Review: Reign of the Fallen

Reign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen, #1)

 

 

I am finally finding my happy place when it comes to fantasy books and therefore rather excited to read this one. The hype around it promised so much but I’m here to say that it feel short. Maybe this was a case of too much hype? Regardless, I walked away confused and disappointed.

Everything about this book screamed for me to love it: the cover (let’s be honest, it is stunning), a unique fantasy tale that includes necromancers and people raising the dead, and the chance at a bisexual protagonist. Well, kittens, those statements are true… in a way. Here is what was actually delivered after those bold promises: one-dimensional and underdeveloped characters, far too much time spent on describing things that utterly don’t matter, addiction, and an incredibly slow pace that caused me to forget what the hell this story was supposed to be about. Plus, this story was all around depressing.

The protagonist, Odessa, loses the ultimate love of her life in the very early chapters of the book. I know I’m supposed to be heartbroken but how can I when I am only given one or two chapters of her boyfriend and their undying love? That is not enough time for anyone to form a bond with these love birds. I do understand that losing her true love would cause Odessa to fall into a depression, but I didn’t realize that a huge chunk of the overall story would be dedicated to her grief. Chapters and chapters and yet more chapters about her sorrow, grief, and sadness did nothing but bring my mood down. Odessa was constantly referred to as one of the toughest necromancers in the kingdom, even being called Sparrow for her ability to fly between the land of the living and the land of the dead. However, I never saw that toughness in her. What I saw was stubbornness. Instead of asking for some kind of help, she turned to a numbing tonic that she became dangerously addicted to. Then it was chapters of her sneaking off to buy this tonic, drinking it over and over just so she could have a vision of her dead love, then constant self reflection about what she lost. If I had know loss and grief was going to take over that much of this story, I would have passed on this book.

Aside from my above rant, I wish more detail had been given about the people that were brought back from the dead. I don’t feel enough information was given on why people needed to be brought back or why it was even an option. Were these zombie-like people able to live relatively normal lives, aside from the fact they were previously dead? Did they die again? If so, how? Old age? No real info was given and it was a little maddening. I’m not the type of reader that agrees with something just because I’m told to. Call me crazy but I like to be given facts and information. The world building itself was well done but so few details were given when it came to anything outside of Odessa and her addiction.

Overall this was not a terrible story but it was not for me. The constant hype I heard about the story made me believe I was going to read something other than what I got. What I read did not deserve the hype. This needed major revisions and re-editing. This is the first book in a new series but I don’t believe I will continue reading it. I barely made it through this story without DNFing. I didn’t care what was going on, I just wanted to finish the book and read something else.

 

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Review: There You’ll Find Me

There You'll Find Me

 

Oh, do I have a review on this book. Sit back and stay a while because this may be a long post. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings on this gem.

Short recap: Finley has just lost her brother in a tragic accident. She decides to travel to Ireland to visit that land that he loved in hopes of finding peace within herself.

Whoa… that is a pretty good recap. BUT! It is not the entire truth of what the story is about. While the premise talks about a girl who wants to find peace after the horrible death of her brother, it is actually a heavily religious book that shoves religion down your throat. You read that right. This is one of the most religious books that isn’t labeled religious that I have ever read. I’m not against religion or believing in a higher power, but I am against having that ideal or believe thrust upon me in a way that it is smothering. I don’t deal too well with that. Let me make up my own mind, thank you very much.

Let me back up for a moment… I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s discuss the characters. We’ll start with Finley, the MC…. I did not care for her at all. She was a nasty person on the inside. She judged everyone, no matter who they were. She claimed to be humble and welcoming but on the inside she was horrible. On top of being judgmental of everyone with a pulse, she was terribly self-centered and rude. She responded to everyone with clipped responses and tones that implied she was above them. She acted that way because apparently she was someone famous back in the US. Well, if you consider Paris Hilton famous then I supposed Finley is too. It was the weakest attempt at “being famous” I have seen written yet. I have zero cares of a spoiled self-proclaimed socialite who had a few drunken nights. Throughout the entire story, it is hinted that Finley had “wild nights” and “a bad reputation” but no actual evidence or backstory was given. We were simply to believe that it happened and she changed her ways to find her path back to God. *insert the biggest eye roll here*

Now let’s chat about the “love interest”, Beckett. This won’t surprise you but he was a famous child/teen actor that was not happy with the way his manager (I.E. Father) was managing his career and wanted “a normal life”. Same song and dance we have read before, nothing new there. He never came across dreamy, charming, or whatever other characteristic you want to include. He just did not stand out for me.

