Reviews, YA Fantasy

Book Review: The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

GoodReads Summary:

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Review:

The Wrath and The Dawn is a retelling of Scheherazade and One Thousand and One Nights. Renee Ahdeih’s story is colorful, imaginative, and full of magic. This is the first story I have ever read that has a back story belonging to anything Arabic. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, given that retellings of fairy-tales I read are from Europe- Cinderella, Snow White, Little Mermaid, etc. And I am so glad I wasn’t sure of my response, it made the story even better than I could have imagined.

The relationship between Shazi and Khalid is one of mystery, of twists and turns. Shazi is a stubborn girl with her own thoughts and ideas, not afraid to voice them or of the consequences. Khalid is a stoic figure, presenting a different image to the audience than one purported to his kingdom. The feelings these two have is something people dream of. And they are a perfect combination when working together.

As my first adventure in Arabic stories, my heart thoroughly enjoyed the emotional roller coaster Ahdeih led me on. Go read this novel, you won’t regret it.

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After Contemporary Conversations I did not want to read anymore contemporary, and that is a big deal as you all know my grand love for YA Contemporary Fiction. I decided to read this much raved re-telling as a way to distance myself from my much loved genre just enough so I could read it again. And now commences the unedited, not holding back, fangirling review that I hope you will identify with and laugh right along with me at my ridiculous outcry about my feels.

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Oh My Gosh. I CANNOT BREATHE. WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED.

*wheezes into paper bag*

My heart cannot take the ending. WHY DID IT HAVE TO END LIKE THAT. HIS HEART. ITS BROKEN. I CANNOT TAKE IT.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s talk about the beginning. My gosh was that not dramatic and full of everything I wanted and more. We have Shazi’s hatred fueling her ill decision of avenging her best friend by killing THE CALIPH, or in other words, THE FREAKING KING. That alone has you on the edge of your seat as the first night unfolds, and low and behold she lives to breathe another day.

The Wrath and The Dawn is a story full of action that the majority of time is driven by powerful emotions. We get to see Love, Hatred, and Happiness at its shinning moment, where the emotions are so pure they drive the characters to new heights. I feel like I’m preaching for some reason, but let me tell you that you will not be disappointed by The Wrath and The Dawn if you haven’t already read it. It will play with the strings of your heart into the utmost haunting and heart wrenching melody that will have you in a puddle of feels for days.

Have I intrigued you enough? Go read it! I will not spoil thee!
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Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Contemporary Conversations, Reviews, ya contemporary

ContempConvos: Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally

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Goodreads Summary:

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

Review:

Sigh

Absolutely adorable. I feel like Kenneally’s books are only getting better and better as time passes by. They are like fine wine. You feel good on the inside after you’ve read one.

Jesse’s Girl is about Maya and Jesse. Maya goes to Hundreds Oaks just like the rest of the characters in the Hundred Oaks series. Maya is Sam Henry’s little sister, Jordan’s boyfriend. We saw their story in Catching Jordan, the first book in the Hundred’s Oak series. I love that I get to see how my beloved characters are doing as time passes by. It makes my heart happy.

Anyways back to the main characters. Maya is the spunky girl who is on love with music of the eighties. She loves her Madonna and Prince. She dreams of making it in the music business so when shadow day comes up as Hundred Oaks High, she is paired with none other than Jesse Scott, the famous country artist that has taken over America’s teenage hearts, and also happens to be the principal’s nephew. You can only imagine how cocky Jesse is being used to getting all the attention, fame, and glory. But we all know deep inside he is a kinda southern gentleman.

Their story unfolds differently than other YA romance novels. No insta-love. Their relationship moves steadily forward throughout the course of the entire novel. We get to see the entire story from beginning to end.

Jesse’s Girl is like an ice cold lemonade on a hot summer day, a sweet melody that you unconsciously hum when you’re having a good day. I have all the praises for this book and I cannot recommend it enough.

Review: 5 out of 5

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Contemporary Conversations

ContempConvos: Why is the YA Thriller/Spy genre underrated and underdeveloped?

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Disclaimer: So this past weekend was my birthday and I may have taken a day or two off. Sorry guys! But here is a discussion post that will make up for my silence this weekend! And yes, I am now 25. SAY WHAT?!

It is time I talk about a very important topic… and that important topic is Why is the YA Thriller/Spy genre underrated and underdeveloped? In other words, Why is it not as BIG as other YA sub-genres?

Think about this. You walk into a bookstore and beeline directly to the YA section. You see YA fantasy, YA paranormal, YA contemporary, YA dystopian, etc., but you don’t see a special section dedicated to the YA thriller/spy novels. Why is that?

First, we all know that there aren’t many YA spy/thriller novels out there to begin with. If we think long and hard about YA authors writing books for this specific sub-genre, there aren’t many. We have Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Ally Carter, Abby McDonald, and Lauren Oliver. But if you try to think even harder, you may come up empty-handed like I do.

I’m a big fan of the spy/thriller genre. I love me a good spy/con-man story that has you constantly at the edge of your seat. And the thing is those novels are not badly written, they are good, but why are they not as big as others from other sub-genres?

It just makes me sad that not many authors explore this sub-genre as much and that might be part of the problem. There are only a few household names when we think of the Thriller/Spy sub-genre.

I personally think it is because not many people want to take the risk of writing a thriller/spy/con man novel without the paranormal or fantasy element. It is much easier to go down the route many have gone than one that many have not passed through.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with me? Are there more YA thriller/spy novels out there that I haven’t discovered yet?

Talk to me! I want to know what you guys think!

Other

Alternate Reality Giveaway: The Post Apocalyptic World

Alternate Reality Giveaway

 

When I was in middle school, there were two types of books I loved to read and one of them was the “Post Apocalyptic World” type. The Post Apocalyptic sub-genre exists within the dystopian genre. Today, I am going to talk about why I love this sub genre the most, and why it attracts so many of us.

First, I want to start of by giving you a definition of the word apocalyptic. We all have some idea of what is it, but I wanted to find a universal definition. What does apocalyptic mean then? It means “Describing or prophesying the complete destruction of the world” or something “Momentous or catastrophic” (Source: Oxford Dictionary). Now, a post apocalyptic book would be a book after a war that destroys the world. There are several series today that can fit in some way or form in this sub genre. Those are The Divergent Trilogy, The 5th Wave Trilogy, The Testing Trilogy, and a couple more. A lot of the series I’ve mentioned have been in the New York Times Best Seller List, have been made into movies, or a film company has bought the movie rights. This sub genre is very big in our day in age and I think I know why.

The Post Apocalyptic stories give us survival stories. We like to believe that even if the world would come to an end, some of us would survive. The stories within this genre are inspiring. They give us hope. They empower us, making us feel like we too can do brave, life-altering things. These stories give us hope in humanity, that even though some destroyed it, there are a few who can restore once again. This sub genre brings out the best and worst in human nature, and for some reason, we love to see that.

I myself love these type of stories because they empower me to be stronger. There are so many horrible things happening around the world today, that sometimes it feels like some of the stories I read will become reality. The stories in this sub genre give me hope for the future. They provide not only prove me with entertainment, but a view into what might happen if that event or war occurred. I know some of you may say “Veronica, this is fiction we are taking about,” and I totally agree with you, but a “human being” is writing the fiction. I think that says a lot more than we sometimes want to think it says.

I initially thought I was going to write a fun post about the Post Apocalyptic sub-genre, but this is what came out instead. Oops.

 

So tell me, why do you love to read stories in the Post-Apocalyptic World sub-genre? or the Dystopian genre in general?

 

If you would like our giveaway, click the link below.

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Editor Letter

Update: Blog News

Hey guys! Veronica here.

Sorry the blog has been a little slow for the past two weeks. Both Anjie and I have been really busy and have fallen out of practice with blogging, but fear not, I will try to keep the ball rolling again next week.

I do want to mention that I will be doing a review of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for the new official Tumblr Book Club. I was one of several book blogs over at Tumblr that were chosen to be official correspondents. For the month of September, Tumblr partnered with Rainbow Rowell, and I can’t wait to see who they partner with for the month of October.

I hope you guys are having a wonderful week and keep on reading!

 

Editor Letter

The Editor Writes: News

Hello Readers!

First of all, I want to apologize for being inactive the last few weeks, especially the last two. I had to go out of the country to see family, and then I got really sick. I got a bad case of the Stomach Flu. It wasn’t pretty. I’m still recuperating.

Second, I’m currently participating in the BookTube-a-Thon or the BookTube Read-a-Thon. It lasts from July 15th-21st.

Third, because I went out of the country, I wasn’t able to read and post the Book Blast from the Past Feature. Hopefully, next month I will be able to do the feature.

The Book Spotlight feature will still be going on except with a few new changes that will go into effect this Thursday. The first and third Thursday will be dedicated to YA Contemporary & Mystery. The second and fourth Thursday of the month will be dedicated to YA Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci Fi.

That’s all the news I have for now. Hope you all have a wonderful summer day.

