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.

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

Title: Rebel Springrebel spring

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Genre: Fantasy

Edition: Hardcover

Behold the jaw-dropping cover I was referring to in my Falling Kingdoms review ——>

Rebel Spring was considerably better than the first book but not by much. It was better enough to warrant my continuation of the series. The storyline was still more or less predictable but there were aspects, such as the deeper incorporation of magic, that were creative enough to prevent it from being totally basic. We also get introduced to new characters such as Alexius, a Watcher who visits Lucia in her dreams, and Lysandra, a rebel joining Jonas’s band of rebels. Queen Althea is also given a more influencing role as we are even given some chapters in her POV. Seeds of mystery were planted throughout the novel which kept me captivated and curious to find out the truth and this, of course, contributed to the higher quality of this novel.

At the end of Falling Kingdoms, King Gaius and his followers succeeded in their seige of Auranous with the help of Lucia’s powerful, borderline scary, magic. Everyone else not a part of Limeros is rendered a slave to their rule. As inferred by the title, basically everyone is rebellious. There’s Cleo, taken prisoner as the only surviving member of royalty of Auranos, who resigns to play the innocent, obedient princess while secretly devising a way to take back her kingdom. Cleo seemed a bit more mature in this novel. I guess losing all one’s family and being taken hostage forces one to grow up. Whatever the case, I appreciated that and I like how conniving she became, buddying up to Lucia for her magic, the key to her regaining power. Meanwhile, Jonas rounded up a group of Paelsians that harboured the same desire to kill the King and free everyone from oppression once and for all. To be honest, Jonas became even more annoying than he was in the first book. He’s so rash and seems to think of himself more highly than others when he doesn’t really have a reason to. Lysandra would be a better leader. Anyone would be a better leader than Jonas. Well, maybe not Aron but he’s another case all together.

I really enjoyed how Althea had her own sidestory going on meeting with the witch and what not and it was curiosity inducing when the guy in the cloak came up behing her and killed her. I thought the guy was going to be someone important that we knew, someone central to the plot but then he was just a random guy. That was disappointing. However, the fact that the murder was more throroughly orchestrated than originally thought made up for the means. Magnus coming to find out the real mastermind behind his mother’s murder was instilled with a rebellious side as well, but in his own intrinsic way. He’s still pining after Lucia (who by the way I still cannot bring myself to like) and she continues to hurt him while falling in love with her dream boy, literally, Alexius. Alexius quickly became my favorite character after Magnus because he was the only other one who had any depth. We only had about five chapters in his POV and I still feel like I comprehend his character more than any other. His relationship with Lucia was believable on his end. On Lucia’s end, it’s kind of weird. Alexius is a thousand something year old man so obviously he’s wise and he spent a lot of time with Lucia all the while knowing more about who she is and who she is to become more than Lucia herself. All of that paired with the way he spoke about her made his feelings authentic to me. Lucia did not have much foundation to her feelings.

I’m not even going to get started on Lysandra and her supposed feelings for Jonas. You already know that–that was just ridiculous. Jonas goes from hating Cleo’s guts to making out with her in an alcove in the forest…. No comment. But Cleo and Magus are wed! That’s hilarious seeing as they despise each other but we’ll see where this arrangement takes them. King Gaius is really relentless.

Everyone, with all their separate storylines, is still connected by one goal. To find the Kindred. The four elementia – Water, Air, Earth, Fire – contained in four stones located somewhere around Mytica. Everybody wants to find them for various reasons. Prince Ashur even travels all the way from Kraeshia, a kingdom not even in Mytica, to locate these magical stones. No one has yet to find them though.

All in all, Rebel Spring was better than I expected. I’m glad I continued the series because it seems to be heading in an intriguing direction. Let me know in the comments what you thought about it. Who’s your favorite character so far? What do you think of the world building? Which kingdom is your favorite? Mine is Limeros; I find frozen nature and black castles alluring.

Later loves. x

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Title: Gathering Bluegathering blue

Author: Lois Lowry

Genre: Dystopian

Form: Paperback

 

If you were to ask me to give a synopsis of The Giver, I would just stare at you blankly until a new topic presented itself. I honestly would not even be able to give you as much as a character’s name. The last and only time I read it was in seventh grade which wasn’t really too long ago – give or take 6 years – but my English teacher went so in depth that you would think I’d at least remember something. Nope. So I conclude that it must have been pretty horrible and therefore I was less than excited to read Gathering Blue. 

