Author: Chelsea (Peril Please) (page 1 of 85)

BOOK REVIEW: By Your Side by Kasie West

BOOK REVIEW: By Your Side by Kasie WestBy Your Side by Kasie West
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

 

Ahhh I really don’t want to write this review. I mean, seriously, who wants to write a negative review about one of their favorite writers, one of those authors who never ceases to make you happy and put a smile on your face. Well, sometimes its necessary-especially when this is one out of three of your top anticipated releases for 2017. And, might I mention, two so far have been absolute TURDS. Alas, Kasie West was no exception.

I can’t quite put my finger on why this book was so drab, so dull, but I think it has a lot to do with underdevelopment. Undeveloped plot, underdeveloped characters, underwhelming ending…it was all a sad, endless loop of what could have been. I’ve read KW books before where the plot was kind of…hmmm….not for me? A bit boring? But never once have her characters suffered and been quite so cardboard cut out as this.

He laughed. “I’ll work on my poker face.”
“You should come over today after school.”
“To your house?”
“Yes, my brother is in town. I think you’d like him.”
“I don’t like anyone, remember?”
I took another small step forward. “I don’t think that’s true.”
“I do like distractions,” he said.

There was just something so, I don’t know, off about the characters in this one. I loved them, to an extent, but every time I thought we were really getting somewhere with them, it was pulled back in-Kind of like the sun on a cloudy day, as a kid. You would see the sun peeking out, teasing you, only for it to immediately disappear and leave you aching for its presence even more enthusiastically. The characters were like that-especially Dax.

“You’ve definitely been added to the archive the last couple of weeks.”
“What archive?” he asked.
“The happy memories one. The one I’ll draw from in my dark times,” I said quietly.
A smile stole away his hard expression before he wiped it off and pretended I hadn’t seen it. But I had. And it got added to the bank.

Dax was just prime Chelsea BBF material. He was rude, sarcastic, a bit on the side of tortured…I truly thought he was a 100% win. Turns out? The author truly didn’t explore him the way she could have. After the library debacle, I truly figured we’d get so much more out of our leading man, but instead, the plot took an odd turn with our main character, Autumn.

I stopped. “When I feel trapped, anxious, I think about the times I’m the happiest.”
He dared take his eyes off the dark lot in front of him to level his gaze on me. The intensity in them took my breath away. Then he was focused again out the window. I almost apologized, thinking I had hit a nerve with that suggestion. But I held my tongue.

We know, at the beginning of the book, she has a huge crush on some dude (and he might like her, too, GASP!). And after the library, we see him kind of resurface. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I didn’t like where the story went. It was a tad contrived. Maybe not contrived, more pushy. More plot device-y. I think it could have been okay, but it made Autumn even more reserved about liking who she actually liked and it seems like that made me roll my eyes quite a bit more than anything else did. Oh! Yes, I rolled my eyes, QUITE A LOT.

What made me roll my eyes almost as much (maybe the most?) were the constant flashbacks. Like….okay. We get it. She has a life and she loves her life. But…just…argh. Why why whyyyyy the always looking back?? Couldn’t there have been a little more set up and a lot less ‘fade from the present to make these moments longer’? I just loathe flashbacks, and in all that time spent in the library? I think she has at least one flashback per chapter. Did I mention I hate flashbacks? *Cringes inwardly*

There was definitely a lot of cute that can be taken from this story, especially near the end. But, come on, there was so much more that could have happened to make this story unforgettable. In fact, I had forgotten 90% of this book until I began writing this review. Even worse-I forget I’ve even read it until I scroll down my feed. So, take what you will from this review, just know that it is, in my opinion, by far the weakest Kasie West book to date. Meh.

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King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard

King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria AveyardKing's Cage (Red Queen #3)
by Victoria Aveyard
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

 

I’m not leaving this place unless I leave behind his corpse—or mine.

Well…

No one can possibly understand how much love and adoration I have for this series. Book one and two were literal obsessions for me. I loved them so deeply that I literally took the time to annoy each and every one of my closest friends who chose to give a shit…even though 4/5 of them didn’t care for this series. I can’t even count all the times throughout a year that I say the name ‘Cal’. I know for a fact that I induced many an eyeroll from everyone around me. All year long it was Cal this, Cal that, epic ending this, epic ending that….it was unforgettable, if only to me. This was my world, and I longed for it every moment I couldn’t have it. And then…this.

It’s almost comical. Every step I take explodes in my face. I tried to save Kilorn from conscription and maimed my sister instead. I became a maid to help my family and within hours became a prisoner. I believed Maven’s words and Maven’s false heart. I trusted Cal to choose me. I raided a prison to free people and ended up clutching Shade’s corpse. I sacrificed myself to save the people I love. I gave Maven a weapon. And now, try as I might to thwart his reign from the inside, I think I’ve done something much worse.

Look, I’m clearly the weak link here. You can go to the book’s page and clearly see that the four and five star reviews are just rollllling in. And what the funniest thing to me is, where the hell were these reviews for book one and two? When I needed someone to fangirl with, when I just needed a fix, a quick look at a new perspective from someone who truly loved this series as much as me-where the hell were these amazing, glowing reviews? There was so much hate for the first two books that, okay, yes, were a bit cliche and a bit over the top, and even were a bit repetitive with the phrase ‘lightening girl’, and now people like this one? Okay…that last one was said A LOT, but still. My point is this: there was no more wrong with those two books than this book, yet the praise keeps rolling in for KC. In fact, I really wonder what made this such a success in so many people’s minds?

Like I said in my pre-post after just finishing-Its not about the teams and its certainly not about who she will ultimately choose…or not choose. I just think there was so much potential for this story and it fell so so flat.

The smell of smoke gets stronger as I push on. Hope flares. Where there’s smoke, there’s a fire prince.

Let me start with my least favorite part of this whole book and what I had thought was a shoe in for being my favorite: The extra POV. I mean….what. The fuck. WAS that?? Cameron was not only a character that I hated more than I could ever POSSIBLY have hated Mare, but she was an absolute brat. She was grouchy. She was judgmental. And, what do I care what anyone thinks, I’m just going to say it: She did nothing but talk shit about Cal. FINE. It’s fine-And believe me when I say that if this was the only problem I had with this book, I would have GLADLY handed this book yet another five-I love this series SO MUCH that I’d have wholeheartedly dealt with the self-righteous and obnoxious Cameron (to this I ask reviewers why they love Cameron so much? You all have hated Mare so much…yet Cameron is just Mare on crack. She calls Cal and others out…but she might be just as bad, if not worse, than Mare. So…why?) with a smile on my face. No. Believe me when I say there are far more problems than something as simple as my bias.

Nights spent curled against Cal. Forcing Cameron to join our cause. Stolen moments rereading Maven’s sickening notes. Memories of who I thought the forgotten prince was. My cowardice. My nightmares. My mistakes. Every selfish step I took that led me here.
Look what you did. Look what you did. Look what you did.

For one….I’ve read a million and one books that are bridges to the final story, and not felt an ounce of the boredom I felt for this one. It’s just a whole lot of nothing, if I’m being honest. I suppose there was plenty of political planning, war strike planning, and even some pretty decent action scenes, but it felt so contrived, so forced that I couldn’t help but feel wholly disconnected.

Which is my next problem: Do you ever feel like you’re an outsider looking in? I mean, in a way, aren’t books kind of supposed to be like that? Of course we are merely the readers, simply observing our favorite characters from outside the book, rooting them on and hoping they make it out alive? Well, yes, in a way this is correct. But, if you really think about it, how often do you ACTUALLY feel this way? The answer should be never. You should never feel separated from your characters, you should always be so fully immersed in the world that you can’t tell where your fictitious book world ends and real life begins. There’s a fine line here you don’t want to cross, and it happened here. Not once in this series have I ever felt like the twice-removed cousin hanging out like a creeper in the back…but this book made me feel so left out, so apart from the story, that when I finally got to the part I pined for, I just couldn’t fall back into the story. In fact, when that moment hit? I deflated like a balloon. I knew for a fact I wasn’t going to love this story, no matter how much went my way. And, believe me, a ton did, all the way up to a twisted, fucked up ending. I just…simply ceased to love, to care. And this might be why my heart is still completely shattered.

Even now, when I am painfully his, he won’t let go. I would prefer death to this cage, to the twisted obsession of a mad boy king.

And, sigh, the elephant in the room, on my end: Maven. If you look back at my reviews, you can see I have never hated Maven. Sure, he has been an obstacle between Cal and Mare, and this brings out the competitive juices in me. But never has there been utter hate. I even liked Maven in book one-not as her love interest, but as a person. He was never a true problem for me because, in the end, I loved Cal so deeply that the Maven moments were inconsequential. So, when I heard this was mostly a Maven driven book, it didn’t deter me in the least. Who cares?? But I did feel that there was something icky about how he was handled. We all know he’s not truly a monster. He’s a wounded boy who grew up with odd circumstances and a repulsive mother. But we also know Victoria Aveyard’s intention is not for Maven to be a love interest-she has made this more than clear. So then…why all the Maven empathy? Isn’t it kind of fruitless after 30% to continue laying on the Maven mind games? He loves Mare in the only way he can…but even Mare can see a screw is loose. So I guess I just felt like it was cruel to Maven fans, honestly. Which is something I never thought I’d say.

I wonder if he has nightmares of the assassination attempt. Nightmares of his mother, dead by my hand. His father, dead by his action. His brother, in exile but a constant threat. Funny, Maven called himself Cal’s shadow, but Cal is the shadow now, haunting every corner of Maven’s fragile kingdom.

Sigh. And Mare. Oh Mare-she can make or break your love for this series….where I sit wholeheartedly in the middle. She definitely isn’t someone I’d say is a favorite heroine (or even one I truly like) but I don’t feel the way most readers do. She is kind of a badass, really. And yes, she has made me so mad I could throw my iPad across the room, but no, she isn’t unbearable, to me. She was the best she’s ever been-I can assure everyone of that. I won’t get into it, but I will say this: my biggest problem is what COULD be. I don’t know how Aveyard will end this…but I do have a problem with one outcome, and I’ll leave it alone because I, quite frankly, don’t want to be harassed about it. Just know, there is a super…depressing way this could end, and I sure hope she doesn’t choose to end it that way, because it would really break my heart.

“If your heart’s not in this, you’re going to get a lot of people killed.”
He whirls, almost knocking me on my ass with the speed and force of his movement. I have seen his fire firsthand, but never so strongly as the flame blazing in his eyes.
“Cameron, my heart is quite literally in this,” he hisses through gritted teeth.

And I’ll make my normally longer than life paragraph about Cal short and sweet. He had some extremely swoony, wonderful, amazing quotes and moments in this book-some that I could only dream of actually happening-I was beyond ecstatic. His love for Mare (and actual declaration of it) made my soul soar and I was on cloud nine…but only to an extent. That’s as far as it went because of that ‘feeling like an outsider’ deal I mentioned earlier. I could only immerse myself so far…and that might have been the final nail in the coffin, for me: My darling baby Cal feeling like the shell of the man he could be. Just….OUCH.

So, I guess that’s that. A lot of ramble, but a whole lot of deep truths from me. I can only be truthful and I can only say what I feel-there’s no room for half-truths or false pleasantries. I liked a few things about this book but, in the end, I just wanted and needed more. Evangeline was a definite plus in this book, seeing as I’ve always liked her from afar (and now I adore her), but not enough to save the breaks in this story and my expectations. I’m glad people are loving this….I’m just devastated I’m not one of them.

“Then what do you want?” When Kilorn asked me that same question, it gave me focus, purpose, a clear path in darkness. “What do you want, Cal?”
He answers quickly, eyes blazing. “You.” His fingers tighten on mine, hot but steady in temperature. He’s holding himself back as much as he can. “I am in love with you, and I want you more than anything else in the world.”

I hope even Victoria can read this review and understand I have no ill intent-I will forever be a huge fan of this series and I STILL love book one and two way more than is acceptable for my health. It is never my intention to attack an author, to attack other people’s opinions-I simply have to get my thoughts out, for my voice to be heard by those who care enough to hear it. I think I’ve always been a fair reviewer, and I hope people can see that the only thing I’m trying to say in my review is this: I’m just a girl who is obsessed with this series, and my heart and soul hurt because I couldn’t find a connection with this story, whatever the reason. It hurts me more than it hurts anyone reading this, and I have nothing but hope for an amazing final book. And if not?? I’ll forever adore the first two books and they will always be in a prime spot on my nerdy bookshelf/shrine in our living room. I just hope people can see that-I give up on series for way less than this…yet here I sit, ready for book four and hoping for all the best. I just hope my heart doesn’t get ripped in two next year. I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

**************************

NO one knows how painful this is for me to rate and feel this way. It has nothing to do with Maven. It has nothing to do with my precious baby Cal, who, by the way, I will still marry someday and who can STILL do no wrong in my eyes. And, actually, it has nothing to do with Mare. I don’t care if you’re team Cal, Maven, Mare, Kilorn, or Evangeline. In fact? It had nothing to do with this hideous representation of the characters in this story, at all.

What it comes down to? This story sucked, plain and simple. Boring without an ounce of inspiration, this book is nothing more than filler, extra drama, and a total bridge to the final book. And, if I’m being completely honest, I, for once, don’t see how the next book can be any better.

I’ll hold out hope, though. Cal is a number one BBF, and I will see this all the way to the end.

RTC.

******************

AHHHHH CAL TIME CAL TIME CAL TIME CAL TIMMMMEEEE I CAN’T EVEN AHFDFJKSFHKJSFHSKDJHLFKHDSFHLSDFJKLSDHFHSDLKJFHLSJDHFSDHFJSHDJLKFH

Me-


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Finally.

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Adorkable by Cookie O’ Gorman

Adorkable by Cookie O’ GormanAdorkable by Cookie O'Gorman
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz.

Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she's done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There's only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take.

Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast.

Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally's best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He'd do anything for Sal--even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she's "more than pretty," and expertly kissing her at parties.

The problem: Sally's been in love with Becks all her life--and he's completely clueless.

This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question:

Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

 


“But why? I don’t get it.”

“You don’t have to.”
“But Becks,” she whined, “I don’t understand. Why her?”
“Nothing to understand really,” he said, smiling down at me. “Sal’s my girl. Always has been.”

Adorkable is one of those books that just LOOKS like it’s going to be, well, adorable. Yet, every time I saw it and what people were saying about it, I thought it was going to be cheesy as hell. So, for as long as this has been out, I have passed it up and never marked it on my TBR. Stupid, really, considering all I’m ever looking for is my next addicting YA contemporary that makes me happy even on the saddest of days.


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So it wasn’t until recently that my good friend, Jen, read it and told me my preconceived notions were not only false, but that it was actually better than one of my favorites. To this, I thought, bring it on. Why not? What do I really have to lose in the grand scheme of things. My most anticipated releases of the year are rolling out at full steam (always spring time and early winter, why is that???) and I’m just reading fun books during the week to pass the time. If I didn’t like it, the worst that would happen is that I get to pick up an anticipated release right after. Not a shabby deal.

So I picked up this book immediately, heavy on skepticism, low on give-a-shit. I truly didn’t expect much. But from the moment I picked this up, I knew it was just what I needed. Light-hearted, funny, heavy on swoon…I really had no complaints. Sure, there was a little cheese factor, I mean, all the best books have a little bit of cheese when it comes to teen romance, right? But there was just something so sweet and special about this book. I can’t even begin to explain it.


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It’s definitely the purest form of ‘first love’, the kind where you pine for your best friend (or, I guess, just your guy friends since that’s how I felt in High School) and just know he couldn’t possibly feel the same about you. Cue the eye roll, I know. But that’s what’s so sweet. How couldn’t it be? Aren’t these sometimes the best forms of YA romance, if done correctly? Well, they are to me. And, even better, we get to add in the ‘fake relationship’ trope and this book just got a whole lot more interesting.


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What starts out as a ploy to get her other best friend, Hooker (sigh), to stop setting her up on blind dates becomes much more real, much quicker. Becks does everything in his power to be the alpha boyfriend, the ‘don’t touch my girl’ boyfriend, the one who is wanted by everyone and yet doesn’t want her to grab anyone else’s attention. I mean, we’ve all seen it, right? Hell, that was my husband and I in High School (though, I’d say we were on a pretty level field of ‘don’t you dare fucking look at my girl/guy, takennnnn’). Totally believable.

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As everyone knows, this is like my favorite thing ever, so I was all SQUEEEEEEEs and EEEEEEEEEs as I read, loving every little look Becks gave Spitz (AGAIN, sigh), every secret emotion he revealed not-so-subtlety. Sally was a moron for not seeing it, sorry, but it’s true. And that might be my largest gripe for the whole book. And, come on, why not just say something!!! What’s he going to do, dump your ass as the best friend he’s ever had since SECOND GRADE?! Not hardly.

“There’s only one thing I know—have always known—that I wanted out of life. And it’s you.”

And, for those of you wondering if this just might suit your fancy enough to be your next ‘mindless YA romance’, here are the only triggers I can think of that people get all fussy about (obviously not me. Girl please, I could care less):

-Girl on girl crime, ie, slut shaming
-An extension of that might be calling other girls names (I think? I can’t remember completely)
-Oblivious to the obvious true love thing they have going on
-I suppose everyone has different opinions on cheesiness, so I’ll say that is one thing
-Jealousy where there shouldn’t be, on her part
-A little back and forth (but honestly, this is my biggest pet peeve and I barely think it applies, that’s up to you)
-Dramatic scene before they make up, like every other book

I mean, I feel like I lost my steam there, forgetting what I was going to say for those of you that get bothered by such things (damn pregger brain), but that just goes to show you how little it bothered me. If you know me, and somewhat agree with me on most things, I imagine most of this doesn’t bother you. But for those of you who do get bothered by slut-shaming and have never read my reviews before, I guess I’d say be very aware of that factor…meaning: don’t blame me, ye be warned.

So, I can’t say I disliked anything about this book. From the moment I met Becks, he stole my heart and I ached for the moment I could pick the story up again just to see how much he loved Sally. It was addicting, heart-warming, and, without a doubt, an instant favorite. And, even though it’s completely cliché….this book was absolutely adorable.


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Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise GornallUnder Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

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Some books have flare, have that cover and synopsis that draws you in the moment you lay eyes on it. You know you want to read it, you know it’s a genre you are absolutely obsessed with, but it’s also a genre that makes it difficult to gauge what’s going to be good, and what’s going to be a pile of wasted potential. And under those breathtaking covers and beautiful synopses, you expect (and hope) to find a spellbinding novel, the same level of awesomeness the outside of the book promises…but you almost always end up disappointed, because nothing is ever as good as you wish. But I can promise you-this isn’t that book.

A side effect of worrying about everything and everyone; I cry at least once a week over things that shouldn’t concern me.


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It may not be for everyone. And, hey, you might even find it repulsive. I can only assure you one thing-this book feels wholly authentic, and I find that to be one of the hardest things to get past these days. Finding an authentic novel that not only shows you a deep, introspective look at a mental illness, but also lets you see that people understand, that people can be kind, that falling in love is a possible thing, no matter the restrictions or stipulations, is so very rare, and it’s just as captivating as any other love story. I find that fantastic and just plain beautiful.

