Review: Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano – Gave Me Thrills and Chills!

Hi guys! Today we are transitioning from a 10-star review scale to a 5-star review scale. I think it is much easier to review with 5 stars since I find myself too lenient with ratings. So, I’m doing a 5 star review system! We are still figuring out what our rating theme should be- ooh! We’re gonna do something teenish since we’re all a bunch of teens here! So be looking forward to that! Here’s my latest review on Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for a review. I also got some free signed swag- this is outside of the trade agreement. None of these factors will affect my review.

Goodreads Summary: John “Smoke” Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn’t the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke’s new home and the only one he believes he deserves.holding-smoke

But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they’re asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn’t care that the “threads” that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help him clear his name.

Now Smoke is on a journey to redemption he never thought possible. With Pink’s help, Smoke may be able to reveal the true killer, but the closer they get to the truth, the more deadly their search becomes. The web of lies, deceit, and corruption that put Smoke behind bars is more tangled than they could have ever imagined. With both of their lives on the line, Smoke will have to decide how much he’s willing to risk, and if he can envision a future worth fighting for.

Continue reading “Review: Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano – Gave Me Thrills and Chills!”

The Heart of Stone Guest Blog Post and Review! 

I have received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. 

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Hey, guys! I’m so excited to be bring to you The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley! He has come to me to read this very, very excellent story. I was very grateful to have the opportunity to be able to read it.

My rating? A nice 5 out of 5!

I’ll try my best to keep the spoilers out of this review, but just know there is so much that goes down in this book!

The Heart of Stone is a story of war and humanity, told from the perspective of a 400 year-old golem – Task. As a war-machine, he’s been purchased by the losing side of a civil war that has been raging in the far reaches of the Realm for almost a decade. He’s withdrawn, cold, and resentful of anything and everything human, until a waif of a stable-girl decides to prove him wrong.

Romance? Not much

Humor: I chuckled here and there

Action: EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU TURN THE PAGE

Characters? Diverse and hard not to love! (Except for Huff. Everyone should hate Huff.)

Easy to read? Eh. There are a lot of new words due to it being a new world, and there are some vocabulary that I didn’t understand. 

When I read a fantasy novel, I always find myself loving it. It’s so different because there is no room for cliques at lot of times.  You can expand so greatly, and I’ve read so many books that are so different from one another. Dystopians? They get pretty repetitve sometimes, I dare say. 

This is exactly what I got from Ben’s book The Heart of Stone. It was special in its own way. I persoanlly never read a book in a golem’s point of view.

The characters were my favorite part in all of this. I loved Task so much. He goes through so much change in this story, and it all starts with Lesky. Lesky is so adorable in my mind. She’s so strong and so full of spirit. And did I mention her heart shows Task a new light? 

Galley did so well in playing out the plot. There was never a dull moment. One minute you’d be talking to a guy, and the next thing you know he’s dead. 

I felt so many emotions. At first, I felt so angry at how people treat Task (like some animal). But then as the story progresses and you get to understand more characters, I began to change my thoughts about a lot of them. Like Alabast. At first I did not like him, but as the story went, he became one of my favorites because he was that comic relief. Yeah, he’s can be a messed up man sometimes, but he’s hilarious! (And also I kind of felt bad for him.)

I’m so happy to have this review up. I’m been so excited to tell people to read this book if they’re a hardcore fantasy fan. I was not disappointed. I can’t wait for its final release. Go check it out on March 30th! 


Guest Blog Post!


 

About the Author

Find his website here: Bengalley.com 

Ben Galley is an award-winning fantasy author from the UK. He is the author of the epic Emaneska Series, the weird-west Scarlet Star Trilogy and the brand new standalone The Heart of Stone. When he’s not dreaming up lies to tell his readers, Ben works as a self-publishing consultant, helping fellow authors to self-publish and sell their books at www.shelfhelp.info


So I asked him a question that I am honestly very curious to understand. I asked him about the diversity in characters. In a story, like I said above in my review, I look for good character development. If a story is mellow and cheap, I would probably blame it on how the characters looked at their own world. For the most part, we are retaining information through the eyes of the characters inside the book. Even in third person, in what way do the characters think that make them different from everyone else? I asked Ben how he makes his characters so diverse from one another and this was his response:

“In regards to diversity, I try to work out characters based on their desires, and that usually ends up creating different and overlapping intentions that define the character. I also use Myers Briggs personality matrix to work out traits. Other than that, it’s whatever feels right in the scene.”

