Search This Blog

Unblemished by Sara Ella

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Eliyana has always recoiled from her own reflection in the mirror. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world existed where her blemish could become her strength?

Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a hideous birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her as normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.

But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird.

Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.

Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?

Goodreads Summary

I sympathized with Eliyana during the book. I can't imagine having a birthmark cover half my face. I would feel like people were always staring and looking at it. Eliyana has a large birthmark that she is embarrassed about. She wishes people could see beyond it and high school students can certainly be cruel. There were so many different types of "beings" mentioned in this book; I was surprised that the book ventured so heavily into the paranormal. Eliyana's character was fine except for interspersed anxiety and constant worry. 

What was interesting, is that the book kind of fits high school as a whole where the "beings" can equate to the cliques and small subcultures that exist. It was fascinating to see how the social world interacted in an environment that is so different from the real world, yet in many ways the same. I have to say that the book was confusing in many places with so much going on and so many different types of characters. I often lost track of who was who and exactly what was going on. Overall, I think that there is something for everyone to enjoy in this book and this is definitely a story that should not be overlooked.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lydia Day Penaflor

Monday, October 22, 2018

Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is "fiercely emotional," a young actress with "complete conviction," and a "powerhouse." 

Joss Byrd is America's most celebrated young actress, but on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called The Locals, Joss's life is far from glamorous. While struggling with her mother's expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off a performance worthy of a star. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss must go off-script to stay true to herself.

Goodreads Summary

I was a little surprised that this book was in the young adult section of my library, but the more I read the more I could see it belonging in either a children/teen's section or young adult. Joss has dyslexia, but she is an actrees. Her dyslexia makes it very difficult to read the lines, particularly when there are changes made (which seems to be all the time). Her mother is often frustrated with her and will do nearly anything to get ahead for her own gain (it's truly disturbing). Joss has to make a movie titled, The Locals; she was super excited for the part, but later finds out that the movie is based upon a young woman's horrible, abusive childhood...and she doesn't want the movie made. Joss has to navigate both moral decisions and live in a very adult-centered world. 

Joss's character was by far my favorite. She was inventive, smart, and resourceful. Her mother disgusted me. I wish she thought more of and about her child. I wasn't surprised by her many bad decisions. I hated how a movie was made when the victim expressly said she didn't want it made. There should be more protection for victims of sexual and physical child abuse. I liked the ending and wished that Joss had a wonderful life (hard to say, but her head is in the right place).

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Thursday, October 11, 2018
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Goodreads Summary

I had trouble with this book though I enjoyed the continuation of the series as a whole. I have to admit that I only skimmed the books before this and read the first two in the series so that could definitely be influencing my opinion. This book furthered the plot from the prior books and did not really begin a new plot so much as tack on to the old one. Some relationships were strengthened and there definitely is adult content. Aelin had such a difficult time getting to the throne and now she is having a difficult time keeping it. There are people aiming to remove her from the throne and cause her trouble.

This book contains so many characters that could be considered "major characters." At times, it was almost a little overwhelming. Their romances were really focused upon, something I partly liked, but would rather have seen as an aside. I did like getting to know each individual character better, but I preferred to focus on Elide and Lorcan instead of the whole cast of Empire of Storms. I will still pick up the next book, but I'm getting a bit tired of this series.

3 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Red Queen by Christina Henry

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll...

The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.

Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.

The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen...

Goodreads Summary

I love any take on Lewis Carroll books and this book was certainly no exception. This book was a much darker and more adult view of Alice in Wonderland. It was a little like a world turned sideways. The Cheshire cat was nothing like the fluffy, goofy cat in the movie and the Rabbit was certainly no kind bunny. Alice and the Hatcher are totally committed to finding his daughter despite the dangers and obstacles. I have to point out that this book makes much more sense if one has read the first in the series (that book is just as fast-paced and exciting!).  

Alice's character hasn't changed much from the first book. She's still dedicated to helping the Hatcher and committing good acts despite the horrible terrain of Wonderland. Nothing is as she expected it to be and she has two Queens to contend with, each mad in her own way. Alice and the Hatcher develop a relationship much closer than friendship. I thought their romance was sweet and a little unsurprising. Overall, this is a great adult read and a fantastically re-imagined novel.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Second Season by Heather Chapman

Eleanor Hopkins has lived in disappointment for far too long believing that her husband only married her for fortune, and she determines to protect her own daughters from such misery by scheming to secure offers for both Lucy and Caroline based on mutual rank and reputation. When Caroline finds that the handsome and reputable Lord Searly desires her as his wife, she finds that no amount of planning or pretending can convince her to accept him. Instead, she is confronted with an unexpected and reluctant suitor in the respectable shoemaker Thomas Clark.

Goodreads Summary

I wouldn't be too happy thinking that my husband only married me because I had money. Eleanor has a money-hungry husband with no regard for her. She is fiercely protective of her daughters and wants them to make matches that are based on more than financial needs. When Lucy and Caroline come of age, Caroline is a bit headstrong and goes against what is expected of her. Instead of marrying for looks and money, she finds that she is intrigued by a humble shoemaker. Lucy also has her own adventures in love and even Eleanor, the matriarch, has little tidbits and past scenes included in the book.

I found that while I liked all of the characters, I enjoyed and related to Caroline the best. I liked how she was headstrong and knew what she wanted in a time where many women had events like marriage determined for them by their parents. Lucy was a little more serene and not as impulsive, but her character was sweet and her suitors amusing. I liked learning more about the background between their mother and father; the flashbacks answered a lot of questions I had and ensured a continued interest in the book. Overall, I found the book well-written and quaint.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