Frigid by J. Lynn

Title: Frigidfrigid

Author: J. Lynn (a.k.a Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Genre: Contemporary (New Adult)

Edition: E-book

Just in case you thought the title was referring to the weather conditions…it’s not.

Jennifer L. Armentrout takes a break from her paranormal romance endeavors to write a contemporary novel based on the lives of two best friends, Kyler and Sydney. Basically this is a fall-in-love-with-my-best-friend type story and since I’m kind of a sucker for that trope, I was eager to read this. Also the fact that the setting is in the winter, at a ski resort, in the middle of a Nor’easter basically had me sold. I mean, who would disagree that snow is the most romantic weather condition? But what really drew me to this book among all other basic contemporaries at the time was that a crazy person was supposed to be chasing them throughout the whole story.

If this also struck you as the most exciting plot point of the story, I will save you the time because it was basically non-existent. Someone was indeed messing with them but there were maybe two incidents in the whole book that lasted about a page. It was like Jennifer added that part in for the sake of making this book less like any other best friend contemporary but didn’t spend much effort flushing it out. It was obvious that she cared more about developing Kyler and Sydney’s relationship. With regards to that plot point, I can’t say that it was quite my cup of tea. Kyler and Syd’s friendship was adorable in the beginning and I could totally see it becoming an adorable romantic relationship but then they got to the resort. And it just got straight sexual from there. I don’t particularly enjoy reading highly sensual scenes plus Syd was annoying the beejeebies out of me. Instead of expressing what she truly felt, she decided to steer Kyler in another direction which made absolutely no sense to me. I don’t see how she figured that, with Ky being her best friend and all, it would be more practical to go in that direction rather than straight out telling him the truth. (For those of you who read this, you can tell me if you thought that was logical but I digress.)

Although the ending was pretty darn cute, Frigid as a whole was a disappointment for me. This saddens me because Jennifer’s Lux series was just so good but maybe I’ll just stick to the paranormal romance.

If you’re a fan of best friends falling in love with each other, ten page sex scenes, and don’t care too much for a detailed, flushed out plot then you might enjoy Frigid. But if you want a better story, I would recommend something else. Tell me your thoughts on Frigid if you’ve read it, I would love to know!

Stay cool (seriously it is so hot) xx

Crown of Ptolemy by Rick Riordan

The-Crown-of-Ptolemy-Rick-RiordanTitle: The Crown of Ptolemy

Author: Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle-grade Adventure/Fantasy

Edition: E-book

 “My Big Fat Greek/Egyptian Crossover.”

In this Percy Jackson/Kane Chronicles crossover, Percy finally meets Sadie and Annabeth finally meets Carter to battle against an Egyptian magician named Setne. By putting their heads and their unique weapons together, the four demigods employ tactics to bring Setne down and prevent him from becoming an all powerful Egyptian/Greek God and doing very bad things. Since Rick Riordan isn’t a fan of bad endings, it wouldn’t be considered a spoiler to tell you that they succeed. The fun, of course, is in the “how”.

I’m not sure if I’m getting tired-slash-growing out of Rick Riordan’s writing style, but this novella was not as appealing to me as most of his works usually are. The plot was mediocre at best and the dialogue was absolutely ridiculous–kind of like a really bad comedy movie. I didn’t feel an ounce of adventure throughout (although my heart did almost stop when I thought Riptide was gone forever). The first two novellas in this crossover series, Son of Sobek and the Staff of Serapis, were really enjoyable but this just didn’t do it for me. All in all, it was really superficial without any real substance to the story or the characters.

I used to say that I would never be done with Percy Jackson. I used to say that Rick Riordan could write a hundred more books about him and I’d read them all but I’m starting to wonder whether that remains true. If I don’t think Rick is doing Percy Jackson justice (ahem heroes of olympus) or if I don’t like the way the books are written, I’d much rather keep my memories of Percy Jackson pure and untainted.