The only reason I picked this up is because it’s on my summer reading list as required. It actually got voted as required by the students. I heard a lot of people that read it already saying how much they loved it. Then I read the blurb and thought ‘hmm hopefully this will be better than it’s precedent’.

This novel is about a girl named Kira who was born deformed and in her society, people scorn the weak. They are killed at birth if a deformity is detected but Kira was allowed to live on account of her mother. Unfortunately her mother is now dead and Kira has to face a trial to decide if she keeps her life or not. The verdict is in her favor but she has to leave her home and take up a job given to her by the Council of Elders for her gift of threading.

There will be spoilers in the rest of this review so if you are ever planning on reading Gathering Blue then don’t continue but if you aren’t or don’t care then by all means, read on!

So I began reading and I was maybe interested for about a page or two before it just got boring. Lowry’s writing style just was not doing it for me. There wasn’t anything special or unique about it. I was not able to hear any distinctive voice through her writing. On top of that, the main character, Kira (just reminds me of teen wolf ^.^), had no personality in my opinion. The other characters had some potential but we didn’t get to know anything about them, like Thomas for example. He could have talked a little bit about his childhood in his conversations with Kira. On another note, I was a little bit confused as to how Matt’s mother basically cast him out (mind you he’s a toddler) and allowed him to leave civilization, roam the forests far enough to find a whole new society of strangers and had no idea where her child was this entire time………………………..what kind of parenting…

In most dystopians, the societies seem pretty solid at first with some obvious flaws and then later you really see how messed up everything is. The society in Gathering Blue was plain broken to begin with. It seemed like no one really did anything much besides cook, eat, sleep, take care of their “tykes” and not go in the forests. The men would occasionally go out and hunt. Everything was rather primitive to be our future world.

I feel like this book had no resolution. Kira found her father on account of Matt and the color blue and he tells her this whole story about how he was attacked because of his status and is now blind. We find out the culprit is Jamison *gasp*. On top of that, Kira caught sight of chains around the Singer’s ankles and comes to conclusion that all the gifted people: her, Thomas, Jo and The Singer, are being held captive. She puts 2 and 2 together and deduces that the Council of Elders or most specifically Jamison may have deliberately killed her mother, Thomas’ parents and Jo’s parents. This way they would be alone and he can “adopt” them for their gifts. So instead of going back to the community of the injured where her father lives, she decides to stay. This is usually the middle point in novels where the character has a revelation and decides to fight back and the real “meat” of the story begins, right? WELL Lowry decides to end the book at this point. It just ends. Right there. Kira figures out this mass conspiracy and we have no idea what she does with it. There is no sequel to this book so we will never know if she confronted Jamison, if she started a revolt or what have you.

I just do not know what kind of ending that was BUT if you have read this book and have the same or contrasting views on it, please comment and we can talk about it. 🙂 Have a great day!

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

hp chamber of secretsTitle: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Author: J.K. Rowling

 Genre: Fantasy

Form: Hardcover

 

Let’s start off saying that Chamber of Secrets was way better than Sorcerer’s Stone. I started reading right after I finished the first one and unlike with SS, I got interested pretty quickly. If you have not read Harry Potter before, I recommend picking it up some day. The storyline is worth delving into and as I said in my SS review, Rowling is immensely creative. So to all my HP virgins reading this, love you, but bye for now!

Okay. The beginning was a bit boring only because of the Dursleys. They don’t bring much excitement into the mix. While I was reading I could not help but notice that the Dursleys treat Harry just how the evil stepmonster treats Cinderella. I mean, they barricaded his room like a prison. I really don’t even see what the problem with him being a wizard is. It is not that big of a deal. Anyways then the Weasleys showed up with their flying car. Very cutting edge. I just continue loving the twins more and more. Can they be my brothers?

DOBBY IS SO ADORABLE! I had to “awe” everytime he spoke. How he speaks in third person and how he calls Harry “sir” and beats himself for doing something wrong just conjures a reflexive aweeee! I don’t care if he looks ugly, he is too cute. No matter the fact that he almost killed Harry trying to save him, it’s the thought that counts. And now he’s a free elf! Yay.

The adventure, if that’s what you want to call it, in this book was more interesting than the first because it was more mysterious. Harry was hearing voices in his head, people (and animals) were turning into stone Medusa style, there was a supposed mad Slytherin heir running around…craziness. Everyone first assumed it was Draco but I knew it wasn’t. He’s a jerk for sure but I can’t see him pulling something like that off. His bark is worse than his bite. His father on the other hand, he’s a madman. His name even sounds evil, Lucius Malfoy. Go on, say it out loud. *shudders* I wonder which name sounds more malevolent. Voldemort, oh oops sorry, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, or Lucius Malfoy.

It was crazy how Harry seemed like the prime suspect for the Petrifies (Petrifying?) because everything could be linked back to him. Rowling is just so clever though because at the end everything made so much sense! No wonder he was the only one who could hear the voice and Hagrid’s “follow the spiders” and then the Moaning Myrtle connection! The deduction about the mirror between Hermione and that Ravenclaw girl and every other reflection near the Petrified was perfect! Don’t even get me started on Dumbledore’s saying “As long as someone is loyal to me I will never leave Hogwarts.” When he first said that I just thought he meant he would always be behind Hogwarts as long as he’s needed, you know something simple like that but nooo. His Phoenix is the best bird ever and that Sorting Hat is very resourceful.

It’s funny how Ginny was the one doing all this. I would not have expected her since she has not been much of an important character so far. All in all this book showcased Rowling’s cleverness. It was just so, so clever. Sorry, I can’t say it enough.

By the way I just remembered. I cannot finish this review without talking about this man. Gilderoy Lockhart is the most annoying, conceited character ever! Oh my goodness, he really needed to go. I don’t understand how anyone put up with him for a whole year.

Anyways, Chamber of Secrets was great and I am so excited to start Prisoner of Azkaban. Hmm Harry Potter just might be growing on me. Share your thoughts on this book, the series or J.K. Rowling’s brilliant mind with me. Hope you enjoyed reading my words! 😉 Till next time friends.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

hp sorcerers stone Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Author: J.K. Rowling

Genre: Fantasy

Form: Hardcover

 Okay so don’t shoot me or anything but this is my first time reading Harry Potter. Unbelievable to some of you out there, I know, but there are actually a lot of people who have never picked up this series. Probably enough to match up with those who have read all 7 books. To add salt to the wound I haven’t seen any of the movies either (lol sorrynotsorry). It has never really interested me to read Harry Potter and I probably could have gone my whole life without reading it but my sister and my friend were behind my back about it. Thus my new journey began. To anyone who is in the same boat as I am, feel free to come on this journey with me! We can be late bloomers together 🙂 If you have not read any of the HP books yet, goodbye for now. I would not want to spoil it for you.

First off, I literally walked into this book blindly. With it being so popular and from all the countless references made on a daily, most people have some sense about the story and its plot. I, however, knew nothing which I was glad about because I prefer to begin books absolutely clueless. The only drawback is that I’ve seen a lot of the actors/actresses so even though I can imagine my own characters, Emma Watson and Alan Rickman keep popping back up. I don’t truly mind though.

I would not say this was an amazing book but it kept me intrigued and it was a well written set up for the rest of the series. At first, J.K. Rowling’s writing kind of had me bored because there was nothing special about it but the quality of the story kept me reading. What I will say is that she has quite the imagination. When I was learning about Quidditch all I was thinking was “Where the heck did she get this from?” Making up a game that is played on broomsticks rather than the ground is one thing but then she went on to add Bludgers and a Snitch…one simply does not create such a sport! And there are centaurs and unicorns! xD I got abnormally excited when I found that out. Also while we’re on the subject of creativity, “muggle” is not even in the dictionary and it’s such a queer word! Add to that all the weird named foods that Rowling came up with like those Every Flavor Beans, and pictures that move. She just has a great imagination.

I am already in love with Harry, Ron and Hermione’s friendship. I can see it developing beautifully. On the topic of Hermione…let me tell you, pronouncing this child’s name was the perpetual trial of my life from start to finish. Her name appearing on the page led to a different pronunciation every time. I was getting so bothered that I had to google it and it is still hard to say. I need practice. Everyone else is okay though. Fred and George Weasley are my favorite. Ron is awesome too.

That plot twist at the end was not expected. Of all people, Professor Quirrel. He put on a good act. I still think Snape is evil.

So I was told that HP gets better and I have faith that it will so I am excited to move on to Chamber of Secrets. If you have read this review as well as some or all of the Harry Potter books, I would be glad to talk to you all about it. 🙂