Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #229: Riders


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


Riders
By: Veronica Rossi
Release Date: February 16, 2016

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does. Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can't remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse. Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen--Conquest, Famine, and Death--are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence. They fail. Now--bound, bloodied, and drugged--Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he's fallen for--not to mention all of humankind--he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger. But will anyone believe him? (Goodreads)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae 
By: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Released: October 20, 2015
Source: ARC from BEA
Purchase the Book:
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded. The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit. But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again. Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes. (Goodreads)

I liked Illuminae and the adventure this book took me on. It was certainly a unique reading experience. 

Illuminae is the story of Kady and Ezra who are forced to evacuate their planet after it's invaded. The invasion was only the start of their problems though and they find even more trouble aboard the fleet.

I liked Kady and Ezra and thought they were both developed fairly well. Kady quickly became my favorite character. She just kept becoming more and more interesting as the story progressed. I also really liked that Ezra and Kady shared a very realistic relationship for two teenagers.

Illuminae is told through files, interviews, emails, maps, and more. This is partly what made Illuminae so interesting, but also what caused me to struggle with this book too. I praise Kaufman and Kristoff for the way they wrote this book because it was an amazing way to compose a story. Some of the art work on the pages were stunning. However, it took me about 200 pages to really get invested in the plot. The way this book is written will absolutely work for some readers, but for me, it unfortunately didn't. I felt like there was so much jumping around and I found myself constantly having to reread pages. 

I really enjoyed the beginning of Illuminae because it starts immediately with action, but shortly after that I started to lose interest. There was still plenty of action taking place, but it just wasn't grabbing my attention. Once I got through those first 200 pages though, I finished it right away. The plot really picked up the pace and there were some great twists. There was a good mix of humor and romance added in too. I especially liked the ending a lot as well.   

Overall I liked Illuminae. It was a unique adventure. This book may not be for everyone, but it's still definitely worth giving a chance.

 
My Rating:
 




Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #228: Queen of Hearts


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


Queen of Hearts
By: Colleen Oakes
Release Date: May 3, 2016

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life. When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe. Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.  Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. (Goodreads)

 

Friday, October 16, 2015

New York Comic Con Recap + Giveaway


New York Comic Con Recap
I attended New York Comic Con this past weekend for my sixth year and it was a great four days. I attended several panels about books, movies, and tv shows. I thought I would share a quick recap of the book related events that I attended. 

Thursday:
I started off Thursday at the ABC Family booth looking at the props from the Shadowhunters tv show. I was completely blown by how amazing the props looked. The mortal cup, seraph blades, and Izzy's whip looked incredible in person. 

Later that day I attended Stephenie Meyer's panel and signing. The panel was great and it wasn't just the same repetitive questions. Stephenie talked a lot about Life and Death and how it isn't a new book, but more of an experiment. She wanted to test out the theory that even a boy in this type of a situation would be a damsel. She also wanted to do something more than just writing a letter for the tenth anniversary. Lastly Stephenie spoke about a new project that she has coming out, but it will be very different from what she has done before. She also said that she is a fan of Rainbow Rowell and has recently been reading her books.
  
Right after the panel, there was a signing. I brought along my much loved first copy of Twilight to have her sign and finally had the chance to tell her how much these books changed my life as a teen. She was genuinely really nice and funny.  



Saturday:
I really enjoyed the Shadowhunters panel on Saturday! They gave away
Shadowhunters bags that had goodies inside and a poster. The panel began with a six minute clip from the pilot. I loved the clip and my favorite part was seeing Izzy's whip. The cast and Cassandra Clare talked about everything from filming, to training, to the audition process, and even the books. What I loved most about the panel was the energy and chemistry between the cast. They all kept joking around with each other and telling stories from filming. For instance, Matthew Daddario teased Dominic Sherwood about how many steles he broke during filming. Emeraude also laughed about how everyone would clear the set when she had the whip out. Overall this panel just made me even more excited for this show. The cast genuinely seemed to love the characters they are playing and the whole Shadowhunter world.



Later in the afternoon I attended the Shadowhunters signing and this cast is gorgeous in person. I told Kat McNamara how excited I was about her playing Clary and that I really liked her character on Happyland. She said she was sad that Happyland ended, but she never would have gotten the opportunity to do Shadowhunters if it didn't. Isaiah Mustafa was so nice and we briefly talked about the clip. I've met Cassandra Clare a few times in the past so it was great to see her again. We talked about how gorgeous the Lady Midnight
cover came out. Matthew Daddario and Dominic Sherwood were both charming and were happy to hear that I loved the clip. Emeraude Toubia was so sweet and I told her how Izzy is my favorite character. We both freaked out over how cool the whip looked in that clip. She said she feels so lucky to play such an awesome character and asked to please keep tweeting about the show. Harry Shum and Alberto Rosende were also so nice and I told them both just how much they look like what I imagined for their characters. Overall the cast was just so nice and again really gorgeous. I'm so happy I got the chance to meet them.


