The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe Blog Tour- ARC Review


Book Description

 Who do you become when you have nothing left to lose?

There is something Poe Blythe, the seventeen-year-old captain of the Outpost’s last mining ship, wants far more than the gold they tear from the Serpentine River. 

Revenge. 

     Poe has vowed to annihilate the river raiders who robbed her of everything two years ago. But as she navigates the treacherous waters of the Serpentine and realizes there might be a traitor among her crew, she must also reckon with who she has become, who she wants to be, and the ways love can change and shape you. Even–and especially–when you think all is lost.

     Intricately crafted and emotionally gripping, The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe is the compelling story of one young woman’s journey to move beyond the grief and anger that control her and find the inner strength to chart her own course.

Review

First – a HUGE thank you to the publisher for sending a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Second – on to the review! This was a quick and unique read. I’ve read a lot of dystopian stories in my day but this felt fresh and different. I won’t heavily recap the story as you can read above what it’s about.

Most of this story revolves around ships and gold. How could that not entice everyone to read it?! We find out in the beginning the tragedy that Poe experienced and that sort of set the tone for the rest of the story. It was a great insight into why she did a lot of what she did. Years after the event, Poe was put in command of her own voyage and she struggled that a lot. Understandable so but she was able to put her own conflicts aside to do what was in the best interest of everyone. That made for a thrilling and adventurous tale.

The issues that Poe struggled with and the demons she fought felt real. I saw her character grow and develop as the story continued. She was a very fleshed out and yet flawed character. She never walked around as the helpless female but also knew she was not above asking for help. The rest of the cast of characters really helped round out the entire story.

Do I recommend this story? Absolutely. It was well done with a very well developed world, complex characters, and a fast paced story – what isn’t there to enjoy? I would not be opposed to this being the start of a new series starting one Poe Blythe.

Author Bio

Ally Condie is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Matched trilogy and co-author of the Darkdeep middle grade series. She is also the author of the novel Summerlost, an Edgar Award Finalist. A former English teacher, Ally lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She has an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is the founder and director of the nonprofit WriteOut Foundation. AllyCondie.com Twitter @AllyCondie

SCHEDULE

Week One

April 1 – Bookcrushin – Listicle: 3 Things you would bring with you on a revenge mission

April 2 – @love.books.and.coffee – Creative Instagram Picture + Giveaway

April 3 – The Fandom – Playlist 

April 4 – Library in the Country – Review

April 5 – Berrybookpages – Creative Instagram Picture

Week Two

April 8 – the_readers_nook – Creative Instagram Picture

April 9 – Gladiator Glory – Bookish Makeup Tutorial

April 10 – TreatYoShelf Book Club – Creative Instagram Picture

April 11 – The Midnight Society – Inspired by the Book

April 12 – Jo Loves to read – Creative Instagram Picture

Week Three

April 15 – Just About Write – Review

April 16 – pagetravels – Creative Instagram Picture

April 17 – A Gingerly Review – Review

April 18 – Fiction Fares – Listicle

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ARC Review: If I’m Being Honest

If I'm Being Honest

While I have not yet had the pleasure of reading Always, Never, Yours, I was able to read and follow this with no problem. It was a delightfully funny, charming, hilarious, swoony read! I really did love everything about this and am excited to read more from these two authors.

While this is pitched as Taming of the Shrew meets Mean Girls, I’m here to tell you that is not incorrect. This was an absolute brilliant mashup. Once I started, I simply could not get enough of it! I immediately connected with Cameron, the protagonist. While this girl was always honest with what she said, she stayed true to herself and stuck to her guns. I have to commend the girl for being confident in who she was and willing to see past herself to try to become a better person. She felt believable and someone I would hang out with in real life, brutal honesty and all. She went through the book trying to make up for past wrongs and I give her a standing ovation for that. I don’t know many people that would put themselves out there that way. Granted, her reasons for starting this list/quest were a little (okay, a lot) on the selfish side, but her character arc more than made up for it.

Cameron was not the only amazing character in this story, the entire cast felt believable and real. They all felt flushed out, deeply flawed, and wonderfully complex. Not one single person as was open and shut as they appeared. Every single one had their insecurities, hopes, and fears. It was refreshing to read about a cast of characters that was not always perfect in everything they did. Cameron’s character really had to work to get to know these people, nothing happened easily or by chance – I really liked that about this book. While Cameron was batting some pretty gnarly demons at home, it proved that nobody had the perfect life.

I’m really struggling to find the proper words to describe how much I enjoy this book!! The setting, the plot, the pacing, the characters, all of it worked. It worked in such a wonderful way. Just know that if you’re looking for a swoony contemporary feel that may give you pause to think about how you talk to/treat people, then this is the book you need in your life. You don’t want to miss it when it comes into the world soon.

Waiting on Wednesday: We Hunt The Flame

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)

From Goodreads:

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands

This sounds stunning.

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ARC Review: Aurora Rising

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)

**I received an earc in exchange for my honest review**

OHHHH BOY.

Holy cow. This was one heck of a wild ride and I loved every single moment of it. I’m going to try really hard to review and not give anything away. HA. I should end my review now then, right? Let’s see what I can come up with…

I firmly believe that these two authors cannot write a bad book. They have mastered the sci-fi setting but spinning in it such a way that it feels fresh. This really did feel like The Breakfast Club but set in space and I was absolutely here for it. The characters were deeply flawed and beautifully complex. They all had a voice in the story as they all had POV chapters so I was able to hear directly from them why they did what they did or know why they felt the way they did. That gave an extra layer of depth that made this story that much better. While there were a lot of characters (all necessary), my favorite character was Aurora. I loved her backstory and the journey she had ahead of her. I do have a soft spot for all of them, but she was the one I connected with the most.

The concept and plot of the story was utterly brilliant. A girl lost in space but in cryo-sleep awakened to discover she has a bigger role to play in the fate of the universe? And her fate is in the hands of a group of space cadets that never wanted to team up in the first place? Sign. Me. Up. It worked and it worked so bloody well. Once I started this story I could not stop. I simply had to know what happened. This was one of those books that I was thinking about when I wasn’t reading it because I had to know what happened. I had to know what was going on with Aurora and why things happened the way they did. (Hint: I was not disappointed!)

What more can I say about this book without giving anything away? I know! The humor is ON POINT. I mean, if you don’t laugh at all of the Middle-Earth jokes then there must be something wrong with you. The amount of references to hot elves felt like an added bonus for this already stunning start to a new sci-fi series. Not to mention the sexual tension and innuendos. They were not rude or crude but just enough. Whatever magical spell Kristoff and Kaufman cast years ago to be able to work so well together, I embrace it. They knocked it out of the park and I believe everyone will be in for one heck of a treat. I cannot wait for this to be out in the world and everyone read it.

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Review: Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee

Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee

Jeff Zentner is one of my all-time favorite authors. He is an auto-buy author for me and I will forever be one of his biggest supporters. That is why I was super excited about his latest release. So far this man has not written a bad book. A story about the power of friendships and coming of age? Sign me up.

This was the story of Josie and Delia. They were two friends who became hosts of a public access show dedicated to campy monster movies. It was a show that aired in the middle of the night and both of these girls dressed in character – and it worked. These two characters were different but they balanced each other out. Neither had come from an easy childhood nor had easy decisions to make for their future.

Delia’s reason for starting the public access show was for her father, who abandoned her when she was young. Watching campy classic monster movies was what they shared and Delia was desperate to hold on to what little she had left of him. She was also desperate to know why he left all of those years ago. Josie enjoyed being the co-host of the show but she knew it was not something she wanted to continue to do. She had to find a way to confess to her best friend that she was going to leave but her sense of responsibility may get the better of her.

