(Young Adult) Book Nook

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Pivot Point - Kasie West Originally at: http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/post/55927412572/book-recommendation-pivot-point

I don’t even know where to start.

Maybe I should pre-face by saying that before PIVOT POINT I was going through the most horrendous reading slump of the summer. I couldn’t find a single book I liked. I read the first chapters and quickly got disinterested.

It was torture.

So I went on a search ha! and ended up downloading this to Jared. And then bought it immediately afterward.

I’m not sure what this book did to me, but yes please.

PIVOT POINT drops the reader into an incredibly imaginative world, where these psychologically advanced people reside just next to us. Literally. The live in a compound as part of a closed-off society, apart from the Norms (aka. us suckers who only use 10% of our brains). Kasie West’s writing read effortless—her descriptions and characterizations were amazing, and she built a believable world subtly and decisively. Sigh. So in love.

But let’s forget about the awesome world and writing; let’s talk about what had me squealing like a Chihuahua held by the ears—Characters.

Addie made me smile like nothing else. She was sharp and conflicted, but fiercely herself. I’m always so glad to find YA heroines who like books—and I don’t mean the Oh Yeah I Read Let’s Talk About Wuthering Heights That’s The Only Book I Know Tee-Hee. I mean, the ones who really like books, where it shows through their thought process and behavior, how they’re enamored with stories and words and bookshelves.

That’s Addie.

I want to say the two other MCs are Trevor and Duke (The Guys) but that would be lying because:

1. You probably think by now that there’s a love triangle and No.

2. Laila.

Number 2 first because I dislike order: Laila is Addie’s best friend. Like, an actual friend. Here is a character that does NOT get relegated back stage because of plot progression and/or love woes. Laila has her own story, she’s a full character with her own problems and, apart from that, she’s Addie’s friend, but that’s not her defining characteristic. HEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS YES.

Number 1 is just flat out wrong. This is not a book with love triangles. There are two guys, but Addie meets them separately in two different lives, which, you know, hinders the love triangle scenario a little bit useless.

I don’t wanna spoil but siiiigh Trevor my sweet baby i love u

This is getting rather long, but I can’t end it without mentioning what an amazing job Kasie West did weaving her two story-lines together. Flawless. I was just in awe.

I honestly can’t say enough about how good PIVOT POINT was. I guess you’ll just have to read it and see that i was right. obviously.

Also, somebody get me some fanart. Thank you.
A Darkness Strange and Lovely - Susan Dennard Originally at: http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/post/56436611642/book-recommendation-a-darkness-strange-and-lovely

(No Spoilers)

And the Award For Best Titles Goes To… No, seriously. Something Strange and Deadly? A Darkness Strange and Lovely? 119% awesome titles, are they not?

They are.

Once again recommending a sequel! yay? I’ve been talking about this book so much that I had to. I had to.

So here’s what: ADSAL was Incredible, said in the breathless way love confessions are said.

I know I usually start these reviews by talking about my favorite characters and such—because, yes, I’m a very character-oriented person and that’s what I like. But I’m going to side-step that for a second and tell you about something else: writing.

Susan Dennard knows her craft. (I know this is a thing all writers are supposed to have mastered, but it’s simply not true. They’re learning, too.) In ADSL, Susan weaves her world effortlessly, word upon carefully chosen word (Ok, I don’t actually know if they were carefully chosen, but it feels as if they were!), she reels us in. Her sentences are sharp and clear, and not one of them stand simply as filler. Can I say this again: Word Choice! She steers the reader toward certain emotions and ways of seeing a situation, all while building so much atmosphere. I couldn’t get enough.

I think I’m getting emotional just thinking about the writing. Reader Me was enthralled. Writer Me was bubbling in a hot tub full of envy.

Characters were, as in SSaD, amazing. Eleanor is my absolute favorite, in her kick-assery and mistakes. And let me tell you something, boy does Eleanor make mistakes. But, you know what? I could see myself making those mistakes. I could see someone as driven and fierce as Eleanor make them. Because she’s not perfect; she is truly flawed and amazing. And she has brought to my attention how much I need a parasol. I do.

Secondary characters were so awesome and so many that I can’t conceivably talk about them all. I’ll try to summarize my feeling:

Joseph: Yes. Adopt me.