Now I actually had no idea what the Myers Briggs personality matrix was, so obviously I looked it up. Quite interesting actually. I hope I will think of this in my own writing.

Basically, it’s to show your personality in the form of a four letter code. I will put the link down below so you can go check it out for yourself, because the Myers Briggs has a lot more to it than just a test.

Myers & Briggs Foundation

 

 

 

 

Soulmated by Shaila Patel

Hello! Last Saturday, I finally got to meet one of the nicest and best authors at the Southeastern Young Adult Book Festival (post to come soon)! Her name is Shaila Patel, and she is an amazing romance writer! I am so glad I got to meet her, and her debut book Soulmated just released in January! Go buy it and check it out!

Goodreads Summary: **Winner of the 2015 Chanticleer Book Reviews Paranormal Awards in YA**soulmated_shailapatel_1600x2400_seriestitle

Two souls. One Fate.

Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan, an Irish royal empath, has been searching for his elusive soulmate. The rare union will cement his family’s standing in empath politics and afford the couple legendary powers, while also making them targets of those seeking to oust them.

Laxshmi Kapadia, an Indian-American high school student from a traditional family, faces her mother’s ultimatum: Graduate early and go to medical school, or commit to an arranged marriage.

When Liam moves next door to Laxshmi, he’s immediately and inexplicably drawn to her. In Liam, Laxshmi envisions a future with the freedom to follow her heart.

Liam’s father isn’t convinced Laxshmi is “The One” and Laxshmi’s mother won’t even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. Will Liam and Laxshmi defy expectations and embrace a shared destiny? Or is the risk of choosing one’s own fate too great a price for the soulmated?

DISCLAIMER: I received a free electronic ARC copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review. I have also received swag from the author. These will not affect my review in any way.

Rating: 10/10 stars

Overall Thoughts: Soulmated was actually one of my most anticipated releases of 2017, and I was so excited when I got an e-ARC of it from the author! This book was really impressive for a debut author; it definitely exceeded my expectations and grabbed my attention! It’s not just a normal lovey-dovey romance, but instead, it infuses a unique relationship with an air of tension, mystery, questioning, and suspicion. This is not your average young adult romance. It is one of the best I have ever read!

Humor and Relatability: I have not laughed in a book more than this one! There is a lot of humor in what the characters do or say that both teens and adults will laugh at! I know because I’ve chuckled quite a few times. The ethnic diversity of the characters are so authentic that at times it’s funny! I could hear Liam’s Irish accent, and I loved it when Laxshmi corrected her mom’s grammar. I was going “Same!!!” Even the Irish and Indian terminology in the book is great; I had the urge to go “What’s craic?” (which is Irish for “What’s up?”) to some of my peers!

Romance: There are many reasons why the romance between the two protagonists is so unique and amazing!

1) Diversity. The author embraces each of the character’s ethnic backgrounds and portrays it so well in the book. The interracial romance breaks boundaries, yet it uses Laxshmi’s Indian heritage as an important element of this story. You just have to read to find out how it is both helped and harmed their connection.

2) Ups and Downs. The two went through many trials (not spoiling the ending). Both questioned whether it was right to pursue a relationship with the other, yet the still harbored feelings for each other. The dual-POV definitely added a layer of internal conflict that really works with this storyline. 3) Fantasy. Liam being an empath prince adds a ton of tension on the relationship. He is forced to find his “soulmate,” yet he questions whether Lucky (his nickname for Laxshmi) is the one. He at times feels dead-set that she is “the one” but at other times he doesn’t. The empath politics that surround this romance also adds a new sub-plot to it. There are some twists and surprises in store! Read it to find out what they are!

Some Details: There were, like many books I have already read, some parts where I had to think or read about what happened. I had to re-read the ending to grasp the events that were unfolding, but once I realized what was going on, I was shocked. There is a weird time-jump in the middle of the book that actually made me think the Liam at the time was an impostor (it was Liam for real by the way), but other than that, I don’t have a problem with anything!

My Review in a Nutshell: The ending definitely shocked me. I was like “What???” and “I need to read the next book!” I literally want to know what happens next! Overall, I enjoyed this book! I love it so much! Patel did not disappoint in her debut book, and I am so glad I was able to read it!

Recommendation: 100% Yes! I think you will be “soulmated” to this book! (Ha! Get it? No. Tough crowd.)

+ J.M.J.

Til next time!

~ Kester

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I read this book in three hours and I am still extremely emotional

Goodreads Summary:  The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Rating: 11/10

I started reading this book and couldn’t put it down. It was absolutely heartbreaking. The artwork is BEAUTIFUL. The drawings are super powerful and dark and alongside the text, they give the book a sense of unease. I really loved the beautiful and poetic writing. The writing was gorgeous. However, The monster  had to be my favorite character. He is so intelligent and kind and powerful and beautiful and loving. But there is also Conor. I just wanted to hug him. I just wanted to let him know that I loved him. This was a SAD book. It deals with grief, loss, and anger in ways I’ve never read about before. This is a book that will stay with you long after you’ve read it. 

Recommend: EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK. 

These Ruthless Deeds Blog Tour: Review of These Vicious Masks (Which is Really Awesome!)

Hi guys! I am so glad that I am a part of a blog tour for one of my most anticipated releases of 2017! Below you can find my review of These Vicious Masks and why it is so awesome that I have such high expectations for These Ruthless Deeds! I hope you enjoy!



These Ruthless Deeds
Kelly Zekas, Tarun Shanker
(These Vicious Masks #2)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

England, 1883. Still recovering from a devastating loss, Evelyn is determined to use her powers to save other gifted people from those who would harm them. But when her rescue of a young telekinetic girl goes terribly wrong, Evelyn finds herself indebted to a secret society devoted to recruiting and protecting people like Evelyn and her friends.

As she follows the Society’s orders, healing the sick and embarking on perilous recruitment missions, Evelyn sees her problems disappear. Her reputation is repaired, her friends are provided for, and her parents are newly wealthy. She reunites with the dashing Mr. Kent and recovers the reclusive Mr. Braddock (who has much less to brood over now that the Society can help him to control his dangerous power). But Evelyn can’t help fearing the Society is more sinister than it appears…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

These Vicious Masks
Kelly Zekas, Tarun Shanker

(These Vicious Masks #1)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.

Author Bio:

Tarun and Kelly met in a freshman year writing class at NYU and started writing These Vicious Masks a few years later.

Tarun is a writer living in Los Angeles whose idea of paradise consists of kung-fu movies, David Bowie and chai tea. Since completing his first horrible screenplay in high school, he’s written everything from one-act plays and film criticism to humor pieces and strongly-worded emails. He’s also magnetized, crushed and burned the hard drive where that first screenplay can be found.

Kelly is a writer and actor living in NYC. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth other than cupcakes and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still loves a good paperback romance.

Links (Tarun):

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Links (Kelly):

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

My Review of These Vicious Masks

DISCLAIMER: I received a free electronic copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours and Swoon Reads in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my review in any way.

Rating: 11/10 stars

Overall Thoughts: I think I found a new favorite of all time! These Vicious Masks is such an amazing book. I read it all in two days- TWO DAYS!!! I finished 80%, the equivalent of 240 pages, in a single day. I devoured it so fast yet I savored each page. I am in love with this book! I really did not expect the book to be this good! It was such a pleasant surprise, and I love it so so so much!

Characters: I love the characters! I have not found a set of characters that are so lovable! The wit and dry humor and sarcasm of Evelyn and Mr. Braddock is hilarious! I mean, I laughed a lot whenever they try to say something witty or sarcastic. I find Mr. Kent to be like me a lot! He would create a complicated explanation for something simple and be like “No. I just did this and it worked!” Readers will definitely fall in love with the characters! Since the book is pitched as Jane Austen meets X-Men, the group that tries to find Rose is definitely a dream team!

Plot: This book has a lot of action, and it is really fast-paced. There’s so much suspense and thrill that is embedded in the storyline that the reader will get hooked from the beginning. I enjoyed the story from start to finish; from the suspicion arising at the beginning to the shocking revelations towards the middle and the end, I literally could not put the book down.

Some Details: I got lost in just a few pages since I couldn’t grasp certain details, but this did not stop me. It was so minor that I was like “It’s no big deal.” I still love this book! Yes, I had to re-read one or two sections, but the action-packed plot balanced it off. There’s so many great things about this book that greatly outweighs the weaknesses.

My Review in a Nutshell: I want to read These Ruthless Deeds so much right now!!! Why can’t I get a Netgalley account so I could read TRD??? I am really looking forward to continuing Evelyn’s story! TRD is now on my most anticipated reads of 2017! These Vicious Masks is definitely one of my favorite books of all time! It was so amazing, and the authors definitely exceeded my expectations!

Recommendation: I recommend this book 100%! And go get These Ruthless Deeds if you can!

Convinced? Now go enter the giveaway!

GIVEAWAY!

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Hope you enjoyed! Have a great day!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

Catch the Sparks Within! by Alex Abaz -Chapters 17 and 18

I have received a free book in exchange for a honest review!


Yikes! Where have I been? Tuesday was a mess, I dare say. I wanted to post Wednesday, but the schedule didn’t allow it until today. Let’s just get to the review, shall we? 

Chapter Seventeen: “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure.”

The minute I read the title of this chapter, Skyrim instantly popped up in my head. “Some may call this trash… Me? I call them treasures.” This is said by the clerks in shops, a phrase you end up saying with them because they will say it all the time.

But how true is this simple phrase. Abaz mentions how wasteful people can be… how unappreciative we can be. This is so true. It has been said over and over and over again. People throw away everything, just so they don’t have to mess with it anymore. Even today, there are people who go without food every day, who would love to take that sandwich you’re throwing away because you said you hated turkey.

I see this a lot in school. Every day at the end of my lunch period (we’re the last lunch) my friends and I will watch the lunch ladies throw away buckets of good food into the trash bins. Like I’m talking about bananas, pickles, lettuce… good food that no one ate so therefore they throw it in the trash where no one will be able to eat it now. My friends constantly say that it’s so wasteful, and I agree. Lately, our Leo Club has been collecting items to bring to a nearby homeless shelter. We wondered if all this extra food could be brought to people like them. It would do them a service.

Chapter Eighteen: “Laundry is an Endless Chore.”

Sadly, I am not old enough to share my experience with the change in technology. To me, technology has always been there. I’m used to it (well, somewhat… I have horrible luck when it comes to electronics).

And yes, Abaz, I hate laundry day also. I do my own clothes, but knowing me, I never know which one is dirty and which one I left on my bed because I was frustrated with finding nothing to match it. I HATE folding clothes. It’s something I end up losing patience over. Blah.

And while I have no say in the evolution of technology, I do have to say we have have gone a long way. I’m going to go to gaming systems just as an example… and it’s something I have actually been around long enough to understand.

At first, my type of gaming was following people around and asking for food from random people who would stop by our house to hang out. Of course, with my cute, little face, no one could say no.

My next was the Nintendo. Not the handheld ones, but the big gray box that had two buttons in the front with a huge cord connecting to a small controller. I would play Super Mario on that thing for hours with my dad. Sadly, it’s so old now that it doesn’t work… I wonder if I even still have it…

Then I also had the PlayStation 2, now that I know we still have. I have some of its games on my bookshelf. I had a blast playing Mortal Kombat on it.

Then I got an Xbox one year. That’s when they started having the Kinect Adventures. You could move in front of the sensor, and it would respond. That was pretty cool to me. I also 

Now I have a Xbox One, which is similar to the Xbox, but allows more commands and such.

And think, now they have a Virtual Reality gaming systems now. Not jsut the one you put on your head and look around, but where your chair moves to motion of your character. Isn’t that so cool? Where you can see around you, and it’s like you’re there. I never got to try one before, but I know one day I will have to try it out. I cannot wait!

And it just gets bigger from there. Around us, the world is changing. It’s gone so far from 2000. Not just with gaming systems… cell phones, home appliances, computers, education, medicine…Our expectations have risen, and now we are just waiting for someone to come up with something else that is even grander.

Abaz is right… We have come a long way. It’s so exciting to imagine where the world will be in a couple years.

 

 

Review: Ashes in the Sky by Jennifer M. Eaton

Hi guys! Tomorrow, I am going to attend the Southeastern Young Adult Book Festival in Murfreesboro, TN, and I am so excited! Because it’s tomorrow, I am posting this review of SE-YA author Jennifer M. Eaton’s Ashes in the Sky, which was really good!

Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this book for being a part of the Embers in the Sea Blog Tour from the publisher. This will not affect my review.

ashesinthesky-v6-book2-final-v3Goodreads Synopsis: After inadvertently saving the world, eighteen-year-old Jessica Martinez is ready to put adventure behind her and settle back into the familiar routine of high school.

Though when she’s offered an opportunity to photograph the inside of an alien space ship, Jess jumps at the chance. After all, she’d be crazy to turn something like that down, right?

