Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Pages: 489
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, #1
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

Special thanks to Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy for review!

Wow. Just wow. The Kiss of Deception blew me away. After reading many 4 and 5 star reviews, I had such high expectations for this book, and they were all met.

The Kiss of Deception had everything I look for in a young adult fantasy: detailed descriptions, passionate romances, strong female characters and wonderfully developed side characters. There was not a moment I was bored or felt the need to skim over passages. Every page was written beautifully, filled with a story I couldn’t put down.

Right from the beginning of the book you are thrown into the story of the main character, Lia. She’s such a strong-willed character hell-bent on deciding her own fate, which I absolutely loved about her. This is definitely a character-driven book. There are a whole bunch of characters, each written to have depth and a background, definitely adding to the overall story. The side-characters were a part of the story that I loved and I can’t wait to learn more about some of their pasts, particularly Gwyneth.

Told for three very unique points of view, Lia, The Prince, and The Assassin, the reader gets the whole story from ALL perspectives. Mary E. Pearson also throws a curve-ball (at least in my opinion) with the true identities of the characters you think you have pegged. I was shocked and a little confused, but I adored the reveals nonetheless.

The title, The Kiss of Deception, is oh so fitting for this book. The reader right along with the characters is deceived and will be shocked with how the story pans out.

All in all, this book was such a satisfying read, leaving me anxious for the next book in what I can tell will be one of my favorite new fantasy series. I’d definitely recommend this book to fantasy and romance lovers who are in need of an addicting new book filled with complex characters, romances, and of course fantasy! The Kiss of Deception will not disappoint!

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Week in Review: June 29th

Week in Review

Week in Review is a weekly post in which I wrap up what’s happening in my life, in books, and in blogging (inspired by Anna @ Anna Reads)!

What I did:

Enjoying Ruin & Rising one morning with a homemade iced coffee! (Yes, that is a Hello Kitty bookmark.)
Enjoying Ruin & Rising one morning with a homemade iced coffee! (Yes, that is a Hello Kitty bookmark.)

Although I’ve been done with classes for about two weeks my last exam was on Tuesday so I can now “officially” say that IT’S SUMMER! So, to celebrate my first full day of not having anything to stress about I did…absolutely nothing except drink coffee and read a book. In my pajamas. It was heavenly! Of course I can’t do nothing ALL summer so later in the week I went to dinner and the bookstore with my best friend who I barely got to see at all this school year. It was so nice to be able to catch up with her!

I also watched the Season 4 premiere of TEEN WOLF! This show…I just…no words. I love it dearly and I don’t think I will ever get enough of it. Ever. Stiles is just the perfect human being. ❤ On that note…

Links I Loved:

  • Oh how fitting! Stefani over at Caught Read Handed recapped all 3 seasons of TEEN WOLF in case your just a casual fan of the show and not a hard core fandom member like me.
  • Ella @ The Filipina Booknote answered the question “Do you let personal experiences or your emotions affect the way you review/rate a book?”.
  • Dana @ The Nerdy Journalist took beautiful photos of her little cousin as a young Lara Jean from one of my favorite contemporaries, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
  • And of course I must round out my links with the pretty much perfect EpicReads ladies. If you’re new to the world of book nerds, you may need some help on the lingo. If not – read this anyway!

Books I Added to My Shelves:

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I almost didn’t buy these I swear. But it’s okay because I had a coupon and these were all really cheap anyway…Right?! 😉

Bought:

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

Recently Finished and Currently Reading:

I finished Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo, and then I started in on The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, which by the way is now being released a week early on July 8th!

On My Blog:

NOOK eDeals:

I know a lot of people do wrap up posts of Kindle deals, but I have a NOOK and often times the deals are different. So, if you have a NOOK like me, here are some awesome eBooks for download for $2.99 or less! (covers link to buy on NOOK)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I hope you had a wonderful week! Let me know all about it in the comments! 🙂
xo, emily

End of Series SPOILER Discussion: The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

*image taken from Leigh Bardugo’s Website

WARNING: THIS POST WILL CONTAIN MANY SPOILERS FOR THE GRISHA TRILOGY. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE SPOILED PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE READING THIS POST.

Instead, you can check out my completely SPOILER-FREE reviews of the SECOND and FINAL book in the trilogy HERE. Continue reading “End of Series SPOILER Discussion: The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo”

Double Review: Siege and Storm & Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Hi everyone! Before I get into the reviews and discussion I just wanted to post a warning to those of you wary about spoilers: I have kept both REVIEWS completely SPOILER-FREE, so that those of you who have yet to read the books can still read them. I have created a SEPARATE post that you can read HERE for the End of Series Discussion so you can comment freely on it and others can just comment on the review and not worry about being spoiled!

