But knowing what you know from that series, you know that this town is absolutely not a normal town. Fist of all, the book starts by telling you that Maya’s childhood friend mysteriously drowns one day – even though she is a star swimmer. Then, you find out that the town requires all of it’s children to take extensive yearly exams and blood tests. It’s almost like they are studying, training, and watching this group of extraordinary teens… sound familiar?
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Characters: Just like in the other series, this book has a great cast of characters. I will say, I don’t love them quite as much as I loved Chloe and her friends, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love Maya and her friends as well. Maya is a lot stronger than Chloe, something I admire. She is known to be wild and independent. She practically lives in the woods and can handle herself with the cougars that appear now and again. Daniel is that boy-next-door, best friend type character. I would say he’s a little bland, but he is sweet and friendly. He’s just a nice guy, what can you say? Rafael is the town’s bad boy and no  one really knows much about him. Throughout the series, his character shifts and changes a lot. You never really completely know what’s up with him. Annie, Rafael’s sister, is a really great character. She kind of reminds me of Liz from the first series. She’s basically a child, but in a really endearing way. Samantha is the tomboy of the group. She is tough and closed off and has a quick temper. She really doesn’t like most of the characters. I don’t know… grumpy. But also misunderstood. Corey is the bro-ey comedic effect guy. But for some reason, I almost like him more than Daniel. He comes off as dumb, but he’s really sweet. Hayley is like the Victoria of this group. Perfect, blond, stuck up, snotty. No one really likes her. Nicole… she’s crazy. I don’t want to say too much, but she is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
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Cover: To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of these covers. I don’t really like that it’s just some girl on the cover. The coloring is nice and I do kind of imagine Maya to look like this, but it’s probably just because the cover forces me to. Not a fan. Kind of boring. Can never even remember which one is which.
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Then vs. Now: When I was reading these as a teenager, I didn’t really like them for one lame reason: I was waiting for Chloe and the others to show up. Armstrong and said that at some point in the series, the characters would eventually meet up. But when I kept reading and reading and it didn’t happen, I got bored and wished there was just more of Chloe’s story. At the time, I was way too attached to the original trilogy to really appreciate this second one.
This time, I tried to read this as a completely separate series. I wasn’t just waiting for Chloe to come around. In fact, I tried to block that out completely. I just focused on their story. And guess what? I enjoyed it a lot more. I still don’t like it more than the Darkest Powers trilogy, but I found I enjoyed them a lot more as I gave myself some distance. I think Kelley Armstrong also tried to make the characters a little older so they grew with me, which I found really interesting. Overall, I think this series isn’t in my timeless favorite like the first series. But I think it is a really good addition to the series and a fun way to spend more time in Armstrong’s YA world.
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Where to find Kelley Armstrong:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

Glass Sword

23174274Title: Glass Sword

Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Summary

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul. (Source)


Review
Plot: This plot continues from where the first one left off. After all the chaos that happens with Maven and the Bowl of Bones, Mare runs away to the headquarters of the Scarelt Guard. A lot of this book is about Mare’s time with the Scarlet Guard. Trying to figure out if they’re on her side or if she needs to fight them as well. They clearly do not trust Cal, which makes her an enemy as well. She ends up vouching for Cal so much, that it can end up getting her in trouble.
The rest of this book is basically all the same thing: Mare searching for others like her who can help her fight the war. It is a race between her and Maven to who can get to them first. They begin to create an army with Cal as the commander and Mare as the figurehead.
The only true action scene happens at the end of the novel, when Mare and her army try to go to Maven’s prison to release a bunch of people locked away and being essentially tortured. Lives are lost and people grow apart at the end of this novel.
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Characters: In the first book I really liked Mare. I thought she was a good protagonist who I could relate to. But in this second book, she changed. Maybe that was Aveyard’s point – to show that after all this betrayal and chaos she changes. But in this second book she just annoyed me constantly. It got to the point where I didn’t really care what happened to her.
Maven… is complicated. I don’t know why I’m still routing for him? But I am?
Cal? I’m tired of him. I don’t like him as a love interest, or even a character. I know a lot of people root for him, but honestly he’s just such a bland character to me. He seems to just be there for the sake of a love triangle.
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Cover: The cover might be my favorite part of this book (sadly). These covers are consistently beautiful in this series. I love the crown and the blood. It’s just very fantasy-looking and elegant. Very clearly a fantasy book about a kingdom.
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Closing Thoughts: I wish I could say I liked this book. I really do. But here’s what I think happened: I think Aveyard was going to make this into a trilogy, and then they tried to drag it out into more novels. I think the content was good, but the second book was just so loonnggg and repetitive. For example, they find others like her “newbloods” a bunch of times and the scenes are almost always the same. You don’t need to show her finding every single person. You don’t need this much detail. I think suthors tend to thing “more detail, more world-building, the better.” But this book was just too slow and hard to read. I found myself not really caring what even happened near the end. THis book put me in a huge reading slump because I had a hard time finishing it. Now, that being said, I still have plans to finish the series. I’m interested enough to keep going. But if the others are as bad as this one, I may not make it.