As for the plot… I’m almost at a loss at what the plot was supposed to be about because there were simply too many heavy topics crammed into this story YET none of them were properly discussed or resolved. The blurb talks about Finley wanting to find peace with the tragedy of her brother’s death but I’m not sure she actually did. What happened to her brother, or even the relationship with her brother, was never explained or explored. It was simply assumed. What a cop out. Then there was the OBVIOUS eating disorder Finley had but it was never truly talked about. It was yet another heavy, serious topic that could have been explored but wasn’t. Sure, it was finally mentioned at the end of the book but it felt rushed and brushed over. What a waste! Don’t throw it into the story if you aren’t going to actually discuss it!! *GRRRRR*

And now I’ll talk about the religious tone of the story. Heavy. Religious. Tone. Constantly Finley is talking to God or praying to God or cursing out God or quoting Bible scripture or talking to a Nun (she conveniently is attending a catholic school) or reading a Bible. Normally these things would not bother me in the least but it felt as if the plot and story should have focused around Finley finding her path back to God, not whatever the publisher put on the back of the book. Those were simply side stories. A good portion of the story is Finley arguing with herself on the fact that God won’t talk to her. Uh… ok?

I believe my overall frustration with the story was trying to figure out the freaking point of it. Was it for Finley to find herself? Was it for her to find her way back into religion? Was it to find a boyfriend? Was it to judge people and be nasty towards them? Was it to finally admit she had an eating disorder? Was it to finally accept what happened to her brother? Was it for her to admit that she missed and needed her parents? I DON’T KNOW. All of these topics and more were talked about in this story. It was simply too much. I am kicking myself for staying with this until the end. I should have DNFd and walked away but I didn’t for whatever reason. Do I recommend? Not a chance. I’m sure I’m alone with my outright frustration with this story but I don’t want anyone to walk away as confused as I am. This story had potential to be an adorable contemporary if the author hadn’t tried to cram every serious topic known to man into one story with no resolution to any of them.

 

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ARC Review: When Light Left Us

When Light Left Us

 

**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Bloomsbury for the opportunity!**

 

I’m sad to report that while this book has a beautiful cover and a great premise, the story itself fell incredibly flat for me. I just did not like it as much as I had hoped. This really is the most unusual book I have read in quite some time and that isn’t really a compliment. It is about an alien who has come to Earth and has impacted a family. This is the story of how that family has been impacted and their struggle to live with that.

When it comes to characters… well… they are not easy to describe. Luz, the alien, has taken certain features from the various family members and uses them for himself. From one kid he takes his hearing, another is their eyes (or the ability to blink?), you get the idea. All of this happened after the father of this family left in the middle of the night. He had just helped them build a tree house in the middle of nowhere but left after that was built. I’m struggling to properly describe these characters… I’m sorry for that. The main thing is that the alien is a bit of an asshole (he really is) and the family members are just weird. The chapters are told from various POVs (the kids) but it comes across as broken and random. None of it makes much sense. I found that I just could not connect with any of the characters because I couldn’t understand what they were going through.

The plot of the story was just as confusing as the characters. Was this supposed to be a contemporary story? Perhaps a sci-fi? Or maybe a coming of age? I wasn’t sure for the longest time. I had zero idea where things were going to go because the beginning of the book was rather boring. Believe me when I say that almost NOTHING happened. I’m going to sound like a broken record but I found myself not caring what happened. I found myself wanting to DNF several times because if I cannot connect to the story or find myself able to not read the book and be okay by page 100, then I’m done. I did stick with this one and it did get a little better but it was not a substantial improvement.

I don’t like writing reviews like this… it was overall an okay story but not one I would recommend to others or force them to add to their TBR. It was just too confusing with no clear direction. The characters were not that well developed, nor was the plot. I think I knew what the author was trying to do but she took the most confusing route to get there. I wanted to like this so much more than I did.

