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Friday, June 23, 2017

#Book #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Raging Star by Moira Young @moira_young @RandomHouseCA

TITLE: Raging Star
SERIES: Dust Lands, Book #3
AUTHOR: Moira Young
PUBLISHER: Doubleday Canada
PUBLICATION DATE: May 13, 2014
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 448 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9780385679244
The much-anticipated, thrilling conclusion to Moira Young's Dust Lands trilogy.

When the star reader, Auriel Tai, challenged Saba to seize her destiny and defeat DeMalo and the Tonton, Saba was confident in her purpose. Then she met DeMalo and he confounded all expectations with his seductive vision of a healed earth, a New Eden. DeMalo and Saba had an intense and passionate encounter - physical, emotional and psychic - that changed her life, and now he wants Saba to join him, in life and work, to create and build a healthy, stable, sustainable world...for the chosen few.

Jack's choice is clear: to fight DeMalo and try to stop his dangerous New Eden project. Still uncertain, her connection with DeMalo a secret, Saba commits herself to the fight. Joined by her brother Lugh, anxious for the land in New Eden, Saba leads an inexperienced guerilla band against the powerfully charismatic DeMalo, in command of his settlers and the Tonton militia.

What chance do they have? Saba must act. And be willing to pay the price.
MY REVIEW:

This was a satisfying and memorable conclusion to the Dust Lands trilogy!

It’s been a while since I was immersed in this series. I listened to the first book, Blood Red Road, back in December 2012 and the next one, Rebel Heart, in January 2013.

This installment starts off with the Free Hawks - Saba, Lugh, Ash, Creed, and Tommo – heading east. Saba’s keeping a secret from the rest of the crew. She’s leading the group by the marks that Jack has left on the trees. They don’t realize that Jack didn’t really die at Resurrection. Their plan is to blow up the bridge that spans the Eastern Defile, linking New Eden to the Raze. They will do anything to make it tougher on DeMalo’s people to travel. When Saba sees two carts crossing the bridge, she realizes that the second cart contains slaves. She turns back to put out the lit fuse, but it is too late. She puts the entire group in danger, as they wait for her, but she cannot stop what has already been set in motion. The blast goes off, and everyone scatters. Saba tells them she will meet them at the rendezvous point, but DeMalo finds her. He offers her a deal: He will provide an escort to ensure that the Free Hawks have safe passage over the Waste, but they will be killed if any of them ever return to New Eden. In exchange, DeMalo wants Saba to marry him. She has until the blood moon to make her decision, which is only seven nights away.

The rest of the book is divided into sections, with a countdown from Night Seven down to Night Two, ending with After and New Eden.

I had listened to the first two audiobooks, so this was the first time reading the book in print. I did struggle with it, because the issues that I had are not apparent if you are listening. First of all, there are no quotation marks to identify when someone is speaking. I found that very frustrating. Also, Young’s style of dialect takes some getting used to. Here is an excerpt:

“Me an Tracker forge ahead, closin in on Lugh. He's bin holdin fast as leader fer some time. I noticed he wouldn't yield to Tommo a little while back. I s'pose he's makin some kinda point. What that might be, I ain't got time to consider.”

If my library would have had this in audio format, I would have preferred that. Unfortunately, they did not. I stuck it out and, once I got about halfway into the book, I got used to the writing. Aside from those issues, I really enjoyed the book! Saba has come such a long way from how she was in Blood Red Road, which actually is my least favourite of the three books. She has matured, and she is faced with some really hard decisions in Raging Star. A few secrets were revealed, more than one betrayal, and there are some heartbreaking tragedies. I was sad by how some things turned out, but the ending seems fitting and it wouldn’t have turned out that way if anything else had been done differently. So, as sad as some parts were, I was content with how things ended.

MY RATING:
4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR list if you enjoy dystopia!

This book qualifies as:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven @jenniferniven @LLAudiobooks

AUTHOR: Jennifer Niven
NARRATORS: Kirby Heybourne and Ariadne Meyers
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: January 6, 2015
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 11 hrs and 4 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health/Mental Illness
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the "natural wonders" of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

MY REVIEW:

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

This was a sad and tragic read for me. Despite all the hype, I managed to go into this one blind. There is a trigger in it for me, because a very dear friend of mine committed suicide so the book stirred up those memories for me.

The story is told from two points of view, and both are high school seniors: First, we have Theodore Finch, who is a bit of a loner that gets bullied by the other kids. The popular kids refer to him as a “freak” because he’s just so weird. Next, we have Violet Markey, who used to date one of the hottest guys and was one of the Queen Bees, but she’s changed since her sister’s death the previous year. She was with her sister when they were involved in a car accident, and her sister died while she survived. As a result, she is plagued by survivor guilt. Violet and her sister, Eleanor, had a website and they shared their opposing viewpoints on everything from fashion to boys to books. However, since Eleanor’s death, Violet lost her interest in writing. Her dream had actually been to go to NYU and complete their creative writing program, but that died along with Eleanor.

At the outset of the book, Finch is on the ledge of the school’s six-story bell tower. He asks himself if it’s a good day to die. Some of the kids down below point up at the tower, but they aren’t pointing at him. They are pointing to someone on the other side of the tower: Violet. Finch ends up talking Violet down, but he lets everyone think that Violet climbed up there to save him so he lets her be the heroine.

In U.S. Geography, Finch asks Violet to be his partner for the project in which they are to explore and write about the sights to see in Indiana. It’s not really clear why Finch wants to pair up with her. However, when she comes stumbling into class dropping her books, he deflects the attention off of her by pushing his own books off his desk and then falling off his chair to ensure that Violet is forgotten. Does he feel sorry for her? It’s hard to say. Maybe he sees a bit of himself in her, as they both are unhappy. Although Violet agrees to partner up with Finch, she makes things a bit difficult when she tells him that they can only explore on foot or by bike. Since Eleanor’s death, she has not set foot in a car.