This was another brilliant and complex story that kept me turning the pages well into the night. I could not get enough of this. I had not ever read a story set around a public access show and it was just so good. It was something I had not read before so the intrigue was certainly there. I know I’m going to struggle to let you, my faithful readers, know just how great this story was. I’m going to keep pushing on so bear with me…

The story was told in alternating POV and that helped give added depth to the characters. While I loved discovering how complex the characters were, I found I connected more with Delia. I felt Josie’s character and chapters had too much focus on her budding relationship with Lawson. I don’t know why I didn’t connect to them as much and I still cannot put my finger on it. My heart went out to Delia and the way she wanted to reconnect with her father. This poor girl really wanted to know why he left because she carried guilt that she was the reason he left. That could not have been easy to carry around. Her Mom also checked out so she went through most of her teenage years on her own. I would not wish that on anyone.

This story was not all cut-and-dry about two friends who were discovering their path in life… it also dealt with mental illness and the aftermath of being abandoned by a parent. Those are never easy topics but Zentner handled and addressed them with class and grace. The topics were addressed and came to resolution but there was humor also included. I found myself giggling and laughing, which is always a bonus for me. Please know that while there was humor, it did not take away from the serious topics. In a way, it helped to address them. I’m not sure how to word that properly but it all worked. Everything worked perfectly.

Zentner hit it out of the park with his latest novel. I will always highly recommend his books to everyone. If you haven’t already read his first two novels, The Serpent King and Goodbye Days, I urge you to do that now. They probably will make you ugly cry but you don’t want to miss out on them. You need them in your life, just like you need Delia and Josie. It will make you want to call your best friend and talk about everything and nothing at the same time. Pick up your copy of this one now.

ARC Review: You Must Not Miss

You Must Not Miss

**I received an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.**

Ah, magical realism.. how I am not a fan of you. I don’t know why I don’t jive with that genre but I often read it in the hopes that I find one that works for me. Unfortunately this was not one that worked for me.

This was a super, super quick read with some very, very heavy topics. That being said, I do not feel those heavy topics were addressed properly or handled well. Said topics included: alcoholism, eating disorder, bullying, sexual assault, underage drinking, and adultery. That’s a lot, right? The main character, Margaret (aka Magpie, aka Mags), was a sixteen year old girl who came home from school early to walk in on her dad having an affair with her aunt. When he left it was the tipping point for her mom to drink her life away. That lead to her being an alcoholic and Magpie (that’s what she is primarily referred to in the story) found her one day passed out on the floor from drinking too much. On top of all of this, Magpie developed an eating disorder, but it was never said why she did so but it was always mentioned. Her way of escape was often floating in her backyard pool and writing in her yellow notebook. In this notebook she created the perfect town – Near. Suddenly one day Magpie found the doorway to Near and she discovered everything she written down was right in front of her. Finally, she had a way to get revenge on everyone that wronged her.

You can see how I was slightly confused because there was just so much going on. It was hinted at throughout most of the book that something really bad happened to Magpie at a party but it wasn’t revealed until about 80% into the book. I cannot stress enough that I feel throwing in a sexual assault at a party should not have been done for the shock factor but I feel that it was. None of these serious topics were addressed properly at all. This teenage girl had an eating disorder and chose to drink until she passed out but it was never talked about as being a bad thing. Same goes for the sexual assault. I felt the author had the right platform to address these serious topics but failed to do so. That did not sit well with me at all.

All of the time Magpie spent in her made-up world of Near was uber confusing. She created this picture perfect world for herself and chose to use it as a way to get revenge on those that wronged her? She lured these people into Near and had them eaten by made up characters? What, and I cannot stress this enough, the heck? That makes zero sense.

I did not like Magpie’s character as I felt she had no character arc and no development. The way she was when the story started was the exact same way she was when the story ended. Nothing changed within her at all, other than she felt she was invincible. I did not like her personality or the way she chose to handle the bad things in her life. Yes, she was dealt a very bad hand but she could have reacted/handled things in a very different way. I kept waiting for something to change or get better for both the character and story but it never happened.

I tried so hard to like this story but it just did not happen for me. The premise sounded amazing and the cover is stunning, but the story between the pages did not work for me. There were too many things skirted over and/or thrown in for shock factor and I do not agree with that. I was just not the right reader for this type of book.

Waiting on Wednesday: Aurora Rising

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)

From Goodreads:

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

The need for this story is STRONG.

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