Author: Arielle (page 2 of 3)

BOOK REVIEW – Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

BOOK REVIEW – Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie GarberLegendary (Caraval #2)
by Stephanie Garber
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling breakout debut Caraval

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval...the games have only just begun.

“What have I always told you about the future?”
“Every person has the power to write her own.”
 Tella said.

Please God. Let there be a third book. There has to be a third book. Right? RIGHT?! THIS WAS SO GOOD. I spent a good four hours this morning finishing this book, completely ignoring everything else around me an I can’t say that I regret it. I mean seriously, the only part of this book that I didn’t like was when it ended…

Dante looked up and gave her a fallen star’s smile.
“You should always wear flowers.”

Would it be bad if I said I hoped the next book (IF there is one) was also centered around Tella? I liked the first book BUT this one was just so much better in my opinion. I thought Garber’s writing had seriously improved, the plot was even more twisty than in book one AND Tella was just so damn likeable! 

Tella might have been many things, but she was far from silly or worthless or whatever labels people liked to affix because a person was young and female.

I only read Caraval once as an ARC so it’s been quite awhile but from what I can remember, Tella is so much fiercer than Scarlett. I loved her sass and how even in the moments where she knew she should be scared of the people and things happening around her, she put on a brave face. She always had a retort ready for Dante and Jacks or anyone else trying to stand in her way. I couldn’t get enough!

But Tella didn’t believe in impossible choices. In her experience one path was always clearly worse than another.

I was a huge fan of the plot centering around the Fates, too. I’ve always thought that the concept of fate was an extremely interesting thing so the fact that Tella had to worry about them AND a new game of Caraval made the stakes even higher this time. It was all so incredibly twisty and complicated and of course you never can tell what’s real or fake—who’s working for Legend and who’s genuinely trying to help Tella. I LOVE IT.

But Tella didn’t want to look at the stars. She wanted to see him.

There also might be a love interest in here that I am completely obsessed with. Extremely broody and obviously I will not be saying more, just know that I am all for this ship. 100%. That’s basically why I need another book if we’re being honest with one another, lol. 

Tella claimed she didn’t want love—she liked to say loved trapped and controlled and ripped hearts apart. But the truth was she also knew love healed and help people together, and deep down she wanted it more than anything.

Overall I was THOROUGHLY impressed, you guys. While the first one was good, this one was GREAT. All the stars!

“Don’t be like me and settle for the ease of an almost-ending, when you could have the true ending.”
“I’m not sure I understand what that even means,”
 Tella said.
“It means most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, where the situation feels hopeless. But that’s when hope is needed most.”

ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. THANK YOU NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the chance to read this early. ♥

BOOK REVIEW- Tempests and Slaughter (Numair Chronicles #1) by Tamora Pierce

BOOK REVIEW- Tempests and Slaughter (Numair Chronicles #1) by Tamora PierceTempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles #1)
by Tamora Pierce
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.

Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

Ugh you guys I am so ashamed that this book took me so long to read. Tamora Pierce has been my favorite author ever since I picked up Trickster’s Choice many years ago. Of course I was pissed to find out that I had basically ruined a lot of things for myself for picking up that duology first but I had no idea at the time! I spend the next few years DEVOURING every other book written by this gem of a lady. Alanna, Kel, Daine, Aly….all of these women have come to mean so much to me. I still to this day think about them when I’m going through something hard or scary and need a bit of bravery. I honestly think I took my sweet time because this book has been A LONG TIME COMING. Seriously. Her last actual full-length novel set in Tortall came out in 2011. SEVEN YEARS AGO. And I mean… she’s been planning a Numair series since then so it’s been a pretty excruciating wait if you ask me.

The most important thing to know about this book is that you will appreciate it 100x more if you’ve read her other series set in Tortall, first. There are little teasers for what is to come in the Immortals series and you get to see characters that pop up again later as well which is one of my favorite parts of her books. I think that the pacing would be a little slow if this was the first book of hers that you were picking up and I also think that even with my love for her and Numair, that the title really didn’t fit with the more..it more or less seems to be setting up for what is to come on the horizon (which is totally fine but I think some people might be misled).

Arram Draper a.k.a. Numair for those of you who have read Pierce’s other series, was a damn treat in this book. He starts out the book as an eleven-year-old who has just started his studies at the Imperial University of Carthak and by the end of it grows into a young man of 14. I LOVED HIM SO MUCHHHHHHHHHHH. Just by reading this first book I have come to realize that we barely get to know him at all in the Immortals series. He is kind, he is thoughtful, he is fiercely loyal, and powerful. Like really, really powerful. I enjoyed watching him come into this gift and loved every single one of his Masters that helped him explore different aspects of his power. They all cared so deeply for him that even if you didn’t know he was going to become one of the most powerful mages in the world, you’d know there was *something* special about him.

It was also so very interesting to see a young and not-yet-so-complicated Ozorne and Varice. It kills me just wondering what that breaking point will be to send Numair over to Tortall and completely sever ties with these two young people that came to be his best friends in this book. Quite heartbreaking if I’m being honest. Reading this makes me want to go read the other books ASAP to see what kinds of things I pick up from this book. The part where Ozorne gave him a book on shape shifters had me dying. I just whispered to the book *yes, that is a book about your future wife—-pay attention* bahaha (and no that’s not a spoiler if you’ve read any of her other books that were published YEARS ago). AND one of his Masters talked about giving him a book about wild magic too (even though at that time they thought it was nothing but a wives tale).  Can you said ~*FoRsHaDoWiNg*~ TOO GOOD. Sigh. If you’re a Tamora Pierce fan I HIGHLY RECOMMEND and if you haven’t been introduced, I say start at the very beginning with the Song of the Lioness series. You will not regret it.

*side note: if you previously loved how each of her series had one sassy animal that hung around with the main character and just kind of *made* the book, there’s one in this one, too. 🙂

BOOK REVIEW – We Own Tonight by Corinne Michaels

BOOK REVIEW – We Own Tonight by Corinne MichaelsWe Own Tonight by Corinne Michaels
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From New York Times Bestseller, Corinne Michaels, comes a sexy new STANDALONE romance novel.

I’m not a one-night stand kind of woman. I’m especially not the woman who has a few drinks at a concert and ends up in bed with my childhood celebrity crush, Eli Walsh.

However, that’s exactly where I find myself.

What’s a girl to do after a drunken mistake? Run. I grab my clothes and get away from the powerful, irresistible, and best-sex-of-my-life superstar as fast as I can. His gorgeous green eyes, rock-hard body, and cocky smile have no place in my world. My life is complicated enough.

Someone forgot to tell him that.

Eli is relentless. Pushing his way into my heart, wearing me down, proving he’s nothing like I assumed, and everything I need. But when my world shatters to pieces, he holds the broken bits together. Unwillingly, I fall desperately in love with him.

He made me think we’d have forever . . . I should’ve listened when he said we could only own tonight.

Review:

“It’s not a line. It’s you. I can’t explain it, but you’re all I think about. The way you hide your face from me when you’re unsure of yourself. How your smile makes my heart stop, and how even now, with speckles of paint on your face, you take my breath away. Don’t you see? I tried to stay away, but I keep finding myself back here.” 

Mmm I am very torn on this book. I finished it last night and have since decided on rating it a 3.5. The tricky thing about these books and these characters is that while there were a lot of *different* aspects for me, there was also a lot of run-of-the-mill plot points and characteristics, too. There were times that I was tearing up and had giddiness fizzing up inside of me..but then other times were I found myself skimming through cheesy lines and the steamy scenes—which is never a good sign lol. It was in no way bad, but I wouldn’t say that I would consider it a great romance either by any means.

I tell myself, and everyone else, that there’s nothing here, but when he’s close, I can’t pretend. Eli breathes life into a heart that was deflated.

We start the generic plot line with there being a famous musician, Eli, who was/is still part of a boy band that was huge back in the day and who currently is doing a reunion tour with the rest of his band members. Other MC, Heather, is dragged to the concert by her best friend (thought it isn’t that much of a hardship because she’s had a HUGE crush on Eli since the band was first popular. Of course, the group of girl friends have front row tickets and OF COURSE the two lock eyes. She’s called on stage, serenaded by Eli, and is asked to join him backstage….we can all guess what happens. Sexy times and then she runs from him. WHICH NEVER HAPPENS TO THIS SEX PANTHER! Lol but really. Obviously the fact that she ran piqued his interest enough for him to chase after her and I think we all can guess what happens after….the pursuit.

