Tag: Fantasy (page 1 of 80)

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Superhero High by T.H. Hernandez

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Superhero High by T.H. Hernandez

I absolutely adored this book! So check out my 5 Star Review below and enter in a fabulous giveaway! Enjoy!

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Superhero High by T.H. HernandezSuperhero High by T.H. Hernandez
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole member of her family without a super power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship this year, securing her future.

When the government ends the Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program and relocates all the GEA families to San Diego, life is about to take an unexpected twist. With the end of the program, her hero brother now needs a college education too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship.

Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super-hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.

But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. All they need to do is not kill each other first.

Review:

Superhero High was mesmerizing, beyond addicting and a ton of fun.  I got completely wrapped up in the characters lives and lost in the pages.  Bullying, first love, friendships, finding yourself and mystery was splashed across the pages.  And that made this book emotional, sigh worthy, and I fell in love with so many of the characters.   I closed that last page feeling happy and I’m excited for future books set in this world *fingers crossed*!

I fall back onto my bed and close my eyes, letting the past few hours replay in my head, a tear slipping out and running down my cheek. This is the worst nightmare ever, and I’m never, ever waking up from it.

Annarenee Stevens’ life may have seemed ordinary, but it was anything but that.  She was the only one in her family without superpowers, but none of her friends or even boyfriend at her public high school truly knew about her family.  With her sights set on a swimming scholarship to UC Berkeley, this was going to be her best year yet!  But her whole life got turned upside down when the government quit funding the Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program.  All GEA families, hers included, were rounded up and sent to live in a community in San Diego. Leaving her whole life in Ohio behind, she found herself at a high school with no sports team and surrounded by Superheroes.  And there were plenty who thought a zero like her, didn’t belong among them.

“I’m talking to you, zero.”
Whirling around, my fists clenched at my sides, I stare him down. “My name is Annarenee, asshole. Not zero, not loser, or any of the other pet names you think are so charming. If you can’t call me by my name . . . you know what? Never mind. Just don’t talk to me. Ever.”
His nostrils flare as he takes deep, angry breaths. “I’ll call you whatever I want, and you’ll answer.”

I loved seeing the world through Annarenee’s eyes and connected with her right from the beginning.  She was was not only smart, but she had no problem speaking her mind. With her dreams of college sailing out the window and going to a new school where some looked down and bullied her, my heart definitely hurt for her.  But she stood up for herself and her zero friends, and I love that she didn’t let others push her around.  She came across as brave and someone I would respect.  

His gaze lifts to mine, and the vulnerability in his eyes steals my breath. I’ve never seen this side of him. Not really. He’s been unsure, or nervous, but not this. Ren searches my face for something, and I’m pretty sure all he’s going to see is pure fear. Because if I kiss this boy, nothing between us will be the same.

In San Diego, Annarenee caught the eye of a Superhero, Ren Gonzalez.  Oh you guys, I loved Ren. He gave me butterflies and I loved learning all of the different sides to him.  Ren made me laugh, he made me feel cautious and he made me fall head over heels in love with him.  The words he chose and the way he treated others just added to the huge list of reasons why I fell so hard for him.  So when Ren flirted with Annarenee he easily made my heart race. But his jealous superhero ex seemed to always be hanging in the background and I was personally scared of her powers.

I’m in serious danger of falling hard for that boy, and I’m shocked it doesn’t scare me.

In the midst of everyone trying to adjust to living in San Diego, some of the teen superheroes started disappearing.  I was grasping at the tiniest clues, like Annarenee, trying to figure out what was going on.  And while I felt as clueless as her, I loved how all of this was a trigger for something huge.  The zeroes and heroes would have to put aside their differences and work as one if they wanted to find those that they loved.  Awww I loved this story and how it played out!

His mouth is on mine in seconds, as if he’d been holding his breath and he desperately needed to inhale.