Happy Reading,

Veronica 

Reviews, ya contemporary

Short Book Review: Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks #1) by Miranda Keneally

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Goodreads Summary:

“Whoever said football and girls don’t mix hasn’t read Catching Jordan. I couldn’t put it down ” — Simone Elkeles, New York Times bestselling author of the Perfect Chemistry series

ONE OF THE BOYS

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she’s ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he’s also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan’s feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart’s on the line?

Review:

I was a bit skeptical about this book because I thought to myself I can not in any way relate to Jordan, I’m not a football player but after reading the first chapter at Barnes & Nobles, I went against my previous stance and bought the book. This book was perfect. Some people say it was cliche but I have a different opinion. To me it was the opposite of cliche. The love triangle was very different in the sense of I didn’t expect it to turn out like it did. I loved this book and the fact that Jordan stood up for herself and when she saw that something was wrong for her, she changed her behavior and did what was best for her. In YA we see a lot of female characters be at the mercy of the guy and I loved that Jordan was not that girl.

Rating: 5/5

Rating System:

1/5: I hated it.

2/5: It had some redeeming qualities but overall, not a good book.

3/5: I liked it (A fun read).

4/5: I really like it, but something was missing.

5/5: I love it! It’s as close to perfection as it can get!

Tuesday Meme

Top Ten Books When You Need Something Light & Fun

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This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books When You Need Something Light & Fun

Tired of having book hangovers and getting too emotionally attached to a book? Look no further, I have ten books that will keep you sane and entertained. Thank you Broke and Bookish for these wonderful Tuesday Meme’s. *hugs*

1. Ana and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

2. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

3. Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald

4. Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

5. Confessions of a Serial Kisser by Wendelin Van Draanen

6. Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley

7. The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler

8. The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper

9. The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

10. Amy and Rogers Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

 

What are some of your light and fluffy books? 🙂

Tuesday Meme

Top Ten Tuesday REWIND: Top Ten Books I Loved But Never Wrote A Review For

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I haven’t been doing the Top Ten Tuesday posts for that long so I went back to the Top Ten Tuesday Archives of The Broke and The Bookish, who are hosting this lovely Tuesday meme, and I found a Top Ten I would have liked to do. At first, I thought it was going to be easy but then I noticed I’ve done a review on almost every book I’ve read this year. This Top Ten Tuesday ended up being much harder than I originally thought. Without further blabbering from my part, here is my Top Ten list for this week!

Top Ten Books I Loved But Never Wrote A Review For:

1. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

2. The Selection by Kiera Cass

3. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

4. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

4. The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler

5. The Daughters (the whole series) by Joanna Philip

6. Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

7. The Liar Society by Lisa Roecker

8. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

9. Love Story by Jennifer Echols

10. Vampire Academy (the whole series) by Richelle Mead

 

 

Which books would you like to review if you had the chance?

Adult Fantasy, Reviews, Special Review

Book Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

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This is an unconventional review because this book hasn’t been published yet. The book will be released to the public June 4th, 2013 (in the United States). This review will be staying spoiler free for that very reason and I’ve made a new structure for this type of review. Thank you Net Galley and Dutton for providing me with an advanced copy of the book.

Goodreads Summary: In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

Review:

This book blew me away. Why? Because I didn’t know Richelle Mead’s writing was capable of changing in a very good way. Unlike the Vampire Academy Series or the Bloodlines Series where the reader find themselves only in Rose’s or Sydney’s mind, in Gameboard of the Gods the story is told through many point of views with different lenses. I believe this to be a absolutely brilliant move on behalf of Ms. Mead. Normally, books that have several narrators throw me off because there seems to be something missing, but somehow Richelle Mead was able to find the perfect balance and make it work. I do see some similarities in the structure of the book/series to that of the Bloodlines series and the Vampire Academy series.

There was only one thing I did not like in this book and that was that it had a sex scene in it. I’m a person that tries to avoid books with sex scenes. Nonetheless, this is a great book! Another Richelle Mead masterpiece. There is a reason as to why she is one of my favorite authors.

Edit:

After almost three months since I’ve read Gameboard of the Gods, I love this book even more. As I sat thinking, drinking my morning coffee, the way Richelle Mead made me uncertain about the main characters through the first half of the book. I couldn’t decided who I did and didn’t like. That has never happened to me before and that is another reason why you need to read this book.

Rating: 5/5

Rating System:

1/5: I hated it

2/5: It had some redeeming qualities but overall, not a good book

3/5: I liked it (A fun read)

4/5: I really like it, but something was missing

5/5: I love it! It’s as close to perfection as it can get!