Review: A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry


25810644A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

Published April 12, 2016, by Algonquin Young Readers.

YA > Fantasy, Magical Realism

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Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

Continue reading “Review: A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry”

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Reviews: A Hilarious Memoir, a Heartbreaking Historical Fiction, a Surprising Murder Mystery, and an Addictive Assassin Fantasy!

As promised, here I am with some reviews of some recently (and not-so-recently) read titles! I haven’t written a review in such a long time, so let’s hope I remember how! Also, instead of including all of the book info in the post, I’m going to link to Goodreads for this one, don’t hate me.


29102966MY MAD FAT DIARY: A MEMOIR (Rae Earl, #1) by Rae Earl

Add it on Goodreads!

Special thanks to St. Martin’s for providing me with a copy of the book for review!

Reading a whole lot like fiction, this memoir is a book that I’m so glad I took a chance on. Rae’s writing on her teen life is so relatable, fun, and utterly hilarious. Any fan of YA contemporary will immediately fall in love with Rae and her story, so don’t let the fact that it’s a memoir scare you away! I really can’t picture anyone not enjoying this book.

5 hearts


25614492SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys

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Wow, what an incredible story. This was my first time reading Ruta Sepetys, and I was blown away. Her storytelling is beautiful and heartbreaking. She took me on a journey of survival, love, loss and hardship following a group of individuals whose stories history often neglects to tell.

I’m an avid reader of historical fiction , particularly about the second World War, and this book did not disappoint. I can’t wait to read the companion, Between Shades of Gray.

5 hearts


29995905CITY OF SAINTS AND THIEVES by Natalie C. Anderson

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Special thanks to Penguin Random House for providing me with a copy of the book for review!

I went into this looking for an intense mystery or thriller, but what I got was so much more. Tina is the definition of a badass female heroine. She’s extremely stubborn, fierce, and can’t be controlled. But among these somewhat common elements of YA are unique and interesting focuses on Africa’s poverty, refugees, and warfare that I’d never read about before.

5 hearts


30011014POISON’S KISS ( Poison’s Kiss, #1) by Breeana Shields

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Special thanks to Penguin Random House for providing me with a copy of the book for review!

I really enjoyed this book and it was a super quick read! The concept of a kiss that kills is nothing new, but the addition of the Indian folklore was an element that kept the book from being more of the same. It kept my interest but I still had some problems with the ease of resolution to some major events. The ending felt more like an epilogue than a final chapter, but I’m still very excited to see what the second installment brings!

3.5 hearts


As I mentioned above, it’s been a while since I’ve written reviews, so these were rough. But I hope that you enjoyed it, and will check out some of these lovely titles!

xo

Review + Author Q&A: THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi

Review

25203675Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Series: N/A
Pages: 342
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Blog Tour)
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

my rambles

Special thanks to the St. Martin’s Griffin for allowing me to be a part of the blog tour and providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

What a book! I could tell from the moment I heard about The Star-Touched Queen that it was going to be a book that I’d love. And it was. Roshani Chokshi crafts a beautiful love story of epic proportions, set in a unique and magical world like none other.

The story of Maya is one that unravels slowly, much like the threads in tapestry of fate. We meet her as a girl from one life, but as the story continues, we get to delve into her many reincarnations, and discover her deep connection with Amar. The decisions the two make will break your heart and then weave it back together again.

The incredible magic of the Otherworld, Naraka, the Night Bazaar, and all of the beings within make for a world that is fascinating, frightening, and amazing. In great contrast to Maya’s original home, Bharata, with it’s lush middle-eastern and Indian culture, and their superstitious beliefs in horoscopes and legends.

Fast-paced and never not exciting, The Star-Touched Queen will take you on an adventure that you won’t believe. Filled with magic, romance, incredible descriptions, and rich writing, this book will not disappoint. Fans of The Wrath and the Dawn and A Court of Thorns and Roses will love delving into this wonderful story!

7


Q&A with Roshani Chokshi!

What/Who were your biggest inspirations for the characters in The Star-Touched Queen? Which character in The Star-Touched Queen did you personally relate to the most and why? For Maya and Amar, they were inspired by the Hades/Persephone. But I imagined those two mythological characters a little more differently. In Maya’s case, I knew that ambition was her defining trait, but I wasn’t sure whether that would manifest as seeking emotional or material fulfillment. Turns out, it was a bit of both. Kamala was inspired by my love of fiendish side characters like Mogget from Garth Nix’s SABRIEL and is probably the character I relate to the most. Her sense of humor can be a little abrasive. But she’s fiercely loyal to her friends. Other people in TSTQ were inspired by a collection of people whom I met/knew/heard of growing up.