With that said however, Crown of Ptolemy was just a small, irrelevant novella so I can’t make any rash judgments based on it. Therefore, I’m still excited to read Trials of Apollo because Camp Half Blood needs to re-enter my life. Hopefully the gloriousness of Percy Jackson and the Olympians re-enters with it.

Peace. εἰρήνη. xx

Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Title: Invasion of the Tearling

invasion of the tearling

(I didn’t read this edition but I’m using this cover design because I mean look at it)

Author: Erika Johansen

Genre: Fantasy

Edition: E-book

After a brutal couple of weeks waiting for my hold at the library to be up, I finally got my hands on the second installment of Erika Johansen’s dazzling trilogy, The Queen of the Tearling. True to it’s title, this novel follows Queen Kelsea as she searches through every avenue for a way to prevent the Red Queen from invading her kingdom (queendom?). I had very high expectations for Invasion of the Tearling because the first installment blew me away. Thank goodness it was no less mind-wrappingly brilliant and feels-inducing.

Kelsea continues to awe me with her tactical intelligence and no-funny-business personality. When I say she gets stuff done, I mean, she gets stuff done. Although, she has every reason to cower in fear, she never admits defeat but instead just keeps plowing forward. Everyone always says they are a sucker for a strong female protagonist and Kelsea will definitely satisfy that search. And she doesn’t even need a sword to do so. As far as the plot goes, it was pretty much one of anticipation and revelation. Kelsea and her guards are aware of the looming possibility of a devastating Invasion that the Tearling might not be able to sustain. As they try to put together a strong army and gather any information about the Red Queen and her weaknesses, Kelsea’s magic starts to unfold. Magic that, for all intents and purposes, has a mind of its own. When it started changing her, I was not a fan. Yes, she was powerful, powerful enough to defeat Mort, but she basically morphed into a dark ruler whose methods were not admirable. Not to mention her extremely questionable choice for an ally. She said she had no choice but I really don’t think Finn’s involvement in her situation was so necessary to be worth the freedom of someone who was severely punished for doing who knows what. Furthermore, the uncontrollable desire she had for him every time she saw him freaked me out. To have no control over wanting someone that badly? I would be terrified. (And you wonder why I don’t trust attractive people…) This desire seems to mirror the oddly immediate feelings Kelsea had for the Fetch and there were hints at some relationship between him and Finn. I’m itching to figure out what that is.

Kelsea’s magic also provides a gateway for her to learn more about the history behind the Tearling. If I understand correctly, she travels through time, or at least her mind does, to the period before William Tear set sail to found a new world. That was a plotline I was not expecting but was greatly captivated by. [spoilers ahead] At first, I was confused because there was this random woman with an abusive husband who seemingly had no connection to the present current of events at all. But Erika, with her brilliant writerly self, connected all the pieces as we discovered Lily’s true role, which is a massive one, in this whole “revolution”. One that feels like it’s been barely touched upon and is going to be explored even more in the next book.

And finally–Pen. Ahh, Pen. What a wonderful human being he is.

Unless Kelsea met someone else, Pen was really the only logical love interest since he was the only one near her age. I never shipped Kelsea with anyone until Pen had that conversation with Lazarus. You know the one where he said, “It never mattered what she looked like,” and basically implied that he’s been in love with her ever since he met her. At that point I was just like I need it. I need it now. And I basically got it but not in the way that I wanted. Basically, she’s using him as a sex toy and he may be okay with that but I’m not. Sigh. Soon she will realize the error of her ways and recognize the beauty of the man in front of her. But until then, I wait. [spoilers end]

Golly, this novel was a journey. Adventure, magic, monarchies, character depth and sharp wit, otherwise known as everything I crave in a book, Invasion of the Tearling will probably be one of my favorite novels of this year. If you read this, let me know what you think in the comments.

With love, xx.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

the queen of the tealingTitle: The Queen of the Tearling

Author: Erika Johansen

Genre: Fantasy/Dystopian

Edition: Hardcover

“I want to be a different queen.”

That’s not an actual quote from the book. It was actually said by Mary Queen of Scots on the show Reign on CW and it was all I kept thinking of as I read. Kelsea Raleigh is the heir of the Tearling and the book begins with her having reached the age of nineteen when she is required to take the throne. With a branded scar and a precious jewel, she is a symbol of hope for the Tear people task with the burden of eradicating their sufferings and removing them from under the oppressive hand of the Queen of Mortmesne. Determined not to be the frivolous queen that her mother was, Kelsea begins implementing her plans to improve the state of her kingdom. To understand the Tearling, picture what would happen to the world as it is now if technology failed and everyone who knew anything about science died. First world advantages as we know it would end. Many of you are no doubt familiar with older generations complaining that digitization is ruining society and the lives of our youth. Well this guy, William Tear, decided to create a utopia on the basis of that mentality and well…let’s just say it didn’t turn out as planned. Naturally, the world reverted to the medieval age.

I was pulled into this story from the beginning. As soon as she left her cottage, Kelsea was thrown into conflict and the problems just kept piling on. It’s ridiculously amazing how she handled everything with finesse and didn’t break down hyperventilating like I certainly would have if I was in her position. Living in a cottage for her whole life, she was never engrossed in royalty life. Then she’s taken to the Keep and has everything under control. I actually adore her and how she can easily focus on what’s important. On the page she exudes confidence even though she’s “plain”–something, by the way, she would not let readers forget. Seriously, in every chapter, there was a sentence referring to her plain facial features. Like okay, I get it, she’s not very attractive, there’s really no need to keep reminding me. That was one of the few things that irritated me. That and her irrational affection for The Fetch. It wasn’t even 24 hours and she was talking like she was in love. He must be damn irresistible to make that happen. While we’re on the topic of characters, I have a strong appreciation for the Queen’s Guards, especially Lazarus and I don’t even know why. Something about their personalities appeal to me and during the various complications, I realized that I really don’t want any harm to come to any of them. I do wish, though, that I knew more about the others besides Lazarus but hopefully Kelsea will learn more about them individually throughout the next two books. Same with the Fetch, who definitely has a mysterious past worth exploring.

The Queen of the Tearling revolves mostly around the political aspects of the kingdom and its strained relationship with Mortmesne rather than the interwoven magic. I can’t wrap my head around it but the events in this book seem to set the foundation for many future revelations about magic in the kingdom. So I’m excited.

Last but not least, the wit in this book is amazing. Everyone’s sense of humor was so intellectually satisfying.

If any of you have read this, tell me in the comments so we can talk about it. If you have not read it…read it. If you just want to tell me how your day was, go right ahead.

Later xx

Holiday Reads #3

Title: My True Love Gave to Memy true love.jpg

Author(s): A bazillion—>

Genre: YA Contemporary

Edition: Hardcover

I LOVED THIS! 

Seriously if you want a holiday book that is warm, fuzzy and festive then look no further. (I mean, you can keep looking, don’t let me stop you but really put this on the list.)

All these stories with the exception of a couple were so appealing to my feels. Rainbow’s story, Midnights, is the first and I couldn’t believe that she made me feel so much in only twenty two pages. I was seriously ready to read an entire novel based off of Noel’s and Mags’s story. Reluctantly I went on to read the next story by Kelly Link called The Lady and the Fox.

And wow–how captivating and unique it was! When I started reading, all I could say was “what?” There were these children under the Christmas tree, a weird family of Honeywells and a strange man staring through the window with a caged fox on his jacket sleeve. I’m not sure when the moment of utter confusion turned into pure enchantment but pretty soon I wasn’t even aware of my fingers turning the pages. Kelly Link’s writing reminds me of a Victorian author’s style. It’s really cool to see a modern writer using such a style and have it work. She has written a weird almost fantasy-like story but a good kind of weird. I really wish that one was a novel as well.

