July 24, 2015

Uprooted by Naomi Novik Review!

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Uprooted surprised me. I started this book not really knowing what was going to happen based on the vague synopsis I read, but I was pretty excited because I kept hearing amazing things about this book. It was only natural that I was excited to read Uprooted after all the hype I heard.
One thing I loved about Uprooted was the fact that it featured a heroine who was kind of the underdog. Agnieszka (I'll admit I don't even know how to begin to pronounce her name) starts out as this shy and quiet girl, but once she spends more time with the Dragon, she begins to have a spark of attitude. We begin to see her slowly change from a shy and quiet girl to a girl who fights for what she believes in and begins to speak up. I could really relate to Agnieszka because her personality matched mine perfectly. I can't really say any more about her because it would spoil the book, but just know that she is a strong character that you will love. Then we have the Dragon aka Sarkan. I have to admit that I wanted to beat him over the head with a skillet throughout most of the book. He was just so arrogant and rude. I was rooting for Agnieszka to give him a good kick in the pants, but alas, she couldn't hear me. Anyway, he slowly began to grow on me. I am a sucker for men who start off as arrogant and mean and then slowly start to turn into a guy you could easily love. I could practically see his hard outer shell melting as the story went on. Plus, he was a pretty badass guy. I mean, he was a wizard and an immortal. Hello, can he get any cooler?! The answer is no. Not only are Novik's characters relatable, brash, and stubborn, but they also prove to add a lot of character to the story line of Uprooted.
The story line of this book is a mystery from the synopsis so I will try to keep it spoiler free. One thing that might turn people off to this book at first is the beginning. It is a slow beginning that gives a lot of detail to set the scene for the rest of the book, but it quickly picks up when Agnieszka and the Dragon go back to his tower. You don't have to wait long for things to get more interesting that's for sure. The story is a good one full of adventure, magical warfare, woods that devour people, and strong characters that will have you cheering for them. One thing I liked about the story was how magical it all seemed. The concept was one that I hadn’t heard before and it was really intriguing. However, I couldn't help but be disappointed in this book in the end. I felt like it didn't have enough romance for me. I know some people will roll their eyes but a book with romance in it is guaranteed to make me happy. In Uprooted there was a dash of romance or maybe even a smidgen of one, but not enough for me to love it. I liked the story fine because it features a strong heroine who was ready to save the world or at least her village, but I would have loved it if there had been more romance. In the end, I felt like the book was a little anti-climactic. I don't know what I was looking for in the end, but I know that Uprooted left me wanting. I just felt like the book was lacking in some way.
However, if you love adventure, magical themes, a headstrong heroine, and a great plot then I think you will love this book. I believe that readers of Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore, Defy by Sara Larson, and In the Time of Dragon Moon by Janet Lee Carrey will love this book for sure. It lacked the spark I needed to love a book so I will have to give Uprooted 3 out of five stars.

July 21, 2015

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West Review!

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

I was immediately interested from page one of The Fill-In Boyfriend. Its story is one that will have you interested from the start, and it will have your emotions in its grasp too. I love contemporary novels like this one where my emotions are so I tune with the story that whenever something happens to the main character that hurts her then my heart aches too. It sounds crazy but it’s true. There were so many instances in this book where that happened. I wasn't prepared for the emotions this book had me feeling. I wanted to strangle Jules and murder Gia’s brother, Drew. Gia's mother was infuriating too. God, they made me so MAD. It's rare that characters piss me off so much, but these characters managed to push ALL of my buttons. Needless to say, I was rooting for Gia to show them all that she was a better person and that they are the assholes. Anyway, while anger was a prominent emotion while I read The Fill-In Boyfriend so was happiness. Gia and Hayden being together made me happy; their relationship definitely hit me in the feels. Hayden and Bec, His sister, making me laugh so much too. Their witty banter had me rolling!
Usually I read contemporaries with guaranteed fluff because I need a break from heavy plots and all that that usually dominates the fantasy genre, but I got so much more than fluff with The Fill-in Boyfriend. After I finished the book, I felt enlightened, and I felt like I took something away from it. Those are the best kinds of books in my opinion. As Gia struggled through lies, horrible friends, an unusual family dynamic, and confusing feelings, she grows to be a better person and she soon realizes that sometimes, life doesn't always go as planned but that’s okay. I honestly loved this book for taking me on such an emotional and thought provoking journey. It is books like these that make me love reading so much. Books like this one can be fun and take your mind off of things, but also get you to think and feel the emotions of the characters. It's a beautiful thing!
I never expected to love this book so much, but then again I shouldn't be surprised that West has written another great book. I really did love Gia and her story, and not to mention Hayden too. I really needed a contemporary like this to make me think about my life and reevaluate things. Nevertheless, this was also the fluffy book that I needed. Every moment between Gia and Hayden was filled with sparks of chemistry. They were just perfect for each other. Even though I almost cried because of them at one point, I loved how different they were but still right for each other. It was interesting to see them falling for each other as the book goes on.
Anyway, I loved this book and everything about it. The characters and the plot had me hungry for more after every chapter, and the amount of emotions this book made me feel had me even more in love with it. It will be pretty easy to add this book to my favorites list. The Fill-In Boyfriend definitely deserves five out of five stars.

July 18, 2015

Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally Review!

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.
But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

I really loved Jesse’s Girl. It might even be my favorite of Kenneally's books so far. I love music based books because they are always full of drama and intense emotions, and Jesse's Girl is no different. Right off the bat, I connected with Maya. She shares so many qualities with me, and it's always fun to be able to connect to the main character because then you can actually put yourself in their place. I was able to do that with Maya, and it made the story that much better for me. Her attitude and her style just mirrored mine. She had a punk rock style, she drove a motorcycle, she was a kickass guitar player, and she had a charismatic personality. She was the essence of awesome. Then we have Jesse who was to die for. Once again, Kenneally managed to create another book boy that I fell head over heels in love with. He started off being rude and standoff-ish, but soon he got closer to Maya and realized that he could really open up to someone for the first time ever. Their chemistry was slow burning and the whole time I was cheering for them to get together. They just complemented each other so well.
To go along with the great characters was an awesome story. It was full of inspiration, funny and heartfelt moments, and adventures that made you feel like you were practically there with Maya and Jesse. This story was focused on Maya getting out of her shell and shooting for her dream. I love the fact that Kenneally's books always have a great story behind them along with an enchanting romance. This book featured everything I love like music, a kickass girl, a dreamy boy, a motivating story, and a few hilarious situations to boot. I only wish the book was longer because I wanted more of Maya and Jesse!
Needless to say, if you are looking for a fun, motivating, and romantic read then Jesse's Girl (or any book) by Kenneally is the one to pick. Also, any fan of Sarah Dessen, Kasie West, Paula Stokes, and Stephanie Perkins will love this book. Jesse’s Girl was the perfect book to bring me out of my reading slump. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

July 3, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Frost by E. Latimer!

     As soon as I heard about the concept of Frost, I had to get involved with it somehow. What better way to give a book some love than reveal its beautiful cover for my lovely followers? Well, here it is!
    I have to say that this cover is beautiful. I love how simple yet elegant it is. This is definitely a cover that I would love to display on my shelf. Now that you’ve seen the cover, how about the synopsis for Frost?

Megan Walker’s touch has turned to ice. She can’t stop the frost, and the consequences of her first kiss are horrifying.
When her new powers attract attention, Megan finds herself caught up in an ancient war between Norse giants. One side fueled by a mad queen’s obsession and an ancient prophecy about Ranorak, the other by an age-old grudge. Both sides believe Megan to be something she’s not. Both sides will stop at nothing to have her.
Fire or frost. It’s an impossible decision, but she’ll have to act soon, because the storm is coming.

    I am very intrigued by this book. I don’t think I have ever read a book with a concept like Frost and I am looking forward to seeing what this book has in store for me! It sounds like it will be a fun and adventure filled read.

About E. Latimer:
Erin Latimer is a young adult fantasy writer who currently resides in Vancouver, BC. She writes books, makes silly vlogs about writing with the YA Word nerds, and reads excessively.
She has had an article featured in Chicken Soup For the Soul, and another in the Dear Teen Me online anthology. But mostly she writes about murderous queens and the magical teens who fight them.
You can find her online at http://elatimer.com/ !

Check out the preorder links!
I will definitely be adding this book to my pre-order list.
Amazon.ca - http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B010ORS5HI?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/frost-16
iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1014758288

What are your thoughts on the cover and the idea of Frost? Let me know in the comments below and feel free to share the love for Frost through Twitter!