Where to find Victoria Aveyard:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

Milk and Honey

23513349Title: Milk and Honey
Author: Rupi Kaur
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Genres: Poetry, Nonfiction
Trigger warnings: Rape, Abuse

Summary
milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.(Source)

Review
The Hurting: the hurting
This first section of the book is a heartbreaking introduction to the life of Rupi Kaur. It talks about her horrible relationship with her parents (particularly her father), how her first sexual experiences were only negative, and losing her voice. I’m so glad that I can’t really relate to this chapter, but I know there are many who do. I think she writes in a beautiful way about her struggles growing up. This section heavily alludes to rape, so be prepared for that. It’s a tragic story, but only makes the rest so beautiful.
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The Loving: the loving
This section is probably my favorite, but I would say this is because it is the happiest section. It is the section I most related to when I was reading this story. It is the story of her first real love and finally finding what it was like to be in a good relationship. There were a bunch of quotes I could’ve pulled for this section. I love the poetry. Maybe it’s because I’m a simple girl, but it was beautiful, romantic poetry that made me in love with the idea of love.
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The Breaking: the breaking
In contrast to the Loving, this section was the most heartbreaking to me. Even though the first chapter was horrible and made me feel so bad for her, there was something that hurt more in this section. I think it was because she had managed to find happiness (and we saw it all in the previous section) and then it comes crashing down. She realizes that the relationship in isn’t perfect and is actually not as healthy as she originally thought. This chapter is how everyone feels when they are going through a breakup. But not just a simple, short breakup, but the long, messy, agonizing break up that makes you think “this is the end.” I’ve been in this place before, and it was very hard to read.
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The Healing: the healing
This is where the feminism and empowerment comes into play. This is her story of healing through her past trauma, as well as finding strength in being alone. She learns what it means to be a woman and to be proud of that. She talks about how she wishes women were there for each other and she knows that all women are struggling with similar issues. She calls for us all to learn to love ourselves and to be independent. I love this quote above, because I often feel so alone. But sometimes, you don’t need others to feel less lonely. Sometimes, you need to learn to be happy by yourself.
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Closing Thoughts: I love this book so incredibly much. I’m a little late to the game, as I know it was popular a while ago. I was hesitant to buy it, because I’m not really a poetry expert. I tend to like very simple, beautiful poetry that speaks to me. I’ve heard that some negative reviews of this book include that it’s not “real” poetry or that it is “Instagram poetry.” I’m no expert on poetry. But this book really spoke to me, and I have a profound respect for the author. I don’t think that there are requirements for “real” poetry. I think that her emotion is apparent and it is written in a beautiful way. I highly recommend this book, even if you aren’t used to reading poetry.
Where to find Rupi Kaur:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

March Releases

bba18-bookreleases

March 1:

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Raven Cycle #4.5

An enchanting story from Maggie Stiefvater featuring Opal, Ronan, and Adam from her bestselling Raven Cycle, taking place after the events of The Raven King. (Source)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 6:

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Women are Some Kind of Magic #2

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one. (Source)

 

 

 

 

 

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March 13

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The Illuminae Files #3

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heros will fall, and hearts will be broken. (Source)

I am so incredibly excited for this book, you guys have no idea. One of my most anticipated books of the year!

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February 13:

35068585Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.

So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Rayna is Anders’s only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.

In order to rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shapeshifting force of all. (Source)

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Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much more coming out that I’m looking forward to. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty coming out. But this is all that is coming out from authors that I know and love. The small amount of books is made up for (in my opinion) because of Obsidio, which I am waiting to buy on audiobook as soon as it comes out.

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke