The Awakening

Coming April 4, 2017

coverTitle: The Awakening
Author: D. J. Torres
Series: The Nature of Gods #1
Format: Early release PDF
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary

When gods and goddesses abruptly overthrow Earth, humans are given two choices – worship or die. Desperate to survive, Olivia and her family devote their days to fulfilling the will of the gods. But the wrath of the gods is insatiable and unpredictable. With her hope crushed, Olivia is resigned to her bleak fate . . . until she meets Nature.

Immediately, Olivia knows this charismatic girl with color-changing eyes isn’t normal. Nature looks like a teenager yet she has the power to control the weather and converse with animals. Nature opens Olivia’s eyes to a hidden world that had always existed in harmony with her own. However, know-it-all butterflies and mystical creatures aren’t the only secrets revealed as Olivia discovers the dark plan of the gods.

When Nature decides to confront the gods, Olivia is catapulted to the forefront of humanity’s battle for survival. Olivia must rely on her courage, strength, and newfound gifts as she faces monster-infested pathways and ever-looming traps. But does she have enough courage or skill to battle brutal gods eager to rule the world and dole out punishment to anyone who defies them? Nature and the world depend on it.


Review
Plot: I thought the concept of this book was really interesting. It is basically about these ancient gods coming back and demanding they be worshiped yet again. I personally find religion of all kinds very interesting, so I was excited to read a book about various gods. Without giving too much away, this book follows Olivia in her struggle to survive through this. It almost felt like the beginning of an apocalypse, but with gods which was interesting. I will say that the plot was fairly basic in that nothing completely new was done. I could almost entirely guess what was going to happen the entire time, and that gets a little boring to me. However, the way it was written kept me reading. The middle got a little jumbled up to me, and I stopped reading for a while, but the ending brought me right back. I definitely think that the plot is basic, but well written.
Characters: Olivia – The problem with Olivia is that she was just too basic for me. She was the cliche unpopular girl who gets bullied. Of course, this does happen a lot in real life, but it felt unoriginal. This is just how I felt about Olivia overall. However, I feel like she does grow in a really relatable way for young girls. And I think that the way her and Nature interact is a very good dynamic.
Nature – I think that Nature was way cooler honestly. I know that was her purpose, but she just seemed so strong and I loved reading about her. I almost wished the book was solely from her perspective, but I don’t know if that would’ve been as good. I think she really brought out the good in Olivia and gave everyone a lot more character. I also love how she just perfectly embodied the magic and beauty of the world.
Cover: The cover of this book is perfect to me. It just looks creative and magical and cute. If I was a young girl looking for a book, I would have definitely been drawn to this. It looks like something someone drew themselves, but not in a bad way. It just gives the book more heart than if a stock image of a girl would’ve been used.
Closing Thoughts: I think overall this books was very well written. I really like Torres’ style of writing and it kept me entertained throughout. I think if you’re very picky about your books and you want something completely and totally unique, this isn’t the book for you. But if you want something just very simple, easy, and completely fantasy then this is for you. I also want to point out that this is for younger readers (around 12-15) so it was a little young for me. But keeping a younger mindset while I read this made it much better. I think 12 year old me would have loved this book! Overall, I think Torres did a very good job and I recommend younger readers pick this up on April 4th!
Where to find D. J. Torres:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: Jan 29- Feb 4

bba18-bookreleases

Here are this week’s releases:

January 31

29772863In her first graphic novel, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marissa Meyer follows Iko, the beloved android from the Lunar Chronicles, on a dangerous and romantic new adventure — with a little help from Cinder and the Lunar team.

In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series. (Source)

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Weekly Releases: January 22-28

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Here are this week’s releases:

January 24

30312837How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie? A new novel in both verse and prose from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins.

For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire.

Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined.

Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.

What is Ariel supposed to believe? Is it possible Dad’s woven her entire history into a tapestry of lies? How can she choose between the mother she’s been taught to mistrust and the father who has taken care of her all these years?

In bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s deft hands, Ariel’s emotionally charged journey to find out the truth of who she really is balances beautifully with Maya’s story of loss and redemption. This is a memorable portrait of two young women trying to make sense of their lives and coming face to face with themselves—for both the last and the very first time. (Source)

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Weekly Releases

bba18-bookreleases

Here are this week’s releases:

January 16

27282169Myra goes to Haiti with one goal: take the photograph that will win a scholarship and prove to her uber-traditional family that she has what it takes to be a photographer instead of a doctor. Her camera has always been her shield against getting too close to anyone, but she didn’t expect the hot teen translator who has an ability to see past her walls.

Elias needs his job as a translator to provide for his siblings. He can’t afford to break the rule forbidding him from socializing with a client. Except this girl Myra insists on going outside the city to capture the perfect picture, and he steps in as her guide in order to keep her safe.

The deeper they travel into the country, the harder they fall for each other. Now they’re both taking risks that could cost each other their dreams.

If they get too close—it could ruin both their lives. (Source)

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Goals for the New Year

Gold glitter Happy New Year 2017 background. Happy new year glit

It is officially 2017! The year everyone has been praying for. Sorry I’m a little late to post and that I haven’t posted in a while. I needed a bit of a break to recharge my batteries. However, I’m back and I’m ready to bring you all more fun content!

Goals

 

I have some goals in mind for this year. Some are related to reading/writing and I wanted to share those with you.

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Reading

Last year I read roughly 18 books (not including all the school books I read). That’s a little over a book a month. While I consider this to be a good score for a college student, I’m hoping to read a minimum of 24 books this year. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a challenge when you have almost no free time.

Challenge: I challenge all of you to try and read as much as possible this year. Maybe your goal is to just read something. Maybe your goal is to read 100 books. But I challenge you to get into a habit of reading more, regardless of the time you have. Even just a chapter a day (or even a week) is something.

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Writing

When I was younger I used to write all the time. I would write short stories, poems, songs… really anything that came to mind. I would even write out my dreams I had into story form. Now that I’m older (and busier) I haven’t been writing almost at all. The only writing I really do is what I do on this blog. Me and my boyfriend have made it a goal to show each other some type of writing every Sunday starting the 15th. It can be any amount or any type of writing, but it has to be something. My goal for this year is to just write more, whatever that may be.

Challenge: I know that not everyone that likes to read also likes to write. But I challenge you all who are writers to write more. Whether it is in a journal each morning/night, blogging, or actual story writing. Writing can mean a lot of different things to different people and I challenge you to write more in whatever way that means to you.

superthumbBlogging

This is more for me and less for you readers. I really want to grow this blog more and give it life. I’m hoping to continue the posts, but change it up a little bit. Maybe add some new kind of content that isn’t just book reviews and releases.

Challenge: I challenge you all to help me with this! If there is something you want to see more (or less) of, let me know. Interact with me and each other in the comments. I can try and improve the website, but without help it might not work as well.

I hope everyone has had a great holiday break and I’m excited to see what the new year will bring us!

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: November 13-19

bba18-bookreleases

Here are this week’s releases:

November 15

28954137Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. The events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. At least Simon’s trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. Written by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman, these moving and hilarious short stories are perfect for the fan who just can’t get enough of the Shadowhunters. (Source)

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Bad Girls Don’t Die

3678651Title: Bad Girls Don’t Die
Author: Katie Alender
Series: Bad Girls Don’t Die #1
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: April 21, 2009
Genres:  Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror
Rating: C

Summary

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents’ marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it’s all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening–to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she’s the only person who can stop Kasey — but what if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore? (Source)


Review

Plot: This plot is a fairly simple one. It is about a girl whose little sister starts acting weird and not like herself. What could it be? Possession. Just like Alender’s previous books I’ve reviewed, this is a thriller/horror kind of book with ghosts as the bad guys. Her family is an unhappy, dysfunctional family and Alexis is often stuck taking care of her sister. But suddenly, her sister starts acting like a completely different person and no one else notices. Then there’s the dolls. Kasey is obsessed with all those creepy, porcelain dolls. Alexis has to try and figure out if Kasey is really possessed or if it is just her normal creepy self.