I absolutely adored Superhero High.  At the base of this story was a romance, but it was also about finding yourself, navigating your teen years and so much more.  This book ended in a wonderful spot with a HFN feel, yet there are so many ways this story can continue.  And I for one can’t wait!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

About T.H. Hernandez:

T.H. Hernandez is a published author of young adult novels. THE UNION, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category. SUPERHERO HIGH, an urban scifi teenage romance, released July 5, 2018.

She thrives on coffee of any kind, though pumpkin spice lattes are her favorite. Her free time is spent hiking, reading,  painting, and binge-watching Game of Thrones and Stranger Things. She adores Star Wars, Comic-Con, Doctor Who, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three who share her home.

When she’s not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, you can find her in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband, three teenagers, who are far too tall to be considered children, a bearded dragon, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, lovingly referred to as the puppycat.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 
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REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Supervillain and Me (Morriston Superheroes #1) by Danielle Banas

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Supervillain and Me (Morriston Superheroes #1) by Danielle Banas

I’m so excited to be on The Supervillain and Me tour because I absolutely loved this book! So check out my 4.5 Star Review below and enter a giveaway to win a copy of this book! Enjoy!

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Supervillain and Me (Morriston Superheroes #1) by Danielle BanasThe Supervillain and Me (Morriston Superheroes #1)
by Danielle Banas
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Never trust a guy in spandex.

In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees―they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Supervillain and Me is a hilarious, sweet, and action-packed novel by debut author Danielle Banas that proves no one is perfect, not even superheroes.

Review:

The Supervillain and Me was playful, fun and crazy addicting.  This book was so easy to devour and I loved how the mystery surrounding the supervillain had me flipping through the pages even faster.  The action moments were perfectly sprinkled here and there and I adored how character driven this book was. I always find myself falling for those the hardest and that’s exactly what I did with The Supervillain and Me.

Regardless of who he was with or without his mask, I knew, no matter what my dad or brother said, I wanted to spend more time with him.

The city that Abby lived in was crawling with crime.  The police and the superheroes were stretched beyond the limits.  And with her father being the mayor and her brother being one of the superheroes, it almost felt like Abby was lost in the shuffle sometimes.  Even though her family definitely loved her.  So when Abby found herself being mugged she thought her brother, Connor aka Red Comet, would be the one to rescue her.  Instead it was a new super. And the very next day the new super was caught on video burning city hall and then disappearing.  The city dubbed him as a Supervillain and called him Iron Phantom. But he saved Abby so he can’t be all bad, right? Or can he?

“Abigail,” he whispered, his voice so low it nearly got lost amid the hum of the AC unit. “I’m not the bad guy. I’m not a villain. If I wanted to hurt you, I would have done it already.”

After Iron Phantom rescued Abby, he started randomly showing up in her life.  Their times around each other had me cracking up. But there was a secret going on in the city, and he was hoping that Abby could help him figure out what was going on.  And while I hoped Abby would be able to help him out, I was definitely focused on their interactions. Every time they were together their banter was smile inducing and you could feel the sparks flying.  Plus I loved that even the littlest thing that Iron Phantom did could be seductive. I swooned so hard and found myself sighing out loud. I absolutely loved that cocky, brave, selfless, thoughtful, playful Supervillain!

He saw me in a way I hadn’t realized I wanted to be seen until I met him. Not a hero, not someone with powers, but just a girl. Just Abigail.

The more Abby found herself interacting with Iron Phantom, the deeper she got pulled into a dark mystery that was twisted into her city.  I was so nervous waiting to see what was going to happen.  But all the while, her normal life chugged on. She was still working hard in theater, had her best friend Sarah in her life and she was trying to spend time with her superhero brother and father who both worked constantly.  My heart hurt for Abby at times and I didn’t expect for her to get into all of the perilous situations she found herself in. But I absolutely loved her. Abby’s sarcastic voice and the fact that she wasn’t impressed with the supers had me liking her right from the start.  I even loved how she wasn’t exactly 100% trusting with Iron Phantom in the beginning. She definitely thought for herself and I found myself respecting her for doing what was right and not what others would have wanted her to do.

