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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 416 pages
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Genre: Science Fiction
Ages: 14+
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A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for. Nothing else.

For Nemesis, that person is Sidonia, heir to the galactic Senate. The two grew up side by side, and there’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the Imperial Court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced Senators’ children, and Nemesis must find within herself the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have—humanity. With the Empire beginning to fracture and rebellion looming, that could be the one thing that saves her and the Empire itself.

Okay, THIS BOOK! I have to admit, I wasn't super into the first third of this book, but once things started picking up I could not stop! I got REALLY into it! The beginning is kind of difficult to grasp (and that could definitely stem from listening to the audio version), but once I started understanding the core concepts and the cultural importance of everything, I really started enjoying everything.

Nemesis is a Diabolic. From what I gathered, that means she's a humanoid creature designed to essentially sacrifice herself for her bonded human counterpart. I'm not going to lie, every time they said "humanoid" all I could think of were the Orcs from Lord of the Rings. She's supposed to protect the human who "owns" her or her master. Nemesis's master is Sidonia, the daughter of an important governmental figure (a senator) who doesn't have much interest in the courtly life she's supposed to maintain. So, when Sidonia is meant to visit the court, they send Nemesis instead.

This is where things really started getting good. I was sort of bored with the whole origin story and tailoring of Nemesis, but once she was on her own I was OBSESSED. I LOVED Nemesis around all those crazy court people. She as fierce, strong, loyal, and watching her become her own person was just fascinating.

If you haven't picked up The Diabolic yet, I highly recommend it. Just get through the beginning bits and things will start to pick up, I swear! Great pick for anyone looking for an interesting sci fi read!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Review: Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King

Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 295 pages
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Magical Realism; Contemporary Fiction; Real Issues
Ages: 14+
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

“I am sixteen years old. I am a human being.”

Actually Sarah is several human beings. At once. And only one of them is sixteen. Her parents insist she’s a gifted artist with a bright future, but now she can’t draw a thing, not even her own hand. Meanwhile, there’s a ten-year-old Sarah with a filthy mouth, a bad sunburn, and a clear memory of the family vacation in Mexico that ruined everything. She’s a ray of sunshine compared to twenty-three-year-old Sarah, who has snazzy highlights and a bad attitude. And then there’s forty-year-old Sarah (makes good queso dip, doesn’t wear a bra, really wants sixteen-year-old Sarah to tell the truth about her art teacher). They’re all wandering Philadelphia—along with a homeless artist allegedly named Earl—and they’re all worried about Sarah’s future.

But Sarah’s future isn’t the problem. The present is where she might be having an existential crisis. Or maybe all those other Sarahs are trying to wake her up before she’s lost forever in the tornado of violence and denial that is her parents’ marriage.

“I am a human being. I am sixteen years old. That should be enough.”

Every couple of years a book comes along that really alters the way I view my own realities. Books like Hate List by Jennifer Brown and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Books that make you realize your own problems are trivial, that there are bigger things happening in the world. That some people have it much harder than you. That maybe you should stop and think before harshly passing judgment.

Still Life with Tornado is absolutely one of those books. It’s haunting, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. It makes you take a step back and really think about all kinds of abuse and the effects it has on the abused, the abuser, and even the bystander or family members. This is a book that deserves a spot on every required reading list.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Teaser Tuesday - Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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

Three Dark Crowns
by Kendare Blake
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 416 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
*This quote is from the ARC and finished copies may differ*
Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.
My Teaser
A young queen stands barefoot on a wooden block with her arms outstretched. She has only her scant underclothes and the long, black hair that hangs down her back to fend off the drafts. Every ounce of strength in her slight frame is needed to keep her chin high and her shoulders square. - Kindle E-ARC location 78 of 4724
Page one and I'm already hooked! I can't wait to get into this one :) Plus, that cover is AMAZE! 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

by Aprilynne Pike
Expected Publication Date: October 25th, 2016
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 384 pages
Format: E-ARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Genre: Science fiction, dystopian, romance, political intrigue
Ages: 14+
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel—Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it’s the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life.

Outside 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.

Just, wow. This book. I have no words. I think I've been telling everyone I can find that they absolutely NEED to read Glitter as soon as it comes out. Honestly, if I had to wait for October to read it for the first time, know what I already know, I'd be pissed. Because this is not a book you want to wait for. I'm sorry for all of you.

Look, if you're not already hooked by my very convincing first paragraph, I get it. I'll have to do better. This book is set in the Palace of freakin Versaille. Yes, where Marie Antoinette lived. And because this is a futuristic, dystopian story, everyone has lenses and future tech that help them live in their historic castle. It's just such a weird and creative concept, I absolutely fell in love.

Danica is an interesting character. She didn't grow up with nobility, and only recently found a place in the palace. Because of this, she isn't as familiar with court ways as others and ends up finding herself in a very dangerous predicament. After witnessing the king murder a young girl, Danica's mother blackmails the king into agreeing to a marriage neither of them want, purely to propel her family further in the court. Danica is absolutely scarred from this experience and wears a corset which she tightens regularly to remind her that she is still alive. I found this whole concept fascinating and after tweeting Aprilynne Pike, she informed me that even to this day, some use corset training to deal with their anxiety - safely.

The king is an absolutely piece of garbage, which I'm sure you've already realized purely based on the fact that he KILLED A GIRL. Straight up MURDERED HER. Yeah, that guy sucks. Occasionally he would remind me of Henry VIII, but I'm not sure if that's because of the whole murder thing, or because he was power-hungry and a man whore. Probably all of the above.

Gossip Girl meets Cinder in this futuristic thriller. They throw the Breaking Bad reference in there, but I didn't see it. This is a phenomenal story and one that really stuck with me. Highly recommended!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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

by Neal Shusterman
Expected Publication Date: November 22nd, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 448 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation—they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do.

Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives.
Why I Can't Wait: Hi, new Neal Shusterman, kthnxbye.


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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 unless otherwise stated.
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