 

 

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ARC Review: Heart of Iron

Heart of Iron

 

Y’all…. this story. HOLY SMOKES. I’m not sure the world is ready for this powerhouse. Anastasia meets Firefly but I’m telling you – Poston nailed this one. She knocked it out of the park. This will leave you screaming and yet begging for more.

Short recap: Ana and her robot, D09, know no other life than being an outlaw on a scoundrel ship. They were picked up floating through space and have no memory of where they came from or who they really are. Ana wants nothing more than to save D09 by fixing the glitching of her illegal Metal. With the help of the space pirates that saved her, Ana embarks on a very dangerous quest to find a long lost spaceship that could hold the answer to saving her beloved best friend and companion. Nobody could have predicted the events she sets in motion by going after this infamous ship.

I’m still reeling from this story and I read it months ago. This was everything I wanted in a sci-fi space pirate story and more. There was action, adventure, lies, betrayal, humor, romance, and  unforgettable characters. From the very beginning of the story, I was hooked. Ana and D09 were brilliantly written. Immediately I had a soft spot for their Anastasia-ish backstory. Ana had no memory of her life before being picked up and therefore only knew the life of being a part of a ruthless pirate ship. Her absolute devotion to D09 was heartbreaking. This girl would do absolutely everything for the metal boy she loved, and D09 had the same feelings. I never thought my heart would break so much for a metal being but it did. If that doesn’t give you an idea of how masterful Poston is with words, I don’t know what will. But rest assured that Ana and D09 are not the only characters that will steal your heart away… enter Jax and Robb. I am not going to give anything away with these two but just prepare yourself for these two. Jax is one of the last of his kind, someone that can read a person’s future by touching their skin… hence the reason he always wears gloves. Robb is royalty and quickly discovering that everything he knew about his life and the life of his family may not be what he was raised to believe it is. I cannot say enough about how much these characters found a place in my heart with their wonderful development and growth. Where they started out at is not where they ended up.

The pacing, plot, and world building blew me out of the water. It was so action packed and engaging that it was over before I wanted it to be. You want twists and turns that you never see coming? This book has it. This world Poston created was rich and diverse that I truly felt I was in the story with the characters. But that ending though… that ending had me screaming! I hope Poston is ready for people to love and hate her at the same time because it is going to happen.

This review has been a struggle for me to write because I adored this story so much. When I have such strong love for a story, I feel as if I fail at properly expressing my thoughts without giving spoilers away. What I am trying to say in my review is this: read this story. You want to read this story. It is set up perfectly for a sequel and there is no doubt Poston has to continue this story. When it is announced, I’ll be one of the first to preorder. I need more Ana and D09, Robb and Jax. I need these character like I need air.

 

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Pinnacle – Review & Giveaway!

PINNACLE

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About The Book:

Pinnacle500x750Title: PINNACLE (The Core Series Book #1)

Author: Lynn Veevers

Pub. Date: February 6, 2018

Publisher: Clean Reads

Pages: 298

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N,

 

Identifying her parents was the hardest thing ever, until Kaya learned she was the killer’s next target. Moving had thrown the ancient predator off her trail temporarily but with magical abilities manifesting, Kaya’s scent grows stronger and the attempts on her life become constant. Narrowly surviving each encounter, Kaya is desperate to stop her potential assassin, but it’s hard to kill a creature that changes its appearance and disappears without a trace. Kaya finds the support she needs to succeed in her small group of friends and her boyfriend Kenneth. Like so many things, they’re more than what they seem and with the killer having unsettling similarities to Kenneth and his family…Kaya can’t help but wonder if there’s a connection.

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Review:

First and foremost: WHOA. I knew this story was about magic, survival, and some killing but I was not prepared for what I read. This was far more intense than I was ready for. It is a quick read, no doubt about that. It is also a story full of mixed culture and diversity. I really enjoyed that aspect of the story. (I’m trying to write a review without giving anything away!)

This did have a bit of a Twilight feel at times but it did not constantly remind me of that series. There were characters that reminded me of Edward and Jacob (vampire and werewolf) but I was able to always remember that these characters were not those characters and pull myself back from the constant comparison. This was so much more than a vampire and werewolf story. It was also about family. That is what I keep thinking of after I finished this story. It felt like a good book that made me want to read it. Can I say “good old fashion reading time” and it make sense? Like I wanted to sit and read and actually enjoy reading. That may not happen a lot with books but this one was just like that.

While this is an intense story that throws a lot of punches, it was a really good story. If you have read, let me know! If not, please add to your TBR and give it a chance.

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About Lynn:

LynnHello from Oklahoma, but I am originally from the Great Northwest, Washington State. I have been writing since I was in late elementary, early middle school. I have always had a passion for the fantasy genre and as a result I most certainly do write what I like to read. I am a traditionally published YA Author with Clean Reads. My first book Pinnacle is coming out February 6th 2018 and it’s sequel Eximius will be out next summer. I also have various other novels and series in construction or being looked at by agents. My hope for this blog is to help other Authors who are aspiring to be published with advise and knowledge about the industry as well as to supply my readers with exclusive pre- published excerpts you will only find here!

Happy reading and remember…

Don’t just read, insert yourself into the story and experience the journey as if you were written into it!

-Lynn Veevers

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Giveaway Details: International

1 winner will receive a $25 Gift Card to the book retailer of their choice, International.

Ends on February 13th at Midnight EST!

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2685/?

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/29/2018- Books at Dawn– Deleted Scene

1/29/2018- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review

 

1/30/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview

1/30/2018- Am Kinda Busy Reading– Review

 

1/31/2018- Lattes & Paperbacks– Review

1/31/2018- Book Sniffers Anonymous– Deleted Scene

 

2/1/2018- Infinite Lives, Infinite Stories– Review

2/1/2018- Wishful Endings– Excerpt

 

2/2/2018- Twinning for Books– Review

2/2/2018- Wonder Struck– Review

 

Week Two:

2/5/2018- Captivated Reading– Excerpt

2/5/2018- Flyleaf Chronicles– Review

 

2/6/2018- The Book Recluse Review– Excerpt

2/6/2018- Arkham Reviews– Review

 

2/7/2018- The Desert Bibliophie– Review

2/7/2018- The Cover Contessa– Deleted Scene

 

2/8/2018- Jrsbookreviews– Review

2/8/2018- Daily Waffle– Deleted Scene

 

2/9/2018- CINDY’S LOVE OF BOOKS– Review

2/9/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

 

Your One & Only – Review and Giveaway

YOUR ONE AND ONLY

www.rockstarbooktours.com

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About The Book:

Your One & Only CoverTitle: YOUR ONE AND ONLY

Author: Adrianne Finlay

Pub. Date: January 9, 2018

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 320

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?
While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

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Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book… but it took me a while to really get into it. I don’t know what it was other than the start was very slow. Once it finally started moving, HOLY CROW it was amazing!

While this is a story about one human left alive, I still found parts to be a little confusing. When things like clone origins were first introduced, they were not explained right now. That left me puzzled as to what was going on or if I missed the explanation. I’m here to say that everything was explained in due time and it all clicked.

This is Finlay’s debut and yet she writes as if she is a very seasoned writer. It was masterfully done. The only thing that kept me from giving a full five stars was the ending. While Finlay has a firm grasp of story telling, the ending did not really answer anything. WHAT HAPPENS?! It was certainly left open for a sequel but no story should be left that open ended. It almost felt as if there was no ending… that the story just stopped. Even an epilogue would have been nice but that didn’t happen.

Do I recommend? YES, absolutely. What I will stress is that you give the story a chance. It does have a slow start but it does pick up and it does get damn good. Please add to your TBR if you not have done so already. Give this one a chance.

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About Adrianne:

AdrianneI received my PhD in literature and creative writing from Binghamton University. Originally from Ithaca, New York, I now live in Cedar Falls, Iowa with my husband, the poet J. D. Schraffenberger, and our two young daughters. I’m an associate professor of English at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa and the Program Director of Creative Writing. I teach creative writing, composition, and literature classes. One of the really fun classes I teach is Adolescent Lit, where we read some of my favorite authors: Lois Lowry, S.E. Hinton, Robert Cormier, Laurie Halse Anderson, Walter Dean Myers. I change this list up a lot by adding new releases and various titles just to keep things interesting. Because I don’t have enough to do (ha ha), I also make soap, lotion, and lip balm with my partner Rachel under the name Semisweet Soaps. We sell our products locally, raising money for Type 1 diabetes research.