“I guess I thought if anyone could figure it out, it would be you.” He headed for my window. “I need to go.”

As we got pulled further into the story, I found myself obsessed with the mystery surrounding Iron Phantom.  While I guessed who Iron Phantom was right from the start, I found myself switching my mind a few times.   I never should have second guess myself!  And when I reached that last page I absolutely loved how everything was wrapped up.  It is definitely a standalone but here’s the thing, there’s still so much going on in their world that future books would definitely be feasible.  I absolutely adored the Supervillain and Me, so whether we stay with Abby and her supervillain or switch to another character in this world I’d be a very happy girl! *fingers crossed*

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by Swoon Reads. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

About Danielle Banas:

Danielle Banas, a Pittsburgh native, earned a degree in communication from Robert Morris University. After years spent dreaming up characters instead of paying attention in class, Danielle joined the storytelling platform Wattpad, where her work has received millions of views online. When she isn’t writing, she can be found loudly singing show tunes, spouting off Walt Disney World trivia, and snuggling with her puppy. THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME is her debut novel.

Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @daniellebanas

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

Giveaway:

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BOOK REVIEW: War Storm (Red Queen #4) by Victoria Aveyard

BOOK REVIEW: War Storm (Red Queen #4) by Victoria AveyardWar Storm (Red Queen #4)
by Victoria Aveyard
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

To celebrate my first post here, I’m going to share a review of one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE series, Red Queen! I am absolutely in love with this series and these characters and I was sad to say goodbye to them this year (unless those novellas actually come to fruition, as Victoria has hinted at).

To rise. And rise alone.

It’s finally here. My most anticipated book of the year!

I unabashedly love this series. I love love love it. If you had me sit down and explain to you what elevated this above so many others, I’m not sure how I would articulate it. But I’m just so drawn into this world and these characters.

Because of this, I was so worried for how this was going to end. I imagine it’s very difficult to end a series, as there are so many expectations and opinions. Some do it well, while others misfire. And obviously, as with all things we choose to consume, it’s entirely subjective. I recognize this, but the final book can tarnish the rest of this series if done in an unsatisfactory way. (Unpopular opinion: this is 100% how I feel about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – I hated the ending so much that it affected my love of the series.)

But I’m happy to say, in my humble opinion, that War Storm ends on a satisfactory note for me.

Mild spoilers below:

I wasn’t let down, even without a fairytale ending. But it also didn’t go the route of Mockingjay and kill off everyone either. I was happy with the realistic middle ground, which left Mare and Cal’s relationship on a break, but with hope for the future. I truly believe, that after they both do some growing up, they do get their happy ever after.

I’m happy to report the major story lines were resolved over the 650 pages. This book was a brick, not that I’m complaining about length. Even after I tore through it, I didn’t want to leave these characters behind. The world-building continued to grow to new heights and introduced an exciting new government structure to our Norta friends.

Almost all living characters from the past three books make an appearance, though some briefly. I wasn’t sad for the omission of Cameron’s voice this time around. Cal and Maven receive their own chapters, but they are used sparingly. The majority of the story is told from Mare, Evangeline and Iris.

“I am different from what my world demands I be. And I am not worse for it.”

Evangeline remains to be one of my favorite literary characters. Here is someone I wrote off after the first book as an evil and power-hungry girl, but oh how I was wrong. I loved her storyline as she grappled what it meant to be free and to stand on her own without the shadow of her parents or the weight of her family name. I only wish we received one more chapter from her point of view at the end.

“Never change, Evangeline.“ Her smile flashes, quick as a knife. “Of course not. Why change perfection?”

While Evangeline remained my favorite character, I devoured the difficult relationship between Mare, Cal and Maven. Let me be very clear: I was Team Cal from the very start, but I find Maven to be an incredibly interesting character. His sway over Cal and Mare is evident and fascinating, even to the very end. Cal’s struggle with his brother’s choices, and evening wanting to find a way to redeem and forgive him, was absolutely heartbreaking. Even as Mare accepted that Maven could not be saved, Cal’s love of his brother, even in spite of every horrible thing Maven had done, was so strong. I really felt for Cal as he dealt with his complicated feelings.

“I can’t,” I bite out, looking anywhere but his face. He responds quickly, with force. “Neither can I.” “But I also can’t – ”
Stay away. Keep doing this. Denying ourselves in the face of always-looming death.
Tiberias hisses out a breath. “Neither can I.”

I ate up every single Mare/Cal scene, which ranged from funny, to tantalizing, to frustrating and to heartbreaking. There’s really a full gamut of emotions for us Cal/Mare fans.

Victoria has been pretty clear that outside of a novella or two, we are likely done with these characters. While I would love for more books in this world, I understand her need and excitement to move onto a new series.

I know I’ll be following.

BOOK REVIEW: A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir

BOOK REVIEW: A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa TahirA Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3)
by Sabaa Tahir
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister's life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she'd have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias's devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.


Love cannot live here.

When one of your favorite authors in the world has a new book coming out, it generally becomes your whole world. You have laser focus. Books lose that quality that always seems to drag you in. You obsess and rant and annoy so many people, yet you just could care less-until the day comes and you finally have it in your hands and you can’t devour it quick enough. This is that book.

I just so happened to be one of those lucky Bloggers/Bookstagrammers that was a part of the Ember Re-Read tour, and with that came a wonderful perk-I got my beloved Elias book early. That’s right-I finished this book DAYS AGO. Like-before release. It was absolutely wonderful to not worry about spoilers and rabid fangirls (ahem…okay, shut up) ruining any moment of this for me. It was pure solitude and bliss.

“It…It hurts.”

Often when we finally get that book we so crave, it turns out to be a total stinker. Well, I can assure you, this is not the case, here. In fact, I absolutely ADORED IT. It’s been so hard for me lately because I feel as if I’m just so harsh on so many books. I really haven’t connected with too many stories because I just have found SO. MANY. AMAZING. BOOKS this past year that it’s hard for me to be wooed.

I wonder what he has become in the months we’ve been apart. Has he changed? Is he eating? Taking care of himself? Skies, I hope he has not grown a beard. I hated his beard.

I can even say that about an all time favorite series, The Red Queen. It just…somewhere along the way, this author lost me. Don’t get me wrong-there was a LOT to love about War Storm. But in King’s Cage, when she did some of the things she did….it just didn’t keep my interest. She hurt me in ways I can’t explain-Cal is my DARLING and I just think it was a case of trying to make so many female characters strong, that she almost backpedaled and made some of the more solid moments of the series all for not-just to prove ‘I female. I strong.’ I get it. We get it. But when a series can stand on it’s own two feet, can let the events and the perils and the companionship and mistakes mean something more-now that’s what I come for. These moments can be made into something amazing. Something HUGE. And you’re probably wondering why I’m prattling on about a totally different series-There’s a point, here.

Not often am I SO MAD AND LIVID AND ANGRY at an MC…just to forgive them. I don’t do this. I stay mad and angry and livid and what-have-you. But, somehow, Sabaa made Laia someone I adore. I loved her in book one, wanted to stab her [after what she did] in book two, and wanted to hug her in book three. Though, I transferred that hate to another female, but that’s okay. I’m always hating on someone 😉.

She made a strong, reliable girl that would do anything to save her people. To help them. TO SAVE THOSE GD children [that Sabaa clearly wants to maim and torture repeatedly-Lord help me]-even at the cost of her own life. I don’t know-I really don’t forgive easily. But here? I really did forgive Laia. And the Nightbringer…is it weird I really like him, too, now? Yes, crazy, I know. I’m crazy.

But even knowing what the Masks would have done, I do not wish to kill. I do not wish to belong to this world of blood and violence and vengeance. I do not wish to be a Mask.

