Tag: Young Adult (Page 1 of 152)

BOOK REVIEW: Stealing Infinity (Stolen Beauty #1) by Alyson Noel

BOOK REVIEW: Stealing Infinity (Stolen Beauty #1) by Alyson NoelStealing Infinity (Stolen Beauty #1)
by Alyson Noel
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

These days, I’ve been killing it when it comes to letting people down. Now I’ve been kicked out of high school, arrested, and accepted into a remote, off-the-grid school owned and operated by an inscrutable billionaire tech guru.

Gray Wolf Academy is looking for a certain kind of student. Ones that no one will miss. Like me.

Then there’s Braxton. The beautiful, oddly anachronistic guy who showed up right when the trouble started. And he’s a total enigma―which means that I definitely can’t trust him, even if there’s something about him that makes me want to.

They all tell me I have a gift. A very rare gift. And Gray Wolf Academy wants me to learn it. To use it. Because if what they say is true, I have all the time in the world.

And that makes me the most dangerous high school student you’ll never know…

Review:

When you can’t go back, the only choice left is to move forward.

Stealing Infinity was a unique fantasy that kept me guessing!  With a premise of traveling into the past, and an academy setting, this book completely intrigued me.  If you love young adult, academy or time traveling, then you’ll want this one on your tbr!

“What the hell is happening?”
Last thing I remember, before I black out, is the feel of Braxton’s arms breaking my fall.
“Oh darling,” he says. “I’m afraid you’re about to find out.”

Natasha seemed to be struggling to get by.  Not only in life, but financially and with her mother too.  Her dad disappeared when she was younger and her one constant was her fabulous friend, Mason.  She also had Elodie as a friend, but she seemed to have ‘bad friend choice’ written all over her lol.  Elodie was flashy, people were obsessed with her and she took Natasha on adventures instead of being in school, where she belonged.  After being arrested and kicked out of school, Natasha was shipped off to a remote school where her entire world completely changed.

“You’ve been accepted into Gray Wolf Academy.” He waits, like he’s expecting me to be grateful or something.
“Yeah, no thanks.” I stab another forkful of buttermilk pancake and lift it to my mouth. Taking great satisfaction in the way Braxton stares at me in shock.

I liked Natasha right away.  I loved how confident she could be.  She was so sure of herself, even when she faltered.  So as we slowly started to learn about this new world, it was right along with Natasha.  Not all was what it seemed, and I wanted to scream at her to be suspicious.  Yes she was given weird answers at times, but she was smart and cunning.  So I was thankful when she started to put stuff together.  Add in that we got to see memories from her past and it completely rounded out this story.  Those memories were like clues leading to her future.  And I couldn’t wait to see how it all went together.

On my waist, I can feel the ghost of his hand.
There’s a place on my neck where his lips continue to haunt.
And I have no idea what to do with any of that.

Braxton, hmmm.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to think of him.  Could he be trusted?  I loved how he got flustered around Natasha and that he made Natasha feel cared for.  But he could also be hot and cold with her.  So there were many moments I desperately wished we knew his thoughts.  I understood why she liked him, but call me a skeptic….I hesitated with him.  So when Killian stepped onto the pages, he garnered all of my attention.  Yes he intrigued me too, but there was just something about him that so easily captured my attention.  He was brave, heroic, took chances and caused all of the butterflies. I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but I’m hoping for a love triangle because goodbye Braxton and hello Killian.  Please?  Pretty please?

The pieces of the puzzle are coming together, but I’ve got a terrible feeling about the image they’re forming.

Stealing Infinity was a ton of fun and I’m looking forward to reading that next book!  With so many other characters in the pages, I had some strong opinions and I can’t wait to see if I’m right down the road.  And I loved that this book started in the past, her father gave us a glimpse that was filled with so much knowledge. So after finishing this story, I went back and read that prologue and eeps, soooo many things clicked into place!  I highly recommend doing that too!  Finishing that last page we were left at a good stopping point but also left us wanting more!  Come on next book!

With my back against the wall, I crouch low in the shadows, head bent in submission, hands pressed together as though praying for redemption.
Whoever it is, they’re in for a surprise.
I am not the broken girl they’re expecting to find.

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

BOOK REVIEW: The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart #2) by Stephanie Garber

BOOK REVIEW: The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart #2) by Stephanie GarberThe Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart #2)
by Stephanie Garber
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

The fiercely-anticipated sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller Once Upon a Broken Heart, starring Evangeline Fox and the Prince of Hearts on a new journey of magic, mystery, and heartbreak.

Not every love is meant to be.

After Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, betrays her, Evangeline Fox swears she'll never trust him again. Now that she’s discovered her own magic, Evangeline believes she can use it to restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole away.

But when a new terrifying curse is revealed, Evangeline finds herself entering into a tenuous partnership with the Prince of Hearts again. Only this time, the rules have changed. Jacks isn’t the only force Evangeline needs to be wary of. In fact, he might be the only one she can trust, despite her desire to despise him.

Instead of a love spell wreaking havoc on Evangeline’s life, a murderous spell has been cast. To break it, Evangeline and Jacks will have to do battle with old friends, new foes, and a magic that plays with heads and hearts. Evangeline has always trusted her heart, but this time she’s not sure she can. . . .

Jacks shot her a glare.
“Don’t look at me like that. I saw the way you looked when you arrived here with your arm around her shoulders.”
“How did I look?”
“Like you would kill for her.”

So many books come and go in my life that I tend to move on quickly, forget them. Some have lasting power, sure. Some make me pine for them until their respective series are complete, then they disappear from my mind as quickly as a wisp into the wind. Some authors write just well enough I love the books, buy a copy, and obsess for a bit…but years fly by and all of a sudden I can’t remember why I loved it so much at the time. Then there are some authors that have something special that makes their stories sticky like glue, stuck in every fiber of your being with the realization you may remember every. Single. Detail. And every. Single. Character. Until your body has left this earth-the literal day you die.

Evangeline’s heart was still racing, and she wondered now if it wasn’t scared or nervous but if it was just trying to catch up to all the moments before they disappeared-before he disappeared.

And, look, okay-Dramatic much? I don’t know if this series is an ‘I’m obsessed in this moment’ or an ‘I will die with these pages crumbling to dust in my cold dead hands’ type of story…but, currently, it’s sitting pretty high alongside a few favorites I’ve never forgotten a single detail about-and those date back to childhood. So….I don’t know. I truly hope this is in the latter category, because as of right now? I am crumbling, tumbling, disintegrating into a pile of ash as I slowly lose my mind over what this evil. Chaotic. Out to freaking KILL me author has done to my not-so-innocent soul. That’s right. She got me. She got me BLEEPING good.

She knew Jacks was far too dangerous a person to truly fall for. But she could no longer deny that it was happening. She couldn’t deny that she wanted him. Just enough to keep her from pulling away every time he touched her. Enough to keep his name near the tip of her tongue even when he wasn’t in the room.

I’ll admit-again that I went into this Garber novel kind of…ugh…kind of expecting the worst. Again. Again. Again. But listen, hear me out-So many times. So. Many. FREAKING. Times. These authors produce epicccccccc over the top amazzinnnnngggg first works in a series and, being the first book loving kinda gal I am, I fall hard. I fall fast. I fall like clockwork repeatedly, unbearably, incessantly hard. Ask any of my friends-as far as series go, I’m a dreamer. But, over time, I’ve become cynical. Bitter. I don’t trust many authors anymore because yes, they produce well-written novels, but they fail to create that everlasting magic that sings to your soul and rings true to your chaotic heart so that when your mind needs an escape, it doesn’t escape to some other drivel, it escapes to THAT author’s books….and, okay, so SUE me, after being so shocked by Jacks’s first book, I didn’t think it possible that I’d find myself here, obsessed, again. Yet….here we are. HOW. HOW. HOW IN THE WORLD DOES SHE DO IT.

Maybe that was really why she thought she was falling, because the feeling plummeting toward something uncontrollable with nothing but Jacks to hold on to had never actually stopped.

And what we seem to have here is a perfect case of an author creating an absolute SMASH HIT of a series that won so many people over and I think there are like…..10?….different editions. I don’t know-there’s a lot. And yes, I loved them-I did. But I’m a huge believer in third book syndrome. I almost always hate the third book (hey, it used to be the second, but now I’ve come to love the chaos of book twos, so hello fellow book two appreciators) because it’s almost like the author doesn’t know how to fit things into a box neatly to tie of all loose threads, but not make it too easy, contrived, convenient. Too clean. Too neat. And I think that happened with Finale? I loved it, but I didn’t get my big Dante scene, and I’m also super horrible about needing my heroes that still (yes he still had LOADS to prove of himself) aren’t on the complete up and up of deserving our heroines getting their *divine moment* (Arielle, heh heh). This did not happen. And I think….I THINK…this may be why I lost the obsessed bug I felt while reading the series.

Evangeline felt a rush of blood to her ears, yet she could still hear a tiny voice telling her she was about to make a mistake. But what was the mistake-trusting Jacks or running from him?

Now. Here. We have this dude who was an utter JERK in the Caraval trilogy (ie he was our plot device to further Mr. Dante) and just…I didn’t get him. I didn’t get him at. ALLLL. I even remember my bestie texting me so excited and tagging me on this new Garber novel ‘featured in the world of Caraval’ and I just…didn’t care. I went ahead and went through my nerdy ways and ordered every edition possible because okay they were so so SoOoOoO pretty. Why? I’ve got issues. That’s why. And, as I stated in my book one review, I think-deep deep deep deep down-I knew. I knew what this series would come to mean to me. That my blasé attitude would lead to my ultimate demise and why NOT get those pretty editions *just* in case. Yeah. Ha. Anyone who has ever missed out on a Garber series pre-order knows the pain of trying to collect ALLLLL the pretties post publication. Bankrupt, anyone? Yeah. That wasn’t going to happen to this guy, nosiree.

“The answer is no, and it will always be no.”
Jacks crossed his arms and leaned against the bedpost. “If you really think that, then you lack imagination.”
Evangeline bristled. “I do not lack imagination. I merely possess determination.”
“So do I.” Jacks’s eyes flickered with something malevolent. “This is your last chance to change your mind.”
“Or what?” Evangeline asked.
“You’ll really start to hate me.”
“Perhaps I look forward to hating you.”
The corner of Jacks’s poisonous mouth twitched as if the idea vaguely entertained him.

Sigh. So. Why all this craziness? Well, I’ll tell you. Jacks-if you cannot tell-has become (among many other men, (shut up, shh, I don’t care, shhhhhhhhhh)) the center of my universe. And, naturally, Stephanie has made it her personal EFFING mission to rip my soul to shreds. TO LITERALLY OBLITERATE IT into tiny fissures that crack not only my heart, but make sure they bleed to my other organs and crack the bones, too, because why not?? I literally don’t know when or how or WHY this woman has chosen to prolong what I had thought/been told/ assumed was a duology…but she did it without ANYONE (far as I’m aware) knowing and I just…as I watched the percent slowly [not slow at all, actually] dwindle to nothing I knew deep in my ever loving soul that this was either going to be a TERRIBLE ending (which it was) or a TERRIBLE ending CLIFFHANGER that I had to wait (unwittingly) until next year to cease the ache that I call an erratic heartbeat. And…I still….days later….am in a deep, intense fog about what I’m supposed to do with my life because every. Single. Time (how many times am I going to type the same things over, really) I flash back to this book and it’s end I get a flash flood of such intense feelings it takes my breath away, I can’t breathe, and I immediately get a shot of adrenaline to my veins. Frankly it’s both wonderful and absolutely, terribly heartbreaking. Maddening. It’s torture. ABSOLUTE TORTURE because I THOUGHT I WAS ON MY WAY TO THE END BUT SHE SURPRISED ME WITH THE MOST AMAZING CRUEL CLIFFHANGER EVER AND THEY ARE MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE BUT IT SHOCKED ME SO THAT’S A CHEAP SHOT SO HERE WE ARE.

She used to think love was like a house. Once it was built, a person got to live in it forever. But now she wondered if love was more like a war with new foes constantly appearing and battles creeping up. Winning at love was less about succeeding in a battle and more about continuing to fight, to choose the person you loved as the one you were willing to die for, over and over.

I’ll try to calm down so you can read an actual review of the actual book, but I’m sorry-this woman killed me. Anyway. I digress. If anyone follows me at all, or read my first review of OUABH, they would see that-much like this review-I was shocked and living it up in my feels. I said some things-predictions, if you will-that I wanted to happen. I guessed about what Jacks was going to have to go through. How he would fall madly. How he would get jealous-he’s a fate, after all, I said. I stated that there had to be [I needed] some ‘chaos, heartbreak, and destruction’. And…I simply called that this book would be an absolute evil little gem, if I were to generalize it. At least, to make this successful, for ME, it would HAVE to be an evil little monster of a book, because Jacks isn’t your typical morally gray hero (again, I imploringly ask, WHAT EVEN IS JACKS???)-he needs some angst thrown in. Some spice. Some denial. Some mind games…some flare.

Evangeline forced herself to stop beneath the amber glow of a garden lamp shaped like a bowing flower. Cold bit her cheeks and licked her hands, but Jacks didn’t so much as shiver as he strode toward her, indifferent to the bitter air that froze the tips of his hair and lashes. He slid through the icy night like a slow-falling star, all unearthly eyes and graceful moves.