​Editor: Lily Kessinger, HMH

Represented by: Adam Schear, Defiore & Co.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Giveaway Details: International

3 winners will receive a finished copy of YOUR ONE AND ONLY, US Only.

Ends on February 13th at Midnight EST!

Rafflecopter Link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/29/2018- YA Books Central– Interview

1/30/2018- Angelic Book Reviews– Review

1/31/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

2/1/2018- LILbooKlovers– Review

2/2/2018- Savings in Seconds– Review

Week Two:

2/5/2018- Books and Ladders– Guest Post

2/6/2018- Read. Eat. Love.– Review

2/7/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview

2/8/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

2/9/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

Review: The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily

 

 

When I borrowed this from my library, I was rather excited to start as most reviews I’d seen were glowing. How could someone not want to read a book like that? Shortly after I started I realized that this probably wasn’t going to be my cup o’ tea. ADHD books are hard for me to connect with so I found myself at arm’s length with everything.

Short recap: Lily is a brilliant young lady who has ADHD. She has chosen to take herself off of her medication and things don’t exactly go the way she hoped or planned. Along the way she runs into Abelard, a boy she had interactions with many years ago. Abelard has Asperger’s Syndrome and immediately forms a bond with Lily. These two form the most unique couple.

I know that blurb above sounds like of choppy and rough, but it was the best way I could think to describe the story. I did not connect to any part of this other than the fact that Lily was raised on classic literature. That was rather cool in my mind. Her father, who was a raging drunk, would read scholar-worthy classics to his daughters. This is were Lily obtained her love for literature and her ability to reference said text. Throughout this story, she refers to her relationship with Abelard as that found in The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise, which was a published work of letters written between two star crossed lovers. Since Lily had ADHD and Abelard has Asperger’s, it is difficult for the two to communicate the way, say, you and I would communicate. They texted alot by using only quotes from this particular story. That is sweet but how many teens know this historical book? Not many, that’s for sure. The more they referenced it, the more interest I lost in the story. They constantly referred to themselves as “boyfriend and girlfriend” but I never read where they officially started dating. Should that matter? Eh, to me it did. It was simply assumed that they would become exclusive without it being said. Sorry, but I’m not the type of reader that assumes anything. There was just no build up of emotions, no budding romance, nothing! It was sort of an understated instalove by both parties and BOOM! relationship city, population Lily and Abelard. The way it was thrust into the story made me feel like I skipped some chapters. It didn’t feel….  natural.

Please don’t hate me or come at me with pitchforks but I had a harder time understanding Lily’s character. Her ADHD made furious, especially when she would talk a mile a minute about something that was said to her years ago that nobody else remembers. Plus, I was constantly confused when sentences like, “Sclur your blashes” and “Don’t come in – you haven’t inspreefed ayftey procols” were used because I had zero idea what was going on. Not at any point in time was it explained that this is how Lily’s brain understood things as a dyslexic and off of her ADHD meds. Oh, did I not mention that she was dyslexic? She is. Again, this was something that must be assumed by the reader. I’m not that smart of a person so sometimes I still need things explained to me. It took me far too long to figure out what was going on and I wasn’t a fan of that.

I think what was really missing from this story was Creedle explaining the basic knowledge of someone that suffers from ADHD. I do not have ADHD, nor do any of my friends, family, or coworkers. I know nothing of the symptoms, causes, or severity of this diagnosis. I really would have appreciated being given some type of explanation but it was not found in this story.

I’m a little unsure of what the overall plot of the story was supposed to be. I know that Lily wanted nothing more than to graduate high school and spend the summer with her father who was a farmer/goat herder. (She later finds out that he is, in fact, not doing that any more and she inherited her ADHD from him.) She ends up having brain surgery instead? I was utterly and totally confused. The ending was not what I expected, nor did it give me any resolution whatsoever. The entire story was nothing short of confusing. I was bored most of the book and found myself skimming just to get through it.

I know there are readers that loved this story and I truly wish I could have read it through their eyes. I never connected to the story nor did I understand the plot. Maybe I’m just not the right reader for ADHD stories… either way, this was not what I was expecting or hoping for.

 

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