Jie: afhjadsgf Yes. Also, train me.

Laure: How do I care so much about you already? Yes!

Clarence: (I can mention you if I want to) Somehow I like you more now than I ever did before. Huh.

Elijah: Same with you.

Daniel: Did I faint? I think I did.

Olive: (I side-eyed you so hard, Ollie. No trust for you, but I still love you.) Yes.

Feelings, as I said.

One more thing I absolutely must mention: The Mystery. ADSAL had me hooked all the way to the end—and when I say Hooked, I mean In The Dark About Everything, which is exactly the kind of Hooked I like. Susan Dennard does a fantabulous job of giving you just enough to want more, but not enough to figure everything out.

Also, may I say, Thank you for a middle book with its own driving plot and that doesn’t end on a cliffhanger! I practically danced with joy.

And then weeped because I want Book 3 anyway.

Now go get this and suffer in wait with me.
Defy the Dark - Saundra Mitchell,  Malinda Lo,  Myra McEntire,  Sarah Ockler,  Jackson Pearce,  Dia Reeves,  Jon Skovron,  Courtney Summers,  Aprilynne Pike,  Beth Revis,  Carrie Ryan,  Rachel Hawkins,  Sarah Rees Brennan,  Tessa Gratton,  Christine Johnson,  Valerie Kemp Originally at: http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/post/54939251646/book-recommendation-defy-the-dark

DEFY THE DARK was one of my very anticipated reads of June, and I only hadn’t recommended it before because I wasn’t sure how you went about recommending an anthology. Here’s what I concluded, though:

Read it.


DFD was an amazing collection of short stories from an even better line-up of authors. I can honestly say I read them all in one night and loved them. That’s not to say that I didn’t have my favorites oh i did and so I’ll use them to tell you why you should definitely read this.

So, my Four Favs:

Night Swimming by Beth Revis: I cried tears of blood reading this. It takes place in the world of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, on the generational ship Godspeed, and basically took my heart out for a nice little walk and then stepped on it. I won’t spoil anything but it tells the story from an ambiguous POV and half the fun was figuring out who it was. (The other half was getting your emotions toyed with, of course.)

I Gave You My Love by the Light of the Moon by Sarah Rees Brennan: Or, as I like to refer to it, IGYMLbtLotM. no, i don’t really refer to it like that Oh, SRB does it again, what’s new? This was the first short story of the anthology I read and it was fantabulous. How anyone can pack so much character development in so few pages will always be a mystery to me. Vampires? Werewolves? Tropes standing of their heads? Yes, please.

Stillwater by Valerie Kemp: I’d never read Valerie Kemp before, but when I turned my electronic page and saw that the story was over I was horrified. I literary just sat them going wat. The short story was just unf. Mind-bending and beautiful and mysterious and engaging. Is there more to this? Because I kind of need a whole book out of it now.

Naughty or Nice by Myra McEntire: McEntire is another author I’d never read, but I loved loved this short story. I think out of all the stories, I might have connected with her characters the most. And the mythology behind it was fascinating. Props for flawless dialogue as well, it had me laughing and clutching my iPad for longer than was altogether normal.

And these are just some of the stories that I loved. Like I said, DEFY THE DARK is amazing—hands down the best anthology I’ve read so far.
A Dawn Most Wicked - Susan Dennard I don’t know what to do or what to say—except maybe this: I am entirely overwhelmed by feels.

H o l y p a n c a k e s.

I wasn’t even going to write a rec for this e-novella. I wasn’t! As a (loose) rule, I only recommend first books in a series, and while the novella can stand alone, it is definitely part of the SS&D universe. But I just had to.

Susan is such a genius. Or a genie, I don’t know. Maybe both.

A DAWN MOST WICKED was like the best type of candy, the sweet kind that makes you excited to get and is both completely satisfying and leaves you wanting more. and o boi do i want more

Daniel is just the best. He has such a compelling voice and skills and awesomeness. Am I swooning? I’m swooning. He carries this whole novella on his shoulders and I would read it just for him. I don’t even have to, though: Joseph and Jie! Their meeting! The formation of The Spirit Hunters! The ghosts. It was almost too much for my heart to handle.