Ha. HAHAHHAHAAH oh you get that. Yeah you get it. You’ll see. And I’ve never quite been both so happy and so mortified to be correct in some of my guesses and predictions. I kid you not, I am NEVER right. So, I guess you could say I read Garber like a book (HAHAH). But she had the last laugh, in the end.

“I hurt everyone, Little Fox. But you have to be alive to hate me.” His eyes iced over. “I do not want you dead, and I’ll kill anyone who tries.”

Much like Jacks, Evangeline adopted some new behaviors, but she was still the same sweet, hopeful girl from book one. And while the naivety was gone, she was a bit TOO on the nose in assuming things one way or another. Yes, this is what you see, but what is the TRUTH, really? Are you actually seeing ALL of the truth…or what someone else wants you to see? And I will admit there were some repetitive moments/ thoughts/ themes…but I just didn’t care because this was nothing short of a magnificent book.

It might have just been all the wine coursing through her, but for a moment, Evangeline didn’t feel as if she were in a ballroom, she felt as if she were in the center of a hundred stories. Love stories and tragedies and tales with endings lost to time. And suddenly, her worries felt lost as well, swept away by a feeling that her life was one of those stories. She’d known it vaguely, but it wasn’t until then that the enormity of it hit her.

And, you know, I was nervous. We covered this. So I was quick to judge the beginning like, alright here we go-predictable. That lasted all of two seconds before I was blown right out of the park with such a freaking CLEVER way to cause strife that I couldn’t help but gasp and clutch my imaginary pearls and simply APPLAUD this beautifully twisted author’s mind as she wove together a story I’d have NEVER thought possible as I read book one. I mean-One-BRAVO. Two-THE SIGNIFICANCE. Three-THE HEARTACHE. Four-the utter ingenuity Five-THE WAY. THIS WOMAN. MAKES EVERY. BOOK COVER. COUNT. I see you, Stephanie. I see you-and I like this evil little flag you fly. I am SO happy you have spread your wings and chosen violence. May you wake up EVERY DAY and aim to wreck my soul. With this writing, I’d follow you ANYWHERE.

“We shouldn’t do this,” she said.
“I’m just asking you to stay the night.” His lips left her neck as he murmured, “You won’t even remember.”
Evangeline tensed in his arms. “What do you mean, I won’t remember?”
“I mean…it’s just one night,” he said softly. “In the morning, you can forget it. You can go back to pretending you don’t like me, and I can pretend that I don’t care. But for tonight, let me pretend you’re mine.”

So, you know….just a few of my thoughts *sarcasm*. If you even made it this far, that is. Look. I know I acted a fool. I know this is typical Chelsea doing typical fangirl OTT stuff…but what is life even about if you can’t flail and obsess and fangirl to your friends, people who read your thoughts, or to anyone who wants to listen that day. I know I exude crazy (that’s fine. It’s fInNnNnNnEeEeE) but I stand by it. If I am clinical, if I am not being crazy-watch: I won’t remember or think about that book come next year. Poof. Forget about it. So, like my long-winded reviews. Or don’t. But know one thing-if I am THAT crazy about a book then I am passionate enough about it that I am willing to put myself out there with all my unbridled, uncensored (I did NOT use the F word excitedly as I would have liked to, but…) thoughts and craziness so that someone, somewhere that MAYBE was on the fence about said novel might give it a try. If I can save one soul from missing out on a book that they would love, then I’ll have done my job and I’ll have done it successfully-and I sleep well at night knowing that.

His words were low and quiet; she wouldn’t have heard them if she hadn’t been so close. And it struck her how intimate words could be, how they could be spoken only once, for only one person, and they would never be heard again, they would disappear like a moment, gone almost as soon as you realized they were there.

*****

NOW THE COVER ARGGHHGDEGDFGF

There is literally nothing else I want to read

***

Can I just, like….have this please?

Please and thank you?

Jacks? PLEASE??

View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW: A Year to the Day by Robin Benway

BOOK REVIEW: A Year to the Day by Robin BenwayA Year to the Day by Robin Benway
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

IT’S BEEN A YEAR—A YEAR OF MISSING NINA

Leo can’t remember what happened the night of the accident. All she knows is that she left the party with her older sister, Nina, and Nina’s boyfriend, East. And now Nina is dead, killed by a drunk driver and leaving Leo with a hole inside her that’s impossible to fill.

East, who loved Nina almost as much as Leo did, is the person who seems to most understand how she feels, and the two form a friendship based on their shared grief. But as she struggles to remember what happened, Leo discovers that East remembers every detail of the accident—and he won’t tell her anything about it. In fact, he refuses to talk about that night at all.

As the days tumble one into the next, Leo’s story comes together while her world falls apart. How can she move on if she never knows what really happened that night? And is happiness even possible in a world without Nina?

Review:

A Year to the Day was just not for me.  Maybe if you’ve never lost someone who means the world to you, this book would be easier to read?  Or not.  I don’t really know and I’m grappling at air most likely.  I just know that as someone who drowned in their grief, and struggled for months just putting one foot in front of the other, I never wanted to feel that dark and depressed again.  And this book put me right back there.  I read the whole book, but I was left feeling sad and empty.

It’s been a year and the grief still comes in waves, pulling the memory of Nina closer and then further away. Leo thought she’d be better at navigating these waters by now.

I started out this book reading from the beginning.  Weird thing to mention right?  Well that’s because this story was told backwards.  We started at one year past Nina’s death, and we worked our way back to right before the accident happened.  Right away, you’re drowning in their grief.  It felt so somber and intense.  And you know that choking feeling in the back of your throat, as though you’re on the verge of crying, I wasn’t able to escape it.  Yet I couldn’t connect with these characters.  We were in the middle of their lives and I felt lost.  Lost for who they all were and how they went together.  It was awkward and I felt as though the story was disjointed.  Hearing about things before it happened and not knowing all of the pieces confused me deeply.  So I did something I have NEVER done before…..I was at 20% and stopped.  Then I  started reading the story over again, but this time from the back of the book.

“Happy,” he repeats. “Are you happy, Leo?”
“I don’t . . .” She trails off, trying to think of how to respond to such a seemingly simple  question. “I don’t really know what happy is supposed to feel like anymore, I guess, so I don’t know.”

Yes I read this book backwards! I started at that last chapter and worked my way back to the beginning, chapter by chapter.  Finally, it made sense.  It wasn’t awkward anymore!  And I was able to connect to the characters!  I got tears in my eyes.  And quite a few of those times I was mad at this book, because it made me feel. The writing was effective in that regards, but I couldn’t like this story.  It was too heart wrenching and depressing for me.  Yes there were moments of growth in this story and finding solace with others that you wouldn’t think you would.  Discovering friends.  Connecting with others.  Learning to live with your grief and trying your best to function with it.  But even with all of that, I didn’t enjoy reading this book.

When Leo cries, it’s with quiet sobs that rack her bones, her face  buried in her pillow so she doesn’t disturb her mom, her mom who’s gone  from sleeping in Nina’s bed to not sleeping at all, wandering downstairs  in the kitchen at three in the morning.

Finishing this book, well we know the first chapter is technically the ending and nope, it is not happy.  And that last chapter, while it was right before Nina’s death, it didn’t give me comfort or happiness either.  And maybe that’s what is wrong with me.  To expect to close a book and have a smile on my face or to feel happy.  I didn’t get that with A Year to the Day.  Plus, there were some secrets that I struggled with.  Her mom didn’t know something, and the fact that we never got a resolution in regards to what that related to, I can’t.  That bothered me too deeply.  I can see it being realistic, but I personally struggle when things aren’t wrapped up in a bow.  Unfortunately this book wasn’t right for me at all.  But if you’re looking for a book that will make you feel and deal with grief, then I hope this book works out much better for you!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

BOOK REVIEW: Down Comes the Night by Allison SaftDown Comes the Night by Allison Saft
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

A gorgeously gothic, deeply romantic YA debut fantasy about two enemies trapped inside a crumbling mansion, with no escape from the monsters within.

Honor your oath, destroy your country.

Wren Southerland is the most talented healer in the Queen’s Guard, but her reckless actions have repeatedly put her on thin ice with her superiors. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate to cure his servant from a mysterious disease, she seizes the chance to prove herself.

When she arrives at Colwick Hall, Wren realizes that nothing is what it seems. Particularly when she discovers her patient is actually Hal Cavendish, the sworn enemy of her kingdom.

As the snowy mountains make it impossible to leave the estate, Wren and Hal grow closer as they uncover a sinister plot that could destroy everything they hold dear. But choosing love could doom both their kingdoms.

Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched, gothic, romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night.



Hal had let her believe, for the first time in her life, that it was alright to feel passionately, fiercely. And oh, she did. She did. If any feeling would kill her, it was this one. She was in love with Hal Cavendish, and he would never know it.