As I’m typing this I realize I’m making it sound worse that it was but you know, it did take me an abnormally long time to finish so I guess there were some parts that really just didn’t rub me the right way *shrug*.

Being vulnerable is a scary thing. It’s hard to give anyone, let alone Eli, unfettered access to my biggest fear. I’ve been alone for a long time, and I’ve learned to handle it. This, though? I have no idea how to handle. Having a taste of Eli’s affection is enough to make me an addict.

The biggest part of this book that was different to me (based solely on the romances that I normally read) was their ages. Both of them were either late thirties or early forties and had obviously *lived* more than me. They had seen a divorce, a failed engagement, and just weren’t immature and dealing with issues that I normally see in the books that I read. There was also a pretty unique storyline about Heather taking care of a sister with Huntington’s and maybe another illness of some kind. I loved seeing how nurturing Heather was and it completely made sense why she was as vulnerable as she was. Other things going on with Eli, along with that older age also made it realistic that he was as sweet and as caring for her as he was. I mean, yeah it all happened so fast but they also weren’t in the beginnings of figuring out who they were as adults. Like I said, I understood it BUT there were also many times where their words of passion just kind of had me rolling my eyes. I love my husband with all of my heart and he is 100% my soul mate and I am a HUGE romantic BUTTTT there’s no way in hell I could imagine us having those conversations together lol. Too too much.

Now don’t go reading all of this and dismiss this book. It is good. It does touch on subjects like illness in the family and how hard and demanding being a caretaker can be. (I had an uncle who had Down Syndrome that lived with us for three years after my grandma died and I saw firsthand how much of a toll it took on my mom, even though we LOVED having him with us). The writing was good and the dialogue was well written, it just overall wasn’t my complete cup of tea!

“More. I want more.” 
“And what if you realize I’m not worth more?” 

He shakes his head. “What if you’re worth it all?”

BOOK REVIEW – From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

BOOK REVIEW – From Lukov with Love by Mariana ZapataFrom Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.

After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.

Review:

My mom had always warned me that some people would always be eager to believe the worst. That was the unfortunate and shit truth. But I knew who I was and what I did. I couldn’t find it in me to regret it. At least most of the time. Maybe life would have been a lot easier if I’d had my sister’s sweetness or my mom’s personality, but I didn’t and I never would. You are who you are in life, and you either live that time trying to bend yourself to make other people happy, or… you don’t.

THIS BOOK. *incoherent mumbling* INSTANT TOP FIVE FAVORITE ROMANCE OF ALL TIME YOU GUYS, NO JOKE. I feel like I should apologize in advance for the number of lengthy quotes that will be in this review but if we’re being honest, I had WAY more highlighted and these were the ones I felt like I couldn’t live without. If you don’t end up wanting to read this book solely based on the quotes themselves…..then you must not have a heart, lol. But really.

But I wanted to win. I wanted this. I’d always wanted it. I’d bled for it, cried for it, bruised for it, had broken bones, had concussions, pulled just about every muscle in my body, never made friends, never went to a single school anything, never loved anyone, ignored my family, all for this. For this love that was greater than just about everything and anything I had ever known. For this sport that had given me the confidence to know I could get up after every fall I’d ever take.

I don’t even know where to begin here. I feel like this entire review is just going to be word vomit and fangirling and I am entirely alright with that so without further ado, I’ll dive right in. 

This book is about Jasmine Santos. Jasmine is a figure skater with hardcore determination. When we first start the book she’s in a bit of a slump. Her partner of three years ditched her without saying anything and because of her smartass/hardass mouth, she’s inherited the stigma of being hard to work with. Enter Ivan Lukov. Long-time enemy of Jasmine, total babe, world-champion pairs skater, and brother of Jasmine’s only friend (other than her family). It turns out that this tool of a guy (lol he’s really not tho) and his trainer want Jasmine to be the new half of his pair’s team and she’s just desperate enough for a win to agree.

