Weekly Releases: October 23-29

Here are this week’s releases:

October 25

24033058Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.
(Source)

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Mechanica

22749698Title: Mechanica
Author: Betsy Cornwell
Series:  N/A
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Genres:  Fantasy, Steampunk, Young Adult
Rating: D+

Summary

Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn’t want a fairy tale happy ending after all. (Source)


Review
Plot: Yet another retelling of Cinderella. There was a lot of controversy surrounding this book when I looked it up. Apparently, many people keep making comments about how this book is a wannabe Cinder and others are arguing it’s completely different. In my opinion, it is very similar to Cinder. Rather than aliens, the supernatural element is fae. Scratch that, there weren’t even really fae, just a lot of magic. I don’t really need to explain the plot because it is one you all know very well. It is basically the retelling of Cinderella. While not all stories need to be original, it was very tedious reading this book right after reading the Lunar Chronicles.
Characters: Nicolette- As much as fans of this book try to argue, Nicolette is very much like Cinder. Strong, independent, and good with her hands. Cinder was a space mechanic and Nicolette worked more with magic, but still a mechanic. I did admire Nicolette’s determination to make something of herself. She had a link to her mother (who also used magic) and kept up with it, even though it wasn’t allowed. She followed her passions and let them guide her.
Cover: The cover of this book is really what drew me in. I had no idea when I got this that it was another Cinderella story. I just loved the melding of the fantasy-nature setting with the machines and steampunk. It really gave a good feel for this book. I like how you can see the little mechanical bugs, but you probably wouldn’t realize they weren’t real until reading the book. Looking at this cover now is one of my favorite takeaways from this book.
Closing Thoughts: I feel like D+ is a really low score, but I can’t really give it much more. Yes, I may be biased because I just finished the Lunar Chronicles and loved them. But to me, this plot line is overplayed. And I know it is very hard to be original when so much has already been done, but it just was hard to enjoy this book when every single moment was predictable. I usually love fairy tale adaptations, regardless of how true they are to the original story. But if you don’t have something in there that mixes things up, it just becomes boring and predictable. While they alluded to there being fae, there weren’t any actual fae much in the story. And the magic was interesting, but it seemed more of a tool to just use to make cool machines. Maybe in the following book she writes, she’ll go more into the fae side of things and really mix it up. But as far as this first book goes, there wasn’t much in there that really grabbed me and made a lasting impression. To be honest, I keep forgetting I read this book. To end on a good note, I will say I did enjoy Betsy Cornwell’s writing style. It’s safe to say I probably would enjoy other books from her, but we’ll have to find out.
Where to find Betsy Cornwell:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: October 16-22

Here are this week’s releases! There are less this week, but they all look pretty good. (Especially Gemina!)

October 17

29519517

The Royals #3

These Royals will ruin you…

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.

Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.
They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace. (Source)

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The Darkest Part of the Forest

20958632Title: The Darkest Part of the Forest
Author: Holly Black
Series: N/A
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Romance
Rating: C

Summary

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?


Review
Plot: This book has a fairly predictable fantasy plot line. It’s the kind of book (at least for me) that takes a really long time to get into. I did get into the plot near the end, but it took a while. One thing that is interesting (possibly my favorite part) about this book is that it takes place in a town that know about fae and magic. This book isn’t about the main character stumbling into the world of magic, she is already in it. And not only that, but the fae are clearly evil. Some people do romanticize them, but not Hazel. She knows how dark and scary they can really be. But the plot line itself isn’t entirely original. There’s a mysterious fae prince that they can trust and an evil fae king that is trying to kill the prince. The story pretty much revolves around trying to save the prince and defeat the king- or at least stop him from hurting more people.
Characters: Hazel- I did really like Hazel! She seemed pretty strong and sure of herself. She’s the kind of girl that bounces from guy to guy and even though many view that as a slutty or bad behavior, I think it’s a interesting quality about her. She doesn’t mean to hurt anyone, she just likes to kiss and have fun. I think Hazel is an interesting sway from the usual innocent girl heroine. She’s strong, independent, and tries to figure things out on her own. She’s not afraid to go up against her parents, her friends, and even the fae themselves. There’s something about her to admire.
Cover: I don’t love the cover, but I don’t hate it either. I think it’s just a very basic cover that they could’ve done more with.
Closing Thoughts: Honestly, I think this book was only okay. I have heard many good things about Holly Black and I am still hoping to try more of her books. (I have The Coldest Girl in Coldtown in my bookshelf waiting for me to read it!) But unfortunately, this book didn’t really make me fall in love with Holly Black. It was good enough that I enjoyed it and I did read it fairly quickly, but there was just something missing. There wasn’t that element that changes a book from alright to amazing. I do think she is a good writer, so I’m hoping her other books will be much better. I give this book a C because to me, it’s just average. Not good, not bad, just like the cover.
Where to find Holly Black:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: October 9-15

Here are this week’s releases:

October 11

28588345

The Young Elites #3

The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from “hit factory” Marie Lu.

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina’s story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series. (Source)

 

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Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

16139598Title: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer
Author: Katie Alender
Series: N/A
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Genres: YA, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller
Rating: D

Summary

Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . . .

Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this story of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen. (Source)


Review
Plot: I think the worst part about this book is how ridiculous the plot is. Colette is one of the most popular girls in her school. She hangs out with (practically) the cast of Mean Girls and even though she knows they’re awful, she doesn’t want to lose her status. She spends her whole trip pretending all the sights are lame and not worth her time when really, she has always dreamed of going to Paris. While she’s struggling with the stress of making sure she stays popular and cool in the eyes of her friends, there are also some grisly deaths happening.  It seems like we’re so focused on her Mean Girls’ story line, that we forget that there is an actual ghost trying to kill people. Throughout the story, we do get to learn a little bit more about Marie Antoinette, which is pretty interesting. Although, as Alender states at the end of the book, a lot of it is fiction anyways.
Character: Colette – She. Was. Awful. I think what Alender was trying to do was take us through the struggles of a teenage girl. But what ended up happening was that we saw Colette be awful to everyone around her and she completely wasted her trip to Paris. Throughout the novel, we do see Colette improve slightly as she realizes how awful her and her friends are. But really, she just didn’t do much for me. I couldn’t connect with her struggled because she just annoyed me too much. I guess I understand the want to be popular, but really?
Cover: To be honest, the cover confused me. Is that supposed to be Marie Antoinette? Or is that Colette dressed up? I’m not sure, but I think it would’ve been cool to have some creepy historical picture of Marie Antoinette up there. marie_antoinette_adultSee? It almost looks like she’s holding a knife or something. You could’ve made it really creepy, but instead it looks like some prom queen is on the cover. Which I guess pretty much sums up the book.
Closing Thoughts: To be honest, I started out giving this book a C, but the more I reviewed it, the more I realized there wasn’t much I liked about it. Really, the best thing about this book was the fact that I love Katie Alender. And one point I will make is that if you don’t care too much about the details and just want a fun thriller, this book is not bad. It does give you the creeps at times and it was a very quick read for me. I read it in only one day. But the book as a whole isn’t really the best and doesn’t have a lot of substance. So over all, if you are a fan of Alender, I would say you could read this book. If you like thrillers just for the fun of it, you can maybe try this book. But if you have high standards for your books, this is not for you at all.
Where to find Katie Alender:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: October 2-9

Here are this week’s releases:

October 4

28448287Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. ‘A sickly child’, her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father’s connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she’s always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father’s name seems inextricably linked to it.

Amidst the frenzy outside the institute’s walls, Lyra – or number 24 as she is known as at Haven – and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven’s purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever… (Source)

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Who I Am and Why I’m Here

Hello there! My name’s Brooke. Nice to meet you all! waving_girl___coloured_by_squishybooo-d6r7cxg

I’ve been posting on here for a while, but I just wanted to introduce myself properly. I’ve posted similar things on my About Me page, but I wanted to tell a little bit about who I am and why I’m here.

Here’s a good summary: I love to read. I’ve read more book than I could possibly count over the years. Not only do I like to read, but also I love to write. I’ve been writing for years and years and I love it. What better way to combine the two interests than to create this website?

When I was about thirteen, I started to write on a blog called Black Nailed Reviews. It was one of the coolest things I ever did! I met other people like myself who enjoyed reading as much as I did. Since the blog wasn’t my own, it was already pretty big with a wide audience of people to interact with. Sitting down and writing reviews was one of my favorite parts of the day. Unfortunately, life happened. Slowly the blog started to slow down more and more until none of us could manage to keep up with it anymore.

Since then, I have tried picking it back up from scratch. Trying to learn how to not only write on a blog, but run the blog entirely. I’m bringing some features from that old blog over, but trying to change it and make it my own. I want to get back into that rhythm of reading, writing, and sharing my findings with others.

I’m no expert! I honestly don’t have any idea how to run a blog efficiently. But that’s not why I’m here. I’m here because I love books and I want to write about them. If you love books, this is the place for you! I hope this becomes a place for you to read and enjoy.

Sweet Daydreams,
Brooke

Stars Above

25689074Title: Stars Above
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4.5
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Science-Fiction

Rating: B


Summary

The enchantment continues….

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles. (Source)


Review
Plot: Each story has a different plot based around the world of the Lunar Chronicles. The Little Android was similar to the Little Mermaid, which tells of an android who wishes she could be human to be with the one she loves. Glitches is a prequel to Cinder which starts with how she got to her new “family” and what happened to her adoptive father. The Queen’s Army is told from the point of view of Wolf. It shows how he got to be in Levana’s army and what happened before he met Scarlet and became good. Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky is from Thorne’s point of view as a young teenager in school. This story is more for fun than for plot relevance, but it tells about the trouble he would get in as a school boy and about a girl he once thought he loved. The Keeper is similar to Glitches except it is told from the point of view of Scarlet’s grandmother. You see what happened to Cinder when she was down in that cellar healing. After Sunshine Passes By shows Cress as a young girl and how she got stuck in that space pod. The Princess and the Guard is a prequel to Winter, where we see Winter and Jacin start to grow their relationship at a young age. The Mechanic is a scene from Cinder that shows when Cinder and Kai first meet all over again from the point of view of Kai. And finally, Something Old, Something New is the story of everyone gathering for Scarlet and Wolf’s wedding back at her farm. Somewhat of an epilogue.
Characters: It seems repetitive to talk about the characters all over again. They’re all the same characters you know and love, just a little more into their backgrounds.
Cover: I definitely love the cover, as I do with all the other books. It fits the theme very well and is so elegant and wonderful. These covers really make reading the books much better.
Closing Thoughts: My personal opinion is that while this book wasn’t 100% necessary, I definitely loved every second of it. It gives you another Lunar Chronicles fix once the series is (sadly) over. There is a lot of repetitive information from the previous books that we already knew, but it was nice seeing them in a narrative format rather than just a memory. I think that if you like the Lunar Chronicles books, you will like these stories. My favorite was probably Something Old, Something New just because it tells a very cute epilogue about Scarlet’s wedding. I definitely think the stories are all a bit short. More like little memories rather than short stories. But there are so many in there, it makes for a good size book. I highly recommend if you are just as into this series as I am.
Where to find Marissa Meyer:

Sweet Daydreams,

Brooke

Weekly Releases: Sept. 25- Oct. 1

Here are this week’s releases:

September 27

22299763

Six of Crows #2

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world. (Source)

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