And I cried. I knew how it might end and I still cried. Daniel I love you so much more now my poor angel

I don’t usually like novellas. They’re short and rely on me liking the characters enough to overlook underdeveloped plots (because of word limits and such, not always the author’s fault), so I confess I wasn’t planning on loving ADMW, even though I love everything Sooz writes and I knew she was fabulous.

I adored it.

And you will, too, so go read it. Now I shall sit here and rock back and forth, waiting for A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY to release. Also, can we say, best book titles?
Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas Originally at: http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/post/52109552196/book-recommendation-throne-of-glass

I thought long and hard about recommending THRONE OF GLASS, not because I didn’t love it oh I did, but because I feel as if everyone knows about it already.

I mean, don’t they?

ToG had a huge following back in its FP days, and no wonder. Sarah is a fantastic writer, weaving story and character and everything else together seamlessly. Celaena is a fantastic main character: tough and skillful, unafraid of what she could do. I was glad to see a heroine who didn’t shy away from being pretty, who used it to her advantage because why the hell not?

The other two main characters (non-POVs) were Chaol, the captain of the guard, and Dorian, the prince. I can’t talk about them without blatantly showing who I prefer Chaol. I like Chaol best ok, but they were both great and I loved them.

The world-building was great, present but not overwhelming and avoiding the info-dumping that sometimes fantasy novels fall prey to. I loved the mechanics of the tournaments and the different characters that it brought into play, even if it was a bit predictable. I feel so jaded when I say things like this… but I knew who Celaena would face immediately, and I wished I’d been a bit more surprised. Overall, though, I enjoyed getting to plot points and see how they played out, so that didn’t retract from my enjoyment at all.

The only reason ToG is not 5 stars is because of Celaena, actually. She was what I liked most and least about this book, which is a strange way of thinking about it. I loved Celaena, looking back on it, but we didn’t click while I was reading the book. She was great, but too unlike me in ways—I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore.

Suffice to say, that the fact that I loved this book despite my complicated relationship with its main character shows how great it was. So everybody should read it because 1. It’s awesome 2. Sarah is even more awesome.

And I want more fan art so please
In the Shadow of Blackbirds - Cat Winters Originally Published at: http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/post/52991242541/book-recommendation-in-the-shadow-of-blackbirds

Oh God.

I am literally choking up. I just finished this book and ran here to write this book recommendation, even though I have no time.

This book hugged my heart and broke it. If you don’t read this you are seriously missing out.

IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS is everything I didn’t expect, with the creepiness of Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS and the fierce accuracy of a history textbook. It combined WWI, the Spanish Flu, Spiritual Photography, and a murder mystery so incredible I’ve procrastinated packing for 6+ hours to finish it I sure hope those suitcases make themselves. No? Ok.

I loved this book to pieces.

Mary Shelley Black has risen to be one of my very favorite heroines. Fierce. Logical. A mind so fully scientific and brilliantly honest that I wanted to hug her and make best friends with her. And Stephen, oh my sweet artistic soul, I though you would be a one-dimensional plot device, I’m so sorry, my little boy. No, I love you. I love you so much.

In fact, that was basically the case for everything here. All these vivid, amazing characters walked though this book, in a world so beautifully crafted that I was horrified to be placed there. Some characters I thought would be major faded into the background, some minor characters came into sharp focus.

Cat Winters produced a debut story so fantastic I can’t even believe it was her first published book.

I can’t say enough how much I recommend this book. IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS is just great. Creepy, with accompanying photographs, and the most compelling characters. And the mystery—the murder.

Read this book. Please.

I do lose ink.

I’m just gonna cry my suitcases into packing themselves
Chime - Franny Billingsley Originally at: http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/post/62386833069/book-recommendation-chime

I should probably say that this is most likely the weirdest book I’ve recommended so far. Also, that description does it absolutely no justice.

CHIME was addicting. And strange. And wonderful.

It follows Briony, who is all kinds of messed up and unreliable, as she tries to uncover secrets hidden from herself and deal with the magic erupting all around her town. It follows Briony as she tries to deal with Eldric. It follows Briony as she breaks and rebuilds.

Briony is a fantastic character: she is both the driving force of the plot and the whole atmosphere of the book. And I know that sounds weird, but it is absolutely true. Her narration is unlike any I’ve read before, creepy and enchanting and heavy. She makes this book. Briony and her selfishness and her mistakes and her lies.

Eldric, as the main male character, shines as a contrast to Briony. He is light and art and spontaneity. He is the guy who pushes, who encourages. He was an absolute delight and so flawed. I almost wished I could have been inside his head, too.

And Rose. I cried for Rose. I cried with Rose.

I can’t really say much more without spoiling, except that more people should read this book and less people should be so intimidated by it.

CHIME is a strange book, full of fleshed out characters and confusing narrative and dark creatures that will make you revisit the fairytales of old.
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater Originally at: http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/post/50954319686/book-recommendations-the-scorpio-races

I have defeated your name Stiefvater

It’s no secret that I was a pretty big fan of THE RAVEN BOYS and since THE DREAMS THIEVES doesn’t come out in basically forever I picked up another Stiefvater book—the one not about werewolves.

THE SCORPIO RACES was just fantastic. I would say it’s a slow sort of book, because it didn’t rush into the action and, even when it got there, it didn’t rush into finishing. It starts with characters and ends with characters and had me crying for more.

It’s a stand-alone book! Gasp, I know. I always think it’d be so nice to have one of these rare jewels every once in a while—until suddenly I read one and then all is wailing and sadness because WHY IS THERE NO MORE.

So, anyway, back to the book: Sean and Puck are the main characters, dual POVs and all that good stuff. I cannot tell you how much I loved them. Oh God, Sean and Puck. Feels. So many feels. They’re so great and multi-faceted and so nicely developed! Maggie Stiefvater knows her craft. These two, on their own, would have gotten this book a recommendation. I loved them and their interactions and the times when they were together and the times when they weren’t, which was quite a bit. But all the other characters are so vivid as well—slowly built and branded in your mind like you’ve known them all your life, too.

The world was just, I don’t know, splendid. THE SCORPIO RACES tells us about the capaill uisce, which are these flesh eating water horses that come to land around November in Thisby (the island). And people capture and race them because, well, what else would you do with flesh-eating water horses, right?

Let me tell you something, I don’t much care about horses. Like, I think they’re nice, but I’ve never ridden one, and I’ve never really felt a connection to them like I do with, say, panthers i want one please. But boy did I cry for these water horses. They’re just so majestic and wonderfully described and now I don’t know if I like horses or just the idea of horses Maggie painted in my head. Either way, the horses work. The capaill uisce and Thisby are things I now want. They just built so much atmosphere, gave the whole book this feel. Like coming home and November cakes.

November cakes.

I feel like I’m rambling, but I hope it comes across that I actually really, really liked this book. It was one of those that you crave without knowing and leave you uncertain how the next book you read will possibly match up. Can this be a trilogy now?
Legend - Marie Lu Originally at: http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/post/49742578380/book-recommendation-legend-by-marie-lu

I wasn’t going to pick up this book. I didn’t for a long time. LEGEND has two things that usually turn me off: High praise and young MCs.

I think we can all tell by now that I’m glad I gave it a shot.

LEGEND is a futuristic YA told from the alternating perspectives of Day and June. Day is a little like Robin Hood—if Robin Hood was 15 years old, had wrecked military bases, and gave me heart palpitations deer gawd because did he. He’s charming and scrappy and so likable I can’t begin to tell you. June—I thought I was gonna have trouble with her, because she read a little strangely at first, except it makes total sense with her character. June is the Republic’s prodigy, so smart and so sought-after and so awesome. She’s just entirely kickass. I’m not just saying that, either: we aren’t just told June is clever or badass or what-have-you, it’s shown in the narrative and I was so happy I could have cried.

This book was action packed and fast-paced and so thrilling I couldn’t put it down. The writing is absolutely flawless, as is the character and plot development. (I could guess some of the twists, but not all. And even the ones I guess didn’t bother me much).

The reason I don’t give this book flying 5 stars is because some things happen at the beginning that are supposed to carry a lot of emotional weight… and I didn’t really care about it. I won’t spoil anything, but it was something intended to make me sympathize with the characters, but I didn’t feel I had spent enough time with them to care yet. In retrospect, I do care, but I didn’t then.

Still, this book was fantastic and finally managed to overcome My Sequel Situation. I’m already reading PRODIGY and only put it down to write this recommendation. Now it’s back to it!
That Time I Joined the Circus - J.J. Howard Originally at: http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/post/50105958153/book-review-that-time-i-joined-the-circus

Actual Review: 1.5 stars

Oh God I hate giving negative reviews. This pains me, I’ve literally put off having to review this for a month and half s i g h

THAT TIME I JOINED THE CIRCUS and I did not get along very well.

Here’s a thing you need to know about me: I love the circus. Love. As in, When I Was Younger I Trained To Be A Trapeze Artist sort of love, and that all didn’t work out i know you don’t care i’m stopping now, but it left me with a deep appreciation for the art and a chronic need to see the Cirque du Soleil whenever it came to town aka broke.

All of this to say that when I heard of CIRCUS I was beyond excited. YA + Circus + Pretty Cover = Yes, please!

I want to sat it was my high expectations that stopped me from liking this book… but I don’t think that was it. CIRCUS just angered me.

Here you have Lexi (or X or Xandra or whatever deer gawd just pick a name and stick with it), who is pretty meh about everything. She has two best friends: one she likes and one she, well, doesn’t really like. Her friends are, of course, a couple, which makes her the third wheel. Ok, good stuff, I like drama.

Then her Dad who is like super cool and not like a Dad at all omg so great Rufus is that u dies and (even though he’d pre-paid for her whole high school education) she ends up homeless, kicked out of school, basically penniless, and in an entirely crappy situation.

Wait. So the principal wouldn’t let her in the school because she didn’t have a guardian present? And wouldn’t give her money back? I’m sorry, what. The legal details here are as fuzzy as my vision.

So our super special X/Lexi/Xandra/I don’t care sets out to track her Mom (now her guardian) down. Her Mom supposedly joined a circus because she was a free spirit and what have you, but when she gets to the circus: no Mom. Lexi gets a job instead (this was actually very sensible. Why didn’t you stay like this?). And thus appears the one character I like: Costi. Oh, Costi, come back to me.

He has exactly 1 scene, and about -.9 lines.

Anyway, so Lexi starts working in the CIRCUS, some girls hate her, everybody else things she’s awesome and absolutely 0 fucks are given about finding her Mom until the last chapters of the book.

Did I miss something? WASN’T THIS THE PLOT? Ok, maybe not. Nvm.

This books has exactly 20% to do with the circus, by the way. It’s actually just used as a setting, which is fine, but we don’t really get any circus-y goodness and details, which, considering the title, is pretty sad.

So, Lexi is now in the circus, she’s having to do all sort of random stuff for her job and, somehow, even though she has the quirky personality of a peanut and talks about herself as plain and, quote, invisible, she ends up on the radar of 3 guys. Did you read that right? THREE GUYS. Apart from like the older men who think she’s cute, whatever.

So the Love Interests: Eli, Jamie, Nick (Nikolai? Nicholas? I don’t remember). I would tell you about them but they’re so one dimensional and irrelevant that I don’t think I can.

I don’t even know why they liked Lexi. They had about 0.5 interactions with her before they started pursuing her. Except for Eli, who was a little shit and not in a good way. I have never read a book where I didn’t want the main character to end up with ANY of her love interests. Until now.

Actually, it’s because she drives to another state pursuing one of her love interests while the other two are with her in the car that she ends up finally finding her Mom. I’m sorry, no. She didn’t find her Mom. SOMEBODY FOUND THE MOM FOR HER AND LEXI ACCIDENTALLY STUMBLED UPON HER WHILE GIVING CHASE TO ONE OF HER NOT BOYFRIENDS.

So after all that, you would think I’m done, yes? Yes?


I’ve saved my biggest issue with this book for last. Oh, yeah. Get ready: portrayal of women.


Basically, every girl that’s not Lexi or is presented as an obstacle for her harem was a bitch. From her ‘best friend’ to Lena (before she started to like Lexi) and those two random girls who were with Nick at the club. You aren’t Lexi + You don’t like Lexi = Bitch. They were described negatively, calling them ‘sticks’ or emphasizing how they wouldn’t let go of Lexi’s men (Lexi had exactly 0 claims to them), how they were fake, etc. It made me so mad. This is a book about a girl, written by a woman, that trash talks other girls.

