War Storm

Title: War Storm
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen, 4/4
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: May 15th, 2018

Note: This post reviews the fourth and final book of the Red Queen series. You may like to read the first three books in the series, Red Queen, Glass Sword, and King’s Cage, before reading this review. 

Ok Red Queen fans, here it is. The finale we have all been waiting for… War Storm.

The ending of the third book of the series, King’s Cage, left us just as brokenhearted as Mare Barrow. (Unless, maybe, you happen to be a Maven fan, in which case, leave.) When Cal ultimately chooses his crown over the girl he loves, Mare (and the Scarlet Guard) must continue to fight for what they have all been working toward – taking Maven down. And the only way to take down the prince who nearly broke her is to side with the prince who just broke her heart.

But this rebellion is bigger than just a messed up triangle, and always has been. The future of Norta, and the kingdoms surrounding it, is at stake. Will the Reds rise together as the dawn and defeat the Silver oppression once and for all, or will they be so defeated that they will never rise again?

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

 
Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
Author: J.K. Rowling 
Genre: Fantasy, Screenplay, YA
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Release Date: November 18th, 2016

Note: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them can be read as a stand-alone book, as it takes place long before the events of Harry Potter with a completely different cast. However, you may enjoy it more if you have the groundwork laid by the Harry Potter series first. 

Like most Harry Potter fans, I was sad to see the series come to an end, both on page and on screen. I remember being so excited when this and Rowling’s other screenplay, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, were first released back in 2016. I liked seeing the classic series continue, in one way or another. The mistake I made was seeing the movie first, I think. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the movie – but I think I would have enjoyed reading the screenplay first, before seeing it brought to life on the big screen.

Newt Scamander is a British Magizoologist – a person who studies magical creatures –who has just arrived in New York City for work. What happens when his magical briefcase that holds a world of fantastic beasts is misplaced, and some of its contents are released? How does Newt keep his magical friends safe in such an unmagical place as New York City? And where does the muggle-hating Grindelwald fit in with all of it? Find out in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Click on the link below to get your copy of this book:

A Court of Frost and Starlight

Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses series, a novella
Genre: Fantasy, NA, Romance, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: May 1st, 2018

Note: This post reviews a novella of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. You may like to read the first three books in the series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin before reading this review. 

Additional Note: I would like to emphasize that this series is written more toward the New Adult genre than the Young Adult genre. Because the NA genre focuses on protagonists in the 18-30 age range, the content, especially the sexual content and the language, is much more mature than the average YA novel. 

Let me begin by saying that I really do like this series. I especially loved the third book, A Court of Wings and Ruin. The characterization was rich, the writing was better than the first and second books (for the most part), and the finalé was pretty powerful. When I reached the end of book 3, I realized that Maas planned to continue the series – when it would have made a perfect trilogy! There is such a thing as dragging out a series too long, and I’m worried about this happening with an already good series. Is this going to become another Throne of Glass series for Maas, where we are now waiting for the eighth book in the series to be released?

Once I accepted the fact that the series was TBC, I eventually looked forward to the release of ACOFAS. I had my reading calendar (nerd) marked for the books’s release in May, as some of you might recall from an earlier post. I hadn’t known that, unlike the other three books in the series, it was in fact a novella. But the length of the book wasn’t what bothered me.

What bothered me about A Court of Frost and Starlight was the utter lack of plot.

I’m serious, guys. Nothing. Happened. I gave myself a few days in between reading the book and writing this review to have a clear head, but when I think back to the book, I remember the characters planning a party, shopping for gifts, exchanging gifts, having conversations, and – oh yeah, it’s Maas – having sex. I’m sorry if this is an unpopular opinion, but I do not think this makes for a good book, not even a good novella. There was no tension, no suspense, no plot.

The one thing this book had going for it was – the best part of this series! – the characters. I love Feyre, Rhys, Cassian, Nesta, and the rest – but… having great characters who simply interact with each other on the page, no matter how much we love them, is not enough. They have to do something – and they need to do more than plan parties and shop for gifts.

Having said this, if you plan to continue with the series, you should probably not skip this novella. It does set the reader up – barely – for what is to come, mostly concerning Nesta. The last ten pages of the book – the sneak peak of what is to come – offered more to the reader than the 250-page novella.

After all that, I just have to add… isn’t that cover a stunner?!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Dragonfly in Amber


Title: Dragonfly in Amber
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander, book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Time-Travel
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Release Date: July 1st, 1992 

Note: This is one of the few times I am straying from my typical Young Adult book reviews to review this book, and the rest of the series. This is not a book I would recommend to YA audiences, as it is deals with mature content for adult readers. 

Additional note: This post reviews the second book of the Outlander series. You may like to read the first book in the series, Outlander, before reading this review.

I love what the author, Diana Gabaldon, has to say about this book: “It doesn’t start where you think it’s going to. And it doesn’t end how you think it’s going to, either. Just keep reading; it’ll be fine.”

