Hello. My name is Tricia, and I have an addiction, an addiction to fiction. Fellow addicts, I welcome you with open arms. Blogger over @ bookwormcoalition.wordpress.com
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So this was a random book I found and had on my kindle. You guys ever play kindle roulette? I was in a funk and not sure what to read next and was so overwhelmed by my tbr that I was taking way too long to decide on what to read next so I finally just blindly chose from what I had and I could not have chosen better than The Scourge! I was camping when I started this and it was the perfect backdrop for reading this story! Just a smidge creepy and set in the woods, I may or may not have brandished my flash light as a weapon at some noises, just sayin.
So yeah, not only was the setting for this read perfection, but the story was really great as well! It started out with this post apocalyptic zombiesque feel to it, but then about halfway through there was this awesome twist that I did not see coming at all! I really loved this storyline, it was something totally different and unique.
And in with that amazing twist somehow things shift from being afraid of the Scourge, to being afraid of what regular ole humans will do when they are afraid, which can be pretty darn terrifying in its own right. Just lots of smart plot work done here all around.
The characters were great too. I found it really cool to have the main character, Fennel, be sightless. It amped up the fear factor a bit to imagine a girl growing up in this terrifying world as she did, not being able to see the danger all around her. It was also that much more incredible to me how brave she was to face everything, even the unknown, the way that she did.
Peree was really great as well. I really like that he looked out for Fennel the way he did, and I liked even more that he was constantly learning from her as well. He had a lot of heart and they both kind of marched to the beat of their own drum so I thought they made a good match. I also really enjoyed the star-crossed romance going on between a Groundling and a Loftie.
The ending set things up nicely to continue with the story in an organic way, a rocky new relationship between the two factions. Which is inevitably bound to have some bumps in the road. I look forward to seeing the story continue!
There were so many different facets of Who She Was that I appreciated. I'm feeling listy so I'm going to just go ahead and change things up for this review a bit. Oh, Who She Was, how I enjoyed thee, let me LIST the ways...
Of course I will start with the most obvious example of this. Charlie and Trevor. Stormy Smith somehow blended two of my favorite contemporary romance themes, hate to love and best friends to romantic love, into some kind of hybrid with Charlie and Trevor in Who She Was. I loved that there was so much history between the two, and they already a kind of intimacy, but at the same time, after so much time had passed since they were last close, paired with growing up and dealing with all the curve balls life has thrown their way over the years, they were also like strangers coming together for the first time. I'm sure that you yourself have experienced that strange phenomenon of running into someone you used to be very close with when you were younger after a long time has passed. They're the same in a sense, but also this completely different person with new quirks, beliefs, issues, etc. that make them someone new too. I really enjoyed watching them get to know each other again, along with seeing clips from their past and seeing how much they have grown and changed and were still changing along the way.
Okay, so with the obvious out of the way, I also have to mention my appreciation for the side characters as well. I really dislike when characters simply exist to make the main characters shine even more. That was not something that happened in this story. Darcy and Sam were so great. I liked that they were important to this story in their own right, and they each also had their own little story going on in the background. They were growing and shining right along with the main characters. And bringing important and fresh perspectives along the way.
Lastly for this column, I would like to point out how very well done the hard relationships were done as well. The unhealthy ones that people struggle with throughout life. I feel like sometimes the severity of these relationships are muted in books like this where you expect the budding romance to be the main focus, and many times these other relationships are merely scratched at the surface to further the romantic plot. I appreciated the time taken to analyze these relationships in this story. The consequences, the burden, the way they can shape the person you are and are becoming. They are important too, and their voice was loud and clear.
2) The music.
Music, to me, has always been an important thing in my life. And not because I play it. I learned hot cross buns on the recorder and heart and soul on the piano, but I never quite made it into the musician category. Music is important to me for the sheer fact that it moves me. It has been forever linked with the way I feel. I have a huge appreciation for it, and my tastes are eclectic. So many times you can tell my mood simply by what I am playing in the moment. I have music that speaks to my rage on a bad day, music to soothe when I am feeling chill, music to amp me up and get me in that party kind of mood, etc. And music is linked to so many memories throughout my life. I vividly remember learning to roller-skate with my Walkman (yes, I am that old) to Billy Idol's Mony, Mony. I remember doing the Macarena, Hustle, and Electric slide at my middle school dances, all be it terribly because I have no rhythm but it has never stopped a gal from trying and having fun. Brown-eyed Girl is reminds me of summer nights grades 1-4 and the dad garage band that would play this song every year literally out of a garage during our block party. First concert to first kiss, so many amazing things have been imprinted in my brain to the sound of an unforgettable melody. So, yes, the music being such a core part of this story, and so very important to the characters, it was moving to me. I loved the way they sometimes communicated best with each other through their music. And ultimately, I really respected the way that they choose to define what the music meant to them and how they'd like it to fit in their lives.
3) Location, location, location.
The author's personal connection to the setting of the story was apparent in this story. The passionate way she describes the place with such detail really enchants you. I love that you can have that very real connection with this story too. Like this is a place you can visit and see what the characters have seen, and maybe even feel what they were feeling about this place too. I can honestly say that Stormy Smith has successfully added another destination on my personal list of places I would like to visit one day, Des Moines, Iowa. So thank you for that, Stormy.
4) Giving a voice to a taboo subject.
I don't want to be all spoilery here, so unfortunately I can't really talk much about this particular subject. BUT it is a reality. And I really respect the author for having this element in her story. One thing I truly believe in this life, is there are no taboo issues. That's not to say there aren't issues that require some extra thought and care, but I don't truly believe any subject should be kept quiet or not discussed. Discussion is a good thing. Even the difficult topics, my god ESPECIALLY those. THINK about these things, LEARN about these things, TALK about these things PLEASE. Maybe if we can do that more, some of these things would happen just a little less. So, thank you, Stormy. Thank you for including this in your story. Thank you for taking such care and consideration with a difficult subject that many people shy away from.
So yeah, those are a few of the things I really liked about Who She Was. I did struggle a bit towards the end of the story when I felt like some of the things the characters were doing seemed uncharacteristically profound for them. I get that they were growing as people and learning, but it felt a little like them being suddenly hit with this deep wisdom beyond their years, rather than more steadily paced realizations, or maybe wo many huge breakthroughs didn't kind of seem to happen so close together that could have made it seem a little less out of character. It almost felt too neatly wrapped for me. I would have loved to see these characters maybe keep a few things unresolved, or rather just not resolved yet. I didn't think there was a need to have it all so prettily packaged at the end. But the flash forward at the very end was pretty gosh darn sweet and I was happy for that addition to the story. All in all this was a very enjoyable read, and I can't wait to see what this author comes up with next!
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Introducing RENEGADE RED, Sequel to Award-Winning SHATTERED BLUE!
ONLY A RENEGADE WILL SURVIVE
Reckless, desperate, and distraught, Noa Sullivan leaps into a collapsing Portal in the explosive finale of Shattered Blue— the jaw-dropping, award-winning first installment in The Light Trilogy— in wild hope of rescuing her little sister Sasha. Now Noa and the Fae brothers who love her—Callum and Judah Forsythe—must find a way to survive not only across worlds but between them, in places so treacherous and deceptive their own minds are twisted against them. As the three fight to survive their passage, they battle not only enemies but themselves, and their darkest, most difficult secrets.
Surviving, however, is only the beginning: Noa needs to find Sasha. That means becoming a warrior herself, one just as fierce as the magical brothers battling for her love. Across broken cities, underground labyrinths, rushing floods and endless skies; in the face of legions of armies, horrifying tyrants, and the most deceitful of friends, can Mortal Noa rescue her sister—and understand her own heart—in time to escape the most deadly of magic realms?
Collect all three of RENEGADE RED’s limited edition covers, revealed by USA TODAY
"Poetry on every page. Horowitz paints pure beauty with her tangle of heart stopping words.
The Light Trilogy is magic typeset."
- E.J Mellow (Author of The Dreamland Series)
"A vibrant blend of dystopian dysfunction and ethereal fantasy...a thrill ride."
- J. Kowallis, Author of The Enertia Trials
“Beautifully written with a poetic soul…Renegade Red isn't just a sequel. It is the continuation of a magical story that weaves itself into your heart, leaving you breathless.”
- Kristen Hunt, Author of Blonde Eskimo
"A must read"
- VOYA Magazine
"Anyone who’s ever fantasized about kissing a Fae will enjoy Noa and Callum’s
first, sexy kiss. . . . Hip. . . fast-moving. . . lyrically concise.”
“I guarantee you'll be hooked and anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.”
—USA TODAY, Must-read Romances of 2015
“A fantastical tale of love and betrayal
. . . more than enough emotion and angst to keep any romance-loving teenager
glued to the pages, and the promise of a trilogy will keep them eagerly
anticipating the next book."
—SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
“A book to fall for”
“Not your average fairy tale . . .will have you clamoring for more of a story that
you didn’t see coming . . . new and surprising."
“Magic, action and a really, really attractive love interest . . .
what more could you want?"
“A love story you won't soon forget . . .
a story of protection, sacrifice, and love."
“Book To Lean On When The Going Gets Tough."
“A Book for All Ages”
“Fae, magic, elemental control . . . two hot, confused brothers . . .
LIKE YES PLEASE . . . WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR!”
– Benjamin Alderson,
Benjaminoftomes Book Tube
CAN LOVE SPAN WORLDS?
For Noa and Callum, being together is dangerous, even deadly. From the start, sixteen-year-old Noa senses that the mysterious transfer student to her Monterey boarding school is different. Callum unnerves and intrigues her, and even as she struggles through family tragedy, she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Soon they are bound by his deepest secret: Callum is Fae, banished from another world after a loss hauntingly similar to her own.
But in Noa’s world, Callum needs a special human energy, Light, to survive; his body steals it through touch—or a kiss. And Callum’s not the only Fae on the hunt. When Callum is taken, Noa must decide: Will she sacrifice everything to save him? Even if it means learning their love may not be what she thought?
LAUREN BIRD HOROWITZ, screenwriter and novelist, has won an enthusiastic following for her innovative, lyrical poetic voice. Her debut novel Shattered Blue: Book One of The Light Trilogy, won the 2016 Independent Publishers' (IPPY) Silver Medal for Young Adult Fiction, as well as Finalist honors in the 2016 USA Book Awards for Best New Fiction and Best New Fantasy, the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Best Young Adult Fiction, and the 2016 International Book Award for Best Fantasy. It was also listed as one of USA Today's top romances of 2015, and selected as a notable book by Buzzfeed, Popsugar, Hypable, San Francisco Book Review, Glitter, The Culturalist, Teen Reads, Maria Shriver.com, Bustle and others.
Bird studied writing at Harvard University with novelist Jamaica Kincaid, winning several prizes including the Edward Eager Memorial Prize for fiction and Winthrop-Sargent Prize for writing. She’s a proud member of the Writers Guild of America.
|What a read! I am borderline speechless. I guess if I had to sum up my thoughts with just one word it would be WHOOOOAAAA!!!!
I was blown away by the end of the first book, Shattered Blue, but Renegade Red was surprise after surprise. From page one to the very last, Horowitz kept me on toes. Everything about this book was MORE, more surprises, more action, more mystery, more answers... and more questions, and more gorgeous writing and moving poetry. Be prepared for ALL THE FEELS in this addition to The Light Trilogy! I am DYING to know what happens next! Can't wait to get my hands on that final book, etc n though I'm in no way prepared for this series to end.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
A remote island full of mystery and myth, hidden powers, and an old prophecy made Isle an interesting page turner. I truly loved the setting of this story. Stone Isle was such a cool backdrop to the huge mystery involving Nora's past, present, and future. The characters were compelling as well. Every time I picked this book up I found myself completely engrossed in the story and I didn't want to put it down...alas real life demanded my attention repeatedly though so I couldn't devour this the way I wanted to.
The only thing I was kind of ify about was the initial love interest that turned out to be a really awkward situation. I get why it was done, but it still had a weird vibe going on for a bit. I did feel like the turn around from this situation felt a little rushed too, but I'd be interested to see if that ultimately gets explained a little in the next book, or if a lot of that has a something to do with this "bond" that took place.
I really appreciated the enthralling myths this island and its inhabitants were involved in too. That ending was fantastic, and it definitely made me want more! I will eagerly be awaiting the next installment!
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this story! I really loved that it read more like an epic fantasy. The journey Evie and Gideon took over land, sea, and even air; meeting friend and foe along the way, was quite a ride! I honestly found each place they traveled very interesting, along with all the new people they met.
Evie was a great leading lady. She started out this story pretty naïve and sheltered. But what she lacked in experience and worldly knowledge she definitely made up for in temperament! I mean, this girl had to flee the only home she had ever known going up in flames with the people she considered family, to ride out into the dangerous unknown with only her trusty horse, cloak, meager supplies and the stoic horse master Gideon. And bravo to her for keeping her head in the midst of all that! She even (mostly) listened to Gideon's instructions and put up with his secretiveness along the way. That's a hell of a lot more than I would have been capable of doing! I actually liked that she was naïve in the beginning, seeing these new places and experiencing things for the first time through her eyes made everything seem just a little more beguiling. It also made her interactions with people more interesting. I feel like she got a taste of the best and worst that humanity has to offer, and with each new meeting, whether good or bad, she grew as a person, and as a soon to be Queen, which was important.
I quite liked Gideon too. He was pretty standoffish in the beginning especially, but I think in the end he did genuinely come to care for Evie, and I think he is a good guy, caught in a very hard situation. By the end of this book I came to feel like I understood much of why he was the way he was, most especially with Evie, and it made more sense to me. I'm rooting for this guy! I was super proud of Evie each time she showed him how much he underestimated her though! So I suppose I am mostly TEAM EVIE!
The magical/mythical element here was fantastic! The Stormbourne legacy was enchanting! Descendants and rulers of Thunder and Lightening....
Evie has a very rich family legacy and I quite enjoyed each new piece we learned about it as the story progressed. I am DYING to know what happens next after that KILLER ending!
I CAN'T WAIT to get my hands on the next book! To briefly sum this up for you, if you are a fan of fantasy, give this book a try! So much happened, so many lands were explored, and the characters were well fleshed out and had grown by the end, and I find it very impressive that Heir of Thunder managed to feel so epic in just 288 pages, but it did, so major props to Laurel for pulling that off! A cloak of invisibility, flying ship, kidnapping, prophecy, betrayal, adventure, revolution, and forbidden love, I mean what more could you possibly want?!
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
THANK YOU Katrina Monroe for bringing some LOST GIRL magic into this story!
Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories! I usually quite like most of the retellings and alternate versions of the tale too. So I guess it comes as no surprise that I enjoyed this one as well. BUT one of the really cool and unique things about this book was the very prominent strong female factor. I have to admit, I was always slightly disappointed that there weren't any lost girls, and I think Monroe did an awesome job at filling this gap in All Darling Children. Even if some of these girls weren't technically thought of as such throughout most of the story. The girls in this book were fierce and cunning, and not all of them were entirely likeable, but they were keen and ferocious.
I loved the depiction of Peter Pan in this story! One thing that is common in any Peter Pan tale, new, old, or in between...he is arrogant through and through. I like how Monroe took that and twisted it into a new darker perspective. This Peter was familiar in many ways, the crowing, the games, boyish charm, and such. But everything about this book was darker. Peter was something to be feared. Everything about him was feral, a brutal savage whose selfish, bloodthirsty desires are grim enough to shape the world around him, and its inhabitants.
I found the Darling family so interesting! I kind of loved that they were a mess. I had never really thought much about their time after Neverland, and as disturbing as it could be at times, I thought Monroe came up with a super fascinating story line for them. I only wish we would have got a tiny glimpse at what Neverland would have looked like after a brief time after the end of this book. Not going to be spoilery here, but it's driving me a little mad not knowing if the atmosphere changed there after time, or if everything Madge went through and her new role in the world changed her in ways that we've seen before. History repeating itself and such. Part of me hopes for the former, but wouldn't the latter be such a wickedly delicious and fitting continuation of this story??!!
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
"There was something severed and rough about her, something tainted and, yet at the same time those jagged pieces were the makings of something fearsome. She'd wanted to become something the Senate would fear. Why not shatter the sky?"
I loved this story! Air Awakens was great, but Fire Falling knocked my socks off! Why oh why have I waited so long to start this series?! The plot progression was perfection, more action, more magic, and more delicious tension between Vhalla and Aldrik! I liked the inclusion of some new characters, and getting to know some of the originals a little better. I was glad to see Vhalla training and growing into her role. I love how fierce she is becoming! Throw in a few big surprises and devastations and you have the whole package in this wonderful sequel.
Updrift wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it was still an enjoyable read. I guess I was expecting a little more action and fantasy in this book, and while it did ultimately deliver on both of these, it did take quite some time to really do so. BUT where these elements were lacking in the first half or so of the story, there was really strong character and relationship development. In my opinion this was probably the strongest element in this story. So while it wasn't quite what I was expecting, I still enjoyed the journey to get to the parts I was anticipating. I think there was a lot of exploration into coming of age, falling in love, being a friend, a daughter, a mother, an aunt, basically the whole family dynamic in general. Stevens develops and nurtures each relationship with a lot of time and care, and I appreciate that.
Once we got more into the fantasy elements of the story, I found it quite interesting. I really liked that the men (Sirens) were the feature here. I feel like so often with "mermaids" we are getting the female take on them, so it was nice to see Stevens' version with the Sirens taking the lead.
I liked the idea of them as a generally peaceful and devoted race. The fact that they mate for life was a sweet touch. I really enjoyed seeing a little of their home in the sea and their customs. Although I feel like there is a lot that could still be done with that aspect of the story. I had really high hopes for the world building here, but I feel as if there could have been more there. I would really love to see this world be expanded upon in the next book. I think that would take these books to a whole new level. All in all I enjoyed this book. I am looking forward to seeing what the next book, Breakwater holds in store!
One of my FAVORITE books is the Kindle Daily Deal today! You can snag your copy of Shattered Blue today for only $1.99!! AND as if that wasn't awesome enough...after you get your copy you can send proof of purchase (confirmation number or screenshot) to email@example.com to be entered in the giveaway from author Lauren Bird Horowitz to win an ARC of the sequel RENEGADE RED way before it is available for anyone else! You don't want to miss this awesome deal!
Grab your copy of Shattered Blue on sale here: http://amzn.to/1Ln5dMe