Allison Saft is a new to me author who came seemingly out of nowhere and stole my heart right out of my chest. And here we see such beautiful, vivid imagery, just like her sophomore novel-A Far Wilder Magic. I’ll admit that, while this novel was epic in a way I did not expect, it didn’t quite beat A Far Wilder Magic. I think there’s almost always something to be said about a first novel you read by a certain author-it sets the pace. It enraptures you with said author’s writing style, prose, and depth of those first characters. It’s always wonderful to pick up another novel by your favorite authors, but there is still always something sweeter about meeting a new author and what they bring to the table-but this was so very good as well.

The only natural light filtered in through a round window at the end of the corridor that watched her like a half-shut eye. The snow accumulating on the windowsill would soon consume her view entirely. Wren wondered if this was how it felt to be buried alive, watching as the darkness swallowed a single point of light.



I can see where this was a ‘first book’, the author finding her feet and learning what works for her and what doesn’t. And where A Far Wilder Magic had-in my humble opinion-flawless writing that you immediately became immersed in,

No one moved. No one breathed. Piecing her own experience into anything coherent was like reassembling a broken mirror, every shard a fragmented sensation, an eternity condensed into a moment.



I will say that as this story progressed, I did see where there was some writing that wasn’t as smooth and languid as her sophomore novel was.

Maybe the only difference between a monster and a hero was the color of a soldier’s uniform.



That isn’t to say I wasn’t OBSESSED with every detail-every description-every character (well, Wren and Hal)-every moment…because I was. I was so deeply enthralled with this really sad start of enemies to lovers (okay but I’m weak-bad past actions cannot deter me from falling for the vulnerable new Hal who knows he can’t trust anyone but decides to trust Wren anyway, OKAY) who have to try and trust one another to stop a darker evil from ruining the world as they know it. The chaos about to descend upon them from one small mistake was enough to give me heart palpitations all while gobbling up the epic betrayals and hurt and heartache that comes with working with your most dangerous enemy.

She’d always known what they had couldn’t last. She’d tried to protect herself from the pain of losing him, of wanting him when duty would inevitably call him away from her. Time and time again, she’d measured out the distance between them. And just as many times, she’d run headlong toward him.
Her stupid, reckless heart.



This book was a bit, dare I say, macabre…but this is what made it all the more tantalizing, in my opinion. At one point, I felt a grief so strong, I just didn’t want to believe what I was reading. And, on top of that, every dang moment in that house was enough to give me chills and had me sinking lower into my couch to avoid making eye contact with the bugs [fingers] tapping on my blindness windows. I was shook.

She wasn’t weak for feeling, either. Hardened hearts were breakable. But hers had endured again and again. As much as it terrified her, Wren wanted more than anything to believe herself. But right now, she only needed to convince Hal.



But, alas, I am a wuss and I got through it just fine when they began to see that they needed to work TOGETHER if they wished to defeat their new common enemy and I didn’t have to endure near as many ‘sneaking into forbidden rooms with shadows lining the walls all by my lonesome’ nonsense. I’m sorry, this sends my pulse into a panic and I can’t help but notice my blood pressure goes through the roof. I do NOT like sneaky uppies (I’ve been reading about Seth Cappella way too long, lord help me).

“You understand you’ve made a serious commitment, yes?” She wound her arms around his neck. “I might not let you go.”
“A terrible fate, indeed, to be your prisoner.”



I already spoke of really my only complaint (just lack of perhaps dimension and expansion on certain parts), which leads me to how wonderfully my FAVORITE part was done: Hal and Wren. I’ll admit Wren was a bit hard for my taste, even though its far and away totally jUsTiFiEd, because who wouldn’t be cautious of their mortal enemy. But-seriously-hogwash, because the girl KNEW she wasn’t making the right decisions and she KNEW she felt crappy about it so…I stand to be a little sour towards her because, I’m sorry, in certain moments she did NOT deserve my Hal (again, I realize she is 1) looking out for herself 2) he’s a mortal enemy 3) it’s all she knows. I KNOOOOOWWW, but this is FICTION and I will POUT and stomp all I want).

Her whole life, she’d been accused of feeling too much.
Now she felt nothing at all.



I would be remiss, though, to not mention how wonderfully this romance, the tension, the arc of their untrusting relationship built into something just so….sweet and pure.

His eyes met hers, deep as a moonless night. Confusing warmth blossomed within her chest, unfurling into her fingertips. No one had ever looked at her like this—like she might be dangerous. She liked it. Especially coming from someone like him.



And, near the end, with all that unsavory business….I can’t help but clap because WOWowowowwowowow that. Was. INTENSE. And, during all the intense: heartfelt. Kind. Just…so vulnerable and honestly beautiful. Then, of course, my favorite-a side of absolute deranged peril that was completely and utterly unhinged and YES I wanted to personally claw my eyes out *smiles serenely because I loves it and I devours it *.