I just want to have proof that I can think straight, that I am more than the girl who believes that odd numbers will cause a catastrophe.


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This story felt so unique to me. I know, I know, mental illness books have been handled well before and so have realistic fiction-gasp!-but the depth to this story…it touched me. And, even more than that, the romance was handled so delicately. I never once felt forced into their relationship. I never once felt uncomfortable (well, aside from when Norah felt uncomfortable). And seeing Luke’s journey from clueless, to informed, to understanding, helpful love interest was a true transformation-and, frankly, also realistic.

Perfection is a feeling; you’ll know it if you’ve ever questioned the competency of your penmanship before writing on the first page of a new notebook.

He didn’t understand-not at all. He said he did. He really wanted to…but he didn’t truly understand until it all fell apart, until he saw how horrifying it was for Norah, how terrifying each and every day was for her if things didn’t go just as she needed them to. He didn’t understand-not at all…but he figured it out, for her.

“Do you need some help?”
I’m drenched in shadow, and boots with steel toecaps take three steps onto the porch. Three steps. That’s awkward. He leaves his back leg trailing behind. I wish he would bring it forward and make it four steps even. My eye twitches.


*This did not happen…but they did hang out on the bed and it was so cute so I had to use one of these!*

Look. Nothing goes perfect in this story, and that’s frankly the best part. Life doesn’t come wrapped up neatly in a perfect little bow, and not everyone gets their happily ever after. It takes work. It takes trust. It takes friendship….and it takes a strong support group surrounding you, people who will stand by your side no matter how tough life gets, and I just loved that about this story. I even felt like there was quite a bit of tough love in this story-Norah’s therapist didn’t let her off the hook, ever, and she constantly tried to push her out of her comfort zone.

It’s possible I’ve ingested enough of my own fingers to call myself a cannibal. They’re so chewed I have trouble straightening them. I very much doubt every girl my age does this. This is perhaps bordering more on my unhealthy levels of panic.

Funny, witty, wholly gripping, and with an adorable romance that stole my heart and took my breath away, this story sunk its claws into me from the moment I started it. I saw this book and just knew it was going to be special…and for once? I was right. It’s refreshing to pick up a story and feel not only giddiness, happiness, elation, true love…but also a life altering reality that many people live through every day. To read about something that hinders someone else’s life to the point of almost ruining it, to read about them and the support they receive but also how hard it still is for them. It broke my heart in the best possible way… and patched it back up again.

I hope others will find the same love and enjoyment from this book as I did, but if not, I’ll cherish it all by my lonesome-and I won’t feel the least bit guilty about it.

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BOOK REVIEW+GIVEAWAY-Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake

BOOK REVIEW+GIVEAWAY-Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly BlakeFrostblood (Frostblood Saga #1)
by Elly Blake
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The Frost King will burn.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Vivid and compelling, Frostblood is the first in an exhilarating series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies . . . but together create a power that could change everything.

*I partnered with Little, Brown to share this giveaway*

Review:

Frostblood is one of those books that you see and you know you just have to read it. If not from the cover alone (umm, hello pretty cover), then by the promising synopsis. I first saw this book back in early winter-it popped up out of nowhere and stole my heart before I even read it. It was a case of love at first sight, and I knew nothing would do until I had this book in my hands.

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And, finally, riiiiight before it was about to come out, I got the opportunity from Little, Brown to receive a (again, GORGEOUS) finished copy to enjoy. And enjoy I did. There wasn’t one moment where I wasn’t fully engrossed in this story. From page one on, I was hooked. I honestly am just the easiest person to please with YA fantasy-give me a young tortured male with a heart made of ice (pretty much literally and figuratively), a hate-hate relationship…and I. Am. SOLD.

“She’s not yours to name.”
“She’s mine in spirit now that we’ve had an adventure together. And her name suits her. She’s soft and yellow, like butter.”
He made a disgusted sound. “If we all had names to suit us, you’d be called Thorn in My Backside. Or Plague of the Gods.”
I prickled at his scathing tone. “And you’d be Miserable Blockhead.”
“Is that the best you can do?”
“Give me time. I’m half frozen.”

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This book was clearly no exception. The first chapter broke my heart immediately-I mean whyyyyy-making it clear from the start that the author didn’t mind getting her hands dirty. I like that. I like that a LOT, and, even more than that, I respect it immensely.

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I’m not above setting a heavy precedent-it gives a book fire, passion, a reason to fight-and I’ve always loved that. Ruby is a Fireblood, a hunted people that can produce, you guessed it, fire, and who are immensely hot to the touch. Hunted by Frostbloods, the rare Firebloods who have not been found (and executed or sent to compete for sure death) yet are forced to hide, to keep themselves scarce.

“You speak as if I’m as heavy as an ox,” I said. “Last week I was a bundle of sticks.”
“You’re still too thin.”
“Perhaps if I gain some weight, you won’t call me a stick anymore.”
“You may hope to one day be a branch.”

Ruby is in hiding with her mother in a village, not able to practice her craft or live freely as she’d hope. One thing leads to another, and Ruby is saved from a certain death after being captured by the Frostblood king’s guard…by none other than Frostblood rebels-the infuriating Arcus being one of them.

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I must say, I ADORED Arcus. He was moody, wounded, but loyal to all those around him and Ruby’s biggest ally. Well…eventually…but he was always a driving force in helping her train, in helping her become the best she could be.

“And my touch threatens that somehow?”
“In a way. I brought you here to prepare you for a huge task,” he said, dipping the cloth in the water and touching it to my cheek again. “An enormous weight rests on your shoulders.”
I sighed, irritated at the reminder of what made me truly important. I wanted to mean more to Arcus than a way to melt the throne.
“And now I wonder if I can let you go,” he added quietly.

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After seeing who Ruby is, how fiercely she wants to help, he starts to [secretly] fall for her, starts doing everything in his power to change what the rebel group wants from Ruby, to find literally any other way…because their plan leads to nothing but suicide.

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I just loved how antagonistic these two were towards each other and how they slowly began to find solace in one another-it was sweet, slow-burning, and the way he wanted to protect her, even when he didn’t like her, melted my [not so] icy little heart. And the fact that the rebel plan included him not leaving her side? Come on. Just…come on, *sighs* I lubbs him. I really do.

“Who else is there?” He asked. “What Fireblood will do this but you?”
“What if I destroy the throne? When it’s all over, are you just going to”-I waved a hand-“disappear into the air like mist?”
“From the time we leave the abbey until you’re safely back again, I’ll protect you with my life.”

So, you know, once again I feel like I’m out on a limb here, by myself, loving a book that’s absolutely wonderful all by myself. I don’t get it!!! What isn’t to like?? Swoony boy. Loyal boy. Fierce boy. Fierce girl. Mortal enemies. Enemies-to-lovers. Perilistic ending. Tons of [male] (male male male-NEED ANY MORE HINTS?) sacrifice. Tons of win. You people are crazy…but that’s okay. This book is wonderful-and I will proudly display this beauty on my shelf forever.

 

Bonus Content:

You can read the first chapter HERE!

Are you Frostblood or Fireblood? Take the quiz!

Download a GIF version of the cover – watch the blood drip down (look below)!

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Giveaway:

Where Flame And Ice Are Mortal Enemies: Pick a side!

One (1) winner will receive:

  • a copy of Frostblood
  • branded nail polish duo in shades of fire and frost

 

url

Giveaway open to US addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About The Author:

elle blakeElly Blake loves fairy tales, old houses, and owls. After earning a degree in English literature, she held a series of seemingly random jobs, including project manager, customs clerk, graphic designer, and reporter for a local business magazine before finally landing on her current job as a library assistant. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids, and a Siberian Husky mix that definitely shows f=Frostblood tendencies.

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