Imagine my surprise when I began reading book two only to realize that 20 years have gone by since the happenings in Outlander, and Claire Randall is back in the 20th century with her grownup daughter, Brianna. (No spoiler here, I just hadn’t read the back cover teaser!) Thankfully for us as the readers, Claire takes us back in time, where we left off at the end of Outlander. In an attempt to end the Jacobite uprising that will inevitably end in absolute defeat, Claire and Jamie travel to Paris, to face Bonny Prince Charles himself. They do their best to socialize in the French court, filled with intrigue. But will their efforts be enough to save the Highlanders from the decimation that awaits them if Charles Stuart continues his course of action? Can Claire and Jamie actually make a difference… and change the history Claire knows?

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Outlander

Title: Outlander
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander, book 1
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Time-Travel
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Release Date: June 1st, 1991 

Note: This is one of the few times I am straying from my typical Young Adult book reviews to review this book, and the rest of the series. This is not a book I would recommend to YA audiences, as it is deals with mature content for adult readers. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Diana Gabaldon at the RMFW (Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers) conference in September of 2017. I hadn’t read the Outlander books at the time and I knew very little about them, but I went into Gabaldon’s writing classes with an open mind, ready to learn. She completely blew me away, not just with the exhilarating love story of Claire and Jamie, but with her entire approach to writing novels. Gabaldon quickly made her way to the top of my list of favorite authors – even more so when I finally sat down and read the darn thing half a year later! Here is my review:

One moment, Claire Randall, a World War II combat nurse, is standing at the ancient stones of Craigh na Dun, and the next, she is thrown back in time – 200 years ago – when Scotland was being torn apart by war. Claire is a “Sassenach” – an Outlander – who must do whatever it takes to survive in an unfamiliar time in the midst of great violence. Before long, she is involved with a clan of Scots – who do not know what to make of this strange englishwoman – and she quickly learns that the soldiers of her own country, the redcoats, cannot be trusted. Her quest to get back to her own time becomes that much more complicated with Jamie Fraser – a brave, handsome Scotsman – in the picture. Torn between two worlds, two times, and two men, Claire must decide what she really wants – and this decision will completely change her life forever.

I cannot remember the last time I read a book that I enjoyed as much as Outlander. I had a difficult time putting it down, and found myself thinking about the story when I wasn’t reading it. (Nerd.) It is the kind of book I couldn’t wait to pick it up again, to see what would happen next to these characters I love. I was completely swept up in the romance of Claire and Jamie, and fell in love with the book’s setting: Scotland. And as for Jack Randall, he might just go down in history as the most hated, vile villain I’ve ever read. Even at a word count of 305,000, I was not ready for Outlander to come to a close. Thank God (and Diana Gabaldon) for the rest of the books to devour in this series!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Blog Tour for Happily!

Blog Tour Banner - Recommended for _Featured Image_

I’m very excited to share this week’s post with you! It’s not one of my usual book reviews. Instead, I will be participating in a blog tour for Happily, a book by one of my writing friends, Chauncey Rogers. Some of you might remember seeing my review of Happily back in February. In case you missed it, you can read it here.

I have the honor of wrapping up the blog tour today! In the blurb below, Chauncey talks about a fun song he would pick for an “Ending Credits Song,” for when the book will be adapted into a movie (as we all hope it will!). I hadn’t actually heard this song before now, but I love it. It’s a perfect fit, even if the shoe isn’t!

Happily Book Cover - Recommended
Thank you, Rosie, for letting me end my blog tour on your lovely blog!

I suspect that most people who write stories dream of the day that their story might be turned into a movie. I don’t know about other authors, but I particularly enjoy daydreaming about what song might be used for the “Ending Credits Song.” I’m not sure why that is. It might just be because some of my favorite songs have been used as ending credits songs, or because some of my favorite movies also have wonderful ending credits songs.

Whatever it is, it’s something I enjoy thinking about, whether or not the day ever comes.


As this is the end of the blog tour, I thought it might be appropriate to share an “Ending Credits Song” here, as well as to thank everyone who has participated.
Thank you, each and every one. This has been a great experience for me, and I hope it has been equally wonderful for the rest of you.

Now, as for the ending credits song, I will admit that I didn’t choose this song out personally. Instead, my mother happened to hear it being played while she was out shopping. She’d recently finished reading Happily, and felt that this song would make a wonderful ending credits song.

So, without further ado, I give you “I Believe in You” by Michael Bublé:

Thank you! And until next time, I wish you only the very best.

Chauncey Rogers

Chauncey Rogers - Optional


Happily
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Day 13 of 13 of Happily’s Release Blog Tour. See the full blog tour schedule here.

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Belle’s Library

 

Title: Belle’s Library
Author: Brittany Rubiano
Genre: a collections of quotes and musings
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: January 31st, 2017

A collection of literary quotes and inspirational musings

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you will notice that I have a thing for retellings – particularly those of Beauty and the Beast. In addition to last week’s review of As Old As Time, I have also reviewed The Beast WithinCruel BeautyThe Merchant’s Daughter, and A Court of Thorns and Roses. You might say I’m a little obsessed. I mean, a girl who loves her books and craves adventure? I’m there.

So imagine my delight when Disney Press released this book last year, a couple months before the release of the breathtaking remake starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. I simply had to have it. Belle’s Library is a beautiful collection of “inspiring quotes from some of Belle’s favorite books, as well as her insightful notes and coloring drawings” (from back of book). It is the kind of book you could easily peruse in a single sitting, on a lazy afternoon with a cup of tea. I love having it as a part of my own library!

Click on the link below to get your copy of this book: