Sunday, September 17, 2017

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just like the Wrath and the Dawn, I LOVED Mariko, the magic, The Black Clan, her brother, Kenshin, all of it! I could not stop reading, I was grabbed from the first page- feudal Japan, a power hungry Emperor who kills all his friends, and all that follows...it was lush- the writing, the world, the characters. Mariko is a spirited heroine (may be one of my faves!) dislikes being a girl who must be married off, questions everything, doesn't care that she is seen as odd, and wants to find out why the Black Clan hijacked her caravan as she rode to her betrothed. I liked the way her mind worked, especially impersonating a boy, trying to bluster while trying to gain information. Oh the lies, secrecy, and mystery were palpable, I could not stop turning the pages! I enjoyed the mythology, magic, vanishing wolves and foxes, especially Mariko's belief in living life according to the 7 Tenets of Bushido, The Way of the Warrior. I can't wait for the 2nd book but I will continue to go over and over the wonderful characters, the gorgeous setting, and the many adventures of Mariko and Okami and Ranmaru. And that is the sign of a great book, when you continue to revel in the twists and turns!

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Friday, September 15, 2017

If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

If There's No TomorrowIf There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my fave YA & Adult Romance writers! What's more, she is great friends with Sarah J Maas who I absolutely adore and the first page of this novel has main character, book nerd Lena reading Maas' series of Fae, A Court of Thorn & Roses!!! Lena has been in love with her neighbor since he moved in and now that she is a senior in HS she is looking forward to moving on to college. Sebastian is her best friend, visits her on her 2nd floor porch & talks long into the night in her bed. Lena keeps her feelings from everyone (but they see) and since she went out with Andre & he went out with Skylar, there is no way he would ever be into her. Until...one night at the lake she gives him a kiss & he jumps away & acts flustered. It goes from bad to worse and things are weird. Then one night she goes to a party with Sebastian, he says he wants to talk to her at the end of the night (uh oh). But this night changes everything when Lena goes home early without telling Sebastian, gets into a car with her 4 friends, and a horrible accident occurs. Everything Lena knew is gone, so many things have changed, and will she ever be able to make it back to being just Lena again. I love Armentrout's writing, I rooted for Lena and Sebastian, and felt this book will be a wake up call for teens. Decisions can be life-altering and this book deals with choices, grief, loss and being able to move on. Teens need to read this book. Highly recommend.

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Wild BeautyWild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Feiwel & Friends Candlewick for the ARC, Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. I just love the way Anna-Marie McLemore writes, the title for this third novel is perfect! There is such gorgeous worldbuilding with the gardens of the Nomeolvides women consisting of grandmothers, mothers, and cousins who are bound to the land of La Pradera where to leave is to die. The flowers, their colors, their beauty (and magic) Estrella and her cousins nurture was also a restrictive world where generations of Nomeolvides women have been cursed and their lovers (male or female) were punished by disappearing forever. Estrella and her cousins, Azalea, Gloria, Calla, and Dalia are all fiercely in love with Bay Briar, whose grandmother owned the lands and gardens of LaPradera. Would their gifts to LaPradera spare Bay from their venomous hearts? Estrella finds a boy who has no memory of who he is or where he comes from. Together, the Nomeolvides women decide this boy, Fel, is a gift - maybe he is going to save LaPredera and hopefully bring back their lovers. They all decide to love him as a brother. So begins McLemore’s stunning novel with her special kind of magical realism in plot, setting, imagery, dialogue, and language. This book was lush, full of confusion, lies, secrets and the drama of families, loss, and love. I could not put down this mesmerizing world of flowers, willful Nomeolvides women, Fel’s grasping for memories and loving the Nomeolvides women. Highly recommended!

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Love & Lies: Marisol's Story by Ellen Wittliner

Love & Lies: Marisol's StoryLove & Lies: Marisol's Story by Ellen Wittlinger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just read Hard Love this summer as part of a twitter chat (#yearofya - topic books of the 80s & 90s) and was so happy Wittlinger wrote this follow-up as part of Marisol's story. Marisol is out and proud, has taken a year off to make money for Stanford and she wants to write a book. She meets Gio at her creative writing class and even though it is awkward (he proclaimed his love for her & she spurned him) they keep trying the friendship avenue. Gio is now seeing Diana (Marisol likes her, she is a good person) and Marisol's best friend roommate is now seeing a guy. Marisol keeps looking for love and thinks she has found it in their creative writing teacher, Olivia. The title of the book says it all- Marisol is used and bullied by Olivia but she tells herself this is love. What will happen to Marisol as her friends try to warn her what they see and she does not? A perfect follow up to Hard Love!

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Finale (Hush Hush #4) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh did I love this final audiobook expertly narrated by Cailtin Greer! Nora and Patch must act like they are no longer a couple in order to survive her father's making her a Nephilim and his heir to lead the angels in war. If Nora did not agree or follow her vow to the letter to Hank Miller, she and her mother will die. I was so happy Vee was her best friend who now knows about Nora's life. Vee begins to date Scott Parnell. Nora is now being trained by (& fake boyfriended by) Dante who trains her to fight, mind-read, and lead the Nephilim. There are other interesting characters like Blakely who produces an addicting drug that enhances power and Pepper who is pursuing Patch relentlessly. Still annoying & nasty is Marcy Miller. As the conflict within the angels grows, Nora constantly second guesses herself and others. But she still remains committed to Patch because they both want the same thing- a life with each other, away from the Nephilim. Oh what they will do to accomplish their goals!!! A favorite series of mine and so glad I listened to all 4 books, one right after the other- no wating & it was all so exciting, gripping, and tense!

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J Maas

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, #6)Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Maas' story of Chaol & Nesryn working to stop a war, their story of beseeching the Sultan of Khagan to join Aelin and Dorian's side. This 6th novel grabbed me and took me only 3 days to finish; I loved her plot, the many characters, but especially Chaol's healer, prince & princes of Kagan, the scary spiders, the ruks, the Vlag demons and always her pacing was excellent, thrilling, and so emotionally charged. Chaol was my favorite before- honorable, serious but so deep in his love for his soldiers & conflicted with his many mistakes. His journey in this book was incredible! I can't wait for #7; Maas' books are my favorites- she combines thrilling world building, deep characters, swoony romance, Fae history and just all around compulsive reading-hihgly recommended.

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Silence (Hush Hush #3) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Caitlin Greer's narration of this 3rd book; Nora wakes up in a cemetery after being missing for a summer. She does not remember anything; Fitzpatrick's novel drove home the dark forces plotting against Nora and Patch and the way determined Nora regains her memory is resourceful and determined. I loved Vee, her best friend-hated Hank Miller and her mom's dating, and Scott Parnell's friendship. A great book & audiobook! Can't wait to listen to #4 the final in this thrilling series.

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