Continue reading “Review + Author Q&A: THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi”

Review: DREAMOLOGY by Lucy Keating (+Giveaway!)

DREAMOLOGY

A huge thanks to the FFBC for hosting this tour for Lucy Keating’s amazing book, Dreamology! I am thrilled to be participating!


Review

23466626Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Series: N/A
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Blog Tour)
Genre(s): Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Vibrantly offbeat and utterly original, Lucy Keating’s debut novel combines the unconventional romance of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with the sweetness and heart of Jenny Han.

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. Getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

my rambles

Special thanks to FFBC, HarperTeen and Edelweiss for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

Dreamology is unlike any book I’ve ever read. It’s completely unique and out of the box, while remaining entertaining, emotional, and utterly fun!

Told through dreams and reality, we get to see Alice and Max’s crazy relationship unfold in their dreams, and in real life. While I thought reading about the super surrealistic dreams was fun, I enjoyed seeing the couple work out their relationship in real life, together. The events unfolding in their real life pushed them together and forced them to work out their problems, and the fact for Alice that Max wasn’t completely like his dream self. I actually found myself loving real life Alice and Max better than their dream selves for that reason: they had flaws in the real world. It made me root for their relationship to last in real life even more.

The surrealism, magical realism, and fantasy aspects (I really don’t know how to categorize them), were some of my favorite parts. The melding of the magic into their real lives made the moments they shared more important and special. It was also written in a believable way, as Alice and Max aren’t even 100% sure of what they’re seeing.

Another thing I loved about Dreamology were the side characters: Alice’s best friend Sophie, and new friend Oliver. The two were both fun and added to lightness of the book. They were funny and adorable, great sidekicks to Alice and Max.

Different than anything I’ve ever read, Dreamology is refreshing and new, and will take you out of reality, and into the world of dreams. Part contemporary, part fantasy, Dreamology is a must-read romance that will lift you up like you’re in a hot-air balloon!

7


BUY THE BOOK!

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Book Depository | Kobo


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lucy lives in Los Angeles, California. She grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, attended Williams College in the Berkshires, and still misses the East Coast very much.
When she’s not writing, Lucy can usually be found obsessing over the latest music, inventing new flavors of ice cream, or having what she feels are perfectly acceptable conversations with her dog, Ernie.

You can follow Lucy on Instagram @lucy.keating, and Ernie The Dog @ernsboberns

WebsiteGoodreads | Twitter | Instagram


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xo

Review: REBEL OF THE SANDS by Alwyn Hamilton

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 8th, 2016
Series: Rebel of the Sands, #1
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via First to Read
Genre(s): Fantasy
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

my rambles

Special thanks to Penguin First to Read for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

I’d been hearing so much about Rebel of the Sands, so when I saw a copy up for grabs from Penguin, I was sure to snatch it up. And I’m so glad that I did! Part middle eastern fantasy, part gunslinging western, this book was all magical badassery!

When I pick up a book set in the middle east, I almost immediately expect the writing to be amazingly rich. Something about the culture of the setting calls for a certain writing style that is detailed and equally as rich as the culture. That’s exactly what Alwyn Hamilton gives us. Her writing was so atmospheric. I could picture each setting and character vividly in my head. I felt like I was there with Amani.

Amani herself was an incredible main character. She brought the badassery to the story. Learning her background and motive for being a sharpshooter made her a character you rooted for. I loved following her through the desert, and seeing where the story took her. Jin, the mysterious foreigner, was another characters I adored. His quick wit was oh so charming! There is a smidge of romance between these two, but it wasn’t overwhelming. Quite the opposite, actually. It was slowly developed, building throughout the book. While the relationship is present, the story never strayed too long from Amani, the Sultan, and the rebellion.

The way that Alwyn Hamilton connected the dots from beginning, middle, to end of the story was very satisfying. The hints at rebellion, lost princes, and magic gave us just enough information to have a chance at putting the puzzle pieces together correctly. One thing that I wasn’t completely expecting: magical “creatures” and abilities! I don’t know why the thought never crossed my mind, but I did enjoy how that element was woven into the story, and eventually became a crucial part. That’s really all I can confidently share without spoiling the excitement of the story!

All in all, Rebel of the Sands did not disappoint! It kept me hooked, turning page after page, and immersed in the desert world. Definitely a new fantasy favorite!

8

xo