Every story I moved onto was great and I was just marveling at the talent compacted into this one book. AND THE DIVERSITY. All types of people were in here and they weren’t incorporated in a tacky and still kind of stereotypical way but in a thoughtful, not afraid to address race and differences way. I LOVED Gayle Forman’s story. She confronted white and black stereotypes in a cute Christmas story. It wasn’t heavy or anything, it was just real. Gah, I loved it.

I didn’t read Holly Black’s story because her interests do not exactly coincide with mine. Laini Taylor’s story was so out of place. I didn’t feel an ounce of Christmas and it was not that interesting. Those were the only two I had a problem with. Everything else was so full of the holiday spirit! The relationships were so cute! The characters were so authentic and unique! I’m in love with this book and I might just read it every Christmas. I might just look up more stories written by these authors as well. Who knows? Maybe I’ll finally pick up Eleanor and Park.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and continue to enjoy the holiday season!

Peace, love and holly. xx

 

Holiday Reads #2

let it snow.jpgTitle: Let It Snow

Author: Maureen Johnson, John Green, Lauren Myracle

Genre: YA Contemporary

Edition: Paperback

Even if the weather outside was frightful and the fire was so delightful, I would refuse to read this book.

I’m actually surprised by how many people like this book. If it wasn’t for John Green, I would have abandoned it after the first page. He saw it dangling over a pot of boiling oil and decided to be the knight in shining armor. The first story was called The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson. I was immediately annoyed with the writing style. It was very “My name is ___. This is where I live. These are my parents.” I really don’t like books where it seems like the main character is writing an autobiography of their lives. I want it to feel like I am living his/her life. Jubilee was also annoying as a narrator. She was trying too hard to be funny and instead of laughing at her jokes, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. I was more focused on finishing the story than reading it until Jubilee met Stuart. Both his character, who is incredibly kind, and the plot from then on out renewed my interest in the story. Plus, he works at Target! (#StuartfromTarget anybody?) I think my tolerance gradually grew because Jubilee wasn’t as annoying towards the end. Maureen’s story definitely felt Christmassy though which was nice and Stuart’s family was so warm.

John Green’s story called A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle was amazing but you probably expected that. His story was less Christmassy but the characters were significantly better. They were witty, smart (obviously) and realistic. Tobin and Angie were cute. Their interactions were adorable and I found myself actually anticipating the moment when they finally expressed their feelings for each other. I enjoyed reading all 90 pages of this story which seemed to redeem the whole book and gave it promise…then I got to Lauren Myracle’s story.

Reading Lauren Myracle’s story, The Patron Saint of Pigs was like suffering through an hour listening to annoying, bratty, tween girls. Tween girls are her usual audience however so I can’t necessarily fault her for that but still… It held the archetype of a Christmas story where everything is dramatized but it lacked feeling so instead of leaving me with the idea of “Christmas magic”, it just left me unsatisfied. Even though I understood the moral that Myracle was trying to convey, I didn’t feel any sentiment. The main character, Addie, was once again so very annoying and her friends and associates were too superficial and not original enough to form any mark in my memory. The only thing I liked was when all the characters came together. These stories occur during the same time period in the same universe so the characters are all connected in some way and it was nice seeing them all together. My favorite couple was, with no competition, Tobin and Angie.

I was really excited to continue my holiday reading spree after reading Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares but sadly this one was a disappointment. (Except for you, John Green.) If you are looking for a book with cute romances and festivities to put you in the Christmas mood, I wouldn’t really recommend this. Then again, you might find them interesting cause apparently a lot of other people did.

Happy Christmas Eve Eve! xx

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six-of-Crows.jpg
Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA Fantasy

Edition: Hardcover

No Mourners. No Funerals.

That’s how inhabitants of the Barrel say ‘Good Luck’. It’s a fitting exchange of words that acknowledges the fact that the odds are probably against them but they’ll be damned if they don’t pull through.

Even if the odds are impeccably stacked on the unfavorable  side, Kaz Brekker, bastard of the Barrel and right-hand man of the Dregs, one of the gangs that rule over Ketterdam, will find a way out. Kaz, known as Dirtyhands because there isn’t anything he won’t do for the right price, is like an untouchable force of nature whom no one dare cross for fear of being killed in the most imaginative way possible. He kills without a second thought and shows no pity, empathy and or mercy. He is, in short, a monster (and only seventeen!).

Yet I love him. If a writer can make me love such a monster, he/she is extremely talented (or there’s something seriously wrong with me). Kaz is such a complex, convoluted, perplexing, and charming character. I can’t even begin to explain the depth within this one persona. There are just no words.

Right away, Kaz is enlisted by a mercher to complete an impossible heist that involves infiltrating a most guarded and secure prison, the Ice Court. Of course, Kaz agrees for a persuasive amount of money that would able him to finally achieve the one thing he’s been after all these years. To succeed this task, he assembles a crew of enticingly peculiar people, each with a different skill-set. There’s a sharpshooter, a nimble spy with acrobatic skills, a Grisha (someone with powers), a former-witchhunter, or drüskelle, and a rich-boy turned criminal who has “hidden depths”. Some of these characters are also POC–score for you Bardugo. I’m not going to tell you who they are exactly because it’s much more fun if you figure it out on your own. I will say, however, that all these characters are just as flushed out as Kaz and have compelling stories that led them to their current position as members of the Dregs. You gotta love them, even Matthias, who was hard to swallow at first. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about each of their pasts that were revealed piece by piece throughout the novel. It was like scavenger hunting, reading through and waiting to see if this was the chapter where you’d discover the secret behind so and so. For example, Kaz wears gloves all the time and no one knows why but at one point in the story, I put the puzzle pieces together and had such a rewarding epiphany. Same with Jesper, there were way too many revelations about Jesper in one chapter alone. I finished the chapter like “Who is this guy? Everything I thought about you was a lie!” 

Now maybe many of you have read Leigh’s debut novels, the Grisha trilogy and are familiar with this world that she has created but I haven’t so I went in with a significant lack of knowledge. In the booksphere, people have been saying that one need not read the Grisha trilogy to understand this novel but I still found myself very confused for the first few chapters. Not only were the terms confusing but it was also difficult for me to understand the politics of this world. To this point, I’m still not sure I truly understand the concepts or just became more familiar with them. *shrugs* Either way, Leigh has definitely created an extraordinary world. I commend her also for creating such an elaborate facility such as the Ice Court. I imagine it to be so beautiful.

Each character obviously has their own love interest. Some of them were expected, some were not. And none of the relationships–and relationships to be–are simple. They all have a significantly sized barrier that is both heartbreaking and slightly amusing. By no means does this story revolve around these romances but the inclusion of them certainly adds to the riveting plot.

I honestly could talk about this book all day but this review is becoming a bit lengthy so I’m gonna cut it off here. I believe I have given you sufficient reason to go out to your local bookstore and purchase this book. If you need any more convincing, take a IMG_20151213_111534.jpglook at this—>

BLACK PAGES! IT HAS BLACK PAGES! I mean, have you ever seen something more beautiful? When I got this book, I literally just sat there marveling at the exquisite exterior before I even embarked on the journey of reading it. It is seriously that gorgeous. Looks, an awesome plot, beautiful characters, what more could you need?

I can’t contain my excitement for the sequel. I’m bursting at the seams. If you’ve read this whole post until the end, I commend you for your determination and thank you for your loyalty. If any of you in the booksphere have read Six of Crows and loved it as much as I did, please comment so we can rave about it together. Even if you didn’t like this book so much, comment and tell me why so I can convince you of your inaccuracies.

Just kidding.

Maybe.

See you on the flip side xx