What starts off as a mundane school project ends up being so much more! Finch’s and Violet’s time together changes both of them.

This was a tough one for me. On the one hand, I loved how Finch was able to break through Violet’s wall and have an impact on her. She changed because of him, and their project renewed her interest in writing and she began to heal. On the other hand, I hate that Finch


I liked the book, but I have to admit that I thought that it would be better. The book had so much hype, so my expectations were high going in. There is a film adaptation that was released in April 2017, and I will likely watch it but not for a while yet. Even just watching this film trailer was tough to see:



Kirby Heybourne (Finch) and Ariadne Meyers (Violet) narrated this book, and I enjoyed them. There is a lot of angst in these characters, and I thought they both conveyed these emotions. Here is a sample of the narration:


MY RATING:

3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it! Thanks again to Listening Library for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

This book qualifies as:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown @janelleb @SPIEGELandGRAU

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.


Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

AUTHOR: Janelle Brown
PUBLISHER: Spiegel & Grau
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: July 11, 2017
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 368 pages
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 9780812989465
It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan—a beautiful, charismatic Berkeley mom with an enviable life—went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. No body—only a hiking boot—has ever been found. Billie’s husband and teenage daughter cope with her death the best they can: Jonathan drinks, Olive grows remote.

But then Olive starts having waking dreams—or are they hallucinations?—that her mother is still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he knew about his wife. Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth—about Billie, their family, and the stories we tell ourselves about the people we love.

I love a good mystery, and this one sounds like there will be a twist or two in there.


What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't #TopTenTuesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is:

Top Ten 50 Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't

Wow, there are SO MANY series on my TBR list that I want to read! I can't narrow it down to just ten, so I won't even try.

Dead Until Dark
by Charlaine Harris
(Sookie Stackhouse, Book #1)

The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
(The Hunger Games, Book #1)

Enclave
by Ann Aguirre
(Razorland, Book #1)

Birthmarked
by Caragh M. O'Brien
(Birthmarked, Book #1)

The Iron King
by Julie Kagawa
(The Iron Fey, Book #1)

The Warlord Wants Forever
by Kresley Cole
(Immortals After Dark, Book #1)

Succubus Blues
by Richelle Mead
(Georgina Kincaid, Book #1)

Magic Bites
by Ilona Andrews
(Kate Daniels, Book #1)

Jacob
by Jacquelyn Frank
(Nightwalkers, Book #1)

Slave to Sensation
by Nalini Singh
(Psy-Changeling, Book #1)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson
(Millennium, Book #1)

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
by Alan Bradley
(Flavia de Luce, Book #1)

Still Life
by Louise Penny
(Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, Book #1)

Darkfever
by Karen Marie Moning
(Fever, Book #1)

Clockwork Angel
by Cassandra Clare
(The Infernal Devices, Book #1)

Hush, Hush
by Becca Fitzpatrick
(Hush, Hush, Book #1)

The Darkest Night
by Gena Showalter
(Lords of the Underworld, Book #1)

Kiss of Midnight
by Lara Adrian
(Midnight Breed, Book #1)

Pleasure Unbound
by Larissa Ione
(Demonica, Book #1)

Guilty Pleasures
by Laurell K. Hamilton
(Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book #1)

Bitten
by Kelley Armstrong
(Women of the Otherworld, Book #1)

Some Girls Bite
by Chloe Neill
(Chicagoland Vampires, Book #1)

Obsidian
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
(Lux, Book #1)

Dark Prince
by Christine Feehan
(Dark Carpathians, Book #1)

Glass Houses
by Rachel Caine
(The Morganville Vampires, Book #1)

Dragon Bound
by Thea Harrison
(Elder Races, Book #1)

First Grave on the Right
by Darynda Jones
(Charley Davidson, Book #1)

A Discovery of Witches
by Deborah Harkness
(All Souls Trilogy, Book #1)

Spider's Bite
by Jennifer Estep
(Elemental Assassin, Book #1)

Need
by Carrie Jones
(Need, Book #1)

Skinwalker
by Faith Hunter
(Jane Yellowrock, Book #1)

The Fellowship of the Ring
by J.R.R. Tolkien
(The Lord of the Rings, Book #1)

Throne of Glass
by Sarah J. Maas
(Throne of Glass, Book #1)

Gone
by Michael Grant
(Gone, Book #1)

One for the Money
by Janet Evanovich
(Stephanie Plum, Book #1)

The Clan of the Cave Bear
by Jean M. Auel
(Earth's Children, Book #1)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
by Michelle Hodkin
(Mara Dyer, Book #1)

Poison Study
by Maria V. Snyder
(Study, Book #1)

Shiver
by Maggie Stiefvater
(The Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book #1)

Beautiful Creatures
by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
(Beautiful Creatures, Book #1)

The Forest of Hands & Teeth
by Carrie Ryan
(The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Book #1)

Stray
by Rachel Vincent
(Shifters, Book #1)

Rot & Ruin
by Jonathan Maberry
(Rot & Ruin, Book #1)

Uglies
by Scott Westerfeld
(Uglies, Book #1)

Blood Rights
by Kristen Painter
(House of Comarré, Book #1)

Full Blooded
by Amanda Carlson
(Jessica McClain, Book #1)

The Restorer
by Amanda Stevens
(Graveyard Queen, Book #1)

The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey
(The 5th Wave, Book #1)

Mila 2.0
by Debra Driza
(Mila 2.0, Book #1)

Reboot
by Amy Tintera
(Reboot, Book #1)


So, what top series have you been meaning to start but haven't? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!
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