Review: TITANS by Victoria Scott

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: February 23rd, 2016
Series: N/A
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Genre(s): Adventure, Sci-Fi
Synopsis from Goodreads:

From Victoria Scott, author of FIRE & FLOOD, comes a thrilling story of impossible odds.

Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.

She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.

But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.

my ramblesSpecial thanks to Scholastic for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

When I first heard about Titans soon after its announcement, I knew I had to read it. I say that a lot, but I loved every aspect of what I heard about it. It seemed like it would be unique in ways that other YA books aren’t. Mechanical horses, a protagonist who is financially unstable, and a story centered around friend and family relationships instead of a romance. Add in the adventure of the Titan Derby, and you’ve got one heck of an awesome book!

The book is really fast-paced. The chapters are quite short, which I like when reading adventure stories. It makes me feel like I’m flying through the story, and that kind of writing style is definitely fitting for a book like this. The race scenes are intense. I was on the edge of my seat, gritting my teeth, rooting for Astrid to go for the win!

Speaking of Astrid, the characters are an aspect of this book that make the story what it is. Astrid was an incredible main character. She’s strong and fierce, and will do anything to save her family. She’s also incredibly stubborn, but you can’t help but root for her. The relationship between her and her entire family, particularly her and her father, was touching. Magnolia, Astrid’s best friend, was another part of the book that I loved. The female friendship was refreshing to see. Both girls are in similar situations, and it’s clear the love they have for each other. Then there’s Rags, first introduced as a grumpy old man, but you’ll come to love him. He becomes the much-needed father figure for Astrid. The dynamic of the whole group is one that is both comical and heartwarming, seeing the relationships build.

But possibly my favorite part of the whole book was the star of the show: Padlock, Astrid’s Titan. Unlike the other Titans, Padlock is given the ability to have emotion. It was sometimes hard to envision a metal horse having feelings and showing affection, but Victoria Scott wrote it pretty darn convincingly! I loved Padlock just as much as her Pandoras. The relationship that formed between him and Astrid was definitely different, but a memorable one. The Titans in general were really cool. I would have loved to have learned more about their build and operation, other than the quick remarks Astrid mentioned for racing. Like, how did Padlock get programed to have emotion? It seems we’ll never know.

Titans is action-packed and intense, but also filled with heart. The characters, relationships, and story is not one that I’ll be forgetting anytime soon. Another win for Victoria Scott!

7

xo

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MERRY CHRISTMAS! & Top 10 of 2015 | Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2016

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Hello everyone! I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas to all those that celebrate! If not, then Happy Holidays! I hope you all have a lovely day spent with family and friends and the perfect read. I was going to say by the warm fire, but where I am right now it’s about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, so, no fire needed! Also, I’m writing this post on Christmas Eve, but I’ll most likely take to Twitter sometime Christmas day to chat with everyone. So, now on to the final day of Top 10 of 2015! Continue reading “MERRY CHRISTMAS! & Top 10 of 2015 | Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2016”

Top 10 of 2015 | Best Books I’ve Read in 2015

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I found out about this week-long event in late November, and I knew I just had to participate. It seemed to me like the perfect way to wrap up my year in books, and highlight my favorites. It’s hosted by a group of book bloggers and you can find out all about on Rachel’s blog here.

Day 1’s topic is “The Best Books I’ve Read in 2015.” It just so happened that I read 10 books this year that I rated a full 5 out of 5 stars. So, here are the lucky books that won my love in 2015!

  1. Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott
  2. Volition by Lily Paradis
  3. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
  4. Girl Underwater by Claire Kells
  5. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  6. Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
  7. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
  8. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
  9. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  10. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

All of the titles link to my reviews, so you can read why I thought these books were the best of the best!

What are your favorite books you read in 2015?

xo

Review: Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: February 24th, 2015
Series: Fire & Flood, #2 | Fire & Flood
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Genre(s): Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Synopsis from Goodreads:

What would you do to save someone you love?

In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can’t quit–she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race.

But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone’s keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you’d relied on most suddenly isn’t there for support? How do you weigh one life against another?

The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left–and only one can win.

 my rambles

Special thanks to Scholastic Press for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

EEP! You guys, I cannot say enough good things about this book and series. Salt & Stone is a rollercoaster ride jam packed with action, sci-fi, romance, adventure, family, friendship, and TELLA.

As book 2, Salt & Stone continues the crazy story of Tella and her fellow Contenders racing through the Brimstone Bleed. If you thought that Fire & Flood was intense, just wait! Salt & Stone takes it up a notch, and Victoria Scott isn’t afraid to write scenes that will blow your mind, whether it be from excitement or shock.

Not to mention that Tella is about as amazing as main characters come. She’s witty and sarcastic, but extremely caring and conflicted when it comes to her brother who she’s trying to save, the Contenders she’s beginning to love, and the Pandoras, who she needs to protect. She changes drastically from the beginning of Fire & Flood to the end of Salt & Stone, and as a reader, you won’t be able to help but root for her and feel the heartache of her position. And she’s pretty BA, which helps too!

I am stronger than I was before.

*Quote taken from unfinished ARC and may be changed with final edits.*

The Pandoras, and the relationship that Tella shares with them are another part of this story that I love so much. When I was reading any scene with a Pandora I just kept thinking of my own pet, and putting us in Tella’s struggles. Not only are they cool in that their abilities are amazing, but they bring a bit of relatability to the story.

Really throughout the whole book I would be thinking in the back of my mind: “What would I do?” I hope that I’d be like Tella, because she’s definitely an amazing role model and character to want to be. She’s the heart of the story, and what makes Salt & Stone so amazing. Not to be cliché, but Tella is the new Katniss.

All in all, Salt & Stone was an awesome sequel to Fire & Flood, which I loved just as much. The ending was left open, and I’ve read that Victoria Scott may be writing a third book, so my fingers are crossed! This is a story that I would definitely want to visit again. I’d recommend these books to anyone, as there really is something that everyone will love!

xo

I found some books under my Christmas tree…

Merry Christmas

I had a lovely day of actually getting up later than normal, a leisurely morning of opening presents with my parents and Clary (it was her first ever Christmas!), and then a fun afternoon and evening spent with family at my grandparent’s house! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and got lots of books of course! I just had to show you the goodies that I found under the Christmas tree this year!


Twas the night before Christmas…

Actually on Christmas Eve I received a package from Scholastic with one of my most anticipated books of next year:
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Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott, the sequel to Fire & Flood!

As you can read in my review (^) I really loved the first book and that ending was amazing! I cannot wait to dive into this one VERY soon (so probably NEXT)!

Christmas Day

From my amazing parents:

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My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins
Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth (signed)
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (signed)
Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton (signed)
Harry Potter: The Creature Vault by Jody Revenson
The World of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

The three signed books were ones I knew about that I got at B&N on Black Friday and I can’t wait to finally have them to read! MTLGTM looks adorable! I normally don’t read anthologies or story collections, but there is something about holiday ones…(I’ve read Let It Snow by John Green & Friends, too). As for the two “keepsake” kind of books, I’m already loving paging through them and just randomly reading pages!

From my wonderful grandparents:

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A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
Diamonds in the Rough by Michelle Madow
The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin
Sanctum by Madeleine Roux
The Hogwarts Library Collection by J.K. Rowling

I CAN FINALLY READ MORE GoT! It’s been over a year since I finished ASoS, so it is way past time that I get to reading this one! I also wanted The Ice Dragon because it’s set in the same world as GoT. I can’t get enough… Sanctum and Diamonds in the Rough are both sequels that I’ve been DYING to get my hands on so I’m a very happy camper!


I hope you all had lovely days, and if you still have people to celebrate with like I do — enjoy it!

What did you guys get for Christmas, if you celebrate?

xo