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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Throwback Reviews - Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

*This review was originally posted on Friday, September 30th, 2011*

Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Publication Date: September 6th, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Page Count: 352 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Genre: Mythology, urban fantasy
Ages: 12+
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

Holy goalie! I haven't read any of Tera Lynn Childs' books yet, but now I want to go read them all! Sweet Venom was absolutely amazing! I had heard good things about it from fellow bloggers so when it came in the mail, I started it right away! I have to say, Sweet Venom greatly exceeded all my expectations, and my expectations were REALLY high!

I was a little worried when I heard it was going to be written from 3 different POVs, but Childs really pulled it off. First we're introduced to Gretchen who is the kick-ass monster killer triplet, next is Grace the sweet soft-spoken triplet, and finally about 2/3 of the way through the book we meet Greer, the stuck up snooty triplet. I absolutely loved Gretchen's powerful attitude and her confident nature, and I loved how she was so into monster hunting. She's basically the complete opposite from Grace who is really quiet and timid, and can barely stand up for herself. It was great to see how Grace changes after meeting Gretchen and learning about her heritage. She really seems to find herself. Gretchen also tends to soften around Grace which is nice. Greer is okay, we don't see much of her in this book so I'm hoping to learn more about her in the next one.

The writing is spectacular, I could always tell which POV I was reading from whether I read the name on the chapters or not. Childs really nailed each character's voice, and each one was different from the other. Their tone, wording, sentence structure, everything was different. I especially really liked Greer's voice, she had this formal rich thought process that demonstrated her personality really well. Her voice was completely different from the others.

There isn't a lot of romance, so if that's a deal breaker then you might not like this one. There are some love interests, but they're not super focused on. I can tell that later in the series that something is going to happen between the couples, but for now there's just some slight attraction. Usually lack of romance can be a deal breaker for me, but I didn't think it really fit in with the story, but there was just enough to keep me interested in what was going to happen next.

Overall I absolutely LOVED this book! I recommend it for anyone who likes books written from multiple perspectives, books about mythology, and books about kick-ass chicks! If you don't already have this one, go pick it up right now!


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine! It showcases books that we can't wait on to come out!

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Expected Publication Date: November 22nd, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 400 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.
Why I Can't Wait: I think the real question is why can't you wait?! Seriously, this book sounds AMAZING! Female love interests, princesses, magic, warhorses?? All of this sounds like Audrey Coulthurst climbed into my head and wrote the book of my dreams. I don't want to wait until November!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Teaser Tuesday - Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.


Outrun the Moon
by Stacey Lee
Expected Publication Date: May 24th, 2016
Publisher: Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 400 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
*This quote is from the ARC and finished copies may differ*
San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can't sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the 'bossy' cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?
My Teaser
"The sun strokes a finger across my cheek. I slept poorly, not just on account of the creaking but because the bed felt too wide open, like I was sleeping on the Siberian peninsula. Plus, I've never spent a night apart from my family, and it turns out I miss them terribly, even in my sleep." - 22% 
If you haven't already read Stacey's first book, Under a Painted Sky I highly recommend it. Stacey has a fantastic way with words and her historical fiction is just perfect. I'm almost done with her second book and it's just as fantastic! Plus, she's local and one of my favorite people <3

Monday, May 23, 2016

YA Review: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury




The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Publication Date: February 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: 352 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed from Bookalicious
Genre: Fairy-tale retelling, fantasy
Ages: 14+
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of the Aladdin story from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

Let me start by saying I've been absolutely OBSESSED with Aladdin and 1001 Nights re-tellings lately, so THE FORBIDDEN WISH caught my eye immediately. It's a great spin on the story of Aladdin, whether you're familiar with the original tale, or the Disney version, you'll see a lot of similarities and recognize many of the plot points.

My favorite part of Khoury's version has to be that the jinni is a woman. A kick-ass-punch-you-in-the-throat-turn-into-a-snake-and-bite-you woman. Zahra as she's named is THE BEST. Seriously, she takes shit from no one and despite being slave to the lamp has he fair share of fun with some of the wishes commanded of her. While she is technically incapable of going against her master, she knows how to manipulate wishes to her own advantage and has no shame in admitting it.

There are other amazing women in this story too - Caspida, is a hero in her own right. She's bold, fierce, and incredibly intelligent. Part of me would really love to read a short story, or novella, purely about Zahra and Caspida going on some kind of insane adventure together while leaving Aladdin at home to tend to whatever it is he has going on now.

Needless to say, I highly recommend THE FORBIDDEN WISH for anyone who enjoys fantasy, fairy-tales, strong women, and a bit of romance. A great read, I just wish there were more!
 



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Oh how long it's been.....

When it's been so freakin long since you've posted anything that you just start writing to see what ends up coming out.

Currently reading:
* Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee - Totally loving it, Stacey is a master wordsmith and story-teller and I'll read just about anything she comes up with. She's also an amazing person and such a sweetheart so that definitely helps. Outrun the Moon is different (but also similar) to Under a Painted Sky, but I think I like UaPS better because it's a western and I'm a sucker for westerns.

* The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins - Amazing. I'm enthralled by this one. I loved her other series and this one is just as fantastic. The thing I like about Wendy's writing is how she manages to create strong, female characters who aren't badasses because they carry bows and arrows, but because they're intelligent and cunning and strong-willed. These are my kinds of women. Not that bows and arrows aren't kickass, but I can't relate to that. I would kill myself with a bow and arrow.

So I'm winging it for now. Stick with me kids. Let me know what's going on with your bad selves and let's catch up!

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Disclaimer

According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from Goodreads.com unless otherwise stated.
 
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