No. Just no. I can’t anymore.

I’m gonna stop because this is seriously long and all the negativity exhausted me.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
The Demon's Lexicon (The Demon's Lexicon Trilogy, #1) - Sarah Rees Brennan Originally published at: http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/

Sarah Rees Brennan is a genius of cruelty and making my heart hurt while I laugh and enjoy it.

I picked up THE DEMON’S LEXICON after reading UNSPOKEN, half to deal with the emotional trauma the absence of UNTOLD was causing and half because the premise sounded really interesting. Thing is, though, that I already knew how the first book ended.

And I mean, I knew a MAJOR spoiler.

I don’t think i could have dealt with this book if I hadn’t. As it was, it blew half my brain to smithereens and the other half to goo. It was that good.

Nick Ryves is our main character in this first book and he is, to say the least, um, sullen. A little cold-hearted (lol) and very impulsive. He has no time for anybody’s shit and doesn’t understand why he should. He was such a compelling voice. I have never felt so much for a character—except maybe Kami and Jared, funnily enough. And it wasn’t just love or anger for him. It was at him. Nick made me so fiercely mad and so fiercely concerned and deer gawd it was like he was real.

But it’s not just Nick. This book (all three of them, actually) focus heavily on Nick’s relationship with his brother, Alan oh alan you little conniving motherfucker i love you and Mae and Jamie and, eventually, Sin. All characters that made holes in my heart and then wedged themselves in there until I was crying and wailing and eating oreos like there was no tomorrow. They’re so complex and real and so painfully fictional. Why. WHY.

One thing I really appreciated in this book is how diverse the cast was. Nick was… Nick--I’m sorry anything else is a spoiler--, Alan was disabled, Mae was that one kid with pink hair (fantastic), Sin was a WOC, Jamie was gay. But they weren’t just that. They were people, with lives, with stories, not tied down to adjectives. They weren’t just stereotypes.

And the plot. The plot! Remember how I said I knew a pretty major spoiler? And this book still completely surprised me? Yeah. There’s a reason for that.

You all know by now I’m a big fan of Sarah Rees Brennan—and it’s not just because she’s a fabulous person, and hilarious, and has the best accent, and shimmies on chairs pretending to be a flapper although that’s very awesome. She earned all this respect. SRB is a fantastic writer, who pulls you in and wrings you dry of all feelings, hanging by your fingertips while all the best stories unfold around you.

And if you don’t think that’s the best thing then I don’t know.

I read all three books in this trilogy in three days while writing a Cancer Bio paper that I may or may not have procrastinated for far too long. You should, too.
Legally Addicted - Lena Dowling LEGALLY ADDICTED by Lena Dowling

2.5 out of 5 stars

So I'm no stranger to romance. Back before I came to the US, the only books that bookstores would continually import at home where all romance, not much YA or MG there. And as an avid reader, I would take whatever was there and eat it up like it was a masterpiece. I don't think my mom would have been ok if she had known the alarming amount of penetrating, and pleasuring, and lusting that went on in those books.

I hadn't read the genre for a long time, yes. But I definitely enjoyed it before, and when I was given an ARC of LEGALLY ADDICTED I kind of wanted to get that back.

But then again, maybe not.

Maybe I'm more jaded now (lol what), or maybe I just know a little more about what's plausible or not, but I just couldn't get into this book (Having sex in a homeless shelter? At your work office? I think we need to talk about what suspension of disbelief means and how far can you stretch it).

The story starts with Georgia coming off of a one-night stand, leaving before she's left, basically. I liked her, I really did. A professional who wasn't fawning over some guy? Who valued her career and her achievements? That's my kind of heroine. And it was all going so well until half way through the book where his mere mention turned her into a gooey mess. In her head, of course, which meant it was all over my narration. All the time. Overall, though, she was ok--and apart from some really dumb moments, I just kept thinking of Chapter 1 Georgia and hope she would come back at some point.
Bradley Spencer was the love interest, and probably where this book lost me. Millionaire. Accomplished. Heart of Gold. Did I mention millionaire? No way no way.
I'm not sure if I was supposed to like Brad (I'm assuming I was), but let's recap: He took Georgia to his bed on false pretenses, tried to seduce her while still her colleague, yelled at a bunch of Samoan kids for--why exactly? Such a catch. And, let's not forget, gave up a huge career opportunity for a girl he wasn't even sure he wanted long term? ... Did you misplace your common sense or, I don't know, your balls?