Was I dying? Was this what having you heart broken felt like? Because if it was, I was sure fucking glad I’d never fallen in love before because goddamn. My God.

This was my first book written by Zapata so I really didn’t know what to expect going in other than seeing that it had a good rating already. What I did not expect was to fall so deep in love with these characters and their story that I would be fully immersed for a solid two days.

I’ll start with Jasmine since this book is about her. Right off the bat I loved her. She is so tough and BA and her inner monologues seemed to be pretty similar to my own sometimes (I’m a bit of a potty mouth so if you don’t like strong language, parts of this book might not be fun). You can tell she is SO passionate about figure skating and about her family and all of the sacrifices that she has made/ they have made for her throughout the years. Sometimes she can almost be too stubborn but I never got sick of it. For me, she was too real, too honest to ever dislike. Watching her go through the transformation that she did from cover to cover was incredible. I was so happy for her by the end when she realized that if she was going to win, it was going to be because she finally, truly believed in herself. Ugh what great character development.

“Is that a French bulldog?” We were already on the road and heading toward the nearest major freeway when Ivan nodded, his eyes on the rearview mirror. 
“Yes. The diva in the back is Lacey. She’s in time-out. I should’ve left her at home, but she can’t be in the car with anyone else other than Russ, and today’s his day for a ride.”

WHICH BRINGS ME TO IVAN LUKOV. Guys. He is….so good. The verbal sparring that went on between him and Jasmine was HILARIOUS. Oh man I was dying so many times laughing because of the horrible crap they said to each other..and his nickname for her. Lol, sigh. Really though, I also loved watching his journey, or at least the journey of Jasmine (and us as readers through her perspective) actually discovering who Ivan was as a person. He seems like such a stuck up, pretty boy at first until more of Jasmine’s walls get broken down and we see glimpse of this other Ivan. One that takes care of people when they’re sick and has five rescue pets that he treats like children (omg that part made die it was so cute). He is basically everything and to top it all off, is also the reason that Jasmine is able to have faith in herself—because he has an unwavering faith in her. It’s beautiful.

And after a beat, then five, I said, “We’ll win.” 
His gaze went even more intense as he said, with no hesitation, “You’re goddamn right we will.” He pressed his mouth, so quick, so hard against me, I didn’t have a chance to react until he pulled back an inch and said, hoarsely, his fingers threading through the damp hair right above the nape of my neck, “I’ll drag you back on the ice if I have to, Jasmine. I swear on my life.” Something about his words made me shake on the inside. Maybe it was the conviction. Maybe it was the anger. The passion. The reality that he wasn’t leaving me any room to not do what he said. Mostly though, it was something else completely. I loved him. I loved this man so much that losing him was going to break my cold, dead heart into so many pieces I was just going to have to stick them in the same box I kept my dreams and carry it around with me forever.

My other favorite part of this book was the Santos family. I come from a really close family myself and always love to read about other families that have close and hilarious dynamics such as this one. They all loved each other so much and meant so much to one another. I just about sobbed when Jasmine and Ivan were talking about how every family member has a specific favorite white Jasmine love them all equally, the good and the bad parts. I’m having a daughter (my first baby) mid-April and while the thought of being a mom is kind of scary, I know as long as I do my best to make sure that she knows that she is always loved and supported like Jasmine’s mom did with all of her children, then I know that I’ll be doing something right.

This was my partner. This was more than my partner. He was my other half. And the only thing I could do to thank him for this gift he’d given me, this knowledge that he thought I was invincible, was to make sure we won. I’d give him the thing he had wanted me for in the first place. I’d give him my fucking all.

So here it is. I honestly could probably go on to fangirl about this for another few thousand words but I hope you don’t need more to convince you. ESPECIALLY SINCE THE OLYMPICS ARE COMING UP. It’s relevant and just a damn good book. I honestly can’t wait to reread it again someday.

 
 

BOOK REVIEW – Return Once More (The Historians #1) by Trisha Leigh

BOOK REVIEW – Return Once More (The Historians #1) by Trisha LeighReturn Once More (The Historians #1)
by Trisha Leigh
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

If you could learn the identity of your one true love—even though you will never meet— would you?

Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect—predicting your one true love.

If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?

Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians—a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past—and she can’t resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she’s broken every rule in the book, and the consequences of getting caught could destroy more than just her new romance.

Or would you have the strength to watch him die?

But when Kaia notices a fellow classmate snooping around in a time where he doesn’t belong, she suspects he has a secret of his own—and the conspiracy she uncovers could threaten the entire universe. If her experience has taught her anything, to changing history means facing the consequences. The Historians trained her to observe and record the past, but Kaia never guessed she might have to protect it— in a race across time to save her only chance at a future.

Review:

I actually had read this book for the first time a few years ago, but I feel like it hasn’t reached nearly enough people for how good it is!  Check it out ASAP!


Wowwww. Going into this book I had mixed thoughts. I had read some really great reviews and the premise looked great but I was worried about the time travel aspect. Ever since I started watching Doctor Who I have standards on what I think does and doesn’t work when it comes to time travel–I feel like it mostly can be messed up pretty easily. I was very pleasantly surprised that what Leigh did in this book worked out tremendously.

But I wanted to live moments, not just record them.

The main character, Kaia, is training to be a Historian. She lives in different solar system, Earth having been abandoned at least a generation before due to a depletion of resources. In her lifetime they have perfected things like time travel to the past, calculating who a person’s “True One” is, and how to life in a peaceful society with next to no weapons. As a Historian, Kaia and her classmates are charged with traveling to the past to observe and record certain moments in the past to reflect back on and decide how things could have been different in society (which is way cooler than just reading about certain events in a textbook). 

Kaia is mostly an average teenage girl who mostly follows by the rules. After her brother runs off their planet and joins with a band of space pirates, she and her family are more closely watched. Her first bout of trouble comes when she turns seventeen and finds out who her “True One” is. A True One is essentially the person who is the most compatible to you in every way. The tricky part is that they could have lived in the past, could live in the present, or could be born in the future. Kaia’s is Caesarion, son of Cleopatra and Caesar. She decides that she wants to meet him–just once, just to see. When she does it’s like nothing she has ever experienced before and she in instantly enamored with this young man. She leaves thinking that she will not return, satisfied to at least meet him once.

Meanwhile, she discovers that Oz, a classmate of hers and “True One” of her roommate, is also going along to other time periods and feels that something is not right about it. She begins to realize that something big is going on that the Elders have been keeping them all in the dark about. Something that could terribly impact all of their lives.

“Tell me a story about the sky.” 

Okay feelings timeeeeeeee.

I LOVEDDD this book. Like I said, this was a good example of time travel that makes sense. They can only travel to the past, and they have to make sure to be extremely careful because even bumping or talking to one person could have terrible consequences (WHICH MAKES SENSE!!!). The romantic parts between Kaia and Caesarion were incredibly swoon worthy. Yes, there might have been an insta love connection BUTTTT because they were “paired” as being the most compatible people for each other, you can forgive that. Plus, even though Kaia would like to bring him back with her, both of them realize that that is impossible and accept that. They take the short time that they have together and enjoy it, which I love. 

Kaia in general is also a character that I felt like I could easily relate to. She loves her family and friends and wants to do things by the book but also wants to live her own life and take her own risks. I wouldn’t say she is foolish with all of her decisions (even though she should have known better with returning back to her True Love) because I would have made those same decisions too.

Oz and the whole plot about a return to Earth grabbed my attention right away. Leigh gave us just enough to be hooked on the plot and to ensure we come back for the rest of the series. I really hope we get a lot more back story in book two. I was fine with not having it in this one because I felt like we needed to find out about how jumping back in time can cause such consequences and because we had to find out who the characters were in the grand scheme of things. By the end though, Oz was no less a mystery and I’m excited to learn more.  Overall I was very impressed and I can’t wait to pick up book two.

It was something we’d lost along the way—the ability to be awed by the unknown, to create myths that made sense of the inexplicable, instead of boiling mysteries down to their basest components.

Older posts Newer posts

© 2018

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: