Laure Eve, The Graces Review

Author: Laure Eve

Title: The Graces

Synopsis: Everyone said the Graces were witches.

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on? (Source: GoodReads)

Disclaimer: These are my opinions about this book, and I mean no harm to the author or the fans of this book.

I was originally drawn into this book, because at my local Barnes & Noble’s there was a recommendation card that said that it was a mix between Mean Girls and The Craft. I’m hear to tell you that was a blatant lie.

I would consider The Graces to be more of a Twilight/ Single White Female fanfiction. That idea sounds way cooler than the actual plot of this book.

But The Graces was just so…corny. I found myself rolling my eyes all the way through.

Not only was it corny but it was confusing. Like is her dad dead or is he missing? Are they witches or is she witch? And why the hell is she single white femaling this  family? I need answers!

It took me awhile to connect with the main character, River, and when I did I came to the conclusion that I didn’t like her. She was only friends with The Graces based off of looks alone. She said they were best friends, but if they were really best friends she would have been comfortable enough to open up to them. She wanted to know everything about the Grace family yet she didn’t offer up information about herself one time. And she was only friends with Summer (the youngest Grace) just to get to her brother.

But what really disturbed me about River is that she kept saying how much she wanted to be a Grace. At one point she even said that she was a Grace. No, sweetie. You’re a stalker.

Another thing that turned me off about The Graces, was how long it took to get to the climax. At some points I would think I was there and then I wouldn’t be and then I would think I was there again and I still wouldn’t be it. And then it finally did happen, and it fell flat. With how many hints and cliffhangers there were leading up to that point I expected it to be bigger, and it just wasn’t.

I wanted to like The Graces I really did. But it just wasn’t for me. I read on GoodReads that there is a second one and a part of me wants to read it just to see if it’s any better. Don’t know if I will or not, but if I do I will definitely post a review.

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Jason Rekulak, The Impossible Fortress Review

Title: The Impossible Fortress

Author: Jason Rekulak

Genre: Young Adult/ Fiction

Synopsis: The Impossible Fortress begins with a magazine…The year is 1987 and Playboy has just published scandalous photographs of Vanna White, from the popular TV game show Wheel of Fortune. For three teenage boys—Billy, Alf, and Clark—who are desperately uneducated in the ways of women, the magazine is somewhat of a Holy Grail: priceless beyond measure and impossible to attain. So, they hatch a plan to steal it.

The heist will be fraught with peril: a locked building, intrepid police officers, rusty fire escapes, leaps across rooftops, electronic alarm systems, and a hyperactive Shih Tzu named Arnold Schwarzenegger. Failed attempt after failed attempt leads them to a genius master plan—they’ll swipe the security code to Zelinsky’s convenience store by seducing the owner’s daughter, Mary Zelinsky. It becomes Billy’s mission to befriend her and get the information by any means necessary. But Mary isn’t your average teenage girl. She’s a computer loving, expert coder, already strides ahead of Billy in ability, with a wry sense of humor and a hidden, big heart. But what starts as a game to win Mary’s affection leaves Billy with a gut-wrenching choice: deceive the girl who may well be his first love or break a promise to his best friends. (All Stats from GoodReads)

When I first picked up The Impossible Fortress I didn’t think much of it. I just thought it was going to be a short, easy read, which it was, but I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

The story is told from the perspective of fifteen year old, Billy Marvin, and it took me a while to warm up to Billy. He’s young, impressionable, and all he really wants to do is create video games and see Vanna White naked. Not really my type of guy.

But I ended up enjoying his character very much. Though I found myself cringing at some of the stupid decisions he made. Billy turned out to have a good heart, and most fifteen year olds make stupid decisions. His and Mary’s relationship threw me through a loop towards the middle, I was not expecting what happened at all. I’m not going to spoil it, but Mary is not as innocent as she seems. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Overall I really enjoyed, The Impossible Fortress, it was a sweet coming of age story. It’s very short so it was easy to get through, and it took me on a journey through Wetbridge, New Jersey in the spring of 1987. And I learned a little bit of code in the process. You can find The Impossible Fortress in your local bookstore and online.

Blog of the Month- Twin Reads

It’s the end of April, and that means a new Blog of the month! I skipped last month, because I hadn’t found any new blogs that I liked. But this month I’ve been reading Twin Reads, and I’ve really enjoyed their posts.

Twin Reads is ran by twin sisters Meg and Leah Bruce, and they post YA fiction reviews, hauls, and book tags.  They currently attend Belmont University in Nashville, TN, so we’re basically neighbors. (Photo Source: Twin Reads)

I’ve been following them for a while, but they hadn’t been posting very much. But this month they have been posting some great content. Recently they posted a list of new YA summer releases, but one of my favorite post of the month was their April Book Haul. It’s something about a good haul that I just love (I’m a bookaholic).

Seeing other book bloggers being consistent and producing great content for their readers always makes me want to work harder. I can’t wait to read more from Meg and Leah in the future. I’ll have their Instagram link down below, and check out their blog for some great reviews.

Follow them

Instagram: @twin_reads

Twitter: @twin_reads

Sarah Nicole Lemon, Done Dirt Cheap Review

Title: Done Dirt Cheap

Author: Sarah Nicole Lemon

Synopsis: Tourmaline Harris’s life hit pause at fifteen, when her mom went to prison because of Tourmaline’s unintentionally damning testimony. But at eighteen, her home life is stable, and she has a strong relationship with her father, the president of a local biker club known as the Wardens.

Virginia Campbell’s life hit fast-forward at fifteen, when her mom “sold” her into the services of a local lawyer: a man for whom the law is merely a suggestion. When Hazard sets his sights on dismantling the Wardens, he sends in Virginia, who has every intention of selling out the club—and Tourmaline. But the two girls are stronger than the circumstances that brought them together, and their resilience defines the friendship at the heart of this powerful debut novel. (Source for synopsis and photo: GoodReads)

Rating: 5/5

Done Dirt Cheap was exciting, dangerous, and quite heartwarming. Lemon takes you on a wild ride with characters, Tourmaline and Virginia. As they learn to grab ahold of their own destiny when they realize that the only  people they can count on is each other.

I would be lying if I said the cover of the book isn’t what drew me in. I mean look at it, it’s gorgeous, and it looks even cooler in person. But Lemon’s writing is what truly captivated me. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but it worked out pretty well for me. This book was awesome.

With a Thelma and Louise like bond Tourmaline and Virginia take on a corrupt lawyer, Tourmaline’s mom’s drug dealer ex, a state detective and forbidden romance.

I liked that Lemon decided to make this book girl power driven, instead of making Tourmaline and Virginia damsels in distress who just waited for someone to come and save them. Don’t get me wrong I love me some romance, which there is some in this book, but sometimes I just want to see some kick ass female characters who can do it by themselves.

It took them a few tries, but at the end of the day they saved themselves. And Tourmaline and Virginia’s friendship is actual friendship goals.

They went from mowing lawns together one second to climbing up a mountain to plant a gun in an ex-cons house together, and neither one of them abandoned the other. Talk about ride or die.

If I would have had the time I’m sure I could have finished this in a day or two, but with school and work it took me about a week and a half (only two more weeks of school and I’m finally free). The chapters are very short, and Lemon’s not very wordy with her writing, she’s straight to the point, an ability that I wish I possessed.  I still can’t believe this is Lemon’s first novel, I hope she comes out with more books.

Done Dirt Cheap is a phenomenal coming of age story about friendship and taking life into your own hands. This would make a great summer read, it’s fairly short and action packed, I highly recommend picking it up at your local bookstore.

 

Epic Reads Tag

Today I wanted to try something different, I thought I would post a tag instead of doing a review. I came across the Epic Reads Tag while searching for a cool tag, it looked really cool and I really liked the questions. So let’s get started!

  1. If you could invite one author and one of their fictional characters to lunch, who would you invite and what would you serve them?

I would invite Rainbow Rowell and Kath from her novel, FanGirl, to lunch, and we would have Mexican food. Kath is one of my favorite fictional characters, ever, and Rainbow Rowell is my favorite author.

2. What book do you wish the author would write a prequel for?

Hmm, this is a hard one. I would love for Sabaa Tahir to write a prequel for An Ember In the Ashes, focused on Elias’ experience at Briarcliff. Elias was my favorite character in Ember, and ever since I finished it I’ve been curious about what it was like at Briarcliff when Elias’ was younger.

3. Which two characters (not from the same book) would make a good couple?

Ooo, this one is good. Okay, if I could pick two characters to be in a relationship that weren’t from the same book. I would pick Quentin from John Green’s, Paper Towns, and I know I said Kath for question one, but I think they would be cute together so I’m going to say her for this one too. That would also make an awesome crossover novel. John Green and Rainbow Rowell need to get on that.

4. If you ran into your favorite author on the subway and could only say one sentence to them, who is it and what would it be?

I’m going to say my childhood favorite, Meg Cabot. And I would say, “I love your books, and you are the reason that I fell in love with reading in the first place, and I want to thank you for that.”

5. What book made you a reader and why?

Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, is what really made me fall in love with reading. It was the end of fifth grade and I had never read for fun before, all the books I read I was forced to read. But one day I picked up The Princess Diaries, I remember the cover was hot pink with a tiara on the front, and I was hooked. I’ve loved to read ever since. 

6. Your bookshelf just caught fire show the book you’d save.

Fangirl, duh. (Photo from: Rainbow Rowell)

7. Which dystopian world would you want to live in if you had to choose one? why?

I don’t know if The Selection by Kierra Cass counts as a dystopian world, but it will be today. I’m picking this book, because it seems safer than all of my other options and I want to be America Singer. I really need to finish that series, I am so behind.

8. What is your most epic read of all time?

My most epic read has to be Stephen King’s, It. I got it for my birthday in September, and I’m only half-way through it. There’s so many different perspectives, and there’s also a lot of information. It’s just an intense read, it’s something I have to prepare myself for.

This was actually really fun, I will definitely be doing this again. If there’s any other cool book tags I should check out, comment them below.

Sabaa Tahir, An Ember In The Ashes Review

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Title: An Ember In The Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Series: Ember in The Ashes Series (Book #1)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis: Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. Source: Sabaa Tahir

I love, love, loved this book. It’s been a minute since I’ve read a fantasy novel, I’m not even sure the name of the last fantasy book I read. But I couldn’t have picked a better book to jump back into the genre with.

Sabaa Tahir gave me everything I needed with An Ember In The Ashes.

It was action packed, touching, and it had just the right amount of romance. There was something going on from beginning to end. I was on the edge of my seat from the beginning. I didn’t want to put this book down, I couldn’t wait to see what was next.

I didn’t know how I was going to feel about the different point-of-views, but I found myself enjoying it. As far as characters go, I did not like Laia at first. I thought she was whiny and weak and annoying, but she grew on me. Throughout the book she got strong and she become more sure of herself, and I started to warm up to her.

Elias…ugh, I have such a soft spot for him. He grew so much throughout the book. I found him to be relatable, we’ve all had that moment where we had to make the decision to go against the things we were taught in order the person the we want be.

I loved this book from beginning to end, and I can’t wait until I can start A Torch In The Night. I want to thank the girl at Barnes & Noble who reccomended this series to me, she has no idea how much she has blessed my life.

 

 

Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game Review

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Series: Ender’s Quintet Series

Genre: Science Fiction

Synopsis: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast. Source: Barnes & Noble

Let me get started by saying, I am not a SCI-Fi fan, I would prefer not to read about aliens or about people fighting aliens. But surprisingly enough that is exactly what Ender’s Game is about, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Ender’s Game tells the story of Ender Wiggin, he was taken too battle school when he was six years old to learn how to fight “The Buggers” who are coming to destroy the rest of the human race, they don’t know when they’re coming but the school just knows they are coming. So throughout the book you see Ender grow up and become a better fighter, but you also see him start to turn into this empty shell of a person.

From the beginning you know that Ender is different, and so do all of the other characters. Ender is deadly , if I was a character in this book, I would try my hardest to keep Ender on my good side. Because he is a scary little boy, Card did a really good job of putting you inside of Ender’s head and showing you all the dark thoughts that are in there.

This book changed my mind about Sci-Fi novels, there are five books in the series, but I’m still unsure if I want to read the rest of them because I really liked the way Ender’s Game ended.

Ender’s Game was adapted into a movie in 2013, which I thought was really good despite a few plot holes, but it’s definitely not as bad as other movies that have adapted into books. I would suggest reading the book before watching the movie.

I would give this book a solid 7/10. I’m giving it a 7, because I liked it enough where I could finish the book and not have a lot of complaints, but I didn’t love it enough to rush and read the rest of the series.

Until next time,

Jay