My point with all that, though, is that even though there is SO MUCH GOING ON and so many characters and so much sadness (I cried so many times-and I rarely cry about books)….Sabaa makes each and every character SHINE. For example? Where my other boy was brought down to an almost sad loser (I still love him, don’t be fooled) by the author’s hand, Sabaa makes Elias an even stronger character-Laia is strong. Elias is strong. Yet-they hurt. They hurt. It hurts. Ugh-you’ll

I’ll go to them as Mask Veturius, dread Martial, soldier of the Empire. I’ll go to them as the estranged, murderous son of the Bitch of Blackcliff, as the monster who killed his friends and assassinated the Empire’s enemies as a child and who watched stonily as Yearlings were whipped to death before his eyes.
This time, I will not ask the jinn for help.
I will take it.

There wasn’t filler and nothing was unnecessary. OH!!! And I forgot about Helene!! MY GOD THAT GIRL GOES THROUGH SO MUCH IN THIS BOOK. I’m telling you-this book is all pain, I swear. Yet-She remains strong. She doesn’t forget her roots and she does everything in her power to save her people.

“Don’t you belittle me. I am the daughter of the Lioness. I destroyed Blackcliff. I saved the life of Elias Veturius. I survived Commandment Keris Veturia. I survived the betrayals of the Resistance and the Nightbringer. I crossed the Empire and broke into Kauf Prison. I rescued my brother and hundreds of other Scholars. I am not nothing.”

There is literally so much loyalty here. No bashing because someone made a choice-chose a different path-went their own way. These people have sacrificed everything-lost friends. Family. Loved ones. True loves. All for the greater good-all for those they love and can save. All the faults I felt in book two…they faded to ash. Yes, this book was heavy. Yes, there is a LOT of sadness. And yes, I wanted/needed/craved more Elias and Laia moments-but they were there. They were bittersweet, beautiful, and heart-wrenching. Their scenes meant something.

“You are cruel, Elias,” she whispers against my mouth. “To give a girl all she desires only to tear it away.”

I guess it’s time I say why this series means so much to me-Elias. I mean, is it any surprise, what with all my Elias appreciation posts and whatnot? Never has there been a more selfless hero. No, I’m not kidding. I think the closest thing that comes to mind is Peeta-TOTALLY different guy, situation, scenario, but he’d give it all up just for her. Both of them. Elias could ruin everything in one moment-for the whole world as he knows it-but he can’t give himself up completely if it means Laia will be hurt.

She looks like I feel: broken. I need to let her go. Fight the Nightbringer, I should say. Win. Find joy. Remember me. For why should she come back here? Her future is in the world of the living.

My heart. I just…CAN’T. He faces so many obstacles in this book I can’t describe or talk about, but just know that heavy is the head that wears the crown-and this applies so many different places. And can we just talk about how bad everything went for EVERYONE in this story?

The first time I killed, I was eleven. I saw my enemy’s face for days after he was gone. I heard his voice. And then I killed again. And again. And again. And again. Too soon, I stopped seeing their faces. I stopped wondering what their names were, or who they left behind. I killed because I was ordered to, and then, once free of Blackcliff, I killed because I had to, to stay alive.

It was one thing after another after another. I could hardly keep up with the pain and destruction. But I have to say-Helene’s, while her storyline has always been a favorite of mine, storyline became a LOT more interesting and, obviously, like everything else in this story, infinitely more heartbreaking.

“…One day soon, you will be tested, child. All that you cherish will burn. You will have no friends that day. No allies. No comrades in arms. On that day, your trust in me will be your only weapon.”

My one complaint: The Children. Why the children, Sabaa?? I couldn’t reconcile with this in my head. It made me ill and even days later my heart is heavy. It’s fair to say I’m more sensitive because I now have a nugget of my own, but at least two instances in this story hurt me-one broke my soul. I started blubbering to myself and my husband just stared at me like I was crazy. I don’t know if this warrants a lower rating or not, but I think have to deduct half a star because…wwwwWHHHHYYYyyyyy. You authors. You’re so mean lol.

I know I can die as Soul Catcher. But by the skies, I won’t die by the hand of a ghost-possessed Tribesman choking the life out of me while gibbering in my ear.

All in all, this book pretty much owns my soul-as does this series and this author (I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU ON THE 20th WOOT!). I bet you’re surprised I didn’t fangirl about my boy more. Well-when all you do is fangirl about said boy for 6 months, you pretty much have room to gush about other things when the time comes. Y’all know he’s my husband. And you also know I would do ANTYHING to get more of him. For once, I’m not angry at an author for prolonging a series. Too often we see authors drag out a series that has no business going past 2/3 books (ahem, see above). But here? I see it. It wasn’t too much. Bad *stuff* had to happen…and here we are. Do I think it will all end okay? For some, yes. I think the world will be fine, in the end. Do I worry for Elias and Laia or just either of them separately, not as a couple? Yes. Yes I do. I don’t know what their end game is-Will Elias be okay? Will LAIA be okay? Who knows. What I doknow is that there are many heroic characters to root for here, not just the main two. And that? That’s something to celebrate, all by itself.

But again I imploringly ask: Why all the children, Sabaa? Why?? UGHHH.

*****

How could you, Sabaa

The tears. They burn. It hurts. It hurts *finger pointy emoji*

RTC

***

Brag much?!


Reaper pics


Reaper pics

Did I mention I love Penguin Teen? And that Sabaa and I are besties?…..Didn’t think so 😛

Dearest Sabaa,

Let’s have a chat, you and I.

Upon the release of your Elias quote earlier this week for an A Reaper at the Gates preview, it has come to my attention that you intend to cause my main man grief-GOOD. The better for an epic love story.

“All things have a price, Elias Veturius. The price of saving her will haunt you for all your days. Will you pay it?”

However. We both know you don’t really want to hurt him, now do you? That’s what I thought.

We’re both rational book [boyfriend] loving gals who could kick it around town whilst singing the praises of all our favorite men and the peril they go through to save their true loves.

Because that’s all it is, right? A story? You’d never actually hurt my baby Elias (my book husband (among many, but this is neither here nor there), thank you)-it’s all for the beauty of the story and the theatrics of it all.

So we’ll continue to have these wholly fictional chats over drinks, over nights out on the town, over coffee (or, in my case, Mountain Dew)…

But if you so much as hurt a hair on my Elias’s precious little head (more so than you already have), our alliance is severed and I cut all ties to our fictional friendship.

I’m sorry, but rules are rules, and you can’t double cross a friend after you [fictionally] promised to keep a character safe. You can’t double cross on the safety of a loved one.

So-Here’s hoping you choose to do the SMART thing. The RATIONAL thing. Don’t make me abduct you for ransom. I don’t want to have to do this-you don’t want me to have to do that, do you? Of course you don’t. Do you want me to cry?

Of course not.

Sincerely,

Chelsea-Forever your biggest fan
AKA Psycho BBF Girl Who Will Go To Drastic Measures To Ensure Her Boys Survive

BOOK REVIEW: Trick (Foolish Kingdoms #1) by Natalia Jaster

BOOK REVIEW: Trick (Foolish Kingdoms #1) by Natalia JasterTrick (Foolish Kingdoms #1)
by Natalia Jaster
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

There is a rule amongst his kind: A jester doesn’t lie.

In the Kingdom of Spring, Poet is renowned. He’s young and pretty, a lover of men and women. He performs for the court, kisses like a scoundrel, and mocks with a silver tongue.

Yet allow him this: It’s only the most cunning, most manipulative soul who can play the fool.

For Poet guards a secret.

One the Crown would shackle him for. One that he’ll risk everything to protect.

Alas, it will take more than clever words to deceive Princess Briar.

Convinced that he’s juggling lies as well as verse, this righteous nuisance of a girl is determined to expose him.

But not all falsehoods are fiendish. Poet’s secret is delicate, binding the jester to the princess in an unlikely alliance—and kindling a breathless attraction, as alluring as it is forbidden.

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

 

“Steadfast sure girl, sweet noble thorn,
how lovely-cruel you are.
My body’s taut, my soul is worn,
from the lovely-cruel you are.
The highborn chose the lowest born,
’tis the lovely-cruel you are.
This trick unseen, this fated scorn,
of the lovely-cruel you are.
So when you leave, I shall us mourn,
the lovely-cruel we are.”

What is there to say, really, when you fall head over heels for a book that you didn’t even realize existed??? I picked this up after my friend told me she was sure I’d love it. Was I skeptical? No, not really. Do I trust this person? Absolutely. Was there any doubt I’d love this? Not in the least.

Yet, here we are, and me telling you that, at the beginning…I really didn’t care for this book at all. I liked the opening chapter-it was loud, alluring…mesmerizing. It grabbed onto me with just the short little bit it was. But, once I poured deeper into the story, long after the wicked words our Jester boasted and hooked me line and sinker with, I grew weary. And, frankly, distant. Not because I didn’t love what was going on-I did, truly. But his manner of speech waxed way too poetic (HAR) for me to really grip my claws into his character and see what he was really about.

Tumble inspected me with beady-eyed criticism.
“What?” I asked. “Does my masterpiece clash too much?”
The ferret squeaked.
“Certainly, but you try making the four kingdoms harmonize into one motif.”
He squeaked again.

It felt like a front. It felt like, even as the readers who got to be inside his head every other/few chapters, were held at an arm’s length-and I didn’t like it. Because, in the rare moments he and the princess got together, I felt like they were wasted with the precious breath being tainted by rhymes and riddles and regal-type talk. And, ultimately, I began to disengage and became disappointed. I mean, it felt like it was all smoke and mirrors. Little did I know-that was the whole point.

Whether all of it was intentional or not, I’ll never know. But, riddle me this (muahaha Poet has stolen my heart!)-why is it that, after a certain point in this book (and, really, despite what I said earlier, it wasn’t that far in) literally everything changed because of one moment?

Yet none of these skills can steel the heart, nor protect it from breaking. Recently, I’ve learned that lesson well. So let me tell you a tale of how I lost a battle of wills.
Not to my King. Not to my Queen.
Nay. I lost to a girl.

Enchanting doesn’t even BEGIN to describe the way I felt after…things…but that’s exactly how I felt: enchanted. Poet ripped off his mask, or his makeup, mind you, and we saw beneath the carefully placed veneer he’d built up so no one would see what was underneath.

“My opinion? A fool is a man who believes glory can be found at the tip of a sword instead of on the tip of his tongue. ’Tis a woman who judges with her eyes closed. ’Tis people who invent aberrations from speculation and rumors. ’Tis bred from ignorance. That is life’s cruel trick.”

I think it worth mentioning that, while I had briefly skimmed the synopsis after Britt told me to read this, I really hadn’t read it thoroughly once I’d finished the book I was on, and purchased the kindle book sight unseen. If you can’t have trust in your closest friends, who can you trust? As I mentioned, though, this might be the reason as to why I was so easily fooled by the, well, Fool.

I’m the finest jest you’ll ever know. If you irritate me, I’ll best you with words, for swords are the toys of knights, whilst I use more creative weapons.

My heart melted at the Poet beneath. I became a puddle of goo and a swarm of butterflies all mixed into one, making for a totally weird concoction I can’t begin to fathom a name for. I kid you not, this was like a
totally different book
…because we saw what made Poet tick-and so did the Princess.

“No, of course. But that day when we arrived home, you imitated those jesters for hours, twirling from rock to rock in the grass. And when you fell—”
“I stumbled.”
“—and scraped yourself raw, I never saw the like when I dabbed a wet cloth on your knees. You howled bloody murder.”
My elbow hit the table as I pointed at her. “That part never happened.”

She saw the side to him that had only been hinted at, from the beginning. She saw how kind and wonderful, sweet and brave he was. She saw the loyalty and devotion and determination that ran rivers deep in Poet’s fractured and frantic soul-and so the forbidden tryst began.

I couldn’t say whether Mother was still talking. As we crossed into his line of vision, Poet became aware of me and tensed, his shoulder blades locking.
The crease of his spine. The waist that tapered and then rounded into a solid backside.
Anticipation flared. But he kept advising the girl, sparing me not a glance.
Not until the distance between us grew again.
We craned our heads over our shoulders, our eyes smoldering.

I’ll admit I became a total ninny for everything Poet and Briar henceforth-They were the puppet masters and I their puppet, strung along by the strings of their sordid and heartbreaking affair. I rooted for them with every ounce of my being-even as I wished for the turmoil that was surely to come.

“And don’t think I believe that drivel about you and Poet. You hate each other, you say? Hate is a miserable thing. That’s neither of you. He’s an active lad, born with a voice to spice tarts, but those tarts never made him blush. That isn’t hate, so have a care.”

WHAT. I’m a hot-blooded, fangirling bookish female-fine and dandy just don’t DO IT FOR ME. Anymore, that is. Whatever. I needed some strife, and strife I got. It was wonderful and sordid (yes, repeat repeat wah wah) and hot and wrong-the chemistry set the pages on fire and my heart right along with them.

I nodded to her. Let me do the lying.
She looked away. Good girl.
Bad boy. I still wanted to kiss her.

And when Poet crumbled-my heart and soul did, as well. I just-I truly loved this story and I’m wholly invested in everything to do with it. I’ll admit I’m shocked more people haven’t latched onto this-it really is a remarkable story with a storybook feel (a dirty storybook, I’ll have you:

My damp, thickened breath. A thrust of heavy-lidded lightning. A deep-rooted, thigh-clenching ache in intimate places.

) and a fairytale vibe. The writing was impeccable and the length not too long nor too short, with a gradual build up that makes you beg for more and simultaneously yearn for it to never end, and a climax that tears at your very being.

“The greatest courage a person can have is to love another, for there are only two outcomes. Either the love lasts, and our lives are compromised, or it doesn’t, and our lives are emptied. Either way, we suffer more than we celebrate. I’ve enjoyed suffering with you. We are a tale for campfires. That is all. That is everything.”

Again, I don’t praise many books highly. In fact, there are only 4-6 books out of the 20 or so I’ve read this year that really and truly stand out, and this is, by far, one of them-and one of the best. I have high standards and have read some of my favorite books of all time in the last couple of months-and this one?? This one helped me escape my rabid obsession with two of them-the likes of which have made me a total moron who harasses everyone to read them. This book wouldn’t have had half the heart without Poet’s secret, a secret I normally am not a fan of in books. So… it must have been done well, right? And this story is so much deeper than a romance, which shocked me. It actually had wonderful morals and heart and a depth so intense it stole my breath. Vehemently represented by those with most stake in the matter, this author showed an amazing skill to write about more than just smexy encounters, hidden hallway rendezvous, and stolen looks and touches-though, those were some of my favorite parts ;). Friendship and family and loyalties and learning your place in life-it’s all there. And it’s all wonderfully handled.

A fool is a man who sees his worth in a mirror, in the faces of a crowd, but is blind to it elsewhere. Where it most counts: in the eyes of those he loves and who love him. Don’t insult yourself that way.”

So, give it a try. Really. It’s fun and flirty and romantic and original and tugs on your heartstrings. I don’t think it’ll be for everybody (if only because of random things I care not name), but I think it’s for most. It’s wonderful and addicting and painful to put down-if the purple bags I’m sporting under my eyes today are any indication of my late night reading rampage. Poet and Briar and other characters I dare not to name gripped me in ways I never expected -and I hope they’ll grip you, too.

Oh, and a special shout out to my main ferret, Tumble-a favorite character by far :P.

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