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

 

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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

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March 1:

38464776

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:

34518216

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

24909347

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

Red Queen

22328546Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Format: Paperback
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Summary

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart. (Source)


Review
Plot: This plot is kind of like if dystopian Hunger Games mixed with fantasy. Mare is like Katniss. She is stuck living in horrible poverty because she is a “red blood.” Basically, she’s normal. But in this world, that is a horrible thing to be. The rulers are “silver bloods,” which means they have special powers. These range from super strength, to being able to control people entirely.
At one point, she realizes that even though she has red blood, she has powers like a silver blood does. The royalty doesn’t know what to do with her, so they make her one of their own. Mare struggles to hold onto her own values as she is swept up into the world of silver royalty. Let me just say, there is a huge plot twist in this story. And maybe some of you guessed it, but I had no idea. And that makes the twist that much better and I think it was one of the better (and sadder) parts of this whole book.
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Characters: Mare kind of reminds me of Katniss. Maybe it’s because of the themes and the plot, but I couldn’t get it out of my mind. She does what she has to for survival and no more. She wants to start a revolution and save all the others who are red bloods, but she just can’t see how to do it on her own. I think she is admirable, though can be a bit annoying at times. Especially when it comes to romance.
Speaking of which, both Cal and Maven are hard to talk about without giving anything away. But personally, I love Maven. He’s such a deep character that you learn to love. Cal is sweet, but never felt quite right. However, I feel like Mare doesn’t belong with either of them. Even though I love the characters, I just ever felt like Mare and them made any sense. Maybe it’s because their silver blood royalty (which she despises) or maybe because I don’t feel like Mare shows a lot of romantic emotion.
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Cover: These covers are beautiful. My best friend wasn’t a huge fan of the series, but I had to pick it up after passing the cover in the store over and over. It kept drawing my eye! And the theme of all these covers being the crowns is just very simple but I think they look wonderful.
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Closing Thoughts: This book surprised me. Like I said, my best friend wasn’t a huge fan of these books. She brought my expectations down and I figured I’d just read this as a quick summer read. But this book was so good that I immediately had to buy the second one as fast as possible (and that is a review for another time). But the first book is just so well-paced and kept me engaged the whole time. It is by no means my favorite book, but I would say it is worth a read if you are interested in fantasy novels like this. Although… you might not want to start because the rest of the series is (so far) lacking. But I liked the first one enough to keep me going!

Where to find Victoria Aveyard:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

The Darkest Powers Trilogy

The Summoning Trilogy

Title: The Summoning, The Awakening, The Reckoning

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: The Darkest Powers
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: July 1, 2008
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Paranormal
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Hello everyone! This week’s releases is a little different. As a teen, these books were my favorite books. Like ever. I read them every year a new one would come out. (For example, when the Reckoning came out, I read all three. I did that every year). I loved these books. I can’t really explain why because on the surface, they’re just standard young adult fantasy. But recently I decided to re-read them to see what I thought about them now. Here is my review of them, then versus now.

Summary

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don’t even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost – and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won’t leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a “special home” for troubled teens. Yet the home isn’t what it seems. Don’t tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It’s up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House… before its skeletons come back to haunt me. (Source)