Whatever. I didn't like him.

The writing was solid, although I would have liked a little less info-dumping on Georgia's life, and maybe some plot tightening. There are some things that get touched on, talked about, and never shown: Georgia never interacts with a homeless person even though it's her biggest passion throughout the book (excluding Brad, that is); Jake? Where did he go? I thought he was going to be the villain; Brad never said anything about yelling at those kids or his blatant anger issues.

It's all things that would have made the book a little bit deeper, and the characters a lot more understandable.


Thanks to Escape Publishing - Harlequin and NetGalley for the ARC.

The Pirate's Wish - Cassandra Rose Clarke THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE GIVEAWAY: http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/post/51720396438/the-pirates-wish-blog-tour-interview-and-giveaway

Original Review posted at http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/post/47728012043/book-review-the-pirates-wish

So I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of THE PIRATE’S WISH, which was best for my sanity because after finishing THE ASSASSIN’S CURSE I wanted to pull my hair out.

I just needed more.

THE PIRATE’S WISH does not disappoint. Ananna’s voice is just as strong, as is her stubbornness. She has definitely become one of my favorite heroines—she’s flawed and magnificent at it. She doesn’t have it all together and she knows of her own deficiencies, but that’s the thing: she’s scrappy.

Ananna of the Nadir with find ways.

And I can’t say enough for her character development in this book. *slow-clap*

Naji is back with his brooding and awesomeness and chipped little heart, too. He goes through some pretty serious shit stuff in this book, what with basically the whole book being about removing his curse. Also, other things like boy-eating Manticores (I can’t write your name, Manticore, but you were fabulous), having to fake being a pirate, Ananna in general, and overall pain and suffering and blood-bonding. So, yeah, rough. But he’s written so fabulously through it all *swoon*

I don’t want to sound like an idiot (lol who am i kidding all the best people are), but I just loved his and Ananna’s interactions so much. They were so intense and there was so much miscommunication going around and heartbreak and sexytimes. Exactly what I like in a book.

Marjani is also back, with a freaking ship of her own—behold her badassery. And we get to meet so many secondary characters that are perfectly fleshed out—and some that just aren’t, but in good ways. I can’t say how happy it made me that we didn’t know every single little detail about every conflicted character that passed by Ananna and Naji.

In fact, and this holds for both books, I think the characters felt so real because they were as much of a mystery to us as they were to Ananna and they stayed that way.

So basically I loved it. And was so horrified when I had four chapters left and it dawned on me that this was a duology. So this was the last book. The last book! I put the book down and repeated oh shit all the way until my friend gave me ice-cream so I could finish my book.

Like I said, horrified.

PEOPLE OF THE INTERNET: but… you say you love it… and then you give it 4 stars… r u stupid?

ME: Well…

There are two things stopping me from giving THE PIRATE’S WISH 5 stars.

This is the less important one, but which I think more people might care about: The last curse. The way it was resolved didn’t sit right with me. I liked the execution of it, but not the solution. I felt Clarke could have gone in a darker direction and would have complimented the tone of the book better. After so much trouble and heartbreak and suffering, I wanted an even more painful climax before my ship could sail, but it just wasn’t there.

I’m not gonna lie, I felt a little cheated. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book so so much (I mean, I obviously did if you haven’t picked up on that).

The second reason is a little more personal. And this is not something you’ll read from me often: This could have been a trilogy.

There. I said it.

The fact that this was a duology didn’t hit me until very late in the book when things were starting to get wrapped up, but that was because there is still so much that could get explored in Ananna’s story, so many characters that I expected to meet again, plot lines that I thought would be followed in the ‘next book’ i’m talking about the assassins yes i am. And that, more than anything else, hurt me a little. So much potential! The characters! Their relationship!

My hurt has since then been appeased a little. Cassandra Rose Clarke recently announced that she plans to have another duology set in this world! I. Am. So. Beyond. Excited.

You can bet hell that I will be reading these books.

This has been a very long review, but to summarize: Read it.


Thanks to NetGalley and Angry Robot - Strange Chemistry for the ARC.
The Collector - Victoria Scott Originally at http://yabooknook.tumblr.com/post/48646716085/book-recommendation-the-collector

Oh, Dante, you sweet baby angel.

Except not sweet. And not an angel. (But you are a baby at times.)

I read THE COLLECTOR in a day; it was fun and compelling and damn if Dante’s voice is not amazing.

Dante Walker is that guy you would think is a little piece of shit if you met him (or, I would), yet you can’t help but like him. His voice feels real, like how I know my guy friends think. Not sugar-coated, not even for the sake of making him sympathetic. A risky move by Victoria Scott, making a character the reader knew was being an ass, but it obviously pays off or I wouldn’t be writing this lol

Dante may be a jerk, but he’s funny and there are bits of good in him. And yeah ok, he’s charming. And hot. (Very)

Charlie is Dante’s flip side. She’s nerdy and likable and happy and all good things, like unicorn and candy. She’s also not hot. Charlie my poor baby, you are so strong and brave. Let me tell you something, I cried for this girl as if it were me in her situations. I cried like a four year old and I’m not even sorry. If you don’t like Charlie, you have no soul.

The plot was solid, and there were several twists I didn’t see coming, even though I thought the second half lacked a little of the momentum of the first. But, honestly, this book shines in the characters.

Dante and Charlie could have carried the book on their own, without the (awesome) supernatural stuff, which I think says a lot about how much crafting skill Victoria Scott is packing!

I’m only sad I have to wait about a thousand years for THE LIBERATOR. Why do I do this to myself.

Basically, read this.
The Assassin's Curse - Cassandra Rose Clarke Originally posted in htt://www.yabooknook.tumblr.com

Wow. Ok, can we just take a minute to appreciate what a gorgeous cover that is? Look at that font. I think I’m in love.

So I just started reading THE ASSASSIN’S CURSE yesterday… And finished it today. Early. As in, without any sleep because I just couldn’t put this book down.

I can’t believe I hadn’t picked this up before, it was so much fun. Really something else.

Ananna of the Tanarau is our main character. Abrasive, resourceful, and so very clever. I can’t say how much I loved her and all her kick-ass-ery—she’s absolutely amazing and flawed and oh God her voice. I haven’t read a voice as distinctive as Ananna’s in a while, and it shone through in her dialogue and her narration like nothing else. Actually, her voice is part of what makes this book so great, it engages from the very beginning and doesn’t let go.

Accompanying her is the assassin, Naji (can I have one, please?), who was hired to kill her but ends up being bound to her thanks to a curse. Yeah. Oops. Naji is so solid. He’s a assassin, a blood-magician, and you trust him from the very beginning (unlike Ananna, who apparently has a lot more common sense than I do). I kind of wanted to reach in a hug him throughout the whole book.

The secondary characters—Marjani the pirate woman, Ananna’s parents, Tarrin (I kind of liked you), Leila (I didn’t like you one bit)—are all impressively fleshed out.

And the world! Unf.

The world Cassandra Rose Clarke built was so vivid and so intense that I found myself confused when I put the book down and realized I was still in my room (and disappointed, actually).

It’s all done very subtly, too. Little details about the world being added here and there, the magic system explained in bits, not in some ugly infodump. Even the characters’ descriptions were like that: you learn the color of Naji’s eyes when you first see him, but it’s a while before you’re told anything else like that; both Ananna and Marjani are women of color, which you’re shown in no uncertain terms, but it’s not shoved down the readers’ throat like “look at my POC characters, look!” or “let’s have all other characters commenting on MC’s dark skin, yes”.

I guess what I’m saying is that I fell in love with this book. Utterly. and I’m so glad I have an ARC of the sequel thank God

And I think more people should, too. THE ASSASSIN’S CURSE was kind of like Dianna Wynne Jones’ CASTLE IN THE AIR meets young adult fiction meets badass heroine meets all I ever wanted in a book.

Yes, ok.

Read it and come fangirl, please.

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