Spending time with David on the ship has definite advantages and the two seem to pick up right where they left off. But when Jess discovers a plot to sabotage David’s efforts to establish a new home for his people on another planet, neither David’s advanced tech nor Jess’s smarts will be able to save them.

ASHES IN THE SKY is an action-packed, romantic Sci Fi adventure that will leave readers screaming for more.

Rating: 9/10 stars

Overall Thoughts: Ashes in the Sky continues Jess and David’s adventure on the Erescopian ship outside of Earth. I definitely felt as if I was sucked into the books. I read through most of this book in one day since I could not put it down! My eyes were glued to the screen, for the story kept me hooked! The author definitely didn’t let me down in the sequel to Fire in the Woods!

Plot and Action (Strength): The book is so fast-paced that I tore through it with lightning speed! Eaton packed so much action, adventure, thrills, plot twists, and surprises galore that you never know what happens next! I never felt bored with the storyline since Jennifer packed so much action, adventure, and surprises into it! At times, I felt like as if I was watching an action movie! It was that great!

Characters (Strength): I loved Jess’s POV! At times I felt the same emotions she felt and wanted the same things she wanted. You could really feel her angst, her sorrow, and her tension, and this made me feel very sympathetic to her. I wanted what she wanted and became angry when she was angry! I love it when you could feel what the main character is feeling.

Similarities to the First Book (Weakness): My only pet peeve with this book is that it the story arc felt really similar to Fire in the Woods. It was so similar that it really didn’t feel too unique or as if it added something new to the story. As much as I liked reading this book, there could have been more to added to the arc in the entire series. In The Continuum Trilogy by Jennifer Brody, each book, even though they were all fast-paced, had their own touch and feel. The Fire in the Woods books just seem similar to me. The reason why I’m removing a star is that it could have been varied more so it would not have a similar feel like its predecessor, but I did enjoy them both equally.

Concluding Thoughts: Jennifer M. Eaton did a wonderful job continuing Jess and David’s escapades outside of Earth! I am definitely looking forward to ending the trilogy with the newly released Embers in the Sea! I have a great feeling that it’s going to be really good!

Have you read the Fire in the Woods Trilogy? Do you sci-fi books with aliens? What about trilogies? Comment below with your thoughts, and let’s chat soon!

+ J.M.J.

Happy Reading!

~ Kester

The Lost King by Devorah Fox

I have received a free copy of this book for a honest review. This does not in any way affect my review in any way.

My rating for this unique tale would be a four out of five. Great job, Devorah Fox, for this intriguing story about a king discovering himself and the truth about the world around him.

If you haven’t read this book and just happen to skim through this review, I’ll say this to summarize the book: A king has found himself deserted in a land he does not recognize. To find his kingdom and his wife, he must venture through unknown lands, meeting people to help him along the way. I would encourage you to pick this book up if you love medieval ages. This is a perfect book to learn more about that time.

Characters? Appealing and very interesting. Robin’s friends are hard to dislike.

Humor? It was okay. I chuckled a couple times. I also found humor in the smallest things but that is literally me– I will find the most serious things funny.

Romance? It doesn’t overflow on the plot, but you’ll catch it easily. You’ll ship it before you even realize what’s happening.

Action? Very little, mostly dialogue, moving around, stuff like that.

Language? A little hard, but fairly easy to understand.

I think you should really pick it up. It mostly deals with finding a way to get his kingdom back while also finding himself through his adventures. I highly recommend being open to the characters and King Bewilliam’s interactions with them. It’ll make the story ten times better in this way, as it focuses a lot on relationships.

I enjoyed it a lot. I was very interested in where things were going. By the end, I was questioning what the next book will reveal.

Good-bye, non-spoilery people!


 

The characters. I really loved them to the extent that I kind of did not want anything to happen to them. Later in this series, I feel like I would grow more attached to them, as I would get to understand them even further. I absolutely love Meeyoo, the little kitten that follows Robin around. I thought having Meeyoo in there was the story’s comic relief in a way that made you happy when Meeyoo showed up. “No one hurts the kitty!” I loved the other animals as well, like Duncan and Charger. I could just imagine their personalities.

Now I’m usually very critical about what I read, about what I like to read. At first when I was reading the animals almost speaking to Robin, I got a little skeptical about it. I kind of felt like I was reading a younger children’s book…But I have to say it did grow on me. I found it pretty hilarious, actually.

Queen Alexandra… when we first see her, she’s fighting a dragon, which was pretty great. I love a strong woman. I enjoyed her personality, how she wasn’t strict and represented the kingdom she reigned. I enjoyed that. I ship her and Robin so much. Like at the very end, I kept thinking: “Just kiss…please.” I trust her completely along with David.

Speaking of David, we didn’t get to see him much, did we? Just the very beginning and the very end. I really loved the fact that he was a barber. I don’t know why, I just loved that diversity. When we got to go back to Riverington, I got all excited. “Off to see David, the wonderful barber of all…”

And finally Bernard. I feel like I should talk about him since he is was reason everyone is in debt and the reason DAVID HAD TO LEAVE HIS SHOP… But I’m not salty about it. No, no. I kind of felt bad for him, but that’s my personality showing. I always somehow end up feeling bad for the villains. I mean Bernard put everyone in debt, he lied, he borrowed too much money to make himself look better… He was a complete mess. Then when we actually get to see him, he’s completely lost his mind. I wanted to hug him. Yeah, I was angry at the fact–that David can’t be a barber–that everyone was going downhill. Robin’s own kingdom was completely washed away. Like what on earth was Bernard thinking? As I type, I’m actually in Personal Finance; and, sir, that is not how you finance.

The romance… As I said before the romance in this book is very mellow, but it is there. I ship Queen Alexandra and Robin so much. But on the topic of romance, Robin is not very wise. Throughout the book, he admits to sleeping with other women, like Dolores. While I don’t agree with what he does, it does make his character a lot more real. He does have his flaws, something I did not see in the very beginning. But no, he’s a king with a broken marriage. I really, really hope that his relationship grows with Alexandra later on as they completely deserve each other. I mean, come on.

Okay, the one thing that did bug me in this book was the lack of action. That’s probably just me, though. I love a good detailed fight. I enjoyed the dragon fight for the .5 seconds that it happened. In the back of my mind, I feel like this could be a book that could hold that type of action. Like if it was wanted in the story, you could easily bring it in and it wouldn’t look out of place. A lot of the running around that Robin did really kind of killed the mood that I would have enjoyed the transitions better if there was a bit more conflict involved in between the moving around. The bandit thing really made me happy. Go, Robin! Show them who’s king around here! Then again, the author has every right to put what she likes in her book and make it how she wants it. If she feels like the fighting was unnecessary and she enjoys it as it is, then that’s her decision.

Overall, I enjoyed it. It will be something I will look into later on after all my other books are taken care of. I really enjoy the writing style of it all. It kind of reminded me of The Chronicles of Narnia. It was very different than what I’m used to which may be why I had to open up a lot more than usual. That’s how it was when reading The Magician’s Nephew. I soon came to enjoy it and appreciate the uniqueness she threw in there.





Thank you, Devorah Fox for letting me review this book! I encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing with this story! It has a lot of potential.


 

Review: Golden by K. M. Robinson

Hola mi amigos! (I know I don’t speak Spanish, but I do have some Spanish blood actually!) If you don’t know what that translates to, it means “Hi my friends!” Two more days til SE-YA!!! I am super excited! You might be tired of hearing me talk about SE-YA, but I am super excited! There are so many authors I want to meet, like David Arnold, Mindy McGinnis, Sharon Cameron, Tobie Easton, M. Tara Crowl, Brittany Goodwin, Shaila Patel, and Jennifer M. Eaton! But for now, here is my review of Golden by K.M. Robinson, which is one of my most anticipated reads of 2017!

Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my review in any way.

golden-cover-reveal-feb-9-2017-by-k-m-robinsonGoodreads Summary: When the girl with the golden hair betrays everyone, not even she has hope of surviving.

The stories say that Goldilocks was a naïve girl who wandered into a house one day. Those stories were wrong. She was never naïve. It was all a perfectly executed plan to get her into the Baers’ group to destroy them.

Trained by her cousin, Lowell, and handler, Shadoe, Auluria’s mission is to destroy the Baers by getting close to the youngest brother, Dov, his brother and sister-in-law and the leaders of the Baers’ group. When she realizes Dov isn’t as evil as her cousin led her to believe, she must figure out how to play both sides or her deception will cause everyone in her world to burn.

If her allegiances are discovered, either side could destroy her…if the Society doesn’t get her first.

Rating: 9/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: Golden was really one of my most anticipated reads of 2017 (along with Blood Rose Rebellion, These Ruthless Deeds, Caraval, The United Continuums, The Traitor’s Kiss… where was I?) I had really high expectations for this book, but it reached it like 211 degrees Fahrenheit. It was really good, like hot, but it didn’t exactly reach that boiling point to make it a new favorite. Regardless, I really liked it. There were times when I couldn’t put the book down and my eyes were glued on my device’s screen!

Retelling: So this book is a retelling on Goldilocks. I think I would prefer this book over the original fairy tale any day! It infuses the original naïve girl with romance, action, secrets, and espionage; it was really unique! Now everyone is human in this book, just a bit of a head’s up. It was a little hard for me to transition from actual bears to the human Baers, but it catches onto you after a while.

Action: This book will definitely give you thrills and chills. The author packed the book with some plot twists, and my jaw dropped at a few of them. I actually screamed once because I was like “Oh my goodness!” and “I knew it!” (I made a prediction and I was right! First one! Yes!) Those plot twists, oh my! I just love whenever a book includes them!

Plot: There were a few parts that didn’t exactly click with me. There were some things that were so sudden or so fast I was wondering where in the world did that element come from. I did think there were some scenes in the middle and end that could have been removed because it stalled the plot and some scenes that were a bit confusing to me. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it!

My Review in a Nutshell: I really liked this book. No doubt. I was hooked from the beginning! There’s not that many Goldilocks retellings out there, yet this one definitely put a unique spin on Goldilocks! This is a great start to K. M. Robinson’s writing career!

What are your favorite fairy tale retellings? What are you most anticipated reads of 2017? Comment below, and we’ll chat soon!

+ J.M.J.

Happy Reading!

~ Kester

 

Eden’s Escape, by M. Tara Crowl

Hi guys! I am so stockpiled with reviews… this is number 1 out of 5! So March will definitely be crazy full of reviews. I will do my best in the month of March to do as many reviews as I can since I’m so far behind! This one is about a book I read over a month ago! So I hope you enjoy this review on Eden’s Escape by M. Tara Crowl!

Important Kester Note: On my review and little promotion for Jennifer M. Eaton’s Fire in the Woods when it was free last week, I forgot to include the legal disclaimer. The post has been updated, and I am sorry about that. Don’t let that affect you reading the book!

Goodreads Summary of Eden’s Escape (Eden of the Lamp #2): edens-escape_finalEden’s new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who’s also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting–only to find herself trapped in a laboratory. David Brightly, owner of the world’s leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp’s power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly’s plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris–home to Electra’s headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in a giveaway. This will not affect my review.

Rating: 8/10 Stars

I liked this book! It was a fun and easy read that grabbed my attention at times! As I’m thinking about how the target audience will react to this book, I do think that middle-grade readers will enjoy running around Paris with Eden in her latest escapades. Although I loved the first book Eden’s Wish better than the sequel, Eden’s Escape is definitely a middle-grade book I would recommend to younger children!

Eden is one of the most relatable characters I have read in a middle-grade book. Crowl has portrayed her just like a 12-year old would, even though I sometimes forgot she was 12! I really connected with her: I could relate with her struggles and emotions. She was going through a short time where no one listened to her or understood her, and I know how that feels! The author definitely made Eden’s experiences similar to what middle schoolers would have gone through.

The plot is very interesting! As she’s trying to escape and defeat the Brightly forces, there is quite a bit of action and adventure! There’s also a few plot twists that had me go “Oh my goodness!” If you have read my past review, you know I love plot twists! The story definitely got me going. The beginning was really sweet while the end was full of surprises! The plot definitely resolved well, and I liked the ending.

I honestly didn’t love the sequel as I liked the original one. I wasn’t as hooked into this one because it felt a bit scattered to me at times. I was going “Why is the plot doing that?” occasionally since certain events didn’t mesh together as much as I wanted them to. But does that mean the book wasn’t great? Definitely not! I really liked it! It was cute and fun!

Eden’s Escape is great for young readers and even older ones! Although the target audience is for middle-grade readers, there’s a good possibility that older people will like it! I would recommend Eden’s Wish more, but if you want to continue the story when Eden is living outside of the lamp, then you should read this book!

Recommendation: Go for it!

Have you read this book? Are you interested in reading this? What do you like about books with magic in the real world? Comment below with your thoughts and let’s chat!