Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau (Dividing Eden book 1)

“Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?” - taken from Goodreads.com

I loved the beginning of this duology. Mystery, action, and betrayal are throughout the story. Twins Andreus and Carys’ lives are turned upside down when their father the king and their older brother, the Crown Prince are murdered. To make matters worse, their mother is unable to take over the throw since she went mad over the deaths of her husband and oldest son. Both of the twins are hiding secrets from everyone that threatened to be revealed when they are pitted against each other in a competition to see which one will be the next ruler of Eden. As the competition moves forward, the twins are pulled apart.

A few questions are answered but plenty of mysteries are still left to be revealed.  Eden Conquered, the second and final book is expected to be published on June 12, 2018.

Queen Betrice’s backstory is revealed in an ebook novella, Into the Garden.

Visit Joelle Charbonneau’s website.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.” - taken from Goodreads.com

This is the book that everyone should read! I listened to the audio version and when I started I didn’t know if I could get into Starr’s dialect, but it didn’t take long for me to be invested in her story. The author was inspired to write this story by the Black Lives Matter movement. As a reader, I dove into Starr’s story and learned more about various cultures and challenges than I dreamed possible. Ms. Thomas didn’t skip any punches in this book. The one part where Starr’s white boyfriend asked a question about names caused me to chuckle and think about what was said. Towards the end, I was on pins and needles hoping that Starr and her family would come their this ordeal unscathed. Definitely a book worth reading.

Visit Angie Thomas’s website.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows (Fallen Isles trilogy book 1)

Before

“Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

After

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.” taken from Goodreads.com

I’ll be honest. It took me awhile to get into this book. The story flips between the present and the past as the reader tries to figure out why Mira has been arrested and thrown into the Pit. The author slowly reveals what Mira knows but plenty of surprises occur and mysteries continue. This is a good start to this trilogy as the story will continue in book two, expected in 2018.

Visit Jodi Meadows’ website.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Invictus by Ryan Gaudin

“Time flies when you're plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.” - taken from Goodreads.com

This book completely blew me away! I loved the Wolf By Wolf duology and this book was just as good. The reader thinks that they know where the story is going, only for Ms. Graudin to throw a well-placed loop and plotline change to drive the story even further. I loved the interaction between our main characters, the jumps through time and the mystery they are trying to solve. Readers will be quickly turning the pages to see how Invictus ends.

Visit Ryan Graudin’s website.

Monday, October 23, 2017

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

“Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There's only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.” - taken from Goodreads.com

I don’t think that I would have necessarily picked up this book if it hadn’t been sent to me in a subscription box I receive. I loved Isobel’s story. She is a tenacious heroine who stands by her convictions in the face of death. The slow burn romance was also a treat. I loved how the story flowed and you never really guessed exactly how it was going to end. With surprises along the way, readers will race to finish this stand-alone novel.

Visit Margaret Rogerson’s website.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

“One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.” - taken from Goodreads.com

This book is amazing!!! I listened to the audio version of the book and loved how each of the four main characters/”suspects” was presented by separated voices. The action kept me on the edge of my seat trying to guess who the liar was. Near the end, I was desperate to find time to finish the book and see how it ended.

Visit Karen M. McManus’s website.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ally by Anna Banks (Nemesis book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Nemesis, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

“Princess Sepora of Serubel and King Tarik of Theoria have formed an uneasy truce between their kingdoms since the deadly plague began to rip through Theoria. Since their feelings for each other are entangled in politics and power, they must use their own trusted resources to find common ground.

But when traitors with powerful allies arise from unexpected places, Tarik and Sepora face challenges that will change both of their kingdoms forever. Will they learn whom to trust—including each other—in time to save their kingdoms, their relationship and even their lives?” - taken from Goodreads.com

Ally picks up immediately where Nemesis ended. The Quiet Plague is crippling Theoria and Tarik is at a loss on how to stop it. Now engaged to wed Sepora, Tarik is struggling to rule his kingdom and deal with Sepora’s personality. Sepora’s world also comes crashing down when she is betrayed. Without giving away too many details, the action is nonstop throughout this book. Readers will be hanging on to see how Tarik and Sepora survive all that is thrown at them. I raced through the second half just to see how this book finished.