Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell | Author Interview

GARDEN OF THORNS BY AMBER MITCHELL 

Synopsis:

After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.

INTERVIEW WITH AMBER 

– Top 5 Things readers need to know about the book.

  1. Rose is a flawed protagonist. She doesn’t necessarily have fighting skills but she is smart.
  2. The land of Delmar is a brutal world and the action in the story illustrates that.
  3. Trust isn’t easily earned but it is easily broken.
  4. Rayce is a genuine good guy and they can most definitely be sexy too!
  5. Even in the most dire situations, you can find true love.

 

– Who/What was your inspiration for becoming a writer? How long have you been writing?

I’m not sure there is really a “who”. I’ve enjoyed writing stories ever since I was young. My first “real” story was a play I wrote for my third grade class. It was about 20-pages long which at the time seemed like a whole novel. I can definitely say that my high school teacher (I had him for 11th and 12th grade) helped me decide that I could get published one day if I put in enough work and he spent so many hours reviewing the first chapter of my first novel which I rewrote maybe ten times. He was definitely instrumental in my growth to start taking my writing seriously.

– Which of your characters would you say you are most like?

I fall somewhere between Rose and Marin. I like to joke around a lot like Marin and though I don’t always show it, I’m actually an optimist. I wish for the best but the realist in me braces for the worst. Unfortunately, I’m plagued with Rose’s anxiety so I relate to her a lot when I write her. Sometimes I let fear hold me captive so it was really therapeutic to write a character who must find a way past her fears.

– If your book was to be turned into a movie who would you cast as your leads?

This one is tough. I kind of just want to cast Chris Pratt as every part so I get to see more Chris Pratt but I don’t think he’d fit a single character!

For Rayce, I have a hard time seeing anyone else besides Godfrey Gao. He’s the perfect choice!

Rose has always been harder. I think it’s because I have a very specific picture in my head and no one quite fits it. Maybe someone like Chloe Grace Moretz? I’m not exactly happy with that choice but I’ve been thinking about this question forever and am never happy with it!

– Did you have to research anything for your book?

I did a lot of research into the ancient dynasties of China since Delmar is very loosely based off of them. Particularly the Song dynasty. I wanted to know about the crops they harvested, what they ate, what their daily lives looked like. For as much research as I did, only a tiny portion ended up making it into the book but it was important for me to understand the Delmar Empire and how it sustained itself.

– In 5 words how would you describe Garden of Thorns?

Exciting. Brutal. Romantic. Epic fantasy.

– What is your favorite book?

This question isn’t fair! I love so many books. A few of my favorite series are Harry Potter by JK Rowling (because, of course!), Poison Study series by Maria V Snyder and the Abhorsen trilogy by Nix Garth.

– What inspired the idea of the Garden?

It was actually a mixture of ideas. Whenever I would watch a movie and there would be a ballroom scene with girls in ball gowns, I would always think they looked like flowers when they twirled. That image stuck with me and I thought it would be really interesting to make a performance group of “dancing flowers”. I had this vision in my mind of a girl who was fierce, seething as she was dancing and desperate to escape that life and I wanted to know why. I didn’t actually start writing this book until a few years later and it must have been marinating in my head because the idea of the Garden sort of flowed onto the page logically from there.

– What’s on your playlist? Does the music go with your book?

I always write to music. Sometimes when a scene has a certain emotion, I can take the feeling of the music and inject it into the story. I switch back and forth between purely instrumental and songs with lyrics.

Though I have a lengthy playlist for Garden of Thorns, the two songs I listened to a lot through the editing process were “Mother Misery” by Letters from the Fire and “Outstretched Hands” by Starfield.

The first song captured Rose’s desperation at the ending of the book perfectly for me. The song describes a hopeless situation and yet, the singer still has so much hope.

The second song really captured all the questions Rose and Rayce have about each other. Their relationship to me has always been a question of whether they can rely on each other or if the world will get the best of them and this song represents that hesitance even though they want to be together.

 

Meet the Author: 

Website: ambermitchellbooks.com
Twitter : @amberinblunderl
Goodreads
Amazon

 

RoseBlood by A.G Howard | Book Review

217a4-rosebloodROSEBLOOD BY A.G HOWARD

Genre: YA Paranormal, Retelling

“Today you become someone new. From this moment on, you belong to the underworld, from which you were born. You are something monstrous, but beautiful. Something fierce, yet fragile. You are Thorn. The part of the rose that is unloved… that everyone fears for its ability to bring a soul to bleed.”
-A. G Howard, RoseBlood

Synopsis:
In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

Goodreads| Amazon

review

As soon as this book was published I went to the library right away because I have been waiting sine I finished Ensnared. I am a huge fan of A.G Howard, her writing and the beautiful worlds she creates. 

At the beginning of the story I was a little nervous. I know this was a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, but I felt at times it was taking to much from the original story just at the beginning. That quickly changes and I got pulled into the beautifully described world and the events that were going on. The book was so unique and involved so many layers. It was full of the creepy gothic feel and took a turn I was not expecting.

Of course like many books out in the world there was romance. I have to say I really enjoyed this one and loved how it all unfolded. Rune was a strong protagonist, she had been threw so much and grew so much. She really came into her own throughout the book. The development of all of the characters was so well done. The story of the Phantom and Thorn was heartbreaking and complex. I enjoyed all of the side characters as well especially the animal companions. They really added a lot to the story and made the book more complex 

Overall I really enjoyed this book. The world was amazing with beautiful and heartbreaking stories woven together. This is definitely a unique book that cannot compare to anything else I have read. The incorporation of music and the small cameos from the original were nice touches. Although it was a retelling Howard did an amazing job creating a story all of its own. It caught me by surprised multiple times and threw in some interesting twists to the story. It left me in awe and completely satisfied.

RATING-4

You might also like:

Splintered Trilogy by A.G Howard

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell | ARC Review

GARDEN OF THORNS BY AMBER MITCHELL

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Entangled Teen in return for an honest review

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Synopsis:
After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.

Goodreads| Amazon

*I would like to thank Entangled Teen for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

From the very beginning this book dives right in and takes off with thrilling intensity. The concept of the Garden and all that these captured girls go through in this traveling burlesque troupe was so captivating and made me want to continue from the very start. There are secrets, intrigue and kingdoms at war.

I thought Mitchell did a wonderful job with the opening of the book. I was so drawn in from the first page. She was able to maintain my attention and keep me on the edge of my seat until the end, although I did think it faltered a little in the middle. The character development of the main character Rose was so well executed. She had issues and unlike so many YA novels she actually had to work through her issues and face her own demons which was refreshing. I find that in so many novels the issues are presented and then quickly are dissolved. Rose was a strong female heroine and definitely makes the whole female independence a strong motto.

The other characters were really well developed and so well described that I could picture them perfectly. The thing with such great character development is I feel like Mitchell fell a little short on the world building. There was so much room for great world development being a fantasy novel and even more about the Garden. I was really intrigued by the concept of the Garden and wanted more from it.

I had just a few other issues with this book and without giving too much away, I thought the romance at times was too much. I really liked the way it ended but at the beginning it came on too strong and didn’t follow Roses beliefs but Mitchell managed to straighten it out and actually make me really happy that it was in the story and added a great component. The last problem I found was with how quickly they threw Rose out on missions and how she was trusted with little to no training.

Overall, I found this story to be very unique and nothing I have read before. It did not shy away from the gruesome details and wasn’t afraid to not let a strong female overcome obstacles and shine. Garden of Thorns was a fast read and kept me on the edge of my seat, never knowing what was going to happen the whole time. It made me experience a wide range of emotions and actually had an ending I cannot complain about. I really recommend YA fantasy readers who enjoy strong female leads and times of war and unrest to pick this book up!

You might also like:

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Alanna by Tamora Pierce

Girl In The Blue Coat by Monica Hesse | Book Review

26030682GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT BY MONICA HESSE

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Source: Novl in return for an honest review

“Maybe we can’t barter our feelings away, trading good deeds for bad ones and expecting to become whole.”
Monica Hesse, Girl in the Blue Coat

Synopsis:
Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days finding and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the German army invaded. Her illegal work keeps her family afloat, and Hanneke also likes to think of it as a small act of rebellion against the Nazis.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person: a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such a dangerous task but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations—where the only way out is through.

Beautifully written, intricately plotted, and meticulously researched, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, unforgettable story of bravery, grief, and love in impossible times.

Goodreads | Amazon 

review

I feel like I should give it some more time before I write this review. I am still unsure of the rating I want to give this book. First off I waited way to long to read this book that is for sure. I was sent an ARC of this book by Novl for review last year and put off reading for some reason. I’ve been on a historical fiction kick.

Girl in the Blue Coat is a YA Historical Fiction novel based during the German occupation in the Netherlands during WWII. This book is full of heartbreak, mystery, loss and the underground of the war. The beautifully written book was not at all what I expected it to be and I found it to be a great moving story.

The characters are well developed and complex in each their own way. I enjoyed seeing the revelations that each character came to throughout the novel and relationships that were created. Hanneke has been through a lot already since the start of the occupation living with the guilt of her actions and the stress of providing for her family. She grows so much throughout the story . The complexity of the characters and their struggles and fight drive forward the novel.

I am not sure what else to say about this book because it was a quick read although filled with a lot of emotions. I did enjoy this story, but felt like it had a few slight flaws for me that could not make it an amazing 5 star read. There were times when I felt like the story dragged and was a little repetitive. I needed a driving force to the story that was lacking, but the characters and their development did make up for some of that.

Overall this book explains the darkness of human nature and the flaws that each of us carry with us but also the bravery and strength that can come in the most unlikely of times. This book is perfect for historical fiction lovers especially those who enjoy delving into the WWII era stories. It is full of surprises and mystery and completely threw me when I thought I knew where it was going.

RATING

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You might also like:

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys

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Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys | Book Review

25614492SALT TO THE SEA BY RUTA SEPETYS

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

“War is catastrophe. It breaks families in irretrievable pieces. But those who are gone are not necessarily lost.”
Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea

Synopsis:
Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope

Goodreads | Amazon

review

Sepetys has done it again. She has created a beautiful work of historical fiction that she put so much time and research into and surprised me again with an event in history I was not aware of. The story is based during the era of WWII, but focuses on people and stories that at least in my experience do not get enough attention. She brought to life the struggles of a few different teenagers whose lives intersect that each come from a different background, struggle and each carrying their own secrets.

The story was so well developed and the character development was done in such a way that you create an understanding and love for each of them. I could feel the pain and the setting and atmosphere completely drew me in. I could not put this book down. The style it is written in and the jumping between characters drives the story forward and left me needing more.

Overall I found this to be a hauntingly beautiful story that was heartbreaking at times, but shows such a strong display of hope and kindness. I could gush about this book forever but just think everyone needs to read it. The reason this did not have a 5/5 crowns for me was because I struggled with one of the characters. I found his story to not hold up to the rest of the characters and just found him annoying. He did have a purpose in the story, but I just found him irritating. This book is a perfect choice for anyone who loves Historical Fiction and the WWII era, or just a beautifully written story about the struggles of 4 teens.

4.5

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria | Author Interview

In anticipation of Iron Cast being released October 11th 2016 ! Here is my interview with Destiny Soria!

Iron CastIRON CAST BY DESTINY SORIA

Synopsis:

 

It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.

 INTERVIEW WITH DESTINY

-Top 5 Things readers need to know about the book

  1. It’s set in Boston, just before the ratification of Prohibition in 1919.
  2. Corinne and Ada, the main characters, are BFFs whose hobbies include poetry, music, kicking ass, and taking names.
  3. The girls are up against a creepy asylum, a corrupt councilman, and a sinister government agency.
  4. The book is chock full of magic, mobsters, betrayal, and intrigue.
  5. Also socialists.

 

– Who/What was your inspiration for becoming a writer? How long have you been writing?

Stories have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My dad used to tell me bedtime stories every night when I was a kid. When I was seven or eight, I decided to try my hand at it and wrote a book called “Horses of All Kinds” (complete with illustrations and staple binding). I’ve been writing ever since.

 

– Which of your characters would you say you are most like?

I guess I probably have the most in common with Corinne, in that I also love poetry, am quite short, and am a perpetual smartass.

 

– If your book was to be turned into a movie who would you cast as your leads?

I think Jasmin Savoy Brown would make a lovely Ada. And Zoey Deutch has the perfect amount of sass to be Corinne.

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– Did you have to research anything for your book?

So. Much. Research. I am also not the best at keeping myself focused, so a lot of the research time was spent falling into rabbit holes of Youtube videos of old Model T’s and looking at pretty flapper dresses.

 

– In 5 words how would you describe Iron Cast?

An excess of witty banter.

 

– If your characters were in the hunger games who’d win? Which Hogwarts house would your main character be in?

Is it cheating to say that Corinne and Ada would probably pull a Katniss/Peeta at the very end with the berries? Also Corinne is a Slytherin and Ada is a Gryffindor. Hurray for unlikely friendships!

 

– What’s on your playlist? Does the music go with your book?

There’s a pretty bizarre mix of 1920s tunes, Metric, Bastille, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, and even some TSwift. When it comes to creating a writing playlist, I usually pick songs that remind me of characters or capture the “feel” of the story. One of these days I’ll probably make it public, so stay tuned! (See what I did there?)

 


Meet the Author: 

aibeiaiaaabecj3vkjpa-jsf1qeic3zjyxjkx3bob3rvkigxzjzlyjy2y2jlnwy0m2ezmwm2owe2ndc1odfkntbhnmqwogi4nju5maf5e_8imirdymvpz-lt2lmogdl95aEmail: destinysoriawrites@gmail.com
Website: destinysoria.com
Twitter & Instagram: @thedestinysoria
Facebook: facebook.com/dlsoria
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28169297-iron-cast
Preorder: https://amzn.com/1419721925

 

Book Blogger Shout-Out | Dee @ The Bookish Khaleesi

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So if you have been around on my blog you will know of my new feature: Book Blogger Shout-Out! The purpose of this is to showcase some awesome book bloggers! This month I reached out and asked Dee @ The Bookish Khaleesi if she would be so kind to participate and be featured for my Book Blogger Shout-out! Her blog is fantastic and so adorable! She has some awesome graphics and posts with tons of pictures! She reads a wide variety and I totally recommend checking out her blog!

 

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Hi everyone! My name is Dee and I am just a girl who fell in love with books and Jamie Fraser. I love reading and binge watching numerous TV shows on Netflix. I love everything YA, but I am open to other genres as well. When I first started reading I was a huge Paranormal Romance reader, but if you can find a cute contemporary that has a great story/message I will devour it in one setting. I am currently all about Fantasy novels. When I don’t have a book in my hands, I am probably watching Arrow or Outlander. I am obsessed with baby animals and cheesy romantic comedies. I started blogging as a way to interact with more people about the books that I loved. None of my friends or family read, so blogging has been a great outlet for me to fangirl. If you ever need someone to fangirl with, I am always here 😉

Also, thank you so much Ashley for featuring me on her blog today! You’re awesome, Ashley 😄

TOP 5 FAVORITE FANTASY SERIES WITH BREATHTAKING WORLDS

When I first started reading I was really intimidated by reading Fantasy. I always felt that if a book had a map that it was too complicated for me. Include a glossary? Forget it! However, I’ve read some pretty amazing books that completely converted me. Now Fantasy is my favorite genre. Here are just a few of my all-time favorite series. If you haven’t read them, please do. And if you have, I hope you loved them just as much as I do. 

 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Believe it or not, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo was actually the first YA Fantasy novel I have ever read. I have read other novels with fantasy backdrops, but this is one of the first “full on” fantasy that I read and fell in love with. The story itself is compelling, but I fell completely in love with Bardugo’s world building. She crafts such an unique world of magic that you’d wish that you were apart of it. Shadow and Bone is just the start of Bardugo’s magic. Six of Crows is the story of a group of criminal misfits coming together to pull an impossible heist. This novel will grab you from page one and not let go of it’s hold until the very last page. This has to be one of my favorite books of 2015. Bardugo really is a mastermind when it comes to magical worlds.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

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Marie Lu is the author of one of the best YA Dystopian series, Legend and when I found out she was writing a fantasy series I lost it. Completely lost it. If you love a series about a group of individuals all with unique abilities that is also pretty dark, this is the series for you. The Young Elites isn’t just your average fantasy series. It tells the story about the antivillain and it is breathtaking.

 

 Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas

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The Throne of Glass has quickly become one of the most loved fantasy series out there in YA. I may be biased, but I personally think it deserves all its hype. I am in love with the world Maas has crafted. From the Fae to the Valg to the witches and the magic. I can’t get enough of this world and the series just sucks you right in. Maas gives us a pretty badass female protagonist with not one, not two, but about four different swoon-worthy guys (if you’re caught up to Heir of Fire, you’ll know). If you haven’t read the Throne of Glass series yet, I strongly urge you to. It has a great story and some awesome character development. Yes, there is a bunch of romance (maybe a little too much that needs to be decentralized) but the story itself is so strong! Maas is another Queen of Fantasy. Plus she has a pretty awesome Beauty and the Beast fantasy retelling called A Court of Thorns and Roses as well 😉

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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This is not only a fantastic retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, but a beautiful, magical world that Ahdieh created. The setting, the dresses, the castle (for lack of a better term), the magic, everything screams beautiful and just made me want to devour the entire story. I couldn’t not put this book down for one second. If you like retellings, you need to give this a read immediately.

 

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor

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I know another guest blogger has already mentioned Daughter of Smoke & Bone, but I can’t not mention it as well. It’s one my favorite fantasy series ever! I started this series after I kept hearing Katytastic rave about it constantly. I decided to pick it up and I was blown away. This series has a very intricate world based on angels and the chimaera (demons) who have been at war for years. It tells the story of a girl stuck in the middle and the ultimate forbidden love. This series is beautiful. These characters don’t love at face-value, their souls reach out to each other and to me, it’s one of the most beautiful series in YA.

Well there you have it! A few of my favorite fantasy books/series. There are definitely more, I didn’t want to hijack Ashley’s wonderful blog 🙂 I hope you enjoyed reading and thanks again to Ashley for being awesome and letting me be a guest ❤

Make sure to check out her blog and other social media!

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Blog: http://www.thebookishkhaleesi.wordpress.com
Twitter:@bookishkhaleesi
Goodreads: Dee
Instagram: bookishkhaleesi

 

I would love to hear thoughts on this new feature. If you have any questions or comments for Dee make sure to leave them here or head over to her blog! Look out for the next book blogger!

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys | Book Review

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BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY BY RUTA SEPETYS

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction

“Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother’s was worth a pocket watch.”
― Ruta Sepetys, Between Shades of Gray

Synopsis:
It’s 1941 and fifteen-year-old artist Lina Vilkas is on Stalin’s extermination list. Deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. It’s a long and harrowing journey and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?

Goodreads| Amazon 

review

This book was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking in such a terribly sad way. It brought to life such a horrible and forgotten travesty in our humanities existence. How is it that this is really the first time I have heard of the genocide that occurred in the Balkans. I mean technically it is not the first time. For someone who studied International Studies in college and even took a class focused on genocide, I know it was brought up and discussed, but not nearly as much time or depth were put into the discussion. The atrocities that occurred to the people of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are overshadowed by what was happening with Germany, Hitler and the Holocaust.

This book was more than just a story about the deportation of Lithuanians. Sepetys had beautifully incorporated the undying resilience found in these deportees just trying to survive. There was love, hope and even a bit of romance. Although they are facing such terrible and horrific circumstances, it was absolutely brilliant that Sepetys included those breathtaking and lovely moments of pure joy and love. The romance was filled with innocence and in the midst of all the evil was a heart warming element.

Sepetys added such great complexity to her characters. Lina was strong willed, opinionated and feisty despite the situation she finds herself in. She never stops questioning and trying to get answers regardless of the consequences. Much like her mother she learns that in order to survive and be able to go on without a guilty conscious she must help the others around her and I found that so heart warming. You become attached to more than just the main character as the group of characters stick together and endure together.

Overall I thought the book was absolutely stunning. It added light to a unknown situation that affected many. It did not shy away from the gruesome events that took place. It was so real and extremely emotional, but yet gripping and has you rooting for Lina and her family. It shows that even in moments of completely tragedy there is light to be found.

5s

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

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A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES BY SARAH J. MAAS

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling

“I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.”
― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Synopsis:
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Goodreads | Amazon

review

I first have to start this by saying I cannot believe I waited so long to read something by Sarah J. Maas. The synopsis of this book intrigued me along with the fact that everyone praised Maas’s work, but I am always hesitant with retellings and especially books about fae. This book proved all my hesitation to be pointless.

While there were parallels to the original story of Beauty and the Beast, Maas wove together some fantastical twists and beautiful world building and elements that made this story brilliant. I loved what she was able to do with the incorporation of fae and the groundwork she laid for the world and the story were unique and wonderful! I thought her fusion of the old and new story were so seemingly done. There was the perfect amount of elements taken to still allow for her to make a story that could be completely her own. The way she took some of the most known parts of the original story and put such a twist on them was fantastic. Beauty loves to read and yet Feyre is illiterate. The play on the old story and the fact that without knowing it shares parallels with another story it can be completely its own and still be unique, beautiful and an engrossing story.

Shout out for strong kickass females! Feyre is a feisty, independent and wonderful female lead. She is determined to do anything she can for her family and because of this she must give up her life. I do have to say I was quite surprised with the romance in this book. I absolutely loved it don’t get me wrong, but it was borderline new adult. I just found that shocking since it is a young adult novel, but it did not bother me. I loved the males in this book and felt like they were nicely developed. And although at times there seems to be a hint at a future love triangle, it was not heavy. Tamlin is a complex and interesting character. I enjoyed that you learn about him a little at the time along with Feyre. He was strong and everything you want from a love interest. Not only were the characters and the world amazing, but the creatures that were created were so well developed and explained to a point were I began to sympathize with them. I am always a little weird about fae in books, but Maas did such an excellent job!

Overall I thought this was an amazing story. I absolutely love Maas’s writing and think she has such a fantastic and unique take on stories and world building. A Court of Thorns and Roses had just the right amount of fantastical and beautiful aspects as well as a slight dark atmosphere. Maas brought this world to life and used such beautiful imagery. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, badass females, beautiful worlds and Maas’s writing.

5s

1

Don’t forget to check out Samantha’s review on A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas!

Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol| Audiobook Review

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UNDER DIFFERENT STARS BY AMY A. BARTOL 

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal

Format: Audiobook

“You cannot thrive under the wrong stars, Kricket… the stars here are in opposition to you… can’t you feel it?… Let us take you home.”
― Amy A. Bartol, Under Different Stars

Series: Kricket

Synopsis:
Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?

GoodreadsAmazon

review

I was not sure what to expect when I started this book. I was struggling to get through a book a picked this up as an audiobook. I have to admit that the cover was what made me interested. I started this book with not really knowing what it was about or anything. The narrator for this book, Kate Rudd is amazing. I really enjoy her storytelling and voice!

This was my first time reading a book by Amy A. Bartol and I was surprisingly pleasantly happy with what I read. This is a story about a girl who has been in foster care and is almost 18, therefore about to be able to get out and be on her own. That is until some guys start following her and she learns that Earth is not her true home. Reading the synopsis it seems like its going to be a romance revolving around a love triangle, but thats not the case.

“War sounds romantic, heroic even, until everyone you know starts dying.”
― Amy A. Bartol, Under Different Stars

Bartol did an amazing job with creating a new fantastical world of Ethar, the planet in which Kricket is from. I felt like I was there staring up at the stars alongside Kricket. The story was fast paced and had exciting twists thrown in throughout the whole book. Although the love was a little insta-y I enjoyed the love interest, he was definitely my type of swoon worthy male lead. Kricket was feisty, and super sassy. She was strong and wanted nothing more than her independence and the right to make her own choices. She made the perfect badass female protagonist! On top of the political intrigue taking place within the planet of Ethar the book was also full of fun and lively characters that added a layer of humor that was a nice touch to the story! 

Overall I found this book to be a wonderful surprise and cannot wait to continue on with the series. I would recommend this to anyone who loves the sassy kickass Rose Hathaway from The Vampire Academy or is interested in high tech sci-fi worlds!

RATING-4