Characters: Alexis- To me Alexis is just another angsty teenager. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but it seems like Alender like to write her main characters as whiny, annoying teenage girls. Alexis wasn’t awful, but she didn’t really appeal to me. I couldn’t relate to her! She wasn’t the worst, but there really wasn’t anything I liked about her.

Cover: This is probably my favorite thing about this book. I really liked all of the covers in this series. They were creepy and dark and I really thought they were cool. The first cover was definitely my favorite. I’m not sure why, but I really liked the lace with the window.

Closing Thoughts: The thing is I did enjoy reading this book. It is just one of those books you read, but then afterwords realize it wasn’t anything special. I did read it all fairly quickly, but when I realized it was a series, I stopped. There was nothing propelling me forward to read the next one. She wrapped up the store nicely, and the second one just seemed unnecessary. I think if you like Alender (like I do) or you like creepy, thriller-type books, then you might as well read it. But there just wasn’t anything special. If you’ve ever read a book or watched a movie about possession, you already know how this goes. I think I was mostly surprised because this is one of Alender’s most popular books (as far as I’ve seen). And I enjoyed Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall much more than I enjoyed this one.

Where to find Katie Alender:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: November 6-12

bba18-bookreleases

Here are this week’s releases:

November 8

18584855Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans. (Source)

*So excited for this book! I’ve already pre-ordered it and everything. Can’t wait to read more from Marissa Meyer!

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Obedience to Authority

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Title: Obedience to Authority
Author: Stanley Milgram
Series: N/A
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: August 8, 1983
Genres: Non-Fiction, Psychology, Science

Summary

In the 1960s Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram famously carried out a series of experiments that forever changed our perceptions of morality and free will. The subjects—or “teachers”—were instructed to administer electroshocks to a human “learner,” with the shocks becoming progressively more powerful and painful. Controversial but now strongly vindicated by the scientific community, these experiments attempted to determine to what extent people will obey orders from authority figures regardless of consequences. “Milgram’s experiments on obedience have made us more aware of the dangers of uncritically accepting authority,” wrote Peter Singer in the New York Times Book Review. Featuring a new introduction from Dr. Philip Zimbardo, who conducted the famous Stanford Prison Experiment, Obedience to Authority is Milgram’s fascinating and troubling chronicle of his classic study and a vivid and persuasive explanation of his conclusions. (Source)


Review

Closing Thoughts: This books review is (again) a little bit different from my normal book reviews. There aren’t really characters or a plot to evaluate. Similar to when I reviewed “the Law of Attraction,” it is more of something I found interesting and wanted to share. There isn’t a whole lot to “review” and it has been a little difficult to write this post. But I really wanted to show that I read all kinds of books, and there may be people out there who really enjoy books like this.

For those who don’t know, I am studying psychology in hopes of becoming a clinical psychologist. In one of my classes, this book was recommended to me by my professor. Stanley Milgram is a fairly known individual in the world of psychology. His controversial experiments are talked about in different ways: either to show how important research can be, or to show how to not conduct a study. This book is almost like one big research paper, only put into book form. This can be really boring for some people! I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t looking forward to reading it. But if you are at all interested in psychology- or even just human behaviors- this book is really interesting. I think Milgram does a very good job at taking something so scientific and confusing, and putting it into understandable and even enjoyable words.
This is a pretty small book review, but I just wanted to put this out there. If you enjoy non-fiction, psychology, science, or really just learning knew things, I think this is a very good book to read. You get to look at interviews, see how real scientific studies were done, and of course see his analyzing results about why we obey people (sometimes blindly). If you’re a psychology student, or really just find it interesting, I highly recommend this to you!
Where to find Obedience to Authority:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: Oct. 30-Nov. 5

Here are this week’s releases:

November 1

28960100

Firebird #3

A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

In the epic conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites . . . and only one can win. (Source)

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