I also have to mention how great it was to run into some book bloggers during the weekend. It was so nice to meet Nori from readwritelove28.com and Brittany from bookrambles.com

That's it for my recap of the book related events though. I mostly attended television panels this year, so if you are interested in reading about those you can check out my Twitter and Instagram
 


Giveaway:
Since I know not everyone could attend New York Comic Con, I wanted to give away the bag from the Shadowhunters panel. One random winner will receive a Shadowhunters bag, Lady Midnight chapter sampler, stickers, magnet, and tattoos. Open to US residents only and you must be 13 or older. The giveaway ends on November 1. 






Thursday, October 15, 2015

Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl

Black Widow: Forever Red
By: Margaret Stohl
Released: October 13, 2015
Source: ARC from BEA
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Enter the world of the Avengers' iconic master spy. Natasha Romanoff is one of the world's most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow's infamous academy for operatives. Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn't really the big sister type. Until now. When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava's dreams. . . . (Goodreads)

I really enjoyed Black Widow: Forever Red. I'm a huge fan of this whole concept of bringing Black Widow and other comic book characters to life in a Young Adult book. I was expecting this book to be something entirely different and focus more on Natasha Romanoff herself. However, this isn't just Natasha's story and I really liked these new characters that Stohl introduced into a world that I already love.

Black Widow: Forever Red is the story of Natasha and Ava. Natasha saved Ava when she was a child from her former teacher, Ivan, and left Ava in the hands of S.H.I.E.L.D. Years later, Ava is just trying to live a normal life, but she keeps having these dreams about a boy. Also children are starting to disappear again and Ivan is back.

I liked how the chapters alternated between Natasha, Ava, and Alex. All three of these characters have an interesting connection with each other. I especially enjoyed Natasha's chapters because it's the Black Widow. I have loved this character for years and I think that Stohl did a great job at capturing her voice. She showed a different side to Natasha. Then Ava and Alex were really interesting and well developed characters. I loved how you learned more about them and what their place in this world was as the story progressed. It was also really fun to see some other characters that I love from the Marvel Universe pop up throughout this book.

The plot took some time to really hook me in. It started off great and with a big action packed scene, but then it slowed down a bit. It took some time for it to really grab my attention again. I actually ended up putting this book aside for a few months. However, I refused to give up on it and I'm happy I didn't. I loved the last quarter of this book a lot and couldn't put it down. The twists and action in the end is definitely what saved this book for me. I also really loved the case transcript pages at the beginning of each chapter. Those were fun to read and just made me feel even more like I was a part of this world. 

Overall I really enjoyed Black Widow: Forever Red. It had a few bumps, but the last quarter of this book made up for that. I absolutely recommend picking up this book, especially if you are a Black Widow fan. I'll definitely be looking forward to the sequel.    


My Rating:
 



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #227: The Lifeboat Clique


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


The Lifeboat Clique
By: Kathy Parks
Release Date: March 1, 2016

Some people might say that Denver had a death wish. Why else would she have dared to sneak into a Malibu beach party where she’d be surrounded by enemies, namely including her ex-BFF Abigail? Oh yeah. Croix. Denver never thought in a million years he’d ask her out, but who was she to question this miracle of fate? Well, that wasn’t the only surprise fate had in store. During the party a tsunami hit the coast of California, wiping out everything in its path. Denver and a handful of others escaped death by holding onto the roof of the house and were swept out to sea. Of course, one of her fellow castaways was none other than Abigail, who could barely stand the sight of her. Now that she’s floating in the ocean, stuck on a small boat with the most popular kids in school and waiting to be rescued, Denver wonders what might kill her first-dehydration, sunstroke, or the girl she used to think of as a sister? A hilariously dark and twisted story that sparkles with a remarkably fresh voice, The Lifeboat Clique is Kathy Park’s irreverent yet insightful novel about how to survive in the most unthinkable circumstances. (Goodreads)



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #226: The Leaving Season


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


The Leaving Season
By: Cat Jordan
Release Date: March 1, 2016

Middie Daniels calls it the Leaving Season: the time of year when everyone graduates high school, packs up their brand-new suitcases, and leaves home for the first time. This year Middie’s boyfriend Nate is the one leaving. Nate, who’s so perfect that she can barely believe it. Nate, who makes her better than she is on her own. Nate, who’s promised to come back once he’s finished his gap year volunteering in Central America. And when he does, it’ll be time for Middie to leave, too. With him. But when a tragedy strikes, Middie’s whole world is set spinning. No one seems to understand just how lost she is… except for Nate’s slacker best friend Lee. Middie and Lee have never gotten along. But with the ground ripped out from under her, Middie is finding that up is down—and that Lee Ryan might be just what she needs to find her footing once more. Cat Jordan’s heartbreaking story proves that no matter the season, no matter the obstacles, love can help you find yourself in the most unexpected of places. (Goodreads)