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Pages: 432

Format: Hardcover

Source: Bought

Series: The Grisha, #2

Genre(s): Fantasy

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

After reading and loving book one, Shadow and Bone, I had extremely high expectations for Siege and Storm. I am very happy to say that my expectations were met and it was just as wonderful as I had hoped!

Having not a bit of the second-in-a-series syndrome, Siege and Storm was beautifully written, filled with the same rich Russian fantasy that I adored in the first book. The story was filled with twists and surprises, leaving me thankful that I waited to read this one while I could read Ruin and Rising, book 3, as soon as I finished.

There were some new characters introduced that I absolutely loved. Most important: Sturmhond. Oh my goodness did I love him! Filled with clever, sassy and somewhat sarcastic remarks, he was a great foil to Mal, who I also adore. I had heard that Alina could find a possible love interest in Sturmhond and what I heard was correct. But, I’m still torn on my feelings. I’m pretty sure I remain loyal to Mal.

The Darkling, although not physically present throughout the bulk of the book, still created a looming presence that was very eerie and creepy, especially as the reader sees the story from Alina’s point of view. Some people find the Darkling sexy, but I just think of him as a really mentally messed up guy who needs to look for an obsession in someone closer to his age. Oh, and stop trying to destroy everything good in the world. But that’s just me.

All in all, if you’ve read Shadow and Bone but aren’t sure if you want to continue on with the series or not (If that’s you: what’s wrong with you?!), I’d definitely recommend you read Siege and Storm. Although fantasy is one of my favorite genres, I have yet to find a series that is addictive. But Leigh Bardugo with her amazing Russian fantasy has got me hooked and begging for more!


Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Pages: 454

Format: Hardcover (Exclusive Collector’s Edition)

Source: Bought

Series: The Grisha, #3

Genre(s): Fantasy

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Ruin and Rising is one of the best conclusions to a fantasy series that I have EVER read. My expectations were surpassed when it came to this book.

There was not a moment when I wasn’t completely engaged in the story, immersed in the world of the Grisha. I found myself marking quote after quote, and I will never forget this amazing story.

I don’t even know where to begin when talking about this book because I loved every aspect of it. The story was fast-paced, and just got better and better with each page. There was exciting action that will keep you on the edge of your seat. A heart-wrenching romance, meshed with mood-lightening humor, all set in the amazing world that Leigh Bardugo has created.

Overall, Ruin and Rising was everything I could have asked for in a conclusion to my favorite young adult fantasy series!

Have you completed the trilogy, and what are your thoughts? Is this trilogy on your TBR? Let’s chat!

Please do keep in mind that not everyone reading this post has completed the trilogy, or even started it yet. I ask that you do not post spoilers for the book series on this post. BUT, if you do wish to talk spoiler-y with me you can read my DISCUSSION here!

Blog Things: Yet Another Change in the Blog Schedule

Dear Wonderful Readers,

One thing you probably don’t know about me is that I’m very indecisive when it comes to my blog. I try things out and if I don’t really like the way they’re working out I’ll try something else out until I like it. Then the cycle continues.

You see, right about now I feel like I’m posting too much. Well not TOO much, but not enough quality content. Five out of the seven days a week I post a meme or a feature. I want to be posting more reviews (my goal is 3 a week), at least now during the summer because I have more time to read.

So here’s the deal. I’m revamping my blog schedule yet again!

I’ve decided to stick with the basics for weekly postings:

MONDAY: Review
TUESDAY: Top Ten Tuesday
WEDNESDAY: Waiting on Wednesday
THURSDAY: Review
FRIDAY: Review
SATURDAY: Nothing (or every now and then a discussion, recommendation, or random post if I have a good idea)
SUNDAY: Week in Review (I’ll also try to incorporate the idea of Saturday Snapshots into this post instead of dedicating a whole post to it!)

I think I’ll be much happier with this schedule! I do plan to make some of the features I took off of the weekly schedule to be posted on a monthly basis.

Cleverly Quoting will be posted toward the end of the month or the very beginning of the next month and will now be a compilation of my favorite quotes from the books I’ve read that month.

I hope you all like the changes that I’m implementing. Lately I’ve been feeling like trying to post every day has been tedious, taking away time from my reading, and not fun like it should be. I want to love blogging not find it a chore. And in my opinion it shouldn’t be taking away quality time from my reading, which is why I started this blog in the first place!

xo, emily