Monday, February 12, 2018

Review: Tess of the Road

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
Publisher: Random House Books For Young Readers
Release Date: February 27th, 2018
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: 2/1/18 to 2/6/18
544 pages

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it's a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl--a subspecies of dragon--who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I have pretty mixed feelings about this book, mainly stemming from the fact that I've forgotten everything from Seraphina and Shadow Scale (whoops). Nevertheless, Tess of the Road grew on me. ALSO, THE COVER IS STUNNING.

Friday, February 9, 2018

How To Survive A Book Buying Ban

I've realized that I have been writing and posting way too many reviews in a row (who AM I??), yet this post that I was supposed to write in January just never happened. So here I am, with non-review post. Sorry for the delay.

Anyways, this year, I am greatly limiting the number of books bought. I think. Or at least I'll try to. And so in this post, I'll be sharing tips on how I resist the temptation to buy books. And survive the book buying ban.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Review: When Light Left Us

When Light Left Us by Leah Thomas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Release Date: February 13th, 2018
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: 1/23/18 to 1/25/18
416 pages

When the Vasquez siblings’ father left, it seemed nothing could remedy the absence in their lives . . . until a shimmering figure named Luz appeared in the canyon behind their house.

Luz filled the void. He shot hoops with seventeen-year-old Hank’s hands. He showed fourteen-year-old Ana cinematic beauty behind her eyelids. He spoke kindly to eight-year-old Milo. But then Luz left, too, and he took something from each of them. As a new school year begins, Ana, Hank, and Milo must carry on as if an alien presence never altered them. But how can they ever feel close to other people again when Luz changed everything about how they see the world and themselves?
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

It's times like these where I forget HOW to review a book. And especially one like this, which borders on the line between contemporary and science fiction. Some of the reasons why I picked this up were 1) written by Leah Thomas, who also wrote Because You'll Never Meet Me and 2) it reminds me of Shaun Hutchinson's We Are the Ants, which I loved, and 3) this is totally my type of book, and I wasn't wrong about that.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Review: Noteworthy

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
Publisher: Abrams Books
Release Date: May 2nd, 2017
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: 1/27/18 to 1/28/18
400 pages

A cappella just got a makeover.

Jordan Sun is embarking on her junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts, hopeful that this will be her time: the year she finally gets cast in the school musical. But when her low Alto 2 voice gets her shut out for the third straight year—threatening her future at Kensington-Blaine and jeopardizing her college applications—she’s forced to consider nontraditional options.

In Jordan’s case, really nontraditional. A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshipped…revered…all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

Jordan finds herself enmeshed in a precarious juggling act: making friends, alienating friends, crushing on a guy, crushing on a girl, and navigating decades-old rivalries. With her secret growing heavier every day, Jordan pushes beyond gender norms to confront what it means to be a girl (and a guy) in a male-dominated society, and—most importantly—what it means to be herself.
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I'm about, oh a little less than a year late with this review. But guess what? I finally read Noteworthy! I don't know why I have been hesitating this whole time, because it completely met all my expectations, and even went beyond them. Past Val was right to anticipate this book all that time ago.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

An Innocent Life #22: January Recap

Hello hello there. *looks at blog posts* Wow, I did NOT post as much as I wanted to this January. Well, it doesn't matter because I read 26 books this month and I am proud. What an achievement.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Review: Reign the Earth

Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen
The Elementae #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: January 30th, 2018
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: 1/16/18 to 1/18/18
448 pages

Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

The first thing I would like to point out about Reign the Earth is that it is around 450 pages. And that is fine and all, but it really needed to be a bit more enticing and thrilling than what it actually was. It honestly did not help that the night I started this book, I had a dream that completely blew the actual book out of the water.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Review: Reign of the Fallen

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Reign of the Fallen #1
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: January 23rd, 2018
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: 1/10/18 to 1/14/18
384 pages

Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised--the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer's magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I think Reign of the Fallen would have flown completely under my radar if it wasn't for all the buzz surrounding Reign of the Fallen. And then it didn't occur to me until much later that this was the same author who wrote Fear the Drowning Deep (which I really enjoyed!). Unfortunately, I don't think this completely blew me away, especially since the hype definitely made me expect so much more. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this!