She liked the way he listened and the way he looked at her, like she was the first breach of sunlight on the horizon. He made her feel important. Like she mattered. Like she wasn’t entirely broken.



And, also, this book was home to one of my favorite *~bEtRaYaL~* scenes and it lives rent free in my head blink by blink, moment by moment. It plays out so beautifully, with such an-UGH-amazing AMAZING show of character depth and inner heart and I just…UGH. I AM TRASH FOR IT.

She’d known it for a while now. Hal Cavendish, who held her against him like he’d die if she slipped away, was no monster. She wanted to cling to this version of him—hers—and never let him go.



So..I don’t know. I guess that’s it? A whole lot of crazy and not much sense to be had, but I’d be upset with myself if I didn’t act true to myself and, if I’m being honest, one of the things I love most about this author is her ability to create tense situations for our characters that are falling in love (even though they never want to), and not pulling any punches about bad things occurring. I really do feel this isn’t done enough-or well enough-in books and I will always stand behind and book push a story that isn’t afraid to *go there* and make you wonder if our two lovebirds will truly have to deal with something unsavory. The savagery fills my cup, really, and I will lap it up greedily every time it presents itself to me. So. There you go. Take my neurotic self as you will, and I hope at least one thing piqued your interest. If this book simply isn’t for you, try her other story- A Far Wilder Magic. And if THAT isn’t your cuppa tea either, well… I don’t know. I can’t help you. Because I love her and I will ALWAYS love these two books with my whole heart. Also, how dare you.

“Maybe I’m wrong,” he said pensively. “I still have things I would kill for. But perhaps the most important things—what truly drives us—are the things we would die for.”




*~FRAN SCALE~*
Jen-Ahhh I really think you might like this!! But I adore Allison Saft shamelessly.
Cassie- Probably! I don’t predict all time favorite but I have high hopes all my friends would enjoy it! 🙂
Arielle- Hmm. I pretty much text you all the plots and quotes etc so I probably ruined it for you lol. BUT YES. I’d have said you’d enjoy it if not really like it.
Anna- *smirks in ‘you told me so’*




View all my reviews

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Sunset Rising Trilogy by S.M. McEachern

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Sunset Rising Trilogy by S.M. McEachern

I read Sunset Rising three years ago & fell madly in love with this trilogy! When I heard that S.M. McEachern had been plagiarized, I knew that I wanted to help and re-read this fabulous series. I fell even harder the second time around with this series! Below you can read my 5 Star Review for the first book, and I’ll include links to my reviews for books 2&3. Also don’t forget to enter a giveaway to win a copy of the whole series. Enjoy!

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Sunset Rising Trilogy by S.M. McEachernSunset Rising (Sunset Rising #1)
by S.M. McEachern
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Deep inside a mountain in what used to be North America dwells the last of humanity. Welcome to the Biodome, where steel, rock and armed guards separate the privileged from the slaves.

Born and raised a slave in the Pit, Sunny O’Donnell has always accepted that she'll spend her life working to keep the Dome running and, if she lives long enough, willingly meet her end in the annual Cull when she reaches the age of thirty-five. This was the price her ancestors paid for their place inside the Biodome, the only safe haven from the global nuclear war of 2024.

But when Sunny’s mother is killed in the Cull, the hopeless reality of her future becomes painfully clear. Bereft and disillusioned, she heads down a reckless path that sets off a deadly riot in the Pit and leaves her accused of treason. Her only way of escaping public execution is to make a truce with her prison mate, who happens to be the heir to the dictatorship and hated enemy of the Pit.

Now caught between two worlds on the brink of war, Sunny must weigh her own survival against risking everything to save the Pit.

S.M. McEachern delivers the action and adventure of The Hunger Games, the intrigue of The City of Ember, and the romantic notes of Les Misérables in her debut novel set in a future that is disturbingly plausible.

Review:

Sunset Rising was an exhilarating, action pack ride that kept me on the edge of my seat. If you’re a fan of dystopian and slow burn romance that is forbidden, then you definitely need this book in your life! Just from the prologue alone, I knew this series was going to be a favorite. The end of the world was coming and the horror of a worldwide nuclear war held me in a death grip. We then jumped almost 300 years in the future and the current way of life had me in absolute shock.

My voice caught on hitch as tears stung my eyes, and I shook my head and silently admonished myself because crying was such a weak thing to do. And there was no room for weakness in the Pit.

Sunny O’Donnell was born as a slave in the Pit. Her ancestors had bargained for their safety in the Dome, and in exchange they were to be slaves. The rules in their world were harsh and just when I thought their conditions couldn’t get any worse, I learned more and was horrified. Like the Cull that happened when one turned 35. Sunny had just lost her mother to the Cull, and from that huge loss, it set Sunny on a path that would completely change her life.

“Sunny, I don’t know —”
“Tell me!” I yelled.
But he didn’t tell me. He just looked at me with a defeated expression, and I wasn’t ready to be defeated. In only a few months my entire life had been shattered beyond recognition.

I loved Sunny right away! She was fierce, brave and extremely loyal. Plus I loved her endurance, strength and how she always worked at making herself better. She was someone people could look up to and respect, so I instantly connected with her. And since I connected so easily with her, I felt every single tiny emotion she did. It made this book an extremely emotional ride that I loved! I can’t even count how many times my heart beat faster or I had sweaty palms because of the situations Sunny found herself in. There were even a few moments where I had chills racing down my spine.

He picked up my hands from the table, held them in his, and looked at me with his intense blue eyes. “I’ll do everything in my power to keep you safe.”

Part way into this story, Sunny found herself being accused of treason. And her only hope for survival, from a public execution, was teaming up with Jack Kenner. When Sunny met Jack, I wasn’t exactly sure what to think. Jack was from the Dome and even though he lived an extremely privileged life, I liked him. Jack was protective, smart, fierce, loving and seemed so honest. I had so much hope for him and before I knew it, I loved Jack with my whole heart and soul. So I kept my fingers crossed that he was one of the good guys and wouldn’t let Sunny or I down.

He opened the door and held out his hand for mine. I took it, lacing my fingers between his. As we walked down the hall together toward the common room, I felt stronger than I ever had in my life.

I loved watching Sunny and Jack figure out how to work together to survive. Yes there were intense and emotional moments, but there were also moments that had me smiling and laughing. They were so much fun together and their chemistry was undeniable. But she was a slave from the Pits, and he was training to be the next President from the Dome. Nothing romantic could ever come to be, it was forbidden. So I found myself glued to every single word and gesture there was between Sunny and Jack. It was absolutely addicting.

“I’ve always known we’ll be caught eventually, but now that it might be real, I’m scared.”
I didn’t want to die now that I had found a reason to live.

Hope, despair, friendship, love, freedom, slavery and political intrigue filled the pages and made Sunset Rising easily landed on my favorites list. But there was so much I didn’t even talk about. There were side characters I absolutely adored. The twists and turns completely consumed me. And there was also a few moments that made me cry. When I got near the end of the book, I found myself clapping, screaming and cheering because this story ended with a bang and an epic cliffhanger. Thank goodness this trilogy is complete lol! So yes, I definitely recommend Sunset Rising, and I can’t wait to devour the next book!

 

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)

Sunset Rising   #1
Review:

Jen

Worlds Collide   #2
Review:

Jen

New World Order   #3
Review:
Jen



 

About S.M. McEachern:

S.M. McEachern (who also writes new adult as Susan McEachern) comes from the rocky shores of Canada’s East Coast. She is a graduate of Dalhousie University, with an honors degree in International Development Studies with a focus on ocean development. Throughout her academic studies and early career, Susan had the privilege to study and work with Elizabeth Mann Borgese, daughter of nobel prize winner, Thomas Man). An author in her own right and a political activist for world peace, Mrs. Mann Borgese played a significant influence on Susan’s view of the political world stage.

Visit Susan’s website at smmceachern.com for free short stories and updates on new releases.

Sign up for S.M.’s Newsletter!

 

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Giveaway:

2 winners will win eBooks of the SUNSET RISING series, International.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/11/2022

ScottBuryAuthor

 

7/11/2022

BookHounds YA

 

7/12/2022

FictionalFey

 

7/12/2022

Lady Hawkeye

 

7/13/2022

Ya Books Central

 

7/13/2022

The Biased Bibliophile

 

7/14/2022

Star-Crossed Book Blog

 

7/14/2022

Red Ink Book Reviews

 

7/15/2022

TakeALookAtMyBookshelf

 

7/15/2022

@books_in.the.clouds0899

 

 

Week Two:

7/18/2022

@JCMorrows

 

7/18/2022

mulberryreads

 

7/19/2022

Write. Read. Live.

 

7/19/2022

Two Chicks on Books

 

7/20/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

 

7/20/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

 

7/21/2022

A Bookish Dream

 

7/21/2022

Fire and Ice

 

7/22/2022

The Momma Spot

 

7/22/2022

More Books Please blog

 

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