Then & Now Review
Plot: This book follows a girl named Chloe Saunders as she is hitting puberty and coming into her paranormal powers. She is shipping off to a home called the Lyle House, where she meets other “special” teens. At first glance, this plot sounds kind of ridiculous. Something similar to Twilight or silly teen books like that. But throughout the trilogy, you realize that the world is a lot darker than you originally thought. First of all, there are dead things everywhere. When I used to read this book, I was thoroughly creeped out by some of the scenes. Not only that, but throughout the story you realize you can’t really trust anyone and you get betrayed by people you loved. This book starts simple, but unravels into a wonderfully spooky, paranormal, romance-filled adventure between Chloe and her friends.
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Characters: I can’t even begin to talk about all the characters in this book. As I’ve read this many times, I feel very connected to many of them. Chloe starts off as a frightened young girl who has no idea what’s going on. She does everything she’s told and is afraid of pretty much everything in the story – from the ghosts haunting her to the boys she lives with. Speaking of which, Derek and Simon  are two brothers you can’t help but love. Derek is grumpy and angsty, but there’s something about him that draws you to him. Simon is charming and funny and makes me want to give him a big hug. I want to give an even bigger hug to Liz, who I can’t say too much about but is honestly the best friend in the whole story. She’s always got Chloe’s back. Tori… well… she’s pretty bitchy. But something I noticed since reading this again is that her bitchiness really is kind of badass. She isn’t afraid to stand her ground and she’s honestly being treated in some horrible ways. So props to Tori for how far she comes in these books.
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Cover: I’m going to be totally honest… I’ve always been a little confused by the covers. As far as I know, Chloe’s necklace changes color twice. So the third cover change doesn’t really make a lot of sense. But they’re pretty to look at up on my shelf, and I guess it wouldn’t make sense to not change the third cover’s color scheme.
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Then vs. Now: I was worried that when I reread these books they wouldn’t age well. On paper, they seem a little out there. A bunch of teens with “superpowers” running from the adults. There’s love triangles mixing with acne and werewolves. It’s honestly kind of crazy when you think about it. BUT, that being said, I love it just as much now as I did back when I first read them.
The plot is still compelling to me. Yes, it’s a little silly. But throughout the trilogy it takes a much darker turn than just runaway children. Armstrong creates an entire world with these teens and you can’t help but love every moment of it. The romance is still one of my favorite love stories, even today. When I read these, I can tell that Chloe is a child. But it doesn’t make me take her any less seriously and I think that is something really powerful about Armstrong’s writing. When I was reading these, all I could think was, how have I not read her adult books yet?
So whether you are a young reader, an older reader, or anything in between, I will always and forever suggest these books to you. Maybe you’ll like them less than me because you don’t have the nostalgic factor, but I stand by my opinion that these books are wonderful. They will forever be in my top favorites.
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Where to find Kelley Armstrong:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

Valentine’s Day Reads

2018-01-30 (2)

Happy Valentine’s Day! I thought for this occasion, I would share some of my current Valentine’s Day reads for you all. I have both sexy and sweet books on the list just in case you are looking for different things this Valentine’s Day.

Sexy:

16096824

I literally just reviewed this book, but this is the perfect example of a Valentine’s Day read. This whole book is a sexy read, wrapped up in a genuinely good plot line. I read the first book and there were a few scenes that made me fan my face… then I read the second… hoo boy. There is a good chunk of A Court of Mist and Fury that is just sex scenes. That’s not to say it isn’t good for other reasons, but it’s just the cherry on top.

 

 

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16034235Similar to her other books, Sarah J. Maas has this other series called Throne of Glass. I haven’t actually read it, but I’ve heard it is just as good and sexy as ACOTAR. This book is in the mail on the way for me to devour.

 

 

 

 

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10818853Here’s the thing… I really don’t like Fifty Shades. I think it portrays BDSM in a really unhealthy and inaccurate way. However, books like this are very sexy and good to read around this time. My boyfriend and I have the tradition of going to see the newest Fifty Shades movie (mostly to laugh at) every year. Here’s a link to books that are apparently better than Fifty Shades… you’re welcome.

 

 

 

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Sweet:

26309792

This book is more emotional than sexy. In fact, it isn’t really dirty at all. It is about a girl who gives up her heart in order to stay at the school of her dreams. It kind of reminds me of Harry Potter… he totally would’ve traded his heart to stay at Hogwarts. But there is a beautiful romance in this story that will break your heart into a million tiny pieces. Maybe if you hate Valentine’s Day and want to have a good cry, you should try this one out.

 

 

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18584855

Literally, heart is in the title so I had to recommend Heartless. I would say it’s more on the sad side with The Hearts We Sold, but it’s just so good. The romance is wonderful and I love Marissa Meyer. She’s one of my favorite authors and I think this is another solid book to read for valentines day. Again… maybe if you want a good cry.

 

 

 

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41865Because of course. The romance book that got me into romance. Vampires. Angsty teens. What more could you want for Valentine’s Day?

 

 

 

 

 

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Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

A Court of Thornes and Roses

16096824Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Summary

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever. (Source)


Review
Plot: I was a little worried I wouldn’t be a huge fan of the plot. I have read a lot of fairy tales and, more specifically, faerie tales. Often they are repetitive and not too original. This is actually really sad considering I find faeries incredibly fascinating and would love to read more about them!
Lucky for me, this book was amazing. It is one of the best books I’ve read in a really long time, and it is also pretty unique. The story originally is loosely based on the Beauty and the Beast plot line. Feyre accidentally kills a faerie and a beast arives at her door and gives her a choice – death or to come and live in the faerie world with him. At first, this plot seems simple and a little ridiculous. Why would the beast offer her a life with him? Why not just kill her?
But oh boy. Oh boy does it change. The plot starts out pretty good and ends up in a crazy way. I currently have just finished book 2 and I still never know where the plot is going to take me. If you can, try as hard as you can to avoid spoilers because this is a book you do not want spoiled.
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Characters: Feyre – BADASS. This is what I mean when I say I want a badass female role model. She’s like what Katniss Everdeen should be. She is completely supporting her poor family, even though they don’t give her any thanks. Later on in the book, she fights time and time again and proves herself as a strong and capable person. She is an excellent fighter, even against faerie creatures. I love her.
Tamlin – I’m going to be honest, there are a few scenes in this book that make me more than a little heated (in a sexy way). Tamlin is… a complex character. He definitely grows and changes throughout the books and I don’t want to say too much on that. However, he is hot and mysterious and everything a faerie prince should be.
Others – what’s great about these stories is there is a really nice cast of characters. Tamlin’s right hand man, Lucien, is also hilarious. The main villain is awful but in a way only the best writers can show. Maas does a really good job with her characters.
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Cover: I think the cover was another thing that led me to believe this was just another faerie novel. It wasn’t super unique and it just… it just looked very standard. But after reading them, I have a greater appreciation for the covers. She has the tattoo on her arm, the font is beautiful, and the cover is just a great representation of the series.
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Closing Thoughts: I’m going to be honest, I was a little hesitant to read this series because all I heard was how amazing they and Sarah J. Maas were. I was afraid of being dissapointed and invested in a series I didn’t totally love. It is safe to say that those fears were unfounded and this series is just as amazing as they say, if not more! The plot is phenomenal, the characters are written incredibly well, and I could not put it down. It’s everything you want in a book. This series has finally gotten me to read a series faster than I have in a long time. I just ordered the third book and I think I will inhale that one just as fast as the other two. Read it. Read it now.
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P.S. I just feel it’s good to note that these books have a good deal of mature themes. This book (and even more so in the second) has some pretty graphic sex scenes. I don’t mind them, personally, but I was surprised they were considered YA. I’ve also heard people say they find them very violent. I haven’t had a problem with that myself, but I just want to make sure that’s said.
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Where to find Sarah J. Maas:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

 

Lost at Sea

564758Title: Lost at Sea
Author: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 24. 2012
Genres: YA, Graphic Novel

Summary
Raleigh doesn’t have a soul. A cat stole it — or at least that’s what she tells people — or at least that’s what she would tell people if she told people anything. But that would mean talking to people, and the mere thought of social interaction is terrifying. How did such a shy teenage girl end up in a car with three of her hooligan classmates on a cross-country road trip? Being forced to interact with kids her own age is a new and alarming proposition for Raleigh, but maybe it’s just what she needs — or maybe it can help her find what she needs — or maybe it can help her to realize that what she needs has been with her all along.. (Source)

Review
Plot: This book is about a girl named Raleigh who is roped into a road trip with people she hardly knows. The book is somewhat abstract and doesn’t have a clear plot line. Basically she is struggling with a lot of different mental health issues and is telling us the story of how she “lost her soul” along the way. It’s one of those dark comedy kinds of books. There are definitely funny lines, but I also cried a lot.
Characters: Raleigh- The book is so short that there isn’t too much to talk about in this category. The thing about Raleigh is she is just me. That’s actually the reason I read this book is because I was told “oh this kind of sounds like you.” I heard a review of this book that said Raleigh was a boring character and my response to that is this: that is exactly the point. Raleigh believes she lost her soul. She doesn’t feel real. She doesn’t know what’s wrong, but she’s lost. To someone who doesn’t struggle with this, she might
Cover: It definitely looks like a O’Malley cover! If you aren’t familiar with this author, he is the one who wrote the Scott Pilgrim books, which is another reason I read this. I like it looks a little better for the tone of the book than that of Scott Pilgrim, however. The color scheme is really pretty and the book is entirely black and white, which gives it a more “soulless” feel.
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Closing Thoughts: I basically was crying throughout this whole book, but that’s because it was very relatable and personal to me. I could see how someone on the outside might find this book random or boring. It is so short that you leave with a feeling of “that’s it?” I also thought the ending was a little too polished. I don’t want to give anything away, but it definitely was a little too perfect. O’Malley’s characters are also a bit weird and unique. However, if you are a fan of O’Malley I think you’ll appreciate this. If you like other graphic novels I think you’ll also like this. It is a bit of a different read, but I think anyone can appreciate this book. Especially if you struggle with social anxiety, depression, or other similar mental health issues. It did a very good job of putting what I feel daily into words.
Where to find Bryan Lee O’Malley:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke